Let’s do this.

21 days and 163 miles – these are the two things that stand between me and crossing the finish line of my 10th full, the 2014 Chicago Marathon.

There are lots of emotions zipping around my head and heart these days, but here are a few things that have been banned:

  • Fear.
  • Stress.
  • Negativity.

Yes, the miles have been logged (600+ and counting)- and even if training has not gone exactly as planned, I know that I’m the best me that I can be in this moment. There have been great, confidence-boosting runs, and there have been incredibly frustrating and crappy runs. Some weeks, every workout was punched out, and some weeks, life took over…and although 26.2 miles are definitely not for the weak of heart, I can say, with confidence, that this training cycle has proved, once again, that it is the TRAINING that shows us who we are, and that we are meant to persevere.

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Deep thoughts.

I did a simulation run today, with my chosen outfit, and it worked great (except for the soaked shoes – but hey, what can you do about that)? 16 miles, the longest in Hanson’s Marathon Method, cut short by .5 because of blistering (I never blister on my feet, so I thought it’d be best to think of my feet!) and my legs feel great, even with the 50 miles logged between Monday and Saturday. I also practiced this run with no audio – music, podcast, etc. – and it went fine, so I will proceed with my “no music marathon” plan, as I really don’t want to miss a thing during my first Chicago experience!

The Numbers

So, 65 miles – the highest amount of miles I have ever run (previous PDR, 61, last October) this week, pushing my 2014 mileage to 1,202, and my total logged on dailymile to 5,005 (started tracking in December 2010).

Taper Zone Thoughts

  • With this training plan, the taper doesn’t really start til 10 days out, but with my last LR logged, it kind of does feel like a slope down to race day.
  • I’m thirsty.
  • Although I really don’t believe in regrets, I do have one tiny one this marathon training cycle, and that is that I didn’t get to blog enough about it! Well, I know I’ll make up for it with a lot lot lot of post-marathon thoughts, so I think that’ll even it out.
  • I have to go to the bathroom.
  • I know what I am wearing, what gear I am bringing, and now, staking out the course map for more mental preparation.
  • I’m hungry.
  • I am so excited to go back to Chicago.
  • I am so excited to run with Bibrave.
  • And donuts.
  • I am so excited to hang out with Ashley.
  • I’m hungry.
  • Is it time to go to Chicago yet?

What are your best tips for mental preparation for a marathon?

 

 

I’ve got a secret.

…actually I have a few. And before anyone gets too excited, they’re all running related 😉

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The time I ran “just” 26.2 with DONNA 😉

Hah! Well, really. Also – here’s a little known fact about me: I am pretty darn good at keeping other people’s secrets but I am TERRIBLE at keeping my own. The WORST. So, one of the things I am keeping under wraps for a few more days, I DID have to share with a few people, but all will be revealed soon. SOON! I promise. It’s big. And exciting. Annnddd….I am bursting to make it official and get started!!

While I’m on the subject of scheming and dreaming, here’s another doozy that I am formally announcing…another one that I couldn’t quite shut up about around my DONNA Ambassador Teammates, but am actually stating, in writing, now: I have decided that, barring any sort of debilitating injury (because health and safety are ALWAYS first) I have decided on my next Ultra marathon! And it’s a race that will make my first ultra (that lil’ ol’ 50K I did last month) look like child’s play. Yup.

110.

This, my friends, is the reason I will limit myself at the 2015 WDW Marathon Weekend (see, I told you I had a good reason) and run “just” Goofy!

And guess what, it wasn’t until after I went through all the thought processes of the decision-making that I realized something very interesting about a few of my race photos – see that runner with Bib 6796? Well folks, that’s Dave Krupski – and he just happened to be the winner of the 110 this year! How crazy is that, right? Well, I give him mega props and as a way to pay it forward for looking so happy in my picture this year, I’m gonna give it my best shot at two days of mega mileage in 2015, with 80+ miles before running 26.2. Let’s see how big my smile is next year, huh? 😉

I’m gonna need a lotta love, and a lotta faith to get through that next year, but hey, I’ve got 11 months to prepare, and just like I told myself through fundraising, and conquering those 26.2 miles last year…running is the easy part. 

