2017 Training Stats

Miles Completed = 29.01
(Run/Walked = 29.01, Biked = 0.0, Elliptical = 0.0)


Thursday, December 31, 2009

Reflections of 2009 and Visions of 2010

I've been mulling this post over in my head for a while now and I hope I can put everything I've been thinking down in writing. I warn you now that this is going to be a long one!

Let's start with 2009
-Started the year out right with the New Year's Day 5K...Finished in 35:22 - certainly not my best time, but respectable considering my lack of training through out the holidays...
-Started the year out at a weight that I never wanted to see again...I have a lot of work to do in this area
-Continued training for the Princess Half Marathon. Hit a long run of 10.86 miles - my longest prior to the race
-Worked on diet and lost a few pounds which would help with the upcoming Half Marathon
-Bought an iPhone (what did I do without this thing)
-Travel to Walt Disney World for the Princess Half Marathon Weekend
-Ran the Royal Family 5K in 33:51 - not a bad time
-Met Rae and E, Kate and Princess Fee. It was a lot of fun meeting people that I had been conversing with online!
-Ran the Princess Half Marathon in 2:40:02...Still didn't get 2:30, but it was still a new PR bettering my 2008 Disneyland Half Marathon time by 6 minutes.
-Joined D23 as a charter member
-Still working out and the diet is going okay
-Get Open Water SCUBA Certification. Find another new hobby
-Go to see Up - LOVE IT!
-Still running - modest mileage
-Juneathon - mileage every day in June, it's a good month for walking/running
-Do some dives at the lake
-Try out the new Online ADR System
-Tragic monorail crash at WDW
-My refrigerator died
-Tried a little track running - not my favorite thing to do
-The summer heat sets in and my mileage drops drastically
-My diet starts to suffer
-I try to pick up my mileage...Not where it should be, but better than July
-My diet is not good at all.
-Stress at work is starting to hit me as more changes are being announced daily.
-Had a fabulous two week trip to WDW - that I still owe you all a trip report from...I had a lot of new experiences, met some great cast members and started longing to move to Orlando.
-Register for the 2010 Disneyland Half Marathon - going for that Coast to Coast medal in 2010!
-Completed the Step Out for Diabetes 5K Walk - no official time and I didn't wear my Garmin, did some little running spurts and realize how far I've fallen in my fitness.
-Walked the Walk for Hope 5K for Breast Cancer
-Walked the Komen Race for a Cure 5K for Breast Cancer
-My bird Sam passed away
-Had a nice Halloween in my Mummy costume
-Stress at work has thrown my diet completely off track. I keep trying to recover, but it's just not happening.
-My mileage is also very low this month.
-Start ramping up the running miles again. No real long runs, but getting out there again.
-Still can't get the diet under control. Now weigh more than I should and still having trouble making myself behave.
-Find a dog and find his real home - thank goodness!
-Try new black running shoes and have trouble breaking them in.
-Register for 2010 Inaugural Wine & Dine Half Marathon.
-Announcements at work continue to stress and trouble me.
-Get in some long runs in prep for January WDW 1/2 Marathon. Finish 9, 11 and 12 mile runs throughout the month. Feel pretty good about that. Wishing I'd done more tempo and speed work though.
-Belle gets sick and is finally starting to get better.
-Re-organization has been announced at work. I have a new boss and a job that I specifically asked to not have...Decisions need to be made.
-I've been blogging for a year now...Thanks for reading!

So what have I learned from 2009:
-I stress eat....It's not even that I eat all bad things, I just eat way to much.
-I let the tiredness from stress stop me from reaching my full potential in my running.
-I need to decide what to do about my work situation. While I'm glad I still have a job, I think it may be time for a change.
-I need to figure out how to maintain my focus when there's a lot going on in life.
-Even with my training not being as focused as I would have liked I logged 614.85 miles of walking/running in 2009.
-I couldn't have done as much as I did this year without the support of my online friends. You guys have all helped me so much that I can't express my gratitude. I hope that I've helped some of you as well!

What's in store for 2010
-Run the New Year's Day 5K (This will be the third year I've done this race)
-Up 5K and WDW Half Marathon
-Time to take control of my diet and fitness and work on controlling my out of control eating habits. Learn to eat a more balanced and natural diet.
-Start increasing my mileage and work towards running a full marathon (or more)
-Walk/Run the Lost Dutchman 8K Trail Run. This will be the third year I've done this one too...I don't run this one all out because I'm always worried about twisting an ankle or knee on the rough trail.
-Run Pat's Run 4.2 mile race
-Continue running through the heat of summer, whether on the treadmill or outside.
-Run Disneyland 5K and Disneyland Half Marathon. Hoping that this race is just a walk in the park as I'll be doing runs longer than the 1/2 marathon in preparation for January 2011 and the WDW Full Marathon.
-Run the WDW Halloween 5K and the Wine & Dine Half Marathon. This should be interesting as the two races are happening on the same day. The 5K is in the morning and the 1/2 marathon is at night. I don't typically run as well at night so this one is more than likely going to be for fun more than anything else.
-Continue training for the 2011 WDW Full Marathon (or Goofy Challenge).

Goals for 2010:
-Run a half marathon in 2:30 or less. I've got three chances to make this happen - as long as my finances hold out.
-Get my diet back under control, loss the excess weight and work darn hard to not fall in to the fall holidays eating binge. I've started to recognize the patterns - now I just have to acknowledge them and figure out a more productive way to address them.
-Figure out what I want to be when I grow up (i.e. look for another job)...This is going to be tough on me. I'll be even more stressed than I already am, working in a new job (if I can find one) with eating right and exercising might be very difficult, but I think it has to be done!
-If I can stay on my running schedule it will mean I'll end up logging about 1300 running miles and I have no idea how many walking/biking miles. I will be very impressed with myself if I can do this. It's going to take a lot of dedication, but I think I need that. That will mean doubling my miles from 2009.
-Support anyone that asks for help in regards to their diet and exercise goals

Be prepared for more updates as I can provide them in 2010. It's going to take a lot for me to continue to try to reach my goals and I'll probably ask for advice from all of you along the way!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

To Goofy in 2011 or Not

Would you attempt the Goofy if you've never run a full marathon before? I'd have 50 weeks to train. Anyone have any good Goofy training plans?

What's Coming in 2010 For My Running

I know that I have a Half Marathon coming up....soon in fact, but I couldn't help to start planning for my next running adventures in 2010. I spent some time today finding full marathon plans that look like they will work for me. I found a couple that I am going to combine to meet my needs and I'm very excited to get started when I get back and have a little recovery time after this race.

I also spent time today putting together a new tracking spreadsheet. I have used the same one successfully for a couple of years now, but I think it's time to progress to something a little more comprehensive so I spent some time putting it together. Now I can spend time figuring out the actual training I want to complete.

It's probably very ambitious to plan 50 weeks of training, but I can revise as I go and at least it gives me an idea of what I'll be doing for the year. I think it will help me set little goals and milestones along the way.

