Archives for January 2013

February Goals 2013

 

I can’t believe the first month of 2013 is coming to a close. I am finally getting used to writing/typing “2013” instead of 2012, which i got the hang of fairly quickly as opposed to previous years. Since February is looming close, it’s time to check in on my January goals, and make some new ones for February. First, let’s see how I did this past month:

1.) Finish Goofy in an upright position. (A+) It. was. awesome. Not only did I finish in an upright position, but I had a smile on my face AND a full marathon PR to boot. I couldn’t be happier with how this race went. Definitely one I will always remember.

2.) Vlog more. (C-) Well, I vlogged….once. But hey, it was one of my favorites, and I am really proud of it. Still working on this one, as it is really important to me.

3.) Stretch more. (B+) I know this was essential for getting through Goofy, so I actually did stretch, a lot. Before and after runs, Bobby and I both took the time to really work on this. It’s something I can always improve on though, so I’m not giving myself an A.

4.) Stay healthy. (A-) Knock on wood, I have stayed pretty healthy. The weather keeps changing so my allergies have caused a bit of trouble here and there but nothing major. Hoping to stay that way so I can get through Princess healthy!

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Now here are my February goals:

1.) Comment on more blogs. Not going to lie, January was very busy and I barely had time to blog let alone read other blogs. I want to be supportive of our little community so I want to do better with this in February.

2.) Have a great race: I am going to try to run a 5k or two and then I of course have the Princess half at the end of the month. My goal is to have a great race in February. Not necessarily a PR race, just one where I am healthy, feel good about myself, and have fun with.

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3.) Get my tax info together. We have an accountant, but we also have TONS of receipts, and I have done work for lots of companies this year which makes tax preparation quite a headache. We like to have everything totaled up for our accountant, put in spreadsheets etc. It’s a lot of work and I have done some but keep putting the rest off.

4.) Raise my weight at the gym. I have been kind of a lazy gym goer when it comes to lifting lately. I am consistent, but I noticed I haven’t raised my weight in awhile. I think i can try a lot harder to lift heavier weight, and I really want to push myself to do that this month.

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There you have it, my mini goals for the month of February. it feels great to accomplish a few smaller things during the month as opposed to a huge looming yearly goal. This is how I operate best, and it’s a big confidence booster to see results!

*Sparkly Soul giveaway winners! A huge thanks to everyone who entered and I hope you will go check out Sparky Soul even if you didn’t win! Congrats to Amanda Reid and Courtney Norman! Look for an e-mail from me!

QOTD: Do you have a goal for February? Share!

Super Bowl Excitement

 

Yesterday, Bobby and I decided to drive downtown into New Orleans and hang out with some friends who are in town for the Super Bowl. We got there in the afternoon on a gloomy, misty, humid day.

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We parked in the French Quarter, and took a walk over to see some of the ESPN set up, and they happened to be filming while we were there. Some of you may have seen it on TV yesterday!

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It was neat to see all of the behind the scenes action with the camera crews and directors.

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There were a good amount of people mulling about for the middle of a Tuesday afternoon, and I know the crowds will ramp up the closer we get to the weekend.

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I am quite sad it isn’t my boys in black and gold playing for the Lombardi trophy, but it was still awesome to see all of the excitement in the air. There were signs and billboards everywhere announcing the game, advertising merchandise, as well as Mardi Gras! Kind of neat that everything kind of coincided this year. It’s great news for the city of New Orleans, the publicity and tourists will give a much needed boost to the local economy.

After walking around a bit, we met up with our friends, at their hotel…which happened to be the team hotel for the San Francisco 49er’s. There were banners and photos of the team everywhere, as well as a lot of added security. We hung out with our friends and had some drinks at the hotel, and it was so funny to see all the fans lurking around the lobby waiting for a player to walk by. Then they would pounce, asking for autographs and shaking hands.

I am jealous of everyone getting to go to the game, but I am at least glad I got the change to hang out for a bit downtown and experience some of the fun and the hype of the week.

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Darrell and I in front of the Super Bowl sign at the 49er’s team hotel.

Can’t wait for Sunday’s game, going to be a fun one to watch! Will anyone be watching from the dome?

QOTD: Who are you rooting for in the Super Bowl?

Tips for Running a runDisney Race

Thanks so much for the encouragement and congratulations on my Disney marathon race recap. I enjoyed writing it and reliving that special race, and hope you will all sign up and run the next runDisney race with me!

I have gotten a lot of questions from people about runDisney races in general. Tips for getting the most out of the weekend, what to expect, when to go where, special things to note that are different from regular races. Well, I thought it was high time to compile all of my info into a blog post of tips for running a runDisney race to share with you all!

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TIPS FOR RUNNING A RUNDISNEY RACE

Expo: Try to get to the expo the first day it is open if you are able. Merchandise can run out, especially in popular sizes, after the first day. Not to mention the first day is typically less crowded. For marathon weekend, all the Goofy merchandise was sold out by Friday afternoon, and the expo had a line to even get into the building!

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Race retreat: I have done the race retreat once, and while it was very nice, I don’t thing it’s “necessary.” When it’s very cold outside it’s nice to have somewhere to go and relax and eat, but it’s definitely not a “must” and you will be ok without it, so don’t fret if you didn’t get in before it filled up.

