Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Turkey Burn Workout

Today's ThrowDown Thursday workout needs little explanation.

It's Thanksgiving.  You're going to eat.  Don't feel bad about it.  Sweat before. Smile later.

This workout is designed so it can be done with no equipment, meaning you can do it where ever you happen to be this fine holiday.  It's the official workout of Thanksgiving Day.  I mean, it could be true.
Pick a young relative and have them be your official "counter".  It will make them feel special.  It will also allow them to giggle as your grunt your way through 3 rounds of burpees.  Let's be honest.  Those are hard.

I am so thankful for my wonderful readers and their love of fitness.  You all keep me motivated to "throw-down" every day.

I hope you're doing well on our "Healthy Through the Holidays" Challenge.  Push through this workout and next week you shall be rewarded.  :)

Gobble, Gobble!

How are you celebrating Thanksgiving?

I will be announcing the Turkey Trot in Orlando then getting my own turkey burn on.  Kyle will agonize over the Dallas Cowboys game and then we'll all eat at his parents house.

Love and seconds please,
Carissa & Kyle

What I Eat Before a Race

Hello friends! I have one more day to talk about the Women's Half Marathon and then I promise I'll be off my running kick for a while.  We can then talk about sweaty workouts and vegetables!

I like to share my race day eats and post-race treats each "What I Ate Wednesday" after a race.
Check out past versions:

Pre-race meals can be tricky when you're out of town.  You really need to eat foods that are "usual" to you and made the same way you make then at home.  Meaning if you don't regularly eat butter, veggies covered in butter may make for an unhappy race morning.  

Outback is always a "safe" bet for me and I remember eating there many times as a child before gymnastics meets.  You're welcome for the flashback.
I ordered an outrageously exciting chicken breast with sweet potato (dry) and asparagus (dry). I also opted for 2 pieces of bread and honey mustard on the side.  The waitress probably thought we were a barrel of fun.  The 2 boys sat on one side of the booth drinking beers and watching football, while Kelsey and I ordered bland food and shopped on Amazon on our phones.  Party crew.
Breakfast the morning of was another "usual". I had a whole wheat bagel with peanut butter and coffee.  Coffee is okay on race morning.  I really wanted to go with the pumpkin bagel as a race day treat, but since I don't always eat it, I didn't push it.

No picture. Please close your eyes and imagine a bagel.

During the race I had some sport beans.  Not enough however.  Post race I had 1/2 a Gatorade and a banana.
Post-race we showered, checked out of the hotel, and hit the highway.  We stopped at Too Jay's at the very swanky International Mall in Tampa.  Too Jay's at this experience was "sub-par".  The waitress seriously refused to make my sandwich hot and she said, "you guys are making me write too much."  Yes, we're picky.  But we tip well.

Thought - Do you wear your medal to a post race lunch?  I do.  I wear it like a boss.
I started my meal with chicken noodle soup.  I liked the broth best.  My lunch was a TBLT - turkey, bacon, lettuce, and tomato sandwich on rye.  I wanted it hot.  I was denied.  I also wasn't a fan of the meat "roll" method they used.  I re-made my sandwich the way normal people do.
My "race treat" when I got home was simple, but delicious.  Guess what it is?
If you guessed McDonald's sundae then you are right!  Little bit of fudge.  Little bit of peanuts.  All for around $1.  I'm feel treated. Thank you Kyle for driving to McD's while I blogged.
I try not to use races for an excuse to eat whatever I want.  I refuel my body and allow myself to eat what I'm craving, but I don't go crazy.  The holiday season is coming and I'm trying to keep my sweet tooth at bay for as long as possible.
Classy AND fit.
Speaking of the holiday season...
  • 1. How are you doing with our Healthy Through the Holidays Challenge? Santa started a rumor that there's going to be prizes!?!? Tweet #FitHoliday to enter!
  • 2. I'm a holiday Elf for Health.  I've joined my fave Rd2Be Lindsay at The Lean Green Bean in her Holiday Elf challenge.  Visit her blog to find out more and help others be accountable this holiday season.
  • 3. We are having a Evolution Fitness Orlando holiday shirt sale! We have unisex t-shirts in size small and BN_Shape tanks from S-L all for $10 + shipping if needed.  Email or tweet me and I'll invoice you and mail your shirt! 

What is your favorite race day eat?

