Monday, May 28, 2012

Mini-vacation, pre-post

Thanks to my WONDERFUL mother, I spent this holiday weekend with her at Sanibel Island in a condo at the beach.  I'll post more in a day or two, but for now,  here's a couple of pics:

Friday, May 18, 2012

Sometimes you just need a break

I’m tired of thinking about training...tired of thinking about how I’m eating... and after a busy January (WDW Half & Marathon Relay on back to back days, then ING Miami Half 3 weeks later), and then adding in the Princess Half at the end of February...well when I went to Disney World for the Expedition Everest Challenge, I just wanted to have fun (mission accomplished on that...just bummed about the loss of my Running of the Ears red hat which flew right off my head on the EE ride and which Disney has not found yet *sniff sniff*).  And now it’s time for a break.  
You may have noticed I posted my EEC report on May 7th and haven’t posted for the last week and a half.  That was on purpose.  I’m taking a break from running/walking, not watching my diet too closely (though I’m not off the rails, just enjoying some things I normally try to stay away from) and not constantly thinking about those same things.  I’ve been working some more on my other blog (The Disney World Files-which by the way if you have any ideas for some topics that not every Disney blog in the world has already done to death, please share and I’ll see what I can whip up *wink*) and work has been crazy busy-I’m in Human Resources and am a mostly one-person benefits team with our annual open enrollment coming up next week plus we've had some wacky problems cropping up during this payroll week that had me working overtime.  
I’ve also been researching into becoming a home-based Disney travel agent (using a host agency, not on my own) to supplement my regular job and help support my run/walk/race habit.  I’ve got a couple of offers to consider, just wish there were more responses so I can really see what’s else is available and do a really good comparison before deciding to jump in.  It’s something I can do at home and is something I already enjoy doing.  Since I’ve been doing Disney for about 35 years and go so often, I’ve got the knowledge...and being able to share Disney with others-bonus!  If anyone out there has some feedback or info to share, please let me know (thedisneyworldfiles at gmail dot com).
This weekend I’m helping my brother at his cafe during the indoor flea market at the Pembroke Pines Senior Center...then the following weekend (Memorial Day weekend), I’ll just be resting and relaxing, maybe go to the pool (and catch up on race reports!).  After that, it’s time to get back to business to get back into the right healthy shape for the WDW Tower of Terror 10-miler at the end of September.  Until Memorial Day weekend is over, my mind is switched off of race training and strict eating.  I need the break...sometimes we all do.

Looking forward to watching the sunsets on the beach.....

Monday, May 7, 2012

2012 Expedition Everest Challenge race report

2012 Expedition Everest Challenge Race Report
Yes, I know-I haven’t even done my WDW Half, WDW Marathon Relay, ING Miami Half or Princess Half recaps yet.  They’ll eventually get on here (hopefully before the next of each race rolls around next year LOL), but for now while EEC is fresh in my mind I want to post this one up.
Just like last year I did a Friday to Sunday trip.  Stayed on property (of course) at Disney’s Pop Century resort-my favorite value resort at WDW.  My SIL and her DH were riding up and rooming with me (see “sharing expenses” tip) so we all left together just before 8am so we could be there in time for the noon packet pickup opening.  Once we arrived at the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex, there was already about 30 or 40 people lined up waiting for pickup to start.  We joined them, lining up along the outside of the baseball stadium.  When they started letting everyone in, we walked through the inside of the stadium to an open area in the sun where tents were set up with everyone’s packets, a staged photo op area and very small area of EEC and runDisney items available for purchase.  We got our stuff, took some shots at the photo area, I bought the EEC pin, then we moved along to the shirt pickup area.  This year’s was a nice deep forest green with the EEC logo on the front.  
Headed to the hotel to check in, then out for some lunch at TGI Friday’s (another creative financing idea--turned in 150 stripes on my TGI Friday’s stripes card for a free steak entree coupon...gotta love free steak!) before heading to the Magic Kingdom for the rest of the day & night.  Saturday slept in a bit, then headed over to Epcot to meet up with some friends of SIL/BIL’s to wander.  But it was the sun was crazy strong and it was HOT HOT HOT so I left to go back to the room for a couple of hours before heading over to Rainforest Cafe at Animal Kingdom for a late lunch/early dinner (creative financing #3 of the trip--turned in some MyPoints for a $25 RC gift card so my meal was free!).  Even with trying to stay in the shade while at Epcot I wound up with some sunburned arms and a bit on my face...very glad I went back to the room when I did or the race would have been a bit painful!
After resting at the room after dinner for a while, we headed over to Animal Kingdom around 8pm.  Saw Katie, Steve, Becky and David from Running of the Ears right away, then wandered over by the stage area.  We had met back up with our friends from earlier that day (SIL/BIL were running as a team and the 4 others were 2 teams as well) and took a pic at one of the photo areas near the stage, then made a quick port-a-potty stop before heading over to get into the corral.  I lucked out and was in Wave #1 again (YAY!) so wanted to get a good spot off to the right side of the corral so I wouldn’t be in the way of the fast people.

