Look To My Coming On the First Light of the Eleventh Day

At dawn, look to the east. No folks, Gandalf isn’t coming, he comes on the 5th day. I’m talking about the 11th day, of June to be more specific, and closer to noon, not so early in the morning.

So what is coming? I’m sure many of you know, but registration is coming, registration for the 2014 Princess Half Marathon weekend. This year is bigger and better. This year they have added the Enchanted 10k, and combining the two for the Glass Slipper Challenge. Here’s the exact description from the runDisney website http://www.rundisney.com/princess-half-marathon/ :

Saturday, February 22 – Sunday, February 23, 2014

Start/Finish: Epcot

 

If you think that a half marathon is just a walk in the park, put your endurance to the test and compete in the all-new Glass Slipper Challenge! A 19.3-mile adventure held over two days, participants will run the Disney Enchanted 10K on Saturday, followed by the Disney Princess Half Marathon on Sunday. If you finish both races within the pacing requirements, you will be awarded the all-new Glass Slipper Challenge medal in addition to your Half Marathon and 10K finisher medals.

You must register for the Glass Slipper Challenge to receive the Glass Slipper Challenge medal upon completion of both races within the pacing requirements.

Glass Slipper Challenge will feature

  • Two courses through the Walt Disney World Resort totaling 19.3 miles
  • Disney Characters and Entertainment on-course
  • Family Reunion Area with live entertainment and characters
  • Event Weekend Transportation for all Walt Disney World Resort Guests

Race participants in the Glass Slipper Challenge will receive:

  • Champion Short-Sleeved Tech Shirts for the Half Marathon, 10K and Glass Slipper Challenge in Women’s or Men’s Cut*
  • Special Glass Slipper Challenge Finisher Medal, along with Disney Princess Half Marathon and Disney Princess Enchanted 10K Finisher Medals for completing the Half Marathon and 10K*
  • Official Race Program Guide*
  • iGiftBag
  • Personalized bib (Must register by December 1, 2013 for name to appear on bib)*
  • On-course and post-race refreshments
  • ChronoTrack B-tag timed races, with live runner tracking signup for friends and family for both events
  • Personalized results website

To receive the Glass Slipper Challenge Finisher Medal, you must register for the Glass Slipper Challenge. Registering for the 10K and Half Marathon individually will not make you eligible to receive the Glass Slipper Challenge Finisher Medal.

I decided many weeks ago, when the Glass Slipper Challenge was announced, that I would be accepting this challenge, and I’m quite excited. But after the announcement, details were lacking, mainly details about the cost. I knew it wasn’t going to be cheap. No race Disney puts on is cheap, but Disney puts on a great show when it comes to their races. In the grand scheme of things, they actually aren’t terribly expensive. These days there are all kinds of fun runs out there. Races like the Color Run, a mere 5k, can cost $50 or more for registration. Break it down by price per mile and Disney looks very comparable. Plus, it’s DISNEY!!

We finally got the details today. For split second, my Disney Visa flinched, but then it held strong, ready to take on this feat.

Disney Princess Half Marathon

  • $160 by August 20, 2013
  • $175 between August 21 and November 19, 2013
  • $190 on or after November 20, 2013

 

Disney Enchanted 10K

  • $95 by August 20, 2013
  • $110 between August 21 and November 19, 2013
  • $125 on or after November 20, 2013

Glass Slipper Challenge

  • $270 by August 20, 2013
  • $290 between August 21 and November 19, 2013
  • $310 on or after November 20, 2013

 

Cinderella Royal Family 5K

  • $60 per participant

 

runDisneyKids Races

  • $15 per Kids Dash participant
  • $30 per One Mile Run participant

Pasta in the Park Party Tickets

  • $52 for Adults (ages 10 and up)
  • $28 for Children (ages 3 – 9)
  • Children Under 3 are free

 

ChEAR Squad

  • Bronze – No Charge
  • Silver – $39 per package
  • Gold – $65 per package
  • Platinum – $115 per package

 

Race Retreat

  • $120 per participant

 

Prices have gone up. The cost for the half marathon itself has gone up $20 from last year. Kids races have gone up $5 and the Race Retreat has gone up $20-30 depending on where you look(I have seen some places saying it will be $130, not $120). The economy, inflation, blah blah blah, shut up and take my money.

