Sunday, March 29, 2009
Monday, March 23, 2009
Nothing really exciting in the department of workouts other than I did a training ride in Galveston, TX and got it done in 45 degree and very windy weather before the rain started. I made sure to find a hot cup of coffee and a steaming bowl of gumbo before heading home. The rest of the week was "The Perfect Storm" of events that kept me from getting anything else done. Let's list those off, shall we:
1. I had my kid off all week for Spring Break so getting a workout in was near impossible.
2. I had to finish cleaning house and going to the local Costco and HEB grocery to stock up. Dad and Val were coming for a visit! YEA!!!
3. My kid got violently ill and was puking up lots of bile and blood. We were on appendicitis watch for 48 hours. YIKES!!!
4. I had to coach my TNT group and do some other functions.
5. I got sacked with a bad case of fatigue and some nasty headaches.
Today, it is back to school and back to regular workouts. I was very pleased with my Disney half marathon because it marked for me the first time that I can recall that I ran the entire way. No stopping! No walking the aid stations! No easing up on the pace! For me, that is a HUGE accomplishment. Now I need to dedicate some time to my cycling because I have the MS-150 in less than a month and I am planning on riding most of the way in one day with Greyhound and some other folks. I have to get some more long rides in. I have confidence that I can do it, I just need to get some more saddle time. This week looks like it might be rainy so I hope that the temps that the weather man is predicting in the 70's and 80's holds true.
I leave you with this. Little Ricky was telling Little Cal one day at school about a piece of advice his father had given him, "Ricky, if you're not first, you're LAST!"
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Ok, so the Colon Blow slowed me down but I was eventually going to have to stop and I stopped before the chills and backed-up gas started setting in. I had gotten back in the group a bit but these gals were all about my pace rather than passing me up. We ran past a crew of high school boys doing a drum line. As we ran around the back of the Petty Racing Experience car track, I saw another Team in Training Person about 150 yards ahead of me. I figured that I would eventually catch up to her and say "Hi". This was the first TNT person that I had seen. The sun was not up but the sky was starting to lighten up a bit. Aid station 3 was past us as we ran through the Magic Kingdom parking lots and as we turned the corner to run into the Ticket and Transportation area, there were crowds of cheering spectators holding signs and ringing cowbells. I had caught up to the TNT gal and we introduced ourselves. She was from Chicago and she looked like she was holding in there and was looking strong. The road dipped down under a tram bridge and there was a little hill up back to ground level. As we ran out of the T & T area the crowds all but disappeared except for a few lone cheering family members along the road. I was loosing track of the miles at this point and my timing. My goal was to just get ahead of some of the crazy women running as a team in costumes or goofy knee high striped socks and polka dot tops.
Right before the Contemporary Resort, the road goes sharply downhill to go under a canal between Bay Lake and the lake in front of the Magic Kingdom. That uphill was a leg zapper. I just had to keep one foot moving in front of another. There were more spectators along the road by the Contemporary Resort and we ran under the Monorail and took a sharp left towards the Magic Kingdom. The gentleman who was manning the traffic/security gate was all smiles and cheering for us. I told him thank you as I ran by. We ran behind some bushes, and through some of the back lot and then we were running into the Magic Kingdom and down Mainstreet U.S.A.!!! All the lights were on and the streets were filled with cheering spectators and Disney Cast Members. It was a real spirit booster. We headed to Tomorrow Land and the gal from New Jersey who I sat with on the shuttle to the race saw me as she was running by and we ran together into Storybook Kingdom. As we approached Cinderalla's Castle Micky, Minnie, Cinderalla, Prince Charming, and some other princesses were all posing for pictures with runners. I was suddenly aware that there were going to be women who were going to stop and take pictures with all the characters and still finish in front of me. I did not like that thought and decided that I was not stopping unless it was for another Colon Blow.
The course took us into Frontier Land and over the Magic Kingdom rail road tracks and into the back lot. Donald, Daisy, Goofy, and Pluto were there in their Tuxedos and fine dress to pose for more pictures with fast women who would still finish before me. We headed out of the back lot area and hit a nice long road that was quiet and we started heading towards the Grand Floridian Resort. I saw the mile marker for mile 6 up ahead. I was kinda floored...
That may have been the fastest 10K that I have ever run! I did a negative split and I'm sure that the 45 seconds that I dropped of my time was the time I had spent in the port-o-can. Oh well, at least I was consistent! I ran past Peter Pan and Wendy and Belle and the Beast. I saw women stopping for their picture with Sleeping Beauty and then I saw the Evil Witch at mile 7.
Wow, I was able now to start tracking my times again on the second half of the run with a good place to count from where I would not have to do too much math. Time for more Margarita Shot Bloks and Enduralytes. The course was meeting itself again and I could see the last of the walkers at mile 3.5. I could tell that I was slowing a bit as I pulled on my sun glasses and started running into the sun. Pit Bull and DJ Laz were screaming at me to "Get Krazy" and "Boom Boom Shake Shake" as I was hustling down the road. For some reason, I became painfully aware of the bottom of my feet for a moment and then to watch my step as I ran through some cups on the ground at the aid station. I'm not sure why, but the road looked slick like ice and I was suddenly afraid that I was going to slip and land on my head. I shook it off and picked up the pace again and headed towards Mile 8.