Characters: There are plenty of characters along the course, especially within the parks. Have your phone or camera out and ready to hand to the cast member, and give them any instructions you want to give. They aren’t all “great” at photo taking, I had to tell the to tap the screen to focus the picture after getting a few blurry ones. Bummer. There will also be professional photographers on the course and at the character stops, so be sure your bib is visible to the camera when they are taking your photo.

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Fueling: There are PLENTY of aid stations and I have never brought my own water bottle. There was water and Powerade available about every 1.5 miles. I do bring my own fuel/gel minus one for the half and two for the full (there is one clif shots stop during the half, and two during the full). If you aren’t used to taking Clif’s products, be sure to bring your own or practice with them before the race. These are the ones I take and love. They taste like vanilla frosting!

Hotels: Be sure to stay at a host hotel on property for the least amount of stress come race morning.  Not only will you be surrounded by other runners, but it is the only way to have official race and expo transportation, which is important when you don’t have a car!

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Transportation: There are busses outside of the host resorts to take you to the expo and the race and back. Typically there are big signs out front of the resorts directing you to race transportation pick up. If you aren’t sure be sure to check with the front desk at your hotel. After the race, there are busses near the family reunion area to take you back to your resort, just look for the signs so you know which line to get into. Also, be sure to get to the busses EARLY. There is a LONG walk from the family reunion area to the corrals, and it is a slow walk full of people, so allow yourself even more time than you think you would ever need. Trust me on this one!

Sweepers: You have to keep a 16:00 per mile pace or you will be swept off the course. They have busses at certain cut off points to transport those who cannot maintain pace. Keep in mind Disney doesn’t start the timer as far as SWEEPERS go until everyone crosses the start line, so you have a bit of a head start as long as you aren’t the last one to start. Smile

Weather: You can’t control the weather, neither can Disney. I have run in Disney in weather in the 20’s and in the upper 70’s. Be prepared when you pack for ALL weather situations, they can quickly change. A garbage bag is a good alternative to a poncho, and remember that if you throw off old sweatshirts, etc. Disney picks them all up and gives them to charity.

RELATED: I love this jacket for running!

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Finish line/family reunion area: After you cross the finish line and get your medal, Disney will give you water, Powerade, and a little box of snacks. Then you can take photos, get your bag at gear check pickup, and meet your family in the family reunion area. There are big signs with letters on them so plan a meeting spot to meet up with friends and family after you finish the race.

Training: There are training programs on the runDisney website to help you get ready for your big race day!

Gear check: Disney gives you a big clear bag when you get your race shirt, and there is a sticker with numbers on it, you put it on the front of your bag and this makes it your gear check bag (be sure to tie a knot in the top of the bag so your stuff doesn’t fall out!) I pack a pack ticket for walking back through EPCOT to our hotel if I feel like it and am staying in the EPCOT resort area, flip flops, a jacket, a towel, and my hotel room key.

Corrals/proof of time: You are put into a corral based on your proof of time from a 10k race or longer. If you have no proof of time, you will be put towards the back. Be sure to put an accurate proof of time, runDisney checks them and puts you into a corral accordingly. There IS a cut off date for proof of time! The volunteers DO check corrals and have flashlights to read your bib to make sure you are going into the right ones.

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Bathrooms: There are plenty of port-o-potties at the start, but there will still be lines so arrive early. There are some at the family reunion area but we usually skip these and use the ones right before you get into the corrals, they usually have shorter lines. There are also potties all along the course, but we usually try to wait and use the “real” bathrooms in the parks. There are some you run right by in Tomorrowland in the Magic Kingdom, as well as in Frontierland. When running the full we have stopped at the ones at the Ticket and Transportation center as well, and you run right by some in Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios.

Meet up/Tweet Up: You may have seen blog posts about the cool runDisney social media meet ups that are held during race weekends. These meet ups are typically held on Friday morning, very early. If you want to try to get in, keep an eye on the Disney Parks Blog and the @runDisney Twitter feed for information on when you need to keep an eye out for registration. The meet up for marathon weekend was full in three minutes!

***These meet ups have been discontinued***

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Family fun run/5k: The 5k is typically the day before the half marathon, early in the morning. It is an untimed fun run, but you still get a shirt, bib, and (rubber) medal. There are characters along the course, and it’s a fun relaxing way to get a taste for runDisney racing. The 5k typically doesn’t fill up as fast as the half marathon.

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Kids races: The littlest runners can take part in runDisney races too! There are kids races at the Wide World of sports (think diaper dash and kids one mile run).

Spectating: Have a plan! Disney has info for spectators on their website. The chEAR squad packages are nice, but not necessary to see someone at the finish. I know a lot of spectators that catch their runners at multiple points during the races, relying on Disney transportation to get them around and the monorail to the finish line.

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I also have some personal tips….

-Have FUN! runDisney races are great for running with friends and family Don’t take yourself too seriously!

-Take lots of photos! Where else do you get to run through a castle and get character photos in your running gear? Enjoy the cool things you don’t get to do at other races

-Be prepared. All right boy scouts, always be prepared for any situation. Don’t forget things like chapstick, tissues, layers to keep warm, sunscreen, and your camera.

-Wear your medal around the park after the race, be proud!

-bring extra safety pins in case there aren’t any or enough in your bag

-If you are wearing a costume practice in it beforehand to make sure it doesn’t rub or chafe. I use body glide especially when wearing costumes!

