Thursday, January 30, 2014

Princess Half Marathon and Glass Slipper Challenge Corrals are up!

Crazyexcited today because RunDisney posted the Corral assignments and course maps for the Princess Half Marathon and Glass Slipper Challenge!! 

You can find your waiver with bib number by entering your info here: Waivers 

Then you can find your Princess Half or Glass Slipper Challenge bib number on the corral assignments:

Princess Half Corral Assignments

Glass Slipper Challenge Assignments

For those friends and family that follow me and don't really understand what this means, it's just where I will start the race.  There are 20,000+ running the race, so they section us off in "corrals" based on our speed so that we are running with people that run about the same pace.  It looks like I will be in corral "F", the sixth corral out of sixteen.  More importantly, it's "F" for FABULOUS!!  LOL

I'm thrilled with that mostly because of my knee issues.  If I need to go slower, I will have a bit of a buffer from when the last people leave the last corral.  Once those people leave the last corral, there is a 16 minute mile enforced and if you don't keep up, you are "swept" and taken on a bus to the end of the race, and don't get to finish. I feel like my corral placement will help ensure I don't have any problem getting swept, even if I'm crawling limping along by the end.  

I'm also pretty excited because a few of my running blogger friends are in my corral!  Yay for not being alone! (which I realized must have been a bigger fear than I initially realized).  

Those of you doing the Half or the Challenge, are you pleased with your corral placement?  I have heard some proof of time submissions were not honored and some were put in the back when they should not have been.  I hope RunDisney is going to fix those issues. 

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Wide-angle Wednesday

Continuing with my Disney theme...and there's only three more WAW's until the race!!! *happy dance*

I thought I would go with a ride theme today!  I have a few favorites, Big Thunder Mountain,  Expedition Everest, Haunted Mansion...ok, I have a lot of favorites! LOL.  I think  Big Thunder at night is one of my all time favorite things to do.  Last trip Savannah and I rode it over and over at the end of the night, we kept running back around, rode it 4 times in thirty minutes. So much fun with my girl! 

and I love my EE! 

 and although I adore Rockin' Roller coaster once you get past the take-off, my stomach flips just THINKING about it.  Hate the take-off!  Do you see that blur there on the track?  That's it taking off.  Can't they make the ride without that part? ;)

What's your favorite ride at WDW?!?!  Oh and for those of you doing the PHM or GSC, did you get your bib number?  I was bouncing off the walls yesterday!!  #3554!  Cannot wait to see the corral assignments now. 

Sunday, January 26, 2014

4 weeks to go!!!!

It's seriously just 4 weeks?!?

I don't know about you, but other than the concerns I have about my knee, I'm ready to go to Orlando.  It's cold here, like the worst winter in over ten years kinda cold...I'm ready for some Florida sun!  I'm ready for time to speed up because I really can't do a ton of running before the race and doubt I'll get in anymore long runs.   My biggest worry is that I'll lose my stamina but feel like resting the knee has to take precedence over that. 

I'm being good.  I ordered a foam roller and it's on the way.  Until then I have been using a rolling pin and a tennis ball.  I found a lot of info on rolling and stretching quads to help with runners knee.  The first time I rolled them, my right quad was much more painful, which makes sense since my right knee is the one that is bothering me.  

Uh... I might have overdone the rolling a bit though...
who, me?!?!

I'm pretty sore, BUT,  it really did seem to help my knee a bit to roll the quads.  I'm taking things slow and properly taped and wore my brace to run this week.  I only ran 1 mile on the treadmill Thursday (first time in a week I had run) and then today I ran... 

3 miles!! 
The good news is my cardio really has not suffered from the break in running.  I am slower because of the knee but I felt like cardio-wise I could have gone the whole distance!  My head and my lungs were in it!  It felt so fantastic to run.

The bad news is that it was not pain free.  My right knee, even taped with a brace, gave me some trouble.  I tried to take a few walk breaks and that seemed to help.  I slowed my pace and noticed that downhills hurt more than anything, so adjusted accordingly.  I'm not sure I could have done 13.1 today in the state I'm in, but at least it's a start.  More resting this week, it looks like I may only run once a week until the race.
Since I haven't been able to run a lot, I have started doing a 10 minute arm workout video that I found on Pinterest.  I'm doing it each morning and my arms are pretty sore.  Maybe that's why I seem to have an arm raising theme going on in my gif's today.  ;)

 So! Who else is ready for the Princess Half?