I like that I still have a plan and a plan that will last all year. For me that's pretty important and I hope that it will assist me in staying on track.

I have also already registered for quite a few races for next year. I did this the year before last but not this year. I found that when I had races planned that it kept me more focused and knowing that I have to do something or I'll have trouble even in the 5K races.

I have a lot on my mind right now and I'll put more of it in writing soon, but I just wanted to get these thoughts down tonight.

Belle Update: I took my dog back to the vet today and we're taking her off the medication to see how she does. She is not coughing any more and she's eating better. She also played with the other dogs today which is something she hasn't done since she got sick. I'll watch her the next few days and if she doesn't relapse I won't need to re-test her for Valley Fever. The vet thinks she got better without additional medications which is not uncommon with this disease. I have an awesome vet that I've taken my animals to for 15-16 years and he knows I'll be leaving town and my pet sitters can take any of them in while I'm gone and I can settle the bill later. Hopefully, she'll be fine the next few days and I won't have to worry as much about her while I'm on my trip.

Final Race Instructions Available

You can now print the Final Race Instructions for the WDW Marathon Weekend Races!

On a side note - I'm thrilled they have switched to the "D" Race Timing Tag! I used one of these in a local race last year and it's so nice not to have to wait to have the chip removed and it's super light so don't feel it on your shoe.

See you at the races!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

10 Days Before I Leave

I can't believe it....I just did my online check in for January...That must mean that there's only 10 days left before I head to "The World" for another race trip!

I guess I'm nervous and excited all at the same time! It doesn't seem possible that it's almost time to run another half marathon.

I've slacked the last few days instead of running my last eight mile long run. I haven't been feeling the best and I figured it would be better to hold off rather than go out and have a horrible run and run the risk of feeling worse. I may still get that eight miles in - just going to play it day to day now.

Now I suppose I'll have to start thinking about what I'm bringing to WDW with me...I feel very unprepared for this trip...So not like me.

Hope everyone else is getting ready for their big race(s) and looking forward to another fun year!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to everyone. I hope you all had a wonderful day and enjoyed time with your family and friends!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

9 Miiles - Confidence Builder or Killer?

Tuesday I took my Jasmine out for an easy 3 mile run...Little did I know that she was planning on killing us both by running 10:57 per mile. Actually it felt good to get a little speed back. I know, it's not fast, but I haven't been pushing my speed at all so this was a nice change. My little fat dog just wanted to kick some pavement butt :)!

Took yesterday off as I had to run to the vet to get Belle more medicine to last over the weekend. Her first Valley Fever test came back negative, but she has all the symptoms so we're going back in on Tuesday to draw more blood and test again. She isn't any worse, but she's not really better either. Thankfully the medicine helps her not cough as much so that's a good thing. I just want to get her treatment started and have it going for a few days before I head to WDW. It's going to be harder than ever to leave her this time.

This morning I headed out for a nice long run - 9 miles was the goal. I knew where I wanted to run and I got ready to head out. A little chilly this morning - 34 degrees F and yes, I realize that isn't super cold, but I haven't been running in the mornings so I have run in the 30's at all this year. So, long sleeves and gloves were in order. While I was at Target the other day I purchased a pair of Champion fitted running Capri pants - yes, I look like a fool, but they are super comfy and they don't ride up or chafe at all. Grabbed my water and headed out the door.

I did my little warm up walk and then I started on my run. I felt good, oddly good. Decided to let my body set the pace to start with and I'd adjust as needed. I knew I wanted to push myself a little bit today - how much I wasn't sure. Turns out I was in the mid 11 minute mile pace. Decided to let it go for a while and see how I did.

Got to the part of the run where I was going to cross the major road to start heading along the canal...Oops, not so fast...There's a bunch of construction going on and I can't get to the canal...Have to head a different way which means I'll have to pay readjust where I turn around and head back, etc...Oh well. Off I go in the other direction.

I'm still feeling pretty good. I hit 3 miles, 4 miles, 5 miles and turn around to head back. Guess I'm doing an out and back after all. It's okay, the canals are peaceful today - fish are jumping to get bugs, there are other runners and people walking their dogs and I'm just enjoying my run. At 6.5 miles my stomach started acting up a bit - nothing too bad, just a bit uncomfortable. I keep trudging along.

I decided against using the gel I brought with me today. Since my stomach wasn't feeling great and I was still feeling pretty energized I decided I didn't need it. I hit mile 7 and I'm starting to wane a bit. Now it's a mental battle - my legs feel great. No pain in my hips, very little pain in my knees and ankles, but my mind started that - you should walk - chant...I pushed it down and kept going.

Mile 8 and I'm almost done. 8.5 miles and it's tough. 8.75 miles - just push it and get it done. I do just that and I finish the 9 miles without any walking. I'm very tired, very tired for sure. I have my cool down walk and I sip my water as I walk along.

The end of my 9 miles and I realize that I just ran 9 miles in 11:55 per mile. Holy cow - I can't believe it. I maintained that pace the whole time. I was pretty consistent and while I'm going to pay for it later, I did it.

So, was my run a confidence builder or killer. Both! It was a builder because I was able to run the full 9 miles and I ran it faster than I have in a long time. It was a killer because it was only 9 miles and I'm pretty spent - it worries me that I'm that tired and I will have to pull more out to make it another 4.1 miles.

I'll head out on Saturday for an 8 mile run. I'm planning on taking this one slow and easy - not pushing at all. This will be my last long run before the half marathon. I'm going to try to get a couple miles in each day the following week and then it'll be time to head to WDW.

I feel good about my gear - even if I do look the fool :)! My shoes are broken in nicely - my feet are a little sore in the arches today, but nothing drastic. I'll take my fuel depending on how I feel during the race. My stomach is finicky when it comes to sports drinks, I can't drink them during the race so I'll have to make sure I drink my water and take gel as I need it - sports drinks for me are for when I'm all done running and I'll be more than ready for one then. I'm about as ready as I'll ever be and I should probably start packing soon as it's going to be a busy couple of weeks before I head out.

I hope everyone else's training is going well. Merry Christmas Eve - enjoy any festivities you have planned for today!

Monday, December 21, 2009

WDW Marathon Weekend Fun!

You can now view the Half and Full Marathon Courses in 3D here: http://disneyworldsports.disney.go.com/dwws/en_US/info/detail2?name=MarathonMapDetailPage (Note you'll need to install Google Earth Plugin to view)

Get the Up! and Away 5K Course Map here:

Get the WDW Half Marathon Course Map here:

Get the WDW Full Marathon Course Map here:

View the 2010 Marathon Weekend Program Online here:

Enter your celebration here:
http://disneyworldsports.disney.go.com/dwws/en_US/events/eventDetail/detail?name=WdwMarathonDetailPage Click on Event Details and then What Will You Celebrate?