-Need packing advice? Check out my “packing for a runDisney race” vlog to make sure you have everything you need!

-Check out the runDisney website and Facebook page, they are always updating them with great info!

QOTD: What are your best tips for running a runDisney race I have left off?

*This post contains affiliate links.

2013 Disney Marathon Recap Part 2

I left off part one of the Disney marathon with us leaving the speedway and heading into the more low key part of the race where we were running on back roads and by the water treatment plant (which luckily didn’t smell terrible like in 2011!) We kept an eye out for characters and were able to stop and get a few good photos on this long stretch. The first up is one of my favorite photos from the race. Its villain time!

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They were a hoot, I loved the smoke, and can you see scar chilling up in the background? We soldiered on and found well, a soldier! Along with some other Christmas friends. Although I must say, the weather wasn’t feeling very Christmas-y in the 70’s.

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Ahead of our winter time friends, we found a couple of pirates, aaarrrgghhh!

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Just around the riverbend….eeerrr…water treatment facility, we found Pocahontas, John Smith and Meeko! I love that little guy.

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After we bid them farewell, there were tables full of bananas for us, yes! My one (very small) complaint was the banana table was IMMEDIATELY followed by a water stop. I was trying to choke down my food so that I could drink some water, it would have been better to have the water stop a tad bit further down so I could have time to eat. But again, very very VERY small complaint in an otherwise awesome race! I wasn’t sure how my body would react to eating a banana mid run, but I did fine, and think it really helped give me a boost.

We kept going and were soon greeted with some animal friends as we came into Animal Kingdom. We had to stop and take a photo with this guy. I think he liked me way more than Bobby.

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They had birds, a sheep, and even a SNAKE, gross! I decided to pass on a photo with that one. It was nice to be in Animal Kingdom and have another park to run though. I told Bobby to watch his footing because the ground in there was a bit uneven. Bobby had to make yet another bathroom stop (number 3 so far for him, seriously!?!?) So I decided to stop and stretch while I waited. He had told me to keep going, but it was so crowded in the park I was afraid I would lose him. We were back to running before I knew it, and we passed Everest right as they were opening it, and there were some runners there waiting to ride. Too funny!

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We were back out onto the road all too soon, and knew we had another bit of a stretch before getting to the Wide World of Sports. Luckily, we found a little entertainment along the way.

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We started passing signs with great quotes on them, and they really gave me a boost. This one is a favorite, and I knew it was on the Mickey Marathon medal, so I had to stop and get a picture.

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We also ran into these guys, this may be my favorite photo of the race.

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Bobby didn’t realize the ground was still wet so his back was all dirty after, oops. Up ahead, we could see people heading back towards us, then turning to their right going onto a different road. I was confused, because I knew we still had to go to Wide World of Sports, so I thought maybe I was just turned around. There had to be a turn around up ahead soon. Then I noticed a medical tent on the other side of the road, and we had just passed one, so I thought well….we have to go far enough down to justify another medical tent. Little did I know we had many miles to go before we would be those people running back the other way! We turned right, and then right again into the Wide World of Sports complex.

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We soon hit a track, and it was SO NICE to run on a different surface, my feet instantly felt better and I wished we could run the rest of the race on a track. We wound around the complex some more, stopped for ANOTHER bathroom break, and headed into the baseball stadium. I was excited for this part, because running through Angel Stadium was my favorite part of the Disneyland half marathon, and I was hoping there would be just as many fans and it would be loud and fun.

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Well, it was cool to run around the inside of the stadium, however there were few fans inside, most not even cheering, so I think I inflated that one way too much in my head.

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Soon we were back out of the stadium, and heading around another baseball field. I found it was odd that the players out on the field were staring at something behind home plate. We made our way around, and finally realized what was going on. There was a girl on the ground in the middle of the course with a bag of ice on her head, Disney workers running around, people around her etc. Someone hit a foul ball back over behind the fence and it hit her on the head! I felt so bad for her, this far into the race. What are the odds??!? I hope she is ok and got to finish.

Up ahead we saw an inflated Mickey balloon that we had seen in the distance coming into the complex, and knew we were getting close to the mile 20 surprise. For a minute I was thinking “is that it?” But we weren’t quite to twenty yet. I think Mickey was tired and needed a nap.

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We made a couple more turns and I got really excited, knowing we had to be close to mile twenty. At least it kept my mind off of running! Finally, we could see up ahead, some really cool looking puppets, a neat banner with all 20 medals on it, and a stage with some Disney characters. Neat! It was really cool, but to be honest I think Disney made such a big deal out of the secret surprise that people were expecting something crazy. If they would have been more low key about it, I would have thought it was a really neat addition, that’s the only way i can think to explain it.

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Of course we had to stand in line for a picture with Minnie, Mickey, and Pluto…even though it was super long. Bobby sat on the curb as we waited and some lady in a very concerned voice asked if he was ok and I started laughing, lots of things I could have said in response.

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Three people before it was our turn, the characters left nnnoooo! However we did get Goofy which was neat since we were running Goofy’s Challenge.

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I told Bobby to take a picture of me under the arch/banner, and he kind of failed.

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Um…you can’t even see the arch. I think he was getting delirious.

Luckily, we finally made it back to “the turn” where we thought we “couldn’t be that far from” and were now heading in the other direction with runners coming towards us. I felt bad for them, still several miles back, not knowing they were nowhere near the turn around, the same way I had felt just a few miles ago.

