18 Mile Training Run Recap

This past Saturday I ventured out for my 18 mile training run for the Chicago Marathon. As I have mentioned in several of my previous posts, training in this Atlanta summer has been quite difficult. From the humidity to the heat, my pace has suffered greatly. But I am pushing forward toward the reward of crossing the finish line in Chicago on October 9.

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Several observations about this particular training run…

  • I got out to the Cochran Shoals Trail by the Chattahoochee River before it was even light out. I knew with 18 miles on the schedule, this was going to take a while. It was kinda weird to get in my first several miles with hardly anyone else at the park.

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  • I updated my music playlist the night before with about 30 new songs. I think that helps quite a bit when I’m able to have new music to listen to. Especially with runs that take several hours.
  • I sweat a lot. Like a lot.
  • I struggled during the final 3 miles. More than I was expecting. I honestly got a little worried I wasn’t going to be able to finish around mile 16. But I pushed through.

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  • Colder weather can’t get here soon enough. I am hoping even for just a small dip in the temperature by my 20 mile training run in 3 weeks.
  • Running for a long time by yourself can get very lonely.
  • I’m super pumped to run at Disneyland this coming weekend!

After back to back weekends of Half Marathons, I will attempt my last long run of 20 miles before tapering down for 2 weekends. Hard to believe it’s only 40 days away!

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Friday Favorites

Welcome to a new and a little different edition of Friday Favorites. Instead of talking about some awesome stuff that I may have just picked up recently…I wanted to talk about several things going on in my world right now.

  • 18 Mile Training Run Tomorrow I am back at the long training runs for the Chicago Marathon. Unfortunately, the weather has not changed at all. Still very hot and very humid. I’ll have a blog update after. Wish me luck!

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  • California Trip On Wednesday, Rachel and I are heading back over to the West Coast for a 5-day trip to California/Disneyland. We absolutely love Disneyland and California Adventure and cannot wait to spend some more time out there! It’s one of our favorite places in the world.
  • Disneyland Half Marathon As a part of our trip to California, we will be running the Disneyland Half Marathon for the 3rd straight year. This is also our 3rd straight Coast to Coast Challenge. The Coast to Coast Challenge is where you run at least a half marathon at Walt Disney World in Florida and then a half marathon at Disneyland in California in the same calendar year. The medal is probably one of my favorite Disney medals. In addition, the Disneyland Half is one of my favorite Disney race courses.
  • Atlanta Craft Classic Half Marathon One of the cool perks of being a BibRave Pro is the opportunity to run races on behalf of BibRave. The weekend after we get back from California, I will be running the Atlanta Craft Classic Half Marathon. So back-to-back weekends of half marathons should be fun! I do have a code for the race if anyone wants to join me! BibRave (not case sensitive) is good for $10 off the Half or $5 off the 5K.

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What’s going on in your world?

17 Mile Training Run Recap

Two weekends ago, I busted up a 17 mile training run as I continue my journey towards the Chicago Marathon on October 9

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A few weeks before that, I blogged about my experience with 15 miles. It wasn’t pretty to say the least, but I knocked it out. Therefore, with 17 miles on the schedule, I was curious to see how my body would respond since I struggled so much with 15 in this Atlanta humidity/heat.

I decided to go back out to the Cochran Shoals Trail by the Chattachoochee River. As I mentioned before, it has a nice and easy 3.1 mile loop with very little elevation. Plus, it has 2 bathrooms (one at the front and one in the middle) and several water fountains. 

 

I went through my normal routine of setting out everything I would need the night before and set my alarm for very early. The following morning, I was out the door and at the park by 6:45, which is what I was aiming for.

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I started my run by keeping a very nice and slow pace to allow myself energy for the final few miles. I had downloaded an hour-long podcast to listen to before moving to just music. I was curious to see how I would do with a podcast on this long of a run, and I’m happy to say, I was completely engaged. 

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The run went a little better than the 15 miler. The weather, while very humid, never got above the low 80s, which I consider a win for August in Atlanta. I did find myself taking several walk breaks during the last 2 miles, but all in all, I was pleased with my time and pace.

I am scheduled to run 18 miles this Saturday, before back-to-back half marathon weekends with the Disneyland Half and the Atlanta Craft Classic. (Speaking of the Atlanta Craft Classic Half Marathon…the code “BibRave” is good for $10 off the Half or $5 off the 5K if you want to join me!)

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August Disney Trip Part 2

Yesterday, I started talking about the first half of our trip to Disney a few weekends ago. Check out that blog post here.

Saturday morning, I got up super early to get in a 4-5 mile run. Since I’m training for the Chicago Marathon, I felt like taking 3 days off from running was a little too much. The Caribbean Beach Resort has a great 1.2 mile loop that runs throughout the whole resort. I was able to take in quite a bit more of the scenery, while logging in the miles.

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After getting cleaned up, Rachel and I headed over to the Magic Kingdom for a few hours. We had reservations at Be Our Guest so we were able to hit up a few rides before heading to lunch. As always, we had a great meal at Be Our Guest! The “grey stuff” really is delicious!

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After lunch, we walked around a little more, riding some more rides, before making our way back to the resort. But not before we were able to get one of my favorite pictures ever of us in front of the castle. Seriously…so good!

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Later that afternoon, we made our way over to the Wilderness Lodge for dinner. We met up with Nick and Ciara, where we ate at The Whispering Canyon Cafe. I love this restaurant! Nick and I had the all-you-can-eat platter. So much food!

