To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.
-Steve Prefontaine
Make it simple, but significant.
- Don Draper

Monday, October 29, 2012

Run 2.2 - Non-Running Post

I ran a second time. As I recall it was a whopping 3 miles. It may have even been four. I kind of just don't even care. It's been a long time since I ran. Why? Because I'm freaking sick.  I've had step throat for a while now. I'm pretty much disgusting. I can't eat. I can't drink. So I'm really weak and can barely sit up. I haven't worked a full day since last Tuesday, which is when I started having a minor sore throat at the end of the day. Ugh, lovely. My dad came to visit though, and got to meet MF for the first time. They hit it off well, so that's always a plus! Also my dad helped me retrieve my music and photos from my old computer. Hallelujah!! I bought all of my Seattle RnR photos and then there they were, gone. Lost in the Blue Screen of Death. So now I have them back! Let's put one in here now just because I can! Yay!

Let's see, what else? My mom is in Vegas right now and checked out my wedding chapel. She said it looks really nice and is in a quiet location away from the casino floor. She keeps calling me from Vegas. It's driving me nuts. I mean I'm not able to work - she could have just taken me with her!

MF and I went to a bridal show before I became a gross, non-hair brushing, pus filled person that is miserable. OMG, let me get you a screen shot - speaking of pus. I kind of posted a photo of myself and a caption, not really reading the caption or thinking maybe I could have written/worded things differently.  Here it is. Wait, my phone is updating - I'll get to that later. Okay, so the bridal show was fun. We didn't go with plans to book a wedding or reception location. We didn't need a dress or photographers or caterers. Pretty much we went because it was an EXPO and we did need to discuss manly attire. Samples were lacking, but we did get to see a cheetah from the Wildlife Safari and enter a ton of drawings. I'd say most of our success came from hitting the cruise booth (we do need a honeymoon after all!) and after talking to Men's Warehouse. There were photo booth vendors as well, so naturally we took advantage of that!

We also had luck on finding my wedding shoes, funny enough NOT at the bridal expo! And while getting my wedding shoes we picked up some accessories to create what was to be our costumes for a Halloween themed half marathon. Yeah, that didn't happen. For the first time ever I paid for a race and then didn't go. I physically couldn't do it at all. I mean I haven't eaten a real meal since last Tuesday. I can't even brush  my hair because it hurts too bad, so sadly I had to skip a half marathon. But we have costumes ready for another time!

Oh - yeah, so this is yours truly! Aren't I just divine?? I did finally brush that mess, but it looks like that again. and to translate the caption for you, just in case you're reading this on a smaller screen: 
In bed for 3 days so far. Swollen. Pussy. Tired. Fever. Imminent bed sores. Unable to eat or drink. Strep throat has never been so sexy!

Um, next time I'll just say my throat is all swollen and filled with pus, NOT "swollen. pussy." Bad call on that one, but an absolutely hysterical boo-boo, too! 

So that's what I've not been up to. This is actually the first day I've been able to sit up unassisted, so that's exciting! I should probably go shower.

Oh yeah - I'm quitting the Y. They stopped my swim class in the morning, so I'm just going to replace it with some fun workouts at home instead. Welcome back to my life, Yoga Booty Ballet!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Run 2.1 - Marathon Training Take 2

I took a 10 day break from running. I mastered the art of sitting on the couch watching TV, sleeping, eating, and eating. No joke, one day we put in a movie, devoured popcorn and immediately followed it up with ice cream. Pure gluttony. So now I feel like a lazy blimp and I'm ready to be back into training mode!

Last night we ran for the first time. It was a whopping 4 miles and a non-impressive pace. BUT I'm happy with it. Very happy, actually! I ran it with zero walking. Given the fact that the last time I ran was the marathon and I got hurt and could barely walk, this was a huge accomplishment. It lit that fire in me again... the fire to race, to run, to be healthy!

