Today Starts My June Training

My Shirt

I was checking out programs to use for my marathon training. After visiting various “train like this” sites, I decided the best training to use was the one recommended by Disney itself (if Disney could actually recommend one, I think it’s actually a Galloway program). The training suggests starting in June and running for three days a week…Tuesdays and Thursdays with a long run on the weekend.  (This is the 2016 marathon plan still on the site today, but I would imagine when they post the 2017 marathon training plan, it would be about the same).

Here is my train of thought (get it…”train” –  sorry nerves).  The Beginning Runner plan (hey, might as well start at the beginner level) is scheduled to start June 30th with an end date of January 10th. If I start now, 28 weeks would take me up to November, so in theory I should be really, really ready by January 2017. Right? Well, that’s my story/plan and I’m sticking to it.

I’m currently doing a little research on core training, because I know this is where I struggle the most. Either way, I’ve got my plan and the heart…now it’s time to work on the rest.

Disney World Marathon

Disney World 2017

Grandma to Half Marathon is now on a new journey. While the name won’t change because I’m still working on improving, I have done the unthinkable, I have signed up for my first marathon. The Disney World Marathon, January 2017. Yup…26.2 miles. Just saying that gives me the chills.

When I think about it though, they’re probably the same chills I experienced when I decided to participate in my first half marathon. The fear of spending all that money and not finishing the race. The terror of the balloon ladies and the possibility of being picked up by “the bus”. All those thoughts running through my mind. 

There is a difference this time.  The difference is this time I welcome those feelings of uncertainty because this time, I know what I’m in for.  Okay not really, but I know what will happen if I don’t train enough, like that first half.  I know there will be pain, but I’m determined this time. I’ve paid the registration fee and training has already started….so balloon ladies or finish. I’m headed to Disney – January 2017 to run a race I said I would NEVER run (kind of like that half marathon thing) a marathon.

Disney Princess Half Marathon 2016

2016 half

One would think the fact it took me over two months to talk about the race must mean that it was absolutely the most devastating event…ever, preceded only by my first half marathon back in 2014. Well, the truth is, it was and it wasn’t. I wouldn’t necessarily call it tragic, but it had some moments I hated to relive and others that were actually quite awesome.

The not-so-good

Have you ever had to use the porta-potty only to not have one immediately available…only to make the crazy decision to “hold it” and as a result of holding it, decide not to do any fluid intake? That was mistake # 1. Starting in a late corral, I didn’t think it was prudent to get out of that corral to go to said porta-potty.

Common sense aside, I thought perhaps I would just not drink anything until I had the chance to stop…well…I was making such good time, who had time to stop for a fifteen minute porta-potty line? Most definitely not I. which lead to…

I thought I would never experience those muscle cramps reminiscent of the 2014 debacle again, but the lack of fluids hit like a ton of pain around mile nine. Oh no, not just one leg and then the other this time, but both legs at the same time all at once, full blown, no warning.  If I could, I would apologize to the runners behind me when I had to come to a dead stop right where I was and bend over double in pain. I trained too hard for this one though, I couldn’t stop, nope. So basically from mile nine on whether it was on my heels or a steady hop, I had to walk almost the rest of the way – thwarting my attempt to run across the finish line.

The good

There always has to be a good.  Recovery time was cut literally by a third compared to that first year. Any day I can run, there will always be a good. Well, regardless of the fact that I caught the mega-leg muscle cramps. I PR’d. On to 2017! 

Cize Review

Cize Review Picture.jpg

The snow kept me inside today so I thought I would use the time to review an “exercise” DVD set I purchased. So …Beachbody CIZE It Up… I was considering a gym membership.  The gym next door to my office charges $60 for one month or $10 for a single visit. There are cheaper gyms, but they are much further out. Instead of joining a gym, however, I decided to purchase the Beachbody CIZE DVD with Shaun T for the same price as the month membership.  I’m at about two weeks into the program, so I thought it would be a good time for me to give it the grandma review.

What I like:

While it has nothing to do with the DVD, I found that I actually like the opportunity to make a fool of myself by learning to dance at home without worrying about anyone looking at me. Not that I often worry about that, but when I’m gasping for air and trying to catch my breath, it’s so much better when no one is watching. It’s getting better though, I’m not as winded when I first started.

Step-by-step instruction. Shaun T takes you step-by-step through each dance routine and repetition is the key. For example, the You’ve Got This routine is 43 minutes. For the first 40 minutes, you are learning each step, repetitively and starting from the top – repetitively. For the last three minutes, they play the “CIZE it Up” song, in this case Treasure “originally recorded by Bruno Mars.” The “originally recorded” means it’s not the actual singer, but it sounds pretty close.

Does it work? The infomercial states that it’s the end of exercise and the infomercial actors also declare they are so into learning the routine that it doesn’t feel like exercise.  I started the DVD’s a almost two weeks ago and I have lost three pounds. It would probably be more if I actually utilized the nutrition information in the Eat Up Guide included with the set.  I have to agree that I’m concentrating so hard on learning the dance steps, I do forget that it IS an exercise, disguised as a learn-to-dance DVD.

For each routine you rate yourself as to whether you’re a back-up dancer, front and center or ready for your own video. I think I’ll be in the back for a while, but it is fun to feel like I’m improving.

There are six routines, plus 8 Minute Abs. Today I started workout #3 – Full Out, for which the CIZE dance (last three minutes of the workout) is done to “Lose my Breath” originally recorded by Destiny’s Child. Lose my breath, I did.

