My First Half Marathon

Well here it is– the race recap for my first half marathon!

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Sunday morning was an earrrrrrrly morning. I woke up at 3:15, and hopped out of bed about 5 minutes later. I showered the night before, put together all my things {basically nothing– an ID, room key, and money!}, and laid out my outfit. I literally had to jump out of bed, put my outfit on, and stick the ID/money/key in my handy little zip-up pocket in the back of my leggings.

I drank a tiny bit of coffee, and ate a rice cake and banana. I wanted some peanut butter, but I didn’t bring any with me. My friend was actually supposed to bring the pb to complement the bananas and rice cakes but…. I guess I forgive her.

We then hopped on a bus and headed over to the race. Getting into the race was easy, but we did have to walk quite a while from the entrance to the bag check, and then even farther to the corrals. Luckily, we were there early enough to way 30 minutes on the bathroom line before heading over to our corrals.

This was the first half marathon that Krista and I have ever run, so we weren’t able to submit a time from a previous race. Unfortunately, that meant we were placed in – the last corral. By the time our corral took off, it was 6:40 {the first corral went at 5:30}, so we were standing around for quite a while.

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That just gave us time for pictures! Two girls from my school were also at the race, and in our corral as well, so it was fun to hang out with them while we all waited.

Then- boom! We were off. Krista and I ran the first two miles together, but she decided to take a walking break at 2 miles. I didn’t train with a run-walk mentality, so I kept trucking on. It was unfortunate that we didn’t get to run the entire race together, but I think it was better for both of us in the end!

The first 8 miles were awesome. I did have to go to the bathroom though {after standing around for 70 minutes, these things happen} but I held off until mile 6, when we passed real bathrooms in Magic Kingdom. Around mile 9, I started to really struggle. My legs were not feeling it, and the idea of 4 more miles… that sounded pretty daunting. I chewed another energy gel {I also ate one at miles 3 & 6} and got as much water as possible. I was not about to start walking– I knew I wouldn’t start again. Plus, I am a little competitive with myself, and I really wanted to finish under a 10 min/mile pace. At first I was just going to see what happened, and I was actually doing perfectly– about 9:56/mile. Then around mile 9-10 I got held up but a lot of crowding, and added time by trying to weave around people. My pace went up to an average of 10:01/mile! Well, I couldn’t let myself get that close and not make it! When I got to mile 11, I picked it up a little bit, until we hit a huge hill which almost killed me. When I saw the mile 12 sign… it was too good to be true! I held in there. When the volunteers shouted out to us that we were in the last .5 mile… I was ecstatic. I picked it up and crossed the finish line with the HUGEST smile across my face. I got in with a 9:55 pace and was completely satisfied with that.

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The race started off going down a road {one of the highways that run through Disney}. We then passed through the Magic Kingdom, back on the roads for a few more miles, and finally mile 12-13.1 took us through and behind Epcot.

The setup of this race was absolutely amazing. Water/powerade stations, bathrooms, and medical tents every few miles.  There were volunteers all over the place, characters dressed up, and lots of people cheering on the sidelines. For my first half marathon, I would definitely say this was a great choice! The constant encouragement and sights really helped me through.

The only negative was the crowding. There were about 20,000 people running this race, and the roads were packed. I assumed it would thin out a little after the first few miles, but it never did. I spent a lot of effort moving around people or just trying not to trip over anyone. My MapMyRun actually said that I had run 13.84 miles!

Highlights from the rest of the day:

1. Lunch {/really breakfast…}: Salad and french fries.

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2. Sporting our medals in Downtown Disney.

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3. Ice cream was the perfect treat.

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4. Dinner, delicious. ALso- not pictured are the block of fudge Krista and I shared, and the chocolate covered pineapple wedge. Delicious!

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The Disney Princess Life

This weekend was a total whirlwind, of good + amazing things! Saturday morning I was up before 7, and I took advantage of the coffee maker in our room to help me wake up! Not the highest quality coffee, but it did the trick!

I then headed out for a walk all around the resorts– The Polynesian, the Grand Floridian, and my hotel, Shades of Green, are all right across from one another, so there were plenty of side walks and walking paths for me. I spent the first half hour on the phone with my mom, and the last 45 minutes listening to the Underground Wellness Podcast. It’s an awesome podcast about real food, healthy living, and any questions you’ve ever had!