Have your spectactors check out the online route planner to help find you on the course here:

Track your runners here:
http://live.activeresult.com/msg/MSG-signup.tcl?event_id=3 (Don't forget to confirm to ensure updates are sent)

Fear and Doubt

I still have a sick dog at home. Took her to the vet again on Friday and now we're waiting for the results of her blood work to come back. It looks like she has Valley Fever - a nasty little fungus that settles in and causes lung problems, achy joints, etc...She lost 5 pounds in two weeks and I'm now working very hard to get the pounds back on her. If the results come back positive for Valley Fever it will be a minimum of three months of pills two times a day. Hopefully, she will recover. Thankfully, the other two dogs are fine and this is not a contagious disease - she can't pass it to me or the other dogs. Poor baby just lays across my lap and sleeps whenever she can.

I put off my nine mile run on Saturday because I wasn't feeling well. Sunday about the same so I put it off again. Thought I'd go out and run my nine miles this morning. I headed out and at 3.1 miles I turned around and walked back home. I just wasn't feeling it. Nothing felt right in my pace or anything else. I'm upset with myself for not being able to finish, but I'm not completely down about it. As the race gets closer I have to listen to my body and if I'm not feeling it I'm not going to push it and get injured. I'll try again on Wednesday and see how it feels then instead.

So, the fear of course is my fear of injuring myself. I always get this way as I get close to a race. I don't want to get hurt and miss my races. I know how not to get hurt, but it's still always in my mind. I can get past this though.

Doubt...I always doubt myself and my abilities as I reach race time too. I know that I've put in some work, but not as much as I should have. I know that I can finish the race - I've done it twice with less training and injured legs. Still, there's that part in my head that makes me think I've gotten in too deep. Again, I'll get past this and move forward.

The worst part and I only have myself to blame for this. I have totally blown my diet out the window. What does this mean? It means that I'll more than likely be running this race the heaviest I've run a half marathon. That was not how this was supposed to go. I've let the stress rule me and my eating habits. I know it, I try to stop it and then I just give in. Do I feel better when I eat the extra food - no. Does it make the stress go away - no. So, why do I keep doing it? Well, if I knew the answer to that I wouldn't have the weight problems that I have. I am working on it though and I'll keep working on it.

I hope everyone else is training hard, making plans and getting ready to run the best races you can! We're getting close now and I can't wait to meet you all at WDW!!!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

12mi run, 1.16 mile walk and Now It's Time To Taper

Well, I headed out for a 12 mile run this morning. I wanted to get out of the house by 6...oops, it was 8 by the time I headed out. That's okay though.

It was a really beautiful day for a run. There's a wonderful cloud cover keeping the day a little gray, that means no sun blindness today!

I was pretty sick with tummy troubles all day yesterday, but I felt pretty good this morning. I was a little worried because I didn't hydrate as much I would have liked to. I also learned this week that I cannot run with the Camelbak waist pack that I bought - it's just not comfortable, it bounces to much and doesn't sit close enough to my body so I end up readjusting it constantly.

I started running and really felt good. I wasn't going to push my pace to much. It's more about learning to be more consistent with my pace instead of all this up and down I've done in my previous half marathons.

I chugged along...Lots of people on the path today. Looked like there was a Team In Training run going on. That's okay, I like to see other runners out there doing their thing! Four miles, five miles, six miles, six and a half miles and time to turn around and head back. I feel really good today. I keep on going. Finally at 7.8 miles I decided to try a raspberry Hammer Gel. It was fine...I kept going.

I hit 9.5 miles and slammed head first in to the wall...Brick, concrete, steel reinforced, bullet proof and nasty as heck. I can promise you that I didn't even ding the wall, but man did it take a toll on me! I had to walk a stretch - not happy about that...Then I'd run, walk, run, walk...It was not what I wanted to do, but my body was done. Funny thing about it - my legs felt great, my head was in the right place, but my stomach was cramping up and my energy level dropped through the floor. I thought about using the second gel I carried with me, but the way my stomach felt I figured it was safer not to try.

The last 2.5 miles were rough, but I pushed through and finished them the best I could. I ended up with a 12.30 per mile pace. Again, slower than I would have liked, but I'll take it.

I finished up with a walk to hit 13.16 miles for the day - thus completing my Donald Team Voice December Challenge.

I posted over there that I would probably regret going this distance and that's partly true. I regret that I wasn't able to hold the run the entire time and that I'm a bit more sore after this run than I was after last week's 11 miles. On the other hand, I am extremely proud of myself and I feel relatively ready for the Half Marathon in January.

So, now that I've hit the 12 mile training run mark, it's time to start tapering to keep my legs fresh for the race. I'm not good at tapering - I don't want to lose what I've worked so hard for. This time I think I'll be okay with the taper though - I know it's best for me!

I hope everyone else is training hard and getting ready for their races. Can't wait to get to WDW and push myself in another race!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Some Days It Just Doesn't Pay...

Tried to go running tonight. Haven't felt great today - no sleep, migraine, sick dog shivering and coughing all night. You get the picture.

Just thought I'd put in some time since I haven't done anything in three days. Bad I know, but sometimes the body dictates and the mind has to comply ;)!

Had trouble putting my shoes on tonight. Seems my legs decided to swell up good today at work - the perils of a desk job. Which later led to a very tight left calf - until it started warming up and stretching out.

Out the door for a warm up walk. My heart rate monitor isn't monitoring. Finally got it positioned correctly and at least it started reading.

Wore the new Camelbak waist pouch full of water to test it out. The verdict is still out. I didn't mind the sloshing noise, but it doesn't fit against me very well and I have to figure out the best way to handle the drinking hose.

Then my darn pants started chafing - not a nice feeling either.

So, I did get 2.82miles in tonight. I can't call it a run, I think I'll just call it a mess :)!

Until next time...Keep on chugging along!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Print Your WDW Marathon Weekend Waivers!

Everyone registered for any of the races during the WDW Marathon Weekend should have received an email that you can now print your race waivers. Don't forget that there is one waiver per race so if you've registered for more than one race you'll have one waiver per race!

I printed my 5K and Half Marathon waivers today. I love doing this - it makes the registration real and means the races are getting closer!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Happy Birthday Walt...What A Week! (long)

If you read my previous post you know I was cursed with some new black shoes. That started out my week. It was a horrible run with new shoes that should have made me feel like I was running on air...No suck luck.

Back to work time for me. How did my day go? Well...I've had better. My boss had scheduled a meeting one on one to discuss our new organizational chart. Prior to this, we were having meetings to discuss where I wanted my career to go and what I wanted to do. I have said the same thing for almost seven years. I've been very clear about where I want to go - always. I'm not shy and I know how to speak my mind. So, the new org chart was displayed and I was put in to a position that I specifically said I wasn't interested in. How do I take that? Not very well...I've swallowed a bitter pill and tasted really bad right now. I have been trying to keep an open mind, but I feel like I've been thwarted again. Every time there's a possibility that I might get to start moving in the direction I've been trying to go I get slapped back in to the same role...I have a lot of serious thinking to do for sure.

I came home and wore the dreaded black shoes for a walk. It was okay. Not great, but at least I didn't feel the waffle pattern on the ball of my foot this time. I took both dogs with me so that was nice.

