Quad and Knee Running Injury Update and Info

Hola friends! If you have been following along, you may have noticed a lack of running social media posts. Or maybe you watch my Instagram stories talking about how I have been injured since the runDisney Princess half. I wanted to share an update with you on my progress in case anyone is going through the same or similar thing.

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Honestly, I’m still not 100% sure what happened. I was running really well leading up to Princess, and getting faster over short distances due to Orange Theory Fitness. I had run up to a 10 mile training run, which is not out of the ordinary for me leading up to a half marathon, especially one I am not running all out/am running for fun like Princess.

I haven’t had a running injury in a LONG time, so you can imagine my frustration when leg pain I had at the very end of the half and then the few days after….never fully went away. Let me back up. I noticed the last mile or two of the Princess half that my upper middle portion of my quad was hurting as I lifted that leg to pull it forward for a stride. I chalked it up to a tweak and sore muscles from running 13.1 miles and went on my way. I had a hard time walking that night, but thought after a good night’s sleep I would feel better the next day.

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Interestingly enough, the next day my quad pain had subsided by about half, but the pain had shifted down to the inside of my kneecap. So strange I know. I took some Motrin, stretched a bit, and continued on walking around the parks for two days. The pain would get progressively worse during the day, then feel much better (but still there) by morning. I got home on Wednesday, and took two full days off before going back to Orange Theory on Friday. It felt like someone was stabbing me in the inside of my knee, and my quad hurt when I rowed. I was dumb and ran through it. I took the whole weekend off, stretching and foam rolling and tried again Monday. The pain continued, but this time I was (a bit ) smarter about it and did the elliptical instead of the treadmill in class. After that class I was still having issues and knew I needed to make a decision.

Fortunately, OTF allows you to freeze your account for a month for $15 instead of paying the monthly fee and not using it. I started foam rolling and stretching every day, and did zero cardio. After another week of this, I started slowly adding in some strengthing exercises I found online. After 3.5 weeks, I decided to try going for a walk/run with some KT Tape on. while my leg definitely felt better than it had been, I was still having tightness and pain. After talking to a couple of doctor friends, the consensus was as long as it was getting better and not staying at the same pain level, it was probably a tear that needed more time to heal. Apparently 3.5 weeks is not enough. They told me to try walking but STOP if it hurts, and then eventually move to running, but never running through pain. Also to keep stretching etc.

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I followed their advice, and after another week tried walking a mile, then slowly went up to 1.5 miles throwing in a few short runs, and now I am up to 2 miles run walking with no pain. I am also still foam rolling and stretching daily like it’s my job, and wearing KT tape. so my timeline was as follows:

Sunday February  26: Injury occurs.

Monday-Tuesday 27/28: Walking all day at Disney parks

Wednesday/Thursday 1/2: rest completely and stretch/foam roll

Friday 3: OTF…lots of knee pain, some quad pain

Saturday and Sunday 4/5: complete rest, with stretching/rolling

Monday 6: OTF, still pain even on elliptical

Tuesday 7: Freeze OTF account, stretch and roll rest of this week and the next plus a few days.

Thursday 23rd: Tried to go for a run, got frustrated because I still had pain and tightness. Talked to doctor friends.

Friday 24-April 5: Walk while slowly building up to adding in runs, now up to 2 miles run/walking. Still foam rolling and stretching daily. Doing PT exercises 3/4 times a week.

Of course, every injury is different, so if you have the same one as me it may take you more or less time to heal, or you may have done some sort of damage that requires surgery. I think the key for me was that the more I stayed off of it, it slowly got better. If it had stayed at the same pain level for a month, I for sure would have gone to get an MRI. This is the same leg that I have had IT band issues with in the past, so I’m not surprised that it’s giving me fits again. I know if I had incorporated daily stretching and rolling into my routine to begin with, I could have potentially saved myself 6 weeks of frustration.

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I know I am not totally out of the woods yet, but I do plan to run/walk the Star Wars half at the end of this month. Fingers crossed I can do it pain free!

QOTD: Have you had a running injury before? What did you do?

runDisney Snow White Costume Tutorial

Every year, I dress up for the runDisney Princess half marathon. For the past couple of years, my friend Jen and I have been super creative with matching costumes, but this year we both had a lot going on, and February snuck up on us. We still wanted to dress up and “sort of” match, so we decided to go with clothing we already owned so that we just had to add a couple of accessories to our princess costumes.

Snow White Costume

I already had a yellow running skirt and blue top, so I thought Snow White would be “easy”, except I totally forgot I am the least artistic person on earth and nothing related to costume creation is ever easy for me.

