Archives for March 2013

VFuel Giveaway

I was contacted by the people at VFuel awhile back to do a giveaway and review. They were working on a new website so we waited until it was complete so I could share it with you! It is beautiful, so be sure to go take a look. I was excited to try this endurance gel because I had heard awesome things about the natural ingredients used, without sacrificing taste. As a picky “taster”, I have to admit they hit the nail on the head with this product!  

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There are three flavors: chocolate, vanilla, and peach cobbler (my favorite!) All three flavors are made with organic and natural flavors. No extra additives, nothing you can’t pronounce, etc. I had also been told wonderful things about the digestibility of this gel. Folks, if you have a sensitive stomach when it comes to fueling during endurance activities, I challenge you to try out VFuel. Apparently, the issue that causes people GI distress is the fructose in the gels. VFuel uses dextrose, which is much easier to digest. Your body can only handle so much fructose when you are working out, so adding more to it can cause bloating, constipation, or diarrhea, so why do it to yourself? try something new!

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Ok, so what about performance? I was skeptical about the idea of this new formula giving me the energy and endurance I needed for marathon training like other gels can, and honestly, I felt just as great using this gel as I have with other brands. It gave me the boost I needed mid run, and I used it during Goofy’s challenge in January (where I PR’ed) and the Princess half marathon in February (where I PRed). So obviously, it’s helping me! I will continue to use it, and know that not only am I fueling my body, but that I am doing so with healthy and natural ingredients. I can’t wait for yall to try this product for yourselves.

VFuel has been kind enough to giveaway a box to one lucky reader, flavor of your choice (Peach cobbler is the bomb.com) See below to find out how to win! Giveaway: Open March 12-March 16, winner announced Sunday, March 17th 2013 on the blog.

*Heather’s Looking Glass readers can save 20% on the VFuel website! Just enter code LookingGlass at checkout!

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*Don’t forget, TODAY is the day, you an register for the Wine and Dine half marathon!

*I was compensated for this review however, all thoughts and opinions are as always 100% my own.

 

Run for Relief 5k Race Recap

I haven’t run a 5k in a year, and I haven’t PR’ed in a 5k in almost two years. I have been focusing on distance and not speed for many many months, so I was curious as to how I would do. Bobby has been doing a lot of speed workouts since he wasn’t training for the Princess half like I was so I KNEW he would PR, but me….not so sure. We drove down to the race Saturday morning on a beautiful sunny day. The weather was nice but it was rapidly getting warm for the 9:00 start time. We picked up our bibs and race shirts and did about .6 miles of a warm up run before the start. There was a time years ago that I would NEVER dream of warming up for a 5k. I mean, why drain your energy before the race starts, duh! Oh, how much I have learned!

 

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We lined up at the start (Bobby was up ahead of me with the fast folks!) and then we were off and running. I wanted to stat slow and run negative splits, and I am still struggling with not getting caught up in the excitement and starting off too fast. I calmed down after about 4 tenths, but those first tenths were too fast. I was glad we warmed up a bit before the start, I think that helped me as well. I kept my garmin on pace instead of distance or time, and tried to stay around 9. The first mile evened out with y fast start and slower second half, and I was on to mile two. I picked up the pace, finally warmed up, and was running in the 8’s. I saw Bobby going back the other way and gave him a high five. I was surprised at how good I felt, and was happy to make it to the turn around.

 

Mile 1.5-2.5 felt pretty good. I passed the water stop without stopping, and kept cruising along, glancing at my pace which was going anywhere between an 8:20 and an 8:50. I hit 2.5 and started to get very warm. I was ready for this to be over, so I switched my Garmin over to distance so I could count down the tenths. I think this was my mistake because although I told myself pace didn’t matter because I was giving it all I had, I don’t think that was the case. I think I accidentally slowed down in that last half mile, but what can you do. I made it to the final turn/three mile marker and saw the finish line. I kicked it in and went pretty fast, further solidifying the fact that I wasn’t going fast enough that last half mile. I crossed in 27:52, a new PR! I was happy to PR, but mad at myself for slowing down at the end.

