Tower of Terror 10-Miler runDisney

Happy Monday!

This week is the week! Mark and I will be heading down to Disney World this Friday to participate in the Tower of Terror 10-Miler! Because the race is less than 7 days away, I figured this would be a good week to tell you all what I carry with me during my runs.

Here are my must haves:

1. Lip Balm– I use a Vaseline brand because it keeps my lips moist longer. While running, people start breathing through their mouths, which tends to dry out not only your tongue, but lips as well. Use some lip balm as a preventative measure.

2. Bandaid anti-chafe stick– I always carry one of these little sticks on me. Usually the people I run with begin to feel the effects of chaffing around mile 5 or so. The worst place to feel chaffing is between your thighs. My thighs haven’t been friends for about a year, but I carry this stick just in case.

3. Wal-Mart inexpensive sweatshirt and sweatpants– Before the race starts, you’ll be standing around in your corral, waiting for the race to start. Since all these races start either really late at night or early in the morning, it can be a bit nippy, especially during the winter months. Get something really inexpensive that you won’t mind ditching. Everything that is ditched on the course, Disney collects and donates to shelters. So you get something to keep you temporarily warm, and it gets recycled for someone else to keep warm. A win win in my book. 🙂

4. Blister bandages- These are usually provided at the first aid stations, but since they are spaced out pretty far, I carry a few on me in case I need one when the station isn’t near by.

5. CAMERA!!- Or camera phone. Bring your phone if you can carry it, plus you can use it to find your family at the end of the race. But you will want to be taking photos, I guarantee it. 😉

Before the race, there are also a few things I take care of so that I can be fully prepared for the long trek. Here are some of the things I do to prepare the week before:

1. Hair cut!!!– Every week before the race I get my lovely locks trimmed a few inches. There is nothing I hate more than my hair sticking to my sweaty back. It drives me wild, so I trim it a few inches. Plus, then your hair looks neat for all the photos you will be taking.

2. Toe Nails done- This is my extremely girly moment, but I always get my toe nails done. But I have good cause to do so! Guys can even get this done (if you are comfortable with yourself, trust me a little massage on your run ready calves and a professional cutting your nails is nice). When your toe nails get too long, they will press against the top of your running shoe. More often than not, your toe nails will crack, break, and look all around terrible. If you are going on vacation, this is a nice little pamper thing you can do to prepare for your vacation and prevent injury to your feet.

3. Eat your carbs before the race- EVERYONE PAY ATTENTION TO THIS! So, you need to eat your carbs before a race. But here’s the question: when should you do it? Well, if you are running first thing in the morning, like the Disneyland Half Marathon was, then you need to be eating your carbs around lunch the day before. Don’t eat it for breakfast (eat peanut butter and and power foods instead) or for dinner the night before. Since carbs are usually complex, it takes a while to digest. If you don’t give yourself enough time to digest, you’ll regret it during your run. If you are running at night, like the Tower of Terror 10-Miler, then you should be eating your carbs at breakfast. The meal before the run should be light, like a salad and fruit.

After your run, you should eat regenerative foods, like cheese, chicken, and bananas (I would love to partake in the last one, but I am allergic. So I take a potassium supplement and eat hummus.)

Hope some of this helps all you runners out there!

Have a magical week!

~Kati

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Almost 3 months later…

First off, I apologize for my extended absence. I know a lot of people follow this blog and I failed you. My best excuse is that Mark and I are temporarily stationed in Mississippi and the hotel on base has…sub par internet connection. A lot of other life changing things has happened, such as Mark and I getting placed in a HOUSE on base at the next station. We got a house!!!! So exciting for us.

A quick recap: Mom and I did that Disneyland Half Marathon! We did it in 3 hours and 20 minutes due to humidity that my mother was having some breathing trouble with, so we took it slow. The amount of fun we had was incomparable though. I even saw some people I know, including my old classmate Suzy, a follower of this blog.

 

Below (I know they aren’t really in order) are some of the photos from the Disneyland Half Marathon. My mom ran as The Evil Queen from “Snow White and the Seven Dwarves” and I ran as Maleficent, from the movie namesake and my favorite Disney film, “Sleeping Beauty.”

Some of the photos are from our hotel room, waiting for the race to start (note the sheer size of the crowd!), from the track such as the castle, World of Color, and Angels Stadium, and icing at the end of the race. We overall had a blast!

 

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In a few short weeks, my sweetie and I will be heading down to Walt Disney World to run in the Tower of Terror 10-Miler. Unfortunately, Mark hurt himself a month and a half ago and couldn’t walk on his ankle for a few weeks. Thanks to the “WONDERFUL” military hospitals, he still has yet to be scheduled for physical therapy.

So, we have been doing it on our own, a little at a time. He is finally up and moving around and plays volleyball for two hours a week with his friends. His ankle still gets stiff and pained, but he goes and runs with me, pushing himself a little farther each time. So far we’re doing about 5 miles an hour, so we’re hoping to maybe be just under two hours.