As of this morning I'm back to monitoring what I eat and trying to lower my cholesterol again. Last time I did that I lost 17 pounds. I did gain some happy weight of about 5 pounds, but you know what, I'm freaking happy!! So I'll take those pounds -- and now go lose them! Today I'm on my Bridezilla diet - just meaning I'm being healthy and exercising!

Speaking of Bridezilla, after my aunt's passing I pretty much just shut down in all respects. That's when the sleeping and doing nothing and eating started. And wedding planning stopped. So to get rejuvenated, MF and I are going to a bridal expo on Saturday! I'm pretty darn excited!

Also exciting, I got to update my Upcoming Races tab and put in 4 more half marathons! I registered us for 3 last night, and the 4th one will probably be finalized this weekend after checking with the family for our busy dates in December. That gets me to Goofy weekend in WDW and the half marathon ... it will be half marathon #20 for me!

So things are turning around!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Disney Luncheon Crashing

A text. A message. Abby was trying to get in touch with me! Do this!! Do this!! I was sure I missed the sign up window, but being the super fan of all things Disney, Abby was a dear and registered Jessica and I. For what? For a Mom's Panel luncheon. If you had asked me what the Mom's Panel was at that time I could have fibbed my way through it - sort of. I got a confirmation email and thought maybe I was wait-listed, but a couple of days later they sent me the details ... be here at this time with this waiver. Whoa! We were in .. and I totally felt like a crasher. I mean it was legit how we got in -- but was I a "fan" like the luncheon was intended for? No.

I found Abby and myself in a Disney blog post!!!
Not knowing what at all to expect, it became an absolutely hysterical portion of our 24 hour non-stop day. I was up at 4am, did the 5K race, showered, hurried to Magic Kingdom, ate some fries at Pecos Bill Cafe (where I started my Disney career in 1997) then rode the monorail to the Contemporary Resort. (As you'll recall, after all of this I then went back to MK and did the 10 Mile race at 10pm!) Abby was waiting for us and soon the three of us girls were on our way to check in for the Mom's Panel Fan Luncheon!  

We waited in line to get wrist bands and lanyards that I guess were our key to entrance up at the California Grill. If you haven't been to Walt Disney World, California Grill is up at the very top of the Contemporary and VERY swanky. This is not a cheap, quick dining location. You have to check in to even get access to the elevator to take you to the restaurant! While mingling and  pretending we belonged, apparently Abby and I were photographed and our photo went global in a Disney blog that recapped the event!

Jessica and I kind of didn't care that we were twins, it was too hot for other clothes!
Getting to the restaurant took a while. We realized it is because we were waiting for the elevator and then the line for photos with Chip and Dale ... all dressed up in their tuxedos! It felt fitting since last time Abby and I were together we were doing the Chip'n'Dale Marathon Relay! After photos, Jessica, Abby and I made our way into the restaurant and found ourselves a table. We really had no idea how it all worked or what we were doing so we just dropped our purses and headed to the buffet. It was a pretty nice spread with a lot of vegetarian options and they were very tasty!

Back at the table I saw Jessica getting some free wine --- and what a lightweight she was, too! The food was really good and I used it to keep myself engaged. Why was I so intrigued and always staring at my plate? The panel members were circulating! They were working the room to talk to all of us super fans. Oh no! We were doing a good job of being invisible and just talking with each other. Abby assured us that she'd take over if they came to talk. Good, because I was petrified!

We each got one the most fabulous cupcakes ever!! Strawberry lemonade cupcake (with matching frosting and a white chocolate topper, which naturally I did not eat) with lemon filling! I can't stop fantasizing about it! It was during cupcake time that it happened. Not once, but twice we were greeted by panel members. Abby was smart - we quickly turned the convo to the cupcakes and to racing! Phew - we did it!! And I must say the ladies that talked with us were VERY nice and it wasn't totally scary, just kind of.

