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Saturday, October 30, 2010

Saturday Linky-Loos

My favorite posts for the week!


Health and Fitness
  • Your Health is Your Most Important Asset: What a great article from Get Rich Slowly.  My favorite part was the suggestion that if you want to travel, do it NOW.  Which is what we're doing.
  • Spouse of a Runner:  I need to write my own post like this one as an ode to my own running/non-running spouse.
  • Earning that Medal: A late but excellent post about the NY Times article from last year about how people who run slower marathons shouldn't be allowed to do so. (and my own response from last year)
Other Stuff

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Three Things Thursday

  1. First of all, thank you for all of your suggestions on my What Do You Want to Know post.  I'm going to be answering these over the next month or two, and I've got a bunch of new blog ideas!!  YAY!
  2. Things have been coming along nicely on the running and working out front.  I've been doing some work on my weight training, which is great.  The results are STILL not posted for Saturday's race, which I think is sort of unacceptable, and means that I'm certainly not going to be rushing out to do another race that Westminster Road Runners Club puts on.  I mean, it's already been 5 days.  Even Annapolis Striders had their results out 5 days after the A-10 this year, and theirs were screwed up.
  3. I've been pondering the theme song question a little more.  At first I thought I'd go for Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy (since I figure my theme song would need to be country), but that is such a guy song.  Maybe instead, I'd go for Martina McBride's When God Fearing Women Get the Blues.

    Except, at least in the video, she's referred to as "a flower of southern womanhood," which I definitely am not.
    Or, Once Upon A Time There Was An Ocean by Paul Simon, which I love, but isn't exactly a song that would pump you up.
    I don't know, Ants Marching by Dave Matthews Band is my favorite song, so maybe I should go with that one:


    I don't know.  There are a lot of choices out there.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

What's Your Theme Song?


Conversation at lunch today at work.  What would your theme song be?  For example, if you enter a building or a room, what song would they play?

My first thought was "The Final Countdown," but that is a little too Gob, I suppose.

Wouldn't it be cool if you could pick a finishing song that they'd play for you as you crossed the finish line at a race?  I need to organize a race under this premise.

So, what's your theme song?  And do you have any good ideas for ME?

Image credit: Icanhascheezburger.com

Monday, October 25, 2010

St. George's Dragon Run 5K 2010

A couple of weeks ago, we got a letter in our mailbox letting us know that we wouldn't be able to get out of our street the morning of October 23 because there would be a 5K race going on.  So, I thought... why am I not running this 5K?

The 5K is sponsored by a church about a mile from my house (0.9mi to be exact).  I had 5-6 miles on my training schedule, so I headed out around 7:15 on Saturday and ran the mile up to the church, which was the starting line.  I hadn't registered yet, so I didn't get a shirt.  I knew that since I didn't register in advance that I might not get a shirt, which didn't bother me until I saw the cute little shirts with the dragons on them that would look really cute in my quilt that I'm making with my mother-in-law.  Oh well, no shirt for me.

This happens to be the first race I've ever done where I didn't know a single other person either doing the race or attending the race as a spectator.  This was totally weird, so I just stood around for the half hour or so before the race started, just watching what was going on.  The race had attracted about 50 runners, and the race director was a local high school senior, who was doing a great job!  She was also getting some help from the Westminster Road Runners Club, who helped with the course and with the timing.

We started at 8am, and headed out.  I was nervous because as part of our race registration we were given turn-by-turn directions of the course, so that we would know what it was and not get lost.  This actually worried me, since I'm usually so far in the back of the pack, I figured I would be left behind.  I ended up being kind of mid-pack, though, and I was keeping pretty excellent pace for the first mile or so - 10:15, a great mile time for me.

I was leap-frogging, though, with a guy that I would eventually pass and with a couple who would eventually pass me.  I HATE leap-frogging, and I think it's the worst part of running Galloway.  I was doing 1 minute of running and 30 seconds of walking, and it was working out well, but I get so embarrassed when I'm leap-frogging, figuring that I am probably getting on other peoples' nerves.  It does affect my time.  I was evidently the only one doing Galloway, which wasn't really a surprise.

