The Long Road to Run Disney

My older daughter got her very first job at a local destination farm. She will probably be working every weekend in October at the pumpkin patch and in December at the Christmas tree farm. With this in mind, we have registered for a 5K on November 12th. This run benefits Sela Ward's Hope Village for Children and takes place at Bonita Lakes where roughly half of the area races do. We have run this course several times although not this particular race. We did register for it back in 2020, but it was cancelled due to Covid. Hopefully, having a race on schedule will help keep me on track.
GUESS WHO RAN A 5K IN UNDER 30 MINUTES!!! wasn't me :)

DD14 just ran a 5K in 28:50 with VERY consistent splits. This crushes her previous 5K PR. I can't wait to see how well she does on race day especially considering we still have a month to train and the weather should be much better for running.

I am plodding along with C25K, but I am in the home stretch with just two weeks left in the program. I guess I'll just keep repeating the last day until race day, although I could continue into the 10K trainer.

I'm not sure what's after our 5K next month, but I do need to keep some kind of race on the calendar to keep myself going.
My older daughter got her very first job at a local destination farm. She will probably be working every weekend in October at the pumpkin patch and in December at the Christmas tree farm
There is an adorable graphic novel called Pumpkinheads by Rainbow Rowell that is about teens who work at a pumpkin patch/fall farm type area. If she likes reading I highly recommend it.

My big baby girl and I got up at 6:00 this morning and we're out the door by 6:30 for the Run For Hope 5K. We arrived at packet pickup at 7:30, used the restroom, and waited until 7:50 in our nice toasty car.

The race was supposed to start at 8:05, 5 minutes after the 10K started. The race director made a last minute call to send the 1 mile fun runners off first because it was starting to mist rain and he wanted the little kids to have the most favorite conditions possible. We actually started at 8:25.

My daughter and I both wore light weight long sleeve tops. I opted for capris and she wore shorts. We both froze waiting for the race to start. Us Mississippi girls are not used to temperatures in the high 40s. Seriously, it was 85 earlier this week!

The days of me waiting for my kiddo at the finish line are over. Hopefully, I can experience that again with her little sister. Maddy finished in 29:35 with an average pace of 9:31, first in her age group, and seventh overall female. I honestly expected her to be even faster, but the course was altered this time with a big uphill that used to be a big downhill. It was also a bit miserable with 15mph wind gusts that were blowing mist from the lakes in all directions. I am very proud of her!


My run was quite a bit slower, both than hers was and what I had hoped to do today, but I still managed third place in my age group with a time of 36:09 and average pace of 11:38. Splits were 11:27, 11:47, and 11:52. I'm glad we got one race done this year, although it will most likely be the only one.


We both put our race shirts on over our running clothes after we crossed the finish line and got a bite to eat. Popeyes, Little Caesars, and Newks provided a very nice spread for runners to snack on. Awards also took a while because we were waiting for the 10K trail runners to make it back in.

We are contemplating the 10K portion of the MS Blues Marathon in Jackson next February. I haven't registered us for it, but it is a possibility.
2023 Running Goals

Maddy and I are registered for the Four Bridges Half Marathon in Chattanooga, TN next October and I'm planning our next family vacation around the race with two nights at a hotel in Chattanooga followed by four nights at a cabin in Pigeon Forge. I'm shocked at how much less this trip will cost than a trip to see the mouse! We locked in early bird registration for the race, which was only $119 for both of us including fees. This looks to be a smallish race, but still larger than my hometown's Magnolia Marathon. We have our hotel room and cabin booked as well. One the cabin balance is paid, I can start with tickets to Rock City, the Tennessee Aquarium, and Dollywood. This will be Maddy's first half marathon and my third.

In the interest of saving up for this trip, we are going to skip the MS Blues 10K next year and limit ourselves to just a few local 5Ks. The Loose Caboose 5K on April 1st will most likely be our first race in 2023.

