Monday, February 28, 2011

Disney Princess Half Marathon - Part 1 Princess Palooza

The half marathon weekend was time to go to Orlando.  I hadn't run over 10.5 miles in my training and that was on Jan 15th, 2 weeks later I attempted to do 11 and had to stop at 9 and walk to my car for .8 in PAIN.  On Jan 15th, my Plantar Faciitis flared up BAD. I tried to run on gravel or packed dirt....ouch, even short distances. I planned on an active recovery as I saw a sports doc and began physical therapy...which helped, but when we make plans God laughs....I got sick with a flu like virus for a week in bed for 6 days. Best thing that happened as my foot felt better, though not fully, so I attacked the elliptical for 2 weeks to try to keep my legs moving and cardio in some kind of shape.  I struggled for a month with "will I be able to finish it"?  Both the PT and the sports doc told me to take it SLOW and just listen to my body.  No reason while I could not try.....BUT to be prepared to stop if things didn't feel right.  I began to periodically have visions of myself in the race and a tendon snapping.  And visions of being picked up by the van for those who can't make the minimum pace.

Eve from Boston, who is now teaching at Harvard and I arrived at MCO the same time and my buddy from preschool and church Amy picked us up and took us to the Swan where we were staying.  We met Jackie another friend of mine from CT who was at the pool.  She headed upstairs and we had a nice beer to relax and enjoy the resort atmosphere.  Afterall...isn't beer carbs and we needed our carbs.  Jackie came down to join us for a beverage then we headed over to the Princess Expo to pick up our numbers.

The SWAN is a GREAT hotel!  Very nice place.  Next we headed over to the Wide World of Sports to pick up our race packets.  We were greeted in style at the door... let the princess treatment begin!

From the Left....Amy, Footman #1, Jackie, Eve, Footman #2, and me. I wonder if either of these guys ever mice - I mean for all we know its Jac and Gus under Fairy Godmother's spell.

The expo was closing in less than an hour so we grabbed our bags....which are nice little mesh backpacks full of a bunch of ads, a tiny luna bar, some safety pins, our race # with timing chip, tshirt and final race instructions.  The Tshirt is a technical one, and its very nice - white, the pic is yellow, but come on Disney, how about a little more swag!  Your races are not cheap! I do LOVE how my race number had me as Princess Juliann!  I was happy to see Amy and I would be starting together in the same group and I was up towards the front - which gave me more time as the during the race the minimum pace time starts when the last runner crosses the starting line. There were 16,000 women and 600 men running!

We ate at Wolfgang Puck express in Downtown Disney, walked around a bit and headed back to the swan.

On Saturday our plans were to hit Disney Hollywood studios early to do Tower of Terror - well me with my fear of heights and recurring free falling dreams passed on this one, The Rock N Roll Roller Coaster - now my favorite roller coaster, and Toy Story Mania -LOVED IT.  With the help of a Fast Pass AND low crowds we knocked out all 3 by 10:45.

We headed over to the Magic Kingdom to do Buzz Lightyear, Space Mountain and whatever else we fancied.  We had a great lunch at the Mexican place by Pirates of the Carribean - really you get alot of food for your $$.  I just got a taco salad and loaded up on the lettuce and tomato at the fixin's bar - kept it simple!  We watched a parade and decided we needed ice cream. The  girls got FREE ice cream from a nice Cast Member "just because" - now who would have thunk that?.... while I purchased my Dole Whip vanilla swirl...ummm, pineapple. It was a BEAUTIFUL day but OOPS we stayed til 7 later than expected. 

