Last weekend, I ran the Disney’s Goofy Challenge and had a blast! To be honest I wanted to be more prepared for this race weekend, but with Christmas and New Years and everything in between… I may have slacked off just a bit. I still put training into it of course but not as much as I should have. Still, as with every Disney run I had such a great time and I learned more about my running plans for 2019.
Saturday was the half marathon. The course was nice and it was the first time I stopped to take pictures with the characters!
In the past I was always afraid of taking pictures because I wanted to keep the pace and not get swept. I’ve come a long way and this time I ran without that worry and stopped for multiple pictures. It was so much fun and the Donald medal was beautiful! After the half marathon I spent the day at the park, taking a solo adventure!
Sunday was the full marathon. It was only my second marathon so I have to admit that I was starting to regret my decision of taking the Goofy Challenge. But, I’m so glad that I did it! I had such a great time during the marathon!
Again, I stopped for pictures and was even able to stop and ride Expedition Everest when I got to Animal Kingdom! It was so much fun and I made the most of it! Those 26.2 miles were so magical and I really can’t wait to do it again next year! But next year I plan on taking the Dopey Challenge!
These races were my first runs in 2019 and it was such a great way to start my racing year. After running my second marathon I now feel ready to fully train for it. I know this year will bring about amazing things and I look forward to training hard! Also, I aim to update more on my training and races. Right now what I’m training for the Chicago Marathon and to run a half marathon under 2 hours!
Last Sunday, November 25th, I completed my first marathon. I’ve been writing and talking about it a lot… about my training and how I was nervous about the run. My goal for the marathon was to finish I didn’t want to do it for time, although it did cross my mind a few time while on the course. And I did finish… I didn’t doubt myself but I am still almost in disbelief that it happened.
The marathon I decided to do was the Space Coast Marathon in Cocoa Beach. I’m so glad I did this one because the run and course was amazing. I loved the atmosphere and all the volunteers who were there. It was such a great run and I’m really really looking forward to doing it again next year.
But on to how the run went. My plan was to keep a steady pace for the first half and I succeed in that. I finished the half in about 2 hours and 30 minutes and I felt strong. I went faster the next to miles and I was still feeling great. At about mile 18 is when my legs began to feel a bit tired so I slowed down a bit. I really started walking/running at mile 19 almost 20. Mile 20 was a hard one because although I was finally there at 20 I knew I had a 10K left.
Still I pushed through because this is what I trained for and this is what I wanted. I’m going to be honest though… I wasn’t fully trained. If I was I know I would have performed better but my ultimate goal was to finish and that’s what I did. I experienced a marathon… I was exhausted and despite what I consider to be experience, it’s difficult and not an easy task to accomplish.
I finished the marathon in 6 hours and 5 minutes. That time is definitely not what my ultimate goal is but I am happy with it because it gives me so much room for improvement. I grew so much since I crossed that finish line of my first half marathon… and that person then would have never even thought that she would attempt and finish a marathon.
After I finished, when I received the congratulations from my sister and father, I cried. It all meant so much to me because I remembered my journey. The journey means everything to me and it keeps leading me to places I never expected. This marathon is one of many and I’m so glad I did it when I did. It helped me build goals for my 2019 running year. I can’t wait to write about this same marathon next year to see the changes.
So I’ve slacked a lot with updating. I’ve realized that it takes a lot of effort to be invested in yourself. I have invested time in myself… I’m still waking up at 5AM on Tuesdays and Thursdays going to 6AM yoga, which is going great by the way! My marathon training did slack a bit as well but I still am training. Still, there is more I can do for myself. When I really think about it… I’m spending 40 hours a week working and while I do feel blessed to have a job it also makes me think how can I use my remaining hours on myself. It’s possible but it’s hard work… it’s hard for me to keep up with this blog. To sit down and just write, even if it’s for myself, takes time from my day but it’s time well spent and I need to keep reminding myself of that.
