Category: I RUN This City…..like a princess

I RUN This City…..like a princess – race recap

I arrived via I-75 from Marietta to Tampa on Wednesday. My gracious sorority sister agreed to host me for the evening so I wouldn’t have to drive in so early on Thursday. We dined at a sushi restaurant that was delightful. Thursday morning, I got up early to go pick my friend up from the airport. We went to the expo and was delighted to arrive to no lines and pick up our bibs and tshirts in about 20 minutes. We then spent a little over an hour looking at all the vendors. There wasn’t anything I felt that I had to have, but I enjoyed taking pictures at the different booths (especially the fairy wings). My favorite item at the expo was the lavender and purple New Balance shoes. The strangest thing was Sucess rice. They had a wheel that allowed you to win a prize. Tonia and I won a box of rice. After the expo we went back to the hotel (Coco Keys) and then to dinner at Chi-Chis. After dinner, we watched a little tv in the room and decided to take a nap. The nap was more like sleep. It lasted three hours. When we woke up, we walked to get water and French fries.

In the morning, our alarms rang at 3:30. We were dressed and out the door by 4:10. The directions to the Royal Family 5k were easy, or so we thought. Somehow, we got twisted around and went about ten miles in the wrong direction. We arrived at Epcot in time to see lots of costumes. I really liked seeing all the fathers with their daughters. The mc was fun and kept the crowd pumped. It was fun watching over a thousand people in tutus doing the Cupid shuffle. The race had five corrals. Tonia was in corral D. By the time she started, the people in corral A were finishing. She crossed the finish line with a smile. After the race, we went back to take a nap before check out. After leaving the hotel, we had breakfast at IHOP and then went to check in at Westgate. Our other two sole sisters, Pam and Kat were in the air en route from North Carolina.

Funny of the night….Pam finishing her costume. Gotta love the last minute details to enhance the perfect ensemble.

Day two of 3:30am alarms. This morning I got up in a great mood and I was super excited. The four of us got dressed. At 4am, Princess Tiana, Snow White, Belle and Tonia loaded the car enroute to Epcot Center. We parked in row D-23 and were off to the strart line. We walked past the balloon ladies (women you have to stay in front of in order to be allowed to finish the race). As we waited for the start of the race, I took pictures with two others dressed as Tiana. The beginning was a little congested. The first character we saw was from Frozen. She was on a bridge above us that sprinkled down snow. At mile 1, Pam stopped for a picture with the Snow White mile marker. At mile two, I took a picture with the Ariel mile marker. Pam’s support prop (an apple) was the “talk” of the race. Everyone commented on how much they liked her attention to detail for Snow White prop. Just before mile 3, we saw the sweeper bus and took a picture in front of it. A Bambi mile marker greeted us at mile 3, this was Kat’s turn for a photo opp. As we entered Epcot, an electronic sign that said”Go runners go” made for a great picture moment. we entered an area that had shrubbery cut into Snow White and the Seven dwarfs. There weren’t many spectators on the course, however, there was a guy holding a sign that said, “You look good when you sweat”. Soon after seeing this poster, we encountered a man who had on a shirt that read “why are all of these princesses chasing me?” I was excited to see one of the bakery’s open for business and was tempted to stop but the line was too long. At the mile 5 mile marker, I got a great picture of Tonia with the Donald Duck sign. Mile 5 to the end proved to be the most eventful. Just beyond a character photo line, a runner face planted as the line and everyone near her gasped. She collected herself and got up to several people asking if she was ok. She said, “Did I lose my teeth?” When she discovered they were still in tact, she kept going. As we were walking, I happen to look behind us and could see the balloon ladies. I yelled, “balloon ladies” and we all took off into a sprint. At the finish, we collected our medals and realized that we had really taken our time. Most of the bananas and water was gone. But we got our snacks and proceeded to walk the green mile to the car. Part 1 of princess challenge, 6.2 miles. Walk to and from the car and to the start line, probably an additional 5k.
This was a very fun race. I liked taking it easy and enjoying the experience as opposed to worrying about my time. We started together and finished together.

Day three if 3:30am wake ups. Everyone was excited and dressed by 4am. My sorority sister from Tampa came to support me. Stephanie (another runner we know from home) drive down to do the race as well had come over to ride with us. As expected, the traffic was a little heavier with the additional people. We stood around for a while until the crowd started to thin out. At this time, we made our way to our corral. The walk was over a mile. When we got close enough to see the big balls indicating where we were to go, it was time to split. Stephanie was in Corral D. Tonia and I we’re is corral I. Pam was in corral J. And Kat was in corral M. We all wished each other well and proceeded to take our places.

