Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Girl Scouts > Salad

Well, with three solid weeks of gym time in I got to thinking about a few things. Let me start with the most obvious. RACE SEASON. Race season is right around the corner and its been, well 3 weeks since I ran. I need to get out and get going. I am mildly intimidated by the idea, but I did sign up for a half marathon so I need to get going on that. Next on my list, Girl Scouts. Those lovelies just keep selling their delicious cooking, wrecking havoc on my diet and my will power. It doesnt help that I have 4 cases of them in my room at work. Lastly, I ve been thinking about productivity. With winter in full swing, the days seem long and the weather is dreary at best. I have little extra time to do things aside from work, gym, make dinner, repeat. I would like to up my diet and food choices, but with the cookie thing and being annoyed from work, I have yet to do this. So far, Ive held true to my New Years resolutions and I look forward to using my new sewing machine this weekend. I have tonight to finish my book for January, now if I can only find it.....  

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Torching Calories (and my pain tolerance)

Me on the stair master. Don't let the smile fool you, It was for the camera. Also, note the girls leg to the left. She is quite fit, and way better at the stair climber. ( see below)

Have you ever got a splinter? Gotten a flat tire? Do you know that horrible feeling that overwhelms you when you know you overslept or will be late for work? Have you ever gotten caught cheating on a test? or maybe fell down the steps? None of these things, no matter how annoying or horrible can possibly compare to my new nemesis, THE STAIR MASTER. If you've never had the pleasure of using this little hidden gym gem, you my friend are missing out. The StairMaster is absolutely, terrible. Let me explain, its HORRIBLE, TERRIBLE, NO GOOD, BAD,BAD, BAD! The idea of climbing endless steps is horrifying to say the least. BUT, its a calorie killer. This bad boy has the capability of torching about 1 calorie per step. Its intense. The past two days, Ive had the pleasure of watching two women go on this bad boy for 30 minutes! Never one to be shy, I accosted both of them on separate days to get the scoop. In the locker room, one woman told me she fell off of one once, and it took a while to get back on the horse. Now, shes up to 30- 50 minutes daily. She praised it as a killer workout, and since she was drenched in sweat, I believed her. Today, I had to share the one open Stair Master ( my gym only has two) with my friend Tim. While we traded on and off in 5 minute intervals, the woman next to us was in beast mode. 30 minutes in she was dripping sweat, all over the machine. Her skin was shinier than a polished metal. I asked her, how she did it and she said, she worked up to it and assured me that it gets easier each day. Apparently, I need to work up to my 30 minutes. For now, I am going to endure the pain of the Stair Master for its sheer calorie torching abilities. However, its one hell of a hard workout. So far, I can do 6 minutes without stopping. Tomorrow, I am going for 8! Climb if you dare, but be warned its a killer.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

mama needs a new pair of shoes

This morning, I woke up groggy and not quite sure how I actually slept until 10:30. Shortly after that, I realized that it was exactly one week ago, that I was running a marathon in Disney World. I smiled and then determined that Sundays were my big deal days of 2012. Quite a revelation. In my mind  I hoped that all my Sundays from here on out would be just as fulfilling and amazing. Now that all the pictures have been sorted and the shin splits and knee pain have dulled, I am left with a hazy plan for my reckless running future. Now, let me tell you what I do see clearly. I know I am going to continue to run but the races and places are yet to be determined. Since its still January, I feel like I have a great opportunity to make some resolutions and kick start them into action. Here's what I had in mind....

1. Start eating well and exercising 
Cliche, of course but allow me to explain. I've always thought that if I weighed a little less, I would be a more efficient runner. I remember around this time last year. I was in very good shape, working out regularly and with a trainer just starting to get into running. I would love to get back to that place. So I am heading there...

2. Believe in myself and the strength of my body
During my training, I was hard on myself and I wavered on mentally unstable at times. Instead of making my goal to finish races, I need to work more on speed training and endurance training. I want to start making more times related goals and set a really nice PR that I can use as a base for my goals. Its easy to just take the easy road, but I am capable or more then I sometimes give, so I want to draw that out. 