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I had seen a few similar costumes on Pinterest, and thought I could figure out a way to create the sleeves on my own, but still look just as good as people with sewing machines (and sewing skills). Yall, I tried really hard. If you didn’t get too close to me at the race you never would have known, but the photos below clearly show off my skills. But if you want an easy(er) way to create these sleeves and don’t have a sewing matching but own a needle and thread (or can buy one), then my tutorial is for you. remember, if I can do this, you can do this.

SUPPLIES:

-blue tank (mine is cotton from Target, I got it on clearance for $3. I know cotton is a running no no, but I wasn’t spending any more money on this costume than I had to.

-yellow running skirt from runningskirts.com. My favorite brand. They have POCKETS which is a great help during a race. (affiliate link)

-red headband or ribbon (I got mine at Mouse Gears inside EPCOT for $12.95. I love it so much I wore it around the parks, too!) You could always use leftover ribbon from your sleeves to create a bow or headband, too.

-needle

-white and blue thread

– 1 yard of knit elastic

– 2 yard of 1 inch thick blue ribbon

-2 yards of 1 inch thick red ribbon

– push pins

WARNING: Do not get ribbon with wire. It will poke you the whole race. The only thinner red ribbon at my craft store had wire so I bought it. Don’t make my mistake!

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The first thing you need to do for your sleeves is cut two pieces of elastic and sew them together for the bottoms of the sleeves.

WARNING: Make the fit snug, but don’t cut off circulation. I made the mistake of making mine too loose, and it started pulling down the straps of my tank b/c the elastic was sliding down my arms. If I were to do this again (haha) I would have done the elastic a little tighter.

All I did was used white thread and literally sewed the two ends together at the ends. That’s it. Nothing fancy or pretty. I figured no one would be close enough to see that it didn’t all line up perfectly.

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Then came the more complicated part. I knew I wanted 3 red pieces and 2 blue pieces of ribbon on each arm. So I did the longest 2 pieces in the middle then shorter pieces after that with one of the pieces more in the front than back. Confusing? Maybe this helps. For each arm I cut:

-1 red 10” and one blue 10”

-1 red 9” and one blue 9”

-1 red 8”  <—-to be closer to the front. I didn’t care about having ribbon more towards the back. Check it out below. I then took each piece and pinned it to my elastic. I personally did it so that the seam of the elastic was on the back of my arm and not underneath so it wouldn’t rub me when I ran. Then I kind of “pleated” each piece of ribbon (best I could, it’s hard yall), and pinned them all on so that the ribbon reached about halfway down the width of the elastic (don’t worry, this is the underside that no one will see!)

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Then I got to sewing. Well, what resembled sewing. Don’t laugh. This is the final product. I used white thread and just started on one side and literally just sewed over and under all the way across. It looked AWFUL, but again, would be on the underside.

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I then did the same exact thing to the other side, so I had two detached sleeves.

I then switched to my blue thread, and again just literally sewed a line down the inside of the sleeve of the tank, attaching each piece of ribbon with about 3-4 stitches as I went. It wasn’t the best hold ever, but would do for one race. I did the other sleeve (make sure you sew underneath and not on top of the tank!) and I was done!

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I didn’t try it on b/c I was afraid I would rip/mess something up, but thankfully all went well on race day and it held together just fine! I got tons and tons of compliments, but really all I did was sew together some ribbon and buy a headband. Everything else I already had. Some people choose to do a cape and collar or hold an apple, but I knew a cape and collar would bug me, and I already hold my phone when I run so I didn’t want to bother with another prop. So there you have it! My Snow White runDisney costume!

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QOTD: Have you ever dressed up for a race?

runDisney Princess Half Marathon Race Recap 2017

A couple of weeks ago I have the privilege of running in my 6th runDisney Princess half marathon. I ran the Glass Slipper Challenge last year and in 2014, but this year my friend Jen and I decided to save some money (and some sleep!) and just run the half marathon. (Pssst. There is a video at the end of the post so hang tight to watch a recap from my Instagram Stories!)

Every year we dress up, and this year was a bit crazy for both of us and we didn’t have time to create elaborate matching costumes like we have done in the past. However, we still dressed up and per usual kept our costumes a secret until the night before the race. We went to bed early, and my 2:45 am alarm came way too soon.

We got dressed, put on our traditional fake eyelashes like we do every year (you would THINK we would be better at this by now!) and headed to the bus.

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(Coming soon: A tutorial on how I created my costume, the easy/I’m terrible at sewing kind of tutorial!)

We got to the bus stop in front of the Yacht Club, and were the last people loaded before we left. What was interesting was we were on a park bus, not a regular greyhound which was a first for me with runDisney. There was a lot of traffic, but we made it to EPCOT by about 4:15 and walked to the family reunion area where we met up with a friend before checking Jen’s bag. It was chillier than I expected, and I was thankful for my throw away sweatshirt I remembered to bring.