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^^some sights along the way. It was already 80 out at 8 am! Oh, Florida^^

I quickly showered and got ready before Krista arrived at the hotel. After she got there, we walked around for a while and caught up. Unfortunately, I had to do an online MCAT class from 1-3, but fortunately Krista’s cousins live in Orlando, so she headed off with them while I buckled down for 2 hours of MCAT strategy. I love the Kaplan course I am taking, but it is a lot of work.

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After Krista got back, we ran off to the expo to pick up our race numbers and some other goodies! We made it there for the last 20 minutes of the expo, and ran around like mad trying to get everything in and see all the cute shops.

Then it was off to Downtown Disney to say hi to Krista’s family one more time. Between the buses and the family time, we didn’t make it over to the Pasta in the Parks dinner until 8:26 {plus we had to run back to our hotel to grab the tickets!}. As we walked in we were told, only 4 minutes left to get food! Oops… The staff was so kind though, and they brought me out a plate of gluten free pasta, despite how late we were. Thank goodness! I wanted carbs but I definitely didn’t want to eat gluten the night before my half marathon.

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^^yum! gluten free noodles + a plate of salad and green beans on the side.^^

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The pasta party was in Epcot, so I made sure to snap a picture of this iconic site on the way out.

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As soon as we got back from the pasta dinner, I showered and set up my outfit for the next morning. I wanted to have everything ready so I literally had to jump out of bed and go.

And….the race recap to come soon!

weekend recap and some exciting news!

this weekend was go go go, which is just the way I like it. My mom and I got up every morning (at 6! >.<) to walk together, which was really nice. I’m only home for ~1 more month so I have to soak up as much family time as possible! Even if it means 6 am mornings on the weekend…

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^Saturday morning also included a scrumptious brunch with one of my best friends KP, her cousin, and my sister. We went to Maureen’s Kitchen– an amazing breakfast place right down the road from us! They’re pretty famous for their specialty pancakes (like Lemon Poppy Seed, Pumpkin Walnut, Pistachio…mmmm!) but I wasn’t in the mood for something too heavy, so I went for some baked oatmeal instead. It was mm mm good! With dried fruit and nuts mixed in, plus some milk on the side (which worked out well because it was definitely a little dry^

The rest of Saturday/Sunday’s eats didn’t get too well documented….I’m currently in my 3rd week of organic chemistry at Stony Brook University, so both days were pretty consumed with studying for that. The grade isn’t make or break, but it will definitely be a factor in my applications to med school, so I want to do as well as possible! Unfortunately that means my life right now is about 95% studying/going to class, with a mix of workouts, food, and family time filling the rest. It’s not terrible but let me tell you, it’s not how I envisioned my last month of summer!

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^here are the only 2 meals I apparently captured- dinner from Saturday and lunch from Sunday! Simple easy plates with some veggies, protein, and fats. Hummus is one of my true loves.^

Anyway! On Sunday I decided to bake up some things to have them ready in the fridge for the week. It makes my life so much easier when I’m packing lunch for the day, or grabbing a quick snack. I find that having lots of healthy (and tasty!) choices on hand prevents me from a going for the unhealthy snacks (yes I mean you- giant bag of chocolate chips!) you know what they say:

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here are some of the products:

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^steamed asparagus^

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^baked spaghetti squash^

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^and something everyone needs to make RIGHT NOW- rosemary and olive oil baked sweet potato wedges. yum! Just drizzle ~2 T Olive Oil on them, and sprinkle as much rosemary as you like^

and now……

exciting news in my fitness life! I’ve decided to run the Disney Princess Half Marathon.

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The race takes place on February 23 {2014} in the Disney Park in Orlando, FL.

For me this will be a pretty big deal! I’ve never run more than 3 miles! (before this weekend). I’ve been training for about 3 weeks already, but I didn’t want to share until I was sure about the race. It’s definite now- registered and officiallllllllll 🙂

Right now I’m following the 10-mile novice plan from Hal Higdon. At this rate I’ll be running 10 miles by September…what?! So I may look into doing another half in October (by my school) or maybe some other races like a duathlon or triathlon.

This weekend I had my first 4 miler, and I did it! It’s funny how I always think of running as soooooo hard, meanwhile I can get on the elliptical/bike/arc and go for an hour…. so why shouldn’t I be able to just run for an hour? As I was running my 4 miles this weekend I kept telling myself that… ‘hey! You workout for 40+ minutes ALL. THE. TIME. you’ve got this in the bag!’ and I did!

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Happy Running!