Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Wine & Dine Half Marathon (Splash & Dash) 2014 -The Expo

Life has been absolutely nuts with the holidays sneaking up on me so quickly and getting out of my routine.  Things are finally calming down, just in time for Christmas to make everything busy again!

About a month ago I ran rundisney's Wine and DIne Half Marathon which has been renamed the "Splash and Dash" half marathon. I'll recap that race soon, but I'll start at the beginning with this post...the EXPO!

It was so much fun to spend this weekend with my BFF from college, Andrew.  About a year ago, I convinced him that running a half marathon was an excellent idea and that we should go to Disney to do it.  Luckily for me he agreed, and we spent the better part of the last year texting each other (we live 11 hours apart) conversations like this:

K: Remember that time we're going to Disney World?
A: I know!!!

I arrived in Orlando late Thursday night and then eagerly and impatiently waited for Andrew's flight to arrive.  Finally, I saw him heading toward the Magical Express terminal, our designated meeting place!

Soon we were on our way to Saratoga Springs.  Andrew is DVC so we booked through his membership, and Saratoga was a host resort.  Having run this race last year, that was a relief for me.

After getting lost in the dark trying to find the room, we finally arrived.  One of my favorite touches is the mouse ears left by Mousekeeping!

Having never stayed at Saratoga Springs before, I took pictures of everything, including the room number!
We were in the Carousel building.
Such a pretty resort, just after sunrise.

We planned to get to the expo as soon as it opened at 10:00AM on Friday.  I absolutely require breakfast in the morning and I was so excited for some Mickey waffles.  I loved that there were three small waffles rather than one big one, everyone knows the ears are the best part!

Everything tastes better when shaped like Mickey, am I right?

After breakfast, we headed over to the bus stop and waited in the first line of our trip:
Race weekend transportation is the number one reason to stay at a host resort.

Before long, we were on our way to the expo.  Once the bus arrived, the line moved rather quickly and we arrived at Wide World of Sports just before the expo opened.

One thing to know about the Wine & Dine Expo is that packet pick up is in a separate location from shirt pick up, vendors and the rest of the expo.  While it initially sounds like a pain, it really helps to dissipate some of the crowding. We headed to packet pick up first. I didn't have much of a line to pick up my packet:

I'm still so proud of myself for being in Corral A!

I was very excited for the countdown...Andrew, not so much!

When we headed to the shirt pick up location, I was surprised that it wasn't that crowded.  Bonus points for having women's sizes this shirt actually fits me! It was then that I realized where all the crowds were: at the official merchandise booth!  What a zoo!  I fought through the crowds and decided to tempt fate by buying the I Did It! shirt.  Yes, I was one of those souls that bought the shirt with the backwards arrows...not going to lie, it makes me love it that much more!

Finally we left the expo because we had Fastpass reservations at Disney's Animal Kingdom to be getting to.  But not before taking a quick picture:
I loved these backdrops!  Thanks for taking the picture kind stranger!

If you're here, thanks for reading this long post!  More recaps of this trip will be coming your way soon!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Home Again

I got home late last night from a whirlwind trip to Walt Disney World for the Wine & Dine Half Marathon.  Updates are to come, but for now:

* I did it!
* Andrew did it!
* It was a blast!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Wine & Dine Packing List

Tomorrow, I'm Disney bound!  I have to confess, I've been thinking about packing for this race for weeks.  I'm definitely an over-packer and I like to be prepared for all eventualities.  For most vacations, that can be unnecessary.  However, for a "race-cation" it's best to be prepared.  Here's my packing list.

Wearing on the plane:
* running sneakers
* Garmin
* baseball hat

Running Gear for the Race: 
* socks
* extra set of sneakers
* sports bras
* shorts
* capris
* running shirt
* sweatyband (minnie themed, of course)
* sweat armband
* throwaway clothes

4 Days in the Parks
* socks
* swimsuit
* pj bottoms and t shirt
* easy run clothes
* disney t shirts (3)
* disney sweater
* last years W&D shirt and hoodie
* yoga pants
* jeans

* ponchos
* safety pins (usually provided, but I like to be prepared)
* watch charger
* phone charger
* race waivers
* expo coupons
* cereal
* ID/travel documents
* Magic Express ticket
* Magicband
* Cash
* wallet
* vera clutch
* string backpack
* sunglasses
* mousse, lotion, hairspray
* hair ties & clips
* deoderant
* toothbrush/paste
* makeup

Am I forgetting anything? What do you pack for a night race?