Enjoying the Magic Kingdom view in my Mom's Panel lanyard
Before we left we took advantage of the views and snapped some photos of Walt Disney World from an aerial shot. It was quite beautiful and peaceful up there, even with all of our giggling! On the way out we were given totes filled with things like candles, notepads, hats, t-shirts and more! I guess I'm an honorary Mom's Panel fan now!
Showing off our swag bags and new hats ....
We about died laughing. Fan hats? Really?
In conclusion, if you are ever at a Disney park and you see strawberry lemonade cupcakes ... GET ONE!!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Portland Marathon

My mantra for my first marathon!
"I will never run a marathon." I said it. I admit it. I never wanted to run a full marathon because I thought the training would take up too much of my life. I love running but always wanted it to be a hobby, not a second full time job. Well clearly things change and I can now say, "I have run a marathon!" Preparing for it was exhausting. Long runs, very hot summer weekends sweating, behaving myself at parties. It was hard, not gonna lie! But once it was here I felt ready. We had our plan of keeping the race fun, we were stocked with gels, I had music in my belt just in case I needed a boost. This race was going to be a challenge, but a doable one!

Cilley Girl, as usual, took fabulous care of me, giving me advice and getting us to the start area with time to spare! My nerves were back so eating was hard, but much better than it used to be a year ago. MF and I were able to use a bathroom at the Hilton and avoid lines, plus got a bit of warmth while putting our numbers on our shirts. The bag drop line was crazy long, but really fast. Once we dropped our bags our corral was moving to the start. Both of us were excited, yet a little bit in disbelief that all of this work was about to pay off and soon we'd be able to say we were marathoners!

And soon we were off and beginning a 26.2 mile adventure filled with a complete range of emotions!  The plan was to loosely Galloway it and give ourselves walk breaks periodically, but not at any set intervals. We actually ran most of the first 5K, taking one short walk break up a steeper hill just so we could conserve for the remaining 23 miles. Every mile I'd look at the Garmin and Bam! Right on our goal target pace. Seems our training was paying off.

The time just flew by. We were talking, but not non-stop, and just soaking up everything happening around us. Giraffy gave me some great advice before the race, and I was doing my best to listen to her! The course had quite a few bands, some more mellow and sleepy than others. My favorite musicians were the pirates! We saw them on an out and back section in the first half of the race. On the way back I got a photo, high-fived a few of them, debated asking them for rum and was given a pirate medallion! Loved it!!

Hitting the marathon turn off point was exciting. We felt pretty damn legit at that point! I really enjoyed seeing new parts of Portland and all of the crowd support cheering us on. At the half way point we were shocked at how quickly it went by and how great we felt. Boom, boom, boom ... each mile was right on pace. Around 14.5 that changed.

A once quiet race course suddenly changed. I was now on a highway, a train was flying by as cars were racing in the opposite direction between us. Immediately it all swarmed and I was dizzy. I was determined to battle it and not let Meniere's Disease get the better of me. We walked a bit and calmed me down and soon we were running and I was staring ahead .... staring ahead at the frightening structure of the St. John's Bridge.  "The Titanic. It's as gigantic as the Titanic." I was filled with dread. Bridges and water trigger Meniere's attacks. My goal was to survive that bridge, which I was considering the half way point (although it finishes at mile 18).

I joked about somehow skipping the bridge, but I never give up, and I was ready to brave it. I chose to relax by taking a couple of pictures and pausing to take in the view down the Willamette River. At the crest of the bridge I said, "Okay, I've got this, let's run!" And so we did. That bit of running was awesome .... and then  my left leg hit funny and buckled under me. Soon it was my ankle and knee hurting because of the buckle. Favoring that side made the right side buckle. *This buckling also happened to me during Tower of Terror's last mile.*

For the last 8 miles I fought so hard. I wanted so badly to run. Mentally I was still in the zone. I had more in me. I am a runner. I love to race. I didn't want to be sidelined. I can't glamorize it ... I physically could not run. I kept trying and every time I did I was nearly in tears and would have to walk it off. I thought if I could get in a steady walking zone maybe then I would shake out the bugs and run. But then I'd try and no luck.  I DID run through the Adidas campus in my attempt to get them to notice my Adidas and instantly offer me a sponsorship. I'm sure they are planning to call me any day.