Told you there was a theme!
Today is Rey's last day home and when he heads out tomorrow, I will not see him again until I have finished a half marathon! 
 That is crazy. It's definitely getting real around here.

 Are you feeling ready?  Have you started packing? 
(ahem...I admit it, I have. LOL)

Wednesday, January 22, 2014


Is it Wide-angle Wednesday again already?!?!  Continuing on with my Disney themed WAW for the next 4 weeks until the race...

This one is a personal one and a perfect example of why I love Disney World so very much. I'm not sure I have talked about it on my blog, but my daughter Savannah has a severe social phobia. When she was younger she was actually selectively mute in front of most people, except for our immediate family.  (she was a complete motormouth to us! LOL) 

We found out in 2008, on our first trip to Disney World with friends, that Disney magic "cured" her of this a bit.  It wasn't totally gone, she cried when cast members tried to sing her happy birthday once, but there were moments that she was able to completely let go.  In this shot,  we walked up to get a photo with Thumper and  he grabbed her and started dancing! PURE magic catching this moment!    It's one of my favorite photos of her ever.

As for running this week, I'm still resting my knees but they feel much much better!  I am planning to do a test run of a mile tomorrow morning on the treadmill!  WOOT!

How about you?  Has the Disney magic ever surprised you or transformed you? 

Sunday, January 19, 2014

If You Can't Fly...

Perfect timing! Leave it to MLK to have just the right words.  Fitting for almost anything in life, yes?  

 I will keep moving forward and to do that, I am having to regroup and rest a bit.  My self-diagnosis (b/c you know I like to play a doctor on the interwebs. LOL) is runner's knee.  I had it many years ago when I first started to try and run and I quit because of the pain.  Not this time! This time I rest and recover...then keep moving forward.

I found a really helpful article at Running on Empty  that not only gave me some good suggestions, but gave me HOPE!  I'm not going to run for a week or so and then I will see how I'm feeling.  I believe my 10 mile run last week will be my longest before the half.  I risk injuring myself more if I try to do another long run in the next few weeks.  I'm hoping to get in some short runs and maybe up to 7 or 8 miles before the race but I'm going to go by what my knees tell me.  Everything I have read says that running on them will only make it worse, I have to let them heal first and then trust my training.  

I ordered a couple of these for when I can run:

 and also some Glutamine, which is supposed to help in recovery.  

I'm definitely hopeful right now, what else can I be?  I know that the next five weeks are not all that matters.  What matters are the months and months of training I have put in.  I believe that I will be able to do the miles, I just need to make it to the race healed up and not injured.  That's the plan.  

In other race news, I'm superduper excited that my costume is nearly done!  It's actually at the seamstress right now, she is connecting the petticoat to the race shirt (the shirt was riding up a bit, I thought this would help) and sewing on the ruffles on the shoulders.  I am wearing my Sparklebottoms under the skirt since I cannot live without my Sparkleskirt pockets!

Aaaand, to make things even more exciting around here, our Mickeymail came yesterday!  I cannot believe it's so close now, we leave in 33 days!

 Congratulations to all of the Tinkerbell 10K & Half Marathon runners this weekend!  I loved following your races and seeing all the pics. You can fly!!!

So who ran Tink and is running the PHM for their Coast to Coast? So exciting!!! Do you have your costume picked out?  Going as a Princess or something else?!?!  Tell me! Tell me!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Megs Miles

It's a new day and I nearly deleted my post from yesterday but decided against it.  It will be good for me to look back and see that my journey was not always sunshine and daisies.  I bounce back pretty quickly after venting, and I find that just putting it out there allows me to let it go and move on.  I'm working on finding some supplements that will help my recovery and some strength training to help support my knees.

I might be easily injured but I can and will run, which I am grateful for daily.  We have to embrace the moment and cherish it when we have it.  Tomorrow I won't be able to run, but I do plan do walk and the next run I am able to do, it will be in honor of Meg.  

