Get me to the coast!

And pack me an umbrella….  its gonna be soggy.

Yes folks, my weather jinx on races continues.   The most positive thing I can think of right now is, well at least I won’t get heatstroke!  Because this?  Is comical! IMG_4399

Sure, its only Wednesday.  It can change.  And 40’s no problem. Rain? Eh, been there done that.  Wind?  Sure. But all together?  Its hilarious.  Does that really say 40mph wind gusts?

That should make for some impressive waves….just hoping none of them come crashing up over the sea wall.  Who know the race needed a “Warning: You May Get Wet” sign.

So sure….  this makes me rethink my outfit.  Because, really, isn’t that what taper is for?  You’ve done the work, you’ve got way more time on your hands and so your focus turns to clothing.  And race goals.  I’ve got three scenarios now.

Scenario 1.  Bought the tank oh, two months ago.  And the skirt to go with it.  Because, the race logo is a mermaid.  Plus May can be warm.  So channeling my inner Ariel.  Also, race goal with this outfit?  Potential PR.IMG_4401

Scenario 2.  Last week – watching the weather get colder.  Okay, 40’s can be fast.  Just gotta swap the tank for a tee shirt (boo!) and add some arm warmers.  Cuz we hafta sparkle.  Still, this is a FAST outfit.  And if the wind isn’t terrible, we can so break 4:30, if not PR.IMG_4402

Scenario 3.  Based on the weather posted above as of this morning?  Lets not melt…  I do have a purple jacket (I ran my 2nd marathon – also a drizzly cold mess – in it) but its oddly vanished.  If i can find it – i’ll swap it for the pink.  Because purple is always faster. Also, we may need to go hat over visor.  Dang.  IMG_4403

This one needs some work….  because I have a hunch its gonna be the one.

Come hell or high-water (which is a possibility. LOL) tho,  i am wearing the mermaid skirt.  Just might end up with pants under it.

But, no matter what…I WILL have fun.  And I WILL run my best. And I WILL have some good stories to tell.  Because one of the water stops is labeled “Sheep Farm” – how can that NOT be adorable.  And there are m&m’s at mile 25.  (woohoo!).

Maine Coast Marathon?  I’m coming for ya…give me your worst.  I got this!

Time to get goofy…it’s Disney Day!!

Finally yay – it’s Disney day!!!!!

And I can’t get there quickly enough. Yes, I’m writing this from the airport with a caramel coffee in hand and my mouse ears in the polka dot bag beside me. 

Training is over. Taper is over. It’s go time. In less than 24 hours from now I’ll be running my first Disney 5k. 

This last week of taper was less than stellar. I had a nasty head cold and chose rest over running a couple times.

And then Sunday on what was going to be my last long run, I headed out only to find the roads covered in a sheen of black ice. And after a half-mile of questioning my sanity, I obeyed the first rule of taper “Do No Harm” and turned back. 

Monday I decided that a 10k was a perfect choice. Because that actually will give me a Dopey for the week (48.6!!). #runnerlogic 

That, went swimmingly. 😀

And so, it’s time to go! Let’s get this party started!!

Today’s shenanigans will be the Expo and the Hoop De Doo Revue. One I will drink too much sangria. The other I will spend too much money. Try to guess which is which. Lol

No, I have to restrain myself this year. I have a small suitcase. 😉 Just a pint glass, a magnet, a couple shirts and a new Dooney bag. Maybe a headband. Or some socks. Oh who am I kidding…I can’t resist an expo. 

Then, it’s both work and play! Run. Park. Repeat!!

Thanks to all who’ve been following my training adventures. Good luck to those who are also running this weekend. 

And if you see me – say hi – I’ll be hard to miss. 😀

And tune in next week for my race recap(s)!

One week to go! Time for faith, trust & pixie dust. 

Omg, omg, omg, it’s one week to Disney World!!!!!

Is everybody ready? I am!!

So I did my dress rehearsal last week and it went really really well.  It consisted of 3.1 miles on Monday, followed by 10 (well really 11.5 by the time I ran/walked back to the car) on Wednesday and 20 on Thursday. 

I ran my “half training” with my sole sister up around my favorite lake (the place I ran my first 50k) and it flew by. Not only was my pace great, but we had some fun goofy photo shenanigans. 🙂

My 20 miler was a little tougher, which was completely expected. But I just stayed calm, ran easy and then when mile 16 hit, practiced the run / walking I know I’ll be doing at WDW. And still, not a bad long run pace. 

