Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Disney's Wine and Dine Half Marathon (a.k.a. THE BEST RACE EVER)

Ok so we've been MIA for months....but we are back so please give us a second chance! Thanks.

After 14 years of running I FINALLY have a favorite race...Disney's Wine and Dine Half Marathon! This seriously was the best and most fun race I have ever run. I was smiling ear to ear the entire time and I loved every step. The race started at 10:00pm at ESPN's Wide World of Sports complex. There was the usual Disney characters and fireworks at the start. The race course went through Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, Boardwalk and then finished right outside of Epcot. All DIsney races run through the parks but this race ran through the parks significantly more than any other Disney race I have run. We were in Animal Kingdom for almost 2 miles and in Hollywood Studios for over 2 miles. The entire course was well lit and of course there was plenty of entertainment, characters, music etc.
EPCOT was open for all runners and spectators until 3:00am and we got to enjoy rides (with NO lines) and Disney's Food and Wine Festival in the World Showcase. The food was delicious and reasonably priced. We had a great time! We stayed until 3:00am and got to bed around 4:15am. BEST RACE EVER! Cool medals and shirts too!
We stayed at Disney's All-Star Sports for 3 nights and the entire trip was a blast from start to finish. We had so much fun together it felt like a second honeymoon. We are DEFINITELY planning on doing this race again next October!!

Our favorite ride at The Magic Kingdom

 We went to Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party on Friday night 9/30 from 7p-12a. It was great and the Halloween parade was awesome and the tick-or-treating was fun too!

 The entire park was decorated for Halloween!

 Our candy from the halloween party

 EPCOT's Food and Wine Festival

 With our medals, just about the leave the park...See you in January!!!

Riding Test-Track at 2:50am...literally NO BODY in line, just us! 

 Aladin and Jasmine near Morocco

 Leaving EPCOT at 3:04am
(check out my nails...I used those Sally Hansen sticker things, loved em! Well worth the $10!!)

 Our typical sad-vacation-is-over picture. Ry is wearing the race shirt but it's hard to see...

This past Sunday we ran the Mount Desert Island Marathon up in Bar Harbor, Maine....Race report and pictures to follow very soon! Stay tuned!!

It's nice to be back, thanks to those who are still reading despite our blogging hiatus!! 

Monday, September 19, 2011

Acupuncture Works!!!

Sorry to let you all down on my last post. For those of you waiting for a "baby surprise" post, you're gonna be waiting a loooong time!!! Sorry to disappoint.

My heel has gotten SIGNIFICANTLY better since my last post. I've tried all sorts of things to solve my heel problem (as seen in last post) but the one thing that really worked for me was acupuncture. So far I have only gone 4 times, and already I've had huge improvements. I don't feel much of a difference immediately after the treatment, but when I wake up the next day I can feel a HUGE difference!! No more tightness, no more soreness in the mornings, no more stiffness and no more pain on bottom on my foot. I ran 4x last week including a long run of 11 miles. I feel like I am almost back to where I want to be but of course I will continue to take things slow and I will continue to do acupuncture 1x per week.

Think you can't afford acupuncture?? Look into "community" acupuncture, it is much cheaper! The place I go to is called "acupucnture for everyone," and the price is $15-$35 per session, paying whatever you can in that range. The catch? There are 4 recliners in 1 room and there are other people in the room with you. Supposedly acupuncture was intended to be done this way, in a group, but it has been modernized into an expensive, individual spa-like treatment. The only reason I tried acupuncture was because I could afford it (at the community level price!)

Does it hurt? No. Sometimes you can feel the pins go in but it's just a quick little sting and then it goes away. I have the acupuncturist leave the pins in for 1 hour and she places them near my elbows, wrists, middle of my forehead, on the outside of my knees, the side of my calves, near the outside of my left ankle, the inside of my left ankle and on the tops of my feet and I think a few more it he calf of my left leg. She also places a magnet on the bottom of my left foot. Sometimes I can feel energy, or what I think is energy, passing from pin to pin. I can feel the muscles relax and it feels like energy or something is moving throughout the muscles. If i had to pick a sound to describe it I would say ZIIIIIIIING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It feels gooood.

Well I certainly feel like I am on the mend but still not quite where I want to be. I don't feel that I've lost any endurance but I'm certain I've lost some speed. I do feel ready to add on distance but I do not feel ready to add on speed. Will probably give it another month. Next up is Disney's Wine and Dine half marathon on 10/1 and then Mount Desert Island in Maine on 10/16.

Let me know if you have any personal questions about acupuncture.

Also, on an unrelated note, did anyone sign up for Boston/get into Boston?? Good luck!!

Monday, August 29, 2011

I've Been Keeping a Secret...

