"If you can dream it, you can do it." -Walt Disney

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Where's the Doctor?

I don't need a doctor. I need THE Doctor. My 11 mile long run was scheduled for today, so I woke up at about 6:30am to get ready. But I didn't just wake up. I woke up to the sound of the TARDIS arriving, which is my phone's alarm. It is rather jarring to hear the TARDIS upon waking up...and to not actually see a TARDIS. If none of this means anything to you...well boo. Go start watching Doctor Who.

Last night, I set everything I needed aside. Had my shoes, running outfit, and glucose tablets ready to go (a blood sugar boost of 30-40 calories per 2 miles is what you should aim for) . Then, after getting dressed this morning, I discovered I had only one tablet left. NOOO!!! Fortunately my brain was apparently awake enough to do some quick thinking and fill the rest of my container with rock sugar from Teavana.

Teavana rock sugar

Because of the way this sugar is made, these act like hard candy and were perfect for my run. Still, I need to get myself some Honey Stingers. Once I was set, I was out the door.

The sun was not entirely up...just starting to rise. I started off with a quiet run. Since I am not entirely comfortable running when it is mostly dark, I wanted to keep my ears completely alert. Once the sun was up, I started the music. Having a small sugar boost to look forward to every couple of miles gave me something to push on for. Though I didn't really feel like I was pushing myself. I felt at ease.

At mile 6, I had to stop. Not by choice. Not because I was tired or out of breath. I had to stop because it was raining hard and I couldn't even really see anymore. I knew that if I had only one hour more, I would have finished my goal. Regardless, the run felt great and I was so pleased with myself knowing that I could have easily accomplished all 11 miles without straining to do it. That gives me much hope for the half. The only thing I don't know is my pace. The long runs are meant to be taken at a slower than normal pace. It was kind of difficult for my body to adjust to going slower, but I am glad I didn't push it. Spared me any injury and I was never out of breath.

After going back and forth on whether I should get myself a running belt, today's run told me I really need one. I would like to get this...

This should suit my needs well.
Finally, I wrapped up the first half of my day by rehydrating (which I am continuing to do), and having a light and simple lunch.

I will be back out for another run on Tuesday. The temps will be higher, so I hope I will do just as well as I have been doing.

P.S. Good luck to all the runners who are participating in tonight's Tower of Terror 10 Miler! I hope to join you all next year!

Friday, September 28, 2012


I thought it would be good for me to keep track of food on here. Well, at least when I remember to do so. Doing this may help me nail down a pattern of what works and doesn't work when preparing for a run. This may not be as big a deal for smaller runs...but it definitely will be for long ones.

I started off yesterday morning with Dannon Light & Fit vanilla yogurt. I would normally go for the Yoplait Light (fat free), but that was still loaded with sugar/carbs. Plus, I could never actually finish the whole thing in one sitting. I know, it is not exactly a big container. But it was still a bit much for me. This Dannon one is about half the size of the Yoplait one, and so a much better size for me. And the very few carbs and no added sugar makes it more appealing.

The chocolate granola is homemade and was a recipe I found on pinterest. I will share the recipe at the end of this post in case you all are interested. It is fantastic...great in yogurt or even just as a snack on its own.

I wasn't overwhelmingly hungry at lunch time, so I just had something light to eat.

I sliced up a Honeycrisp apple (my favorite!) and wrapped some deli turkey slices around them. It was both delicious and satisfying.

Dinner came around and I made homemade enchilada suizas. I made sure to get in my run before dinner otherwise I think it would have been too heavy in my stomach.

I know the above picture looks like I burned the tomatoes and jalapeno. I assure you, I did not. In making the enchilada sauce, you have to roast them. This means putting them under broiler until the skin is blackened and blistered. Cool them a bit, then peel off the skin...and they are officially roasted! The final enchilada product was fantastic!!