The latter part of the course I really enjoyed. I saw a lovely new neighborhood completely with a fabulous band of older men dressed and playing music that made me feel like I was back on Main Street USA. The cheering spectators were just wonderful! I had two different people ask me if my shirt was still true... "R0nda, do you feel the same? Do you still love to run?" Of course!! There was music at one point playing 2 Legit 2 Quit ... so I named us Team Tew Legit! (Trust me, it makes sense.)

**I AM buying my photos, but was too antsy to post, so you get "proof"*

Dear Adidas ....I'm ready for your call!
We had a potty stop at 23.6. I realized runners are tired by then because a) the toilet seat had not a dribble on it and b) I didn't even try to hover, I planted my ass on the seat! Off and on MF would try to cheer me up and reassure me it was okay that we were walking, we were still finishing! "Look at everybody. We are like steerage passengers on Titanic. Everybody has that pathetic vibe and we are looking at each other wondering who is going to die first." Yeah, I was full of Titanic references. But it didn't stop there ... "this feels worse than all 3 of my kidney stones!" On the second bridge, after mile 24, we were on a final big downhill.... and I was flat out in tears of pain. MF said he'd carry me if he had to, he assured me that there was no way I'd get picked up or not finish. Through the tears I said, "No... I will do this all on my own, no matter what." Every single step was pure agony. I fake smiled my way through photo stops and thanked each music group as we passed by. At that point they were helping me more than they could know!

.3 to go and just dying!!
I could see the 26 mile marker. I was thrilled that soon I could get off of my now injured knees and bask in the glory of the hardest physical thing I've ever done. But I was feeling defeated. Then I heard it, "JUST KEEP SWIMMING!" I smiled and immediately looked up and there she was. The best sight of the day ... Cilley Girl! She knew I was hurting and her Finding Nemo advice was just what the doctor ordered! CG came and walked with me for a couple of blocks and sent me to the finish with great, positive energy telling me to go hear the fat lady sing (which I did)! I wanted to run it in, but knew I had to wait until the last turn so that I wouldn't be crying in pain too much.

And there it was, the last corner. I took a deep breath and forced a run. MF and I crossed together, smiling and actually enjoying what we had just done together! I did a freaking marathon!! Eight miles of excruciating pain couldn't stop me. That title of marathoner was now mine!!

My race goals:  don't puke and don't get carried to the med tent. Done and done! It was close on both of them, but I did it!! We got our space blankets, medals, roses, snacks, coins, pendants, shirts and finishers photos before meeting up with Cilley Girl again. Wow! What a freaking day!! We celebrated with food at our favorite post-race restaurant and then showers and a nap.

During the race I said, "2Fish, promise me this, promise me we will NEVER do this marathon again. No more marathons after Goofy!" And so now a week later, I hold to it. Goofy will be more of a success than Portland without a doubt, but really I'm just a big fan of the half marathon distance. I know I can do 26.2, but I'd rather back off, have a life outside of running, race when I want, not just training non-stop ... and you know, be Bridezilla! It was certainly a race I will never, ever forget. I do not regret it at all. It didn't go as planned after mile 17.5, but I did learn that I am a lot tougher than I ever thought!

Tower of Terror 10 Miler

Saturday was the one time in my life I was up for 24 straight hours, beginning with the 5K in the morning, ending with the 10 miler at night. In the middle I hit up the Magic Kingdom AND crashed a fan luncheon. So to say this was a unique experience is an understatement.  The race was the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10 Miler in Walt Disney World. When I registered I was going to race it .... but then marathon training happened. I vowed that instead of racing I'd pace my dear friend Jessica to help her finish within the time frame and go home with a medal. (At the Vegas RnR they ran out and she didn't get her medal at the finish line.)

