Friday, October 31, 2014

Flat Mama Friday, back to back races

This weekend I am doing two short distance races. The first is Beauty and the Beach, a five miler, with some friends. The weather is supposed to be miserable! Below 40' and raining. Yum.

Luckily, I have my super warm LuluLemons and my Digital Running shirt has a matching windbreaker. Score!

On Saturday, the teenie and I are doing the Biggest Loser 5k at Six Flags. I am super excited to stalk.....ummmmm..... See Dan Evans again. I love him!

I'm going in the red and the teenie will be in the yellow. She doesn't know it yet, but she won't mind! 

Are you racing this weekend? Will I see you in Disney next week? Five.more.days.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Nine days until Disney, let the packing begin!

Over the weekend, I brought down the suitcases for my daughter and I to bring to Disney. Funny how suitcases suddenly make things real!

Now that I have tested my costumes for Wine and Dine, I am ready to start packing.

 Packing for a race weekend is no joke, especially when you are so far from home. You don't want to forget something important! Replacing that item can be expensive or even hard to find! I have forgotten ear buds at an expo that had none, and my Running Buddy, where the expo only had pouches that were $30. Now I have yet another pouch I don't need!
The expo in Disney will have everything anyone could possibly ever want, but I want to spend my money in the parks or on race specific merchandise! 
I have posted many times on packing for a race weekend, so please forgive me if I repeat myself!
First and foremost, pack everything you need for race day in your carry on bag. If the airline loses your luggage, you will still be able to race! Once you have done that, you can add a bathing suit and a couple every day outfits. You know, so you aren't naked. 

I also save up my magazines the month before, and stow them in my carry on so that I have reading material in the airport and on the plane, as well as whatever book I'm currently reading, plus one extra, for the ride home. Since we have connecting flights and layovers, I will be bringing extras in my checked bag, just in case. 

I also stow my lanyard, Disney gift cards for food and spending money, hopper cards, and magic bands in my carry on for easy access. 

Everything else can go in your checked bag. Don't overpack though, which I am always guilty of, because you want some extra room for souvenirs on the return trip!
For long trips, I bring empty garbage bags to throw the dirty clothes in, to keep your room a little more organized during your stay! I also bring a TON of antibacterial hand gel to keep us healthy while we are there. I stopped at Bath and Body Works and got some pretty scents to keep us germ free.

I am sure I will have plenty more to say about packing, plus a post about apps to use in Disney, in the days to come!

How early do you start packing for a long trip?

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Trick or Trot 5k

Let me just start off with the fact that I adore races that start in the late morning! Yesterday's race started at 10:30 and today's race started at 11. At 9 this morning, I got dressed and drove to Seven Presidents Park in Long Branch NJ for the Trick or Trot 5k.
I was super early so I had plenty of time to get my bib and tee, stow the swag in my car, and head over to watch the kid races!

 But first, tradition demands that I visit the beach for some photos!

I was testing my Pocahontas costume for Disney today, to make sure it was comfy and wouldn't chafe. The "snow" in the pic is sand blowing in the wind.
The race began along the ocean, on the "boardwalk", which is actually paver stones. It was a gun start, and we started off right on time.

The temps were perfect, around 55-60' but the wind was a bit much. After my speedy race yesterday (which I found out today was a course PR for me!) I wasn't expecting much and I started the race wondering why I did this to myself. I'm not gonna lie, I wasn't feeling it at all.
The weather was gorgeous, though, and I was there, so I planned on just doing my best, and not sweating it.
Mile one, about 10:37, which was not much slower than yesterday. Huh? Mile two, around 10:24, which was faster than yesterday. I couldn't believe it! The wind was starting to get to me, and I was getting tired, but we were back on the boardwalk and headed towards the finish. A girl dressed like Super Woman was neck and neck with me, and I was determined to beat her!
I rounded the final corner, and the wind hit me like a smack in the face. I could barely breathe, but I was going to beat her. I did beat her. Barely.

As I approached the finish I realized that I could beat yesterday's time if I just pushed harder, but I couldn't seem to pull it out. I finished in 32:29, which was slower than yesterday but yesterday's course was 3.05 so I actually beat it. Does that make sense?

Lots of trophies but none for me. They had lots of trophies for costumes and even a dog parade. It was lots of fun, but I was freezing! I couldn't wait to head back to my car and put on my long sleeved race tee.
The test was a success, both costumes passed the test, and I won't have any worries going into Wine and Dine. 

Do you test out your outfits before a long race?

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Monster Dash 5k

Today was part one of my Wine and Dine costume test. I love running this race, it's my fourth year, and the weather couldn't have been better.

The race starts and ends on the boardwalk in the town next door, and is nice and flat, just the way I like it!
We got there early because the hubs decided to join me last minute and needed to register. While he registered, I got in line for a photo op.

I wish I had taken off my shades, though!
I ran into some friends before the race....

What a mess my wig was in!