So what have I been up to? Well keeping my fitness up! What I really like about 6AM yoga is that it gives me a reason to wake up for me. I’m not waking up everyday to go to work… no I’m waking up at least twice a week for myself. After I work on myself I get ready for the rest of the day. It keeps me from feeling like my job is a chore because I no longer get up in the morning just to ready myself for it. It has definitely helped me with that aspect. It also has helped me physically of course too! My core has strengthened! But yes I have been training for my marathon which is coming up shortly and cross training. Just yesterday I tried pilates for the first time. It was a great workout but I have to see how to incorporate it into my workout schedule.
I have also been doing quite a few races which has tired me out because I have had one almost every weekend. I love my races of course but it has kept me busy since I’m usually tired afterwards. I can go on about my runs but I think I’ll save that for another time. I did do the Key West Half Marathon on October 6th. I intended on doing it for time but it didn’t turn out that way. Anyway so right now I found the time to post because I am on the way to Las Vegas! Of course because I’m me… it’s to do one of my bucket list races… the Rock n Roll Las Vegas. My aim is yet again to update more often so I will try to write all about my experience at the race! Thank you always for reading.
So not only did I not keep to my monthly goal I really slacked off on not updating. A little disappointed in the fact that I didn’t but it’s all right, that just means I have to really get better at this. I’ve done a few 5Ks since I last wrote and some yoga classes. Yes, I’ve kept up with that my yoga classes still doing 6AM yoga twice a week.
I also was able to experience a beautiful yoga experience at Vizcaya Museum in Miami. I took plenty of pictures so I will only attach a few here. It was a different experience and beautiful.
While I enjoy practicing yoga at the studio I go to, I enjoy it more being outside and connecting to nature. So I’ve been looking to do more outdoors yoga! I want to go out on the beach again as I did last year, so make that another goal I have!
But I did go to the beach today! The 5K was on the beach and before it started I just took a moment to stand on the sand and reflect. I watched as the dark sky slowly began to lighten and the first rays of the sun began to come out, all while listening to the peaceful sound of the ocean waves. I felt so thankful to be there, to have the opportunity to experience these things that we usually take for granted on a daily basis.
The run today was in support of the fight against Lung Cancer. We have a family friend who is a lung cancer survivor and we are truly blessed to have him still with us after he was diagnosed as terminal nearly 8 years ago. It was for a great cause and one I really would like to get the word out about, especially for runners and athletes a like! If you happen to see a lung cancer event near you participate, help out out, it really is for a great cause. And on a side not I got 1st place in my age group! Thank you always for reading! I hope to update more often!
The last two Saturdays I tried different types of yoga. The first yoga I tried was heated yoga. I was pretty hesitant about it because I don’t like too much heat (being a Floridian I’m surrounded by it), and the thought of hot temperature with a bunch of body heat didn’t attract me. But since I was still on my new trial membership I thought I may as well take advantage. So I went and… I actually liked it! It was terribly hot (I asked the yoga teacher later and it was only a slightly heated room to about 90°), it was more of a nice warmth that made me sweat. I’m also used to being drenched in sweat when I run and it was much less than that. I plan on going again and trying the hotter yoga they have available soon!
And the yoga I went to this weekend was a bit more exciting in my opinion… Goat Yoga!! I heard about it a while ago and being a goat lover I really wanted to try it! I searched and search for one in South Florida and finally found some classes available in my area (kind of it was an hour drive!)! It was so much fun! I didn’t pay much attention to the class because the goats were so interactive haha, but the teacher was really great and it was enjoyable. The goats were soo cute, I wanted to take one home! It is a different experience for sure and I would recommend it for animal lovers or if you’re looking for a different yoga experience! I would do it again for sure!
Well I’ve spoken about my yoga experiences and I also had a Back to School 5K where I got third place. I’ve been slacking though and haven’t gotten my best time again and I know it’s mental problem not a physical one. Training myself mentally is very important in running and throughout life, it’s one of the many reasons I picked up yoga. I doubt myself a lot when I run and I’m training myself to stop feeling those doubts it only affects my performance. It’s something I’m working on and I will post more on it.
