52 Mondays: #3

January 16, 2017

The past week has been a bit meh. I had a horrible cough after the marathon so I had to take some time off. Fortunately, as soon as I got home, I took some meds that I had in the drawer. I think taking them quickly definitely helped. My cough lingered but I don’t think it got as bad as it could have. I avoided having to go to the doctor. But, I coughed enough that I knew I couldn’t workout so I ultimately had a lazy week.

Being lazy left me with plenty of time to work late. I actually worked until 7 PM all but one night; Friday I left at 5:45 PM! It was good to work late though. After working only one day, I was more behind than anyone should be. So, working late gave me an opportunity to get caught up on a lot of things. I’m not completely caught up even still, but I’m not drowning in it all either.

It also left me with a lot of time to sleep. Most nights last week I was in bed by 9:30. My body was definitely telling me to rest. And, truthfully, I don’t get enough rest as it is. Listening to your body is important; sleep is when your body repairs itself and if you aren’t getting enough quality rest, your body isn’t recovering from all the stresses you put on it. That’s how injuries happen and how we get sick. I took full advantage and slept a lot.

By the time the weekend rolled around, I was all around unmotivated. After working late and going to bed so early; I’m generally a 10:30-11:00 PMer; I had a hard time not continuing the laziness. But, since I hadn’t even completely unpacked my suitcase from Disney weekend, I couldn’t let all that linger.

I spent most of Saturday unpacking, doing laundry, and sorting through some things in my home office. I have piles of receipts and such from the past couple of months that need to be sorted and filed. I still need to do some other things but I made good progress. Saturday night, I went to dinner with a group of friends to celebrate a coworker’s 40th birthday. I love Mexican food and that’s what we had. It was good food and great company.

Sunday was grocery day. I can’t even remember the last time I went seriously grocery shopping. I also can’t remember the last time I cooked for myself. Since I’m committed to eating better and saving money, I have to cook. I make good choices when I plan meals and cook and it saves a lot of money over going out to eat for two or three meals a day.

I made my lists and hit both Winn Dixie and Publix. About $140 later, I have everything I need for all my meals and snacks for the week. Here’s what I’ve planned:

Breakfast: Breakfast tacos and strawberries (fresh)

1 whole wheat tortilla
1 scrambled egg (I don’t use milk)
2 slices bacon
1 small handful shredded cheese
1 spoonful salsa

Morning snack: Refrigerator oats

Steel cut oats
Vanilla Greek yogurt
Almond milk
Maple syrup

Lunch: Salad, homemade chili, and a tangerine (I love Halos/Cuties)

Spring mix with tomatoes, snow peas, shredded carrots, orange bell pepper, cucumber, and avocado with ginger dressing
Homemade turkey chili with kidney beans and black beans (first time using black beans; I like it!)

Afternoon snack/pre-gym: Pink lady apple (my absolute fave)

Dinner: Chicken and broccoli

Oven roasted chicken breasts and thighs (I’ll have a little of each)
Steamed broccoli (seasoned with garlic salt and Italian herbs and a drizzle of olive oil)

Planning my meals and per-portioning so all I have to do is grab makes my life a ton easier. I make may salads fresh each night. But, the rest is in containers so I just grab them to pack my lunch or make dinner. Since I don’t get home until about 7 PM (or later) after the gym, this keeps me from eating dinner at 9 PM!

Reality check: I weighed myself for the first time this morning. It wasn’t pretty. I am happy that it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be though. I have a lot of work to do. My stress fracture in 2015 started a progressive downward spiral from which I have yet to fully recover. I’ve been littered with injuries that have sidelined me. That led to bad eating and ultimately regaining a lot of the weight I worked so hard to lose.


The Dopey with the *. I’m using this picture as motivation!

Recognizing the problem is the first step. So, check that. Step two, for me, was making a plan. Check that, too. Now, I’m implementing the plan.

I made strides by going to the grocery and prepping all my meals for the week. I also hit the gym for the first time in a long while today. My intent had been to have a boot camp class with my trainer. But, life happens and we had to cancel. So, I went to the gym and did an hour on the elliptical. I set it on “random” and used level 3; random gives me resistance variations every 10 seconds. I kept it steady for an hour and managed 5.6 miles; a solid workout. Then I took some time to stretch.

The good:

  1. I’ve logged all my food and my gym time for today. Baby steps, y’all; baby steps. Slow and steady will get this weight off (again) and hopefully prevent more injuries.
  2. I saved a good bit at the grocery because I coupon shopped and matched up sales as best as I could. I’d really love some coupons for fresh fruits and veggies though!
  3. My meal plans is totally tasty. I’m not sold on the refrigerator oats but everything else is so good!

The bad:

  1. I forgot how time consuming meal prep is! I grossly underestimated how much time I used to spend on these things. As such, I neglected some other things that really need to be done. Now I know.

The ugly:

  1. I need to take all my measurements. Weight is good starting point but the number may not change when my measurements do. I’m just not looking forward to this.
  2. My weight. That’s all I want to say about that. Even though I try not to get hung up on the number, it’s hard not to think about how much I’ve gained. It’s disappointing. But, I have to wipe it away and just focus on moving forward and making better choices and working hard.

I’m really trying to just take it one step at a time. I didn’t lose all the weight in a hot minute the first time around and the gain didn’t just happen in a few weeks. It took a lot of time and hard work to drop the weight before and it will take the same this time.


Finishing a marathon is never easy. Baby steps got me across the first finish line and baby steps will lead take me through this next journey.

Until next Monday…gotta run.


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52 Mondays: #2

January 9, 2017

After writing my last blog, I began to think about how I wanted to attack this new concept. How do I want to put the content together? Can I keep it interesting and entertaining while sticking to how I perceive it in my head? These are all things I can’t really answer. But, I hope as I continue writing and sticking to the direction I envision, I will be able to achieve my goals.

Going to work for only one day in the New Year was both fun and a nightmare. I have so much end-of-the-year type work to do and I cannot get it all done in one day, especially when that one day is taken up by catching up on two weeks of emails and such from the end of last year.

I managed to catch up on all of my emails before I left the office. I did not mange to do much of anything else. So, when I got back to work today, I walked into a pile of things that need attention including about 300 more emails. Sigh. Sometimes I wish I could clone myself. Then I realize that the world probably isn’t ready for two of me.

Walt Disney World Marathon weekend started on Wednesday, January 4. For those of you that have been following along, you know that means it’s Dopey Challenge weekend. I’m perfectly Dopey having done all three years thus far. I know going into this I’m going to hate myself by the end of it. I’m under-trained (100% my fault); I make no excuses. I’ve been struggling for awhile and I just haven’t gotten my act back together. And now, it’s crunch time.