We got off the exit ramp, and I knew we were not that far from Hollywood Studios. We stopped at every med tent for Biofreeze and sometimes Tylenol, and Bobby took another bathroom stop (number 5, oh yes. I have no idea how he was able to go with the amount I was sweating I only had to twice!)

We went up a ramp and up in the distance I could see people turning right into Hollywood Studios. We were in the home stretch and I knew we would make it. We had the distraction of running in Hollywood Studios, the Boardwalk, then EPCOT, and then the finish line! I was starting to get excited. I also knew we were about to get candy! I grabbed two pieces of chocolate as we went by.

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This is where Bobby started to struggle with his legs and feet. I could tell he was hurting so I kept turning around yelling for him to come on, and that we only had a few miles to go, you know, like a short training run. I felt badly for him because I felt so good, like I could have just sprinted those last few miles to the end. Sure my body was aching and wanted to stop, but otherwise I felt fine. I looked at my Garmin for one of the first times all day, and saw it was possible to break six hours if we pushed. We decided not to stop for more characters (the lines were super long anyway) and see what we could do.

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We wound our way through the studios, me in front and Bobby a few yards behind. I had to keep turning around and giving him “the look” to get him to keep going. I knew he had it in him, and that we were SO CLOSE. I started having flashbacks to 2011, this is the same mile marker where Bobby started having Hamstring trouble and we had to basically walk the last 3-4 miles of the race. I started praying that God would help the pain to go away so we could finish strong.

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Notice Bobby behind me, poor thing.

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As we started heading out of the Studios, I started thinking about the first time I was here during a race. It was 2009, and I was here with Karen watching our friends run the marathon. Back then, I knew nothing about marathons or running really in general, and thought these folks were nuts. However, after watching the determination in their faces, and all of the strangers cheering them on, I knew it was something I wanted to do…something I HAD to do. Karen and I vowed to come back and run the half the next year, and we did! Followed by the full the next, and here I was….four years from that day, running Goofy’s Challenge. This girl. I couldn’t believe it. As we got closer and closer to “inspiration curve” as I now call it, I started to get a little chocked up. I was really doing it. Something I honestly never thought I could accomplish, and I was doing it with a smile on my face. I was doing ok, and then all of the sudden Bobby breaks the silence and says “here’s your inspiration curve honey, this is where you stood, and you are DOING IT! You’re here, and you are really doing this!” That’s all it took, I couldn’t hold it in anymore, and I cried a few happy tears.

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Inspiration curve, where I stood to watch the 2009 Disney Marathon, right outside the gates of the Studios.

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I gathered myself together, and we headed onto the path to the Boardwalk.

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Jen had been texting me, and I knew she would be waiting for us outside the Beach Club. She let me know exactly where they were, and it was the boost I needed to get me from Hollywood Studios to the other side of the Boardwalk. We got close to where she was and I was looking and looking and finally saw her and her son and parents! They had all come out to cheer us on, so so sweet. (Next two photos taken by Jen)

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I was SO excited to see her, and gave her a big sweaty hug and thanked her for coming out. She told us to keep going we were so close, and I blew kisses to their family and we took off again. It was great to have our own cheerleaders out on the course, especially so close to the end.

Right after seeing them, we were heading into EPCOT. This was IT, we were so close, and could still make it under six hours. We started around the World Showcase, and I enjoyed watching everyone as we went by. Honestly, this part was kind of a blur to me, I was so focused on running strong and getting to the end, I really don’t remember a whole lot.

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When we passed the Mexico Pavilion and Spaceship Earth was in sight, I told Bobby we were doing it, we were almost there, and how awesome he was doing to run through the pain.

There were some amazing spectators/cheerleaders those last few tenths that really lifted my spirits.

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I had a HUGE smile on my face as we came to the gospel choir. I wanted to remember everything, soak it all in. With the crowd roaring around us, we went around a turn, and I looked up and saw that beautiful finish line.

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That home stretch went in slow motion. The crowd was on their feet, the music was blaring, I was about to get my Goofy medal. Was this real? Surly not the girl when ran the 100 meter dash in high school. Surely not the girl who dreaded the timed mile in P.E. class. 39.3 miles in two days? Oh yes, it was real, and I couldn’t be more proud.

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I grabbed Bobby’s hand, my partner in crime, who has stood by me, trained with me, and completed this journey with me, and we crossed that glorious finish line together.

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Not only did we finish in an upright position which was my only goal, but we broke six hours running a 5:58, (including tons of character stops mind you!) but we also have a shiny new PR to go with our medals.

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I couldn’t believe we did it, and I couldn’t believe it was over. It was time to get my medals. God is so good. We were under trained, slightly injured, and He still brought us through. I am so thankful.

We high fived some friends at the finish, and that beautiful marathon medal was put around my neck. It truly is so gorgeous, my absolute favorite and will be hard to beat. We grabbed our water, banana, etc. and there was a lady yelling that we had to have our drink open by time we got to her and start drinking. I couldn’t get mine open so she had to do it for me! We then high tailed it straight to the Goofy tent, it was time for another moment I had been waiting a long time for. We were both given our medals and were told congratulations by the wonderful volunteers. Now, it was time to celebrate!