 

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I grabbed some Powerade and met up with Bobby, who also PRed, running a 23:19! He has worked really hard to improve his speed, I was super proud of him.

 

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Thanks to my KT Tape I didn’t have any calf issues. Hooray! Yes, yes I like to match my tape to my outfits. Sassy, I know!

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After everyone finished, we headed over to the awards ceremony. Apparently I got 5th in my age group out of 18, not too shabby. This was a military race so there were a LOT of very fit and in shape guys and gals running this one.

 

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I enjoyed this race, it went through a quiet neighborhood so lots of houses to look at to keep my mind occupied. They had volunteers giving directions at all the turns, and had a water stop at the halfway point. The awards were nice, and they had donuts, bananas, and water/PowerAde after the race. It started on time and I would definitely run it again! I even really like the race shirt, very neutral and nice.

 

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I can’t believe I have PR’ed in three different distances in 3 months. Now I think I need to find a 10k so I can make it 4 in four months!

 

QOTD: runners, did you race this weekend? If you didn’t or aren’t a runner, how was the weather where you live this weekend?

Weekly Recap: March 2013 Week 1

 

Good morning! It’s time again for my weekly workout recap. If you are new to the blog, Sunday is the day when I post my workouts from the past week, instead of posting them daily. It’s a good way for me to keep everything together and if I need to go back and check something I know I can always look on my Sunday posts.  Check out how my week went!

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Ready for body pump

 

Sunday: rest

 

Monday: 3.1 miles on the TM, one hour body pump class

 

Tuesday: rest (wasn’t feeling well)

 

Wednesday: 3.1 miles treadmill, upper body weights and legs

 

Thursday: 20 minutes elliptical, upper body weights

 

Friday: rest for race

 

Saturday: 5k (recap coming soon!)

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Miles run: 9

 

cross training: X’s 2

 

weights: X’s 3

 

Walked the dogs: X’s 7 (every day this week, yay!)

 

Enjoy the rest of your weekend, and get ready to start fresh with a clean slate tomorrow!

 

QOTD: Do you schedule your workouts in advance or wing it?

5 Things for Today

 

Good morning! Here are five things for you on this beautiful Saturday. Pretty random, but all things I wanted to tell you but they didn’t all need their own post. Have a great one, and spend some time with your family today.

 

1.) I am running a 5k this morning. I have not run a 5k in a year, so this will be interesting. I have been focusing on distance so much, I honestly don’t how how I will perform. I will of course do a race recap next week. It’s short distance springtime!

 

2.) I am participating in the #iheartomron running challenge. I have already received my heart rate monitor and can’t wait to try it out at the race today. Stay tuned to hear more form me about how I like the device.  Heart rate monitor without a chest strap? Epic I tell you.

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3.) The winner of the Cool Cat Pro giveaway. Sorry I am a day late posting this. A huge thank you to all who entered, and I hope you will go check out the website and make a purchase even if you didn’t win. The winner is Sara! (SSny515) please email me at [email protected] to claim your prize.

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4.) I have already eaten entirely too much Easter candy. True story. Two bags of mini eggs, a box of Cadbury eggs, and a bag of sweet tart bunnies. I tell no lies. Hi my name is Heather and I have a problem.

 

5.) I am so thankful for you my readers. I know I haven’t responded to comments on my post about my new blog, but please know I read every. single. one. and I am so so grateful for you all. I was super worried about the transition, but I have gotten nothing but positive feedback. You are all amazing and I am blessed!

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QOTD: Who has exciting weekend plans?

New Balance runDisney Shoes Review

You may remember the post I wrote about runDisney and New Balance being a match made in heaven when the two brands announced their new partnership. Well, I still am of the same beliefs, and even more so now that I have my own pair!!!

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I was lucky enough to snag a pair of these limited edition 860v3’s that you can only get at runDisney expos. Bobby and Jen were both able to get a coveted pair as well. I love how they have men’s and women’s versions!

