health and fitness

Monday Miles: Week 5

Fourteen weeks until the WDW Marathon! Here is what i’ve been up to and what not!

Monday Miles: Week 5

The last week has been horrible when it comes to my running. Why? The weather has not been my friend, heck it hasn’t been anyone’s friend. Here in NC we hit our 12 straight days of rain today, Monday. Combine the rain and my favorite trail closing and being  pushed to the roads to run, I now have a problem. My husband has vetoed me from running on the road in this weather. I understand why, even though i’m stubborn and don’t want to. People drive like lunatics in good weather and are even worse in the rain. It’s all about safety. When you don’t have sidewalks it is just not as safe to run on the shoulder of the road in rainy weather, especially country roads where people drive much faster than they should. I have been researching different areas to run but i’ve come up with a whole lotta nothing that is nearby.

At this point i’m frustrated. I want to run and i’m stressing about how i’m going to get my miles in as I was rolling a big huge ZERO miles for the week come Sunday morning. I finally decided to drive across town to get some miles in. In Fayetteville they have a great paved trail that runs along the Cape Fear River, the Cape Fear River Trail. From trailhead to trailhead it is 8ish miles, they have extended the trail though too and it is over 10 now, well something like that. It would work, definitely better than nothing.

After I left my house I discovered I forgot my Garmin. Ahhh! I decided i’d be ok, there is an app for that. I started out with my Garmin Fit App. After the 1st mile it wasn’t giving me alerts so I added my Nike+ app. At mile 2 the Garmin app decided to quit. Then I noticed my apps were no where close to what the trail was marked. So much for technology. I’ve heard about this running without technology though and how freeing it is. Well it wasn’t for me. I have always run with a Garmin and i’ve been running close to 10 years now. I really rely on it. I tried though.  In the end it just wasn’t for me.

My run was far from my best. I was hoping for better but it just wasn’t happening. I have decided I need to replace my shoes. No ands, ifs, or buts. The tread is disappearing and I slipped and almost fell on my ass about a half dozen times. I love wearing minimals and Merrell’s have been my go-to shoe but their selection of women shoes has dwindled over the years and they no longer make the shoe i’ve worn the past few years. I have tried a few pairs of neutral running shoes but they just haven’t worked for me in the long run. I really have no clue what i’m going to get, only that it needs to be 0 drop.

So forgetting my Garmin and other tech issues, running in the rain and slipping what else could there be to make this a crazy run. How about a downed tree? Yep, that happened to at the 2 mile point. Took a minute or two to access the situation and decided to climb over it. I was getting my run done.

As my run went on there were no other obstacles it was a very basic run. I will say I did not fuel like I normally do. I barely touched my water or my Nuun. I took one gel when I was a bit past half way. When I finished I felt okay other than being bothered by not knowing how far I had actually gone or my pace. I drove the about 45 minutes home, got home showered, and went about my day. I sat down and ate a yogurt and then got up to make some cupcakes with Lil Miss. That’s when it happened. As soon as I got in the kitchen calf cramps hit in both of my calves. My husband massaged them out for me some and then I put my compression sleeves and ate some pickles. I would have never guessed that the cramps would have taken so long after my run to hit but they did. I put the blame entirely on myself too. I know my body. I am a “salty runner” and even though I didn’t feel like I needed it I needed to properly fuel and hydrate during my run to prevent these situations.

I am hoping the rain really does clear up and I can get back to my regular schedule this week. If not I will be spending more time in the garage with weights. Today we are getting a new bar. It is lighter so the kids can use it and it will help me with my form. Well that is the plan. Then, later this week I get to see my foot doctor again for a follow up. I’m really not sure how that is going to go. As for my big toe I can now finally bend it but it does not bend like my other toe. As for pain it only bothers me after long runs. I’ll let y’all know how that goes next week.

What do you do on rainy days when you need to run? 

Monday Miles : Week 4

The countdown is on and I have 15 Weeks to go until the WDW Marathon! We are now also under 100 days, crazy! Here is how I am doing!

Monday Miles: Week 4

I am still recovering from blisters. I never knew they could be so bad! My training during the week has continued on my bike. This past week I have been able to improve my time by 10 minutes! If only I could improve my run times that easy.

Initially I didn’t have a long run planned for this weekend. It was my 20 year high school reunion but life happens and things come up. I’m sad I missed it but I was able to get in one last long run on the trail by my house before it closes for deer hunting season. My plan was to do 16 miles.

The weather here has been pretty blah and rainy and I have been checking it left and right. My Sunday run was my first run in the rain. I have intentionally tried to get stuck in the rain before but it has never happened. The rain always disappeared off the radar. This time that was not happening. I put on extra body glide and grabbed a hat and I was off. With the rain I took it easy, not even a fifth of a mile in I had slipped on some mud. I continued on in the light rain and other than some slippery spots and squishy mud it wasn’t that bad. My pace wasn’t anything amazing but was within the time limits for rundisney.