At 5:30, the wheelchair division started. At 5:30, corral A was ready to go. At 6:00, it was show time for corral I. Tonia and I quickly split up. The surprises started early off. There was a pirate ship near the first mile marker. No sooner than I passed the ship, thunderous cheering began as we could see the first wheelchair participant and first place runner already coming back. I was in shock to think that they would finish before the sun rose. Soon after this spot, I was stopped in my tracks as I witnessed a group of drummers that made me think back to the Olympics in China during the opening ceremony. I ran most of the race on the grass as the course was quite congested most of the way. Just before mile 5, I got the photo I dreamed of getting; Princess Tiana. This was the first time I had seen Tonia since the start. As the sun began to rise, I approached the one thing on my “have to take a picture” list. I got several castle pictures and kept going. Miles went on and I opted for no more pictures. Everyone was very encouraging. The funniest part of the race was the army guy. He was great at telling people to keep going or stop to do push ups. Most walked or ran past him with a salute. I think this was a pleasant site for all runners. Prior to mile 12, I saw Tonia at the turn around. As she waved I gave her a not so friendly scowl. At this point, a pain went from my hip to my knee and it was really a look of distress. I walked through my run interval until the pain subsided. The signs and people started to pick up so I knew I needed to turn it on. Just as my race was coming to an end, I saw the one thing that everyone talks about but I had forgotten that I would see…..the gospel choir. They were placed in the perfect spot. I lifted my hands in praise as I recalled my prayer at the beginning of the race. I was crossing the finish line in under three hours and injury free. My prayers had been answered. I crossed the finish line and got my post race power aid, water and treat box.

I had given this race my all and was ready to rest. We took a few post race pictures before the long walk to the car. Race 13.1 miles. I’m sure the walk to and from the car and to the corrals put us close to 20 miles. Race number 3 of the year…..done. Next stop after my move, half fanatic status.

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I RUN This City…..like a princess. Run like the wind.

This morning was my last official training run. On my way out of the house, the words of encouragement I received from my sweetie were, “run like the wind”. I smiled and went out the door. I was excited to not only run outside, but to wear shorts. It was a simply perfect 61 degrees. I took in all of my surroundings. This run was not just my last Princess training run in Georgia, but probably my last run in Georgia. When training started, I was anticipating a move to Atlanta. But that’s not going to happen. I enjoyed the drivers that waved or blew the horn in support and encouragement of the run. This run was different. To me, it was significant in saying farewell and indicating an end.
Florida, here I come.

I RUN This City….like a princess. Snow Day!

I’m in Georgia and the lovely city of Atlanta has been shut down due to freezing rain and icy conditions. As much as I complain about the hills, right now I’d take them. The weather outside is frightful and the treadmill won’t be delightful. Skating across the parking lots I go, darn this cold, darn this ice, darn this snow. I didn’t feel like going but I was inspired to get off of my behind when the male child walked by my door dressed in his workout attire. This kid has heart and determination. He’s trying to meet a weight requirement to join the military and he’s working diligently to make it happen. The picture of him from a year ago and now is a split screen you’d see on Biggest Loser.

Walking down the stairs was a challenge. I held on to the railing for dear life. My biggest fear was that I’d fall and twist my ankle. Once we got to the bottom, there was just enough snow covering the ice to make it less slick. .16 miles to the fitness center according to Nike+. He asked if I would mind if he played his music aloud. I tuned it out after the first few minutes. It was nice seeing all the dogs through the window. It seemed as if everyone decided to come out at the same time. As the sky turned dark, my mind wandered to so many places during the run. At one point, I noticed him glance at me. I think he was secretly racing me. It was cool though because I was secretly racing him.

Five miles later and we were finished. Florida, sunshine, warmth; I can’t wait to join you.

I RUN This City……like a princess! It just got real.

Oh my goodness. Almost seven months ago, I registered. Almost two months ago, I started training. I’ve been on the run Disney Facebook page nearly every day looking at pictures from Wine & Dine, Tinkerbell and the Dopey Challenge. Each race that I saw posted got me more excited and closer to Princess. Everyone looked happy in the pictures. How could they look any different in the most magical place on the east coast?

As I socialized with women from all over on various Facebook race pages, the question was the same, “When will corral assignments come out?” Well, today is the day.

This princess is in Corral I. And I is for incredible!

Run With Your Heart

The last few weeks have been rough. There are so many things going on in my life and around me that seem to be draining me of my energy. Physically and emotionally, I’m tired. When the alarm clock sounds to run, I just want to sink deeper into the blankets. If a night run is planned, I could come up with a millions reasons to wait til tomorrow. Fortunately, each time my mind says, ” not now” or my body says, “this can wait”; my heart screams louder, “Get it together. You can do this. We can do this!”
Each day that my heart roared louder and I laced up my shoes, I was able to leave some of my worries behind. I s able to dig a little deeper and turn “I can’t” to “I did!”
Life gets hectic and stressful sometimes. For those days, find something you enjoy doing. Ignore the voices in your head and replace the noise with a louder voice. Go, do it (RUN) with your heart!

13.1 – on the ‘mill

Do I I wait and hope for the sun? Or do I go now and get it over with? This was my dilemma as the thought of twelve miles on the treadmill was dreadful. The weather forecast promised sunshine and great running temperature for outside running later in the day. After an hour of deliberation I finally convinced myself to seize the moment. Good or bad weather, I knew the longer I waited, the harder it would be.

