Tips for Running Multiple runDisney Races in One Weekend:

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I’m not sure if there necessarily is an art to running multiple races in a day or weekend, but I do know it takes months of training and planning to make your races a success.  Here are my tips for running multiple races in a weekend – assuming you put in the effort into training!

092Get Your Game On:  Or mentally prepare for your races.  What I’ve learned from running multiple races on the same day or consecutive days is you must be mentally prepared for the long haul.  The trick is to take each day at a time, with the emphasis on the last and longest race.  So remember to pace yourself through the weekend, keeping your eye on finishing the weekend injury-free and smiling.  And remember it is not advisable to run all the races for time – choose 1 race as a goal race and the others run for fun!

092Layout Your Race Outfits:  When packing for the trip, it makes sense to lay out your running clothes/costumes and fuel for each day so nothing is forgotten.  I bring a pair of shoes for each race, cut my KT-Tape strips, count my bottles, count my NUUN tablets and ACCEL Gels, and prepare my race belts.  I also pack each day together so when I arrive at my hotel everything is race-ready.

My race check-list:

  • Hat/Sweaty Band/Bondi Band
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunblock
  • Chapstick – remember to put into race belt
  • Deodorant – I use a double mixture for races – Ladies Speedy Stick & Ban (roll-on)
  • Glide
  • Sports Bra
  • Costume top or tech shirt
  • Costume bottom or tech skirt
  • Sports watch
  • Road ID
  • Wrist sweat band or towel
  • Bib on Race Belt – gels, bottles of NUUN
  • Compress sleeves or socks
  • Shoes

340 (Small) (Medium)Be Prepared for Anything:  Anything will and can go wrong, so I like to be prepared and bring the following with me to the race:  KT-Tape, BioFreeze, Glide, Advil, Sunblock, Ban Aids, blister powder, foam roller and stick.  When running multiple races it is important not to injure yourself prior to finishing – especially when a Challenge medal is involved!!!  Remember it’s best to tape, use BioFreeze PRIOR to the onset of pain.  I also wear compression socks and always, always, always roll, roll, roll to flush out the toxins after each and every race.  Both compression socks/sleeve and rolling help aid recovery.  If you can schedule a massage the 2nd to last race that’s key as well!

Disneyland Hotel Pillow

Disneyland Hotel Pillow

Rest & Relax:  runDisney races are amazing and I love enjoying the Disney Parks post-race.  When running runDisney it is important though not to explore the parks at your normal touring speed.  Maybe the day of your middle race is a pool day instead of a touring day.  I always park tour while on a runDisney weekend, but I take it slow.  Slow your speed to a more leisurely pace, enjoy yourself, but please take time to sit, relax and recover.  Also, remember to turn in early for the night earlier than normal – you have a race to run tomorrow!

Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate:  Hydrate prior to the races.  Hydrate post each race.  If you are going to partake in an adult beverage, remember to replenish your fluids.  When traveling to the race, bring water with you in the car, on the plane, or train.  Carry water on your person at bib pick-up, through the expo and ESPECIALLY while park touring!  Drink early and often!!!

052Plan Your Fuel Wisely:  The rule is nothing new on race day.  That being said, remember to pack your breakfast or make sure it’s available at your hotel.  If you are racing multiple days, pack for each day and don’t be shy about packing extras.  Remember you are running multiple races on multiple days so it is vital to fuel and fuel properly.  There’s nothing easy about running multiple days – sleep, fuel and hydration are the cornerstones to a successful race weekend.  Remember to take special care when selecting your dining reservations.  There’s nothing fun about the runner’s trots.  Nothing.

What’s your favorite tip for running multiple races? 

 

Virtual Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend Blog Hop Directory


National Parks: Exploring America as a Family – Part I

Indiana Dunes Natl  Seashore - 1st stop on our trip

Indiana Dunes Natl Seashore – 1st stop on our trip

I’m sharing our family’s adventures as we travel across America to visit some of our Nation’s National Parks!   Some of these sites we have visited as children and now to experience them as a family is beyond exciting! I hope you enjoy as we journey in our car for 2 weeks without TV, limited WiFi and zero cell reception and I hope we all survive!

Day 1: 

Travel day was uneventful – which is EXACTLY how you want your car trips to be!  Spent the night in Toledo, Ohio.

