Sunday, February 23, 2014

A BRAND NEW Nordic Track Treadmill! Yes please... BUT I NEED your vote!

Okay folks!  I do a lot of treadmill running in my training and fitness regime.  It has helped me lose a lot of weight (over 60 pounds) and reach goals I never thought possible! (6 Half Marathons in one year!)   

When I first started running over a year and a half ago training a lot on the treadmill worried me... I worried it wouldn't be good enough for me to train on a treadmill and then go and try to do road races.  Over time I have realized that it helps to get outside when I can but the treadmill is a very good and effective tool at this stage of life... I have 3 younger children... I have a commuting husband that is gone a lot during the week and I live in the Pacific Northwest (it can be a little rainy here from time to time).  My family uses my treadmill too... my husband is sporadic but is trying to be more faithful about workouts... my 7 year old daughter is training for a 5K we are doing together in April! 

My daughter and I at a local 5K we did together...  
The whole family at another local 5K... (I told you it rains here)

I am a huge fan of Another Mother Runner (the books, the blog, the BAMRunners themselves). BAMR stands for Bad Ass Mother Runner ... sorry if that is too graphic for some but I love it.  I actually got called Bad Ass recently when a friend was asking about my recent trip to Disneyland to run the Tinker Bell Half Marathon and run the Inaugural 10K on back to back days.  Bad Ass... okay!

Recently AMR offered a creativity contest on their blog...  to enter and win a brand spankin' new Nordic Track Treadmill - a super nice one that I could never ever afford.  Here is a picture of her... isn't she beautiful?

For the contest you had to work a little okay maybe a lot... basically they asked you to customize your dream treadmill display to whatever you wanted... the sky is the limit...  then email in a photo of the display and they would choose a winner on February 22nd.  So I warmed up the creative juices... worked on an entry and sent it in! 

Yep... that was February 22nd.  Instead they posted on February 22nd that they couldn't decide a winner and were going to leave it up to the masses to decide.  Seriously... down to a popular vote...alrighty then...

Here is my creative Entry...

So on the Another Mother Runner Blog in no particular order are their "Top Ten" entries they picked of the ones that they received.  In no particular order they are listed HERE - and I say again they are in no particular order.  Mine is #10 - they titled mine the "EZ Button Treadmill".  Vote for #10 - did I say vote for #10?

I could go and take a quick photo of the sad example of a treadmill I have currently and go on and on about how much I (we) really need a new treadmill. (all of which is true) 

The voting for the contest is open until Friday - February 28th at 12pm - I am not sure if you can vote more then once... but you can bet I will go back tomorrow to check.

I will just get to the point!  Could you take a second and click over HERE and vote for #10?  I will order up some special pixie dust that will come down all over you for voting for #10!  


Friday, February 7, 2014

Tinker Bell Half Marathon 2014 - Race Recap

Let me start by saying that I can't believe it is over... again.  I was prepared this time around about how I would feel when I returned home.  Participating last January 2013 in my first runDisney weekend at Disneyland was also my FIRST Half Marathon... a huge deal to me and something I worked VERY hard towards.  The emotions are high when participating in such an event... I must also add that I do not have the budget to do multiple runDisney events... so for me this was it.  When I came home last year after our time at Disneyland I felt like crawling in a hole.   To have this goal out in front of me for months and months... working towards it and then accomplishing it was awesome but also a learning experience of pacing myself.  I have learned that I need goals in front of me to keep myself motivated.   That is an entirely different post...  SO lets get back to the business at hand here... How was the Tinker Bell Half Marathon 2014?

First of all... I felt so fortunate to be able to go back and repeat this experience in 2014!  It was AWESOME (again)!   I still can't believe I have 2 Tinker Bell Half Marathon Medals hanging in my house... (actually 3 because I ran the Inaugural 10K on January 18th as well and you can read about it HERE.) 

This year I traveled with Carrie, a friend of mine from home.  My awesome husband stayed in Washington with our 3 kids... Carrie and I stayed at the same hotel as my husband and I had in 2013.  We flew down from Seattle in the wee hours of Wednesday, January 15th... prior to the weekend activities we got a couple of Park days in before the weekend began.  In 2013 I did this the opposite with our Park days mostly after the race weekend.   After experiencing both approaches... I much prefer the Park days after but either way it was fun and low crowds on those days made it so much fun!  (Walking on to Radiator Springs Racers was awesome! #nolineonwednesday)

The Half Marathon was on Sunday, January 19th.  Exactly 364 days since I had run my first Half Marathon... right there at the same magical place!  This Tinker Bell Half Marathon would be my 6th Half in one year!  Wow!  What a year!  My friend Carrie and I were prepared for the early morning wake up.  We had laid out our race necessities the night before so when that alarm went off at 3am we were ready!

