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Ambitious Goals with Fierce Determination: Marathoning Mom

Ambitious Goals with Fierce Determination: Marathoning Mom

It is time for me to spill the beans about my big running goals. If I post it on the internet then there is no taking it back!

I’ve been open about training for an October 2020 marathon. I want to run faster than my first marathon and finish under 3 hours 30 minutes.  However, this isn’t the finish line that my big goal is focused on.

4 Year Plan

The real finish to my running goal is to go sub 3 hours and PR again to qualify to run in the Canadian Olympic Marathon Trials in fall 2023.  If I work my hardest, wear the fastest shoes, and have perfect conditions then I may have what it takes to qualify. 

I know my own abilities and I’m comfortable admitting that I do not have what it takes in talent or work ethic to run a 2:22 marathon and move on to the Olympics. My goal ends at the Trials.

If you’re like me and just watched the USA Olympic Marathon Trials, I should note Canada follows a different format. Canada typically uses its national marathon championships as its Olympic trials, but full team selection not guaranteed and is time based.

Making this Goal

When I made this goal it was a 4 year plan. I talked to my family about it and made sure I had their support to pursue this goal. A goal this size requires a lot of hard work and has major time commitments. I am grateful that most of my weekday runs occur after my children have gone to bed so I don’t loose time with them.  I also have the benefit of a gym at work where I can focus on strength training and stretching at lunch.  As for weekends, I try to run early in the morning so I arrive home during or soon after breakfast is finished.  

I have spreadsheets that go until October 2023 with races plotted in along the way.

Yearly goals for race distances of 5k, 10k, half, and full marathons will enable me to track my progress and stay motivated. 

Shelby is getting marathon ready
Shelby is getting marathon ready

My Marathoning Mantra


The mantra I created for this goal is ambitious goals with fierce determination.  On days I’m tired or would rather eat ice cream than go run, I think about how strong I want to feel in 4 years when I crush this goal.

Budgeting the Marathon Goal

I have crunched the numbers and this is going to be a costly goal. For this year, I’ll incur approximately $500 in race fees and $1000 in running shoes.  Travel expenses for my 2020 marathon will be modest at $500. I choose a local race to minimize travel time, which can be stressful with kids.  My marathon will only require a ferry and one night in a hotel.  After adding it up, the 2020 expenses are equal to a trip to Disneyland. Still worth it in my opinion!

Next Steps

I hope you’ll join me, a mom of two little girls, as I train, race, and ramble on about running.

Do you have an ambitious goal that you’re working towards with fierce determination? Let me know about it in the comments.

Back to the Start Line

Back to the Start Line

Last month I etched my future running goals in stone [2020 marathon!!]. Now I’m re-thinking how I want to achieve my goals. I had assumed that after two pregnancies, my competitive running days were done. I thought I would never again set a new personal record in any race distance.

What I have learned this past year is that I am stronger than ever. I have finally figured out my nutrition and lost the few extra pounds that had been hanging out around my midsection for most of the 21st century. I am focused and ready to take on a challenge and push my limits.

The Little One that Runs

Did you know that I started a running program in grade 2 in order to enter a single cross country race against grade 4 and 5 kids? I wanted to be a runner since then and from grade 2 to grade 11, I was constantly in training mode. In my grade 6 public speaking competition I spoke about my love for running and said, “I used to run for fun, but now I run competitively.” That line cracks me up since it was written by an 11 year old!

I had a gift for running and I used it. By the time I was 15 I was getting confused as my body was changing and my times were plateauing. It was really difficult physically and mentally to go through intense training schedules without yielding results. The day I sought permission from myself and others to quit competitive running was a life changing day. It was March 2, 2001 and while driving to a friend’s house a big red Dodge truck ran a stop sign and smashed up my vehicle. I was taken to hospital and x-rayed all over and was extremely fortunate that my injuries weren’t more severe. A fractured pelvis was enough to end my high school running days. I limped away from the sport I had devoted most of my life to and found new interests.

My Next Chapter

If you met me in university you probably didn’t even know I was once a runner. After I graduated from university and found a job that numbed my brain, I was looking to pursue a hobby. My mom suggested we run a half marathon together and since I’d never run that far I decided to give it a shot. During this training we discovered the Nike Women’s Marathon in San Fran – the one with Tiffany necklaces for finisher’s medals – and we registered. I did my first half in February and another half with a group of friends and a “really nice guy” [aka my future boyfriend/husband] in June. Then 4 months later I ran my first marathon. I finished in exactly 4 hours and not the highly coveted 3:59. I assumed my speed was gone or it didn’t transfer to half marathon and above distances.