I’m very much looking forward to these races. I know many people complained this year about the large crowds during PHM. I know of a few people who were turned off by the conditions and have opted out of next year’s festivities. But not me. PHM will always hold a special place in my heart, as it was my first half marathon, it was my first Disney race, and I pulled a lot out to finish as decently as I did. Not to mention, I got the thumbs up from my amazing husband to do the Tinkerbell Half Marathon at Disneyland in January, so I’ll need the PHM to earn my special pink Coast 2 Coast medal. Plus, this year I’ll be teaming up with my mentor Patty, she is the Amy Farrah Fowler to my Sheldon Cooper, so look out for Team Shamy!!

Next year will also be a bit different as this will be a family trip, not a solo princess trip like it was this year. I’m very excited to say that nearly all of the members of my family will be participating in race weekend. Aside from my mother and my youngest child, everyone else will be running in one race or another. My two older children are very excited for the kids races, and I am almost positive I have my husband talked into doing the Enchanted 10k with me. This makes me so happy. Running has really transformed my life, it has become a part of me, and I’m thrilled to share that with my family, and for them to get active.

So June 11 and open registration can’t get here fast enough. This challenge and the new 10k are going to go fast. The newly added 10ks at the DL half and WDW Marathon weekend went super fast, this one should be no different. I’m ready to try on the glass slipper and I will prove that I’m the real princess!

 

The All Clear

I’m a little late with this announcement, but I’ve been officially given the all clear from my physical therapist, and have been discharged from therapy. I should be jumping, or running for joy, but I’m having a hard time being 100% optimistic.

I haven’t run with pain in weeks. My last race, the 5k I did with my son on April 20 went well and I have been pain free since then, but I haven’t done more than 2-3 miles at a time since then. I have had some time to reflect on my injury and how I got there, and thought I’d share, because looking back, I can see a lot of problems and where things went wrong.

1. A wonky training schedule: Too much, too fast- I found myself injured just a few weeks before the Princess Half, and was forced to run through that race in pain. I told myself I had properly trained for the race, and to some extent, I did. But that’s not completely the truth. I did train for the distance, and I had no problem completing the full 13+ miles. But I climbed, to fast. I had a hard time fining motivation through the end of last year. I would run 1-2 times a week, my training schedule wasn’t a schedule at all, just when I could convince myself to go for a run. Up until the end of December, I hadn’t done more than 6.5 miles, and that I’d only done once. The beginning of January rolled around and I knew I needed to get my behind in gear. I finally started sticking to the 2 45 minute runs during the week and started the long runs on the weekends. By the middle of January, 6 weeks before the race, I was at 6-7 miles for a long run. I climbed by a full mile, sometimes a bit more, each week. In 4 weeks I went from 6 miles to over 10 miles, and this is when the pain kicked in. As I often do, I left things to the last minute. While I did get the miles in under my belt, I went way too fast climbing to get there.

2. Lack of strength training- Up until I started physical therapy, I had absolutely no idea how big of a part balance and strength in so many parts of my body meant to healthy running. I thought it was all endurance, and that running built up the muscles in my legs. Not so. My first visit to my therapist revealed extremely weak muscles in most major areas of my body. My core(abs and back muscles) we weak, my hips were all out of whack(which is extremely common in women, especially those who have had children), my hips and glutes were weak, and my leg muscles were weak. What the what? I was in great shape. I could run a half marathon! That wasn’t the case. There are so many factors of muscles that control your legs and hips while running, and if those areas are weak and not balanced, injuries can easily occur. In my case, they did. Even after 2 months in physical therapy and introducing new methods of strength training, weakness is still an issue, although I have seen quite a bit of improvement.

3. Stretching- Who needs it? This girl didn’t. I could get out there, run, and not have any issues. I didn’t need stretching. So I didn’t do any stretching. Big mistake. Stretching really helps keep my body balanced, and while I’m a get out there and do kind of girl, who doesn’t want to slow down for things like stretching, I now know it’s something that has to be done.

