Sunday, July 19, 2015

On a Cold, Cold Morning

I don't think I've ever been as cold as I was on the morning of the 5K.  Nor do I hope to ever be that cold again.  Of course, runDisney gave us a warning:


I had not really brought appropriate cold weather gear to Disney.  This was as best as it could get:

The 5K starts at 6ish am, so I was able to sleep in for the first morning--if you consider sleeping until 3:30am sleeping in.  I ambled slowly through the resort.

  Mornings before sunrise--my favorite time in Disney resorts.

I met up with a group from the Princess Posse.  I remember Jill did not want to leave the porta-potty because it was warm in there.
 Posse On!

The Disney Family Fun 5K theme was a Pluto theme.  There are not that many corrals and I think most of the slots are now taken up by Dopey participants.
 Start Line
 Mile 1!
 What a beautiful morning!
 I was really too cold to stop.
 Spaceship Earth
 Mile 2
 Coming towards the end
 Mile 3
 Finish line!
 Final time.

Some thoughts on the 5K as a race:

It's a real good race through Epcot, and has some surprising elevations.

I ran the race too fast.  I was cold, and I wanted out.  In my next Dopey, I'll stick with the 16 min mile for the 5K, 10K, and half.

It was cold!!!  I was still cold at 10:26, when I stopped for Starbucks.

I may not have thawed out completely until two days later.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

My Jamberry Party

I'm not an especially big person on pampering or that kind of thing for myself.  Every once in a while I will get a manicure.  My last pedicure was forever ago.  So when friends mentioned Jamberry to me, I have to say, I dismissed it.  And then I saw pictures from Pinterest.

I became intrigued.

And then a friend became a consultant.  I tried them.

You know how fingernail polish chips?

A lot?

You know how Acrylic nails destroy your fingernails?  And it takes forever to fix them?

Yeah, these things don't.

And I think they look super cute:

My first trial with them--the design is a Jamberry, with the others being polish.

A week later--the Jam holds up, but I had to change the polish.

Day one of a full Jamicure

Day seven of the same Jamicure

Newest look

You may wonder how Jamberry nails ends up on a running blog.  
My friend, Amie Pirkle, is a Jamberry consultant and has agreed to do a fundraiser for me for St. Jude's Heros.  I have forfeited all hostess rewards and Amie will make nothing on this fundraiser.  

Please consider giving to St. Judes and supporting me through your purchase with Jamberry nails.

More information is on my Facebook group:

Thank you for your support!

Friday, April 17, 2015

Dopey for St Jude's

From the St. Jude's Heros Website:

Do more with your race. Be a Hero, and run for the kids of St. Jude.

After debating whether or not I would run Dopey this year, I came to a decision.  I wanted to run it.  And I wanted to run it for a cause.  There are several organizations that are sponsored during the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend, but it seems that none reach out to me like St. Jude's Research Hospital.  

According to their website, this is the mission of St. Jude's:

"The mission of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is to advance cures, and means of prevention, for pediatric catastrophic diseases through research and treatment. Consistent with the vision of our founder Danny Thomas, no child is denied treatment based on race, religion or a family's ability to pay."

As a mother, I cannot imagine the heartache of learning my child needs medical care like the children of St Jude do.  I cannot imagine the helplessness those parents feel.  Isn't it wonderful that if their child has to go to St. Jude, they know paying the bill is not something to worry about?

In 2015, I ran the Dopey Challenge.  Over the next few months, my blog will turn into a stroll down memory lane, along with spotlights of the children of St. Jude's Research Hospital.  

For those of you who do not know, the Dopey Challenge during Walt Disney World's Marathon Weekend is a 4 day challenge for a total of 48.6 miles.  On Thursday, runners run a 5K, of Friday a 10K, on Saturday a half marathon, and on Sunday the Marathon.  I won't lie.  It's not for the faint of heart.  But it also is a few days of pain that is nothing next to what the children of St. Jude's live through daily.

So, I ask all of my followers to pray for my fundraising goal of $2500.  Please also, give to St. Jude's.  You won't regret it.  My personal fundraising page will be at the end.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

You Carry Me

There have always been times when I believe God throws a song out there to lift me up.  The most recent one is Moriah Peters' "You Carry Me".  It's one of those songs that seems like it's everywhere when I turn on the radio these days. 

I'll be honest:  Dopey Training has not been going so well as of late.  Yesterday was particularly difficult for several reasons:
  1. Last weekend I had a significant injury to a toe.  It started really acting up on me.
  2. I didn't really want to run 20 miles
  3. My back started hurting me (it still does)
  4. All I had eaten all day was a bowl of oatmeal
  5. I ran by a house full of people out on the porch drinking and cursing.  I felt very exposed and uncomfortable.
As soon as I went by that house, even though I was still 2 miles from my car, I quit.  I have never, ever quit during a long run.  Never in my life. 

