Headin’ Out!

I’m about to head out for my Thursday night maintenance run! The nights are finally cooling down a wee bit here, making running slightly more bearable! I actually took the night off last Thursday, was starting to feel a little burnt out on training, and my gym workouts were aching me all over. Sometimes you have to let yourself go off schedule and take a breather!

I’m now halfway through the ToT training and have the big 8 mile run on Saturday. I like to look at the course map and see where I am at, it is so close to the end! 8 miles puts you at the end of the Wide World of Sports leg of the race. I can’t wait to run that baseball field and hopefully snag a picture with the grave diggers!

I am getting more excited about the actual Disney trip, and have started collecting things to decorate my room window with, Halloween themed of course!


About 10k short of a Half!

Just got back from my 7 mile run about half an hour ago and I have to say, I was extremely surprised and pleased with it! It went by fast for being 1 hour and 23 minutes long. I am getting very close to figuring out the key ways to distract myself. I tried to only let myself think of the actual run during my walk breaks. During running I was focusing on the Disney radio I was listening to. Tonight’s music was very fitting; Disneyland and Epcot. I am in the very early planning stages of my Disney Fairytale Wedding, and decided the theme I want for my reception is Disneyland! So all the music distracted me with thoughts of colors, table settings, decorations, etc. Before I knew it, I was at 5 miles and only had two left!

But to say that any run was “easy” is a lie, respect every mile! I did have a couple aches here and there, but for the most part felt as good from start to finish. Only 3 more miles til I reach the Tower of Terror!

Halfway to the Tower of Terror!

I just noticed this post from 3 weeks ago was posted on my old food blog!! whoops!! Enjoy!!

Tonight’s run was kind of a big deal to me. The training plan called for a 5 mile run, and I have not gone this distance since running the Krispy Kreme Challenge in early February! All my other races and trainings really have been nothing more than 5ks since then. I was very nervous about what could possibly happen. Worries of cramps, side stitches, sore knees, and shin splints danced in my head all week long. I’m not quite sure why though, since my training has practically been free of all of these ailments so far. I guess I just like to prepare for the worst!

9 o clock has been my start time for my night training lately, it’s right after the sun has set and it won’t keep me out too late at night when the days of the long runs finally set in. Also if I ever need the treadmill at the apartment gym, the place is usually deserted by then! I meant to use this run as an experiment with some salt tabs, but forgot them on my coffee table! I always seem to forget to do something before I head out! I don’t think I really ended up needing them anyway, I was surprisingly not salt coated when I came back. I had eaten a pasta dinner about 2 hours prior, so maybe that loaded me up unbeknownst to me.

I did however take with me on my run, a chilly pad! It’s this weird towel that is supposed to keep very cool when wet. I bought it to take with me to Disney for the hot summery days, but its supposed to be good for sports too, so I gave it a try. It did get in my way a little, and was a little uncomfortable around my neck. But it definitely did the job of keeping me cool and it was nice to have something to wipe the sweat off myself during intervals! Not sure if it will make it with me on future runs but having it waiting for me back home should be nice.

Anyway, back to the actual run. It took me 57:02 to complete the 5 miles, very close to my PR from January of 55:56! That run was before I started using intervals, and during the much cooler months. My legs felt ok for the most part, a little uncomfortable here and there. I had kind of a rough week of lots of leg training at the gym so I was expecting some weakness. But I kept my splits around the 11:30 that they have been lately, so i did not feel that it effected me much. I did feel myself walking a little slower during the walk parts than the last time I ran, but this may have been because I had to constantly adjust my towel!

All in all, I am pretty happy with where I am. Month one of training is over, a quarter done!! And I have run have the distance of the race now! I can totally do this!

The 6 mile run that became 7

Yesterday was my longest mileage ever, 6 miles on the Tower of Terror training plan. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous, especially since my last 2 runs since coming back from vacation were less than stellar. The forecast called for rain, but I was hoping to beat it. So much for that!

About 1/2 a mile in, it started to rain. It was bearable at first, but before I knew it, it was really coming down. I was completely drenched in no time. I tried to make it a mile and run in the direction of my apartment gym, which I brought the key with me just in case this very thing happened. I clocked 1.2 miles in before having to retreat to the gym. I have not had to have to do any of my weekend runs on the treadmill, and to have to do my biggest one yet on it, made me a little frustrated. And to top it all off, my music was not working on my phone anymore! Thank God for fancy gym televisions. I turned it on, and Happy Gilmore was playing. A perfect distraction!

I toweled myself off the best I could and attempted to wring out my shirt, which is not easy when it’s a tech tee. After collecting myself together, I decided to just start over. Consider the first mile in the rain a “warm up” of sorts. Just because I am stubborn and wanted to get an “‘accurate” reading of time. Which is impossible on a treadmill. It took me probably 50 minutes before realizing I was comfortable with doing my run intervals at a 5.5 mph speed. I finished with a time of 1:13:11. Definitely not what I was hoping for, but the best part about it was; I felt good. I felt I could keep going longer. My left knee and ankle were a little “twingy” but nothing bad, and felt absolutely fine on the walk back home. This usually happens when I forget to stretch my knee out before a run! Silly me!

