Friday, February 28, 2014

Race Report - the Enchanted 10k (runDisney Glass Slipper Challenge Race 1)

This time last week I was already in bed, asleep. I'm usually a bit of night-owl on the weekends, so why was I sleeping at only 9:30pm on a Friday night? Because last weekend was a big weekend with a big race; make that 2 big races. I was in Disney World, with two of my best friends, to run the Disney Glass Slipper Challenge (the Enchanted 10k and the Disney Princess Half Marathon). And since Disney races start ridiculously early, I needed to get at least a little bit of sleep. Hence, the early bedtime.

Saturday, February 22 - The Enchanted 10k

Dopey ready to run!
Since we needed to catch the bus to get the corrals and start line at 3:30 on Saturday morning, we decided that we needed to get up at 2:30 so we could get dressed, and ready in plenty of time. All three of us set the alarms on our phones, so it was a little odd that when 2:30 came around, mine was the only one that went off. I woke them up and we all got ready and headed to the bus.

Since we are all at different places in our training and speed, we decided we would each run our own race. I submitted a race time that placed me in Corral B for the 10k (Becca was in D, Jen in E), so when we got to the race area, we headed off to our separate corrals. Granted it wasn't as much fun as all being together, but the corrals are always a party. Dancing, fun costumes, a bunch of other crazy runners up before the crack of dawn... Before I knew it, they released my corral to head to the start line. And then it seemed like forever before we actually got to start. But the fireworks went off, and I was on the course and running.

I usually run with run/walk intervals, but I decided for the race that I didn't want the structure. I just wanted to run and walk when i felt I needed to. I planned to take my time and enjoy the race. I had a plan/goal to finish in under 1:30, but wasn't going to be all concerned about time. If I did it, awesome; if not, that was ok too.

The first 3 miles went by fairly quickly. After the 3 mile point, the course entered Epcot and went through the World Showcase and the different countries. Very cool. I felt very tourist-y looking up and around at all the sites (all while still running). This was also where the Disney character photo-ops started. I hadn't really planned on stopping for pictures, but decided to go for it, especially when i saw Jiminy Cricket. I had the time, it was one of the fun perks of a Disney race, so I was doing it.
With Jiminy Cricket
I stopped for Jiminy, Marie (from Aristocats), Goofy, and Donald Duck. So fun. I'm so glad I decided to not worry about my finish time and get the pictures. (I did pause  my garmin while I was waiting in line so I would have some kind of an indicator of what my time would've been if I hadn't stopped.)

I was spending a lot of time standing in line (a nice welcome rest :-) ), so I kept an eye out for Becca and Jen, thinking they might catch up to me. But I guess the corrals were spaced far enough apart that they couldn't, because I never saw them.

Before I knew it, I was at mile 6 and on the way to the finish line. The fun was coming to an end a lot faster than I wanted it to. I finished happy and with a big smile, just like I wanted to.

There were some spots where the running was pretty rough. It was warm and incredibly humid. I was soaked in sweat (literally dripping)  and could've really used a powerade or some kind of electrolyte drink (could only find water at the aid stations). There was one point near the end where I felt my heart rate getting a little too high, but I slowed my pace way down until it felt more normal and was fine. But all ended up well, and I had an awesome time on an awesome course.

10k Finisher's Medal - love the Bling!
Race Stats:
Disney's Enchanted 10k
Saturday, February 22, 2014
Official Finish Time: 1:38:52 (15:47mpm) (Overall Place: 6775 of 8967; Gender Place: 5923 of 7928; Age Group Place: 1012 of 1333)
Actual time running: 1:24 (13:19mpm)

 Jen finished in 1:36:38; Becca in 1:37:28. They joked that they like running races in Disney because it's probably their only opportunity to finish faster than me. (but if they continue running and training and working hard, that could very easily change)

Race Report for the Princess Half coming soon!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Race Report - Winter Series 10k

Just realized that I haven't written  my race report for the Winter Series 10k. Probably because I didn't run it as a race. It was just another run.

Well, ok, so maybe it wasn't "just another run." No I wasn't running it as a race, but it was a kind of important piece in the puzzle that is my training right now. At the end of February (just 2 weeks!!!!) I'm once again heading to Disney World to run the Princess Half. But I'm not just doing the Half. This year, runDisney has a new race on Princess Weekend and a Challenge to go with it.

The Glass Slipper Challenge consists of 2 races over 2 days - the Enchanted 10k on Saturday (the new race) and the Princess Half on Sunday. 2 races, 3 medals, (1 for each race + 1 for the challenge) and a chance to run through Disney - I'm in! (and my best running buddies - they're in too :-) )

Since I've run a 10k (more than once) and I've run half marathon (also more than once), I didn't think I'd have any trouble with the individual distances. The potential issue in my brain came from the fact that I hadn't run those distances on back to back days. 19.3 miles in 2 days is kind of a lot for me. That's an above average weekly mileage for me these days.

So I declared the first 3 weekends in February as back-to-back run weekends to get myself ready.  It just so happened that the Winter Series 10k took place during the first of those weekends. That Saturday was a beautiful day, so I took the opportunity to get the longer of the 2 runs done then. (I knew that if I waited until Sunday, I wouldn't want to run the extra miles before or after the race, since it was supposed to be rainy and cold).  So I ran my 10 miles on Saturday (first double digit run since November).

My legs were a little tired and sore on Sunday, so I planned to just take it easy at the race and just get the miles done. I told myself to not worry about what everybody else was doing and to just run what I needed to do to get to the finish line. If I was last, then I would just have to be last. I turned on my music and just focused on it and myself as I ran. I had to walk through parts of my run intervals and got too hot and had to take my jacket off and tie it around my waist. In the last mile I was kind of wishing I hadn't done that because the light sprinkle that had been going on throughout the race changed to an all out rain and it got pretty cold and miserable for a bit. (When the race photographer is sitting in his car taking pics, you know it's kind of nasty out.)

But though it was tough, wet, miserable, and I had to walk more than I anticipated, I finished. I didn't really have a goal, other than to finish, but there was a small part of me that wanted to, at the very least, finish faster than I did last year. And while I didn't really consciously try (I didn't pay much attention to my pace or time at all), I did it; not by much, but I did finish faster.

And I survived  my first back-to-back longish mile runs. Other than some tightness in my hips, I was feeling fine; a little tired, but not any more than I normally am after a run. So I count the weekend runs as a success. I now know/think that I won't have any major problems with the Disney races being so close together. If, for whatever reason, I don't get the other planned long weekend runs in (weather this winter has been horrible for outdoor running), I'm pretty sure I'll still be fine when Princess Weekend comes around.  :-)

Race Stats:
Winter Series 10k
Sunday, Feb. 2, 2014
Finish Time: 1:15:06 (nike+ time (forgot to turn off the garmin); 1:15:04 (official)
Pace: 11:56mpm (nike+)
Place: 297 of 327

Winter Series 2013-14 Overall results:
5k: 298 of 401 (32:56)
8k: 313 0f 386 (55:27)
10k: 297 of 327 (1:25:04)
Overall: 213 of 241 (2:43:27)