Posts Tagged by first marathon

Running Her First Marathon in This Year’s Goofy Challenge

The Goofy Race and a Half Challenge is just that…a BIG challenge!  Well imagine running your first marathon as part of the challenge…well that’s just Goofy!  Well that’s exactly what Gabby did this year and she killed both races!  Check it out…

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This year, during Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend I completed the Goofy Challenge. Side note: this was also my first marathon! When runDisney released the Goofy Challenge 10 year anniversary medal I fell in love! I had already been considering the full marathon for 2015, but never considered Goofy until I saw the medal. I showed it to my husband and he then proceeded to convince me that not only could I complete it, but that he would do it with me (he had never run a half at this point), along with my best friend Em.

So we signed up in April and the three of us began our training in July. We modified the Jeff Galloway plan on the runDisney website. Our longest back-to-back run was 10 miles Saturday and 20 miles Sunday. Though the original plan had called for slightly longer distances, this worked for us and felt like enough training to get us to the finish line.

Half Marathon

Saturday morning finally rolled around and we were up at 3:30 a.m. for the half. We stayed at the Polynesian so that we could just hop on the monorail to Epcot at about 4:15 a.m. We stopped at the porta-potties and then made the cattle crawl to our corrals, while the National Anthem was being sung. I dropped back to corral M so that I could run with Em. We had about a 45-50 minute wait until it was our corrals start time. Despite the weather being colder than anticipated, I was so ready to run. I knew once I got going that I would warm up and that’s exactly what happened. I dressed up as Mr. Smee, but had to add a long sleeved shirt and capris to the outfit.

MrSmee

The plan was to take it easy during the half to save our legs for the full marathon the next day. Em and I felt great after running 2:45 at Wine and Dine so that was our goal. We always run at least the first mile straight at Disney races so that the crowd thins out a little, before converting to our 4:1 run-walk intervals. Well, the crowds didn’t really thin liked we’d hoped it would after a mile (spoiler alert: it was like this the entire race!). Unfortunately, we ended up having to do a lot of weaving and dodging to get around people the duration of the race.

Stilts

These guys did a great job cheering. “Pumpin Up the Party” was playing and I find that song so catchy!

My favorite part of the half marathon is miles 4-7. You go under the Magic Kingdom sign and then through the transportation and ticket center. The energy level of the spectators there was incredible! Definitely a highlight from the races on both Saturday and Sunday. People had some hilarious signs at the TTC that also kept me chuckling. I gave out lots of high fives here.

MKsign

Then we then came up on the tunnel that takes you to the Contemporary. The DJ on top of the bridge is pretty awesome and keeps your energy level up. Then before I knew it we entered a backstage area and were headed towards Main Street USA! I couldn’t believe everything was still decorated for Christmas!

Tree

CastlewithEm

The crowds were ok until we got to the castle where we had to walk because people just weren’t moving. I took the opportunity to get a shot looking down Main Street from the Castle.

MainStreet

We headed past the Grand Floridian and Polynesian and back down World Drive. I really enjoyed the music that they were blasting between miles 11-12 prior to entering Epcot. They had a large screen with cartoons on it that kind of went with the music.

Mime

GenieandAbu

We didn’t stop for a picture with the Mime or Genie and Abu because the lines were crazy, but here are some random people with them.

HalfSelfie

Right before entering Epcot there was a DJ blasting “I Wanna Dance with Somebody” by Whitney Houston and that gave me a huge burst of energy and I was ready to finish strong! We dashed through Epcot in what seemed like a few seconds, passed the Gospel Choir and there it was – the finish line! We finished in 2:59:32 and were feeling great! One third of the Goofy Challenge was now complete. After lots of stretching we headed back to the Poly to relax for the rest of the day.

HalfMedals

HalfFinish

Full Marathon

We once again woke up at 3:30 am, but were definitely dragging a little more than the day prior. After getting dressed and going outside we were pleasantly surprised that the weather was much warmer than the day before! So we walked to the TTC and boarded a monorail directly to Epcot. I was a ball of emotion the day of the marathon.

