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!

Friday, April 4, 2014

Staying Focused

I know I've been completely slacking on writing lately. Work has been a bit busy, I've had family in town, and to be honest, I've been lazy. I find that when I get lazy with my training, I also get lazy with my writing. It isn't easy to come here and be honest about how little I am doing and how not healthy I'm eating.

I'm ready to focus again. I'm working on a training plan for a big event I just signed up for.  I'll share more details on that soon. And I'm getting back to work on the Princess Half Marathon race report. (like right now... I may not finish it tonight though!)

I can definitely use some encouragement to stay focused. How do you stay focused?

Thursday, March 27, 2014

A Quick Visit to Animal Kingdom

My mom was in town visiting for a few days this week and I took her over to Animal Kingdom on Thursday. I love taking some time to enjoy the parks here when I can.

I have to say that this was one of the best rides that I ever had on Kilimanjaro Safaris. We had several stops on the ride which gave us a lot of time to take pictures of the animals. My favorite stop was right next to the lions. I was able to get tons of pictures. Most of the pictures I got were with my uncle's camera, but I got a few good ones with my phone too.

Black Rhino
White Rhino
Surveying the Pride Lands
The ladies checking out the strong man
 

This guy was responsible for the hold up
He had a rough night. (It also reminded me of the scene on the Jungle Cruise)

I also went over to see the tigers and the bats in Asia.



And my favorite of course. The white cheeked gibbons. I was in the park a few days later and between the siamangs and the gibbons, Asia was full of noise. It was so cool! They usually don't make lots of noise in the middle of the day, but that day they were.



What are your favorite animals?

Friday, March 21, 2014

Enchanted 10K Race Review

We got up around 3:30 to get ready for the race. I truly loved being able to just hop on the Monorail to get to the race. Granted, it was a lot of walking from the Monorail to the holding area, but I didn't mind it. It certainly beat taking the bus.

Flat Olaf and Anna
Mel had decided to dress up as Anna for the race, so I decided to do an easy costume and dress up as Olaf. She made me a silver sparkle skirt and I bought a $7 tech shirt at Walmart along with some black felt for my buttons. She even made a silver headband for me.

Since she registered late for the Glass Slipper Challenge, we were in different corrals for the 10K. She had a friend who was going to pace her until she got into Epcot and my plan was to take my time until they caught up to me and then go with them for the rest of the race. It wasn't a bad plan but I knew I also wanted to run my own race too.  I really wanted to get pictures during the 10K.

Fun Fact: There were 6000 runners in the 10K this year. There were 6000 women (and 200 men) running the first Princess Half marathon in 2009.

The start seemed to take forever. I think there was about 10 minutes between each corral so I had to wait 30 minutes to start. Once I started, I went with a 1 minute run/30 second walk. I felt great doing it. I was going to stop for Pocahontas when I saw her, but I panicked a bit and kept running when I looked back and saw the crowds thinning out. In actuality, they were probably at least a half mile behind me and they weren't even at the end of the race so I had nothing to worry about.

I saw my friend Megan when I turned around to look for Mel. She yelled at me for walking backwards on the course and I decided to walk with her for about a quarter mile or so. I finally gave in and called Mel. She hadn't caught up to me so I waited near a sign that she couldn't miss. I did see a lot of other friends pass while I was waiting. Once she caught up, I ran with her for the rest of the way.

Her friend that was pacing her was a bit too much for me. Loud and talking to everyone else around. I am certainly a chatty person, but at that time of the morning and focusing on running, I just wasn't as entertained by him. If I were to run with him again, I know what I would be getting into so I would be prepared for his antics.

Just around the halfway point, we left the highways and entered backstage at Epcot. I had a plan of using the restrooms in Norway, but I completely forgot that the race entered the World Showcase between Norway and China so I would be past the bathrooms. Oh well!

Seven Dwarfs in Germany
Lady and the Tramp in Italy

We took our time once we got into Epcot and stopped for a picture in front of the topiary for the Seven Dwarfs in Germany and I stopped with Lady and the Tramp in Italy. All of the lines for the other characters were ridiculously long and we didn't stop for them.

I was finally able to stop at a restroom in Morocco and Mel kept going. Once I got out, I was going to run almost the entire way to catch up with her. Unfortunately, I noticed that my phone had stopped playing music, so I thought that it had died on me (it has a tendency to do that lately). I stopped to check on it and it turned out that I had just paused and restarted it too many times and I had just lost track of where I was.  I got it running again and I took off to catch up with Mel.


I finally caught up with her at the Boardwalk and walked to catch my breath. We started running again and tried to look like we were full of energy whenever we saw a race photographer. In front of the Yacht Club, I saw some of my WISH friends and in front of the Beach Club I saw some other friends. I gave them some sweaty hugs. Appropriate for Olaf although I'm sure they would have preferred warm hugs to sweaty hugs.

Once we entered backstage at Epcot again and reminisced about the first Wine and Dine Half marathon and how horrible the finish line area was. Ahhh... the good ole days! The remaining half mile or so through Epcot was okay. There were some friendly cast members there to cheer us on.

I was happy to get to the finish line where I gave Carissa a shout out. We quickly grabbed our goodie boxes and got our Glass Slipper 10K wrist bands before heading back to the room.  I had some reservations at Be Our Guest for lunch to get to!
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