Marathon weekend is crazy. I have several friends that participate in various events as well. And, since most of us are annual pass holders, and several others visit and buy tickets, we generally go to parks as well. This all adds up to early mornings followed by long days and late nights which equals very little rest and a whole lot of tired. But, it also means I get to hang out with a lot of my friends. I don’t see some of them any other time so we all try to make the most of these weekends.

Wednesday is packet pick up, Thursday is the Family Fun Run 5k, Friday is the Walt Disney World 10k, Saturday is the Walt Disney World Half Marathon, and Sunday is the Walt Disney World Marathon. Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge consists of the half marathon and the full marathon; 39.3 miles in two days. The Dopey Challenge consists of all four races; 48.6 miles over four days.

I’ve written about the various races in the past so there’s not really a lot new to tell. One new thing was that runDisney didn’t print event guides; everything was electronic. I liked the electronic version but I also missed having the printed one for reference when I wanted to look up information. Also, bag tags weren’t given to participants with their bibs. I assume this is because so many people don’t use bag check so it was a bit of a waste. As I noticed when I cut through one of the bag tents, volunteers were hand-writing labels when runners would check their bag.

For the most part, the courses for the races didn’t change. There were some small shifts in both the 5k and 10k courses but nothing that made the courses better or worse in my opinion. The half marathon course shifted to include a little more of Magic Kingdom as did the marathon course. The marathon course also had a longer out and back section before getting to Animal Kingdom. The entrance and exit areas to Animal Kingdom were slightly different as well this year. The Hollywood Studios section changed as well; this year we entered right beside Tower of Terror (reminiscent of the Tower of Terror 10 Miler). The time and distance inside Hollywood Studios was shorter though. The trek back to EPCOT and the finish were essentially the same.

Unfortunately, as Mother Nature would have it, the weather did not cooperate and runDisney made the call to cancel the half marathon. The weather was ridiculous; torrential downpour with lightning in the area all projected during the time when we would be running. Since the half marathon course is basically on open roadways with a little time in the two parks (Magic Kingdom and EPCOT), runDisney had to think about what was best for runner, volunteer, and staff safety. Having all those people outside and not being able to move them indoors with any kind of efficiency really would have been a recipe for disaster. I’ll get back to all this in a minute though.

I decided to mostly walk with a little running for the 5k and 10k. Knowing I’m not in very good shape, I just wanted to take it easy and get through the races. The 5k was relatively uneventful. It was a cool morning; I started with a pullover that I had to shed before the first mile. The 10k was similar; cool and I had to shed my pullover within a mile or two. The 10k was a bit more of an adventure though. When we finally started, I realized I had to use the bathroom. Since we weren’t in the park, I knew I would have to wait until the first stop on the course. That wasn’t until just before mile two. By the time I got to the stop, I had to go to the bathroom so badly; I swear my eyes were starting to water! Because it was the first stop, the line was pretty long. I waited in line for about 10 minutes. As such, my second mile took almost 25 minutes (note – I do NOT stop my Garmin for bathroom breaks or picture stops; the race timer doesn’t stop so neither does my Garmin). Even though my intentions were to take the race easily, I hated having a 25 minute mile!

Since the half marathon was cancelled, we all got to sleep later on Saturday. My crew actually went to breakfast and then we hit Target to get some warmer gear for the marathon. The weather was calling for low 30’s with wind chill in the 20’s; that’s cold by any standards.

The marathon was cold. It got warmer as the sun rose, but it stayed cold and the wind cut through me when it would blow. I shed my first layer around mile 11. I kept on my pullover and hat for the entire race. I also pulled off and put on my gloves a couple of times. I finally left those off around mile 13.

Knowing that I am under-trained, I took the marathon easy as well. My friend, Shannon, and I decided we would run 30 seconds and walk 90 seconds. We kept this going for awhile and I felt pretty good. Shannon started struggling though; her legs were really bothering her and she needed to walk. I was feeling good and needed to run. So, reluctantly, we separated just after mile 11. Some of her friends caught up to her and I continued by myself.

I kept going with the run/walk intervals we set until about mile 20. Then, my legs really started to bother me. I walked more and tried to run as much as I could. I walked most of the way from mile 20-ish to about mile 24. Once I entered EPCOT, I made a quick bathroom stop and then tried to run/walk the rest of the way. My legs felt heavy; like I had brick shoes on my feet; but I managed to run/walk it the rest of the way to the finish line.

Overall, Dopey weekend was just OK. There was good, there was bad, and there was wow.

The good of it:

  1. Roommates: I roomed with Shannon and Matt and all three of us commented on how great the rooming situation was; we all got along great.
  2. Spending time with my friends: I love seeing these people. I’ve met almost all of them through running and I have gotten very close to them. They are a diverse group and we have a fantastic time when we are together. Spending time with them is always one of my favorite things about race weekends.
  3. Eating at some new restaurants: Matt is a cast member and Shannon is basically a Disney expert. They had made some reservations at a few restaurants that I had never tried before. So, it was awesome to be able to eat at some new places.
  4. Top of the World: Viewing the fireworks from Magic Kingdom from the Top of the World bar at the Contemporary resort was a real treat! You have to be a DVC member (or be with a DVC member) to get into the bar. I’m not a DVC member but I have friends who are. Sometimes, it is about who you know!
  5. I finished the races. My times weren’t great (and I never expected them to be), but I did finish. And, the cherry on top of that is that I didn’t have any blisters on my feet (remember Space Coast?). I used a new brand of socks; Wright Double Layer; and a new blister protection gel/cream; Sport Slick. Both products get two enthusiastic thumbs up! I’ll write more about them another time.

The bad of it:

  1. I’m sick. After pretty much running myself ragged for five days and being out in the cold for the race, I’m hacking up my lungs like a smoker with a two-pack a day habit. It sucks.
  2. I realize how bad of shape I am in. I seriously doubt that I would have made it through the marathon had I done the half marathon on Saturday. Plain and simple, I have GOT to figure out a plan and get back on track.

The wow:

  1. runDisney made a fairly quick decision about cancelling the race for Saturday. Considering we all sign waivers that essentially says Disney can do whatever they deem necessary without compensation to us, they made some pretty awesome concessions to runners to “make up” for Mother Nature’s wrath. I’m not going into all the details here, but, I feel as though they were more than fair in their compensation options. They didn’t have to do anything at all.
  2. I’m sore and my body is tired. That said, I am far less sore than I feel as though I should be considering how out of shape I am. I will qualify that by saying that it isn’t as though I’ve been sitting on the couch doing nothing for six months and then just up and decided to run a marathon. I have been going to boot camp and I have been getting in some cardio (mostly elliptical); I just haven’t had as much consistency as I need to build my endurance and I haven’t logged the miles on my legs that I need to adequately prepare for a marathon.
  3. I have some truly awesome friends. I had friends that weren’t running any events that came to cheer for the rest of us. They handed out sodas and snacks and were basically cheer and support staff. Even friends that were running other events came out to support and cheer during the marathon.
  4. I saw the true spirit of the running community. After runDisney cancelled the half marathon, many of the Goofy and Dopey Challenge participants and many of the half marathon registrants still wanted to run. So, there were runs held at several of the hotels. Runners did laps around trails; many even wore their race costumes and bibs; while supporters came out to cheer for them. At some “events”, volunteers even setup water stations to hand out water to runners as they passed. It was inspiring to see the resolve and spirit of the running community.