Since September, I have run 20+ miles each month. In the first few months of 2023, I would like to up that mileage to at least 25 miles per month and then to 30 miles per month before starting our training plan for the October half marathon in June. I will start looking at training plans early next year and try to find one that we will be able to follow through with and that will hopefully yield better results than the Hal Higdon plan I have successfully used in the past.

I am a bit annoyed that the 10K trainer app I have been using for free since 2014, is now a paid subscription. I was able to go into Garmin Connect and create the same workouts to send to my watch. That seemed to work just as well on my run yesterday, although the ending data is a bit different, but actually in a good way.

I do still want to run a race at Disney at some point as well as take our younger daughter on her first trip, but it will be a few more years before that will be possible.

It's already January third, and I'm still sitting at zero miles run in the new year. I plan to get my first run of the year in tomorrow. It's storming again today. With all the holiday eating behind me, I'm also wanting to get back on track with Weight Watchers. I'm listing out my goals for the next two months, for the sake of accountability:

January Goals
Run 25 miles
Finish Couch 2 5K
Get back on track with Weight Watchers
Get the number on the scale below 150

February Goals
Run 25 Miles AND 3 days a week EVERY week
Stick With Weight Watchers
January Goals
Run 25 miles ✅ I finished the month with 28.5 miles run, which is the highest mileage I've done since July of 2021.
Finish Couch 2 5K ✅ DONE!
Get back on track with Weight Watchers ❌ It's very difficult to lose weight while adding mileage. Runger is very real!
Get the number on the scale below 150 ❌ I saw the scale dip to 149.6 one day last week, but it's been pretty consistently hovering between 150-151.

I am, overall, extremely pleased with my progress for January. I feel like a (slightly) stronger runner than I did even just a few weeks ago. I also picked up a copy of Born to Run at a local flea market for $1. It was not at all what I expected, but I thoroughly enjoyed it.


We also visited The Lucky Rabbit in Hattiesburg this month which is a flea market with a lot of cool vintage stuff, including a very old McDonalds Play Place set up, a vintage arcade room, and some neat t.v. and movie props like this Stranger Things van.


And we made a stop at Hell Fighter's in Laurel to check out some cool motorcycle stuff.


The only negative was that Maddy was bitten on her calf by a dog while on a run about a week ago. The deep south has a huge problem with both strays and irresponsible pet owners. We aren't sure who the dog belongs to and we haven't seen it again, but it did cause me to order us both some pepper spray to run with. Luckily, it wasn't any worse than it was and it didn't get infected, but I'm sure it hurt!


And one last bonus picture from the track I've been hitting while Maddy has tennis practice.


February Goals
Run 25 30 Miles AND 3 days a week EVERY week
Stick With Weight Watchers Get back on track with Weight Watchers
+ Get the number on the scale below 146

I am trying to decide if I want to continue into the 10K trainer app or just keep running thirty minutes at a slowish pace and add in some speedier intervals. I want to keep up the momentum in February because I know that March will be a struggle with 9 tennis matches on the calendar as well as Scarlett's birthday and a Beta Convention for Maddy. We are registered for a 5K on April 1st. The race is at 8:30AM and Maddy has a tennis match at 10:00AM so we may not be able to stick around for the awards.
Ugh, sorry about that dog bite! I would recommend carrying a small personal alarm or air horn. I work in animal welfare and we are regularly trained on introductions, breaking up fights, etc. Loud, sudden noise is by far the safest and best deterrent, and it doesn't require you to get as close as other methods. So there's no risk of the wind picking up spray and accidentally dosing yourself with it!
February's training just did not go as well as I'd hoped.

February Goals
1). Run 25 30 Miles AND 3 days a week EVERY week ❌ I'm ending February with 24.3 miles run. Insert all the excuses here...mostly a sore throat and sinus troubles.
2). Get back on track with Weight Watchers ❌ I'm going to cancel Weight Watchers for now. The program has worked for me in the past, but I'm not being consistent enough with it right now for it to be successful.
3). Get the number on the scale below 146 ❌ 0/3 here this month. I'm still sitting at 151, so at least I'm not gaining weight.

