Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Bra showdown - Shock Absorber Ultimate Run Bra versus La Isla Racer Back Level 4

I've had a bit of a undesirable bra situation for a while. I've ended up using two bras that don't really fit. A combo of my size changing, ordering the wrong size and washing? Probably a bit of everything I would say. I've used Shock Absorber Bras for years but lately my usual 32 band size really doesn't fit anymore, these bras size extremely small anyhow but this was a joke. I've been practically wrestling myself into the thing...and heaven help me if I've washed it, I can barely breath for the first mile or two I run!
For a long time I've used my money for shoes but when I looked on amazon they had my bra on sale for $42 (versus the usual $68). So I sucked it up and measured myself according to Shock Absorbers criteria. They reckon I'm a 36 but I knew there was no way that was true. I like a snug fit just not as snug as a 32. So I went with a 34.

In the meanwhile that handy 'what others bought' section pointed out a La Isla Bra. I'd never heard of the brand before but it looks like they make a knock off version of all the popular sports bras. That was also on sale $22 (versus $45) and looked exactly like the Ultimate Run Bra and was made of the same materials. So I ordered that too, $22 isn't too much to lose when you consider the savings for a few of them.

Well the two different brands arrived and looked much the same. Fit the same. I brought the La Isla bra out for a run and it was perfect. Time to order a couple more while they are still on sale. It seems like a trivial thing but I'm excited to be able to get different colored bras. Until now all of mine have been the same boring black ( white = the only other color available in my size).
We'll see how it wears over time!! For now the showdown ends pretty close to a draw but the price tips the scales in favor of La Isla!

Monday, 26 January 2015

Week 1 of workouts post Disney

This week has been a baptism of fire for me with my new regime. Gone are 50 mile weeks, hello strength and speed work. I've swapped quantity for intensity and boy can I tell. I guess the way things have worked out I've unconsciously periodized my running. Marathon training was all about endurance and now I'm all about speed.

Monday-Strength and 3 mile run
Since there were no gym classes due to MLK day I did some easy body weight strength work on my own.
Reps done each side.
Running 10.30 min/mile-First run post marathon
3 really easy miles to test out how everything feels. The knee is still a bit stiff but not sore. Spent 15-20 minutes post run stretching and torturing myself with the foam roller and ball. A lot of gritty knots in my calf...probably why my knee is tight. Looking forward to my next massage to really get rid of them.

Tuesday 4 miles 8.57
Started off with a mile warmup to ease some sore Glutes into action :) Four miles with x4 quarter mile intervals. Stayed at 4 intervals to slowly build up the volume of speed work but pushed hard with the pace. 1. 6.50 2. 7.08 3. 7.07 4. 7.03 min/mile. It helped that on the slow laps I was able to watch one of the most beautiful sunsets I've ever seen. 

Wednesday Strength and Run
Strength-1 hour Body Pump
Track 01. Warmup
Track 02. Squats
Track 03. Chest
Track 04. Back/Arms
Track 05. Triceps <--Weak on this....hurt afterwards
Track 06. Biceps
Track 07. Lunges <----hell
Track 08. Shoulders
Track 09. Abdominals
Track 10. Cooldown

I ate >100g of protein (with no shakes etc) probably for the first time in years. Continued close to this all week by watching what I ate. All them muscles I'm growing have to come from somewhere.

Running 3 miles 10.08 min/mile
I was going to run 4 miles but left it at 3. I've been switching between two pairs of shoes,one newish and one older. I couldn't find the new ones...straight away the old ones felt, well old. I think they are finished. Nothing hurt but between that and the dead legs from my lunch time class I played it safe. It was fun tho; lots of runners in the park and a water stop half way!

45 minutes Pilates
Pretty standard Pilates moves on a mat. Would have been easy if I hadn't felt like I was being put through a meat grinder everytime I tried to use my glutes or hamstrings lol. My abs worked just fine.

