Friday, February 25, 2011

We are totally doing the half next year

Today I worked from home, so at noon in 80 degree heat I decided to punish myself with a 30 minute run around the neighborhood.  It was hot and the sun was killing me… I even stopped to walk for a couple minutes half way through.  Total baby I know, but I hate running in the heat and when you add the scorching sun… forget about it.  I did this run for two reasons: 1 – a reality check that the heat and humidity of South Florida will be here to stay soon enough and 2 – an attempt to get me psyched for the mid-60s race time temps predicted for Sunday morning.  Mid-60s is about 10 degrees higher than my preferred running weather, hence the need for motivation.  How dare I complain about sunny, mid-60s weather… apologies to my family in New England and friends in Alaska.  I am sure I will now fully appreciate the weather Sunday morning. 
Regardless of weather, I am SO excited to head up to Orlando tomorrow for my second Disney Princess half marathon weekend!  I attended last year running the Royal Family 5k with Annette, her family and her neighbors, Tracy & Doug, and their girls.  This was an untimed fun run through Epcot where you could take pictures with the Disney characters.  I was too caught up in timing my run that I did not stop to take any pictures.  I regret that.  There were so many characters along the course, the next time I participate in a fun run through Disney I am bringing my camera to get pictures with as many characters as possible.  I may even blow off my time on Sunday and just take pictures with the characters along the way.  Haven’t decided yet… it is my dilemma of the week :)
A funny story from last year’s race… strollers were allowed on the course so Annette and Brian decided to bring their kids along and push them in a stroller. Well this was a good idea for the first mile, but apparently Brian couldn’t keep up with Annette (in this untimed race!) so after Mile 1 she was out of there.  Took off with the double wide stroller and left Brian in the dust – LOL.  There is a happy ending though, before the finish line Annette did pull over and wait for Brian so they could finish together… awww… but she seriously couldn’t just slow down during the race?  I know she is laughing right now as she reads this.
Annette - check... Addison - yup she's there...
Preston - he's not happy, but there.  Who's missing??
While we all had a great time running the 5k, we were definitely overwhelmed by all the excitement for the Princess half marathon being run the following morning.  We felt left out with our cotton race T-shirts and plastic gear check bags.  The half marathon participants received Tech tees and “fancy” mesh bags.  At the expo Annette looked at me very determined and serious and said “We are totally doing the half next year”.
And so the training for 13.1 miles began and now here we are, one year later ready to run!  My tiara and tutu are waiting right by my door and I can’t wait to wear them on Sunday.  So corny magical I know, but we will be at Disney after all!
I know you are jealous of my tiara & tutu
My friends in Alaska have called me “Princess” for years, but it would be great if you all could address me as “Princess Heather” on Sunday.  Kidding… kind of…
My friend Matt gave me this magnet years ago.
He knows what's up!
My cousin Amanda is running the Hyannis half marathon Sunday as part of her training for Boston.  An organized race beats a long run on your own any day, have fun Mandy!
A special shout out needs to go to my friend Annie in Alaska.  She is running with her sister tomorrow in their very first race, the Fur Rondy Frostbite Footrace 5K.  Temps at the starting line are forecasted to be about 10 degrees, but they are true Alaskan girls, so they are ready to run!  Good luck Annie & Amy!
Beautiful downtown Anchorage,
location of the Fur Rondy 5k
I “like” the US Road Sports Facebook page and their status update today is so great I had to share it with all of you:
"If you run, you are a runner. It doesn't matter how fast or how far. It doesn't matter if today is your first day or if you've been running for twenty years. There is no test to pass, no license to earn, no membership card to get. You just run."
--John Bingham