At 7pm Abby came to our room, we finalized costumes and were able to quickly get on a bus to take us to the start at the Disney Hollywood Studios. Dressed as the Wicked Witches from Wizard of Oz we were really for a night of fun. We weren't ready for the heat and humidity! The pre-race area was a blast. I took advantage of being Corral A and slipped into that area to get some water and soak up the coolness of being Corral A. Then we got photos (we made the runDisney fb page!!!), danced, and met up with friends while waiting for the time to pass before moving to the corrals. We were dripping with sweat before even seeing the start line. But soon it was time!

From runDisney .... our moment of fame!
With Sarah & Jessica.. "we are group!"
A little after 10pm we saw the fireworks and were off! Also off? Jessica's house hat. Oops! It lasted maybe 25 yards... it's a twister! For the record, my hat lasted 9 hours! The plan was to pace my friends and make sure everybody had fun. I told them that I'd probably annoy them, but I'd only be bossy when I HAD to be. Sadly my friend Sarah told us to go on around mile 1.5. So it was 8.5 miles of Jessica and I .... "Sister Witches" was our team name! We'd run and I'd pick out a point that we could start walking. Any time I said we dipped below 16 minute mile pace Jessica would take off running. Another motivator was seeing other runners we felt we should beat. So we'd be sure to keep moving to stay ahead. Bitchy? Maybe - but we were wicked witches after all!

The course was nice, if you don't mind Osceola Parkway - which I don't. We ran from the Studios to DAK, to ESPN and back to the Studios. It felt nice and short, and totally flat. There was a section from Osceola to Wide World of Sports where we were back on the 5K trail. Eh, cool... and I liked being on the trail in the dark with the spooky music. BUT the trail was just too narrow for the amount of people. We couldn't have run if we wanted to, and we found ourselves being stuck behind people not maintaining the minimum pace. We'd manage to push through, but ideally that shouldn't have even been a concern.

Home plate!
There were very few character stops, but when there were I'd run up ahead, snap a photo and then catch back up. This was a great plan when we were at the Haunted Mansion grave diggers spot. Jessica told me to go ahead and wait and she'd continue on. I said, "stay on the left, I'll find you!" I got to actually run and pass by TONS of people when I was catching up, and that was a total blast. That was my only character stop the entire 10 miles. 

SO Disgusting!!
We got to run around the bases at the big baseball field, so we did pause for just a second to take a photo together at home plate. Leaving the stadium the women with the balloons that indicate "don't get behind us or you could be swept" came into view. Fortunately they were behind us, but when I told Jessica we had to keep moving she took off running. We guaranteed ourselves a big gap and kept moving pretty quick for the rest of the race. At mile 7 we saw an empty sweeper bus that we later learned my friend Sarah ended up on. Sad.

Once in the Studios we were relived and total tourists checking out parts of the park you don't normally get to experience on foot, plus backstage areas. I didn't make us run at all, but we agreed that once we could see the finish we'd run it in together. And run it in we did! I was so proud of us. We had a blast, finished at exactly 16 minute mile pace and I got to see Jessica be awarded her medal. I never imagined someone would want me to pace them, but I'm so glad that I was able to help out my friend. It was so unique and I think staying together was much more fun than racing it would have been.

Finish line!!
The after party was fun, but a blur. I was delirious after being up since 4am, and once we were done the earth moved (I thought) and I realized it was Meniere's attack time. Dammit. We hit up Toy Story Midway Mania and Star Tours. I couldn't possibly do the big rides during the big attack. Also we got some character photos with the Evil Queen and Darth Vader. Oh Darth Vader .... he is so tall!!

