Sunday, December 19, 2010

You Gotta Know When to Hold, and Sometimes...

You gotta know when to fold 'em. As in after mile 4 of this morning's Ted Corbitt 15K race of death. I went into this with high hopes, after surviving the brutal weather conditions of last year's race. I really wanted to show Ted who was boss this year. Alas, finishing was not meant to be.

Last year, I was healthy on race day. Not so this week. I've been dealing with a major respiratory cold/bug/whatever since Tuesday. Yesterday morning in Central Park, I did a 4.04 mile run-walk in 1.01 hours, and didn't feel particularly bad afterwards. My warning sign should have been when I started losing my voice on the phone last night. It should also have been when I woke up wheezing and coughing a few times during the night. My body was trying to tell me something, but did I listen??? NOOOOOOOO!!! I was very intent on kicking Ted's ass. My plan was, at least according to whatever I wrote on my facebook page at somewhere around 5:30 this morning, to show up, attempt the first 4-mile loop, and then quit if I felt like death. At least I can say I stuck to my plan!

While it was not as brutally cold as last year's race, it's still December in New York City, and it was still cold. Maybe not, as my father would've said, "snot-freezing weather", but still cold enough at somewhere around 32 degrees (that's Fahrenheit, not Celsius, for those who weren't sure). Somewhere between the corral and the starting line, I lost my left glove. Fortunately, I had stashed my pair of dollar store gloves in my pocket, so I didn't have to do the race looking like a Michael Jackson impersonator. Then, somewhere before mile one, my left groin muscle started to hurt. Not horribly, but eventually enough to make the "run" part of "run-walk" pretty much out of the question. Special thanks go to my friend Liz and Coach Dari for hanging with me up until around the 4 mile mark. I was not a particularly happy camper, and was probably WAY not fun to walk with. (Note to Liz: Next race, if I'm not feeling 100%, RUN FAR AWAY and SAVE YOURSELF!!! Seriously, I won't be upset, nor do I want to inflict my pain on others - it may be in everyone's best interest to just leave me alone with my misery:-)

So, I get to around the 4 mile mark and just know it's time for "Plan B" to go into effect. I wasn't feeling well, and the thought of having to survive another 5 miles was just too much. So, I decided to stop. Not quit. Stop. There's a difference, and what happened next made that distinction very clear. There comes a time when, as Coach Dari put it, you have to listen to your body. Your body gives you signs and you really should listen to them. The way I see it now is that it's kind of like those cheesy horror movies I watch all the time. You know, when the young couple with the two kids gets a great deal on a house that is generally way, way, way out of their price range. That would be sign number one. Then they ask the realtor why the house is so cheap, and they get some lame-ass story that only people in a horror movie would believe. That's sign number two. Sign number three is when they go into town to do some food shopping, and get all sorts of funny looks when they tell people that they've just bought the old "Bates" place up the road. They still don't realize that something is wrong with that house. Usually, they don't realize it until the walls start dripping blood and the house starts yelling at them to "GET OUT!!!" That's a really BIG sign that they really SHOULD listen to, but DO they??? NOOOOO!!! They decide to fight whatever's possessing the house, which usually involves it having been built over a sealed portal to hell that's been re-opened or some old sacred burial ground. That's when it gets really messy.

So, what happened next that made me realize the difference between quitting and stopping? When I started barking. Yes, you read that correctly. I had just passed our head coach Michael and told him I was done and leaving. I got about 10-15 feet away, and I started making these very strange barking noises when trying to breathe in. It sounded like a barking seal. Now, I'm totally used to wheezing, and an occasional barking cough at some point during my semi-annual cold. But this was happening when I was inhaling, not exhaling, and I was having trouble breathing air in. Pardon my French, but that scared the fucking crap out of me! I have never, ever, even with my mild asthma, had problems getting air into my lungs, much less made strange barking sounds while trying to do so. Definitely my body telling me to "GET OUT!!!" So, I stopped, and, after a few more barking incidents, they eventually stopped, too. This was not about quitting or giving up, as much as it felt that way at the time. This was about stopping because I could not breathe. I even started crying at one point while I was changing into my warm clothes, which definitely didn't help matters any. Bad enough to be barking like a seal, but having a snotted-up nose from crying was just the icing on the cake!