Did you know that 2015 registration is NOW OPEN for the half and full marathon (as well as challenge combos with 5K)? Lock in your bib today at a great low price, and have complete confidence that even if your plans change, 100 percent of your fees will benefit breast cancer research and care.

Giveaway: Laura Bee Designs, benefitting 26.2 with DONNA

Disclosure: this giveaway is brought to you by my friend Emily. A true Seattle gal at heart, we became friends through our love of runDisney and she graciously donated this awesome giveaway prize during my last fundraiser. 

NOTE: Giveaway is now closed, winners have been announced and contacted. Thank you for participating!

wallet1Disney. Friends. Running. Fundraising. Seattle.

What do these words have in common? Well, I am very excited to announce that they all are elements of my very latest giveaway on the blog, launching TODAY!

You see, last summer, I had the incredible opportunity to raise more than $1,000 for St Jude when I co-hosted a Cupcake Meetup at the 2013 Disneyland Dumble Dare Weekend. It was such an incredible experience, meeting so many people “in real life” for the very first time, raising money for a fantastic cause, and of course, noshing on cupcakes.

While I haven’t quite figured out how I can send you a cupcake via the US Postal Service, I think today’s giveaway is almost as sweet 🙂 Yep! It’s a brand new fun giveaway, launching tonight (through next week) in which there will not be just one, not two, but THREE awesome winners of a very fun, very exclusive Laura Bee Designs mini wallet, perfect for everyday – or your next Disney Parks vacation 🙂 Sure, Walt Disney World may have Magic Bands, but just in case you need to bring another form of payment, prefer to carry a physical room key, need to stash some cash, or, if you’re going to Disneyland – this will be a fun way to tote your gear!

wallet2Made of faux leather, these durable, two-pocket wallets are compact, and can comfortably carry credit cards, ID, or cash, without bulk.

Similar designs on Laura Bee’s site retail for $16 – and you can win one of your own, by entering this special giveaway, with extra bonus points for donating to my 26.2 with Donna Fundraising Campaign!

This giveaway will run from today, Wednesday, February 12, through next Wednesday, February 19. Winners will be notified by email and have 24 hours to respond, prizes will be sent out via USPS the following week.

wallet3

Just click on over to my Rafflecopter Giveaway Widget here.

In addition to this giveaway, I am also offering a special fun “extra” for donations of $5+ between today and Valentine’s Day: I will create and email/FB/tweet or otherwise e-post a specially designed Valentine card for your sweetie!

Spread the word, and as always, thank you for your time and support of my fundraising efforts, it means a lot!

Recap: Space Coast Marathon 2013.

First, the facts:

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  • Didn’t BQ today, but I feel really good about what I did do – ran a great pace until hitting the Mile 25 wall.
  • Splits – 8:19, 8:00, 8:02, 7:55, 7:57, 8:00, 7:52, 7:52, 7:57, 8:01, 7:57, 8:03, 8:07, 8:00, 8:04, 8:13, 8:06, 8:17, 8:12, 8:50, 8:31, 8:11, 8:04, 8:30, 8:19, 12:57 & .49 – someone overran the course a bit ~ 7:46, a 15:54 pace…yes, after a great 25 miles, it then took me 20+ minutes to reach the finish line (more on that below)
  • Enjoyed the course! It was great seeing familiar faces for high-5s (and a hug, after hitting the wall, thanks Michael) LOVED the first half (beautiful homes, wonderful rolling hills) and appreciated the size and flow of the race.
  • Did NOT love the shuttles, though I was glad the issues I had with them after the race were, in fact, after the race and not before.
My new look, the painface smile.
My new look, the painface smile.

And now, a bit of a recap….