Unfortunately, they held us all outside of the corral for a bit before letting us into the chute.  Everyone was stuffed together at the entrance which was a tad uncomfortable, especially since it had only “cooled” down to about 80 degrees and was still a bit humid.  Finally they let us in.
And then we were off!  I started off running as usual (yeah, moron creature of habit here, I never learn), then tried to switch to intervals trying to keep up with Katie, Steve and his daughter (they were doing 1:1’s), but it was just too hot and humid for me to do that so I switched to my fast walk instead.  About 3/4 of a mile in we came upon our first obstacles--just like last year we had rows of hay bales to hurdle over.  No problem at all!  We continued on, entering Animal Kingdom just after the 1-mile mark.  Out to the back of the park and into the backstage area to obstacle #2--and again just like last year we had the rows of tires to navigate thru.  I didn’t want to try run/hopping through them like you see football players do as I was sure I’d wind up flat on my face like I saw several people do, so I went through them but at a walking pace instead.
Back into the park for a bit, then backstage again before heading out--just past mile 3 was the last obstacle--where you were supposed to crawl on the ground under ropes (like you see army guys do in training).  They had that fake carpet-grass underneath, I’m assuming to keep you from hurting yourself on rocks, but the obstacle is set in a really loose sandy area so there was a lot of dust being kicked up and I wasn’t about to crawl through it with my allergies...and so I went around it (yeah, I know-that technically makes you ineligible for prizes but really--I’m never going to be fast enough to get a prize anyway so eh, no biggie).  It actually was slow going around it because of the loose sand-you couldn’t really go fast (or at least I couldn’t) without probably twisting an ankle.  Once around the obstacle, it was just a few more feet until the 5K finish line.
Next up we were handed our first scavenger hunt clue along with a mini-marker attached to a key ring that had a red-light flashlight.  Remember, there are different clues available so not everyone has the same clues.  Here’s my clue #1: 

  I figured this out really quick.  And I knew from last year not to head into the park with the clue, that the first station was outside the park.  At least this year there was someone there telling people the first clue station was there so they wouldn’t do like I did.  Got clue #2 

and headed into the park to Camp Minnie-Mickey.  Another quick solve!  Grabbed clue #3 

  I had to think about this one for a couple of minutes but tried thinking while walking so I wouldn’t waste any time.  I stopped for maybe one whole minute though to really look at what it said, then jogged on.  Made it over to Africa and got clue #4 

This one I thought was really easy so I quickly wrote my answer down and started running toward Asia where I got my final clue 