(Edited to clarify, because someone expressed concern about this being something potentially more serious: The barking was not coming from my lungs, but from my throat, which, if this makes sense, felt like it was closing up. Don't know if it was due to over-exerting myself or some sort of emotional/stress-related thing, but it stopped once I stopped the race, and hasn't happened again since.)

Interestingly enough, once I got out of the race and out of the park and onto Fifth Avenue, I started to feel more human. I decided to try to walk down Fifth Avenue from East 102nd Street to 86th and Lexington to catch the subway. I started to relax, and made it down to the Metropolitan Museum, and a coffee vendor, at East 82nd Street. With hot coffee in hand, I decided to keep walking down Fifth Avenue for as long as I continued to enjoy the walk. I made it down to East 57th Street and still felt good. I stopped at Rockefeller Center both to see the tree and to use the restroom, and kept going. I made it all the way down to the #7 subway station at East 42nd Street, where I got on my train back to Queens.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Ice Baths: A New Form of Torture

Picture yourself running, run-walking or walking for two and a half hours in the freezing cold. Then picture immersing the lower half of yourself in a tub full of ice cubes and cold water for 10-15 minutes (or just plain ice cold tap water, if you're a weenie like me), while wearing a sweatshirt on your upper half to keep warm. Doesn't sound very fun, does it? Supposedly, it helps with your recovery after a long run.

The last time I attempted anything remotely like this was after I finished my first marathon, at Walt Disney World in January 2010, and that was only lukewarm water. I just attempted it a few minutes ago with ice cold tap water. Interestingly (and fortunately), I didn't freeze my ass off. However, my upper leg muscles would not stop shivering and quivering like a bowl of flesh-colored Jell-O. It also helps if you set the timer on your watch for 10 minutes instead of 10 hours. Fortunately, I checked the clock on my bathroom wall before I got in!

Whether it helps with my recovery remains to be seen. I'll have to see how I feel when I wake up tomorrow morning. Right now, though,I think I'll go and sit on my radiator for a while.

Funny Congratulations Card for Marathoners - Ice Bath
(I can't believe they actually sell a greeting card featuring an ice bath on Amazon!)

A Lovely Stroll Along the West Side Highway

If you would like to make a donation to support my Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Team in Training fund raising efforts, please go to

Today, our training session consisted of a lovely stroll along the West Side Highway. For those of you who do not live in the New York City area, the West Side Highway runs along the Hudson River, and there's a very nice, scenic and most importantly, FLAT running and biking path that extends pretty much along the entire west side of Manhattan. It's a really great place to get out and go for a walk, run or run-walk. It is also right on the water, making it really cold out there on days like today, when the high temperature is 40 degrees or below. (NOT to be confused with 40 below - I think I'd kind of have to draw the line and say "NO WAY, José!" if that was the case!)

I went through this particular form of torture last winter season during training, so I had a pretty good idea of what I had to look forward to today. I started trying to get myself psyched into it around 7:00 PM last night. I made myself get my clothes, sports drinks, a change of warm clothes for afterwards, etc. ready, so that all I would need to do when the alarm went off at 5:30 AM would be to get dressed, wash my face, brush my teeth, throw some make up on my face (yes, I try to spare my team mates from seeing me without makeup), have some coffee and spend some quality time on facebook before I have to leave the house to catch the 7:20 AM bus to the Main Street Flushing subway station (more on that later). So, everything was all ready to rock-'n'-roll before "Judge Judy" time.