The course was moderately hilly, and mile 2 took us back past the church and into the nearby park to do one loop around the park.  I never run at this park because it's hilly and sunny, but this wasn't too bad.  My mile 2 time was 10:34, also a great time!  YAY!  I started thinking PR, but then I couldn't remember my PR time.  I hadn't even thought I'd come close to a PR at this race, which I was just doing because I couldn't get out of my house to meet my running group.

Around the loop in the park, the pack had spread out enough that I was sort of running alone, which was kind of relaxing and made me feel like I was just out for a run near my house.  Making the final turn towards the finish line, we had to go off-path and into some grass with a steep grade.  My watch was at 31:00 or so, and I assumed I'd already missed a PR, so I took it easy going down the grassy, dew-covered hill so that I wouldn't slip and fall and hurt myself.  The last stretch was downhill, and the clock said 32:34 as I crossed the finish line.

Everyone stood as a group waiting for everyone to finish, and I wondered if I should just leave.  I decided to hang out, and drank some water.  They had a one mile fun run and then we headed back to the church where the high school senior handed out apples from a local orchard, and awards.  Those who won awards and age group awards got PIES!  I thought that was awesome.  I wanted a pie, but I didn't get an award.  Then, there were some door prizes (free games of bowling at the local bowling alley, free pizza from our local pizzeria).  I didn't win a door prize, which was sad, I really wanted a pizza.

So, I headed back home the mile back to my house.  It was the cutest little race, and it was a great way to spend a Saturday morning, even if it was a little chilly.

When I got home, I saw that my PR from the Shamrock 5K was 32:12.  I was a lot closer than I thought!!  If I'd known that it was that close, I wouldn't have taken it easy down that grassy hill!  I just figured that the course at Shamrock is so easy that there was no way I was beating my PR, and my last THREE 5K PR's have been at Shamrock.  This was a MUCH harder course.

Official results aren't posted yet, so I don't know for certain what my official time is, but I don't think I beat my PR.  So close!!  Still a great race and a fun way to spend a Saturday.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Saturday Linky-Loos

Saturday Linky-Loos are back after a bit of hiatus while I handled a super-stressful life (including work, vacations and some house stuff).  Anyway, here are my favorite posts for the week!


Fitness, Running, Health




Other Things


on another note, I finally bought my Lehigh Valley Half Marathon photo.  This was my PR race, which I ran back in April:

Friday, October 22, 2010

So, What Do You Want To Know?

I've been afraid to post this question because I have been worried that no one will respond.  There's nothing like asking a question and then getting no response.

I've been feeling like my content here on the blog has been somewhat stale of late.  I don't have much else to say besides what I've been saying unless someone gives me some ideas!

How about some questions!  What would you like to know?  Or, what subjects are you most interested in hearing about?  I want to hear from YOU!

Don't leave me hanging, please comment here and give me some help!  I'll take any old questions you might want to ask!  ;)

Thursday, October 21, 2010

On Friendships

I read this interesting article (ok, it was from AARP Magazine, not one of my regular reads...) about Betty White, Jamie Lee Curtis, and Kristen Bell.  First of all, they are three awesome women, but there was one quote from Betty White that really stood out:

I'm still bleeding over losing Ruesy [the late actress and Golden Girls costar Rue McClanahan], who was my dear friend. But as much as I love my friends, I wouldn't think of going out to lunch with a woman. I can't think of anything less interesting, except hen parties and showers — and I avoid them like the plague.

This is so me!!!  I feel a little less crazy now.  It's not that I don't love my girlfriends, I just don't love all-women parties and gatherings.  I've had a few friends now try to get me to "girls nights,"  etc, and I just am not interested.  I do go to showers though... although I admit, they are not my favorite way to pass the time.

