Thursday, May 29, 2008

Drama and Laughter, Yin and Yang

Two good podcast shows you might want to check out -- for different reasons!

The first is a HIGH-larious show from WDW Today! It's show #414, May 26th. Listening to this show made both me and my husband laugh until we cried! (Our cat Sasha thought we were nuts!) The gang is eating and drinking around World Showcase, which didn't turn out to be such a great idea for them -- but very entertaining for us!

The second is a radio drama on Inside the Magic, show #164, May 25th. I'm not a big fan of radio drama, but this one really sucked me in! The Backstage Pass segment from Jay and Mark is titled "Kingdom of the Crystal Palace" -- get it? Crystal Palace? Crystal Skull? Indiana Jones? It's really, really creative. They'll take you to a place in the Magic Kingdom you never could have imagined!

Enjoy them this weekend!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Where Was My Magic Kingdom?

Today was my weekly long run, this time outside at our local metropark. I got through five miles and walked a bit. Then started back running off and on for the last 1.5 miles. Yes, I did 6.5 miles!

And honestly, the only thing that got me thru that last half mile was looking forward to getting the medal that comes after Darkwing, from Jeff from Iowa! Please, please tell me I get another medal!!

Now in the big race, miles 5-6 will be IN the Magic Kingdom. So I'm sure that will be a much easier section to run than it is at the metropark. But today, no such luck, no MK! And I don't even want to think about the 7th mile outside MK --- uh oh.

I did the 6.5 miles -- new personal best -- in 1.5 hours. I had to sprint the last minute to stay under 1.5! That's about a 14-minute mile.

Wow, I ran half of a half marathon today!!!

(Oh no, the next medal is at 6.55 miles, and I did 6.50!!! Arghhhhhh. Oh, well, this coming weekend I would automatically add .25 to my long run, so I'll get the medal then!)

Friday, May 23, 2008

I'm Going To Disney World!

I am a lucky girl! I "have" to go to Tampa for business, so I was able to arrange my flights so that I can spend the first weekend and the second weekend of the week at WDW!

I'll be arriving in Orlando on Saturday, June 7 and will be in the parks that afternoon until Monday morning when I drive to Tampa.

Then I'll be back on Friday night, June 13, and will be happily in the parks until late afternoon on Sunday, June 15 when I leave for the airport to fly back to Michigan!

If you'll be there at that time and want to meet, my email address is up at the top of the page. Could an AATM mini-meet be in our future?!

I am a lucky, lucky, lucky girl!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Don't "Pass" On This!

There's a great interview on The Season Pass podcast with Barry Braverman, former Executive Producer of Walt Disney Imagineering -- and former school teacher!

He was actively involved in the opening of both Epcot and DCA. He talks a lot about the process of designing several attractions, including the original Imagination.

It's a great, informative, long interview -- take a listen to Episode #28!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Survived First 5K!

I finished my very first ever 5K today! I have so many thoughts about it -- where do I begin?

First of all, it was a very well-run race by the Alzheimer’s Association. It seemed like a good turnout for a local race, and I hope they made lots of money to fund their very important research and support for families.

The most important thing I learned was that I need a pre-race checklist! I did okay with my prep the day before, paying attention to food and getting my gear together. I should have drunk more water throughout the evening – that will need to be on my new checklist.

I arrived in plenty of time to check in and get my number, hit the restroom, get a pebble out of my shoe, go back to the car for a hat (it was 48 degrees with a blustery Michigan wind coming off the lake), pin my number on, take a pre-race picture, go back to the car to drop off my goodie bag and relax before it was time to go to the start line.

But once I started I realized I should have checked my shoelaces – I felt like one might come untied during the race. And I forgot to put on lip balm – my lips dry out when I run. Those things are kind of more important than a pre-race picture!

When our group went to the start line (after the 10K group had already taken off), I was in the middle of the pack of 60 or so 5K runners/walkers. I expected an announcement and/or countdown. But one minute we were milling about, and the next minute we were taking off! And boy, did people take off! I was quickly left behind by most of the 5K runners, even though we had an uphill start – welcome to the world of running!

I was huffing and puffing a little because of the uphill start, but I quickly got into my normal running pace. And I kept it steady during the first mile. After the first mile I picked up the pace a little, but generally stayed near the few people that were running near me. I have to admit I couldn’t really see any casual walkers behind me, but I was hoping there were some back there so I wouldn’t finish last!