40 mins/4.2 mile tempo run
Straight after class. I ran around the university and the downtown area. My watch was acting awful with the pace around the buildings. I can walk faster than it said I was running most of the time. Disastrous for my tempo run. I ended up running by perceived effort, probably better since there were some hills. Peaked with a minute around 7.30min/mile. Judging by my cadence afterwards it looks like I did ok. 10 minutes slow, then my cadence built to a peak over 20 minutes, then another 10 minutes slow. 

Friday -rest
Finally a bit of recovery, that and Friday night pizza and beer. My only slip up this week with food!!

Saturday -5 mile run 9.03 min/mile
Now that marathon training is over and my longer runs are a bit shorter I intend to pick up a pace a little for them...still comfortable but I don't feel like I need to hold back just in case! Picked it up for the last half a mile and ran around 8min/mile since I was feeling good.

Sunday 10 miles 9.31min/mile
Roughly following a training plan that called for a ninety minute run. Converted it to a 10 mile since I hate ending on partial miles. Went well until the last few miles. I had stupid allergies the whole run...snotfest, which meant I didn't breath great= sick stomach. Stopped before the last mile for water and when I restarted I almost vomited...needless to say the last mile was jogged...barely.

On a positive note I've ran a little over 30 miles this week and reintroduced speed and strength work without anything hurting (injurywise....lots of normal post workout aches). A pretty solid week!!

Thursday, 22 January 2015

My first Body Pump Class

Wednesday- lunchtime
I thought "put on the light weights, you'll breeze through this and then see how you feel tomorrow". Holy crap I did not. It was HARD.

I've really gotten out of shape as far as strength work goes. By the time we got around to the lunges section (also known as hell) my legs were shaking, making keeping my balance hard. That was maybe due to the 100 or so squats we had just done. Inside I am laughing ...outside not so much.

The class was good, maybe a bit fast paced for a newbie but I'm sure it'll all be old hat in a few weeks. I would have aced this class years ago when I did kickboxing, my instructor would have used this as a warm up. Must get back to my early 20s self. Challenge accepted!! If I end up looking half as ripped as the teacher it'll all be worth it...oh yea and it might help my running.

Sunday, 18 January 2015

Weekly Roundup

Not much to report here. I took this week completely off from physical activity...if you don't count 6 hours of walking around Universal Studios. 
I haven't stepped outside the house once this weekend. I've been busy working on a grant :(  I'm making up for time off last week. I had a very demanding supervisor today!

Who said work had to be uncomfortable.
I'm excited to get back to running next week. I'm  dropping back down to a half marathon program. I'm not going right back to the start but I'll take a week or two to build my mileage back up and then add in speedwork, especially since I bought a pass for some strength classes also starting next week. 

The plan: Bodypump (x2, just one next week due to MLK day), pilates (x1), on my own--some running specific mobility & strength and my usual yoga (x1). Most of this at the university gym for $20 (class pass) a semester. I'm kicking myself that I didn't look sooner. If I changed my membership to a full one (instead of early bird) I'd be able to try out some different stuff like barre but I think I have enough on my plate for now. 
I'm tired writing it down but I'm hoping with running not being so intensive I'll have a chance to adjust to the strength work. If its too much I'll drop a class or two and add them back in more slowly. 

Hope you all had a great weekend!!

Saturday, 17 January 2015

Harry Potter Universal Studios Florida

I let my nerdy inner child loose and had an amazing day in Universal Studios  pretending I was a witch. We went to two Harry Potter attractions, which are split over two parks in Universal Studios. A park to park pass is around $145 and parking for the day was $17. Most hotels will run shuttles to the parks at set times, but since I'd run the marathon the day before I wanted to be able to be flexible in case I got tired or sore. We arrived at 8.45am and went straight into the park.

 After showing our passes, ID and linking the passes to us via a fingerprint, we practically ran through Islands of Adventure to the Harry Potter Hogsmeade Attraction. We went straight to the Harry Potter and The Forbidden Journey Ride. This is a simulation but on the way to the ride you get to walk through Hogwarts, seeing the Defense against the Dark Arts classroom etc. The line was only 10 minutes.                                                                 The lines were very short all morning and the crowds small...not so much in the afternoon so its worth being there as the parks open. I'd imagine this would be even more important in the busier seasons.