I do love my friends, but more than anything I love going out and hanging out as a couple, because then my very best friend can be involved.  You know, my husband...

I love you, though, ladies, I really do!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Why I Love Strength Training

Thank you for your comments yesterday on my uncertainty about weight loss.  It's not so much that I worry that I can't lose weight, I'm certain that I can.  I just feel like I shouldn't.  Health isn't really a good reason to lose weight anymore, since I think I'm pretty healthy, I just eat too much... To be honest, if I'm losing weight it's either for looks or speed.  Both seem so vain.  I often wonder if I'd be happier to just stop and cook and eat and quit worrying about it.  I guess that's my issue.

But, for now, I've decided to start keeping track of my food again.  I'm counting at CalorieKing, as I have for about 5 years now.  I'm going to try to ignore the weight loss part, though, and just try and eat healthy and feel like I'm in control.

... And, I've started back up AGAIN with STS (weight training, similar to P90X).  I did disc 1 last night.  I had started it two weeks ago, and then I got a cold and had to stop.  It actually worked out for me to restart it because last time DOMS (post-workout muscle pain) was HORRIBLE, but it is better today, probably because I started, stopped, then restarted.

Let me tell you though, all weight training is BORING.  Maybe STS wasn't boring in the spring of 2009 when I started it for the first time, but now it's BORING.  So, here's a little list for me to get my motivation back and remind myself why I want to do this:

  • If I do want to lose weight, I'm most successful when I'm incorporating weight training.
  • I sleep better when I've been working out more than 3 days a week (which is what I'm currently doing now with running)
  • Um, I'd like my pants to fit...
  • Being the only girl DiveCon in my class this past year, I've proven to be totally weak compared to my male counterparts.  I try to lug scuba cylinders and equipment around like the boys, I'm such a weakling.  (This happens to be my #1 reason for doing weight training)
  • I tend to feel faster and stronger when I've been working on strength training.
So, that's all good.

The big problem I have, though, is that I want to get back out on the bike and since STS requires 3 days a week of training, that's easier said than done.  My solution for now is to make the lower body disc optional each week and allow myself to do bike instead if I so choose.  I think that will still be fine.  

So, yay!  I'm happy that I got one video down, and here's to me finishing the series!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Weighty Issues


I'm having ongoing issues with weight loss.  And, no, my problem isn't that I can't lose weight, per se.  It's that I feel guilty for wanting to.

You see, my "Weight Loss Journey" started in 1998 when I joined Weight Watchers.  I lost 50 pounds in 2 years, and I did so by being super-strict.  I weighed my food.  I ate Weight Watchers' bars for breakfast.  I had a list of modifications to restaurant orders that would put Sally Albright to shame.  I ate before parties so that I wouldn't be hungry.  I lived and breathed Weight Watchers points.  And I was very successful.

When Weight Watchers stopped working, I switched to simply counting calories.  This made life easier for me as a runner, too, because frankly Weight Watchers does a poor job of accommodating heavy exercisers into their program.  (Disclaimer: I haven't studied the Weight Watchers program since approximately 2004, so I admit things may have changed since then)  I was still strict, I still failed to get along with my in-laws because they constantly pushed food on me (this was my previous marriage).  I was successful, but I gave a lot up.

The problem is that I feel like, more than anything, I do not want to "diet" anymore.  Not one more day.  Not ever.  I want to live my life as a normal person.  In the last 12 years, I've become accustomed to eating healthy and I don't have any problem shunning processed foods, trans fats, etc.  A lot of the healthy eating concepts that I have developed have become second nature.  Isn't that awesome?  However, portion control still remains an issue.  I still eat too much in a serving, or I eat too much in general in a day, even if it's healthy food.  I'm currently about 10 pounds above what I was in April, and that is because I stopped being so strict about my calorie counting and food intake.  Yet, I feel like I'm "normal."