I had set the alarm for 3:45 AM, so I could catch the second wave of shuttles to the race start at 5. I stayed at the Radisson Resort at the Port, which, albeit a bit dated, was a nice enough place, as well as a host resort.

SCMselfie

As often the case, however, I woke up before the alarm (3:30) and after seeing that others were experiencing issues with the busses (via twitter/FB) I decided to head down early (4:30) and jumped right onto a shuttle with out about 5 people on it. I met some nice people and chatted a bit, including a fellow runner from Sarasota, so that was nice.

Once we arrived at Cocoa Village, I walked around a bit before running into the Pacebook Running Group peeps and hung out with Ashley (was so pumped for her first marathon)!!! Before long, we jumped into a porta potty line and after the half marathoners cleared for their start (6 AM) we made our way over for ours (6:30 AM). It felt kind of cool out (it was in the 60s but there was wind coming off the river) and I was glad that I decided to wear throw away sweatpants to the start.

The ‘opening’ to the race was pretty funny…the PA system was not the greatest so during the anthem, it kept cutting out. Funny enough, everyone was singing along, so it was kind of amusing. Five minutes before the ‘lift off’ I removed my sweats and threw them on the side of the road in a already forming pile of clothing.

I loved the start…there is a big monitor and it does the space shuttle countdown! We set off North, out of town and onto our first out and back.

Miles 1-13.1

I can really lump all of these together because I loved each one so much. It was dark for the first few miles, but I executed my race plan just as I wanted to: slow first mile (8:19) and subsequent miles around the 8 min range so I could achieve a 1:45ish first half – and I came in right under 1:46 according to splits.

Screen Shot 2013-12-02 at 1.03.35 AM

So, yes. I had trained for a 3:30 marathon, since my qualifying time is 3:35. I LOVED THE FIRST HALF – not only because I was on pace, and there were nice rolling hills, but because after the turnaround before Mile 7, I saw so many friends on the course and it pumped me up.

So, I felt great. I took my GU at miles 6 and 12 – and due to the humidity, I took gatorade at every water stop. After that first half, it was onto the second out and back.

Miles 13.2-19

Screen Shot 2013-12-02 at 12.46.46 AM

Pretty uneventful. Miles were not as consistent as the first half, but not awful either. Due to the unique format of my training, and the ‘top out’ of LRs at 16 miles this training cycle, I waited to see if something terrible would happen after that…nope. Still felt strong! I took my third GU at mile 18.

Mile 20

This is another place I was worried about. It was the turn around area right beforehand and my darn iPod was FREAKING out. It was skipping songs sporadically after a few seconds, then totally shut off. I pulled to the side to fix it, resulting in extra time in that split (8:50).

Screen Shot 2013-12-02 at 1.10.42 AM

Miles 21-24

At this point, I was feeling the effects of the wind on my sweat-soaked body and clothing, but I knew if I could just pull out a few more miles in the 8 min range, I’d be home free. The banked road was really getting to me, and that’s probably the main reason I didn’t like this half as much as the first.

Mile 25

This is when the walls came crumbling down…literally. A wave of chills swept over me and I felt dizzy and faint. For safety, I pulled out my headphones and stuffed my iPod in my pocket. My legs felt incredibly heavy and each step was pained. Looking down at my watch, I saw my goal fading away, which was really hard at the time. It hurt so much. There were tons of amazing spectators cheering, but even that could not change my body’s disposition. I took out my phone and called hubs to let him know what was going on. I tried to hobble a little faster, but that was slower than my walk, so I waddled on.

Mile 26

A nice runner came up next to me and asked if I was okay, I smiled and said I was glad we were almost done. He asked if I wanted to run it in with him and I thanked him, but said I was not able to do it at that point, but that I appreciated his kindness. He smiled and went on.

Screen Shot 2013-12-02 at 12.45.00 AM

When I approached the final circle area to the finish, the crowds were quite loud and made me smile, despite the throbbing in my legs. Nearing closer to clock, I saw Katie, Marcia, Joe and the Corral G crew, so I did my best to get through that finish!!!