I've been hand feeding one of my dogs (Belle) for several days. She is not feeling good and I am very concerned about her. I think she may have a fever too. Then when I came home...I put on the dreaded black shoes and didn't even make it out the door before I changed in to my old shoes. I did head out and finished a 5mi run, but boy did I feel dead at the end.

Belle started hacking - a horrible cough. Needless to say that this continued all night. She was on the bed and shaking and I'd cover her up then she'd have to cough and she'd jump down, cough and then jump back on bed. It was a very long night.

I worked from home so that I could take Belle to the vet...besides I wouldn't have been any good at work with an hour of sleep. I got Belle to the vet and she had a pretty big fever and looks like she has bronchitis or something like that. She was given a shot of fever reducer and sent home with 10 days of antibiotics and fever reducer pills. Poor little girl just doesn't feel very good at all.

I got another new pair of shoes out and put them on and I was feeling the same problems with the laces as the black pair of shoes. Well shoot, that's not good. I decided to completely unlace the shoes and try a new configuration. Put the shoes back on and thought they felt pretty good. I decided not to give up on the black shoes and reconfigured the laces. Put the shoes on and decided to hit the road for a 4mi run. The shoes worked - not too bad at all. Just needed a new lace configuration to make them feel better. I've also learned that I don't do well running in the evening after I've been sitting all day - my legs are swelling up just enough to make my legs tight and feel like lead. I can work them out after a couple of miles, but those first couple of miles are rough! The Wine & Dine 1/2 Marathon ought to be interesting if I can make it down for that one.

The bitter pill was definitely in full force today. Man, I didn't want to stay in the office at all. Which is super silly because none of the bosses were in and it was nice and quiet. Needless to say, I am definitely thinking it's poisoning me staying there. I have never cared about the money - it's about being happy and I realized that I'm just not happy, even though I work with a great group of peers.

I went out for walk with Jasmine, my other lab, after work. Did a nice 5K. Figured that would be good as I was going to shoot for 11mi the next morning. Belle seems to be feeling a bit better today with no fever, but still hacking.

Happy Birthday Walt Disney! How I wish I could have met you or been around to see how you came up with the wonderful ideas you had. I would take a tenth of your creativity! Thank you for the beautiful things you created.

The morning started out a little later than I intended, but I didn't dilly dally around. Took care of the kids and geared up for an 11mi run. Yes, in the black shoes :). I was hoping to run the full 11mi - no walking, and I would have liked a good time. As I took off for the run, I revised my goal and decided to go for the run the whole distance without regard for the speed. After all, this is the longest I've run since March - the Princess Half Marathon. My longest run during this training cycle has been 6mi - since I've skipped my 8mi and 10mi...So I went for broke and shot right to 11mi - stupid, but necessary.

It was a beautiful day for a run. Needed gloves to keep the fingers warm, took 20 ounces of water, a Hammer gel and a pack of Jelly Belly Sports Beans. Away I went down the road. My speed was slow, but I was going to try to keep it steady.

At mile 3 I ran in to another runner and we started talking. He asked how far I was going today - funny, this is something I always think about as I pass other runners, but would never ask. Don't want to mess with any one's groove. I answered that I was shooting for 11 today. This shocked him I think - let's face it, I don't look like a traditional runner ;). He is planning to run the Rock and Roll 1/2 Marathon in January. Mind you, this is a week after the WDW 1/2 Marathon. He said that the furthest he'd ever run was 8 miles and that was 20 years ago. In my head I'm thinking he's not going to have a fun time. He had a lot of questions, so I did my best to answer them. I gave him advice on fueling, hydration, training by increasing miles slowly, etc...He was a faster runner than me so we parted ways after a good discussion. I wish him luck, I think he might need it because it doesn't sound like he's done any real training. Of course, he could just be one of those lucky people that run easily and don't have to work as hard for it.

I continued on my way. I turned around at 5.55mi and headed back the way I came. At 6.5mi I got out my Hammer gel. This was the first time I've tried Hammer - I am a bit impressed and think I may have found my new brand of gel. I found it was easy to swallow and didn't take as much water to rinse down as some of the others I've tried. It was a little thicker than I expected, but that could have been because it was pretty chilly out. This one was raspberry. Anyway, I felt a pretty immediate energy boost from this gel and it really helped me keep going. I liked it, it felt good...Of course, I'm a skeptic and I think my mental ability to keep going has a lot to do with how far I can go too.

I continue to plod along. I'm slower than I want to be, but I've come to grips with that and decided that was okay for this run. Distance was key today. I started feeling like I was fading again just after 9mi and so I pulled out the Sports Beans. These are not my favorite fuel, but it's what I had on hand and they do help. The problem I have is the amount of chewing I have to do and the amount water it takes to get some of the sugar out of my mouth.

I continue trudging and I did it...11 full miles of jogging - no walk breaks. I did have to stop at cross walks, but I kept moving even at those. I feel really good about the distance and my body is doing pretty good too. I got home and stretched and hydrated and had breakfast and felt pretty good.

After a nice hot shower and lunch and more hydration I was tired, but not terrible. I headed out to do my grocery shopping. I figured it would be good to get out and do some more walking to keep myself from freezing up. It seems to have worked. I can still move and with little pain!

On this run I decided that I would have liked to have more water with me. Even as cool as it was today, I could have used more than 20 ounces. I purchased a new Camelbak waist pack that holds 45 ounces. I'm hoping that will help me with the 1/2 and work as I move on to training for a full marathon in 2011.

Poor Belle has a fever back and she's just not feeling great, but she's not coughing as much today. I hope she starts feeling better soon!

Questions for you runners out there:
What is your fueling strategy for a half marathon?
When do you use fuel?
How much fuel do you use?
How much fuel do you carry with you?
What are your favorite brands?
How much water do you go through during a half marathon?

While I'd still like to break the 2hr 30min mark on the next half marathon, I don't think that's reasonable for this one. I just haven't put in enough effort on increasing my speed during this training cycle. So, I've revised my goal and decided that I should focus on running the full 13.1mi instead of worrying about my speed. I've never been able to run a whole half marathon yet and I think that's a more reasonable goal for this one. There's always more races to work on getting under 2hr 30mins!

I hope every one's training is going well and you're all getting excited for your races in January - I know I am!

Monday, November 30, 2009

New Black Shoes...Love 'Em or Hate 'Em

Have you ever run in black running shoes?

Since it was time to get out a new pair of shoes and start breaking them in for the Walt Disney World Half Marathon I figured I'd pull out the black shoes. So, I got ready for my run today in my new black shoes and black running socks and headed our the door.

Today was all about a 4 mile easy run. Now, the new shoes are the same brand and style I've been wearing since I started this running adventure. Breaking them in really hasn't ever been a problem - the only thing I have to fiddle with is making the laces loose enough and tight enough in the right places to keep my feet happy and my toes from falling to sleep.