Hi blogger friends, time for me to tell you all my secret. Notice that I haven't been posting a lot? If we are fb friends then you may have noticed that I have not been running a lot either. That's right, I have not been running much these days. Maybe 1-3 times a week if i'm lucky and my mileage has been low, between 4-15 miles a week. No ladies, don't get excited, my secret is NOT what you are thinking...
Since May I have been having some pain and discomfort in my left heel. I believe I have a mild case of Plantar Faciitis. Back on May 21st I stupidly ran a half marathon in 1:40, I hadn't been running fast and I have no idea where that time came from. The last couple of miles I had some discomfort in my heel but it quickly went away after the race. Then on 5/29 I ran a 50K on trails, no discomfort whatsoever, I didn't feel a thing in my heel. On 6/5 I ran a marathon and felt some dull pain after mile 8 but it went away right after the marathon. The next 2 weeks I hardly ran at all, a few miles here and there. I've really been taking care of things and I feel that the problem is under control and I am being extremely smart about it. I have been running for 14 years injury free, this is the first problem I have ever had. It's frustrating but I'm taking care of it and I know it's not going to get any worse because I have been taking such good care of it. I have been running a little but not much. I know I have defintely lost some speed but I don't feel that I've lost any endurance.

Here are things I've been doing to take care of my heel:
(note: this is over a 3 month period!!!!)
-wearing night boot/splint every night for the past 2+ months. (I have a high-end one, it's very comfy and I love it! Will almost miss it when I don't need it anymore, that's how comfy it is!!!!)
-Ice (heel, arch, achillies, calf)
-the stick on my calf
-rolly ball for my arch
- LOTSSSS of stretching
-Acupunture (community acupuncture, it's VERY affordable)
-Gait analysis to try to find the problem
-switched my shoes, also bought shoes that are specifically for walking
-heel cups
-self-massage (not going to pay $100 for a massage. I can't seem to find anywhere affordable here in Boston.)
-running slooow, lots of walk breaks and running on trails whenever possible
-lots of rest!!!

Whie it is frustrating, i'm really not overly upset about it because I know it will get better and I do feel that it IS getting better. Currently, the discomfort is very minimal and sometimes I feel nothing, but i'm not going to run on it and make it worse. Not worth it. I do feel that it is improving and I have not yet cancelled any of my plans for this fall. I will take things slower, that's for sure but I still feel that I will be able to run the races I want to run. I feel like I have no right complaining or getting mad about it because, like I said, I have been running for 14 years injury free. I know my body is in sync with my running and I know that running does not normally cause my body injury or pain. I'll get back to that point, I just need to be patient and cautious for the time being.

Well there it is. Now that it's out, I feel I can start blogging more :-)
Thanks for listening!!!!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Honeymoon Pictures (in chronological order!)

Here is our 3 week honeymoon in a nutshell....ENJOY.....

 Pineland Farms 50K, New Glouster, Maine

 Matching "just married" shirts in front of the castle (OMG the castle is SO small!!)

 Day 1 of face painting.  

 Where is Ryan???? Sleeping in the hotel room! Early morning in the park by myself! SO fun!!!

 Day 2 of face painting. Disney's California Adventure

 Ryan won all these silly stuffed animals (he won several for kids too)

Realizing he cannot take the pup with us on the rest of the honeymoon. RIP Mudville Pooch

Waiting for the Amtrak train from Anaheim to San Diego!

Rock 'n' Roll San Diego Marathon Expo 

 Fancy hotel toilet paper cover

 San Diego Zoo

 San Diego

 Post-marathon pic

 In cab on our way to the SD airport and then on to Vancouver!!

Another fancy hotel!!! Downtown Vancouver

 The Olympic Torch!!

 Dinner is a revolving restaurant in Vancouver

 Our cruise ship! The Disney Wonder

Room #2090

 Adios, Vancouver! See ya in a week!

 "Congratulations" dessert

 Tracy Arm, Alaska

 Tracy Arm, AK

Panning for gold at Liarsville in Skagway, AK

 So many characters on the cruise!

 We played "Match Your Mate," we were the newlywed couple and we won!!!

 Mendenhall Glacier, Juneau, AK

 Upside down trees at Glacier Gardens, Juneau

 Ketchikan, AK

 My attempt at drinking

 YUCK! I hate alcohol!!!!

 Kids drink...this is more like it! (see my nails, no French manicure for this bride. I had bright pink nails for the wedding!)

 3 weeks of FUN...over...