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And though it wasn’t pretty by any means, I crossed the finish line of my 8th marathon, in pretty intense pain, but with a great sense of accomplishment.

Screen Shot 2013-12-02 at 1.22.02 AM

So, despite the fact that I took 20 min to travel from Mile 25 to the finish, I still reached my B-ish goal of 3:43 or better (which was my previous PR from last year) which kind of cracked me up since my twitter profile has me listed as a 3:43 marathoner. If anything, I suppose I am consistent 😉

(source)
(source)

So, after I’ve had more time to process and plan my next course of action, I’ll be sure to share my thoughts on my training cycle (I will definitely be using it again, probably the Advanced Program next time, since I really enjoyed the Beginner’s one, and now I know my body can handle the mileage) but for the next two weeks, I am strictly following the orders of post-marathon recovery in my plan: TWO WEEKS OFF RUNNING! It’ll be different, after 18 weeks of 6-day a week training runs, but I know in the long run (pun!) it’ll help me regain strength, refocus and get ready for whatever’s ahead.

Post-recap thoughts…

I just wanted to thank every single person who sent a comment, tweet, or text today (and really, anytime in this entire training cycle) as it really meant so much for me to feel the love and support of friends, family and the greater running community. It’s hard to put yourself out there sometimes, especially when you don’t reach goals, but I never for once felt like what happened today let anyone down, or crushed me. Positivity pushed me toward the finish and it really can be attributed to the support of every single person who is reading this now. So, thank you. Words are not enough.

MARATHON MONDAY: Preparing for your first Marathon

This past weekend was nothing short of magical: following friends tackle races all over the country, following their tracking tweets and updates, and sharing with each other the magic that is THE MARATHON.

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Oiselle tweeted this last night and it just gave me such warm fuzzies! With 7 full marathons under my belt (when did THAT happen) it’s hard to believe that this time, two years ago I was about to set out on my first 26.2 journey in Richmond!

finisher1
Richmond Marathon, 2011.

While I am by no means an expert on marathoning, there are a few things that I’ve picked up along the way that I thought would be appropriate to share, especially in the thick of this exciting marathon season. Prompted by my good friend Christine, here are some things to do/think of/consider on the cusp of your first marathon:

  1. Breathe. No really, do it, it’s necessary not only to get to the starting line, but to get you through the whole race. Kidding aside, it’s true – you did the hard work already: months of training and sacrifice – and they’ve all led you to this moment. Soak it all in and acknowledge how far you’ve already come. Need help breathing? Repeat a mantra to yourself. Use visualization – whatever it is that gets you centered.
  2. Get your ducks in a row. If you’re traveling for your race (whether near or far), be sure to line up all your information, documents, confirmation numbers and etc. before you set out on your race weekend – it’ll feel so much better to not have to stress about things once you arrive. Take notes of important things like expo hours, where you are planning to meet your family/friends and input addresses into your GPS, etc. – basically, do everything you can to reduce your potential stress/anxiety. Protip: organizing is a great way to channel taper madness! If you need to get your mind off the crazy, do something fun like plan your post-race meal!
  3. Have a plan. And a back up plan. And work on how you’re going to be OKAY if neither of these plans work out. Now, this might not sound extremely positive, but learning to set the right goals as well as working out managing your expectations can be very helpful, especially in a marathon scenario. Many things can happen in 26.2 miles – you might have had a perfect training cycle, but the day just isn’t your day….or it could be the opposite (a fluke PR).
  4. Just run. Chances are, if you’re running 26.2, you’ve raced before (unless you’re this crazy gal ;)) A marathon is no different – except that it is. Hah, really though, have faith in yourself, run with your heart and you will not be disappointed.

What did I miss? Any other questions? Let’s share and celebrate!

Training Tuesday: W1 HMM…and a fun announcement!

It’s been a good week for running.