I kept chugging along and took a bypass and left the main trail. The bridge had been out all year and I’m finally at a point I need to go past it. I thought I was doing well but soon found myself on an adventure. Where I run is near Fort Bragg and there are fire breaks all over the place to include off of the trail I was on. The bypass route is a fire break and the entrance is marked really well but the exit wasn’t. I ended up turning the wrong way and ended up at a different bridge that was out. In my defense I saw orange ribbon on the trees and I thought I was going the right way. I called my husband who was tracking me and then I looked at my phone. Duh, I had Maps, I could figure this out. I ended up making my way to the main road but with the weather my husband decided to come pick me up. He wasn’t too keen on the idea of me running in the rain on the side of road that people regularly go much faster than the 55MPH speed limit. My milage total was just over 10 miles. I was fine with it seeing how it was originally going to be a big ole zero

I am happy to say that this week I was blister free! This week I had an a-ha moment. Earlier this summer I had been promoting Band Aid blister band aids. I carried them everywhere this summer but we never needed them. I finally used them around the house for my blisters and they stuck really well to the bottom of my foot so I tried them for a run. At this point I had nothing to lose.They were perfect! They are now a running must have for me.
Nutrition wise, this week everything is the same. Pre-diabetes and all. I keep hoping that one more I will wake up and have a normal fasting blood sugar.

So there it is, my Monday Miles! My running this next week will be interesting as rain is on the forecast every day. In addition to that I will be back to mainly road running. I need to seek out some new places to run too, to keep it interesting.

Monday Miles : Week 3

16 weeks to go until WDW Marathon! So here is what i’ve been up to!

Monday Miles: Week 3 | Country Girl Gourmet

My training during the week has turned into bikes instead of runs. I have been mountain biking 8 miles on the trail near my house. It is full of soft sand and hills. So it’s a pretty decent workout. Each ride is getting easier too so that is a plus, must mean i’m improving. I wish I had more time during the day to add some more distance.

The reason why i’m biking instead of running is because of my feet. My poor, poor feet. I’m not sure what is going on but I have been blistering in the same spot the last 3 long runs. I’m not sure if it is a problem of blistering and it not fully healing and it keeps getting irritated. My shoes having too many miles or something else. All I know is although I may be over thinking things (something I do well), I need to figure it out soon because the not being able to run like I want to sucks.

So far I have tried brand new Balega (anti-blister) socks, Wrightsocks, body glide on my feet and plain ole petroleum jelly with no luck. I won’t use moleskin because it’s not as helpful on long runs. It always bunches up and comes off. Something’s gotta give though. The spot is right under my second toe. Yes, my second toe is my longer toe and I know this relates to the fact I push off that toe not my big toe like most people. If anyone has any ideas, I’d love to hear them!

This week I did 15 miles. It was not a good run. Can I blame volunteering the day before at Spartan Race for 12+ hours. I was on my feet the entire time standing and handing out bibs and didn’t eat anything more than almonds a couple at a time between people.

Volunteering at @spartanrace #fortbragg today! #mycurrentview #mycurrentsituation #spartanrace #volunteer

A photo posted by Debbie (@myhotsouthernmess) on

I was slower than expected but my pace was steady even after that new  blister developed around mile 6. I did slow down considerably in my last 3 miles. I even stopped 2  miles out for about 5 minutes to sit down and check my foot. Then Not even a quarter of a mile from being finished pain in my foot stopped me in my tracks. I hobbled the rest of the way back but I finished. Woohoo! 15 miles in the books. Next week will be 16 miles.

Weight training has taken a back burner in the past week. My lifting partner hasn’t been working out due to some knee issues. Sooo… it’s all on me now. Gonna figure out a plan and get at it!

Nutrition wise things are going ok. Keeping things simple and trying to keep my blood sugar in check. I still have not had a normal waking fasting blood sugar no matter what i’ve tried. When I spot check after meals i’m still in the pre-diabetes range. The only time I have had a normal range blood sugar has been after my long runs. I am at a loss. All I can think to do is go back to the doctor and see the actual doctor this time, not his nurse practitioner.

So there it is, Monday Miles! Until next week!

 

What are your best training tips?

Monday Miles : Week 2

I am now at  118 days until the WDW Marathon. Just under 17 weeks! I am sure the time is going to fly by. It seems as though that is what time now does now that I am a grown up. Seriously, how is it the middle of September?

This week I have been pondering a few things. The one of those things is training programs. There are several of them out there and I am completely baffled by them. More so which program is the best program to use. My training program for my half marathons is one that I put together for myself and it works well. My biggest want in a training program is I want to reach 26.2miles before my marathon. Knowing that I can do the distance beforehand is very reassuring for me. So until I find or mash together a program I will just be upping my milage every week. This weekend my long run was 14 miles.

14 miles is not anything new for me, my furthest distance has been 15 miles. It was earlier this year while I was training for the Disney Princess Half. It was thanks to a series of GPS glitches. I just wasn’t sure if I was ready this weekend. My week day training was not been what it should have been. This past week I only got in one run and some strength training and I could tell it in my long run.