I weigh myself daily, or almost daily.  If I don't weigh myself one day, it's either because I don't have an opportunity to do so, or it's because I don't want to see the weight on the scale.  Yet, at the same time, I feel like I shouldn't CARE what I weigh, and I shouldn't weigh myself at all.  Ever.  But, I still do.

I keep track of my calories when I can.  I do best with my weight loss when I keep track of calories.  Yet, I still feel like if I want to eat something, I should eat it.  Why?  Because life is short.  No other reason.

The thing is, I love cooking.  I love food.  I adore trying delicious things, experimenting with recipes, and making delicious dinners.  I eat healthy, most of the time.  I eat vegetables, lean meats, fruits, nuts, etc.  But, I do love dessert and I try to eat a little of something sweet every day.  Yes, every day.  Because I WANT TO.  I'm generally a happier person when I give myself the freedom to truly eat what I want.  Yet, I feel guilty about it all the time.

The thing is, it's so easy to flounce about preaching "Normal Eating" when you're already weighing what you want to weigh.  It's so easy to say "I don't care what I weigh" when your clothes fit.  I used race times as an excuse for a while, like "I'm not being vain or trying to lose weight in order to look better... No, I just want to be faster."  That worked for a while, but now I don't really have a goal race on the horizon.

So, what do I do?  How do I reconcile all of this grief and guilt?  I feel guilty because I weigh what I weigh, and I feel guilty for caring that I weigh what I weigh.  I do truly believe that the diet industry and the constant pressure from society for folks to lose weight is a dangerous, losing battle that causes more harm than good.  But, I do really want to fit into my pants.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Three Things Thursday

  1. First of all, a big YAY and CONGRATS to Todd because he won his first RedBubble Challenge for Photography!  Check out his photo Orange Cup Coral.  He is also selling 2011 Underwater Photography calendars.  These are more professional looking than the Shutterfly ones that he's done in the past (although he might do the Shutterfly ones again this year, we're not sure).  There may be a couple more options for calendars this year as well.  Stay tuned...
  2. I'm still not back in it with cross training.  I'm still worn out.  There keeps being something that keeps me from riding the bike or doing weight training, so it's just not working out.  I need maybe a couple more weeks to get back out of this incredibly busy time.  As it is, I spend my days worn out and just trying to take things day by day as I try to get through them.  This weekend, we're supposed to go diving in the Atlantic, but the forecast is calling for 20+ mph winds, so it sounds like it'll be another blowout.  Oh, well.
  3. I have been getting my running in, so that is good.  Now that it's fall, I finally feel like I'm back and in good working order.  This weekend is the Baltimore Running Festival, so if we're not going diving, perhaps I'll be going down there to cheer everyone on.  GOOD LUCK, Baltimore folks!!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Diving for Fossils

Yesterday, our dive shop invited the staff to come on an "exploratory fossil dive" in the Chesapeake Bay.  We weren't really sure how it was going to go and if we were going to find anything at all, so it was really just an opportunity to do some local diving and maybe find something interesting.  The fossils can be found around Calvert Cliffs in Southern Maryland, and we headed out from a marina in Deale.  The whole Deale area is near and dear to my heart, as I grew up not too far north of there.

Todd and Buddy smile for the camera at the dock before the boat leaves (just after sunrise)

The boat was a fishing boat and not a dive boat, so if you can see in the photo above, we had our tanks in a big cooler!  It worked out fine, the cooler actually worked quite well.  We discussed the plans for the day and then headed out to the cliffs.

Dive briefing before we headed out

The fossils we were looking for were 8-20 million years old.  We were hoping to find shells, bones and sharks teeth, especially Megalodon teeth.  Megalodons are GIANT SHARKS!  They're extinct, but I'd sure like to go back and see one.  There should be a Back to the Future 4 that involves putting the flux capacitor into a ship and going back to find Megalodons.  It's like Back to the Future meets Star Trek IV. Wow, I just showed my geek side.

