Monday, April 28, 2014

Disney Trip: Downtown Disney, and Epcot

I've been so lazy with my blogging lately.  I guess life is just busy and I'ma little bit lazy, but I didn't want to forget our trip to Disney because we had such a fabulous time.  I have to admit that it wasn't Disney that made ME so happy, it was spending time with my family ALL day every day without the hustle and bustle of life.  I LOVE IT!  

Sunday after my long run we hung out at the pool and then we headed out in the evening for Downtown Disney.  I tried to get Ella to wear a pretty outfit, but she was super excited about her mustache shirt I had bought her a couple of days prior and she HAD to wear it.  Sometimes I wonder why I purchase these things… oh wait because I know she'll love it!  

So yeah we went to Downtown Disney to go to the Christmas store.  Every time we go to Disney the kids pick out an ornament and get their name and the year put on it.  Every year we have pictures in front of this fountain.

And every year the children grow.  I remember when there was just one, then one in the belly, and so on.  Now I've got these big kids, but man I love them more now than I ever knew I would.

Don't know what's up with my hair in this pic… wind?? 
 In addition to the Christmas store we hit the Lego store.  Now mind you this is day one into our trip.  I gave each of the kids a budget and they could spend it anyway they wanted, but once it was gone, it was gone.

Jack wanted to spend all his money right then and there at the Lego store.

I explained to him that he could buy that stuff any old day at Walmart and he should try to buy a souvenir-- something reminiscent of our trip.  He actually got the concept, but that didn't stop him from wanting to buy EVERYTHING he saw that was Disney related and RIGHT NOW!

Ella was definitely the little shopper and was very careful with her money.  She wanted to make sure she spent it on just what she wanted and didn't regret making too early of a purchase.

We made it out of Downtown Disney only having bought the Christmas ornaments we came for.  Nothing short of a miracle.

The next day was Epcot day.  We definitely wanted to go to the parks, but we figured Monday is probably the busiest day for Magic Kingdom.  I mean I totally made that up, but don't you think it's true?  Everyone dying to get to the parks and the go there first.  Ok fine…

We had a few fast passes for Epcot, but mostly the kids were looking forward to the World Showcase (especially Nicholas) and Ella wanted to see Elsa and Anna from Frozen.

We rode some rides that had short lines before the crowds go too bad and moseyed around the park taking pictures.

Lightning McQueen 
Mater, like ta-mater but without the ta 

my handsome dude in the flower garden 

the others 

forever posing 

He had to get in on it 

Phineas and Ferb 

This cracks me up 

If you know Nicholas, you know this is appropriate.  Always on the ground! 

I got it!!! 

Ella acting like Nicholas 

And then we finally made it to the world showcase.  Nicholas began the question!  "When are we going to Canada?"  Of course we started at the wrong end and Canada would be one of the LAST countries we visited.  It was a long day of "When are we getting to Canada."  He didn't even want to eat until Canada.

 We had plenty of stops before Canada.  This included Norway where Elsa and Anna were.  We casually got in line or attempted to get in line and were told that from that point it was a 5.5 hour wait.  I almost fainted.  5 hours to see a princess.  NO WAY!  George promised we'd come back when the park opened on Thursday.  Wait til you hear that story.

I don't even know what country this is 


Love this pic because he's acting like he loves me.  haha

Along the way we met Mary Poppins.  Nicholas was just NOT having any parts of the princess or characters at all really.  Of course Ella was into the beautiful princess and such and Jack really loved all the characters too.

I made Nicholas pose with Mary and she said, "Come along now dear."  He was mortified.

Then shortly thereafter we met up with Alice in Wonderland.  Oh Alice.

She was cute as a button.

I told her big brother wasn't into it and she just had to torture him.  I LOVE this picture.  I do believe he's blushing.

Way to go Alice.  Get those boys who think they're too cool.  One day he'll love you again Alice, but for different reasons…. gross!

After a million questions and ALL the waiting and princesses, we finally made it to Canada.

Nicholas was in his glories.  He so wishes he was born a Canadian.  It's all about the hockey folks.  

He didn't actually eat here, but he did buy a souvenir-- a hockey t-shirt of course.

