Monday, April 01, 2013

Moving on ...

Hi Everyone

This is my last post over here at Laural Dawn.
This blog has been my baby for years, but over the last year or so I've strugled to find my voice here.  That's not a bad thing. Life changes. When I started writing here I was a newbie mom who was finding her way after a year of struggling with post partum depression. That's no longer me. Well, who am I kidding. I'm still going to be figuring things out.
But, over the last couple of years a lot - and I mean a lot - has changed. Probably the biggest thing is finding some crazy inner athlete who runs half marathons for fun! for once I've found a title I'm proud to assign to myself: BAMR 
All this to say ... I have a new home.
If you follow me on email, please go over to my new site and change your subsciption.
Looking forward to seeing you at my new place!
You can find me here:

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Let the Spring Running Begin!

Last week I was feeling a little bit discouraged. The Princess Half Marathon was over. My next races were in May, and I wasn't feeling it.  So, I started googling races!
What did I find? A 5k fun run downtown Toronto. Good news! Even better? Entry was $10 and it included a medal!!!! Thankfully Amy and my fellow Princess runner, Penny, offered to join me.
Penny and I discussing how we prefer the Florida temps!
Last night we did the first 5k of spring! It was cold - way too cold for spring. We were bundled and giggly. And it was SO.MUCH.FUN!
Was it a great race? No. It was a tough course - an out and back with 3 loops of a park that was snowy and icy. It was definitely not ideal for a 5k PR like I was gunning for. I didn't even manage negative splits. But I wore my sparkle skirt, had stripey socks and had fun!!!
John Stanton, Running Room founder with me and my medal
Thinking of doing a spring race??? DO IT! Forget PRs and have fun. I did.

We win! We win! 

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Yoga: should I stay or should I go?

Just over a year ago I attended my first yoga class. I was so stressed that everything in my body hurt. I called my mom to see if she knew anywhere to get a massage on a Sunday night and she suggested yoga. I went to the world's most boring restorative class at a far away studio. But something felt right. So on my mom's suggestion I went to her studio, a place called Moksha Yoga.
It was hot. It was hard. But I felt better.
For one quiet, challenging hour I felt calm. When the class was over my mom asked me what I thought. The only thing that came to mind was that if I ever had to face torture I'd be somewhat more prepared. I hated the heat and the non-stop sweating and how standing still  in poses was so brutally hard.
And yet, I showed up the next day. And the next. And those days turned into an intro month. And that month turned into a one- year membership.
That membership ends in 4 days. And now I'm debating what I want to do. Should I continue (at the cost of about $99 per month) or should I look at joining gyms? In fairness I've been saving, and thanks to my lack of Starbucks purchases I've budgeted for it.
But, it's still expensive.
My year of yoga has been intense. I learned a lot about yoga, about breath and movement. More importantly I learned about myself. I learned that I need to be kind to myself. I learned that to love others I need to love myself. I learned I can do far more than I would have thought I could, and that sometimes it's okay to give less than everything I have.
I've learned calm. I've learned stillness. I've learned to leave everything outside of the yoga room and take an hour completely for myself.
I've lived it. Not every second or every class. I didn't become a yogi like some of my teachers. But somehow in the last year I've become more me. 
I found myself on the mat when things were tough. I stared running and never stopped yoga because somehow it made my unattainable dream of running a half marathon realistic. 
And now my year is over. I don't have a bonus. And the price seems high. And so I'm debating whether or not to take on monthly payments. 
So ... what the heck do I do?

Saturday, March 09, 2013

Meetup Madness #rundisney

Hanging out with my new Bestie!

If you follow the #rundisney excitement, you may be aware that the meetup, a social media event prior to runDisney races is a pretty big deal. I was lucky enough to receive one of the coveted invtites!

I was getting make-up tips for Sunday!

Getting Ready

My plane outfit consisted of a sparkly shirt and tiara!