The first 8 miles of the course are the same as the half. I was excited to see what the speedway had in store for us. First of all, I was not expecting the steady decline that was immediately followed up by a steady incline to get onto the speedway. Overall, the speedway wasn’t bad. I just had no idea just how huge it would be from the inside!

CastlewithCam

BestDay

Speedway

Speedwayselfie

Mile 11 brought the smelliness of the water treatment plant on Disney property. I found it hilarious that they had signs with fun facts all along the road where the treatment plant was. I guess they thought it would occupy our minds from the smell.

Next up was Animal Kingdom! Outside of Animal Kingdom they had some animals with signs/bibs on. It was adorable! It felt like Animal Kingdom went by in the blink of an eye. Before I knew it, we were crossing the split timer for the half marathon!

Everest

Miles14-17 lead us to ESPN wide world of sports. Around mile 16 there was a DJ blasting the best songs at the top of a slight hill. Cameron and I loved this part of the race! My husband teaches 3rd grade and his kids love Phineas and Ferb. When we saw them around mile 16 with no line we knew we had to stop. (I’ve never even seen the show, haha!)

PhineasandFerb

ESPN was pretty boring, which I had already mentally prepared myself for. Around mile 18 I started to struggle which continued through mile 22. There was a weird hill/slant combo between miles 21-22 that was awful. My legs just weren’t having it and hurt pretty badly.

 

Stadium

When we got to Hollywood Studios I was expecting there to be a mass amount of people cheering, but it turned out that not many people were in the park at that time. The disco tunnel had flashing lights, but no music playing which was really strange. Leaving Hollywood Studios there were a lot of people lining the course outside of the park which was awesome! I love this part of the course when we get to run around the boardwalk and towards Epcot. I saw two girls from #TeamSparkle cheering by the slight uphill heading toward Epcot. It was exactly what I needed to get me through the last portion of the race.

TeamSparkle

Photo Credit: Sparkle Athletic

We saw the mile 25 sign and I told Cameron I just wanted to run the rest of the race and he agreed. Epcot was a complete blur I just wanted to see that finish line so badly. When we hit the 26th mile marker I was holding in tears because I knew I wouldn’t be able to breathe if I started crying. We crossed the finish line and all of the built up emotion hit me and I broke down. It was an incredible moment.

CamMedal

GabMedal

Finishers

GoofyFinisher

Goofy Challenge Overview

Doing the Goofy Challenge as my first marathon was definitely risky. Prior to the start of training the longest run I had ever done was 14 miles. Luckily, my body adapted well to running longer distances. I feel that if you train properly (logging enough miles, stretching, icing, foam rolling) then Goofy Challenge is an attainable goal, even as your first marathon. Just be prepared that your life will revolve around training on the weekends. Completing the runs scheduled for Saturday and Sunday is the key to completing Goofy Challenge as it preps your body for what is to come.

Something new this year with the Goofy Challenge is that they took your picture with your bib at the expo. Then after you finished the half and full you also had your picture taken as proof of finishing (along with your time). After the full marathon they used a computer to type in your bib number and verify that you qualified for the Goofy medal. Dopey Challengers did the same thing. This replaced the prior armband system.

Overall, WDW Marathon weekend was an awesome experience and I’m so lucky to have been present two years in a row! The feeling of being surrounded by so many people who have the same passion that I do is indescribable. I now wonder what it would be like to run a marathon on fresh legs…hmmm. Hopefully I’ll find out someday!

postrace

Goofy

Celebrating with Goofy was a must!

*****

My name is Gabby and I blog over at The Running Goober. I live in Virginia and work as a Registered Nurse. Running and strength training are my favorite ways to stay active. I started distance running in the fall of 2013 and ran my first half marathon at Disney World in January 2014. Since then I have completed 5 more half-marathons and 1 full marathon.

Completing Your First Marathon – The BEST Feeling EVER!

Marathons are AMAZING accomplishments in one’s life…something very few people can say they have done. I can hardly believe that I have actually done it!! Well today Ashley is back to to share the story of her first marathon and it is pretty incredible…enjoy 🙂

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Ever have that feeling when you cross something major off your bucket list and you don’t know what to do next?? That’s how I’m feeling after spending the most amazing week at Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend January 9-13, 2014!

