Friday, December 17, 2010

Ladies, start your engines…

Yes, I've used this before, but he's just so darn cute!
Big news! We finally got around to setting up our trip! We all had our vacation days approved last week, so we thought we really ought to get started. Since Christi started a new role, we were all able to take an extra few days off, so our original plan of "fly in on redeye, run, fly home next day" will now be a couple of days where we can hit the Magic Kingdom, the Outlet Malls and of course, our beloved Target. HURRAY!

Our rental car is booked, we found an amazingly low deal plus were able to get a car that seats "5 adults and 4 large suitcases" so our shopping will have a home. Plus, since we had to pay in full, we'll have accrued the cost before we get there, which will make it feel like it was free!!!

And we found what looks like an amazing place to stay---located 5 miles from Disneyworld, it's actually a 3 bedroom condo in the adorably named "Villas at Seven Dwarfs Lane". For an incredible price, we get 1400 square feet of snazzy renos with our own bedrooms (I called dibs on the bunk bed room right off the bat), ensuite jacuzzi and access to the giant pool outside, free parking and more flat screen TVs than we can shake a stick at! It'll also has a full kitchen, which will be great to be able to store pre-and-post race food and drink, even though I plan to eat most of my meals at the conveniently located Cheesecake Factory down the street or at the park.  It will be paid in full by the time we get there too, so we'll have lots of money to spend at the malls (or at least, that's what it'll feel like).

Now we have car and hotel booked and are firmly in our training...all that's left to do now is to start working on our awesome princess outfits for race day and we're set!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Hills

Ok, normally you hear “The Hills” and you think Lauren Conrad, Audrina Patridge, etc and depending on your opinions on reality TV this might bring a smile or frown to your face. Kinda the same with the hills you must try to complete when you decide to complete the ½ marathon training schedule.

As Felicity mentioned, we’re pretty proud of how well we’ve stuck to the training schedule on our own and with the group so far, especially considering the Christmas parties, new schedules (for some of us), excess baked goods intake, etc. It’s not an easy schedule to do especially on your own. Well this Tuesday I was faced with the prospect of running hills, by myself, at dawn before work and without anyone to help me forgot why I was doing this.
Fortunately/Unfortunately I live in an area with great elevation literally at my doorstep (some might recall the infamous run with Crystal a few months back).

Well I stepped out my front door and ran down my street then started the up and downs all the way back home. I have to say that this was not my favourite ‘by myself’ run and actually took some inner talk to finish.. but finish I did.
A few learnings.. 1. Play the iPod – Silence and the sound of wheezing does not make you run any faster! 2. Do the BIG hills first, not last – When struggling to the top of your fourth hill .. you remember how short the first one was. 3. Friends – Way easier to complete tasks with friends by your side (sounds hokey.. but when you are struggling up the hill beside people, makes you realize you are not alone) heh.. even Lauren and Audrina do their hill walks together, scripted or not!!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Lots of Milestones

See how happy cold runs can be?

Not the restaurant with the delicious bellinis, we've hit a few more significant milestones this week. We're all keeping up with the training schedule, even if it's not on the correct date, and feeling mighty proud of ourselves doing it. With Christmas season in full swing, we've had to switch around the long runs (830am on a Sunday after 8 hours of Christmas cheer just doesn't work), but have still stuck to them. Some of the weekday runs are happening at different times, but are still getting done. We've done ALL the hill training, which is tough, but really not as hard as we'd built up in our minds. And most of our training has been through ice and snow, something I never thought I'd be able to do! Crystal was in Toronto on the weekend and ran on her own, but Christi and I hit the reservoir again. It was Christi and Crystal's first ever 12K runs, and my 12K was a full 10 minutes faster than the last one I had timed, so we all felt pretty darn good.
 This was also Christi's first run around the reservoir, and we all like it so much we're going to do the whole thing next weekend for our 14K (Christmas parties abound this weekend, no 830 run for us). We've also noticed that these long cold runs are really making us all frosty. I guess if you're outside running long enough to freeze your 750ml water bottle entirely, the rest of you gets a little icy too...we noticed that strands of hair get frosted all the way down, and you get these little "frost blossoms" around your neck and shoulders where the sweat comes out and freezes. Our breath makes icicles on our eyelashes, and tragi-comic goatees on our faces.

Why is my hair getting old?

Seriously, if you had told me a year ago I would run for miles in temperature cold enough to freeze water in a bottle strapped to my back, I would have said you were crazy. But as it turns out, running in cold weather is fine, and even better in some sure don't get the sweat rolling down your face and back like in hot weather.

As long as you've bundled up properly (thanks Outlet Malls!) it's really nice to crunch through the snow in the sun with all that winter quiet. And running over ice and snow is fine as long as you're watching the ground closely.

It only looks like we're running with Gumby
OK, one last milestone this past weekend...sort of gross, but it really made me feel like a REAL runner...around the 10K mark on Saturday, I just couldn't wait any longer and peed in the woods in the snow. It was both my first mid-run bathroom break, and the first time I've had bare skin from the waist down in -10C. I'm happy to say I didn't fall over, pee on my shoes, nor accidentally moon a crowd of runners on the path. Some people might read this as a “you’re disgusting, thanks for sharing, creep”, but I felt like I'd achieved one of the secret runner's rituals.