Tag Archives: 10K

Disney Frozen 5K and Enchanted 10K

Disney, thy name is clusterfuck.

I was a Disney virgin. Never went as a kid. Never took my young children. It was not until my Disney enthusiast friend dangled a weekend of races in front of my when my daughter was old enough to enjoy the trip that I relented.

The entire experience was, in a word, intense. The way Vegas is an exhausting bombardment of the senses but for children. Which may, in the end, be more draining and overstimulating.

But the races. Again, I say clusterfuck.

First, it was the 5K. Florida was tragically unseasonably frigid and windy, and we had to line up in our corrals in the dark in the wee hours. We boarded the bus around 4 am and stood in the freezing dark for over an hour. I was cold; I was tired, and I was cranky. I was also nagged by the worry that my children were back at the hotel being awful for my friend’s mother (they were not; they were angels).

Once our corral finally lined up and the starting gun finally went off, I started to enjoy the 5K though. I was running. The sun was rising. I was warm and actually doing something besides waiting impatiently.

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Our route looped us through a long parking lot before bringing us around the world showcase in Epcot. I was able to find my usual race euphoria, where I jogged along enjoying the scenery. I appreciated the menagerie of princess and Frozen costumes that looked like Pinterest exploded on the race course.  I listened to “Let it Go” playing over and over in language after language.

The race was packed, and there could be no real running through the crowd even if I wanted to, but it suited a leisurely jog that was more about the location and characters alongside the race than a PR. The race was not even timed.

We finished the 5K; then our real race began.

We hurried back to the resort, dressed my daughter, and sprinted back to Epcot for her kid race.

My daughter’s little dash was potentially the highlight of my running that weekend and maybe the cutest thing I have ever seen. It was also, ironically, the most organized of all the races we participated in that weekend. Only for her would I dress as Anna to her Elsa. Only for her would I wear that same sweaty costume all day so we could get her to the Magic Kingdom for her princess makeover on time.

But she ran her 100 meters holding my hand tight, and she loved it. And she proudly wore her race shirt to school to tell everyone about it. I think I may have started to impart my love for running on her, and I cannot wait to nurture that.

The next day, it was the 10K.

For this race, we had to be up and on the bus even earlier. So my alarm, of course, malfunctioned, and I, of course, overslept. I began my running day sprinting to the bus in the cold, dark night. But we made it and were back waiting in the cold corrals once again. Me barely awake, my friend hurting a lot from the race the previous day then how much we walked afterwards.

The 10K, I did not enjoy. The route was stupid. We left Epcot to run on a highway. Then, while we retraced the 5K’s round of the world showcase and saw some of the boardwalk, the majority was the service road/backstage portion of Epcot. Very boring and VERY congested.

My friend was also hurting. A lot. Her feet (with plantar fasciitis) and calves were killing her. She had been limping when we walked to the corrals, so jogging and attempting to speed walk was pretty brutal. Unfortunately, the 10K required a 16 minute pace, complete with three women with balloons yelling and “encouraging” you before they sweep you off the course.

We spent the majority of the race, at least the last half, trying to outrun these damn women. As if we could, the course was so packed I could not have run or even walked faster if I wanted. It was pretty much infuriating.

The best part of the 10K for me was my friend. She pushed herself completely, farther than she wanted to, through all kinds of pain. I was so completely proud of her.

All in all, I am glad I did the trip and the races. It was definitely a bucket list experience worth checking off. Would I do it again? I’m not quite sure.

The greatest lesson I learned was to not pair two back-to-back races with days in the Disney parks. It is all walking and carrying kids, neverending. It just is too much when included with miles of running in an unfathomable crowd before dawn. I was more exhausted than I knew what to do with as I was wearing an infant and escorting a tiny princess through castles and to meet other princesses.

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January Stats

January was another rocky month. My weight bounced up and down. My fitness commitment was derailed by illness, children, and author/work commitments. I was frustrated and discouraged many times. However, I leaped up to 7 mile runs, so progress has been made. No matter how slow I am running those 7 miles.

I also started P90X3 with my partner (“husband”). I hate it as I hated P90X, but I need some strength training in my routine, and I need some results. I am also willing to do something I don’t care for to support him being active. We got through one week before I was struck down with a chest cold and he started traveling.

No matter the struggles, I did lose 5 pounds, which is always my minimum goal for a month, and I did add distance to my runs. So I have to count those as success, even if I expected more.

