Sunday, August 29, 2010

One Week To Go

I can't believe that in less than a week I will have completed a half marathon. For the most part I'm feeling ready and have enjoyed the summer of training. Last week I completed a 100 minute run (about 11 miles) and felt good. This was the longest run on my schedule and I have been "tapering" from there with only a few short runs planned for this week. Another positive note is that Crystal bounced back from her virus and completed a 9 mile run so she is ready to go as well!

It's good that I don't have to devote as much time to running this week since I've got so much to do with the stages of planning for our Disney vacation. We are diligently making packing lists to ensure that we have everything we need for a toddler and me to run a race. And of course I am putting together the daily itineraries.

Here is Elias in training for the airplane ride....yes, he is watching Mickey

A couple of trip highlights that we're most looking forward to in addition to the race:
  • A character meal at Goofy's Kitchen at the Disneyland Hotel
  • Pre-race dinner at Disney's California Adventure with reserved seating for the new World of Color show
  • Trip to San Diego to see the Rockies take on the Padres
Elias has become quite the Rockies fan, so it was a no brainer that we should go see them play in San Diego

I'm still surprised that the girl who threw the shot-put in high school so she could be on the track team with her friends without running is going to run a half marathon. But hey, I've always known that I would do almost anything for a trip to Disney!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Skirts, Sunglasses, Sprints, and Stomach Bugs

Skirts: Crystal & I decided that new outfits for the race were a must. So we hit up Nordstrom together on Saturday. We opted not to get matching outfits but both went with Nike skirts. Crystal's is teal and mine is navy. We're pretty confident that new outfits will make us run faster.

Sunglasses: The shopping marathon continued while we set out on the quest to find me a better pair of sunglasses. I went to the doctor about my migraines and she just reiterated the need for a good pair of polarized sunglasses. The good news is that she said it is very unlikely that exercise is a trigger. So Crystal & I were on a mission to find me the best pair of sunglasses. After visiting three different stores we decided that I needed a pair of Oakley's with Black Iridium polarized lenses. These lenses apparently block out 91% of light. It took us a while to find this lens in a style that I liked but Crystal was up to the challenge and kept encouraging me to find the perfect pair. And we couldn't resist finishing up the shopping trip by buying Elias a new pair of sunglasses as well.

Crystal & I shopping for Oakley sunglasses

Elias and I wearing our new shades

Bummed about missing my long run this weekend (see next section) I was ready to work hard at boot-camp on Monday morning and make up for it. I guess lucky for me the instructor had a doozy of a workout in store for us. Our strength training workouts were followed by 400 meter (1/4 mile) sprints. I never would have thought that 1/4 mile was a sprinting distance but I actually enjoyed the challenge of pushing myself to run as fast as I could for that distance. I can't say that I enjoyed it while I was doing it and didn't necessarily look forward to the repeats but I was proud of myself to finish with a time of 1 min 43 sec. The sprints made me feel stronger and confident that my training has been paying off!

Stomach Bugs:
So my I can take on the world attitude that I acquired from the Monday morning sprints lasted until about 1 pm yesterday when I started to get an intense stomach ache. I couldn't figure out what was wrong and all I could think was that those sprints took a larger toll on me than I thought. Realized a couple of hours later that it had nothing to do with my morning workout and I had caught a stomach bug. Elias was up sick all night on Saturday. We incorrectly assumed that it was something he ate because he never developed a fever and acted like his normal self on Sunday. Guess I got it a little worse than he did because I was wiped out for a full 24 hours.

I'm looking forward to putting this bug behind us and picking up my training with an 11 mile run this weekend. This will be my last long run before the race as the week before the race includes a combination of short runs and rest days.