It has been a hectic week. I was back at work today and it took me all morning and a bit of the afternoon just to get through emails and voicemails. I knew I was walking into a lot though; I had logged into my emails a couple of times to check on a few things so I saw some of what was waiting for me.

Since I’m sick and my body needs rest, I am taking this week off from the gym. I am also going to plan some menus for the next few weeks so I can go to the grocery store over the weekend. I eat so much healthier when I plan my meals. It also saves money over going out to eat for meals. I have a mountain of laundry to do and I need to work on some little things around the house (like putting away race shirts). I am going to schedule a massage as well; this will help loosen up all these sore muscles from the races. I need to take it easy so I can start fresh next Monday and work towards getting myself back on track and back in shape!

Until next Monday…gotta run.


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52 Mondays: #1

January 2, 2017

As I worked on putting away Christmas gifts and cards today, I reflected on 2016. It definitely wasn’t the best year for me. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t the worst by any stretch of the imagination. I had my fair share of both ups and downs.

First, and definitely the hardest, was saying goodbye to my best good friend, my sweet dog, Shane. I got Shane when he was almost six months old and it was love at first sight for me. A coworker had brought him into the office. She and her husband had gotten Shane from another coworker who was allergic to him. They decided they couldn’t keep him because they already had a dog; two dogs and four kids was just too much for them. So, she brought Shane into the office and I happened to be one of the first to meet him. When she asked me if I wanted Shane, I was puzzled. Here she was with this great dog; he was sweet, smart, well behaved, and seriously cute; and they didn’t want him. When she explained the whole situation to me, I asked what would happen if no one took him. When she said he would probably go to a shelter, I didn’t hesitate in taking him.

Shane and I had a bond that was so special. He was definitely a mama’s boy. He followed me around the house; he went to bed when I went to bed and even slept on the pillow next to me at times; he would let me put my head on him like he was my pillow (no one else could get away with that!); he was my little buddy. I taught him tricks; high-five was one of my favorites. I even taught him to play dead though he wouldn’t stop wagging his tail when I would say “bang”. We never did get the hang of that one. It probably didn’t help that I laughed at him the whole time, likely encouraging the wagging tail. He was the greatest dog on the planet (I’m biased but whatever; I’m allowed).

The day before my birthday, I said goodbye to him. It still stings. It has been six months and one day and it still stings just as much. I’m crying as I type this. He was suffering and I couldn’t let it continue. He was 16-1/2 and arthritis made it hard for him to get up even to go to the bathroom. I saw the sadness and tiredness in his handsome face and I knew it was time. I made the appointment and cried for two days before I had to take him. It may have been the right thing, but it wasn’t easy. And I hate it.

Shane took a piece of me with him when he left. I love that dog and I miss him so damn much. He was the greatest; plain and simple.


I can’t put into words how amazing this little guy was. It’s definitely true that pets make our life whole.

The next day, I turned 40. Turning 40 didn’t really bother me; it’s just a number and, as I’ve told many people, I’ve been happier as I’ve gotten older and truly found myself. Exercising and running probably have a great deal to do with that. Also, I’ve had some really great people come into my life as I’ve gotten older and I’ve become quite close to several of them. I’ve learned a lot about friendships and I’m so grateful to have people in my life that I can call true friends.

My friends helped make my 40th memorable. Several of them came to Orlando and we spent the weekend celebrating at Disney. The weather was hot and miserable but it was so great to spend time with my friends. And, wearing a 40th birthday tiara around Disney World is one of the greatest ways I can imagine to spend my birthday! It was truly a magical and memorable weekend; a memory I will cherish.


A girl couldn’t ask for a better celebration for the big 4-0.

I’ve thought a lot about my Shelby too. Shelby is my crazy, sweet girl. I don’t have the same bond with Shelby that I did with Shane but that doesn’t mean I don’t love her. I have felt that I haven’t given her all that she needs since Shane’s passing. I don’t ignore her by any stretch, but I definitely feel as though I haven’t been the best pet parent that I could be to her. Losing Shane has been a struggle but I can’t “neglect” Shelby because of my emotional struggle.


My sweet, sassy, crazy Shelby. She’s keeps me on my toes and I love this special little lady.

I reflected on myself a lot while I was thinking. I’ve been working on trying to be a better person, both professionally and personally. I don’t think I’m a bad person but, after being given some constructive criticism that I really took to heart, I’ve really tried very hard to think before I speak and to be mindful of my actions. I don’t know if I’ve been successful at bettering myself, but I know that I have given, and will continue to give, a solid effort.

I thought about exercising and running. This year hasn’t been stellar. At all. I’ve had some injuries; while nothing serious, it has been enough to push me backwards. In reality, this all started with my stress fracture in 2015. It has been a downhill spiral from which I haven’t truly recovered. I’ve put on a lot of the weight I had lost and that’s led to a general lack of motivation that I’ve truly struggled to overcome.

Despite the injuries, I did get to do a couple of destination races and mark two more states off my list. I went to Virginia and to Utah. Both race courses were beautiful. The races were tough and I struggled, but I got through them. And, despite the races being tough, I enjoyed my trips. Race-cations are always nice!

Lastly, I thought about my blog. My original goal with my blog had been to do race recaps and reviews. And, while I still want to do that, I realize that I haven’t done the best job of keeping up with those as I finish races. Let’s face it, posting blogs on January 1 about races that happened two months (or more) prior, isn’t really keeping on top of my “work”. I should change my blog to “How to Effectively Procrastinate”.

So, in all this pondering, I decided a few things. And, hopefully, these things will help me stay on track and help me be more accountable.

  1. I’m going to write a blog post weekly. There are 52 Mondays in 2017 and I plan to post a new blog each week on Monday.
  2. My blog is going to include workouts from the week, good new recipes that I try, races that I run; the good, the bad, the ugly. There’s going to be a lot more randomness!
  3. I’m going to start tracking again. Food, exercise (weights and cardio), mileage when I run/walk, etc.

There’s definitely way more to my plan that those three things, but those are the basics of the RunBrandyRun “resolutions” for 2017.

I’ve truly got a lot for which I am thankful. The fact that I can sit here and write this means I have many blessings that I should not take for granted. My situation could always be much worse and I am grateful daily that it is not. Life isn’t always easy and I realize that, even when times get tough, life could always be much harder.