This recipe comes courtesy of the amazing Chef Rick Bayless and can be found here. Enchiladas are not exactly the most healthy food you can eat. But, you can make them healthier by preparing the sauce from scratch. Never depend on jarred or canned sauce just because it is a quick fix. Not only do they lack the amazing flavor that homemade sauce has, but they are typically loaded with sugar (bad carbs!) and preservatives. When you make the sauce from scratch, as I did here, you control what goes in. This particular sauce has only a few ingredients: less than a tablespoon of oil (as I halved the recipe), tomatoes, a jalapeno, fat free/low sodium chicken broth, a small bit of onion powder (I am not crazy about onions so I use powder instead), a wee bit of salt, and a bit of crema (note: not sour cream). That's it! No sugar. No unknown preservatives. Nothing processed. Just ingredients you know and recognize. This is my favorite enchilada recipe and I highly recommend it.

I went for my run yesterday evening and felt great. I was a bit worried, thinking it was going to reach the near 90 degree temperature that had been the predicted high. But it never even hit 70 due to rain. This made my run fantastic. Now, my pace is still slow; I only went 14:49mpm. My total distance was 2.17 miles. But what made it great for me is that I finished my run without being out of breath at all. Not at all. I felt like I could have kept going for way longer than what I was scheduled to do and still feel great at the end. This is so encouraging to me. I don't expect that my pace will magically drop to some amazing number. That is ok with me. As long as I can maintain a pace under 16mpm throughout the course and finish...then I am not going to beat myself up over a slow pace.


Chocolate Granola
Courtesy of Mom's Frugal, found on pinterest

5 cups quick oats
1/2 cup cocoa
3/4 cup honey
1/2 cup butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt

Mix oats, salt, and cocoa in a large bowl. At a low temperature, melt butter. Remove from heat and stir in honey, vanilla, and brown sugar. Pour over oat mixture and stir until coated. Spread on buttered baking sheet. Bake at 350 for approximately 25 minutes. Stir occasionally so the edges do not get too dark. Cool and store in an airtight container.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Running Costumes

My costume is very slowly coming together. As in, I have the top and the shoes. Well on my way, right? I ordered the tech shirt off ebay since Adidas no longer carries this particular color anymore. In fact, it is difficult to find anyone carrying tech shirts in yellow right now (breaking out my inner fashionista, yellow is not generally considered an autumn/winter color, so it is not an easy color to find). Fortunately, someone on ebay was selling this particular shirt in my size for really cheap...the original price is $48. The shirt came in yesterday and it fits great. It is a bit loose just under the bust, and the entire thing feels more light and airy than any other tech shirt I have used. I am taking it out for a test run this evening, but I have a strong feeling I am really going to like it. Here it is...please forgive the tired look on my face:

Adidas Adipure Tank 

Etsy is one of my favorite sites and you can find me on there putting items on my favorites list quite frequently. I have become a relatively recent fan of Alice in Wonderland. Not that I had not cared for it before...I did. But lately it seems I have had a much greater appreciation for it. Maybe it is because of its quirkiness. Maybe it is because they have a tea party. I don't know. But as I was adding Alice items to my favorites, I found the inspiration for my next running costume, whenever I choose to do another Disney race. 

Adult or Teen Alice in Wonderland Tutu Custom Made by dazeygirl707

I plan on pretty much replicating this entire look. I will just order the tutu, wear the white compression shorts I am getting for the Belle costume under it, get a white tech shirt (which will be considerably easier to find than a yellow one), attach a bow to the shirt, and get a black headband. It is ridiculous how excited I am about a costume I will not yet be piecing together for a future race I am not even registered for. It almost makes me wish I did Alice for the Wine & Dine Half and saved Belle for a future Princess Half. Oh well. Maybe I can do the Tower of Terror 10 Miler next year and use Alice for that.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

They're Mine! All Mine!