My race times didn’t bother me since I was reunited with my love of running. I ran for fun and never pushed myself in my training over the past decade.

ambitious_goals_fierce_determination

Reigniting My Fire

I blame my mother for reigniting my competitive side. She offered to pick me up for a 5k race this summer and I went along according to her plan. Turns out she mixed up the race’s start time. As we walked up to the race we noticed runners already on the course. The timing officials told us to start and our chips would give us our time so we did.

The race had begun 6 minutes earlier and we jumped right in. Starting a race late is ridiculously motivating – you probably won’t get passed by ANYONE. I just pushed hard and started to catch people and then catch some more people. I overheard some women say “she must have been in the washroom at the start” which made me laugh. This was not a gastro-intestinal issue, it was a listening to my mother issue! I ended up finishing the race in 22 minutes according to my watch. I hadn’t run a time like that in years.

This result made me alter my training plan for my half marathon in September. I added 4 new speed workouts to my training. That’s it, just 4 extra workouts over the course of a month. This resulted in me improving my half marathon time by 9 minutes from 4 months earlier! Next up was a 10km race where I was able to squeeze in 2 more speed workouts before race day. I improved my 10km time to 45 minutes. This is only 2 minutes slower than a time I’d run in high school.

In addition to feeling strong, I am encouraged by the fact my average heart rate keeps DROPPING with each race I’ve run this year. I’m excited and I want to train hard and push myself to be my best.

Inspiration and the Runner’s High

If you look at Canada’s top female distance runner’s like Natasha Wodak and Lyndsay Tessier – both of them masters runners and are in their prime.

I never liked how I walked away from the sport of running. I’ve always felt like my legs still had some speed left in them.

Even a couple weeks after my little race victory I’m still coasting on my runner’s high. I’ve got some big goals in the works that I’ll share with you next week.

Thanks for Reading!

Thanks for reading about my running history and how I’m ready to get back to the start line again. I think this will help you understand some of the bigger goals that I’m going to be striving for in the years ahead.

Let me know your thoughts on running in the comments below. Is it fun, torture, or just a warm up at the gym to you?

See ya’,

Mouse House Mom

Planning Ahead: This Mom is Going Goofy

Planning Ahead: This Mom is Going Goofy

2019 still has a few months to go, but I’m looking into the future at my next running goals… to infinity and beyond!

In my last post I shared that I was contemplating a marathon. This would be my second marathon and I’d be running it with the goal of improving my time. Ideally I’d want 3:45, but I’d also be happy with a time of 3:58 just so I could have the fastest marathon time in my household. Yeah, I’m competitive like that.

Today I’m sharing my future goals that took careful consideration and have been made with the support of my family.

This isn’t my typical blog post – it won’t help you or guide you through any running or parenting adventure. It’s all about me! Hopefully by sharing this you can get to know me a bit better.

Goal #1

I WILL run a Thanksgiving marathon in 2020. This gives me 13 months to prepare.

Goal #2

I WILL run Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge in January 2021.

This challenge is hosted by Walt Disney World and occurs over a weekend with a half marathon on Saturday and a marathon on Sunday.

63.3 Kilometers in a Weekend…Why?

If you’ve read any of my RunDisney Race Reports [Tinker Bell or Princess], you will know that I don’t run in Disney for personal best times. I run for the experience and fun photo ops.

While I still need to respect the distance and put in the training for this ridiculous challenge, I won’t have to focus on speed training and time goals. I run because I love running and I think this no expectation, no limitation approach to this race weekend will be fun.

I also suffer from FOMO and if I “only” ran the marathon I’d feel like I missed out on the fun of a challenge. My FOMO isn’t so bad that I would ever consider the Dopey Challenge which adds a 5km and 10km race in the days before the the other two races.

Why 2 Marathons So Close?

If I’m going to run hundreds of miles in training, I would be bummed out not testing out my legs to see just how fast they could carry me over the finish line. Running a marathon in October allows me to build up my mileage, test out my speed on race day, and then *hopefully* coast through the miles of training until the Goofy.

My previous marathon was late October and that winter was amazing for snowboarding. I had stamina and endurance and it was fun putting my marathon training to good use. I’m hoping to do that again, but apply it to another marathon.

I’m Beyond Excited

A family friend mentioned they were thinking of running the Walt Disney World Marathon in 2021 and I immediately latched on to this possibility.

Running the WDW Marathon has always been on my to-do list and the timing really works for me. I’m back to running some of my faster pre-pregnancy race times and I feel strong. I’m up for the challenge. It also doesn’t hurt that my baby will be 2 years old on race day, which is still FREE in Disney World.

