Dark Side Challenge 2016

It is raining/hailing/sleeting in Denver, and my birbs are cuddled up and watching bad TV with me. Seems as good a time as any to write my race recap for the RunDisney Star Wars Dark Side Challenge!

WDWRUNDISNEY_WDWMARACOURSEACTION21_383083763971

I was Darth Jar Jar from the reddit theory for the 10k. Don’t you judge me. (Photo taken by Disney Photopass)

To start with, I don’t think I’m going to be doing any more inaugural races for a while. Too many kinks no matter how good the organizers are. RunDisney tried a new course that went from Epcot to ESPN, and a lot of people hated it, but I honestly didn’t mind. The people who drove and parked at Epcot were the ones who had the most trouble. It took a long time to get from the finish back to my hotel (Pop Century) for the 10k, but for the half they’d clearly called in every charter bus for a thousand miles so it was a MUCH faster process. Presumably it was also faster for the people who needed to get back to the parking lot, but I can’t speak for that aspect.

The course for the 10k went from Epcot, through Hollywood Studios, then over to ESPN. There were a lot of weird bottlenecks along the path between Epcot and Hollywood Studios, which I’m told is pretty normal for that route. It was horrifically hot and muggy so there was no chance of me getting a faster time than I had in New Orleans anyway, and I was happy to enjoy the chaos. The last mile…ish was on a packed dirt path and that got hairy in a couple of spots as well. Not awful, but you could easily twist an ankle.

As always, the medals and shirts are great. No complaints there.

IMG_20160420_173306

The course for the half was pretty similar except that it went out to Animal Kingdom and then came back to ESPN. There were tons of Storm Troopers and other characters all over both courses, and Kylo Ren on the stage at Hollywood Studios was a lot of fun. I’d like to say I got some great photos but I honestly didn’t because I was so hot and kinda loopy.

20160417_053824

Have some fireworks. I’m a terrible photographer. 

For anyone worried about the Disney Photopass changeover, don’t be. They did great and (once the server problems were resolved) everything popped up quickly.

WDWRUNDISNEY_WDWMARAFINISHLINE4_7661688309

Darth Maul’s horns did not hold up as well as Jar Jar’s eyes…not gonna lie. (Photo taken by Disney Photopass)

I’ll almost certainly do both Star Wars races at some point so I can get the Kessel Run medal, but that’s the only reason I’d do this race again. It is fun, but it is just too damn hot in April in Florida. I love RunDisney but I think they need to reassess what time of year they hold this run.

As for the next round… I don’t know if I’ll be staying at Pop Century again for the Dopey…. my friend Sara and I are going to try to upgrade to Port Orleans. Or Yacht Club. We stayed at Yacht Club the last two nights of our trip and it was GLORIOUS. The pool alone is worth the cost, but given that the Dopey is in January…ehhh. Probably won’t be able to use it.

Signups for the Dopey are tomorrow and I’m conflicted. Am I going to be able to do this? I’ve lost more weight. I’m getting faster. Can I really go the full 26.2?

I hope so. I’ll sure find out.

Advertisements

Running Goals

20160228_090717

Have a decent picture of the Rock and Roll NOLA 10k medal while I’m at it. SORRY IT WASN’T IN THE ACTUAL BLOG POST ON RNRNOLA. 

I’m always interested to hear what other people’s goals are in regards to running. For some people it is specific times, for others it is a certain number of races in a year, or a new distance altogether.

For me, this year, it is all of the above. My plan is to run the Dopey in 2017 and to reasonably be able to do that? I need to run my first full marathon some time this year. I need to get my times under 12min/miles AT LEAST and I need to do all of this while losing weight and staying injury free.

I’m terrified, honestly. There is so much that could go wrong. But I need to do this to prove to myself that I’m actually kind of becoming a runner. A real runner.

Since the Princess Half in 2015, I’ve run 10ks or halfs (or both) in Florida, California, Colorado, and Louisiana. My first full marathon will probably be in Washington State with my dear friend Sara in September.

Good, bad, or ugly…I’m going to do this.

Do feel free to leave your goals in the comments and make me feel a little less crazy.

Race Recap: Rock and Roll New Orleans 2016

Woo! I managed to set a PR for the 10k in New Orleans! 1:21:59 isn’t incredibly impressive but it is way faster than I usually manage, and it gives me some hope that I’m finally making progress.

All is well with the world. The medal is by far and away one of my favorites (after the Disney Coast to Coast medal and the Glass Slipper). I loved the course, and other than some minor messes with the post race busses back to the starting line, everything was great.

RNR NOLA 2016 1

It wasn’t stupid hot so I looked a hell of a lot better than I usually do post-race. 

I am surprised at how generous they were with the timing….there were people running the marathon who had only made it to mile 9 at the 5 hour mark, which seems just…odd.

We stayed at the International House Hotel, just a couple of blocks up from the starting line. Other than the entire hotel smelling faintly (and sometimes strongly) of cigarettes, I had no complaints. Everyone was polite and quick to help.

Of the various bars and restaurants we went to, Cochon and GW Fins were both the most expensive and the most amazing. Bourbon O Bar had great music and some strong drinks, and Red Gravy had an EXCELLENT breakfast. The food at Camilla’s Grill was good, but the pecan pie was excellent and the guys working there were so much fun.

We did a graveyard tour through Save Our Cemeteries, and it was a bit odd but very informative and fun. The Gray Line tour of Oak Alley Planation was probably overpriced but the bus was comfortable and the tour was good. The driver was very talkative and friendly.

20160228_150837

Terrible history, STUNNING house. 

All in all, New Orleans is wonderful and grimy and exciting and confusing and I highly recommend the race and the city. There’s nothing better than beignets for recovery, and a flat and fast course past a graveyard never hurt anyone.