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We had never gotten to the corrals this early before, and they were pretty empty! runDisney got smart and put a row of port-o-potties close to the front corrals so we were able to go to the bathroom with no line and then jump in D corral. Karen was also in our corral, so she hung out with us and started the race with us, too. Our plan was to just have fun and take walk breaks. I was super undertrained and this was just a “for fun” race.

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The race started a few minutes late because the traffic was so bad, but finally we made it up to the start line with the rest of our corral.

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After a quick hi to Rudy and Carissa, we were off on our 13.1 mile journey!

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The first couple of miles are always so uneventful. It’s dark, there is nothing to look at, and you start thinking about all the miles ahead! Thankfully we just all chatted together until around mile 2 when Karen decided to stop for a character photo that we decided to skip (lines were already so long! I can’t imagine how bad they were for the corrals behind us.) We made it to the Magic Kingdom gates and I was excited we were getting closer to the more exciting parts of the course.

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After a quick stop at the med tent for body glide, we were on our way towards the TTC. I have to admit, I was a little bummed at the low crows at this spot. Traditionally this is my second favorite spot in the race because of all the energy from wall to wall people screaming and cheering, but this year there was hardly anyone and it made me sad. Did anyone else notice this? It wasn’t very cold outside so I’m not sure what the deal was. We passed my favorite drummers and kept going towards the big hill.

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When we made the turn to get to the Magic Kingdom, we thought it was odd that the 5 mile marker wasn’t in it’s usual place. (The things you notice when you have run this course over a dozen times!) We would later find out the course through the Magic Kingdom was slightly altered which is why the markers were in a different place.

We made the turn onto Main Street, my favorite part, and again it just didn’t have the same crowd and energy I am used to seeing, but it’s still my favorite part.

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We stopped and found a girl by herself trying to take a photo and we took turns getting pics for each other. I love runners!

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Next stop was the bathroom in Tomorrowland. We used to stop at the ones at the TTC, but a couple years ago they started locking those for us for some reason, which means even more princesses waiting in line in Tomorrowland. We had a several minute delay, and then were on our way again.

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We made it out of the Magic Kingdom (sad times) and made another bathroom stop at the next water station (too much coffee!) We arrived at the long stretch of single lane road, and Jen and I can’t figure out why its always so COLD on this part of the course! Any ideas? Before long we were at mile seven by the Grand Floridian. I took a picture with Snow White, since the line for her in the Magic Kingdom was dozens of people long. This is as close as I was going to get.

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The next few miles were uneventful again, just running out on the road. We saw the race going the other way towards the Magic Kingdom around mile 2.5 I guess, and I saw the balloon ladies! I yelled for the princesses to run faster! We grabbed a CLIF shot at the free station around mile nine, and took a walk break to eat those (I am not coordinated enough to run and eat at the same time). Next we were making the turn on the loop of death at mile 10 (it KILLS my IT bands) and had a 5k to go. At this point we had gotten to the length of my longest and one and only really long run from this training cycle of 10 miles, and I was getting tight even though we weren’t running fast at all. My right thigh/quad up near my hip flexor started to hurt, but we only had a couple miles to go so I just pushed through.

Soon we hit mile 11, and looped around and up the overpass and down into EPCOT and mile 12. A photographer caught me doing an Insta story on my phone. Oops. But seriously, if this doesn’t sum up my life I don’t know what does.

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We looped around the small part of the course that goes through the park, and then I could hear the gospel choir singing! Miles 13 came and went, and we were in the home stretch of the finish line.

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Can I just say that I love getting race pictures free as an annual passholder?!?

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We made it! After crossing the finish line in 2:32, we had to get pixie dusted of course.

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We got our medals, and headed over to the Media/VIP tent for some much deserved food and of course, mimosas.

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Now I was able to do my favorite thing, cheer other runners on as they came through the finish. I LOVE seeing runners tearing up, holding hands with loved ones, and just getting to experience the looks on their faces as they are mere steps from the finish line. There is just nothing like it, and it makes me so happy.

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Mimosas make me happy, too.

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So does this guy. Always takes time to talk to runners and makes us all feel so special. Jeff Galloway is the best!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Carissa came into the tent for some food and we were able to say hello for a minute and grab a picture.

princess half

We hung out and ate some more, met with a couple of people, and then headed back to the resort. I am so thankful to have a friend like Jen who gifted me with the opportunity to run in another Princess half marathon. I also love our little tradition of running the Princess half!