Day 2:

On the shores of Lake Michigan

On the shores of Lake Michigan

Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore:  After examining our car Atlas, I found that we were passing, literally right off I-90, Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore.  It’s a life goal of mine to visit all our National Parks so we HAD to stop to take a quick look around and do the mandatory photo in front of the park sign and passport stamp!  We also managed to stick our tootsies into Lake Michigan and hike up a dune back to our car.  Next time I want to factor time in to take a cool refreshing swim.

Drove the remainder of the day and spent the night in Mitchell, South Dakota.

Day 3:

World's Famous Corn Palace

World’s Famous Corn Palace

Corn Palace – Mitchell, South Dakota:  The Corn Palace gets redecorated every year.  Unfortunately, their annual face-lift was in process right when we were visiting.  However, we did manage to see the sketches for the 2014 theme.

Hiking Notch Trail in the Badlands

Hiking Notch Trail in the Badlands

Badlands National Park – South Dakota:  All of a sudden you go from the prairies to eroded cliffs of the Badlands.  Winding roads take you around the Badlands with scenic overlooks and nature walks bringing you into the park.

A herd of mountain goats, Notch Trail

A herd of mountain goats, Notch Trail

Hiked Notch Trail:  The best way to see a national park is to get off the main road and hike into the park.  We took Notch Trail’s 1.5 mile moderate/strenuous hike into the Badlands.  I personally wouldn’t call it strenuous.  The most strenuous part was the ladder climb and that was it.  The trail end view was amazing and worth the hike, but the highlight was seeing a herd of mountain goat.

Historic photos, Wall Drug

Historic photos, Wall Drug

Wall Drug, Wall, South Dakota:  We had to stop.  Here at Wall Drug you can get anything – AND I MEAN ANYTHING – you need on your trip!  Kitchy and a self-proclaimed tourist trap, you need to experience Wall Drug.  My favorite part was looking at the historic photos and enjoying a cone of smores ice cream.

Blue Belle Cabins, Custer State Park

Blue Belle Cabins, Custer State Park

Custer State Park, Black Hills, South Dakota:  We spent 2 nights in Blue Bell Campground’s cabins.  $50 a night – a bargain really – will get you a cabin with electricity, AC and heat.  The cabins have a deck, grill, and bunk beds with mattresses.  You are barely able to call it camping, but so perfect for our trip!  The shower house was a few steps away and had 4 bathrooms equipped with a shower, toilet and sink.

Day 4:

Exploring Wind Cave National Monument

Exploring Wind Cave National Monument

Wind Cave National Park, South Dakota:  We took the 80 minute tour into the dry cave.  The highlight of the Wind Cave is the box work formations – the most in the world.  I especially love when they turn out the lights!!!

Needles Highway, Black Hills

Needles Highway, Black Hills

Drive on the Needles Highway, Custer State Park:  Note – there is a vehicle height limit and RV’s are prohibited due to the tunnels.  Worth the drive to see the Needles and surrounding views.

Custer State Park

Sylvan Lake, Custer State Park

Sylvan Lake, Custer State Park:  We had a picnic lunch at Sylvan Lake.  This is also where they filmed some scenes from National Treasure 2.  It’s very pretty and I was kicking myself for not having packed the kids swimsuits.  The park offers kayak, canoe and paddle boat rentals.

Sunday Gulch Trail

Sunday Gulch Trail

Sunday Gulch Trail, Custer State Park:  After lunch we took the 3 mile moderate/strenuous Sunday Gulch Trail.  We started the trail counter-clockwise.  The way down was FUN, FUN, FUN!!!  Railings helped to keep us upright as we hiked down the gulch to the forest.  We got an up close viewing of the destruction of the 2000 fires.  Making the turn and hiking back up to the lake was a moderate hike with a total elevation of 700 feet.

Mount Rushmore

Mount Rushmore

Mount Rushmore National Historic Site:  What can you really say about Mount Rushmore?  It looks EXACTLY like it does in the photos, however, man when did they build the 3-level garage and why am I paying $11 to park when I can see it RIGHT THERE?!!!!