I’ve gone longer than I wanted to without writing… my sister left for Japan to live for a year, my marathon training is on its fourth week, I have more tinctures that are soaking (I will definitely write on this soon!), and I have some more planned races coming up. I’m going to try and set a goal for every month. My goal this month is to write more often. My half goal is to read all the books I bought but haven’t gotten to yet. I will work more on the first goal and if I don’t make my half goal that will be it for September. I’m hoping to make some progress! If you’re interested in seeing more pictures of my experiences I post a lot on Instagram and you’re welcome to follow me at aDaywithDay! Thank you for reading!
On Sunday I went to another 5K. I was first place in my age group but the run was really small so I still want that day when I really earn it! It felt good though knowing that with enough training it really is possible. This week marathon training has officially started. It’s 18 weeks until my first marathon and I want to feel prepared for it! Monday was cross training day. I went to the gym did the elliptical and the bike… cross training really does help because it was a great workout. Yesterday was a 3 mile run and today is 5 miles. It isn’t much right now but the mileage will build up!
Along with my marathon training I’m still adding yoga to it. I’ve gone 6 days since I started, most of those days involving early morning wake ups but I really feel good. It takes a lot of work and dedication to get to where you want to be but it will be all worth it. This is just the start of my official training and I’m already seeing how much work it’s going to take!
On another note my first infused oil was finished last night! It has calendula and horsetail in it which is really good for the skin! I’ve just started using it and I will update on the results. The tincture I made for cardiac health so far seems to have a great result for blood pressure (my dad is the test), I’ll post more on this as the days go by. I’m also making more tinctures. All these natural medicines really are the best.
Last Thursday I finally went to early morning yoga! I woke up at 5:15am and really considered going back to sleep. I still had plenty of hours before work. But I thought about it and knew that it really isn’t easy to be up that early but that’s what makes a difference. So I got up and am so glad I did! The 6am class I went to was awesome and I felt so refreshed afterwards. I woke up really early but I wasn’t even tired throughout the day, it was a perfect way to start a morning! Since then I’ve been to two more classes, one on Saturday (not as early but a morning start), and another one today. As long as I keep this up I can make it into a habit. While yoga is excellent for runners and we need those good stretches I also do it for the mental benefits it gives. Our minds need to be exercised too.
Also during the weekend I finally strained my first tinctures! They came out great. I made a Hawthorn Berry tincture which is good for cardiovascular health: blood pressure. I also made Echinacea purpurea which is good for the immune system and helps fight colds and the flu, especially during the first signs. I’m going to write about the Echinacea purpurea because I just had an experience with it.
During the weekend my niece slept over and she was sick. She’s feeling better now but what she had was at risk of spreading it. Last night I felt terrible. My body was aching, I had the chills and was lethargic I just wanted to sleep. I thought about canceling my yoga class because I felt so bad. I took some drops of the echinacea and went to sleep. Woke up in the middle of the night, took more drops and went back to sleep. I woke up at 5:15am and I was surprised that I felt so much better! My body aches were gone, my chills gone, and I felt energized enough to go to yoga! And that’s exactly what I did. I had a great start to my morning and my yoga class helped me feel even better. I still find it amazing how well it worked. I’ve used other remedies that are supposed to help stop colds the moment symptoms start but none of them have worked for this. Natural holistic medicines really are the best. I really recommend the echinacea since I’ve tired it and can say it definitely works! As of right now I can say I feel 90% better and all I did was take the tincture and sleep. I still have other ones I’m making and they will be ready soon!
I suffer from lazy days more often than I would like. I don’t usually admit it but it’s the truth of most healthy/workout regimens. For example, on Sunday I was feeling lazy… really lazy. I just wanted to get some shopping done, watch the game and watch a movie. I did all three so by the time evening came (when I usually go for a run), I didn’t feel like going out in the humid air for a run. Plus, the movie was a bit longer than expected so it was later than usual.