Fast-forward to when my alarm went off this morning. Now, any other morning, when I don't have to wake up at the butt-crack of dawn, I am up, semi-alert and half-caffeinated usually before 6:00 AM. For some reason, whenever I have to be up at that hour, I need to set both alarms on my dual-alarm clock, and hit the snooze button several times before I actually get out of bed. This morning was no exception. The only difference this morning was that I allowed myself to chant "I hate this part, I HATE this part!" about twenty times OUT LOUD before getting out of bed. I scared the crap out of my cats, Tigger and Gateway! They just looked at me and ran out of the bedroom at about 90 mph. For some reason, it worked. I got out of bed, put the coffee on, fed Tigger and Gateway (not necessarily in that order), and turned on my computer and my cell phone. Sometime after I shut my phone off for the night, I had received a message from one of my coaches in response to something else and part of it said:
"...for what it's worth, you are earning a hell of a lot of respect this season. Well deserved, too, I might add. Keep up the good work."
I quote that text message not to pat myself on the back, but to illustrate the difference between how I see my training efforts vs. how others see them. That, and to show how, whenever I need an extra shot in the arm to keep going, one magically seems to appear at just the right time. How could I possibly not show up for this morning's tort... I mean trainining session after that???

The NYC Mass-Transit Gods were with me again this morning. Not that he reads this or anything, but I have to give a huge shout-out to the driver of the 7:20 AM Q65 bus on Saturday mornings. The man is always on time. He's like clockwork (and yes, I've thanked him for it!) Ditto for the MTA #7 train crews for keeping those running amazingly well on Saturday mornings. I can honestly say that mass-transit issues are not a regular part of my Saturday mornings. Everything runs like clockwork on Saturdays.

So, I made it to Central Park on time, and with a bit of trepidation, took off the fleece vest I had been wearing under my jacket and left it with the rest of my warm clothes at bag watch. Did I mention it was COLD outside??? At any rate, it all worked out amazingly well. I had basically decided that my goal this morning was to show up, and that anything else was a bonus. I had planned on walking this morning instead of run-walking, so I had two walking buddies, one of which was my fellow blog-buddy, Joanne. Having walking buddies really helped all of us keep our minds off of how cold it was and how much further we had to go. Surprisingly, it wasn't as cold as I thought it would be, and didn't get that cold until we were on the way back and got near Chelsea Piers. I also surprised myself by run-walking a good portion of it, although my "run" was more like a slow jog today. I started run-walking it when I started feeling my hamstrings getting a bit tight, and it really helped. I'm still not sure what my goal is going to be in terms of run-walking for the Walt Disney World Marathon. Am I going to try to run-walk the entire thing, or just use it as a tool when I need it to keep me going? I may not know until that morning, and that's okay. I'll pack my Gymboss either way.

The end result was that we did it. Two and a half hours and 8.75 miles later, we were DONE!!! Now, I just have to decide if I want to attempt a 10K race tomorrow morning in Central Park, or be a total slug. Stay tuned...

Monday, November 22, 2010

I Survived My First Race as a Run-Walker, and Other Amazing Feats

I'm not quite sure how I managed to do it, but I survived my first race as a run-walker yesterday. I also, apparently, had a sex-change operation and moved in the process, based on the official results above. Not only was it my first race as a run-walker, it was also my very first race where my official pace was under 15 minutes/mile! Not bad for a 47 year old man from Colorado!

Now I'm trying to figure out how I'm going to manage that for an entire 26.2 mile marathon. (The run-walking, not the sex-change!) The running felt good, up to a point. I still feel like an elephant when I run, and I'm not sure why. I don't feel graceful at all! My legs feel like lead. I don't know if it's a physical thing, a mental thing after weighing over 300 pounds for 15+ years, or a combination of both. I'm still not sure that the running thing is for me. The one thing I do know, though, is that I feel a lot more flexible after a run-walk than I have after any of my long walks. I'm nowhere near as stiff afterwards, and I don't walk around looking like my mother before she had both of her hips replaced. Today, I'm a little stiff, but I'm guessing that's because between yesterday and Saturday, I put over 15 miles on my pedometer. I think I'm entitled to be a little stiff.

