Tuesday, March 31

Breakfast: Cascade Fresh strawberry fat free yogurt

Lunch: egg foo yung, BBQ pork, jerk fried rice, and a snickerdoodle from Chino Bandido

Snack: 1/3 cup Craisins

Dinner: 16 oz Jamba Juice razzmatazz and Trader Joe’s plantain chips

Exercise: 3.1 miles (Adidas) – 4x400s, 1×800

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ESPN The Weekend 5k 2009 – Race Report

My sister and I arrived at WDW on Friday afternoon and since we had no other plans, we went to the Wide World of Sports to pick up my race packet. (I also had the option to do packet pick-up on race morning.) It was a (not very fun) adventure trying to navigate the bus system. I knew the Caribbean Beach resort wasn’t a host hotel for the race. So the only way to get to WWoS was to transfer at Hollywood Studios. It took some hunting to find the right bus stop, but the bus came pretty quickly.

Packet pick-up was easy with little fanfare. I signed a waiver, got my race bib, goody bag, and t-shirt and that was it. As usual, the t-shirt is too big, but it came in handy because I ended up wearing it to bed the rest of the trip. The goody bag had a Clif bar, a hand towel marked with the Cigna logo, and an air freshener.

I hadn’t read the final race instructions clearly, and didn’t realize there were no designated buses from WWoS to the host hotels on Friday. The original plan was for us to take a bus from WWoS to one of the hotels, then transfer to Downtown Disney. But after a long wait and no buses, we just went back to Caribbean Beach via the Hollywood Studios bus. Unfortunately I stayed up later than I would have liked that night and didn’t get to bed until around 11.

Saturday morning, I got up around 5am. I had arranged the night before with the concierge to have a taxi pick me up at 5:45. I got a little nervous when there was no taxi waiting for me, but a phone call to the taxi company (with no help from Disney) got another taxi over to me in only a few minutes. Even though it was early, I was (unnecessarily) worried about traffic. But it only took about five minutes to get to Hollywood Studios. I think I paid $10 for the ride, including tip.

The start and finish for the race was in the Hollywood Studios parking lot. Even though there weren’t very many participants, I thought Disney did a nice job setting up the facilities. There was a large tent for packet pick-up and bag check, an area with jugs of water, and plenty of port-a-potties with hand washing stations (a very nice feature). After seeing how this was done for the ESPN 5k, I was a little disappointed with the set up for the Princess races.

I went to an empty area of the parking lot for a short warm-up. I was surprised at how long it took my Garmin to start up… at least ten minutes. Then (in no particular order), I stretched, checked my bag, and visited the port-a-potty. I also had a short chat with a lady I sort of knew from the WISH team on disboards.com.

I think they had some famous sportscasters say a few words before the race, but I wasn’t really paying attention. Since I’m always by myself, I tend to wait until the last minute to head for the corrals. And this race was no different. I squeezed myself in somewhere around the middle of the 9-11 minute corral. The race started promptly at 7am.

The first mile was an out and back along a road outside the park. There wasn’t much to see, other than some type of toll booth area. In hindsight, I probably should have started further up in the corral. The course wasn’t jam packed, but for that first mile there were enough people that I couldn’t really run at my own pace without doing a lot of weaving. I wasn’t trying for a PR, but I did want to push myself a little to see how well I could do. I planned to be a little more competitive for the ESPN 5k and then take it easy for the Princess 5k.

There were two water stops on the course, but I didn’t stop at either. I never do at 5ks because the distance is so short. I didn’t remember this until I read someone else’s race report, but there were trivia signs set up along the course. I vaguely remember seeing them, but didn’t really pay attention because 1) I’m not a sports fan and 2) I was focusing on my running.

Miles two and three were almost completely inside the park. We ran through the Lights, Motors, Action area and as we ran past there was a person videotaping us and displaying the video up on the big screen that’s part of the attraction. I thought this was a really neat touch, even though I didn’t actually look up to see myself. Then we ran through an area that I think is part of the Backlot Tour. There was a tunnel with windows into the buildings where cast members work on costuming. Next was the “streets” area where we ran up the road and made a turn at the last minute right before the backdrop depicting the big hill.

The next part of the course took us past Muppets and the Miss Piggy fountain and Star Tours. Then we went around the lake and behind the sorcerer’s hat. I have to admit that I’m actually looking at the course map as I write this because nothing about this part of the course really sticks out in my memory. Mile three took us down Sunset Boulevard, the street leading to the Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster and Tower of Terror. This was the only place on the course where I remember seeing official photographers. We ran around the back of Tower of Terror and there were a few very small slopes here, but nothing to cause any difficulty.

The course went back down Sunset Boulevard and then toward the entrance. But just before the entrance it veered off into a backstage area (I think it’s where the parade floats come out.) with just a short distance to go before the finish line. Spectators were not allowed into the park to view the race, but there were a few cast members at different points of the course cheering us on. The finish line was a bit of a fanfare with members of the Harlem Globetrotters and the Miami Dolphin cheerleaders to encourage and congratulate the finishers.

I think this was the first Disney race to use the disposable orange D Tag. I’m glad Disney is adopting this new technology because it’s great not having to stop right after the race to remove a timing chip. The medal is a very nice silver medallion with a cut-out at the top shaped like a Mickey head. My only criticism is that it doesn’t say “inaugural” anywhere on the medal. At the finish area they had oranges, bananas, and muffins (I think) along with bottles of water and a sports drink. My official time was 27:42, an 8:55 minute per mile pace.