So, we got to the cliffs and jumped in for the dive.  Since the boat was not a dive boat, we had to do a side roll off of the boat, which was a totally new entry for me.  I was, in fact, the first one in.  I was hot, since I was zipped up in my wetsuit in the sun, so I went ahead and jumped.  However, since I wasn't wearing a hood, the water went right down my neck right onto my skin.  The water was 67 degrees and it was like pouring ice water into my wetsuit.  That'll take your breath away!

The first cliffs that we dove

We didn't find much of anything on the first dive.  Visibility was lower than I've ever dove in - we could see about 2-4 feet when we first entered the water.  As we got closer to the shoreline, it went down to almost nothing and I had my mask basically against the sand looking for shells.  Todd and I had to hold hands so that we wouldn't lose each other.  It wasn't terribly deep (only about 6-10 feet), so we popped up every so often to see where we were in relation to the boat.  We each only had one tank. so after about 35 minutes, we swam back to the boat.  It was a long swim - I was definitely getting my exercise.

Todd is excited to dive!

We headed to the second dive site, hoping for better conditions.  It was definitely calmer, and the cliffs were higher.  We decided to try snorkeling since the depth reached 4 feet pretty quickly.  Todd had built us sifters, so we headed almost to shore (waist deep water and below) and used trowels to shovel sand and shells into the sifters to look for things. 

We did find some fossils!!  No teeth, sadly.  It would have been so cool to find teeth.  We did find a small bone, a fossilized barnacle and lots of fossilized scallop shells.  Believe it or not, these shells are millions of years old.  Very cool!

Sadly, that was the end of the day.  Well, after a long swim back to the boat (again, getting my exercise!).  At least for the second swim I didn't have 50 pounds of equipment on.  

Back to the boat, and then back to the marina for crabcakes.  

Our shop is going to give it another try another time.  Next time, we're just going to dive some oyster beds and reefs in the bay.  Or, if the conditions are right, we'll go for fossils.  The conditions weren't quite right for the fossils this weekend.  I will admit, though, that the weather was PERFECT and we could not have asked for a better and more beautiful day on the bay.  

Our fossils!

Check them out!  On the bottom row, on the left is a fossil "in transition", where it is becoming a fossil.  To the right of that is a barnacle, and to the right of that are some bones.

Hooray for diving!



Thursday, October 7, 2010

Side Note About the Wine & Dine Race

So, I kept getting a lot of blog hits from people googling "Disney Wine and Dine Sick" and the like, so I decided to Google myself - I didn't see anyone who was sick.  Turns out, my positive experience at the Wine & Dine race was far from the norm.  I feel bad because I think I seriously benefited from my Disney knowledge, how many Disney races I've done, and the fact that I've done two Disney night races before.  Some complaints I saw from others:

  • The course was too dark.  The reason why I find this funny is that two years ago for the Tower of Terror 13K 2008, Disney handed out glow-in-the-dark race shirts and bibs.  Then, there were SO MANY flood lights that you were never actually in the dark to see them glow.  And people complained that the course was too well lit.  I didn't have any troubles with the course being dark, so it must have been at another part of the course that I didn't run since I was doing the relay.
  • The course was too crowded.  This was my big complaint.  It needed to be in waves, and it made it not very fun for Relay runner #1, since the course NEVER cleared for me.  It was a shame, but hopefully easily corrected next year.
  • Relay runner #1 arrived after Relay Runner #2 finished.  I got on one of the 30 or so waiting buses that were empty when we first approached after I finished, but then I waited on the bus for about 40 minutes.  This wasn't a problem for me and I was happy to get the rest.  I can see that if you were really fast this may have happened.  Apparently there were other runners who finished after me that didn't get on a bus right away.  That does suck, so I'm sorry that happened.  I do acknowledge that there was a ridiculous line to get through security for the relay runners.  I had actually forgotten about it until I saw it in the Facebook comments.
  • Relay Runner #1's finish was anti-climactic.  I can say this was kind of the case.  That is what gave me the "now what?" feeling at the end of the race.  
  • The after party was too crowded.  You know, it's funny.  I completely, 100%, agree, but it was actually about as crowded as I was expecting.  I did the Tower of Terror race for two years and the after parties both years were just ridiculous - including in 2009 when we waited 45 minutes to pick up our bag (and that's why we didn't check a bag for this race).  They definitely should have had at least some rides open, and I was shocked that the shops weren't open in World Showcase.  I'm sure some runners would have liked to have browsed or made some purchases.