Dinner in Portland, OR during our 8 hour lay over

Thanks for looking at our pictures!!!! :-) 

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

7/29/11, My "Slowest Marathon" NOT my "Personal Worst"

On Friday night I ran a marathon in Wakefield, MA. It was an 8 loop course around a lake and it started at 7pm, making it my first ever night marathon. My finish time was 5:06:53, 1 hour and 38 minutes slower than may personal best.  Slow? To some people, maybe. "Worst?" Hell no, it was great!! It's not my personal worst, it's just my "slowest marathon." I refuse to call my 5:06 a "personal worst." What does that even mean? There was nothing bad about that marathon, it doesn't deserve the label of "worst." I had a great time, in fact, it was extremely enjoyable, all 26.2 miles. I ran the first 5 loops with an old friend and a new friend, the conversation was great, I had several belly-laugh moments when I could baarely catch my breath because I was laughing so hard. Then there was that good laugh when all 3 of us peed under a low tree branch together, right along the path at dusk. After the 5th lap, we lapped Ryan, who was running the 12 hour ultra (more from him soon). I decided to drop back and run with him. I ran 2 laps with Ryan in the heavy down pour, gosh, I love running in the warm rain in the summertime!!! We chatted with a few other runners, including one man who has been living in a motorhome for the past 7 years exploring America (my dream!!). I have spent years of my life living in a motor home traveling America as a kid so it was cool to meet him! I decided to run the last loop my by myself and this loop was definitely my strongest. Eventhough I had not run over 10 miles since RnR San Diego on 6/5/11, I felt really strong that last lap and picked up the pace a bit. At mile 24.5 I met up with a young man who was running his first marathon and was struggling, a volunteer yelled to us "stay together!" So we did. We ran the last bit together chatting the whole way. I finished the marathon around 12:15am. I changed my clothes, ate a sandwich then grabbed an old mylar blanket and a sweatshirt and set up my sleeping space alongside 20 tents. I laid down the mylar blanket, rolled the sweathshirt into a ball for a pillow and laid down on the grass to sleep under the stars. What better way to spend a summer's night?? A far cry from a "personal worst!"

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

RnR San Diego and Honeymoon Pictures!!!

Hi everyone! WOW, we haven't blogged in forever!! Our computer died so we had to get a new one and we were really slow with having to upload all our wedding/honeymoon pictures again.

I know it's a bit late for this race report BUT.....

On June 5th we ran the Rock n Roll San Diego Marathon as part of our honeymoon. On 5/29 we ran a 50K in Maine and then we flew to Disneyland for 4 days and then took the Amtrak train down to San Diego. While in San Diego we stayed at the Hard Rock hotel (in a suite!!!) it was a bit too swanky for us but we loved it and had a great time!
The weather on race morning was perfect! We had to walk to the start which was just under 2 miles away. The lines for the porta-potties were ridiculous! I swear there were at least 75 people in each line. We made it to the start with a few minutes to spare. We were supposed to be in corral 7 but we knew we were going to be taking it slow so we moved back into a slower corral (the volunteer gave us attitude and said we could not enter the corral bc we were supposed to be in #7, race rules clearly stated (as most races doe) you can move back corrals, just not forward, eventually she let us in.)
The race course was gorgeous!!! I felt like we really got to see the city and all its beauty. We ran through Balboa Park, down by the water, by navy ships and big boats, statues, art work, by the stadium where the Padres play etc. We had to run on a slanted highway for about 4 miles which kind of sucked but there were so many people to look at that it kind of took your mind off the slant. Once again we wore our "just married" shirts and people were going crazy screaming for us and congratulating us. Around mile 12 we started looking for the lovely Meg from Meg Runs! We were thrilled to see her, she was holding a sign for us! We stopped to take a picture with her, it was so nice to see you, Meg xoxo!!
Ryan was struggling a bit and didn't have much energy, he was slowing down and seemed to be getting more tired by the mile. Around mile 18 he drank a beer and magically spruced right back up. Then again, around mile 22 he drank another beer, semi frozen, slushy beer and then we started passing people like crazy! We were lucky enough to see Meg again around mile 20, she even ran with us for a bit!! The last 10 or so miles of this race were all along the water, it was truly gorgeous! We had a really strong finish, picking up the pace a lot in the last 4 miles! The finish was fun with our shirts, people were so friendly and nice to us!!
We finished the race in 4:35, kind of slow for us but we were just out for a good time and we still had a week and a half left of our honeymoon so we wanted to take things easy and just enjoy the course. We were outside longer than we planned and got a little too much sun. I put SPF on my lips but we were just out there for too long and I got a pretty painful sunburn there, NOT fun.
 See the names on our bib #s?? Mr. and Mrs. Couto

 After the race! You can see Sea World in the background

 Ryan eating a sandwich he bought from a cart after the race

I don't trust food from carts, I'll stick with my Mix1!

Riding the bus back to the hotel 

We took advantage of the free baseball tickets after the marathon. We only stayed for about 4 innings then we went out to eat. Beautiful stadium though!

 Dinner at some place that was supposed to be like an old whore house. Ryan saw what the waitresses were wearing and wanted to eat there, lol.

Picture in the lobby at our hotel, just as we were leaving for Vancouver.

We have many many pictures from our honeymoon that we would LOVE to share with you all! Please stay tuned for our pictures from Disneyland, more from San Diego, Vancouver and Alaska!