2nd time's a charm! ;)

First – let’s get the big news out first – on August 1, the 2013-2014 team announcement was sent out – and I was one of the 100 that was welcomed to the Oiselle Volée team! I am incredibly honored to be a part of such a fierce female collective that not only has the coolest team manifesto around, but looks great while rocking it.

While I don’t have tons of other information to share on what this means for my running as of now, but this is what I do know: I’ll be running, training and racing for something bigger than me, which I am SO excited about. This is the second year that I have applied to be on the team and I am so honored to be granted this opportunity – so look for me in the singlet soon (as seen below, modeled so gorgeously by teammate Danielle when we ran NWHM this past spring)

Pic courtesy Andy.
 (Pic courtesy Andy).

Second – I’m on to the second week of my Hansons Marathon Method training and so far, so good. As previously mentioned, I opted for the beginner’s plan since I feel that my previous training had been on the minimal side (my personal distance record for mileage in a week is something around 46 miles, which I achieved the week of the Baltimore Marathon – my PR 26.2, ironically). I feel like that proves I can run on fatigued legs, and hope the training simulations will get me to that point again December 1.

Anyway.

The first five weeks of HMM are essentially base-building, and clock at at much lower mileage totals than what I am used to, even for regular mileage. However, since the move and everything else, it was really the perfect opportunity to ‘start anew’ so I’m rolling with the shorter easy runs. Good news is, mileage adjustments are okay with the plan for easy runs, so if I feel like I want to put in a little more, I can. Woot! I am also using the hot and humid weather as the perfect motivation to slow down the easy runs, so if possible, it’s a win-win-win.

Later this month, hubs and I will be headed out to Iowa for a week, so I’ll have to come up with some routes while I am there – about 25 miles in total during the trip, which should be doable. Another consideration I need to work on starting in September: track work. I have the calculations for paces already, but may have to do some of those workouts on the treadmill if I cannot find a good track.

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And one last note – I got a tip from my pal David about Running Warehouse‘s liquidation of a ton of different makes/models of running shoes and scored a pair of my beloved Brooks Ghost 5 – in a limited edition color to boot, for less than $70! That was awesome. So, check ’em out if you wear a pair that have been updated…you might find a great deal too 🙂

What are your best tips for finding shoe deals? Where do you do your track workouts? 

Dream #racecations: Marathon Majors

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(source)

Tokyo. Boston. London. Berlin. Chicago. New York City.

If you’re not a runner, this might just sound like a list of fun places to visit – but if you are…you most likely know that these cities share a deeper connection that starts with “World” and ends with “Majors.”

World Marathon Majors – sounds pretty amazing, right?

Started in 2006, the organizers of the Boston, London, Berlin, Chicago and New York City created the Majors as a series with a prize purse of $1 million to be divided by the top male and female marathoners of the world. Of course, motivation like that attracts the most elite of the field and subsequently, draws the attention of many running enthusiasts, spectators and fans! In fact, according to the World Marathon Majors site, the impact is so overarching that it generates “more than 5 million total on-course spectators, more than 250 million television viewers, 300,000 applicants and 150,000 participants.” Oh, and between all the exciting events, more than $80 million is generated for charity world-wide! Win-win-win, right?!

Tokyo was added to the list in 2013, and with that, the Majors became the six most well-known and highlighted races in the world.

(source)
(source)

As a running enthusiast and marathon-lover, I have to admit that I have thought about a few of these races before…Boston, of course…but being half-Japanese, Tokyo has definitely crossed my mind! My parents will likely be living in Japan until about 2015 so it would be really awesome if I can get that race in!

Since I am not an elite, I am not in any rush to win and cash in my prize money (LOL) so completing all six ‘majors’ races is definitely a long-term goal of mine. It could take 5 years, 10 years or more…but I think that journey would be worth it, no matter how long it takes. And beyond the prestige of running this exceptional races…think of those fantastic racecations! My wanderlust just ignites at the very thought!

Have YOU run any of the Marathon Majors? Which ones? Which race would you run? Any you’re not interested in?