After that we went to Ollivanders where we watched a little show, when a kid gets chosen to find their wand. I was jealous!! Hogsmeade was fun to explore and I might have gotten some candy along the way. Since I'm not a huge fan of rollercoasters Martina rode one of the bigger rides (which are apparently very good for an adrenline junkie) while I browsed. We also got to try Butterbeer. It was good but rich, so if you don't mind the germs, buy one to share if you just want to try it.

Hogsmeade explored we hopped on the Hogwarts express where we also got a little show and got called first years, its been a while since I was a first year anywhere!!
We emerged into the London section of Universal and came across the Knight Bus and Stan Stunpike.
Then you find your way to the entrance of Diagon Alley. The pictures don't look like much but it literally took my breath away...they did a great job with it!
Diagon Alley was mainly a lot of themed shops but it was really fun exploring.  The dragon on top of Gringotts breathed fire every 10 minutes..and you could actually feel the heat from it.

We explored Weasleys Wizarding Wheezes, Madam Malkin's Robe Shop and the Quidditch Supply Store, amongst others.

Since the big ride in Diagon Alley is Gringotts, we really wanted to do that. This was the longest wait of the day-20 minutes-nothing for a theme park. Again, walking through the area where lines would normally be, there was loads to see and photograph...almost too much because I kept wanting to hold up the lines to take pictures. The designers did such a good job with Gringotts. It looked suitably opulent and the animated goblins were so life like it was creepy.

Then we ate lunch at the Leaky Cauldron. This was cool because it looked the part. The food options were not so great for vegetarians and a lot of the people around us didn't seem to impressed with their food. I don't know if this was because the menu was designed around English pub grub (which Americans might not have experienced before) or if it was just bad. Our food was ok but a bit overpriced for what we got. So maybe give this a miss...or try The Three Broomsticks!

It was a short trip down Knockturn Alley and into Borgin and Burkes, which had a selection of 'darker' merchandise. Then we left Harry Potter and went out into the Universal Studios part of the park. Martina rode some of the big rollercoasters, with the compromise that she must find me a seat, water and a coffee. At this stage we'd been at the park for almost 6 hours (almost all walking). I was falling asleep standing, the beer at lunch might not have helped lol!

We went back to Kings Cross and rode the Hogwarts Express back to Hogsmeade (a different show on the train this time). By the way..the level of detail in the park was awesome, the shop on the 'Muggle' side of Kings Cross had Mars Bars (kind of like a Milky Way Bar) which you can't get here. Im sure if I'd looked closer the other candy was English. 

Martina hopped on another rollercoaster in Hogsmeade since there was no line. Then we started the long walk back to the car. At this stage my right knee (now ok) was sore and I was literally dragging my feet along the cement rather than lifting my legs. 
Apparently, a lot of runners in the Disney Parks hired wheelchairs for the day (probably those crazy Dopey runners...by crazy I mean hardcore). Towards the end of the day I wouldn't have said no to one lol. 
It was around 3.30 pm and the rain started. We stopped in a Starbucks, at the last set of shops close to the car, for a hot chocolate and cake pop. A nice sugar pick me up. 
We timed our departure almost perfectly. On the highway back to our hotel it started to pour down and for a long time we were driving at 25mph. At least we didn't have far to go. 

I was worn out but it was possibly one of the best days I've ever had!

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Walt Disney World Marathon 2015

Prepare yourself this is going to be very long with a lot of pictures.

The race entry for The Walt Disney World Marathon was $180 (the half was the same price). I signed up in April as soon as the registration opened as the races generally fill up within a couple of days. I've always wanted to run a Disney race. Since I'm within driving distance I decided to go for it. I think somehow I thought since the half and the full entry were the same price I was somehow getting better value by signing up for the full, ha ha. 

