We are training for our next half marathon. Today was the first long day with some speed work. The plan for today was five miles easy, six miles at half marathon pace, and finish off with two miles easy to cool down. The weather was perfect.
The first five miles was pretty comfortable. They were 9:32, 9:03, 9:01, 8:49, and 9:42. We slowed down in the last mile so The Blonde could tie her shoe and we could take some fuel.
I started off the hard six pretty well. My times were 6:59 and 7:03. That was right on target. However, I was definitely spending a lot of energy. My third mile I dropped off a bit at 8:01. At this point I was beating myself up a bit and told myself I was half way through, only a 5k to go. My last three miles were faster than my third mile, but slower than my first two at 7:30, 7:53, and 7:50. I was definitely slowing down. I hit the start of mile 12 and just started walking. Most of this part of the route was uphill, so I was completely comfortable with that. I did a bit of run / walk up the hill. 11:14 was my time for that mile, one of the slowest miles I have done in a long time. I finished off with a 9:40 pace for mile 13. And of course, you can’t run 13 miles without running at least an extra .1. Overall, I did 13.1 in 1:53:15 for an overall pace of 8:38.
I was definitely pushing it today, given my stats from Strava.
Today’s post is brought to you by the – you guessed it – number 3!
I have been on the AdvoCare 24-Day Challenge for 3 days and have lost a total of 3 pounds, bringing my weight down to 133.3. Oh, and tomorrow I will be 33 🙂
The Challenge is going very well so far and has not been as sacrificial as I had imagined. I find myself eating more than ever, but I’m eating as I should (cleanly) and at regular intervals. My mood has also improved significantly, but I’m not sure if it’s the stability in blood sugar or the motivation from seeing numbers go down on the scale (The Bald would say it’s the former!).
I have even managed to find a breakfast I actually enjoy and can get down easily in a reasonable amount of time. 1 egg, 1 egg white, and bacon sandwiched on a Costco-brand wheat round:
Mmmmm…can’t wait for breakfast tomorrow. And my morning run (60 mins easy followed by a strength routine). And the impeding birthday celebration(s). I don’t plan on having cake, but I may splurge and have some bubbly (alcohol = no-no during cleanse)… just 1 glass, definitely not 3 🙂
“If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.” Henry Ford
Recently, I was introduced to the AdvoCare product line. If you’re not familiar with AdvoCare, it’s a line of all-natural supplements designed for weight loss/management, energy, sports performance, and overall wellness.
One of the products in the AdvoCare line is the 24-Day Challenge:
Upon hearing about the Challenge, I was skeptical; however, after seeing the amazing results a few friends and my mom have had during just the first week, I committed to taking the Challenge myself. I mean, what do I have to lose besides some pesky unwanted pounds/inches?
Lately, I’ve been feeling, for lack of a better term, like poo. I’ve had no energy and not feeling as good as I could during my runs. I’m not out of shape in any way, nor am I overweight, but I’ve been unhappy with the way my clothes fit and wanted to make a positive change. The Challenge seemed to be a relatively easy and safe method to rid myself of 6-7 lbs and improve my running performance.
Today marks Day 1 of my Challenge, and so far, it’s going great! The first 10 days are the “cleanse” phase, which involves lots of fiber and probiotics. Fun. My only obstacle, as I suspected from the get-go, is making myself eat breakfast. I never eat before my runs (which are first thing in the AM) and often don’t feel like it after; besides, I’m usually busying myself with getting ready for work. Today I missed breakfast because I woke up late (8:30?) and, by the time I got around to completing my workout and showering, etc., it was already 11:30…time for lunch! I did manage to down my fiber drink, which I had been told was NASTY, with no problem. Honestly, as a woman of consenting age, I’ve had much worse-tasting things in my mouth 😉
Oh, another obstacle was mustering up the courage to weigh myself this morning so I can know exactly how much I progress. Something about the scale just unleashes the negativity bots in my brain, so I don’t use it any more than required. After stuffing my belly with pizza, breadsticks, and cookies last night, I dreaded stepping on the scale. It wasn’t nearly as bad as I had anticipated (shocker!), especially with where I am in my hormonal cycle (TMI?). 136.3. From here we go forward…or down…but certainly not up 🙂
If the rest of the Challenge proves to be as easy as it has been so far, I’m excited to see what the next 3 weeks hold! I plan to blog a bit more often during this, which shouldn’t be difficult as I haven’t been blogging at all. Bad Blonde blogger.
