Monday, January 25, 2016

New Shoes!

I think the best part of getting back into training is getting new gear.  I've had most of my current gear for years, and I'm talking 3 or 4 years.  It's still good and I don't plan on getting rid of any of my stuff, but sometimes you just need an update...

The biggest issue for me was my shoes.  I love my Asics shoes.  I've been running in them for years and while New Balance and Nike both have some awesome designs, I can't give up my Asics.  I've had my current shoes for a few years now and they still have quite a bit of life left in them.  However, my heel has been slipping and I could tell that I needed some smaller shoes.

So I went to my local Fit2Run store and got resized... my feet have shrunk by almost a full shoe size! This seriously explains a lot... Asics apparently run a little small so I only needed to go down a half size, but the change was instant.  My heels weren't slipping, my feet were snug yet had some space... it was just great.  And even though I don't usually like pink, I do like the coloring on the shoes!

Of course, since I was there I also had to look for some other running gear.  Socks, shirts,  a pair of new capris and a really nice running jacket that I'm really tempted to wear just in general.  I also picked up one of the blinking lights I can clip onto my gear for when I run at night to stay visible to drivers.  The end receipt hurt a bit, but through joining the store's VIP club (I have a feeling I'll be back) and other discounts, I actually saved quite a bit- totally worth it!

Training gets so much more exciting when you get new gear!  Can't wait to get back out there and start breaking in my new shoes!

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Race Schedule

When I decided to run the Dopey Challenge, I also realized this meant that I was going to need to sign up for some other races building up to the challenge.  The main reason is that I'll need a seed time for the Dopey.  I really don't want to be placed in the last corral just because I don't have a start time.  That's a little too close to the pace line than I need to be.  The easy part was deciding this years race, but the hard part was deciding next years races.

This year all I can sign up for now is the Wine and Dine Half Marathon.  It is a night race, which isn't my favorite, but doable.  All the other options were already full (these races seem to sell out in minutes nowadays) and were just too soon.  So I have until November now to get ready for this.  Still gives me some time to breathe and train at my own pace, but that also means anticipation is going to build for a lot longer.

2017 was the challenge, mainly because there are so many options.  I figured on the Wine and Dine Half again because it would be like my last practice race before the challenge.  I still wanted to do something earlier on in the year so I was debating between the half marathon during WDW Marathon weekend, Princess Half Marathon, and Star Wars Half Marathon.

I decided on doing the Glass Slipper challenge during the Princess Half Marathon next year.  It will be good for me to get some practice doing a back to back race and challenge since it includes a 10k and half marathon.  Plus, I have such history with the Princess Half Marathon.  I've run it 3 times now, and each run has left some sort of impact on me.  The first one was my first race at WDW, the second was with a close friend of mine, and the last time I ran on a healing, but still painful sprained ankle.  I just wonder what will happen during the next one...

There are a few 5ks I'll run throughout the year.  Mainly Run for Wildlife 5k at Busch Gardens in Tampa at the end of November, a run at Sea World Orlando in December, and a virtual 5k for Run3rd foundation which is going on right now.  I constantly keep my eye out for other fun runs, but so far none of the others have really caught my attention.

So my schedule as of right now is:
November 6th 2016- Wine and Dine Half Marathon
February 2017- Glass Slipper Challenge
November 2017- Wine and Dine Half Marathon
January 2018- Dopey Challenge

Monday, January 11, 2016

Step 1- Talk About It... A Lot

It's only been a day since I really decided on my goal of the Dopey Challenge, but the training and the preparation started as soon as I told myself I could do it.

I had already started running again because the weather has been so nice recently.  It's a bit on the chilly side for me, but that makes the runs that much better.  Considering I know that the summer will be here soon and the heat and humidity will be back with a vengeance, I'm trying to get my base runs back to a solid 3-4 miles before the weather becomes an issue.

However, right now the physical part of training is not the most important for me.  Right now, the most important part is getting the word out there and telling people that I'm going to do it.  I've told family, friends, coworkers, and other people I've met and struck up running conversations with... really anyone who would listen, I've told.

It's important to me, and I think anyone who has a challenging goal, to get the word out there.  It gives you a sense of responsibility to the goal, more so than just a personal one.  Now people are waiting to see you complete it.  It's a little bit more pressure, but it prevents you from creating excuses to yourself and quitting when times get hard.  It also sets up a support group to help you get through those tough times.  That's part of the reason I went back to writing a blog about this process... to make sure I finish it and find support along the way.

Most people have been encouraging and supportive.  A close friend of mine, who inspired me to complete the challenge by completing it herself this year, told me she'd be my cheerleader this time. She's also someone I'll probably lean on quite a bit as a I train for advice and opinions.  A few coworkers are also trying out some 10Ks and half marathons this year so we're all getting together and supporting each other for whatever our goals are.

Some friends are definitely thinking I'm crazy though, which I have to agree with.  Of course, you have to be a little dopey to do the Dopey Challenge... that's practically a requirement.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

2 Years Till Dopey!

2 years...

That's how long I have until the 2018 Dopey's Challenge during the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend.

I never thought I would be able to run long distances.  Then, in 2010, I ran the Disneyland Half Marathon.  I thought that would be it, that I would be done.  I definitely wouldn't run a marathon.

Three years, 7 half marathons, and a number of 5ks later I ran my first and what I thought was my last marathon at the 2013 Walt Disney World Marathon.  I thought that was all I needed.  I had fun, I finished, that's all I needed.

Apparently not.  I thought I had retired considering I haven't run a race since the marathon.  But the itch became unbearable and I finally had to scratch yesterday.  I have to do it... I have to do the Dopey Challenge.

I've had a few friends compete in the challenge, and finish, and I knew I could do the same.  I think a piece of it is the endurance athlete in me as well telling me I could do it.  I just have to be smart about it.  Which is why I'll be doing my challenge in 2018.  It'll be the 5 year anniversary and it will give me plenty of time to get my body and mainly my knees in shape to survive the challenge.

Join me as I train and get ready for this challenge.  I'll post about the successes and the challenges.  The pretty and not so pretty.  Overall, this should be another interesting challenge, that's for sure.

731 Days...

I can do this...