Myself, Martina and two of our friends (one a non-runner) were all traveling to the race. Our friends were leaving later but Martina and I left early at 8am on Friday after dropping Boomer at his vets for boarding. We'd packed loads of stuff. Mostly running gear but also lots of food to minimize costs for our trip. The drive down flew by even though it took about 6.5 hours. I drove a lot of the way, a sure sign my shoulders have been behaving themselves over the last week. 

The expo was on in Disney at the ESPN Wide World of Sports area. Since the half was on Saturday, we went straight to the expo to get Martinas' bib, giving us lots of time to do that and walk around. We were directed to one building to pick up our bibs, and after a whole production of checking IDs etc we got them. 

The next building we got our t-shirts. I really liked that they offered a t-shirt exchange as I tried on my usual medium and even though it wasn't huge on me, the arms were a bit long.
Then we went into the area with all of the extra runDisney merchandise. Martina got a really nice running jacket. Unlike the half gear most of the full marathon merchandise was casual sportswear not really designed for running..like fleece lined jackets. I didn't buy any extra clothes but I did pick up a mug.
The expo had the usual vendors, a fact I relied on to replace my belt water bottles after the old ones got a bit too gross. Overall a decent expo, if you are lucky and get the timing right it isn't too crazy either.

Accommodation and Race Transportation
We stayed in Westgate Towers, in a really nice suite with a full kitchen. This isn't a Disney Resort but it is only a mile from an entrance to Disney and has the advantage of being a lot less expensive.

 It has shuttles to the parks during normal hours and I was really hoping they had a special shuttle for the race but they didn't. That ended up being a non-issue. On Saturday we all got up at 3am to drop Martina to the start area for her half marathon. I was terrified driving and parking would be a nightmare but it was a very smooth operation with no delays.
We dropped her off and then everyone went back to bed for a few hours before heading back out to meet her at the finish. Note on the way in later on we sat in traffic for at least 30 minutes so if you want to see your runner finish give yourself a good cushion.
The next morning for the marathon it was a tiny bit busier but we were also later as I ended up driving in circles to get to the exit Disney recommended to get into the park. This was only one exit from were we were staying but the exit lanes were so long I could never get to it lol.
Eventually I got so sick of driving in circles I disregarded the race day instructions and just followed the signs for Epcot (start area). I think this was ok because we were early...it might not be such a good strategy if arriving later. People staying in the Disney Resorts got shuttled to the start but I'm not sure how much of a wait it was for those. 
I know getting up at 3am seems crazy but the race starts at 5.30am and its a good 20 minute walk to the corrals. Driving or busing it, I would rather lose the extra hour of sleep and avoid lines for parking or buses.

The Start Area
After parking its a five minute or so, depending on your parking spot, walk to a waiting area which you will return to post race. At the start it was nicely set up with tons of port-a-potties and an area giving out water. Then its a 15-20 minutes walk to the corrals. The walk down was fun, everyone was buzzing, and some cheerleaders were there to make us all feel pepped up. 
How far your walk ends up being depends on your corral. I submitted my first marathon time and was placed in J but I was able to drop back to M to start with my friend, as we were in it together for better or worst. A good thing I did too as there was a decent delay between each corral. The first one started at 5.30am...by the time all of us in M started it was around 6.20am. 

I knew it was going to be in the high 70s-80s when we were finishing so I wore a vest top. Waiting around in that it was cold (57F). Not nearly as cold as for the half the previous morning but we were still shivering with a big fleece blanket wrapped around us. Giant screens kept us occupied and then as each corral started fireworks were set off. So in all the wait wasn't so bad. 

