Tuesday’s on the Run: Why a Marathon?

It has been 43 weeks since I set out to become a marathoner. Why would a marathon be on anyone’s bucket list, let alone a middle-aged fluffy mama? Who in their right mind would ever believe that completing 26.2 miles is a good idea?  

How many people can say they’ve run a marathon? 

The math teacher in me will tell you that approximately only 0.5% of the US population has ever completed a marathon.  Completing a marathon puts this middle aged fluffy mama into an elite club, gives me some bragging rights. There are also those people in my life (ahem, 2 high school coaches) who always made me not good enough, completing a marathon is my finger in the eye back at the way they made me feel.  Sort of like a shock factor, because I do not look like a “runner” and running is (was) so out of character for me. While it will be somewhat satisfying for me to paste all over social media that I completed a marathon, in reality, completing a marathon only helps me to tap back down those feelings of being second best. Which leads me to the real reason why I want to complete a marathon…

Because I Can!

This journey has been about challenging myself. Getting older means there are less “firsts” in my life and fewer things to make me feel full of butterflies or give me that natural high.  Even thinking about crossing that finish line now in my mind gives me a huge rush. There have been training runs that have sucked, times that I have wanted to give up and I know that during the actual marathon there will be moments that will literally bring me to my knees.  Nothing is ever given to you (and no amount of pixie dust is going to get you to the finish line). I have had to work for this moment. Knowing that I completed such a feat is empowering and exhilarating. “If I can do this, what can’t I do?”  More than anything, I want to prove to myself what I am capable of doing if I put my mind (and my aching feet/legs) to it.

I did put my mind and my legs to the challenge of a marathon. I have completed 128 training runs totally over 400 miles… 

marathon stats

It’s time to “trust my training” as I depart on Thursday morning for Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend and eventually start the 2020 Walt Disney World Marathon on Sunday.  

Happy 2020: My Walt Disney World Resolutions

2020-wdw-resolutions-39e144bae9My New Year’s Resolutions are always well intended, but usually do not last beyond the first week of January. It’s time to make a few different sorts – ones that I will actually want to keep!

Walt Disney World New Year’s Resolutions for 2020

resolutions

1. Dine at a new restaurant-This one may be hard for me to keep as I have a huge list of favorites and only limited meals on a trip.

2. Drink more milk-Milk does a body good, just ask Luke Skywalker.  I am looking forward to trying both the yellow and blue milk.

3. Stay at a new resort and have a resort day (or at least half a day)-It’s hard for me to stick to my own plans as there is always so much to see and do in the parks.  A runDisney trip is always good to keep me grounded back at my resort, especially this year with the marathon coming up.

4. Earn more runDisney bling and challenge myself to run farther in 2020-I know I got this one pretty easy.  But what will my next runDisney event be?

5. Escape to a Galaxy Far, Far Away-While I am not a huge Star Wars fan, I am looking forward to seeing the movies come to life at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

6. Travel by new ways-TIt is bad to hope to get stuck on the Skyliner for a little bit?  I am almost more excited about this ride than my favorite rides in the park.  

7. Take the time to see a show-Kinda like stopping to smell the roses for me.  I never seem to stop and enjoy all the great live entertainment around me while visiting Walt Disney World.

8. Eat more Mickey Bars-Not sure if I should confess this, but I cannot tell you when the last time was I ate a Mickey Bar.  I know shocker, I need to put down the Dole Whip for breakfast and eat that Mickey Bar for breakfast.

9. Get a new pair of Minnie Ears-So many ears, so many decisions.

10. Enjoy each moment & BLOG A LOT MORE!

What are you Disney or Walt Disney World Resolutions for 2020?  Drop me a comment below!

Tuesday’s on the Run: May Training Recap

Ony 96 more training runs until my first marathon, the Walt Disney 2020 Marathon!

Wow…can you believe that May is over?  Personaly, I am glad because that means summer vacation for this educator and a couple of months of morning running instead of afternoon runs in the heat and wind.  I so prefer morning runs!

Let’s take a look how May was in terms of my marathon training…

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Highs

  • Did not miss a single training run and even made up for the one I missed in April.
  • I ran my fastest pace EVER.
  • I ran my fastest mile EVER.
  • I learned that Jeff Galloway’s Magic mile formula for long runs really works!
  • I built up to 11 miles in running distance.
  • Finished another successful StepBet Challenge.
  • Officially into double digits of training runs left until 2020 Walt Disney World Marathon.