Summer White House

Summer White House

State Game House, Custer State Park:  We took a 5-minute stop to check out Coolidge’s Summer White House.  It was a beautiful inn with a bar casual and fancy restaurants.  Perfect for those without children, so we quickly hightailed ours out of the Inn.

Wildlife Loop Road, Custer State Park

Wildlife Loop Road, Custer State Park

Wildlife Loop Road:  My daughter and I overruled my husband and son who didn’t want to finish the remaining loop of Wildlife Loop Road.  It was getting late and we were tired and hungry.  However, we hadn’t gotten our fill of buffalo.  We had seen deer, prairie dog, prawn-horn antelope and about 4 buffalo.  I knew the herd was out there somewhere and I was determined to look.  Good thing we forced them to go because we found the herd – at least a couple hundred.  You must do the loop.  Your children must see the buffalo, you’ll be glad you did.

More to share shortly!  I hope you enjoy our journey.  Have you ever visited these parks?  What were your favorite memories?

My Top 5 Tips for Surviving the Family Vacation Across America

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A family vacation across the United States to our great National Parks is a rite of passage.  Nothing says family togetherness like a spending a week(s) in the family truckster.  Here are our top tips to surviving the family trip across America:

  1. Embrace the “family truckster”: Get the kids use to being in the car, early and often.  Seriously, we started them on long car rides when they were both babies.  Driving is one of the most economical ways to see America and I highly recommend the experience (even though I complain about it every time).
  2. Get comfortable: The car will be your “home base” for the length of your vacation.  You are going to be in there awhile so comfort is key.  Bring pillows, blankets, DVDs, WiFi hotspots, books, magazines, etc.  Stop at RedBox to pick up new movies or the classics.  Nothing says happiness to parents like quiet children.
  3. Make your pit stops efficient: I have three rules for a pit stop – 1. Top off the gas tank 2.  Clean the windshield    Go the bathroom – because if one person has to go we are all going.  Nothing drags out a trip than having to stop every hour.
  4. Pack snacks: I’m a big believer in packing a cooler and eating what we have with us.  Go to the store prior and stock up on things you may not normally give the kids.  HAVE FUN!  You’re on vacation a Twinkie isn’t going to kill you.
  5. Don’t bring the kitchen sink: It’s taken me years to learn this, but Pack Light, it will help save on gas and you are never going to wear all those clothes! Do laundry on your trip.  If you forgot something – no worries, there’s at least one Wal-Mart and Target in every state.

Have you taken the family across the USA to visit our National Parks?  What’s your tip to share?  

6 Tips for Registering for runDisney’s Tinker Bell Half Marathon

Finishers of the Neverland 5K

Finishers of the 2014 Neverland 5K

Wednesday at 12pm EST early registration opens for Disney Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend – May 7-10, 2015 (NOTE – New date for 2015 – Mother’s Day Weekend)!  General registration will open 12pm EST on Tuesday, August 12, 2014.

In front of The Haunted Mansion

In front of The Haunted Mansion 2014 Tinker Bell 10K

The Tinker Bell Expo will open on Thursday, the Never Land Family 5K will be held on Friday morning, the Tinker Bell 10K on Saturday morning and the Tinker Bell Half Marathon on Sunday morning at 5:30am!  NEW for 2015 the Pixie Challenge (running both the 10K and the Half Marathon).

Earn the Pink Coast to Coast Challenge Medal:  Run both the Tinker Bell Half Marathon and the Disney Princess Half Marathon in the same calendar year to receive the pink Coast to Coast Race Challenge medal.

The Pixie Challenge (running both the 10K and the Half Marathon) will probably fill first. If you are planning to run in 2015 then book quickly to not be disappointed.   Do not wait to register.

Registration Tips: 

  1. Know your Disneyland Annual Pass or Walt Disney World Annual Pass or Disney Vacation Club log in and password for early registration.
  2. Know your Active.com account and password prior to 12pm – EST.  If you do not have a Active.com account and password please register for one prior to 12pm registration day!
  3. Remember to stay calm and block off your calendar and silence your phone for no distractions!
  4. Know which races you are planning to register for PLUS your best 10K or Half Marathon finish time for corral placement.
  5. If you are registering others:  have their home address, phone number, email, date of birth, In Case of Emergency Contact Name and Phone Number, shirt size, and time for corral placement (remember you will need the race name, date the race was run and the time completed).
  6. Know if you want to purchase additional items – like pins, parties, cheer squads, jackets.  Note – you’ll be able to add these on at a later date, but it never hurts to be prepared!
  7. Have your credit card available for serious damage!

