Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Training Tuesday: Birthday 5k PR

The week started off really well with two exciting events: my birthday and my 5k PR. I've been trying to beat my previous 5k time (30:15) for a couple weeks. I told myself "If there's ever going to be a day that you run a PR, it's got to be your birthday." And that's what I did. I was aiming to maintain a 9:45 min/mile to just squeak in a couple seconds under my previous time. I asked my hubby to pace me, since he runs his half marathons at an ~8 min/mile pace. We started off booking down the path, way too fast for me to maintain. He was really great at slowing us down to a reasonable pace while also keeping keeping us in line with our time. With about half a mile to go, he turns to me and says "Let's run down this big hill! It'll be easier!" Only thing was, we both forgot that after going down that big hill... there was an equally big hill you had to go UP. Still, we pushed through and finished our 5k in 29:36. Best birthday gift ever! 

Naturally, I also got myself a couple things. :) 
You can buy this cute Disney LeSportsac cosmetic bag here.

And of course some shoes. 

Onto the sweaty stuff! This past week was pretty good and I'm excited to finally get past that 6 mile mark. I get this weird mental block about the half way point in a half marathon. The long run was amazing. I went with my hubby and we ran along a local park's coastal trail. We saw bunnies, squirrels, geese, cows and horses. Definitely makes the run more exciting. 
My long run next week is 7 miles and it only increases from there to prepare for Dumbo. With all this news of the Glass Slipper Challenge at the Princess half, I'm getting more excited for Dumbo! :) 

Previous Week
Tuesday: 5k run- PR for my birthday! 
Wednesday: cross training (yoga)
Thursday: 2 mile run
Friday: rest (was going to run, but got distracted by the Princess half news)
Saturday: 2 mile run
Sunday: 6 mile run ended up running a bit more (6.2) to get to 10k
Monday: rest

This Week / T- 17 weeks until Dumbo
Tuesday: 5k run 
Wednesday: cross training (yoga)
Thursday: 2 mile run
Friday: 5k run
Saturday: rest
Sunday: 7 mile run 
Monday: rest

How was your week? Do you run along city streets or look for a park? 

Sunday, April 28, 2013

The Walt Disney Family Museum

The Walt Disney Family Museum is dedicated to the story of Walt Disney, from the beginning of his life, through his stuggles and then successful career, to the very end. The museum is well done and packed with so much information. It opened in 2009 and is located in the beautiful and historic Presidio of San Francisco. 
They always have a special exhibit in addition to the normal museum. Dearest and I visited at the end of March when the special exhibit was Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs: The Creation of a Classic. 

The outside of the museum in the historic Presidio. 

We went to the Snow White exhibit first.

 Large hanging pictures of different images from the film.

 The Oscar that Walt received- including 7 miniature statuettes.

Just like their theme parks, every part includes detail.

Dopey was the most popular dwarf. Fitting considering the Dopey Challenge was just announced when I visited.

The lobby of the museum includes pieces from what is now the Dream Suite in Disneyland.

Just some of the awards Walt received.

This is when we stepped into the regular museum...

The inside of the elevator was designed to simulate Walt's train ride to Hollywood complete with fake windows and audio.

A wall dedicated to Steamboat Willie short films.

Disney Memorabilia

This was too cute not to take a picture.

Since starting work at Bank of America, I knew the company played a big role in the financials of the Disney Studios. It was nice to see a little mention of it. 

This room reminded me a lot of the Animation building in California Adventure.

Views from the glass walls in the back of the museum.

A 14-foot model of Disneyland. This was by far the highlight of the trip.

The classic shot of Main Street at Disneyland. 

At the end of the museum, there were many of the cartoons and public responses to Walt's passing. It was definitely pretty emotional and a few people were crying. 

If you find you're in San Francisco or nearby, I would definitely recommend visiting the museum. Beautifully curated with every detail, it's well worth it. 