3. Plan at least one big race a year.
The excitement of the AC half marathon and Disney were amazing experiences that helped shape my running and commitment to making and keeping goals. I would like to keep that feeling for a long time and hopefully include my brother and mom. Its amazing to race, and I want to share that feeling with anyone and everyone who is willing.

I've decided that I am going to start regularly strength training and cardio this week and begin running again by the end of January. I would like to give my body a little more time to heal, and begin again when the blisters are gone and my knees no longer creak. Hopefully everything will fall into place. In the mean time, mama needs a new pair of shoes :) 

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


Here we are. I've been dreaming about this post since I started running and I cant believe its here. I have so much to talk about and so much to share so I figured the best way would be to blog, then share some pictures, then blog some more. Hopefully, I can keep you entertained and I will do my best to try to not ramble on. Please beware some pictures are less then cute and may make you want to yak. 

When we arrived in Disney, we got to go to the expo to pick up our bib numbers and race swag. We spent most of the morning there, getting ready and meeting other runners. My cousin and I got to meet Jeff Galloway. If you don't know who he is, then you my friend, need to google him! He's nothing short of a running icon and it was amazing to meet him in the flesh. Also, if you are looking into running he has a zillion books and training programs for all levels. 

Amanda and I meeting Jeff! 

Tyler and I at the expo

half sneaker half glass slipper
On Sunday morning, we had to wake up at 3am to eat breakfast and catch the shuttle. Hans and I met Becky and Amanda in the hotel lobby and we quickly ate and boarded the bus. The energy was high and there were about 3 buses parked one after another continuously running from the hotels to Epcot. We sat all the way in the back of a packed bus and started to get nervous while we were en route. When we got there, we all started making our way to the entrance. I remembered then, that I left my knee brace on the bus. I ran back to get it and thank God the bus, and driver were still there. Otherwise, mama would have been hurting out there! We were quickly pushed along like cattle into Epcot or somewhere around Epcot with 20,000 other people in the dark. We stayed close together though the crowds were intense. There were a million  Port o potties lined up and we waited in line with thousands of others to use them. Then we all walked about 20 minutes to the starting corrals which was a long and annoying experience. Along the way, people began peeing in the bushes and trees. * not just men, but women too. Although there were tons of bathrooms, there were also long lines and when you gotta go, you gotta go. When we reached the corrals we said good bye to my cousin and I pushed back into a corral with Becky and Hans who happened to be together. I didn't want to start out alone, so I went with them. Looking back, it might have been nice to start earlier, but I really wanted to stick with them. So there we were all smushed in with hundreds of people. There were huge Tv's showing the stage with Mickey and Minnie while we stretched we watched them gearing up to start the first wave. There were fire works for each heat, and it was a long time before it was our turn. When it was finally heat 8 we were able to see the first wave running by, already on mile 5. At big races they stagger the runners and mix in fast and slow together so that there are less jam ups along the course. Anyway, the fireworks went off and so did we. Pushing along and moving slowly at first since there were so many people. We weaved through the dark and our first stop was Epcot. In the dark I saw what appeared to be my family, and then I heard screaming and I saw a mad man with a cow bell and knew it was them. They were elated to see us and I was just as happy to see them. My mom and aunt had made big signs for us and Tyler, well he had the worlds best cow bell and sprinted along side of us for a while screaming and scaring everyone running around us. 
Hans at the start
Amanda me and Becky getting ready to run 
My lucky race shirt with my dad pinned on for  the ride.
We ran through Epcot and there was the first of many a medical station. It was here I decided I needed some Vaseline for my leg so it didn't get a rash from my knee brace. If you've never run a big race, they have tables set up with huge vats of Vaseline and Bio freeze. I thought I heard Vaseline shouted out and told the lovely volunteer to pump some for me. So I kept running and wiped the huge blob all over my body. About 10 seconds later, I realized that it was in fact bio freeze, not Vaseline and it was burning my flesh off. Luckily, it wore off but it was touch and go there for the first 5 miles. After Epcot, we ran on the highway and our next stop was magic kingdom. It was a long way in, but there were characters along the way and even some hot men. There was a sports car attraction on the right side of the road with good looking men. Shouting at them, helped pass the time. Further along there were fancy old cars and a DJ blaring oldies music. We finally made it to the Magic Kingdom and ran through huge crowds lined up on both sides of the sidewalk cheering for us. We caught a glimpse of the castle, and then turned into tomorrow land. I got to see Cinderella and I yelled at Prince Charming and told him he had a nice ass. * For the record, he didn't like that* We then ran through the back of the castle, the Smith/Piccirilli Cheer Team was there waiting for us! We continued on to a horrible stretch of highway and saw Jen and her husband at the 13.1 mark. It was great hearing Jen yell at me to run faster. We continued on the highway and back roads. There was quite a few characters out to break up the monotony including all of the evil villains and Pirates of the Caribbean characters. Things got blurry out there and it started to get hot. While downing power ade and water we entered Animal Kingdom. We quickly ran through and then headed again to the highway. This is when things got miserable. Around mile 18 it was hot, my feet started to hurt and I was starving. I shoved a cliff bar into my mouth and we continued on. Becky and I tried to keep the convo going but it was clear we were running low on energy. We stopped about 900 times to use the bathroom and finally passed a real entertaining set up. About 5 grave diggers that were there for pictures. I really wanted to stop, but the picture opportunity involved laying down and I knew if I did that I wouldnt be able to get up again. 
This is just one guy. The entire scene was bad ass. Oh well, continuing on we reached Hollywood studios and they handed us fruit snacks. We ran past Sully and Mike from Monsters Inc and through the back lot studio. One great thing about the Disney marathon is that its very beginner friendly. With characters lined up along the route you can jump off take pictures and then continue on your way making the experience all the more enjoyable. After that we ran through the harbor resort and FINALLY back into Epcot where the finish line was. People were lined up screaming that our metals were just ahead. Ahead my ass, try 3 more miles. It was around Germany that I saw my favorite princess, Snow White. Marathoners didnt have to wait in line with park goers to take pics, so I said what the hell and jumped in. She wanted nothing to do with me since I smelled terrible but I didnt care, it was the only character I took a picture with and it was at mile 25. As you can see from the picture, she wouldn't get too close. Smart lady.