Are you signing up for the 2015 Disney Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend?  What are your registration tips?

Need a sitter for your Walt Disney World vacation or runDisney race?

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Celebrating at California Grill after the 2014 Walt Disney World Marathon

 

When my husband and I plan our Walt Disney World vacations, we always plan one adult’s night to a nice restaurant.  I look forward to this alone time.  We have had the best time “escaping” to the parks for a couple of hours or simply resort hopping!

When we plan our nights out, we have used the services of a Walt Disney World Children’s Activity Center or a Disney recommended outside agency Kid’s Nite Out.  Our kids have been to the Neverland Club at the Polynesian Resort more times than I can count.  We have used Kid’s Nite Out twice, most recently during the 2014 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend.  I highly recommend each option.

Thanksgiving 2012, Be Our Guest Restaurant

Thanksgiving 2012, Be Our Guest Restaurant

Walt Disney World’s Children’s Activity Centers:

There are 5 centers in Walt Disney World Resort:

  • Simba’s Cubhouse at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge
  • Club Disney at Disney’s Polynesian Resort
  • Cub’s Den at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
  • Sandcastle Club at Disney’s Beach Club Resort

The hours vary, but are normally 4:30pm to 11:55pm.  The cost is $15 per child with a 2-hour minimum.  The cost includes dinner – chicken nuggets, mac and cheese, hamburgers, cheeseburgers – and my kids love the pudding.  There are different activities for your children to enjoy like a game center (with Wii and Play Station), dress up (with every princess costume known to man), arts and crafts, movies, and toys.  Disney Vacation Club members receive a 10% discount.  Reservations can be made 180 days in advance by calling  (407) 939-3463.

Kid’s Nite Out:

When I use Kid's Nite Out I come home to this...

Animal Kingdom Lodge, 2009 – When I use Kid’s Nite Out I come home to this…

Another in-room option is Kid’s Nite Out.  A professional caregiver will come right to your door.  Don’t worry, you will have all their details prior to arrival and they will be wearing the Kid’s Nite Out shirt and name tag.  The caregiver will be prepared and bring age-appropriate toys, activities, books, games, and arts & crafts.

We recently used their services when staying in Disney’s Treehouse Villas.  The best part about the service – when you arrive home, your children will be in bed sound asleep.  That right there is worth its weight in GOLD!

Advance reservations are recommended – especially for Walt Disney World runDisney races.  Reservations can be made up to 3-months in advance by calling (800) 696-8105, extension 0.

Their in-room rates are: 

1 child $16.00 per hour
2 children $18.50 per hour
3 children $21.00 per hour
4 children $23.50 per hour

5 or more children, please call 1-800-696-8105

Have you used a Walt Disney World kid’s club or Kid’s Nite Out?  What did you think? 

Running in Costume at a runDisney Event

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2014 Disney Princess Half Marathon

I’ve been running in runDisney events since January 2009, but the first time I wore a costume was for the 2013 Princess Half Marathon weekend.  I wouldn’t necessarily call it a costume – it was a tutu with a tiara!  However, adding this new element of dress up to the weekend heightened my excitement for runDisney races!

2013 Disneyland Half Marathon

2013 Disneyland Half Marathon

So should you dress up for a runDisney race?  You don’t have to, but it really makes the races more fun!  Here are some of my favorite photos from my runDisney races.

2014 WDW Half Marathon

2014 WDW Half Marathon

Here are my top tips for running in costume at a runDisney event:

Know the “official rules –  Per the runDisney website, “Are you allowed to wear a costume in runDisney races?  Yes, however, your costume cannot include a face mask. Anyone seen in violation of this will be removed from the course. If your costume is questionable or offensive to others, we reserve the right to either have you change into something more appropriate or remove you from the event.”

2014 Neverland 5K

2014 Neverland 5K

Begin your planning early:  Costumes take time to sew, purchase, and put together.  The more people you include, the more time you’ll need.  runDisney has an entire blog series dedicated to costumes.  Here you can see photos for the Princesses, Maleficent and The Evil Queen.

