Friday, September 30, 2011

Five Senses Friday

  • The Tampa Bay Rays come back and win!  Not only the game but a spot in the post season.  I love listening to baseball on the radio.  What an exciting game!!  And then the next morning I woke up to Sweet Caroline on the radio - I think there is some irony in there somewhere! :)

  • Eggplant - you know for someone who isn't too keen on veggies, I really do love me some eggplant! 

  • Why is this one so hard for me?  I got nothing... 

  • The shows piling up on my DVR.  The new TV season just started and already I am behind!! 

  • A little overwhelmed and a little flabbergasted it is already October.  When did that happen?! 

Want more Five Senses?  Check out Mandi's!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Disneyland - September 2011 Edition

Would you believe it?  My annual park pass expired at the beginning of August.  And since then I have been feeling like I lost something - the ability to pick up and go to a Disney park on a whim to be precise.  To renew the annual pass or not is similar to the chicken and the egg.  If I have the pass, I can go whenever, and it will save me money the more times I go so of course I should get the pass.  But if I didn’t have the pass, I wouldn’t go as often, which would also save me money.  Ah, the dilemma.  But since I am planning on going to WDW in October and February (for the Princess Half!), I felt justified in renewing.  But instead of renewing (which you can’t renew the premier pass online – lame!), Jana & I figured it was probably time to go to Disneyland and buy in person.  Pretty smart, right?  Plus with me doing the Tinker Bell in January, and us going to Disneyland to renew, I had completely validated my decision to renew the premier pass.  Completely makes sense to renew!  For those of you thinking I have a *slight* Disney addiction, you would be wrong.  It’s more than slight.  I was trying to explain it to a friend of mine.  It is my happy place.  I can feel stress melt away as I walk through the entrance.  It isn’t just about rides or food or what have you.  It’s about the atmosphere and how I instantly feel young again.  Not that I am old, by any stretch.  Plus it is a fantastic place to meet friends who also happen to be Disney fanatics!  Especially meeting up with those friends who love Disney and who live in other parts of the country.

(And this year, I started a spreadsheet to track my savings.  Oh yes, I am a nerd.)

All this to say, guess where I was last weekend?  That’s right!  Disneyland!!  And perfect timing – since I had just finished the You Go Girl Half (within my time goal!) I felt a little like a Super Bowl winner – “Emily, you just successfully walked the You Go Girl Half in 3 hours 14 minutes and 4 seconds.  What are you going to do next?”  To which I happily reply, “I’m going to DISNEYLAND!!"

We’re going to do this recap in bullet point style:
  • We had breakfast at La Brea all three mornings.  Yum!!  And each morning I would have juice, cappuccino and water.  Liquid much?  Why yes, thank you!
  • I love the new Little Mermaid ride – especially the first part where you go “under the sea” and the room playing Under the Sea (although I didn’t care for the Ariel with the crazy hair in that room).
  • I had visions of the new Goofy’s Sky School being like Barnstormer.  Boy was I wrong!  Instead Goofy’s Sky School is a lot like Mulholland Drive.  Except with Goofy.  And planes. 
  • I totally won on Midway Mania.  Jana totally won on Astro Blasters.
  • It does not take much to convince me I NEED to buy another Mickey sweatshirt (instead of walking back to the hotel to get one).
  • Speaking of shopping, I think I got one thing on my list.  But I got lots of things not on my list! 
  • I would so buy a World of Color soundtrack if it were for sale (hint, hint Disney merchandising people). 
  • Speaking of soundtracks, I was set to buy a Disneyland soundtrack, but could not find one anywhere.  Boo.  Word to the wise, if there is something at Disney that you want, don’t wait to buy it because you may never find it again. This has happened more than once.
  • This was the first time I smelled the ocean on Soarin'!  I don't know if it was because I had been near the ocean the week before and the sight of the ocean triggered the smell or if it actually smells like the ocean.
  • I love the Matterhorn at night!!  Not so much during the day.
  •  I heart Mr. Toad.  And I think I need to read the Wind in the Willows (I thought I read it when I was younger but I’m not so sure now). 
  • We waited in little to no lines for Indiana Jones – all 3 times we rode it!  Guess that means the park wasn’t super crowded (although it felt like it sometimes). 
  • Holiday Haunted Mansion rocks my socks! 
  • Oh – and it smells like gingerbread!!
  • Mickey Ice Cream is delicious!!
  • I still get teary eyed watching Fantasmic.  The DL version is my fave (although I do like the setup better at WDW.)
  • After Jana left I had about another hour before I needed to leave so I got in line for Tinker Bell.  Oh yes.  My excuse for being an adult in line to get her picture made with Tinker Bell?  I needed to do costume research of course!  (I'm thinking about putting together a fairy outfit for the Tinker Bell Half.  Not sure how yet...  Or what fairy for that matter!)
  • Pirates was closed.  Boo.  Guess that means I need a return trip. :)
  • Drinking Diet Coke on vacation is awesome!!  (I only let myself drink soda on vacation or in a dire emergency.)
  • ETA: Oh!  I completely forgot one very important thing!  We were walking over to Fantasyland and I glanced at the guys walking next to us and they were both wearing identical shirts with Club 33 on them.  If I were brave, I would have asked them if they worked there and how we could score an inside glimpse of the famed Club 33!  But no, instead I walked them walk by and wondered...
 I’m sure there was much more, but that’s all I have for the moment.  See ya real soon!

