Motivated to Train and Ready to Run

Did you see it??

Today was the big reveal by runDisney of the 2019 Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend medals! In case you missed it, you can see the medals and read the entire article on the Disney Parks Blog here.

This year marks the 10th anniversary of this event and I am so excited, both as a chef and as a runner, to be there. After an accident and having to cancel my solo trip back in the spring when I was supposed to run the Star Wars Rival Run Challenge, I have regrouped, healed and rescheduled my trip. I’m crazy excited for what will be both my first Wine & Dine runDisney event and my first 10k.

If that Olaf & Sven Frozen themed medal isn’t motivation for me, I don’t know what is. Maybe it’s the Canadian in me, but that icy finish on the medal…love it!

Ok, but to get that medal takes a lot of work on my part.

I’m not going to lie, it’s been 3 months of sloth recovering from my injuries, and I’ve put on 10 lbs, so I’ve got some work to do to get back in shape. Thankfully, my training has already begun.

Meal Prep

Two of the big issues for me when it comes to getting back on track and maintaining my optimal weight and fitness level, are portion sizes and making better food choices. Nothing helps me with this more than a little meal prep.

I don’t go crazy here. I’m not one of those people that worries about fats vs carbs vs protein, or weighing out each of my ingredients. Kudos to those that do, but I don’t. That just doesn’t work for me. So I do what does work..

I’ve found that spending a couple hours in the kitchen once a week (usually Sunday afternoons) doing meal preparation helps A LOT. My weekly staple prep items tend to be a sugar-free fruit compote (to mix with Greek yogurt or to top buckwheat pancakes), simple grilled vegetables and chopped raw veggies, salads for quick lunches, tuna burgers, and spinach egg muffins. These things are my go-to items that are almost always found in my refrigerator.

 

Then I plan other items to add to the mix just to shake things up a bit every week to avoid boredom. Things like spinach vegetable quinoa cakes, pumpkin quinoa burgers, sweet potatoes topped with Buffalo chicken, or pesto vegetable pasta with roast chicken all add big flavour and keep me excited about food while not going overboard.

As long as its in the fridge and ready to go, I won’t linger in the kitchen and grab the wrong thing, or eat more than I should.

(Happy) Planning My Workouts

One thing I’ve discovered is if I write it down, I’m more likely to do it. And that includes workouts.

I schedule my workouts like I would a doctors appointment. I find mornings work best for me and scheduling three workout sessions per week works well. If I get in a couple more workouts or manage to get in some kind of physical activity with my family above and beyond that, great. But I find if I try to schedule more than three, I end up missing or cancelling those extra days when life gets crazy (or my kids make plans over my plans) and I end up frustrated. If I have an upcoming run, my three workouts tend to be runs as per my running plan (that’s discussed below). Otherwise, it’s three workouts of my choosing: a run, gym session, weights at home, running hills & stairs along the waterfront trail…whatever.

So, like meal prep, once a week I sit down and plan out the following week. I look at what appointments I have, what hours I have to work, where I have to be and when, and plan my three workouts to fit. I do all of this using fitness pages in my Happy Planner. I know to some this might seem silly, adding stickers and washi tape to a fitness planner, but for me it helps. I can add whatever sticker quotes I come across that help keep me motivated for whatever mood I’m in that week, or add a habit tracker sticker so I can track how many meals I’m NOT skipping, or how many meals I ate sugar-free. I’m not saying it’s for everyone, but it’s really helped me. Recording my workouts and seeing the results in writing (how many calories burned, miles I ran, or steps I put in) is incredibly rewarding and motivating for me, and formatting the pages ahead of time help keep me immersed in all things fitness.

Fitness Planner

Fitness Pages in my Happy Planner

As for the workouts themselves, I mix it up. If I have a marathon event on the horizon, I do try to follow the Jeff Galloway training plans on the runDisney site (you can find them here). I love the walk/run combination and have had good success with them for my past runs.

