Archives for September 2013

It’s Magic

Good morning guys! I am headed home from Disney today. I learned a lot at the conference, met a ton of great people, and can’t wait to get home to my little family. I am quite back logged on emails, blog comments, etc. so please hang in there as I play catch up!

I have a lot of great info to share on Magic bands (who knows what they are, brownie points for you!) coming to Walt Disney World resort. They are super cool and so easy to use, technology amazes me.

1186266_505346989542768_1445593015_n

I also have some new experiences to share with you like staying at a resort I have never stayed at before. I ran ONCE while I was gone, with the intention to run twice. It rains every afternoon in Florida in the summer, and that coupled with my meeting schedule made things difficult. I did do a good bit of walking so that counts for something!

I plan to do a long run this weekend in preparation for the Tower of Terror ten mile race in October. I have felt so out of it workout-wise since Dumbo that I am hoping to get my running mojo back. I do have a super cute costume I will be wearing, and I will be sharing an opportunity for you to get one as well while also helping out a good cause. Have a great day!

QOTD: Do you know anything about Disney’s magic bands?

Cabana at Disney’s Contemporary Resort

On Monday, my friends and I rented a pool cabana at Disney’s Contemporary Resort.

contemporary cabana

You can rent for 4 hours or the whole day(10:00-2:00 is the first time slot) for $110 or $185 plus tax and we tipped as well. They had Cabanas by the main pool and then two out by Bay Lake by a quieter pool which is where we were located.

disney cabana

It was so great having the nice breeze blowing across the lake, and having a ceiling fan underneath. Our cabana host also closed one side of the tent for us to block out the sun.

photo (21)

The cabana comes with drinks in the refrigerator and a small fruit plate. There is also a television, and an iPod docking station with USB connector.

cabana tv

There were two padded lounge chairs, and two lounge beds that were big enough for two people each.

photo (22)

You can order drinks from the bar, food from the poolside counter service location, or even from private dining (takes more time). I had an amazing drink from the new bar menus you may see at the Disney resort pools.

contemporary drink

You can have up to four people in your cabana, so it isn’t that expensive if you have some friends or another couple to share it with. We really enjoyed the quiet as well as the view from our cabana.

contemporary cabana pool

It was nice to be able to enjoy the sun then get in the shade under the fan when I needed a break. There is wi-fi at the pool so you can even bring your laptop.

photo (23)

contemporary cabana 2

QOTD: Would you ever rent a poolside cabana? Have you?

I would love to help you plan your dream vacation! email [email protected] for details!

 

The Pros & Cons of Running a Local Race

Nicole is guest posting today and sharing her list of pro’s and con’s about local races. Check it out and see if you agree!

I love races. It’s pretty much the only reason that run at all. I look forward to the crowds, the t-shirts, the medals (if they have them) and the excuse to eat as much as I want afterwards, because, hey, I burned some calories. So I got to thinking, which do I love more, local races or destination races? Well, here is my pros and cons list on local races. (You can catch my previous post on destination races here).

Local Race - Turkey Trot

PROS

You get to sleep in! No waking up at 4am, you can roll out of bed and drive easily to your destination.

You don’t worry about forgetting to pack something (though at one local half marathon, I left my headphones in the car and luckily my boyfriend was able to grab them and give them to me before the start of the race. Can you imagine?? Running 13.1 miles WITHOUT music? As if!)

You can run with friends or see familiar faces before and after. I love it when I see people I know. It really makes the tick tock of time that happens when you’re waiting for the race to start go faster.

You may be able to place in your age group because of the small pool of people running! This is a good one for those of us that aren’t super fast runners. One 5k I did, I actually won my age group…and I finished in 30 minutes. Granted, I may have been one of five 30-35 year olds at that race, but whatever, I got a ribbon!