What to have to drink this morning?

Drinks at Breakfast #1

Drinks at Breakfast #2

Drinks at Breakfast #3

In line for the Little Mermaid

California Adventures


I heart Mr. Toad

I heart Mickey Ice Cream

Us in our new Mickey sweatshirts

Costume Research - hmm, Tink or Vidia?

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Five Senses on Thursday

What?  Five Senses a day early?  What does this mean?  It means I am leaving on a jet plane!  I'm off to the Happiest Place on Earth!

  • The newly painted walls at work. 

  • What I think was a frog croaking  

  •   Chocolate milk

  • Fall is definitely in the air

  • Excited!!  Not only for a trip to see Mickey (and Jana!) but I also figured out what I'm going to be for Halloween!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

You Go Girl Half Marathon

I ran this race last year, except the 10K version.  I enjoyed it last year and when my co-worker started talking to me about doing a half in September and mentioned this race I thought why not?  Especially since it had a 4 hour time limit!!  This would be an excellent race to judge my walking time to see if I could finish in Disney's 3 and a half hour time limit.  At the time I signed up for this race and started training I didn't know if (or when) I was going to be "allowed" to run again.  It would be my test race.  Oh the things I do for Disney! :)

I woke up this morning to the sound of rain.  And not just rain, but a steady, heavy rain.  Oh Fall, couldn't you have held off for one more day?  Eh, it's just rain, right?  I decided against changing my outfit, figuring either way I would be wet.  Well except to switch out my sunglasses for a hat.  I checked my bag one more time, tried to make garbage bag ponchos, and then headed out the door to meet my co-worker (we were going to carpool to the race).

The rain started to subside to a light mist as we drove down to the race start.  The race start is about a half a mile or so away from the finish.  Last year I parked at the start and regretted it slightly when I had to make the climb up stairs and hills back to my car.  Since my co-worker was the one driving I let her decide where to park.  She opted for the finish (which I would be so glad for at the end!).  We parked and started making the trek up to the start line.

I knew this had the potential of being an emotional race, being my second "big" comeback race since my knee injury.  I started tearing up as the National Anthem was played.  And then we were off!!  Being a girl oriented race, it looked like a sea of pink stretching out in front of me.

This was the first race I would be using my Garmin and as it buzzed for the first mile I glanced down and saw 13:39.  Whoa!  That's a little fast.  The upcoming hill slowed me down naturally.  This race is made up of three out and backs.  As I started up the hill I saw the super fast girls coming towards me.  So impressive watching them.  I kept my eyes open for my co-worker and then I saw her!  We gave each other the thumbs up sign as we passed.  And soon I was at the top of the hill and at the first turn-around point.  It was neat to again see the sea of pink clad runners stretching out in front of me.

We were coming back towards the start line.  Do I stop at the port-o-potty?  I had a conversation with myself about whether or not to stop before finally deciding to use the port-o-potty.  Better safe than sorry!  I was back on the course in no time flat and coming up on the big, bad hill I remembered from last year.  It was still bad, it hadn't improved since last year.  It was also the second out and back (not a true out and back) and about half way up I saw my co-worker again.  She shouts to me "this is a wicked course!"  Those hills can be pretty bad.  Up the hill and around the little park, through the mud puddles.  And then it was a big stretch of downhill!