On Thursday we arrived in Orlando late. We arrived giddy. We hopped off the plane into this crazy humid weather (much like my hot yoga classes) and I had to be up 4 hours after we arrived at the airport. When we checked into our hotel I didn't really unpack. I knew I had everything ready to go for my early moring wakeup.
  • Outfit - check
  • Shoes - check
  • tiara - check
  • makeup - check
  • spi-belt - check
  • instant coffee - check
  • deodorant - OOPSIE!

My morning started off, well, in the frazzled way that most mornings seem to in my world. I was in a foreign country in a little hotel wearing running clothes and a tiara at 4:30 am, running around on a mad quest for deodorant and a temperature reading in Celsius not Fahrenheit. When I finally solved that problem (they had free stuff at the desk - mind you it smelled worse than I probably would have au naturel) my "chauffeur" for the morning showed up in a giant, unlabeled taxi van, and I wasn't sure if I was on my way to epcot or a scene from a horror film. What's with Florida taxis and no metres?

Since the deodorant chase put me well behind schedule and I hadn't had coffee yet, I asked to sit in the front seat and use the cup holder because I figured that I'd be much more capable of escaping (and faster) if I had some Starbucks in me. ( the instant via kind - because like I said, I came organized. deodorant aside). But, while I was calmly drinking my coffee, the driver, who in the end offered me a deal on my cab fare ( or what I think was a deal because NO METRE)  told me all sorts of stuff about his 20 years as an Orlando cab driver. I interjected with random comments about how this was my first time running in a tiara, asking his opinions on sparkle skirts and discussing my upcoming race. It was an odd conversation, but he did say that he thought the tiara would be okay for a short run (though risky for a half marathon), he was absolutely 100% in the Team Sparkle Camp with me and he thought my race strategy was good. We even did a minor detour so he could show me where the corrals were for the race.

The meet up begins

epcot in the dark. Beautiful

Amazingly we got to Epcot early. I hopped out of the cab, and while I was looking around and trying to breathe (I was practicing some yogic breathing - good thing I was alone - it did ground me) I turned around to see another cab pull up. Out came Jodi and friends. Holy crap was I excited to see a friendly face!

And with that the meet-up began!

At this point I'd like to invite you to play Laural's  meet-up recap drinking game. I suggest you take a drink every time I type OMG because it was that kind of day (shots of wheatgrass, of course)

There was a lot of mingling, and for those of us who hadn't met some of the runDisney stars there was also a lot of quiet "OMG, that's ..." being said quietly. I may have said it the most! I saw Kelly from Team Sparkle and couldn't say anything because she's a total runDisney celebrity. (she later ran with me ... OMG!) She had the best outfit. Loved it!

The I saw Jeff Galloway. OMG again. He actually looks so much like a good friend of ours, and my marthon mentor Lou, that I was blown away.

Then there was Heather (formerly from Running with Sass) who writes Through Heather's Looking Glass. She threw me for a loop because when I read people's blogs I kind of hear them in my head. I was shocked at her accent. And then she ran super fast (OMG!) so I didn't actually say anything. But, still.

AND THEN. I was chatting with Jodi and she lost her mind. I thought that maybe NSYNC had snuck in to sing for out, but no. It was the Another Mother Runners. BEST. MOMENT.EVER! Jodi started bouncing and screaming. It took me a second to figure it out. We all need our super fan moments. I'm glad I captured this on camera! And I almost started to cry because Jodi was so excited.

Post-freakout photo opportunity :) 

I'm short, okay! This photo is blurry. Can we guess who took the photo?

This is their other super fan! Who knew?!
All the excitement aside, it was picture time. Once pictures were over it was time to RUN!!!

At this point I should say that there's one big difference between Canadian runners and American runners. North of the border everything is measured in metric, eh! So, I train in kilometres, not miles.

We were given the option to go with the Galloway led run-walk group or the group led by the winner of previous races, Rachel Booth. I was already leaning toward the run group, but when the announcer said "we'll be doing an easy 5:30 pace" and laughed I was sold! Guys! I do training runs and sometimes go that pace.  Actually, race pace for me is about a 6 minute kilometre. Speed training is a 5:30 kilometre.

What he was implying was we would be running a 5 minute and 30 second MILE not a 5 minute and 30 second kilometre. OMG!