While I can say I’m pretty good at pushing myself I’m glad I have my family now to join in that push. I ended up getting almost 7.5 miles in on Sunday and it would have been a run I missed out on. Take yesterday, it was storming outside and we almost cancelled our run. When the rain and lightning stopped we went out, safely navigating our way through the puddles. My training partner is my dad (and sometimes my sister), which is still almost a shock to me since I never imagined him getting into running. It started with my older sister joining me last year though. I’ll never forget the phone call she made to me telling me how she was inspired to give running a try. Her job was having a corporate run and she wanted to sign up with me and she wanted to the Princess Half Marathon. The first runs my sister, dad and mom joined me for all mean a lot to me… it has been a journey, one that continues to grow.
It was July 12, 2016 when I signed up for the 2017 Disney Princess Half Marathon. I had slacked off with my workouts and had gained weight again. I told myself that now that I was registered for my first half marathon I would get back to it and start training. I bought a running journal hoping that it would keep me encouraged. As the months went by I told myself I would sign up for another run, I would go to the gym and run some miles on the treadmill. I never did sign up for another run and while I did run on the treadmill, it wasn’t very often and not enough to be considered training. I did a mile sometimes around my block with my dog and I was glad to at least get some running done.
As the February race came closer I started to get nervous. I knew that Disney swept you if you didn’t keep their pace (thankfully I didn’t know about the Balloon Ladies then, it would have made me more nervous), so I started to look it up to see if they really did do that… yes they do. I started to search if it was possible to run a half marathon without proper training… everything I read didn’t make me feel better. I had gained all the weight I had lost plus a bit more. With the run barely 2 months away, I went to the gym more often and ran longer miles everyday I went. I never reached the 13.1 but I did go as far as 8 miles before the race inched closer.
2017 was the year that Disney cancelled their marathon due to weather conditions. I remember that well because I began to hope that they would cancel the Princess half marathon because I just didn’t feel confident. I truly believed I could not finish the race. I was so scared that I didn’t want to go, I was willing to lose the money I paid because I didn’t want to face the possibility of failure. I would have quit, I would have never attempted the half marathon if it weren’t for my older sister. I thank her immensely because it was her who pushed me to go anyway. If it weren’t for her encouraging me, going to Disney with me, staying up to 3AM to drive me to the race, I would not have gone and would never have experienced the run that changed my life. To this I really can’t thank her enough.
It brings me to tears when I think back on that day. It was February 26, 2017 a year after I had done my first run. A part of me still hoped that the run wouldn’t go on but my sister was there staying up all night so that she could drive me and kept on encouraging me. I was so nervous… not only was I about to attempt a half marathon I didn’t feel ready for I was going to do it alone. After she dropped me off I followed the crowd since I didn’t know where to go or what to do. It was cold that morning but I seriously didn’t know if I was shaking from the cold or from nerves. Once I got to my corral I couldn’t stop shaking. After waiting for about an hour it was finally my turn to start the half marathon.
That first step across that start line was the beginning of the moment that changed my life. I ran, not at a fast pace but at a steady pace for about the first 6 miles. I was so scared of getting swept I refused to walk (and take pictures) unless I really had to. It was about mile 6.5 that one of the entertainers on the course said that we were 45 minutes ahead of the buses. At that point I was so relieved that I started to walk. I kept a walk, run, walk, run pace until mile 9 when I felt I could no longer run. I was exhausted but just kept on going. People always ask me how I felt during my first half marathon. One thing I always say is that the final 5K felt like the longest 5K of my life. I remember one of the volunteers at the 10 mile water stop told us “just a 5K left!” and I thought “only a 5K?”. The second thing is that mile 12 is the longest mile ever! I remember wondering how much longer until I saw mile 13.
And then I saw it, mile 13 and I knew the finish line was right around the corner.