I ordered a pair of Shokz OpenMove headphones after seeing several runners here and on Facebook mention them and WOW these things really are amazing!

March is going to be a tough month. Scarlett's birthday is this Saturday. Madilyn is going on to a Junior Beta Convention in Biloxi next week. Both girls are out of school for spring break the following week. There are also nine tennis matches scheduled with four at our home court and five away matches.

I think I am going to make my only goal be to try to run 30 Miles since I fell short of that goal this month.

The Loose Caboose 5K is April 1st.
Between work getting much busier and tennis pretty much taking over our lives, I only ran 20 miles in March. Maddy and I also ended up missing the 5K we were planning to run yesterday, because a tennis match was rescheduled for the same morning. Logistically, we probably could have managed the run and made it to the match on time, but I'm glad we didn't try because her match ended up being a tough one, but she did pull out a 6:3, 6:4 win. I'm really proud of her making the varsity team as an 8th grader and for how well she's been playing at the #2 girls singles spot.

There's not another local race this month, but there are a couple to choose from in May. Our half marathon training plan should start in June. I've got to figure out which one to follow this time around, but I've still got a bit of time. I'm still in an okay place fitness wise, but I do need to to get out and run more this month. On a positive note, the scale finally says 149!
I finished out my May running with 20.9 miles including today's 5K. We debating running an actual 5K race this weekend, but due to the cost and how much we have around the house that needs doing, we opted to just run close to home to get the Garmin May Weekend 5K badge.

T+D was 138 at 9:30am. I finished in 38:07 with splits of 12:27, 12:19, and 12:11 plus a sprint at the end. This wasn't an all out effort, but felt very solid in the heat and I am pleased at how even the miles were. Maddy finished in 32:38 with splits of 10:03, 10:58, and 10:44 plus a sprint at the end. She's got to work on slowing down a bit at the start.

Back on May 3rd, she ended her tennis season by up being the MSAIS 3A #2 singles runner up individually. However, her semi-final round win helped the girls' team win the State Championship. She's really excited about getting a Championship ring.


She also finished out the school year with all As and the highest grades in Algebra 1, 8th grade English, 8th grade Science, Bible Studies, and Drug Education. Baby girl also graduated Kindergarten this month and got an award for being the best reader.


Our Four Bridges Half Marathon training plan starts June 1st and will run for 18 weeks. This will be my third half marathon and Maddy's first. She will turn fifteen about two months before the race.

I have an old Dopey Badger training plan that I failed miserably with last year. I am Frankensteining that plan with the Hal Higdon Novice plan I've used successfully in the past. I believe I have something sustainable that will hopefully produce better results than the Higdon plan.

June is set to consist of 35 miles total with the longest run being 4 miles. There will be lots of slower mileage, especially with the heat that summer will bring as well as some strides and speed work. The biggest difference from what I've done in the past is more consecutive days of running.

I will try to update weekly.
We started off our 4 Bridges Half Marathon Training Plan on June 1st.

Thursday June 1st - Scheduled 2 Miles Easy. T+D=147. We very recently discovered that the golf cart path at the country club is 2.2 miles so this is what I ran after getting off work early. 2.2 @ 12:32 pace with mile splits of 12:10 and 13:09. I definitely went out too fast. I dove straight in the pool in my running clothes. Maddy ran 2 miles @ 10:35 pace with mile splits of 10:38 and 10:28. Too fast, but at least she was consistent.

Friday June 2nd was a scheduled rest day.

Saturday June 3rd - Scheduled 2 Miles Easy. T+D=145. We ran this one on the paved track at ECCC after Maddy's 7:30am tennis lesson. I ran 2 miles at 12:55 pace with mile splits of 12:30 and 13:20. I've still got to work on slowing down that first mile. Maddy ran 2 miles @10:26 with splits of 10:18 and 10:30. We also went for an afternoon swim.