My mom and my mother-in-law are thinking about doing the half marathon. My oldest would be able to run the 5km and has already asked her “bestie” [my dad] to run it with her.

And we all know I love to plan Disney vacations. 

Am I Ready for a Marathon?

Am I Ready for a Marathon?

I’m one of those crazy plan ahead people. For BIG goals, I like to have details worked out months (ok, it is really years) in advance. For the past month, I’ve been contemplating running a marathon.

A marathon is a huge commitment as a runner and as a parent. I completed my first marathon in 2007 and even though I puked my guts from mile 11 until the finish, I still told anyone who would listen that it was the best day of my life.Life was different in 2007. I was single, living in a trendy downtown neighbourhood, and had landed my career job. Life was good. I could be selfish in my training because nobody was relying on me for anything. Now there are a lot of factors to consider in taking on another marathon.

Are you ready for a marathon? If 42.2 kilometres sounds like fun to you, you should also consider:

  • Family
  • Costs
  • Holiday plans
  • Work demands
  • Personal health and current stamina

A marathon requires an intense 3 month time commitment. More time would be required if you aren’t up to 15km long runs at the start of the 3 months. There is never a perfect time to train for a marathon, but if you make it a priority then you can do it!

Marathon training
First Marathon in 2007 versus training for a half marathon in 2019.

Family

If your family isn’t 100% supportive of your decision to run a marathon, then don’t do it. Aside from the 3 to 4 hour runs that you’ll need to complete, you are also going to be tired, sore, and dare I say more irritable.

I always try and complete my runs before my daughter’s Saturday morning sports. To continue this, I’ll need to find something that doesn’t start at 8am. And now with two kids, this will be more difficult.  Luckily swimming lessons start as late at 11am in the morning. I also check sunrise charts and plan the earliest time possible that I can run. I’ve even calculated a start time that has me run in the dark, but aligns sunrise to the time I hit the trail portion of my run.

  • Potential Issue: I can’t expect my husband to handle Saturday morning breakfasts,clean up, and activities when I’m out running AND have him do it again on Sunday morning because I’m tired from the day before that I need more sleep.
  • Potential Solution: The compromise that would work best for us is that I’d go to bed a bit earlier on Saturday nights to catch up on sleep.

When my mother wanted to do an Ironman Triathlon she had to consider timing and it was best to wait one year until I was a freshman in university since she wanted to be present for all the activities and events that happened in my final year of high school. Know yourself and how involved you want to be or know how much FOMO you suffer from and plan accordingly.

Costs

If you tell yourself running is a cheap sport then you’re delirious! Running only requires a pair of running shoes… Oh and don’t forget moisture wicking clothing, double layer socks, Bodyglide to prevent chafing, special water bottle belt, another pair of shoes since you’ll wear out the first pair before the race, a sports bra that costs more than dinner for two at the Keg, recovery electrolyte drinks, the grocery bill from that time you’ll go shopping after a long run and accidentally buy the entire store, race entry fee, hotel for the race, the kiddie pool you splurge on out of guilt for not spending enough time with the kids, 8 bags of ice for when you realize you can hijack the kiddie pool for your long run recovery ice bath….etc. 

Holiday Plans

If you are thinking of a fall marathon then you’ll be completing some of your long runs (3+ hours) over summer.  If you’re planing a vacation you also need to consider how you will complete your long run.  I’d say live a little and miss a weekday run, but those long runs are not to be messed with.

  • Potential Issue: Your family trip to Europe occurs during marathon training.
  • Potential Solution: Look for a half marathon to participate in at your holiday destination. Or can you find a run club that will be running similar distance? Maybe travel with your training partner and map a run where you are visiting. Adjust your dates and vacation over a recovery week when miles are shorter and could be run on a hotel treadmill.

Work Demands

Are you going to be able to find the time to run or are you working 12 hour days in the office? I actually find when I’m super busy at work that I need to get my runs in to keep my sanity. However, this could be a vicious cycle if work and running keep you away from your family. Long work hours can mean more fast food meals, which could impact how you feel in your workouts.  This could mean more meal planning in order to eat right, work long hours, and feel good in your runs.

Personal Health and Current Stamina

I personally believe that anyone can run a marathon. However, the journey to that marathon start line will be different for everyone.  I wouldn’t undertake a 3 month training plan until I was happy with my 5km and 10km race times. After all, I want to run the next marathon faster than my last. If you have been running through an injury or hoping a tinge in your knee will go away on its own – then maybe get that checked out before fooling yourself into a marathon.

I include current stamina as well because you should be able to run at least 15km comfortably prior to starting your training plan. I would also suggest having run a half marathon in the last year before taking on a marathon. This will prepare you for a build up in training mileage. I like to eliminate “surprises” during training and you start to learn about your body when you increase mileage for a race above 10km. To read more on half marathon training and how I balance it with work and family check out my previous post Balancing Half Marathon Training.