My ultimate goal for 2017 is to find balance in my life. Sure, I have goals (like many people) to lose weight, be healthier, become more financially stable, etc. But, if I could just find balance, I think everything else will fill into place.

What are your goals this year? Did you make “resolutions”? When you reflect on 2016, what did you learn or for what are you thankful?

Until next time…gotta run.


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Space Coast Marathon

November 27, 2016

This is my last race of the year. And it is a marathon. I’m not excited. Space Coast and I have a love/hate relationship. This is my third year running the marathon; my first year was OK and I finished with a very slight PR but I ran with a heavy heart as my Grandma had passed away a few days before the race. My second year; 2015; was miserable. My mom was there and was able to watch me finish but I had some foot issues that caused me to walk a good portion of the race. Both years have been hot. It started out kind of nice both years but it got hot fast.

I know I’m not as prepared as I should be; this seems to be my theme for the year. This is 100% on me and I know it. I’m going to give it my best and hope to get through this. I don’t plan on setting any records; I just want to finish.

I head over to Port Canaveral on Saturday for packet pick up. This is always a zoo at this race because the expo is crowded. I head right to the booth and get my bib. I’m directed to the t-shirt desk to get my race shirt. Once I have that and my gear bag, I make a quick loop through the expo and I’m out of there.


Space Coast Swag: A sling backpack, a nice long-sleeved race shirt, my bib, and the finisher towel (actually received at the END of the race)

I stop by Publix to pick up breakfast and water before heading to my hotel. Once I get to the hotel, I relax and watch TV. Later that night, I meet my friend Matt for dinner (actually, I picked him up at the tire place; we stopped for dinner and then I took him to his hotel; Matt isn’t having a good day!).

I get my race gear set for the next morning and I’m asleep pretty quickly. Once the alarm rings, I’m back up and getting myself together. I pack my bags so I can take them to my car. Even if I finish the race, I’m not going to make it back in time to take a shower because the latest I can check out of my room is noon. I’d have to run the best marathon of my life and get right back to the hotel to make that time! Not gonna happen!

I load my car but leave it at the hotel. I’ll take the bus to the race.

Once the bus arrives, I find some of my friends. Some of my friends are running the half and they start first. So, Matt and I hang out while we wait for our race to start. We both find our pace groups and line up with them.


Pre-reace photos with Christina and Matt.

I started with the 6:00 pace group. We were running 30 seconds and walking 30 seconds. I was very comfortable with the pace so I stuck with them. Just after the 10k mark, I had to stop to use the bathroom. I ate my Honey Stinger chews while I was waiting. When I finished, I grabbed some water at the water stop and then picked back up on my intervals. I made the turn a short distance later and started heading to the mile seven marker.

Just after mile seven is when I started having problems. My left foot felt like it was on fire and my right foot was only marginally better. With every step, my left foot just burned more and more. I also felt a sting on the back of my left foot near my ankle. I stopped to check it and found that my shoe had rubbed a blister on the back of my foot. It was bleeding a little. I tried to pull my sock up to cover it and to prevent it from getting worse.

I kept trying to run but I just couldn’t with my foot hurting so badly. I resolved to stop at the halfway point as there was no way that I was going to make it 13.1 more miles on a foot that felt like it was a bloody mess.

Just around the 12.5 mile mark, I finally took my shoe off. The constant rubbing was unbearable. It wasn’t easy to walk with one shoe off but it was more tolerable than the rubbing that was happening on my foot.

Another runner and I entered the “worm hole” together. The worm hole is a cut-through just past the halfway point on the marathon course. It’s for runners who don’t want to or can’t run the full marathon. You are diverted into the final stretch of the course where the finish line is. But, they cut your timing tag off your shoe so you won’t have an official finish time. As such, if you look me up in the race results, I don’t have a finish time.

This is the first time I’ve ever not finished the race I started. I stopped for the right reasons but it doesn’t make it suck any less. My foot is a literal and figurative bloody mess; I have a blister across the ball of my foot and it’s not pretty. I absolutely would have made this worse if I had kept running. But, I hate not finishing my race.

I was given a marathon medal and told that I could come back at the end of the race to see if there were half marathon medals leftover. If there were leftovers, I could trade. I don’t really care about the medal so I’m not waiting around for that. I also spoke to the race director in regards to my three-year challenge medal. Since the rules of the challenge don’t state that you have to complete three fulls or three halves, I am still eligible for my challenge medal as I did complete a half marathon today. I asked if I had the option of deferring that to next year so I could complete a third marathon. I was told no because they would have no way of knowing that it was my third since my registration would show that it was my fourth year. So, I got my three year challenge medal as well.


Marathon medal on the left and three year challenge medal on the right.

I like the Space Coast race. It’s well supported, the swag is fantastic, and the race staff is top notch. The course is pretty and the residents along the course make the runners feel awesome; who doesn’t love a margarita bar, pancakes, and bacon? However, this race and I just haven’t gotten along well. I’ve struggled even when well trained because of the heat (and yes, I realize that no one has any control over that!). The race falls at a time when I need a long run anyhow and it’s always awesome to get a race medal for a training run. I just don’t know if I’ll run this one again or not.

That’s the end of my year of racing. It has been an up and down year for me in so many ways. My running hasn’t been great, I’ve had a lot of injuries, and I’ve been unmotivated. Some of it is mental, some of it is physical, and it’s all emotional. I need to step back and reassess. I also need to get back on track and find balance in my life. That’s my goal for 2017, to find balance again.

I’ll be back in January with a new year of RunBrandyRun. My year starts with Dopey; and of course, I’m not prepared. But, Disney is social running; there’s no pressure to PR, only to have fun. I’ve got many friends that are going to be around so I’ll be in good company. After that, I’m taking a short break to get a handle on things.

Blessings to all my readers for a great New Year.

Until next time…gotta run.

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Dirty Dozen Fun Mud Run

November 12, 2016

I run the Dirty Dozen Fun Mud Run with some of my coworkers every year. I think this is the fifth year that we’ve participated now. Normally, the race is on Memorial Day weekend. But, for the 2016 edition, the race was moved to November. Also, the race was moved back to the Sebring raceway. That makes it a much farther drive for me.

I met one of my coworkers at our offices so we could ride together; might as well carpool for the hour drive. Once we arrive, it costs $10 park. We park and then head over to the check-in area to get our race shirts and packets. This race is untimed and doesn’t use race bibs.

We’re quite early but I have team race shirts to hand out and I wanted to be available in case any of my team had questions. We have ten people running and not everyone has done this crazy race with us before.