I started out for my .25mi warm up walk and felt pretty good. The shoes have lots of cushion and springs. My favorite part of new shoes is the bounce you feel from all that unbroken support.

Time to run. After about 1.25mi I had to stop and readjust the laces. My toes were pretty much asleep and I can only wiggle them so much while running. Kept running. Stopped again to readjust the laces. Kept running. Okay, this is just not working today. Why can I feel the waffle pattern of the soles of my shoes in my entire ball of my foot? I must be mentally making that feeling happen. There's no way that I could feel that right? I've never had that feeling before. I run some more. I stop and try running without tightening the laces at all.

At 3.1 miles it was just too much. I stopped running, took the shoes off and walked for a few minutes in my socks. This has never happened before and I hope that the next run in these shoes will be much better. If not, I have have several other new pairs to switch to - thankfully. I picked up a few pairs during a great sale so at least I'm not stuck with one bad pair of shoes if these don't work out.

So, I wonder if black shoes are bad for my karma. I felt like I was trying to be a tough runner. It's weird looking down and seeing black running shoes instead of white. I know...I'm crazy :)!

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving. It was okay here.

I've been quite remiss in my training over the last week. I've skipped two long runs now - an 8 and a 10 miler. I'll be trying for 11 this weekend anyway as I am running short on time and I'd like to make it up to 12 and still have time to taper...I think I'll be able to do it.

I ate pretty poorly over the week and weekend, but I still managed to drop a few pounds last week so I ended up with a loss of 8 pounds for November. I am happy with that. I know I can do better so I'll have to keep going and working hard in December.

I'm excited and nervous for January. I really cannot wait to meet everyone - that is so exciting! I really want to break that 2.5 hour 1/2 marathon goal of mine (third time's a charm right?). I'm nervous that I'll get injured before the race, but I'm doing my best to prevent that.

That pretty much wraps it up for me for today. I hope everyone is training hard and getting ready for whatever race you're tackling in 2010!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

Just wanted to take a second to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving.

A very short list of the things I'm thankful for this year:
My pets - they are my kids and many days keep me going.

My health - it's the reason that I can run, work, and live.

My job - even though there are days I can't stand it, it helps me do the things I want to do.

My family - while I am not super close with my immediate family, I know they are there.

My strength - without this I wouldn't be able to do the things I want to do mentally or physically.

My friends - if you're reading this blog, you are a friend and I truly appreciate the support you provide.

As I said, this is a very short list and I'm thankful for so much more, but you get the idea. Take a few minutes today and reflect on the things that you are thankful for and enjoy this holiday!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

50+ days, 40+ Miles, and Wine&Dine

Just got back from my 6 mile long run. Felt so good today. The goal was 12:40 per mile and I smashed that coming in at 11:28 per mile. Amazing what happens when you let your body decide the pace and don't dwell on the Garmin :)! It did feel really good, but I know I have a long way to go until the Half in January. Most of my problems seem to be mental right now as a mile in I was thinking I wasn't going to make it - had to change that attitude right away. Quick body check told me there was no reason I couldn't run the 6 and be just fine. That did the trick - from there on I felt pretty good and just let myself run for a change.

On the diet front - things are okay. I haven't been super good, but I haven't completely fallen off the wagon either. I hope to post a loss again this week and that's really what matters right now. Each pound I take off will make my running that much easier!

Hoping I can talk myself in to getting back on the strength training routine this week as well. I've been so tired when I get home from work that it's been tough to put in two workouts a day. That's ridiculous so I need to force myself to do it and I know I'll feel better and get stronger in my running!

Still don't know what's going to happen with my job, but I'm going to sign up for the Wine & Dine Half Marathon in October. If I can't make it I'll be out the registration fee, but hopefully I'll be able to make it. That would mean I'll have the following Disney Halfs next year: WDW Jan, DL Sept and WDW Oct. I think that would be really cool if I can manage it.

Hope everyone else's training is going well and that your running faster, further and easier!!!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Digs Has Gone Home!!!

The puppy I found yesterday has gone home!!!  You have no idea how good that feels.  Having three dogs is enough, but throw a fourth one in the mix and it might has well be a living example of the chaos theory!

My girls are quite protective and started to really show it tonight as the new guy wanted to play with me :)!  They had quite enough of this interloper and wanted their Mom back to themselves.

The first thing I did yesterday was post a found notice on one of the local lost and found pet sites.  Didn't hold a lot of hope, but had to try.  Then I took the fella in to my vet today to see if he had a microchip - he did not.  I spent the day trying to find a new home for him.

At 8:30pm I received a call from someone I didn't know and let the answering machine pickup.  A little girl left a message saying that she thought I had her dog and to call her back.  Thank goodness I have Caller ID because she didn't leave her number :).  I called right back and the Mom answered - we had a bit of a language barrier, but I got her to describe the dog and found out his name and she said she had a license for him.  I agreed to bring the dog to the local Lowe's which is less than a mile from both of us and her husband was going to meet me there.

Packed the little guy up and we headed out.  I pulled in and parked and the little girl was standing outside.  As soon as the pup saw her he was completely excited.  He was so happy and so was she.  Dad came out of the store and said that the kids had cried for hours when he got away and he was so happy that they found him.

I explained that I found a tick on him and that I sprayed him with flea and tick spray, I trimmed his toe nails and that if he has a license he needs it on his collar.   I don't know how much of that made it through the translation barrier, but I hope some of it stuck.

He asked how much I wanted for returning him and I told him - nothing, I just want to make sure he got home and stayed home with them.  That's where we left it.  I did find out his name is Digs and he is 10-12 months old...I was pretty close on his age.

I can only hope that the kids will take good care of him now that they know what it's like to not have him.  I had my reservations about sending him back home with them - that's just me.  My animals are my kids and I can't imagine not going all out to find them and make sure it doesn't happen again, but I managed pet stores and I know that's not how everyone else feels.

I am very happy that he didn't end up being a foreclosure puppy...We have a rash of dogs left in backyards when people leave their houses.  That's inexcusable and while I don't condone animals getting out it's forgiveable - abandonment is not!

Okay, off my soapbox for tonight.  Now my kids and I can get back to our normal routine :)!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Another Week Done...

So, I went out for a little walk with the dogs this morning.  The weather is beautiful and we were having a nice time just taking our time not worrying about speed.  I wanted the dogs to just have fun so we'd stop and play at parks, and mud puddles and whatever else they wanted to do.

We were about a quarter of a mile from home when around the corner came a dog.  He was very cute - he crouched down like he was going to pounce on the girls...when in reality he was just being shy.

The dogs and I kept going and we had a new friend following us.  The dog was walking with us.  Now, I didn't want the dog to follow us home.  I tried to shoo him away, tell him to go home and nothing was working.  He just kept following us.  He was very skitterish around me, but was curious about the girls and was sniffing them whenever he could.  I finally stopped and crouched down.  Every time I'd try to grab him he would dart just out of my reach.  So, I crouched there and waited until he came to sniff one of the girls. and I grabbed his collar.  Well, turns out it's just a flea collar, but I had him.  He tried to get away, but as soon as I picked him up he just calmed right down.