I’m Ashley, and I blog over at RunningMomentum.wordpress.com. I began my blog to document my training for the WDW 2014 Marathon. I followed Jeff Galloway’s marathon training program to a tee because his training plan fully prepared me to run the Princess Half Marathon in February 2013, so I trusted it would prep me well for the marathon – and it did! My husband and I are both runners. Now we are blessed with our 18-month-old son, who loved spending a week at Nana’s while we ran Disney! (Last year, he came to Princess when he was just 7 months!)

Ashley Bartley - Marathon 01

Some inspiration I lived by while training:

  • “If you can dream it, you can do it.” ~ Walt Disney
  • “There will be days you don’t think you can run a marathon. There will be a lifetime of knowing you have.” ~Unknown.
  • Pictures of the 10k and marathon medal taped to my treadmill for early morning weekday training runs

{What I wore:}

  • At the last minute, I decided to switch what I was wearing for the 10k and full. The straps on my original Lululemon tank were way too thick for 26.2 miles in Florida! I wore a light-blue Lululemon “Free to Be” tank with black Target C9 shorts, Brooks socks, hot pink Mizuno Wave Inspire 9s, a new sparkly gold Sweaty Band from Fit2Run, my new paracord watch that my husband made, my pink Disney MagicBand, and a SPIbelt loaded with 4 GU packets, ChapStick, and an external battery charger/cable for my iPhone. I carry my iPhone in my hand while I run, using BlueTooth with my wireless Jaybird headphones, and I simultaneously use RunKeeper, music, and the camera, so the battery would have given up right after I ran through the ESPN Wide World of Sports had I not been carrying my charger!

Ashley Bartley - Marathon 02 

{What I ate:}

  • For lunch Saturday before the marathon, we ate at Pop Century Resort. I grabbed pepperoni bread and a Caesar salad. For dinner, we had reservations at Portobello in Downtown Disney at 4:30. Our hostess told us that Marathon Weekend is their busiest weekend of the year, so I was glad that we snagged our ADR 180 days in advance and opted for an early dinner. Our food arrived at 5:30, so it was perfect! I ordered the “Rigatoni Calabrese” which was large enough that I ate the leftovers on Monday morning! Our waiter even gave us free refills on our fancy strawberry lemonades, “Sorpresa Di Fragolino” and then waived the price altogether when he felt that our food took too long to come out (I hadn’t even noticed!). YUM! We also received a 10% Marathon discount, so our total was not bad at all!! We got free samples at Ghirardelli chocolate before catching the shuttle home.

{The night before:}

After returning home late from Downtown Disney, we were exhausted and laid out all of our running gear on the extra bed in our room, which we called the “staging” area. We set our alarms for 2:30, plugged in our headphones, external battery chargers, and phones, and were quickly asleep!

Ashley Bartley - Marathon 03

{Marathon morning:}

We were up at 2:35, dressed, and in line for the race shuttle at 3:45. The line was so long that two full buses left before we got on our charter. Traffic was CRAZY!! We finally arrived at EPCOT at 5:05. We made our ways to the starting corrals, which was much more of a hike than to the  10k corrals, but the same as Princess and the WDW half marathon the day before. There were so many corrals that they actually had runners take different roads to access their corrals, so my husband and I parted ways while he went to his and I headed back to mine. By the time I arrived, there was not much time before Mickey began counting and the fireworks were off for the wheelchair group and then Corral A! I didn’t even get a chance to hug my sister, who was two corrals ahead of me with her friend.

Before starting, I told myself that I was here to “have a good time,” not to “get a good time.” After all, this is Disney! I decided that I would have no regrets when I finished. That meant I would run solo and play it by ear whether to stop for character stops. My main goals were to get photos of every mile marker and grab Powerade and water at every water station to stay hydrated, since I wasn’t carrying water on me. I planned out when I would take GU.

Ashley Bartley - Marathon 04 

Right after Mickey counted “Three! Two! One!” to start my corral, I hopped over to grab a photo of him and a photo of the starting line. (All in all during the 26.2 miles, I managed to grab 122 photos on my phone!). I loved that the fireworks for my corral were just as generous as those for all the other corrals.