If you want to see a video I took during the race as a recap, and also see what Jen and I did for the rest of the day after the race, be sure to check out the video below. Please note this video is my Instagram story from the day, and apparently it doesn’t like when you have still shots mixed in with your videos, so there are about 5 times during the video where you will see it “Freeze up” for a couple of seconds. These are the places where I had still shots that won’t come up, so just ignore it, it will keep playing!

 

For more race recaps and general runDisney information, photos, and posts, check out my runDisney page!

runDisney Star Wars Runners!

Guess what? Yesterday, I registered myself, Bobby AND Emma Kate for the runDisney Star Wars races! Yes, we haven’t even taken Emma Kate yet to Disney (she is going in October) and we are already planning a trip back in April for Star Wars!

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Bobby and I decided to just run the half marathon (my parents will be there to watch EK) and then she will do the kids race on Saturday. We have had our fill of challenges from Goofy to Dopey and me doing Glass Slipper, that we are fine just doing one race this time so we have more time (an sleep! and money!) on this trip.

I will say, I had quite the scare yesterday when I was trying to register the family. I registered myself just fine, but when I went to register EK and Bobby, it said they were already registered! I panicked, but after being reassured by some folks on Facebook, was told to wait a few minutes and try again in a different browser. I did, and was finally able to get all three conformations.

I have done many, many runDisney races, and offer lots of advice in my runDisney section, but the kids races will be a FIRST for me. So, I need all your best tips to make this the best possible experience for Emma Kate. Fire away, I need your help!

QOTD: Are you doing Star Wars? Any kids races advice for me?

Fall/Winter Race Schedule 2016

Hey friends! As you probably know, I live in the south where it is currently in triple digits weather wise. Running is more like swimming, and I lose about 4 pounds every time I go for a run. Unfortunately I gain it all back later that day, but I digress. It seems odd to start planning for fall races when it’s so dang hot! But, I have to start training to be ready for said races, so I came up with a plan that I can hopefully (loosely) stick to doing. The problem is, I don’t want to give up boot camp, but I can’t run 5 days a week and do boot camp, so I am planning to run 3 days a week.

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I know it will be difficult to get faster this way, but at this point in my life I would much rather be strong than fast, so we will see what happens. This is a very tentative schedule. The only thing I am actually registered for is the runDisney Princess half in February, but I plan on signing up for some others very soon! I’m going to start with a couple 5k’s because it’s still dreadfully hot here in September. Our half season doesn’t start until October, and sometimes that is even a little early, but hopefully it will cool off earlier this year!

September 17th: Run, Rock and Roll 5k (Mississippi)

October 1st: A Day in the Country 5k (Mississippi)

October 16th: Mandeville Half (Louisiana)

February 5th: RnR New Orleans half marathon (Louisiana) (Use code LOOKINGGLASS16 for $15 off registration)

February 26th: runDisney Princess half marathon (Orlando)

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My plan is to do one easy run, one long run, and one tempo run each week, plus 4 days of boot camp. I will probably run Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday. We do legs on Tuesday at boot camp, so Wednesday will probably be my easy run day because I usually can’t walk well after leg day. I’m excited to get going again but nervous about how it will all fit together. I don’t want to get burnt out. Again. It happens, but fingers crossed I can make it all work!

QOTD: What is on your fall racing calendar? Have you started training yet?

Rock ‘N’ Roll New Orleans Recap 2016

At the end of February, I ran the Rock ‘N’ Roll New Orleans half marathon once again. This race would be a little different for me as I was running it by myself for the first time, and I was coming off of a challenge weekend (10k and half marathon) in Walt Disney World. I was still excited to run my hometown race, and the weather was looking perfect!

RnR New Orleans medal

What was it I said about the weather? It was COLD that morning. I much prefer to run in the cold though, and I knew it would be warming up quickly as soon as the sun came up. I left my hotel room and made my way to the VIP hotel. I went in and grabbed a little coffee and a bagel, and met a girl from new York who is running a half marathon in all 50 states! It  was really cool to hear her story.

RnR VIP

The best thing about the Rock ‘N’ Roll New Orleans VIP package that you can purchase is being able to use real bathrooms before the start, and being able to hang out in the warmth of a building and then just walk right out to your corral.

RnR pre race

I sat in the hall in my jacket and stretched for several minutes then used the restroom one last time (thanks, coffee, I guess I had too much liquid!) and then handed over my bag for private gear check before walking a block down to my corral only five minutes before the 7:30 start. I was in corral 7, so I knew I wouldn’t miss anything, but wanted to get out before the start so I could cross the street to get where I needed to go.