Marathon Considerations
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What is the Verdict?

Will you sign up for a marathon or run away screaming less than 42.2km in the opposite direction? I’ve considered these factors and I’m leaning towards YES! I’ve got my spreadsheets out and I’m starting to visualize how I can make this work. Tell me in the comments if you have a marathon or multiple marathons on your bucket list.

If you found it useful, feel free to Pin this post.

Race Week Rituals

Race Week Rituals

With my half marathon on Sunday, my race week rituals are underway. I’m excited to step up to the start line and see what these mom-of-two legs of mine have in them.

My last two half marathons have been RunDisney races, where I run for fun photo ops instead of for time. This Sunday I’ve set a time goal of “under 2 hours”. I’ve had to rethink my time goals since having kids and maybe one day I’ll get back to speedier times, but that’s not my current focus.

The week before the race isn’t when you decide you need to start cross training or overhaul your nutrition. However, I have a few race week rituals you can follow to get to the start line feeling your best.

Below are my three race week rituals:

  • Strategize.
  • Visualize.
  • Eat wise.

By race week you should have already planned out your race day clothing. You ought to have tested it out to make sure it won’t rub you the wrong way (seriously, chafing sucks). Did you forget to do this? Just wear the clothes you normally wear on a long run.

Strategize

I am a planner so one of my race week rituals is to plan out my race strategy. While I’m not racing to win, I think a strategy is still helpful to try and achieve my goal.

Running under 2 hours is my goal and yours may be faster or slower. Either way, you need to understand how you are going to go from start to finish in that time. I get out my calculator and have some math fun to determine my required splits. If splits are new to you, it is basically the time you need to run (or will run) each kilometer. For my goal, I need to run my kilometers in 5 mins 41 seconds. I have known my goal splits for most of my training. I’m confident I’ll be able to blend my weekday speed sessions with my weekend long runs in order to meet my splits. If you realize your abilities, confidence, and goal are not realistic there is no shame in amending it or running without a time goal. I have run some half marathons with the mantra “no expectation, no limitation” and have let that carry me through.

In addition to splits, I always try to run the second half faster than the first (a negative split). If you’re running without a time goal, but want to finish the race having given it your all, then a negative split might be a good fit for you. In order to achieve a negative split I actually write out my first 10km anticipated time and then ponder how I can run the next 11.1km faster. I plan to run a couple seconds faster per kilometer and end the last few kilometers by increasing my speed to ensure I hit the negative split, the time goal, and the feeling of giving my all by the finish line.

Visualize

My second race week ritual is that I like to print the race map off and highlight the route by splitting it up into smaller chunks. I familiarize myself with where the major hills are on the course and other interesting features, such as where two races may collide. This weekend I’ll be finishing my last 5km with the last half of a 10km race. Knowing that I may suddenly start to get passed when I’m trying to kick it into high gear will help mentally prepare me for being among fresher-legged runners.

I like to give each chunk of the race it’s own mantra. When I want to hold back in the first few kilometers I’ll write the mantra “cool and calm”. On race day I can remind myself to stay cool and calm instead of “balls to the wall”, which is reserved for the last 3km chunk.

Preparing for race day is like studying for a test; learn the course, know it’s hard parts, visualize your success, and you won’t be in for a surprise on race day. It also helps me get rid of the negative thoughts about challenging parts of the route. If I know ahead of time that I’m prepared to run slower on the major hills and that won’t stop me from crushing my goal [because I’ve done the math already] then I’m better off for it.

Race Map Ready to Visualize
Race map action plan.

Eat Wise

I’m not a nutritionist, but based on how long foods take me to digest I follow a pre-race meal plan. For me this is more of a ritual than solid health advice. It keeps me focused and gives me a sense of control.

My plan below assumes a Sunday race day. Starting on the Wednesday before the race I give more thought to the foods I eat. You know the foods you love to eat, but might not always agree with your stomach? I try to avoid those in the lead up to the race.

If you follow my Instagram you may think I’m a hypocrite [the ice cream churro sandwhich was heavenly before my race] and I’ll admit that when I’m doing a RunDisney race I eat what I want, when I want. However, if I’m not planning to stop mid-race for a photo with Mickey Mouse then I take my nutrition more seriously.

I’ve only focused on dinners in the lead up to the race. From Wednesday on, I try to always eat balanced meals of meat, starchy-carbs, and vegetables. Below are the meats I choose to eat in this order since I find it works best with my digestion:

  • Wednesday: steak
  • Thursday: chicken
  • Friday: salmon
  • Saturday: pasta in tomato sauce. No meat. No cheese.