CONS

Sometimes, they’re not as well organized. Local races are put on by local people who are just like us. They have regular people jobs and families and putting on a race is something extra for them to do. I always give a little slack for organization. My boyfriend and I put on a trail run once and it was CRAZY! There is so much that goes into putting on a race (I’ll save that story for another blog post). Luckily, no one got lost and everyone was accounted for – oh and everyone won a prize (PRO). It was a small crowd, 50+ runners, we had enough prizes for everyone.

Scenery is not always great. If you’re like me and always running locally, you’re always seeing the same scenery. It can get boring sometimes.

The t-shirts aren’t always great. I’m going to be honest. Really, I run for the t-shirts and medals. And local races don’t always have the best. Though I do use my cotton t-shirts I get from local races as my “throw-away” clothes at RunDisney races.

To sum it up, the best thing to remember is no matter what, a race is a race and it gets you out there to do what you’re training to do on all those runs by yourself! Runners are such a great group of people too, so get out there and enjoy what your neighborhood, city or surrounding city has to offer you.

QOTD: Do you prefer local or destination races?

Assume You’re Invisible, Make Yourself Seen

Folks, this is a GREAT and very important guest post. It could save your life so don’t skip over it! A huge thanks to Mindy for writing it!

This summer I tragically lost a friend when she was hit by a distracted driver while on a run through the neighborhood. Her legs were crushed and she sustained severe brain injury – they took her off life support within a day. In trying to heal from this, I have decided to do something positive with this event by using it to bring attention to how important it is for us, as runners and walkers, to always watch out for ourselves. Hopefully, by passing along this advice, we keep the rest of our community safe on the streets!

Part 1: Assume You Are Invisible

· The only safe assumptions you can make are: No one sees you & no one will stop for you.

· Even if you have the right a way … don’t go until you make eye contact with the driver and the driver waves you on. If you are concerned about your pace and don’t want to stop, choose a route where you won’t cross a street.

· Run opposite traffic. That way you can see who is coming towards you and are able to move as needed.

Part 2: Make Yourself Seen

· clip_image002

As runners, we are not known for our fashion sense … embrace that! Wear bright colors and outfits that don’t match … STAND OUT! Kris says he’d rather have drivers laughing at his outfits but seeing him, than go unnoticed and have to dodge cars. (Kris would also like to point out that is NOT him in the picture.)

· When running in low light and at night – wear reflective gear and flashing lights. Draw attention to yourself. (Photo was taken with the flash from an iPhone- car headlights would illuminate me from a good distance away!)
clip_image004
(This is an example of a great reflective vest you can find from www.ruseen.com)

Other Safety Tips:

· Stay off the streets as much as possible. If available, run on trails, canal paths, greenbelts … places where there aren’t cars.
clip_image006
(Greenbelts are GREAT! There are usually a lot of people around – playing at the parks, running, walking, bike riding. They also normally have restrooms and water available at some point. And, most importantly – no motor traffic!)

· If you must run along a street – use the sidewalk and/or stay as far from the road as possible. I know people think it is better for you to run on the asphalt than on cement … studies show most of us will never notice this difference! It isn’t worth the risk! clip_image008

· As much as possible, run with a buddy … The more eyes you have scanning for trouble, the better. Plus, if anything were to happen – you have help!
clip_image010

· Wear a RoadID

· Take a cell phone or at least tell someone where you are headed and when you should be back.
clip_image012
(We found our love of trail running this summer. There is something very peaceful being out there! But, make sure you plan ahead – if you can’t go with someone; tell someone where you’ll be and when to expect you back! Also, carry a trail map or make sure you familiarize yourself with the area so you don’t get lost.)

· If you must run near the street – don’t wear earbuds! You want to have full use of all your senses. I can’t tell you the number of times Kris and I have scared runners while on our bikes because they had no idea we were coming their way even though we announced our presence. This is another reason to run opposite traffic and stay out of the street – most of the runners we encounter are running in the bike lane, with traffic – they then don’t hear us coming because they are listening to music and we have to put ourselves at risk by moving into the traffic lane. Cyclists and pedestrians should be working together to keep everyone safe!