Miles 1-8
As expected when 10s of thousands of people are running together its a crush. The first mile ticked by fairly quickly and wasn't too crowded. At that point we then caught up with the people who had been in the corral ahead of us. Then it was wall to wall runners and walkers. 
Neither of us knew how far we'd get running. My friend is pretty injury prone and I'm a month out of running a previous marathon with injuries. Even though I feel I recovered well from the Kiawah Island Marathon I wasn't sure how far I'd run either. 
Our plan was to bank time at the start while we could run and it was still cool. Neither of us cared about finishing fast. We wanted to have fun, take pictures and enjoy the experience. However, that meant avoiding the dreaded ballon ladies....fall behind them and you were swept off the course. 16 minute miles seem ridiculously easy but when you want to wait 5-10 minutes to take a picture with a character (multiply by many characters) and might have to walk part of the course dropping below that pace becomes a real possibility.
The first few miles were on generic roads in the dark. We powered though those, mostly running on the grass at the side of the road to avoid people. That suited me perfectly as the grass was flat but the roads were sloped for a lot of this part of the course...something thats sure to set off my ITBs. 

Within these few miles I knew I was good to go. Everything felt great nothing was tight or sore. The pace was slower than my usual race pace so I was happy to run along chatting, I felt like I could have ran all day...and I almost did lol. The first character was Jack Sparrow but since the line was long and I knew my pictures wouldn't be great in the dark we skipped him.

**We did stop a lot for pictures and the lines for the full were shorter than the half, they moved pretty fast as volunteers were there to take your picture with your phone**

Unlike me, my friend knew then it was not a good day for her as her knee started to hurt badly within a few miles. After that I think we stopped at almost every medical tent where they had giant tubs of Biofreeze that was put to good use. I used that time to stretch and drink a little extra water.

At mile 5.5 we entered our first and best park of the day, Magic Kingdom. We got to run down Main Street Disney and through Cinderella's castle.
The crowds in this section of the race were crazy big and loud. We also got hit with blasts of music every so often. I loved every second of this, I was practically skipping along.

We left the park about a mile later and were out on the roads again. 

Around mile 6.5 I took some Shot Bloks, up until that point I took a mix of the course Powerade and water. A little later we did a little over a mile on the Walt Disney World Speedway, taking me back to some of my half marathons earlier this year.
 The whole time that we were running I was on the look out for port-a-potties. There were plenty, at good intervals but with lines. Eventually at mile 8 there were a bank of them, all occupied, but with no line.
 That coincided with a medical station where my friend took some tylenol. I came back to her. She wanted to quit, she was quite upset that things were hurting so much especially so early in the race.  I'm not underestimating her pain but she was psyching herself out of the race. I know exactly how that feels. I also felt quite mean but I basically told her she couldn't quit. I know her and she would be so mad if she DNF. I told her to take it one mile at a time and that we could walk as much or as little as she wanted. 

Miles 8-17 
We walked about a 1/4 of a mile and she started to run without encouragement. I was worried that that we would be walking for the rest of the race, so I was very proud when she turned it around mentally. From then on we were run-walking but mostly running.
We got hit with a light shower of rain and I had a gross salty face....literally two seconds after I'd commented about how I'd love to clean my face, a station was handing out wet cloths...sooo good.

Around this time the arch of my left foot had been hurting for a couple of miles so  I tightened up my shoes, which I'd left too loose. The next aid station after that I threw a bit of Biofreeze into that sock and the pain went away and didn't come back.
Somewhere after 12 miles we entered the Animal Kingdom Park. I've never been to it but I know we skirted around the edges. I've heard a number of people saying it would have been nice to run around it a bit more. Here they had some puppet masters and some animals out on course. Where else can you pet a pig and get a picture taken with an owl!!! 
In Animal Kingdom they opened the Everest Expedition Ride, so mid-race runners could use their bib as a pass and ride the rollercoaster before continuing on with their run.
We met the big star here...the one who I said I wait any amount of time to meet, the mouse on the medal, Mickey Mouse. He was all dressed up in Safari gear. As were Minnie and Daisy a little earlier. 
Crossing the half way point was great and I knew knocking out the next few miles would make a big difference. I told my friend that we should keep moving fastish (when not stopped for pictures or medical tents), but that we'd take a long walk at 17 for her to call her family for a bit of a lift. She called them and we walked the next mile as our long break.