After the turnaround at 1.5K, I honestly was thinking I would never make the 13 miles at Disney. Even though I’m up to running 5-6 miles on the treadmill, and I had run 2-3 miles outside twice before this race, and all my running has been under a 15-minute mile pace, those doubts crossed my mind.

Now I was in a real race and I knew where I was in the pack, so it was a good dose of the reality. I was doubting whether I could really finish the Disney race, but I also focused on the fact that I still have six months left for more training! And I also realized I really need to run a 10K next, probably in September, to prepare me for the big race.

Not too long after that, I could see we were in sight of the finish line. And I was happy with my pace, and feeling okay. And for a minute, as I was nearing the finish line, I imagined what it would be like at Disney World. It will be fantabulous!!

I had hoped to do the 5K in under 40 minutes, and I ended up finishing in 39 minutes! I averaged 12.2 minute miles, which I am very happy with. It was definitely a good experience, and when it was over, I definitely wanted to do another one – but not next weekend! I think I’ll look for another 5K race in June.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Monorail Mania

There's a wonderful show on the Disneyland monorail on the Official Disneyland Resort Podcast. The show starts out with an interview of Bob Gurr who designed the first Dland monorail the Mark I. He's got a great Walt story, and a funny President Nixon monorail story!

Then there's a brief interview with Imagineer Scott Drake, who designed the new Mark VII monorail. He shares insight about the concepts behind the new design.

It's very cool to hear the designers of the the Mark I and the Mark VII in the same show!

Another podcast that I really like listening to is Character Breakfast. They have a segment on the show called "Monorail Station", which is a weekly review of an attraction by a Canadian husband and wife named Pluto and Imagine (aliases, obviously). They are cute and funny and a little wacky. I'd love to meet them! The show is hosted by Sorcerer (an alias), and also includes another panelist, Jeff (not an alias?), who gives the news updates.

Check them out today!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

First 5K!

I've registered for my very first 5K Race! It's this Sunday -- the 3rd Annual "Racing 4 Your Memories" event sponsored by the Alzheimer's Association. I'm really looking forward to it!

I have to tell you something funny, though. When I was looking at the schedule for the day, I had to laugh:

8:30 a.m. -- Runs/Walk begin
9:30 a.m. -- Awards and refreshments

ONE HOUR!! I'm so used to thinking about running for 3 1/2 hours at Disney, that it just looked funny to see such a short time frame for an entire race!

Now I know some Team Voice members would be finished in 20 minutes, but I will actually need almost the whole hour to finish!

I'm not going into this thinking about speed -- I look at it like good practice for registering, starting an event and weaving through a crowd -- since I've never done an event before. It's also good practice at what to eat the night before, and how to fall asleep the night before!

For me at this point, three miles is not really that hard to do. So I know I'll finish. I hope I feel good and can run a fast pace, but it's not my primary goal this time.

And it's a bonus that I'm donating to the Alzheimer's Association. Unfortunately that disease does run in my family, so every penny that gets donated may actually benefit me or others in my family in about 20-30 years.

I'll try to get pictures before and during the race to post next week. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

The American Adventure

If you’re not a fan of the movies in World Showcase, consider giving the American Adventure show a try. If you’re hot and tired and need an air-conditioned break, and you are on that side of World Showcase, go ahead into the show – you might just like it.

The show celebrates the American spirit with historical Animatronics like Ben Franklin and Mark Twain. The movie, mixed with Animatronics on stage, and great music, has a wonderful story line. Even if you hated history in high school, you won’t hate this!

My WOW moment is the final part of the movie when the curtains roll back along the sides of the theater. That combined with the music and the historical figures shown in the movie always makes me a little misty.

It’s a great show! Go see it next time you’re at WDW!

(You'd think Epcot was my favorite park, since this is the third attraction I've talked about in my blog. Maybe next time I'll pop over to MK or AK or DHS!)

Thursday, May 1, 2008

We're Home!

It's Thursday, and my dad left the hospital this morning! He made good, slow, steady progress every day. And now's he home to continue his recovery.

It sure is nice to be out of that environment, but I think about those amazing nurses and care partners that are still there -- being caring and compassionate and smart and talented. I need to think about them next time I'm grousing about something at work that annoys me.

I'll be leaving on Sunday to head back to Michigan -- wish I was heading south to Orlando! Then I will be back to my eating routine, and more importantly, will be re-focused on some serious cardio and miles.

Thanks again for all your support and well wishes!