Loudoun Half Marathon Training Log – Week 5

Since I was on Spring Break last week, I had very ambitious intentions of having a very active week.  Despite my goal, a busy week off, traveling and being away from home, and poor weather all contributed to only working out three times last week.  I had envisioned taking little man for lots of walks in his stroller around my parents’ neighborhood while we were visiting, but cold, snowy, and wet conditions for the majority of the week dictated otherwise.  That’s not to say that I didn’t have a great Spring Break, because I truly did, but I was nowhere near as active as I had hoped to be.

Monday, March 26th

After having run 12.5 miles on the treadmill late Sunday afternoon, I was sore and a tad chafed.  My body cried for me to take the day off from training, so I gave it the rest that it screamed for.  Instead, I spent the day staying busy with little man.  We spent the morning at the public library, met up with my parents for lunch, and then played at their house after his nap that afternoon.

My little bookworm

Tuesday, March 27th

My mom came home from work early enough to spend the late afternoon with little man, which gave me the opportunity to escape to the gym.  I ran 4.15 miles on the treadmill and then did 35 minutes of full body weight training.

Funny story: when I walked into the gym and showed my Gold’s Gym travel pass to the desk attendant, he immediately recognized me, not because he knew me but because he had been working on Sunday afternoon when I had been there completing my long run.  He recognized me as “that crazy runner girl.”

Wednesday, March 28th

I had planned to go the gym for cross and weight training, but a busy day of having fun with my little man and a family dinner out that lasted longer than I anticipated led to me running out of time to get to the gym.  Oh well.  At least I had a great day with my family and my little man.

Thursday, March 29th

For the first time during my trip to Illinois, the weather had finally cooperated for me to be able to run outside.  I love running on the trail in my hometown, so I was so excited to finally be able to complete a run on it.  Despite the flat route, I wasn’t able to push myself the way that I had hoped to.  But it didn’t matter.  I was happy to just be able to be outside and running.

I was so happy to finally be able to run outside on the trail.

Friday, March 30th

A long travel day home, plus a birthday dinner out with my boys after Preston picked us up from the airport, resulted in no time to work out.  The important thing is that I got to spend my birthday with my boys, after seeing my parents and sister that morning.

Saturday, March 31st

After a week of not so pleasant weather in Illinois, it was absolutely wonderful to be able to enjoy a warm, sunny afternoon here at home.  During little man’s nap I headed out for my run.  It was in the high 50s when I started my run, and in the low 60s when I finished, and it felt incredible to be able to wear short sleeves outside at the end of March.  I felt strong during my run, and was able to push my pace a bit more than I have been able to recently during long runs outside.  It was a definite confidence boost.

Other than the occasional wind, it was absolutely perfect running weather on Saturday!

Sunday, April 1st

I focused on spending my time on Easter with the family instead of working out.  After church and a lite lunch, we drove to my godmother’s house, just outside of Baltimore.  We enjoyed a delicious ham dinner, and indulged on lots of delicious Easter treats.  We had a wonderful afternoon and early evening celebrating Easter, which included an Easter Egg Hunt in the front yard for little man.

Happy Easter from our family to yours

Total Weekly Mileage – 18.36 miles (5.38 miles less than week 4)

Total Loudoun Half Mileage – 98.28 miles

QOTD: What did you do to celebrate Easter?

I’m linking up with Holly from HoHo Runs and Wendy from Taking the Long Way Home for the Weekly Wrap link up.  Be sure to check out their posts as well.

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2018 Princess Half Marathon Weekend – Day 2 – Celebrating the 10k

When Kathleen and I planned our girls’ weekend at Disney World, we decided that one fun way to celebrate that weekend would be by having a meal with the princesses.  So after crossing the Enchanted 10k finish line, we immediately headed for the bus back to Pop Century, quickly showered, and then headed back to Epcot.  We had a brunch reservation at Akershus Royal Banquet Hall, where we dined with five princesses.

Ready for a fun day at Epcot  Photo Credit: Disney World PhotoPass

At Akershus, we were greeted by Belle, my favorite Disney princess.  It was the perfect way to kick off our 10k brunch celebration.

Photo Credit: Disney World PhotoPass

During our delicious brunch, which included a traditional Norwegian smorgasbord of meats, cheeses, and fruits, as well as a platter for the table of scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, and a scrumptious potato casserole, I also celebrated the 10k with a delicious mimosa.  Everything we ate and drank that morning tasted incredible, especially after running 6.2 miles.