I set my intervals on 5:55/:55 and set out to conquer the feat ahead if me. This morning the tv made for great company, as I listened to a few sermons. The first hour went by quickly. When the clock on the treadmill got to ninety one minutes, I got a little excited. I knew the machine only went to 99:99. The thought of “outrunning” the treadmill made me smile. After resetting the ‘mill, time seemed to go slower and slower. I was hot. The tv was no longer keeping me entertained. I was just ready to be done.

Just when I was ready to throw in the towel, I got some electronic words of encouragement from my running buddies.

A strange thing happened at 13.1 miles. I wanted to keep going. I stopped my watch to record my time and proceeded to do my cool down. Fifteen on the treadmill. This princess is ready!

Running in Georgia with Georgia

I found myself back in Georgia with a plate that seemed full, yet empty. I had a lot on my mind and my heart was quite heavy. Running was the last thing I wanted to do, but the thing I knew I needed to do.

I dressed and laced up for one of my last Georgia training runs. I tried to get the male child to go with me but he said it was too cold and he was going to the gym. Secretly, I think he’s afraid of not being able to keep up with a woman twenty one years his senior. As much as I thought I wanted the company, I found serenity in my solitude.

I had been playing around with intervals for race day. Today, I decided on 6:1. The first few miles were grueling as I tackled hills that today felt like mountains. Every uphill, I tried to remind myself would be a downhill on the way back.

Every mile felt like a minor victory. On the way back, I felt overjoyed to be closer to the finish than the start.

One more month to go.

48 degrees today, 29 tomorrow

Day 1
It has been 13 days since my feet has seen the pavement. I don’t think there is a word grand enough to describe how good it felt to be off of the treadmill with modest weather and the bonus of other runners. I think my body was in shock. I enjoyed the feeling of the fresh air brushing my face. The sounds of the city were a sweet melody and the pitter patter of the group’s feet kept me smiling the whole way.

The fresh air filled my lungs and I felt alive. North Carolina weather is constantly inconsistent so I knew that I needed to take advantage of the heat wave. I keep hearing about a polar vortex that’s supposed to bring cold weather back. I’m sure I’ll be back inside sooner than later.

Day 3
When my alarm sounded at 6am, I looked at the temperature on my phone. It indicated that the outside temperature was only twenty nine degrees. I got dressed anyway so I could run with people again. Adding the facts that it was still dark and the wind, the cold was bone chilling.
I was properly dressed for the cold, but the wind was another story. The tips of my touch screen gloves worked for my hand and three of my fingers. The thumb and pointer which have the touch screen fabric were freezing.
I was too happy that I decided at the last minute to wear a scarf. It worked well as a shield to keep the wind off of my face.
I looked like a running ninja to myself. I’m sure I looked like a robber to the people driving past.

It was frigid….but, I did it!

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What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Stronger

Week 12

Day 1 – To say I’m longing for some sign of spring would be an understatement. I think my feet have forgotten what the pavement feels like. I’m glad I have access to a treadmill but I’m ready to let the cool air caress my face without my eyelids freezing and my hair being covered in ice. Warm weather…..I’ll be waiting.

Day 2 – It’s 9 degrees and the rest of the week doesn’t look much warmer. It’s cold and raining. This weather is better suited for pajamas, snacks, chick flicks and my favorite blanket. But none of that for me. I must tackle this long run since it’s my only day off. Once again I’m going to be boo loving with the treadmill…..for 11 miles.

I dressed in a black running skirt and racer back tee. I know it’s going to take me about two hours, but it will get done. In my mind, I’m psyched and ready to go. My mantra today is “the treadmill is my friend.”

I’ve been doing quite a bit of my training in Georgia and every time I’m there, I have to give myself a pep talk about the hills. I turn on music, I count cars, I pray…..whatever it takes to get through. But today, I discovered I like the hills more than I hate them. Those hill runs made this run doable.
My splits (1)8:52, (2)9:40, (3)9:58, (4)9:29, (5)9:37, (6)10:25, (7)10:10, (8)9:35, (9)10:22, (10)10:16, ten miles with all splits under 10:30, (11)12:07(walked for cool down).

It was tough-really tough, but I did it and I didn’t hate it!

Now, the trek from the fitness center to the house when the freezing cold hit my sweaty skin, that was a different story. Even after eleven miles, that short run was pretty fast.

Running in the cold with a cold

Week 11
I couldn’t think of a better way to start the New Year than with a race. I did something I’ve never done before. I didn’t pre plan to do this. Less than 48 hours before the start, I went to register. I hadn’t been feeling my best but figured if I dressed warm, I could handle it in less than 40 minutes. It was cold. I think over celebrating on New Year’s Eve and low temperatures kept some participants away. There were about 120 people registered for the two races (a 5k and 10k). We started the course with an out and back on the street that lead into the park. We then used the trail, most of which was paved. At mile two, I questioned my decision to race. my throat was scratchy, my nose was running and my ears were cold. But i pushed to the end and was happy to see my sweetie at the finish line. A modest 36 minutes. Eighth in my age group. i’ll take it.
Everyone was friendly. I enjoyed the race overall and would support the racing company in the future.