RnR KT tape

Well, one thing I wasn’t expecting was utter chaos! There were still SO many people trying to get into their corrals, and since Rock ‘N’ Roll doesn’t enforce what corral you get into, all of the first corrals were so jam packed that people couldn’t even get into them. I finally found the sign for corral seven and jumped through the opening. As we were singing the national anthem, I looked around and realized I had accidentally jumped into the back of 6 instead of the front of 7. Dang it! I made my way to the very back of 6 as to not impede any runners, because there was no way I could get out onto the street and back a corral at this point, as you can see from the below photo.

RnR crowd

We made our way up to the start, and it was time to go! I was SO not mentally prepared for this race and had a moment of “oh, wait, I have to run 13.1 miles now!” right as our corral took off. Well, nothing I could do now but put in my headphones and run for a couple of hours!

RnR start line

My first mile felt really good and I ran the pace I wanted to run the whole race in. It was a little crowded, but I have run in much worse so it didn’t really bother me too much. The course is very familiar to me, and I was most concerned with the road conditions so I kept my head down a lot.

RnR mardi gras tree

We were running on St. Charles where the beautiful old mansion are, and right after we hit mile two, I got a pain in my right hip. uh oh. This is what I was afraid of. When I ran the Glass Slipper Challenge the weekend before, I did fine in the 10k, but about midway through the half my hip started to hurt. It got worse and worse as the race went on, but I was able to finish. The whole week prior to this race, I didn’t work out at all, and just foam rolled and stretched in the hope of it getting better and not bothering me. No such luck apparently. I had taken Tylenol prior to the race start and it was already hurting me at mile two…this was going to be a long race.

RnR house

I had a quick moment of panic where I wanted to just sit on the curb and cry. I thought to myself…you have three choices here. One, you can quit now. Two, you can keep going at a run walk as to not be in pain and finish sometime tomorrow (haha) or three, you can SUCK IT UP, fight through the pain and finish as strong as possible and be proud of your effort. About that time, I saw a med tent. I grabbed some more Tylenol, and decided to just got for it. I picked a number, 10:00 pace, and decided to just try and hold that pace for as long as I could. About that time, the song “Fight Song” came on, and I started tearing up. I CAN do this, I WANT to do this. YES I was frustrated because I have been working really hard and despite running one day a week and running two races the last weekend, I was on track and had the ability to PR in that race, and now I knew it wasn’t going to happen, BUT, I knew I still had a lot of fight left in me, and I wanted to run to the best of the ability that I had for that day. So I pushed, and I pushed, and I struggled. I would run on the dirt street car tracks in the median, then jump down to the road, trying to figure out which felt better on my hip. I stopped occasionally to try to stretch out my hip. I took some GU. I counted down the miles. I gave myself a lot of pep talks. I started at the road, one foot in front of the other. I finally made it into the French quarter.

RnR cathedral

I REALLY wanted to stop at Café du Monde, but I kept going Smile

RnR french quarter

We made the turn onto Esplanade, and I knew I only had 3-4 miles left. This is where I was unable to hold onto my pace any longer. This is also when the pain started growing and moving from my hip to my glute, and would occasionally seize up the entire muscle group, which was super fun. I had to stop and walk more often and stop and stretch on stop signs. I was DETERMINED to finish as hard and strong as I possible could. It was starting to get hot outside, and I just kept staring at the ground in front of me (I nearly rolled an ankle a few times, yall, the roads in NOLA are BAD.) and kept glancing at my watch to see how far away I was.

When I made it to the museum of art, I knew I was close, but boy did that last half mile seem like the longest of my life. Normally this is where I would kick it in, but I had no kick in me. It was more of a hobble/limp to the finish, but I went as hard as I could. I didn’t even raise my hands when I crossed the finish, I was just so ready to stop running to stop the pain. I crossed in 2:14:59. Not exactly what I was expecting, but I also surprised myself considering all the things I had going against me.

RnR post race

My watch said I ran 13.36 miles with average pace of 10:06 if I remember correctly. It’s not what I wanted but at least it’s encouraging that if I can do my PT/get stronger and run more than once a week I will PR. Here are my splits:

  • mile 1- 9:31
  • mile 2- 9:55 —> stopped at med tent
  • mile 3- 9:39
  • mile 4- 9:54
  • mile 5- 10:00
  • mile 6- 9:48
  • mile 7- 9:45
  • mile 8- 10:06
  • mile 9- 10:30 —> took a GU
  • mile 10- 10:06
  • mile 11- 10:54 —> took another GU
  • mile 12- 10:18 —> almost died
  • mile 13- 9:12

I made it out of the chute and ran into Mindy and Jenny. Was great to chat with them for a bit!RnR friends

I then walked over to the VIP tent and immediately put my name down for a massage, then got some food. The weather was wonderful, and it was nice to just sit and listen to the music and enjoy the day.

RnR after party

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I got a text from Megan and we met up for a quick hello. Great to see a fellow ASICS ambassador!