Towards the end of brunch we took pictures with the other princesses at Akershus: Snow White, Ariel, Cinderella, and Aurora.

Although brunch was pricey, it was a must stop during Princess Half Marathon weekend.  After brunch we spent the rest of the day at Epcot.  Our time there included several character greetings, including with Mickey, Goofy, and Minnie at Character Spot, Donald in Mexico, and Princess Jasmine in Morocco.  We spent quite a bit of time leisurely walking around World Showcase, during which we enjoyed a couple more celebratory drinks.

I faced timed with little man during many of the character visits, which he absolutely loved. Minnie Mouse was so excited to see him and blow him kisses!
Photo Credit: Disney World PhotoPass

Visiting with Princess Jasmine
Photo Credit: Disney World PhotoPass

It had been a picture perfect, absolutely gorgeous day, at Epcot.

For dinner that evening, we had a reservation at Kona Cafe at the Polynesian Hotel.  Kathleen and I wanted to continue our celebration that weekend with a delicious Lapu Lapu, which was the main reason that we decided to have dinner there.

With my Lapu Lapu

Between brunch, spending the day at Epcot, and then dinner, it had a full day of celebrating the 10k.  But we still had 13.1 more miles to run the next day.  So after dinner we headed back to the hotel, laid out our clothes for the half marathon, and called it a night.  We had another very early wake up call the next morning.

Flat Kathryn ready for the Princess Half Marathon

QOTD: What is your favorite way to celebrate a race?

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Loudoun Half Marathon Training Log – Week 4

Greetings from cold and snowy Central Illinois!  Since I’m on Spring Break this week, little man and I are spending the week here visiting my parents.  School has been incredibly stressful lately, so I’m very thankful for a week off from work.  We’re happy to be visiting here, though we’re sad that my husband wasn’t able to take the week off and join us.

The theme of this past week was dealing with Mother Nature and what was hopefully her last attempt at winter weather this season.

Monday, March 19th

Even though I had just completed a long run the day prior, the weather was absolutely beautiful (it was sunny and 60 degrees!), and I knew that the week ahead would be filled with nasty winter weather.  I decided that I needed to take advantage of the nice weather, and decided to park my car at home and then walk to/from daycare with the stroller to pick little man up.  We both appreciated the ability to get some fresh air and the chance to enjoy the mild weather during our almost two and a half mile walk.

Tuesday, March 20th

Although I had planned to go to the gym after school, the weather had other plans for me.  Since it had started snowing and sleeting early in the afternoon, I decided that it was best to skip my trip to the gym in order to get home sooner than later.  At home, I did do 35 minutes of strength training, with some assistance from my little training partner.

Little man decided to do step ups with me.

Wednesday, March 21st

About five inches of snow fell throughout the day.  The only place to go was outside to shovel and play in the snow.

Little man had a blast playing outside in the snow.

Thursday, March 22nd

Although I had a second Snow Day on Thursday, the weather was much more favorable for getting out and about.  I spent my morning at home working on lesson planning and grading, and was at the gym by mid-afternoon, where I ran five miles on the treadmill and did 40 minutes of full body weight training.

This teacher had a very productive Snow Day, which included a strong five mile progression run on the treadmill.

Friday, March 23rd

After school, I kicked off my Spring Break at the gym.  I spent 30 minutes on the elliptical followed by 25 minutes of full body weight training.  It felt incredible to start my week off with a good old sweat session at the gym.

Saturday, March 24th

Little man and I spent Saturday traveling to Illinois.  I was incredibly worried about traveling solo with him, especially since my hometown in Central Illinois was under a Winter Weather Warning until 10 p.m. that night.  I called the airline first thing in the morning, but since a travel advisory hadn’t been issued despite the weather warning that had been issued, we weren’t able to change our flights without incurring a hefty change fee.  Our flight from D.C. to Chicago arrived there without any issues, but when we boarded the plane in Chicago for our short flight south, the pilot told us that he would do his best to get us there.  Everybody’s patience on the flight was tested, as just as we were about to land (we were only a couple hundred feet off of the ground) we went back up into the air.  We had to circle the airport in order to wait for the weather to calm enough for us to be able to safely land, and to wait for the runway to be replowed.  Once we finally landed the jet bridge was iced over, and it was deemed to be too unsafe for us to deplane by stairs.  After about 30 minutes the ground crew had finally deiced the jet bridge enough for it to be able to be moved towards the plane.  It felt so good to finally be able to get off of the plane, and my heart was so happy as I watched little man run into his grandparents’ arms.  The travel headache had been worth it.