Friday, April 26, 2013

New Enchanted 10k, Glass Slipper Challenge and Pink Coast to Coast: How Much $?

runDisney just announced they are adding a new race and challenge to the every popular Princess Half Marathon weekend in Disney World. The new race will be the Enchanted 10k, held the day before the Princess half marathon. If you opt for the Glass Slipper Challenge, you get a special medal (presumably something related to a glass slipper) for running both the 10k and half. The special Coast to Coast challenge is for people who run both the Tinker Bell half in Disneyland in January and the Princess half in Disney World in February. There is a special pink and purple Coast to Coast medal. 

 Left: Special pink medal for Tinker Bell/Princess    Right: Regular Coast to Coast

If you're planning on doing the special Coast to Coast challenge, you can sign up for both races on June 11th when the Princess registration opens. Only a limited number of slots will be open, but if you miss it, you can still register for Tinker Bell when it opens July 9th. See runDisney's blog post for more information. 

My first thought was "OMG! This is awesome! I have to do it!" My second thought was "this is going to be really expensive, huh?"

Let's do a little cost analysis. (Apparently I'm really into analyzing things lately... I blame that on all the reports at work.)

Pricing Estimates

Enchanted 10k ($95): The other 10ks that runDisney has offered, like the DL 10k and WDW Minnie 10k, have been priced at $95, so I would assume this would be similar. 

Princess Half ($150): Each year, registration prices increase. The Princess was $130 in 2012 and $140 in 2013. If the trend continues, the half would be $150. 

Glass Slipper Challenge ($255): runDisney has only offered one other challenge with similar distances of a 10k and half (Dumbo Double Dare in DL) and pricing started at $280. The cost of Dumbo was the 10k ($95) + the half ($175) plus $10, probably for the extra shirt and medal. The Glass Slipper Challenge would be the 10k ($95) + the half ($150) plus $10, for the extra shirt and medal. 

Pink Coast to Coast (FREE*): Okay, so it's not "free." It's more like "Free with purchase of both the Tinker Bell and Princess half registration fees."  

Is it worth it to you? Will you be signing up? 

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Galloway's Dumbo Plan: A Quick Analysis

The long awaited official Dumbo Double Dare training plan by runDisney's Jeff Galloway has finally been released. I expected to see a lot of walking in his plan, but I was surprised by the amount (or lack there of) of miles. I felt a little analysis was in order.

*Disclaimer: I am in no way discrediting or inferring that Jeff Galloway's Dumbo training plan is incorrect or wrong. These are merely my thoughts and opinions.*

I'll just jump right into the training schedule part. (If you're interested in my thoughts on the introduction part, continue reading below.)

Galloway sticks to a walk/run method which gets you across the finish line with very little risk of injury. For our analysis, let's say that you follow a run/walk pace of 10 mins/mile (run 4 minutes and walk 1).  The Tuesday/Thursday maintenance runs are almost all 30 minutes, with an increase to 30-45 mins seen for 3 weeks (Thursdays on weeks 13, 15, and 17). That would give you ~3 mile runs, which is a good distance, but not too strenuous. 

My analysis really has to do with the long run mileage.

 Weeks 1-6: The long run starts at 3 miles, jumping up and down until Week 6's 6.5 mile run. There is almost two weeks of running ~3 miles and then a big jump to long run of 6.5 miles. Some may prefer a more gradual increase from the previous week. 

Weeks 7-12: This is when the back to back runs start coming into play. The back to back runs are scheduled every other week. The shorter 10k prep run increases 1 mile, while the half marathon prep run increases 1.5 miles. Sounds good, until you look at the long runs on the in between weeks- only 3-4 miles. You're doubling, almost tripling, the previous week's long run, not to mention it's the second part of the back to back run. 

 Weeks 13-18: The mileage keeps increasing at the same pace (1 mile added to the 10k run, 1.5 miles added to the half run). By Week 16, at 2 weeks before the race, you will have gone your furthest distance at 5 miles on Saturday and 14 miles on Sunday. Personally, I would go 6 miles on Saturday and only 13.1 on Sunday. At the end of a long run, you're tired and your form isn't as good, opening up the possibility of injury. Why risk it?