My pre-race breakfast is typically eaten at least 1 hour before race start and it is a half banana and oatmeal with extra brown sugar. I also have about half a cup of coffee if it is a late start to the race. If you’re running a half marathon or more then I suggest you eat what you ate before your long runs and don’t mess with it now.

I suggest you find what works for you, but it is nice going into a race knowing that I have a formula that works well for me.

3 Race Week Rituals: Strategize. Visualize. Eat Wise.
Feel free to share my Race Week Rituals on Pinterest!

Good Night and Good Racing

I hope this helps you have an amazing race day filled with joy and high-fives. Or maybe you’re more of an introvert and you just want to cross that finish line, breath a sigh of relief, and get out of there. Either way, have fun!

For more on how to balance half marathon training check out my earlier post here. I’m already looking ahead to September where I’ll be running another half marathon.

Princess Half Race Report

Princess Half Race Report

A couple weeks ago I ran the RunDisney Princess Half Marathon and it was amazing. I also completed the Enchanted 10k the day before the half. These two races are known as the Fairy Tale Challenge and are 19.3 miles of fun and fatigue. Below is my race report for the weekend.

The Challenging Part of the Fairy Tale Challenge

The Fairy Tale Challenge was really challenging and not because of the distance, but because of:

  • Early mornings
  • Tired legs from a week of Disney days
  • Racing on a diet of Disney snacks
  • Heat! RunDisney issued a heat advisory because of high humidity

To complete the challenge I was up Saturday and Sunday at 3 AM. I nursed the baby, ate some oatmeal, grabbed my water bottle and dashed to the bus in a quick 30 minutes. We decided to start our Disney World vacation the week before the race so that we could adjust to east coast time. Otherwise we would have been waking at what would have felt like midnight.

Shelby Hancock details her Princess Half Marathon Race
Anna and Elsa (minus their capes) finished the Fairy Tale Challenge!

Princess Half Race Weekend Recommendations

If you want a magical weekend of fun and fatigue then make sure you sign up for a RunDisney challenge. Here are a few of my recommendations:

  • After each race, go to the medical area and get ice packs wrapped around your legs so you can speed up recovery.
  • Try and have a chilled out day on the Saturday after the 10k.
  • Dress up for the races.
  • Bring some cash to your race for a Joffrey’s iced americano.
  • Be prepared to walk to the start line for the Half – my fitbit indicated that I walked 42 minutes from getting off the bus to stopping in my corral!

Enchanted 10km

I think the 10k race was probably my favourite of the two, but only because it was my first RunDisney race in Disney World and I wasn’t exhausted. I was also in corral A, which meant I started the race within 5 seconds of the start line. As seasoned RunDisney runners know, the closer to the start of the first corral, the shorter the line-ups to get character photos. In the lead up to the race other runners had been talking about 15 minute line ups and I was nervous about that. In my Tinker Bell Half Marathon a couple years ago there was barely any wait so I wasn’t sure what to expect in Disney World.

I ran both races with my mother and we decided to only stop for characters that we knew. This meant we skipped the photo with Stitch from Lilo and Stitch since I haven’t seen the movie. The first characters we came across were just passed the 1 mile marker and it was Belle and the Beast.

The sun began to rise at the 5 mile marker, but even some of our finish line photos look like it is still the middle of the night. While we ran through Epcot the PhotoPass photographers were hard to see because it was still so dark and I hate to miss a good photo op! Haha!

I was thrilled to see Mickey Mouse available for a photo as we were leaving World Showcase and transitioning into Future World. For a “Princess” race I found it a bit light on Princess photo ops, but I am more of a Fab 5 kinda girl than a princess.

Photo Ops

We got photos taken by PhotoPass photographers with:

  • Belle and the Beast
  • Pinocchio
  • Jasmine and Aladin
  • Goofy in his baseball uniform
  • Inside Out characters
  • Mickey Mouse
  • The Epcot ball
Shelby Hancock details her Princess Half Marathon Race and Fairy Tale Challenge
It was more fun to strike a pose!

I’m not sure where my Donald Duck photo ended up since we stopped with him too.

I found the 10k race route to be nicer, but I think that is to be expected with a shorter distance. I really enjoyed running along the Boardwalk since I wasn’t visiting that part of Disney World outside of the race on this visit.

Princess Half Marathon

I won’t lie, I was bummed to be starting in corral C and not A or B. That said, I ran my qualifying race 6 months postpartum and it was the farthest I had run in almost a year at that point. I really shouldn’t have had a pity party over this since before the race started I felt like a car running on fumes. I got caught up in the need for short character line ups. In the end I had an amazing race with my mom and we finished closer to our marathon times than our half marathon times. At the 4 mile mark we acknowledged that we were having lots of fun, we were tired, and that we didn’t care about our time enough to skip photo ops.