Our wave starts at 10 AM. I stay towards the back because I know I’m not going to run. I have another race coming up in a couple of weeks and I can’t afford to be injured. As I approach the first obstacle; double stacked tires to climb/jump over; the person in front of me nearly hits me in the face. I shake my head, say a few swear words, and then walk around the obstacle. This isn’t starting out well.

The mud obstacles this year are no joke. The mud is thick, black mud and it is really hard to move through it. Once you’re out of the mud, you move to the next obstacle while the mud dries on you and becomes heavy. It was thick on my arms and legs and I struggled to try to get some of it off of me.

I skipped one other obstacle on the course; the inverted tilt wall. There were several people waiting to try it. I know my strengths, and more importantly, my weaknesses and know there is no way I was getting over that wall. So, I walked around it.


Swag bag and dog tag “medal”

Some of the obstacles this year were much more difficult than years passed. Usually, this is just a fun run with moderately easy and really easy obstacles. This year is the hardest of any of the years I’ve participated. I know I’m not in the greatest of shape but this just highlighted in blazing fashion how out of shape I truly am! And, on top of that, I’m covered in mud!

I changed into the race shirt (out of my team shirt) for the ride home. I brought a towel to sit on as well. Once I got home, I headed straight for the shower. My toenails and fingernails are just gross and I have mud embedded in my skin.


Time to get a shower! There’s so much mud embedded in my skin!

I generally enjoy this race. However, this year was not as fun for me. I think it would have been helpful to have some water obstacles after the mud obstacles to help keep the mud from getting so thick and heavy. Also, the ice water obstacle was completely unnecessary since it was about 60F today; it took my breath away to jump in that water – adding a pallet of ice wasn’t needed at all!

Until the next race…gotta run.

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Universal Orlando Fun Run

November 5, 2016

I found about the Universal Orlando Fun Run via the Universal Orlando Passholder Facebook page. It is the same weekend as the runDisney Wine and Dine 10k race. I’m not running Wine and Dine and it the UO Fun Run is only $30 so I decide to run. I even recruited a running pal for the race.

Packet pick up times for the race are not convenient for me at all. However, they are allowing packet pick up on the morning of the race. This is great but it means that I’ll have to be there a bit early to allow a little extra time.

After parking in the parking garage, all runners are sent through the regular security check. Once through security, we make our way towards Universal Studios. The packet pickup area is in front of the Blue Man Group auditorium. Once I get my bib and shirt, I am directed to the gear check area. I can check my shirt so I don’t have to walk all the way back to the car.


Bib and t-shirt for the UO Fun Run. The t-shirt is a regular cotton tee.

From here, we are directed through a back walkway beside Rip, Ride Rock It roller coaster. We walk in front of the concert stage and make a u-turn to wait in front of/beside the Minions attraction. While we’re waiting, they bring out several characters for photo ops. I make the most of this opportunity and get pictures with almost of the characters. Since I decided to do a costume for this race, I get the ultimate reward. I dressed as Velma from Scooby Doo; my all time favorite cartoon. Shaggy and Scooby arrive and I get my picture with them. I was super excited that they instantly recognized my costume and that I got a shout out from the announcer!


Pre-race character pictures! Minions, Dora and Diego, Spongebob and Squidward, Shaggy and Scooby, and Woody and Winnie Woodpecker.

The race finally starts. We run through Universal, by E.T., The Simpsons, MIB, Diagon Alley, and The Mummy. We turn and go out of the park through some backlot and then head into Islands of Adventure. We go through Seuss Landing, Hogsmeade, Jurassic Park, Toon Landing and Superhero Landing. Then we head into another backlot area before heading out to City Walk to finish near the Hard Rock Café.


Some random stops along the race course.

We get a finisher medal and a goody bag as we cross the finish line. There is also water and some refreshments. Runners are scattered everywhere having some refreshments and cooling off. It wasn’t a particularly hot morning but it was quite humid.


UO Fun Run: DONE!

I finished the race in 49:19. I think I actually left my Garmin running a little long! It was a fun race and the course was nice. Overall, it was a solid first attempt by Universal into the race world. There were no characters on the course, only before (and maybe after) the race. There were no photographers on the course either. The water stations were staffed fairly well and my only true complaint was the plastic cups at the water stops. It’s kind of hard to pinch a plastic cup in order to make a wedge out of it (which makes it so much easier to drink out of when running, IMO). I am not the most coordinated of people, so I managed to spill more if I tried to run and drink. Other than that, I give this race two thumbs up; I’d definitely run it again.

Until next time…gotta run.

Posted in 5k, New Blog, Orlando, Race Recap, running, Universal Orlando | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Revel Big Cottonwood Half Marathon

September 10, 2016

I give in to peer-pressure easily. Not really. But, when a few of my girlfriends decided to run this race and I checked my calendar and realized it would work for me, I jumped at the opportunity to mark another state off my list. So, I hopped online and signed up for the full marathon.

If you remember, a few months back, I sprained my ankle. Severely. It took a long time to heal because I ran all three races at Star Wars Dark Side right after it happened. I took some time off to let it heal but I had another race planned in June. While my ankle was 98% better by the time Race 13.1 Roanoke rolled around, I was in no shape to run a half marathon. I did my best and got through the race but I realized how bad of shape I am in!

I started going to boot camp classes with my old trainer, Orlando. I’ve been fortunate to have some pretty awesome trainers over the years and Orlando is my favorite. We do a lot of interval style workouts, blending cardio and lifting, and that really seemed to work for me. I lost a good bit of weight and I was toning nicely. When I had my stress fracture, everything sort of went downhill from there and now I’m trying to get back on the wagon. Unfortunately, it takes time and I just haven’t had enough of that.

With the injuries and general lack of time, I haven’t put in the miles I need in order to be adequately prepared for a marathon. So, a few weeks beforehand, I made the choice to drop down to the half marathon. It didn’t cost me anything extra and I know I’ll feel more comfortable running the half than the full at this point.

On Friday, I had to leave my house way before the roosters would crow. My flight to Salt Lake departed before the sun rises. I’m meeting Kathy and Shannon at the airport in SLC. I am the last to arrive and I even changed my ticket to arrive earlier. Shellie has family in SLC so she’s already there. We are going to meet her for lunch.


Inside the cathedral where the Mormon Tabernacle Choir practices (top pics), at packet pick up (bottom left) and at the top of the mountain where the marathon starts (bottom right)

Once I arrive, I find Kathy and Shannon and we head to meet Shellie. Salt Lake City is really pretty and the weather is fantastic. It is warm but breezy and not very humid. I wish we had this lovely weather in Florida! We grab lunch and then walk around the city some before heading to packet pick up and the hotel.


The swag included a nice tech tee, gloves, and a beanie (with a ponytail hole). And, you can have your bib printed with a custom name if you want.