The sweep trucks were on the other side of the road picking up cones and sweeping up the trash to make things look magical again. I ran past the high school boys drum line again and was blinded by the sun that was at eye level. As the road curved to the right, we started heading south and I would feel a little twinge in my upper right shoulder at the base of my neck. I know that this muscle tends to tense up when I get anxious while running and then it starts affecting my breathing. I had this ephifany that I could not Zone Out, but instead I had to Zen Out. The road was flat and straight and there were only a few people around me. Now I would not advocate running with one's eyes closed because of obstacles and hazards, but I did close my eyes for a few brief seconds and focused on deep breathing like I would use in Pilates. I opened my eyes just enough to see the road and that I was still on track and not running into the grass or the other lane. I did this several times until I could see mile marker number 9.
I was consistent, but on a 9 minutes mile pace. I was momentarily bummed out, but I threw that in the trash as I waved to Aladin, Jasmine, and Abu the monkey. Another timing mat was down the road a bit. I wondered what it was out there for and then it hit me that it was the 15K timing mat. I saw another TNT gal from Georgia and she was stopping to stretch. I wished her well.
I could see women running over the bridge that I was going to be running under. How did they get so far ahead? Good Grief I wish that I could run that fast. The loop up to the bridge started and I had to stick to the right and run the white line on the shoulder because the road was slanted. I saw my third walker on the loop. She looked to be limping a bit and I knew she was feeling rough. We came out of the shadow of the pines and as I hit the bridge something in the back of my knee cramped up. ARGH! OW!!! It was not my hamstring and it was not my calf. It had to be the Poplitial and I knew that I had to take more salt in fast. I slowed to a jog to pull out my Enduralytes and to pop a few and guzzle down some water. There was the Spaceship Earth ride at Epcot in the distance. My goal! I just have to make it to Spaceship Earth and the rest is cake. I put my bottle back in my Fuel Belt and ran past this gal that was dressed in a full length princess gown with a sash and gloves on. She had stopped to take a picture of Mile Marker number 10 and then the Running Princess proceeded to pass me up! NO!!! Short of grabbing at her sash as yanking her back or throwing something at her, I vowed that this chick would not cross the finish line before me. Ha Ha!!! She stopped to take a picture with Alice in Wonderland, the March Hare and the Queen of Hearts. I picked up the pace. I had lost track of the time again and I had no idea of my splits. My heart rate monitor was set on distance and I did not want to fiddle with changing it to a different setting. I just kept running. I could see the mile marker for mile 11. Go, go, go, one foot in front of the other. Maintain the pace. I had been jamming out to Tiesto's music that he mixed for the opening ceremonies for the Athens Olympics. I knew that my power song was coming but I was ahead of my planned schedule and I had to settle with "Give It All You Got" by Ulta Nate. Not far past mile 11, we had to do a semi U-turn to double back on a road that would take us over a bridge at the Epcot parking lot. I could feel my heart rate climb as I motored up that bridge. The last time I ran the half marathon at Disney, this is where my friend had brought my son out to so he could cheer me on. I got to the top and let the "Naughty Girl" (Calderone Quayle Club Mix) by Beyonce pound into my head. I could feel my legs as I was running down the other side of the bridge. Spectators started appearing as we ran through the shuttle bus drop off lot. Mile 12! I saw some crazy time like a 1:46 or a 1:47. NO WAY!!! Was I going to PR this puppy??? Once we got into the back lot of Epcot I eased up just a bit. I always feel like I have to run faster and harder for the spectators. Disney cast members were manning an aid station and cheering for us. I ran past a man that I had seen earlier. He must have slowed down for me to catch up to him. We ran out of the back lot and into Epcot by Spaceship Earth. All I had to do was run down to the entrance of the World Showcase and on to the finish line. The Pussycat Dolls were wailing that they wanted to be famous and be a super star. Oh yeah!!! Right at the turn around, my iPhone dinged at me and I knew that it was Johnny Tri checking in on me. Ok, back to Spaceship Earth. I really appreciated all the cast members cheering for us. We ran back behind customer relations where there was a singing group and I saw that man in the white shirt again. He was not going to finish before me. I picked it up because now it was only a few meters to the home stretch. There were crowds of people cheering for us and Mickey and Minnie were at the finish line. HOLY MOLY!!! 1:54:47. I only had a hundred or so yards to go! I was so excited that I forgot to hit my stop watch and I forgot to look at the clock as I ran under it. I heard the announcer call my name and I was smiling from ear to ear. I watched my step so that I would not step in the sawdust piles that were soaking up someone's breakfast who did not finish happily ever after.
We had a great time at the Magic Kingdom and I did have a Magical Day!
Sorry for it being so long. I will shut up for now.
Monday, March 9, 2009
I will give more details soon. We just got home, it is late, and I have my 5:30 am class in the morning. All I can say is that I am very happy that after all of the worms and worm treatment and loss of training time that I was able to dig down deep and get back up after feeling like I had fallen down and taken two steps backwards.
Ok, I will have a blow by blow race report in a day or two.
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
The good news is that we leave on Thursday for Disney World for a family vacation and so I can run the Princess Half Marathon. Just because I am running in a women's Princess themed event you can be assured of the following things:
- I will NOT be wearing a running skirt
- I will NOT be wearing anything pink
- I will NOT be wearing anything that looks like it got into a fight with a Be-Dazzler
- I will NOT be running in mouse ears
- I will NOT be dressed as my favorite princess
I will be sure to take plenty of pictures and to throw some up here on the blog and of course you will need to look for a nifty race report sometime after Sunday morning.