Well...the shoes are mine. I can't return them anymore. But it is ok, because I took them for a "spin" yesterday afternoon and they were great on my feet. On previous runs in my old shoes, I would come back with a desperate need to throw the shoes as far away from my body as possible, and would spend the rest of the evening with relatively sore feet. Not this time! This time I felt like my feet were well cushioned and my feet were not even remotely sore. I wanted to run for about an hour, but only managed about 25 minutes (actually, 26.42 minutes to be exact). But, for the first time, it was not the run itself that tired me out due to poor running shoes. It was the heat. It was 92 degrees outside with the heat index even higher than that. I know hardcore runners would be pushing through it anyway. It just does not bode well for me if I do that. So I cut my run short and headed back home. Only went 1.92 miles, which is a 13:53mpm pace. It's not my best pace, but I have to remind myself that the heat slows me down. And then I am forever grateful that this race was pushed back to November and is at night. Cooler temps! The race was originally supposed to be this coming weekend, but that is now the Tower of Terror 10 Miler.

Right after my run...nature gifted me with stickers on top of my shoe

As this race approaches, I find myself increasingly nervous about being swept. For those of you not familiar with what that means, allow me to explain. Most races usually have a time limit. It may be that the limit is based on the total time on the course (for example, you must finish within x amount of hours), or it may be that you must maintain a certain pace for each mile. Disney operates on the latter. Their races have a limit of 16 minutes per mile (mpm). If you do not keep up with that pace, you are in risk of being "swept." That means a bus will come and pick you up and transport you to the end of the race. My pace with each run is always under 16mpm, and 16mpm is pretty generous as it is. But for someone like me, who is not some sort of amazing runner, I worry I will not be able to maintain a good pace through the entire course. I must think positive thoughts.

About an hour after running, it was dinner time!

I made pasta and was tempted to add sauce to it. But store bought sauce tends to be high in sugar, which makes it high in carbs. Yes, pasta = carbs. So I don't need to add carbs on top of carbs. I have a recipe for homemade slow cooker marinara sauce, so I need to buy some canning jars to make that. In the meantime, I added just a dab of butter to my one cup of pasta, along with a teaspoon or so of shredded parmesan/asiago/romano, and a sprinkling of dried basil. Delicious!

43 days until I leave for Disney...45 until race day!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Out with the Old, In with the New...Shoes!

Running has been increasingly difficult for me lately, and I immediately knew why: my shoes are old. Like really old. As in so old that I will not tell you just how old because it is embarrassing. The rule of thumb is that running shoes should be replaced after about 500 miles. Let's just say my shoes were well in need of replacement. It is not easy to run when you do not have the proper foot support you need. My old pair were Asics and they have served me well. But when a pair of flip flops feels more comfortable than a pair of gym shoes...well, you know it's time to say goodbye. I had considered a new pair of Asics since I did have a good experience with mine. That is until someone else bought them and the stitching started coming apart within a couple of weeks. That immediately scratched the brand off my list. After some back and forth, I was undecided between the Adidas adizero Rush and the Reebok ZigLites. And then I decided. So, making use of a lovely gift card, I finally went to the Reebok outlet last night and got the ZigLites.

Old Asics (left) and new Reebok ZigLites (right)

I am currently wearing my Zigs around my apartment. This is weird for two reasons. First, I normally go barefoot when I am inside. Wearing shoes is just a strange feeling. Second, these shoes feel heavy. I couldn't understand why since they are supposed to be lightweight. Then I realized just a moment ago why they feel so heavy: my Asics were so old and worn down that I basically killed the cushioning...so the cushioning in these new shoes feel like extra weight. I am sure I will get used to it in no time. But I am wearing them around inside to make sure these are the right shoes for me since I can't return them once they have been used. Better to try them on carpet before a run in case I need to exchange them. And, as a side girly note, I absolutely love the colors. The dark gray perfectly contrasts the bold purple and the neon orange (unfortunately this picture does not do justice to how bright it is). The original laces were also dark gray, but I chose to buy neon orange laces also. I hope I don't have to exchange them just for the looks alone.