Has anyone had success with AdvoCare (or similar line) or know someone who has? I am curious to learn more about the company and its products, but am not ready to be a full-time cheerleader until I’ve experienced success myself.
The 10k was “themed” as a White Rabbit race. The 5k was themed as Alice and the Mad Hatter. So, our goal was to follow and catch up to Alice and the Mad Hatter. Apparently, the White Rabbit is not very bright as he doubles the length of his trip using the same starting and finishing points!
We were staying at the Hilton, just south of Disneyland. We got out of the building and started to head to the start line. It was obvious that we were not the only ones staying at that hotel or the surrounding hotels. Caleb wanted us to warm up a bit before the race. We jogged just about all of the way up to the entrance of the Disneyland Hotel, which is where the start and finish were. We got a couple of strides in where there was room between everyone else walking.
We finally had to just give up on the jogging and join the crowd. We joined the cattle call and fell in line. We ended up walking through the finish area and past the bag checks. We had decided that we did not need to check a bag as it was a relatively short distance race.
We jumped into our favorite blue boxes (ok, our second favorite blue boxes). The lines were actually pretty short. We looked around for some water as the heat was already starting to pick up. We had been in the parks the previous day a bit and were slightly dehydrated. However, we missed it.
We made our way to the edge of the fence where everyone was heading to. That just led us to a larger crowd. For some reason we were being held up before the corrals. I was starting to have flashbacks to our marathon weekend where we were held up and then had a death march to the start of the race. After standing around they finally let us walk to the corrals about 10 minutes before the start of the race. I am not sure if the 5k, which started 45 minutes earlier, was that delayed in getting the runners off or what. I figured that there was no way were were going to start on time. I was late for a very important date.
The walk was pretty quick. It was only about a block. Corrals A, B, C went south, everyone else headed north. They had people checking bibs at each gate filtering runners into their correct corrals. We kept to the right and headed up to the A corral where we had been assigned.
At this point we were only about three to five minutes away from the official start time. We tried to get some stretching, lunges, and leg swings in. However, that is difficult at best when you are hanging with your 15k closest friends.
While I was standing there waiting for the start, I kept thinking there was no way we were starting on time. I am not sure what the hold up was, but my guess is that they were behind on the 5k start and wanted as many of them as possible to get off the course. Apparently we were not the only ones late.
I wore a KC Marathon shirt for the 10k. We have learned that people recognize local race shirts, so I was wondering if anyone would notice. Sure enough, a guy lined up next to us started talking to me. Turns out he lives within five miles of us. We chatted for a couple of minutes and they started the National Anthem. It was a solo trumpet performance which was pretty cool.
After that the wheelchair division took off. Since we were in corral A, we only had a couple of minutes to go. According to my watch it was 6:18 when I crossed the starting line. I was actually surprised that we started that close to the 6:15 start time. I think we were two minutes or so behind chair division.
The start was a little more muted than our experience at Walt Disney World. They had a big video board up over the start line. If I remember correctly they played some fireworks on the video board. Since Disneyland is in the middle of a city vs. Disney World, the race is not entirely in the parks. The first two miles or so are in the streets of Anaheim. The rest of the race winds quite a bit. First we were in Disney California Adventure. Then we headed over to Disneyland.
The advice that Caleb gave us was the following:
A 10k is a race that benefits from a very assertive start, almost as hard as a 5k. Run the first 1.5 miles strong, then settle through about 5, then hammer the final 1.2. Have fun, run strong! Cool down for 10 minute SLOW following the race.
