My most recent running project was the 2012 Disney Princess half marathon on February 26. I didn't have extremely ambitious expectations for this race, given that I was less than two months out from the monstrous Goofy's Race and a Half Challenge. Buuuuut, there must have been pixie dust out on the course or something because I SHATTERED the goals I had for myself! (Yes, being a competitive spirit, I did have goals, even though the plan was for Princess to be an easier race.) It was a really awesome, awesome, awesome experience all around and I thought I'd drop in to share my recap here for those who are interested...even for those who may just want to peek at the many pictures I included :)
On Friday morning, I had the honor of attending the exclusive RunDisney meetup, which featured talks from Fitness magazine editor-in-chief Betty Wong, Disneyland half winner Rachel Booth, Olympian Suzy Favor Hamilton, Disney mom's panel member Lori Lovell, and well known Run Disney ambassador Jeff Galloway. It was FABULOUS! Not only did we get to gain inspiration and wisdom from these wonderful people, but also ran with them around EPCOT before the park opened. Fun!
Sunday morning was the big show...and the big surprise was that I ended up with a surprise PR, by four and a half minutes! Princess 2010 (2:17:44) was my previous PR, and I hadn't managed to improve on it in almost two years. This time, I pulled out a 2:13:02, and it honestly felt GREAT! I'm super excited and can't wait to see what's up next for me.
I don't have too terribly long before I tackle my next Run Disney event. I'll be joining in the first Tower of Terror Ten Miler in September. Sadly, I won't be in on this year's Wine & Dine Half Marathon (even though I loooooove it) because my limited vacation time and money forced me to choose between RunDisney's two fall events. And since I love Tower of Terror and it's something new and different, that's the choice I made.
In the meantime, I have plenty of things going on locally. First up, the Madison Shamrock Shuffle 10K on March 17, this Saturday! The training plan I'm using for my next half actually calls for a 10K RACE right around this time, so it fits in perfectly. I ran the Shamrock two years ago and it was realllllly fun, and supported a great cause (Big Brothers & Big Sisters), so I'm back for more! Just have to dig out all my green running gear, haha. Next, the Wisconsin Half Marathon in May, where I hope to grab another sub 2:15 half and a big old CHEESE medal. And I've got a few more adventures planned for the rest of the year, but you can check my race calendar if you're interested so I don't bore you with all the details here.
And running, in general, has been going fantastically amazingly well lately! Since about Christmas, I have turned a serious corner with it. I don't know if it's because I finally recovered from the too crazy fall racing schedule (which I do not plan on repeating anytime soon, as I'm not a big fan of burnout) or some other mysterious reason, but lately it seems like I can go faster without as much effort. I've been seeing a lot of mile splits starting with 9:xx in my workouts, and I have a feeling if I keep going this way, 8:xx may not be too far in the future. I am using a training plan with a little speedwork in it, and slowly working on my nutrition and strength training. I'm just generally feeling excited about the possibilities and where 2012 is going to take me.