I kept trying to figure out where he came from.  I finally saw a guy working on his van and asked if he knew who the dog belonged to.  Well, it turns out that the dog has been wandering around for a few days and no one else had been able to catch him.  Lucky me.

Well, I'm a sucker.  I can't leave a dog out on the streets to get hit by a car.  After all, that's how I got Ralph, my 16 year old Shih Tzu/Terrier mix, I rescued him from the streets.  So, I carried the dog home with us.  He's in my backyard - I put one of the girls' puppy collars and a leash on him.

I cannot just give him to an animal control shelter.  They are so crowded, the average time an animal has to be adopted is 48 hours.  I can't do that to an innocent animal.  I'll have to try to find a no kill shelter that has space this week - as if I have time for that ;).

Here's a picture of the little guy...
Found Dog

He's had some food and water and we just had a good play time.  He's very sweet.  I just gave him a toy to play with.  I think he's been with people and just got away.  I hope I can find his home.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Report Card For This Week

Diet – Pass

Exercise – Needs Improvement

Stress Management – Fail

Ah, the fun continues! I've been doing pretty good with my eating this week. I’ve been keeping my calorie count around 1500, a little higher than I wanted, but not terrible either.

I took yesterday off from working out, but I have been trying to put miles in and I’ve done pretty good with that. I haven’t started back in to strength training yet and I know I need to. I’ll keep working on this.

Stress continues to be a huge problem for me. I had a meeting with my top boss this week and the news wasn’t great – reorganization will eliminate my position and right now they don’t know where to put me. So, I am stuck with the dilemma – stay or go. Should I stay and see how this plays out and hope they can find something for me to do and then end up without a job? Should I leave and try to find something else and lose seven years of employment, vacation time and salary? It’s a tough call. I really wish I was brave enough to try to move to Florida – that’s where I’d really like to be. It’s difficult thing to pick up and move across the country all alone – these are the times it sucks to not have someone to share the stress with me.

Going to try for a three mile run tomorrow and a five mile run on Saturday. Both should be doable if I can just get my head in the game!

I really want to get back to my trip report too. I’m just getting to the good stuff now and I really want to share so stay tuned!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Easy 3 Miles - NOT!

Ugh - ever have one of those runs where 3 miles feels like 50....Yeah, me too :)!

I was feeling so good about my progress last week. I ran a good 13 miles and walked about 7 miles. I wasn't really very sore and for the most part I felt really good.

Then tonight came and I went out for my 3 miles....I knew at about a quarter mile that I was in for a long run. Everything felt wrong - my breathing, my calves, even my wrist with my Garmin felt sore and heavy.

Regardless, I'm still happy because I did manage to do my 3 miles...Much slower than I would have liked, but I didn't give up!

Hopefully, tomorrow will be a better day. At least I know it's just a walk tomorrow :)!

I hope everyone else is training hard and ready to go for January....I can't wait to meet you all in person!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween


Just got back from a nice 4mi run. A little slower than I wanted to go, but not bad considering it's been a while since I've managed to get myself out of bed on a Saturday for a run ;).

Yesterday was Halloween at work and I promised I'd post a couple of pictures of my costume. I have to say that I was a bit hesitant to wear this one as I thought it might be cheesy, but when I finally put it all together I liked it pretty well.

I had many compliments at work and it was a lot of fun...I'm going out Trick or Treating with my great niece tonight, taking the dogs and debating whether I'm going to be wearing my costume again.

Here is a photo of my cube at work. Nothing too fancy, just fun...
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So, here it is....What do you think?
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Even two of the puppies got mummified....
Halloween 2009 BellePhotobucket

Thursday, October 29, 2009

October's Almost Over...

I know that I've been quiet this week. I've been trying to get ready for Halloween, which means making my costume...Now I know why I usually just buy things and put them together. Should be okay for this year though!

I've run two days this week and walked one. I should be able to get out and run again tonight - it's only going to get to 65 here today (chilly for AZ)! Walk tomorrow and Sunday and run Saturday.

There are two races this weekend that I normally do, but I think I'm going to skip them this year. I need to train more than I need to race. We'll see though - both are fun races and I feel guilty not
running them.

I started a 10 week half marathon training plan this week. I combined the plan I used before with a new one I found. Four running days a week - one of those days a long run. A good two week taper before the race. I think it's going to work well for me. On non-running days I'm going to walk. Next week I'll add strength training back in too. Figured I'd start slow since I was so lazy for the last two months.

I've also got my eating back to a more manageable place. This week I've been making better choices and I think I'll be okay. Want to get some weight off to make the running easier - although I've felt pretty good running this week.

On the job front, I'm still really torn. More huge changes this week threw us in a bit of a tailspin. I know what I'd like to do, but I don't think I'll be able to do it any time soon. Just trying to stay
open and see what happens.

Well, that's it for now. I'll post costume pictures tomorrow and I should be able to continue my trip report this weekend.

Hope every one's making good choices and training hard. January is just around the corner.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Halloweens Past

So I love Halloween and thought I'd share a few of my past costumes.

Our office has always gone all out. Decorations, newspapers, stories, etc. This year probably won't see much from anyone - morale is low!

I've included some of the stories in our publications. I've done all the writing - just for fun, I'm certainly not a pro :)!

2005 - Zombies
Friday, October 28, 2005 started out as any other Friday at Cytec Engineered Materials in Tempe, Arizona—but it wouldn’t stay that way.

It was late afternoon and the Information Technology (IT) department headed out for a late lunch meeting at a nearby restaurant. Little did they know that it would be the last meal that they would enjoy (at least as humans).

Tim Kinkead, Mike Cuendet, Aaron Kyes, Orville Gore, Bob McAfoos, Dick Zimmerman, Amanda Young and Janell Maiorana were all riding in Mike’s minivan. Mike had previously injured his foot (imagine green and infected and totally disgusting) and turned the keys over to Janell to drive.

As they neared the office in the Research Park as a Mazda 6 came barreling out of the parking lot, clipped the minivan’s mirror and narrowly avoided a collision with the minivan. We now believe that the Mazda 6 that nearly crashed in to the minivan was being driven by Eddie Del Toro. Eddie was headed home on Friday afternoon and knowing that he had an unpaid speeding ticket was avoiding a run in with the police as one more offense would mean jail time. It also appears that he didn’t have a clue that his near collision set in motion a series of “deadly” events.

Based on data collected we believe that Janell was driving one handed while eating a large chocolate cookie and was forced to violently swerve the minivan to avoid the collision with the Mazda 6. This caused her to lose control and the van flipped and rolled in to the lake by the Cytec office building.

According to sources, Bob McAfoos was a relatively new contractor and he had yet to discover how important it is to wear your seatbelt when riding in a car with Janell driving. As a result, Bob was thrown from the minivan as it rolled and he hit his head and was rendered unconscious. Bob turned out to be the lucky one in this case for we now know he escaped a fate worse than death.