We weaved around the countries in Epcot sweating heavily now since it was so hot out. We made it to mile 26 and there was a gospel choir singing dressed in their robes clapping and singing. Nice touch if you ask me. We then rounded the corner for the last .2 miles and I saw my cousin, and family screaming. Becky and I ran to the finish together and got our bad ass metals. It was soon after , that my legs started to give out and I was too sore to move.  My family and I reunited and took some pictures. Check them out!

Hans and I 


We did it. 

My cousin and I after the race 

Tylers shot of the runners from the monorail
One of many blisters I aquired along the route.
Runners rash from my horrid knee brace
Cow Bell Marathon shirt and finishers metal 
 When I run, I cant help but be thankful. I am always surprised by those around me and the energy on race day. All the people on the course are so supportive and willing to cheer on and help one another. The volunteers on the course were amazing. There are always people of all different races and sizes out there with a similar goal of making it to the finish line and this weekend, I was blessed to run with some amazing people. I couldn't be more proud of Hans, Amanda and Becky for this accomplishment. Overall, the race was great and I am glad that we all were able to make this goal a reality. If I can give any advice from this journey, its to believe in yourself and make the goal happen. I never thought I could go 26.2 miles, but there I was doing it. There were so many people running for organizations and loved ones lost making for a very emotional run. I guess I can compare running that far to going into battle. Its you against yourself, doing whatever it takes to keep moving forward and making it to the finish. Its a tough game to play, but once you're in it, there is only one option. Keep going, keep moving and make it happen. I ran this race in memory of my father, who died much too young. Although he wasnt there to cheer me on, he was with me in spirit and was the main reason there was no option but to complete this race and cross the finish line. When I started this, I thought one and done would be the end result. But I find myself craving more. Each year, on fathers day, my family and I participate in the Gary Papa Run for Your Life. I would love it if one day, we were all running 26.2 together in memory of the greatest man we knew. Until then, I will continue to run, because its fun. I hope that one day, I complete another marathon but for now I am going to focus on speed work and conquering shorter distances. Thanks for following me along my journey. This was just the first of what I hope to be many running accomplishments. Thank you for all the love - The Reckless Runner

The woods are lovely, dark and deep. But I have promises to keep, And miles to go before I sleep.

