Tag Archives: 5K

Frosty Frolic 5K Recap

31 Dec

Well, this race seemed like a better idea when I signed up for it in November when it was still miraculously still 60 – 70 degrees here….however, when I participated in the event Saturday, December 14th, we were in the middle of a blizzard. 20131217-064252.jpg Lucky for me, I was in good company. Somehow I’d convinced my sister, Macayla, my mom and my Aunt Janet to also participate. Oh, and then there were the other 980 participants crazy enough to be out in subpar weather. 20131224-122037.jpg The race was to take place at a local National monument and park. The original plan was to have the participants run through the park and then loop back to the start/finish line via some of the city side streets. However, with the roads covered in snow and conditions making it hard to see in front of you, city police declared the race must remain within the park limits. Hence our 3.1 miles became 2.73 freezing miles, with a delayed start. The original step off time was set for 5:00PM, and then two days before the race we were sent an email saying the new start time was 5:30PM, the reasoning being something along the lines of making sure all the lights were on.

I have to wonder if this was the first time this committee planned a race. First, they underestimated the number of people who would want to participate by nearly 400! We received another email that stated if you were not within the first 650 to register, your shirt would be mailed to you in 4 – 6 weeks. I honestly thought we had made the cut, I registered myself, my sister and my mom before the first cut off date for when the price was set to increase. But lo and behold, upon picking up our registration packets, the only one to be given a shirt was Aunt Janet. I’ll admit I was a little bummed. Then they kept making an announcement that only the first 1,000 people to cross the finish line would be given medals, again if you crossed after they’d all been given out, yours would be mailed to you in 4 – 6 weeks. Talk about some motivation, right? As if the cold wasn’t enough of a motivating factor already.

The race itself, what a nightmare as far as the races I’ve participated in, while that’s not many (this was to mark my 6th race), I do know a thing or two about how these events should be run for optimal success, safety and fun.

With that in mind, the list of things I didn’t like:

  • There was no order to the participants – serious runners, walkers, moms with strollers and young children, people with dogs – we were all mixed together at the starting line
  • Everyone started at the same time – no delays to spread people out along the course
  • The course wasn’t wide enough to accommodate everyone
  • People were very rude. Moms and their strollers running over your ankles because they weren’t paying attention to what was in front of them. Children (3 – 4 years old) suddenly stopping in front of you because they were “tired”, “didn’t want to do this anymore”, “were cold” – you name it, I heard it. Then there were the runners who started in the back and pushed around you on the right to get to the front, thank you for pushing everyone out of your way, it’s not our fault you weren’t where you should have been. And heaven forbid I forget to mention having my legs almost taken out from underneath me by a dog leash. Night race, black leash, runner coming up on your left, dog on your right, you do the math.
  • Horrible lighting. We were warned of pot holes and manhole covers but there were times you couldn’t see the blasted things!
  • Again they underestimated the number of people who would show up, they ran out of hot chocolate (which was promised with water and cookies at the finish line) before half of the participants returned.
  • The course was extremely slippery. I expected a little bit, but this was not treated at all – no salt, no sand, no dirt – just ice, slippery black ice.

 

But even with all of that, here’s the list of things I did like:

  • The starting song for the race was “Do You Wanna Build a Snowman” from Disney’s new animated film Frozen.
  • Crossing a winter 5K off my bucket list
  • Seeing all of the beautiful Christmas lights displayed along the route.

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  • Everyone received a medal for finishing

 

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  • Frosty character photo before we left.

 

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  • Walking back to the car we passed these adorable snowmen someone made.

 

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20131231-204432.jpgThis snowman stands taller than a 6 foot man!

Before the race began, we had planned to all walk together as a group. However, Macayla and I apparently walk faster than mom and our aunt, we were even keeping pace with some of the slower runners. When we turned around at one point, we could no longer see mom and our aunt.

When we came to the turn around circle and were headed back, we noticed that mom had been separated from aunt Janet, so we decided to wait for her. Once mom caught up to where we were waiting she said she had told aunt Janet to go ahead of her, but Macayla and I never saw her pass us. Weird.

The three of us crossed the finish line together, and ironically, mom’s shoe tag registered that she crossed one whole second before Macayla and I. Really?! Go figure.

All in all, I couldn’t feel my toes when I finished and I was wondering if I had lost my mind as a person who hates the cold with a passion, and I have come to the conclusion that this is a once in a lifetime experience that should never, ever, under any circumstance be repeated. Well, unless there’s a winter race in Florida!