Photo credit: Meg's Miles facebook

"Meg Cross Menzies was tragically killed by a drunk driver while out for her morning run on January 13, 2014. As an avid runner, member of the Richmond Road Runners Club, and Boston marathoner, she was a member of the running family nationwide. In her honor, our hope is to raise awareness of drunk driving, texting and driving, and overall safety of runners and cyclists everywhere.

This Saturday, January 18, 2014, no matter what your distance, no matter where you live, run for Meg. Take in the fresh air, be aware of your surroundings, keep your headphones on low, feel the heaviness in your lungs, the soreness in your legs, and be grateful for it--for all of it. The sweat, the pain, the wind, the cold…everything. Be grateful for that moment.

Feel free to post pictures of yourself pre-run or post-run, post your distance, post your thoughts, prayers, condolences with the hashtag #megsmiles. Twitter, Instagram, Facebook. Let all runners unite together and remember the loss of a beautiful spirit. It's not a coincidence the hashtag reads either "Meg's Miles" or "Meg Smiles." She will be smiling on all of us forevermore."

Thursday, January 16, 2014

What's wrong with me?

Oh boy, if you are looking for something uplifting to read, you may want to skip my blog today.  I just need to vent, talk through some things, and brainstorm.  

Where to start.  Well, after my 10 mile run where my knees felt like cracking in half the last mile, I spend the last 4 days hobbling around but each day feeling better.  I accepted this as just overuse, I seem to take much much longer to bounce back after long runs that the average person (WHY is this???).  After my 9 mile run I was worried about my heel bursitis b/c it was feeling tweaked for well over a week.  After my 8 mile run my quads were really sore for about 5 days...and on...and on...

I've considered that I'm a hypochondriac.  Is that possible?  I don't know but what I know is that when I do what other people do, I end up injured or I take a ridiculous amount of time to recover.  I doubt it's in my head b/c it pisses me off to no end and each time I think I'm finally going to be injury free, something else hurts.  

I tried to run today since I had not run since Sunday and my knees were finally feeling fine.  My right knee took longer to feel better, but I was fine with no discomfort this morning.  Started a slow run on the treadmill and could feel the stiffness right away.  I thought maybe it just needed to loosen up but by 1.8 I was struggling to even finish out with 2 miles.  PAIN in that right knee.  *sigh* Oh I should try to be positive...the left knee felt fine?!?!?

I have considered that being a vegetarian might be slowing my recovery times but I've been tested and my blood levels always show I'm fine, no vitamin deficiencies.  I eat tons of protein, love greek yogurt...

I would think it has to do with age, but even when I started running in my late 20s I was plagued with injuries and pain (and why I quit back then) 

I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia years ago but my Dr. told me it's just what they tell people when they don't know what's wrong.  I found that Vitamin D greatly helped me and I have no more soreness/pain on a normal day...but maybe this running recovery issue is related?

I just think after running for over a year consistently, building up my miles, taking it slow, adjusting and adjusting...that I would have gotten somewhere.  I'm seeing a lot of people post about how they ran their 10 miles and could have gone further, they are ready for the half.  I feel the complete opposite.  Sure I ran 10 miles, but it was hard, painful (where have my FUN, Spiritual, meditative, feel-fantastic runs gone?) and I hurt for DAYS afterwards.  I don't want to be pushed around in a wheelchair the rest of the week I'm in Disney.  Maybe my expectations are off?  I thought once I built up my runs would be just as enjoyable as the shorter runs are.

I'm sure I can walk the half.  I know I can...but I didn't put all this energy, training, sweat, tons of tears, and pain into walking a half marathon.  I want to RUN!  

I know complaining and whining about this won't change a thing, but sometimes you just have to get it out to move on. I'm putting it out here so I can let go of it b/c it's not going to do me any good to stress over it.  I'm going to run this race and I'm going to get it done.   I'm starting to try and adjust my expectations of being elated that I ran because at this point I think I might be dragging myself over the finish in pain and not feeling like I kicked that 13.1's ass as much as I thought I would.  I will be crossing the finish line though, so maybe that's the only expectation I need to hold on to!