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The two brands wanted to be able to reach as much of the running population as they could, so a popular stability shoe was chosen that is also lightweight while still being supportive. Not to mention, they are just gosh darn cute. We wore them around the parks and I got several compliments and loved the smooth ride.

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I realize that not everyone can wear a stability shoe, but that shouldn’t stop you from making the purchase! They are great to cross train in as well as wear around town, to work, and of course, in Disney World. I didn’t think I would be able to run in them, but I tired it out and really enjoyed the experience! Maybe Minnie mouse added in some extra pixie dust to this special kicks just for runDisney runners?

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Doesn’t it look glorious on it’s stand from the expo? I may have had to wipe some drool off the glass.

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Kicking back on the boat in Disney World. Love the side by side of the men’s vs. women’s shoe.

While the expo lines were long, to me this product is totally worth it. For a runDisney fanatic like me, it was a no brainer. I mean, I have to buy shoes anyway right? So why not have THE cutest shoes around, that not only sport my love for runDisney but also for New Balance? I can’t wait to see what they release next. Maybe it will be different models of shoe but in the same pattern? Or maybe new characters? I don’t know for sure, but what I do know is this new product has made a lot of running fans very happy, and will continue to do so for a long time.

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QOTD: What are your thoughts on these shoes? What other colors/characters would you like to see?

*Don’t forget to like my NEW Heather’s Looking Glass Facebook Page. I will be getting rid of the RWS one!

Still Running With Sass

I have thought about how I would word this post over and over for the past couple of months. Let me preface by saying I hate change. It has always been a flaw of mine, as I am sentimental and very much a lover of routine. I am learning that sometimes change is good, and required for growth.

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When I started writing Running With Sass over three years ago, I never in my craziest dreams would have imagined it would turn into what it is now. A place for me to share my thoughts, experiences, and loves with a wonderful community of readers and like minded people. Something so important to me I would call it “my baby”, and work every day to make it better than the day before. As my blog grew and changed, I did as well. It came to my attention about six months ago that some change may be beneficial, but I quickly dismissed those thoughts. However, they kept creeping in over and over and I couldn’t keep my mind off of them. This was when I knew it was time to step out of my comfort zone and make some changes.

It is said that with great risk comes great reward, and boy am I taking a huge risk. My anxiety level has been through the roof the closer I got to launch date, and I am still petrified that things won’t go as planned. However, no one ever said growth and change would be easy. With that being said, I am so pleased to announce my “new” blog: Through Heather’s Looking Glass. If you remember ANY portion of this long post, I want you to remember one thing: I’m still me. I may have a new name and URL, but I am still Heather, I am still running with sass. You can even still call me that if you want. Smile I have ZERO intention of changing who I am, or my writing style.

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Ok, so why the change? Basically, I wanted my name to fit with what I was already doing. Yes, my blog name was Running With Sass, but I blogged a little about EVERYTHING from travel, to Disney, to my family, to motivation and my faith. However, I realized most people looking to read up on those other non-fitness topics were not very likely to come to a blog called “Running With Sass”. I discovered I had unintentionally pigeon-holed myself and wanted the freedom to pursue a wider audience and more opportunities as I grow and change as a person.

Please note I will ALWAYS have a huge focus on running, health, and fitness. I have plenty of races on my calendar for the year, and don’t plan to take my focus off something that is such a huge part of my life. However, you may see a few more “sprinkles” of other things here and there on the blog. If all you want to read about is running, that is totally cool, no hard feelings. You can simply click the coral-colored word “running” up in my header and you will be taken to all of my running posts in chronological order.

So why Through Heather’s Looking Glass? The lovely Jen helped me come up with the name, and I love it. I still wanted to include “sass” somewhere in my tagline to never forget where I started. I think it all has a nice ring to it when said together. I wanted a name that was generic enough that I could blog about anything, but also gave a nod to Disney (Alice in Wonderland anyone?) which is a HUGE love of mine, and I also love the double meaning. This blog is the world according to me, how I see things through MY looking glass.