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We had left our bags in the media tent so we had to climb over a barricade (even though we were told not to, sorry!) to get over there. We took some photos

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ate some breakfast (Bobby claimed it was the best omelet ever, but I think we were just starving!)

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and celebrated with some mimosas in the VIP tent.

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We sat outside the tent on some stools and watched the other runners come in. I absolutely loved this part. Watching the emotion on their faces as runner after runner streamed in, most smiling, some crying. It was amazing.

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After a couple of hours it was time to head back to the hotel, we had lingered long enough, but didn’t want this special experience to really be over. Here are some final thoughts on the race:

Organization: Great as always. Plenty of bathrooms, volunteers, signs, barricades, busses, etc. It’s great not having to worry about the little details!

Expo: Fabulous when I went on Thursday, however I know most merchandise was gone by Friday evening, someone didn’t order enough. Oops.

Aid Stations: Awesome! The volunteers were all so friendly, and there were plenty of them! I felt very hydrated, and loved the Clif shot and banana (and candy!) stations. Well done.

On Course entertainment: I love all the characters, they were a fun distraction, I just wish the lines weren’t as long! The more people that get added onto the course, the longer the lines are going to get. Also loved running through the parks and was so happy to see the icicle lights were still on the castle. Amazing. Mile 20 surprise was cute but a little underwhelming considering all the hype.

Medals: amazing. Truly amazing. I am obsessed with the marathon medal. I know I said I wouldn’t do goofy again, but I can’t imagine how cool the next goofy anniversary medal will look!

Weather: Obviously not in Disney’s control, I mean, it was JANUARY after all. The high for the day was around 81 I think, but honestly I didn’t think it was that bad. It was probably in the mid 70’s when we finished. I remember it being very humid when we started, but once the sun came up the humidity went down. True it was warm and I am sure it affected everyone’s times, (and we sweated a lot!) But I was never of the mindset that it was so miserable I wasn’t going to make it. I took water and Powerade at EVERY aid station, wore sunglasses and sunscreen, and dumped water on my head a couple of times. I have run much hotter races before, and I think Disney did a great job of handling it for those who didn’t know what they were getting into.  The had heat advisories everywhere, the sponges at mile 18 were nice, as were the folks at the water stops dumping water on peoples heads. The med tents had sunscreen, and well there isn’t really much else you can do! They did well with the weather cards we were dealt. I was very pleased with how much energy I felt I had at the end despite the weather, and know between heat and character stops, I could have run a lot faster, it’s a great confidence booster!

Overall: runDisney, you did it again. I don’t know how you keep outdoing yourself, but it’s happened. I loved everything about marathon weekend, there was so much hype, fun, and electricity. I know it takes an army to plan and run this thing, and I am so grateful. I applaud you for a job well done, and I can’t wait to see what you have up your sleeve next. Thanks for putting on such an amazing event, where truly every mile is magic.

QOTD: Ok, who wants to run a runDisney race now? Does this recap convince you? Tell me yes please!

Weekly Recap: January Week 4

 

Good morning! It has taken some time but I feel like I am finally getting my legs back after Goofy’s challenge. (Part two of the marathon coming up tomorrow!) I had a really good run yesterday, and feel like I am getting back on track after being gone.

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After 6 tempo miles on the treadmill, felt great!

So here is what my workout week looked like:

Sunday: rest

Monday: Stationary bike 30 minutes, chest and tri’s (weights)

Tuesday: Stationary bike 20 minutes, bi’s and back (weights)

Wednesday: elliptical 20 minutes, chest and tris (weights)

Thursday: rest

Friday: Ran 3 miles on the TM, back and bi’s (weights)

Saturday: 6 mile tempo run on the TM

Didn’t run as much as I would like, but feel good about my efforts especially with cross training and weight lifting, and my run yesterday was a big confidence booster. I am still having some trouble with my left leg, and am actually going to an orthopedist tomorrow to see what’s up. Fingers crossed it’s nothing major!

I hope everyone is having a great weekend, don’t forget to enter my Sparkly Soul giveaway!

QOTD: What is your favorite thing to do on Sunday?

Favorite Apps For the Windows 8X Phone

 

I have spent the last month getting used to the Windows 8X phone, and have finally discovered some of my favorite apps. It is true that the app store is a bit lacking, however I have found some great substitutes, and new favorites, check them out!

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Fhotoroom- Mobile photo editor, good substitute for Instagram. Filter your photos with 50+ filters, then share to skydrive, Facebook, twitter, or flickr. There is also a basic editor to tweak your photos.

Allrecipes- Delivers thousands of recipes featuring photos and reviews, and it’s free! Choose by ingredient, time it takes to cook, or type of dish 9appetixer, dessert, etc.)

The Emergency Kit– Store your blood type, allergies, medications, or your emergency contacts. A personalized lock screen will contain your emergency contacts even if screen is locked. You can also turn your phone into an SOS light beacon and learn how to treat different injuries.

Pinspiration – Browse and post to Pinterest from your mobile phone. You can even sign into your account and share images.

Rowi- Third party Twitter app. You can use multiple accounts so you can “tweet as” different accounts.

QOTD: What phone app could you not live without?

*Don’t forget to enter my sparkly soul headband giveaway!

*Disclosure: I was provided with a device and phone service from Verizon Wireless

Sparkly Soul Giveaway- Closed

 

Happy Friday! The second part of my Disney marathon race recap will be up on Monday!

