Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Accountability Monday: 3/12/18

After an almost three-month hiatus, Accountability Monday is back! ... a day late, as usual. 😉

It feels like I've taken a long break from training this winter- part of this is my normal routine. After a marathon, I usually need at least a month of easy, no-training-plan running. But it seems like my month has turned into almost eight weeks of not really doing anything. Work is partly to blame but so is a lack of motivation.

With this training hiatus, I can definitely notice the difference in how I feel every day both physically and mentally. My body aches, it feels like I've gained 10 pounds, and I feel sluggish and slow.

So, with only eight weeks until the Steel Challenge (Pittsburgh 5k + half marathon), it's time for me to regroup, refocus, and set myself up for success with a training plan that will help me cross both finish lines feeling in-shape and awesome.

Excited for this anniversary bling! Source.
Saturday: 3.1 mile run, 11:59 overall pace
Sunday: 2.5 mile run, 12:19 overall pace

Speed work, strength training, and cross training must be included in my training plan for the next eight weeks-  I definitely have my work cut out for me this spring!

Best Run
Saturday's 5k was actually really enjoyable, considering that I hadn't run in over 14 days (yikes!). I decided to go off-road and run through the fields surrounding my house instead of the normal roads/sidewalks and it was honestly quite fun having a change of scenery.

Bravo Moment
I ran without a shirt on this weekend when I got overheated and didn't totally hate how I looked. That's a bravo in my book any day!

Mud means spring is coming soon, right? Right?! 

Quote of the Week
I'm building towards that comeback every damn day.

How do you stay motivated to training/healthy living when life gets in the way?

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Transitions: A Non-Running Life Update

Good morning, friends!

As you may have noticed, I've been a little absent on the blog and on social media for the last few weeks. Lately, my life has felt insanely crazy busy and I haven't been able to prioritize running, working out, or updating here about any of my training- or lack thereof.

But there are a few good reasons why...

Long story short, I got a new job!

And I'm going back to school!

That's right, in just a few years, I might change this blog's name to Dr. Sparkly Runner 😍

Long story long, the grad school thing has been in the works for quite a while. I applied and interviewed for the program last summer and found out I was accepted in August. I will schedule classes next month and now that it feels really real, I wanted to put it out there to the world: this fall, I will start the coursework for the Doctor of Education in Administration and Leadership Studies program at Indiana University of Pennsylvania! *cue happy dance*

As for the new job, that happened rather quickly and has caused a lot of positive disruption in my life. For the last two weeks, I have been preparing to move myself and my office across campus to my new role: Associate Dean of Students and Director of Student Conduct. This move involves me straddling two jobs for a bit and in the coming weeks, there will still be a few transitional items that I'll need to complete (from my previous role) in addition to fulfilling the obligations of the new role.

Because of the added stress of a mid-semester job change, I've barely had time to run or work out. In fact, it's been TEN DAYS since my last run. UGH. Even though this new role is amazing for my professional development and I am absolutely thrilled to serve the university I work for in this capacity, the transition has really thrown off my running and training game!

And because of the grad school thing, I've got to take a hard look at my calendar for the next few years and figure out what races I can/want to do and which races/training plans will fit into my class and new work schedule.

All of these changes are super positive. But they still disrupt the normal pattern and rhythm of my life, my running, and my training. It's taken me years to develop a manageable routine of healthy eating and physical activity that keeps me at a healthy weight and in half-marathon/marathon shape.

I'm nervous... about being able to stick to my healthy routines.

I'm excited... about being back in the classroom and developing my skills as an administrator.

I'm anxious... about making a smooth transition into my new job.


I'm confident... that I can handle all these new changes, maintain my healthy lifestyle, and still train for marathons. Or the 2019 Goofy Challenge. 😍

"...and it will, too." One of my absolute favorite quotes from a movie.

So that's what's been going on in my world. Hopefully, I get a new rhythm going here soon- the Pittsburgh Half Marathon is less than eight weeks away and I'm hoping to crush my half marathon course record in my fifth Steel Challenge weekend!

What's new with you?! 

What new beginnings are you looking forward to?

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Final Thoughts: 2018 WDW Marathon Weekend

Now that we are almost a full two months post-WDW Marathon Weekend, I feel like I can adequately sum up my thoughts about the weekend now that some time has passed.

I try not to write about a race weekend immediately after because I'm usually still so pumped up on endorphins that I can't objectively think about the experience to adequately review it.

There were things I absolutely loved about this year's Marathon Weekend and some things that made me second guess doing this race weekend again.

In no particular order, here are my final thoughts on 2018 WDW Marathon Weekend!

Absolutely Awesome Things

Seeing friends is always the highlight of any runDisney weekend but this year, it felt like we got to spend a lot of time with several of our friends that we only get to see a few times a year. It was really such a highlight of the weekend.

Breakfast at Floatworks with friends is the very best way to recover from a marathon.
Some of us are way excited to be running 26.2 miles.

Running down Main Street USA and through the castle is magical. Running down Main Street USA and through the castle twice in two days is super magical. I really loved all of the course changes this year that took us through the front gates of Magic Kingdom and I especially liked how much more time we spent in MK during the full.

Good morning, MK!

Exploring Pandora was definitely a cool part of the weekend. We also got to ride both new rides at AK and discovered a favorite new bar, Nomad Lounge.

Mugs and matching magic bands are mandatory in Pandora.

Y'all already know I love Altra running shoes, but WDW Marathon Weekend proved to me how vital having the right shoes can be. I wore two different pairs of the Paradigm for the half and full and in between the races I wore the HIIT XT (cross-trainers). I credit my Altras with helping me make it through the weekend with strong, pain-free feet.

So many of my favorite things in one photo.

Less Awesome Things

Y'all. These courses were so crowded. There were times during the full when I felt like we were running in wall-to-wall people. At one point, I stopped at a medical tent to get some biofreeze and was nearly bowled over by all the folks crowding around the table. I don't know if there were more runners on the marathon course this year or if I'm just getting too old for this crap, but it felt really, really crowded throughout much of the race.

And....we've got walkers, five across. UGH.

That expo was not a great experience. Long lines everywhere, confusion on where to go, multiple buildings for merchandise, bibs, etc. Matthew and I had such a bad taste in our mouth from this expo; it made us reconsider the entire weekend.

No merch is worth waiting hours for.

The weather in Florida in the winter can be unpredictable but this year's was exceptionally crappy. With temps in the 30's and a real feel in the 20's, we might as well had just stayed in Pennsylvania and ran with all our winter weather gear! This is the second year in a row it's been cold- we're due for a weekend of good running weather.

You should never have to wear a hat in FLORIDA. 

So... will be back for WDW Marathon Weekend in 2019?

Already dreaming of 2019 bling.

Maybe... probably. :-)

There are a few things up in the air for us personally (which I'll detail in another post soon!) so we can't quite say yet what January 2019 will look like.

But in all likelihood, we'll be back for another WDW Marathon Weekend- at least we want to. During the marathon this year, I had a strong feeling that I wanted to run another marathon, and run it for time. It's been almost three years since I PR'd in that distance and I can feel it in my heart- I've got one more 'fast' marathon in me. Will it be the WDW full next year?

We'll just have to wait and see!

Did you run during WDW Marathon Weekend? What was your experience like?