Ashley Bartley - Marathon 05

I turned off my headphones so that I could listen to the excitement buzz around me as we made our way over the speed bumps entering into Magic Kingdom and the TTC, where most of the first spectators were. The stretch between Miles 5 and 6 were obviously one of my favorites. Still lots of high energy, character stops, and Cinderella’s Castle! I also used the opportunity to use the restroom in TomorrowLand. I did not wait for a picture with royal Mickey and Minnie behind the castle because the line looked long, but I did grab several shots in front of the castle, which glistened with silver icicle lights! I backtracked a little after my castle photo so the MarathonFoto photographer that was taking pics as we came out of the castle could catch me.

Ashley Bartley - Marathon 06

After passing Woody, it was on to Mile 6! Twenty miles to go! At Mile 7, I caught up briefly with Donald Duck! When my husband ran through this character spot at the Palm & Magnolia Golf Courses, Goofy was there instead, and he justified this one stop because he was running the Goofy Challenge.

Ashley Bartley - Marathon 07

After Mile 8 came the Speedway, which was interesting, but the cars were hard for me to see because it was so sunny out! Luckily it stayed breezy and cool for most of the race! We headed on to Animal Kingdom – I’d never been there before! After the Mile 12 marker, I spotted Jiminy Cricket, one of my favorites, with barely a line – photo op! Same with Rafiki from the Lion King! At this point I stopped for a “secret bathroom” break in a building that looked like a trailer from the front, but actually had restrooms behind it. And then I was off again!

Ashley Bartley - Marathon 08

And then – Expedition Everest was RIGHT.THERE. I had heard that it might be open. I love roller coasters – I did the Roller Coaster Insider Tour at Busch Gardens this summer, where I grew up, but I’d never ridden this one. I saw marathoners running into the FastPass line, and I asked the cast member how long the line was “It’s so quick! Just do it! When will you ever be able to do this mid-marathon again?!” In a split-second decision, I ducked inside, leaving my RunKeeper app running. Miles 13, 14, and 15 happened right there on that ride! There was virtually NO wait (maybe 3 minutes, tops??), and in no time I was jumping right into the FRONT ROW! I had a great car of runners – we were all so excited!! I’ve never had such an adrenaline rush before and am SO glad I did it!

Ashley Bartley - Marathon 09

Right when I came out, I spotted Minnie and Daisy with a short wait, so of course I had to do that, and then I knew I really needed to step it up so as not to lose momentum.

Ashley Bartley - Marathon 10

Heading past Mile 13 and out of Animal Kingdom, I saw the BEST poster: “Bucket List – check!” Simple. Loved it.

Ashley Bartley - Marathon 11

I would have loved to stop for Mickey, but he had a line and I had already stopped enough that mile, so I picked off Miles 14, 15, 16, and 17 before hitting the luxuriously-padded track at ESPN Wide World of Sports. I felt like we were in there forever though! It was nice when we were finally into the single-digit miles remaining. We ran around the baseball field, the track, and the whole complex, before heading out to the infamous “Mile 20” wall that most people caution about. My longest training runs beforehand were 20 and 23 milers, so I knew I’d be okay, and I was, but I still LOVED the motivational quotes staked in the grass along the way.

Ashley Bartley - Marathon 12

I knew we still had to hit Hollywood Studios and EPCOT, with not much mileage left, so I chugged along, noticing that many more people were solely walking at this point. Loved, LOVED the Hollywood Studios water tower and the costuming viewing area! Around Mile 24 I had to grab a picture of the “40k” banner – (who’s heard of such a thing??) and knew we must be approaching Epcot very soon!

Ashley Bartley - Marathon 13

Entering into World Showcase got emotional for me. I started tearing up with the enormity of what I was about to accomplish, but a spectator said, “you’re okay, sweetie!” and I realized she probably thought I was in pain, so I got myself together and smiled with my thumb up. I could see Spaceship Earth in the distance, but it was SO far away, and I could see runners all the way around the lagoon.

Ashley Bartley - Marathon 14

So close, yet so far! It really helped when a spectator encouraged us by saying that we only had “point three miles to the finish!” I spotted Sorceror Mickey’s picture on the 26-Mile marker, briefly savored the motivational gospel choir, (regrettably) bypassed Dopey, who barely had a line – because I was SOOO close at that point!), and rounded the corner where I could SEE THE FINISH LINE!