Awhile back I was contacted by the wonderful folks at Sparkly Soul and asked to do a review and giveaway on my blog. Yes please! I picked out one thin (silver) and one think (rainbow) band, and I love them! I not only wear them for running and working out, but also just around town, or to dress up an outfit with a little sparkle.

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Sparkly Soul is based in NYC, and was started by a runner/triathlete who want to push their athletic limits, and also needed something to keep their hair out of their face without giving them a headache.

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I especially love the rainbow option because it matches so many different things.

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I have gotten so many compliments, and even wore my rainbow headband during the Disney half marathon! They don’t give me headaches, they stay put, and are a very reasonable price. What’s not to love?

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Be sure to check out Sparkly Soul:

Facebook (www.facebook.com/sparklysoulinc),

Twitter (@SPARKLYSOULINC) and

Instagram/Pinterest/Tumblr (SPARKLYSOULINC),

Google + (Sparkly Soul)

LinkedIn (Sparkly Soul, Inc.).

How would you like to win a headband of your own? The company graciously offered to give away headbands to two RWS readers. One of you will get a thin band, an done a thick band. Ready to enter? See below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

2013 Disney Marathon Recap Part 1

 

My alarm jolted me awake at 2:30. Was I dreaming? Was it groundhog day? I was pretty sure I was already up at this crazy hour….but wait. It was Sunday, and I was running double the distance I ran Saturday. By the end of the day I (hopefully) would have completed 39.3 miles and be the proud owner of a 20th anniversary runDisney marathon medal AND a Goofy medal. Today was the day I had been preparing for! We got dressed, same as yesterday, and took photos, same as yesterday before heading out the door.

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We ate a quick breakfast and then headed downstairs to head to the starting line.

*Quick back story. Jen and Jeff were supposed to run with us again this day, but Jen’s baby got very sick the night before and they had to take him to the ER, so Jen didn’t end up running, and we didn’t find out Jeff was running until mid way through the race. We were so sad and felt so badly for them!

Bobby and I hitched a ride with some other media folks at 3:30 am, and dropped off our bags at the media tent before catching a golf cart ride to the start line.

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It was weird being on the other side of the starting line, facing the wrong way, but also really cool to be there and get photos before the runners arrived.

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It was still really early, so we hung out, sat around on the ground, stretched, and waited for the runners to start arriving. Before I knew it, Corral A in front of us started filling up, and a lot of cameras and people were arriving around us. It was neat to see people like Jeff Galloway and Joey Fatone get interviewed right by us as we waited.

Joey Fatone getting interviewed

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Bob from runDisney getting interviewed by Joe from the Marathon Show.

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Then, I finally got to see Carissa! I had somehow missed her all weekend. She is a rockstar announcer!

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A little after 5:00, we were ushered in through the front of the corrals into our starting positions. This is a shot of everyone behind us in the corrals.

Me, Sara and Toni in the corral

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Jeff Galloway and some other legends were interviewed on stage, the national anthem was sung, and before I knew it, we were on our way…again!

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Much like yesterday, our goal was to take it nice and slow, and have fun (and take more character photos.) Bobby’s feet have been bothering him for awhile and were hurting during the half, so we didn’t know how he would hold up, so we were very conservative going out. We stayed to the right out of the way of the super speedy folks, and settled into a groove. I even ran into some fellow friends from the #teamrunDisney along the way (hey guys!) in those first few miles.

The first character stop was upon us, and even though there was a long line, we got in it. I didn’t want to keep “waiting” for short lines then end up with no fun photos!

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We continued on our way through the dark, stopping at every water stop and taking Powerade and water. I knew I needed to hydrate early, and didn’t want to wait until the sun came up to get in enough fluids.

We made it to the transportation and ticket center, where I spotted Karen’s husband. We yelled and waved, and kept going. (We also stopped here to use a “real” bathroom!) Soon enough, we were making the turn towards the Magic Kingdom again, and I caught a glimpse of the sparkling lights above the main street stores. I couldn’t wait to “relive” my favorite part of the race again, how lucky! We made the turn, and the crowd was even louder than the day before. I was grinning from ear to ear as we made our way towards the castle.

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I high fived several strangers as we went, not believing that I was really here, and it was really happening.

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Through Tomorrowland again, with plenty of cast members cheering us on, which I thought was really cute. I spotted a strikingly handsome man and knew we had to get a picture.

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Off we went again, excited that we were going to get more character photos as we went through the Magic Kingdom. As we headed towards Fantasyland, we spotted these crazy characters, and I told the Mad Hatter that today was my exact HALF BIRTHDAY! He wished me an unbirthday and off we went.

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We rounded the corner and I saw the carousel in the distance, and in front of it near New Fantasyland was Belle and Ariel! We of course had to stand in line for both, even though the Belle line was long because well…she’s my favorite.

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Bobby snapped this beautiful picture of Fantasyland as we waited.

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We started running again, and passed up our first characters. The line for royal Minnie and Mickey was about 25 people deep, so we waved and went on through the castle.

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The trumpeters were announcing our arrival as we ran underneath them, and out the other side. I was sure to smile for the cameras as we came down the ramp.

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Oh yes. I waved with my left hand, and then my right hand. I am THAT cool.