Even though Canada was a highlight, Test Track was a favorite for everyone.  It was such a cool ride and it was way faster than I expected.  I loved it.  

The children discovered something at Epcot-- Duffy Bear, the official bear of Disney.  WTH???  Seriously doesn't Disney already have an official mascot.  I thought this bear was so dumb, but he was everywhere especially throughout Epcot.  Guess who had to buy it?  Ugh!  He never regretted his decision though.  He loves his Duffy bear and loved meeting him in person.

I'm still bitter about the bear.

I smiled and pretended to like him anyway.  Am I convincing?

After finished the World Showcase and our fast passes we headed out to Hollywood Studios for the remainder of the day.  

To be continued…. 

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Taper Time

I can't believe it is time to taper for the marathon.  How did it get here already?  A week from tomorrow I'll be running 26.2 miles and I'm feeling VERY nervous about it.  Sure I've done this before, but that doesn't mean I can do it again.

I've been having so much trouble with blistering on my feet and that's really been holding me back both physically and mentally.  Do you want to see my feet?  Ok even if you don't, I'm posting the pic anyway so scroll quickly if you don't want to see.

And just so you know this is after several days of healing!  Ugh!  I got brand new shoes on Thursday, but I'm still scared because I really won't be able to test them out before the big day.  I mean I'm running 10 miles tomorrow, but that's usually when the problem starts.  So I'm just blindly going into the marathon wearing new shoes and praying it all works out.

I'm thankful for the opportunity I was given to be a Panera Official Training Menu Blogger.  I've been eating well at Panera and I've discovered what help keep me satisfied before and after long runs.  I'm still in love with the Low Fat B Green Smoothie and my beloved Spinach Power Salad.  These will be staples long after the marathon. 

So ready to eat, forgot to take a pic until it was gone!  
I'm not sure what the point of this post is…. I've had some really great long runs and I've had really horrible long runs. There was really no in between.  The good ones boosted my confidence, but the bad ones seems to stick with you a little longer.  That coupled with the fact that my weekday runs were usually VERY short mileage (3 to 5 miles) has my confidence in the crapper.  

I'm hoping to just go out and run an 11:00 minute pace.  I really just want to be able to last the whole time without feeling horrible.  That is my biggest goal.  I don't want to suffer and be in pain.  I'm hoping the slower pace will help make all the hills manageable.

So there you have it!  My big goals for the marathon.  Survival mode on!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Pittsburgh Marathon Training Long Run: 20 miles

First let me say I am making an attempt to write this post from my iPhone on the last few hours of our 16 hour car ride home from Florida. I'll add photos later because my phone is acting up and won't let me add the pics. Anyway, we had a fabulous time on vacation and I do plan to fill you in on everything but first things first -- the long run.

Wouldn't you know that my lasts long run (the 20 miler) fell while we were on vacation. Tracey and Charlene did their long run on The Friday that we left and I could have gone with them, but I didn't think it was wise to run 20 miles and then sit for 16 plus hours in the car.

Besides, I had plans to meet up with Barb (a running friend who recently moved to the Orlando area). Barb is so sweet and planned out the perfect 20 mile route for us. While Barb wasn't up for 20 miles (she has a nagging toe injury) she said she'd run 12 with me. The plan was that she'd run me out 7 and let me go to 10 miles alone. She'd then start to walk back to the 5 mile mark and wait there for me and do the last 5 miles with me. PETFECT.  I felt so VERY thankful to have Barb with me.

So after a LONG day of riding in the car and little sleep, I woke up at 5:30 to meet Barb at her house.  I was out the door in the pitch black by 6:00 am. I had my Gatorade prime but only ate a less than 200 calorie cliff bar. It wasn't ideal but it was all I had.

I met Barb at her house right on time and we left right for the trail. I was a little anxious because the weather was already feeling hot. I told Barb my plan was to maintain an 11:00 minute mile for this run. I really wanted to be as even as possible and test out my blistering maratjon pace.  Ha!  She agreed to do whatever I wanted and we headed out.