Ready to fly to Grammie and Papa’s house!

So happy to see Grammie and Papa!

Sunday, March 25th

Because of the snow and ice, there was no way that I could safely do my long run outside.  Thank goodness for my Gold’s Gym travel pass, as well as my parents and sister who watched little man, so that I could still complete my long run for the week.  I felt incredibly strong from start to finish, and slowly increased my pace during my run.  It felt amazing to finish my 12.5 miles and see my average pace be in the mid-10s.  My fingers are crossed that I’ll feel just as strong on race day in four weeks.  After my run I completed a one mile cool down walk.

Nothing but smiles after a strong long run on the treadmill.

Total Weekly Mileage – 23.74 miles (3.04 miles more than week 3)

Total Loudoun Half Mileage – 79.92 miles

QOTD: Were you also blessed with winter weather last week?

I’m linking up with Holly from HoHo Runs and Wendy from Taking the Long Way Home for the Weekly Wrap link up.  Be sure to check out their posts as well.

Posted in Loudoun Half Marathon Training, Training | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 32 Comments

2018 Princess Half Marathon Weekend – Day 2 – Enchanted 10k

After a very busy Friday spent at the expo and Magic Kingdom, it was time for my first race of the weekend early Saturday morning.  Like with all runDisney races, the day started with a very early wake up (my alarm went off at 2:45 a.m.), and Kathleen and I were on the bus to Epcot at 3:30 that morning.

Upon arrival at Epcot, we decided to take advantage of one of four character photo opportunities while we waited for the corrals to open.  Even though we stood in line to see Royal Minnie for almost 45 minutes, the line moved quickly.  After getting our picture taken with Minnie we made the short walk through the Epcot parking lot to corral B.

Photo Credit: Disney World PhotoPass

The race started at exactly 5:30 a.m.  What was different this year compared to previous runDisney races that I have run was that the corrals were divided up into mini-corrals, with smaller groups of only a couple hundred people starting the race at each time, spread out in 1-2 minute intervals.  This was done to help with crowding at the start of the race.  The course definitely felt less congested at the very start than I remember it feeling during my two previous runDisney 10ks.  Kathleen and I crossed the start line at 5:39 a.m., starting the race off by running through the parking lot and then onto the Epcot entrance road.

In the corral waiting to cross the start line

Since our one and only goal during this race weekend was to have fun, we decided that our pace and finish time didn’t matter whatsoever, and that we wanted to take lots of pictures during the races.  We had also agreed in advance on using 4:1 run/walk intervals for both races.

Our first character stop was just past the first mile marker at the sharp turn on the course from the parking lot entrance road onto Epcot Center Drive.  There, we found Mulan and Mushu.

Photo Credit: Disney PhotoPass

After getting our picture taken with Mulan we made our way up the ramp on Epcot Center Drive and shortly after passing the second mile marker stopped to have our picture taken with Pocahantas and Meeko.

Photo Credit: Disney PhotoPass

We continued our loop around the Epcot parking lot and as the sun started to come up entered the backstage area of Epcot.  We entered World Showcase through the gate in between Norway and China.  We slowly made our way through World Showcase, stopping to take pictures with Pinocchio in Germany, the Genie in Morocco, and Marie in France.

Photo Credit: Disney PhotoPass

Photo Credit: Disney PhotoPass

Photo Credit: Disney PhotoPass

Photo Credit: Disney PhotoPass

Photo Credit: Disney PhotoPass

While in France I also made a quick stop to say “Hello” to Belle and the Beast

After taking our time in World Showcase we eventually made our way towards the Boardwalk area by exiting Epcot through the International Gate.  On the Boardwalk we stopped to see Goofy, who was outside of ESPN Zone.

Photo Credit: Disney PhotoPass

Running on the Boardwalk

It was an absolutely beautiful Disney morning!

Photo Credit: Disney PhotoPass

So beautiful and peaceful!

After running the Boardwalk loop, which took us past Boardwalk, Swan and Dolphin, Yacht Club, and Beach Club, we reentered Epcot through the International Gate and ran through another backstage area, and reentered the park in Future World.  We made a quick stop to see Pluto, ran past Spaceship Earth, and made our way out one of the front entrances of Epcot, and crossed the finish line back in the Epcot parking lot at 7:35 a.m.