It was a total blast! There is a lot of room for improvement. I don't feel I need to go it again though. Wine & Dine though? Yes, that one is still on my runDisney radar!!

Friday, October 12, 2012

That Awkward Moment....

.... When you realize you forgot to put on deodorant before you went to work....

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Meet Millicent!

I was going to blog about the Tower of Terror 10 Miler tonight.... But things happen. Last night Man Friend and I went on a little rescue mission. We ended the night taking care of a little cat. Today I half assed tried to find her a home and in the end I became a mom again!

Named after the old Dark Shadows TV series.... Meet Millicent!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Disney's Happy Haunted 5K

Disney’s Happy Haunted 5K trail run was something that Jessica and I had been planning for years! Not the race itself, but our costumes. We kept them top secret and never unveiled them until race morning. Yeah, only an Oregonian would race in Converse, ripped jeans and a long-sleeved flannel shirt. One person thought, from the back, that I went as Kurt Cobain. I can’t blame her for that – without the glasses I thought that’s what I looked like, too! But no, we spent our first Disney race together as Wayne & Garth. Schwing!!

We were up early and excited to finally get to wear these costumes! We did sort of laugh at the hilarity of it. I mean I am the girl always in running skirts and Adidas, but this time I was as far from that as it gets! Abby met up with us on the way to the buses and immediately laughed. I’ll call that an outfit success! The bus ride to the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex was pretty short and peaceful. Upon arrival we took advantage of any photo ops we could. As per usual with runDisney, there was a DJ trying to get the runners pumped. After practicing my moves since January, Abby and I were able to finally do the Cupid Shuffle together!! *I just don’t get it. I swear it must be a southern thing to lead people in group dances non-stop. Oh well, it was fun! I tried to teach Jessica, and she had the WTF expression that I, too, had back at WDW Marathon weekend!

Garth & Mr. Smee (i.e. Fruit Fly and Abby) doing the Cupid Shuffle
We're not worthy, we're not worthy!
Something different compared to the other Disney 5K races I’ve done was that we actually had corral assignments and were let off in waves. Apparently they held us back a bit waiting for the sun to rise. Eek. I’d rather run in the dark, quite frankly. That sets a better “haunted” mood and also keeps me from the sun! Before we knew it we were at the start line and I was ready to be Miss Bossy Pants to make sure we all maintained at least a 16 minute mile and didn’t get stuck behind some of the slowest moving creatures ever.

"Foxy ... Lady"
The majority of the race was on trails, sometimes muddy, next to WWOS. I personally enjoy trails, so I loved it. It also gave me the chance to finally dirty up my bright orange Converse! Jessica and I spent a lot of time near the swamp “huntin’ gators”! Sadly we never found any. There were a few characters on the course. I volunteered to be the one to run ahead and snap a photo and then catch up with the group. And that running didn’t exactly help keep me feeling comfortable. Running in Converse? Not bright! We did see two other costume ideas that were more impractical than us, so for that we felt like winners – we weren’t the most insane!

By the end my hair was just nasty. OMG, so gross. I was sure I was sweating through the jeans. I smelled bad. I was over it! Not over the whole race scene, but the heat and humidity! Running in to the finish Jessica and I were sure to stay side by side, and the announcer even pointed out that Wayne and Garth were there and finishing! Very cool!! A lot of adults recognized our costumes and thought it was really cool. Younger people were clueless. Poor kids. They NEED to know about Wayne’s World!
Getting out of the race area was a nightmare. The Kid’s races were starting and a flood of parents with strollers were coming down the stairs, leaving us tired, sweaty, cranky runners to actually wait in a long line just to use the stairs. Bad planning, Disney. After a long walk to the bus we happily went “home” to our ghetto resort for showers and a day in the park, luncheon crashing and the more racing at night! Overall I had a great time! I was with some of my favorite people, we got to be silly and it was Disney! So what’s not to love?
Party on!!