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Last Week Before Wine & Dine

I can't believe it's less than one week until RunDisney's 2014 Wine and Dine Half Marathon at the Walt Disney World Resort!  I'm so excited and time is moving at a glacial pace.

However, all this nervous energy was great for my running and I had a strong week:

Monday: 3.22 Miles (9:23 pace)

Tuesday: 9.6 Miles (8:40 pace)

Wednesday: 7.24 Miles (8:40 pace)

Thursday: 1.1 Miles (9:35 pace)

Friday: 10.14 Miles (8:52 pace)

Saturday: 7.11 Miles (9:23 pace)

Sunday: 9.23 Miles (8:37 pace)

Total Weekly Mileage: 47.5 Miles
Run Streak: 188

(I'm clearly very excited about 4 days until Orlando)

Saturday, November 1, 2014

My First Trip to Walt Disney World

As I keep counting down the days to my next trip to the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida (5 days!), I decided to look for some pictures from prior trips.

I'm pretty sure my first trip to Disney World was in 1991.  I don't remember much of it, as I was a toddler at the time, but the pictures are classic.

 (I'm pretty sure this picture was taken on Main Street U.S.A.)

This was the legendary Disney trip that had to be cut short because the last night of our stay, I broke out in chicken pox.  Apparently, most of my pre-school got it at the same time I did, but we had no way of knowing that. I wonder how many kids got the chicken pox because of interactions like this:
(This was taken in MGM Studios)

It was also the first family experience with the Prime Time Cafe.  We would later dine there on two subsequent trips:
(I clearly do not like being told to eat my vegetables)

My parents still tell the story about driving 22 hours straight home when they discovered I had the chicken pox.  I think this is where the family vacation curse started.  On almost every family vacation, someone gets sick or injured.  We've survived poison ivy, stomachaches, and hives.  This was the only time I was the dark cloud ---but it's where it all started.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Back to Back Double Digits

I can't believe that I am less that two weeks away from RunDisney's Wine and Dine Half Marathon at the Walt Disney World Resort.  I'm officially 11 days away from boarding an Orlando-bound plane and time is moving like molasses.  I just want the weekend to get here already!

I've been on call this week for work so getting runs in has required a lot of planning and some very early morning runs.  Normally, I'm not a fan of "fall back" time because of how early it gets dark.  However, a sunrise around 7:30AM is equally depressing.  I might be in the minority here, but can I have summer back now, please?

My challenge this weekend was back to back double digit running days.  At this point, I'm not especially worried about finishing 13.1 (although on race day ANYTHING can happen and you have to respect the distance). My big concern is being able to enjoy the after party at the Food and Wine Festival with minimal pain and soreness.  I'm pushing my training beyond what I would normally train for a half marathon with this in mind.  In order to mimic fatigue and soreness that I might feel in the last few miles of the race and after the race at the party and touring the parks, I decided to attempt back to backs. Back to backs can be a great training tool as long as you are conscious of how your body is responding and don't push your pace too hard.

I'm glad to say I felt great running on both days.  I think I can categorically say that I am ready for Wine and Dine.  BONUS: My running streak surpassed the 180 mark this weekend.  Today was day 181 in a row that I have run at least a mile.  I think I'm definitely going to run in Disney before and after the race so I can make it to 200!!!

The Week in Review:

Monday: 2.4 miles (9:38 pace)

Tuesday: 5.5 miles (9:02 pace)

Wednesday: 2.5 miles (9:29 pace)

Thursday: 8.3 miles (9:00 pace)

Friday: 5.4 miles (9:02 pace)

Saturday: 10.2 miles (9:05 pace)

Sunday: 10.6 miles (8:58 pace)

Weekly Total: 44.9 miles

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Wine & Dine Tune Up

This morning I was able to participate in the inaugural Finish Strong 15k.

The plan was to treat it like a low-key tune up before RunDisney's Wine & Dine Half Marathon. I hoped to run somewhere between 8:00 and 8:30 splits and take my time. Of course, by the time the race starts, I can get a little competitive. Judging from my watch, that's exactly what  happened:

 The race itself was definitely a challenge.  Rochester is pretty hilly and this course definitely had enough hills to be getting on with.  Normally, hills don't throw me.  However, when the hills are combined with some rain and the first truly chilly day of the year, and a not insignificant headwind, it becomes quite an adventure.  It was definitely a race I had to power through.  I ran strong and finished strong as well:
Me after the finish!