Coming around a corner, there was a spectator with a great sign reading "1) Run 2) Breathe 3) Repeat".  Love it!

And then it was the finish line!!  For the 10k-ers.  Why didn't I sign up for the 10K again?  LOL!  So last year when I finished, they had chocolate milk but it was only for the half marathoners.  That was going to be me this year!!  Past the finish line and up the incline and on to the last out and back section.  I rounded the corner and could see the fast half girls closing on the finish line.

I knew the last section was along the water so I foolishly hoped it would be flat.  And it was flat for the most part except the few hills thrown in for fun.  Fun or torture at that point!  I finally got to the flat portion.  As I passed one volunteer, he tells me I'm about a half a mile from the last turn-around point. He was a liar!  Liar!  But it did give me a boost for a short time (until I realized it was a lot longer than a half a mile!).  That out section was a doozy!  I kept thinking I was seeing the turn-around but I wasn't.  But all along the course women on the back section were telling me encouraging comments.  Which I needed and so when I passed by a woman who was looking a little down I said something along the lines of "you're doing great!"  And she tells me "thanks, I really needed to hear that."

Finally, finally, finally I saw the turn-around and it really was the turn-around!!  Hallelujah!  As I reached it I could feel tears welling up again.  It was at this point I could see how many people were behind me.  And while I was near the end, there was still a good number of people behind me.

I hit the 10 mile sign.  Only a 5K left.  I can so do a 5K!  Although by the 11 mile sign I was just ready to be done.  And drink my chocolate milk.  Mile 12 comes and goes.  One more mile.  Up the last hill.  One foot in front of the other.  Keep going.  Around the last corner.  And I hear my co-worker yelling my name!!  Finish line!  And done!

I head to the food tent and there isn't any chocolate milk!  Color me sad.  (I stopped at the store on the way home and got some though.)  I eat my banana, do some stretching before we walked back to the car.  I was so happy the car was at the finish line!!  Because I don't know that I could have walked back up to the start line.  Ha!

My time: 3 hours 14 minutes and 4 seconds for a per mile pace of 14:49.  These are the official results because guess what?  I forgot to turn off my Garmin after crossing the finish line!  Doh!  My time wasn't actually that far off my Princess Half time.  Granted even though I ran a good deal of the Princess, I also stopped for lots of photos! :) 

You know what this means?  I will be able to stop for pictures for the Tinker Bell & Princess!!  Yahoo!!  Well at least one or two photos, let's not get to crazy!

And I'll end with - what's next after finishing a half marathon?  Chocolate milk!!  Ice packs!!  A massage on Tuesday. And one more thing on Thursday!  What is that?  I won't say just yet, but see if you can guess! :)

At the start line

Me at the start line


Another medal!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Songs to Walk By

Songs can be inspiring, uplifting, empowering, and can you power you through a rough patch.  On the eve of my walking half marathon (where my mantra will be don’t run, don’t run, don’t run), I’d like to share with you a few of the songs that got me through training for this half (and hopefully after tomorrow they will have gotten me through this half!).   There is a detectable thread running through my song choices of what I will call redemption.  Or detectable to me.  I am being redeemed from the ashes of my injury.  I may not be as fast as I was (and I was never that fast), but I have come back to a different place.  One that is different than where I was 9 months ago, but one that I can still go out and do a half marathon, even if it is pure walking.  It does seem quite dramatic, and perhaps overly dramatic to those looking in, but in my world there has been an element of drama.  Probably because I do tend to be dramatic! :)  But I haven’t been myself really since that day on an Italian cliff.  (For any new readers, I was hiking in Italy and long story short, fell off the path or cliff, tearing my MCL in the process.)  It may seem as if I have been complaining about my knee for a long time now.  And that would be correct.  I don't think I really expected it would take 9+ months for me to feel almost "normal" again.  I think I've been going through a little bit of an identity crisis.  Before I was the girl who traveled and did races.  What was I now?  While I'm still not running (and won't be until December) I've started reclaiming a little of what I lost.  In the grand scheme of things, a knee injury that didn't hamper to me may not seem that big to another person, and I realize that.  I'm trying to explain my mindset.  But I had really embraced this new me who had started to make a lot of progress in my running journey.