On another note entirely, I've made an interesting discovery the past few weeks about how some runners view race walkers. Twice in the past three weeks, I've had runners mention how they don't know how race walkers manage stay on their feet as long as we do. It's interesting, because while I know it takes me longer to finish a marathon as a walker, I never thought that runners would see that as an accomplishment. I've always viewed it in terms of me being older and slower and somehow inferior to runners. I never really looked at it as an advantage. I certainly never thought runners saw it that way. Interesting.

I have also, and I may seriously need to have my head examined for this decision, signed up for the annual Ted Corbitt 15K in Central Park on December 19th. Last year, we had temperatures of 10 degrees with a wind-chill of something like 4-below, followed by a snowstorm. For some of my fellow Team In Training friends and I, surviving it last year has become a sort of sick and twisted badge of honor. I still have my shirt from last year's race as a token of my survival. We hated that race so much, that participating this year has become sort of mandatory for the members of what we've begun referring to as the "Cult of TED". If you're anywhere near Central Park on December 19th, come and cheer for us! We will definitely need all the cheering we can get. Last year, my friend Norma and I came in third and fourth from last. We took a twisted pleasure at the thought of being the last ones to finish. We were actually disappointed that we weren't THE back of the pack! We're moving up though. Yesterday we were 112th and 114th from last!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Have I Mentioned That I HATE Blisters?

So, last Wednesday I attempted run/walking for the first time. Not bad! I not only survived it, I felt GREAT the next day. Saturday, I did it again for a total of an hour and forty minutes - one minute of running for every two minutes of walking. Somewhere during my 6.42 miles, I developed a blister. By the time I got home, I had not only logged 11.25 miles, I had rubbed the skin on my one toe raw. Seems the band aid I had put on my other toe rubbed the one next to it in a very wrong way. Lovely! Note to self: Don't use non-latex fabric band aids on your feet - EVER!

So, here I sit on a #7 train on my way home instead of training for my marathon. It's frustrating. I'm crabby and cranky, and writing this blog on my new DROID X using Blogger-droid. If there are no typos, I'll be amazed.

Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.5

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Poland Springs 5-miler, New Shoes and O.M.G. I Actually RAN!

If you would like to make a donation to support my Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Team in Training fund raising efforts, please go to

Yup, you read that right, I actually RAN last night! We had a speed training workout in Central Park, consisting of three sets of a hard speed workout half mile, followed by a "recovery" half mile. My coach Dari has been encouraging me to try run/walking, and last night, coach Bethany succeeded in getting me to actually do it. For my hard speed workout half miles, I did intervals of one minute of running and two minutes of walking.

Also this week, we did the Poland Springs NYC Marathon Kickoff 5 mile race in Central Park on Sunday. Fortunately, my friend Liz was walking with me, or I would've slacked off a bit. It was a pretty intense workout, but the weather was gorgeous and most of my team mates were there at the finish line (which is the SAME finish line that will be crossed by those running the NYC Marathon on Sunday) to cheer for us. I had this GREAT finish line "TA-DA!" pose, but for some reason, it never made it to the race photo site. I wasn't the only one minus a finish line photo, so I guess it's nothing personal. I finished in 1:17:48, with an average pace of 15:33 according to the NYRR official results. Not too shabby!

The race was an excellent opportunity to put my new asics 2150s to the test. These were suggested to me by the staff at Urban Athletics, as a lighter version of the asics Gel Kahana 3s that got me through last year's marathon. They are PERFECT! Even more perfect, is that they were on sale for 50% off for Team in Training members!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Your Chance to Win an MP3 Player!

Tomorrow, I will be racing 5 miles in the Poland Spring Marathon Kick-off in Central Park. Everyone who donates $25 or more via my fundraising page between today and tomorrow will be entered for a chance to win a 1GB Creative Zen MP3 player.

