Thursday, June 26, 2014

Dumbo Double Dare Training Update

It's been a few weeks since my last post, and believe me, I have been busy! Last week my dog was sick for 3 days, but she is finally back to herself! Then this past weekend was my brother's wedding (which was a blast!), but now it's time to get back to business.

I am happy to report, though, that even though I have been busy with a lot over the past few months, my training has remained right on schedule! (Woo hoo!) I have been following the Dumbo Double Dare Training plan on the runDisney website, and it's definitely a plan that's easy to follow (and stick to). I've still been running with Linda after work a few times a week, and we've even got another one of our coworkers to go with us now! Running with Linda has covered my two 30 minute runs that I need to get in during the week.


I've also been going to Team RWB meet ups on Wednesday evenings. The Wednesday meet-ups are about an hour long. We all warm-up together, and then do our own thing for about 30 minutes, then meet up to cool down and walk back to the parking area together. Unfortunately, I have not been able to make it the past few weeks, but hopefully next week!! I also ordered a Team RWB shirt (youth size, they're still out of women's) and a Sweaty Band, which should be here within the next few days!

(After a Team RWB meet-up with Nita! I'm rocking my #TeamrunDisney shirt)

Nita and I have also fallen into the routine of doing our long training runs together on the weekend. This has been GREAT! It's nice to meet up with her, especially if I don't see her during the week, and we can catch up on each other lives while running. A few weeks ago we did 8 miles, and this past Monday (since I was tired from the wedding on Sunday) we were supposed to run 7, but we only managed 4. It was so humid, and there were SWARMS of gnats!! After running through about 3 swarms, I had had enough. I could feel them hitting my head, and I'm sure they were in my hair. One even flew into Nita's eyes, so after that we decided we were going to be done at 4 miles (Hey, it's better than nothing!).

This weekend I'm running in a Superhero 5K, so I need to hit Pinterest up for some costume ideas. I'm also running the Avengers Half in November at Disneyland, so I'll need to figure something out for that at some point as well.

QOTD: If you were or are running in a Superhero/Avengers race, what would you dress up as? Superhero? Sidekick? Villain?

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Foam Fest 5K Recap

This past weekend my friend Danielle came to visit me for the first time since I moved back to NY, and we had plans to run the Foam Fest 5K! The Foam Fest 5K's catch phrase is "Get Filthy Clean" Well isn't that the truth. The race is a 5K obstacle course with a lot of mud and even more foam! This race is more like a "Fluff Mudder" for those of us who are not interested in participating in the Tough Mudder.

When Danielle and I registered for this race we had to select a wave time to start, so we decided on 9:30 am. We figured this wasn't too early, or too late in the day to make it more of an inconvenience. I am so glad we decided on the 9:30 wave (and I even would have been happier with an earlier wave) because it got warm out very early!


(Our "before" picture)

We arrived at the Foam Fest around 8 to get checked in and this allowed us to walk around a bit. We decided to watch some of the first waves take off to see what it was all about. Luckily, we were also able to see the first obstacle, the Lily pads. This obstacle requires you to run across foam mats that are laid across a small pond full of muddy water. Danielle and I had a great time watching people run across the lily pads, and we cheered when people fell into the small pond when they couldn't balance themselves while running across. It was like a episode of Wipeout!

Finally it was our turn to enter the starting chute for our wave! The guy announcing each starting wave was also mixing up the music every few minutes or so to keep us from getting bored. Once we got into the chute there was a huge start banner and hanging from the banner was a huge "foam machine" (for lack of better words), and foam was just spilling out into the starting area. Before we knew it we were knee high in foam! Everyone was dancing and throwing the foam everywhere while we waited for them to let us go. We counted down from 10, and then we were off, we ran through the huge pile of foam and onto the course.

The course itself was actually a dirt bike track, which is full of steep knolls. We rounded the corner and came upon the dreaded lily pads (which I was honestly excited to try)! We watched as those ahead of us attempted the lily pads. Many did just fine. As I watched, it seemed the trick was to not stomp on them (causes too many waves - you'll lose your balance), and not to stop. Danielle insisted I go first, which I didn't mind, and I flew across them with ease.


 (This one honestly makes me look like I'm walking, I'm not)

(Awkward...)

Danielle also made it across with no issues and we celebrated. Danielle had also mentioned that the guy behind her in line made a comment when I ran across the lily pads that they weren't even moving. Ah, yes, weight also played to my advantage.