They didn't actually run that fast. But, they were fast. I basically sprinted most of the 5k to keep up.

Run run run! I'll take pictures from the back.
Lucky for  Jodi and I, our new Mother Runner friend Dimity ran with us. Okay - kudos to Jodi who could totally keep up a conversation about injuries and stuff. Part of me wanted her to have a moment. The other part of me really was thinking breathe in. breathe out. Pace yourself. But, kind of a dream to have that run!

There were a few stops. We saw the fairy godmother and snow white. And then we got to the Boardwalk entrance. It was locked because epcot was still closed. While someone ran to get the keys and everyone started chatting I took the time to breathe. Really. It hit me at that moment that all the OMG moments aside, we had this awesome running thing in common and what everyone was talking about was just running and health and the weather. It was running talk. And Disney talk.

When we started again I slowed a bit. Thankfully Jodi kept my pace, and we chatted a bit. The Boardwalk was lovely, and the run was fun.

As we continued along I bumped into Kelly from Team Sparkle skirts. In the many months leading up to the race I googled costumes and she came up over and over. Seriously, running with her was a pretty big deal to me.I'm not sure if she figured that out from my conversation. It was a little like when you're drunk, but you sware you're not even tipsy, so then you keep talking but you realize after the fact that you said a whole lot of *awesome* things. (my personal favourite was the seemingly random "I felt like a real runner the first time I ran in the snow" - which is cool to say in my little Canadian running group - probably not to a runner from California. OMG Laural stop talking!)

I didn't have a running pic, but this is Kelly

So, it was cool that she kept talking while I kind of gasped answers after that. I also tried to breathe. Also tried not to cry because it just seemed so amazing I was here and this person whose products I love was there. And, seriously, she's found something she loved and made it into a business. AWESOME!

We made it to the final destination - about 5km away and I was drenched in sweat. No complaints. I'll take that over snow any day. The run part was done. It was time to PAR-TAY! Or at least eat breakfast and listen to really really cool speakers.

The speakers were amazing! The highlights included listening to Ali Vincent, the first female winner of the Biggest Loser and Rachel Booth, the winner of the Princess Half.  I was inspired. I learned a lot. I had a ton of fun.

Lots of people won prizes. I didn't. But, who cares. I had the time of my life!

I think the biggest lesson of all of it was that dreams come true.

It's been a roller coaster year! Last year at this time I was running on my treadmill, putting in maybe 3k a day, with no real goals. Then one day I decided to do it, signed up for the Princess Half Marathon, and here I was, less than a year later, running with the fast group and being thrilled to meet running idols!

Amazing Amazing Amazing!

I'm soooo grateful to all these incredible people who inspired me. And I'm so grateful to my friend Princess Jodi. It would not have been the same without you!

Sunday, March 03, 2013

Running Disney's Princess Half Marathon

Last year at this time I would never have imagined sitting down to write a blog post about running 13.1 miles. The Disney Princess Half Marathon was a bucket list item. It was something I wanted to do "one day". It's hard to explain how things change other than to say that last January I decided I was sick of wishing my life away and wanted to do something about it. So instead of saying "one day" I decided to start running. I slowly added kilometres to my runs. In July I ran a 10k. The next day I signed up for a running clinic and as soon as registration for the Princess Half opened I signed up.
After running hundreds and thousands of kilometres this weekend finally came. To say I was excited is an understatment. To say my family was rooting for me ... total  understatement!

I woke up just before 2 am. A princess needs to get ready, and between hair and makeup and costume and of course some breakfast and coffee ... I knew I needed to give myself time. It sounds crazy to wake up early, but seriously. I was wide awake! I was excited.

I got to the bus at about 3:15 am. Before I knew it we were off to the races (literally). The bus was full of tutus and costumes. I totally fit in. That was the only time of the day I felt any anxiety. We arrived, and started the walk over to the staging area. I met up with Merida and Aurora (aka 2 Princesses on the run) and we started the race together.