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You can still type in “runningwithsass.com” to get here, however I recommend getting used to the idea of either “heatherslookingglass.com” or “heatherslookingglass.com” (all three will redirect here). I will be changing over my names on Twitter, Facebook, etc. too so be on the lookout for that as well. I will also be updating some of my pages, but these things take lots of time. Take a look around, I hope you like the new look!

In closing, I would be lying if I didn’t say I was a little sad. I feel like Running With Sass has been my identity for over three years. When I’ve had the opportunity to meet some of you, I typically don’t hear “look it’s Heather!” It’s usually “look it’s running with sass!” Even though this is the same blog with the same posts, it almost feels like I am saying goodbye to an old friend. I will be forever grateful for the opportunities RWS gave to me, but I also feel it would be foolish to not let the natural process of growth and change take place. I am also so excited about the future, and about where my new name could potentially take me. I hope you will stick around, it’s going to be quite the adventure!

Thank you all so much for your loyalty, understanding, and support. I wouldn’t be anywhere without you, my wonderful readers. <3

QOTD: So….thoughts?

* I couldn’t have done this without the awesomeness of Rita at Blog Genie. She was excellent to work with, highly recommended! I am forever grateful.

 

March 2013 Goals

Better late than never right? Being gone at the end of February caused March to sneak up on me (plus the 28 day month thing doesn’t help!) I wanted to share some goals with you because March has the potential to be quite the insane month for me. More on the tomorrow. Please stop by my blog tomorrow morning, you won’t want to miss it.

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Pascal says it’s ok that I am late with my goals. He says his only goal in life is to annoy Flynn. Go figure!

First, let’s take a look at my February goals and see how I did:

1.) Comment on more blogs: (A-)  I really made an effort every morning to comment on multiple blogs, and I was sure to throw in some new ones I had never read before. I found some great ones that are must reads now!

2.) Have a great race: (A+) SO happy to be able to put an A+ next to this one. I had an AMAZING time at the Princess half marathon, and got an almost 4 minute PR, even in less than ideal conditions. I am a happy girl.

3.) Get my tax info together: (A+) Donzo! We sent in our info to the accountant two weeks ago. Whew!

4.) Raise my weight at the gym: (B-) I raised my weights on about three machines and some free weights, but not all of them. Still a work in progress but at least I am making a good effort.

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As I mentioned before, March has the potential to be a huge month (come back tomorrow for one of the reasons why.) I will have a lot going on, and I am excited about the future but also scared to death. I loved accomplishing some of my mini goals this month, and hope I accomplish some more for March!

1.) PR in the 5k distance (officially): I PR’ed unofficially on a training run the other day, but I haven’t PR’ed in a 5k in almost two years, which totally bums me out. I am running two 5k’s this month and so I hope between one of them I can pull this off!

2.) Stretch: I have been a bad example of this lately. I have put stretching on the back burner and it’s starting to show. Back to it!

3.) Continue with Body Pump: This class is tough for me, but I am so sore after which I LOVE. I think if I continue with it I could reap some major benefits, but I have to commit to this night class! Going to try to go every Monday in March.

4.) Update the races page on my blog: It has been in sad shape for a long time. i want to reformat the whole thing and make it easier to read. It’s been on my “list” for a year….maybe it’s time to get to it!

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Another goal: Get outside more, hello daylight savings!

There you have it. Mini goals for the month of March. I HIGHLY suggest mini goals. Unlike yearly resolutions that you forget about by February, these goals are small stepping stones that can stay fresh in your mind all month long. Make your own, then print them out and stick them on your refrigerator so you see them multiple times a day. I would love to hear if you try this out!

QOTD: What is a mini goal you have for March?

runDisney Royal Family 5k 2013

The runDisney Royal Family 5k took place on Saturday morning, the day before the Princess half marathon. At the last minute I decided to pace a friend, so I went from running just the half to doing both races in two days. However, after running Goofy in January I felt up to the challenge.