Here is what I learned this past week:

  1. If the snake is green it is typically a “good snake” ok i’m stretching there. There is no such thing as a good snake but just because you see it and almost step on it doesn’t mean you need scream and freak out for 2 minutes because it is laying in the middle of the trail.
  2. Sand gets everywhere and that includes inside your blister resistant socks and you may get a blister or two. Blisters really suck.
  3. Speaking of blisters. Draining them is helpful sometimes. Just know they may refill with fluid.
  4. Pickles are good post run. They help restore balance and keep cramps away. 2-3 dill pickle spears seem to work for me.I am resting today, well maybe. I may end up doing some strength training with my husband later. Since I could really fill my lack of training on my run yesterday this week I will be making sure I get it in. This will include possibly biking as well as running and then strength training.As for my diet I am trying to keep it simple. Last week I was diagnosed with prediabetes. Having had 3 pregnancies with diagnosed gestational diabetes and the first I was told I did have it after my son was born (my test was borderline  but my son was born with signs of gestational diabetes such as low blood sugar and weighing over 9lbs). I knew it was a matter of time. My personal guess is my hysterectomy was the final straw. My goal is to have a normal fasting blood sugar although after learning about the dawn phenomenon i’m not sure that will happen. I can thank my healthy lifestyle that it has not turned into full blown type 2 diabetes.

 

 

So there it is my Monday Miles! Do you use a training program? If so which one?

What have you learned during your marathon training?

Monday Miles: Week 2 | Country Girl Gourmet

Monday Miles : Week 1

Week after week while doing my long runs I have had one recurring thought. I really should blog about that. Many times the blog ideas disappear by the time I get home but this one hasn’t. It just keeps floating around. Now that i’m going from being half crazy to full crazy I am going for it. Once a week I will be posting an update about my training and any tips I learn along the way. This week it is late, the holiday threw me off but this is week one of Monday Miles.

Monday Miles: Week 1 | Country Girl Gourmet

My first Full Marathon will be January 10th at the Happiest place on earth, Walt Disney World. I have read repeatedly how the Walt Disney World Marathon is one of the best marathons out there and knowing how well run the Princess races are I took it as a sign to enter when registration was on my anniversary. Happy 16th anniversary, your going to run a full marathon! To be fair my husband signed up for his first marathon too, just not WDW.

We are at 17 weeks and a few days before the marathon now and with my foot being cleared to go, it is go time. During my time off from running I was still active. During the week I was out in my garage working out with my husband, 15 year old and sometimes lil miss joined us. I would also go with my husband on his long runs during the weekend. The only difference is that I would ride my bike (ok and walk some of the steep hills but each week that was less and less). Once my foot was cleared I started walking instead of running. I wanted to test out my foot plus I was going to be sweeping a half marathon in a few weeks. 10 miles is a slow start right? I was able to do the 10 miles within the half marathon’s time limits easily with no foot problems. The following week I did 13 with my husband. I was set to go.

Sunday morning came all to early and before I knew it myself and the 3:30 pacer for Fayettevilles Race 13.1 were walking down the All American Highway. Moving right along, chit chatting and all that fun stuff.

https://www.facebook.com/Race13.1/photos/gm.1642449342693170/954799017914011/?type=1&theater

 

We stayed together until around mile 7 when I picked up someone from the 10k. I helped him until around mile 8, well a bit before. I have to give this guy mad props. He was out there after having both of his hips replaced! He just wanted to see if he could do it and he did! I stayed with him until his wife came up to finish with him and her urging me to go ahead, she had him. I went ahead and saw my husband who was working as a course monitor and sped up trying to catch back up. Right about mile 9, I did my first scope on Periscope and sent a video out on Instagram.

It took about a mile but I caught back up to the back of the pack. Where I stayed for the rest of the race. I carried the American Flag and kept making sure everyone was doing ok. Outside of aches and pains and being a bit tired the ladies were doing good. One of the complaints was an achy hip from a mom of a 6 month old. She didn’t want to stop to stretch so I had her do some lunges which helped some. I also suggested she invest in a pair of good compression shorts. I explained to her the compression will help with her core which often becomes weak when having kids as well as additional stability in the hip. There are many claims that compression does this, that and the other thing but the stability is the stand out for me.

We kept on going and I kept doing what I could to encourage the back of the pack ladies. When another said they didn’t think they could do it at mile 12 I told them to stop and that they could. I explained running is in your head first. If you say you can you will. We made it up the on ramp and down to the mall and with encouragement I slowed down so she could run it in and own her half marathon finish. She worked hard for it and finished running. I came in last, like I was suppose to. It was the first time i’ve come in dead last it was very weird. I was given water and handed my medal and then I wandered my way to the Team RWB tent as most of the vendors had broken down or were in the process of doing so.   My feet were killing me, I wore the wrong shoes and I am back on the quest to find a pair of shoes for the WDW Marathon. My feet are full of hot spots,blisters and i’m pretty sure I have new black toe nails.