I also love Pilates and try to do a couple short sessions (20 minutes or so) each week to help build core strength, and I mix those up with a couple weight sessions. I have found these critical to proper form on my runs and in building speed.

Off and Running

Alright, so I’ve shared what works for me. What works for you? Do you use a food journal? An exercise log? What are your favourite meals to prep ahead?

Anyone else have a run coming up, runDisney or otherwise?

 

 

 


When You Can’t Get to Disney…

One week ago today, I had a nasty accident that left my entire right side badly battered and bruised, and my right wrist broken.

In an instant, all of my Disney dreams went out the window as a surgeon spoke the words I’d already been telling myself but hadn’t been strong enough to speak out loud, “there will be other marathons.”

I have spent the past seven days feeling sad and sorry for myself. I cancelled all of my vacation plans and let go of my dreams of my first Disney solo trip and running the runDisney Star Wars Rival Run Challenge.

Until today.

Today I stopped feeling sorry for myself and started thinking. I’ve trained hard and I’m ready to run my first half, so why let all of that hard work go to waste?

Virtual Running

I cannot tell you how many times the words of the surgeon have played over and over through my head, “there will be other runs.” So today I went looking for other runs.

And bingo, there it was right in front of me!

As I roamed social media, hitting every marathon and running site looking for a run in the not-too-distant-future, there it was. The runDisney Star Wars Virtual Half Marathon.

It’s perfect:

  • I have time for the bruising to subside and my wrist to heal enough to run again.
  • I don’t have to travel anywhere or run with a cast in heat and humidity (suddenly I’m thankful for the cooler Canadian temps).
  • I have the option to break the distance down over shorter runs if needed (not that I want to).
  • I still earn a Disney Star Wars themed medal.

I thought about it for all of five minutes before I hit the Register button.

Back to my Roots

This isn’t my first virtual run. It’s actually how I first began running and earning medals. I started out with the runDisney Virtual Running Shorts back in the summer of 2016, earning my Yellow Shoes, Red Shorts, and White Glove medals. I quickly also joined the Hogwarts Running Club where I earned medals running longer distances and going beyond 5K’s. And once my daughters saw me earning my medals, they were all in too!

While the official deadline for this virtual half is March 31st, I want to complete my run safely and with doctor approval. Maybe I’ll set the medal aside and run it at home on the same day of the runDisney Star Wars Rival Run Half Marathon. That way it won’t hurt as much when I see all of those fabulous finish line photos pop up on social media on the day of and after the run.

Maybe it will have to wait longer. Only time will tell. Either way, I won’t unwrap and wear the medal until I’ve earned it. Safely.

So remember…where there’s a will, there’s a way.

And watch for my future post where I’ll be wearing that Star Wars half marathon medal!

runDisney Star Wars Virtual Half Marathon Medal

runDisney Star Wars Virtual Half Marathon Medal

Look here to see all of the Star Wars runDisney 2019 medals.

 


How NOT to Train for a Marathon

Fall

Down for minimum of six weeks with a broken radius.

Accidents Happen

Life doesn’t always go according to plan.

For instance, I had planned to train for and run the runDisney Star Wars Rival Run Challenge in April at Walt Disney World. After successfully registering for the challenge, I put in the hard hours of training, logging many miles on my running shoes, did the research on a proper diet and ate well, and I put in time at the gym doing cardio and weight training workouts to prepare.

Then, as I was decorating for my daughters 13th birthday party, I had an accident and all that went out the window. I fell. Hard. Long story short, I have a badly broken wrist with possible nerve damage and the surgeon tells me “there will be other marathons.”

He’s right of course, but that doesn’t take the sting out of it.

One minute I was just 30 days away from my first solo trip to do the challenge, a trip that was both a birthday present and a challenge to myself for my 50th birthday, and the next I was just thankful to have only a broken arm and not having lost an eye or having broken a leg as well, and wondering if I’ll one day be able to pick up and yield a chef’s knife once again.