There were no witnesses to this horrendous accident and so we have to speculate what happened. It appears that the rest of the IT Staff was trapped—injured or dead—in the minivan as it submerged in the lake. It is assumed that Bob regained consciousness some time after the accident and had no recollection of the horrible events that had transpired as he returned home to his wife as if nothing out of the ordinary had occurred.

Fast forward to Saturday, October 29, 2005. The Cytec Global Help Desk started receiving calls that users couldn’t use one of the company’s websites and this caused the Help Desk to begin calling the Tempe IT Staff in an attempt to locate someone to correct the problem. Turns out the last person they called answered—Bob was apprised of the problem and he agreed to go in to the office to investigate.

When Bob arrived at the office he thought it was strange that he was called to come in to fix the problem when the rest of the IT Staff was already there. At least he thought they were all there as their cars were in the parking lot. He assumed the problem must be worse than the Help Desk reported and he headed toward the building. As he approached the staircase he realized that something wasn’t quite right. There were what appeared to be bloody handprints on the handrails. Sensing danger Bob turned around and headed back to his car.

That’s when he saw it—something that made his blood run cold. There were people—no, not people—something much more sinister at the top of the stairs. The creatures were pounding on the doors and windows searching for a way in. Bob didn’t hang around to find out who or what these things were.

Once home Bob called the local police department and they sent a patrol car to investigate. After an extensive search, the wreckage of the minivan was found at the bottom of the lake—but the strange thing was—it was empty. The police brought in divers, but no bodies were ever recovered.

The wreckage suggests that something broke in to or out of the minivan.
A hazardous materials team was brought on to the scene and samples of the lake and surrounding areas were collected. Preliminary tests show that the water is toxic, but the toxic substance has not been identified yet.

Experts fear that the Cytec Engineered Materials IT Staff did indeed die in the car crash, but they didn’t stay that way. The experts believe that they have been re-animated and now walk the earth as the undead.

Residents of nearby housing developments have been warned to keep their pets and children inside. If anyone sees or hears anything strange they should immediately contact their local police department. Everyone is urged to maintain their distance if any of these zombies are encountered as they are quite dangerous and more than likely will be hungry and that makes them deadly.

Cytec Engineered Materials employees are being instructed to return to work on Monday, October 31, 2005 as usual. Will the IT Staff return as well? If they do return, will they be alive, dead or both?

We’ll continue to update you as more information is collected.

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2006 - Pirates
Crooked Island Oct 14, 1695
A few days outside of Cat Island the Dragon Claw docked at Crooked Island where Captain Scurvy Rickets, Carver Black Blood and Scarlett PowderKeg decided to take a few days to restock the ship and see what mischief they could get in to, little did they know that someone beat them to it. The motley crew headed towards the tavern but what they saw on the way had them drawing their weapons and preparing for battle. The town was dead, not quiet, literally all the townsfolk were dead – bodies were everwhere. Whatever happened looked like a crew of 200 pyrates had been through there. The first building they actually came to was the church and opening the doors they found a person sitting on a pile of loot like they’d only dreamed of. Had this person done all this and if not, where were the rest of them? Captain Scurvy Rickets cautiously introduced himself and the rest of the crew, the person on the loot introduced herself as Brandy Blood Bath and no one had to ask where that name came from after they learned she was on her own and that she didn’t care so much about the loot (although that’s a bonus) as she does about the kill. Captain Rickets invited Brandy Blood Bath (given name Amanda Young) to join his crew. Brandy signed the code with the blood off her cutlass and now the crew numbered four.

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2007 - Cruella de Vil
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2008 - Psycho Vanna White Job Stealer
Wheel of Misfortune!
Popular TV game show Wheel of Fortune is going in to its 27th year in prime time. In 1982, Vanna White took on the role of hostess for the show and became recognized worldwide for smiling and flipping the letters as the contestants called them out and they lit up. Vanna was said to be one of the sweetest, down to earth people on TV. Vanna didn’t miss a single show until early in 2007 when she mysteriously disappeared and the show’s producers were forced to find a quick replacement.
There was a casting call held in Tempe, Arizona (where the show was shooting on location) to find a temporary replacement hostess on March 1, 2007. One applicant stood out above the rest. She came to the casting call in full makeup including blond wig and wardrobe and wowed the producers with her ability to mimic Vanna White’s style.
On March 3, 2007, Amanda Young stepped in to fill the hole created by Vanna’s disappearance. Fans of the show quickly switched loyalty from Vanna to Amanda, as if Vanna had never been on the show.
The viewers had no idea what kind of show they had tuned in to on that fateful night a year ago today. The theme music starts and the title screen comes in to focus, but wait, it’s not the screen everyone is used to seeing. Audiences were shocked to see the death and destruction on their beloved show. It was supposed to be a Happy Halloween episode, complete with spooky decorations and creepy sound effects. Yes, we saw the decorations haphazardly strewn around the set. There were bats, pumpkins, ghosts and all the other stereotypical decorations you would expect. Then there were the parts that caused some people to seek professional counseling.
Pat Sajak was on the ground, lifeless, where he had fallen. The HAPPY HALLOWEEN letters were backlit and brought fear to watchers everywhere – behind the lighted letters were body parts.
This must be a sick joke – no one believed this scene could be real. How could this have happened? Who did this? The answer became clear as the camera slowly panned to focus on an insane, blood soaked, wild haired Amanda Young. Seems our perfect
Vanna replacement had been putting on a very good show all this time.
The network removed the offensive program as quickly as they could, but the damage was done. The world knew that Pat Sajak was dead and everyone assumed that Vanna didn’t just take an extended vacation as was reported. As the next few days passed, the scene at Wheel of Fortune was anything but normal. More body parts were found around the stage (some of them later identified as Vanna White’s), multiple weapons were recovered and phrases, words, and places were left as clues posted around the walls backstage.
In the year that has passed we now know that Amanda Young has a vendetta against game show hosts and hostesses everywhere. No one knows the real reason behind the hate, but we do know she is a master of impersonation. Game show personalities everywhere need to beware.

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Yes, I even made the letters so that it looked like the Wheel of Fortune!

2009 - Check back next week!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Rest in Peace My Beautiful Sam...

I've been so preoccupied and wrapped up in my own stress that I didn't notice that one of my birds was getting sick. I went to say goodnight to him and found him in the bottom of his cage. My baby passed away and I don't even know if I could have stopped it from happening.

He just turned 18 in March and he was way too young to have died. I totally blame myself - it seems like he just wasted away and I so should have noticed that something was wrong.

I adopted Sam when he was just 4 years old. He was a sweet loving bird until my first bird passed away and then he turned a bit mean, but I still loved him like I always did (I have the scars to prove it).

Rest in Peace Sam - I hope you forgive me and that I see you again someday!

Here's Sam - another brother for the new girls!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Sea World - September 8, 2009

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Today the alarms went off at 7 and 7:10, but since there were no real plans I went back to sleep until 8:30am. It felt really good to sleep. Finally, I got up and took a shower and just took my time getting ready to go this morning.

