Sunday, May 4, 2014

Time for a Change

Hi everyone! I'm in the process of changing over to a Wordpress hosted blog. Unlike when I switched one of my old blogs to Wordpress, it looks like you'll need to take a step and reset the blog in your reader. I use Feedly and it didn't automatically switch over for me.

I hope you all will continue to follow me and that you are willing to take that extra step to keep getting updates from my blog.

The first post with a smoothie recipe is up!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Getting Back in the Pool

I'm so proud of myself. As much as I hate getting up early on my days off, I managed to drag myself out of bed this morning and get to my first swim practice.

A few weeks ago I joined US Masters Swimming so that I could start swimming with a local swim club. I finally remembered to Google Masters swimming one day and saw that there was a club in Celebration. I was so excited to see that since the only other ones I knew of were at the YMCA Aquatic Center near International Drive or one that I heard about in Clermont. Both were too far away in my opinion.



The one in Celebration is probably only a few minutes closer to me than the one in Clermont, but since I'm familiar with the area, I decided to give it a shot. 

I met Coach Marci just when I arrived there this morning and I probably came off as a complete wacko telling her how excited I was to get back into a pool. I also warned her that it had been over a decade since the last time I swam with a coach so I didn't know how well I could keep up. She reassured me that I would be okay and I didn't have to worry about keeping up with everyone else.

I hopped in a lane with an older gentleman and started the warm up. The total distance of the warm up was the distance of the swim for the Rocketman Tri. I was okay with that, so I'm pretty sure that I'll be okay with that portion of the race. 

We did a lot of speed drills and I did my best to keep up, but I decided to sit out a couple intervals. I joked that I probably wouldn't be able to lift my arms above my head tomorrow. Yet, here I am writing this not more than 2 hours after practice ended and I may actually NOT be able to lift my arms above my head by the end of the day.

I can't wait to go to another practice. It's going to be tough making it to them with my work schedule, but I plan on trying to go 1-2 times per week. I've got a triathlon (and more) to train for!

Sunday, April 27, 2014

The Infamous DNS

Yes. I've done it. More than once. There are many reasons that people don't start a race. Usually it's due to injury or an admitted lack of training.

There is a popular saying for runners:

DLF > DNF > DNS

Dead Last Finish is greater than Did Not Finish which trumps Did Not Start

Those are all true. In the case of that saying though. I'm pretty sure the DNS is referring to the people who are still sitting on the couch, not the people are unable to start the race for some of the other reasons I mentioned.

The "DLF>DNF>DNS" is great for motivating people to get off the couch and get moving. If you don't get started then you'll never be able to finish. Everyone who's ever done a race (or pretty much anything else that takes time and commitment) will admit to you that it takes a lot of courage to start anything that is worth doing.

There was a point in time that I would look at runners and think they were crazy, but then I started making friends through the Disney online community and I started reading message board and listening to podcasts and hearing about these marathons and half marathons. Suddenly, I began thinking I could do this. It took me a few more minute, but I finally got the courage to start.

Unfortunately, you can look at this a different way. There are people who don't start a race. As I said, there are many reasons why these people don't start a race. In my case, my reasons weren't necessarily good reasons, but they did and still do make sense to me.

I missed my first race, the SheRox Tri, because I moved to Orlando at the end of July, turned around two days later to fly to Connecticut for a cousin's wedding, and I then would have had to turn right back around one more time to head back to Philadelphia to participate in the race. If I had followed my training play to a T then maybe I would have made my schedule work so that I could have made it to that race, but the craziness of moving and the traveling that was required for those few weeks made it easy for me to decide not to do that race.

My second race was supposed to help me complete my first Coast to Coast Challenge. I was supposed to run the 2011 Disneyland Half Marathon. I had really looked forward to doing this race. I was using my Southwest Rapid Rewards credits to purchase my flights and I was planning on sharing a room with some friends. Of course, my relocation seven states away and the fact that I wasn't currently employed full time, made me very sad that I had to back out of the race. I wasn't happy about it since I really wanted to go out to run the race, but I knew it was the mature and financially responsible thing to do.

The last race that I decide no to start was the inaugural Savannah Rock 'n Roll Half Marathon.  This was a last minute decision. I was suffering from achilles tendonitis but I knew that I would participate in the race. Unfortunately, the schedulers at work had a different plan. I ended up being scheduled to work the weekend of the race. I'm sure I would have caused more injury to myself if I had gone out there to take part in the race though, so I'm thankful that I missed out on this one too.