Ashley Bartley - Marathon 15

Ashley Bartley - Marathon 16

I remember taking a video, blowing kisses to an uber-excited Minnie on my left, Mickey on my right, and across the finish I went! I realized I was still running through the chute and put on the brakes to receive my BEAUTIFUL FINISHER’S MEDAL! There was some confusion until I could find my family outside the gear check tents, but we were all so excited to have all finished and achieved such an accomplishment!

Ashley Bartley - Marathon 17

I admired my husband’s colorful Goofy medal, my brother-in-law’s Dopey medal, and hopped in line to show Chip, Dale, and Pluto our newest bling.

Ashley Bartley - Marathon 18

Ashley Bartley - Marathon 19

Ashley Bartley - Marathon 20

We hopped onto our shuttle back to Pop Century, where a hot shower and compression sleeves awaited me!

Ashley Bartley - Marathon 21

Soon afterward, we shuttled to Magic Kingdom, caught the monorail to the Polynesian, and enjoyed the BEST post-race dinner at ‘Ohana with my sister and her friends, where the meat was literally bouncing off my plate and onto the table, it was coming so fast! Afterward, we ordered a Lapu Lapu, but they were sold out (lots of marathoners there celebrating!). Instead, my husband and I watched “Wishes” fireworks show from the beach at Poly and filled a cup with a soft-serve Dole Whip – the perfect fairy-tale ending to an absolutely perfect day!

Ashley Bartley - Marathon 22

Ashley Bartley - Marathon 23

*****

I’m so excited to be writing a race recap for Running at Disney today! I’m Ashley, and I blog over at Running MOMentum. I’m an elementary school counselor by day, but when I am home, I’m a cloth-diapering, nursing, babywearing mommy to my sweet boy. My husband and I are living in a toddler’s world! Blogging is my way of processing and reflecting on my experiences and relishing in the loves of my life – my faith, my family, my friends, and my experiences!

I ran cross country in high school but took a hiatus after a spinal fusion, and only recently returned to running about a year before my son was born. My favorite races have been at Disney – the 2013 Princess Half Marathon, the 2014 Inaugural Minnie 10k, and the 2014 Walt Disney World Marathon! You might also catch me taking pictures, writing, finding freebies, attempting to cook, attending Bible study, scouring Pinterest, and scrolling through Bloglovin. Virginia has always been home to me, my husband, our son, and our sprightly Jack Russell Terrier, Scout.

Lessons Learned from the Walt Disney World Marathon

I’m super excited to have Hannah here on RAD today!  The 2014 Walt Disney World Marathon was her first full marathon and she is sharing her tips on traveling with family to race weekends and her struggles during the race.  Great takeaways for everyone!  But enough from me…I’ll let Hannah do the talking…

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I fully intended to be writing a post about how awesome it was to complete my first marathon. How empowered I felt to have my family by my side cheering me on. And, about how we rocked it out in the park for the week following. At least I will get to tell you about the second two since I ended up pulling myself out of the race shortly after mile 16. But let’s rewind for a moment and get you all caught up.

Back in May 2013 I decided that I wanted to run the Walt Disney World Marathon 2014. When I told my husband he said he’d like to do it as well. So we both signed up.

Hannah-Suhr-WDW-Marathon3

As the date approached we talked with our families and invited them all along for the trip to Florida. My parents, my in-laws, my sister-in-law and our niece ultimately decided they would come down to watch us run.  I got to work putting together emails about Disney since my mother-in-law still refers to Magic Kingdom as “Disney” and openly declares that she “doesn’t like Disney, but loves Epcot.” I broke down each park into four emails — an intro email, two descriptive emails, and a conclusion email that included tips and tricks for that park. I also included a few general emails (transportation, resorts, packing, food, etc). I tried to space the emails out so they would arrive about once a week, but my schedule got a bit busy so some were grouped together.  I think the emails helped a little, but it still would have been easier if I had out-right planned everyone’s trip for them.

Hannah-Suhr-WDW-Marathon4

Despite the minimal hiccups, we were incredibly grateful that our parents, my husband’s sister, and our niece were there cheering us on. It really made the experience something special. We also enjoyed our time on vacation with them.