Today I feel pretty good too, and that to me is what counts the most. I am finally starting to feel more like a runner! And the possibility of ten miles being totally doable is finally entering into my head!

Running After Disney

I just came back from a quick 4th of July trip to Disney World, and missed 2 of my training runs on my ToT schedule! 4th of July was on Thursday so that run was skipped. Does walking around Magic Kingdom from 8am to 12:30am count as runDisney training??

I had good intentions..I packed my sports bra and running capris to attempt my 3 mile run on Saturday. By the time we finished Epcot late on Friday night, I had to dip my achy legs and toes in the pool at Coronado Springs! My puppies were yelpin’! Another full day was to be had at Hollywood Studios on Saturday, and ended with Downtown Disney, and a little bit of Beach Club. Thanks to Disney’s terrible transportation system, we did not get back to our room until after midnight. The run never happened, but I do not really feel too terrible about it. Well, except the one time we were walking to the car to drive to Hollywood Studios and a runner passed us on the sidewalk and said a friendly “Good Morning!” as if he knew I was one of them and missing out on my run! Vacation obviously was not stopping him!!

But now I am home, and I am out of excuses for missing any more training runs! Tonight I had my usual gym session, today was Tabata. Tabata training is a form of interval training which you perform an activity with maximum efforts for 20 seconds, then take a ten second break. This goes on for 4 minutes straight. I was at first wondering if I was going to get in my training run tonight, as I was still recovering from the long weekend. I did my lap at the end of the workout and felt my calf feeling a little off. Oh nooo, I can’t run! There’s another excuse!

I decided when I came home I was going to at least do a 30 minute walk to get in SOME kind of activity. Every time I tell myself “I’m just going to walk today, I don’t think I can run!” I have to make myself feel guilty once I started my activity. I decided to throw in a little tabata running into the walk. I ran at a faster pace, feeling myself huffing and puffing a little each time I ran. After each 4 minute session I walked for a few minutes until I felt comfortable enough to do another tabata. I did 4 of them in the 30 minutes, so I ran half and walked half. This resulted in a 2.42 mile training run. Not terrible for coming back from a tiring vacation, but not my best either! I’m considering adding in more tabata into my running training, looking at it almost like speed work! I really hope my speed improves soon!

Week 3 of ToT in the Bag! All praise interval training!

I was very skeptical of interval training when I first started doing the Tower of Terror Training program. I decided I was going to run my 30 minute weekday runs straight through, and do the intervals on the long weekend distance runs. I have felt very discouraged during the first couple weeks of this training, because my speed was very slow compared to where I left off the last time I really trained for a race. It looks like this was all temporary, or I just needed to switch to night running! I am a total convert to night running during the summer, instead of getting up early, as I was in the beginning! This is a night race after all.

So for the intervals, I have been doing 4 minutes of running and 1 minute of walking. The first few times I did this, my splits were around 11:30 or 12 minutes! I was so disappointed! I was considering looking for a different method, but figured I would give it a few more shots as I got more used to running on a schedule again. Today was a 3 mile run, and I have to say it was probably my best 3 mile run ever. While I have been able to do a 30:30 5k, which is my best time ever, today’s run was 30:59 for 3.03 miles. As far as I am concerned, this is a PR for me. If I can run a 10:13 pace (according to map my run) that includes WALKING for at least 2 minutes, then my actual running pace must be really working up! I have also been trying very hard to be conscious of my form, making sure to hit that mid foot strike, and it has really helped. I used to come home with pain in my left knee, and some aching in my shins. I can come home and have my legs feel absolutely amazing now! I really want to look more into the chi running program, gotta get my hands on that book!

I hope everyone out there had great training runs this weekend!



Tower of Terror Ten Miler Training Week 2!

I am trying very hard to stick to the plan that RunDisney has on their site, and attempting to use the Galloway method on my longer weekend runs. So far running 4 minutes on, 1 minute off, feels like it is helping my body feel pretty good, but it is not helping my splits! I guess all in good time, and being injury free is a lot more important than running a PR in a Disney race.

The summer weather is already upon is in the Midlands of South Carolina, and my Thursday run, even though it was 6:30am, was subjected to 80 degree heat and humidity! It was one of my slowest runs to date, and extremely discouraging. I spoke with a few of my friends who also run and they said they were feeling the affects of the weather as well. It is very easy to get discouraged by seeing yourself only get in a short distance in 30 minutes when you used to be able to do almost 3 miles in 30!

But the worst thing you can do is let it get to you, the weather is effecting everyone right now, not just you! In the ToT Training plan, it even mentions how tempuratures over a certain degree can slow someone down by up to a minute a mile, and when they get even hotter, another minute! Going from running 10 minute miles in the winter to 11:30 in the summer is going to happen to even the most seasoned runner, but don’t let it discourage you! If anything, you should be listening to your body and what it needs to STAY COOL! Whether that is investing in a fuel belt to bring along a lot more than that tiny water bottle you are used to carrying, or wearing a silly headband to get the sweat out of your eyes, you have to do what you have to do. Your training depends on it!

With that said, last night I did my first night run of 4 miles, and the cooler temperatures of the night definitely helped a ton! My last mile was under 11 minutes and I was feeling so good, and actually having fun! Isn’t that what is most important about these races?