Cancelled Plans

I cancelled my trip.

I believe all things happen for a reason even if we may not always know that reason, and I try to focus on the positive. In this case, the reason escapes me, but I am happy I spent the time training and getting myself in good shape. No doubt about it, that will help me in my healing and rehabilitation process.

So, this is day five of me sitting on my butt, trying to learn to do for myself with just my left hand/arm, trying not to think too hard of what might happen during or at the end of my recovery, and I’ve already got my eyes set on another runDisney marathon and a new challenge.  

I guess this means that for now I won’t be sharing any training progress notes with you, but don’t count me out.

After all, I am a chef, so maybe I was meant to run the Wine & Dine challenge??


Registered for My First Half Marathon (and then some)

August 28th was registration day for the Star Wars Rival Run Weekend and I excitedly sat at my laptop at the stroke of noon and registered for the 10K run. Not the half. Yep, I know…so much for all my talk and the weeks of training I’d put in in anticipation of the half.

I will admit that my decision was made partly because of the price (I pay in Canadian dollars remember and was adding this expense to the cost of a solo trip to Walt Disney World Resort), and partly because I chickened out at the last minute.

But that decision haunted me almost immediately after I received my ‘thank you for registering’ email and somehow I felt unsettled. The chatter in my head began: running the half marathon and taking a solo trip booked around this runDisney event was supposed to be my 50th birthday present to myself. I had already booked everything, set aside just about all of the trip money, and put in weeks of training in anticipation of running a half with plenty of time left to complete my training. Add in an extra shift or two at work over the upcoming holidays, and I’d easily have the extra money it would require….So I had no excuse really. Except nerves.

Finally, on Friday, I could think of nothing else at work all day except how I’d let myself down. As soon as my shift ended I came home, sat down at my laptop once again, and registered for the half marathon (in addition to the 10K).

I’m happy to say I almost instantly felt at peace and happy. For a few minutes at least.

Then I had buyers remorse and kicked myself for not registering for the Challenge in the first place and potentially earning three medals instead of two (running the 10K + the half marathon = challenge medal).

Fortunately, I belong to a number of runDisney groups and with encouragement and support, I contacted the folks at runDisney who were happy to transfer my registration from the two individual events to the challenge.

 

Star Wars Rival Run Challenge Registration

Star Wars Rival Run Challenge Registration

 

So…I’m running the challenge! Yep, the 10K AND the half marathon.

Now I’m unsettled for a whole different reason. But in a good way.

 


Run Registration Day

It’s finally here: tomorrow is run registration day for the runDisney Star Wars Rival Run Weekend!

20180420_072139From past experience, I know that the runDisney events are very popular and sell out fast, so it’s imperative that you’re ready when it comes to registration day.

Here are a few things I’ve done and recommend to help with the registration process:

  1. Know Your Race Registration Date and Time. Okay, maybe this is obvious but I’m mentioning it anyway. This is key to getting into the race of your choice. These events sell out fast, and you need to be ready not only on the day of registration, but also at the moment the registration process opens (in this case, noon my time tomorrow). I’ve cleared my calendar and set a reminder alarm on my phone for one hour prior to the opening moment that will allow me time to get set up and be ready with all of my devices.
  2. Account Preparation. The registration process for runDisney events recently changed, so my first step was to go to the runDisney page and make sure my account was set up and ready to go. Don’t wait for registration day! Create and sign in to your page and get familiar with how it looks and works days in advance.
  3. Know Your Information. Past experience has taught me what information to have ready when I register: the exact race or challenge I want, estimated finish time or proof of time (POT), t-shirt size, etc. You don’t want to waste time trying to figure this out once the registration window is open. The new registration process also allows you to register more than one participant at once, so know who you’re registering.
  4. Light or Dark Side? This year, the Star Wars Run Weekend is a rival run and that means choosing to run for either the light side or the dark side. This one required no thinking for me…but I’ll let you know which one I chose in a later post.