On a completely different note, I saw this year's medal for the race...

I am not sure how I feel about this. I mean, the medal design is AWESOME. It is the same design from the last couple of years. And, in spite of the picture making it look purple, the medal is actually silver. My problem is with where the ribbon goes through. If you look at my previous post here, you will notice it has a Mickey head. I thought that was a fantastic touch. I am disappointed that it has been removed and replaced with what looks like something "cheap" and lazy in design. I told myself it was removed because maybe the Mickey head just proved to be too delicate. Yes, we will go with that...it makes me feel better. And ultimately, I will not care about a Mickey head when that medal is placed around my neck. In fact, I am fairly certain I will cry when I cross that finish line.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Running in Costume

I love dressing up. Yes, I am a girl so that can mean wearing a nice dress with great shoes and accessories. But I mean costumes. I think I am still a kid at heart. So this upcoming half marathon has me excited because I get to wear a costume for it!

At first I was going to go with a TRON theme. I bought a tech shirt that was black with contrasting blue stitching. It was awesome. I'd show you a picture of it, but I don't have one at the moment...so just trust my description of, "it was awesome." I also had black running shorts, and had planned on getting the shoes I wanted in matching colors. I already liked the shoes, so having them match was a bonus. I was set to go. But as I thought about it more and more, I realized that ultimately my "costume" just looked like a black running outfit and nothing really TRONish stood out.

Then, a couple weeks ago, I discovered this:

It is a DIY Belle running costume! That was it...my mind was made up. I am running as Belle. I am not going for the color shoes I originally intended, but neither am I going for those awful yellow shoes. I am, however, doing pretty much everything else.

Yesterday I bought this nifty running shirt to begin the costume:

I will be buying the Golden Yellow Sparkle Running Skirt from team-sparkle.com, white Reebok compression shorts to go under the skirt, a pair of light yellow arm warmers, the Mellow Yellow headband from onelovecollections.com, and a large silk rose brooch to cover up the Adidas logo on my top, and to represent the enchanted rose from Beauty and the Beast.

I am pretty excited. Belle is one of my favorite princesses (alongside Aurora from Sleeping Beauty). Maybe I can do TRON in the future if I can do a suitable running costume that is clear in what it represents. But, until then, I will be a princess.

Running Disney

I have never been much of a runner. I had my aspirations, but I just did not have the stamina. And so I never really put forth the effort into even trying. I had been contemplating trying a 5K, but hadn't made any attempts to try for one.

That all changed in the fall of 2010. A friend of mine had mentioned running in the Disney Halloween 5K. This piqued my interest. Disney? Halloween? Love. Love. I knew Disney hosted a Princess Half Marathon, but didn't know about the whole "runDisney" aspect of the company, which puts on several running events a year. And the kicker was that it was a 5K which I had been wanting to do. So I made a pledge to myself to run the next Halloween 5K. And I did! On October 1, 2011, I ran the Disney Halloween 5K through the Animal Kingdom park. I knew my quest would not end there. The day before the 5K, I went to the Health & Fitness Expo. They had the medals from all the half marathons and marathons on display...and that is when I knew I would run a half marathon. My goal was to earn one particular medal: The Wine & Dine Half Marathon medal.

The inaugural year medal (2010) on the left, and the subsequent medal (2011) on the right

I would like to earn the other medals, such as the Princess Half Marathon and the Disneyland Half Marathon...and maybe even the Coast to Coast eventually. But for now, the Wine & Dine is what holds my heart.

On March 13, 2012, I officially registered for the 2012 Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon. I am both excited and scared. Running 13.1 miles is rather daunting, but I can think of no better place to do it than at Disney World. I leave for Disney on November 8th, with the race taking place on the night of the 10th...to coincide with the final weekend of the International Food & Wine Festival. 

Come join me during my final weeks of training for this half, and through my newfound love for running. Come join me as I live, laugh, and runDisney!
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