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My alarm went off at 4:45 so we could get on a bus at 5:30. With no coffee, I was very much still asleep.

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I got dressed, ate a banana and a mini Luna bar, and Bobby, Jen and I headed out to the busses. Bobby and Jen were playing spectator, and you can check out Jen’s spectating recap to see how she did watching the race. (Hint: she failed as a spectator. I kid.)

We made it to EPCOT, and I didn’t have a lot of time to get into the Corral. I said quick goodbyes to my cheerleaders, and headed towards the crowds.

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After some texting, I found my group and jumped into the Corral. We chatted and stretched as we waited for the race to start. Before we knew it, they were moving us up to the starting line.

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We inched closer and closer and then it was go time.

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I was a little surprised at how slow the beginning was. We were in corral B, and a lot of people started off the race walking. We did a lot of weaving in the beginning. I tried to remind myself it was a family FUN run and just go with it. We saw Jen and Bobby right after we crossed the starting line and they snapped a couple of blurry pictures of us. I know it’s not because we were moving too fast. Smile

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One of our group members took off to run her own race, and the three remaining runners continued on looking at everyone’s costumes, and enjoying the race. We made it into EPCOT, and the girl I was with wanted to stop for photos. We stood in a long character photo line and my picture came out blurry. #photographerfail

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We continued on around the World Showcase, and the crowd thinned out.

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I loved seeing all the families running together. Some wore matching costumes, some were being carried by mom or dad, and everyone looked like they were having an amazing time. I can’t wait to run this race one day with my kids!

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The sunrise was beautiful over the lake and I really started to enjoy the race. We stopped for another character photo, in an even longer line, and after standing there a minute the girl who wanted the photo told us to continue on without her, so off we went.

I’m not used to running shorter Disney races, so before I knew it, we were hitting mile three and almost to the finish line! There may or may not have been a friendly sprinting competition across the finish line, and just like that we were done. We grabbed our medals and our water/snacks before meeting up with Bobby, Jen and my parents as well as the rest of our little running group.

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The four of us that started together

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Me and my new bling

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We stood around and chatted for awhile before heading out of EPCOT.

My thoughts on the race:

The 5k was well organized, a lot of fun, and the course was great. I loved how the characters were out front in the different countries, and I felt like there was plenty of run to spread out and run around the World Showcase. It was a bit of a tight squeeze in the beginning, but once we got into EPCOT it was fine. This race is a great family run or beginners run, totally no pressure which is really nice. You still get the characters, the big start and big finish, but without feeling intimidated by a longer distance. I highly recommend this as a way to get your feet wet into racing or runDisney races.

*You can now sign up for the Tower of Terror 10 miler, which also has a 5k option (The Happy Haunted 5k trail run). Be sure to check it out before they sell out!

QOTD: Have you ever run a 5k fun run, no pressure? Would you like to run a runDisney 5k?

runDisney Princess Half Marathon Race Recap 2013

I did it. I beat the odds. A lot of things were stacked against me going into the runDisney Princess half, but regardless I still managed to have a great job and pull out an almost four minute PR. Did I mention I did it in a tutu? How cool is that?!?

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I was worried about this race for a few reasons. 1.) I have been suffering from calf cramps whenever I run fast (going on since October), so I was petrified it would happen again despite my best healing efforts. 2.) I ate like crap the week leading up to the race. It’s hard not to indulge when you are in Disney. 3.) I ran a hard three miles on Friday at the meet up, then I ran the 5k Saturday morning…then the half Sunday. Fresh legs? Not exactly. 4.) It was hot and more humid that the Disney marathon in January. I was drenched and it was pretty gross and hard to breathe. There were heat advisories and my buddy Jeff Galloway reminded everyone to take it easy. However, this competitive girl just couldn’t do that with my probably last chance to race a half this season. Let’s back up shall we?

Oh, 2:45 how early you come in the morning. Nevertheless, I was up and ready to go in my Rapunzel costume. (Arm sleeves by Katie, tutu by Rachel).

