Friday, February 18, 2011

Princess Change!

As PrincessChris mentioned in her last post, we both have changed our Princesses last minute. I was going to be Ariel as I think our personalities would be more in tune BUT I found a super cute Snow White costume that I couldn't say no to!

I took it in to get altered a few days ago and Christi picked it up for me today and I couldn't be happier with the job the lady did! It fits great, is attached to a running top so no chaffing and is adorable! All I need now are some red running shorts for underneath! I have a red head band and I think I am good to go! Orlando here we come!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Mulan vs Tiana ...

Sooo… we’re coming to the 11th hour, when thoughts are (should be) on the nutrient and fluid intake, the last week of training etc… Unfortunately this is the time that Princess Crys and I decided to change princesses. I mean why not, we both work second jobs, are still training and really don’t have a lot of time on our hands. It sounds like a perfect time to throw a wrench/many wrenches into our pretty smooth plan!

It all started after our run on Saturday I decided that maybe wearing a two layer robe in Florida in February (temp today is +23 degrees Celsius) might be a little too warm to run in so I should probably try to figure out another option, just in case. Off to the Disney store I went. Costumes for the official Disney Princesses ran at about $65+ for children’s sizes (no where were there adult options). Huh.. ok, let’s try the 75% off rack. Good choice Christi.. $14.99!! Oooh.. size 6/8 .. huh.. ah, ok, we’ll make it work.

When I get home I carefully cut off the miniature top of the costume and see of the skirt will work ... Ummm .. Not exactly fitting over the hips. Let's try over the head, oh thank God.. We have a winner that we know won't slip over the hips! Yay!

Next action ... bring the skirt to easily the best tailor in town to shorten into a 'running skirt', check! $10 and the bottom is sorted. Now the top .. Easy right? Just find a white synthetic strappy tank top and add the extra material for effect. Yeah, so far, not so easy. I spent my '15' minute break at work the other night driving to Zellers, Superstore, La Senza AND Sportmart.. nothing! Last night my break was spent at Winner's. This weekend, I have to find some time to get to the Nike, Reebok and Addidas outlets in Edmonton. The way I see it, I still have 1 week to find something, there has to be something.. oh and to work on the nutrient, water training thing. I hope Princess Crys is having better luck!!

7 days and counting...

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Hypothermic Half "Test" Marathon!!

Well here we are, 2 weeks prior to our race and our training schedule this weekend called for our longest run ever, 20kms! It just so happened that this particular weekend was the half marathon that the rest of our Running Room group was actually training for, the Calgary Hypothermic Half Marathon. We figured since we had to run 20kms anyways this weekend, why not join in and just run it? What's 1km more? We didn't register in time so we didn't have an official number on a bib or a chip but we were excited to run the course with other runners and get a taste of that 'race' feeling.

In the days before the race we made sure to 'hydrate, hydrate, hydrate'! And we all enjoyed a BIG meal the night before the race. It was early to bed and thankfully not too early to rise; the race was at 10am. Weather check in the morning and it was calling for a gorgeous day, sunny with a high of +6 degrees. We haven't run in temperatures that warm we almost didn't know what to wear and had to quickly confirm with each other on only 2 layers. Princess Fliss offered to pick Princess Chris and I up in the morning at 9:30 and head over to Eau Claire where the race started. We figured we didn't have to be there that early as there was no race package to pick up, we were just planning on blending into the crowd and hope no one noticed we were ghost running the race. I guess this is common in the running world and the path is still open to anyone to run on, but it was our first 'ghost run' so we felt somewhat like kids sneaking into a concert or an amusement park.

We got ready quickly after parking all with bedazzled tiaras (Thanks Felicity!) and headed to the start only to find it a ghost town! There wasn't a sole there! . We questioned if the race maybe didn't start until 10:30 or 11 but then we noticed the race clock just passing 5 minutes. We were late! We missed the whole start! So instead of taking off right then and there we had to of course get some passerbys to take our picture in front of the big inflatable Running Room start/finish sign. We then headed out at 10:07am onto the running route. We didn't see anyone that looked as if they were part of a race, just your normal Sunday walkers and joggers. Thankfully Fliss had looked up the route online and knew where to go. We had a good laugh at missing the race and were happy with ourselves for just being outside and about to run 21kms.