  Once I realized what I had to do, I flipped back through my clue cards to figure out the final answer, quickly wrote it down and ran all the way to the finish where I showed them my card, then ran through the chute to the race finish line!
I must say, I’m very proud of myself with the clues this year--I got them all by myself, no hints from anyone and since I knew what I was doing and where I was going this time around, I cut about 25 minutes off my overall time from last year!  One of the teams from our group finished a little bit before me and called out to me once I finished so we hung out waiting for the others to come on through (they were in later waves since the teams started after the individuals).  We all went for a ride on Expedition Everest (where I wound up losing my hat after the big drop-flew right off my head...yes, I’m calling WDW lost and found to see if they have it...that sure didn’t happen last year), then headed over to Kali River Rapids.  I decided not to ride that one (yes, the soaking would have been welcome to help cool down but I wasn’t getting back in my car like that) so waited for everyone else.  After that me, SIL and BIL wandered over to DinoLand wait for Primeval Whirl so went for a spin before heading out for the night.
This was another fantastic Disney race weekend.  Just in case I haven’t said it enough, I LOVE this event.  Already planning on heading back again next year--after all, I need to see if I can do it faster, right?  Now I have a nice long break as my next race isn’t until the Tower of Terror 10-miler at the end of September.  Time to really get back to the weight-loss regimen since I’ll be able to properly devote my time and not worry about race training for a few months.
Women overall 238/522
5K time 48:44
Scavenger Hunt time 25:42
Total time 1:14:26 (net time); 1:14:43 (clock time)

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Expedition Everest Challenge #1

Packet pickup :-). Wave #1 again, gotta love it! There's 6 minutes between waves and at least 5 waves that I know of so that's at least a 24 minute head start before wave 5 starts.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Expedition Everest Challenge-time to go!

All right kiddies...tomorrow's the Expedition Everest Challenge at Disney World!  Just packing up the last minute things, then it's time to head out to visit The Mouse!

Anyone who'll be up there, be sure to come on over and say hi to the Running of the Ears group you should see there.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Get sweaty!

I almost forgot how much yoga makes me sweat!  Just did a half hour this evening and I'm dripping wet.  Whoever out there that thinks yoga is just stretching and meditating sure has never tried it.  Not sure why I did a couple of trees balance isn't that great and I almost fell over-twice.  Much prefer the warrior poses.

Now to head upstairs for some deep breathing and relaxation...after I pull out my bag for this weekend's Expedition Everest trip.  That's right, still haven't started packing.  At least there's not too much to pack for this trip-"just" a 5K and only a 3-day weekend.

One more workday, then it's off to the Mouse House!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

30-Day Yoga Challenge

I was reading through some blog posts today and Run with Jess had a link to the 30 Day Yoga Challenge at RunToTheFinish. Since I really like doing yoga-I feel so stretched and relaxed every time after I'm done-and I haven't been practicing in quite a while, I joined the challenge to get myself back into it. I know I'll be sweating it out at first getting back into doing the poses, but I know I feel great after just a 30-minute session every now and then so let's see how I feel after 30 days of that!

Since I'm a bigger girl, I got a DVD called Heavyweight Yoga (here's the Amazon link): I think it's pretty good for a beginner. The lady in the video is a lot bigger than me, but boy is she SO much more flexible than I am! So I'm going to go back to my DVD for now...I can also do the yoga poses on the Wii Fit. Just start from the beginning of the list of poses and work all the way through.

We'll see how it goes. Anyone else care to join in?

Added a "My Races" page

I added a "My Races" page to my blog here. It lists all the races I've done (with links to the race reports if I've written one) and includes a list of future races I've registered for and/or have planned on my calendar. Figured I'd just put them all in one place for easy access, either by me or anyone else who might be interested in my ramblings. I got the idea from another blog I happened upon one day (can't remember what one or I'd link it) and just now got around to adding my own race page.

I should probably get around to packing for's already Tuesday night and I'm leaving Friday morning and haven't even pulled out my bag yet. I did write up my packing list though. I really need to put it on the computer so I can just print it out each time and just adjust the # of each item I'm bringing depending on the length of the trip. I think I'll go do that now...