Month: November 2014

Route 66 Half Marathon

On Sunday I ran the Route 66 Half Marathon in Tulsa, Oklahoma.   That makes it state #32.

On Saturday morning Jaime and I made our way to the expo.  Our plan was to meet Bart Yasso for a shakeout run at 10am but quickly changed our minds when we saw that it was raining.  The expo was GREAT!  So many vendors.  I bought some Balega socks and cute charms for my shoes from Shoe Frosting.


My traveling running buddy!  Jaime is also on a mission to run in the 50 states.  To date she has run in 44 states and might be done next year.

Bart Yasso.


One day I will run the Little Rock Marathon.


Half Fanatics!


Check out these beautiful cars!

Cute shirt!


On race day Jaime and I got ready and headed downstairs to have breakfast (free provided by the hotel).  I wasn’t too hungry but had coffee and a waffle.  Temperature was in the high 50s which makes it ideal running weather.  I took a long sleeve shirt just in case I got cold.  I wore it in the beginning but took it off before the 1 mile marker.  I had absolutely no time goal for this race but just to run by feel considering that I had not been training properly (or at all).  🙂


There was so much excitement around us.  And did I mention it was close to 60 degrees?  Finally it was time to run.  We were both in Corral B so we got to see twice the confetti show put on before the start of each corral.

I had NO idea how hilly this race was supposed to be.  I don’t check the course map prior to the race because I’d rather deal with it on race day.


This mascot made me laugh.


The course itself was beautiful.  I did like it except the hills.  However, the second half of the race was not as bad as the first half but there were a few hills that snuck up on me in the last few miles.  I felt good throughout the race.  The weather was just fantastic and at times there was a breeze that would cool me down.  I didn’t have any pain in my glutes but my quads and calves did get tight.

I took a grape jello shot because why not?



The Route 66 Bridge.


Almost done.


Around mile 12.5 is when the course separated for the marathon and half marathon runners.  That meant two more turns and I would be done.  However, it seemed like that last half mile felt longer.  Finally the last turn and I saw Bart Yasso.  We high-fived and I sprinted to the finish line.  Done.  Finish time is 2:42:17.  I am very impressed with my time considering that the course was hilly and I am definitely undertrained.


Love the medal.  When I crossed the finish line I got a different one but then exchanged it for a Half Fanatic themed medal.


I did not stick around to take advantage of the Half Fanatic VIP area as Jaime and I had to head back to the hotel, get ready, and head out to Oklahoma City because we both had flights departing from there.

Overall it was an awesome race and if you are planning to run in the 50 states then this is the race for you.  It was well organized, many great vendors at the expo, a lot of food at the finish line, plenty of water stations, and a beautiful course.

That was my last race for the year.  My plan now is to get back to running on a consistent basis. Since August, my runs have been mostly once a week on Saturdays.  I’ve struggled to got out for a run during the week but am hoping that will change.

I have not signed up for any races in 2015 but have a few in mind and can’t wait to race again.



Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon

On Saturday I ran my last Disney race of the year.  I read several reviews prior to the race and they all wrote about how much fun it is.  I was excited and looking forward to it.  However, I was not ready for the weather.

I got into Orlando Saturday morning on a 5:30 am flight.  Once I landed I made arrangements with Emily to head over to the expo.  We got our packets and proceeded to see what items we would buy. It was pretty much set up the same way with the same vendors as in previous Disney races.  I bought two Team Sparkle skirts.  One to match my Oiselle singlet and a pink one because well why not?  I also purchased a pair of Balega Hidden Comfort socks.  Wow, definitely did not get one blister even with all of the rain!


Perhaps a future race for me?


Great shirt but not much good stuff in the bag.


After the expo Emily and I headed back to the hotel for lunch.  Her husband, Adam, also met us there. I was tired and in need of a nap.  Well, that didn’t go well because I ended up not taking a nap.  I tried. I drank a Coconut Mojito, watched TV and even graded some homework.  Nothing worked.  I finally got up at 5:30 to get ready and head over to the cafeteria for dinner.