After bundling up to stay warm, I waited for the race results to be posted.  I was surprised to see that I finished first in my age group.  I even got a medal:

I'm going to go ahead and call it a GREAT tune-up race.  19 days until I'm bound for Walt Disney World!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Wine and Dine Corral Assignments Released

When I ran last year's Wine and Dine half marathon with my dad I was stoked to discover that my first half marathon time had placed me into Corral B. I didn't end up running out of this corral, instead choosing to run with my dad, but it was exciting to know that I could have been in that corral.  It was exciting UNTIL I discovered that I had just missed the cutoff for getting into Corral A. 

Since then, I have been working very hard to have a faster half marathon time, not just for the new PR satisfaction but also to get into the elusive A Corral.  This July, I ran the Shoreline Multisport Festival Half Marathon with the goal of getting a time to submit.  I'm so happy I did because the 1:41:39 I turned in gave me my Corral A ticket.

When the Corral information was released and I realized I got into Corral A, I practically skipped around my office.  I was so happy!!! 

Now it's just time to count down the days.  27 days until I'm on my way to Walt Disney World for the 2014 RunDisney Wine and Dine half marathon!

You can check your corral placement here: Wine and Dine 2014 Corrals

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Wine & Dine 2014 -Event Guide Released

In less than one month, I will be on my way to Walt Disney World for the 2014 Wine & Dine Half Marathon.  Now that the countdown clock is showing a lower number, I can't even begin to say how excited I am.  The trip comes at the end of my busiest week of the semester at work, and I'll definitely be ready for this mini-cation. 

I've been counting the days since the countdown number was in the triple digits, and when the number got to 30 today, I was so excited (I'm obviously counting down the days until I enter the world, not the race).  I was even more excited to see that the event guide was released!!!

You can find it here: 2014 Wine and Dine Event Guide

I already have read the whole guide *almost* cover to cover and will likely do so many more times before the race on November 8.  I'm an obsessive planner, so I like to have all the information at my fingertips. 

One thing I did notice was that the expo started at 10:00AM on Friday.  For some reason I was working under the assumption that it started at 9:00AM.  I was worried about the Fastpass reservations I had previously made.  But even with transportation to and from the expo, hopefully we can make it to Animal Kingdom by 12:05 for our 11:05-12:05 Kilimanjaro Safaris fastpass!!! Honestly, as long as I get to ride Everest and Dinosaur, I'm happy!

What are your must do attractions in Disney's Animal Kingdom?

Monday, September 22, 2014

MVP Health Care Rochester Marathon

I did it!!!! I completed the MVP Health Care Rochester Marathon yesterday with a PR time of 3:41:39!

There was a lot to like about this race and I always enjoy running in familiar places.  I'll share my pros and cons later this week.

The weather called for a 70% chance of rain so I made a game-time decision and decided to race in a baseball cap.  Normally, I don't really like running wearing hats, but I hate having rain beat down on my face more.  It was the lesser of the proverbial two evils.  This is a hat i got back in 2009 at the World Cup of Softball in Oklahoma City.

One of my favorite things about running locally is knowing exactly where I'm going.  My parents who were staying at a hotel in a neighboring town (there's just not enough room at my place) picked me up around 6:15 in the morning.  At that point, I had already been awake for two hours.  I woke up early to have my normal breakfast of cereal before the race.

Before I knew it, I was standing at the start line:
The race had about 600 runners, so no corrals for us.  Everyone starts at the same time.
I situated myself between the 3:45 and 4:00 pace groups, thinking that with my current training, that would be what I was running.  In front of me was one of my favorite race shirts I've ever seen at a distance event:
(And yes, I totally creeped and took this picture)

Before I knew it, we were off on our 26.2 mile journey through the city and neighboring suburbs of Rochester.  We took off around two quick turns in the city and then began to run on East Avenue.  This was when I realized that my legs were feeling better than I anticipated and I picked up the pace.  I was able to see my friend Brittany at mile 3.  It's awesome when your friends cheer you on.  It makes the race so much better (and always makes me a little misty).

A little after mile 6, we approached Fisher and I was able to see two more of my friends Amanda and Kara cheering me on.  It was much needed after running up the huge hill approaching campus! 

We ran over rolling hills on East avenue until about mile nine where we turned onto the Erie Canal pathway in Fairport.  We would be on the canal for the next twelve miles or so.  This was the worst part of the course.  I am definitely a city runner and having nothing to look at or have cheer-ers for 12 miles was hard.  What made it worse was the very visible quickly approaching dark cloud.  We could see the storm coming and there was nothing we could do except run into the darkness.