My friend Alyssa is raising money to run her dream race, the NYC Marathon! Check out HER LINK to help her along!!

WORTH THE HURT: The 2013 San Francisco Marathon Recap

All dressed up and ready to go!
All dressed up and ready to go!

The morning of June 16 started like almost any other race morning – I set the alarm for an obscenely early time (in this case, 4 AM) and like clockwork, I woke up each hour, on the hour, before it was time to really get up. No worries, since we were staying at the host hotel (the Hyatt Regency – Embarcadero) and the start was about 3 minutes away!

Finally, it was time to get up…and so I did the coffee thing, got dressed, and headed over to Perry’s, where the VIP Party was being held. The coolest thing parts about this party were, as follows:

  • It was inside a building! Warm, with real bathrooms and comfortable places to sit 
  • Cool opportunity to hang out with my fellow Ambassadors
  • Celebrity sightings – of all sorts! Saw both Sean Astin and Anne Bretan (female winner of the race)
  • Nice spread of foods (I had a bagel with PB – toasted, and banana)
  • VIP bag check

Before long, however, it was time to head to our corrals! I was in Wave 3, which had a 5:42 AM start. It was exciting to see the Bay Bridge and the last glimmers of the night there as we waited to begin the race.

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Heading into the corrals

Once the gun went off, the course started through some familiar territory, as we had walked part of the path the day before when we were sightseeing: up the Embarcadero toward the Piers, the Fisherman’s Wharf, a section of the Presidio and eventually, the Golden Gate Bridge!

Course Map.
Course Map (click for a bigger version)

Now, I have to admit – it being my first visit to San Francisco, I was more than just a little excited to run on the bridge…and let me tell you, the experience was even more amazing than I could have ever imagined.

sfridge
On the other side of the bridge.

The bridge starts a little before Mile 6 of the course, then you run across, hitting Mile 7, running a scenic turnaround area (as seen in the photo above) and then back across, as you pass Mile 8 and 9. I took a quick glance at my splits after the race and saw that some of my best times were at this point in the race because seriously…you feel like you are FLOATING across this bridge. There is some wind, but it’s more of a magical breeze that transports you! It was the best running moment EVER.

BEST.
BEST.

As we headed out of that zone, it was a nice downhill section through the Presidio toward the Sea Cliff area, and eventually, Golden Gate Park. Golden Gate Park is where the First Half ends, the course splits up, and the Second Halfers blend in…this was orchestrated nicely and I enjoyed the rolling hills of this section.

Very weird image. I think it was around the Park though ;)
Very weird image. I think it was around the Park though 😉

Around Mile 19, you’re out of the park and into the Haight Ashbury area, then The Mission. This part was a bit more challenging mentally, as it was strictly city running with some pretty steep hills. What WAS awesome was the way that the course alternates on certain city roads to alleviate traffic congestion, so there would be parts that runners would be directed onto different streets, only to funnel back in to main courses once we rounded out back near the bay.

Almost finished...
Almost finished…

The last stop on our scenic tour was the AT&T Ballpark, which was a neat sight as well. The walkway was nice and wide, and then we poured back onto the Embarcadero, bringing it home.

sfm4
Just keep swimming…

I have to admit, that last mile was hard! I couldn’t figure out why we weren’t at the finish yet (I obviously overran the course, because when I passed the finish line, was at 26.67) and was ready for some ice cold water! Those slightly negative thoughts melted away though, as I saw the familiar signage and those magical words: FINISH.

MARATHON #7, baby!
MARATHON #7, baby!

For a split second, I wished I hadn’t walked as much (through every water station and up a few hills in the Mission area) or that I hadn’t gone to the bathroom (I had drank water at every said water stop) or taken pictures along the way, but then I remembered the post I had recently written about my goals for this race and couldn’t be upset anymore…after all, I had done what I had come to do: enjoy the race and the day! I went into this race with minimal speed work and just one 19-mile run: this was certainly a testament to my own fitness level and renewed my drive to reach toward a FAST race in the fall.