We stayed just off Disney property at the Best Western Stovall on the corner of Katella and Disneyland DrIn my opinion there just isn't an off property hotel with a better location and set up for runDisney Race Weekends.  Free Breakfast, reasonable prices, and close proximity to the Racing area... just can't beat it!  Did I mention the reasonable price?  We saved so much!

We made our way to the Corrals on Disneyland Dr which was literally just a few minutes walk from our hotel room door.   I was in Corral C and Carrie was in Corral E... so at this point we parted ways and wished each other luck!  I walked on down to Corral C and entered the fenced off area.  There were volunteers checking our Bibs for the correct Corral assignment to prevent folks from entering a corral that wasn't assigned to them.   Being a "rule follower" I appreciated the checkers and said thank you to them.

  It is dark at 4:15 in the morning!
 I got to my corral in plenty of time and was very near the front of the C Corral.  The race was scheduled to begin at 5am.  It was probably about 4:15 or so when I entered my corral.  The weather was perfect... I can't remember the exact temperature that morning but it wasn't that chilly and I was just fine.  I had brought a throw away jacket and found out after 15 minutes or so that I really didn't need it.   Time went by fairly quickly especially after the announcers began their banter prior to the start of Corral A at 5am.  It seemed to be about 5 minutes between the release of each corral so before I knew it... it was our turn!

above photo credit - runDisney

 We stepped up to the start line and we were off!  The course was very similar to what I had remembered from 2013.  I am including a course map for your enjoyment.    We started out on Disneyland Dr just like the 10K did the day before and then made a right onto Ball Rd and then another right onto Harbor Blvd. and then headed into the Backstage areas and into the Parks.

We started out in California Adventure and then across the Esplanade to Disneyland Park.  Amazing fun!  Pictures are the best way to tell the story...

 World of Color and Mickey's Fun Wheel

Carthay Circle and the Red Trolley at California Adventure
I am not really a "stand in line for the characters" kind of girl during the races but I love to stop for good photo ops... I do stop and take pictures of the characters but usually do not prefer wait in the lines.

After the course wrapped through California Adventure we headed across the Esplanade and into Disneyland Park.


 Running through the castle to Fantasyland

 Backstage areas... the Train!

Circle D!!!  My Favorite!  Home to the Happiest Horses on Earth!

This is Lucky!  I want to bring him home with me!

Soon we were heading out of the parks and onto the friendly streets of Anaheim.

This is a quick selfie of a friend of mine named Ellen and I... she drove up from San Diego to run Tinker Bell.  We hadn't actually seen each other yet... she didn't turn in a proof of time and had to start in Corral F... she ran all the up from the back and caught me about mile 6... then went onto to finish in just 2 hours!  She is AWESOME fast!  I am so not worthy!

I had not noticed these signs in 2013... maybe they are new.  These signs were along the route in some of the Anaheim residential neighborhoods.

The Finish!

The route through the streets of Anaheim was pleasant... many high schools had come out with their bands and cheerleaders to keep the runners motivated and happy!  One group in the downtown area was even handing out red vines to the runners.  Generous for sure!  The race itself was awesome... plentiful water and powerade on the course.  

 Ellen and I celebrating!
 Merritt and I with our medals! 
(Merritt is a friend from home and came to run her first Half at Tinker Bell!)

 Carrie coming into the FINISH! 
Just 3 girls from Stanwood, Washington 
with our Tinker Bell Half Marathon BLING!

I had so much fun this year... when the Half was over I was so sad.  I only had that day left at the Parks and then was headed home on a very early flight Monday morning.  The race was so well organized and the weather was perfect!   For 2015 the Tinker Bell Race Weekend is moving to May on the Mother's Day weekend.  I am not sure if I will be able to come back in 2015... funds are tight and my poor kids need a trip sooner or later.  I am going to try my best to make it happen!  We were able to get them there in December of 2011.  I have been 3 times without them now and they haven't even seen Carsland yet.  I do feel a bit guilty about that.

I would love to encourage anyone to consider training for a runDisney event.  Such an amazing experience!  I thoroughly loved every moment (both years)!  Thank you runDisney for a terrific time!  I can't wait to do it all over again!

Both of my hard earned medals from the Half Marathon and the 10K that had taken place the day before.  I am also wearing a "Challenge" Medal that I purchased through a fundraiser that commemorates finishing both races in 2 days!  This is taken outside the door of our hotel room... this gives somewhat of a good perspective how close we were to the Parks.

Did you run Tinker Bell this year?  What was your favorite part?

If you could participate in a runDisney race other than Tinker Bell - which race sounds fun to you?

Have you run other runDisney races?  Which one is your favorite?
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