2013 Tower of Terror 10 Miler

2013 Tower of Terror 10 Miler

Look for inspiration:  Go Google runDisney Running Costumes!  There are so many websites and blogs that are dedicated to runDisney.  Here are a few of my favorites:  According to Kelly and   This Momma Makes Stuff Snow White Tutorial  This Momma Makes Stuff Sleeping Beauty Tutorial - I made and wore both these costumes at the 2014 Princess Half Marathon Weekend 5K and 10K.  Here’s  some more from my runDisney inspiration Pinterest Board.

2013 Jingle Jungle 5K

2013 Jingle Jungle 5K

Remember you are going to be RUNNING:  I’ve seen many fancy costumes tossed to the side of the road during a race.  I don’t run in my costume prior to the race, but I do make sure my costumes are made to withstand a half marathon and that means using tech light-wicking fabrics.  If sewing isn’t your thing, my favorite one-stop shop is Sparkle Athletic.  Another is Sparkle Skirts and Raw Threads.  Remember these vendors will be at the runDisney expo so if you decide the last minute to dress up – you will have options!

2013 Disneyland 5K

2013 Disneyland 5K

Try it out:  I don’t do a test run, but I do sit, go to the bathroom, get dressed myself in my costume prior to race day.  No one, and this includes your family, wants to help you into your costume at 3am.  It’s best you can do it yourself – family members then to be cranky at 3 in the morning….

2014 Disney Princess 5K

2014 Disney Princess 5K

Don’t stress:  runDisney is supposed to be for fun – remember you can always purchase a costume!!!  Some of my favorites include iGlowRunning, ThisPrincessRuns,  and Harvester Products.  Don’t forget about online costume shops like Spirit Halloween and Amazon.com

2013 Tower of Terror 10 Miler

2013 Tower of Terror 10 Miler

 What are some of your favorite places to find runDisney costumes?  What’s the best costume you have seen on-course? 

Breast Cancer at 41: You’re Not Crazy But…

I share this because I believe going to a therapist is not a sign of weakness.  To me it is a sign you acknowledge help is needed.  I think it is very strong and brave to realize you need help.  I hope that this helps someone who might need the confidence to ask for help. 

During my last check-up with my medical oncologist, we were reviewing my status – both mental & physical.  After my hysterectomy on February 25, 2014 I had felt relatively fine, actually good as my blood levels had slowly gone back to normal levels.  However, once I was placed on Anatrozole, a hormone suppressant, I had become incredibly weepy.  So much so, I could not stop crying.

Now, I’m not an overly emotional person – sure I can cry at the drop of a hat if it is warranted, but I was crying over not being able to fill out a camp form and bawling while watching a preview of the remake of the movie Annie.  Yes.  Seriously.  Annie.  This is when I knew I had a problem.

So I spoke with my doctor.

She asked if I was running.

Yes, I’m running, but I don’t think that’s the problem.  I think it’s the medication.

Then she turned to me and said, “I don’t think you’re crazy, BUT…I think you need to see a therapist.”

She went on, “This is common with my very intelligent, highly motivated patients.”

Uh…..okay.  Thank you for the compliment….I think?

But, deep down I knew she was right.

I had been so focused on getting through the tumor biopsy, the first round of surgeries, the diagnosis, the chemotherapy, the second round of surgeries and not letting it affect me or the children I had not taken the time to process all that has happened to me in the last year.

My way of coping was to put my head down, my blinders on and powering through.   Now that it had been a year since my cancer diagnosis I was finally ready to breath.  I was finally ready to let out my pent-up emotion I had been suppressing the past year.

Yes, she was right indeed.  I needed to speak to someone.

I have been to a therapist twice in my life.  The first was when my mother had died after a long illness, I had a miscarriage and found out my mother’s friend had stolen from her.  The second time was when I was a small business owner.  My partner and I were in the middle of a bad partnership in our 3rd location and we were faced with not one but two business lawsuits as a result.  During each of these times, speaking with a therapist had helped me cope and ultimately move on from the problems.  I had learned therapy is not about the therapist fixing the problem, but therapy is figuring out what the problem is so you can acknowledge and make steps to accept and make a plan to move on from the problem.