We trudged onto the next obstacle which was a wall we had to scale. No problem! Danielle was not as excited, but she did conquer her fear of heights and scaled the wall too! I was pushing Danielle outside her comfort zone. ("I'm a pusher Cady, I'm a pusher." Threw that in there for you Danielle) After this point the obstacles became a bit blurry. I don't remember what order they were in, but I know there were close to 15.

Just past the 1 mile mark was the Mike's Hard E-Lemon-Ator obstacle. Here we ran through an area of inflatable lemons that were hanging from chords. Let me tell you, I know this sounds like a joke when I say those lemons were hard, but they were. When they hit you, it actually stung a bit. Haha





(I am the queen of awkward when it comes to action shots)

We ran through some mud pits, and over inflatable logs in mud, and came across a foamy car wash obstacle.

(Oh to be clean! Not really.)

Next was the death drop slide!!! I was so excited for this. It was an inflatable slide, I can't even tell you how high it is, but once you climb up, you literally slide straight down into a pit of mud. It was awesome! Danielle on the other hand does not remember it, all she said was her heart ended up in her throat. Next we had to crawl under a bunch of wire in a mud pit, then we came up to a large inflatable slip and slide that ended in a pool of muddy water. I sprinted and leaped onto the slip and slide and slid a decent amount down the slide. I jumped up and dove back onto the slip and slide to slide the rest of the way into the mud.


(Whee!)

(Well isn't this just attractive)

The next part of the course actually weaved us through the woods on a bunch of trails. We ran through numerous mud pits. At one point I almost lost my sneaker in one because it was so deep and the mud was thick. There were a few small obstacles in the woods, aside from the mud. I'd say we were in the woods for a good mile. Once we came out of the woods we were just shy of the finish line. We looped around the corner and ran across the finish where a volunteer was waiting to give us our finisher medals!

We walked through the finisher tent where they gave us our t-shirts for finishing (this is actually a great idea, so you can change out of your muddy, soapy shirt). They also gave us water and a protein bar. Danielle and I made our way back to the car to get our stuff to change.



(Our "after" picture)

(I know it's hard to tell, but I'm drenched - also notice how gross my sneakers are)

We went up to the changing tent to change, then made our way over to the 21+ area. Since Mike's Hard Lemonade was one of the sponsors for the race, you received a free Mike's after finishing. I opted for a Black Cherry Mike's while Danielle got the Strawberry. Both were delicious. We hung around for a bit, then decided to head home.


(Enjoying our Mike's in the sun)

I really enjoyed this race, there were certainly pros and cons, but overall it was fun experience.

Pros:
  • 15+ fun obstacles (The Lily Pads were my favorite)
  • T-shirt & Finisher medal (Who doesn't love bling?!)
  • Race photos included
  • Free Mike's Hard Lemonade
  • Non-timed course - This is nice for obstacle course races. I'm sure there are still very serious runners that do these, but there is no way to accurately time a course like this since you have to wait in line at some of the obstacles.
Cons:
  • The course itself was a dirt bike track, the little knolls became tiresome.
  • Price - For a 5K, this race was a pretty penny, and I didn't even pay the full price. I had a coupon code, but I think it was still $55. (Race day registration was $90.00) However, when you consider all that's included, it may be worth it.
QOTD: Have you done the Foam Fest before? How about another obstacle course race? If so, what was your favorite obstacle?


Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Happy National Running Day!!

Happy National Running Day!!

Here's why I run...


(This is the biggest reason for me)

(Why not have some fun in the process?!)

What inspires you to run?

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Stroll for Strong Kids Recap

This past weekend was the Annual Stroll for Strong Kids to benefit the Golisano Children's Hospital. Can I just start off by saying that the Stroll is BY FAR my most favorite event of the year! Why do you ask? Well if you never read my first blog post, I am a Strong Kid, so this event holds a special place in my heart. I will be forever in debt to the Golisano Children's Hospital for everything they have done for me and my family, so the least I can do is fund raise for the Stroll. I am very happy to announce the I was able to raise $643.01!!


(My Stroll race bib, shirt and fund raising incentive - a Sandy stadium blanket!)


(Lollipops from the Stroll, and stickers an adorable little boy gave me after the race)

The Stroll for Strong Kids consists of a 5K run and a 1.5 mile stroll to celebrate past and present Strong Kids. Along with the run and walk there are also a variety of other activities that are family friendly, including: bounce houses, sand art stations, temporary tattoo stations, photo booths, temporary hair coloring stations, A Sandy Store, and lots and LOTS of food!

The 5K race had an 8:30 start time, but I was so anxious to get to the Stroll and hit up the Sandy Store first thing I made my mom and Nita go early. We arrived at the Stroll around 7:45 which provided plenty of time for us to walk around and check things out before the race started. Nita needed to pick up her fundraising incentive so we did that first. Next we hit up the Sandy store! I was so excited to buy new Sandy gear (last year I bought an Under Armour shirt and travel coffee mug with Sandy on them). This year I bought a fleece jacket, an Under Armour pullover, an Under Armour Tee and an Under Armour tank (all have Sandy on them, of course)! I spent so much money (and I could have easily bought more), but at least it goes to a great cause.


(I just love these Sandy shirts - isn't she co cute?!)

We took our purchases back to the vehicle before the 5K started, and then walked back to the starting line. The race started a few minutes late, but I think that may have been because there were so many people, and people were still registering that morning. Mom, Nita and I headed near the back of the pack with the rest of the team my mom and I had joined. While we waited for the race to start we took some pictures.





(It was such a beautiful day for the Stroll!)

Mom and I decided to do a 1:00 minute run to 2:00 minute walk interval. We all set our GPS watches, and soon we were off! This years 5K course had to be changed due to construction in the area, but the new route was nice. I will say, I did miss running along the riverside, I really enjoyed that last year! The course itself was rather flat. The highest elevation was 545 feet and the lowest 515 feet.


(Course map, it's a little confusing with all the arrows going every which way)

About a mile and a half into the race I broke away from my mom because I felt like I would be able to set a new PR. I should have had her set her watch to the time interval we were running as well, that way she'd have it set in the event I left her (which I obviously did). We're learning things about running together as we go. Before I knew it I was at the 2nd mile marker which had a water station. My watch chimed, I glanced down... 11:49 min/mile! Yes, I was cruising (at least by my standards)!

Nita and I apparently decided to play "catch me if you can" during this 5K. She started out ahead of me, I passed her around mile 1.5, then she caught back up and passed me again just after the 2 mile mark. I caught back up and passed her around mile 2.5, then she caught back up to me at around 2.9 miles. We decided to cross the finish line together, which was great! I stopped my watch the second I hit the finish line and boom, "Fastest 5K!" popped up on my Garmin! I had done it, I PRed at my favorite event, it does not get any better than that! We got our medals and a bottle of water and went back to the finish to wait for my mom. Nita and I both high-fived my mom as she ran past us to the finish, and she had finished the race in under 40 minutes (which was her goal for this race)!!

After we all finished we walked back over to the car to change out of our sneakers and into our flip flops. We also decided to take some more pictures with our cute finisher medals. Nita and I had fun doing this...



(High five! I look super excited, and Nita is eating her medal)

Then we decided we had better take some "normal" pictures.








When we were finally done with our ridiculous photo shoot, we decided to head back over to the park to enjoy some of the activities and wait for the Stroll to start. We hit up the Tim Horton's for some coffee, and noticed there was no line for the photo booth, so Nita and I jumped in! Then I had mom hop in.


(Goofballs)

After that, the rest of the Bryce Backer team was under the pavilion waiting for the stroll to start, so we decided to gather for a group photo (which I'm sad I don't have). The stroll started, and we decided to grab some food since we had not had anything to eat since early that morning before the race. There was so much food, but I later found out that they ran out of food before the Stroll had finished. That makes me feel guilty that I took a Subway sub home for dinner that night. Nita, mom and I indulged in the food (hot dogs, Zweigle's sausage, Abbott's frozen custard, fruit and tons of sweet snacks) and enjoyed the beautiful weather while we waited for the strollers to come in.

We finished eating in time to wander over and see all the teams and individuals finish the stroll. It's always so inspiring and heartwarming to see the amount of support there is for this event. Nita and I watched Mel's team come in, and we had to get our annual picture with her!

(The three "mouseketeers")

After Mel came in we chatted for a few minutes, and then decided to head out. On the way across the park to the parking lot, the ladies sitting at the tattoo booth were yelling at us to come over and get a Sandy tattoo. You guessed it, of course we had to!


It's now 3 days after the Stroll for Strong Kids, and my tattoo is still on my arm (I should probably find a way to get it off, or else the doctors I work with are going to think I never shower). It's hard to believe another Stroll has come and gone so quickly. It truly is like a holiday for me because I love this event so much, but I'm already looking forward to fundraising for the Stroll next year!

QOTD: Is there a race event or charity event that you look forward to every year?