    I do, though, have a little bit of a "What did you expect?" about this complaint.  You KNEW they were selling tickets to the after-party.  The race started at 10pm.  Give yourself 15 minutes to cross the starting line.  Then, assume you run the half in 2:45 (I know to many of my readers this is slow, but that's about average for a Disney race, and likely the bulk of those complaining were 2:30 or slower).  That alone puts you at the finish line at 1am.  Finish line business of getting your food, getting your bag, getting your medal, wandering and trying to find your friends will, at any reasonable large race, take you 20-30 minutes.  Now, it's 1:30.  You want to go to the bathroom, change your clothes?  You aren't expecting a line for the ladies' room?  REALLY??  I'd give that process 30 minutes.  Now, it's 2am.  You have an hour.  So, even on a good day, you're only going to have an hour of after party.  If you finished slower or ANY of the lines were longer than that, you're getting down into MINUTES of after party remaining.  I knew this going in because I paid attention and did the math.  I'm just not sure what the expectation was -- how long did you THINK you'd have?  Anyway, it's an inaugural race, so I expected some kinks.  
  • Bag claim was apparently a nightmare.  Again, I kinda knew this one, as it's not any different from any of the other Disney races.  Really, they need to get a deal with UPS like the Rock & Roll races do.  And, frankly, they needed to end the race somewhere else where there was more room.  The finish line should have ideally been in the parking lot, and the race should have started earlier to give everyone more time.  The "sick" part of it was apparently that the smells in the bag claim area were making people sick.  I had that experience at the Baltimore Half in 2008, so I can totally understand.  I had to wait in line in the hot sun for my Maryland Double medal, and the food smells were gross.
  • The wine & dine theme should have been carried through at the Expo.  I think that's a great idea, but hardly a severe oversight.  I was shocked to have an Expo at all, since the Tower of Terror race only had packet pickup and a couple of t-shirts available for purchase.
Anyway, so that's some of my thoughts.  I can see the complaints and I understand.  I'm sorry others had such a negative experience.  I feel like I must have just known what to do and how to make it work, because I really had a great time.

I'm not certain if I'll do the race next year, there are a lot of factors that I have to consider first.  But, I really liked the race, so I hope they make some changes.  The finish line should be somewhere else, bag pickup at the finish line should be better staffed, the start should be in waves, the after party should have rides and shops and should be longer, the race should start at least an hour earlier.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Stats as of 30 September 2010

September 2009
88.6 miles
19 hours, 35 minutes
Avg Pace: 13:16/mile
Philadelphia Distance Run 2009:  2:37:12 (12:00/mile)

September 2010
44.1 miles -- 44.5 miles less than in 2009
9 hours, 29 minutes -- 10 hours, 6 minutes shorter than in 2009
Avg Pace: 12:55/mile -- 21 seconds faster than in 2009
Philadelphia Rock & Roll Half Marathon 2010:  2:40:17 (12:14/mile)

Totals!
Total running for the year, 521.4 miles, 12:50 per mile pace.

Better late than never on this!

As I've said the last couple of months, I know that my mileage will be far less this year than last because I am not training for a marathon.  Indeed, I ran twice as much in 2009 than in 2010!  I also took a week off after Philadelphia, which I don't think I did last year.  Hey, I deserved a break, and I was sick with a cold!