Week 19: Following up your race with some light running is always a good idea. 

For some comparison, here is my Dumbo plan. 
I actually took a lot of the back to back run scheduling from Galloway's Goofy training (his is every 3 weeks, mine is 4). His Goofy training is a lot longer (due to running a half and then a full the next day), but I feel the increase in mileage is more gradual. I kept my long runs pretty long, too. I need to keep the mileage up or it's too hard for me to increase it again. I also run 4 days/week, instead of Galloway's 3. 

Here's the introduction to the official training plan, along with my thoughts on it. 
He mentions that this is for experienced runners (more than 6 months), but I would argue that a non-runner would be able to follow this as well.

 He goes into more depth about the walk/run method.

 Galloway provides a break down of the walk/run for difference pace times. For a 9min/mile pace (giving you a sub-2hr half marathon finish), you would run 4 minutes and walk 1.  He also touches on cross training and while I agree that it may not directly affect your running, it can help improve endurance.  

 This is where he explains the "Magic Mile". Essentially the magic mile gives you an idea of the pace to expect on race day. It's an interesting idea and would be worth checking out.

Have you used a Galloway plan? How do you like the walk/run method? What do you think about Galloway's Dumbo plan? 

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Training Tuesday: Finally Feeling Normal Again

It took a long time, but I finally feel like I found my running groove again. I'm not sure if it's because I found a time I enjoy running or because I'm back at my old long run location, but I feel like I found my happy running place again. 

This past week didn't go exactly as planned, but I'm ok with that. Work has gotten even crazier than last week. As I mentioned before, the position above me got eliminated and I'm picking up most of the duties. Wednesday was a 10 hr work day and Thursday was only worse- I left for work at 7:30am and didn't get home until 7pm. I'm hoping it settles down this week or I may lose a lot of my weekday runs. :/ 

Previous Week
Tuesday: 4.09 mile run in honor of Boston- ran my 2nd best 5k (31:31) 
Wednesday: cross training (yoga) missed the yoga
Thursday: 2 mile run missed the run
Friday: 5k run ran 2.5 miles
Saturday: rest
Sunday: 5 mile run- ran my 3rd best 5k (31:49)
Monday: rest

While I missed my cross training and a run, my times are still improving! I was going to try and stretch my long run on Sunday to 6.2 miles/10k, but it was pretty warm and I ran out of water. At the moment, I'm working on beating my 5k PR (30:15). This week in my Dumbo training I'm running my first back to back run on Saturday/Sunday. 

This Week / T- 18 weeks until Dumbo
Tuesday: 5k run (aiming for a PR for my birthday)
Wednesday: cross training (yoga)
Thursday: 2 mile run
Friday: rest
Saturday: 2 mile run
Sunday: 6 mile run 
Monday: rest

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

100th Blog Post / 26th Birthday

I was surprised to see that my 100th blog post was coming up! Granted, I've had this blog for about 4 and a half years, so I really shouldn't be that surprised. I decided to publish this 100th post on my 26th birthday and do a little recap.  
As my 26th approached, I was thinking more and more about life and how far I've come since high school (probably triggered by seeing someone from high school that I hadn't seen since graduation 8 years ago). It got me thinking about a letter I wrote to myself in high school. My english teacher had everyone write a 10 year letter to their future selves, which he would mail out 10 years later. Pretty awesome teacher, huh? I still have a couple years to go, but I'm really curious to see what I wrote. Mostly, I hope my high school self would be proud of where I am today.

Here's where my blog started:

November 2008- I started this blog, mostly as a way to keep in contact with friends and family whom I didn't see as often. I was in college and living with Dearest (then just my boyfriend).
Christmas 2008

March 2009- Dearest and I got engaged. I was months away from finishing college, though he had recently gone back to school (the start of a 5.5 year journey, which we are currently still on).
One of our engagement photos

July 2009College = done! I graduated and started working at the bank. 

*This is where life starts to slow down....*

June 2010- Dearest and I got married.
Wedding Recap
More Wedding Photos

July 2010- I got promoted at work. This is still my current position and I'm really enjoying it.