I do have a few bits of advice if you are traveling with a large group of non-Disney travelers:

  1. Have face-to-face conversations early and often to gauge their planning if you are not doing it all yourself.
  2. Buy a guidebook or order maps for your travelers.
  3. Spend their first day at the park with them so they do not get overwhelmed.
  4. Remember to tell them how much you appreciate them being there.
  5. Breathe deeply, plan some time apart, and definitely don’t share rooms…you will need your own space.

Hannah-Suhr-WDW-Marathon5

So back to it being awesome to complete my first marathon. That didn’t happen. In 2013 I had set a personal goal to complete 13 running events and I was successful in doing so. Unfortunately, those 13 events included three half marathons very close together (Sept, Oct and Nov). At my September race (Disneyland Half) I started having an issue with my hip feeling tight. By October (Hershey Half) it was incredibly tight, but I had attributed it to the “colder-than-expected” weather and my muscles freezing up. By November (Philadelphia Marathon Weekend, Half Marathon), I couldn’t deny that there was something going on. So I took a break from running and just never got my groove back before the WDW Marathon.

I kept up with working with my trainer (TRX and weight-training) and completed a 6 week boot-camp class. I figured I’d be okay because I had kept up my cardio with the boot camp, had lost a few pounds, and more importantly, about 3 percent body fat (woohoo!). Apparently it wasn’t enough. By mile 9 or 10 of the marathon my hip was irritated but not enough to be a problem. Then, around mile 11 my knee started aching. Around 12.5 I knew I wasn’t going to finish the race without a real injury so I let my husband know my concerns and we parted ways around mile 13. Where I sat and cried for about 10 minutes.

Then my stubborn butt said “I’ve done this before, I need to do more.” So I got up and got to mile 14, and then to the medic stop after 14 where I took a tylenol and kept plowing on until 15…then 15.5, where I stopped again and talked to one of the bike medics. He told me there was another medic spot after mile 16 so I pushed on and figured I’d make a decision there. And, so I did. I bailed.  The stubborn side of me could have kept going, but the “smart” side decided it would be better to pull out and not risk getting hurt.

To answer the two questions I’ve been asked most — Yes, I will make another attempt at doing a marathon (if you know me, you wouldn’t even bother asking that) and No, I do not regret my decision to pull out. What I do regret is a big lesson learned — train for a marathon. Train seriously. Take it seriously. It’s not a joke. Yes, I can do a half with very little training and still finish and be fine the next day. A full marathon is a whole other beast. You have to take it for what it is.

I do want to say that I am incredibly proud of my husband who ended up finishing his first full marathon! And, grateful that he’s agreed to do another one with me if I want him to.

Hannah-Suhr-WDW-Marathon1

Hannah-Suhr-WDW-Marathon2

Just a few tid-bit tips if you’re thinking of taking on a race at the Walt Disney World Marathon weekend.

  1. Go the expo early. I, and every other person you’ll talk to, can’t stress this enough.
  2. Take a cell phone or some means of communication with you, and set up a meeting point for after the race. We had one cell phone because we intended to stay together. Unfortunately, I was mistaken in believing I would be able to contact our family members at the medic stop…nope. Not until I got back to the finish area could I reach out to anyone. They were all really concerned about where I was after Jon and I parted ways and then we had a hard time finding each other.
  3. Rest before the race and after. We spent the day before the marathon just hanging out at our resort and the night after we did some Downtown Disney walking, but no park. We intended to hit up Epcot, but weren’t feeling it at all.
  4. Walk after the race. Man was it hard to get back up after resting for a few hours (we zonked out for about 2 hours), but it is VERY important to get up and walk.
  5. The parks will be crowded during the marathon weekend so take time to do non-park stuff on the weekend and try to stay for a few days after to visit the parks when they will be less crowded.

Overall, we had great trip and I wish you the best of luck if you decide to try a trip like this or a marathon!