Just as I was proving to myself I could do a triathlon (albeit at a slower pace) I am now proving to myself I can do a half marathon.

Without further adieu, my top few songs that will be powering me through tomorrow:
  • Never Say Never by Justin Bieber (I will never say never, I will fight til forever…whenever you knock me down, I will not stay on the ground – self explanatory, this knee injury will not keep me on the ground)
  • Breakthrough by Lemonade Mouth (sometimes its proving to the world it was wrong…don’t stop till you break it on through – cheesy Disney song?  Check!  But seriously, I’m ready for a breakthrough!  I’m going to break it on through to the finish line!)
  • Get Back Up by tobyMac (it’s never too late to get back up again, you may be knocked down, but not out forever – that’s right, I CAN and WILL get back up again)
  • Kiss it Goodbye by Hannah Montana (kiss it goodbye, if fear is holding you back - another Disney song?  You know it!  But I'm definitely kissing the fear goodbye.)
  • All I Need (feat. Kevin Rudolph) by Natasha Bedingfield (that’s why all I need is what I’ve got – sometimes it is focusing on what you have, rather than what you don’t – plus this song rocks my socks!)
  • One Shining Moment by David Barrett (one shining moment, you reached deep's more than a contest, it's more than a race - I get goosebumps every time I hear this song.  It's my favorite part of March Madness.  Every year I wait for all the commercials and watch the winning team cut down the  nets just to listen to this song.)
  • Our God by Crossroads (And if our God is for us, then what can stop us, and if our God is with us, then what can stand against – there is someone on my side, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me)
  • Just Dance by Lady Gaga (no real reason this on here except sometimes you gotta just dance and this song always puts a smile on my face)

And with that, I'd better go make sure my iPod (and Garmin) are all charged and ready to go for tomorrow!!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Five Senses

  • Mmm, pumpkin spice latte!  Oh how I have missed you!  

  • A mommy deer with two little Bambis (why do I always think of baby deer as Bambi?)
  • Okay, one more as I can't help myself - a spider rappelling (do spiders rappel?) down my mirror as I was doing my hair.  Eek!!  

  • Paint

  • Fire alarms as we had not one but two fire drills!! 

  • Excited and nervous for my race on Sunday!!  Did I say nervous??

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Stroll Down Memory Lane

If you aren't tired of hearing about my upcoming half marathon, you might be by the end of this week!!  But this is a slightly different take as we stroll down memory lane.  My first ever half was completed pre-blog (was there such a time?) but I dug out the email I sent out afterwards.  Looking at it, I realize how things have changed and how things have stayed the same.  I still love cheers and my goal is still to finish.  And yet, I have come so far from where I was then.  Not only was this pre-blog but it was pre-running and pre-swimbikerunning.  It was at the very beginning of my "racing" career.  Shall we go back even further?  Back to the very beginning?  (It's a very good place to start or so Maria von Trapp tells me!)  Okay, maybe not quite back to the very beginning, but close.  I had never been athletic.  I would much prefer to sit and read.  Fast forward - just out of college I had gotten a job in Houston, TX.  I moved and started my job where I suddenly found myself working a lot.  But my employers provided food if you were working late.  How cool is that?  Yeah, not so much.  Sitting and eating lots of take out food does not make for a happy or healthy body.   It took me a while but finally I realized I needed to make a change.  Enter walking.  A friend and I started walking 5Ks and 10Ks in Houston.  And then I moved back up to Seattle, my activities stalled and I found myself working a lot.  Sound familiar?  A (now) former co-worker had injured herself running a marathon and started walking as part of her recovery and convinced me to tag along.  Wanting to get myself out of the rut I had once again fallen into, I went along for the ride.  We started walking after work and on Saturdays (rain or shine).  Pretty soon she was telling me I was going to finish a half marathon.  "Who me?" I would scoff.  No way!!  But she had the last laugh as we shall read with my very first race report!!

First Half Marathon Race Report (Super Jock n' Jill - Sept 2005)
I completed my first (and possibly last if my sore legs have anything to say about it!) half-marathon on Monday! I had two goals going into it - one was to finish in 4 hours and one was not to be last, but really the overall goal was just to finish, whether in last place or not. I am very happy to say I finished in 3 hours and 53 minutes and there were a few people behind me!