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Around 12:00 I knew it was time to head back to the hotel to checkout and drive back to my parents. I didn’t want to leave because I was just enjoying being still after such a stressful morning, but I also knew it was a trek back to the hotel. (Rock ‘N’ Roll has bus transportation back downtown for participants).

My struggles with this race were not the fault of Rock ‘N’ Roll, it truly is a great race and my favorite Rock ‘N’ Roll so far. My one qualm is the terrible roads which I am sure contributed to the early onset of hip pain I experienced. The after party, the bling, the bands, everything else was wonderful and I hope to always get to run this race.

Also, if you have the chance to purchase the VIP package for Rock ‘N’ Roll New Orleans I would recommend it! The pre race breakfast, bathrooms, private gear check are worth it to me, but then you also get the post race food, alcohol, massages, gear pick up, charging station, and VIP bus (no waiting in line) back downtown. Let me know if you have any questions about this event, I would be happy to answer!

PS: If you want to save $15 on Rock ‘N’ Roll half and full marathons, use my code at checkout! Some exclusions apply such as San Antonio, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and a couple of others.

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QOTD: Have you ever had to fight through pain to finish a race?

Disclosure: I received free entry and VIP package as a Rock ‘N’ Blog member, however I was not asked to write this post, and all opinions are my own.

runDisney Half Marathon 2016 Race Recap

Saturday morning, my alarm went off at 1:45. I had only gotten about two and a half hours of sleep, and I knew I would pay for it later. But, it was time to run a half marathon!

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I stumbled around the hotel room, thankful I had laid out my costume the night before, and started getting ready. My amazing tutu came from this great Etsy shop. She does tons of Disney characters, so be sure to check her out for your next runDisney race! (You can also follow her on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.) I knew just where to find the best shirt to complete my outfit, Raw Threads. They always have a great booth at the runDisney expos as well. I ran in my new ASICS Meta Run shoes, they are so comfortable and the black goes with any costume.

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We were running a little behind, but thankfully Hilton Bonnet Creek had multiple buses to take people to the start, and we had plenty of time to grab some food and get onboard. Once at Epcot, we realized we were really early and still had a lot of time to kill, so we got in line for a character picture, which we usually never have time to do.

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Daisy told me Donald was getting ready for the race, but he wished us good luck.

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We used the bathrooms, and then headed to the corrals as soon as they opened. We made it to the front of F, and took a seat on the ground to wait. It was truly amazing watching all the people try to sneak into the wrong corral. I mean dozens and dozens of people. Those volunteers have a TOUGH job. People were trying to hide their bib under a sweatshirt, put their finger over part of the letter to make it look like a different one, begging and pleading because their best friend wanted to run with them, you name it. I am glad we had tough volunteers who didn’t let anyone in that wasn’t supposed to be there!

Before long, it was our turn to be at the starting line. Since we were in the front, they kept pushing us up closer and closer to the start line…and then I got a text saying I had started the race (I was tracking myself). NO! I had NOT started the race, they had made us squish up so close to the line that the official tracker started! It wasn’t until about a minute later that we were sent off, so it was a bit frustrating starting the race already losing 60 seconds!

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The first few miles were pretty uneventful. It was cool but not freezing, but SO FOGGY and very very humid. I soon started sweating pretty badly, and made a stop at a medic tent for some body glide. We kept a steady pace, and made it to the Magic Kingdom sign.

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After a couple more miles, we went through the TTC, and then the Magic Kingdom was in sight. I was stoked that the still had the icicle lights on, because I had not yet seen them this year, or the year before actually, so I was really happy to run down Main street towards the gorgeous castle. Bobby snapped the below picture of me and I love it. I think it really captures all the feels of running down Main Street!

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The crowds were great as usual, and I heard a couple of people shout my name and I waved in the general direction of the noise, so if you were yelling to me and I didn’t see you, I’m sorry, but I did hear you!

I knew I wanted to stop and get a pic in front of the castle. It was so foggy it barely came out though, but I think the castle looks kind of cool.

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I had told Bobby before the race that I didn’t care how long the line for the Queen of Hearts was, that if she was out, I wanted a picture. We saw her just past the carousel in Fantasyland, and even though the line was about 13 deep, we stopped anyway.

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We made it to the back of the castle, and had to stop for a shot of these guys. Imagine how long the line would be if they were on the ground! I also wanted to get a shot of Bobby by the castle but it didn’t come out too well.

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We sadly came out of the Magic Kingdom, knowing the most fun part of the race was over. We wound around by the Grand Floridian and Wedding pavilion, and I was thankful the road opened back up again. At about mile nine my lack of training started to get to me, and I was mentally done. Once we hit mile 10, we started counting down saying things like “it’s just a 5k left”, and that seemed to help.