Photo Credit: Disney PhotoPass

Photo Credit: Disney PhotoPass

Crossing the finish line
Photo Credit: Disney PhotoPass

Our official finish time was 1:55:35, which is my slowest 10k ever.  But my slow pace and finish time didn’t matter, because I had had a blast running the Enchanted 10k and had met my goal of having lots and lots of fun while running the race.  (According to my Garmin, which paused during all of our photo stops and while we waited in line for all of our pictures, I ran 6.37 miles in 1:10:37.)

Finishers of the Enchanted 10k

As we made our way through the finisher chute we received our 10k medal, as well as water, Powerade, a food box, and a banana.  We decided to head straight for the bus, so that we could both shower and then we could return to Epcot for the day.  Since we had a breakfast reservation, we were under a time crunch and didn’t have time to waste in the post race reunion area.

6.2 miles down, 13.1 to go!

It had been another fun race morning at Disney, and more importantly, I had completed my first of two races that weekend.  I had completed the first 6.2 miles of the Fairy Tale Challenge!

QOTD: What is the slowest race that you have run?

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Loudoun Half Marathon Training Log – Week 3

This past week was one of those incredibly busy ones where I barely sat down.  Between it being the height of the quarter at school, lots going on at home, and life in general, it was very challenging to fit everything in this past week.  I’m starting to get a tad frustrated that I don’t have the time that I would like to be able to work towards meeting my monthly goals, but I know that they’re just a guideline and cannot dictate how my life unfolds.

So what kept me so busy this past week?

Monday, March 12th

My body was screaming for rest after last Sunday’s long run.  After school I had my weekly chiropractor appointment, which certainly helped with the rest that my body was in search of.

Tuesday, March 13th

After work on Tuesday I had a couple of errands to run, and afterwards had just enough time to squeeze in a run on the treadmill at the gym.  I had planned to run 3.5-4 miles, except that I had to cut my run short due to the high amount of perfume that the person on the next treadmill over was wearing.  It was so much perfume that I struggled to breathe.  It was definitely frustrating to have to cut a run short due to circumstances beyond my own control.

It was so frustrating to have to cut my run short due to somebody else’s lack of consideration for others.

Wednesday, March 14th

After being limited on time to work out on Tuesday, I headed back to the gym on Wednesday where I spent 40 minutes on the elliptical followed by 35 minutes of full body weight training.  After having to cut my workout short the day before, it felt so good to get a solid workout in.

Thursday, March 15th

Thursday evening’s run was one of those that I didn’t want to see come to an end.  I felt strong for the duration of my run, and when I arrived back home I was greeted by my husband and little man.  Their hugs and kisses were the perfect way to celebrate a strong run.

There’s no better way to end a run than with a big hug from my little man! 💙

Friday, March 16th

After work errands ate up quite a bite of my time.  And then after dinner I decided that cuddles on the couch with my little man were a high priority after an incredibly busy and stressful week at work.  I’ll never regret spending quality time with him, even if it means spending a bit less time working out.

Saturday, March 17th

I spent a good part of my Saturday working at a local kids’ consignment sale.  I spent my time there working the sales floor, which involved cleaning up the messes that people made (think clothes falling off of hangers onto the floor, tags falling off of clothes, etc.).  There was a huge sorting area in the front of the gym where the sale was held, and many people opted to leave behind on the tables the items that they decided not to purchase instead of putting them back.  This meant that I spent a good chunk of time running those items back onto the sales floor.  All of my running around resulted in walking over 4 miles during the sale.  To say that I was exhausted Saturday night is an understatement!

In the midst of a sea of kids clothes

Sunday, March 18th

We wound up having some pretty crummy weather on Saturday, so I’m glad that I had the consignment sale as an excuse to push my long run to Sunday, especially since the weather was absolutely beautiful during my run.  After last week’s hilly long run, I opted for a flatter route this week, though there were still plenty of rolling hills spread throughout the route, just nowhere near as intense as what I challenged myself to during last week’s run.  I was glad to be able to run a tad faster during my long run, and especially enjoyed the warm sunshine during my eight mile run and just over a mile post run walk.

It was such a beautiful morning for a long run!

Total Weekly Mileage – 20.70 miles (5.39 miles more than week 2)

Total Loudoun Half Mileage – 56.18 miles

QOTD: Do you let yourself get frustrated when your schedule limits your time for working out?