Lows

  • My weight loss has hit a plateau, mainly because I have not been focused and 100% on plan…modified plans get modified results.  I am holding steady at 35 pounds lost since November.

Goals for June

So what does June have in store in terms of running & training?  I actually have 2 races scheduled, Rock & Roll Seattle and the Slacker Half Marathon.  I am hoping to get a personal best time out of one of these races and break the 3 hour barrier, which has always been a goal of mine since I started taking running seriously.  I am also hoping to reach 40-45 pounds lost by my birthday at the end of the month.

How was your May training?  What are your goals for June?  Drop me a comment!

Tuesdays on the Run: April Recap

It’s the beginning of May and the end of my first official full month of training towards my first marathon and in true Tammie form it has been a month of highs and lows…

rr

Highs

  1. Long Run Distance-I will have built my distance to 8 miles of run walk intervals.   My pace is steady over the distance and is at where I have set in my own mind as what I need to do in order to  cross the finish line.
  2. Total Mileage in 2019-I hit the 500 mile mark earlier this month in my goal to reach 2019 by December 31 at 11:59 pm.  While I am behind I am hoping that summer will bring more time to get out there and just walk.
  3. Lots of Personal Records-It seems that each time I run, RunKeeper is telling me that I am shattering my own personal records.  It is totally amazing, getting almost 40 pounds off this body has made a huge difference not only to my time but to my physical well being.
  4. Injury Free-I am almost scared to write this but so far the hip, the shins, and the achilles are all playing nice with each other.  They have reminded my a couple of times that they are in control of this running thing but so far, so good.

Lows

  1.  Short Runs-While I have only missed 1 short run, I am struggling to get my short runs in each week, which is frustrating since it is only 2 miles or about 30 minutes.  I am so full of excuses and so tired at night. My afternoon runs are not pleasant, they feel sluggish. Come on summer, ready for some morning running.
  2. Weight Loss had Plateaued-This month I just lost the same 5 pounds about 4 times.  I am so close to the 40 pound mark but I just can’t seem to get there.

may

My goals for May are pretty straight forward…

  1. Build my Distance to 11 miles.
  2. Do  ALL of my short runs.
  3. Break the weight loss plateau and make it to as close to 45 pounds lost as I can
  4. Get to 700 miles by the end of May.

Tuesday’s on the Run:  On a Runner’s High

Call it a mid-life crisis if you want, but the candles numbering 50 this year got me really thinking about my bucket list and the urge to cross items off.  I actually have a couple of bucket lists going and one of those lists is focused “solely” on running. Honesty, I had pretty much prepared to throw that list in the trash can after so many miserably failed runs post Achilles tear over the last 2 ½ years.  But, I still had a race that I signed up for and I can’t stand wasting entry fees, let alone not do something that I said I was going to do (yes, I have a HUGE stubborn streak).

2019_WDW_marathon_weekend

I went into the Walt Disney World Half Marathon 2019 in January totally prepared to be swept from the race and end this whole running thing that has consumed me for the last 6 years.  I was VERY undertrained, had no confidence in my ability and worried that with each step would come another injury. However, that EARLY Saturday morning in January, I could not help but feel the excitement that comes with runDisney event and realized how much I was going to miss this.

Those butterflies where certainly clamoring around in my chest as I crossed the starting line, but I knew that if this was going to be my last race I was going to throw caution to the wind and have the time of my life because I wanted to go out at least on some sort of a positive. And not only did I do that…

I crossed that finish line without even a glimpse of those dread balloons and bikes, feeling strong, injury/pain free and on the biggest runner’s high there ever was.  

It’s funny how a runner’s high makes you feel invincible.  I have carried that high with me for now for over 3 months.  Runner’s highs also make you do crazy things, no more being “half” crazy for this middle aged mama.  I decided I was going to embrace my crazy side by going FULL ON crazy in January 2020 and cross off the biggest item on my running bucket list, a full marathon.  And there is no other full marathon that I can think of that might actually be fun to complete…

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Let the training begin…

Day 1:  De-Stress, Just Enjoy Being Home

snowwhite-dwarfs

Up until a week ago, I was supposed to be traveling tonight to Walt Disney World, but once again I found my sucked into the Twilight Zone with the floor dropping out from under me.  Instead of ending up with another anxiety attack over it, I gave myself one more Disney day and really treat myself because it is well deserved and VERY earned!

home

Today is about de-stressing and being home, but still within the  perimeters of new experiences…

Plans for today include:

  1. Breakfast at Be Our Guest (I hear they now mimosa’s)
  2. Massage at Senses in the Grand Floridian

-I might end up at All Star Pool, hotel room for a nap. or Food & Wine in the afternoon.  All of these options are on the table.

