Thursday, November 29, 2012

Race Info

A week and a half before White Rock.  I started getting tired of all the training and just wanted the race to be here now.  Then I got an email with information about packet pick-up.  If I could have, I would have done a happy dance around my office, but then people would have been staring.  The website has some new information, including a list of expo vendors, and a picture of the corrals.  It looks like there will be 3.

Unlike Disney races, I do not need to be in my corral an hour or more beforehand.  I don't think I mentioned all the walking that was required to get to my corral during the Princess.  Major fail in my opinion.  Those corrals were maybe a half mile from the EPCOT parking lot.  These corrals will be significantly closer.

The Facebook page also posted the front design for the participant's long sleeve shirt.  I'm not sure about it, but I'm not running this race for a shirt.

It's supposed to be the Margaret Hunt Hill bridge, but as someone pointed out, it looks like the St. Louis Arch.  They have not posted the design for the finisher's medal or shirt yet, but I'm on the lookout for them.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The Post-Vacation Haze

OK, well yesterday was back to reality.  It was wonderful being on vacation for a week, but I had to go back to work :(  Yesterday morning I was in a complete haze until about 10am, and thankfully nothing major happened.  I was not going to be able to think fast and luckily I didn't have to.

The weather right now is a bit weird, and today's morning temperature was a good swing lower than yesterday's.  I have also taken to watching the weather forecast as I get closer to Dec. 9th.  I have all sorts of workout gear at the ready in case it's warmer, in case I need running tights, and anything in between.  This is Texas weather, and even in early December, it can be quite unpredictable.

Last night I wanted some comedy, and since the choice of Monday Night Football was definitely not appealing, I put in a movie, My Favorite Year.  I highly recommend this movie, it's hysterical.  You have Peter O'Toole essentially playing himself, and his character is based on Errol Flynn.  The story behind it is from executive producer Mel Brooks' time at Sid Caesar's "Your Show of Shows" when Errol Flynn was a guest star.  It was a good way to wind down my first day back at work.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Random Sunday Musings 11/25

Well, I'm back from Thanksgiving.  It's back to reality until Christmas, but I do have my half marathon in two weeks :)  I am definitely NOT one who supports Black Friday.  I buy stuff from October through December so I can spread purchases out, and I don't believe in camping out.  Not to mention, the Hellish reports the news posts each year helps me steer clear of any of the shops.

This week was a relaxing week, but I did manage to stay active during vacation.  Sunday I did 40 minutes of spin, Tuesday I did a cardio circuit at my college, and then Thursday was the 5k.  I realized the last time I was in my alma mater's fitness center was 5+ years ago, when we were lining up for graduation.  I had a couple of those moments this week, but it was good to get away for Thanksgiving.

My tapering will continue as I get closer to the race.  I switched up my weekend routine and biked Saturday since I flew back Friday.  Black Friday was the best time to fly back.  I was the third person in the security line at Logan, and the airport was a little quiet.  I can't imagine what it's like today.

I also put up my tree!  I was bored Saturday afternoon and the college football games weren't keeping my attention.  I put on Christmas music and assembled the tree.  I have ornaments I got in Russia, Ratatouille ornaments, an AristoCats ornament, Starbucks ornaments, and penguin ornaments.

What is your favorite Christmas carol?  I think my favorite nostalgic song is Burl Ives' "Holly Jolly Christmas", and a new favorite is the "Christmas Can-Can" from Straight No Chaser.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanksgiving 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!  I do hope everyone's holiday was good and possibly gluttoness.  I did not over eat, but was certainly hit with sleepyness.  About 2 hours ago I was ready to konk out but managed to stay awake.  If I napped after 5pm, I'd be up for quite a bit tonight.

This morning we did a 5k in town, which benefits cancer research.  It was a great way to spend the morning since we would not have been doing much anyway.  We do not watch the New York parade due to the huge amount of commercialization.  The only parade we watch on TV is the Rose Parade.  The route went from a main part of town, to the Wellesley College campus, through parts of it, through the "Scream Tunnel," and back.

Afterwards, we came back, had French Toast, and prepared for the meal.  This trip has been perfect and just what I needed.  I've had a difficult couple of months personally, and I needed to get out of the state for a little bit.  I'm ready to go back home and get ready for the final couple of weeks before my race.  I even came up with a race to do next year!  It's the last week of April, and it'll give me time to recover, and then train.  I'll use a different training plan for it since I've been feeling tired with this training.

I'm also thankful that I was able to spend this vacation not only with my parents, but with the family furbabies.  Tomorrow is the 6th anniversary when we brought Hudson home.

He was such a tiny furball, and now he's the strongest cat we've ever had.  He's also a wimp.  When he growls, it certainly doesn't sound like a growl, and then he runs.

The other furbaby is Hathaway.