DIY Fabric Birthday Crown

25 Sep

My 25th birthday was on Saturday, September 14th, and to celebrate I decided to do something different. I signed up to run a 5K that morning. More specifically, the Mad Hatter 5K. In the registration, it said that hats were encouraged, but not required. And it got me thinking, if I was going to do this race, I wanted a BIRTHDAY CROWN for my hat! I started looking online for pre-made fabric hats. I found a few that were cute and just what I had in mind. Then I came to my senses and realized a few things:

  1. Those hats were adorable, but they were all the same. I needed something special, something uniquely “me.”
  2. There was NO WAY I was paying $25 PLUS shipping for a fabric crown that MAY OR MAY NOT arrive in time for my race.
  3. Why don’t I use the 10 years of sewing 4H I have under my belt and MAKE MY OWN crown (Genius, I know!)

SOMEONE, QUICK! GET THE CAMERA! AFTER YEARS OF BEING ON SEWING RETIREMENT AND SWEARING SHE WOULD NEVER GO HEAD-TO-HEAD WITH THE SEWING MACHINE AGAIN, SHE’S VOLUNTARILY GOING TO SEW….FOR FUN!  

So here it is ladies and gentlemen, my step by step instructions on how you too can make your one-of-a-kind FABRIC BIRTHDAY CROWN!

You will need (See photo below):

  • Fabric (I used a combination of felt and fleece we had lying around the house from past 4H projects and Halloween costumes)
  • Interfacing (I used a combination of light-weight iron-on and heavy-duty stuff that must be sewn)
  • Cardboard crown from Burger King to use as a sizing template
  • Chalk
  • Printer paper
  • Sewing Machine (unless you are willing to hand sew the whole thing — I sure wasn’t) – Not pictured
  • Straight pins – Not pictured
  • Thread – Not pictured
  • Shape patterns to decorate the crown — pictured further down
  • Ribbon
  • Scissors
  • Puffy Paint — pictured further down

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Step 1 (This is going to seem like a lot, but it’s all pictured below):

Use the cardboard crown from Burger King to measure the circumference of your head.  Tape together computer paper until you have the desired length.  Then draw out the design for your crown on the paper. You are creating a pattern to use when cutting out your fabric.

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Step 2:

When you have a design you are happy with on paper, cut it out. Once again, use this pattern to measure around your head. It never hurts to double or triple check the sizing. It took me two paper patterns before I got the sizing perfect for my crown. When you are satisfied, lay it out on your fabric. You can either trace around it with chalk or use pins to keep it in place while cutting. (I used chalk because I didn’t feel like locating straight pins.) You will need two pieces – a front and a back!

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Step 3:

Using the same paper pattern, cut out your interfacing. To make sure my crown was stiff enough to stand on it’s own while it was on my head, I cut out 4 layers of iron-on interfacing (2 for the inside of the front piece and 2 for the inside of the back piece) and 1 layer of the heavy duty sew-on interfacing for the middle layer.

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Step 4:

Carefully iron-on your pieces of interfacing. Don’t make the same mistake I did many years ago when I was first learning to sew. ALWAYS double check that the bumpy beads of glue are against your fabric and NOT the iron — when they melt and stick to the hot surface of the iron you will have a MAJOR mess on your hands. As I mentioned above, I have 4 pieces of iron-on interfacing. I put two on the inside of the front piece and two on the inside of the back piece. (Note: Make sure the interfacing for the front is on the opposite side of the fabric than those for the back, this way they will be on the inside when you sew everything together,)

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Step 5:

Figure out the designs you want on the outside of your crown. My mom cut me these paper patterns using her Cricket and various Cricket cartridges. Lay everything out so you can get the spacing and sizing right.

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Step 6:

You guessed it! Once you have the pattern pieces for the designs for the outside of your crown, it’s time to pin them to the fabric and cut them out. You could also trace using chalk if you’d like.

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Step 7:

Pin the designs (and ribbon if you chose to include some like I did) to the front piece of your crown. You will sew these down BEFORE you sew all the layers of your crown together.

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Step 8:

Carefully top stitch around the designs. Once again, you should be sewing these to the front piece of your crown ONLY. Word to the wise, if you are going through multiple layers of fabric as you see here with my 25 (pink and black), sew those two pieces together FIRST then sew that one piece to the crown. It will make it easier for you to keep everything lined up and provide an extra layer of stitching as reinforcement.