The last 2.1 miles were extremely hard, probably the hardest I've ever done, especially as the sun came out and it got hot. But the volunteers were great - offering encouragement at every mile marker and a few of the runners even shouted encouragement as they ran past us.

Enjoy the photo of us "racing" to the finish line!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

And this concludes the training portion

If it is Sunday it must be time to take a look back at training for the week.  Especially since this will be the last training post.  Next Sunday at this time I will (hopefully) have completed my third half marathon!!

Monday - hot yoga with one of my favorite teachers!!  Yay!!

Tuesday - 2 miles with the out being a big uphill followed big a gradual downhill which means the back is a gradual uphill but finishes on a downhill

Wednesday - Pure Barre which was tough but I parked in the right parking lot this time!!

Thursday - 3 miles with the sun setting in a glorious ball of pink and orange

Saturday - last long training walk.  The question being, did I want to do 12 miles on a more hilly, and more similar to the race trail, or did I want my normal, super flat trail?  I was leaning towards the more hilly trail when I remembered there weren't bathrooms on this trail.  Okay, super flat trail it is.  But I did want to mix it up a little so I parked near my normal turn-around spot and went into somewhat unknown territory.  I had gotten a later than I wanted start considering it was going to be hot this weekend but it was still comfortable out when I got started.  Off I went and close to 2 miles into it I realized I had made the right choice with the trail with bathrooms as it was fast becoming an emergency to find a bathroom.  I rounded the corner and saw a Honey Bucket.  Thank goodness!!  And then came the realization that the door was locked.  What??  Don't panic.  There was a map and on it showed a bathroom not to far up the path.  So up the path I went and over the bridge and to the bathroom.  It was much better than a random Honey Bucket!!  After that unscheduled detour it was back to the walk.  I was moving pretty good and there were even a few little hills.  I was nearing my turn-around and starting to need another bathroom when I heard some cyclists point out an upcoming park.  Oh thank goodness!!  Parks generally equal bathrooms and sure enough there was a bathroom.  I didn't have much further to go so I finished up my 6 and turned around so I could use the bathroom officially on my way back.  I'm funny that way, sometimes it is so mental.  It was starting to get downright hot but I was coming up on the stretch of the path completely surrounded by trees which immediately cooled me down.  The last two miles were not in the shade.  I was so ready to be done at this point.  And then I was done.  Yay!!  

Tired tootsies

Friday, September 09, 2011

Five Senses Friday

  • Another gorgeous sunset as I raced the setting sun back to my car (walking of course!)

  • Cheers, gasps, stomping feet, bodies crashing - FOOTBALL is back!!

  • Tree Top all natural fruit snacks (which are no Princess fruit snacks!!)

  • Not much as I am fighting a cold

  • Really tired - which I'm sure has nothing whatsoever to do with the fact I am trying to cut down on my caffeine intake!  Ha!

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Week in Review

With only a few weeks left until the You Go Girl half marathon I thought I would bring back the training week in review.

Monday - hot yoga, nothing too exciting

Tuesday - early morning 2 mile walk.  Won't be too many more of these as it's getting lighter later.

Wednesday - Pure Barre class

Thursday - 3 mile walk where I just beat the fading sunlight. 

Saturday - hot yoga, this was a hard class.  Not sure why.  The beauty of yoga - it is never the same.

Sunday - 11 mile walk where I kept an average (are you ready for this?) 14:38 pace!!  Holy cow!  Let's pause for a minute and reflect.  Wow.  Okay, so this was my basically flat route, but still I'm feeling pretty good about it.  I knew I went out fast, but I was feeling pretty good so I just kept going. 

Friday, September 02, 2011

Five Senses Friday

Hello Holiday Weekend!!  I don't have much planned this weekend except an 11 mile walk and recovering from said walk.  Recovering sounds a lot like chocolate milk and ice packs in front of the TV.  Oh and I really need to work on my 2010 photo book.

  • All about my company as we made headlines all over the place!

  •  Candy corns!!  I love candy corns!!  But, isn't it a little too early?  It's not even September.  Oh that's right.  It is!  Where is this year going?

  • What I really hope is not the onset of an ear infection.  Ugh.

  •  Is that fall in the air? 

  • A gorgeous sunset (although that might have been last week...the days are starting to blend together)

Want more Five Senses?  Check out No Apathy Allowed!