How I Accidentally Ran a Half-Marathon

Yes, you read that correctly. I accidentally ran a half-marathon. (I ended up covering 13.18 miles in 2:19:35…but we’ll get to that.)

I’ve run a half-marathon every year since 2012, when I ran the Disney Princess Half-Marathon. I was just remarking the other day that I probably wouldn’t run a half this year, due to the hassle of scheduling a race around my classes. I did run the 2016 Rock ‘n Roll Philly Half-Marathon, but it was the day after a 12-hour shift at the hospital, and it was honestly a grueling experience I do not want to repeat.

(Don’t be fooled by my smile. It was tough, and slow.)

I’d pretty much resigned myself to breaking my (official) streak.

I was having one of those mornings where being in my head felt pretty awful. Luckily, running has been a pretty solid way for me to shake it off. I started my watch with no particular goal in mind. I would just run until I felt okay.

Now, you have to keep in mind, I haven’t been running regularly lately – maybe once a week. So it was pretty wild that I managed to run such a good “race.”

The first mile of a run almost always feels shaky to me. My body seems to be saying, “You’re doing this again? Why, please? You’re so close to the couch!”

At mile three, I still felt terrible. I hoped it was just taking time for me to get in the groove. Mile five was no better, so I kept going. I was two neighborhoods away from my own during mile eight, but still no closer to feeling better, so I kept going.

This flooding water fountain was a heavenly sight at mile 10.

I started feeling a bit better (and a bit exhausted!) around mile 12. But then I was so close to a half! So I turned around at the entrance to my neighborhood (which would have left me at 12.25 miles) to do a little loop. That twelfth mile slayed me. I just wanted to be done. Physically, I felt okay. Mentally, I was spent. I felt like…what was the point? Why did I just run a half for absolutely no reason?!

You can kind of see my lack of training in my splits. Yikes. (9:50, 9:44, 9:56, 9:50, 10:08, 10:18, 9:54, 10:13, 11:09, 11:23 (WATER!), 11:45 (wait…I still have to run?), 12:01 (okay, I’m ready to be done), 11:15.)

Well…I wanted to prove I could make it. I’m just making it through every day. Most days I am just satisfied I’m surviving. But sometimes, I’m pretty freakin’ happy with myself, and today is one of those days.

I may break my official streak, but I’m happy to say I’ve still run my 2017 race, even if it was unplanned.

 

Disney Princess Half-Marathon: Part II

A princess race…but there was no line for the race car drivers of the Richard Petty Driving Experience!  So of course, I jumped on it!  At this point in the race, I wasn’t feeling very well, and I was determined to pace myself (one of my strengths as a runner is I’m very, very good at determining my pace and sticking with it, I run very even splits most of the time), walk as needed, and make it to the Magic Kingdom at all costs.  I remember walking quite a bit around the Speedway, and it was really discouraging that I was only a bit over a 5k at this point.  I was coughing a lot.

I had a long way to go, and I doubted I could make it.  I was coughing a lot at this point, (I’ve mentioned this before, but I’ll mention it again…the night before the race, I was sneezing my brains out and coughing up hairballs.  It was just so, so awful, and as an incredibly optimistic person, it had been a long time since I felt so low and so hopeless.  I thought there was no way I could run in just a few hours.)  I had to just keep moving forward.  I kept a smile on my face because it’s DISNEY WORLD and I had been dreaming about this for so long.

I loved seeing all the strong, evil Disney villains–I’d never seen ANY of these in the parks before!  I was especially excited to see Cinderella’s step-sisters and step-mother, who were hamming it up and were absolutely evil.  This whole line-up made my day completely amazing.  I began looking forward to ditching my sweater (here, I ditched it in line before the photos every time), because carrying it was getting really annoying.  I began to have a little hope that I would make it past the Magic Kingdom, and more people in costume cheered me up. I blasted my music and focused on enjoying as much as I could.  My coughing, for the most part, got a little better, and I settled into a regular walk-run pattern.

A blurry photo as I ran past the Contemporary and under a tunnel.  Here was a DJ, and I really liked waving to him.  There were also acrobats on trampolines!  Whoa!

As we ran toward Space Mountain and the Magic Kingdom, I began to feel like utter crap.  I mean, the race was mostly flat, and I trained on hills, but I was still sick.  I could not stop coughing.  I dug out my inhaler (I can only use it twice in a four-hour period, so I knew I had to use it sparingly) and…

it made a WORLD of difference.  Here I am at the next mile marker, happy and upbeat, right before entering the TTC.

At this point, I knew I was going to make it through the race.  I was so, so happy and I felt SO much better.  I also ditched my sweater, giving it to a Cast Member (not even sure if they were on duty…oops), and I felt FREE!