If you made it through that, I appreciate it.  I know it's not fun to read stuff like this, but it's what's going on.  I can't sugarcoat it just because others are reading.  This is my journey and I want to record it... photos!  I'm a disgrace as a blogger but there it is. 

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Wide-angle Wednesday...Disney Style!

Wow, less than 6 weeks until The Princess Half Marathon!!  I'm seriously stunned.  I have dreamed and trained for the past year and it's getting so close!  On top of preparing for the race, I have been getting excited about going back to my happy place, and so it's double the excitement!  

I decided that I would do a Disney shot each week for the next six WAW's in honor of the upcoming race/trip.  Some of them may end up being shots I have posted in the past, but I'll try to pull up some new ones.  Today I start with one that is the background on my computer and one of my favorites.  I take MANY MANY balloon shots when I'm at WDW.  MANY.  (I'm kinda obsessed. LOL) This one is one of my favorites because if you look closely at the reflection in the balloons (look at the red one), you can see Main Street. Not sure if it will be big enough for you to see on the blog, I hope so. (if you click on the photo, it should pull up a bigger version of it)

In running news, my knees have finally recovered from my 10 mile run!  Shew!  It was sketchy there for a bit, I was in some serious pain for two days and worried I had injured my right knee.  Just overuse, so hopefully I can work on strengthening them in the coming weeks.  In fact, my training plan had me running my long runs every other week with shorter run weeks in between.  I have decided that instead of 3 shorter runs on those weeks, I should do 2 runs (seems I need more recovery time anyway after my really long runs) and do one short and one medium-ish run, somewhere around 7-8 miles. Then the other day I can do some strength training. 

 I think this will give my body the rest in between the longer runs it needs but also give me a couple more longish runs.  I feel like running long every 2 weeks may not be enough training. Throwing in a couple 7-8 mile runs seems like a good balance.  Anyway, that's the plan!  

Are you staying after the PHM to enjoy the parks?  How long?  What are your plans?  I can not get enough when it comes to Disney planning, so tell me about it, I love it! 

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Squeaking in the weekly wrap-up!

I almost just put it off until tomorrow, but tomorrow will be busy so I better get it done!  First off, I got a new camera this week.  I know you are asking what this has to do with running and also why would I need a new camera?  Well, I cannot carry my DSLR for the Princess Half.  Trust me, I contemplated it b/c photos are so important to me...but my camera is huge and lugging it for 13.1 miles while I sweat all over it would be idiotic.  I'm sure no one has ever run with a dslr. LOL.  So, I got myself a little point and shoot. 

 I tested it out and I'm fairly impressed with the images I can get with it.  They need a little editing help, but I edit every shot I take, so it's something I would already do.  I can't get the bokeh I'm used to with my Nikon D90, but it will definitely be great for the race. I'm excited to take lots of pics!

It's got pretty good zoom ability too.

I admit I also practiced my Main Street castle shot.  I pretended the tree on the wall in the background was the castle.  Ignore the messy hair and pj top. I can't be the only insane person that thinks to practice these things, right?! LOL

The big news of the week though is that I ran TEN miles today!  Longest run to date, it took me 2 hours and 39 seconds. If you had told me I would run for 2 hours a year ago, I would tell you that you were nuts and my body couldn't sustain that long of a run without injury. 

The plan was for Dallas to run the last three miles with me but he wasn't feeling up to it and I admit, I panicked a bit.  I gave myself a nice little talking to on the way to the trail I was running on and Rey called and gave me a little pep-talk as well.  I'm going to have to run the race alone (well, with 20,000 other runner friends!) so I need to deal with training alone.

I did the run in different directions, out and back, so I could stop at the car for a GU and some water.  I ran 3, then 4, then 3.   The last 1.5 miles, my BFF dropped her daughter and Savannah off farther down the trail and they walked in my direction.  I passed them up and then after turning around, I caught up with them the last .5 miles.  It was great to have some support and something to distract me from the PAIN I was in.   Savannah kept running & walking ahead of me, it was amusing though b/c she had to hold her jeans up as she ran.  They kept falling down. LOL

The last mile was agony.  I took a couple walk breaks during the 10 miles, but it didn't really help with my knees, so in the end I just kept going, wanting it to be over.  Took a selfie with my running buddies when I finished!  

