Motivation Mantra: Do it for Disney!

Motivation is the name of the game. When you find what gets you through, it can absolutely change your perspective, desire, and, in some cases, the outcome of whatever you’re striving to achieve. With my second marathon a mere 9 days away (but who’s counting?), I am trying to muster all the motivation I can find. Going into my first marathon I was motivated by the incredible feat, determination, time and training that went into it, and especially the sense of absolute accomplishment upon crossing that finish line.  Now that I have done it once, I know I can accomplish it, but I definitely need a little more drive to get me through.

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At least I do have some pretty spectacular views on the trail near my house. It could be worse.

Training this time around definitely felt different.  Early in my training I was wearing shoes that were causing pain in my shins (thankfully not shin splints). My legs were achy and tired after my runs, so I immediately switched back to my beloved New Balance 3190s, which are actually discontinued.  Thank you Amazon for having one of the last size 8 pairs of 3190s – your company saved the day!  After fixing that issue, I also had a few colds that bogged me down this year, and made fitting in the miles significantly harder. My body was definitely telling me to slow down while my training plan was telling me to speed up.

Once I got over the hump of October, training began to gradually fall into place. Maybe it’s because the marathon sparkle had worn off having already done one, or maybe my body was annoyed at the idea of doing it again, but it really took until my 20 mile run for everything to feel right.  Internally I was beginning to worry when my legs and my breathing weren’t in sync, and hoped that it would come together on race day somehow.  What made matters somewhat more challenging was all of the snow we had been getting throughout December, covering my trail with snow, slush, ice, and mud. Training on those surfaces is no picnic, and at this stage in the game I really don’t want to risk injury.  Which is why I completed my 18 mile run on a treadmill (I absolutely do not recommend this for anyone, talked about boring…) and thought about quitting at mile 11 of my 14 mile taper run last weekend… I didn’t quit, but it was a major mental struggle.

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It actually took until my longest training run for everything to feel just right.
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It looks a lot prettier than it actually was – mud, ice, and slush everywhere. I thought tapering was supposed to be the easy part!

Although I have been excited about the prospect of sea level running with 19 miles of Pacific Ocean views and a maximum elevation gain of 100 feet, it was hard to find the motivation I needed to get through this training cycle.  Now with one weekend left of tapering and the race in sight, it’s getting a lot easier to feel the pre-marathon excitement. Not to mention, DISNEYLAND!

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We are going back to Disney, but this time West Coast style!

So what does one do after a marathon in southern California?  Obviously you go to Disneyland. This Disney fan has always been a tried and true Disney World supporter, believing its enormity and plethora of parks made it better than it’s California rival. In the back of my mind, however, I have always wanted to go to Disneyland – to see the original, visit Sleeping Beauty’s castle, and get a sense for where it all began.  It will be my hubby’s birthday, so I wasn’t sure if he’d actually want to go. Thankfully I got home from work one day last week and he turned to me and said, “You know, it might be fun to go to Disneyland.” Done and done. Tickets are booked and reservations made – to Disneyland we go!

Here’s a little recap of the last two weeks of training:

Day of the Week Cross Training Miles Run
1/9/17 (Monday) Yoga Sculpt N/A
1/10/17 (Tuesday) Yoga Sculpt 3.18 miles
1/11/17 (Wednesday) Yoga Sculpt 3.3 miles
1/12/17 (Thursday) Yoga Sculpt 3.32 miles
1/13/17 (Friday) N/A 3.36 miles
1/14/17 (Saturday) N/A 20.05 miles
1/15/17 (Sunday) Yoga Sculpt N/A
1/16/17 (Monday) Yoga Sculpt 3.27 miles
1/17/17 (Tuesday) Yoga Sculpt 2.5 miles
1/18/17 (Wednesday) TIU Bombshell Booty, TIU Core on the Floor, TIU Sleek Arms 3.1 miles
1/19/17 (Thursday) Yoga Sculpt 3.13 miles
1/20/17 (Friday) N/A 3.1 miles
1/21/17 (Saturday) N/A 14.05 miles
1/22/17 (Sunday) Yoga Sculpt N/A
TOTAL 62.46 miles

Any recommendations for this Disneyland novice (we will just be doing Disneyland Park)? If you had one day in Disneyland, what would you do?  What motivates you to get through marathon training? Has anyone else ever run 18 miles on a treadmill – isn’t it terrible?

Friday Favorites and Family

It’s almost the weekend! Hooray! And it’s looking to be yet another glorious weekend here in Colorado. Shocking, I know. It’ll be an even better weekend because my parents are flying in today! I haven’t seen my folks since October, and not properly since last May. I can’t wait for them to see our new home in Denver and meet their fur-grandchild, Rocco!