I also saw my parents as I ran through the TTC!  They shouted my name and I almost tripped because I ran past them.  I wasn’t expecting to see them till Mile 8, and it made me INCREDIBLY happy and gave me a huge boost.  As excited as I was to race, running such a huge race, and my first race in another state, alone can be a little intimidating.  I told them I was running strong and I’d see ’em later.  I could only hope that they’d make it to Mile 8 with plenty of time, because I knew that although I ran strong now, I would need a pick-me-up later.  I’d heard traveling from viewpoints could be difficult.  I ran past the drummers from Epcot and all I could think about was running down Main Street.

I had dreamed of this moment for so long.

After asking a CM where the nearest bathroom was (a real bathroom! Not a port-a-potty!), I used a precious four minutes to duck out of the race and it was SO worth it.  My favorite parts were smiling at the little girls in the bathroom (who were wide-eyed that I had a tutu on!), and re-ducking under the line to run back onto Main Street! Hehe.

Everything was all lit up, and it was truly breathtaking to be running down this street.  It was over far too quickly.

I grabbed another photo in front of Cinderella’s Castle (after all, when else is there going to be an unobstructed view?!):

You can see my running shorts peeking out from under the tutu here…it may be silly, but I actually loved wearing it throughout the race.  It made me feel like a true princess for the day.

It was in the MK that I began to feel unstoppable.  I was on such a Disney high–and there were even more characters!

I was excited to see tons of characters I’ve never taken photos with.

I ran through Tomorrowland and Fantasyland (under construction for the extension), where I *just* missed the line closing for Cinderella & Prince Charming.  I’d NEVER seen them in the parks, so I was super bummed, but the sight of the carousel quickly cheered me up.  And at this point, I had stopped at every character available…one of my goals for the race (okay, besides finishing, it was my only goal!)  I was determined to make the most of my race!  Even when I registered for the race, I knew I wanted it to be my first one so I wouldn’t be shooting for a time goal.  As long as I continued feeling great and not coughing, I knew I’d be good.

I kept about a 12-min-per-mile pace through the MK, and then I heard trumpets:

Aaaah!  I was so excited to run through the castle!

Up Next:

In Which I Meet Two Princesses, Get Passed by Orange Bikers, and Run Like Mad: Disney Princess Half-Marathon: Part III

Super Bowl Sunday Shenanigans

Saturday night, I ended up chatting with one of my friends about half-marathons, so I didn’t fall asleep till past two am…but long run at 10 am the next day we did! Huge thanks to L for accompanying me on the beautiful trail even when he was exhausted. We took a few stretching breaks and did our best to ignore our rumbling stomachs. We hit six miles at 1:17…at the entrance of the dining hall. Perfect timing!

Sandwiched between L and Mel. Yes, we are THOSE people that ran straight to the dining hall instead of showering…yikes. The BF isn’t pictured…but he showed up to enjoy my sweaty company, anyway. What a trooper.

After a relaxaing afternoon, we all piled into the lounge to watch the game on the projector. Go Giants! Wooo!

(Cheering the team on after stuffing ourselves with pizza and chicken wings!)

Yup, just some college students having fun. But I’ve gotta say…Mel is a big fan of creepy photos.

(Like this one. Girl knows how to capture my beauty, let me tell ya.)

I’m still recovering from my food coma, phew.

Did you watch the game?!

It’s Monday. I’m exhausted and swimming in homework. Any concentration tips?

Go Long!

The past two Sundays, I’ve been going long. 7 and 8 miles, both new distances for me! (1:38 and 1:40 respectively). It was pretty eye-opening to see how much faster I run outside rather than on the treadmill.

I was so proud of my 8-miler that I took a photo:

(Yaaaaay! 8 miles!)

It was a nice, relaxing run. I love Sunday long runs. They give me time to meditate, ruminate, and, I admit, belt out some Flight of the Conchords alongside Taylor Swift. (Yep, I’ve got quite an eclectic mix of music.)

I’ve been trying more gym classes–I tried a dance class yesterday and Zumba’d it up today! On top of that, I ran a quick three miles with a friend. Half-marathon training and socializing has never been so exhausting!

My roomie, Mel, smuggled me back a s’mores bar from the cafeteria:

(These are addicting. Oooh, my.)

Anyway, I’m running five miles tomorrow with a bud! YAY for half-marathon training! Time for bed…schoolwork + social life + training is exhausting.

What’s your latest food addiction?

I was talking with a friend yesterday, and while I thought about running as a love and an addiction, she thought about it like a love/hate relationship…what do you think?

How NOT to Run, and the Amazing Blogger Award!

Wisdom is doing something and going, “Oh, dangit, now I know!” Workout-wise, the past few days were…interesting.

My Saturday, aka: How NOT to Run

First, decide that you’re not going to run today! Nope, you are definitely not running. You are having a relaxing day at the beach. Get ready to slather on the sunscreen!