Wow, I'm short!
Time to begin. We started by running south on the boardwalk, which is the opposite direction it usually runs. After we exited the boardwalk we ran through town, along the canal, and back to the boardwalk for the finish. There was one water stop, which was just fine because it was very cool out and I didn't really need it sooner.
As we finished the last quarter mile, the spectators were amazing! Lots of cheering and support. At the finish, they had water bottles, oranges and bananas, and bagel halves. They also give you free lunch so we had burgers, fries, and pizza. Score!
Then we stopped at a local donut shop and used one of our race coupons for a but one get one deal.

Luckily, we had a half cord of firewood delivers and we had to haul and stack it from the front yard to the back. Can't hurt to burn some extra calories!

My race time was 32:24, the best time I have had in a long while, especially after my summer injury.
I have another 5k tomorrow, the Trick or Trot, where I will test out my Pocahontas costume.

Will you race in costume this weekend?

Monday, October 20, 2014

Atlantic City Half Marathon recap

This past weekend was my 13th half marathon in 2014 and my 29th half marathon in 29 months!
Eileen came by an hour early, so we decided to kill some time at the Point Pleasant boardwalk.

It was a perfect day for a stroll, and we walked up and down the boardwalk until Colleen was ready to go. Time for a quick drive down the parkway to Atlantic City.

The expo was at Ballys casino, so we parked there and made our way to the expo so that we could get our stuff and then stroll their  boardwalk.

Packet pick up was super speedy, and I got mine as well as bibs for three of my friends. The expo was very tiny, so we were in and out in less than a half hour. Eileen did score a great pair of shoes at half off but they didn't have my fave shows which made me so sad!
Time for a stroll on the boardwalk! First we stashed our bags in the car so that we wouldn't have to carry them all with us.

It was sad to see the three casinos closed down. And when the sun went down and the boardwalk lit up, there were three dark spots.

Dinner time! Tradition demanded that we head to Carmine's in the Tropicana so that we could carb load one last time before the race.

Eat all the carbs.... And some salad!

And of course, Ragu!

So much food that all three of us ate our fill and I brought enough home for at least two more meals!
Time to meet Lisa and her hubs to hand off their bibs!

I look like the frump queen but I was comfy!
We were staying at a Marriott in Galloway, time to check in!

Our suite was bigger than my first condo! Too bad they didn't do late checkout, we had to check out at 6:30, on our way to the race! Hotel fail!

Time to head back to Ballys and park for the race. 

I love where I live! We took some pics before the race started!

Time to line up! There are no corrals so we just went to the back, where we found some old friends and made some new ones.

The race started and we headed right off of the boardwalk. The first five miles flew by. We were all having so much fun, and the course has some great views. Colleen was the first to break off from the pack, and then Eileen and her friend were next. It was a perfect day, although it was just a bit windy.
I saw Lisa and her hubs at mile 2. 

This was his half fanatic qualifier, welcome to the nut house Frank! I did get to see all of my friends at the turnaround at mile 6ish, and I was running near this dude for most of the race. 

I finally passed him around mile 7. At mile 7.5 a volunteer stopped me to let three cars pull out. I don't blame him for wanting to stop their yelling and honking, but he really cramped my style and it was hard to get going again!

Around mile 8 we got back onto the boardwalk, entering at Revel, which was bittersweet. I miss my favorite hotel!

We had to run past the finish line around mile 9 which is so cruel! One of my friends had just finished and shouted to me and waved as I ran by.
Around mile ten the first marathoner went by. Let's just point out that they started with us. Yeah, that was a little sad.

I put on my big girl panties and cheered for him as he zipped by. Two others passed me before I finished. Amazing!

Mile 11 was the final turn around. Those two miles seemed more like 4, but the final two were much faster. I started doing some math in my head and realized that I might actually finish under 2:45. This has been my goal since my injury in August, which has been hard to swallow since my best is 2:23. I have to be realistic in my goals, though! I plan to aim for that 2:23 next year.

When I hit mile 12 i knew that 2:45 was reachable. My Garmin hit 13.1 early and the time was 2:42 ish and the finish line was in sight! I crossed at 2:44:39! Goal met!

The bling was massive! The finisher area had small bottles of water, pretzels, Rita's, bagels, Naked juice, beer, and Power Bars. I really wanted chocolate milk so I went over to Johnny Rockets and got some there.

Back to the finisher area to find my friends, for a finisher photo.

It was a perfect race. The course was very organized, the volunteers were awesome, plenty of water stops. I love walking away from a race with no complaints! I am bummed that I won't be able to run it next year, it is the same weekend as the Monster Mash Marathon, which I plan to run.

Did you race this weekend?

Friday, October 17, 2014

Flat Mama Friday, Atlantic City Half Marathon

The flowers that the hubs gave me, plus the colder weather in the forecast, made me think Fall was finally here! It inspired the outfit for Sunday's race!

Are you racing this weekend?