Sunday June 4th- Scheduled 2.5 Miles Easy. T+D=144. This was run on the road near our house and felt really great. I finished 2.5 miles @ 12:50 with splits of 13:02, 12:45, and 6:19. Maddy ran the same route @9:54 with splits of 9:45, 10:04, and 4:58.

Monday June 5th was a scheduled rest day. I had to work late.

Tuesday June 6th - Scheduled 2.5 Miles Easy + Strides. This one was done on the road near our house right before dark. T+D=146. It's definitely getting hotter out. I ran 2.5 miles @ 13:39 with splits of 13:31, 13:19, and 6:28. Maddy ran the same route @ 10:18 with splits of 9:34, 10:38, and 5:24. This was also her first run with her new Forerunner 45S watch. The strap holder broke off her Forerunner 35 last week. I super glued it back together, but the way it broke off made it impossible to screw a new band on it. The 45S was on sale for $129 so I decided it was probably a good time for an upgrade.

Wednesday June 7th was a scheduled rest day, but we did go swimming again.

Thursday June 8th - Scheduled 3 Miles Long Run. T+D=145. This is where the wheels came off for me this week. I only finished 2.5 miles. It felt like I was running through molasses and took several walk breaks. My legs were just so dead. Splits were 14:00, 14:01, and 6:47. Maddy did finish her 3 miles @10:25 with splits of 10:05, 10:51, and 10:18. The second mile on this route is the hilliest, so I do think that her run was pretty consistent.

Friday June 9th was a scheduled rest day. I had to work late again.

Which brings us to today which is still up in the air. We are supposed to do an easy 2 mile run. Maddy spent the morning playing in the State Games of Mississippi Youth Tennis Tournament. She won the gold medal in the 14 & Under Girls' Singles Event. Just after she won her event, it started raining. If it lets up, we will try to get our run in this afternoon. If not, we will push today's run to tomorrow and tomorrow's run to Monday, which should have been a rest day. My tired legs might actually prefer this plan!

I did end up pushing Saturdays run to Sunday and Sundays run to Monday. I also cut the grass on Sunday before our evening run.

Sunday June 11th was an easy 2 mile run. T+D=153, brutally hot, but thankful for the breeze. My pace was 13:12 with splits of 13:16 and 13:09. My knees were a bit sore after this run. Maddy ran her 2 miles with perfect splits of 10:40 per mile.

Monday June 12th was another easy 2 mile run. T+D=144. My left knee was still sore so I opted for 90/30 run/walk intervals. My average pace was 13:40 per mile. Maddy again had perfect splits and a 10:16 pace.

Tuesday June 13th was a rest day.

Wednesday June 14th should have been 2.5 miles easy + strides. T+D=145, but it felt much cooler since we ran just before a thunderstorm rolled in. I cut this run short. I ran the first mile at 13:07 pace and then walked most of the second mile ending up with a 16:34 pace for that mile. My calves were really tight and my left knee was really aching. I propped my feet up for a while after my bath and iced it. Maddy ended up with 2.68 miles @ 10:29 pace.

Today and tomorrow are scheduled rest days. I believe I am going to at the very least shorten Saturday and Sundays runs. I'm also going to listen to my body as I don't want to be injured this early in training. I'm still unsure if consecutive days of running can work for me. That always seems to cause problems. I'm hoping to hit 4 miles in a single run before the end of June and at least 30 miles total.

I'm also eyeing my shoes. My current Kinvara 12 pair only has 220 miles on them, but the soles are showing some signs of wear. I do have a new pair that I will probably get out of the box on Saturday and see if that makes a difference.


Second Half of June Update

Saturday June 17th: I ended up cutting this easy 2 mile run from my schedule. Maddy did complete her run with an average pace of 11:08. T+D=144. We also went out to eat at my husband's favorite Chinese restaurant to celebrate Father's Day.

Sunday June 18th (Father's Day): Scheduled 3 mile long run. T+D=149. I finished with an average pace of 12:37 with splits of 12:52,12:30, and 12:29. Negative Splits! Maddy finished with an average pace of 10:21 and splits of 10:25, 10:45, and 9:46.