Snow White, Aurora and Merida

One thing that you hear a lot about is the long walk to the corrals. We were starting in B, and honestly the walk didn't seem that long. It was a perfect morning. It was warm, not hot. The excitement was palpable. There was music blasting. It was awesome!

Off to the corrals

We even took  porta-potty break en route. (really... we were excited enough to pose at the porta potties!)

We turned around and there was Corral B! I worked hard to be placed there. I was not about to turn down a chance to pose yet again!

We hung out in Corral B for a little while. The time just seemed to fly as we watched everything going on. There were a couple of points it seemed to really hit us and we'd tear up, but for the most part, it was just pure fun. There was a lot of last minute water sipping, giggles, and planning.

Before we knew Corral A started and we moved it. It was 5 minutes till it was our turn!

And then we were off!!!! It was finally here!!!!

I'd done a lot of races leading up to this, and I was grateful for all of that prep. I was thrilled to start with friends. The whole race was awesome, but I loved the beginning. It was just pure excitement. I wasn't running the race for time, and I was comfortable enough to start at a comfortable pace. My music was going, but I only used one ear bud. There was entertainment. We chatted a bit. I felt great. 

Jodi and I ended up running at the same pace for about half the race.

Just before the 5km mark we saw the photo opportunity I'd been waiting for ... the Princes!
I have a terrible habit of tilting my head for photos! 

If I'd been running for time before, the fact that it was a crazy long line up killed that time. We lined up for about 10 minutes or so. It was worth it. While Jodi and I were standing there I saw Alana run past, so I dragged her into the line to join us.

After the photo stop we had to boot it! I knew my family wasn't too far ahead. We took off again, and ran past some pretty awesome stuff! there was music and dancing puppets and Lightning McQueen. You could stop for all of these, but I wanted to keep running!
And then we hit the TTC(transportation and ticket centre). I knew my family was there and I had my eyes open for them.
And then I saw them!!!

I totally broke race etiquette and ran in front of everyone on the road to give high 5's. Seriously. Mike and the kids were out of the hotel at 3:30 am to be there to support me! I was soooo excited to see them.

Next stop? That would be Magic Kingdom. Now, you have to understand that Jodi is a fast runner (she moved back from Corral A to start with Alana and I) so the fact that I was anywhere near her at around the 10km mark is amazing. And, I'm so glad I had someone to share that moment of "we're running through Magic Kingdom OMG with". So, as we entered we had a quick lipstick check and in we went! 

Yep. I cried running down Main Street, USA. I was doing this. And it was awesome.

And then we hit the castle!!!

 That was my favourite moment of the race. I'd been working so hard for this, and it lived up to all the hype. Not only was I there, I was feeling great!

I wish the whole race was through Magic Kingdom, but we had to keep moving. Near the end of Magic Kingdom, Jodi and I split up.

Truthfully, I was expecting the second half to be super hard. We were done the exciting part. And we were only at the halfway point. Whatever! This is what I trained for! As we exited Magic Kingdom and started on the path to epcot I had two big goals in mind 1) find my cheering family at the Polynesian and 2) Enjoy every moment of the race.

I did both!

Before I knew it we passed the Mile 7 song. Yawn. It was Girl on Fire. That is one slow song. I was on a walk break and the song almost put me to sleep :) Anyway. I was on the lookout for my family. I found them. Mike and Matt were cheering. Chloe was asleep on the grass next to them! Mike took a quick pic and then we were all off to epcot.

The next 7 miles flew by. There were a couple tough moments. But, it was just amazing. I got into a bit of a zone, and I just enjoyed my music and the beautiful day and scenery. Before I knew it I could see epcot. We also had to run all the overpasses and that was tough.
Probably the funniest part of that was when someone asked me to check my watch to tell her what mile we were at. I train in kilometres, and I had no idea. So, I explained that.
She was completely exhausted and said "who the heck trains in kilometres. that's dumb." It completely cracked me up because she realized she'd said it out loud. (and it was pretty funny). I told her we were close and kept going.
And then we got to epcot. When we ran in I was tired. We were 2k from finishing, and I was feeling it. I walked the water station and the awesome volunteers were cheering for me and saying "keep going Snow White" it was just the boost I needed and I was off again. I made sure my ear buds were out and I just enjoyed the moment.
I passed the gospel choir and I saw the finish.
And with that I was done!!!  My time was 2:53:10 (if you take out photo stops it was about 2:35)
My first Half Marathon complete.