After dinner I got in line for the shuttle bus.  I did not have to wait long and was at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex around 7:30.  I waited for Jeff and Elaine as we had plans to hang out prior to the race.  A few minutes later they arrived and off we went to wait a long time for the start.


There wasn’t a lot of people yet so the bathroom lines were not long.  Of course I did not have to go at that moment but did have to go just before the start of the race.

There was so much excitement around us.  It was cool looking at costumes and for a minute I regretted not wearing one.  There was a DJ playing great music and some people were dancing. Finally it was time to check my gear bag and head over to our corral and to wait some more.

I was in Corral D but moved back one corral to join Jeff and Elaine.  By then it was drizzling a little so I put on my poncho.  Thanks to Jeff and Elaine for buying it for me!!


Love the fireworks to announce the start of a new corral.  Finally it was time to run.  It was dark.  I did not like that at all.  I took it slowly to take it all in.


The first few miles were on the road between the parks.  There was nothing exciting to see.  There might have been some characters but honestly I do not remember.  Finally we arrived at Animal Kingdom.  There were a few characters but I only took a picture of Timon from my favorite Disney movie “The Lion King”.


Then it was back on the road.  It started to rain more and I was cold.  I could feel some chafing in my inner thighs.  Halfway through the race is when I lost it.  I had little energy and blamed it on so many things.  But I kept going.  Well, mostly walking.  My right hip was bothering me and my toes too from the neuroma and the bunion.

Then we got to Hollywood Studios which was my favorite part of the race.wineanddine10

I spent a good few minutes enjoying the view and taking pictures.  It was definitely magical for me.

Then on to the Boardwalk which left us with about 2 miles to go.  I was miserable and could not stop feeling sorry for myself.  I really, really tried to enjoy the whole race but just couldn’t.

Almost there!


I was so happy to see this sign.  Once I saw it, I took some pictures and ran to the finish line.  I think I heard the announcer say my name but am not sure. Heck, my name is not common and so easy to mispronounce.

Each mile marker had a different travel destination picture and music to go with it.



Before the race I had decided to enjoy the post race festivities.  Ha, big change of plans.  I walked a long time (it seemed long to me) back to the shuttle buses to take me back to the hotel.  Once in my room I cranked up the heat and called it a night.  I think by then it was almost 3am.


This was definitely not the experience I was expecting for this race.  I did not like running through the parks at night.  There was definitely nothing pleasant about running in the rain.  I liked the crowd support and volunteers.  It was very well organized even with over 14,000 runners.  And yes there is something magical about running a Disney race.  The metals are pretty neat.  And I got two of them!

I did like staying at the Disney All-Star Sports Resort.  My room was about $113 with taxes and it included transportation from/to airport and resort.  Plus, it included transportation to the expo, parks, and race.


Disney races can be fun but also EXPENSIVE.  Next year I would love to do the Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon in Disneyland.  And I am hoping to get together with some friends for the Princess Half Marathon in 2016.

Next race: Williams Route 66 Half Marathon in Tulsa, OK, on November 23.

Princeton Half Marathon

On Sunday I ran in state #31 in New Jersey.  I’ve already written about what I did the day before the race.

On race day I got up at 5:20 am.  I slept OK that night but was still tired and had a headache.  I quickly made my coffee and got dressed.  The night before I had picked my clothes and decided to wear pants and a long sleeve underneath my Oiselle singlet.  I had two shirts to pick from depending on the weather.  That morning the weather forecast was 41 degrees which I figured was decent running weather. I picked the yellowish shirt.  Once I was done I went downstairs and then outside to check again the weather.  It was cold!  But I knew that I would warm up once I began running.  I waited for my Uber driver and in the meantime got a big plastic bag to keep me warm while I waited in line for the race to start.  I must remember to pack one in my suitcase just in case I need one again.