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Running Expos

In addition to running the Princess half marathon bright and early Sunday morning, I am also looking forward to the Fit for a Princess Expo held at the ESPN Wide World of Sports.  I love to shop and OMG there is so much running stuff to buy!  This is also where packet pick-up will be, so I have to go.  I am not even sure what I will be looking for, but I am sure I will find something!
My first expo was at packet pick-up for the Gasparilla 5K last year in Tampa and I was totally amazed by all the vendors and their running goods!  The first piece of running gear I bought was a pink running hat that said “Will run for wine”.  Perfect for me, right?  I bought it at the One More Mile booth.   
They have hilarious sayings on their items:
In my dreams, I’m a Kenyan
Slow miles are better than no miles
My sport is your sport’s punishment
I’m only doing this so I can post a picture on Facebook
… and on and on and on, they have so many good sayings! 
I am not a huge fan of running in a hat, but I have used mine a few times. It comes in especially handy on rainy days.
My first running purchase & my favorite GU gel packs
I also bought a pair of socks that said “It’s all about the finish”… because really it is.  I don’t run these races to win them, I just like being a part of the upbeat atmosphere, having fun and the competition I feel with myself to try and improve on different things each race.
My most recent running purchase was last month at the expo for the ING Miami half marathon.  I bought an Armpocket and I totally love it!  I use it for the longer runs and it holds my GU energy gel packs.  For the Princess half, I’ll use 3 packets of GU, one 15 minutes before the race, one at mile 5 and one at mile 10.  This worked well for my long a couple weeks back, so I will give it a go on race day.  My favorite GU flavors are Espresso Love and Jet Blackberry.
My Armpocket - love it!
What is some of your favorite running gear?  Do you use GU or other energy gels?

Monday, February 21, 2011

Carnaval 8K, Sam Adams & the beach

Sunday mornings are my favorite time of the whole week.  The laziness, coffee, laundry and the home repair shows on TLC always makes me happy that it is Sunday.  Yesterday was even better because when I woke up I knew I still had one more day off from work to be lazy, drink coffee and do laundry, love long weekends!
I saved all my laziness for today as I participated in the Carnaval 8k & 5k run out on Virginia Key yesterday.  I ran the 8K, which is a totally random distance, but I think it is because this race use to take place on a Friday night on Calle Ocho in Little Havana.  Now they have changed it to Sunday morning on Virginia Key… weird, but I’ll go with it since the race started and ended at the beach!
My plan for this race was to run as hard as I could for as long as I could.  I am usually the “take it easy” girl when it comes to race strategy, but lately I have been amazed at the progress my running has made, so I am loving being able to push myself.  Half-way through the race I was two and a half minutes ahead of my usual pace… “whoa!”… yea I know, I thought the same thing too.  I was really happy with this and ended up finishing the race 39 seconds ahead of my goal time.  A good day on the road for sure!
The last mile was tough, but overall I had minimal soreness in my legs and I felt really strong.  This race has put me in a great frame of mind for THIS Sunday’s Princess half marathon – so excited!  I need to make sure these little details are in my blog, so next week after the Princess half when my running motivation totally plummets I can re-read this, and hopefully it will keep me going and build on what I have already accomplished :)
During the run there was a moment that made me think “running is awesome”.  It was when I was heading over a bridge running hard, pumping the arms, but then there is that moment when you reach the top of the bridge, the road evens out, your arms relax and fall to your side and then you cruise down the other side – awesome!
There was no finisher’s medal for this race but they did have free beer and arroz con pollo… Bienvenido a Miami folks.  Who cares if it was only 9am and I was enjoying a Sam Adams!  I was at the beach after a great run, my toes in the sand, enjoying the beautiful day.  Sunday mornings are the best…

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

How all this running got started

Drinking = Goofy

On April 25th 2009, Annette and I were drinking around the world at Epcot to celebrate our birthdays (mine on the 24th and hers on the 26th).  Running starting with drinking, this should be good…
She told me about a 5K/obstacle course event called Expedition Everest at Disney’s Animal Kingdom her husband, Brian, had signed up for.  Honestly with the words “obstacle course” I totally tuned her out.  Army crawl and rope climb… no thanks.  Then she started telling me about another race – the Tower of Terror 5K at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.  Now this sounded a bit more interesting.  “Let’s sign up”, I said, “we have 6 months to get ready for this we can do it”.  Registration for the race opened up the next day and I was introduced to a fun new website called