So ...
Would I do this again? In a heartbeat! I loved it. It was everything I hoped and I'm super proud of myself. I loved running it. If you're thinking about it. Sign up early. Train, and do it. It was life changing.
My next goal? I have a few. I'd like to run Goofy (a half one day. a full the next) and I'd like to do Tink (half in Disneyland).
And, more importantly, I'd like to share this with other people. I'm not sure whether it's signing up to help coach a clinic, or what exactly, but I can't imagine doing something so life changing and then just going back to life as usual.

Saturday, March 02, 2013

I Did It!!!

I can't wait to share the race re-cap and our whole trip report. But for now I'll leave you with the quote that I said every single training run ...

"She turned her can'ts into cans
 and her dreams into plans."

Whatever your dream is ... what are you waiting for?

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Details for my run

So many awesome people have been asking for details on my Princess Half Marathon through the most magical place on earth: Walt Disney World! So, I thought I would just update everyone with all of the details.

The basics:

The race is called the Disney Princess Half Marathon. It is taking place on Sunday, February 24, 2013. The race starts at 5:35 am. I'm in Corral B - the second corral to take off. We start at 5:42 am. Keep in mind there are 26,000 princesses. If you're trying to figure this out at home, I need to be there about 2 hours before the race starts and I need to take a bus there. To everyone who thought I was crazy for doing all my 4am runs ...I feel very very prepared for the time!
The race is a half marathon, so it's just over 21 km or 13.1 miles. 

My Costume
Of course I'm wearing a costume - thanks to my amazing sister! I'm not posting pictures till I've done it. I don't want to jinx it!

How you can cheer (if you aren't in Florida)
I will be running with my nike+ app on my phone.  You should be able to see when I start my run, and if you see that, just like the post and I get a cheer! Apparently this works on twitter as well ... but it's never worked for me! Not a facebook friend? Why not? Here's my personal page:
I hope you also follow me on twitter: or just @lauraldawn

How you can track me

Use the link above to track me. You can do this by text, twitter or facebook. Just add my name (Laural Adams) and then you put in the options. Love me SO much that you want to track me on every device? Go for it. Just keep entering your info.

Before you do this, though, you should know that when you sign up for these alerts (facebook and twitter) they will be posted on your wall and/or timeline. If you don't want this, just check out my timeline/twitter feed. It will be there.

So If you happen to be up at 6am on a Sunday then track away! Our bibs will be set up with runner tracking that will appear on both my facebook and twitter pages.It gives my time for every 5k completed. The time starts on when I cross the start line, and then will update every 5k. DON'T worry if you don't see a time for a certain interval. Apparently they can missed if you don't catch the sensor properly. You should be able to also click on the Nike+ link on my page and track me there (that's for the worriers out there). Remember, I will stop for pictures! It's a crowded race. I'm okay!

The added excitement!

I've been invited to the meetup!!!!! I'll be running a fun 5k around epcot on Friday morning bright and early. Of course it will be on all my pages! The link about this is below. You should also follow @rundisney - they will have pics (and won't be running)

The little details

Since this is going to a whole bunch of people, some of you may be more interested in this part than others. Here are my race goals.

1) I will likely do this in mostly run/walk intervals of 10 minutes running and one minute walking
2) I'd like to finish in 2:30. This may not be realistic with all the photo opportunities. It may be. (I ran one in 2:24 in training, but I didn't stop for photos)
3) Intervals/tracking. The tracking app (link above) tracks me every 5.k I'd like to be around 35 minutes every 5. Too much faster than that (at the beginning for sure) and I will have a hard time at the end. If I'm slower than that ... I must be having fun! (who knows if that's a sarcastic comment!)

I'll be going a bit crazy with pictures and stuff. I'll try to update here, but check facebook/twitter/instagram to follow along.