It's been great being with these two.  I can talk and email with my parents, but I can't do that with these boys.  I've been able to fluff them, listen to them talk and generally enjoy my family.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Compression Sleeves

I bought another pair of Zensah compression calf sleeves yesterday.  My parents live close to a popular running store in the Boston area, Marathon Sports, and I bought a pair of hot pink sleeves.  When I initially needed a pair of compression sleeves, I had these grandiose plans of buying an outrageous color, but then chickened out and bought basic black.

These sleeves have been great, and I wear them whenever I'm running.  I've needed them for over a year now after I tried a new weight machine and it backfired.  I made sure to use a light weight and low reps since it wasn't something I had done before, but it strained a part of my right calf that hasn't healed fully.  I figure the only way it'll heal fully is if I stop running.  That just ain't gonna happen.  Now I got enough courage to buy the color I wanted in the first place. Hot pink!

Anybody else have calf issues?  At least there's a way I can have fun with this problem.  I can add some color to my running outfit.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Random Sunday Musings 11/18

I lived through Thanksgiving travel!  OK, so the travel was yesterday and not on Wednesday.  I wouldn't do that to myself anyway.  I can't handle airports in general and I just know a big travel day like the Wednesday before Thanksgiving is 100 times worse than normal airport hours.  I did have to be at the airport before the crack of dawn, and navigating the DFW connector project at 4-whateverAM is not the easiest.  I have no idea when that project will be done, but it won't be soon enough!  Breakfast was Starbucks, well second breakfast at any rate.

Thursday turned out to be a rest day for me because I was meeting friends at the Allen Americans game.  The NHL may be in a strike, but thankfully I can still get my hockey fix.  The Americans are a minor league team, and Allen is 3 towns north of Dallas.  Sadly, they did not win Thursday, but it was still fun to go.  They looked sluggish after a long road trip, but they did end up putting up a fight at the end of the game.  Instead of losing by two or more goals, they only lost by one.

Today I'll be heading to a spin class.  I haven't done a spin class in quite a long time, so it'll be nice to change things up but still be able to do cardio.  I am tapering, but I can't just rest completely for the next 3 weeks.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Will Run for Wine

It came!  Sweaty Bands advertised this band on Facebook and I didn't feel like listening to the part of me saying don't buy it.  It was a splurge, and I love it!

That makes it a total of 4 currently in my collection of Sweaty Bands.

I started tapering this week.  I'll get more rest in next week during Thanksgiving, but I'm now less than a month away from my second half :-)

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Dallas Half Playlist

I've been slowly adding new songs to my long run playlist and this weekend I decided to put the songs in order for the half.  It's a slight change from my workout pattern.  For workouts I have a walking song first so I can warm up the muscles, but during the Princess I had a running song first so I could flow with the crowd.  I'm doing that this time around too since people take off in the corrals and I don't want to be a hazard for the people around me.  Walking to the start line and moving around in the corral before the start should be enough to warm up the muscles, plus I bet I'll be running slowly at first until the crowd spreads out.

This playlist is 100% different from my first one.  For the Princess, I went with a soundtrack theme since I could choose long songs to get me through the training runs.  I could get Broadway songs in the list which are more than 5 minutes long, and it seemed perfect.  This time, I've gone with whatever I like, so there's not really a specific theme to it.  I've kept some of my staples, but I also removed some of my other staples, which hurt, but I found other songs that work much better.  The songs that I have left from the Princess list are "Belle" "Countess of Cathleen" "We Built this City" "Free Bird" "Chariots of Fire" "Shout" "Almost There" "Mamma Mia" (movie soundtrack version) and "Dig a Little Deeper."  My favorite song I added since Princess is "Edge of Seventeen."

And look what I bought today!  I went out during my lunch break and bought the DVD.  I even have the opening song of Brave in my playlist.  It's short, so I paired it with two other short songs and I'll use all three as a running segment.  What are some y'all's favorite songs to run to?

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Random Sunday Musings 11/11

Happy Veterans' Day y'all.  A big shout out to all who have served and all who are serving.

Yesterday I ran 9 miles, and that will be the last long long run before my half.  I could've done 10, but after the week I've had, I was tired and my muscles were tight.  No sense in risking an injury this close to the race, and 9 miles is pretty good too.  I met my cousin for lunch at the Cheesecake Factory, and I did indeed order my staple cheesecake, the Tuxedo.


If you remember from my Halloween 5k recap, I mentioned I got out my cold-gear Under Armour for the race.  Well, I found out that I needed new winter gear.  My Under Armour is about 9 years old, and the shirts at the time weren't cut for women.  The darn thing kept riding up my torso during my run, and I was very grateful that I was wearing another shirt on top of the UA.  Today I went shopping to see what I could find, and if I could find one of the UA shirts I saw on their website.  In a word, no, Dick's did not have it, but I did find a Nike shirt that look similar, and even had the thumb holes I wanted.  I get to test it out on Thanksgiving day during the next 5k I'm scheduled to run.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Sweaty Bands

What do you use to keep the hair out of your face?  I spent years trying to figure out what to do with my wisps and fly-aways, and nothing I tried worked.  There was the usual pre-wrap band in high school, but those were either too loose and fell off during practice and games, or too tight and I'd get a headache.  I seemed to give up in college, but the annoyance reappeared full bore when I got back into shape.  There's no way I'm cutting my hair, but I had to find something, and find it fast!  Enter Sweaty Bands.