I stuck around afterwards to watch the kids races and the awards ceremony, while waiting for Hollywood Studios to open. Then I made may way over to the front of the park to catch a regular WDW bus back to Caribbean Beach.

Monday, March 30

Breakfast: Trader Joe’s strawberry cereal bar

Lunch: leftover pasta from Romano’s Macaroni Grill

Snack: 1/3 cup Craisins

Dinner: five garlic knots with marinara sauce and asiago caesar piadini with grilled chicken from NYPD Pizza

Dessert: Frango mint chocolate (northwest version!)

Exercise: 21 minutes Wii Fit

Sunday, March 29

Breakfast: blueberry cake donut and chocolate bismark from Lamar’s Donuts with milk

Snack: six strips of dried mango and one slice of bacon (not at the same time)

Workout Fuel: mint chocolate GU

Post-Run Drink: Shamrock Farms Rockin’ Refuel chocolate milk

Dinner: leftover stir-fried egg noodles

Dessert: 1/2 pint Ben & Jerry’s Dublin Mudslide

Exercise: 8 mile run (Adidas)

Trying to make feet happy

I wore the Asics for about 5-6 runs and they just weren’t working out for me. So I went back to Runner’s Den to see what they could do for me. Luckily they were nice enough to exchange the Asics for a new pair. The problem with the Asics and the other pairs I tried was that my heel seemed to slip. So the Runner’s Den employee suggested the Adidas Supernova Classic because they have a narrower heel. I ended up getting them in a 6.5.

Today I wore the Adidas for an eight mile run at Thunderbird Paseo Park. So far they seem to be working out well. I think my toes liked the extra room and I didn’t get the tingly problem at all. The only potential isse is that my orthodics didn’t fit right in the shoes so I ran without them. I had a slight ache near my left arch toward the end of the run, but it went away once I stopped running. Anyway, I’m going to try to make it out to The Sports Medicine Store in Scottsdale tomorrow. That’s where I got the orthodics and hopefully they can give me some advice.

I also ordered another pair of the Saucony ProGrid Hurricane 10 from Road Runner Sports. I moved up another size to a 6 since getting the advice that 5.5 is probably too small. My current pair is definitely worn out so I wanted to have them in case the Adidas don’t work out. They should be arriving by mail this week. Then I’ll have to make a decision about which shoes to wear for the race on Saturday.

Saturday, March 28

Breakfast: two Eggo buttermilk waffles with peanut butter and strawberry jam

Snack: small bowl of Annie’s white cheddar bunnies

Dinner: stir-fried egg noodles with chicken, peppers, carrots, mushrooms, and scallions

Dessert: junior mint cupcake with vanilla soy milk

Exercise: 1 1/2 hours of Wii Fit

More races and… a new bike!

I signed up for three more races on Wednesday night. I was already planning on the Disneyland 1/2 Marathon… it’s only 4-5 hours away from Phoenix, and I can get the cool Coast to Coast medal for doing both the Princess 1/2 and the Disneyland 1/2 in the same year. Of course I also signed up for the Disneyland 5k too. While I was registering online, I discovered a neat trick. The active.com website actually allows you to apply more than one discount code to the same race. I’m guessing this is a bug rather than intentional, but I was just happy to earn back a portion of the fees that I’ve paid to active.com over the past year.

The third race was the Fireside at Norterra Adventure Run. I’ve been having a hard time commiting to local races lately, but this is one I really, really want to do. It’s not a typical race following a set course. Instead they give you a map and you have to run to the five points shown on the map to collect different colored marks. Part of the adventure is finding the quickest route to get from point to point. I’m somewhat familiar with the area where the race is being held because I looked at a rental house out there last fall. But I may go scout out the area closer to the race since the map is already posted with the locations of four of the points… the fifth is a secret until race day.

In other news, I bought a new bike! Troy has been talking about getting a new bike for awhile. He (mostly jokingly) complains about how I’m never home so we thought he could ride along with me when I go out for my long runs. We finally got his bike last week. With all the talk about bikes, I started wanting one too. Originally I was going to wait another month or two, but seeing Troy’s bike made me so jealous that I decided not to wait any longer.

The timing was almost perfect because DNA Cycles (the place where Troy got his bike) was having a Ladies Night yesterday. (We decided it must not have been well advertised because I was about their only customer, other than a guy who came in for new shoes.) We had already pretty much decided which bike to buy, but I still wanted to take a test ride just to make sure the size was right. I can’t even remember the last time I rode a bike. Sometime in middle school probably. I had a lot of trouble keeping my balance at first, but after a few minutes I got the hang of it.

My new bike is a 13″ Mika HT in Gloss Candy Apple Red/Silver from Specialized. It’s slightly different from the one I test rode because I went with the cheapest model. Unfortunately that meant they had to special order it so I won’t actually have my bike until next week. But I did come home with a new helmet and gloves since they were offering 25% off all Specialized women’s accessories for the Ladies Night event. Apparently discounts are rare so I ended up with a great deal, especially on the helmet which is $100 regular price.

We were at DNA Cycles for so long that I didn’t have a chance to get a run in last night. So now the plan is to run tonight and Sunday, and try to cross-train at the gym on Saturday.