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Step 9:

Time to sew all the layers of your crown together. As seen below in the picture, I have my front piece with decorative designs already sewn down, the middle piece is that heavy-duty interfacing and the bottom piece is the back piece of my crown with the light-weight interfacing side up (this will go on the inside as the other side is yellow to match the front piece).  You will need to stack these pieces together like a sandwich and then pin them securely in place. (See picture 2)

Picture 1

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Picture 2

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Step 10:

Slowly and carefully, sew these three layers together. You may need to take the pins out one at a time as you come up to them with the sewing machine. To make sharp point turns on your crown, stop at the point where you want the corner with the sewing machine needle all the way down into the fabric. Lift the presser foot (the flat silver piece that slides over the fabric) and turn the fabric until you have reached your desired angle, then put the presser foot down and continue sewing. When you have gone all the way around the crown, I recommend back stitching just to reinforce the seam.

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Step 11:

For my crown, I decided the best way to keep it on my head securely during my race was to use Velcro squares. These squares had a sticky, adhesive back that allowed me to position them just right (this took a couple trial and errors before I had the spacing and proper fit for my head). Make sure the pairs of Velcro are on opposite sides of your crown so that when you go to stick them together they will form a circle with the Velcro pieces meeting in the middle of the front and back pieces of your crown. Then I sewed down each individual square because I didn’t want them falling off during my race.

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Step 12:

Now if you think your crown needs a little extra pizzazz, you can decorate it with puffy paint! (See photo) And that’s it! You have yourself one custom made, totally unique, birthday/celebration/because you are royalty and deserve it fabric crown!

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In all, this took me maybe 10 – 12 hours total to make. I worked on it a few hours each night after work the week leading up to the race. I even had it finished a day early so I could take it to work on Friday to show my coworkers who couldn’t fully grasp the craftiness I was trying so desperately to explain.

I hope you’ll give this a try sometime, and when you do, post a link to your photos so I can see how your special crown turned out!

Happy crafting everyone!  

R.I.P. Asics

22 Aug

Tonight we say goodbye to a dear friend and running companion, Asics. And while it turns out you were not actually a TRUE, high-quality running shoe as I was led to believe by a salesperson who must have known less about running shoes than I did at the time, I still loved you deeply.

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Asics’ untimely demise came as a shock to those closest to them. It seems like just yesterday they were embarking on their first 3 mile run at the local state park, the wind blowing through their laces while effortlessly pounding the pavement.

In their short 3 month life, they trekked many miles across back country roads. They were scuffed up, broken in, and on more than one occasion, caught in a downpour. The training was grueling, but their dreams of crossing the finish line kept them coming back for more, day after day.

It was a beautiful morning the last Saturday in April when their dream would became a reality. They were taking part in a color run 5K, their first ever running challenge. Nervously they paced the starting corral, waiting for the moment of truth – would they survive a 3.1 mile run through the dewy grass, the loose rocks, slippery mud and dirt road all while having all the colors of the rainbow thrown on them? Yes, yes they would!

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There was only a short 7 days to recover and regroup as their new-found running bug took them 1,200 miles away from home to run at The Happiest Place on Earth. That’s right, these two braved the night as they raced against the Yeti for the runDisney Expedition Everest 5K Challenge! Sailing effortlessly over hay bails, quick stepping through the football tire obstacle, even getting down and dirty in the wet sand for the army crawl couldn’t make them lose their focus. They defeated the Yeti and once again claimed a running victory!

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They had hoped to go into retirement, or at least a resting period for a few weeks upon returning home days later, but that was short-lived as they learned they would once again return to The Happiest Place on Earth in 5 months. This time they would need their speed and endurance as they were signed up to outrun the Disney villains in the runDisney Tower of Terror 10 Mile Race! (insert evil laughter and a bolt of lightning.)

Over the next few weeks they worked as usual, keeping pace with their training schedule. But tragedy was lurking on the side of the road. What seemed to be a minor injury, corrected with new inserts, soon proved to be too much for the pair to handle as other injuries followed. In the end, the stress of the road and the miles left to go were too much. Those closest to them are glad they are no longer suffering, as it was painful watching them deteriorate.