We turned right, following the familiar path I have walked dozens of times with my family, and headed on into Frontierland, where we found a rootin’ tootin’ cowgirl and a trusty steed.

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We didn’t stop at the Princesses on the way out of the Magic Kingdom, it had an insanely long line. Sadly, we were now out of the Magic Kingdom and out onto the skinny-impossible-to-pass-people-on road. We plodded along, not fighting to get around people, and were happy when the road opened up a bit near the Grand Floridian. We waved at Mary Poppins, and kept moving forward. By this time, my knee was starting to bug me a bit, so we began our stopping at every med tent for biofreeze, and as needed, Tylenol.

Does this photo look familiar?

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WDW Marathon 2013                        WDW Marathon  2011

 

I was excited about the next part of the race, which was a new add on this year…running on the Speedway! It was nice to have a change of scenery!

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We had to go down a very steep ramp, and then back up again before entering the speedway. The sun was just coming up over the tree tops, and it was absolutely beautiful.

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We went left immediately upon entering, and made our way around the track. One thing that surprised me was all the cool cars they had lined up around the track. They do the same thing out on the road during the Disneyland half marathon, and it was cool to see it again here.

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We were feeling good and having fun, Goofy here we come!

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We had made it 3/4ths of the way around my track, when I heard my name. It was Jenn, Danielle, and Dan! It was so weird because I ran into them the day before during the half, too!

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We chatted for a minute, and off they went, as we stopped at another medical tent. I was dreading the next part, I knew we had several miles of well, nothing, until we got to Animal Kingdom. Bobby and I started playing little mind tricks at this point, like “let’s just make it two more miles” or counting down from 39.3 to see how many miles we had left. it really helped! I was interested to see what characters I would see along the way though, and we were not disappointed! You will have to wait and see who we “ran” into in the second half of my race recap!

QOTD: Do you play mental games with yourself to make the miles go by on long runs or races?

2013 Disney Half Marathon

 

My alarm buzzed at 2:45 am on Saturday morning. I forced myself to jump out of bed, because I have learned that the longer I lay there wondering why I am doing this again, the harder it is to get up. I forced myself to eat a banana and a clif bar even though I wasn’t hungry with it being the middle of the night. I thought about how in my central time zone brain it was really 1:45 am, and not the time to get up to run. However, I was excited to run with my husband and friends, something we have had planned for four years. We were running the runDisney half marathon, as the first part of Goofy’s Challenge.

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We finished getting ready, and headed out the door to meet Jen and Jeff at the busses. Thankfully, there was ZERO line and we hopped right on. Apparently there was a huge line at the Beach Club, so no idea why ours was so short!

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Jen and I were both VERY excited about the race and FINALLY getting to run together after these years, and the boys were well, trying to fall back asleep on the bus. We made it to our destination, and after some texting, met up with Karen. If you will remember, Bobby, Karen and I ran the Disney full together in 2011!

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I took a couple photos of the family reunion area, and then it was time to check bags and walk to our corral.

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We thought we had allowed ourselves plenty of time to walk to our corrals, but I had forgotten about the “cattle herding” that takes place along the long, narrow road leading to the corrals. There was quite a bit of shuffling and mooing (from me and bobby of course) going on.

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We remembered there were bathrooms by the corrals so we decided to wait and go then and I am glad we did. The line was MUCH shorter. However, while we were waiting in line we could hear the national anthem. Oops. We hurried up and ran up to the front, and I was able to get a couple of fun photos before jumping into our corral.

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I spy Drew Carey! So wee meet again!

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We jumped in right as the Corral B fireworks were going off, and we were literally, off and running. Our goal was to take it nice and slow, so that we wouldn’t be sore for the full the  next day. We wanted to run walk, and just have fun.

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The crowd was pretty thick to start, so we ran two and two as to not clog up the road. The miles flew by for me, because Jen and I chatted the whole time! We took it easy, but even still I was soaking wet due to the very high humidity. Soon enough, we were reaching the Magic Kingdom!

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I got a burst of energy as we got closer and closer to my favorite part of the race. A huge thank you to the hundreds of awesome volunteers throughout the race. They were working so hard, and were so encouraging, often yelling out my name, or telling me I was doing a good job. runDisney does a hands down amazing job with it’s race volunteers. There was plenty of water and Powerade, and plenty of aid stations along the course. I was sure to express my thanks whenever I got the chance.

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We made a couple more turns, and I could see my beloved icicle lights shining in the distance, and the faint roar of fans cheering on the runners out on Main Street. We turned the corner, and as usual I got chills. The street was packed with screaming fans, all looking for “their” runner. I smiled and waved, and then looked ahead to the beautifully decorated Cinderella Castle. I am so glad they had the icicle lights lit up for us! I tried my best to slow down and soak in the moment, and just LIVE. It was awesome. At one point, Bobby yelled for me to turn around. I wasn’t sure if he was taking photo or video so I just waved, and it’s now one of my favorite race photos!
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After we turned off Main Street, we decided to stop in my favorite race “photo spot”

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We continued on our journey, running through Tomorrowland, and around the corner into Fantasyland. The lines for character photos were SO LONG, and while we did want to take it easy, I also didn’t want to be on my feet for over three hours with the marathon the next day, so we bypassed and said we would stop if there was a very short line. (Plus I knew we would get a bunch of photos the next day during the full).

We turned towards the castle, and ran right through it, and back towards the crowds of people.