I had decided that I was going to try for a PR for the 10k. I figured I was not going to have a perfect race for the half marathon as we were running the 10K the day before plus walking around the heat in the parks. We had trained for an 8:00 half marathon pace which roughly predicts a 7:30 10K pace.
We headed south to start with. We immediately went under the bridge that connected Downtown Disney with the Disneyland Hotel. Of course, what goes down must go up! Also, we had to fight the crowds at the start of the race. Between those two items, it was hard to start too aggressively.
Because of that, the first mile was my slowest mile at a pace of 8:01. We ran down to the Convention Center which was right next to our hotel. So, we were in a slightly familiar place. At mile one, they had a water station. Originally, I was not going to grab water. However, the heat was already there and I felt a little dehydrated. So, I grabbed some water and shouted thanks and moved on.
Mile two was right next to our hotel and was part of our walking path to the parks the day before. Since it had opened up a bit, we were able to speed up some. My pace for mile two was 7:39.
I had brought two pairs of Kinvara 3s and a pair of A5s. I was walking around Disneyland the day before and noticed that they had textured concrete all over. The path we were currently on was faux bricks. I remembered how much I felt the texture in my A5s during the WDW marathon, so I went with the K3s. While they are bit heavier than the A5s, they have more padding which I was grateful for during this section and later sections.
Mile three is when we entered the backside of California Adventure. I had never been in the park before. The day before we just spent some time in Disneyland. So, this was my first time seeing the park. Most of it was a blur and I really do not have much of a reference. We started right at Cars Land and headed out. We then wrapped around the lake in Paradise Pier. By the end of mile three we were in Critter Country and getting ready to leave California Adventure.
There is definitely some adrenaline flowing as you enter the parks. I started looking around since I had never seen any of this before. My pace for mile three was 7:25.
Mile four starts at the front of California Adventure and goes over to the Tower of Terror. After that we ran through the bus area and through the front of Disneyland. At this point we ran through Main Street and towards Tomorrow Land. This is vaguely similar to Disney World. However, it is a much smaller scale than WDW. This is especially true for the castle. Mile four ended right in front of Space Mountain. My mile four pace was 7:26.
Mile five started in Tomorrow Land. This mile went north through the kids’ area. Most of the area we ran in was actually behind the scenes. For some reason my pace slowed down a bit in this mile. I am not sure if it was because I was mentally gearing up for mile six or if there were so many twists and turns that I slowed down. Even though we were in Disneyland the day before, I really did not recognize much of the park. I was not familiar with the park and I was really concentrating on the run. My mile five pace was 7:41, which was my second slowest mile.
Mile six started in Fantasy Land right behind the castle. At this point, I kicked it up about as quickly as I could knowing that I had 1.1 miles left. We ran through the castle at this point. There were a couple of people I was following at this point and I was determined to pass them in the last section. I slowly started to pass people as we headed west through the New Orleans section. We then doubled back east until we came out where the trams drop off incoming tourists at the edge of Downtown Disney. We ran west through Downtown Disney. Mile six ended at the end of Downtown Disney. My pace for mile six was 6:56.
Once I saw the six mile marker, I started sprinting with what I had left in the tank. I crossed over the bridge to the Disneyland Hotel. Then I turned north towards the finish line. I tried to keep my form as much as possible, but I am sure I looked horrible. As I was getting to cross the finish line, I crossed the pad that gives the announcer your name. Mine got mispronounced of course, but I didn’t really care at the time. I had an extra .1 mile to my overall distance due to normal racing and dodging. My pace for the final .3 miles was 6:11. I ended up crossing the line with a net time of 47:00, an official PR!
At this point we collected our finisher medals. We also got to get a second wrist band for the Dumbo medal as proof that we finished the 10K. At this point my arm looked like the 80s exploded over me. We then walked over to the finishers tent and picked up some refreshments.
Here are my final splits:
Overall, we did pretty well compared to the rest of the field.
Here are the results that Strava gave me compared to my overall running career. I pretty much had a career fast day.
