Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Motivation, Visualization, & Running Costumes

30 days! Only 30 days until the Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend! Can you tell I'm a little excited?!

In just a few weeks, Matthew (my awesome boyfriend, running partner, coach, all-around-amazing dude) and I will be in Anaheim, California to run the Dumbo Double Dare- a 10k and Half Marathon back to back. 19.3 miles in two days! We'll also earn our coast-to-coast medal for completing a distance race on each coast (Disney World and Disneyland) in the same calendar year. Here are the four beautiful medals we'll be bringing home (we won't be getting the 5k medallion):

Also in California is one of my best friends/former co-worker, Susan. She has graciously agreed to chauffer us from LAX to Disneyland. We love her :-) A lot :-)

Because this is a Disney race and because I will take any opportunity to dress up, I am running as my favorite princess, Ariel, for the half. Matthew and I will both be in costume for the 10k but that will be revealed at the race. I'm still working on the Ariel costume but it's coming along pretty well. Which brings me to the point of this post: what motivates me to run.

If I wasn't training for a race, I don't think I'd be running. Not because I don't enjoy all the benefits of running, which I absolutely do, but because there isn't a specific goal attached to my running. I love having a plan. I love crossing the training runs off my calendar. I love charting my progress. And yes, I love to plan what I'm going to wear.

While I'm out on a training run, I'll often be thinking of what I'm going to wear for upcoming races, what I still need to make/buy for the costume, how I'll make it runner-friendly, etc. And believe it or not, it motivates me to run! I also will visualize the race- what the course looks like, what I'm looking forward to, what it will feel like at certain miles. I visualize the finish line a lot. I think about what I'll be feeling (physically and emotionally) crossing the finish line, getting my medal, and of course, getting to the post-race food! These are the thoughts that power me through the miles- along with my "running mantras"- more on those coming next week :-)

There are many other reasons I run- empowerment, goal-setting, health, in memory of loved ones, for those who can't- all of which I'll cover in subsequent posts. But tonight, I'm just excited about the Ariel costume and I can't wait to run the Disneyland Half in it.

Flowers for my hair, nike running shirt, no-sew tutu, and lime green running shoes :-) 

Monday, July 29, 2013

Dopey Challenge Training Update

Today starts the fifth week of my marathon/Dopey Challenge training. For those of you who don't know what this INSANE challenge consists of, here's the gist: 5k + 10k + half marathon + full marathon = 48.6 miles in 4 days (and SIX glorious medals!). Yes, I know, it's completely ridiculous. But in the best possible way :-)

To train for this, I've been using Jeff Galloway's official Dopey Challenge Training Program. I have used his training plans for each of my distance runs and they have worked beautifully. If you are looking for a solid program that won't consume your entire life, check out his training programs. I love that I was able to download the training runs into my google calendar so I always know what's coming up each weekend.

For the past four weeks, the mileage has been pretty low (10-15 miles/week). The training consists of 3-4 runs each week: two conditioning runs on Tuesdays and Thursdays (30-45 minutes), and one or two longer runs on the weekend. So far, so good. My pace has been as low as 10:28 and as high as 13:58. For all Disney races, I try to train for a 12- 13 minute pace. This allows me extra minutes each mile for pictures, bathroom breaks, etc. In addition to the running training, I've been working on the costumes for the Dumbo Double Dare. Look for a post later this week with updates :-)

This weekend, the mileage for the long run increases to 7 miles. I'm nervous and excited for this run as this will be the first time since the Frederick Half in May that I've run longer than 6 miles. I've been battling plantar fasciitis for about 2 1/2 months. If you've ever had it, then you know how incredibly painful it can be. Needless to say, this has caused a lot of stress and anxiety with regard to training- Can I run at all? Can I get all the long runs in? What if the pain is too much?  I actually did not run for almost 30 days in an attempt to rest my feet. But I've been working with a sports medicine doctor and we've been employing several methods to reduce inflammation and pain: custom orthotics (no more sandals for me- so sad), at-home physical therapy, night splints, icing after all runs, etc. The doctor has approved my training plan and is confident that we can get this under control by the time I run Dopey.

I'm looking forward to week five of training and the Charles Street 12 next weekend! What are YOU training for?

Monday, July 22, 2013

Why I'm Blogging.

Hi! I'm Sarah. I'm a runner. A slow runner, but a runner just the same.

Frederick Half Marathon- May 2013

I started running a little over three years ago as part of a fitness boot camp at a local Y. At first, it was two minutes on the treadmill. Then five minutes. Then I started running outside. Pretty soon, I was running a few miles, a few times a week.

Then I spectated my first half marathon. I was so inspired by the runners and so jealous that I wasn't out there running with them- I signed up for my first race, the Bel Air Town Run 2011, while sitting on the sidelines of that half marathon.

Since then, I've ran five half marathons and am training for my first 26.2- the Walt Disney Marathon in January 2014 (I'm actually running the Dopey Challenge, but that's an entire post by itself!). But before I get there, I've got a few more races to run, medals to collect, and a whole lot of training!

I'll be using this blog to document my training, review races, and share stories from the run (the good, the bad, and the ugly). I look forward to sharing this journey with you :-)