I’m linking up with Holly from HoHo Runs and Wendy from Taking the Long Way Home for the Weekly Wrap link up.  Be sure to check out their posts as well.

Posted in Loudoun Half Marathon Training, Training | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 37 Comments

Loudoun Half Marathon Training Log – Week 2

At the beginning of last week, after a very productive week of training, I was so excited about the possibility of another great week of training.  Unfortunately my body had other plans for me this past week.

Monday, March 5th

I woke up Monday morning with a horrible migraine.  My head had been bothering me on and off the day before, but the migraine was in full force Monday morning.  When I got home from work, I was in so much pain that I could barely move off of the couch.

Tuesday, March 6th

My migraine wasn’t any better when I woke up Tuesday morning.  I left work immediately at the end of the school day, and came home to relax before my boys arrived home.  I finally started to feel some relief from the migraine early Tuesday evening.

Wednesday, March 7th

Just as I was starting to kick the migraine, my body decided that I hadn’t been through enough.  I started to battle the beginning of a cold on Wednesday, and about an hour after arriving at school asked the school nurse to take my temperature, only to discover that I had a slight fever.  Due to a lack of coverage for my classes, I had no choice but to remain at school and power through teaching while feeling horrible.  If you’ve recently heard rumors about a sub shortage, especially in Northern Virginia, the rumors are in fact true.

Thursday, March 8th

Thankfully I woke up Thursday morning fever free, though I was quite congested.  Since I was able to manage the congestion with cold medicine, and I was very eager to finally work out, I enthusiastically walked into the gym Thursday after work.  It felt so good to sweat and run 4.15 miles.  After my run I did 35 minutes of full body weight training.

It felt so good to work out and sweat after feeling miserable for several days in a row.

Friday, March 9th

Despite being eager to play catch up from not being able to work out for most of the week, there were just too many errands to run and too many chores that I needed to take care of at home after work.  It had been a very long week and I needed to start playing catch up.

Saturday, March 10th

The reason why I needed to spend Friday afternoon and evening taking care of errands and chores was because Saturday involved a day trip to New Jersey for my sister-in-law’s bridal shower.  It was a beautiful shower, but because I left my house at 7:30 a.m. and didn’t get back home until 9:30 p.m., working out was the last thing on my mind that day.

With the bride and my other sister-in-law.  Only 54 days to go until the wedding at Disney World!

Sunday, March 11th

During little man’s nap I was finally able to head out for my long run for the week.  The weather was beautiful: it was sunny and in the high 40s, perfect for a long run.  The weather wasn’t my challenge during this run though, it was the fact that I had chosen to run on a very hilly route.  While it would have been easy to have chosen to run on a less hilly route, I know that running hills, especially during long runs, will make me that much stronger come race day.  After my run, I completed an almost one mile cool down walk.

Smiling because running hills for 10 miles was over with!

Total Weekly Mileage – 15.31 miles (4.86 miles less than week 1)

Total Loudoun Half Mileage – 35.48 miles

QOTD: How do you manage uncontrollable setbacks to your training schedule?

I’m linking up with Holly from HoHo Runs and Wendy from Taking the Long Way Home for the Weekly Wrap link up.  Be sure to check out their posts as well.

Posted in Loudoun Half Marathon Training, Training | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 36 Comments

2018 Princess Half Marathon Weekend – Days 0 and 1 – Flying Down and the Expo

Its hard to believe that my whirlwind girls’ weekend at Disney World for Princess Half Marathon weekend was already two weeks ago.  Although this trip was by far my shortest trip to Disney World, it was an absolute blast.  I’m so incredibly thankful for my husband’s support of my running journey, and for helping make it possible for me to get away for the weekend while he and little man stayed back here at home.  Although I love my little man dearly, sometimes a mommy just needs a short break!

My race weekend started off with an evening flight down to Orlando.  I headed straight to the airport after work and had an uneventful flight.  Upon arrival in Orlando I picked up my rental car (I always prefer to have a car over dealing with the Disney buses), made a quick pit stop at Target for some race weekend essentials, and was at Pop Century by 10:30 p.m.  Since Kathleen had arrived the night before and had already checked into our room, I was very easily able to park and walk straight into our room, and was in bed by 11:00, which on a normal night is very, very late for me.  To say I was tired is an understatement.

