Tuesday, January 29, 2008

For my gal mlittle!

Because you asked Girlfriend.

VOILA! The Half Marathon Booty....

Friday, January 25, 2008


"If we did all the things that we are capable of doing, 
we would literally astound ourselves."

--Thomas Edison

Thursday, January 24, 2008

RR: Walt Disney World Half Marathon

It takes some serious dedication to the distance *OR* a serious case of "Medal Ho"ness to get you up at 3AM to run 13.1 miles.  It is the only part of the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend experience that really makes you question your reasons for racing.

But there I was at about 3:10AM, waiting on a bus that would take me to the staging area for the WDW Half Marathon.  I had with me a banana, a oatmeal raisin powerbar, a bottle of water, a vanilla GU and 2 packets of Margarita flavor CLIF BLOCKS and 6 salt tabs for the race itself.

After about 1.5 hours of sitting on a parking lot with 9,000 other runners, listening to a great 80s coverband, contemplating the effectiveness of eating a powerbar at 4:30AM when I should be in bed was almost surreal.  But soon enough, they were announcing that Waves 1 & 2 could start heading to the START LINE.  I wandered over to the Port-O-Potty, did what I needed to and then headed out for what was about a half mile walk to the START CORRALS.  From then it was another 40 minutes of sitting in my assigned START corral until the official START of the race.  

About 5 minutes prior to the race start, the speakers by our corral went dead!  So we watch the screen and when it became obvious that somebody was singing the Star-Spangled Banner, many of us sang along!  Then BOOM went the Fireworks and off went the first of three waves of runners.  It was about 10 minutes between waves and we got another set of Fireworks to start off Wave 2.  I was VERY happy to have been able to provide a "proven" Half Marathon Finish and get into WAVE 2, even if I knew it would not be a PR-kind of race day.  I took my vanilla GU as Wave 1 got underway and finished up the last of the water I had with me, I was ready to race!

At 6:10AM, I started my Disney Half Marathon.  All in all, the course was pretty easy.  We ran through the back-roads on Disney property.  Up and Down exit ramps, past on-property Hotels and eventually up to the Magic Kingdom and Cinderella's Castle.  Since Heather, Rich, Jim and I had just spent the previous day in the Magic Kingdom, it was that much more fun for me to run under the TommorrowLand sign, past Space Mountain and through FrontierLand remembering the fun we had the day before! 

As we came to Mile 6.5, we ran though Cinderella's Castle as they blew the trumpets - DAH-DAH-DAH-DAH and Sleeping Beauty and the Prince waved to us. (Cinderella was no where to be seen....HHMPH!)  I got total GOOSEBUMPS and once more, I was more than frustrated the I forgot to bring my camera when we ran past WINNIE -THE-POOH on the other side of the castle.  I would have LOVED a picture with POOH-BEAR!

After a loop through the Magic Kingdom, we followed the same route back (think lollipop-shaped course) back to EPCOT for the race finish.  For the most part, I kept my pace smooth and easy.  I had not gotten much training in over the Holidays and I was just out for fun.  Not to mention that I was running in 75 degree heat and humidity for the first time since September.  

Around about Mile 10, I realized that I was not going to make my goal of coming in around 2:45-3:00 hours on the race clock.  I was experiencing some pretty significant pain from my rotator cuff tear and my pace was off.  I couldn't run the last 5K in less than 20 minutes so I picked up the phone and called Jim to update him on my location.  My slow pace turned out to be a total blessing because Jim, Heather and Rich were sitting on the Disney Monorail - FUMING because they thought they were going to miss my finish due to bus delays and road closures.  So when I called, I eased some stress for them AND they actually saw me out on the course because the Monorail was passing right by the 10 mile sign AT THAT VERY MOMENT!

So even though my pace was slow, it all worked out for the best because Heather, Rich and Jim made it to the finish line in time to see me finish AND to let me know that MY FAVORITE CHARACTERS - CHIP & DALE were at the Finish Line.  So as I approached the FINISH, I ran right over to CHIP (or was it DALE??) and gave him a HUGE HUG and then ran across the finish arms held high!  

Finish Time: 3:17:21

13.1 Miles before 9:30AM - Now that is a way to start your day!

It worked out great that I ran the Half Marathon because it gave me a chance to scout out half of the Marathon course for Heather's race the next day and I was able to give her some heads up on what to expect at 3AM and what the course was like for me.  The biggest obstacle that I had was the oppressive humidity that hit us at Sunrise.  Once the Sun was up, it was fine but that 30 minute stretch between Dawn and Sunrise was NUTS!  

In comparison to what I heard of last year's race, I thought Disney did a great job with the Water Stations.   There we 9 stations for 13.1 miles - that is alot of opportunities for water and PowerAide.  My only complaint, really, was that the PowerAide was very watered down - I'm glad that I had the foresight to bring salt tabs and Margarita flavor CLIF SHOTS which have extra sodium since that is usually my biggest issues (losing salt from sweating alot)

All in all it was a FUN RACE while it was not a fast race for me (or for Heather the next day) but we both got some awesome medals, were able to ooggle the GOOFY people (those running both the Half Marathon and full Marathon the next day) AND we decided that in 2010 we could come back for the Disney Marathon 20th Anniversary and GOOFY....

Let it be said, Let it be done!  All in all, a great way to start the year!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008


So let me first say that I have been SICK since my return from Walt Disney World last Tuesday. I blame it on the darn recirculated AIRPLANE air! Oh and I will b*tch because this has been a lovely CHEST cold which means "No Workouts" ... the above the neck/below the neck workout rules definitely apply in this case. At least now I am on some lovely ANTIBIOTICS so by the weekend, I hope to be much better.