I ran to the finish line. As I crossed it I heard a man announce, “you all are now half marathoners!”. Yes, we were, yes I was… and I couldn’t believe it. I did it. I really did, I started and finished a half marathon. My mom, who was another of my supporters, messaged me as she got the text update and my sister sent me another grand text telling me that she knew I could do it… I was surprised she was even awake after staying up all night. My little sister had also gone to Orlando with me so I thank her too for being there for me and also supporting me, she kept telling me what an accomplishment it was to finish.
It really was an accomplishment and it was one that really changed my life. It was this run that inspired me. After finishing my first half marathon I now felt inspired to run more, I wanted to run more. I looked for more runs and signed up for them, I no longer cared if I had to go alone. I had run the entire half marathon alone and being alone no longer scared me. When I think back on the person I was then it really brings me to tears because I still can’t believe what I did and what I continued to do. I did it alone, not truly alone because I had the encouraging words from my family and friends and it was all that I needed. Over a year later I re-read that running journal I had bought back in summer 2016. In it there was a page where I wrote down my goals. One of the goals was to run a half marathon. The reason why I wanted to run the half marathon was to prove to myself that I could. I not only proved to myself that I could, I proved to myself that I was capable of so much more and that this was only the beginning.
“Running is the greatest thing that ever happened to me. It’s the focus of my daily routine, the source of everything. It gives my life a sense of rhythm. It’s not just a game or a sport, something outside of life; it’s a part of life. It’s an adjective that defines me.” – The Complete Book of Running; James F. Fixx
Last night I planned on waking up for early morning yoga. I set my alarm, paid for my class and left my clothes ready. But everything doesn’t always go as planned and I woke up a bit too late. It’s difficult to start something new but the point is to keep trying and eventually results will come… such has been my experience.
Usually when I tell the story of how I got into running I don’t mention the first run I ever did. The reason why I don’t is because I never thought of it as momentous and it was not the run that really got me into running. However, when I started to think about it I realized that it was a huge stepping stone in how my running life started. I wouldn’t say I was always overweight but I can say I always had a problem keeping my extra weight off. It was late 2013 when I finally really dedicated myself to a weight loss regimen, which for me was eating healthy and going to the gym. I was really over weight and knew it was time for a change. It took a lot of work but I was very dedicated and lost about 15 pounds (I promised myself I would never gain that weight back… unfortunately I did but more on that later). Then I hit a plateau… I thought that running would help me lose those stubborn pounds so I started going on the treadmill and reading up on running.
At this time I knew absolutely nothing about running… and I mean nothing from the shoes to the distances. I had done 5K walks with my mother for the Strides Against Breast Cancer so I at least had an idea of the 5K distance but that was it. With some reading and Facebook posts I learned about the runDisney events which immediately caught my attention because I love Disney and the themes looked amazing. During a 5K walk in 2014, my friend and I spoke about one day doing the Princess Run together, but it was just a thought and a someday goal.
It took about a year later until I finally signed up for my first official 5K run. I received an advertisement for a children’s hospital 5K and after some nervousness decided to sign up for it. My same friend worked for the hospital and she told me she was also going and that made me feel better. It was February 28th, 2016 when I did my first official 5K run (it would be this same weekend a year later when I would run again). I was with my friend and her friends so it was a good experience. I got the feeling of what the runs were like and my time was 40:05 which I found to be very good since I did not train a lot.
Unfortunately, after this 5K I didn’t run again. I did sign up for another 5K with my friend but when she couldn’t make it I was too afraid to go by myself. However, this run did get me to want to do what I had spoken about two years earlier, a Disney run. So when registration opened up that July I took a chance and signed up for the Disney Princess Half Marathon… it would be this run that changed my life. Of course I will write about my life changing run but writing about my first ever 5K makes me realize how everything came together. While I may not mention this first official run or even my 5K walks I see now how much of a role it played in my journey. We all have to start somewhere and I see now that this was my prequel.
“…For you will always gravitate toward that which you, secretly, most love. Into your hands will be placed the exact results of your own thoughts…” -James Allen