Shellie takes us up the mountain so we can see the race course and the view on the mountain. Then we head to dinner in Park City at a little pasta and pizza place that Shellie likes. We’re all pretty tired once we get back to the hotel. Since we have to be up early, we all head to bed.

Shannon and I are running the half while Shellie and Kathy stuck with the full. We load the school bus and it takes us up the mountain. Shannon and I say goodbye as we get off at the half marathon stop. Shellie and Kathy continue the journey up the mountain.

It is quite cold and windy. Shannon and I are thankful for the gloves that were in the swag bag. We dub them “Hamburger Helper” hands and they are warm! We both need to use the bathroom so we find the porta-potties. There are lines at the first few but there are a lot of open ones a little ways down the row. We enter and find they haven’t been used yet. While we’re using them, we both comment on how warm it is in there; warm enough that we decide to stay in them for awhile. There weren’t any lines so we stayed in the warm shelter of the porta-potty for a good while. When we finally resolve to go out in the cold, we have about 20 minutes until the race start.

We hover around with some folks we don’t know so we can stay warmer. Once the sun peaks over the mountain, the race begins. We run/walk our intervals for the first mile or so going back and forth about how unmotivated we are to run. By mile three, we’re making deals with each other to keep running. When I’m complaining, Shannon diverts my attention and keeps me moving. When she complains, I do the same for her.

We chatter as we run as it keeps us occupied. The scenery is breathtaking; truly a postcard type view. And, it is incredibly peaceful to hear only the sounds of footsteps on the pavement at times. We go stretches without talking simply because it’s so peaceful and we’re enjoying the calmness.

Shannon ends up tossing her sweater/robe that she started with. But, she wants something in case she gets cold. So, while we run, we start looking at all the clothes as we woggle by them. She finds a nice pullover and ties it around her waist. I end up finding a race jacket along the way too. Big score!


Shannon and I before race (top left) and at various points during the race (all other pics)

We finally make it to the bottom of the mountain and we have 5k to go. And now it’s hot. We started the race and it was about 35F and windy. It’s now 75 and we’re in full sun. Some guys were handing out pop ice popsicles; best race treat ever; I wanted to go back for seconds!

The last stretch of the course was a struggle for us. We were both just ready to be finished. When we finally saw the finish line, I think we both felt like we had lead feet. But, we took off and ran across the finish line.

The finisher’s area had pancakes (delicious pancakes), pizza, water, Cokes, and more. We grabbed a few things and tried to refuel a bit. Then we went to get our gear bags. We ended up heading back to the hotel to shower before Kathy and Shellie got finished (this way we’d be out of their way so they could shower and relax).


The finisher medal for the half marathon and the sweet race jacket I picked up along the course. Someone bought this at the expo and tossed it away! LUCKY ME!

By the time we got to dinner that night, Shellie was the only one of us that wasn’t walking like a crippled runner. Shannon, Kathy, and I had seriously tight leg muscles. We were all in rough shape. We had a great dinner at the Wasatch Brew Pub though.

I don’t think it took any of us long to fall asleep that night. We were all beat. And, we all had to catch flights the next day.

Big Cottonwood is, by far, the prettiest race I’ve done. The view was incredible and the race was well supported. The swag was great and the race staff was top notch. And, free race pictures! This is a race we’re actually considering again for next year. Properly trained, this could be a PR for all of us as it’s a fast, downhill course.

A couple of days after the race, the race director emailed participants about a defect in the race shirts. Many people had complained that the lettering was peeling off the shirt. They had the shirts reprinted and sent everyone new race shirts! When my new shirt arrived, the shirt in the package was not the correct size. I emailed them and they sent me a new one in a few days. Seriously, top notch folks!

Until next race…gotta run!

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Race13.1 Roanoke Half Marathon

June 18, 2016

I kind of decided to do this race on a whim. Not a complete whim because I did have to do some planning, but somewhat of a whim.

My folks live in Roanoke. My friend, Shannon, is a Race131 ambassador. She had some discount codes so I checked out their race series. When I saw that there was a race in Roanoke and it was at a time when I could do it, I asked my parents if I could visit and run a race in their town. This absolutely kills two birds with one stone; I get to see my folks and I get to race in Virginia so I can mark that state off my list. Win-win!

If you’ve been following along, you may remember that I sprained my ankle really badly in mid-April. I had to take a couple of weeks away from running to let it heal. I saw my doctor again and he told me to not do anything until the swelling went away. I waited two weeks and I still had some slight swelling. I was pretty miserable so I started going back to the gym. My trainer and I did a lot of exercises that didn’t require a lot of lateral movements since that is when I felt pain. I also tried some spin class and did some work on the elliptical.

I finally started easing back into it about two weeks before this race. I know that I am undertrained and I will likely hate myself for running, but I will try anyhow.

By the time I got on the plane on Thursday, I had managed to log about 15 miles in two weeks. I don’t have a lot of endurance and my legs get tired quickly. Managing 13 miles with two rather hefty hills will definitely be a challenge.

My sister brought my two nephews to my house on Wednesday. They flew with me and they will be staying a few weeks with their grandparents after I leave. I was a bit anxious about taking them on their first flight. Actually, my oldest nephew has flown before but he was a toddler last time and doesn’t remember it. The younger one has never flown.


Ready to fly. Getting some charge before the flight. Snacks for Aunt B during the flight (we all had snacks)!

We had a fairly uneventful flight. In fact, the only eventful thing that happened was a delay in all air travel in the area due to the President being in central Florida. His visit was due to the tragedy in Orlando over the previous weekend. I don’t live in Orlando but I have many friends that do and it is somewhat of a second home to me. This tragedy has affected so many people and it is amazing to see how the city has come together in support of the victims and families.

Roanoke is a small airport. My folks picked us up and were waiting for us just past the security checkpoint. The boys were super excited to see Nana and Pop-pop. I was just glad to be off the plane; it was kind of warm and I didn’t get to take my usual in-flight nap!

On Friday, mom drove me to Fleet Feet Roanoke for packet pick up. If I was in the store for two minutes, it was long. I had my registration email on my phone so they were able to give me my bib and my t-shirt and I was back out the door. I love efficiency!


Bib and official race shirt. Packet pick up was a breeze!

I crashed pretty early on Friday night. I set my alarm for 4:15 and we planned to leave the house by 5:30. My folks weren’t quite sure where we had to go and I wasn’t sure how far we’d have to walk so we all wanted to allow a little extra time. The race was to start at 7:00.

We were really early. It didn’t take long to get to the venue from their house and we didn’t have to walk too far from where we parked. I was thankful we were early though because my stomach got a little angry and I ended up having to use the bathroom. Using the porta-potty early is always nice because they don’t smell.


Pre-race pics. Pop-pop was off walking around somewhere. 😦

The race started a few minutes after 7:00. I had no plan other than to stick with my intervals for as much of the race as I could. I knew the hills would be challenging and I knew that I wasn’t prepared for this. My goal was just to finish.