As a result of you having a nice relaxing day, have a HUGE breakfast.
Lots of fiber. Grilled peanut butter and apple sandwich. With two apples. Oh yeaaah. This is the kind of breakfast you’d like to sleep off on the beach.

Ten minutes before you leave, make a snap decision! You’re running! And it’s going to be a long run. Oh boy.

Make sure your Garmin’s not charged! Hasn’t been charged in a while? EVEN BETTER.

Throw everything you think you need into your backpack. Make sure you forget your headband so your hair flops crazily all through the run! It’s the latest fashion, you know.

While you’re at it, leave your Body Glide at home, too.

Arrive at the beach at approximately 11 am. Decide to start your run at the hottest part of the day. Luckily, you HAVE packed sunscreen.

Run your four miles! =D

All joking aside, this run was actually awesome!! There are some days I just get the itch to run like crazy. This was my first official 4 mile run ever! Yay! I kept it slow and steady, so I had 4.03 in 49:45.

Did I learn, though? NAH! The day after, I ran two miles in the rain (24:52), effectively destroying my phone.

Bad move on my part. Darn rain. Now I know–next time, my phone’s going in a plastic baggie. The run was peaceful and fun, though, so at least that was good. =D

In other news, the lovely Paola over at Sol de Luna tagged me for the Amazing Blogger Award! Thanks, Paola! Her blog is absolutely awesome, definitely check it out!

1) Favorite cartoon character?

(I love
Stitch. “O’hana means family,” is a sucker line for me every time. Lilo & Stitch remains one of my favorite movies.)

2) Favorite thing to photograph?


(I do enjoy photographing food, of course. Deep dish pizza in Chicago!)

(But I truly love photographing architecture while I travel. In front of the Louvre in Paris, France.)


3) Favorite thing to cook?
I do love breakfast. I rarely photograph it, because it’s similar. I love egg with salsa over brown rice, or a grilled pb sandwich with an apple. YUM.

4) Favorite way to exercise?
Running, swimming, and biking! I love all three! =D They each teach me a new appreciation for what my body can do.

(I get the kookiest looks on my face when I run, though. I can’t help it–I’m so happy.)


5) Favorite movies:
After Lilo & Stitch, I love Catch Me If You Can. The musical is just as awesome.

(Why hello, Leo. His Broadway counterpart, Aaron Tveit, portrays Frank Jr. fantastically.)

6) Favorite clothing:
Sundresses!


(Often layered over something else. In Chicago.)


7)Favorite flower?
Sunflowers and carnations. They tied.

8) Favorite breakfast?
Scrambled egg with cheddar inside two waffles. *swoon*
Really, I could eat breakfast food all day long. I love almost all kinds of breakfast food, it’s hard to pick!

9)Favorite book?
I love many, but lately I’m loving Invincible Summer by Hannah Moskowitz. Stop making me cry, Hannah!!

10) What is your least favorite food?
Peas. I like sugar snap peas, but regular peas…ick. I try to be an equal opportunity vegetable lover, but peas are a skip every time for me. Who knows why….

(I sure don’t.)

11) What would your dream job be?
I want to be an event planner for Walt Disney World. I admire their gold standard of customer service, and I love the area of hospitality.


(But first, I would love to intern here!)

12) What is your favorite salad topper?
That’s easy! Black beans!

(Though from that photo, you might think it’s grapes….)

13) Do you have a running mantra?
Yes! Mine is: “Keep moving forward.” No matter how slow I’m going, as long as I keep going, every step is a success. As long as I continue my exercise ventures and try new things, I’ll discover things about myself and the world around me I never would have if I had sprawled on my couch.

It’s a shortened version of this quote, because the short version is easier to chant:

“Around here, however, we don’t look backwards very long, we keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things, because we’re curious…and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.”

–Walt Disney

Have you had a bad workout recently? Did you learn anything from it?

Because I’m about to go on vacation…what was one of your favorite places to visit on vacation?

The Party That Never Stops

So, since high school has finished up…I went to prom last night!

PROMPROMPROM. (Okay, I had to get that out of my system. *phew*)

Now, I am not a girly, extravagant sort of person. Yet, for some reason, prom still gives me the jitters and I get ridiculously excited. It helps that my date was absolutely wonderful.

No workouts, just dancing! A very good Friday indeed.


(Please excuse my messy living room. Painting your nails > tidying up, right?)

Anyway, I didn’t get back till four am (due to traffic…yes, traffic)! For this early riser, it was super late. I didn’t fall asleep till around 5:30.

I may have indulged in some fantastic ice cream cake at prom and a chocolate croissant when I got home, but hey, it’s prom! Only happens once. (Okay, well, twice for me, but I’m just going to stand by that. Indulging = perfectly okay on fancy occasions. Heck, indulging is just okay overall in my mind!)