Monday, October 25, 2010

My Walk This Morning

Courtesy of

And the Nike+ version:

I Think I May Be the Oldest Person on Our Team

For real. Seriously. Unless there's someone else on the Team in Training NYC Chapter Winter Season team who's over 47, I may very well be the oldest person on our team. I could possibly be old enough to be the mother of pretty much most members of our team. Actually, far from the age thing bothering me, I think it's pretty cool. I guess it kind of makes me a mascot of sorts.

The thing that I have to remember is that, especially after being 100+ lbs heavier for almost 20 years of my life, I am not 27 years old anymore. My body is not in the same shape as it was, and it will probably never be in the same shape as my much younger team mates. I sort of forget that occasionally, and have a habit of beating myself up over it. For example, as part of my Team in Training Fast Track mentor duties, I took a spin class back in the spring. I had to bail after about 40 minutes. I beat myself up over not finishing for a while. Then I realized something. Let's face it - taking your first spin class at the ripe old age of 46, after weighing over 300 lbs for a good part of your adult life is a lot different than taking your first spin class at 27, when you're in reasonably good shape. The fact that I survived 40 minutes of it is quite an achievement in itself! Three years ago, when I weighed in at somewhere around 275 lbs I don't think I would've lasted 5 minutes, let alone 40!

My recent training sessions have also proven that I'm in better shape this year than I was last year. I've had this feeling for the past few weeks that I'm nowhere near where I should be at this point in my training. Two weekends or so ago, I took Harlem Hill in Central Park uphill at under 14:45/mile, mostly around 14:30/mile. Last year when I did Harlem Hill for the first time, I was somewhere around 16:30/mile. I'm also not wimping out on hill repeats. This past week, thanks to some great motivation from a couple of mentees, I pushed it for an extra repeat up the hill, and it felt great!

I just have to watch that I don't start getting too cocky about my ability to finish the marathon because I've done it already. I think that's going to be the biggest mental challenge. Last year it was the fear and panic that I wouldn't finish. But I've been there, done that and know that I can do it now - even at the ripe old age of 47!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Crawl, Carol, CRAWL!!! - The Sequel: I'm Doing it AGAIN!!!

Forget “Run, Forrest, RUN!” I’m doing it AGAIN!!!

LAST YEAR: I DID IT!!! I walked all 26.2 miles in the Walt Disney World Marathon on 1/10/2010. It only took me 7:23:03 (that's 7 hours, 23 minutes and 3 seconds) to do it, too!

YOU DID IT!!! You helped me cross that finish line! Your generous donations and moral support were what kept me going after around mile 18, when things got a bit tough. THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!

THIS YEAR: Not only am I doing it again, I've also signed up as a Team Disney Mentor! I’ll be training to race walk the full marathon in Walt Disney World to support The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's Team in Training, AND helping new team members get the most out of their Team in Training experience. I'm committing to walking 26.2 miles in this event, and beating last year's time. I may even attempt the “Goofy Challenge” – a 13.1 mile half marathon on Saturday, followed by a full 26.2 mile marathon on Sunday.

In doing so, my goal is to raise $3,000 for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society by November 15th to help bring hope and at least some ease of mind to people facing blood cancers like leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s lymphoma and myeloma.
Your donation can make such a huge difference. It funds research, assists patients with small reimbursements for treatment expenses, provides training for peer support programs, and most important- it brings hope to so many. Please donate what you can. I know the economy is tough on us all, but please think as big and dig as deep as you're able. Every dollar counts, and at least 75% of your donation goes directly into cancer research and patient support programs. Also, your donation is 100% tax deductible.

Every single dollar makes a difference!

Please visit my website to donate:

If you're not able to donate, there are loads of other ways you can help me make this happen. I've listed them below. They're equally important and greatly appreciated.