Because I am in such a delightful mood, I wanted to list some of my favorite things this week. I know this is a big blogger must-do, so I am jumping on that bandwagon for all it’s worth. Fridays seem to have that effect on people – we bask in what makes us most happy! So, here I go!

  1.  Patriotic New Balance 3190s
Sooooo pretty.  They arrived yesterday!
Sooooo pretty. They arrived yesterday!

I have been obsessing over these shoes for the past few weeks ever since I received their e-mail. With a race on Memorial Day, I thought it’d be fun to work the patriotic angle. And now that I know NB 3190s are my all-time favorite race running shoe (i.e. Disney Princess Half Marathon, Lucky Laces, and soon to include the Nike Women’s Half Marathon), another pair is definitely in order.

  1. To piggy-back on Samantha’s choice from last Friday, SPARKLE SKIRTS! I love sparkles. I love skirts. I love running in skirts. I love being sparkly all the time. Therefore, I love running sparkle skirts.
Samantha and I will be donning our sparkle skirts for the BolderBoulder next month!
Samantha and I will be donning our sparkle skirts for the BolderBOULDER next month!

I knew I wanted to give sparkle skirts a try, but wasn’t sure when to test them out. I haven’t yet been brave enough to don them solo, but when running with a friend, it seems the perfect excuse. The Bake N’ Burn Bombshell and I will be sparkling our way through the BolderBOULDER. Oh yeah.

  1. Spring in Colorado – duh! It’s amazing this time of year, and I love how much folks in this state enjoy where they live. It’s adventure season, as my coworker, Kaitlin said to me. And that is the plain and honest truth.

So what’s on the docket? Exploring Colorado Springs (don’t you like my play on words?). This weekend the parental unit will be joining the hubs and I on a little southern outing. We plan on taking the Pikes Peak Cog Railway up to the tippy top (oxygen bar thankfully included), meandering through the Garden of the Gods, and new on my list, Cave of the Winds. Having been able to enjoy Denver and Boulder, it’s time to go south!

  1. Planning for England and Scotland! The hubs and I finally got down to planning business for our trip this September to the British Isles. We’ll be staying in London for eight days and Edinburgh for four, with a bunch of day trips scattered throughout. We finally booked our hotels and are looking into options for day trips and other reservations. I cannot wait!! This will be the hubs’ first time across the pond. He loves golf, gin and Scotch, so he’ll fit right in!
I can't wait to return to London after 6 years away.  It's one of my favorite cities in the world.
I can’t wait to return to London after 6 years away. It’s one of my favorite cities in the world.

We hope to do a trip to Bath, Avebury and Stonehenge (Avebury is definitely better for viewing, but Stonehenge is pretty iconic, I guess…), Oxford, and maybe Canterbury. In Scotland, we’re planning to get in some golf (I have some serious practicing to do…) and a Scotch tasting/tour. All I know is that I absolutely cannot wait!

  1. More races! In the spirit of race season, I signed up for more races!
I live to run!  Particularly in adorable costumes!
I live to run! Particularly in adorable costumes!

Last year I attended a wedding back in Maryland while a number of my Colorado sorority sisters ran the Denver Hot Chocolate Run. It gives you the option for a 5K or 15K, and looks like an absolute blast. It’s one race series that has always piqued my interest. I signed up for the 2014 15K this upcoming October, and I know it’ll be so much fun! After reading about the Bake N’ Burn Bombshell’s Rock ‘N’ Roll USA experience, I knew I wanted to try an RNR of my own. Luckily RNR Denver Marathon/Half Marathon takes place October 19th, and I am all over the half marathon. It’ll be my first half in Colorado (at altitude – ah!) and I think this will race will be the one to do it! My ultimate goal is to run 10 races this year, and I am currently set to complete 6. There’s a bunch of great local races I am looking into in June, July and November, so hopefully I can get 4 more on the books.

Here’s to Friday and favorite things, and a great weekend ahead with family!

 

What are some of your favorite things of the moment?  Any upcoming adventures in your future?  What are you most looking forward to this weekend?  Have you ever run a Rock ‘N’ Roll or Hot Chocolate run – what did you think?

Ain’t no Party like a Fresh Foam Party!

