Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Half Fanatic #3070

Half Fanatic #3070
I am excited to announce that I am officially a Half Fanatic! More specifically HF #3070.  I met a whole group of these crazy people at my first Disney Race (you know, the one that started it all?) and for the last year I have been planning my ascent into membership.  With four half-marathons scheduled over a period of 6 weeks, I knew I could qualify.  However, keeping in mind that this has been a goal of mine since I started running, I decided not to jinx my status by going for a higher moon level... perhaps I should explain.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Oceanside Physical Therapy Halloween Half Marathon

Wow.  What a difference race organizers make.  As you may remember, my last half marathon? Not so good.  Frusterating, tear producing, bad in fact.  But yesterday's half-marathon? Well, let me tell you. It was awesome.

I drove up to Jensen Beach at a ridiculous hour for a Sunday morning, but again all of this early morning running is perfect training for my first marathon in January.  Kimberly, my local ROTE friend was starting early with her Galloway group and as I drove in all you could see in the pitch black darkness was hundreds of bright flashing lights running along the road.  It made for the perfect fun/scary start to the race.  I parked and grabbed my timing chip and race goody bag.  I cannot tell you how excited I am by the race shirt.  It is amazing!  Long-sleeved orange tech shirt with a very cool zombie graphic. I'd compare it to a shirt you would expect to have to buy at an expo as compared to the race shirt itself. 

Monday, October 15, 2012

My First Half-Marathon: Vero Beach Beachside Half Marathon

Vero Beach Half Marathon 
So Saturday, October 13th.  A day for the personal history books: my first half-marathon.  I was so thrilled that I would be taking on this event with my fellow ROTEr, Kimberly.  The race was about an hour and a half from our house, so I woke up at 4 am thinking- I feel okay, sleepy but okay which was reassuring for the 3am Disney marathon wakeup call I'm expecting in January.

I arrived at the race start at 5:50 and was worried that I was majorly late. According to the event website, bag check started at 5:00 am,  packet pick up at 5:30, with race start at 6:30 sharp.  But, I was able to get a great parking spot and headed for the check in pavilion.. First thing that went wrong (I'll let you in on a secret- there were many)- they had "misplaced" my registration.  I was relieved that I brought my receipt along.

Second interesting change from expectations (i.e. wrong thing 2) the race shirt in my packet- a white cotton t-shirt with black writing. Huh.  I could have sworn that they promised long sleeved tech shirts with that $85 race fee.  The fellow behind me asked where he could check his bag (as advertised) and was informed "oh we decided not to do bag check" (wrong thing 2.5) Oh well, I thought, moving forward lets get ready.

I headed back to my car, put all of my gear on, pinned on my bib and headed off to find Kimberly.  We made our way to the start line and I was excited that they had pace groups.  In the back of my mind I wanted to try to stay with the 2:00 group or at least keep them in sight, but my fear of running out of steam half way through kept me in the back of the pack.  At 6:30 am sharp we were off. The weather was great and I after reviewing the course map I was ready to run two bridges, see some beautiful water and eye several chic beach hotels for future weekend trips.

Tower of Terror Race Recap

Two weeks after the fact here is my Tower of Terror recap! (yes, that does rhyme and yes, I thought about it).  My overall impression? Thrilled to have finished.  But let's start from the beginning.

We arrived at the Port Orleans Resort (Riverside) on Friday afternoon and after getting settled in our wonderful room, we headed out for the Expo.  We should have taken Disney transporation because we had to park football fields away and got caught in the rain. But we made it inside and picked up our race bibs.  DH (J) was ready to take on the 5k with me in the morning and chEAR me on for the 10 miler that night.

I picked up a great race shirt at the Disney merchandise area, registered for the Princess half marathon and found a perfect sparkly headband for my evening costume. We headed back to the hotel for dinner and to lay out our frog costumes for the morning. 

Frogs 2012
We were in Corral D for the 5k and with the narrow course we had to walk most of the way. It was rocky, slippery, and a bit difficult to run but J loved it.  The course was light on characters and heavy on humidity but it had a fantastic atmosphere and everyone was in a festive mood.  After the 5k we headed to Kona Cafe for a delicious and carb-laden breakfast in preparation for this evening.  I know, I know the nutrition guides say that those extra sugars won't manifest themselves in your long-term glycogen stores, but hey I was looking for an excuse to try the Tonga Toast and a 10 miler at night seemed to fit the bill.