Miles 18-24
Right here is really were we could have used the Magic Kingdom boost. Instead we'd just run a few miles of highway, seeing all the runners around 4 miles ahead of us and entered into ESPN Wide World of Sports. This was my least favorite part of the course. Probably because we were coming to a park I was expecting the same kind of rush of energy but really it was pretty boring.
We ran around a baseball stadium and looped around the tracks within the parks but the crowds weren't that big and the few characters that were there I didn't know. Basically I kind of just wanted to get out of there and to have the satisfaction of hitting the 20 mile mark. Hit it we did and I felt like that was a huge milestone. We were back on highway until mile 24.
At some stage around mile 21 we started to walk more than run. I noticed I wasn't talking or being encouraging as much and thats when I realised that I was entering that mental fog that marks the start of hitting the wall. 
That was not going to happen, so I downed a double dose of Shot Bloks and lots of water. I basically hadn't fuelled enough...especially taking into account how long we were out there at that stage. Within a mile they kicked in and my head was starting to clear. We continued to walk-run but more walking, I didn't really feel like pushing it. At this stage I knew we weren't going to be sag wagoned.

Close to mile 23 we entered Hollywood Studios where we were handed chocolate. Those two little squares of heaven finished what the Shot Bloks had started and I was feeling on top of the world again. I could have happily run those last few miles but my friend was now hurting so bad that we stopped running altogether. I didn't mind, overall I was having a great time. That can be had running or walking. A huge lift for both of us was coming across Sully from Monsters Inc. 

 After this we got a heavier shower of rain but by now it was pretty warm and I was grateful for the chance to cool off a little.

Overall Hollywood Studios was really cool but also quiet as I think most supporters were a few miles away in Epcot waiting at the finish.

Miles 24-26.2
We left Hollywood Studios and entered a path along a river that brought us to the beautiful Boardwalk area. It was a lot busier here as people were spectating and hanging out by their villas...tres fancy.

From the boardwalk we made our way to Epcot and the finish. There were a few characters in Epcot but we didn't stop. What I did feel like stopping for was a beer or coffee and apparently quite a few people crossed the line carrying them....I knew I should have got a beer and finished in style, ha ha!

Right at the last quarter of a mile mark there was a huge choir (hallelujah we made it). Then you turn a corner for the home stretch and the massive grandstand crowds. I think somewhere at this point we started running again and casually ran the last bit as if we'd run the whole thing...cheeky!

6 hours and 20 minutes later we finished!! A new record, my longest marathon but my favorite.

Crossing the line
We were presented with our lovely medals, water, powerade, a wet towel. We went to the medical tent for some ice. The back of my right knee had tightened in the last couple of miles so I held some ice to that while my friend got ice strapped to her knee. Finishing the sorest part of me was my feet because a.) I forgot to cut my toenails which had gotten long and b.) it rained a bit so my feet got wet but I don't think the medical personnel could do too much for me lol.
We went on to get bananas and a little box of chips etc. before meeting up with our wonderful supporters. 
It was no small thing for Martina to stand for 4 hours after running a half the day before..thank you! I also cannot say enough about how good the volunteers for this race were. They were so organized, professional and fun the whole time; again another big thank you.

Post race
After much confusion about where I parked we found the car and went back to the hotel. I had a shower and then soaked in the bath for a while. Then it was time to reload with lots of food. I lay down for the afternoon and I slept for an hour before we headed to downtown Disney for a walk about. We had dinner in Planet Hollywood, where our medals got us 20% off and then we did a little shopping.
Other than a slightly stiff right knee I felt fine.  Overall, I felt about the same after a hard long training run, which I guess is what it amounted to. My knee is fine now so I feel like the stops and walking got me through my third marathon injury free.

I really loved this race. Its definitely not one to do for time but it really would make a great first marathon. Lots to see, fun characters, music, really good course support and a generous time limit. 

Coming soon..the low down on Universal Studios Harry Potter Attractions.

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

I'm Home

No internet until now. I've added a new record, my longest marathon ever, ha ha!  I soldiered through all 6 hours 20 of fun. Finished feeling good. I'll update tomorrow. 

