Wow. This was by far was one of the best sporting events I have ever been to. The athleticism and determination displayed was beyond inspiring. But probably the coolest thing, was to get to see the team from my box, CrossFit Milford (CFM), compete. These were my coaches and people I see train everyday competing among the fittest in the Northeast. Pretty cool!
In order to qualify for the CrossFit Games Regional competition, all athletes took part in the Open which took place from March 6 – April 7 which consisted of 5 workouts. The cool thing about the Open is that anyone can compete…anyone…even me if I dared (which I didn’t!). The top 30 teams and individuals in each region then moved on to the Regional competition. And last weekend was the Northeast’s turn to take the stage.
The competition began on Friday, May 17th, but I wasn’t able to get up there that day due to work and other obligations. So Saturday morning, me and 4 of my CFM girls woke up at the crack of dawn and headed up to Canton, MA to cheer on our team and have a little fun on days 2 & 3 of the competition. The event was held at the Reebok World Headquarters, which was quite the venue! Unfortunately we missed the team competition that morning, but we arrived just as Event 4 of the Individual Women’s Competition was beginning. This event was intense:
100 Wall Balls (20#/14# to a 10′ target)
100 Chest to Bar Pull-ups
100 One-legged squats, alternating
100 One-armed dumbbell snatches (75#/50#)
The event was to be completed for time with a 25 minute cap.
Chest to Bar Pull-ups
Bloody Pull-up Bars!
I was exhausted from watching this and seriously needed some food So after the women finished, we headed out to the grounds to grab some lunch and check out some of the vendors. I have to say this was some of the best “festival” food I’ve ever had…amazing paleo options! I don’t think there would be any other event where you could get grilled meat with a ton of avocado and bacon on top?!
Ashley & I
Event 5 was up next and we were finally able to see the teams compete. One man and one woman from each team had to complete the following for time:
Man completes 21-15-9 reps of:
30″ box jump
Then, woman completes 21-15-9 reps of:
24″ box jump
No big deal right?? Ugh…
Dead lifts & box jumps!
We watched all the teams compete and here is where I found my most favorite team to watch…
I mean really, how can you not love them?? I also really enjoyed watching Team CrossFit One who where incredibly inspiring and just seemed to enjoy every moment of the competition. We were convinced these two are in love…who knows??
Team CFM was in the final heat and we were all so excited to finally get to cheer our team on. Ryan and Katie took this stage for this event…
They did an awesome job and finished 10th for the event. I can’t even jump on a 24″ box so I was completely in awe. The individuals were up next and the event was increased to the following weights:
30″/24″ box jumps
It was amazing to watch, but I think my favorite part about it was the set up. For some reason, the way the weights came racing around the corner was extremely entertaining!
But by far, the best part of the competition and the CrossFit community in general is the camaraderie. My favorite thing was to watch how the the competitors who had finished went right over to those who were still finishing up and cheered them on. Some were clearly struggling to get through the WOD and I can only imagine how much that helped get them through the end. Pure awesome.
Day 2 of the games wrapped up and we headed back to our hotel some dinner and a night of shenanigans. Sorry…but what happens in Canton, stays in Canton All I can say is we had a lot of laughs and were psyched to see what day 3 had to bring. Stay tuned for part 2!
It is quite incredible how popular runDisney races have become. Even with the addition of new race lengths this year, each weekend seems to be selling out in record time. Disney “race season” hasn’t even begun and there are only a handful of races that are open for registration. Here’s an update:
Limited registration available for the Princess & Tinker Bell Coast-to-Coast Challenge
As you can see there aren’t many options left if you’re planning on running Disney this year! If you’re looking for a longer race in 2013, The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler looks to be your only option left. This will be the 2nd year of this race and it looks like Disney has been listening to our feedback from last year’s race. Check out this video that was released today:
I’m so glad to hear that they are improving on the entertainment from last year since that was severely lacking. Check out my race recap for more info…now if only they could guarantee it won’t be so hot! Today is the last day to register before the price increases to $165 tomorrow, so get too it! The medal is so worth it
I love that the elevator moves!
Make sure to go to www.rundisney.com for more information on all the races or to register for an upcoming race. See you there!
I spent this weekend at the CrossFit Games Northeast Regionals. What an AMAZING display of athleticism. I was so inspirational to watch these athletes compete and share in both their successes and heartaches. Full report coming later this week!
No RAD Reads from me this week as life has gotten in the way of my blog reading…I hate when that happens! But I did post some fun things…check them out!
This week was not as impressive as last and I missed out on 2 training runs, but overall it was pretty good. Here are my workouts for the week and to view a complete list of WODs, visit my dailymile page.
