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I have been remiss in documenting my running journey as of late, and since my primary purpose of this blog is to keep track of how I am feeling and how I am progressing, I am sorry for that fact.  I remember a time in my life, not too far in the past, where I spent a great deal of time at home on my laptop computer.  I have not been using it as much, more relying on my iPad and my iPhone, which makes it difficult to write a proper blog post with photos.  I will do better, because I think this is an important part of my journey.

As you can see in the above photo, we ran the LIVESTRONG 5K on Sunday, October 18th.  It was a relatively small race that started after the REAL event, the bike races, were on their way.  I was participating along with several coworkers, as well as with my faithful, trusty husband.  It really was a gorgeous day, and I was feeling pretty good going into the race.

IMG_3602 IMG_3604As we started running, I went to take my Garmin watch out of sleep mode and became very frustrated.  Despite it being a gorgeous, cloud-free day, it took forever to find the satellites and this really messed up my plan for perfect 30 second running/90 second walking intervals.  On the other hand, I ran for probably the first 3-4 tenths of a mile simply while I was waiting for the watch to kick in.  By the time it did, I had already given up on any hope of doing precise intervals and just started running when I felt like it and walking when I felt like it.  As usual, my husband simply kept pace with me.  I felt like I was really walking much faster than usual despite not running as frequently as I wanted, and my husband confirmed this.  I attribute some of that to the playlist I created that had some powerful songs about breast cancer.

I am really seeing a pattern with my runs, whether it is a race or training.  I do NOT enjoy running very much in the middle.  I am thinking about how much I wish I could just go sit down and quit, I am thinking it is taking forever, and I am contemplating how important running REALLY is to me.  Also in the pattern is how Amazing I feel when I finish the race.  I feel so good, so accomplished, and ridiculously proud of myself, and I want to go do more!

IMG_3611IMG_3607Something else that has been a pattern is…I beat my last time!  I have run my 5K distance faster and faster every time.  At this race, I finished in just over 45 minutes, which completely shocked me.  I had a list of goals, and one of those goals was to finish a 5K in less than 45 minutes.  That might not seem like a huge goal for some, but I finished my first 5K in like 57 minutes back in August, so I thought it was a reasonable goal.  I nearly beat that goal at this race, and I was totally excited!  I am obviously getting faster, and the idea that I am at a 15 minute mile is awesome, because it really lets me know I should be able to stay ahead of the balloon ladies at Disney World, as long as I train properly.

IMG_3609After the race, we sat down on the curb and rested a bit.  My husband’s foot was bothering him, and the rest of my coworkers went to enjoy the free breakfast being offered, but I have found I am really not hungry after a race.  Perhaps that will change as my distances increase, but I was content to recover while looking at my pretty pink ASICS.

Looking forward, this weekend, we are going to Houston and running in the Susan B. Komen 5K.  I received my race packet, and I was surprised to see I had two race shirts, one that everyone will get, and one that is just for survivors.  I am sure this is going to be a very emotional race for me, and I am hoping I will be able to beat the 45 minute mark.  If I do meet that goal, the next goal will be to run a 5K in less than 30 minutes.  I am sure I won’t reach that goal as quickly, but I think a little less than a 10 minute mile seems like a reasonable speed goal for me.  I never plan to be super speedy, this is not about seeing how fast I can go.  This is, and always has been about developing a better level of fitness, and endurance.  I want to be able to run longer distances, and as I have mentioned in other posts and I continue to realize, that really makes it a mental battle.  I pride myself on being mentally hardy, so I am going to make this happen.

thbI decided to write about the subject that has me the most excited in recent days, and it is one I briefly mentioned a couple of posts ago…Disney is going to have a half marathon race at Disneyland Paris in September, 2016.  When I mentioned it a couple of weeks ago, it was more of a wistful thought, but, as I have been known to do, I have taken whimsy and obtained laser focus on making it my reality.  I mean, after all, seriously, how can any Disney Princess wannabe who has decided to run all the Disney races not try her very best to run through/near/past THIS castle?!