I found them at one of the stores I go to here in North Texas, and decided to buy one and try it out.  They say they really don't slip, so I was willing to test that claim.  And can I just say... it works!  The one time I had a band fall off was during a run in which I was heading into a gail-force wind and it didn't matter which direction I was running in.  North, south, east or west, it didn't matter, I was heading straight into that wind.  They've updated the bands since I bought my first one, and now there's a strip of velvet on the underside of each one to make the fit more snug and now they really really really don't slip. 

(L) no velvet (R) with velvet

The designs certainly test my fortitude, but I do currently have 3, and today I splurged and bought another one.  They advertised the new one on Facebook, and I didn't even think about it.  I wanted it, and with the way I'm feeling right now, I could've swept a few more designs into the cart, but I did, in fact, show some restraint (yay! and boo! at the same time).

So, what do you use?

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

My Disney History

People have wondered why I'm so into Disney.  Well, I didn't stand much of a chance.  The very first stuffed animal I had was a Winnie the Pooh my dad got me the day I was born.  Since he had to be stitched and stuff and the music box inserted before that day, he's older than I am.  He's faded and his shirt has some holes, but he still plays the theme music, and he's soaked up many of my tears over the years.

I was raised on the Disney channel and Disney movies.  Many of the Disney movies I watched were recorded off the Disney channel, at a time in which there actually wasn't any commercials during the movies.  That unfortunately has changed :-/  The first solid memory of me seeing a movie in the theater is watching the Little Mermaid.  The memory itself is during Ursula's song, Poor Unfortunate Souls.  That experience carried over into my first trip to Disneyland when I wasn't quite five.  One of the days, I entertained the entire Submarine ride looking for Ariel and Sebastian.

My thesis during junior year of high school had to be on American history, and I chose Walt Disney.  I got to research not only Walt, but how he and company changed the face of entertainment.  They were working in animation, but the company was the first in so many things, and Walt himself pushed the company to fulfill his ideas and dreams.

Of course, I chose WDW to fulfill my dream of running my first half marathon.

Movies have changed now, and more and more I find myself going to the theater to watch strictly Disney and Pixar films, and many of my DVDs are of those companies' DVDs.  This year I have only seen Brave and Frankenweenie in theater, and I really don't know if I want to see any others before getting them through Netflix.

Brave comes out next week, and I'll definitely moved DVDs around to make room :)

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Random Sunday Musings 11/4

I got back to training this week after taking it easy between my 10-mile run and my 5K.  I did 6.25 miles yesterday, and I've been testing some Christmas music to see which songs would be good to have during my half.  I got 2 of them after random shuffling and they did work, so those two are keepers.  Those songs are a medley from Robert Greenidge and "Fum Fum Fum" by Mannheim Steamroller.  I really like my CD of Robert Greenidge's "a Coral Reefer Christmas."  He is Jimmy Buffett's steel drummer, and he incorporates the steel drums into the Christmas music.  Now that I live in a place that isn't supposed to get snow in December, it's a nice spin on the music.

Today I'll stay home and do some yoga stretching.  I've noticed now that I've done 3 double-digit runs my hips tend to get tight after a certain distance, and I definitely need to stretch those.  I also found some exercises that might help with the weak points in my hips, and I'm hoping I can build those slowly.  I don't want to overdo it before Dec. 9 and be injured on race day.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Goody Bags

After some of the good loot I got in my Trek or Treat goody bag, I started thinking about the differences between that one and the Disney Princess goody bag.  I understand Disney is trying to go green, so the flyers were all online ahead of time, but there's just something about dumping out all the stuff from a goody bag and sorting through it.  Anybody look forward to their race goody bag?  My favorite item from Trek or Treat was a new nail file since I already needed a new one.  You can tell in the picture I've already used it :-p 

I also got a caffeine Clif gel and a Clif protein bar, both of which are currently unconsumed.  I'm also a sucker for the shirts races provide.  I did a 10K last year in which I had to pay extra for the shirt and opted not to.  The shirt I got in my goody bag from Trek or Treat is a Brooks long-sleeve tech shirt, and it really is WISH green (WISH being a running group with t-shirts the same color green).  The women's shirts were the WISH green and the men's shirts were neon orange.  I kept thinking I was seeing WISHers along the race course.

What are some of your favorite items in a goody bag?  What has been your favorite surprise?  I'm looking forward to the Dallas expo next month to see what I get.