The run started off like any other, the first km or two feeling terrible as our bodies adjusted and got into a rhythm. We trudged along the river feeling a little disappointed to not be 'in the race' when all of a sudden we passed someone wearing a bib!! Then another, and another!! We were in it! Christi pointed out what looked like a larger group of runners and we could see them! We were catching up! This filled us with joy and accomplishment. We were now in the race and set our minds now on the long steady run ahead of us. As we crossed over the 14th St bridge we saw a familiar face signalling where to turn and it was Karen from our Running Room group. She snapped an action shot of us, we said a quick hello and ran on, finally passing the 5km marker. "Pffft, 5kms, that was easy! Want to do another 5km? Sure! Why not. Then maybe turn around and come back".

Feeling pretty good we slowly but surely passed people. It was an amazing feeling. We noticed lots of people running the other direction looking at us funny then remembered we were wearing tiaras. As we passed some of the race participants, they smiled or laughed and told us how much they liked the tiaras or said "Yay Princesses!". It was extremely uplifting and Felicity decided she is going to wear a tiara every time she runs which we agreed was a great idea. We did at one point get called a Stagette as one of the crowns was silver and the other 2 were pink and our outfits all coincidentally matched.

Christi's friend Anne-Marie had come out to cheer her on and when we made it to her she jogged along with us for a good little while like a natural runner herself! She was kind enough to take all of our gloves for us as it was just way too warm to wear them and we took a moment for a great photo op of us jumping, clearly showing just how excited we were to be there. AND she's the only person to have ever snapped one of our jumping shots on the first take!

As we neared the bridge at Edgeworthy Park we noticed a water station and 2 photographers. Even though we weren't registered we still smiled like Princesses should, hey, you never know! The volunteers cheered for 'The Princesses' and gave us water as we ran by. We began hitting icy patches along the path at which was the only point the shoe grips would have come in handy. No one fell and we kept on trucking along. We were now seeing racers coming back and were cheering them on. As more and more runners began running back the other way, more people cheered and encouraged and we really began to feel the energy of the race and get that 'Runners High' where you feel like you could run forever!

The half way point came, we stopped for a photo op again and heard someone say as we ran off "Love the tiaras Princesses, see you in 2 weeks!". We don't know who it was but it was pretty exciting. We refuelled at this point. The girls had Luna power bars and I tried out a Goo for the first time expecting it to be terrible, but surprisingly it was not bad! Now we were running back and passing people still heading in the direction of the turn around and more encouraging words and compliments on the tiaras pushed us through. I was nervously waiting for the pain in my knee that had almost made me want to cut my 12k run short the weekend before to start but it never did! Christi had lent me a knee brace and I think it worked like a charm.

We made it to the 15km marker, stopped for a picture (yes, we really do need to document as much of these runs as possible) and starred dauntingly at the view of down town Calgary that seemed so far away. It was only 6kms more but we were beginning to feel like muscles were slowly tightening up and our legs getting heavier. My ankle began to hurt and I noticed a cramp in my left shoulder. We shook out our arms and slowed our pace a little. Little by little the city seemed to get closer as we ran along the river.

We passed Karen again as she cheered us on and neared Eau Clair feeling like there must only be 500ms left. At this point we felt the only moment of despair as we were directed to run onto Prince's Island and around back into Eau Claire making it more like another 2kms to the finish. It seemed so close yet so far. I remember thinking at this point that I will never run a marathon because this wouldn't even be half way yet!

We rounded the last bend and corner and all of a sudden the end was in sight! Our plan had been to just veer off and not cross the finish line since we didn't have a chip but we found ourselves now trapped on the path in a chute of spectators cheering loudly for The Princesses! There was no where else for us to go other than the finish line. It felt great to be cheered on but we felt guilty for not being actual race participants especially when they tried to put medals around our necks! But WE DID IT!! We ran an actual half marathon and we all felt amazing! Our time was 2:18 which we were all very happy with considering how many times we stopped.
Back in the car again, into some dry shirts and chugging a 4L carton of chocolate milk like teenagers passing around a bottle in the parking lot of a school dance, we revelled in the afterglow of our accomplishment. Next stop was breakfast at Galaxie Dinner with a giant creamcicle shake and all you can eat hashbrowns! It was one of the best meals I have had in awhile!

I think all of us stayed on that runners high for the rest of the weekend and we all felt great with only mild soreness the next day! It was a good sign, a great day, a good race and just what we needed to know we'll be unstoppable in Orlando!!!