*****

Hannah is an attorney from Hershey, Pennsylvania. She started running in 2011 while preparing for the Bar Exam as a means of helping her focus on her studying. Hannah completed her first half marathon in October 2011 at the Nike Women’s Marathon in San Francisco. In 2013 she completed 13 running events including 5 half marathons, 2 10ks, 3 5ks and 3 fun races (2 color runs and a zombie run).  She enjoys setting goals and crossing things off of her “bucket list,” and she is strongly considering giving the Walt Disney World Marathon another shot in 2015! Follow Hannah at www.workorrun.com, where she blogs about her everyday goals and challenges.

RAD Reads and Weekly Review: December 30, 2012

I can’t believer this is the last RAD Reads and Weekly Review of 2012…what a year!!  Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would run 3 half marathons, 3 5Ks and 1 10-miler in a year, but I did it!  This year has be an amazing journey and a wild ride…I’ve loved every moment of it and I can’t thank you enough for coming along!

Want to take a look at some RAD Reads I found this week?  I found some good ones!

Running & Fitness Posts
Yes, I am obsessed with CrossFit takes a look at the 10 most ridiculous diets ever…have you heard of the ear stapling diet?!?

Travel, Run, Eat compares her first marathon training to her second coming up in 2 weeks.

Eat, Sleep, Run, Disney is having a giveaway of a Raw Threads Cindy shirt…just in time for WDW Marathon Weekend!

I Run for Wine reminds us that even during the holidays, it’s important to get off the couch and run!  I wish I had taken this advice 🙁

Run With Jess shows us her year of awesome bling and there is a lot of it!

The Happy Runner has great tips for running in the snow, something that’s really scares me!

Running Toward the Prize has 5 tips for staying healthy before a race…I will definitely be following this advice over the next few weeks.

Disney Posts
Parkeology takes a look back on tomorrow and ponders what current attractions we will be looking back on like Alien Encounter.

WDW For Grownups has drinks and appetizers at Epcot’s Rose and Crown Pub…one of my favs!

Travel With Rick features the Year in Review and the always hysterical blooper reel this week, featuring some embarrassing moments from yours truly 🙂

Weekly Review
I’m going to be honest here…I’m at the point where I’m terrified of injury before the WDW Marathon and I think I’m using this as an excuse to not run.  Yes, I know this is completely ridiculous and the opposite of what I should be doing.  I haven’t had many workouts this week due to the holiday and then my in-laws were over today to celebrate Christmas 2.0 and I’m definitely feeling sluggish because of it.  Or maybe it’s all the rich food I’ve been eating…

Christmas Eve DinnerRib Roast, Creamed Corn and Scalloped Potatoes

Christmas Eve Dinner
Rib Roast, Creamed Corn and Scalloped Potatoes

Christmas Morning BreakfastGluten Free, Egg Free Pancakes and Local CT Sausage

Christmas Morning Breakfast
Gluten Free, Egg Free Pancakes and Local CT Sausage

Who know’s what is causing my slacking behavior, but I hope I can get this turned around soon!  Here’s my full week of workouts and to see my full WODs, head over to my page on dailymile.

Sunday: Rest
Monday: Rest
Tuesday: Rest
Wednesday: CrossFit – 1 hour – Back Squats, PullUps and Amraps
Thursday: CrossFit – 1 hour – Amraps
Friday: Rest
Saturday: Rest

For the next 2 weeks (well after New Year’s Eve!), I will be focusing on prepping my body for the WDW Marathon.  Clean eating, stretching, hydration, short runs and moderate cross training.  I need to stay healthy and strong.  What do you do to prep for a big race?

Happy New Year to you and your family!  Make 2013 your best ever!

20th Anniversary Walt Disney World Marathon Medal Revealed!

After much anticipation, the 20th Anniversary Walt Disney World Medal has finally been revealed and it’s a beauty!!

I’m LOVING the new design and that it is so completely different from prior years.  The colors are so fun and it really compliments the festivities surrounding this event.  I also love the double spinners in the center of the medal that show Mickey from 1994 and from present day, and has the inspiring inscription “All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.”  Something all of us runners need to keep in mind.  The  I’m really glad I decided to bite the bullet and make this my first marathon…I will be very proud to have this medal around my neck!

Here is the full video of the big reveal and the conclusion of The Great Medal Caper:

What do you think of the new 20th Anniversary medal??

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