Hans and I with our metals 

Thursday, January 5, 2012


Tonight was chock full of last minute errands and pick ups for the big race. After work, I swung by the doctor and then headed right to The Finish Line, Emmaus before it closed. I picked up some last minute essentials including 3 packs of Cliff Energy Chews , 2 Cliff Bars and one new fanny pack for Chapstick and toilet paper etc. I've been packing all night but managed some time to squeeze in some Sex and the City re runs and a bowl of Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream. Tonight, I also got my i pod all set with my Marathon Mix and decided to google some last minute marathon tips. Aside from the usual advice of clipping your toe nails and putting band aids on your nipples, I came across an interesting article. It was about mantras. If you know anything about running, then you know its a mental sport. Its all about what you believe you can do and how far you think you can push yourself. When I did my half marathon, I had to talk to myself to pass the time and keep myself on track. Aside, from Eye of the Tiger coming on my ipod to inspire me I was full of positive affirmations to help me stay on track. All runners use mantras to get along and I thought it would be a good idea to have a few ready for my big run on Sunday. At my half I found that I would repeat the word "Dig" or "Dig Deep". To me that was enough to push myself and give all that I had when there wasn't much left. I am not so sure what It will take to make it to the finish line on Sunday but here is a list of possible mantras. 

This is my last blog before Disney.
 See you in the Happiest Place on Earth. 

1. Fast or slow it hurts just the same
2. One mile at a time
3. Save it, Save it
4. This is what you came for
5. Define yourself
6. Think strong, be strong, finish strong
7. Run fast, go past
8. Make it or break it

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Thank You

Tonight, I am getting quite emotional and thinking about all the people who helped me get to where I am. I dont know if I could have made it this far in my training without all the faith and love I was given during my training. I am of course, getting nervous but I am trying to channel that energy into enthusiasm. Its time to put on my game face and do this thing. Its stressful to think about running 26.2 miles but I know that I will finish. I just hope that I can stay positive while I am running and keep the faith. Thank you to everyone who believes in me and helped me to stay on track and actually follow through with this. At times, I definitely wanted to quit but I am glad I didnt. I am thankful for the legs I have that will carry me to the finish and my friends and family who believed in me enough to make it there. So, Thank you. To all of those who read my blog or may have stumbled across it thanks for reading and following my journey. I am going to keep running and blogging after this marathon so I hope you will continue to read and enjoy my reckless experiences. Disney, I am coming for you. See you at the finish. 

Special Thanks:

Mom- Thank you for believing in me and reminding me to get off my butt and make things happen.

Tyler- Thank you for getting excited and reminding me that I can kick this marathons ass. Bring your cow bell!

Uncle Phil and Aunt Gail- Thank you for the faith and confidence in me. Without the pep talks and undying confidence I would have given up or floundered more then once. 

Amanda- I love you. Thank you for sharing this experience with me. I cant wait to see you at the finish. I am proud of you and couldnt think of anyone I would rather be with for this.

Hans- You've been my running partner from the start. Weve come a long way since our first 5k. I cant believe that we are making this happen. I will look for you at the finish, like I always do. It wouldnt be the same without you cheering me on.

Becky- I cant believe that we are making this happen. Thank you for being my running partner and making me run when I didnt want to. This is going to be insane. Weve got this.

Sara, Jackie, Head, Lu, Lauren - Thank you for reminding me that I can do whatever I put my mind to. Thanks for listening to me ramble about running all summer, being hot, cold tired, hungry and injured. Thank you for supporting me and showing interest in my new love :)

Jenny- Thanks for making me run through the parkway, uphills and eat bugs in the name of running!