If you remember nothing else, remember this: It doesn’t matter if you had the right a way … if you get into a battle with a car, the car will always win. I know it’s frustrating and there will be times you want to prove your point because drivers don’t always give us space and respect we deserve … IT’S NOT WORTH IT! Ultimately, when we hit the streets for a workout, our main goal should be to make it home safe!

Please be safe out there!

-Mindy
You can find Kris and me at www.raceeverystep.com or on twitter @raceeverystep

Weekly Workout Recap: September Week 2, 2013

Happy Sunday from the happiest place on earth! Having a great time so far and can’t wait for the actual conference to get started. I am a self proclaimed nerd and love to learn.

DSC_0589

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge

So how did my workouts go last week? I would rate them as “just ok”. I just wasn’t feeling it to be honest. I don’t know if I am still tired from the race/traveling, or if it’s something else but I was lacking motivation. Hope it returns this week!

Sunday: rest

Monday: 3 mile run

Tuesday: 30 minute walk, yoga in my living room

Wednesday: 30 minute walk, chest and tri’s

Thursday: 4 mile run, back and bi’s

Friday: rest

Saturday: rest

I didn’t run many miles, but I will say the runs I did have felt really good. I firmly believe I am not cut out to run more than 4 times a week tops, and sometimes that is pushing it. I felt more rested on my run Thursday after having not run since Monday. It was a good feeling!

QOTD: What do you do to get your workout mojo back?

Weekend Happenings: I’m Going to Disney World!

Guess where I am going today? DISNEY WORLD! This time, I am going for work. There is a special travel agency conference every year and I was invited to go with my boss as a delegate, meaning I will be attending seminars and meetings. We are going a couple days early to have a little fun and do some research before the conference begins, but yup, work trip. Not that’ I’m complaining. Smile 

I will be staying at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge tonight and tomorrow night, and then will move to the Contemporary until Thursday. I am so excited, I have never stayed at the Contemporary before. I will also be attending Mickey’s Not so Scary Halloween party, so stay tuned if you want to see my costume!

DSC_0713

I will have my laptop with me and will still be blogging and on social media thanks to my handy dandy Blackberry Q10 and it’s awesome mobile hotspot capabilities. My husband and I are pretty amazed at the internet speed coming from that little device. It’s super fast!

Speaking of little thing, we are also loving the Blackberry mini stereo speaker I received. Bobby clips it onto his shorts and listens to music from it when he is outside working in the yard of BBQ-ing. It has really good sound quality, much crisper and louder than coming straight out of a phone (especially one in a case).

I hope everyone has a fabulous weekend! Winner of my Raw Threads giveaway announced soon!

Blackberry.

QOTD: Do you use a special speaker or docking station for your phone? Headphones?

Disclosure: I am participating in the Verizon Wireless Ambassador program and have been provided with a wireless device and three months of service in exchange for my honest opinions about the product.”  #VZWA #VZWVoices

Under Armour Sports Bra Quiz and Giveaway

Ok ladies, we all know that wearing the right type of sports bra is very important, and that not all bras are created equal. I can’t wear my weight lifting bras to run in, and don’t need the support of a running bra for when I am cross training. So, what’s a girl to do? Now you can find the perfect sports bra to match your activities and needs by taking a quiz on Under Armour’s website about their sports bras. <—–

HP_womens_sportsbras_#D6315[2]

I took the quiz myself, (The quiz is short and really easy to take), and one of my two favorite bras came up as my result! The Armour Bra Protegee, which is a zip front bra with molded cups. It’s great for high impact activities like running or a high energy group fitness class. I really love the ease of the zip front bra, I had never worn one until Under Armour, and feel like I have been missing out all these years! Talk about ease of removal. Come on, don’t act like you don’t know what I’m talking about, and don’t pretend that you haven’t done the wiggle dance trying to get your soaking-wet-with-sweat sports bra over your head after a workout!