8175262777_d20d8708b7_zWhen I first brought it up to my husband, who, as I have mentioned before, is the most supportive man I know, he was not a fan.  He loves Disney, in fact, it would be fair to say he loves all things Disney more than me, but, money.  We have a lot of things going on financially, not the least of which is climbing out of the big abyss of debt we fell into during my grad school.  A trip to Paris next year, on top of the other three trips to various Disney races?  Well, he was pretty against it.  I am without a doubt, the dreamer of the two of us financially, I tend to have a “spend it because you can’t take it with you” attitude, especially after my breast cancer diagnosis 6 years ago, where he would prefer to be safe and have a secure nest egg to call upon in times of need.  This is one of the few points of contention in our marriage, and one we both work hard to manage effectively together.

Anyway, so after much cajoling, and pointing out all of the very cool things that needed pointing out: Inaugural Coast to Chateau Challenge, PARIS, Inaugural Disneyland Paris Half Marathon, PARIS, PARIS, PARIS, 2.5 hours from London by train, he conceded that we can try to make it happen.  Of course, in my very special, I hear what I want to hear way, that means to me that Disneyland Paris shall be a reality!  I have already booked our hotel, which is absolutely gorgeous, and one of the partner hotels, Dream Castle Hotel indexI have my passport, and I have my eye on the website, which says you can start registering October 13, 2015.  I believe they will only be selling packages at that time, so I will be carefully watching for when you can book the race itself.  At any rate, this is my current running goal excitement!  With plenty of pixie dust, perhaps my dream will come true!

Thin Mint Sprint 10/03/2015
Thin Mint Sprint 10/03/2015

Yesterday, I participated in a 5K sponsored by Girl Scouts called the Thin Mint Sprint.  Originally, I was going to run the 10K in order to submit a time to help my corral placement at the Disney Princess Half Marathon, however, I realized I was in no way ready to run that race fast enough to actually make an improvement in my starting corral, so I switched down to the 5K.  It really was a beautiful day, the sun was shining but it was only in the 60’s.  I was feeling pretty motivated to do a decent job.  I was a little concerned, because this week I haven’t been able to run because last week, I injured my right second toe.  There was a blood blister beneath the toenail, and then the entire toe was a little bruised.  Being a diabetic, I worry about my feet, so I just wanted to make sure it didn’t get worse, or get infected.  I took it easy this week though, and my toe didn’t look any worse, so off I went to run the race!

IMG_1220I started off feeling pretty strong.  I planned to do my 30:90 run/walk intervals, as I had been successful with that last week in my training run, taking off several minutes from my time.  I realized, however, that I was going too fast during my first mile.  I was really feeling it.  One of the things I realized was that having my husband with me is how I keep on a steady pace.  If you look at my training runs, my splits are pretty even.  I was at 15:02 at mile one and I knew this didn’t really bode well for me, since my average mile time is about 17:30.  I got pretty discouraged at that point, and I thought about quitting.  The only thing that kept me from quitting was probably that I had to get back to the starting area in order to leave, so, I might as well finish!  I have had that problem on some runs, where I am just really questioning what the heck I am doing.  Because I am overweight, running makes things jiggle and it is not always pleasant.  I know I am improving, I know it will get better, but in the actual moment, I sometimes have a hard time going forward.

IMG_1226I did finish, and I shaved another two minutes off my time.  I didn’t feel horrible physically, and mentally, of course, I was proud of myself.  I was not able to stick with my 30:90 intervals, so I was pretty surprised I shaved time off my best, but I will take it.  One good thing to come out of this is my husband also realized how important he is to my process, at least right now.  He has stepped up to the plate and he has agreed to run all my races with me until the Disney Princess Half.  Considering the issues he has with his knees, it really shows me how much he loves me.

When we first got to the race site, I was grumbling to my husband that if I was getting up early in the morning to run a race by Girl Scouts called the Thin Mint Sprint, I should be getting some Girl Scout cookies.  I mentioned it several times actually, from when I registered, up until race day.  When I checked in and got my race bib and packet, guess what I got?!?

IMG_3541Yep!  Will run for cookies!  ***I should point out even though I was so excited to get the cookies, I gave them to my son when I got home, because I didn’t want to negate all the efforts I have been putting in, but next year I am running this race and I am keeping my Thin Mints!