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They are survived by their family members – Dr. Scholl’s Athletic Inserts for Her, white 1.5 inch athletic tape, Ipod touch and a running pouch.

Asics will not be forgotten. They have shown us what true dedication, determination and dreaming can achieve! Their legacy will be continued by their best friend, New Balance 870.

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New Balance is scheduled to take their first run on the wide-open county roads Sunday afternoon. They will be forced to make up the slack in the training schedule that occurred during Asics’ injuries. We have complete faith in the pair as they rise to the challenge placed before them.

Also joining the running team for this race, two pairs of official running socks! It has yet to be decided who will actually be participating as the final member of the running team in October and we wish them both the best of luck in the coming weeks as they demonstrate their strengths and abilities.

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And while it is always hard to say goodbye to a friend, they will be with us on the course – cheering and encouraging us to keep pushing harder, running stronger and dreaming bigger.

You won’t be forgotten.

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Color Vibe 5K Run!!

27 Apr

I have been training for today for months now…. I have gotten countless blisters, come close to multiple asthma attacks running in the cold, and thought I was going to die as I pushed myself harder and farther than I would have dreamed possible a few years ago. But once I set my mind to something, I give it my all.

Today was the Color Vibe 5K — my sisters, my best friend and I made up Team COLOR WARRIORS! And colorful we ended up being….but I’m getting ahead of myself!

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The race was supposed to start at 9:00 AM, and we left the house in plenty of time! However, traffic was a NIGHTMARE! This was the first Color Vibe event held in this area and the event staff only hired 3 police offices to handle parking according to tonight’s evening news. They claim they didn’t know it would be so popular (9,000 participants, not including all the people coming to support and cheer on the runners). We ended up sitting in a long line of traffic for 20 minutes, not moving very far or fast, we never even made it back to where they were parking for the race. We parked somewhere else (along with other races who were clearly sick of wasting gas in the crazy ridiculous line) and walked back to the entrance.

I don’t know if this is how every Color Vibe works, but ours had heats leaving the corral every five minutes. We ended up in heat #4. When we picked up our race packets they came with color packets, but we all decided to save ours until the end of the race and go crazy with them. Well, one of the volunteers thought that wasn’t a good idea, so he came over to us and said “Too clean ladies” and sprayed us with yellow dust from what looked like a fire extinguisher, let me tell you, that kind of hurt!

I had two goals going into today’s race: 1. Don’t go into an asthma attack from all the color “dust” and 2. Get a PR (personal record) — time to beat 41:52 from when I participated in runDisney’s Princess 5K in 2011.

The race course was at a local fairgrounds. The terrain was a bit challenging at points, we started running on loose gravel, then pavement, then grass, then dirt and everything else in between. There were a couple of times I was worried I was going to twist my ankle because when I set my foot down the rocks under my shoe shifted throwing me somewhat off-balance. Then there were the hills and hairpin turns in the course — you really had no idea what you were going to come to next.

The color stations were AWESOME! The volunteers were amazing, yelling encouragement and cheering us on! But as great as they were, they had nothing on our own cheering section! Our parents, our Aunt Khris and our cousin Mandy (who is ready to have her first child ANY DAY NOW) all came to cheer us on! They were there to take pictures at the starting line and to celebrate with us when we finished! It was so great seeing them as we ran past, knowing they supported us and believed in us! It meant so much! I LOVE the support of my family! They are wonderful and without them I’d be lost!

I am proud to say, I accomplished both of my goals!

Finishing time — 30 minutes even!! I took 12 minutes off my time!

While on the course, I thought I was going to die and that I was going so slow. I had to walk a few times since I accidentally breathed in some of the dust and it KILLED my lungs and pace. I was very grateful one of my little sisters, Megan, stayed with me. She kept me focused and motivated and pushed me to keep going. I did feel bad because I knew I was slowing her down, but I was very glad she was there. My other little sister finished with a time of 28 minutes — you ROCK, Macayla! My best friend finished with a time of  36 minutes!

When we all finished, we went to town with the color packets. I don’t think there was any white left, which was the point! We are already planning crazy costumes for next year!

But….before that, I’ve got another 5K to run next Saturday at Walt Disney World, so stay tuned dear readers, more running excitement to come! In the meantime, enjoy some crazy photos from our colorful running adventures today!

Wordless Wednesday – 4/24/13

24 Apr

A pair of shoes can change your life!!