So what I learned from my therapy session:

I have always known I was going to get cancer, even before I did the genetic testing.  In my mind, I was trying to make it past the age of 42 because my mother had been diagnosed at that age.  I thought I would follow my mother’s path and die by the age of 54.  Because of this I felt the need to cram as much into my life as possible.

But what I now know to be true:

I did get cancer, not at 42, but 41. Yes, it was aggressive cancer.  But I am going to live because…

My cancer was caught early.  AND I took the necessary steps to prevent it from spreading.  I had a bi-lateral mastectomy.  I had chemotherapy coupled with Herceptin treatments.  I had a complete hysterectomy so I couldn’t develop ovarian cancer.

I cut cancer off at the pass.

The big bad cancer has come, but it has not conquered.  It’s now time I realize I have more than 12 years left on this earth.  It’s time for me to acknowledge I’m going to live, maybe even to 100.  It’s time to breath.  It’s time to celebrate.  It’s time to live the life I’ve been given.  And you know what, I haven’t shed a tear since!

Product Reviews: Pure Via Stevia Sweetener Review & Summer Fit Kit Giveaway

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I decided give Pure Via, a zero-calorie, stevia sweetener a try for my husband.  My husband likes diet cola, but has been trying to stay away from NutraSweet.  I liked that Pure Via is natural and comes from the leaves of a plant called stevia.

024Pure Via is available in convenient “take anywhere” packets.  The packets dissolve quickly in both hot or cold liquids.  I tried them in both ice tea and in my morning coffee.

However, my favorite product is the Pure Via Stevia Liquid - especially the Vanilla flavor!  I loved this product!!!!   This little 1.6 oz bottle was fantastic and very convenient to take with you while on the go!  I brought it to work to use throughout the day.
The thing that I noticed was that Pure Via DOES have an aftertaste.  I wouldn’t want to sprinkle it on top of something to sweeten it.  However, I would use it in drinks or in baked goods.  There I did not notice an after-taste.

Here’s your chance to give Pure Via a try!  I’m giving away 1 Pure Via Summer Fit Kit!

The ‘Pure Via Summer Fit Kit’ contains:
• Box of Pure Via® non-GMO packets
• Bottle of Pure Via® stevia liquid
• Bottle of Pure Via® vanilla stevia liquid
• Container of instant iced tea
• Pure Via mason jar & straw
• Pure Via pedometer
• Pure Via SPF 15 lip balm

Enter a Rafflecopter giveaway by Sunday, July 27, 2014 at 12am EST.

Please note that Pure Via can only award one kit per person/household, and winners must be limited to U.S. only.  Thank you and I hope you enjoy Pure Via!!

Disclaimer:  Pure Via provided me with a Pure Via Summer Fit Kit free of charge to review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Race Report: Shipyard Old Port Half Marathon

Race morning at the Pier

Race morning at the Pier

I’m not one for spontaneous decisions, but once I found out my BRF, Alison, would be heading up to Maine to run the Shipyard Old Port Half Marathon in Portland Maine, I decided to crash her party!  Heck my plan called for 14-miles anyway – I might as use the race as a training run with a cool medal as a bonus.  Plus Alison’s sister has a home near Old Orchard Beach, just south of Portland, and graciously allowed me to spend the night.

Valley Street Dog Park

Valley Street Dog Park

This race would be my 29th Half Marathon in my 10th U.S. State (omitting the DNF from the 2012 Iron Horse Half and relay from the 2012 Rock n Roll Providence Half).  It would also be my 8th Half Marathon of 2014!

 

Following a birthday girl on our way back along Route 1/Commercial Street

Following a birthday girl on our way back along Route 1/Commercial Street

I had missed early registration by the time I had decided to register for the race late Friday night.  This was supposed to be a weekend without races, but since the family had other plans, I decided to drive up to Portland after HMF’s Red Dress Run 5K Saturday morning.  Race morning registration was offered, but I decided to drive straight to the expo to register on Saturday.  I arrived at 5:10pm to mass chaos at the pier – well, chaos to me – a huge festival to the crowd.  The expo was set up on the Maine State Pier and was open from 11am to 6pm.  There they had vendors, bands, and bib pick up.  Parking was non-existent so I illegally parked, put on my hazards and raced to registration were I quickly filled out the paperwork, got my bib and ordered an elite race tech to be shipped to my home at a later date!