Love and golden arches,
Carissa & Kyle

Sunday, November 18, 2012

St. Petersburg Women's Half Marathon 2012

I ran the St. Petersburg Women's Half Marathon.  I set a new PR AND ran 13.1 miles under 2 hours.  Boom.  However I'm not as happy as I could be.  Let me break it down for ya.
The Women's Half was the race I had been training for all summer.  I was asked my the Women's Half to be an ambassador for the race as I gunned for my "sub-2" finish.  I agreed and recruited my sister-in-law Kelsey.  I spent many hot mornings this summer/fall grinding it out with my training plan all focused on my "1" in front of my finishing time.

Race morning we woke up at a leisurely 530am, dressed, and went to the lobby of our hotel for breakfast.  I had a Publix oats & berry bagel with peanut butter and coffee.  I peed twice before leaving the hotel.
Our hotel was only .8 miles from the start, so we opted for a warm-up jog there.  On the way to the start, we passed another hotel with a lobby full of runners.  I said, "Let's go inside and pee." And we did.  After Gasparilla's costly potty stop, I wasn't taking any chances.

The start was right on the water in Downtown St. Pete and we had no trouble getting there or finding a clear area for Kelsey, the speed demon, to do some warm-up drills.  I hit the port-o-potty one more time pre-race (crazy, right) and found my way into Corral 1 at 6:50am. Note - the number of porta-potties was good and there was a very short wait.
The weather was a mix of conditions.  It was overcast with a temperature around 63.  Sounds good right?  There was wind.  I couldn't find an exact record of the wind speeds, but the wind was constant about 15-20mph.

The start was uneventful and off I went.  I kept telling myself, "Today is your day. No regrets ."  Mile 1 I tried to start slow and hug the inside of the curves.
Mile 1 - 9:24

I started very close to the 2 hour pace group and this messed with my head.  I need to be a slow starter and when they passed me at mile 1.5, I was mentally confused about what to do.  I tried to hold my pace and eventually passed them when they stopped for water.
Mile 2 - 9:04

The early miles were my favorite (maybe because they were the least painful).  We trotted through a nice residential area and along the water.  I didn't have my music on yet, so I enjoyed some of the course entertainment.  A steel drum, an acoustic female singer, and a serious lounge-style-singer. He made me giggle.
Mile 3 - 9:00

At this point I told myself that I was running too fast.  My body runs negative splits.  I would slow down and then speed right back up.  I told myself, "It's a race. You have to race. Just push."  I should have slowed down, but I didn't want to dig too big of a hole.
Mile 4 - 8:53
Mile 5 - 8:56

I mentally told myself to not let it hurt until miles 6-8.  We found mile 6 and my left hip was aching.  I took a 30 minute walk and turned on my Taio Cruz Pandora.  I felt good. I was on pace and ready to "do work".
Mile 6 - 8:51

The crowds got thicker for a bit as we left the residential areas, so I enjoyed the extra cheers.  I was also looking for Kyle.  I knew he wouldn't be there (they were at the finish) but looking helped pass the time. Near the end of mile 7 we turned onto the "pier".
Mile 7 - 9:17

I hate you pier.  We ran directly into the lovely 20 mph head wind.  I kept telling myself that the wind was nothing and to keep my pace.  But it was something.  No more races on the water, Carissa. Not only was the pier windy, but it was long.  I kept thinking we were about to turn around so I could get the wind at my back and it took forever.  Somewhere along the pier I saw Meghann of Meals and Miles and shouted to her.
Me, Meghann, Mary
Mile 8 - 8:59

We left the pier around 8.4 and it was back into Downtown St. Pete to knock out some miles.  The wind took a lot out of me energy wise and I couldn't get my Pandora station to work.  I pushed on thinking of my goal and everyone rooting for me.
Mile 9 - 8:58
The rest of the miles were HARD.  Like the toughest, most painful miles I've ever run.  Mile 10 included a mini-incline and a loop around a large lake.  I hate running circles.  I don't like going and seeing all the people in front of me finishing. Is that a normal reaction?  I also got a terrible side cramp at mile 10.  At first I didn't know what it was, because everything was starting to hurt. But that's what it was.  Hey cramp.  Let's dance.
Mile 10- 9:15

Here's where it gets blurry.  I was in so much pain and so "out of gas" that I really remember very little of the last 3 miles.  At about 10.25 I stopped for a walk break and almost called it quits.  An old man ran by me and said if I wanted "sub-2" I had to keep going.  I did.  For about .25.  Then I had to walk again.  Then a sweet girl ran by and said, "You got this. Come with me."  So I found some resolve and set off with her.  Then she said something terrible, "It's just 2.5 more miles." haha.  That's kind of a long way to gut through.  I kept going.
Mile 11 - 8:59

Mile 11 brought us inside the baseball stadium at Tropicana Field.  I wanted to like this part of the race.  I really, really did.  I didn't.  The temperature difference between the outside and the stadium was about 15 degrees.  There was no air flow inside, no music, and it was just tough.  I stuck with my "friend", looked at the ground, and kept moving.  I did look up to see the "rays" inside their fish tank.  That was cool.