I took Monday and Tuesday off. Well I tried to run Tuesday but my feet were not having it. My feet have not been this bad since 2012 when I did my first half marathon. I am going to try again today but we’ll see how it goes. It may be a cross training type of day.

Are you a runner? What has your training schedule looked like for the past week?

Misadventures in Running Rattler Trail Run

This really isn’t the post I had planned but it is, what it is. On May 9th I ran my last half marathon, the Rattler Trail Run. It was the hardest half marathon that I have ever done. It was a my first trail half marathon. It was a technical trail. I thought I would be ok, I train on a trail. I had prerace jitters, I kept seeing this technical trail run being discussed, I was nervous about getting hurt. I knew I would be fine though. I had no problem walking if I needed to. As long as I did that I would be fine, or so I thought.

MisAdventures in Running:Rattler Trail Run | Country Girl Gourmet

Race day came and I woke up early and drove to San Lee Park in Sanford, North Carolina. It was a beautiful looking park! The race would be in the woods surrounding a lake, it seemed perfect. I was ready!

Rattler Trail Run time! #rattlertrailrun #trailrun #halfmarathon #run #runningmama

A photo posted by Debbie (@myhotsouthernmess) on

 

Race directions were given, we started and up the hill we went to the trail. That is where everything changed. I now knew what technical trail meant. It meant roots and boulders  and not being able to look up without tripping. We were running on mountain bike trails. My son would love to ride on the trails. Running on them was a different story.

MisAdventures in Running:Rattler Trail Run | Country Girl Gourmet On the first 10k loop I was feeling ok other than my calves being mad at me. My times were horrible and after recent improvements it bothered me but I kept at it. After all no one was going to come out on the trail and save me. I tripped and stubbed my toes on rocks multiple times but was lucky as I never fell down. I passed and I passed others. I ran with strangers, each of us commenting on the grueling trail. Then right as I was near the finish of the 10k I tripped and then stubbed my toe, yet again. The girl I was running with repeatedly asked if I was ok. It hurt like nothing else but I told her I was fine I could walk it off. I can say now that trip was much worse than what I ever thought.
MisAdventures in Running:Rattler Trail Run | Country Girl Gourmet
I continued on and finished the first 10k. My time was horrible but at this point I no longer cared. I went on to do the next loop. With this loop I didn’t trip nearly as much and my confidence was building back up despite my horrible mile splits. I was determined to finish even if my time sucked.

Misadventures in Running- Rattler Trail Run | Country Girl Gourmet

I completed the loop and was ready to tackle the final loop but not without being told I needed to eat something first. So I ate a few potatoes. I didn’t think I needed it, I had my gels, nuun and water but I ate a couple and off I went for the last and final loop. This time I ended up pacing another runner. We chit chatted most of the way. We stayed together or her right behind me the entire way. I was constantly checking on her and we remained in earshot of each other when I did get a bit ahead. It definitely helped as that last lap was a hot mess. Heck the whole race was, I couldn’t imagine those doing the full. They had to do the half marathon route twice!
MisAdventures in Running:Rattler Trail Run | Country Girl Gourmet
We finished though. Thirteen point freaking one. We were given our medals. I recouped from some low blood sugar we took pictures and I hiked back across the park to my car to drive the hour home.

MisAdventures in Running:Rattler Trail Run | Country Girl Gourmet

 

By the time I got home some stiffness had set in and my feet hurt. It hurt to walk, I was now limping around. I showered and elevated my feet. It was after my husband looked at my feet and noticed some bruising in addition to the swelling that he told me I should probably go to the emergency room. We debated and he won, off to the ER I went. After a quick X-ray showing I didn’t have any major breaks I was sent home to RICE my foot and see my Primary Care Doctor Monday.

MisAdventures in Running:Rattler Trail Run | Country Girl Gourmet

 

I made that appointment, she looked at it, put me in a boot, told me no running and told me to come back in two weeks if I was still having problems. Three weeks later I went back. I felt incredibly stupid for going in. It was my big toe and it just would not bend at the 2nd joint as well as still being swollen. So she x-rayed it again and referred me to a podiatrist so I could get a MRI. I’ve since learned that my insurance,Tricare, is picky when it comes to ordering MRI’s. So, a few more weeks down the road I go to the podiatrist. More x-rays again showing no major breaks and his diagnosis was Turf Toe. If I wasn’t better in 4 weeks he would send me to physical therapy and after 4 weeks of that he would do a MRI. Say What? I have Google and as someone who hates the doctor I googled my problem further than Web MD (and yes I know doctors hate this,lol). I knew I did not have turf toe. Back to my Primary Care doctor asking for a second opinion which she readily agrees too. It is now July and i’m finally sent to an orthopedic doctor and he finally sends me for an MRI. His concerns are that I have a stress fracture or a tendon injury.  At this point I am happy to be getting the MRI finally, my injury was months ago now and my stupid big toe does not bend! Just call me random injury girl. Heck after receiving my MRI results my doctor pretty much did, he called me a mystery girl. My MRI was helpful and it helped give us some answers.