*Life really slows down here... This is around where Dearest and I picked up running.*

September 2011- Ran my 1st DL 1/2
Disneyland Half Marathon 2011 Recap

September 2012- Ran my 2nd DL 1/2
Disneyland Half Marathon 2012 Recap

March 2013- Training for Dumbo 
Dumbo Double Dare Training Plan

Dearest is still in school, though he is so close to being done. I'm still working at the same place. I supposed I should enjoy the consistency now while I have it. I know within the next 6 months or so, life will be turned upside down. Dearest will be done with school and have a job, I could be leaving my job, we could be moving, etc. As my life motto goes: C'est la vie. :)

Friday, April 19, 2013

Running & Eating

Yup, my mouth is watering, too. ;)

I'll be honest, in my quest to lose weight, I have tried almost every diet possible. From low-carb to no carb, raw foods, 5 small meals, 3 regular meals, even Slim Fast (totally gross and a bad choice in hindsight). Diets are also short term. The weight always comes back, sometimes more than you lost. I have a co-worker who will just say "I'm not going to eat any sugar for the next month" so she can lose some weight. I think she sticks to it (I can't say for sure), but I don't know if it works. Personally, I don't have enough self-control to continuously cut something out. I like food too much. ;) 
Thanksgiving is my favorite meal. Doesn't help that there are always leftovers.

It's a lifestyle change. For me, I try to balance a healthy diet, while still allowing myself guilty pleasures, with exercise. If I want to eat a donut, I will. I try to only eat half, which rarely happens. But I also don't beat myself up over it. Instead, I run a little longer to balance it out. If my pants start to get a little snug, I'll forgo the dessert and add in an extra day of exercise. It's a delicate balance and even my body will tell me when something is off. I notice if I've been eating horribly for a couple days with no exercise, I feel lethargic and just... blah. 

Dearest and I don't eat a lot of meat, maybe just once or twice a week. A normal meal will consist of veggies and some kind of protein, like beans, quinoa, or tofu. We also steer clear of meals from a box, like Rice-a-Roni, Hamburger Helper, Mac & Cheese, etc. It takes work and at first I was not excited, since at the time I did all the cooking. But over the years, we've gotten used to making everything from scratch. 
Produce market haul for under $20 bucks! 

How do you balance exercise and eating? Will you put in a harder workout so you can eat a piece of pie? 

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Training Tuesday: Back at it!

(I intentionally delayed this post a day.)

This past week has been all kinds of weird for me. Work has been super crazy- the are eliminating the assistant manager position (the position above me), so I inherit all of the duties and responsibilities. It'll be interesting juggling all of that. Craziness meant that I had to be at work earlier and didn't have time to run. And after a crazy day, I just wanted to come home and have a glass of wine. 

After 2 weeks of being side-lined by a cold, I finally got out running again. I attempted a 5k on Friday, but only went 2.5 miles. Man, was it hard! Felt like I hadn't run in ages! Sunday, I went for my "long" run at only 3.5 miles. I ran much slower than I'm used to, which was my own fault for leaving late and running in the sun with a jacket and long pants on. :/ Ironically, I ran my 2nd best 5k at a good 2 & 1/2 minutes slower than my PR. It wasn't the 5 miles I planned for, but all in all, at least I'm running. And in light of the events at Boston, I'm so thankful that I can. 
This upcoming week, I'm "officially" kicking off my training for the Dumbo Double Dare (again). I'm starting at 20 weeks to go, with my long run at 5 miles. I'm easing back into things and making my Tuesday run only 2 miles. To remember the victims of the bombing in Boston, I'm running/ran 4.09 miles on Tuesday.

This Week / T-19 Weeks until Dumbo
Tuesday: 2 mile run 4.09 mile run in honor of Boston
Wednesday: cross training (yoga)
Thursday: 2 mile run
Friday: 5k run (aiming for a PR)
Saturday: rest
Sunday: 5 mile run 
Monday: rest

Does your training/fitness schedule ever get messed up due to personal/work issues?