I hope that I will never feel the sense of failure I did yesterday, but I also have to admit something:  it's truly out of my hands.

Yes, I'm going to train as well as I can for the weekend, but ultimately whether or not I am successful depends on the One who carries me:

     "Feels like it's been miles and miles
      Feels like it's an uphill climb
      Sometimes I get weary on the way
      But when I look back at where I've been
     When I look back, I'm sure of it
      I was right there in Your arms and I can say

      Every moment of my life
      God, You never left my side
      Every valley, every storm
      You were there, You were there
      I don't need to know what's next
      You'll be with me every step
      Through it all, through it all
      I can see You carry me"

So, yesterday was a storm.  I wasn't alone.  If it's His will, I will be carried across the finish line.

Monday, September 29, 2014

100 Days of Dopeyness

I don't even know why I have not shared this on my blog until now.  After the marathon I vowed to never do a marathon again.  I was in pain, and I felt as if my ankles needed to be removed from my body.

I didn't even run once for a month after.

So, in April, I did the only logical thing.

For runDisney events, it's the end all of all challenges:  the Dopey Challenge during the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend.

So what is Dopey?

It's four races over four days for a total of 48.6 miles:
  • Thursday, January 8:  I run a 5k
  • Friday, January 9:  I run a 10k
  • Saturday, January 10:  I run a half marathon
  • Sunday, January 11:  I run a marathon
The prize just for finishing?  Six (yes, 6) medals.  One for each of the individual races, one for completing the Goofy Challenge (running the half and full marathons) and one for running the full Dopey challenge.

In 100 days, I will be at the race expo, picking up my race packet and most likely freaking out and listening to whatever wisdom Jeff Galloway can give us.  For four days, I will discover soreness like I've never felt before and experience a whole new level of sleep deprivation as Disney races typically mean a 2am or 3am wake up call.

And yet, all of this serves a bigger purpose.  I know I can't run these races on my own.  I can certainly train as hard as possible, which I intend to do.  But this challenge is to give God glory in that all of me will be stripped away during that four day time period and all that will be left is His glory and His strength in me. 

In all honesty, my running has lost it's way.  I was basking in all I could do for myself and forgetting the One who made it all possible.  In all of that self-reliance, I was getting cocky.  And I was getting injured.  I need to let the One who gave me the ability to endure to complete His work and get over my "Power Trip".

Who made the crowd put they hands in the sky? Me.
Who made the sky with they hands? What if y'all can't see?
This is kinda strange, God makes the weather change
And we braggin' up on our change like "look how we make it rain!"
We Invictus, this sin sickness is in us
Running a muck and causing that mischief, tell me this then, "Who could really fix us?"
I'm, trippin' to think that I'm really not limited in this position in sitting in,
Gravity pulling me back to earth gradually, reality's hittin'
(Who's got the power?)--LeCrae, Power Trip

I listen to that song often on runs, but the words haven't meant much until recently.  So for the next 100+4 days, I will have to let God take control now and for the rest of my life.

"being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus."--Philippians 1:6

Monday, May 26, 2014

What do you do after a race?

After the race, I of course, changed clothes and showered back at the room.  I also knew it was best to keep moving. 

If you are at Disney, and you need to keep moving, where do you go?

I do not regret that particular decision.  Sunday night, I strolled through the Magic Kingdom, and rested when I needed.  It was a difficult walk through the park that night because of the ankle, which was completely swollen by this point.  I was wrapping and icing it every chance available. 

Throughout the next few days, I spent a lot of time in the room.  I watch a lot of old episodes of Law and Order, and it was this plus my early wake up call for the marathon that made me decide something:  never again would I stay at a Value Resort for a solo vacation.  I was bored out of my mind recuperating in the room.  I did, however, get out of the room some.  Here are some examples of the rest of the week:
 A quiet morning at Downtown Disney the day after the Marathon.
 Cloudy afternoon at Epcot
 I know many people aren't happy with Starbucks at Disney.  I'm just fine with it!
 Quiet lunch at Boardwalk Bakery
 This is about the spot where I bawled my eyes out during the marathon.
 My second favorite icon at Disney after my castle
 The animals were really out during the safari
 They look friendly. . .
 Go to Magic Kingdom. . .Turn LEFT
 Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head, waving to the public
 I love this lighthouse
 New Disney Vacation Club Property.  Too bad I'd never be able to afford it.
 Lunch at Be Our Guest on the last day
 I love this view of Hollywood Studios
 Don't know how I managed those crowds. . .hehe
 By the end of my days there, it was getting colder.  Steam from the heated pools in January
The new, cram a million people in a bus, bus at Magic Kingdom

And before long, it was over.  I had run the race, relaxed at Disney, and was ready to return to real life.  Magical Express took me back to the Orlando airport, and I had a non-magical monorail ride and Starbucks there:

Luggage coming on the plane.  