We are still deciding what to run as, but we’re both committed to running in some well constructed costumes.

After this race, come January my family and I (mother, brother, and myself) will be participating in the Star Wars Half Marathon in Disneyland. Sign up for email updates, because it will be hard for me to post regularly until we reach our next base and set up our own internet.

 

Thanks for all your support!

Have a Magical Week!

~Kat

 

Differences between Treadmill and Outside Marathon Training

Happy Monday Magic Milers!

Today I would like to talk about the differences between running on a treadmill or training out on the open road. And yes, there are several differences.

First of all, the terrain. One of the things you should be expecting when running a runDisney race is the change in terrain you will be experiencing. I personally do most of my training on a treadmill. That way I can control my speed, incline, and the distance to time ratio. I can also follow the amount of calories I am burning.

When training, I do most of my runs on the treadmill. But a few times a month I head out on the open road and run through trails, sidewalks, mud, anything I can find in order to get my body used to the extra amount of work. You should really try to run outside a few times while training in order to vary your incline, distance, time, and see how you truly are doing when it comes to running out on the open road (which you will be doing during your race).

The benefits from training on the open road vary. But it’s good to get off the treadmill because it allows your legs more free range instead of being forced to run in a straight line, which they aren’t necessarily supposed to do.

Run outside during conditions that will be similar to those you will be experiencing during your run Disney run. For instance: consider if you have never really been to Florida, the humidity is higher which makes it feel like you are swimming a little bit. Especially if you are not used to a climate like that. I’m from California, and it was still a rough first run a few years ago.  But also remember what month you are running in, because the weather varies based on the month. It could be mild conditions (which most of Florida’s runs occur during) or it could be muggy. Be prepared for such a situation.

Also consider challenging yourself while training. If training for a Florida race, a lot of the track is mostly flat (except if you are running up freeway ramps). So, run hills, it will make your body used to intense conditions so the race feels easier.*

 

*If you have bad knees, run up the hill and walk down it. The incline is less impact than the decline.

 

Hope this little bit of information helps!

Have a great week.

~Kati

Running and Your Knees

Happy Monday Magic Milers!

This week I would like to talk about running and your knees.

A few years ago, I used to play on the Varsity Tennis team at my high school. We used to do this warm up routine fondly known as “stadiums” which means you run up and down the stairs of the football stadium. Out of all the warm ups we used to do, these were my least favorite because I was always scared I would fall down them.

Then the day finally arrived when my knee buckled under me and I did fall. Luckily I caught myself and was able to stop myself from falling down the rest of the staircase. After that happened I had to wear a knee brace. Over the next few years, when I began to really put on the weight, my knees would swell and become painful if I was on them for extended periods of times (such as walking around Disneyland all day).

To prevent running injuries to your knees, I suggest wearing some sort of brace on your knees. Or better yet, run at slight inclines on treadmills (1.0). Running at a slight incline takes the pressure off of your knees and gives them a chance to build up endurance and strength.

Make sure, if your knees are hurting, to slow your pace or even stop to give them a break. You have to literally build up their strength with intervals, so do not give up on them. If you are feeling pain, ice them immediately after your workout and eat protein. If you ice it, the swelling will be reduced and the protein will rebuild and connect the muscle fibers that were torn during your workout and will build them back stronger.

Hope this helps and have a magical week!

~Kati

Proper Running Form

Happy Monday Magic Milers!

 

So this topic has been floating around in my brain for a couple of weeks. Actually…it’s been BUGGING ME. Here’s why: when I wake up at the UNGODLY hour of 5 am to do my run every Tuesday and Thursday, there is a young man (weird for me to say that because he’s probably older than me @_@) who gets on the same treadmill about two treadmills away from my usual machine.

All is fine and dandy with ritualistic choosing of the same machine, but I have been trying to snap a photo of this guy FOR MONTHS to try and illustrate how NOT to run. I’m surprised his body hasn’t been seriously hurt by now and he still shows up every Tuesday and Thursday, like clock work (young bodies heal quickly I guess?)

Proper running form starts with confidence. If you have confidence in yourself, you tend to stand taller. This is good, your shoulders should be back, like you are running with pride (channel your inner Simba).

Your shoulders should be back, but relaxed. Your arms should be at your sides, elbows bent and swinging forward to help propel you forward. Do not cross them over your body, but have them swing parallel with your body.

NEXT, what should your hands be doing? Make a fist. Now relax it. Your fingers should be curled, but not clenching. The more relaxed every part of your body is, the better your running formation and you won’t tire out as easily or hurt yourself (don’t do this, seriously, it sucks and you are out of the game for a while which doesn’t help when training for a half marathon. You need as much practice as possible).

Your knees should be slightly bent. You should run heel to toe, which will help propel you into your next step. Don’t hold on to the treadmill unless you absolutely have to because it will prevent you from reaching your peak physical condition.