My other favorite is the Armour bra. This sports bra has some serious support, and you won’t have to worry about any movement in this bad boy. It has a hook closure in the back and molded cups as well. I have raced in this bra before and really like the compression of it. You order by bra size and don’t have to worry about the fabric digging into your skin. They also wick sweat away and have a great raceback design.

photo-21

There are a lot of Under Armour bras to choose from, so I know you are bound to find one that’s right for you and your activity level.

If you want to buy the bra you are matched with, you can click on the photo on my right sidebar it will take you straight to the UA bra page through my affiliate link and you can order online!

So, what are you waiting for? Go take the quiz and see which Under Armour sports bra is right for you. Oh, you want some incentive? Under Armour will be giving away a sports bra of your choice to one of my readers! Ok, so NOW who is going to go take the quiz? See Rafflecoptor below to find out how to win:

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*Disclosure: My friends at Under Armour sent me a sports bra to review, however all opinions are my own.

Disneyland Half Marathon 2013

I spent my Labor Day weekend running the happiest race on earth.

Dumbo double dare runDisney

The inaugural runDisney Dumbo Double Dare at the Disneyland resort in California to be exact! This race consisted of the Disneyland 10k on Saturday, followed by the Disneyland half marathon on Sunday for a total of 19.3 miles.

For the half marathon, I knew I wanted to dress up and have a great time on the race course. So, why not dress as Dumbo, the elephant who the event was named after?

photo (19)

The morning of the race, Bobby and I headed down just before 5:00 to get into our coral. There were SO many people out, and the corals seemed to stretch on forever down the road. We hopped into ours and waited for the race to begin.

photo (3)

735630-1006-0050s

It was a warm morning again, but SLIGHTLY less humid than the morning of the 10k. The first couple of miles were uneventful until we headed into Disney’s California Adventure Park. I LOVE World of Color, and was excited to see this again:

photo (4)

We continued on in the dark through Cars Land, and waved at the characters. I was pouring sweat by this point and regretting my decision of wearing pigtails. They were sticking to me and making me even more hot.

photo (5)

We decided to stop for a picture with Mike and Sulley from Monster’s Inc. Since I skipped them the day before at the 10k.

runDisney disneyland

monsters inc

We ran through more of DCA park, before heading across into Disneyland.

734816-1009-0026s

Peter and Wendy were out to wish us good luck, and I nearly had to pick Bobby up off the ground. He thinks he’s so funny. You can see my “glisten” in this photo ha.

735633-1002-0037s

photo (6)

Captain Hook and Mr. Smee were busy riding the carousel, but did wave at us. We then stopped for a quick pic with the Dumbo ride, which I made Bobby ride with me later in the trip. Hehe.

photo (7)

I loved running through the castle again, and even did some leaping for the camera. It always makes for interesting pictures!

734821-1037-0034s

734821-1037-0035s

I love this next one, you can see just how much fun I was having. Disneyland is a magical place to run for sure.

photo (2)

In Frontierland, I caught up with my buddy Joe from The Marathon Show and we talked about the LSU game the night before (geaux Tigers)!

marathon show

marathon show2

Into Toontown we went, saying sir yes sir to some army men. photo (8)

734823-1043-0024s

Obviously having a terrible time if you can’t tell…

734823-1043-0025s

Love me some farm animals.

runDisney sheep

Sadly, before I knew it, we were out onto the roads. Boo. It was getting very warm, and we still had a long way to go. Thankfully, there was a lot of entertainment on the course such as bands, cheerleaders, and dancers.

photo (9)

LLLLOOOVVVEEE!

run all the miles

Who can forget the rows and rows of classic cars. (So glad I had my sunglasses).

photo (10)

Our goal was to make it to Angel Stadium. Once we got out of there we knew it was about a 5k left. Easy peasy. The roar of the crowd did not disappoint, and we made it out the other side. A huge thanks to the boy and girl scouts for cheering!

runDisney angels stadium

More road running in the sun, but getting closer!