I did do my homework though. I checked out the athlete guide and saw that there were only three water stops. I don’t like carrying things but I made an exception for this. I froze a bottle of water and carried it with me. I don’t want to be in the position of needing hydration and not being near a water stop. And, I don’t know if there are water fountains along the greenway/trail. I’m at least prepared for this!

I stuck with my intervals pretty well until about mile five. This is where the first hill was. It was a very steep incline and probably 100 yards or so long. I tried to power walk up it and had to stop for a quick calf stretch about halfway up the hill. Once I got to the top, the course turned left onto the Tinker Creek Greenway. The first section of this was rolling downhill; I was able to run down this section easily and catch my breath and find my stride again. After this long section, it leveled out for most of the rest of the course.

The course was out and back. So, that lovely rolling downhill section was going to be a killer uphill battle on the way back. And, that steep uphill from the outbound was going to be a fast downhill on the inbound.

I made the turnaround about mile seven. I had started walking more because my legs started feeling like toast. I found my rhythm again and started running a little more. But, my legs were heavy. I did make it back to the rolling uphill section before I threw in the towel and started walking. That uphill section was NO JOKE! Holy hills, Batman! I stopped twice to catch my breath and stretch my calf. I dug deep to find the will to get up that hill. I wanted to do a happy dance when I finally made it off the Tinker Creek Greenway!

Immediately after exiting that, I was faced with the steep downhill. I ran some of it but then had to reel it in and walk because I felt like my feet were going to fly out from under me. I was glad to get back to level ground and head back towards the river greenway.

I picked up my intervals here and there and tried to run as much as I could. About mile 11, I was done. I walked the last two miles and just concentrated on putting one foot in front of the other and getting myself to the finish line. I was tired and my legs might as well have had bricks on them.

I rounded the corner at the 13th mile marker and my youngest nephew was waiting to run with me. I took his hand and told him to run at my pace and he ran the last 0.1 with me. It was pretty awesome to cross the finish line with him. And, my oldest nephew got it on video for us! That was a pretty special moment.


All done! Glad I can smile about this one; it was TOUGH!

I finished in 3:16:24. The hills were tough, no doubt. Had I been better trained, I think I could have had a better time despite the hills. The weather was nice and the course had a lot of shade. There was a breeze blowing in a lot of places so it was hot but not unbearable.

Overall, I think this race was very good. Registration was easy and it wasn’t expensive. The shirt and the medal were nice quality and a nice design. Packet pick up was easy and the race communication was excellent. I wish there had been a couple more water stations simply because it was warm and proper hydration is extremely important. But, given the greenway structure, I can see where it was challenging to put water stops along the path. The water stops were fairly well supported and that was great. The finish line area was also good. I got a bottle of water and was able to get some pizza, a granola bar, and a big piece of an orange to refuel. The pizza was still warm too! I didn’t stay for the Big Lick Burger Festival that started after the end of the race but that was a nice bonus; that the race coincided with the festival and the festival offered some discounts to the runners.

We bailed and went to IHOP instead. I do love pancakes and I love them even more after running.

I don’t know if I’ll run the Roanoke race again but I might try some other of the Race13.1 races. This one was done well; it was a smaller race but still had some good perks and a nice medal. Plus, I got to mark VA off my state list for relatively cheap!

Now that I’m home, I need to reassess and refocus. I have a full marathon on my calendar in September and I’ve got to get in better shape. I need to get my endurance back and I need to get some weight off (injuries have made it really easy to gain!).

Until then…gotta run!

Posted in Half Marathon, New Blog, Race Recap, Race131, Reviews, running, Virginia | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Star Wars Dark Side Half Marathon

April 17, 2016

I barely had time to breathe after the 10k yesterday. I got back to my room, cleaned up, and was right back out the door. We went to pick up a cake for the wedding luncheon for Beth and Shane. When we got to Publix, they were putting the finishing touches on it so we had to wait for a few minutes.

After we got the cake, we headed back to Disney to the Polynesian. We were able to covertly give the hostess the cake without Beth and Shane noticing so the cake was a total surprise to them. I’m so happy that it worked out; I had to do a lot of covert recon to get the right cake!

After lunch, we headed over to EPCOT. We walked around a little but ended up just sitting on a bench doing some people watching. We did a little shopping as well. I found a Darth Vader/Mickey Ear beanie for myself and a Chewbacca hat for Denise; both for our half marathon costumes.

We met with Denise, Lisa, and Jenn to have a dinner at Spice Road Table in Morocco. While we were there, we watched my sister get married via FaceTime. I felt terrible not being at my sister’s wedding. She had a very small ceremony and understood why I couldn’t be there. I still felt badly though.

After dinner, we went to the glacé place in France to have, what I have dubbed, ice cream hamburgers. It is an ice cream sandwich of sorts. A brioche bun is sliced open, a scoop of ice cream of your choice and your choice of syrup are then pressed between the bun slices in waffle iron type press. The resulting ice cream sandwich is nothing short of delicious!

I was pretty much beat by the time we got back to the room. I showered and was in bed with my foot elevated and on ice. I dozed off like this but woke up to put the ice bag in the sink.

My costume for the half is “Darth Trooper”. I have a Darth Vader tank top and beanie and Storm Trooper (robot) capris. I completed my costume with a light saber that lights up and makes sounds! It’s pretty funny.


I am Darth Trooper. I’m also too smiley to be a villain. 🙂

I arrive much earlier today and find my friends outside the runner area. We are able to get one group picture before we make the long walk to the corrals. We actually get to the corrals and the porta-potty lines aren’t too long so we all make a pit stop before heading to the corral.

The first part of this course is the same as yesterday. However, after we leave Hollywood Studios, we will head to Animal Kingdom before heading to Wide World of Sports. Val and I have decided to stick together today. We are both in rough shape. Her knee is really bothering her and she’s taped it to try to get some relief. My ankle is so swollen and I am convinced there will be a new book written about it called “50 Shades of Purple”. Both sides of my ankle and the top of my foot near my toes are all sorts of shades of purple and black. It is NOT pretty.

Once our corral goes, we start chugging along. Our intervals are 30 seconds/30 seconds; our runs are at a good pace but our walks are quite slow. We don’t plan on stopping for pictures so we just woggle along.

We make it out of EPCOT and along the Boardwalk. Then we head into Hollywood Studios. In the backlot area near Rockin’ Roller Coaster, there are some costume characters. I think these are the same from yesterday. We are able to jump in and take some quick selfies with Boba Fett and another Mandalorian and a Tusken Raider and Jawa. I’m so glad I got these pictures!


Pre-race group shot (bottom); Val and I on the course (top two) with some characters.