 

Check out this video that explains it amazingly from Runner’s World:

 

The Starting Line Proper Running Form

 

~Kati

The Wonders of Oatmeal

Happy Magical Mile Monday!

This week I thought it was time for another food update. What should you eat before and after a run? This is a very good question, and I’m here to help!

Heaven knows I wake up before the sun to go on my morning run (I wake up early because it’s the only time during the day where I can fit it in, plus my brain is too tired to eve realize what’s going on). So, about an hour before my run (usually at 5 a.m., early, yes I am aware) I eat a slice of whole wheat bread with some cheese (I’m a fan of Laughing Cow ((no, they do not endorse me, I just like their cheese)) ) and a cup of coffee.

The caffeine from the coffee gives you the energy to get through the workout and the bread helps absorb the acidity of the coffee so it won’t eat away at your insides while running.

After I run, I head straight for the kitchen. You need to refuel after working out. Every thing I’ve ever read says you should consume a protein shake. Do you know why you should consume protein? While running, your muscles tear in random places. They are little tears and this is supposed to happen. When you consume protein after your workout, your body repairs itself faster and makes the muscles stronger, and ultimately larger. This is what creates the definition we so desire.

Sometimes I reach for my favorite Greek yogurt recipe. Other times I head for my pantry when I’m feeling a little more drained than usual.

Carbs (OH GOD, SHE SAID THE BAD WORD) give you energy that helps get you moving, especially after a work out. When a run kicks my butt, I reach for oatmeal.

My oatmeal recipe is EXTREMELY similar to my Greek yogurt recipe. But that’s because I like sweet things.

However, there isn’t enough protein. So here’s what I do:

I cook my oatmeal according to the directions. (I use Coach’s Oats because I can get it in bulk at Costco and it was designed with athlete’s in mind by a coach at my college, CSUF)

Coachsoats

Next, I throw in the PB2 (all hail powdered peanut butter. Less calories and fat added since it is powdered and not in a paste form which requires preservatives.) I use 2 tbs. which is about 45 calories. Yes, you read that right, 45 calories.

Add a little vanilla, some sweetener, and then the MAGICAL INGREDIENT (CHEMICAL X, hahaha…sorry, writing this out made me have a Power Puff Girls flashback).

Here’s the recipe for Cookie Dough Protein Oatmeal:

1/4 c. Coach’s Oats (no, not endorsed by them either, I just like their product and I have school pride, GO TITANS!)
3/4 c. water (to cook the oatmeal)
2 tbs. PB2
1 scoop Protein Powder of your choosing (I personally use Muscle Milk Vanilla, in which case you should use HALF a scoop. I have found it doesn’t make it too…well…if you’ve had a protein shake, you know what I’m trying to say.)
Vanilla flavoring to taste (this is what I use, but you can use any flavoring you wish)
And sweetener to taste (this is also what I use)

Cook oatmeal according to directions. On the Coach’s Oats container, make it for the “lighter appetite” because trust me, the normal serving is HUGE.

Add ingredients, mix and enjoy! Careful, it’ll be hot.

What are some of your favorite oatmeal recipes?

Have a Magical Mile day!

-Kati

Toenail Injuries from Running

WARNING: The contents of this post WILL be gross.

GOOD MORNING MAGIC MILERS!

This past weekend has been…well…rough.

I went to the gym with mother dearest yesterday, and we started talking about what my topic for today was going to be. Which lead into the discussion of how many toenails we have lost between the two of us (don’t worry, they all grew back).

The unfortunate fact is this: due to the extended pressure that is placed on your feet, your toenails are going to be forced up. Do not fear! This is extremely common in runners.

In fact, the conversation yesterday led to my mother talking about a co-worker who just finished the half (or full, I can’t remember which) marathon in Hawaii and how one of her toenails fell off.

For the females out there, here’s my advice: paint your toenails and try to fill in the area. It makes it appear normal from a distance.

For the men? Well, unfortunately most of you aren’t interested in pedicures, so I would steer clear of open-toed shoes if the appearance bothers you. If it doesn’t, then wear your nail-less toe with pride! You earned it.

Now here is a question that might be burning: does it hurt?

Answer: heck no! You don’t even usually notice until you take your shoe off! Luckily our bodies can handle this kind of injury, so pain that would usually be felt if the nail was unexpectedly ripped off is absent when the toenail falls off. It’s kind of an eject button for your body; the toenail was in the way, so your body removed the obstruction. No pain involved.

Every half marathon I participate in I injure a toenail on one of my toes. It’s just apart of long distance running. Some people claim it could be an issue with your shoes, but even if you have the best shoes in the world, this can and probably still will happen.

During the Tinkerbell I ran back in January, I cracked my big toenail in half, which later fell off after getting caught in my sock a few too many times. It happened during the race, and I did not even realize it until later that night when I returned home. See below:

IMG_0385

Lovely, isn’t it?

In any case, my point is this: don’t fear if your toenail cracks or falls off. It’s actually normal and it WILL GROW BACK. Just give it time.

Have a magical week!

Kati