  1. Dessert Party and VIP Seating for Fantasmic!

-Afterwards, the night is still relatively young in terms of Disney time so I might go to Disney Springs or enjoy All Stars at night.   

Remember that I am doing a full out social media blitz this week to make you part of my “working vacation.” Content will be different on each site to make it fresh, so you will want to follow me on…

ta social page

I am also going to be giving everyone* following along and interacting, a chance to win up to $200 in a Disney Vacation Credit* as well as a few daily giveaways as a thank you for being a part of my “working vacation.”  The more you interact, the better chance you have to win.

“Heigh Ho, Heigh Ho It’s Off to Work I GO” Contest Rules & Details

There is so much magic waiting for me that I need to get going, I will C U real soon and remember that life is always better when you are wearing ears.

Tuesday’s on the Run: A Marathon Runs Through It

It’s Tuesday (okay, I know in reality it is Wednesday and I am a day late), so it’s time to link for Tuesday’s on the Run

images   Montana

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This past weekend, I crossed another state off my quest to “someday” complete a half marathon in every state with the Missoula (Half) Marathon. Why the Missoula Marathon?

brad2Maybe I was hoping to find a young Brad Pitt (circa 1992) waiting for me at the end with nothing but his waders on, after all “A River Does Run Through It” or should a say a marathon runs through it…

Seriously, If you are going to finish an event in every state is seems pretty clear that you pick the best one the state has to offer, and in this case the United States has to offer…

The Missoula Marathon has twice been named as the Best Marathon in the US (2010 by Runner’s World Magazine and in 2017 by BibRAVE).  It has also been named the 2017 Top Marathon for runners like me, Back-of-the-Packers, as well as a Top 10 Bucket List Marathon.

Missoula Marathon YOUTUBE VIDEO  

Now I know that I only completed the half (cause I am lazy that way), but for 10 miles of both events we shared the course…

The Missoula Marathon makes it look easy to be NUMBER 1…

The volunteers and Run Missoula Wild put on an event with EXCEPTIONAL RACE MANAGEMENT. From the moment I submitted my race registration in April, the Missoula Marathon provided weekly communication about the event via email newsletter.  Each week I looked forward to reading about Missoula as well as the race.  It was also nice to get a PRINTED race program at bib pick up, a keepsake. Bib pick up was easy and in a central location that also gave you insight into the finish set up, as well as a chip check for your bib (just in case you are one of those who are running for time).  Parking was easy, buses ran efficiently to the starting line.  The bag check as the best I have ever seen conducted, with a fleet of UPS trucks and men in brown and bags sorted according to bib number waiting on marked trucks as you made your way to the exit chute. The race start, with fireworks, went off smoothly and ON TIME. The finish was a well-oiled machine of stops (medal, bag, time tape, and food) before meeting back up with your own personal cheering squad.

It’s Montana! I knew going to be beautiful and being a fan of the movie (and book) “A River Runs Through it”, I already had my vision of the race course set in my head long before I completed the registration.  Missoula delivers on the promise of one of the most beautiful places to run (and I have completed mountain half marathons in both Colorado and New Mexico) with its 360-degree panoramic view of the mountains during sunrise, run along the river, charming homes on tree lined streets and the dramatic finish over the bridge and across the river into downtown Missoula.

But you want to know the real reason why Missoula is number 1…

The People of Missoula!  It felt like the entire town somehow came out on race weekend. From the countless volunteers who made sure not only did the race go off with out glitches but runners felt safe and welcomed, to the townsfolk who literally lined the sidewalks of the race course and offered their personalized spin on course entertainment…signs, cowbells, cowboys on horseback, a man playing a baby grand on his front lawn in tails, a string quartet, banjos, cowbells, unofficial course treats (including whiskey shots and popsicles) and just shouts of encouragement as you went past. There wasn’t any stretch of the race where there wasn’t someone cheering you on or a water sprinkler set up purposefully to keep you cooled off!

My experience with the Missoula Marathon demonstrated why in the movie that Brad Pitt’s character, Paul, would reply to his brother Norman “Oh, I’ll never leave Montana.” The Missoula Marathon makes you feel like you are part of the community, and who wants to leave a place where you are treated so well?

Oh yes and then there is the bling…

which is just about the size of the Big Montana Sky!