This experience has really taught me a lot about my body and the mechanics of running. It’s really not as simple as lace up your shoes and get moving. Now my goal is to get completely on track, because I’ve got a busy schedule ahead this fall and winter. I have back to back half marathons planned, 2 within 13 days in October and November. I’ve gotten the green light from the wonderful Mister to earn one half of my Coast 2 Coast medal with the Tinkerbell half marathon in Disneyland in January. I’ll be accepting the Glass Slipper Challenge, a 10k and the Princess Half Marathon in 2 days, in February. If I want to finish those races pain free, I will have to keep up with strength training, stretching, and a proper training schedule. Thank goodness Disney is helpful and puts out Jeff Galloway training plans for each of their races!

Bash Color Dash 5k- May 5, 2013

Picture May in North Carolina. What do you see? The sun shining, birds chirping, nice warm weather? Wipe that picture out of your head. I live in the south and we haven’t seen 70 degree weather in weeks. We’ve also had a decent amount of rain. Spring has been pretty miserable and the time of year I’m usually starting to turn on my air conditioning, my heat is still busy pumping instead.

As this past Sunday’s race approached, so did the threat of rain. A lot of rain. Cold rain. This was just a little local fun run, so normally I would have just skipped it. But this time, I couldn’t, this race was special. It was my 8 year old son’s first race. He has been begging to race with me and we promised he could do one of the kids’ races at Disney when we went as a family for PHM next year. He wanted to do the Color Run with me last fall but I didn’t think he was ready for a 5k. So this seemed like a good time, a smaller race and just perfect for him. We started his weekend off right with packet pickup on Saturday.

PJRace PJRace2

This was a little rite of passage for him. I made him tell them his name and collect his bib and shirt. He was quite excited.

Sunday morning brought doom and gloom. And cold. The race wasn’t until 4 pm and up until Saturday, they said it would just be windy and cold, with rain starting late afternoon. I had hopes that it would hold off until after the race but no such luck. It started raining by 11 am, and it didn’t stop. A few hours before race time the situation looked a bit like this…

PJRace3

I can deal with the cold. I can deal with the rain. But the two of them together? No thank you. I seriously thought about just staying home, but I knew that would break my son’s heart. So we decided to suck it up and deal with it. We dressed in layers. LAYERS!! In North Carolina, in May, we dressed in layers. Stick that in your global warming pipe and smoke it. I told my son that the fast we went during the race, the sooner we would finish.

PJRace4

We headed out to our race destination, with the rain picking up as we drove. The race started at a local high school, and we were at least able to take shelter in the school, the warm, dry school, before the race. We stretched and I dreaded the actual race. This was a color race of sorts, where they squirted paint on you as you ran. This sounds fun, but not in the rain.

As starting time approached, we were forced outside to the starting line. The race was supposed to go at 4 but they didn’t start on time. I’ll admit, this race seemed very unorganized, and for a control freak like me, I didn’t like it. We stood there in the rain, cold and wind, waiting for them to give some kind of instruction. Finally we were able to start.

My son wanted to take off like a little speed demon. But I made him stay with me. He had never run this long before and I didn’t want him to burn out. I set my Garmin watch to 2:2 intervals, thinking he would want to take it easy. Let me tell you a little bit about my son. He is not the world’s strongest athlete by any means. He really isn’t all that athletic at all. He prefers to play a video game or bury his head in a Harry Potter book. He isn’t lazy by any means, but when it comes to work of any kind, he is an instant gratification kind of kid, and if something takes a long time or a lot of work to achieve, he loses interest fast. He is just like his mother. So I really expected to be walking most of this race, with a lot of complaining from him. But I grossly underestimated him. He kept pace with me and he kept running. He would dart ahead at each color station. Ah, the color stations. Unlike the Color Run, this color isn’t in powder form, it’s in liquid form. The volunteers, bless their hearts standing out in the cold rain like that, had large trash buckets full of the color and large water squirters to shoot the runners/walkers as they passed by. I will admit, this made it that much more miserable. We were already getting rather wet from the rain, and the cold colored liquid they squirted on us as we passed made things that much worse, that much colder and that much more wet.