I am putting January behind me and starting fresh with February, hoping to see more progress.

january

Total miles: 65
Total miles run outside: 54
Longest distance: 7 miles
Best times: 50 minutes (4 miles), 1 hour 36 minutes (7 miles)

Total weight loss: 20 pounds
Weight loss in January: 5 pounds

Total inch loss: 4″- 4″- 3″
Inch loss in November: 0″- 1″- 0″


4s and 5s

I feel the progress, and it tastes glorious.

Weight: Halfway gone!
Sciatic pain: Resolved thanks to my miracle-worker chiropractor
Knee pain: Resolved thanks to new and even more supportive running shoes
5K distance: Race time down to 37 minutes. Running the full distance without intervals consistently under 40 minutes.
Pace: Improved but still extra zombie turtle slow

So forget 3 miles! I am moving on to 4 and 5 mile distances. (Aside from 5K races, obviously.)

Last night, we returned to our run club 10K route. The previous week, we walked the full 10K to get a feel for it (still killer). This time, we did our modified 5 mile version in segments.

It is still quite hard, and I still love the pain.

Panting up a steep hill in the cold dark with my muscles burning and the steam of my breath blowing back in my face gave me that rush that keeps me addicted to running. I felt challenged as the hills kicked my ass; I felt accomplishment when I didn’t die. At the end of the run, I felt completely depleted; I had left everything on the trail. The high was all that could remain.

I am starting to feel like my running self again. A slower, fatter version, but I can finally see that self buried underneath. I am finally remembering why I missed it so much, even now that the idealizing and romanticizing I did during my break has been burned away.

Most importantly, I remember that it always sucked; it was always hard. Running always hurt like hell. I never really got to the point where I strode on effortlessly, thinking, my what a delightful run this is! I was always panting and slobbering; I was always ransoming myself into just one more mile at a turtle’s pace of a jog.

It was the float that came from suffering and pushing myself so hard I thought I might puke and die. It was that high that came after I fucking did it, did more of it, got farther or (haha) faster.

I feel that again, so once again, I can love the run and accept the zombie turtle runner I am.

The more progress I see, the more goals I make. Incline in January. Full 10K distance (no intervals) in February. Prepregnancy weight by May. 10 miles after prepregnancy weight.

And I have lost my damn mind. Again. I have agreed to do a half marathon. Again.

So 13.1 miles by July.

Yes, the half is in the mountains, and it is 13 miles of DOWNHILL (the only reason I consented), but I know it will still be killer. And if I survive, then, I will truly feel like myself again.


Pumpkin Pie 10K

Race #30!

I did my first 10K (distance and race) since having my son. And I did not walk.

The Pumpkin Pie 10K was, in a word, freezing. A winter storm descended on the race. The temperatures were in the teens, and it was windy and snowing.

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I love winter running. I love to run in the cold and snow. Ice, however, is less fun. It is treacherous. And the route was extremely icy. Both Michelle and I fell but thankfully were not injured. Michelle screamed like an alarm each time she slipped (many times), which nearly gave me a heart attack.

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I went into the race not knowing my strategy. I had registered while I was still pregnant, thinking surely I would be back to 10Ks by this time. However, instead, I was still struggling to consistently run a 5K distance. So my only plan was to stick with Michelle.

Michelle, like so many normal runners, does intervals of running and walking. I, personally, have always hated intervals. They rob me of my float and are too jarring on my muscles to convince them to keep running. At first, I decided to just interval with her, giving myself the best chance of completing the distance.

However, after two steps of walking at the first interval, I could not do it. My muscles protested. Instead, I adapted by jogging with her when she ran and wogging beside her as she walked. The walking wog was difficult to maintain, but I think taking my pace down so slow is the only thing that allowed me to complete the full distance without walking.

10K has always been my favorite distance. By the end, when I had reached half marathons, I hated the 5K distance. My body remembered this. Even its pathetic state and at an unfamiliar pace, I felt the muscle memory of it, the comfort with the distance. I was able to reclaim some of the enjoyment in running.

Even though it was frigid and slick, I was able to appreciate the cold weather. Once we were moving, I started to cook and shed layers, of course. When we weren’t running into the wind, the falling snow was quite beautiful.

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The miles slipped past us faster than I expected. I told myself to just keep going as long as I could. The farther we went, the more I told myself I could make the full distance. Doubt flickered in my brain, but I just breathed and kept slowly running. I was surprised to see that I could do; I could keep wogging mile after mile like I used to.

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I floated a bit through the race. I enjoyed it; I had fun running with Michelle; I was proud of myself for not stopping.

It was the run I needed to motivate myself. With how hard the 5K distance has been on me, I was feeling extremely discouraged, like I would never feel like my old running self again. This gave me enough of a nostalgic glimpse that I feel like I might be moving in the right direction, that killing myself might eventually pay off.