Sunday: 3.07 miles Monday: CrossFit: Back Squats Tuesday: Rest Wednesday: CrossFit: 22 min Amrap Thursday: 1.69 mile run with 10 hill repeats & CrossFit: Swings, Slams & Sprints Friday: Rest Saturday: 5.5 miles walking at CrossFit Games
This week is going to be very busy with work and then travel for Memorial Day Weekend, but I’m hoping to stick with my Dumbo training plan the best I can. What does your training week look like?
One of the questions I get asked most often is “Where is the best place to eat before a runDisney race at Walt Disney World?” This is such a difficult question and something I struggle with before every race. Luckily, WDW has a TON of dining options, so there is generally something for everyone.
Here are a few of the places I have dined at before runDisney events…the good, bad and meh.
Chicken Parmesan at Via Napoli
Italian food always seems to be the go to meal before races, probably because of the abundance of pasta for carb-loading. So before my first half marathon (Princess 2012), that’s exactly what I decided on and headed to Via Napoli. I really wanted Chicken Parmesan (one of my favorite pre-race meals anywhere!) which is what I ordered. At Via Napoli, this comes with roasted potatoes, but I wanted some pasta. The waiter would not make the substitution, saying that the chef absolutely refuses. Really? In Disney? Interesting…
So I settled for the potatoes, which were good but just didn’t hit the spot. Also, the restaurant is very loud and busy so I didn’t enjoy the overall experience for before a race. You can read my full review here.
San Angel Inn
Enchiladas Verde De Pollo at San Angel Inn
I had a late lunch here before the 2013 WDW Marathon to fuel up for those long 26.2 miles. I LOVE Mexican food and while it might not be good for some before a race, it’s perfect for me. Well as long as it’s something mild and not too acidic. The enchiladas at San Angel Inn are just perfect. Corn tortillas, rice and beans for carbs and tons of chicken for protein. Unfortunately, I had to pass on having a yummy margarita, but there’s always next time…
Grande Taco Platter at Maya Grill
Oh look…more Mexican food! Maya Grill is an absolute hidden gem at WDW. Fantastic food, fun entertainment and it’s pretty easy to get a reservation. Before the 2013 Princess Half Marathon, my fellow Mexican food lover Amanda and I headed to Maya Grill to fuel up with some of our friends. We shared a giant bowl of guacamole to start, which was some of the best guac I’ve ever had, and I ordered the Grande Taco Platter for my entree. I got a combination of beef, shrimp and chicken tacos, and the beef tacos were by far the best. The shrimp and chicken were just meh. It came with a generous portion of rice, beans and corn pudding. Overall, it was amazing and great fuel for the race!
Turkey-Sweet Potato Hash at Kouzzina
It’s no secret that I LOVE Kouzzina breakfast, so it probably comes as no surprise that this is my go to place for meals before any of the night races at WDW. Before both the 2012 Tower of Terror 10-Miler and the Wine & Dine Half Marathon, I had a late breakfast (around 10:00 am) at Kouzzina. Before I found out about my egg sensitivity, my favorite dish was the Turkey-Sweet Potato Hash, which is topped with a perfectly poached egg and arugula. Drooooooolllll. Perfect fuel for a night race!!
Since both those races, I have taken tests that have shown that I have a severe sensitivity to eggs. Booooooo!!! But guess what?? I found out from Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free in WDW that Kouzzina has some of the best allergen free waffles around. And YES they do!! Get these bad boys with a side of that delicious sweet potato hash and you are good to go. You know where I’ll be for all the WDW races this fall. You can read my full review of all the allergen free options here.
Allergen Free Waffles & Chicken Sausage at Kouzzina
Landscape of Flavors
Mango, Blueberry, Banana Smoothie at Landscape of Flavors
There are so many options at Landscape of Flavors at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, but my favorite pre-race option is their smoothie bar. I drink a smoothie everyday for breakfast to get me going, so this was a seriously awesome find for me in WDW. The only bad thing is that they wouldn’t add any spinach from the salad bar in the next station…come on!! But even without the spinach, the mango, blueberry and banana smoothie I had was delicious and a wonderful snack before the Wine & Dine Half Marathon.
Championship Chicken Sandwich at ESPN Zone
If you’re staying at the Boardwalk, this is an easy option to get a good meal. Before the 2012 Wine & Dine Half Marathon, I ate here and ordered the Champion Chicken Sandwich without the bun. I also got the sun-dried tomato pesto and goat cheese on the side so I could limit my intake of that. The chicken was very good and the dish was a nice combination of protein and carbs for the race. I just wish they had sweet potato fries!