Last night I attended the launch event for New Balance’s Fresh Foam 980.  I have to say, I am not usually all about these events, having to deal with corporate folks swarming like vultures waiting for you to say something mildly positive about their product so they can immediately tweet about it, but I do love some giveaways and free loot.  I also have fallen deeply in love with my New Balance 3190s.  Not only do they feel like running on air, but they are bright yellow and hot pink.  They are the perfect complement to my Belle running outfit for the Disney Princess Half Marathon (TEN DAYS YAY!).  Obviously.  I will be revealing my carefully planned ensemble soon.  It’s going to be FAAAAAABULOUS.

My 3190s are pretty much the greatest thing since sliced bread.
My 3190s are pretty much the greatest thing since sliced bread.

So after work I headed to the New Balance store in Littleton, Colorado.  This was one of six stores selected across the country to host a promo party.  I do wish they had incorporated a bit more excitement like the shop in Chicago with their 3 mile fun run and foam pit, but it was a good event regardless.  My sales associate, Mike, was incredibly helpful.  He measured my feet, utilized a foot pressure plate to determine the pressure points in my feet, fit me for athletic inserts, and although he recommended the new Fresh Foam 980, he also recommended a few other models as well.

 

I didn’t realize before, and this could simply be a major lapse in my understanding (so forgive me if this is common knowledge), but New Balance was founded in 1906 and originally provided arch support products to police men, fire men, and laborers.  This explains why a major element of their brand is consideration of pressure points, arch support and examining the effects of a body in motion.  They didn’t actually release their first running shoe until 1938.

 

I had always poked fun at my hubby for wearing the old school New Balance shoes.  They are, after all, very collegiate, and here we are approaching 30.  But for an athletic shoe, I will never scoff again.  I love the spaciousness of the toe box, the comfort around the heel and the lightness of the shoe.  I crave a shoe that is simultaneously sturdy and lightweight, and New Balance delivers.

 

After testing out the Fresh Foam 980, I am sold.  Given the 4 millimeter drop from the heel to toe, it takes some of the work out of running.  I know that sounds highly counterintuitive and lazy on my part, but it allows you the freedom to not have to think about your feet whilst running, and keeps your feet closer to the ground.  It’s a more natural stance, and that’s a great and ingenious improvement.  I was also personally looking for a shoe that could withstand many miles without feeling weighty.  This shoe performs.  The foam is light, but shock absorbent and durable.  Of course only time will tell how the shoe wears, but I have high hopes.

 

Aren't they fabulous?  The color is purple cactus flower with neon yellow.
Aren’t they fabulous? The color is purple cactus flower with neon yellow.

The event wouldn’t be complete without a little swag, so after loading up with new socks, a running shirt, and the most glorious athletic pullover (um, hello, a zip up with a hood that has a hole for your pony tail!!), I got a free NB string backpack (can’t wait to use it for my Zumba class!), t-shirt (which actually came in size small, halleluiah), a beaker (it is the science of running, after all, although I did have to ask the significance), and a #Freshfoam marshmallow (Hahahaha!  Oh, punny!).  Overall, I was pleased with the event, the product, and the freebies!  I’ll be going back this weekend to get the hubs a new pair.  He probably never thought I would be taking him to the New Balance store, especially with such excitement.

Can't wait to wear these for the Nike Women's Half in April (ironic, I know, but oh well).
Can’t wait to wear these for the Nike Women’s Half in April (ironic, I know, but oh well).
Giant #Freshfoam marshmallow and beaker!
Giant #Freshfoam marshmallow and beaker!

Asics The Gear for The Year Sweepstakes

So I realized in my early days of running, as in last year, that footwear is the single most important thing you can do to ensure successful, safe, and comfortable running and training.  Clothing matters, but the shoe is king.  Which is perfect because I LOVE shoe shopping.  So a friend of mine recommended Asics and that has been primarily the brand I have gone to ever since.  I have narrow feet and ankles, but I need a wider toe box.  I’ve grown up having issues with my feet, so finding a shoe that fits perfectly, provides lasting support, and doesn’t cause pain is a pretty phenomenal feeling.  I ran my first race in Asics and I am so grateful I did!

Look at me go in my schnazzy shoes!
Look at me go in my schnazzy shoes!

If you are in any way considering a new brand, they are one I respect, they have quality items, and the fit and feel are consistently good.  So now you’re in luck, and you can thank me when you win, because Asics is having their Gear for the Year Sweepstakes.  $5000 worth of Asics gear could be yours!  Enter daily through March 31st!  I love spreading the word about deals and sweepstakes (what can I say, I love getting a lot for, well, nothing, but at least very little), so be prepared.

Giveaway Wednesday has a nice ring to it… too bad I don’t have anything to giveaway!