Worth the HURT!
Worth the HURT!

Striding through the finisher’s chute, I had the hugest grin and I just couldn’t wipe it off my face as I was handed all kinds of goodies: Panera scones, Hawaiian rolls, chocolate milk, coconut water…heaven! After picking up my bag from Perry’s, I called hubs to see how he did (he ran the first half) and then headed back to the room to freshen up and explore on our last day in San Francisco.

I couldn’t have asked for a better day – from the course itself, to the organization…and OH MY GOODNESS the volunteers! There was a massive contingent of amazing, helpful and friendly volunteers, from the water/aid stations, to the course marshals (the Harley Davidson volunteers were THE BEST) and our fearless SFM Ambassador team, it was a weekend I will not soon forget.

I’d recommend this race to ANYONE and would love to answer any questions you might have about it – and if you ran it…leave me a comment and let me know how you did! 

* Pictures are still being uploaded on marathonfoto.com – I just pulled these to start with because I was so darn excited to share 😉 I WILL be buying that last photo, I can promise that! 😀

 

 

 

friendsday wednesday :)

Was searching for a runDisney pic to share the excitement of registration for the 2014 WDW Marathon Weekend Events and was delighted to come across this great pic of me and my friend Megan.

After the 2012 Princess Half Marathon.
After the 2012 Princess Half Marathon.

Since we met in 2012, she’s accomplished so much, including completing her first full marathon and even co-authoring a book about runDisney: the Runner’s Guide to WDW! Cool, right? And this is definitely not the last time you’ll see Megan on the blog, but can you believe the first time she appeared here was in 2011? Yes, on top of training, writing and working, she also can help you plan your dream vacation! Talk about magical, right? And another cool thing? I met her through the feature that one of my favorite bloggers, Skinny Runner, posts occasionally about bloggers to follow. That just goes to show…you never know when a great friend will come into your life!

So, whether you’re getting your trigger finger ready to take on the Dopey Challenge,  you’re workin’ at the office or even playing at the parks today (jeal!) take a minute to think about your friends today and give ’em a little shout out! They’ll be glad you did!

ZERO WEEK.

Since last week’s marathon, I’ve done something that I have never done since starting running back in 2010:

Zero Week.

NOT RUN.

It’s been the weirdest experience! I slept in every single day (til at least 6:30 AM) and with the exception of Wednesday night, when I did a little lifting, I haven’t done any exercise either. I thought it would be really hard to see everyone’s awesome dailymile updates but really, it didn’t even bother me.

I am going to keep up the trend until Monday morning, when I look forward to ease back in with an easy run – after all, the Walt Disney World Marathon sure ain’t gonna run itself – but I honestly do think that this week was a great learning experience – and for a few reasons:

  • Not running meant I was without my standard stress-relief…so instead I wrote a pretty emotional post for my bi-monthly contribution to Beyond Distance. You can read that here 🙂
  • Not running meant not stressing about getting to bed early. (On that note, I actually felt a lot more tired this week…)
  • Not running meant more time toward homework and last-minute stuff for the end of the semester.
  • Not running meant less laundry. Haha!!
  • Not running meant I never dreaded a run. In fact, if it wasn’t for DailyMile’s week starting on a Monday, I’d be getting up early tomorrow to run since I am totally aching for one now, but I am so – err – particular, that I don’t want to mess up how my mileage graph looks 😉

Above all, not running meant something so simple that it was profound: it signified to me that I, in fact, am a runner. I don’t need to run dozens of miles each week to PROVE anything – the only person that I have to answer to is myself.

In the coming weeks, I will be easing into some sort of makeshift marathon plan of my own design and having an absolute blast down in Florida, then California. I am so excited to be around so many friends and fellow runners that do this for the same reasons that I do: for the challenge, friendships and experience – and I cannot wait to share that all with you!

Do you ever take breaks from running? If you don’t run, how about the sports/activities you’re passionate about?