I've also had a Dead Last Finish, but I'll share that story some other time!

Have you ever had a DNS? What was your reason for it? Do you regret making that decision?

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

A New Challenge

"We do these things not because they are easy but because they are hard." - John F. Kennedy

Last year I was excited to read about a new triathlon. It seemed like it was too good to be true and the organizer of the race even suspected that it would be a one-and-done because the permits were so hard to obtain. You can read Megan's Rocketman race recap to see why I was so excited about it.

On April Fool’s Day I got an email from one of the triathlon series that I subscribe to that included a discount code for this year's Rocketman Florida Triathlon. I thought it was a joke at first. I mean, the email did come on April Fool’s Day, but even in the email, they said it wasn’t a joke. So I went searching for the race website and, lo and behold, the race is happening again. This time it will be in October instead of in the spring.
  
source
I’m excited to announce that I have register for the Rocketman Florida Triathlon!!! I am finally going to be doing my first triathlon. I was previously registered for a triathlon back when I still lived in Philadelphia, but that was the summer that I ended up moving to Florida. I could justify moving to Florida, flying home for a cousin’s wedding 3 days later and then flying back to Philadelphia a week later.

I’ve had grand ideas that I would compete in some of the different triathlons around including the Iron Girl Tri in Clermont, but the timing has never worked out. I usually forgot about it and finally remember when it is too late to register, or even later when I read about the event on a blog. Whoops!

Now I am actually registered for this race! Yay!

I signed up with US Masters Swimming and I’ll be joining a club in Celebration within the next two weeks. I’m hoping my schedule will allow me to attend some of the practices. At this point I’m not sure if I should pay for a monthly membership or pay per visit. I am still a strong swimmer technically speaking but I definitely need to build up my endurance again. And hopefully my speed too. I am really looking forward to getting into a pool again because my time as a collegiate swimmer and water polo player were the most fit years of my life.

My other goal over the next few weeks is to get new tires and tubes for my bike. I may get a new seat too, but the tires and tubes are essential since the ones that are currently on my bike are dry rotted. I guess it’s a good think I’ve been working lots of overtime so I can pay for this!
Is anyone else out there doing the Rocketman Florida Triathlon? Do you have any tips for me for training or competing in my first triathlon?

Friday, April 18, 2014

Flashback Friday - Road Trip!

I traveled a lot when I was younger, finishing college and for a few years afterwards, I would travel a lot.I would still be traveling all the time if I had the money to do it now. Yesterday I decided to take part in Throwback Thursday on Facebook so I dug out one of my old photo albums and picked out some pictures to share there. Of course, it inspired me to write a post about the trip.

For about 3 weeks before my senior year of college (well, senior semester, but I'll cover that some other time), I went on a road trip with the guy I was dating at the time. I took the train from Washington, DC to Philadelphia to meet him there and we left a few days later to drive to Michigan to visit a college friend at home. It was a really long drive. Really long. And there were horrible thuderstorms in Ohio. We also determined that the entire state of Ohio was under construction. I had never seen so many miles of highway under construction in a row.

Michigan

We finally made it to our friend's house at around 2 or 3 in the morning. Her parents had a house right on Lake Huron and she was really close to the Lake Huron National Forest. We stayed with her for 3 nights, spending one night camping at a state park, and one night attempting to camp at the national forest. We got all set up at the forest, but there were just too many wild animal noises for me to want to stay there for the night. I know I started getting freaked out which I believe got my friend freaked out until the two of decided we couldn't stay there for the night.

We did a lot of hiking and drank some water straight from a spring. And we got to see how ridiculously backwards the town was that she lived in. It felt like the kind of movie where the city folk get dropped into a small town that hasn't seen outsiders in half a century. No wonder she couldn't wait to get out of there!

After our time in Michigan, we drove through the Upper Peninsula to Ontario. We got stopped at the border and our car was inspected. We figured it was because we were two 21 year olds driving a sports car over the border. Thankfully the delay was only for about 20 minutes. We spent the night in a town called North Bay before stopping in Ottowa for a few hours, including lunch. Our destination was Montreal for a few nights.