Thursday, August 12, 2010


I finished reading Run Like A Mother today. I've never been so proud to call myself a mom and a runner! A couple of the highlights that I learned from reading the book:

  • I will definitely be wearing a running skirt for the race. Apparently, race pictures turn out much better with skirts than shorts because shorts tend to bunch up. I can't decide if I should just use one of the skirts I have or take my first half marathon as an opportunity to buy a brand new running outfit.
  • The Nike+ sensor may overestimate distance and therefore pace. I still think it is a great tool and has helped me keep track of progress. I'll figure out on race day how far it is off.
  • Moms are tuned in to providing practical advice on all subjects. A few of my favorites were what to wear, what to eat (before, during & after), bathroom tips for race day (a subject only moms would think of), and who to run with. Of course the book also provided tons of great training tips.
  • I'm not the only one who thinks the first mile or two are the hardest part of a typical run.
  • There are two types of husbands; those that run with you and those that don't. Proud to say that I have type 2. I don't think it would work for us to have a semi-competitive athletic shared hobby. But there is no way I would be able to undertake such an endeavor without all of the support I've received from Aaron!
And a quote that will stick with me: "Sooner or later, every daughter becomes her mother."

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


Today is an exciting day that signals how close the race is getting. I received an email that the Official Disneyland Half Marathon Program is now available online. It is likely that I will have all 20 pages of this material memorized before we get to Anaheim as planning all of the details is half the fun of a Disney trip. In addition, I downloaded an electronic copy of the waiver that I can read & sign in advance so I have more time to enjoy Disneyland.

The waiver included my bib number: 8191. I like numbers as they make things official like when I got into college or recently became a PE. So now that I have a number it is official that I'm going to run a half marathon! And am one step closer to receiving the coveted finisher's medal.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Change of Scenery

I've been doing most of my runs around the neighborhood which fortunately has an abundance of trails, sidewalks, and parks so I'm able to get creative with routes and haven't found them to be too repetitive. But I decided this morning would be a fun day for a "field trip". So I came up with a plan to run to City Park and meet my family for breakfast at Le Peep's Parkside Cafe.

I enjoyed my run through the Park Hill neighborhood but came to appreciate the complete sidewalk network and curb ramps in Stapleton. It took me about 40 minutes to get to City Park and then I ran around the park for another 15 minutes before I met up with Aaron & Elias at the playground. City Park is probably my favorite place to run in Denver as I like the views of Downtown over the lake and enjoy seeing the progress of the construction for the zoo expansion.

After enjoying the park we headed over to Le Peep where Elias was very excited to see that Grandma & Grandpa were meeting us for breakfast. It was looking like today was going to be a perfect day with a great run, yummy breakfast, and a fun family outing at the zoo. But alas, as we were paying for breakfast I started to get another migraine. Given that this is the third one I've gotten in 3 weeks it seems that summer migraine season is in full swing.

My migraines remind me that there are many things in life that are beyond my control. But I sure wish I could figure out exactly what causes them and what I can do short of never going outside to prevent them in the summer. They have also provided some insight into why I think I enjoy the running so provides a feeling of control and accomplishment. I like studying my training schedule and looking back at how much I've accomplished and crossing the days off in anticipation of the race.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Reasons I've Come to Love Running

Besides the obvious that I get to go to Disneyland in about a month, there are other reasons that I have really come to appreciate running and training for a half marathon.
  1. It gives me something to talk about. Being a somewhat shy person I am not the best at making conversation but two times in the past week my running came in handy as a topic of conversation. First, I got my haircut and I'm never the best at holding a conversation with the stylist but I actually had a better answer than "oh not much" or "working" to the question "what have you been up to lately?" Second, I attended a networking function and it was useful small talk.
  2. It gives me more confidence and other things don't seem as challenging. Today, I was a co-presenter at a conference. I don't have much experience with public speaking besides in grad school but I said to myself "if you can run for over an hour surely you can talk about a project that you're very familiar with for 20 minutes". And the presentation went well with less worrying that I ever would have thought possible.
  3. I don't feel as guilty when I eat ice cream (light of course) several times a week during the summer.