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Jen, my mom and I snapped some photos then mom left to get on a bus and Jen and I headed up to the hospitality suite for breakfast.

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We hoped on the VIP bus and saw the traffic and were SO glad we weren’t driving ourselves! The bus went in the back way and parked next to the starting line. It was nice to have a bathroom on the bus and to sit and hang out until time to get into the corrals.

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Chillin with Jeff Galloway on the bus

After awhile, I started getting antsy and at 5:00 I texted Bobby and found out he and my dad were at the starting line. We were going to be put in the corral at 5:15, so we went ahead and walked to the start to try to find the guys and take a couple photos.

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Getting excited/nervous on the bus

When we were waiting at the front and I was texting Bobby to find out where they were, one of the photographers covering the event asked to take pictures of me and Jen, and one ended up making the official album on the runDisney Facebook page!

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I finally spotted the boys on the other side behind the stage so I ran over to say hello and take some pics.

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The guys followed me back to the front of A and took a couple photos of me and Jen after we got into the corral.

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Can you tell we are wearing fake eyelashes? You should have seen us putting them on the night before. Hilarious.

Sean Astin showed up next to me, ready to jump in during corral C. Poor guy was having a hard time untangling his headphone cord. I wasn’t sure how to help, so I just took a picture of his plight instead! I am SO kind.

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Before I knew it, we were singing the National Anthem, and were about to start! The Fairy Godmother was on hand to see us off, and with a wave of her magical wand the fireworks started, and we were crossing underneath a beautiful banner for a 13.1 mile journey.

We started off running conservatively. I finally learned that it takes me a while to warm up and so I run better for the half distance when I give my body a chance to get used to the idea of 13.1 miles. Our goal was to stay between 10:00 and 10:15 minute miles for the first few and then see how I felt leaving the Magic Kingdom.

Those first few miles were pretty uneventful. I was grateful for the darkness because it was about 97% humidity out and it was quite warm. We chugged along, not stopping at the first water stop. Jen took a bathroom break and caught back up to me. We chatted, and then quickly came upon the Magic Kingdom…and I felt like I was just there. (Ummm..I was, hello Goofy!)

I was very grateful for the big crowds around the Transportation and Ticket Center. Crowds always pep me up and make me run faster, so we took advantage and had some fun. We started doing the “princess wave” and thanking everyone for coming out to see us. As we would run by, I would ask spectators if they had seen Flynn, and Jen asked people if they had seen Prince Charming. Everyone got a kick out of it and waved back, took pictures, and cheered for us. We even had a couple of stalkers follow along and “run” on the sidelines taking video of us. It was a bit odd but I guess we asked for it!

We made it up the crazy steep hill before making the turn into the Magic Kingdom. My absolutely favorite part of the race was upon us, and it did not disappoint. We hooked right onto main street as cheering filled the air, and I did my princess wave the whole way towards the castle.

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You can see how absolutely covered in sweat I was, it wasn’t even halfway into the race!

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I smiled the entire stretch, so thankful to be there and have the opportunity to race in Disney yet again. It was strange to me, because I have never “raced” a Disney race, and so the lack of runners was very nice. We made our way over to the same spot I took my castle photo in last year, and they had it blocked off for some reason! So we stopped next to the area and took a couple of quick photos.

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We soldiered on through Tomorrowland, where there were characters standing there waving at us, with no one in line! A sight I had never seen before. We made it to Fantasyland and to the back side of the castle.

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We ran through the middle, and smiled at the photographers as we went by.

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We wound our way through Frontierland and out the other side of the Magic Kingdom. I looked at my Garmin and realized I had slowed down way too much running through the Magic Kingdom, and it was time to get serious. I told Jen no more silliness, let’s do this thing, and we turned onto Floridian way.

I started paying more attention to my pace, and we stopped at every other water stop. I had been taking a gel every three miles along with water and sports drink at every other stop, and it seemed to be working for me. The sun began to rise in the sky as the road opened up and the runners thinned out. I would like to mention I cannot even count how many times people would say “Hey! she’s got a frog on her shoulder!!!” Um…excuse me. If you have seen Tangled you know Pascal is a LIZZARD and not a frog thankyouverymuch.