Ok, so here is a funny story. (TMI alert) Bobby and I both had some chaffing issues this race. Me because the shirt I had made was NOT a tech shirt. It’s southern California for crying out loud, it’s not supposed to be hot and humid, so I thought I would be on in a cotton shirt. Well let’s just say my shirt got SO soaked and soaked through my bra and led to some major chaffing, like burning and excruciating pain from mile 9 on. Also, I was wearing body glide but I guess because I was literally drenched it came off.  I got to where I was using one hand to hold my shirt and bra away from my skin it was hurting so badly. I know. That’s not funny, but the rest of the story is. Bobby has this favorite shirt that you see him wearing for the race. He likes it because it’s soft and doesn’t cause any nipple chafing issues for him. Well, a little bit before I started chafing he started chaffing too. Only ting is HE can take his shirt off to stop his problem and I of course couldn’t. He was so confused as to why he was chaffing because he wears that shirt all the time.

Well, we figured out later back at the hotel that it was because he was wearing MY SHIRT! His is a large, mine is a small, but the shirt is HUGE. I even blogged about how big it was two years ago when I got it. So while it somehow fit him, it was tighter than his other once, hence the chafing. We realized it because he pulled the shirt out of his suitcase and he was confused because he thought he had just worn it!

734872-1078-0047s

734872-1078-0048s

Pretty soon we caught up with this dude and chatted for a bit. He was looking strong and still smiling!

Dl half joey

I was so happy to see the mile 12 sign, we were almost home! By this time every ounce of my clothing was drenched. The running skirt I had on under my tutu was so wet and heavy that it started sagging and I kept having to pull it up. I am happy to report that my KT Tape stayed put though!

734833-1094-0007s

I love rounding that last corner by the Disneyland Hotel and seeing the finish line. It’s a beautiful thing.

734839-1129-0047s

734839-1129-0049s

Bobby is laughing in the next shot because Carissa announced us as we got close and mentioned that Bobby was sporting his “man shirt”. I would later tell her the story of WHY he wasn’t wearing his shirt which made it even funnier.

734839-1130-0001s

734839-1130-0002s

We did it! We crossed in 2:34, respectable for the amount of times we stood in line for photos, stopped to take photos and video, and even a bathroom stop.

735646-1011-0024s

YAY DUMBO! We did it!

photo (18)

We also got our coast to coast medals, three new pieces of bling in one day. I’ll take it! We headed over to grab some food by the finish line and ran into some friends.

runDisney dumbo

runDisney dumbo medals

Faron Kelley from runDisney showing off his medal.

runDisney faron

Sweetheart Jeff Galloway. I always love chatting with him and his super nice wife Barbara.

runDisney Jeff galloway

Also caught up with this guy who ran a great race. Way to go Sean!

runDisney sean astin dumbo

We hung out right at the finish line where people were crossing and got some great photos and video.

runDisney finish

runDisney mickey

disneyland finish line

I was pretty tired and still soaking wet and ready for a shower, so we headed back to the hotel, so sad that the race weekend was officially over. I am so proud of my bling and had a great time running Disney!

dumbo medals runDisney

I made a little video of some of the footage I took during the race. Enjoy!

QOTD: Do you ever having chaffing problems running? What is your favorite race medal?

Disclosure: I attended this race weekend as media. My registrations, hotel, park tickets and some meals were provided to me by runDisney. However, all opinions are my own.

A Heart at Rest

This is the last week of my online Bible study What Happens When Women Say Yes to God. I am so sad it is already over, it has been amazing to participate in an online study (if you would like to participate in the next one it starts in October)!

0357bbf4db21c8c6508b48d23ac18abb

For this weeks blog hop, I decided to answer the question How has saying yes to God through this study helped you find a heart at rest?

Well, I could say a LOT on this subject, but I will spare you and give you the condensed version. Smile I would consider myself a very anxious person. I like to be in control, plan things, and know what is happening next. I don’t like when things don’t go as I planned them out in my head, and I get anxious when I don’t know what is going to happen.

Well folks, when you look at the way God operates, most of the time showing his children only ONE step at a time, and asking us to have faith in the unseen…you can see how I would struggle in this area. God has really stretched me during this study. Just like any stretching and growing, it has been painful at times, but the end result has been a good thing.