Myrtle Beach Half Marathon is going to *hurt* - SIGH! Good thing I go for the FUN and FAMILY. I'll save my PRs for later in the season , I guess.

So being sick means I have been neglectful of my blog and my duties to you - I know you are SO READY for some Disney World pictures. So without delay, here they are. Race Report to follow tomorrow! I promise!

Half these pictures are credited to my sister Heather, she got most of the best shots! I was too busy looking for CHIP & DALE to remember to take my camera half the time! It was a WONDERFUL VACATION with Heather, Rich and Jim!

Heather and Rich - Feeling Groovey!

The Courtyard at the All Star Sports Resort



4 of the coolest grown-ups in the park!

Ironic that we had to wait to go to the United Kingdom, Epcot to FINALLY get this picture...

Nope it is NOT a FIGMENT of my Imagination - I ran 13.1 Miles!

Heather, you DID run 26.2 - How's that for a V_A_C_A_T_I_O_N!

Best ride - Rock-n-Rolling Coaster!

(also Heather's first upside-down coaster experience!)

"In the Jungle, the Mighty Jungle....a wemowa a wemowa"

Big Kitty.....

too big to fit in carry-on luggage, huh?

CHIP & DALE! My Favorites!


My man - Mickey !

Our Medals are STRONG! Bawahahah!!

Belly up to the bar - Post Races!

Pleasure Island - Where Drinks and Dancing are the Requirement!

We did it! Now onto GOOFY in 2010!! Let it be said, let it be done!

The BENGALS EYES say: "Don't you EVER leave us with the cat sitter for that long again!"

Thursday, January 17, 2008


Well I am back from DISNEY WORLD and we had a WONDERFUL TIME!

Thank you for all the kind words and comments while I was away, I appreciate every comment and email that you sent me. Personal responses are forthcoming!

In the meantime, I have some Disney picture to upload and share, a race report to write and a slight change to my race calendar.

After careful consideration of the difficulty of the course, I have decided to stick to International Race Distance of 1.5k Swim (.93 miles), 39k Bike (24.3 miles), and 10k Run (6.2 miles) for the fall 2008 SAVAGEMAN TRIATHLON FESTIVAL. I have plenty of time to "go long" still and when push comes to shove, I must look at my past race times and accept that I probably won't make the cuttoff for the Half Distance for this very challenging race.

SO, I have decided, since the race proceeds benefits the Joanna M. Nicolay Melanoma Foundation that I am going focus my fundraising efforts for this year on this event and foundation.

My goal is $3000.00, in honor of my upcoming 3-Year Anniversary since being diagnosed with Nodular Melanoma. That is 3 years CANCER FREE!!! You can make a DONATION one of two ways:


As I said, DISENY pictures and a race report are on the way so definitely check back here later this week!

Life is Good! Live STRONG!

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Accepting REALITY...

I should be "over_the_moon" for my upcoming trip to Disney World. I am excited and happy but sometimes things lurk in the background that can drag you down from day to day. This is one of those days and I am dragging a bit.

You will notice that I *finally* changed my Blogger profile picture. I realized it was about time to update the picture to reflect what I see in the mirror, daily and to accept what is real and let go of what is past.

You see I have been holding on, VERY TIGHTLY, to that old image of me in April 2005. That image captures who I was in the days and weeks that I began my fight with Melanoma. That was a very important identity for me then but now I have found it is the mask that I am hiding behind and it time to stop hiding.

I'm not the same woman I was in April 2005.

"Of course you are not", you would say "It's 2008..."

Oh but how many days do I wish that I was still that woman? How many times have I looked in the mirror and thought, "It's not that much of a change, it's not that much weight." When it is.

But it is not just my appearance, although that is what I tend to focus on (and at times ignore) - it is the *whole* me and the struggle I have found myself in since being diagnosed "Cancer Free". Some day's I don't feel like I know who I am anymore. So I have been holding on to that "April 2005 Holly" as tightly as I can and in holding on, somehow, I lost a grip on the "Holly" that I am, here and now. I think it is the same as somebody looking in the "rear view mirror" so intent on where they were that they loose sight of where they actually are - so goals just fly by the wayside because if you don't really know where you are, how on earth are you supposed to know which way to go next to get where you want to go?

I have changed since my Cancer diagnosis - as we all must. But I wish somebody, ANYBODY, had told me that the hardest part of *surviving cancer* would be the SURVIVING part.

Oh and DON'T go and start telling me about "How lucky I am that I did survive..." because unless you have been there, you couldn't possibly understand how deeply and painfully I know that truth. I live it every day just like other fellow survivors and there is more guilt associated to that than you could possibly realize. We all deal with that the best way we can and do our best to appreciate what we have. It is not something I take for granted.

Look, this isn't some self-absorbed *pitty party* nor is it a cry for attention - I think it is some public affirmation.

I am NOT the same woman I was in April 2005, physically, emotionally or spiritually but unless I can look in the mirror and accept and appreciate the woman that I am right now in January 2008, than how can I possibly move forward.

So I updated my Blogger profile picture....and that's a pretty big step in looking at myself "Here and Now"

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Jumping into 2008...

Who's the leader of the the club that's made for you and me?

Who is going to let me jog, have fun and be happy?


Forever let us hold our MEDALS High!! (High, High, High!)

Who will run 13.1?


Did I mention my first race of the season was in Disney World at the 15th Annual Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend? Well now I have! Oh and it's all my sister Heather's fault! Her penance will be running 26.2 miles the day after I run 13.1...

I'm going to Disney World!!! Life is Good! Live STRONG!