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Jen was a GREAT encourager/coach the entire way. Telling me I could do it, giving me ways to motivate myself and telling me the pain is temporary and I would get to bask in the glory of my PR forever. I was doing great until about mile ten. The humidity was really starting to get to me and my already labored breathing was getting faster. Circling around the big hill where the army man stands was brutal. My IT bands were screaming, and the solider kept saying this was the last hill. Umm…no it’s not, don’t tell people that! I walked for about 15 seconds to regulate my breathing and we were crossing over the overpass before long. I knew this was the final stretch, just 2.5 more miles and I would get to stop.

I went up another hill towards EPCOT and grabbed some water at the water stop. Jen told me no more stopping, this was it until the end. We made it around the circle where everyone shouts where they are from and Jen yelled “NEW ORLEANS!” For me. I halfway smiled but kept my head down and kept going.

I kept praying those last three miles, over and over, simply saying “Lord give me strength, Lord give me strength.” It was the only thing I had the energy to think of, and I kept clinging to it. I kept trying to talk and Jen politely (haha) told me to stop talking to save my energy. We had one more beast of a hill to go up, and it was a killer but I kept going. We hit mile twelve and I knew this would be the hardest mile of my life. We started seeing some spectators and Jen would yell “cheer for my friend Heather, she is about to PR!” and then everyone would yell for me.

I kept my eyes on the ground in front of me, trying to focus on the task at hand. I was cursing myself for running the prior two days before this, and for eating so poorly all week. All of my professional photos show me looking at the ground at this point, and I don’t look happy! We made it to the turn around in Epcot, and I was pushing as hard as I could go. I glanced down at my Garmin and saw we were running low 9:00’s, woo hoo! Jen told me I was absolutely going to PR, now I just had to decide if a PR was good enough, or if I wanted to work my butt off and get as big of a PR as I could. Obviously, I was going to kick some butt, so I just nodded and kept pushing. Jen had been texting the boys the whole time letting them know where we were so they would be ready at the finish.

We passed the gospel choir and I honestly did not even look up, but I could hear them, and I knew I was going to make it. We passed mile 13, and made that final turn towards the finish line. I could SEE it, I was about to finish my 19th half marathon, and finally PR in the distance after a year of injury and disappointment. I had so much determination in me that final 200 meters, I kicked hard and looked straight ahead.

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I glanced over to my right at the VIP area and saw Bobby and my dad, holding up a sign for me. I had made it. I smiled as I went by, so happy to have them there cheering me on.

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Pain mixed with determination

Carissa the announcer yelled out my name. She knew I was going for a PR and she asked me if I did it, all I could do is give her a thumbs up as I ran by. They congratulated me as I raised my hands in the air triumphantly and crossed over that sweet finish line. To be honest, I didn’t cry like I thought I would. I was so focused, and just so glad it was over, I don’t think I had the energy to cry!

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I stopped my Garmin and had to look down at it because I didn’t even see the clock as I went by. I had done it, 2:11, a near 4 minute PR in less than ideal conditions. I know a sub 2:10 would have easily been in my reach on a normal race day eating normal food the week before and without a 5k the day before, but regardless I was happy. I worked hard, and accomplished yet another goal. This is proof that no matter what injury you may get, or sickness you may deal with, you CAN come back stronger than before and reach your goals.

Jen snapped the below photo of me right after I crossed. Pascal was happy to be done, too.

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Here is the video of me crossing the finish line:

Excited Bobby caught this special moment on video! We got our beautiful medals, and headed off to the VIP area where we reunited with my dad and Bobby. This was followed by lots of picture taking.

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We went into the tent for some breakfast (omelets, french toast, amazing bacon…yes please!) and had some champagne to celebrate.

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I finally had the nerve to take off my shoe…I knew my foot was bleeding, it was hurting and it felt…sticky. Surprise! I was right.