We made it to the turn that kills my IT band every time, and Bobby wanted a picture with our green army man friend.

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Once we were on this new road headed to EPCOT, I knew we were getting close and didn’t even want to stop for water, I was just ready to be done. It was also about this time I told Bobby I was SO GLAD we weren’t doing Dopey again this time! I may have cried if I had to run a full the next day.

We made it up the last bridge, and down into EPCOT where I saw my favorite sign….”run like Steve Harvey is trying to give your medal to Miss Colombia”. I died yall, love it.

We made it around the EPCOT ball, and were finally in the home stretch! This last part is always hard because I get excited I’m “so close”, but really have more to run that I think, and I try to kick harder way too soon and I die out. Whoops. I heard the choir singing, and knew we were REALLY close.

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Wwweeee! Finsih line in view! We made it!

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Our official time was 2:25:07. Not bad with the stops, humidity, the timer starting before we were running, and (totally my fault..) lack of training. I still have a long way to go, but the goal for this one was to enjoy it and have fun, and I’m glad we didn’t take it too seriously.

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I got to cheer runners on as they approached the finish which is one of my favorite things to do ever. I also had a little chat with Mr. Galloway, and got to see part of my favorite announcer team.

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All in all a successful race and a successful day. We got a lift back to the resort from a friend, and showered and our car arrived to take us to the cruise…where we promptly fell asleep in the back seat! (See, I told you it would catch up to me!) Another great runDisney race weekend was over, another shiny medal to add to my collection, and many many more memories to hold on to forever.

QOTD: Has humidity every changed your race goals? Favorite costume you saw from marathon weekend?

runDisney Marathon Weekend Expo 2016

Hello friends! I am finally back home! I still have a lot of unpacking and catching up to do, but I wanted to let you guys know I am still alive, and I have a lot of fun recaps coming your way, plus a giveaway so hang in there. Today I thought I would tell you about the race expo, then I still have to recap the blogger meet up, an interview I did with some famous TV stars from Mexico, the race, the cool hotel experience I had, and of course the cruise!

We were actually only in Orlando for 24 hours, but a LOT happened in those hours. First after landing Friday I ran over to the Cigna blogger meet up with Megan, and then we went to the runDisney expo to get our packets for the half the next day. We had dinner at California Grill at 5:00 so sadly I didn’t get to spend near as much time at the expo as I would have liked, but I still got to soak up the runDisney magic and see some friends.

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First we picked up our race packets. It was weird “only” doing the half, since last time we participated in marathon weekend we ran dopey!

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Ready to run! or something like that (wait, we have to run? I haven’t really trained!)

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LOVE my new rundisney ears! They don’t give me terrible headaches like the ones from the parks. Maybe I just have a large noggin?

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We of course had to take the obligatory instagram photo before heading over to check out the merchandise. The guy asked how we wanted to pose and we said “something funny” and he just looked at us like we were crazy. No worries! We shall come up with something on our own!

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Hello expo floor, oh how I have missed you!

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A closer look at the shoes, and I dig them.

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I made my way to the Raw Threads booth (adorable stuff yall, go check them out!) and had a quick chat with my buddy Bobbi! Was great to see her again.

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I also ran over to my favorite running skirts brand and said hello to my former colleague and the sweetest girl in Minnie ears ever, Michelle!

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We literally flew through the official merchandise, I got an I did it shirt (I always get one) and a shirt for Emma Kate that says “future runner, catch me if you can” SO stinkin cute). and unfortunately we had to grab a cab back to the hotel so we could change for dinner.

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I wish I had gotten to spend some more time shopping and saying hello to other friends working expo booths, but there will always be other races, and hopefully for those I will be in town more than 24 hours!

QOTD: Is there an item you buy at every race expo?

5 Fall Races in the Southeast

I am in the middle of my fall half marathon training plan, and I have heard many others say that they are beginning to ramp up their mileage as well. For us here in the south, half marathon and marathon season is VERY short. It won’t really start cooling down here until October, and most distances races are over by March, so we have to cram in as many races as we can.

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Training in cooler weather! Yes!

I am honestly still undecided about my race season and thought many of you may be as well, so I decided to compile several fall races you may want to check out if you live or plan on running in the southeast. Some I have run myself, and some just look like a lot of fun! Hopefully some of you can give input on the ones that I haven’t run that look fun!

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1.) Gulf Coast half Mandeville, Louisiana: This is a fun, flat half marathon in my hometown! Just a short drive to New Orleans, you can run a race and still visit the city without expensive city hotel prices. This course is beautiful and goes through old Mandeville and along the beautiful lakefront. October is a great time to race in Louisiana, too! I haven’t signed up yet, but really hoping to run this one with Bobby this year! I had just had Emma Kate last year so I missed it.