Maybe the “not so much”:

I know that the Beachbody company is thinking of the young beach body types as their target audience, however, what originally drew me to the purchase was the infomercial that featured the older woman. It made me think that if she could do it, so could I. What I find distracting in an annoying sort of way, however, are a couple of the female, professional back-up dancers.  They are dancing, but it looks more like they are trying to model. One in particular, really annoys me unfortunately she is also in the Shakeology commercial right before the workout starts. I always fast forward.

Keep in mind that Beachbody is in it for the money, so be prepared for them to continuously pitch their merchandise in between the workouts, but not during the workout itself, thank goodness.

There are some that don’t like the repetitive-style teaching method and the short, three-minute CIZE it Up. I love it for two reasons, it helps me to learn the dance and it works up quite a sweat.

If you are a professional dancer or prefer the standard exercise DVD that “works both sides”, this DVD is not for you.  Some users complained that Shaun T didn’t switch sides to workout both legs and both arms.  It’s a dance DVD, not really an exercise DVD.  I tended to switch sides on my own and I was quite content with that. If CIZE doesn’t make you sweat, it’s probably not the DVD for you.

Overall, the cost of the DVD was the same price as a 30 day membership to my closest gym. If I used it six times (at what would have been single $10 visits to the gym), it would have paid for itself. All this to say, I’m quite pleased with my purchase, but do continue to fight the urge to purchase one of the cute CIZE t-shirts.

Something New Added to Running

Shaun T.png


I had almost decided to pay the $60 for a 30-day gym membership.  The gym is literally steps from my office… out the front door, walk across the sidewalk, boom – there. I thought it would be so convenient during my lunch. I could run across the sidewalk, jump on the treadmill, shower and hop back into my office during my lunch. I also figured I could take some Zumba and Yoga classes at night and on weekends. All of this as opposed to driving the 1.5 miles to the employee gym and going into the basement of the government building, running on the treadmill and just lifting weights.

I decided to do something different. Yes I did. I bought the Shaun T Cize DVDs.  I ordered it about 9 days ago and it came today in the mail. Exciting!!! Cize teaches you to dance so you actually forget it’s exercise. Of course I read a lot of the reviews first. Some of the reviews were negative. They didn’t like the fact that he spent the first 20 minutes of a 30 minute DVD teaching each of the dance steps and repeatedly starting back from the top. I actually liked the fact that he would teach you a step, then start back at step one and take you through what you just learned. I learned eight new steps and at the end, he took you, fast-paced, from the beginning step to step eight – three times.  Then they changed the song (he said we would recognize it, but I really didn’t) and you did the routine two more times (he said it was three, but I only counted twice).  Needless to say, by the end of the 30 minutes, I was a sweaty mess.   The fact that I went to the gym and finished three miles on the treadmill first, made working out to the DVD that much more intense. My original plan was to just watch the DVD tonight and start tomorrow, but I was way too excited and just decided to go for it. 

Now tonight, I took a shower, took an aspirin, rubbed on some Biofreeze and I’m going to bed, knowing that today I killed it!

I Remember the Pain


It’s been almost two years since I completed my first half marathon. I remember most of it like it was yesterday. It was February 2014. What I remember the most about that half were the incredible cramps that started in my legs somewhere around mile nine. Sharp, debilitating cramps that almost knocked me out of the “running”. For days afterwards every step brought pain, some brought tears…the majority brought pain and tears. I knew it was really my fault. I hadn’t trained right/enough, wacky nutrition – of course a bagel and diet coke an hour before the start was a proper breakfast. I pretty much jumped in a corral and started a race.

Fast forward a year. February 2015. This year I took the proper precautions. I also made sure that I had salt, fuel beans and all sorts of little remedy’s to hold off the cramps and they worked.  I haven’t felt cramps like that…until today.  Oh my gosh! Perhaps it was the lack of warm up. Perhaps the single digit chill factor outside followed by walking into a building and jumping on a treadmill with 60 seconds of warm-up. The cramps!  In fact, it’s three hours later and I’m still feeling the twinge. Fortunately it’s not the total debilitating cramps of 2014, but pretty darn near close.  No worries, I will not be deterred. I’ve got my foam roller, Biofreeze and a whole month before the next half.

2015 Running Review

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What a year it has been! It’s funny…sometimes it feels like I’ve come such a long way and other times it feels like I should be further along than I am.  I do, however, remember back in 2013 when I could barely run a few steps and look at me now – two half marathons later! Who knew?

Greatest accomplishment: Finishing the Disney Princess Half Marathon two steps ahead of the balloon ladies. Well, perhaps more than two steps, but considering I was in the second to the last corral and made two unplanned stops along the way. I even managed to shave about six minutes off the previous year when I didn’t stop. I think the net effect was a much better race! Shorter time, half the pain!

Second greatest accomplishment: The MCM10K. I smile every time I look at that bib and medal. Not sure why, but it gives me the warm and fuzzies. It just feels like a huge accomplishment … it could be because it was my first run in the rain or, most importantly, that hill near the end of the race.

Proudest race: (I had to call it something other than an accomplishment) The Across the Bay 10K. Why?  The first 1.7 miles was uphill. Need I say more?

Biggest (EPIC) fail: Psyching myself out of completing the Clarendon 10K. The walk of shame back up the hill was more painful, I’m sure, than had I went ahead and finished the downhill race (it took just as long to get back to the top). Oh well, live and learn.  This might be a redemption race for me in 2016.

Biggest improvement: I completed one 10K in 2014. In 2015, I completed four 10k’s. Two races and two training runs! Now THAT is the way to end the year! Bring on 2016!