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You’re welcome.

After eating and resting for a bit, we went back outside to take some photos and wait for my mom to finish. I found the super speedy Tara

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As well as Biggest Loser sweetheart Ali Vincent

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We kept waiting for my mom, I was so nervous for her. I know she was struggling (I had talked to her on the phone at mile 11) and was just ready for her to cross.

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Waiting on my mom to cross

We finally spotted her, and we yelled and screamed and I held up her sign. She had a huge smile on her face and Bobby got the best photo of her.

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Jen and I ran around to the other side of the finish to grab her before she got lost in a sea of people. We of course, had to take some pictures. I am so proud of her, she finished in 3:01!

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I was so happy she made it in ok, now we could relax and celebrate. More mimosa’s anyone? We ate and relaxed and stood on the sidelines cheering for the rest of the runners. It was such an amazing morning and I am so glad I got to spend it with my family and friends in my favorite place on earth.

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Here is my Garmin info from the run:

Mile 1: 10:06

Mile 2: 10:10

Mile 3: 10:18 <— stopped for gel

Mile 4: 9:51

Mile 5: 10:02

Mile 6: 10:37 <— stopped for gel

Mile 7: 9:59

Mile 8: 9:41

Mile 9: 10:15 <— stopped for gel

Mile 10: 9:43

Mile 11: 9:38

Mile 12: 9:43

Mile 13: 9:24

Mile .27: 2:20

13.27 miles

avg. pace 9:56

Hooray for negative splits! Smile

Overall this race was amazing. I was blessed to get to run with my best friend, PR in a tutu, and do it all at my favorite place on earth. What more could a girl want? Better weather of course but that’s not Disney’s fault! runDisney did an amazing job as usual. Everything went so smoothly with the race, I have no qualms at all. As I always say, they keep outdoing themselves and I have no idea how they are going to keep it up. I highly recommend this race, especially for a fun girls weekend with some friends. The excitement in the air was amazing, I loved seeing all the strength and the girl power, and I can’t wait for my next runDisney race.

*You can now sign up for the Tower of Terror ten miler!

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QOTD: How do you adjust when conditions are not ideal? Who is ready to run Princess 2014?

Disclosure: runDisney invited me to this fun weekend as media, which means my hotel accommodations, race fees, etc. were taken care of. However, all opinions are my own, who doesn’t love runDisney races?!?

Weekly Recap: February Week 4

Good morning! I hope you are all having a magnificent weekend. Bobby and I have been relaxing and doing a little catching up from being out of town, but we haven’t gone anywhere and it has been fabulous! I am STILL doing laundry from the trip, and my e-mail inbox is still overflowing. But, I can’t complain. Anyway, this past week of workouts was a bit off for me. After running a PR in the Princess half (recap up TOMORROW!) I was wiped. Then we walked around the Disney parks all day Sunday and Monday, plus an 8.5 hour car ride home. I have also been trying to eat really well because let’s face it, I ate whatever I wanted in Disney.

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Post-race park hopping in my matching KT Tape which did wonders for me during the race!

I also came home with a nasty headache that won’t go away, and some sinus congestion. I’m not sure if it’s allergies or a sinus infection, but I have been taking emergen-c, mucinex, and Claritin just to be sure. All of that combined did not create the recipe for an awesome workout week, but that’s ok, I know this coming week will be epic!

Sunday: runDisney Princess half marathon: 13.28 miles

Monday: walked 7 miles around the parks (thanks to my fitbit for the distance info, I love this thing! *coupon for $5 off your fitbit here*)

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Tuesday: travel day/rest

Wednesday: weights, 20 minutes stationary bike

Thursday: rest

Friday: 2 mile sprint workout

Saturday: 15 minutes elliptical, weights workout

It’s supposed to be a chilly couple of days here with the high today being 50…super cold for March on the gulf coast! I have a couple shorter distance races coming up so stay tuned on Sunday’s for my training recaps!

QOTD: How was your week of workouts? Anything you are super proud of?

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