I agreed to say yes to God when the study started, whatever that meant, and I began opening my spiritual eyes for opportunities to say yes. They are all around us but we often miss them! Anyway, in my mind, the opposite of anxiousness is peace and rest, which is what I knew I needed to be still and hear from God.

2c6226551c23ed3e1b77b68c2af878db

When I pray, I have a habit of doing all the talking. God opened my eyes and showed me that solitude and silence are good things, and that if I can block out all distractions, then I can better hear God speaking to me and giving me these opportunities to hear Him and say yes to Him. Specifically, the lesson talking about finding your “white space” in your house really helped me. I have since spent some time on the floor of my closet simply being still and quiet and listening.

1e553a33259d0830318ac3e8dfd6b78a

I have found that after these times of being alone with God, I come out much more at peace and rest in my heart. No matter what my circumstances are, saying yes to God by listening to that nudge through the study telling me to find some time to get alone, has helped me to have a heart at rest.

SO, all that to say: saying YES to God form the get go of this study has opened my eyes to many things, one of the main things being how to have a heart at rest, no matter what.

A huge thanks to the Proverbs 31 online Bible study team, I can’t wait for the next one!

QOTD: Do you have a special place you go in your house to be still and listen to God? Please don’t underestimate the importance of LISTENING and not talking sometimes!

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Back in July when I was in Orlando for work, I spent one night at the Hard Rock Hotel on Universal’s property and visited both parks. I already posted about Universal Studios, and it’s time for me to post about Islands of Adventure, specifically Harry potter (you can read abut the read of Islands of Adventure here).

Harry Potter universal1

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is in the back of the Islands of Adventure park. I got there super early before it got crowded and took a bunch of photos. my husband is a huge Harry Potter fan so I watched all the movies with him right before I left so I would understand everything. Even for a non-superfan, it was really neat to see all the detail that went into this section of the park. I really enjoyed myself!

DSC_0744

harry potter universal

hogwarts castle

hogwarts

The first thing I did was walk to Hogwart’s and get in line for the Forbidden Journey ride. It was a VERY cool ride, very well done and a lot of fun. I rode single rider and had no wait, so I hopped back in line and midway through the second time…I got very nauseated. I closed my eyes for the rest of the ride hoping I could make it until it was over. Luckily I was ok, but my stomach was upset for the rest of the day. So, if you get motion sickness on rides, keep that in mind for this one. Apparently my stomach could handle once but not twice. Such a shame because now I am scared to ride it.

So, I went back out onto the “street” to go in some shops and take some pictures.

hogsmeade

harry potter stage

hogwarts sign

HP shop

DSC_0821

harry potter shop

harry potter candy

HP shop 2

I decided it was high time to try a frozen butterbeer, and oh my goodness it did NOT disappoint. You MUST try this if you visit!

butterbeerDSC_0829

I hung around, drank my butterbeer, and took photos just enjoying the scenery. I bought some grapes from a cart on the “street” and then noticed it was getting VERY crowded so I high tailed it out of there.

DSC_0761

The above ride is:

DSC_0836

I came back a little later and some of the crowd had died down. I walked through the restaurant the Three Broomsticks and took some photos.

DSC_0826

DSC_0782

DSC_0828

Then I noticed a gathering at the stage. The choir was performing!

DSC_0819

Followed by some fun and games.

DSC_0830

DSC_0834

Everyone was so in character and did a great job.

If Harry Potter merchandise is what you are after, you will not be disappointed. So. much. to. choose. from. They have everything from clothing to stuffed animals to candy and movie replicas.

DSC_0760

I had a great time exploring and can’t wait to go back and bring my husband! These photos just scratch the surface, there is so much more to see and do.

QOTD: Are you a Harry Potter fan? Favorite book or movie? Have you been to this park?

I would love to book your Universal vacation or tickets for you! Email [email protected] for a free quote. I can book for you at NO extra cost added to your vacation.