It took us about 32 minutes to run a kilometer through Magic Kingdom.
We stopped for a selfie near the castle on Main Street. In Tomorrowland, we stopped for Buzz Lightyear, which was about a 1 minute line. We waited in a very long line for Belle and Gaston and then ran about 100 metres and stopped for Cinderella which was probably 15 minutes. In front of the castle there were 5 PhotoPass photographers taking photos so this made for a fairly short line.

Shelby Hancock details her Princess Half Marathon Race and Fairy Tale Challenge
An INCREDIBLE experience with 20km done and 1 to go!

I was shocked that the majority of runners don’t stop for photo ops. Why not? With the bottle necks that occur when lanes on the road are reduced it would be difficult to run the race course for a PB so I would recommend getting your moneys worth and stopping for characters.

First Half vs. Last Half of The Half

The first half is exciting and fun – I felt like a puppy! It was dark out and fireworks were set off every couple minutes to light up the sky. The monorail would blare its horn when it passed by the runners. You’re on your way to Magic Kingdom and that made me feel like I was on a mission. Then you run through the Park and it is as magical as its name. However, once you’re in the back lot and making your way behind the Grand Floridian you still have another 10 kilometres to run. I felt like I’d accomplished what I wanted and suddenly on tired legs I had to run 10km. Even on the roads back towards Epcot there were a few character stops, which was fun. There were also a lot of water stations to keep us going through the humidity. Knowing my two girls, my husband, and my dad were all going to be at the finish kept us going!

Shelby Hancock details her Princess Half Marathon Race and Fairy Tale Challenge
Smiling and finishing the Fairy Tale Challenge!

Summary

It. Was. Amazing.

Let me know in the comments if you’ve done a RunDisney race or if one is on your bucket list!

Shelby Hancock details her Princess Half Marathon Race and Fairy Tale Challenge
2019 Goals

2019 Goals

I’m a goal setter. I write it down and then I make a plan and I work towards crushing that goal. Pre-kids I would make short-term, long-term, and stretch goals. Now with kids I’m more of a planner and longer term goals have become plans. I have spreadsheets with details of vacation plans, races, club activities for 10 years down the road. Some [hubby included] think its crazy, but I love my plans. But let’s talk about this year and the next 12 months. I’ve broke it up into PROFESSIONAL, FITNESS, and PERSONAL.

Professional Goals

I’ll be heading back to work at my corporate job in mid-October and with only 2.5 months to contribute there, I don’t have a big corporate goal for 2019. My company is great and I even received a promotion when I was on maternity leave with my first child. So for 2019 my professional goal is for this BLOG:

  1. I want to make the VancouverMom.ca Top 30 Mom Bloggers list.

In order to even be eligible, I need to step my game up. I’m committing to having new posts weekly and to increase my social media presence. I want to be your go-to place when you want to read about running, Disney, or know that you’re not alone in this crazy parenting life that we’re going through together. So be a dear and leave me a comment if there’s something specific you’d like to hear about and I’ll try to make it happen.

Nominations typically take place in April so hopefully I’ll get a pulse check on this goals progress by mid-year.

Shelby Hancock's 2019 Goals
Shelby Hancock’s 2019 Goals

Fitness Goals

I’m a runner. Always have been and always will be. I remember running in kindergarten around the 3 soccer fields at school and feeling the runners high, which maybe was just excitement that I was the fastest kid in the class.  Whatever it was has kept me running for nearly 30 years. My 2019 fitness goals go together like salt, pepper, and cumin. My 2019 fitness goals are to:

  1. Run under 2 hour half marathon
  2. Run under 50 min 10km
  3. Complete the Fairy Tale Challenge with a smile.

A lot has changed since I ran my first half marathon in 2007.  I’m comfortable and proud of who I am today and I don’t want to be my old self, I want to be me: the runner mom with an unhealthy Disney obsession that knows she shouldn’t eat the nightly ice cream bar. 

I really do feel like these goals go together like salt, pepper, and cumin. The Fairy Tale Challenge is the cumin – a nice to have with little to no expectation and no limitation. However, I need a faster 10k time if I’m ever going to run a faster 1/2 marathon time. Long, slow distance makes long, slow runners. If I focus on some speed training and push myself in a 10k, then I can take that strength, power, and confidence into a half marathon and hopefully run my fastest post-pregnancy half marathon.