This was actually our second visit to Montreal that year. Just after my 21st birthday, we went skiing in New Hampshire and decided to drive to Montreal for a dinner since we checked into our hotel too late to start skiing on our first day. (It was a crazy plan that started with us driving to Vermont, and then deciding to keep going.)

Montreal Botanical Gardens

In Montreal we visited some of the old Olympic locations. The velodrome from the 1976 Olympics was turned into a biodome. It was really neat to see, but I didn't take too many pictures inside (this was before most of us had digital cameras. We also visited the botanical gardens. There was a beautiful Japanese area inside.

Chateau Frontenac

Quebec City

I honestly don't remember how many nights we stayed in Montreal. I think we were only there for 2 or 3 nights before we moved on to Quebec City. It was my first time in Quebec City and I loved it there. We stayed just outside of the city, but if I had the money to go back, I would love to stay in the Chateau Frontenac. On of the most spectacular views was from the city wall overlooking the Saint Laurent River. The river is so wide at that point. This is where is starts truly getting wider to eventually lead out into the Atlantic Ocean.

Mom and Me on Cadillac Mountain
Acadia National Park
From Quebec City, we drove all the way down to Acadia National Park in Maine where we met my mother to go camping for a few days. I love that part of Maine because my father would take me there almost every summer. It is fun to hike, and you can find the best deals on lobster if you are okay with eating at the side of the road on a picnic bench.

We ended our road trip at my timeshare in the Berkshires in Massachusetts. It was nice to relax there for a week after driving all over the country.

I wish I had the money and the time to do something like this again. There is always the chance to do it again, but I don't know how we could afford it. I would be willing to save up for it too. Maybe to do a Route 66 road trip next time!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Beautiful

Yesterday in Florida we had a beautiful phenomenon occur in the sky. I snuck out to take a picture of the sun. There was a rainbow forming a circle around it. Apparently it can happen very easily but it seems like no one in the area has ever seen it because everyone was posting about it. Here's the picture I got:


Saturday, April 5, 2014

2014 Princess Half Marathon

As usual, I got up at o'dark thirty. I took a quick shower to wake up and had a bagel with peanut butter. It is my go-to breakfast on race day.

Flat Cinderella

I decided to run this race as Cinderella in rags thanks to a skirt that I won last year. And I yet again had help from Mel with the costume. She made the headband and the apron for my costume. Have I told you that she is awesome?

Some of the Perfect Princesses

I got myself dressed and headed over to the monorail. Since Mel wasn't there yet, I searched for my WISH friends and went over to hang out with them. I even kept my eyes on the time and went over to meet up with some fellow Perfect Princesses so we could get a group picture before the race started.

I finally gave up on waiting for Mel and headed over to the corral. Since it was only me, I was able to move almost to the front of the corral. At some point I got a text from Mel saying that she made it but wasn't able to make it up to me.

Princess Half Marathon Start Line

The corrals were spaced approximately the same as the corrals at Marathon weekend. Since I was placed in a higher corral, I didn't feel like I needed to wait too long to start. I decided to stay with the run 1 minute/walk 30 second intervals I was doing the day before. I felt okay with it too.

Around the 5K mark, I thought I heard Mel's friend calling off her intervals. I decided that as much as I wanted to run with Mel, I didn't want to run with her friend and I wanted to do my own race so I started running and managed to get ahead of them for the rest of the race. Because I was running my own race, I was able to enjoy the scenery and I even stopped to take a picture on Main Street.

Cinderella's Castle

I got this one of the castle. My friend Jennifer was texting me the night before the race and asked for a picture from the race. I think it came out pretty good!

The course was crowded after the Magic Kingdom, but I was able to maintain my intervals. Once I go out to the open road on World Drive, I kept moving, but I know that my pace on the run portion of my intervals was getting slower. I was still pretty satisfied with what I was doing though.

My only real complaint about the entire race was that the runner tracking was run by a different website than it had been in the past. That combined with the cell phone networks overloading lead to me not getting any text messages from Rob until I was already in Epcot. He managed to make it to the race with his dad and his dad's "lady friend" (his title for her, not mine) so that they could see me finish. It was cool to have them there to see me finish.



When I finished the race I felt a lot better than I did in January. My legs were really tired from running two races in two days, but I felt good. I'm not sure if I'll do the Glass Slipper Challenge again next year, but I will definitely be running the Princess Half Marathon again in 2015!

Thanks again to Jennifer for allowing me to use some of her pictures for this post!
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