So, taper is upon us. A runner’s frenemy… sure, who doesn’t want to sleep in on a Sunday morning. But this is also where you Question Everything. 

And by question everything I mean it… did I run enough miles, did I run hard enough, should I get in one more long run, am I really going to be comfortable in that skirt for 26 miles, will 3 gels be enough or should I pack 4? Why in the world did I think this was a good idea?!!?

But, those of us who have done this before…we all know we’re fine. And those that haven’t? Don’t worry…It’s all faith, trust and pixie dust from here on out. 

So what’s left?  Well, we have bibs and corrals and runner tracking signup; course maps and expo vendor lists (buy everything!) and the 10 day weather forecast.  I think we’re just waiting hopefully for a merchandise preview (bring out the Dooney!!)

At this point the weather looks awesome. Which makes packing easier. Oh yeah, better start packing. So what are my essentials?

  • Race outfits – this year is Minnie Mouse, Merida and Mike Wazowski
  • Sneakers – Brooks launch and Asics Gel Pursue
  • Hammer gel – Montana huckleberry. I only use them for the marathon, so they should all fit in my allotted carry on liquids bag. 😉
  • Running Buddy – this year I’m bringing my bib clips, my buddy 7 pouch and my red buddy clutch.  (Race buddy & parks buddy)  

I seriously would not run Disney without them. How about you? What can you not Disney without? 

And wow, just think, next week I’ll be posting my blog from the airport as I get ready to head to the most awesome place ever. 🙂  to my fellow Disney runners – see ya in a week!

Two weeks to go…Dress rehearsal time & taper tips

Two weeks to go! Woohoo!!

First things first…did everyone get their waiver & corral info?? 

I know about 50% of the runners are happy, 20% are upset and 30% don’t care. 😀

For me, getting my corral just means a sense of relief that they were able to properly verify my proof of time and I’m not starting too far back. Lol

I got G by the way…G for Goofy! 

And speaking of Goofy, this week, the last few days before I start my taper, are my dress rehearsal. 

Since I’m doing Goofy + 5k, I’m doing a sort of simulation. (Tho a true simulation would involve tons of walking all day after the runs and maybe consuming a little too much wine after my “half” run. Hmmm…should I?)

So Monday I ran a nice little 5k, Tuesday was “active rest” and today I’m going to log 10 miles with my sole sister (sole sister solstice run – a sort of tradition)  then Thursday will be 20 miles. Followed by a couple days off. 

I’m feeling good and ready for my runs this week – isn’t carb loading wonderful? And hoping that when they are done, I’ll be feeling good and ready to take on the “more than Goofy challenge.”

So let’s see…we have our waivers, we have our corral assignments, we have our weekend guide. All we need is to see what the new merchandise looks like! I’m particularly curious about the design for the Dooney & Bourke bags. Hoping it’s as pretty as last year. 

Since we are two weeks out and most everyone is tapering now, here’s some helpful tips for a successful taper. 

  • Don’t take it out on your friends & family. It’s taper, you will be an antsy cranky mess. Just warn your loved ones…because it is the holidays!
  • Speaking of the holidays…enjoy them! Be glad you don’t have to log 20 miles on Christmas or New Years Day. Not only will your family be grateful, but you will love sleeping in and relaxing. 
  • Quality vs Quantity. You will be running less miles, but don’t phone them in. Keep them good solid quality runs to ease the “omg am I truly Goofy (Dopey)? What am I getting myself into?” freakouts. 
  • Get a massage. Not only will it help reset your legs, but it will help control the taper crazies. If only for an hour.
  • Use your free time wisely. You are headed to Disney World after all. There’s lots to do, like finish your costume, make a packing list and study the event guide. Now is the time (now is the best time…) to get that done. 

Hope everyone has a successful final long run, and a good transition to taper. Let’s get Goofy! 

The stages of taper

So…it’s mere days until the Anchor Down Ultra, which means I’ve hit my least favorite taper stage. The full on freak out. 🙂

Every time I taper for a big race, I go through the same stages…

  • Relief 😑
  • Relaxation 😌
  • Second Guessing 🤔
  • Full on Freak Out 😱
  • Nesting 🙂
  • Confidence 😀
  • Excitement 😬

Relief – the hay is in the barn, the long runs are over, and now, it’s just “do no harm” time.

Relaxation – get a massage, read more books, take the dog on longer walks, breathe.