After waking up at noon and lounging around my house, I decided I should actually DO something today and headed to the gym.

Since I felt so good with running before and there’s a local 5k coming up, I decided to see if I could run one. I could! I averaged about a 12:00 pace (once tuuuuuurtle pace for me), because I didn’t want to push it. I ran the 5k in 37:22. Now I think it’ll be safe to run the official race on Saturday, no matter how slowly. I just hope registration isn’t filled and the t-shirts aren’t gone yet. I ran the same 5k about one year ago, so it’ll be neat to do it again.

I also did strength training. I could only manage about 10 lbs on the shoulder press, which is sort of pitiful. I’m going to work on that. I think I’ll look up similar exercises to do at home, too.

The only thing that got me through it was “Give Me Everything” playing on repeat in my head, from last night. Sometimes I love when music gets stuck in my head and distracts me. I replayed my favorite moments from last night while I worked out–it was a continued party! Hey, at least it made the workout more fun. Blech, shoulder presses.

Do you have a local race you’ve run more than once?

And, more importantly, what song is stuck in your head at the moment? “Give Me Everything” can’t last me forever!

Couldn’t Wait for Weights!

Ten past midnight–it’s officially Friday!

Lots of exciting events happened this week!

Monday was my first LONG RUN in about three months (thanks, dailymile!). Granted, “long” is twenty minutes for me now (and probably under two miles…my Garmin had died.) Still, it’s a HUGE improvement when I had to stop after six minute intervals (and I could only run two segments of six, so it’s a big deal!). I’m really pleased.

On Tuesday, I realized that the HIKING TRIP OF DOOM I signed up for departs on August 19th. That’s just about two months away, and I know my muscles have been quite comfy being wimpy lately. I headed to the gym for a vigorous ride on the wonderful Expresso bike. Nothing beats a ride outside, but my area isn’t the greatest for biking…so to the gym it was!

My weights workout took me about an hour. Everything is 12 reps, three sets:

Torso Rotation (30 lbs)
Seated Leg Curl (40 lbs)
Leg Extension (35 lbs)
Glute (or as I skillfully call it, the skip/push machine!) (45 lbs)
Seated Leg Press (40 lbs)
Fly (30 lbs)
Abdominal (30 lbs)
Row/rear Deltoid (30 lbs)
Shoulder Press (15 lbs)
Chest Press (15 lbs)
Triceps Press (30 lbs)

I was keeping track, and I starred the ones I had the hardest times with.

**Leg extension – (this machine was broken today, so I didn’t try it…)
**Row/Rear Deltoid – I can’t imagine what it must be like to row crew! Whoa. I kinda like this one, in a struggling, tough way.
*****Shoulder Press – HOLY COW. I only lifted fifteen lbs the first time, and I was struggling to maintain perfect form by the third set. Today was MUCH better, but it’s clear that these muscles (and my arms in general) are a weak point.
**Chest Press – (Okay. Tough, but manageable.)
Triceps Press – The first day, the machine was busy, and that was enough excuse for me. My muscles were so tired. Today, I tackled that machine NO PROBLEM.

Today was fine, but on Tuesday, I was like…I have to do more of this?!

YIKES.

Muscles learn so quickly, though! I’m really amazed. I’m working my way up to 40 lbs (the size of the backpack I’ll be carrying) by the end of July.

Wednesday I had a picnic in Central Park with friends. It was fantastic, and afterward we walked down to Times Square and through several stores. I might have picked up several items in Forever 21 (all for the good purpose of working out my arms, of course!). Hehe.

I came equipped with a whole wheat bagel thin topped with pb and banana,


and a bento box chock full of baby carrots, blueberries, and watermelon.


(Eating something in a pink container makes it cool, right?)

Today, I felt like quite the bad-a** with the weights. I dread lifting, but I know it’s so good for me. There’s nothing like pushing yourself! (Plus, I get to have an ice-cold glass of milk afterward, in the name of protein and fuel.)

I had a gigantic salad for dinner with romaine, corn, black beans, cantaloupe, cucumbers, pineapple salsa, and grilled asparagus.


(Note to self: next time–more cantaloupe, fewer cucumbers! They were a little bitter.)

While I had the grill out, I grilled a banana with crushed walnuts and cinnamon, and topped it off with honey. Delish!

Here’s to a great weekend!

Monday: 15 min. swim + 20 min. run.
Tuesday: 50 min. bike (9.1 miles) + 60 min. weights
Wednesday: LOTS OF WALKING
Thursday: 30 min. bike + 60 min. weights, 60 min. recumbent bike
Friday: Rest!

Week’s Total: 4 hours, 55 min.

What’s the toughest strength workout for you? What are your favorite machines (and the most dreaded)?