Some other ways you can help me Crawl, Carol, CRAWL!!!:

  • If you have a blog or website, if you could post a link to my Team in Training website with a small blurb like the one below, it will help tremendously:
Crawl, Carol, CRAWL!!! - Please support Carol as she trains to walk in her first marathon to raise funds for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Team in Training.

Thanks for taking the time to read and for anything you can do to help me
Crawl, Carol, CRAWL!!!

Friday, May 21, 2010

AIDS Walk a Success!

Just a quick update before I forget. The AIDS Walk last weekend in Central Park was a huge success! The weather was great (which makes up for the miserable More/Fitness Magazine Half Marathon weather), and I finished the 10K walk in under two hours. By the end of the day, I had 9.89 miles on my pedometer, and a nice bag of free food! Total raised so far is $125.00 (there's still time to donate).

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Oh Well, I Tried

Had to call it quits after about 2 miles of the More Magazine/Fitness Magazine Half Marathon on Sunday. It was pouring rain, and I was soaked before I got to the starting line. Had my feet not been squishing around inside 2 pairs of absolutely soaking wet socks, I might have hung in there. However, one thing I don't mess with is my feet. (Okay, that's two things:). Long story short, three years ago, I ended up in the hospital not once, but twice with cellulitis, which apparently entered through cracks in my heels. My heels were severely cracked and it took over a year before they fully healed. So, call me over-cautious, but once I felt my feet start giving me grief, I called it quits.

I know I made the right decision, but I'm really disappointed that the weather was so bad that I had to make that decision. I know I wouldn't have lasted 13.1 miles in the downpour. Not without head-to-toe waterproof attire, anyway! I'm already looking for water-wear for the next rainy race:

Saturday, April 17, 2010

I'll Be Walking For MS

If you would like to help support the National MS Society, I will be walking in Walk MS NY tomorrow. You can make a donation at

I've registered for Walk MS because I want to put my marathon-walking legs to more good use, and do something for several of my friends who have been diagnosed with MS. I walk because I can, and because I want to do everything to prevent more people from learning what it means to live with this disease.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Over 7 Miles Before Noon Today

Today, we had our training session up at the Jaqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir in Central Park. It was nice seeing it in daylight. I was really focused on my race walking, so I didn't stop to take any pictures, unfortunately. It was a great day for it, too! The sun was shining and the temps were in the 60s.

Since I was running early this morning, I got off the subway at my usual 59th and Fifth Avenue station, and walked up to East 91st and Madison to meet up with my team, did my training session, and then walked back down to 59th and Fifth Avenue. By the time noon rolled around, I had put 7.28 miles on my pedometer. Right now, at the end of the day, I'm up to 8 miles. Show you how lazy I was after I got home, doesn't it? :-)

On another note, in less than 3 weeks, I will be walking in Walk MS New York to raise funds for The National MS Society. I'm planning to walk the full 6 mile route, weather permitting. The following weekend, I'll be race walking in the More/Fitness Magazine Half Marathon. These will be followed by AIDS Walk in May, and Walk Now for Autism in June. Then, a much-needed rest until I start gearing up for Walt Disney World 2011!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

I Got My Butt Kicked at Bootcamp!

I'm now mentoring a group of participants in the New York City chapter of Team in Training's Fast Track program, which culminates in a 4 mile "Run for the Parks" race in April.

As part of my mentoring, I get to endure the same tortu... I mean enjoy the same workouts and training sessions as my mentees! Sunday's was a bootcamp workout with Jasmine Graham of Jasmine does a GREAT workout with fantastic music. She really gets you working hard (and you really find out "how LOW can you GO?") I wimped out after about 36 minutes, but I managed to survive and felt all the muscles I had worked when I woke up Monday morning. However, I realized that I was probably the oldest person in the room, so I didn't beat myself up too badly for wimping out.

This week, I get to enjoy a fun spin class. I've never been to one, and I haven't been on an exercise bike in years, so this should be quite an experience!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The marathon may be over, but the blog (and fund raising) continue...