As I was leaving the stadium, the sub-2 hour group passed me.  I tried to speed up to catch the pacer, but couldn't hang on.  I stopped for a walk break and tried to catch back up.  No luck.
At this point too my Garmin and the course mile markers were not adding up.  At mile 11, I was at 11.2 on my Garmin.  That's a problem, because it messes up my math on "what do I need to go sub-2". Honestly, that mileage difference plus the pacer passing me broke my heart.  I didn't know how far I had to go, I didn't know how fast I had to do it, and I was in pain.
Mile 12- 9:41

At mile 12 I called Kyle.  I told him I wasn't going to make it.  He told me to keep going and that Kelsey (who just finished in 1:33 and took 3rd in her age group was coming to get me).  I started running.  I don't remember anyone on the course or anything about the last 2 miles.  Just that I wanted to sit down. Bad.

Kelsey caught up to me at mile 12.5 (on my Garmin) and yelled at me (in the best sense of the word) to keep going.  She ran with me over the longest last lap ever.  I'm so glad she came to push me, I don't think I would have finished as strong without her.
Kelsey & Matt post race.
Mile 13 - 9:15

I gave it all I had the final .1 and stopped my Garmin at 13.1 - 1:59:22.
I had done it.  I met my goal of running 13.1 under 2-hours.

So why does it feel so sad?  Because the course was long (13.27 on my Garmin), so my chip time is 2:00:30, which is still a 4 second PR from Gasparilla, but it doesn't feel like a victory.
I'm so so so frustrated by this.  I gave everything I had and I look at my splits and think, "The time is there. I did it." But "technically" I didn't.  The course was long.  Who does that?

I trained to run 13.1 miles under 2-hours.  I gave the race everything I had and I did that.  I didn't train for the .17.  What can you do?
My #1 Cheerleader and poster making champion.
Race Thoughts - The race was well-organized, but I'm unhappy with the course length.  It was a tough course and the crowd support was very low compared to Gasparilla.  The medal is pretty and traveling to and from the race was easy.  The post-run snacks were pretty boring - bananas, Gatorade, pretzels, and mini-muffins.  I had a banana.
Congrats to Kelsey on her 3rd place age group finish.
Later this week I may have another post on my thoughts.  I'm still pretty confused right now.  Am I happy or am I not?  Did I make my goal or not?

What do you think?  Should I fist pump or call it another close "sub 2" miss?

Love and half marathon #7,
Carissa & Kyle

Friday, November 16, 2012

Disney's Wine & Dine Half Marathon

Disney's Wine & Dine Half Marathon is an epic nighttime 13.1 mile race at DisneyWorld.  What's epic about it?  The after party.  Runners get to eat, drink, and enjoy all of Epcot's Food and Wine festival until 4am...4am people! I did not party until 4am, but I did have a darn good time announcing.
Ready to announce!
Congrats to my Mom who finished the Wine & Dine half in 2:45 AND picked up her Coast to Coast medal. (If you're new to RunDisney, the Coast to Coast medal is one you get if you run a half marathon at DisneyWorld and DisneyLand in the same calendar year).
Wine and Dine + Coast-to-coast medal
I'm so proud of my Mom.  A year ago I would have told you that my Mom would never run a half marathon.  I didn't think she'd ever run a 5k.  Mom runs.  She actually runs really fast and is a USA Track & Field Masters National Champion, but she runs "meters not miles" as she likes to say. Now she's completed not 1 BUT 2 half marathons.  Go Mom!
The Wine & Dine half marathon follows a point to point course from ESPN's Wide World of Sports to Epcot.  The runners visit Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, and Epcot before finishing in the parking lot in front of Epcot.