Second Guessing – this usually comes about 4 or 5 days in. The “did I do enough long runs”, “have I practiced pacing/fueling/time of day/weather” and is shortly followed by where I am now…

Full on Freak Out – this is the “I’m up next on the roller coaster and I don’t think I can go through with it” stage. The “I’m insane and what was I thinking registering” phase. Where I question everything, and get seriously cranky. 

My apologies to all my family and friends – the next 24 hours may be a little rough. 

And then, when it passes and I calm back down, we start the next phase. 

Nesting – getting organized. Making a race day packing list, picking out an outfit. And a spare. Setting things in little piles and making list after list. It’s really a fun stage. And with that complete

Confidence – why was I so foolishly freaking out? It’s not the first time I’ve done something insane. I trained as best as I could. And I am good at being flexible if stuff goes weird out there. It’s all good…

Excitement – lets go!!!! Are we there yet? I wanna run. I wanna earn another shiny hunk of metal for my wall. Are we there yet? Please ?!!? Put me in coach – I’m ready to play. 

As I write this…I’ve got just under 4 days & 12 hours to go. And three more stages. Lol 

Really looking forward to moving through them, and on to Colt State Park. 

Because I am ready to drop anchor ⚓️ set up camp 🏕 and run all night 🏃!! 

Easy like Sunday morning…

Sunday morning was my last “long” run before the upcoming Providence marathon. 

And I had two ways I could play it… Fast and strong, or easy breezy. 

I choose easy. 

Because one week out? There’s no reason to run hard. The work is done and all running it strong can do is give you more to recover from. 🙂 Just gotta be patient and save it for race day. 

I picked a nice loop with a few easy hills, put on my best smile, and decided to practice constant effort throughout the run, especially on the hills.  Which I know will be HUGELY important on race day. 

It was mid-40’s and sunny with a gorgeous clear blue sky. One of those days meant for enjoying the outdoors.  And I was having a blast. 

Said hi to the goats at mile 5. Admired the waterfall at mile 7. Just soaked it all in and ran happy. 

Isn’t that what you’re supposed to do during Taper? Get the most out of every mile because they are fewer of them?

And at mile 11… I passed a playground and couldn’t resist. I stopped to swing for a minute.  

Because when you’re having fun…you go all out. 
I really enjoyed that run. And, as easy as I went, it was oddly faster than my “goal” pace for the marathon. 

So I think what I learned this week is: 

  • Smiling makes runs easier
  • Enjoying the scenery makes the miles fly by
  • You’re never as slow as you think you are
  • How taper affects you is all in your head.  So taper happy

With just five days to go, I’m feeling ready. And looking forward to toeing the start line of my 10th marathon.

Just gotta figure out what to wear. Lol

Providence here I come!! 

Two Week Taper

I’m not sure who decided a marathon taper is supposed to be three weeks long. But quite frankly, it doesn’t work for me. 

And not just because you spend taper running less, eating more and just freaking out that you haven’t trained enough (you have…you always have). 

It’s because it’s awkward. 

I follow a marathon training plan of my own design. It’s a hybrid of a few expert plans and one that has so far served me well. 

And it’s based on alternating short-long runs (12 milers) with long-long runs building from 16 to 22. 

My body craves routine. It does well on this plan because it knows what’s coming.

And if I was to give it that extra week it would be very confused. It would expect the race on a day with like 8 miles scheduled. And then come race day it would have no idea what to do. 

So…Sunday morning was my final long run. A 22-mile “dress rehearsal” for Providence. 

I plotted out a new route I’ve never run, one with some hills speckled in.. 

(because Providence is not as flat as you’d think and I needed the practice)

My focus was on constant effort on the hills, keeping my pace easy, not walking, and practicing fueling. 

And it all went pretty well… For a while. 

Problem #1 – it was 35 when I started and 60 when I finished. While I tried to dress accordingly, I still missed the mark and got really overheated. 

Problem #2 – I didn’t carry water. And I didn’t carry money for water. And the town water fountains are not turned on yet. 😦 

By mile 18 I was roasting and dehydrated and had no idea how I was going to keep going.  Somehow I did.  

At mile 21, I considered stopping. Instead I walked for about 45 seconds and started running again. I walked three times that last mile. All briefly. But just enough to make me question whether or not I will be able to run the whole thing in Providence. 

However….my overall pace was really pretty good. For someone who has no finish time goal.   

So maybe it doesn’t matter if I can run it all or not. Maybe if I just shoot for a 4:44 or something it’s good enough.  Got some thinking to do. 

But…at least I only have two weeks (12 days now) to stress over it! 

Happy Taper Tuesday! And happy running my friends. 🙂