While this blog was initially started to record my training and other "adventures" leading up to my first marathon, I've decided to continue the blog to include my current and future race walking efforts, as well as updates on my fund raising walks between now and next year's Walt Disney World Marathon for The Leukemia &Lymphoma Society's Team in Training.

Next up on my charity walk schedule is Walk MS New York 2010, to take place at the South Street Seaport in Manhattan on Sunday, April 18th. I have a choice of a 3 or 6 mile route. Since I'll be race walking in the More/Fitness Magazine Half Marathon in Central Park the following Sunday, I may opt for the 3 mile route instead of the full 6 miles. I'll see how I feel that morning. If you would like to make a donation to help my fund raising efforts for those with MS, you may do so at

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


This is a must-have for all my fellow Team in Training friends.

Bell Canada is offering a free cowbell app for your iPhone, Blackberry or Samsung Omnia. I've downloaded it on my Blackberry and it really works! While they created it mainly for Team Canada in the Olympics, it's a great way to show support for our fellow TNTers when carrying a cowbell isn't possible:-)


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

26.2 Miles Later...

I did it! I crossed the finish line of my first (and possibly last) full marathon. (Yeah, I know - I say that now.)

I think one of the most amazing things (besides actually being able to see and cross the finish line) was that I did it all with only one pit stop during the race at Mile 9, without another one until I got back to my hotel room after the marathon. We're talking almost 6 hours without a pee break. Considering the amount of water and Power Ade that I drank at each station, and the fact that it was freezing-ass COLD out there, that's nothing short of miraculous!

All in all, I held up pretty well physically. Some minor annoyances like a small blister at the bottom of my little toe that started at around Mile 23, and my left knee started to bother me a little bit after Mile 10, probably due to the pitch in the road. Mentally was another story altogether. There were some long stretches of highway walking - particularly between the starting line at EpCot and the Magic Kingdom. On the plus side, they were flat. On the minus side, they were B-O-R-I-N-G! They were also just a bit windy in spots. Just a bit. I think my worst stretch mentally and physically was between miles 18-24, especially between miles 20-21! (Those of you who were there know what I mean:-) My best miles pace-wise were miles 1-10.

My best miles mentally were miles 24-26.2, when one of my coaches met me and walked through EpCot's World Showcase with me as far as mile 26. It was like strolling through my "home away from home" at Disney. The best part (aside from crossing the Finish Line) was having an unplanned cheering section made up of my friends, the fabulous and wonderful World Showcase Players, who were starting a show right as I passed the United Kingdom pavillion. That was AWESOME!!! Talk about perfect timing!

More to follow a bit later (because there's SO MUCH more great stuff to tell), but I wanted to write at least this much down before I forgot it all. It was a great experience!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Less Than 10 Days to Go!

I can't believe it's almost here! After all this training and fund raising, the day of reckoning is quickly approaching.

I've already started packing for the trip, although I'll probably re-pack and re-organize my stuff several times between now and when I actually leave for the airport. My race day clothes are picked out and ready to put in my carry-on, along with a backup outfit just in case. My Disney park pass "will call" confirmation is printed out in triplicate, and with copies stored in my wallet, my carry-on and my suitcase, again "just in case". I've printed out two copies of my marathon waiver, packed my iPod charger and Blackberry charger, and am charging up my camera batteries as I type this. My plan is to take both my iPod Nano and iPod Shuffle with my Nike+ Sportband as my "Plan B".

I know I've over-packed some clothes, and I'll be narrowing them down within the next few days, so that I have two outfits for each day of my trip - one warm weather outfit, and one for chillier weather. I have a set of "dispose-a-clothes" to wear in the chillier early-morning temps on race day while I wait for the race to start. I have a checklist a half a mile long to make sure I don't forget anything. I think I'll relax once I'm actually in the airport with the rest of my team!