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Lead up to Disney

Holy moly does this require military organization skills or what?! Clothes, tonight. Food tomorrow. The car has been serviced and the dog booked in to board. 
I have so many pieces of paper with list of discounts (I'll get with my medal), park passes and park maps...assuming I can walk after my second marathon in a month. 

The plan that I'm hoping we can stick to is: 
Friday leave Boomer into the daycare/boarding :(, drive 7 hours and make it to the expo before it closes.
Saturday Martina runs the half, Sherpa for her at the end.
Sunday run, walk or crawl the full <----- basically avoid the sag wagon...eat and drink everything in sight, sleep.
Monday Universal Studios-I'm a major Harry Potter nerd so the aim is to see as much of 'Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade' as possible. Again eat all of the food.
Tuesday drive home

I feel a bit bad taking time off, so soon after two weeks off for Christmas, but other than one or two random days off, the sum total of my vacation time in 2014 was Christmas (not officially counted as vacation days in full time positions) and 5 days when my parent were here. All guilt will be erased tomorrow evening and the fun shall start.

I'm running with a friend who like me is not really sure she'll be able to run much more than half the race but it's nice not to have any pressure for a good time. Hopefully I'll have some nice pictures to show you all next week.

I don't know what part of getting up at 3am to run 26.2 miles is fun but I'm really excited!!!

Sunday, 4 January 2015

More recovery or the longest taper ever who knows!!

Well this is week 3 after running the Kiawah Island Marathon, with another week until The Walt Disney World Marathon. I'm in total denial that I'm running a full marathon in another week. The most I've done to prepare is to pick up some Shot Bloks and body glide when I was in a sports store (something I would have done anyhow).

Monday -yoga
I went to Basic yoga this week. Learned a new pose at the end of the class - a magical back twist. It stretched exactly where my left shoulder was tight. It released something because that awful tightness is gone, yipeeeeee! Where was this stretch 6 weeks ago. Better late than never, namaste!
Another piece of the shoulder/elbow puzzle hit me during a run this week....my bra. I had the straps way too tight. I know my inclination, and probably most people with more than a handful, is to strap them in as tight as possible but with racer back bras the straps sit right over a bundle of nerves. This can compress the nerves and alter how your shoulder muscles work, then viola, problems.

Tuesday 4 miles 8.44 min/mile
Pain free, easy and fastish.  It didn't seem fast, probably because Boomer was with me and he was trotting...sneaky four legs, he is so fast for a shortie.

Wednesday 4 miles 9.40 min/mile
Switched days around so I could make it to yoga. Today I was the sneaky one and pushed Martina's pace. Onły she who controls the watch knows the pace!! That's probably why she ordered a watch today ha ha. My old FR405 completely kicked the bucket so she doesn't have one. All four miles pain free....please let this trend continue. 
I made it to a special candle light yoga class for New Years Eve. The edges of the room were lined with candles. As well as the usual yoga, a little meditation was added for a very relaxing class.
Afterwards at home we had some persecco to ring in the New Year, while comforting a very scared cocker spaniel.

Thursday 5 miles 9.21 min/mile
3 with Martina and Boomer, two on my own. Pain free :D. Feeling great, it was hard to hold back on the pace. This is much more like how I thought I'd feel tapering for Kiawah.

Friday rest
Relaxed and had some fun watching Boomer play in the dog park. Started binge watching a new show on Netflix called The Originals.--True Blood like, it's pretty good!

Saturday 5 miles 9.05 min/mile
Another pain free run, yay. Faded a little towards the end, not physically it was just mental. Another foggy day.
Sunday 8 miles 11.05 min/mile
8 pain free miles to round out the week. Spent the day waiting for the rain to pass. When we did get out it was warm (70F) and humid. Good practice for Disney which is meant to be in the 80s!!!!! 

Pretty good pace for the first five then my running buddy faded a bit. Just glad to get the miles in. 
26 miles for the week. I could probably have squeezed in a few more but better to go into Disney feeling good?

Bye, bye vacation. You were the two weeks of nothingness that I really needed to be re-energized for the new year.