I would also recommend getting your food to go if you plan on dining here before a race. The restaurant is very loud with all of the games going on, so it’s not the best place to relax and get your head together.
Whole Wheat Bagel Thin, Almond Butter & Banana
This combo is my must do meal prior to any race. Whenever I’m in WDW for a race, I make a point to stop for some bagels, almond butter and bananas. For me, this is the ideal race fuel…carbs, protein, sugars…perfect. This combo is also great for staying in a hotel room because nothing needs to be refrigerated. Trust me on this one…you’ll love it!
Well those are the restaurants I’ve visited so far prior to runDisney events. What is you’re go to meal before a race? What is your favorite WDW dining location before a race?
Half marathon number 5…complete! This was a great race for many reasons…perfect weather, familiar area, flat course, great spectators…a winner!
Since I’m used to running Disney races where my alarm is set for 2:45 am, the 4:30 am wake up call was a nice change. I never sleep well before races so once the alarm went off I was wide awake. We were staying at my Dad’s house that night and the queen sized bed is always a little tight for B and I as well. Once you get used to a king, everything else feels cramped
I got up and did my usual pre-race routine: brush teeth, wash face, KT Tape, Body Glide, get dressed, Blister Block, put shoes on, good to go. I headed downstairs to make my pre-race meal of a whole wheat bagel thin with almond butter & banana and a cup of green tea. My Dad was nice enough to get up early to drop me off for the race. We chatted a bit while I ate and headed out the door just after 5:30 am.
The starting line was at Monmouth Park, which is where the Expo was held the day before. It’s only about 15 minutes from my Dad’s house, but we expected there to be traffic getting there and we were right. There were funneling all of the cars into the parking lot across from the track, but we kept going and my Dad dropped me off at the end of the road leading in. I walked from there and was surprised by how cold and windy is was. 50 degrees is perfect for racing, but that wind was tough.
Thankfully the grandstand was open, so I headed straight in there to keep warm. Seemed like many of the other runners had the same idea.
I stretched for a bit to warm up my legs and then decided to use a real bathroom before heading outside to the corrals. The line for the women’s room was very long, but rumors were stirring that there were other less crowded bathrooms upstairs. Well there was a line there, but then there were more rumors about another bathroom further down with no line. So a few of us headed around the corner and then down an escalator to find a bathroom that alas had no line! The whole area was deserted with only the remnants for the Kentucky Derby the night before.
I noticed that some of the race horse were out exercising, so I decided to head out to catch a glimpse. What beautiful animals!! Such a peaceful way to start the morning before a big race.
It was about 6:30 am, so I decided to head outside to get in my corral. The race was starting in about 15 minutes and I couldn’t believe how many people were still hanging around inside or on a very long line for the bathroom. The port-a-john lines were even worse outside!
Volunteers were yelling at everyone who had a clear bag to check that the trucks were just about to leave for the finish line area and that they had to rush! It was a bit chaotic. I’m surprised there weren’t any announcements inside letting people know what time it was and that they had to get a move on to check their bags.
Back Check Trucks
I was in Corral E, the last corral, so I started heading toward the back. Volunteers were checking bib numbers at the entrance to C, but when I got to D no one was there and people were just filing in. I know it’s not right to do that, but I REALLY was nervous about starting in the last corral so I took the advantage when I saw it. But I wasn’t the only one who had that idea, people were even hopping over the barricades!
Once I was in the corral, the start was only about 5 minutes away. Things seemed to be moving very quickly! I guess I’m just used to Disney races with everything very far apart and having to stand around a lot, but I actually really enjoyed having everything close by! Before I knew it, the announcer was counting down the wheelchair competitors and then the elite runners in A. Since we were at a racetrack, it was only fitting that each corral was sent off by the opening bugle horn for horse races…pretty cool. And then what else would be playing for a race on the Jersey Shore, but “Born to Run” by Bruce Springsteen…so perfect!
And before I knew it, I was running my 5th half marathon!! There was a small hill within the first half mile, but for the most part the course was flat…very flat which was great!
The first few miles were tough as they usually are for me. My legs aren’t warmed up and every stride feels strained, but just after mile 2 I got into the groove. My goal for the day was to finish in 2:45 and when I started, I was positioned perfectly between the 2:30 and 2:45 pacers. My average pace was 12:20 and I was keeping a 2/1 run walk ratio….right on track to finish in 2:45. But surprise surprise…my GI system had other plans. A pit stop was in my immediate future.