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Reasons to Run

18 Apr

**The following article was in this morning’s paper. (source) It caught my attention for a few reasons:  

  1. The title. I’m a beginning runner, so whenever I happen across an article about running I stop and read it hoping for tips or advice or encouragement. I am training for two 5Ks, one in 8 days (a Color Run!) and the other in 16 days (Walt Disney World’s Expedition Everest 5k Challenge!)
  2. I love reading this writer’s articles, they are witty, insightful and funny
  3. I knew it was about the tragic events at the Boston Marathon and I wanted to know what he had to say.

Newspaper Article, Reasons to Run, Boston Marathon

This is what I was thinking about during my run this evening. We will keep running. We will keep living. We will always remember the innocence and lives and memories that were lost every time we cross another finish line. We will keep their memory alive in our hearts and on the course, they will never be forgotten. ❤

That Awkward Moment When….

24 Aug

That awkward moment when you slip into the Disney Cast Member mind set when you aren’t at Disney and haven’t been a cast member in over a year.

This past weekend, my work put on a 5K Twilight walk/run as a fundraiser for one of the organizations we work closely with. Leading up to this event, it has been my responsibility to register runners as the applications came back to us, track the sale of memory shirts (different from the shirts runners get for participating), track the sale of honor signs that were to be placed along the route and to track the total amount of outright donations we received. Then there was also the sale of raffle tickets, where people were entered to win a $500 cash prize. In essence, if it involved money, chances are high I had something to do with it.

That being said, I have been a nervous reck trying to make sure all of the totals are correct. I believe I’ve mentioned before that my strength does not lie in numbers, but in words. However, these last few weeks have boosted my confidence in this area of professional development tremendously.

But…. That’s besides the point, you want to know about my awkward moment, right?! Okay, so it’s race day (and it happened to fall on the 2 year anniversary of when I first checked-in for my Disney College Program, so I was a bit sad and really missing Disney), but it turned out to be my lucky day because I got to act as event photographer (another love and strength of mine is photography). So there I am, taking pictures at the registration table and I notice this cute little family signing up for the race…. Mom, dad, and a couple of kids both under the age of 5. (side note: kids 10 and under could sign up to run the 1K.)

Picture this, happy family, just signed up for the race. Now they aren’t guaranteed t-shirts since they didn’t pre-register…but it’s okay, that’s why we ordered extras. However, we had already run out of kid shirts and I could tell the little girl was starting to get upset. So the mom, thinking she would be able to sooth her daughter with the promise of a bib number looked expectantly at the lady registering them. It broke my heart to see the look on the little girl’s face when she was told only runners in the 5K got numbers. 😦

Here they come, right in the corners of her eyes, the beginnings of big crocodile tears. And then there’s me and my Disney Cast Member training kicks in. I kneel down to the girl’s level and ask why she’s sad. Her mom explained that she ran another race the previous weekend and the kids got numbers like the adults and she was expecting a number here, too. Well, I thought being upset over the lack of a number was something I could fix… So without really thinking about what I was doing, I drew her a number on a piece of paper (#3 because that was her age!) and her dad pinned it to her shirt. You would have thougt I’d handed her the world! She light up!!

A few minutes later, she returned with her little posey of siblings, cousins and friends. They also wanted numbers. (Look what I started!) So I did what any normal person would do in that situation, I got down on my knees and drew more numbers. I think in total there were 6 numbered kids and they were thrilled!! I may or may not have called one or two Princess. I can’t help it… It just slips out sometimes. Just like I can’t point with one finger without it feeling weird now, I will FOREVER do the Disney Point (2 fingers)!

When the race started, the numbered kids were so cute to see. I wonder if the other kids were jealous or if they even noticed at all. I bet they didn’t.

All in all, the event was a lot of fun for me. It was the first time since I’ve been home from Disney (and it’s been over a year now), that I’ve felt confident in myself and been comfortable approaching and talking to strangers.

I am a VERY shy person when meeting people for the first time, but as a cast member I had to get past that. Finally it came down to training myself that if I was wearing my work “show” shoes, I could pretend to be someone who wasn’t shy. And I became a social butterfly with guests and loved it! Durning this event, I felt like I had my “show” shoes on again. For a few hours, I honestly felt that was were I needed to be at that moment in time. And it was nice to make my own “magical moments” for those kids. The magic didn’t end just because I left Disney, it is here in me and hidden in my everyday life, I just have to take the time to find it!