Who knew we would really start training
to be Princesses

For the next 6 months Annette diligently prepared for the race and I ran maybe once a week.  I am definitely a procrastinator and this new sporting adventure proved to be no different.
October 23rd was the day of the race and I was only moderately prepared.  I had also just spent the previous two weeks in Europe for work and I was sick. 
The race was at night, a 10pm start, and that morning I decided not to go.  I spent the day feeling bad for myself and thinking about the finisher’s medal I was giving up.  I am obsessed with medals, ask anyone.  I think it is because my high school cheer squad never was good enough to win one, and it was always something I wanted. 
Anyways, the lure of the medal got me off my butt and at 4pm I was in my car driving the 4 hours from Miami to Orlando.  Annette obviously thought I was crazy, which I was, but nonetheless I made it to my very first race.  My gear check bag was full of tissues, cough medicine and Nyquil, but I had made it to the start line!  My first 5k was a run/walk odyssey through Hollywood Studios which took me 42 minutes to complete.  Oh well, at least I got my medal :)
My very first running medal!

Over the next few months I actually started running… consistently.  I got help from the Couch to 5k app on my iTouch (which worked GREAT for me) and by February of last year I was able to complete a 5k running the whole time.  The race was the Publix Gasparilla 5k in Tampa.  It was rainy and really cold that morning but it was a great race.  The course was along beautiful Bayshore Blvd, there was a fun finisher’s medal and free beer at the post race party.  If there is anything I love more than a cool medal it is free beer after a race.  They say beer helps you replace your electrolytes… ok sure, it was only 3.1 miles, but I’ll live by that rule.
Beer = electrolytes

Sunday, February 13, 2011

A new year means it is time to try something new!

Welcome to my Blog! 
I wanted to start a blog as a way of journaling my running “career”, share my experiences with all of you, and sharpen my social media skills, now so important in the world of Sales & Marketing.  With running, I use the term “career” loosely as I really just got into the sport a little over a year and a half ago.  So far my experiences have been very rewarding and I love the positive, enthusiastic atmosphere at the races.  Whether it is a 5k or a half marathon, the excitement level is the same.  You other runners out there… couldn’t you just talk about running gear, fueling up, recovery and most of all, the runner’s high you get from a great run, for hours on end?  Thought so, me too.
Several friends & members of my family are also runners.  They are all at different points in their own running careers, so I will also share stories about them from time to time.  My cousin Amanda recently started her own blog as well.  She is currently training for this year’s Boston marathon and you can read about her at - yeah Mandy!
My blog name, “Go Girl Go”, came from a post I got on Facebook last month from my co-worker, Trish.  My status update was about how excited I was to run the ING Miami half marathon and her response was “Go girl go!” and I thought… what a great name for my blog – thanks Trish!  She is currently training for her first half marathon, the A1A half marathon in Fort Lauderdale next weekend - go girl go! 
Who knows, maybe this will inspire you (yeah you) to start running, start a blog, or just try something new.  I also thought if I put my running adventures out there for all to read, your feedback would motivate me to keep pounding the pavement instead of just lying on my couch watching TV.  In my defense, there are a lot of TV shows to keep up with!
A big part of my running life includes the runDisney events and I am currently training for my third half, Disney’s Princess half marathon.  It will be held February 27th and I can’t wait!  I’ve got my purple sparkly tiara all ready to go.  I am running with one of my best friends, Annette, and she is ready to go with her pink sparkly tiara.  This will be her first half marathon and I can’t wait for her to get to the finish line and know that she has conquered those 13.1 miles – go Annette!
Throughout the year, runDisney holds several “magical” races in their theme parks.  What better place to forget about the pain your body is experiencing then at Disney!  The courses wind there way through different theme parks and along the way you can have your picture taken with Disney characters, enjoy different bands, parade floats and other random entertainment acts set up along way.  Their events are so well organized and FUN you can’t help but want to go back for more! 
The other runDisney events I will participate in this year are: ESPN 5k on March 5th; Expedition Everest Challenge on May 7th; Disneyland half marathon on September 4th; Disney’s Wine and Dine half marathon on October 2nd.  I will cap off 12 months of running Disney in January 2012 with the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend.  At the very least, I will run the WDW half marathon, however, in July I will see how I am doing with training and decide whether or not to entice myself with a new challenge and start training for the 26.2 mile marathon.  Finishers of the marathon receive the highly coveted Mickey Mouse finisher’s medal.  The Disney dork in me wants, no needs, that Mickey Mouse medal!  But like I said, I will see how I am doing in July and make a decision then.
So that is my story, let’s see how it goes…