MisAdventures in Running:Rattler Trail Run | Country Girl Gourmet

Like the MRI said I had multiple stress fractures in my foot that I had no clue about! Other than that my doctor has decided that I needed to see another orthopedic doctor that specializes in feet. At this point I just wanted to run, i’m all for it if she could fix me.

MisAdventures in Running:Rattler Trail Run | Country Girl Gourmet

I finally saw the foot specialist and I am glad I did. She thinks several of my supposed stress fractures are an anomaly she often sees on MRI results. I tend to agree with her because I had no issues with that area of my foot. As for my toe I learned some interesting things. Like that last joint of your toe does need to bend to run and each person has a different degree. My toes are just more bendy than some others. The good news is I have just enough bend to be able to run. I ended my appointment with a cortisone shot to my toe. Thank goodness they have freeze-y spray! That was definitely an experience. While I don’t have a diagnosis and i’m waiting for the shot to do it’s thing I was given the green light to start running again and guess what I already have a half marathon in a couple weeks! I will be sweeping a local half, so it’s ok that I will be slow. Slow and steady wins the race and this girl has a Full Marathon to get training for! I hope my foot is ready!

 

What are your best tips for bouncing back after a race injury?

 

Adventures in Running: The Back of the Pack Runner

I have been running for several years now. Seven to be exact. In those seven years my pace has stayed about the same. Turtle speed. I have always been one of the back of the pack runners. Well except when I run a Disney or an Rock N Roll race. Those races I become a middle of the pack runner simply because of the thousands of people that run those races. It’s not due to the lack of trying to improve because I have. I build up but then I get an injury. An ACL injury, stress fracture in my foot to my latest one, a concussion and soft tissue damage after my car accident. I keep going though. My pace is comfy at a 12-13 minute mile, sometimes it is a bit faster but sometimes it is slower. My 8 year old daughter is a faster runner than I am but I am fine with that. After all, a mile is a mile, it is the same distance no matter your pace.

Adventures in Running: Back of the Pack

It has been a while since I did a race where I ended up in the back of the pack. I paced a recent half marathon, I was the sweeper pacing the 4 hour half marathon group and all of my back of the pack memories came rushing back.  When you are running it is easy to forget about those behind you unless you are the one in the back. I also wonder if race directors truly consider those that are slower. I understand that race directors pay for roads to be shut down and some course support and then there are all the volunteers and that is why many have course limits. That is understandable, completely. My issue is that everything offered on the course and afterwards should be the same for the first runner to the last runner, especially if that runner finishes within the course limits.

Simple things like moving barricades before the final runners have even finished crossing the street. Then there are the various aid tables. There should be plenty of water, gatorade, snacks and/or gels for every runner. I have watched in disbelief as water was being dumped as I was less than a tenth of a mile from the water stop. My first half marathon they ran out of gels and gatorade. Then there is the finish line where there is post race nutrition or more so lack of. It seems in that regard, many times faster runners just take what they want forgetting those behind them. Then again maybe race directors just don’t supply enough for everyone? When it comes to after marathon festivals, that final runner should be able to get food or have a beer, whatever is being offered, when they finish. Instead many times awards and entertainment have been done and over and those who had set up are either in the process of packing up to leave or have already done so. Heck, even race photos are lacking for the back of the pack. I have scoured over hundreds of photos from the race I just paced and there was not a single photo of the back of the pack of the half marathon. It wasn’t until we were nearly finished I was able to get the girls I was pacing to a photographer, yet based on the pictures I have seen there were many, many more photographers and news crews in various areas.  You would think you wouldn’t have to worry about those things especially with a set course limit but you do. After all you are putting down the same money for a race that all of those who finished ahead of you did. Why would your race be any different than theirs?

I am sure there are those out there who think I should stop the whining and just work on my pace and try to get faster, like I haven’t done that and continue to do that already. That anyone in the back of the pack should use these factors to push themselves to work harder so they don’t end up in the back. Despite the media highlighting a couple back of the pack runners runners that were helped to the finish line those back of the packers are largely ignored and forgotten about.

Those in the back of the pack are there for a multitude of reasons but they are giving it all that they have. Many of those in the back are taking great strides to change their health. They have had that wake up call that change needs to happen. They may be running in support of a great cause. They may be running for those that cannot. Others in the back are overcoming something or working to get back to where they once were. They could be coming back from a car accident, major surgery or an injury.  Maybe they just fought cancer and kicked it’s ass.  I will tell you first hand it can be harder than you think it will be. My first 5k after my car accident my leg went numb and I stopped running and walked. I didn’t want to stop, I wasn’t giving up.  A girl I paced was having issues with her back and her hope was just to be able to finish before her back began to spasm. Everybody has a story and their own reason why they run. The fact is they got up and off their couch and they are out there. That is all that matters. They may walk their half marathon but that is fine. They are still doing it. Don’t judge them for coming in last and don’t allow their race to be any different than those who finished way ahead of them. Give them the same race. They deserve it.