So, overall this was an OK month.  Philadelphia was disappointing, and I continued to fight motivation problems and the heat.  It just wouldn't cool down!!  I am training for a 10K, and that is going very easily thus far.  I do feel slightly lazy though.  I started my STS weight training the week after Philadelphia, but couldn't keep up with it because I caught a cold and I've been so busy.  As is usually the case, my biggest problem is that I can't seem to get out of bed early enough in the morning.

Last night's run was the best run I've had in months, and the temperature made all the difference!  It was more like 50-60 degrees, perfect running weather.  For once, I felt GREAT.  I'm looking forward to fall.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Relay 2010

This weekend was the Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon.  The very first one ever, as well as Disney's first night half marathon and first relay.  I wanted to sign up as soon as I found out about it, almost a year ago, and then my friend Lusia wanted to run it, also!  We ended up signing up for the relay, since we both were planning on running the Philly Rock & Roll Half as well.

I have to be honest, as time went on, I became less and less excited about this race, and for a while I even regretted signing up.  It was a scheduling thing - since I was going to Belize, then Philadelphia, then home for one weekend before Wine & Dine, I just figured we were going to be pooped by the time this race weekend came.  And we were pooped, but we still had a great time.  (and there are several weeks coming of crazy-busyness, too...)

Todd and I headed down to Orlando Friday evening, and we arrived at our hotel, the Boardwalk Villas, around 7:30 or 8 or so. We headed down to the boardwalk for a little snack (pizza) and then decided to hit the hot tub.  Todd had a cold (I caught one from the Philly half and then Todd caught mine from me), and so we thought the hot water would do him good.  It was a relaxing night.

In the morning, we got up and headed right to the Expo.  It was bigger than the Expo at the Tower of Terror races, with a lot more goodies and vendors.  Not quite as big as the Marathon Weekend, but still a good size.  I managed to keep Todd from buying a $350 pair of sunglasses, and then we hooked up with Lu and her boyfriend, Derek and went to the Polynesian for lunch.

After lunch, we kind of just rested for the rest of the day.  We took a nap, and I sat outside and read a book (Todd was feeling sick).  Oh, the weather was absolutely perfect.  There is truly nothing better than Florida in October (provided no hurricanes are ripping through).

Around 7 or so, we got dressed and ready for the race.  Guess what?  No safety pins in my bag.  We even asked at the Expo if there were safety pins in the bag and they said yes!  Arg!  I searched all of my stuff and discovered that I hadn't brought my extra safety pins.  I was wearing a Spibelt to the race, so I tucked the number under and it and we headed out.  Luckily, we managed to find some pins in the gift shop.  Crisis averted.  Oh, and who was in the front seat of our bus but Jeff Galloway!  Neato!

There was a long line waiting for the bus to the starting line.  We got in line around 7:50, and waited for around 45 minutes for the bus.  It was fine, though, and we reached the starting line in plenty of time and found Lu and Derek.  I gave Lu my bag so that she could check it at the relay exchange point.  Then, Lu headed out on her bus, Derek headed to the Epcot after party, and Todd and I headed to the starting corrals.

The race was crowded.  That was clear even before the race started.  We were packed into and overflowing the starting corrals.  I was in Corral C (D was the last).  Right at 10pm, the race started with fireworks!  Yay!  I waved to Mickey and Minnie as I crossed the starting line!

Todd and I ran together.  He was doing the entire half marathon.  I tried really hard to keep up a fast pace, but first of all my legs were tired (I think I'm stressed), and the course was so incredibly crowded that there was very little I could do to get ahead.  Still, I did my best, and did about 12:15 on mile 1, 12:08 on mile 2 and 12:01 on mile 3 (woa, negative splits!).  The course had opened up as we got close to Animal Kingdom, so I was able to spread out some.