The Fairy Tale Challenge takes place February 23 and 24 with a 10k race on Saturday and a 1/2 (21.1k) race on Sunday.  I’ll be running it with my mom and as long as I cross those finish lines with a smile I’ll be happy.  

Personal Goals

My personal goals are:

  1. Read 3 novels
  2. Spend time away from my baby
  3. Take my Instapot out of the box.

I know what you’re thinking, “wow, Shelby, what a wild year 2019 will be for you.” I used to read a lot and it brought me joy, but since having my first child in 2015, I’ve barely read. I think I’ve only tackled the Crazy Rich Asian trilogy. Chic-lit is fine by me – no judgement – so hopefully on some upcoming flights with a sleeping baby I’ll put a dent into this goal [a girl can dream, right?].

My baby goes insane when anyone else picks her up and I want her to know she’s loved and safe with family and friends so hopefully I’ll be able to feel comfortable leaving her for an hour or two every once in a while. I’d really like to take my 3 year old to a movie and not have a massive amount of mom guilt over leaving the baby with her father or grandparents. I know its an attachment phase right now and as annoying as it can be it is pretty awesome knowing that to this cute little baby I’m the best thing since canned spaghetti. *

*Canned spaghetti is disgusting, but my Italian family has always used that expression and we find it hilarious.

Goal Crushing

I am excited for 2019 and all the new adventures that will be heading my way. Leave a comment about your 2019 goals!

Why I’m Running 10K Races

Why I’m Running 10K Races

One week ago I ran my first 10K race since having my little baby munnchkin. Next Sunday I will also be lacing up my shoes and running another 10K race.

Pre-kids I planned out my races and mostly raced above 10k race distances. Now I’m willy nilly about my 10k races!

Hubby ran with me last weekend because at 6 months postpartum I’m lacking speed.

10k Race Info

These 2 races are both organized by MEC https://events.mec.ca/ and are only $15. You don’t get much for it, but all I’m after is a chip timed race.

The Real Reason

I’m pushing myself to run these races so I can submit a time for my upcoming Run Disney races in February. They have multiple corrals and place runners according to their anticipated finish time.  If you’re in a corral at the front you have short wait times when you meet characters in races and pose for pictures.

Tinker Bell and Shelby Hancock of Mouse House Mom at the Tinker Bell Half Marathon
The star of the day!

In my first RunDisney race, while in line to get a pic with Tinker Bell, the runner behind me explained that you run hard and go for good times when you’re not at Disney so that when you run Disney you get to enjoy the faster photo lines and less busy course.

 

My 10K Race Goal

I don’t like talking about times anymore because I want to be running sub 47 minute 10k races, but I’m happy to be less than an hour!

This reminds me of my running mantra, “Respect the distance” as it applies at different times and different distances. Sometimes just a 1 mile run seems daunting especially when you have run a marathon. Or you wake up with a cold and your usual 8k route feels like an ultra. If you persevere and just respect where you’re at, you’ll get through it.

Pregnancy Annoucement!

Pregnancy Annoucement!

I made it official on social media earlier, but consider this my Pregnancy Announcement for the blog!

I’m nearing my third trimester and its been a rough ride thus far. However, I really can’t complain since the baby in my belly is healthy and growing as it should.  I hate calling my baby an “it”, but we are waiting until delivery day to find out the gender.

Mouse House Mom,  Shelby Hancock, pregnancy annoucement
Mouse House Mom is pregnant!

Pregnancy Running Update:

I’ve tried to keep my running routine up, but in the last week its dwindled down to almost non-existent due to a sinus infection wiping me out. I think I’ll be able to run/walk into my third trimester, but the 10 km runs are all in the past.

Pregnancy Announcement: Run Baby Run
Run Baby Run

Balancing Half Marathon Training

Balancing Half Marathon Training

My hobby, sport, and way of keeping in shape is running. I’m a fan of the half marathon distance. I ran my first half marathon just over 10 years ago and have enjoyed many others since. My husband’s first half marathon race pic just popped up in my Facebook feed as a memory from 10 years ago, which was funny since he was 100% in the friend zone at that time and I kicked his butt in that race!

Half Marathon: The Perfect Distance

I find half marathons the perfect distance since it is far enough that you can’t skip your long runs, but not too far that your training runs take over your life. With a 10 kilometre (km) race, I could rest on my laurels and while it might be painful, I could jump into a 10km race and survive it without adequate training. However, in a half marathon, the level of discomfort and risk of injury is much higher if you don’t complete your training runs.

My longest training run for a half marathon would be under 2.5 hours long. If I started my run at 6 AM, I could be home in time to eat breakfast with my family.