The trail was beautiful. We started off through a small little town full of locally owned shops and restaurants. It was so cute.  We quickly got to the actual trail and were in the exposed sun for a bit but by mile two we were shaded by beautiful old trees. There was so much new stuff to look at. I was enjoying running somewhere new and was enjoying Barb's company and upbeat attitude. Barb told me how great I was doing and that I was holding up so well. I giggled and told her we were only at mile 3.56 I should hope I was holding up. We got a good laugh about that.

We reached to 5 mile mark and we stopped for a MUCH needed bathroom break. I was never so glad to see a bathroom. It's not a wonder runners poop their pants. Just sayin!!!

Mile 1:  10:46
Mile 2:  10:47
Mile 3: 10:46
Mile 4:  10:34
Mile 5: 10:27 ----> gu

I felt so much better after using the restroom but things were definitely heating up. Nevertheless the 7 mile mark came and I had to say goodbye to Barb. It wasn't until that point I realized I hadn't filled my water bottles at the bathroom. I was so preoccupied that I totally forgot. Barb gave me all but a few sips of her water (since she was heading back) and I had two full bottles to make it 8 miles.

I felt pretty darn good for miles 7 to 10. Things were definitely heating up but I was in good spirits and feeling well.

Mile 6: 11:00
Mile 7: 11:01
Mile 8:  11:21
Mile 9:  10:54
Mile 10:  11:12

After the turn around point, I started mentally beating myself up. I was almost out of water and I just couldn't wrap my head around 5 miles without water. I took a side road into a housing development with a park I hopes of finding water but it was all locked, which meant not water for me.

I was so discouraged and thirsty and hot.  All I could think about was water and how bad I felt and what would happen with no water. I passed a small church and thought about going in, but I didn't. I passed the church and I walked up a hill and thought about turning around to go get water. Then I saw Barb's husband on his bike and I almost cried (not really). He was nice enough to fill one of my bottles. He told me to fill both but with just 2.5 miles to go I told him one bottle was enough. He was out riding his bike, I didn't want to take all his water.

I felt good for a bit more but by this time my feet were blistering (I could feel it with every step) and it was so hot and I just wasn't used to running in the heat.  By mile 14 I was out of water again.  All I kept thinking was "just get to Barb, just get to Barb."  I never thought beyond 15 miles where Barb was waiting. I just wanted to make it to Barb.

Mile 11:  11:14
Mile 12: 11:22
Mile 13:  12:07 ----> walking commenced
Mile 14:  12:28
Mile 15:  12:08

I prayed seeing Barb and getting water would give me a boost to push through. It definitely have me a boost but my feet were a total mess. With every step my blisters were rubbing and I was in serious pain. I was in walk/run mode. I'd do short runs at a quicker pace and then walk. As soon as I'd walk is pick my next point to start running again as not to wait too long to go again.

I was so so discouraged by my feet and the whole situation. Barb was so encouraging the whole time. She was likey own personal cheerleader. Without her, I'm not sure how I would have done it. At mile 17 I literally wanted to sit down and quit. Barb wouldn't let me. Besides we had to make it back to the car. Somehow I made it and not sure I've ever wanted to be be done with a run so badly.

Mile 16: 12:33
Mile 17: 13:04
Mile 18: 12:38
Mile 19: 12:38
Mile 20: 12:28

Total: 3:45:06
Average: 11:33

When I took off my shoes I was met with 4 huge blisters on the inside of my feet. I've been dealing with blisters for a LONG time and had some success keeping them away for awhile but they're back with a vengeance. I'm working with a friend at my local running store to fix it. In case anyone is wondering I've:  changed shoes, body glide my feet, changed socks and use blister shield powder. Nothing is working. Ugh!!!

Regardless, I'm glad I made it through and pray marathon day won't be that tough. A HUGE thank you to Barb for all her support on this run. I'm pretty sure I would have say down and cried had you not been there.

And that is the only healthy thing I did ALL vacation long. Oh that and eat this delicious healthy breakfast at Panera our last day on vacation. My body was revolting from all the junk I had been puttin in it and a Mediterranean egg white sandwich and green B power smoothie was just what the doctor ordered.

Have you tried anything from the training menu yet???