Training is winding down; I am ready for Disney; and Thanks!

It's Taper Week 2!  So far, I have avoided Taper Madness (or have I?).

I got in a solid interval training run this morning (which I really needed!).  I changed it up a bit as part of my tapering process -- instead of 1/2 mile intervals, I ran 4 sets of '1.5 minute run between 9:15-9:30/mm followed by a 1 minute recovery'.  Then a 5-minute easy run.  Then repeat the whole thing.  After 43 minutes and 3.84 miles, I felt good!  I really needed that time to myself to help kickstart my day.  And the 35 degree weather was actually quite refreshing today!

The rest of this week is going to be rather anti-climatic though.  I have a 4-mile tempo run scheduled for Thursday.  Tomorrow is a cross-training day which will likely be on a bike for 30 minutes, followed by some pool walking as my 'cool down'.  Friday will be a rest day and I will kick off New Years Eve with a 3-mile easy run and some time in the Jacuzzi.

Taper Week 3 starts January 1st and leads me right into Disney.  I have another CardioPoint Assessment scheduled for Jan 2nd so I can see how my sport zones have changed over the last three months, and adjust my HRM accordingly.  Then I will do some very light cross-training (20 minutes in the pool) and call it a day.  Tuesday will be an easy 3-mile run, my last run before heading to Disney on the 4th.  I cannot WAIT!

The lead-up to this point has been steady, exciting, nerve-wracking yet confidence-building.  I have worked very hard and very long to get to this point.  Even though I still have butterflies in my stomach, I know that I am ready for my first two Disney races.  I have lost weight, gained muscle, increased my endurance, fought to control my diabetes, ran in 13 races, and trained by running for over 500 miles since April.  January 2012 is going to be epic as I cross that finish line twice at Disney (and once more a week later in Chicago for the Polar Dash Half Marathon).

I am so very thankful to God who has been with me throughout this whole process.  It started with His not-so-gentle nudge to get me to see a doctor at the end of April 2010.  That was when I was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes and I was faced with some serious life-changing decisions.  I chose to face the challenge head-on and to make immediate changes to lead a better, healthier life.

I have lots of friends who have supported and helped me along the way: my family, church friends, my trainers, the Hakuna Matata gang, co-workers, the TrekSF crew, LiHi and GU friends, FB buddies, doctors, the list goes on and on.  I thank each and every one of you because without that support, I would not have made it this far.

And there were role models too: the Endorphin Dude (a fellow recovering diabetic and soon-to-be Titanium Marathon Maniac), Meghan (my trainer/coach who recovered from cancer to conquer two Ironman Triathlons), and all those 'famous' people I hear about and listen to on The Marathon Show podcast.  They have been a source of encouragement and inspiration for me, knowing that if these people can accomplish their goals then I have a chance to do the same!

For those who have read this blog and followed my journey (oh, it's not over yet), my hope and prayer is that you have found something that helps inspire and motivate you to reach for your own goals.  I believe that you can accomplish what you put your mind, spirit, effort, and determination into.  It might take a short time; it might take a lifetime.  But you can reach the mountaintop!

Thanks for traveling this road with me.


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