After Hollywood Studios, we are on the road headed to Animal Kingdom. We somehow manage to catch up to Shannon. We chat with her for a few intervals but she loses us pretty quickly; her walk is much faster than ours.

As we head into Animal Kingdom, we stop for a quick bathroom break. I’m waiting on Val and Shannon comes running up again. We must’ve passed her at a character stop and didn’t realize it. She runs with us through Animal Kingdom. Shannon and I stopped for a couple of quick pictures while Val kept chugging along. We were able to catch up to her pretty quickly though.


Shannon and I stop for a couple of pics as we try to catch up to Val.

The final stretch took us to Wide World of Sports and along the same dirt trail as yesterday. Val and I walked most of this again. We made our way to the soccer fields and the paved path and then finally to the finish line. My official time was 3:21:21. I’m so thankful to have finished all three races this weekend. I don’t even care about my time.

Val and I collect our medals, stop for a picture, and then collect some refreshments. We find Shannon and then head to the bus lines. Shannon has a fabulous massage therapist that she uses during race weekends and we all have appointments. He is going to set up in Shannon’s room so we all need to get showers before he arrives.


The medal haul for the weekend.

This has been a busy weekend. Beth and Shane got married, my sister got married, I ran three races on a severely sprained ankle, and in between all that, there was a lot of running around here and there. I am beat! I had a very relaxing massage before checking out of my room. I’m glad to be back home. Now, I need a vacation from my weekend! And, I need to rest this ankle and let it heal. I don’t have any races on my schedule until mid-June. Hopefully, I can take a week or so off and let this heal and then start getting some training for the Race 13.1 Roanoke stop.

Until then…gotta run!

Posted in Disney World, Half Marathon, Injuries, New Blog, Orlando, Race Recap, runDisney, running, Star Wars | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Star Wars Dark Side Tie Fighter 10k

April 16, 2016

After the 5k yesterday morning, I made it back to my room, showered and then headed to the Polynesian for breakfast. I ate breakfast with some of my girlfriends and then we stalked Beth’s wedding paparazzi style. No lie, we were in the bushes taking pictures and being quiet so we wouldn’t interrupt their special day. It was really quite funny and we did get some great pictures of them.


Giggling girls as we spy on our friends’ wedding. Such a beautiful day and so glad we could be a small part of it!

Once our paparazzi jobs were done, a few of us headed back over to the Expo. I needed to buy more socks and a couple of the other girls had to pick up things as well. Christina and I ended up waiting in line to get our picture with BB-8 as well.


Christina and I with our favorite droid!

I was pretty beat by the time I got back to the room. And, my ankle was kind of angry at me so I crawled in bed, propped my foot on some pillows and planted an ice pack on top of it. I quickly fell asleep. Cheertator called me at some point and woke me up. I was awake for a short time until he got back and then we both fell asleep. We had planned to make it to dinner with my friends at Teppan Edo in Japan in EPCOT but that didn’t happen. So, we drove over to Port Orleans French Quarter and had dinner in the food court. We also had some beignets. If you’ve never had these, please try them; they are delicious!

After dinner, we went back to the room, showered, and crashed again. I had to be up early for the 10k and then we’ll be running some errands before we meet up with everyone to celebrate Beth and Shane at their wedding luncheon.

My alarm sounds and I get up quietly. My ankle is so fat that I now have a cankle and it’s turning pretty shades of purple and blue thanks to some interesting bruising. I rub some Tiger Balm on it before I slip on my sock. I wash my hands, grab my breakfast, and head out the door.

I see a bus pulling away as I get to the bus stop. I still have plenty of time so I finish my breakfast. Other runners arrive and we are all waiting…and waiting…and waiting. After nearly 30 minutes, one of the runners calls Disney transportation. We weren’t late to the bus stop so we can’t figure out why there hasn’t been a bus in over 30 minutes. They assure us that there will be another bus shortly.

A short while later, a security van comes by and says that a bus will be around any minute. It has now been 45 minutes and we are in danger of missing the start! I’m kind of nervous because I don’t know how long the walk is to the corral since this is a new course.

A bus did arrive a couple of minutes after the security guard left. Everyone on the bus was a bit nervous about missing the start. Traffic did us zero favors either. By the time we got there, we were all rushing to get through the bag check area and to the corrals. Thankfully, I had no bag.

It was a long walk to the corrals but I made it just before the first corral started. In fact, the National Anthem was being sung while I was walking towards the corrals. Squeaking into the corral in the nick of time is not my idea of fun!

I was able to find my friends in the corral though. We were able to take a couple of pictures before we started as well. My friends, Shannon and Christina, and I decided to dress up as the droids for the race. Shannon is C3PO, Christina is R2D2, and I am BB8. We look really cute if I must say so myself!


Rey (Denise) has found the droids she was looking for. Er, really, it was BB-8 (me) who found the droids and Rey! Just in the nick of time; whew!

Shannon’s friend Valarie is running with us as well. Valarie is running on an injured knee so she and I plan to stick together. We will stop for pictures if time allows and if we see some that we really want to stop for. But, we are just going to run our intervals and finish when we finish.

The gun sounds and we are on our way. The first part of the course is along the road and it leads us into the backlot of EPCOT. This is the similar to the 10k course from Marathon and Princess weekends. We head into the backlot and some of our group is in line for the R2D2 picture stop. We jump in line with them and I text our friends behind us to see if they can make it. Fortunately, they were able to make it in time and we got an awesome group picture!


My favorite picture from the whole weekend because the timing worked out so well and we got a great group picture!

After that, everyone scattered again. We went into EPCOT and then headed towards the Boardwalk. From there, we followed the walkway to Hollywood Studios. Before the Hollywood Studios entrance, there were several costumed characters. I think these may have been volunteers from the 501st or perhaps even some volunteer cosplayers because there were no official Disney photographers around. Val and I stopped for a second to get pictures with Darth Vader and Boba Fett. But, a cast member started saying that the sweepers were not far behind. It didn’t seem like we were that far back. But, rather than chance it, we took off again.

From Hollywood Studios, we made our way along the road to the Wide World of Sports Complex. We turned into WWOS on a dirt trail. Val and I both wanted to be very careful here since the sand was very loose, so we walked most of the trail. We caught up with a couple of my friends again but didn’t stop for any more pictures.

The finish line was in the parking lot. My official time was 1:52:49. Considering the drama of getting to the race this morning and my fat and bruised ankle, I’m happy with this because I finished. My ankle hurts though and I need to ice it. We collect our medals and some refreshments and then head to the bus. I’ve got to get back to the hotel, shower and change clothes, and run a couple of errands before the wedding luncheon. I don’t have a ton of time either.


Two races done (for me) and one to go. Shannon (C3PO) was the only one to make sure her medal was facing proper in this pic!

So, until later…gotta run!

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