I made a quick stop to say hello to Mickey at the Orlando airport

Despite being tired, I didn’t sleep well that night.  I woke up every hour or so, though I was never able to pinpoint why.  Kathleen left the room at 3:30 a.m. since she ran the 5k that morning, and by 6:00 I decided that I was awake for the day.  I showered, ate a quick breakfast, and Facetimed with my boys back home while they got ready for their day.  And then as Kathleen arrived back from the 5k I was on my way out the door to Animal Kingdom so that I could activate my renewed annual pass in order to take advantage of my passholder discount at the expo.

It was a picture perfect morning at Animal Kingdom that day

At Animal Kingdom I had hoped to ride Expedition Everest, but since it was down unexpectedly that morning I instead took the opportunity to explore the new Pandora area.  I was quite impressed with the attention to detail, and after riding Na’vi River Journey grabbed some tea from Starbucks and was walking back to the car by just after 9:00.  I made the short drive to Wide World of Sports, where the expo was held, and met back up with Kathleen who had taken the bus from our hotel.

The entrance to Wide World of Sports

Ready for a magical race weekend

Ready to run 19.3 magical Disney miles!

The expo opened at 10:00 that morning, and since we guessed that the official merchandise line would get long the moment the expo opened we headed there first.  This was the first time that I experienced runDisney merchandise being housed in the new Arena.  Although it was a bit of an inconvenience to have different aspects of the expo housed in three separate buildings, it was nice that the official merchandise was much more spread out and that you didn’t feel like you were walking on top of people in order to browse the merchandise.  We got in line for the merchandise around 9:30, and were let into the merchandise area right at 10:00.  We spent about 20 minutes browsing, and by 10:30 I had paid for my chosen items: a Fairy Tale Challenge tank, two Sweaty Bands headbands (one for the half marathon and one for the challenge), two magnets (again one for the half marathon and another for the challenge), and an adorable t-shirt for little man that said “My Favorite Disney Princess is my Mom.”

The entrance to the official merchandise area

My merchandise purchases

Afterwards, we headed to the Field House for bib pickup.  Since Kathleen had arrived a day ahead of me in order to run the 5k, she had already picked up her bibs, so it was just me who needed a bib at this point.  There weren’t any lines, but as my photo was taken for the challenge in order to verify my identity at the races, Kathleen realized that her photo hadn’t been taken the day prior.  While she waited in line at Runner Relations, I went over to the Visa Athletic Center, where I briefly browsed the expo floor before I picked up my race shirts.  I do wish that shirt and bib pickup were in the same building (I’d think that there’s plenty of space in the Field House now that the official merchandise has been moved to a separate building), but I also understand the desire to help drive expo sales up by forcing all runners to have to go into the expo building.

The first time that I’ve ever had a low enough bib number to be in the first booth line at an expo!

My race shirts and bib

By 12:00 we were back in the car and on our way to Magic Kingdom for the rest of the day.  Since we were both starving, our first stop once inside the park was at Peco’s Bill for lunch.  After lunch we enjoyed an absolutely beautiful afternoon at Magic Kingdom.  We had Fast Passes for Seven Dwarfs, Peter Pan, and Pirates of the Caribbean, and rode several other rides as well due to the fairly short lines.

Yay for a girls’ weekend at Disney!

Hanging out with Walt and Minnie on Main Street

Being that this was Princess weekend, we appropriately had dinner that evening at Be Our Guest.  It was Kathleen’s first time dining there, and she immediately fell in love with the decor like I did when I first ate there years ago.  We ended dinner with the coveted photo shoot with the Beast.

Deep in conversation with the Beast

We had originally planned on going back to the hotel after dinner, but when we discovered that the new Happily Ever After fireworks were scheduled to start at 7:55 p.m., and not later, we decided to stay for them.  Although I miss Wishes, it was magical to watch the new evening show at Magic Kingdom.

An absolutely beautiful scene from Happily Ever After

Afterwards we took the monorail back to the Transportation and Ticket Center, drove back to Pop Century, and after laying our clothes out for the 10k called it a night.  The lights were out in our room by 9:30 p.m., and our alarms were set for a very early morning.

Flat Kathryn ready to run the Enchanted 10k

QOTD: Which fireworks show at Disney World is your favorite?