I cannot walk tonight without pain.  My right knee is killing me.  I've iced and taken probably too much Ibuprophen and Aleve.  It is a bit better than it was a couple hours ago, so I'm hoping I'll be ok tomorrow?  I have to work, which means being able to walk.  Ahem. 

Sooooo, talk to me about taping.  I have some KT tape, will it help to tape it up when I run long runs?  Has it helped you?  Would it help it NOW if I taped it or just during the run?  Is this just something I have to work through?  Will the pain go away the more long runs I get in?

I keep thinking the longer the run gets the more confident I will become but yet each time I am actually more worried that I'm going to be getting pushed around in a wheelchair after the race b/c I will end up injured.  I know worrying won't help, but will freaking out help cause that's kinda what I'm doing.  ;) 

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Wide-angle Wednesday!

Happy humpday!  We have had insane weather here, as most people in North America have this week.  Luckily I have 4wd or I would not have made it to half my petsits.  Running on Monday was done inside, however, because I cannot run in 8 inches of snow and -20 degrees!  I ran 4 miles with no heel problems and it still feels a little *tweaked* (no better way to explain it) but does not hurt.  I'm being cautious though and will do a short short run tomorrow and then do my 10 miler on Saturday or Sunday, whichever has the warmer weather.

Excited to watch all the Dopey runners headed down for marathon weekend at WDW!  Good luck with the races! 

For WAW,  a couple shots I took this morning while petsitting. The horse's name is Blue, he's so sweet! 

 Are you headed to WDW for marathon weekend?  Running 1, 2, 3, or DOPEY?!!  Have fun!  I'll be stalking  following some of you on FB & Twitter!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Interesting First Week of The Year...

Wanna know how many miles I've run in 2014 so far?  Zero.  Yep.  I promise this won't be a whiny post, so you can keep reading!  Last Saturday I ran 9 miles and my knees/legs were super sore, but they felt better about a day and a half after.  I went to the gym on NYE and ran a slow 2 mile recovery run on the treadmill...and that night I started feeling *something* in my heel/achilles area again.  

For those of you that don't dare to follow my every movement and remember every detail in my life, I was injured this past August/September with heel bursitis.  It was right where the insertion into the achilles is at the back of the heel and although I was able to walk around, I could NOT put my shoe on without burning pain when the shoe pushed on my heel.  I ended up doing crazy things like running and biking in flip-flops (not advised!) 

 and eventually in desperation, cutting the back of my shoe out so I could run.  This did work, actually, but I was already on the mend and only ran this way once before getting new shoes and healing up.  What really helped was going back to regular drop shoes instead of my minimalist shoes.

So when I started feeling the strange *burny* uncomfortable feeling in my heel the other day, I was upset. I would like to think that I can learn from my journey though, and so I put on my big girl panties, pulled out my ugly clogs, and stopped running for the week.  This is a big deal for me.  I haven't missed a training run at all since I started back up in September...and maybe that's part of the problem.  I decided to listen to my body and rest.  I haven't put on my running shoe since Tuesday and I've been wearing my clogs.  They have a big heel that takes pressure off my achilles and allows that swelling to go down.  They are uuuuuugly, but do the job! 
 Now classic Karen would be totally freaking out right now.  SEVEN WEEKS from tomorrow I will be running 13.1 miles and I have only run 2 miles this week.  I'm not sure why, maybe completing my 9 miles on Saturday, but I'm not freaking out.  I'm calm, I'm confident that I WILL complete this race and I know that I just need to listen to my body and it needs to take a moment.  I am not in any pain and I believe that come Monday I'll be able to run.  I think I caught it early enough. In the meantime, I'm having fun doing the Team RunDisney Photo-a-day challenge! 

 How was your first week of the year?!?  Have you ever just felt like... my body needs a moment, time for a mandatory rest!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014


We had a quiet night at home, Rey has already left on the road, so Savannah had her friend E over.  Just because it's a quiet night does not mean I don't go all out with the decorations.  I'm a sucker for a decorated table! 

Naturally there was a tutu and a crown or two! ;)

 Happy New Year!  Bring on 2014!  Let the amazingness begin!