And rain it did.  I was glad I made the hat decision.  In retrospect, it would have been nice to have had a spare pair of socks. Running with soaking wet socks and shoes was not the best situation for my feet and miles 14-15 were a bit of a struggle.

I broke through that wall and kept going.  I didn't end up hitting another wall until mile 21ish.  It was at this point that I decided to walk through the few and far between aid stations (more on that in a later post).  Even so, I knew I was making good time and tried to pick it up for the finish.  Around mile 25, I discovered a burst of energy that I wasn't expecting and I powered through to the finish.  Seeing Brittany and my parents cheering for me helped a lot too.  And I finished with a PR time!  I'm slowly chipping away at a BQ.  Maybe next year...

Here's me at the finish!!!

Now I'm officially letting myself count down to my next event: the 2014 Wine & Dine Half Marathon at Walt Disney World!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Twas the night before the marathon....

I can't believe tomorrow is marathon Sunday.  It crept up so fast!

Today I went for a quick 1.5 mile run just to get the nerves out and keep up the run streak (day 145). I had my normal breakfast and spent the morning compulsively cleaning.

My parents arrived this afternoon.  It's so nice to have them cheering for me at the start and finish of these major races that I do.  And you can't beat having your family to care for you when you're all finished!  We went to the expo which was...underwhelming.

The Expo:

The expo was held at a different location this year.  Fleet feet is the new owner of the MVP Health Care Rochester marathon.  I'm really excited to see what they do with it in the coming years.  I was hoping to see new vendors...or at least more of them.  Maybe next year.

The race shirt was pretty cool though:
Bonus points for having a women's extra small that actually will fit me :)

Pre-Race Fuel:

I try and stick to the tried and true when it comes to a race morning.  Most runners believe in the power of pasta, but that's not me.  My pre-race meal is a veggie burger and sweet potato fries.  Today, we went to Hogan's Hideaway, one of my favorite places in Rochester for dinner and it was absolutely delicious.  We followed dinner up with ice cream at Pittsford dairy (which might not be the best pre-race food, but oh well)

Race Outfit:
I'll be running in an under armor heat gear fitted tee with nike capris.  I'll also be wearing my women run the roc sweaty band, pending weather.  With a 50% chance of rain tomorrow, I may have to switch to a baseball cap :(

Friday, September 19, 2014

Friday Fuel

Today after work I ran a quick 1.4 miles.  Normally the taper stresses me out more than the training or the race.  However, this time around, I'm pretty zen.  Even so, going out for a one-ish mile run still feels unnatural.  I'm hoping all this taper pays off on Sunday!

I really struggle to fuel for long races, marathons in particular.  I struggle to drink enough before and during a run and I have a hard time digesting fancy race gus and chomps.  What works for me is something simple: Gummi Bears.  I take a ziplock with me on my runs and fuel with a couple every couple of miles.

The last time I ran a marathon, the aftermath was not pretty.  It was one of the sickest I've ever felt in my life. live and you learn.  And I've found I need to get sugars back into my system as soon as possible.  My post-race food, especially when I don't feel well enough to eat anything is popsicles.

Tonight, I took a quick road trip to Wegman's and picked up the last of my pre-race supplies:

Tomorrow, my family comes to town and I get to pick up my packet at the expo!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Throwback Thursday

I was able to get 2.4 miles in before the sun came up this morning.  It's been my first morning run in a while and I couldn't believe how I could see my breath.  I know it's Rochester, famous for its lake effect snow, but it's also SEPTEMBER! I felt good through the whole run, but the taper is finally  making me twitchy.  I just want to get to marathon day and be done with my 26.2.

In honor of throwback Thursday:
Here is me finishing the MVP healthcare Rochester half, last year.  I felt great the whole race and set a (at that time) PR.  And yes, it was cold, although I probably could have done without the fleece headband.  I just hate being cold at the start of a race.  You can also tell I was feeling really good at the finish because that's COFFEE in my hand...not typically what you'd find a runner drinking after a race, but oh well.

If I can look and feel half this good after covering twice this distance on Sunday, I'll call it a win!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Rochester Marathon Countdown: 5 Days to go

I can't believe the countdown stands at 5 DAYS until my 2nd marathon, the MVP Health Care Rochester Half Marathon.  I have run the half marathon coupled with this event the last two years...but this is my first year taking the plunge and running the full.

Today was my last tempo run before the big day on Sunday.  4.6 miles at an 8:57/mi pace.  Happy final taper week to me.

For tune in Tuesday, it was this gem that powered my run today:

AJR -I'm Ready

Ready or not...26.2 here I come! :)