2.) Rock n Roll Savannah: As a member of the Rock ‘n Blog team, I am partial to Rock n Roll races, and while I haven’t run this one, it’s on my bucket list and I have heard nothing but wonderful things about this gorgeous course in such a historic city. It sounds like a great November weekend racecation to me! (enter code LOOKINGGLASS15 for $15 off registration!)

3.) runDisney Wine and Dine half and 5k: This race is sold out for this year, but listen to me, SIGN UP AS SOON AS YOU CAN for 2016! It’s SO MUCH FUN. It’s a nighttime race, in the happiest place on earth! Plus, it has an amazing after party in EPCOT celebrating the race and the food and wine festival. This race is typically held the second week in November.

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4.) Space Coast marathon and half: This is another one I have heard nothing but good things about. This is Florida’s oldest marathon, and is run along a beautiful waterfront course on Florida’s east coast. The entire event revolves around the space theme, which is pretty awesome. Race is November 29th!

5.) Thunder Road marathon, half, and 5k: This race weekend is in Charlotte, North Carolina. There is a whole weekend of fun with a marathon, half, and 5k option. This is a fun weekend in mid November and celebrates stock car racing. Plenty of family friendly fun and music, this weekend is for the everyone. I have also heard the course is very scenic!

QOTD: Any favorite fall races in the south?

runDisney Star Wars Race Comes to Walt Disney World!

Yes, you read that right! After hearing some buzzing and rumors for awhile, the newest runDisney race has been officially announced! a runDisney Stars Wars race comes to Walt Disney World!

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The weekend of April 14-17th, may the force be with you as you run through Walt Disney World meeting some of your favorite characters along the way. The theme for this race weekend is “the dark side”, with the Disneyland race being called “the light side”. There will be kids races, a 5k, 10k, half marathon, and of course a challenge! The course sounds awesome, taking runners through EPCOT, Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, and ending at the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex.

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More information can be found in the official press release:

April 14-17 event in Florida joins Star Wars-themed race at Disneyland Resort and features new Kessel Run Challenge and Dark Side Challenge

 

LAKE BUENA VISTA, FL (Aug. 25, 2015) – runDisney is summoning the Force today to announce another Star Wars-inspired intergalactic journey, this time to the dark side.

The “Star Wars Half Marathon – the Dark Side” enters the galaxy April 14-17, 2016, at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida and pays homage to the dark side forces of the Star Wars universe. This new race follows the debut of the popular Star Wars-themed race at Disneyland Resort, which will return in January as the “Star Wars Half Marathon – the Light Side”.

“Ever since we launched the Star Wars race at Disneyland Resort, runners have been clamoring for more, so we’re thrilled to bring the Star Wars franchise together with the runDisney brand to Walt Disney World Resort,’’ said Maribeth Bisienere, senior vice president of Disney Sports Enterprises. “If the inaugural Star Wars race at Disneyland Resort is any indication, this new running adventure to the dark side is sure to be the out-of-this-world experience that runners have come to expect at runDisney events.’’

The new Star Wars race at Walt Disney World Resort will be a journey of personal achievement all its own, involving kids’ races, a 5K and a 10K in addition to the half marathon, plus a variety of Star Wars experiences, medals, events and merchandise inspired by a galaxy far, far away. Among its many features will be a unique 13.1-mile course that propels runners through Epcot, Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Disney’s Hollywood Studios and finishes at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. There will also be a Star Wars Dark Side Challenge — running the 10K and the half marathon on consecutive days – that offers each finisher a Death Star-themed medal.

Jedi and Sith Lords who dare to experience both Star Wars races will have the chance to take on the Kessel Run Challenge — completing the Star Wars half marathon missions on both coasts. Kessel Run Challenge runners can earn a commemorative “Coast to Coast” medal inspired by the Millennium Falcon starship. Race registration opens Sept. 22 at www.runDisney.com.

 

The addition of this second Star Wars race continues the recent wave of significant growth and popularity of runDisney events domestically and internationally. This is the second new runDisney race announced for 2016, joining the Disneyland Paris Half Marathon Weekend (Sept. 23-25 at Disneyland Paris), and the fourth addition to the runDisney series in the last two years (Star Wars Half Marathon at Disneyland Jan. 2015 and Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon Weekend Nov. 2014).

Each year more than 200,000 runners sign up for runDisney events, which often sell out in record time.

“We are committed to creating extraordinary experiences and events that appeal to runners of all ages and attract even more fans of our various brands and franchises to the sport of running, creating opportunities for them to live a healthier and more active lifestyle,’’ said Bisienere.

 

QOTD: Do you plan to try to run this new race?