We headed back to the swan, just picked up some dinner at Picabu in the hotel, nothing too heavy with some protein and carbs.   I charged my camera battery til full, plugged in my laptop to charge the Ipod and Garmin and layed out my Princess race attire.  The nerves started to set in as we had to leave the hotel at 4am to get there by the ungodly hour they want you there before the start....start is at 5:45am for the first group, my group was starting at 5:53.   I think we got in bed at like 10.....I had a very hard time falling asleep!  My plan was to finish the race...but I had to listen to my body. So in the event I couldn't finish I had to be prepared to stop.  I knew I had to take it slow and my plan B was to make it to the Castle and just go crazy with taking pics if things were bad.  Then after the would be ok to stop as I had all those cute photos.  We were giving someone a ride who had done 2 other races, so we would know where to go. Off to bed we went....................................................

Disney Princess Part 2

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


So I am 4 weeks away from the Disney Princess 1/2 Marathon.  

Cute outfit ..... CHECK , got it

Training....... Check...well lets review

I have been following the Jeff Galloway plan from the Disney Princess site. Its all good but apparently I am not stretching enough as I have had shin splints and now am suffering Plantar Faciitis in the left foot.  Its been pretty painful.

Thing is, on my 10.5 mile run Jan 15th, the heel pain kicked in bad.  So bad I went to  a sports med doc.  He was happy with how in tune to my body I am and said "train away" with your current plan - though cut your run intervals down so you are running less and walking a little more...and go see a physical therapist.  Oh and if i feel pain, stop!

So been seeing a PT with some super cool anti-inflammatory treatments including ionotopheresis and ultrasound.  Seriously take away the swelling.  She also has shown me some gentle stretching as apparently its my calves where all this started..yeah, remember the shin splints - its all related, they disappeared when my heel and foot started to hurt.

So last Sunday on another "long training run" goal was 10 miles.  First 8 miles, not easy, but totally doable.  My feet had a little tingling, like they were asleep.  Mile 9 kicks in and its pain more so when I walk than run.  This cannot be good I think so I decide to just get to the car, which was 1 mile away.

It was the hardest mile of my my life. Took me FOREVER to get there...I had to walk a mile on feet that hurt. I was scared something would snap.  Then the realization hit, what if I am on the race and my feet can't make it.  Total Bummer.  

I stopped by the river and just chilled out...actually started crying.  If this were the Princess 1/2 Marathon I would be done.  I would have sought the medical attention and gotten to the end via the van.  Good news is it wasn't the princess it was a training run.  I have a few more weeks to loosen up the calves. Funny thing is I didn't turn off the Garmin, took me 27 minutes to go that last mile... which includes the phone call to the hubs and the cry it out moment.

I started running in July of last year with Couch to 5K. Its a great program, the app for your Ipod or Iphone makes it SO easy.  After I completed that program,  I decided to attempt another 1/2 marathon... did 2 10 years ago. I realized I love my running...OK, its Run a couple minutes, walk a minute and my run is a jog, so basically I am wogging.   I love being outside, its a great way to see things.  I love the sweating and trying to push myself to see if I can go faster or further. I am surprised that I haven't quit with my feet issues or even having to get up early to get my runs in before Andy goes to work, but I look forward to that time.  Its my ME time, I am alone and clear my head.  Since I am a part time working mom and spend most of my time caring for the little princess, this time alone is a JOY.  I so look forward to it...especially the long runs!

I post my runs on to keep up with my mileage..for the shoes.  I decided to share my runs with my Facebook friends...which I will say, at first I was thinking, um do people REALLY care about my pathetically slow runs.  Apparently they do. A  FB friend told me I don't need to be worried about being a princess as I have been the queen of perseverance.  Also, a few others have told me they like seeing my progress and I have inspired, the slow runner who perpetually needs to lose 20 pounds!  Wow, that is great, who knew I could inspire?

Truth is I like running - this go round, so its not that hard.  Hopefully my feet will hold out, I can keep my calves loose and the perseverance will pay off so I can finish that half marathon. BUT if not, there is always next year!  I have totally been bitten by the "wogging" bug.  I love it.  Perseverance, sure, but its something I really look forward to.

Hoping I don't screw things up by continuing!