Along Eastern Promenade

Along Eastern Promenade

After a wonderful dinner, we turned in early to get some shut-eye.  Race start was a manageable 7 in the morning.  The sun was up, the sky was clear and the breeze was comforting. We made our way to downtown Portland and quickly came halt behind a line of cars trying to find a place to park (tip – get there early or stay at one of the hotels across from the start).  Even though we were in a little late we quickly made our way to a parking garage – the fee was only $10 for the day.

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Slight hill

The race began ON Ocean Gateway Pier – which was a new experience for me.  Pacers were provided and corral line-up was on the honor system and based on pace per minute.  The race began under a balloon arch and quickly turned left onto Route 1.  We ran in the center of the road between cones so the street could remain open to traffic.  It was congested, but manageable even when run/walk/running.  There we made our way south until turning up-hill towards Valley Street Dog Park.  This was our first hill – steep but no Heart Break.  We were soon upon Mile 3 and a water spot.  Good thing for me, I was carrying my own water.  Bad for others because there was a line for water and the volunteers were frantically trying to fill cups from a hose.  I stayed left and avoided that mess.

Water Stop Mile 7

Water Stop Mile 7

The neighbors were pretty and the race went fast.  There was a steep downhill on Clark Street as we finished the loop and then retraced our steps back down Route 1/West Commercial Street.  Once we hit the pier again, we turned onto Hancock Street and then right onto Fore Street.  Here we journeyed along the water and Eastern Promenade.  There was one additional uphill, but it wasn’t a bad hill.  It was a very pretty course and overlooked the cove.

The bay

The bay

From there the course took us along Back Cove Trail for 3 miles as we made our way around Back Cove.  Just as the name implies, it was a gravel trail and made for a nice change from the pavement.  It was a beautiful 3 miles, but it was time to finish the race crossing back over I-295 on Washington Ave bridge.  The worst part of the entire race was running by the sewage plant at mile 12 (it reminded me of the Walt Disney World Marathon course).  We picked up the pace to escape the smell of the sewage plant.  After this, all that was left was the mile back to the pier, past a misting station, running through the finisher chutes and under the arch for the medal!!

Backcove Trail

Back Cove Trail

Here is the official course map complete with a video.

 

At the finish

At the finish

I was pleasantly surprised how enjoyable the course was – granted we did have a perfect day, although a little warm (low 80’s).  My tips would be to bring your own fluids and gels, wear sunblock and a hat, and definitely put this race on your bucket list!  I would highly recommend this half marathon and cannot wait to do it again!

Finishers of the Shipward Old Port Half Marathon

Finishers of the Shipward Old Port Half Marathon

 

 

 

Get Yourself on the Cover of Runner’s World!

coverI’ve never fancied myself a cover model, but when I heard that my beloved Runner’s World was having a contest to be on the cover of their December issue I knew I had to apply and YOU SHOULD TOO!!!

Why?  Because I think it would be awesome to see someone on the cover that is NOT your typical skinny, fast, “I win all the races” runner, but a runner that represents the middle of the pack, possibly a charity runner that runs to overcome an illness or disability.  Someone I can relate to –  are you this runner?

Then do it now – apply!!!! 

Step 1:  http://covercontest.runnersworld.com/enter

Step 2: Provide up to 100 word answers to 3 questions.

How did you start running?

What is the personal running accomplishment you are most proud of?

Why is running important to you?

One word to describe your running self.

Step 3: Upload 1 photo of yourself that is under 2MB!

Step 4:  Share with your friends and remember to use the hash tag #RWCoverContest!

Yes, I decided to throw my hat into the ring and enter the contest!  But I love a good contest and relish in competition!  So vote for me if you want or don’t – but do take the time to read all the runner’s stories before you vote because there are some very good ones listed!

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Maker Mother Marathon Runner

Embracing life with a bit of grace, a lot of perseverance and a positive attitude.

From Dancing to Running

Dancer Turned Runner Running My Way Through Life!

Aussie Girl Gone Dopey

One girls road to running 78.3 km in four days at Disneyworld, I just have to run my first marathon on my 30th birthday first!

margaritasmilesmouse

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