Monday June 19th: Scheduled Rest Day.

Tuesday June 20th: Scheduled 2 mile easy run. T+D=157 and felt like the surface of the sun! I finished with an average pace of 13:08 and splits of 13:19 and 12:59. Maddy finished with an average pace of 10:11 and splits of 10:27 and 9:56.

Wednesday June 21st: Another 2 mile easy run. T+D=149 and much more tolerable than the day before. I chose to run 60/30 run/walk intervals and finished with an average pace of 13:09 which is almost exactly the same as my average from the day before. Maddy ran constantly and had an average pace of 10:39 with splits of 10:52 and 10:26.

Thursday June 22nd and Friday June 23rd were scheduled rest days.

Saturday June 24th was supposed to be 2.5 miles easy + strides. Neither of us did this run. We did get up early so that Maddy could be at a 7:30am tennis lesson to work on cleaning up her serve. When we got home I cut all the grass and trimmed up the weeds around the house, trees, and ditch bank which was definitely a work out!

Sunday June 25th: Scheduled 4 mile long run. T+D=163 at 7PM. Maddy stuck with me for this run and we did take some sporadic walk breaks, particularly on some of the steeper hills. We finished with an average pace of 13:26 with splits of 13:22, 12:32, 14:41, and 13:09.

Monday June 26th: Scheduled Rest Day.

Tuesday June 27th was our first scheduled speed work out, but we both skipped this one. Maddy had her tennis league in the morning and then the afternoon was simply too hot.

Wednesday June 28th was supposed to be and easy 2 mile run. We skipped this run as well and went for a swim at the country club pool. Scarlett had a great time since several of her friends from school were there. I really enjoyed talking to her best friend's mom who was also Maddy's teacher a few years ago and Maddy's tennis coach.

Thursday June 29th: Scheduled rest day. Maddy had her morning tennis league and ran 3 miles that evening. T+D=169 at 7:45PM. She had an average pace of 11:33 with splits of 11:01, 11:56, and 11:39. I feel that she was pushing a bit too hard in the heat. I planned to run on this day as well to make up for some of what we skipped in the days before, but I worked late and just ran out of time.

Friday June 30th: Scheduled rest day. I got up early and ran two miles before work at 12:31 pace with splits of 12:46 and 12:17. T+D=150 at 5:45AM. I am not a morning person at all so this was difficult for me. I was pretty irritable the rest of the day.

Maddy ended the month with 35.1 miles run and I ended up with 32.7.

We have a plan of attack for July with the longest run hitting 5 miles and 48 total miles if we can achieve all the runs. I would be happy if we could each hit 45 miles. I do still have us running on consecutive days as my legs are doing better in the new shoes. I am disappointed with the mileage I am getting out of the Kinvara line, but I do like the way they feel better than anything else I've tried on lately.

Scarlett's summer gymnastics class ends on July 18th and Maddy's summer tennis league ends on July 20th. School starts back on August 3rd. Race day is now 105 days away.
July's training has had a rough start!

Saturday July 1st: Scheduled 2.5 Miles (Easy + Strides) T+D=170!!! I ran the first mile and did a convoluted run/walk for the remainder of this distance. Average pace was 14:47. Maddy actually did really well with an average pace of 11:19 and splits of 11:08, 11:46, and 5:26 for the last half mile. I'm beginning to think I should start taking photos of all the snakes that startle me on our runs. This time was a little garter snake, but we've also seen green grass snakes, water moccasins, and copperheads.

Sunday July 2nd: Scheduled 3 Mile Long Run. T+D at 6:30 PM when Maddy ran was 166. She finished with an average pace of 11:26 and splits of 10:49, 11:28, and 12:00 so a definite fade. I held out until 8:10 PM when the T+D had dropped to 149, but it got dark sooner than I was expecting and I only finished 2 of the 3 miles. I did use 60/30 run/walk intervals and had an average pace of 13:42. I also saw a ton of bats flying out from under a bridge near my house. I can't decide if it was creepy or cool.