My plane was delayed by an hour and I learned how much a sprained ankle hurts with the change in elevation on a plane.  It was enough to also decide to drive down to Disney from here on out.

Post trip, I was not willing to do another marathon again.  This has since changed, but that's left for another time.  Until that point, we'll look at three other races I've run this year and my training for my next big adventure. . .the 2015 Dopey Challenge.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

There's No Place Like Finish

So, last time, I left off just after my Nike+ GPS watch died.  I was heading towards Hollywood Studios and I also did something interesting. . .I turned off my SecondsPro app, that times run-walk intervals.  If I was going to do this thing blindly, I was going to do it without that confounded beeping.

No lie.

Now, here's something interesting.  Up until now, you can see that I've taken a picture of every.  Single.  Mile Marker.  So something may surprise you.

I missed 23.  I was told later it was behind the final sweeper bus.  I remember thinking it was taking forever to get to 23.  I was now running one song, walking the next.  Still on an ankle that felt as if it were going to fall off.  And now I had another thing to add:

I was starving.  Smelling the food going by ABC Commissary did not help matters much.

Heading to Crossroads of the World and my favorite spinning Mickey!

Yes, that dude is wearing a blue tutu.  Just roll with it.  I've come to appreciate it.

And soon. . .

I was on the Boardwalk and no longer in danger of being swept from the race!

It was here when I realized that, I began to cry.

Not a cute, princess-like cry.  An ugly cry.  

By now, I was just walking 19 minute miles, more or less.   I was attempting to get over the fact that my ankle felt like it was swelling out of my shoe.  It was a problem for later, because I was now at Mile 24!

In France, and see-19 ish minute mile.

But this sight was making it all worth it!

Having run  the Princess Half, I knew what was coming up next!

I clapped and sang along with them like a nut!

And by mile 26, I was limping

 But I was finished!!!!

Forget ugly cries.  This was the worst ever.

Back at Race Retreat, I had all the food my plate could hold.  I know lots of people who don't think Race Retreat is a big deal.  For the marathon, I would never skip it at Disney.  Having a place to change and sit for a while before boarding the bus was worth it all.  I then printed my live race results and watched the last person cross the finish line about 45 minutes after me surrounded by and cheered on by Team in Training.  No wonder I didn't see the balloon ladies or the sweepers.  They were 45 minutes behind me.

And it was all over.  At the time, I told the Princess Posse I was never doing another marathon again.  I told people to remind me of that.  For the next month, I was recuperating from the ankle.  But you know what?  I finished.  I had ups, downs, pains, ugly cry tears, laughter, and fears that I would not finish after all.

I'm reminded here of the lyrics of a little known husband-wife duo, Russell and Kristi Johnson from Conway, South Carolina.  (Seriously, look them up:)

I want to run the race,
Embracing every moment I'm given,
Whether mountains or valleys You're leading.
I want to fight the fight, keep the faith,
Trust in You day by day, 
Through the storms and the pain You stay the same,
You never change
It's only by Your power and Your grace
I run the race.
("Run the Race", Russell and Kristi; From the album, No Other Name)

I went through both valleys and mountains in this marathon.  More than any fun time, I finished.  I finished slowly, with fear of being swept, with a throbbing ankle, and with fear that I would not finish just because I'd never done 26 miles before.

But God does something interesting or really, amazing.

Every time I wanted to stop, I got a text or a phone call, or someone on the path handed me chocolate or pretzels.  The right song would loop through my iPod.  A race sign would make me laugh.  A fellow runner would encourage me.

I've known people who scoff that God can't even be bothered with those little things that are seemingly inconsequential, but I disagree.  His Word says:

"And we know that in all things, God works for the good of those who are called according to His purpose. . .What, then, shall we say to these things?  If God is for us, who can be against us?  He who did not spare His own Son, but gave Him up for us all--how will He not also, along with Him,graciously give us all things?"  Romans 8:28, 31-32

I believe wholeheartedly that because He calls me to His purpose, He gives me the strength to run the race.  He gives me every nudge along the way that brings me to a finish line.  It is by His power and His grace that I run and finish a race.