Disney Princess Half Marathon Recap 2015

I had originally intended on taking the week of my half marathon off from writing but here I am two weeks later. It may be two weeks but, I did it, again! I ran the Disney Princess Half Marathon. It is really great race full of girl power although  a couple thousand men run it also. Disney is always a good place to start when you want to enter the running world because of it’s usually relaxed atmosphere. After all what is better than running a half marathon with 20,000+ people. Yes, it is a lot of people but it’s all good.

2015 Disney Princess Half Marathon Recap

Princess Half Marathon Weekend starts on a Thursday with the start of the expo and goes until Sunday ending with the Happily Ever After party after the Half Marathon. My journey to Princess began on Friday morning after I got my kid’s off to school. I left our freezing temps of not even 10 degrees and I drove to Florida. Normally I would say warm and sunny Florida but it was in the 50’s. Still that was warmer than what I was coming from.  I made great time and went directly to ESPN Wide World of Sports to Packet Pick up. The packet pick up process is easy even if you forget your waiver. Disney has computers set up so you can print it out onsite. From there you find your bib number and go to that booth. They go over everything with you and send you across the hall to me main expo to pick up your gear check bag and t-shirt.

Disney Princess Half Marathon 2015 Recap
I was excited to get to the expo a day earlier, I had hopes of picking up some runDisney items that are typically sold out by Saturday but unfortunately all of the eBay scalpers had swiped the things up. I guess I can still look on eBay but then you are paying double or more than the original price. I wandered around the rest of the expo looking for things that I need, I mean want. I even tried on an Sparkle athletic skirt but big butts do not lie. Running skirts are not made for everyone and although you wear shorts under a sparkle skirt I’d rather not have someone staring at my booty for 13.1 miles because my skirt was too short. Despite the sales girl saying it looked cute, I knew otherwise and saw what would of been my issue repeatedly on Sunday during the half. So I left kind of disappointed but had decided I would come back the next day. So off to my non- Disney hotel I went.

The next morning I gathered up my stuff and left to head back to the Expo and meet up with someone from Team RWB Fort Bragg. On the way I learned a very important travel tip. Always call your bank and let them know you will be traveling out of state. Otherwise they may freeze your card because they think the purchases are fraudulent. I learned that while trying to get gas and my card was declined when there was no reason for it to decline. After fixing that problem and filling up my tank, back to the expo I went. This time they had Minnie, Aurora and Cinderella’s horsemen out for pictures so I went ahead and hopped in line for pictures. After spending some more time at the expo we left and headed to Downtown Disney until I could check into my Disney resort. The expo just didn’t seem to grab my attention this year like it did in 2014.

This year I stayed at Disney’s Pop Century resort. It is one of their value resorts but it is a really cute resort with a ton of things to offer. It is decorated very kitchy.  Disney style kitchy. It has a great running path and  it is just fun to explore. There is also a food court and souvenir shop. The food court did have a few gluten free options too.  My only downside was the room I was in. I was right next to their main pool, the hippy dippy pool where the DJ hangs out, they play night time movies etc. It didn’t matter that I had the do not disturb sign on my door. Going to bed early was not the easiest thing to do and neither was taking an after half marathon nap.


Disney Princess Half Marathon 2015 Recap

Alarms were set and off to bed I went. As expected that 2:30am wake up came sooner than expected. I got myself up and going, no caffeine needed. Had my breakfast and off to the buses I went. Once entering the pre race area, I wandered a bit and had my picture taken with Cinderella. I still hadn’t decided how I was going to run. Was I just going to run or was I going to enjoy the race and stop for pictures? After a trip to the port-a-potties I met up with some people from my corral which made the wait until the half started go by in no time at all. I was in corral J again this year. I have no clue how or why since I had hoped I had moved up one corral. I know others with my half times were in corral I. It was, what it was though. J is in ok corral, it is right in the middle so it gives you plenty of cushion if you do decide to stop for pictures. The balloon ladies are still quite a ways back. The down side is J can be crowded. Within minutes after corral J started I knew how I would be running. I dropped my prescription sunglasses and had to retrieve them. At that moment I decided to let it go and enjoy my half. This year I didn’t go out of my way to weave around people. I stopped at some of the shorter lines for pictures too. Those long lines for the heroes and the villains still scared me.  I even stopped and went to the side to take pictures instead of trying to run and take pics at the same time. Yes, it made a difference in my official race time. My overall time was 1 minute slower than my time from last year but from the 2 times I did remember to pause my Garmin my time was much faster and on par with my typical pace.