Monday July 3rd was my husband's birthday (his 47th trip around the sun) and a scheduled rest day. It also ended up being a very busy day for us at work. My girls spent the day at Grandma's house.

Tuesday July 4th was the first speed workout we've actually completed. I intended us take a one mile walk, followed by 8 30 second reps at our fastest possible pace with 90 second rest intervals, followed by another one mile walk. This was a very loose take on @DopeyBadger's R pace workouts from the plan I didn't complete a few years ago, but I think it was harder than it should have been. I know my legs felt this the rest of the week. I finished 3.25 total miles in the rain with a T+D=150. Maddy finished 3.39 total miles at the same time.

Wednesday July 5th: 2 Miles Easy. T+D=159. We took turns running at the country club so one of us could keep an eye on Scarlett in the pool. I finished 2.15 miles at a 13:45 pace with miles splits of 13:23 and 14:00. There was some walking involved. Maddy ran her 2 miles at a 10:21 pace with splits of 10:06 and 10:24.

Thursday July 6th was a scheduled rest day. Also, Scarlett made up her gymnastics class from the 4th and Maddy played in her tennis league.

Friday July 7th was supposed to be an easy two mile run. My legs were sore and it was hot so I opted out of this one. Maddy ran 1.8 miles at a 10:05 pace, but stopped her watch early when a neighbor's German Shepherd tackled her and made her hit the road really hard with one of her knees. It skinned it up pretty bad. The neighbor's dog was more playful than mean and he was very apologetic.

Saturday July 8th was a scheduled rest day. Maddy had an early morning tennis lesson and Scarlett participated in a youth group lesson afterwards.

Today was our 4 mile long run. We ran the same route as last week to Pierce Castle and back. Not the Disney castle, but still a cool turn around point. T+D=151 after an afternoon thunderstorm. Very steamy run! My pace was 13:05 with splits of 12:49, 12:18, 13:35, and 13:44. Maddy did not hang with me this time like she did a few weeks ago. Her pace was 12:29 with splits of 11:39, 11:25, 12:53, and 14:06. The first two miles were more downhill than the last two, but we still both definitely faded.

*Picture stolen from Google*
Monday July 10th was a scheduled rest day.

Tuesday July 11th was 2.5 miles (easy + strides). T+D=159. Maddy did really well with an average pace of 10:34 and splits of 10:02, 11:05, and 5:16. I struggled and did more walking than I would have liked. I had an average pace of 13:38 with splits of 12:52, 13:15, and 7:57.

Wednesday July 12th was supposed to be a repeat of the day before, but I had a doctor's appointment so we opted to swap this out with Thursday's scheduled rest day.

Thursday July 13th T+D=153. I opted for 60/30 run/walk intervals. Average pace was 13:14 for 2.68 miles. Maddy's tennis league was rained out. She ran her 2.5 miles at a 10:40 pace with splits of 10:11, 10:55, and 5:31.

Friday was a scheduled rest day. I find it almost impossible to run on a Friday.

Saturday July 15th was supposed to be 2.5 miles (easy + strides). I ran 2 miles on the track at the community college while Scarlett was at the youth tennis league. T+D=148 at 9am. Pace was 12:24 with splits of 12:01 and 12:36. Maddy slept in and then it rained all afternoon so no run for her.

Sunday July 16th was supposed to be a 3 mile long run. I cut grass instead of running. Maddy ran in the heat of the day when the T+D=162. She started out way too fast in the heat and ended up having to slow way down. Her average pace was 12:41 with splits of 11:07, 13:06, and 13:48.

Starting Sunday and still today I am having one of the worst periods I've ever experienced. I am SO emotional/irritable/moody. I'm also bleeding too heavily for tampons and I refuse to try and run with a pad. I skipped Sunday's run and today's for this reason. I don't feel like I'm ready to start thinking about a hysterectomy, but I do hate that my menstrual cycle is disrupting my life!


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