I left my room at 9:15am and after the now familiar drive to Sea World I was headed in to park at 9:30am. Yikes - $12 for parking. I still can't believe they charge that much for parking. I guess I could have been one of the people that paid $20 for preferred parking - after all I would have been two whole parking spots closer to the gate than I was!

Sea World

I headed up to gate and used my Discovery Cove ID to enter the park. The gate employee was none to friendly, but it was no big deal. I grabbed a park guide and headed straight to see Blue Horizons which was starting in about 10 minutes. The first seat that I took was not ideal and I quickly discovered that I would have a pole in all my pictures so I decided to move. The view was perfect, but the sun was brutal! I really enjoy this show. There are lots of animals to see and they do a good job showcasing their abilities while entertaining.

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After Blue Horizons I headed over to Penguin Encounter to visit the penguins. They are fun to watch today and what do you know - the exhibit doesn't smell like it sometimes does.

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I stopped to see the sharks. One of the tours was going on. I think it's going to be interesting being in the water with the sharks at Epcot.

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I headed over to Shamu Stadium for the Believe show. On the way in, I bought a frozen lemonade to help cool down. I sat in the upper part of the splash zone - I knew I was pretty safe where I was, but it was entertaining watch everyone around me put on ponchos and get all paranoid about the possibility of getting wet. Silly people! This show sort of disappoints me. There's too much emphasis on the trainers and not enough on the whales. It has a corny storyline (in my opinion) and they don't seem to spend as much time showing off the power and grace of the whales. I know it was a big thing when they got the whales working with the music and I can respect that, but I just wish there was more whale time. Maybe my views have been tainted a bit as a little birdie told me that the Shamu trainers tend to be pretty stuck up and have a high opinion of themselves. Granted they probably have very good reason as they do have to work pretty hard to get in that position!

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After Shamu, I was very hungry and I went on the search for food. I wasn't having very good luck finding anything appetizing. I decided to head in to wait for Clyde and Seamore. As I was waiting I checked my work email - thankfully there wasn't anything too big there.

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Clyde and Seamore were in rare form today. The show was awesome. Why was it so good? The animals had their own script today. They were having fun and doing whatever made them happy - that's when I like the show best. It shows that they really aren't made to do anything they don't want to do. Then they got a volunteer from the audience and he didn't speak any English so hilarity ensued for sure.

I was still thinking about food after the show, but I was just in time to go in and see Pets Ahoy. This is a show I had never bothered to see before and I thought it was high time I checked it out. It really was a fun show. There were tons of dogs and cats, birds (they had a Double Yellow Head Amazon - I have one too named Sam, but this bird was even older than my boy as its whole head was completely yellow - they get more yellow as they get older), rats and a pig. I loved all the wiener dogs - they were adorable. It's very cool that they use rescue animals for this show!

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That was pretty much all the shows that I wanted to see - A'Lure was the only other show on today and I have already seen that one. I headed over to Sea Fire Inn - as I was in line there were a couple of ladies that spoke very broken English - I would have guessed they were Italian, but then they asked me to explain Marinara, Alfredo and Dinner Rolls. We tried lots of different ways of explaining and pointing and finally I think they understood - they were very nice and I hope I helped :)! I ordered Fish and Chips, Chocolate Cake and Water. It was a good lunch and at about $17 wasn't too expensive.

I went over to Pacific Point Preserve - I had to see the seals and sea lions. Kenny was out on exhibit and he was bullying the others around. I took a bunch of pictures and headed off to the next destination.

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I did a walk through of Manatee Rescue, Dolphin Cove and Stingray Lagoon. I couldn't believe the line of people waiting for the next feeding for the dolphins - it was the longest line I had seen yet!

Sea World Manatee

Manta was calling to me - I just had to try it. Of course, you can't take bags on with you so I went to find a locker and paid my fifty cents. The line said 20 minute wait, but it was a walk on. I would have liked to spend a little more time in the queue as the aquariums in there were gorgeous - very peaceful and quiet in the line. There was a couple on my left and a guy on my right. None of us had ridden the ride before - I love it when that happens. You sit down - it's a bit of an ordeal as the seats seemed a little high and I kind of had to climb up a little and then there's a divider at your knees you have to straddle. Once you sit down you pull the strap down and it locks your legs in at the ankles and your upper body too. Then, you tilt forward so you're staring at the ground. It's a different perspective and a bit disorienting at first. Then, away you go. I did really enjoy the ride, but it seemed very short. I'm very glad I did it - the perspective is quite nice and the loops are very fun. I recommend giving it a try - it's not that intense as the hills aren't that high or scary.

I got my bag out of the locker and took a stroll through Dolphin Nursery. Then I headed over to Wild Arctic. I did the simulator ride - this really needs an update in my opinion. It's very rough and not all that entertaining. I only do it because I like to see the Narwhal :)! I headed in to watch the Beluga Whales - I think it was Maple that was out today, so cute. The polar bear was asleep and I did see Dozer and Garfield the walrus.

I walked through Clydesdale Hamlet, but there were only two horses in the stalls and one for pictures (which I skipped this time). Next up was some shopping where I parted with some of my money.

At 5:05pm I headed out of the park. It was an uneventful drive back to Pop Century where I bought a lemonade and some water and headed back to my room. I was in my room by 5:40pm. Craziness hit me and I decided I wanted some exercise. I would have liked to go for a run, but I also wanted to take pictures so I decided to go for a walk instead. I grabbed my room key, camera and umbrella and headed out the door.

It had been hot and humid all day - really humid. I got a little bit of rain on my drive back to Pop Century and I thought we were due for some more rain. Just as I started my walk it started to sprinkle. Then I was taking some pictures when it decided to rain - I have my umbrella so I keep going. Then, the heavens let loose and within a couple of minutes my shorts, shoes and socks are completely soaked through. I went back to my room. I was already wet so I changed in to my Crocs, put my camera in a zip lock bag and headed back out. I just walked around taking pictures. take a look in the lake next time you're there - tons of fish and turtles!!!

Pop Rain The view from my room through the rain!
Pop BuildingPop PotatoPop PlaydohPop FishPop Turtle

I went 2.75 miles when I decided to drop the camera off at my room and head to Everything Pop! for dinner. A double bacon cheeseburger, cookie, tie dye cheesecake and water - way too much and way too good!

After I finished my dinner I packed up my suitcases to get ready to move over the the Animal Kingdom Lodge in the morning. It's about 10:30pm and I'm headed to bed so I can get up early and have a great day!

I walked over 10 miles today.

The weather today was hot and humid, humid, humid.
The best thing today was Clyde and Seamore because the animals were being animals.
The worst thing today was the heat and humidity.
The funniest thing today was going out for a walk and getting drenched in the rain.
Today I tried Manta and the result was a good rollercoaster (although short), the Pets Ahoy Show (fun and cute).
The most magical moment today was taking my time and doing what I wanted.

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