Disney Princess Half Marathon 2015 Recap

The overall run takes you from Epcot to the Magic Kingdom and back to Epcot. You put on a lot of typically boring highway miles but Disney has that covered. Even the overpass you go up and over really isn’t that bad. Just watch for that soldier who will make you do push ups. They have something for you from a DJ to a character all along the route. Then there is the course nutrition and medical which is the best i’ve seen in any race i’ve ever done. The miles in the Magic Kingdom are typically among my fastest. Main street and seeing the castle is always magical. Plus, hello, you are running down Main Street USA! The castle this year was perfect with Elsa, Anna and Christophe. My favorite part is at the end, right before the finish. The high five from Minnie and Mickey right before you cross the finish line.

Disney Princess Half Marathon 2015 Recap

Once you cross the finish line you are given your medals, a mylar blanket if you wanted one, your mesh bags (these were the same as 2014’s), a powerade and water, you are sprinkled with pixie dust and you make your way to finisher photos. It was after photos you were given your food box  and you could go through gear check and back to the pre-race area. In this area they now have the massage tent set up which is now one of my favorite things. After long runs I have issues with my calves cramping. I always ice bath and my husband will roll out my legs. I was by myself and really didn’t feel like rolling myself out. Since I learned last year it was cash only I remembered to zip some cash away in my shorts pocket. It was the best $10 I spent all weekend. Afterwards I walked around a bit. I checked the runDisney tent with optimism that maybe they had some new stuff but they didn’t. Then waited in a couple lines for more princess pictures before heading back to Pop Century.

After getting cleaned up I decided to head to Downtown Disney for the Happily Ever After party. The only deal I took part in was saving a little bit on my Starbucks Shaken Black Tea. There just weren’t the freebies or great deals that were there in the past. Even at Fit2Run’s booth. My free gift was a coupon for $5 off a purchase of $20 or more. In my opinion if I hadn’t needed to walk around the Happily Ever After Party could have easily been skipped.

Overall, I enjoy this race but I think this year was my last Disney Princess Half Marathon and not because I brought the flu home as a souvenir . It just didn’t feel the same as it had the year before. There was absolutely no wow factor for me this year. I’m not quitting runDisney races though. I have my eyes on the Disney World Marathon. Yes, the marathon. I think i’ve gone past being half crazy to being full crazy.

 

***Country Girl Gourmet was NOT compensated for this recap.***

Disney Running Playlist

 

Just over a year ago I ran my first RunDisney Half Marathon, the 2014 Disney Princess Half Marathon and I became hooked on RunDisney races. They are absolutely the best races I have attended. They are very organized, they have awesome course support and the crowd support is really nothing like i’ve ever experienced. If I was a millionaire I would run all of their races but sadly I am not. I am lucky to get one RunDisney race in a year, well that is unless someone out there would like to support my habit. Any Takers? I’ll make you cupcakes!

Next month I will be running the Princess Half Marathon again and I have been busy training. I am at the point in my training where I am racking up more and more miles on my long runs.  While out on my last long run I thought to myself I really need more Disney music on my running playlist. So I have come up with a Disney Running Playlist. I am sure I am missing some songs but it is a pretty decent list if you want to add all or just pick a few of your favorites. I included songs from Frozen,of course because what is a Disney Race without hearing Let it Go now? I also included songs from other Disney movies to the Tiki Tiki Tiki Room song and the Main Street Electrical Parade Music.  The songs are perfect whether you just love Disney or you are training for an RunDisney Race Weekend. They help mentally prepare you for your upcoming races as well as just put you in a good mood. An extra plus to my list is that there are plenty songs on my list to keep going for your whole race.
Disney Running Playlist

 

 

Disney Running Playlist

  • Let it Go -Frozen
  • Love is an Open Door- Frozen
  • Fixer Upper- Frozen
  • For the First time in Forever- Frozen
  • Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious- Mary Poppins
  • Step in Time – Mary Poppins
  • Spoonful of Sugar- Mary Poppins
  • Lets Go Fly a Kite- Mary Poppins
  • Go the Distance- Hercules
  • Life is a Highway- Cars
  • Something I Want (Grace Potter) -Tangled
  • I’ve got a dream- Tangled
  • Touch the sky -Brave
  • Dig a Little Deeper-Princess and the Frog
  • Almost There- Princess and the Frog
  • He’s a pirate- Pirates of the Caribbean
  • Yo Ho (A Pirates Life For Me) -Pirates of the Caribbean 
  • (Lana Del Rey)  Once Upon A Dream -Sleeping Beauty/Malificent
  • Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo- Cinderella
  • A Dream is a Wish your Heart Makes- Cinderella
  • Whistle While You Work – Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
  • Hakuna Matata- The Lion King
  • I Just Can’t Wait To Be King- The Lion King
  • The Lion Sleeps Tonight- The Lion King
  • The Glory Days- The Incredibles
  • He Mele No Lilo- Lilo and Stich
  • Hawaiian Roller Coaster Ride- Lilo and Stich
  • Kiss the Girl- The Little Mermaid
  • Part of your World- The Little Mermaid
  • Under the Sea- The Little Mermaid
  • Be our Guest- Beauty and the Beast
  • Something There- Beauty and the Beast
  • Bare Necessities-The Jungle Book
  • Friend Like Me- Aladdin
  • A Whole New World- Aladdin
  • I’ll Make A Man Out Of You -Mulan
  • (Owl City) When Can I See You Again? -Wreck it Ralph
  • Sugar Rush- Wreck it Ralph
  • Tiki Tiki Tiki Room
  • Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah
  • It’s a Small World
  • The Main Street Electrical Parade

 

So there it is, my Disney Running Playlist. What do you think? Did I miss a song? If so comment below and I will add it to the list.