Our travel to Los Angeles and over to Anaheim was pretty smooth and uneventful. I think we were checked into our hotel and up in our room by 10 AM, Friday before the races. We just had to go over to the Expo and pick up our packets, bags, and park tickets that we had prepurchased. That ended up easier said than done.
I believe we got to the Expo around 10:30. It was a short walk from our hotel over to The Disneyland Hotel. It was already crazy when we got there. This was the most negative part about the weekend. The directions were not very good from the runDisney staff. It took us five minutes just to find the end of the line. The line was snaking and intertwining all over the place.
In addition, it had to be close to 90 degrees already and very little shade. They finally wised up and started doing the line in waves so that they could get people into shaded areas and hold them for the next wave. I would think that they could have afforded to put tents up or something around to provide continuous shading. They could have also provided water.
It took us about an hour to get to packet pickup for our bibs. I had not worn a hat, so I was already getting sunburned. Being bald is not conducive to standing around in the sun. When we finally got to the packet pickup, we had someone direct us over to the Dumbo packet pickups. However, it was unclear what we were were supposed to do since they were so many lines going on. We finally just walked up to the booth that had our numbers, which is what were supposed to do.
As we were picking up our bibs and signing away, the gentleman helping us told us to beware of a magnet they are putting in the bags. He stated that they could mess with the timing chip on the bib. Apparently they were using them to advertise a new movie. I am not sure who thought it would be a great idea to mix those two together.
Here, we also got our wristband for Coast to Coast. Coast to Coast is a special medal Disney gives you for completing at least a half marathon at both Disney World and Disneyland in the same calendar year. In other words, they figured out how to sucker us to going to Disneyland, more race bling. We had to wear the wristband until we crossed the finish line after the half on Sunday.
After we were done with packet pickup, we had to get into another line to go up to the expo to pickup our bags with our shirts and the dreaded magnet. This line moved pretty quickly, and we were up in the expo within 10 minutes. We made our way to another line to pick up our shirts. At this point, I handed my bib off to The Blonde so that I could go find where to pick up our prepurchased park tickets.
I walked around a bit and didn’t see GetTravel anywhere. So, I went to look at the map of the vendors. They were nowhere to be found. So, a slight panic started to set in. I double checked my email and it said to pick up the tickets at the expo. So, I wandered around a bit more. I asked a runDisney person if he knew where they were. He said he has never heard of them. Ok…
So, I wandered around a bit more, again. I check the map again wondering if I somehow missed them or if they were under a different name. Still no dice. So, I asked another person. He said that they are downstairs.
I am thinking to myself, downstairs, you mean the place I just stood in line for for an hour? He basically stated, you didn’t hear this from me, but if you go over here and do this you can get in through a side door. So, I tried to follow his instructions, but I got confused. At that point I tried to find The Blonde. She sent me a text that she is on her way out. I tried to find the secret entrance to the promised land again. This time, I use my finely attuned Sherlock Holmes’ power of observation and start to put together the clues.
At that point, I found myself back in the first room that we had waited so long to get into. I looked around and sure enough there was a booth that said Get Travel on it. It was sitting with the booths for the pasta party and other prepurchased items. I walked over and handed over my documents and I was out of there in five minutes. I found The Blonde where she told me she was somehow and we took off to go back to our hotel and onto the parks for a bit.
As I mentioned earlier, this was really the most negative / stressful part of the weekend. runDisney did not seem prepared at all for the number of people who were going to be there. I was in such a hurry to get out that I did not stop at one booth. Usually we purchase a couple of minor things at expos. However, we were so frustrated with being there, none of the vendors got my business.
The line for official merchandise was even longer than the packet pickup line. It was about two hours to checkout when we were there. We heard that actually shut down entry into it just to try to clear out some of the people. And apparently, people were stocking up with arm fulls of items. The lines for the shirt exchange and runner information was also extremely long.
That night as I was looking at the program that I got that morning at the expo, I noticed that it had the location of GetTravel on the map. So, I went back and looked at the virtual one that I had. I did not see that information anywhere on the stuff that runDisney sent me.