Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Inaugural Star Wars Darkside Weekend

Hey Disney! I kinda looove your races! There is so much to tell from this past week so I'm going to use mostly photos to tell the story. 

Brad REQUESTED to run the half marathon in Disney but when we went to register the challenge was sold out and we could only get into the 5k and half. It worked out well because we ended up staying with my parents who live an hour from Disney and spent time with them between running races.

Day 1 Wednesday: We drove all night and dropped the dogs off at a kennel Wednesday morning. That day was used to hang around my parent's house in The Villages and nap. We had fajitas off the grill with all the delicious toppings for dinner.

Day 2 Thursday: This day was all about packet pickup at ESPN Wide World of Sports. They are so organized and excellent at accomodating thousands of people. After the expo we went back to The Villages to have lunch on the water with my parents and take a little boat ride around Lake Sumter. Then it was to bed early because... Disney race starts :)

Day 3 Friday: The 5K was great! It was my first time running that distance with Disney so it was a lot more crowded than I'm used to. We stood in a 30+ minute line to meet R2D2 (complete with all the noises) and decided not to wait for anymore after that due to running out of time. After the run we got our medals and decided to wait in a 45 minute line to meet Darth Vader. WORTH IT! After the race my parents took us on an awesome airboat ride and I got to hold an alligator!

Day 4 Saturday: We spent the day park hopping from Animal Kingdom to Magic Kingdom. The highlight of my day was getting the biggest hug from my favorite Tigger! 

Day 5 Sunday: Our last full day in Florida was the half marathon. We arrived around 3:30am and were able to meet up with my friend I met on instagram Erica. We met once before but actually remembered to get a picture this time. She's awesome and I love running races in Florida because I get to see her! 

We met lots of Star Wars characters along the course. They had so many out there so the lines were never too long. Brad had a really good time out on the course too. One thing about Disney races is they go really fast, even though we are out on the course so long to take pictures. 

I really loved this race weekend for my 17th half marathon. I'm also soooo proud of Brad for completing his 2nd half marathon!!! Woohoo!! Words cannot even express how proud I am :) Thank you Disney for constantly putting on spectacular race events!

Monday, April 11, 2016

Achilles Pittsburgh Race Recap

Awhile back I heard about the Achilles Pittsburgh Hope & Possibility Race and ended up using my blog and instagram as a way to promote the race. I was pretty excited to have a few friends sign up to run (even one from as far as Philly!). 

All week I was stalking the weather hoping the snowflake would disappear from my iphone, but it never did and we woke up on race morning to 32 degrees and snow. Brad and I arrived about an hour before the race but couldn't bring ourselves to get out of the warm car. 

About 30 minutes before the race we ventured outside towards the starting line where they had heaters outside under tents to keep runners warm and dry while waiting to run. I thought that was a great idea.

The race had lots of booths set up for an auction and information. 

Brad, my friend Maddy, and I headed over to the starting line of our first race, the 5k. Maddy and I were running the challenge so after the 5k we had a 10k about 15 minutes later.

Brad and I ran together for the 5k and my only goal was to avoid stepping in puddles. Within the first mile I stepped in a big old puddle and my shoe remained wet and cold for the rest of the morning. Offff course :) 

The course was an out and back course starting from the North Park boathouse. I liked it because there weren't any crazy hills and they offered water near the turn around. One thing that was confusing were the mile markers. I had my Garmin so I knew exactly where we were, but the mile markers weren't labeled with the actual number of the mile we were on and there were other markers for the 10k mixed in. For someone who is new to racing this could be confusing.

After the 5k I chatted with my friend Kristen while waiting for the 10k to start. Then I said good-bye to Brad while he stayed warm in the car (I was definitely jealous!).

The 10k start was on an uphill and looped back to the boathouse before running the 5 mile loop around the lake. The weather seemed to only get worse with the wind blowing the snow so hard into our faces that it was hard to see. 

I struggled with the 10k but I'm pretty sure I wasn't the only one. Between my wet shoe and the wind I just had a hard time really pushing the pace. 

I did it though and it was great seeing everyone at the finish! 

Maddy and I got medals for completing the challenge.

I had to take a picture of the frozen, snow covered bagels! Who would have thought the weather would be like this for an April race?! 

Overall I thought the race was great. Nobody can control the weather and I thought they did everything they could to keep things going in a timely manner and keep the runners warm. I would love to run it again and it's for a good cause!