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Loudoun Half Marathon Training Log – Week 1

Instead of taking a break in between training cycles, I jumped right into training for the next race on my calendar, the Loudoun Half Marathon on April 22nd.  I ran this race last year and fell only a couple of seconds short of my PR.  I’m hopeful that with some hard work between now and race day that I’ll be able to PR at this year’s race.  Since I want to go for a new PR, there was no time to take a break after returning home last Sunday evening from Princess Half Marathon weekend.

Monday, February 26th

Traveling and two very early race mornings in a row had caught up to me.  I was absolutely exhausted all day long and wound up going to bed very shortly after little man went to bed.  Sleep won out over working out.

Tuesday, February 27th

After getting the most sleep I had since prior to heading to Disney World, I felt rejuvenated.  After work I headed straight to the gym and spent 30 minutes on the elliptical followed by 30 minutes of lower body and abdominal weight training.

Wednesday, February 28th

Wednesday was a very long and stressful day at school, and the best medicine for relieving the stress was going for a run.  4 miles later, I felt so much better.

Sometimes running is the best medicine

Thursday, March 1st

I kicked off the new month at the gym by running a 5k, followed by 30 minutes of full body weight training.

Friday, March 2nd

Friday was a first for me.  Everything in the area, including schools and the federal government, was shut down due to wind.  Windmageddon 2018 delivered the DC area with wind gusts up to 70 mph.  I am very thankful that we never lost power, as it seemed like most people in the area lost power at some point during the storm.  Because daycare was still open it gave Preston and I the opportunity to take care of a lot of chores around the house.  I felt incredibly accomplished by the end of the day.

Saturday, March 3rd

I waited out the wind as long as I could before coming to the realization that the wind was not going to die down enough for me to run outside.  Thus, I wound up at the gym late Saturday afternoon to complete my first long run this training cycle.  I felt strong during the entire six miles.  Hopefully that’s a good sign of what’s to come the rest of the training cycle and on race day.  After my run I completed a one mile cool down walk.

I couldn’t help but smile after completing such a strong long run.

Sunday, March 4th

Cabin fever had set in and late Sunday afternoon we bundled up and headed outside for a family walk.  We all needed the fresh air during our 2.58 mile walk.

Total Weekly Mileage – 20.17 miles

Total Loudoun Half Mileage – 20.17 miles

QOTD: What is your next goal race?

I’m linking up with Holly from HoHo Runs and Wendy from Taking the Long Way Home for the Weekly Wrap link up.  Be sure to check out their posts as well.

Posted in Loudoun Half Marathon Training, Training | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 37 Comments

March 2018 Goals

Its hard to believe that yesterday was March 1st!  Even though February is the shortest month of the year, I dedicated a lot of time towards being active last month and am quite proud of what I accomplished and the progress that I made towards meeting my monthly goals.

1.  Log at least 100 miles.

Grade: A

I’m proud to report that my monthly mileage total was 101.8 miles!  It took a lot of hard work to log run, walk, and elliptical all of those miles, but my hard work paid off.  Between the last of my long half marathon training runs, as well as the Enchanted 10k and Princess Half Marathon themselves, I banked a lot of miles with those runs, but they certainly did not make up all of my miles last month.  With my 2018 mileage goal at 1,200 miles, my current total for the year is 194.0 miles, which puts me at 16% towards reaching my goal.

2.  Work out at least five days per week.

Grade: B

In February I had more difficulty with staying motivated to work out than I did back in January when I did meet this goal.  Two weeks in February I met this goal, and the other two weeks I was one workout short.  I’m eager to push myself to get back on track with this goal in March.

3.  Weight train at least two days per week.

Grade: B+

Just like with my second goal, I met my goal during two weeks last month, but didn’t the other two weeks.  The two weeks when I only completed one weight training session I did do short strength training sessions at home, which is certainly better than nothing, but it isn’t the same as weight training.

4.  Lose at least 2 more pounds.

Grade: B

I lost 1.6 of the 2 pounds that I wanted to lose in February.  Given that the month was only 28 days long, and that I was at Disney World during the last weekend of the month, I’m quite pleased with my progress.

5.  Don’t overindulge at Disney.

Grade: A

I’m very happy to report that I was very pleased with the food and beverage choices that I made while I was away for my girls’ weekend at Disney World.  While I did enjoy some delicious snacks and drinks (I can’t resist the popcorn there, and I did celebrate the races by eating half of a coveted rose gold cupcake, I shared the other half with my friend Kathleen), I balanced out those choices with healthier decisions during our meals.

I couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate finishing the Fairy Tale Challenge and running my 15th half marathon.