The lines for the port-a-john’s were long and I was so concerned about time that I just kept pushing through hoping that the next group had a shorter line. No luck. That was until I saw a few women standing off to the side of the road…in someone’s driveway. The house was having construction done and there was a port-a-john there…probably for the workers. Genius! So I hopped on line. I feel kind of bad for the owners of the house and the construction company, but this was getting to be an emergency so I had to do it. However I did see the 2:45 pacer pass by while I was waiting…boooo.
This pit stop was just before mile 4, so I figured I had plenty of time to make up some ground. But that 5 minutes is hard to make up! I think this part of the course was my favorite. It was through the town of Oceanport, which has some seriously cute houses and tree lined streets. This was the first area where we encounterd spectators out on the course…it was so cool how people were just sitting in their driveways cheering us on. I’m always so humbled by that.
We crossed our first bridge in around mile 5.5 and headed into Long Branch. The skies were starting to clear and it was turning into a beautiful day.
Here is where we encountered some of the homes that were very badly damaged by Hurricane Sandy. It’s still so incredibly sad to see the devastation that was caused even more than 6 months after the storm.
But in true Jersey fashion, the storm didn’t damage spirits and even more spectators were out. Many were even having full on parties outside their house, complete with music and Bloody Mary’s!
The NJ Marathon began at 8:00 am and ran the same course as we did until the split at 11.5 miles. When I came up on mile 8, the announcements began that the leader would be approaching soon and we should stay to our right. I also noticed the mile marker signs and the time clocks had been changed to reflect the marathon runners. I can’t event imagine in my wildest dreams running that fast!
At 8.5, I heard a car behind me and someone yelling on a bullhorn to move to the right. This was the first time I had run in conjunction with a full marathon, so I was excited to see the elite runners pass by. Man were they moving!
These runners were passing by at twice my pace having full conversations. Mind boggling to a slow runner like me, but very cool to see!
Mile 9…slow and steady
I knew we were getting close to the split and to the final 1.5 miles along the ocean that I was looking forward to. I was actually feeling really good and trying to make up some of the time that I lost from the pit stop. The marathoners took off to the right down Ocean Avenue for the loooooong stretch to Asbury Park and back and I was so thankful I wasn’t going that way!
I on the other hand headed straight across Ocean Avenue and turned left towards the finish line…woohoo!
Yes, running along the water is gorgeous to look at, but when there is an insane wind coming off the water, it makes it VERY difficult to keep up your pace. I always say it reminds me of being in one of those endless pools where the water just keeps rushing at you while you swim, but you aren’t actually moving. I knew at this point there was no way I was going to make my 2:45 goal so I just settled in and did the best I could. But I did have my best marathon time EVER!
As we came upon Pier Village in Long Branch, there were a ton of spectators out along with bands and other entertainment. A great way to stay occupied for that last mile. I could see the Ocean Place Resort (where B & I got married) in the distance and knew the finish line was close. So I took off to finish strong…it felt great!!
Sadly my family got stuck in traffic and weren’t able to be there when I finished But I did finish incredibly strong and love that final stretch. All of the memories of my wedding day came flooding back and I couldn’t help but smile I crossed the finish line with a PR and my hand over my heart to honor the Boston Marathon runners and spectators.
I may not have met my goal of finishing in 2:45, but I did cut 8 minutes off my last PR at the Virginia Wine Country Half, so I’ll take it!
Since the wind was so strong, it was a little chilly after the race and I was sad to see that they didn’t have any mylar blankets available. So I headed to the food tent to keep warm until my family arrived with my clothes. Not only did we get bananas and water, but there were soft pretzels as far as the eye could see!
Honestly, they weren’t very good but I was so hungry I ate that whole thing. B and my Dad arrived with flip-flops and a sweatshirt not too long after I finished, which was very much needed. To my surprise, B was carrying all of my clothes instead of the backpack I had packed him and my stepmom wasn’t there. Apparently, they weren’t letting bags of any kind (even purses!) anywhere near the finish line area. This is understandable after the Boston tragedy but I wish the area was communicated better before the race. There were MANY people complaining about how the police and security were treating the spectators and it was sadly another hindrance for people not getting to watch the finish.
We headed back to the car so I could properly change and then headed back to Pier Village to watch the marathoners come in and grab a bite to eat. I chose tacos…big surprise there!
I was also able to meet up with my best friend from high school who came down to cheer me on. She too got stuck at a security check point with her purse so we had to stand around outside the restricted area. We chatted for about 45 minutes and it was like no time had past. What a great end to my hometown race!
Overall, I loved this race. The course was great and it was all run so smoothly. I think I will definitely be back next year…who’s with me??