Then, we got to Animal Kingdom.  The course narrowed.  I started reducing my walk breaks, and at times I was doing 1:30 and 30s (I started at 1:1s).  But, it wasn't doing any good.  The course was too packed.  Mile 4 was 12:45.  Oh well, at least we were in Animal Kingdom.  I mean, it was Animal Kingdom at night! It was the first time I'd been there after dark.  It was so pretty!  The park was closed, so at least we had it to ourselves.  The Yeti was howling from Expedition: Everest.

We headed out into the parking lot at Animal Kingdom, and at the spot where there would normally be cool sponges during the marathon, there were signs for the half marathoners to get left and the relay folks to get right.  I waved bye to Todd and headed up into the relay exchange point.  There were big signs with number ranges on it, and we were to find our relay partner in the correct corrals.  I stopped and read my number and then became confused as to which range it fell into.  For some reason, numbers escape me when running.  Then, out popped Lu and we ran together until we split.  She and Todd met up and finished the race together.

I headed on to the right, and as I rounded the corner someone was there to put a medal around my neck.  I hadn't even gone 5 miles (it was about 4.8 or so) and I was like, "Huh??  That's it?  I'm done????"  It seemed weird.  I still had a lot of gas in the tank.  I picked up my bag at bag check (I was apparently correct in my assumption that the wait at the relay exchange point would be shorter than the wait at the finish line at Epcot).  I didn't know what to do then.  I was by myself and in the parking lot of Animal Kingdom.  I was supposed to change, but there were only port-o-potties, so I decided to save that for Epcot and got on the bus.

The buses had to wait until the last person on the course passed into Animal Kingdom so that they could use the roads.  This meant that we sat for about 35-40 minutes, but it was fine, because the bus was air conditioned, the seats were soft, and I had a bottle of water, a muffin and a banana.  It was a good rest.  Finally, we headed out and we were dropped off at the American Adventure in World Showcase at Epcot.

It wasn't as crowded at the after party as I expected, but it got more and more crowded the closer that I got to the finish line, which was over near France/England (the International Gateway).  Then, as the night went on and people finished the race, it got pretty darn crowded.  I had told everyone I'd meet them at Canada, so I went there and picked up a cheese soup and a Riesling with my free food and drink coupons.  I texted Derek and Lu that I was going to be watching the band at Canada (doing rock songs in kilts).  Derek found me and we waited for Lu and Todd to finish.

They finished around 1am, and met us at the band at Canada.  I picked up some fondue and a Pinot Noir while Todd changed and Lu settled in.  The bonus to only doing 5 miles - I didn't have a sick after a half marathon stomach.  Wine was no problem!  We decided to walk, and headed around World Showcase.

We browsed each of the booths, and I picked up a chardonnay somewhere (Chile?  I forget) with one of Todd's coupons, since he wasn't up for wine or food.  These were small glasses, mind you, about a third of normal sized glass, so I'd really only had about one glass at this point.  We had a good time strolling around, and then Lu and Derek bought me some kind of strong frozen drink from the Poland stand.  Whew!  I ended up throwing some of it away, but then I had a buzz!

Lu and Derek headed out, but I had seen that there were Belgian waffles at the Belgium kiosk, and I had one more food coupon that Todd had given me.  Todd sat down and I got in line for waffles!!  Then, the woman in front of me had extra coupons and gave me another food and another drink coupon!  Score!  So, I ended up getting mussels, waffles and a Hoegaarden.  I love Belgian food.  I love Belgian food!!!  The waffles were not as good as actual ones from Brussels, though.  Still, yum.  And the mussels were good!  We headed back to our hotel, and I only ended up drinking about half the beer before I had to throw it away as we were leaving the park.

It was late - we ended up closing Epcot, and finally got to bed at 3:45am.  Very much past my bedtime.

In the morning, we grumbled and got up and had breakfast at the new Kouzzina by Cat Cora.  It was just ok.  Then, we headed back to the airport and back home.  Whirlwind weekend, but a great race!  Certainly an excellent job done by Disney on an inaugural race.  And, they sure are better at putting on a race than the Rock & Roll people...  just sayin'.

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