This Runner's Trials

Glass slipper challenge goals and training

Posted by runnerstrials

Back when I started training for NYCM, I thought I’d take a few weeks off afterwards and then jump right back into training for Dopey and Glass Sipper Challenges. See, it had always been my goal to just finish Dopey. As for Glass Slipper, I wanted to PR in the Enchanted 10k and do the Princess half for fun. So, I thought I’d continue to do weekly long runs for Dopey, and weekly speedwork sessions with the 10k in mind.

But then NYCM was a disaster and I ran an extra marathon, and ended up getting way more burnt out than anticipated. It was a struggle to regroup and focus on Dopey. I eventually did and got my long runs in, and thankfully Dopey went well. However, I kind of forget about speedwork.


Until this past Saturday. The first time in forever that I averaged sub-8:00 pace.

I say kind of because a lot of my runs in December were on the treadmill. When I run on the treadmill, I’m always adjusting the belt speed to make the workout fun. So there was some informal pace pick-ups, but I literally hadn’t done a true speed workout (meaning tempo runs or 800m repeats, my speed workouts of choice) since October.

We’re 4 weeks out from the Glass Slipper Challenge and I finally feel ready to add speedwork back to my training. Originally, I wanted to aim for a sub-45:00 time for the 10k. Well, that is not happening! I feel recovered from Dopey but even if I train as hard as possible from now until the 10k, I won’t meet that goal. There’s just not enough time.

My 10k PR is 46:25, from a race in May 2010. I think I can beat that now, and I’d ideally like to go sub-46. So, that’s the goal. 45:xx (7:24/mile or faster) for the 10k. I’m not sure if that’s too lofty* or not, but you never know until you try, right?

run ballantyne 2010

May 2010 feels like 100 years ago!

To get there I’m going to do weekly speedwork sessions and I’m going to do my long runs at a faster than marathon training clip, too. I’ll shoot for 8:30ish pace, but I won’t be too strict about it. Here’s the plan:

Mon Tues Wed Thurs Fri Sat Sun
4mi easy 5x 800m w/ warm-up + 400m recoveries Spin + TRX 4mi stroller OFF 11mi OFF
5mi easy 6mi w/ tempo at 7:30 Spin + TRX 4mi stroller OFF 12mi OFF
5mi easy 6x800m w/ warm-up + 400m recoveries Spin + TRX 4mi stroller OFF 10mi OFF
Spin + TRX 4m w/2 tempo at 7:30 4mi easy OFF OFF Enchanted 10k Princess half

I have weekly stroller runs slated, but they’ll only happen if the weather stays decent. If it doesn’t, I’ll replace that workout with 4 fastish miles and move it to Friday.

Here’s how this past week looked:

Mon Tues Wed Thurs Fri Sat Sun
Spin +TRX 4mi stroller at 8:52 pace OFF 4mi stroller at 9:13 pace OFF 5mi w/ 3 tempo at 7:35 pace 10mi at 8:14 pace

The other thing I really need to work on? My Princess half costume! I’m not dressing up for the 10k, but I’m doing something fun with Heather for the half!

*If anyone else started singing “Scoop, Muck, and Dizzy, Roley, too…” when I wrote “Lofty”, you are my new favorite person.


runDisney Dopey Challenge – done!

Posted by runnerstrials

We did it!

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My husband and I ran 48.6 miles during 4 races in 4 days through Walt Disney World. It was an AMAZING experience.


The event went so much better than expected. I’ll have recaps for each race soon (I’m going to wait for the professional pictures because I’m 99% sure we’re going to buy them), but here’s a highlight of our Dopey experience:

The early wake-up calls were what I feared the most, but they weren’t bad. We woke up at 4:00 am, 3:00 am, 3:00 am, and 1:45 am (!) the days of the races. I think being used to broken sleep helped us out because we had no problem passing out around 7:30 every night (we didn’t take naps, so we’d be ready for bed early).

The worst part was the cold and wind. The 5k was brutal, the 10k was uncomfortable, and the half marathon felt like NYCM all over again. I shivered for the entire half marathon and felt sick for awhile afterwards. I wasn’t expecting the cold at all, which was pretty dumb – we ran the WDW half in 2010 in 20 something degree temps and sleet! I should have known better. (Related: runDisney did not provide runners with Mylar blankets/ heat sheets after any of the races. HUGE fail.)

On that note, running a race in a bathrobe was much easier than I ever thought it would be! And this is primarily why we’re going to spring for the official photos.

But running wearing Minnie ears? That was more annoying than anticipated. I wish I had practiced in them.