Cold or not, my son loved it. We made it through the first mile in under 11 minutes. After around 1.75 miles, he started to fade a bit. I expected this, but much earlier. He asked to walk, and was ready to go again after less than a minute. We passed a couple who overheard me talking to him about it being his first race. They were thrilled for him and they kept pace with us for the rest of the race(I actually think they liked my constant updates about time, pace and mileage that I was giving my son from my Garmin). We came closer to the finish line. I talked to my son about finishing strong when he asked to walk. We were soaked, we each wore two pairs of socks and 2-3 shirts, all that were wet all the way through. The male half of the couple we kept pace with during the race came up from behind us in the last stretch. He tapped my son’s shoulder and told him to come on, speeding up. I yelled for him to go, to keep going. He dug deep and he sped up with the young man. They crossed the finish line together at 34:01, and I crossed 3 seconds later. Not the world’s fastest 5k but I was thrilled.

PJRace5 PJRace6

Normally, this would have gone down in the books as my worst race ever. I have never raced in conditions like this before, I purposely avoided this kind of weather. Being cold and wet was miserable, and the race itself was poorly organized. But I consider this one of my best races ever, for many reasons.

First, it was my first race with my son. This was very special to me, because it was something we could share together. I want my kids to grow up to be active, and I’m thrilled to have shared an activity I love with my child. I hope it inspires him to keep going and to keep running. It was also great to have the “us” time. Having 3 kids, it’s hard to have individual time with him. Having 2 younger, much more demanding little girls, my son often gets the short end of the stick when it comes to one on one attention. He is a very good kid, does well in school, behaves as well as an 8 year old boy can, so often I don’t hover above him like I have to with my girls. He is not as demanding of my attention, so sadly he doesn’t get as much. That’s why I refused to give up on this race, because it was for us, and I wasn’t going to bail on the opportunity unless I really had to.

Second, this race made my mama pride meter shoot through the roof. I was hoping for a 40-45 minute finish with minimal complaining. I got so much more than that. He never once complained about being cold or wet. He never once complained about being tired. He communicated with me about what he needed to do, when he could run and when he needed to walk. He dug deep at the end and finished strong. I couldn’t have been prouder of my boy during his first race.

Lastly, I’m very excited that he got a warm welcome to my runner family. Runners, whether they know you or not, are one big happy family. We wave and high five when we pass each other. We encourage each other, we give advice. I love my running friends and family. Having that random stranger there for my son was awesome. The man who encouraged him during the race and took him and pushed him in the end recognized our family’s bond and brought my son into our fold. I’m glad that my son got to see how kind and encouraging our community is.

Baby Steps

I have a race report, an awesome race report, for you all, but I’m drowning in work right now so I’ll get to that later in the day.

Right now, I’m going to be cautiously optimistic(knocking on wood), and say that I *think* I might possibly be on the road to recovery from ITBS. Maybe. Hopefully. I don’t want to jinx anything.

I’ve been through 7 weeks of PT now. The world’s most painful massages, controlled electrocution on my leg, my foam roller is my best friend and so many other tips and tricks I’ve read about online. Up until a couple of weeks ago, it all seemed fruitless. At my last PT appointment, 4 days after my last 5k(which I did with a low level of pain, but pain either way), my therapist said it was time to stop. No more running. I knew it was coming, but my I was still bummed. Running has become a part of my life. But this time I listed and I took the week after that off. I continued to foam roll and see my chiropractor twice a week. After last Wednesday’s visit, he told me to try running. I was conflicted, but decided to try. I hopped on the treadmill Wednesday night. I started slowly. I walked for a warm-up, got off and stretched everything. I got back on, and decided to try for 4:1 intervals, 4 minutes of walking, 1 minute of running. I got through the first minute, no pain. Then the second and still no pain. I spent 30 minutes on the treadmill with several running intervals. I had no pain at all. Score!! But I know I have to ease into this. In an endurance sense, could I go out and run for 5 miles? Sure. Would I end up putting too much stress on my leg? Probably. This is something I’m going to have to ease back in to. But after a 5k I did yesterday, I’m more hopeful, at least right now. But you will just have to stay tuned for that race report. *Cliff hanger!!!*