10 Reasons Why I Run

Early in my marriage my husband and I would long after our own exercise equipment. He wanted his weight stuff and I wanted a treadmill. I don’t really have any rhyme or reason why but I did. After my third son was born I joined a gym and used their treadmill but they had this ridiculous rule and set time limits for how long you could use the cardio equipment. Seriously, it was like 15 minute turns. Adding in the gas to drive across town and a baby that constantly getting sick in the gym day care I stopped going to the gym. It just wasn’t worth it. Eventually though my husband bought me my own treadmill and I used it everyday. Then I got pregnant with number 4. I still used it, well until the morning sickness started. Then my dear treadmill became somewhere to hang clothing. After all isn’t that the real use of a treadmill? It wasn’t until after my daughter was over a year old that I ran again and this time it wasn’t on the treadmill. I signed up my Army son for the Navy kid’s run (yes, I asked to make sure he was allowed) and at the same time signed myself up for my first 5k. It was free so why not. I had no clue what I was doing.  My son won that Navy kid’s run.  A fact those Navy parents hated… umm sorry, not sorry?  Since he won I knew I had to do my race and I did and I was bitten by the running bug at age 30. The day after I turned 35 I ran my first half marathon and survived. I think i’ve gone crazy because the idea of a marathon keeps popping in my head. It would be fitting when I turn 40.

There are so many reasons to run out there. In those early days I just wanted to lose the baby weight but for me running has become so much more. These are my 10 Reasons why I run:

10 Reasons Why I Run | Country Girl Gourmet

10. Running gets you outside. So much of our lives are spent indoors today. We are stuck on our computers working and doing who knows what. There are so many positives to getting outside and soaking in some Vitamin D. Plus anyways don’t you want an awesome runners tan?

9. It’s my me time! Running is meditative… when I run I think. I think about things going on in my life to what I am going to blog about. I might not remember it all but it is my time to be alone with my thoughts.

8. Builds confidence.  When you run and keep up with it you will soon begin to amaze yourself with your progress. I remember when I started I never thought I would do a half marathon so looking back on that is a huge whoa, I did that moment. Then there are the cars who honk at you while your running. They have to be honking because you are awesome. It’s either that or your rocking pink headband.

7. Running helps you look and feel better. So when you exercise it does things to your body, good things. You lose weight, you tone up, you have this awesome glow to yourself and you just look good. Losing weight and toning up you have more energy too. Who wouldn’t want that?

6.It gives you goals to work toward. Races are expensive (seriously, would you like to support my addiction?) but I try to run some every year but in between races I am always pushing myself to beat my previous time. I am slow and steady but my I have gotten faster over the years! Getting my half marathon time under 3 hours was a huge accomplishment for me!

5. It’s good for my overall health. Running improves your cardiovascular health, improves lung health, improves your cholesterol levels, boosts your immune system and more! I have beautifully low blood pressure, my bloodwork is a thing doctors dream all their patients had, knock on wood i’m rarely sick (Ok i’m a bit of a germ freak too)… running does a body good!

4. To be a model, a role model. Yeah, i’m not model material but I can be a role model especially for my kids. Showing them that hey, mommy is out there doing this is a good way to teach them that they can do it too! 2 of my kid’s are runners. I like to think that was in some part because of me.

3. It is good for your mental health! When you run your body releases endorphins. Endorphins are magic chemicals that your body makes that have the ability to make you feel good! They are the things that allow for that runners high and help keep depression and anxiety at bay. Running is also and awesome street reliever! All I have to do is head outside and almost instantly my stress disappears.

2. It boosts your metabolism. I have had a complete hysterectomy and got thrown into menopause early and let me tell you. I use to think they were kidding when they said your metabolism slow downs when you hit menopause . Well, it’s no joke.  I like to eat and can’t eat like I use to anymore. As long as I can run I kinda can. Ice cream is a necessity in my life.

1. Because I can. Once upon a time I was told I would never run again. I didn’t like that so I pushed myself and I did a half marathon and cried as I was running down a mountain. For me I had a doctor who was a quack but there are so many people out there who for whatever the reason may be, will not run again. I run for them.

So there they are, my 10 reasons I run. They are simple and common sense but they are my reasons. Do you run? What do you think? Why do you run?

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