As one of the RunDisney announcers, I announced at the start, conducted interviews, and then headed to the finish to welcome in the 14,000+ runners.
Lead start line Tech, former Gator - Clint
Start line script cards.
Want to hear a bummer?  I missed my Mom finishing. :( I had to go to the awards ceremony, which started right at my Mom's predicted finish time.  Just as I was introducing "Mickey Mouse" I felt my phone vibrate letting me know that mom crossed.
Mom's in the left corner, white shirt, arms up.
Mom rocked her "stars" skirt in honor of Veterans Day.
After the race she promptly headed back to the room.  A poor choice in socks made her last few miles pretty painful.  She also forgot her race fuel of choice, sport beans, so she grabbed a Gu on the course and it didn't agree with her.  Race tip - only fuel with foods you've used and had success with in the past.

Overall, and I hate to say it, Mom said she liked the DisneyLand course better.  It could have something to do with the daylight, the classic cars, or that fact that she used to live in Southern California.  She also said the Wine & Dine course was more narrow and windy and that dreaded Osceola Parkway stretch.  If you're run you know that I'm talking about.

One more big Congrats to Mom and my other blogging friends Heather of Running with Sass and Marcia of Travel, Run, Eat who were also finishers! If you're a blogger/runner and finished let me know and I'll add you here too!
Heather <3 Fitfluential!
Next on our RunDisney agenda is a BIG one! The 20th anniversary WDW Marathon in January.
Random RunDisney cuteness
Which RunDisney race would you like to run most?

Love and race bling,
Carissa & Kyle

Related Posts:
- Disneyland Half Marathon
- TinkerBell Half Marathon

Monday, November 12, 2012

Mickey's Jingle Jungle 5k

If you like Disney, running, and Christmas, then Mickey's Jingle Jungle 5k is the race for you!
Since I am a HUGE fan of all 3 it was a perfect 5k for me.  I'm usually announcing for all things RunDisney, however I wasn't hosting this 5k since I needed to be at the kids races shortly after.  Even though it meant an early wake up and a 23 hour day I just HAD TO HAVE the Mickey Christmas medal.  #obsessed
Note - for those of you who are new readers I'm one of the announcers for the RunDisney series.  You can read about my adventures here in the blog and on my races page.

Mickey's Jingle Jungle 5k was a family fun run that took place as part of RunDisney's Wine & Dine Half Marathon weekend.   The race was held at Disney's Animal Kingdom at 7am on Saturday morning.
We were staying at Disney's Boardwalk hotel, so I had a 5:40 wake-up call.  I had 1/2 a bagel with peanut butter and coffee and my Mom and I made the short drive to Animal Kingdom.  We left the hotel a little after 6 and were parked and ready to go by about 6:25.
Disney was all decked out with the Christmas theme and they have some festive photos ops set up.
The lines were massive, especially the line for holiday Mickey & Minnie.  I really wanted a pic, but didn't have time.  Maybe I can use this random family as my holiday card this year?
The weather was in the low 60's at race time and I made the "running minded" decision to not take my camera.  I am a blogger, but at my heart I'm a runner.  I rarely have a chance to run 5k's, so I wanted to see where my body was.  I have the Women's Half next weekend, so I wanted to test my speed a little.  However I didn't want to push too hard and fatigue my body.

I am happy to say that I ran a new 5k PR of 25:10! My previous PR was set at the ESPN 5k and was 26:32.
According to my Garmin my splits were:
Mile 1 - 8:40
Mile 2- 7:30 (what?)
Mile 3- 8:25

I wish I had pics of the race.  That would make me a much more amazing blogger...but I PR'd. So hopefully that and my storytelling of the race will get you through.
The first mile was basically through the Animal Kingdom parking lot.  It wasn't too boring, because I was still amused by listening to Rudy & John our other announcers.  We hit the 1 mile mark right before the turnstiles.  From there we headed into Animal Kingdom and past the tree of life.

I loved seeing all the Christmas decorations and there was Christmas music playing along the course.
There were several characters along the course and I really wish I would have stopped for a pic with Santa Goofy.  All the Disney cast members were cheering really enthusiastically and I really enjoyed that.

Best part of the race course?  The goat.  Yup, there was a goat.  Several of the animals from the petting zoo were out including a hawk, my beloved goat, and I think a sheep. The race took and out and back turn out by Rafiki's Planet Watch then came back into the park and went past Expedition Everest, past Nemo, and through Dino Land.

Overall it was a very fun race. What else would you expect from RunDisney?  My medal is currently hanging from my rear view mirror in my car and my confidence level is high heading into my "sub 2" half marathon attempt on Sunday.

Do you run "fun 5k's" or do you only like to do timed events?

Love and Disney Christmas spirit,
Carissa & Kyle