Sunday, November 3, 2013

Disney Glass Slipper Challenge Week 1

Last spring Disney announced the Dumbo Double Dare Challenge at Disneyland. It was the first of what would become new additions to the runDisney lineup. Basically the Dumbo Double Dare is the 10K on Saturday and the half marathon on Sunday. This race was scheduled for the end of summer 2013, so I knew that it would not be an option for me with the twins expected to be born mid to late summer. I was bummed until shortly after the Glass Slipper Challenge was announced for the Princess Half weekend in February. The Glass Slipper Challenge is the Princess version of the Dumbo Double Dare. Even though I was unsure if I would be able to commit to the race, I knew I had to sign up. Given the popularity of the new Disney races, I did not want to miss out on the inaugural experience, especially the chance to earn 3 medals.

Fast forward to this past week and the first week of my training. I chose to train and run the challenge using Jeff Galloway's walk/run/walk method. I used this same method for my first and second half and was able to accomplish both feeling strong and uninjured. This means that I have two days throughout the week of running where I build up my stamina and determine my appropriate walk/run ratio. The weekend long run is run significantly slower to build my endurance.

Since I was unable to exercise throughout my last pregnancy, I have had a lot of time to think about my goals and to research fueling, nutrition and training. Before beginning my training I had the number 2:15 in my head for my goal. Knowing that I would have to work my butt off, I was reluctant to say the goal out loud and to realistically find it achievable. Yet, the more I looked at what I wanted to achieve, I knew I wanted to push myself. I had done a lot of research about proper nutrition and training techniques to improve performance. I didn't want to sell myself short, so I decided to jump all in. What good is a goal if it doesn't force you out of your comfort zone and make you examine yourself? Right?? As part of reaching my goal, I am using this blog to summarize my workouts and to review my progress as a method of staying on top of reaching my goals.


Tuesday: 30 minute run/walk/run workout
     Finding time to train is hard, so most of my weekday workouts will most likely be at night on the treadmill. I chose to workout after all 3 kids were asleep and to use a 2:1 run/walk ratio. It was a little disappointing for me to use such a "slow" pace from what I was doing prior to becoming pregnant, but I kept reminding myself that I needed to build up my endurance and ability again. As tough as it was to get back in the routine, I am glad that I chose the pace I did. I felt tired afterwards, but I didn't feel as if I pushed myself too much.
   Today I also kept track of my food using a food journal. In the past, I have had issues with proper nutrition. I often over-fuel and end up with GI issues or I feel sluggish. To reach my goal, I know that I need to be more aware of what I am eating and when I am eating it. One major benefit to my pre-workout routine was the use of Energybits. I'm not sure how many of you have tried them, but I have seen so much buzz about them on Twitter, that I knew they were worth a try. They definitely gave me the extra boost that I needed while running. I am going to continue incorporating them into my weekly training and after another week of training, I hope to do a full review on the blog. Stay tuned!

Thursday: 30 minute run/walk/run workout
      Today I did another night workout on the treadmill. I stuck to the 2:1 run/walk ratio, but I found it to be easier and I think it had a lot to do with choosing the right time frame and pre-run fuel. Instead of eating dinner around 5:30ish with my daughter, I had a turkey sandwich as an after school snack at 4:00. By just moving my dinner back an hour and a half, I felt like I still had energy from the meal, but didn't have the sluggish feeling of just eating. This allowed me to use my Energybits as my only fuel prior to running. I definitely felt a difference in my mental focus and my endurance throughout the workout.
     I also experimented with post-workout nutrition this week. I found that I liked baby carrots with hummus, glass of Nuun, and a glass of skim milk post-workout. Instead of waking up famished the next morning as I usually do with a night workout, I felt hungry but not like I hadn't eaten in days.
Major win!

Saturday: "Long run" 3 miles
      When I hear long run, I always think of longer distances, but knowing that I needed to establish a base of consistent miles, 3 miles was enough for me. Prior to my run, I looked up the training paces and race paces to help me achieve my goal of 2:15. By determining the ideal training pace for long running, I was able to focus on my pace throughout my 3 mile run instead of pushing myself too hard and losing the benefit of the "long run." In past training, I didn't use this strategy appropriately and I definitely felt it when I was in the middle of my training schedules. I had overworked myself. My goals for long runs throughout this training is to keep a close eye on pre and post run nutrition and appropriate pacing. These are two areas that I struggled with when training for my past two half marathons.
      The weather was perfect for a run on Saturday. It was mid 50's and was a clear day. I was so excited to be running outside and actually enjoyed a long run. Watching my pace and forcing myself to examine how fast and slow I ran really made me aware of my abilities as a runner. I am definitely looking forward to longer runs to analyze.

All in all, this was a relatively good training week for me. I am looking forward to adding some more time to my weekday workouts and extra mileage in the upcoming weeks. Until next time.... (hopefully for week 2, as I still continue to blame the twins on my lack of blogging skills....)

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