The marathon was the most fun event. Except for an issue around mile 14, I felt great the entire race – which shocked me. Jeff felt strong, too, and this was the first time we ran a long race together where we both felt fine. I expected to finish the marathon around 5 hours, but we ran it in 4:04:35! That’s my second fastest marathon ever. I hate us for making 4 bathroom stops, that included washing our hands, adjusting my ears, and stretching. Had I done the math, I would have realized we were on pace for close to a 4:00 finish. We didn’t realize how close we were until mile 24, and by then it was too late. Oh well – next time!

Because there will be a next time! I thought Dopey would be a “one and done” thing, but my non-Disney obsessed husband wants to do it again and beat our overall time. And what kind of wife would I be if I didn’t agree?

More to come!



2014 recap, 2015 goals

Posted by runnerstrials

Happy New Year! 2014 was a great year for me. So good, in fact, that I can’t ever imagine topping it.



2014 recap: Obviously, the reason it was so great was because I had my daughter – and she was born on time and healthy! At the start of 2014 I was experiencing some very early preterm labor, so the fact that Hadley made it until four days before her due date is truly a miracle in my eyes.


It’s also a miracle that I have a child who actually likes eating!

My family is now complete and it’s the best feeling. Growing up, I always imagined what my kids would look like, what their names would be, and what their personalities would be. It’s incredible spending every day with my babies and watching them grow. I feel so lucky and will never get over how much I love them.


It’s also a wonderful feeling being done fertility-wise. After everything we went through, it’s just a huge relief not having to worry about trying to conceive stuff anymore. I may still need surgery again for endometriosis in the future, but I have my babies, and that’s honestly all that matters to me. I get a little sad whenever I pack up baby stuff that we no longer need, but then someone usually has a meltdown and I’m happy with our decision to only have two kids! (Side note: this quiz told me to have three kids, so I’m adopting a dog and counting that.)

2015 goals: I want to focus more on family time. For most of this year, we’ve been in survival mode with the new baby. The things we can do are still pretty limited because of Hadley’s two naps per day schedule and early bedtime, but I’m guessing (hoping?) she’ll get more flexible around the one-year mark. Wyatt is at such a fun age – we have a blast doing the silliest stuff every day! I’m looking forward to a beach trip to NJ in August with my mom’s side of the family. I told Wyatt about it way too soon and he keeps asking when we’re going to the beach with his cousins. However, he also gets equally as excited to go to TCBY – which is another family tradition. I love having a toddler.



2014: I had a slower postpartum comeback at first than I did after Wyatt, but it ended up working out well in the end. NYCM was a disaster, but I came in first in a super small half marathon and finally broke 1:40, won a very small 5k, and shattered my marathon PR with a smile on my face. 2014 may have been my best running year yet!


2014 was also good to Wyatt on the running front. He’s done 6 races so far and is always asking when his next one is (during Princess weekend in February). Whenever I run with the kids in the stroller, I let him out towards the end so he can run. It makes him so happy! I love that he loves running, and hope his love for the sport continues as he grows up.


2015: I wish I could say I have these big running goals for 2015, but I don’t. I’m doing Dopey next week, and Glass Slipper Challenge in February. I want to PR the 10k of Glass Slipper which likely won’t be too tough since I’ve only run two 10ks ever. The Princess half will be just for fun. I may dabble in triathlons again this summer or I may not. I’ll likely choose one fall half marathon as my goal race for the year, but I’m glad I don’t have to worry about that for awhile. After marathon training since June, I’m just happy to take things easier on the running front for some time.


2014: This was the one area in my life that didn’t go well in 2014, but I expected it. I significantly cut back on work after having Hadley. I had no idea how to juggle my workload, caring for a newborn, and carving out extra alone time for a toddler after his world had just been rocked. So, it made sense to cut back and not worry too much about work. We anticipated this so our finances didn’t suffer too much (we paid for our upcoming Dopey trip when I was pregnant). I write a combined 4-5 articles per week for WalkJogRun and a medical publishing company, plus content review for another company every few months.

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2015: However, we cannot keep up our current lifestyle unless I start working more. I’ve gone back and forth on this a ton. In the end, I like working, I like being home with my kids, and I like having the means to buy a new dishwasher on a whim because the other broke (ugh). So, I’m going to start freelancing more. I’m talking with two additional companies about doing regular contract work, and so far, they both sound promising.

I’m beyond grateful that I’ve continued to land gigs since losing my job over three years ago. I never thought I could “make it” as a freelancer, and while my salary is no where close to where it was when I worked full-time, we’ve found ways to make it work. Freelancing truly is what’s best for me right now at this point in my life. I’m nervous about diving back in to the level of work where I’ll need to hire childcare, though. Babysitters for two kids are expensive! I’ll need to make enough to cover taxes and childcare while taking home enough to make working worthwhile – and not working so much that I log 60 hour weeks and burn myself out. I got into a good place in 2013 with Wyatt, and I’m hoping to find that groove again. So, that’s my big goal for 2015.

Here’s to the New Year! I hope every single one of you has a very happy and very healthy 2015!

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