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Once we finished dinner, we walked around more of the Wilderness Lodge. It’s definitely my favorite place we have stayed at.

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Then we made our way over to the Polynesian Village Resort. In all my years of visiting Disney, I’ve never been at the Polynesian. And I’ve got to tell you, it’s gorgeous. So much to see and take in. Amazing theming and sights, plus you can literally see the Magic Kingdom from across the water. It’s definitely on my bucket list to stay!

The following morning, we checked out and headed over to Universal Studios/Harry Potter World for a few hours. Nick and Ciara met up with us for the final part of our trip. We walked around and rode a few rides. I love the Harry Potter sections of these parks!

After a few hours, we said our goodbyes and started the journey back home to Atlanta. Until next time…

August Disney Trip Part 1

A few weekends ago, Rachel and I headed down for another weekend at our favorite place on Earth. It had been almost 3 months since our last trip to Disney, which for us feels like forever. We were excited to spend a few days with our friends Nick and Ciara and stay on property for a couple of those nights.

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We made it down to Orlando on Thursday night around 7pm and headed over to Disney Springs for dinner and a little shopping. They have opened several new stores since May. Disney Springs, in my opinion, has become a must stop on every trip.

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New Anthropologie Store. Rachel was excited!

After Disney Springs, we headed over to Nick and Ciara’s house, where we spent the night. We are so grateful to have friends who offer a place for us to stay. You can’t beat free!

Friday, we decided to start our day by visiting several Disney resorts. One of the things we have really enjoyed the past few trips is exploring all of the resorts Disney has to offer. We made it over to the Animal Kingdom Lodge first. This resort is amazing! From seeing animals such as giraffes to one of the best themed lobbies I’ve seen on property. We loved it!

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Next, we headed over to the Boardwalk Beach Resort. Rachel and I have run around the boardwalk a few times during the RunDisney races, but wanted to have some more time to explore.

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One of the neat things about this resort is there are 3 resorts all right next to each other. We explored the Boardwalk, Beach Club and Yacht Club. All three of these resorts were amazing. We even ate some of the best ice cream I’ve ever had at Ample Hills Creamery. 2 thumbs up!

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After walking around for several hours, we made our way over to the Caribbean Beach Resort, where we would be staying for the rest of the weekend. We visited this resort back in January, so we knew we wanted to stay here at least once. 

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We checked in, rested for a little bit, then made our way over to Epcot for the rest of the afternoon/evening. Since our last trip in May, Epcot has opened 2 new rides…Soarin’ Over the World and Frozen Ever After. We were able to ride both of these new rides and I was very pleased with both, especially Frozen. While Frozen isn’t necessarily my favorite movie, they did a great job with the ride and theming. I was definitely pleasantly surprised!

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Finally, we met up with Ciara and Nick for dinner at Via Napoli in the Italy pavilion, which is one of my favorite places to eat at Disney. It was excellent! After dinner, we made our way back over to the resort and walked around for a little while, before calling it a day. All in all, it was a great first part of the trip!

New Blog Posts Coming Soon

I know, I know. I’ve been slacking on the blog. My life has been crazy recently. I’ve actually been working on the blog behind the scenes, and have several posts lined up over the next week.

Here is a sneak peek…

  • Disney Trip Recap the weekend of August 5-7, including staying at the Caribbean Beach Resort. This could possibly be broken up into 2 posts with Rachel writing a guest post as well.
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Love this picture from our trip!

  • 17 Mile training run last Saturday, August 13. Short version…I finished. Long version…it was completely draining.
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Crossing 15 miles during my run. I look way too happy for how I really felt.

  • New job responsibilities at my current job. Exciting opportunity!

Also…we are officially 2 weeks away from leaving for our summer vacation to Disneyland in Anaheim, California. We are also running the Disneyland Half Marathon for the 3rd consecutive year. We are super pumped!

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Finisher Pic from last summer.

All that to say, lots to talk about over the next week. Stay tuned…

15 Mile Training Run Recap

With the Chicago Marathon coming up in two short months, it’s time to hit some significant mileage. So two weekends ago, I attempted my longest training run since January – 15 miles.

I started out the night before as I usually do before a long run, with laying out my clothes and everything else I need on my run. This usually includes my hydration pack, fuel, sunglasses, hat, sweatband and iPod shuffle.

The next morning I was up by 5:45 in order to eat a little something, stretch, get dressed and head out to the park, which is about 15 minutes away. By 6:45 I was at the park and ready to roll.

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Now with the Atlanta heat/humidity, my long runs have become slower and slower, which I know is probably a good thing. And since I knew I would be running for at least 2:30 or more, I was going to have to really listen to my body, especially after the first 90 minutes.

I really like the course at the Cochran Shoals Trail by the Chattachoochee River. It’s a nice easy 3.1 mile loop with very little elevation. Plus, it has 2 bathrooms (one at the front and one in the middle) and several water fountains. 

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The run went as well as could be expected. The weather, while very humid, never got above the low 80s, which is why I was aiming to be running as early as possible.

I am happy to say that I knocked out 15 miles that morning. I was drenched in sweat most of the time, but I finished. I’m not sure how much further I could have gone, but I am happy to have hit that mileage for sure.

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This coming weekend, I have 17 miles on the schedule. The plan is to hit up the Alpharetta Big Creek Greenway for a change of scenery. It’s more of an out and back route and has several bathrooms and water fountains. Wish me luck!