My 3 Tips for Successful Half Marathon Training

  • Find a plan and routine that works for you.
    • Be realistic when making your plan. For me, I can’t commit to more than 3 days a week.
    • Also plan out your runs; determine what time of day works for you and make a routine out of it.
  • Find a race and register for it to keep you motivated.
    • Having a goal to work towards will keep you motivated. I tell lots of people about my upcoming race far in advance so I feel accountable.
  • Find a training partner or run club.
    • While I enjoy running on my own, I couldn’t imagine all of my long runs by myself. Having someone with you can make your long runs fly by. Running is a form of therapy for me since I talk through problems, vent, share memories with my running partner.

Running After Baby

After having a baby, running was a major challenge for me. The motivation to loose weight was certainly there, but my body wasn’t ready for that kind of intensity. My body had changed; I was nursing and had major nursing boobs that could not be tamed. Running wasn’t comfortable so my plan to run 6 months after giving birth and to start half marathon training went out the window.

I tried once more to run when my baby was 13 months and I had been back at work for a few weeks. While my body cooperated with running this time, I found it difficult to stay committed. Part of the problem was that I ran alone at 7:45 PM, after the baby was nursed and in bed.  I was exhausted, it was dark out, and Netflix was calling me.

Third time was the charm! I survived a busy August at work and I knew the fall was going to be busy at work so if I didn’t get running soon I’d never maintain my fitness during the winter. Baby was now 18 months old and I was daydreaming about Disney vacations and it struck me: why not run a Disney race!?!  My timing could not have been better as the Tinker Bell Half Marathon’s registration was coming up in mid-September.  I laced up my runners and tried to run and this time, with the right motivation and a better fitness level than the other two attempts I kept up my training and ran the Tinker Bell Half Marathon last month.

Half Marathon Training Plan by Mouse House Mom

Baby Steps: Initial Running Plan

Starting my half marathon training in September for a May half marathon gave me ample time to build a foundation before I had to start logging long miles. September, October, and November focused on a run/walk program. This meant each week I’d run 1 minute, walk 1 minute until I’d reached 12 to 15 minutes of total run time. Then the next week I’d bump up my run time.  After a few weeks I was running 10 minutes and walking 1 minute. From this, I switched to distance based training with 3 to 4 km runs during the week and a 5 km on the weekend.  Each long run (weekend run), I’d increase by 1 km.  I also listened to my body and decreased every few weeks to let my body have a break.

While I was focused on this training and really happy with my progress, I should note that I was nowhere close to the times I once ran. I don’t blame pregnancy on this as I had a health scare in the years leading up to pregnancy that I think took its tole on me.  I’m a highly competitive person, but I took this slower pace in stride (pun intended).  Now that I’m a mom, I’ve chilled out a lot more and having time to run and pursue my own fitness makes me happy. I’m not longer focused on my splits, although slow or not, I always aim for a negative split.

My mantra for running post pregnancy is: No expectations, no limitations.

Find a Training Plan that Works for You

A quick Google search can turn up dozens of half marathon training plans. In some you have to run 5 days a week, in others only 3 days. Some have steep build ups in long run mileage, while others are more gradual. I suggest you open a spreadsheet, take what you like from multiple plans that you’ve reviewed and plug that into your own plan.

For me I have a simple long run build up that I don’t mess with in the 7 weeks leading to the race, which is as follows:

  • 16, 16, 12, 18, 18, 20, 8 km.

While this builds my last several weeks, most training plans should cover a minimum of 18 weeks with a minimum distance of 10 km to begin.  Keep this in mind as you set your sights on your goal race and plan accordingly.

Plan Your Runs

Plan out when you are going to run, then make it happen. I nurse my daughter to sleep at 7 PM daily and I only have an hour with her before bedtime so I know during the week I need to run later that I’d prefer. Running at 7:30 PM means most of the year it is dark so I have a reflective vest and my husband knows my route.

For my weekend long runs, I aim to be home by 8 AM.  This means I may need to be up before 6 AM or for a shorter run, closer to 6:45 AM.  Yes, it is early, but I’m committed to my training and I find running enjoyable.

Mouse House Mom Half Marathon Training
The before and after shots this spring.

Importance of a Training Partner

I’ve got an amazing training partner that happily runs at my odd ball times. She supports me, loves me, and let’s me talk on and on about whatever is bothering me. You won’t find a training partner better than mine, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try and find one. I forgot to mention, my training partner is my mom – my IRONMAN, marathoner, more energy than I’ll ever have, MOTHER!

Let Me Know…

Let me know if you have questions – I’m passionate about running and happy to help you figure out how to juggle it into your busy life.

 

Happy running!

 

 

Related posts: Tinker Bell Half Marathon Race Report