So I’m as ready as I can be, and if all goes well, there are just 219 days left to go!

 

 

 


Marathon Training Continues…week 6

Yep, still running and still training!

bday shots

balloons

Ok, truthfully, it was my 50th birthday on the weekend and I did take some time off from running, but not from exercise. It’s been pretty hot here and things were crazy given we were in party planning mode, so I focused more on core and strength training last week, rather than putting in the miles.

Party over, celebrating done, house back in order…it’s now time to jump back in. And I’m happy to say I’m jumping back in with a couple new items.

After listening to my frequent rants over my issues with my old running watch (I won’t name names here), my husband lovingly gave me a new Garmin Forerunner 35 for my birthday. I love it!

Instantly, the fit was so much more comfortable than my old watch and it’s definitely a better size for my wrist. While I haven’t used it just yet, it is out and synced to my phone, charged and ready to go. Now I just need to read the manual and figure out all the features.

gifts

And…In the spirit of wearing things on your wrist while running…my fabulous husband also surprised me with a Magic Kingdom 45th Anniversary Limited Edition Dumbo MagicBand! Dumbo is one of my favourite Disney characters and I had my eye on this beauty some time ago but never picked it up. So hubby did…and apparently (according to our paperwork) he managed to order the last one in stock. It’s the perfect item for my solo trip to Walt Disney World in the spring. gifts b

So thanks to my better half, I’m now ready to continue my marathon training in style with (hopefully) a little less frustration, and I look forward to running my next runDisney event with my pal, Dumbo.

Let week six begin!

 


My First Half

I haven’t written in a while so I have a lot to catch up on. First things first (no pun intended)..I’ve decided to move beyond the 5K runs and I’m training for my first half marathon.

My plan is to register (successfully) for the runDisney Star Wars Rival Run Weekend at Walt Disney World and run the half marathon in April 2019. I’m absolutely committed: my flight is already paid for and my resort selected and booked.

Star Wars Half Marathon - Dark Side, April 2018

Star Wars Half Marathon – Dark Side, April 2018

I ran the 5K in the Star Wars Half Marathon – The Dark Side Run Weekend last April with my husband and our daughters, and fell in love with runDisney events. It was the perfect event to run as a family, but I finished wishing I’d had the challenge of a timed event and I knew at the finish line that I’d be back.

Star Wars Half Marathon - Dark Side 5K medal, April 2018

Star Wars Half Marathon – Dark Side 5K medal, April 2018

So my original plan was to sign up for the 10K next April, but I have plenty of time to train before the August registration day arrives, so why not start the training program now under the hot Canadian summer sun and aim for the half.

And that’s what I’m doing. This year (this August actually- same as the marathon registration month) will mark my 50th birthday, so this is my present to myself.

My first step was to download the Jeff Galloway Half Marathon Beginners Training Program (you can find all the training programs here). Due to GI health issues in the past, I have always followed a run/walk method at my doctors suggestion, so using this method in training for a half seemed the best way to go in my case. I also joined an online run walk interval fan group so I have constant support from those with experience and tips using this training method.

My second step was to schedule my training days. I actually put the runs into my calendar on my phone. That way, I am not likely to book appointments or make plans that will cause me to skip my sessions.

Thirdly, I ordered an interval timer. Fortunately, I already run (albeit shorter distances) so I have the clothing I need and the water belt I prefer, but unfortunately, the sport watch I currently use doesn’t have a timer function. I quickly found that trying to track intervals without one was frustrating and distracting and the timer was a must-have item.

So here I am, in my second week now of the training program. I’m still playing with finding the best interval times that work for me but I’m running around the 15 min/mile pace at this point. I run three times a week, and do strength training and Pilates for cross-training.

I will be sure to keep posting on my progress. And if you’re planning on running the Star Wars Rival Weekend too, I hope to see you there!