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Do you see my phone in my hand? I live Tweeted and Instagram-ed the whole race!

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We made a right turn, and then I spotted a character line with only a couple of people in it, so we decided to stop for a fun photo.

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We soldiered on, through the rest of the Magic Kingdom, taking in the scenery and enjoying the race. We made it out onto the road and to my least favorite part of the race. The reason being the road is SO narrow and drops off into the grass (which was wet) so you just kind of get “stuck” behind people. We finally made it out past the Grand Floridian onto the open road, and were able to have some breathing room. We hit the Clif Shots tables and grabbed some GU. I had packets in my skirt pockets and had already taken two at this point and I took a total of three during the race and one before the race.

At this point, mile nine, Jeff decided to go on without us, so he took off to finish the race at his pace. Meanwhile, we kept having fun.

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The sun started coming up, and I couldn’t believe we only had a 5k left until we received our shiny new Donald medals. We made the loop up to the overpass, and saw a familiar runDisney site.

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We were ordered to “hustle up the hill” so off we went, heading towards EPCOT. We only had a couple miles left, for which i was thankful. While I was barely winded, my feet were starting to hurt from being on them since early that morning. We mad a turn, and were up on another bridge, with EPCOT in our sights.

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We made it to Spaceship Earth, and the crowds got thicker and thicker. I loved reading everyone’s creative signs, I just wish I could remember what they all said now!

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People were cheering us on with “almost there” chants which can sometimes annoy me when we AREN’T almost there, but I knew we were close, and it was exciting!

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We headed towards World Showcase, then made the turn back into Future World, we were in the home stretch now! We picked up the pace because we were so excited!

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Probably tweeting that I am almost done…

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We were all smiling and excited that part one of our Journey to Goofy was almost complete.

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Not only were we doing it, but I was running with two very special people on either side of me.

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We could hear the gospel choir singing as we rounded a corner, and sure enough, there they were. The TRUE sign that you are almost home. They sang us all the way around the next corner, and soon enough I could SEE the finish.

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I could hear the screaming, we were there!

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As we approached the finish line, I felt nothing but joy for how blessed I was. I had made it through day one, with no injuries, and was about to get another medal around my neck, a symbol of hard work and love for the sport.

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We lifted our hands in triumph, as a dream four years in the making, friends running Disney together, became a reality.

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We  crossed in 2:41, then got our medals, grabbed our water, Powerade, and snacks, then headed to bag check to get our bags and take some photos, which is where Jeff found us. Perfect timing!

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No I don’t have a tumor on the side of my leg, I still had a gel in my pocket!

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We said goodbye to Jen and Jeff and told them we would see them bright and early in the morning for part two. We then headed over to get some food, and I texted Jenn and she came and met us and we got a photo together to match our Disneyland one.

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Bobby and I decided to go watch some of the other runners come in before getting on a bus back to our resort.

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It was fun to cheer on the other runners, seeing their expressions right before crossing the finish line. Truly priceless. It was then time to get a shower and prepare for the next day.We were 1/3 of the way done. 26.2 miles to go on our quest for Goofy bling. How will it all end?

QOTD: Favorite part of the race? If you didn’t run, what is the character you would most like to see on course?

Try Something New 2013

 

Good morning! I was hoping to have my half marathon race recap up today, but I am having some issues with the professional photos and I am still waiting on answers. I haven’t forgotten, don’t worry! Today I wanted to talk about trying new things.

I was worried about running Goofy…really worried. I had been injured, didn’t train properly, and wasn’t sure I was going to finish in one piece. Not only did I finish, I knocked it out of the park, and I am SO proud of me and Bobby. It really helped me to restore my faith in myself, and made me remember that I can accomplish my goals, even if it takes a little longer than anticipated. It got me thinking about doing something I have never done before, something I thought I could never do, that I want to do in 2013.

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I have never been a huge fan of fitness classes, not sure why. I prefer to workout whenever I get a chance, and I have a crazy schedule so it’s hard to predict. I easily get bored, and sometimes get intimidated by trying new things, especially when I feel like everyone in the class already knows what they are doing. I was brave and did some yoga classes last year, but it was in my neighborhood with some friends so it wasn’t too intimidating. However, some new classes are starting up…ones I have NEVER done, and honestly it scares me to try something new like that. SO, I have decided to just do it. To make the time, get over it, and dive right in. I’m not sure what I will do first, but I am going to make an effort. Here is how:

1.) Make the time. Whether I have to schedule it into my calendar or set an alarm on my phone, I am going to make the time.

2.) Get over my fear. I am going to mentally make sure I am prepared, stand in the back, and just try my best. I know it may seem SO silly, but I have always struggled with this. I get scared in the beginning, then after awhile realize what the heck I was so worried about? So I just need to mentally get over that first time.

3.) Remind myself it will make me a more fit person. I have been running, and running, and running, which I love, but I want to be much more well rounded and in shape than just running shape. This is a big motivator for me.

4.) Talk to other who have taken the classes. Talking to friends with first hand experience is very helpful, and gets me even excited about trying something new. If they can do it, so can I!

I will let you know how it goes!

*Do you want to win fitmixer product? Just follow this link and tell them something new you want to try in 2013 (don’t forget to mention Running With Sass!)

QOTD: No questions today, just go enter the giveaway! You can always let me know you did it. Smile