The driver dropped me off at 6:25.  I had plenty of time to wait.  Did I mention it was cold?  Oh and it was windy too.  I did not want to wait outside so I walked to a café place and waited there till about 6:55.  I then got in line and the race started a few minutes later.  I was surprised there was no singing of the National Anthem or maybe I missed it?  No time to fret about it cause it was time to run.

As usual my first mile was my fastest (10:18).  I was surprised at how good I was feeling.  I did warm up a little but still felt cold because the wind had a mind of its own.  The first few miles went by fast. We ran on the road and trail which helped break up the rhythm of just running on pavement.  Trail running is definitely more difficult.  It was nice not to deal with the wind.princetonhalf2

There were hills.  Oh boy.  There was one before mile 6 and it felt like it was a mile long.  Surprisingly it took me almost 14 minutes to finish that mile.  I say surprisingly because it felt longer than 14 minutes.  I walked most of it because it was just so darn long!  My quads were burning and I felt some tightness in my left leg similar to my race in Des Moines but without the glutes pain.

I thought the last half of the course was prettier but more difficult.  We ran through the streets of Princeton.  Beautiful area with lovely homes.  But it definitely had more hills.  I was tired and in pain.  My new shoes gave me no trouble except for some chafing on my right foot near my bunion.  I’ve experienced similar chafing with other shoes so I know it wasn’t because of my new shoes.  I guess it is time to get that surgery I’ve put off.

See all of the hills?

There wasn’t much crowd support but the small amount that there was did help.  The volunteers were wonderful too.  As for the medal, well I am not too happy about it.  My nephew told me that I have nicer ones.


I am glad I did this race.  It was definitely challenging for me but still a pretty course.  I first thought of doing it last year but instead decided to run the Manchester Half Marathon.  And boy am I glad I did because I got to meet Kathrine Switzer!

If you plan to run this race in the future make sure to stay at the Nassau Inn in town or rent a car.  

Next race: Run Disney Wine and Dine in Florida.  It was be my last Disney race this year.

Princeton, New Jersey

Today I made my way to Princeton.  For some weird reason I had set my alarm for 5:15 pm.  I woke up a little before 6 am when I got a message from the cab company letting me know that the driver was on his way.  I cancelled the request and took a quick shower.  I was out the door at 6:30 and took the train to the airport.  Check in and security were a breeze.

The clouds always relax me.  I imagine myself floating in them.

I arrived in Newark before 11:30.  I had instructions to take the AirTrain (monorail) to the rail connection for the NJ Transit and then take the Northeast Corridor train to Princeton Junction.  Luckily I had no trouble and made it on time to get on the train that was supposed to arrive in 9 minutes.  The ride was smooth and comfortable.

Once in Princeton I called the hotel to find out the best way to get there.  They only had shuttle buses working during the weekday so they kindly requested a car for me.  I checked in and inquired on how to get to the running store downtown to pick up my packet.  I was told I had to take a cab.  I got annoyed. So that was twice that I had to pay cab fare.  I was also annoyed with myself because I should have done more researched on the race and I would have found out that my best option was to rent a car.

Packet pickup was a breeze.  I bought a pair of the Saucony Ride 7.  And yes I will break the “Don’t try anything new on race day” rule and wear them tomorrow.

Afterwards I had lunch at Panera and I searched for various car rental companies in the hopes of getting a car to use for the rest of the day and tomorrow.  I realized I had to pay for a cab to get back to the hotel, get to the race on Sunday, get back to the hotel after the race, and then head back to the train station for the airport.  No luck in getting a car.  Definitely big fail in my part.  I realized I had the Uber app on my phone and decided to use that service to get back.  But before doing that I walked around Princeton University.

Now I want to see again the Transformers movie.

I enjoyed the Albert Einstein mini museum.

Wow, it is such a gorgeous campus.  I loved seeing the beautiful fall colors.

I got excited when I saw this sign!


I love the shirt!  It fits perfect.  Also, I love my bib number.


Oh and for the ride back to the hotel I used Uber and ended up paying half as much as what I had paid earlier that day.  I will definitely be using them tomorrow.