Overall, February was a great month on the health and fitness front, but I’m optimistic that March will be an even better month.

1.  Log at least 110 miles.

Not only is 110 miles a slight increase from what I logged in February, but if I meet this goal I will also be 100% on track for meeting my mileage goal for the year.

2.  Work out at least five days per week.

I’m sure I’m starting to sound like a broken record with this goal, but after meeting it in January and then not meeting it in February, I need to get back on track with consistent exercise this month.

3.  Weight train at least two days per week.

Part of my consistent exercise needs to be consistent weight training.  Not only will it help with my weight loss, but it will also help with my training overall.

4.  Lose at least 1.4 more pounds.

I am 1.4 pounds away from meeting my 2018 goal of losing five pounds.  Once I reach this goal it’ll be a matter of keeping the weight off.

5.  Enjoy my birthday month.

There is a lot on the calendar for this month, and I’m looking forward to all of the fun events, including a trip to Illinois over Spring Break to visit my parents.  It’ll be the first time that little man and I fly together without another adult to help out.  Fingers crossed that our travel goes well!

QOTD: What are your goals for March?

I’m linking up for the Friday Five 2.0 linkup.  Many thanks to the wonderful ladies at Fairytales and Fitness and Running on Happy for hosting!

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Princess Half Marathon Training Log – Week 10

Those of you who follow me on social media already know that I had an absolutely fantastic weekend at Disney World and completed the Fairy Tale Challenge.  My one and only goal over the weekend was to have fun, and that goal was definitely met.  My 10k and half marathon finish time times were by far my slowest finish times ever, but that’s because I was busy having a blast on the course and stopped to take a ton of pictures with characters.  I cannot wait to fully recap the entire weekend!

The week leading up to race weekend was a very busy one.  Not only did I make sure that I got my last training runs in, but I also had to pack up and make sure that everything at home was ready to go for my boys for while I was away for the long weekend.

Monday, February 19th

Since it was President’s Day both Preston and I were off from work, so we got to run together, which is very, very rare these days.  We enjoyed spending time together during our four mile run.

Tuesday, February 20th

After work I headed to the gym for my last cross training and weight training workout before race weekend.  I spent 30 minutes on the elliptical followed by 40 minutes of full body weight training.

Wednesday, February 21st

It hit 80 degrees last Wednesday, and all day long I couldn’t wait to get home to enjoy the beautiful weather during my last training run.  After running 3 miles, I took Riley for a 1.5 mile walk around the neighborhood, and then did 15 minutes of lower body and abdominal strength training.

I’m not sure who enjoyed the warm air more: Riley or myself.

Thursday, February 22nd

After work I immediately headed to the airport for my flight to Orlando.  I was so excited to get down to Florida and get my race weekend started!

Friday, February 23rd

My top priority Friday morning was to go to the expo to pick up my race packet.  Afterwards, Kathleen and I spent the rest of the day at Magic Kingdom.  I spent a lot of time on my feet, and walked over 10 miles that day!

Officially kicking off race weekend at the expo

Saturday, February 24th

Saturday morning we ran the Enchanted 10k.  After a quick shower, we headed to Epcot for the majority of the day.  It was another long day on my feet, and between the 10k and walking around Epcot I logged over 16.5 miles.

Right after crossing the Enchanted 10k finish line

Sunday, February 25th

Sunday morning Kathleen and I ran the Princess Half Marathon.  After quickly showering and checking out of the hotel we headed to Magic Kingdom for a couple of hours before racing to the airport for our flights home.  It was by far my shortest trip to Disney World, but I’m so thankful that I was able to enjoy a girls’ weekend away and run the Fairy Tale Challenge.

Photo Credit: Disney Photo Pass

Total Weekly Mileage – 31.21 miles (14.22 miles more than week 9)

Total Princess Half Marathon Mileage – 223.51 miles

Now that Princess weekend is over, my training focus will shift to my next race: the Loudoun Half Marathon in just eight short weeks.  I signed up for this race with the goal of PRing in mind, which means I need to really focus over the next eight weeks on trying to run faster than I have been recently.  Fingers crossed that training goes how I hope it will!

QOTD: What is your next goal race?

I’m linking up with Holly from HoHo Runs and Wendy from Taking the Long Way Home for the Weekly Wrap link up.  Be sure to check out their posts as well.

Posted in Princess Half Marathon Training, Training | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments