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Name: merrymishaps (Lauren)
Home: Annapolis, MD, United States
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Saturday, May 01, 2010

is anybody still here?

Please update your reader! I'm blogging at http://merrymishaps.com/ now!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

i've moved!

Please follow me over to http://merrymishaps.com.

I've been thinking about making a change for a while, and now that Blogger is discontinuing FTP support, it was a good time to go.

I'm still tidying up a bit, but I'm ready to send you there anyway. Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

getting over that hill

Make that hills.

My local running shop's racing team is training again, and like last year we started with 200-meter sprints up a bridge. We had a great night for it -- still over 50 degrees at 6:30 p.m!

Based on my 55-minute 10K goal, I was supposed to be running each hill in 63 seconds.  I had the same 10K goal last year. And I made it... barely...  at 55:57. I'd like to get a bit more solidly into that 55-minute range.

We had five repeats on the schedule tonight. I haven't done any hill or speedwork for a while now, and I wasn't sure how it was going to go. I had nothing to worry about!

  1. 56
  2. 59
  3. 58
  4. 58 
  5. 58
Hmm ... a bit fast. I guess I'll see if I can keep it up. I wouldn't mind beating my goal!

I was the only one at the run tonight in my pace group, but it wasn't bad. The group kept the 1.5-mile run to and from the shop slow (for them), so I had no trouble keeping up. I was actually in the front on the way back, which was strange in that crowd!

As for the hills, I just started each repeat with two women with a 53-minute goal. I couldn't quite keep up, but they helped pull me along.

The post-Goofy break was nice, and I'm really glad I didn't have a strict training schedule during all that snow. But I'm happy to have some structure in my running again!


Sunday, February 14, 2010

weekly winners: more snow!

February 7-13, 2010

I can't believe this weather! Usually we get a few snowfalls a year, rarely more than five or six inches. This winter we've had two 20+-inch snow dumps (one in December, and the most recent Feb 5-6).

And then last Tuesday, when most streets weren't even plowed yet, we got hit again. Not as much -- maybe 8-10 inches, but still a decent snowfall. I worked from home most of the week -- our office didn't close like the Federal Government, but I wasn't heading out during a blizzard!

Thursday was a beautiful, sunny day. I brought my camera out to snap some shots during snow-shoveling breaks.

snowpocalypse part 2

snowpocalypse part 2

snowpocalypse part 2
Our snowman from the previous storm got a little buried!

snowpocalypse part 2
My neighbor's car is under there.

snowpocalypse part 2
Icicle tree

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Sunday, February 07, 2010

weekly winners: snow!

January 31-February 6, 2010

I'm tired of winter! It snowed last weekend, and then again Tuesday night.

Courtesy of Meadow, our backyard stray


And then Friday into Saturday, the Snowpocalypse arrived. Friday night we went outside (with drinks) to hang out with the neighbors. What was going to be a snowball fight instead turned into a snowman-building event. Well, the neighbors built while my husband and I supervised.

snowpocalypse 2010
Snowman at night ... he's about seven feet tall!

snowpocalypse 2010
The next day. We put out the cone for the snow plows.
Ha ha ha. Yeah, my husband and neighbors are currently shoveling the cul-de-sac ...

snowpocalypse 2010
The view from our porch.

snowpocalypse 2010
The back deck. I measured the pile on the table at 22 inches when it finally stopped snowing.

At least Jeter cat was staying warm!

jeter in the sun

jeter in the sun

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Friday, January 22, 2010

race report: goofy challenge, part 2

After the half marathon, we showered, grabbed some lunch, and hit Hollywood Studios for a few rides. Since it's not a huge park we knew we wouldn't do too much damage. Besides, all through training we were active after our "short" runs on our double-run weekends!

We wanted Italian for dinner that night to carb-load for the marathon, but I waited a bit to long to make reservations. The latest reservation I could get was at 3:20pm! But actually, it worked out perfectly. Since we had been up so long, it felt like 7p.m. when we sat down to dinner. We ate, finished up at the park, and headed back to our room early. We got our clothes laid out and called it a night ... around 7:30p.m!

Sunday, January 10: Mickey Mouse Full Marathon

Just like the day before, my alarm went off at 2:45 a.m. As I eased myself awake, I slowly realized I was getting ready to run 26.2 miles. Did I feel like running 26.2 miles? Well, we were going to find out!

The skies were clear for the second day -- no rain/snow, so that was good news. But at my early wake-up time, it was only 27 degrees. Anything below freezing and I'm really bundled up! I had some choices ... but I chose all of my warmest options.

Thin tights under my blue ToughGirl Skirt -- a skirt with attached pants. Double layers! On top I wore a thin long-sleeve tech shirt under a quarter zip fleece top.  I topped that with another custom-made short sleeve tech shirt and a throw-away windbreaker. I figured I'd lose that after warming up.

After two pairs of gloves (one tech, one dollar-store that I planned to toss), and a fleece balaclava, I was ready to go!

Disney World Marathon

We were glad we saved our mylar blankets -- they were more effective than the garbage bag from the previous day. 

The drill was the same -- wander around the staging area for a while, visit the port-o-pots, and begin the journey to the start line. I decided to clock the distance on my Garmin this time -- .83 to our corral!

It was a totally different experience from the half marathon, though. Even though we were just as generous with our time (6 hours), and in the same corral (G), there were actually a couple more corrals behind us this time. And the first three corrals took a different route for the first few miles, so they were on the other side of the street.

We moved to the front of the corral (on the street! not in the grass!), and danced to the music (that we could hear!), mainly to keep warm. Hooray for working speakers, and lights! I was getting excited to run!

And before we knew it, we were on our way -- Garmin says we started at 5:54a.m. And we started running. All those walkers from the previous day were behind us. Yay!

Of course, it made it more necessary for us to move to the right whenever we were getting ready for a walk. But we weren't alone, there were tons of Galloway runners in our corral. And for much of the course, we were on wide highways so we didn't have to worry about it that much, everybody had plenty of room.

Our first entrance to Epcot was amazing. They were playing music and the fires were burning in those giant torch things they have along the lake. I was warmed up by now and I lost the windbreaker and extra gloves. It was a quick trip through the park and we were back on the roads. To the Magic Kingdom!

That takes a while -- it's about five miles between the parks. Around mile eight, I was starting to fade. Uh-oh, we had a LONG way to go. Fortunately, that problem was solved by taking a GU. (Tri Berry, my favorite!)

The Magic Kingdom route was the same as the half course. But we had sunny skies. And we learned we could use the real bathrooms while in the park -- not too long of a line, either. (We timed it right, it was worse when we got out!)

And I had my camera! I didn't take too many shots, but was glad to have it.

Disney World Marathon

Disney World Marathon

Disney World Marathon

After the Magic Kingdom, we were back on the road -- another long, boring stretch of highway.  Looking at the race course, it seems to be another five-mile stretch. But it seemed like we were almost at Animal Kingdom forever!

And then we ran through so quickly. And the monkeys weren't even out!

It was around mile 17 when we decided to take a stretch break. We were starting to feel the effects of all that running. It was helpful, and we started taking them every three or so miles.

After leaving the Animal Kingdom there was more highway! Including an annoying out-and-back at mile 20! My training partner was starting to feel a little off, so we took more walk breaks. I didn't mind, I vowed to stick with her! Though, my feet were really hurting. Oddly enough, it hurt less to run at this point!

Eventually we did enter Hollywood Studios, where they were handing out chocolate. Yum! We took another stretch break. I ate my chocolate, and she had some Luna Moons, which seemed to help. We kept going with our run/walk intervals.

After Hollywood Studios,  there was no more highway! We hit mile 24 wile running along the (cold! breezy!) waterfront by the Disney Boardwalk and Yacht and Beach Club Resorts.

After passing the resorts, we were back in Epcot, running through the World Showcase. I love Epcot, so that was great, and we were almost finished! Just around the lake and we were there!

Disney Marathon

Chip time: 5:48:22. A bit slower than our training runs, and a lot slower than my only other full marathon, but I'll take it!

Disney World Marathon Medals


Wednesday, January 20, 2010

race report: goofy challenge, part 1

Our final few weeks of training were a bit rough, as we had a lot of cold, windy, rainy and snowy conditions to deal with. Little did we know we were actually preparing ourselves for race day!

Saturday, January 9: Donald Duck Half Marathon

My alarm went off at 2:45 a.m. I consulted my phone for the weather (it was cold, in the 30s, but above freezing), and made a final decision on my layers. I packed a lot of options for myself, and I was glad to have choices! With predicted rainy conditions and chilly temperatures, I knew I wouldn't be shedding layers, but I didn't want to wear too much, either. I tend to overdress in the cold. I went with a long-sleeve tech shirt and waterproof jacket. Since it wasn't that cold, I decided I didn't need to wear the thin tights under my running pants.

I also wore a short-sleeve tech shirt over the long-sleeve shirt with a Disney decal on the back. My friends made up custom shirts for all of our group (16 runners, 14 doing Goofy!). I wanted to wear it, even though I knew wouldn't be seen. Plus it was an extra core layer!

We boarded the bus just before 4 a.m. and were on our way to the staging area. There was a lot of traffic, and we were grateful. The more time on the bus, the better! I think it was around 4:30 when we got there.

I donned a garbage bag in a feeble attempt to block the wind, but was still chilly as we waited in the staging area, visited the port-o-pots, and began our journey to the start line.

Having done a Disney race before, I knew to expect a long walk to the starting corrals. Along the way, it started raining. And SNOWING. Which is nothing new to us, fortunately, but there were a lot of unprepared runners out there. 

Because I was doing both races, I seeded myself in the back with a slow predicted time. I put down three hours for the half, even though my average time is 2:15. I usually run half marathons straight, not the run-walk we were doing for both Goofy races. But I don't usually run a full marathon the next day!

It sure was dark back there in the last corral. We were standing in the grass, and the speaker near us wasn't working. No music, and we couldn't hear the announcers. It seemed like forever as we waited for each of the waves to go off. According to my Garmin, we were finally on our way at 6:18 a.m.

Yes, I wanted to keep it slow, and I expected it to take about 2:45 for the half based on our training runs ... but it turns out that last corral is full of walkers! Right from the start we had a hard time navigating, and it didn't get any better for the entire 13.1 miles. It wasn't a problem when we were on a walk, but often we went off-road and ran in the grass to get around the crowd!

At the end, there was a bit of a line getting to the food, and an even longer line to get to the resort buses. Though once we actually found the correct line, it wasn't quite as bad. But by then we were cooling down. Brrr! It was a little breezy, tough to keep our mylar blankets in place!

We still had a great time. How can you not have fun running through the Magic Kingdom? My friend/training partner and I were both feeling good and stuck together the whole time. We managed to actually get a little more room to run for the last five miles and sped up a little bit. It felt great!

I ended up finishing in 2:48:53. Not too far off our training runs, and it included a five-minute potty break!