Archives for September 2013

Inaugural Disneyland 10k 2013

I love west coast runDisney races.

runDisney Disneyland 10k

Waking up at 4:45 is like waking up at 6:45 in my brain, and walking to the start from my on site hotel took five minutes. Genius. That may be why I don’t look so exhausted in my pre race photo.


Bobby and I headed down to our corrals right as the 5k winner was coming through. They were not yet letting people into the corrals, so we hung out in a giant mob of people until nearly 6:00 for a 6:15 start. The National anthem was sung, and the race had started! Bobby was running for time so he was up ahead of me. My plan was to have as much fun as possible. After a quick wave at Carissa and a shout out from her, I headed off for my first runDisney 10k.

Within a couple of minutes, Meghann found me, and we found Brian from Pavement Runner! We have been talking about meeting for so long and how fun to see him on the race course. I also saw Karen, and Christine and Pam.


I ended up running with Meghann for the first few miles, and we had a blast!


We made it into Cars Land and the photo taking began.


You can’t tell I’m having fun or anything…734896-1036-0036s








(photo from Meghann)


We didn’t stop for this photo, but Mike did a crazy wave for us.



my attempt at a selfie with the castle in the background.


Somewhere around this point I stopped to take a GU and lost Meghann in the crowd. I continued on my picture taking spree and did some waiting in line for photos.

It IS a small world after all. I ran into SO many awesome folks who read my blog, I stopped counting after 15. It was fun to see how runDisney connects up all in one place and one race! A big HI to everyone I ran into on the course!


I told the guy to count so I could jump, he looked confused, but he did a good job! Hooray fall!


I love animals Not horses particularly, but seriously, how often do you take a picture with a horse on a race course?


Loved this sign.


These ladies were fun, I don’t see them out often.


I’m late! The white rabbit shooed me along after this photo.


I had to get a photo in front of the Dumbo ride!


I jumped in line for these guys and told them I had fun seeing them yesterday at the meet up. The Mad Hatter seemed shocked that I missed him already!


I got this one for my buddy Kelly, the red queen is her favorite.





WWWEEEE! I’m running through Disneyland!


I got this one for my bestie Jen who had to miss the race. These guys are her favorite.


I ran through Frontierland to another backstage area before heading out into Downtown Disney. I knew we had to be getting close as the finish we near the Disneyland Hotel. I loved the final stretch through DTD, so much crowd support!

You can tell by my red face the heat was starting to get to me. Ok, time to be done!



I saw the mile 6 sign and gave it all I had. Bobby took video of me crossing the finish with a smile on my face. After another shout out from Carissa, I was done.

Hooray finish line!



I grabbed my medal, water and snacks and found Bobby among all the runners. I finished in 1:11 and change, which is pretty good considered all the stopping and standing in line I did for characters and filming!



Bobby did a great job and came really close to a PR.


Please check out this fun little video I made while running on the 10k course. It was fun to video as I ran through the parks!

Final thoughts: I LOVED this race. I loved loved loved the course. It took you through so much of the parks…it felt like the majority of the race was IN the parks which was fantastic and so much fun. There were a lot of character opportunities, and ending running through Downtown Disney with the crowd support was phenomenal. runDisney did a great job, it’s so tough for inaugural events to know exactly how to plan things, and I think they hit the nail on the head in almost every aspect of the race. The only minor hiccups were not letting us into our corrals until nearly 6:00, and I do think another water stop on the course would be great (with some electrolytes). I missed having electrolytes on that super hot day, and found myself looking for water fountains a couple of times on the course. Oh, one other concern was not all character stops had marathon foto photographers, which I didn’t realize until after. I was bummed I didn’t get professional photos at all of my stops. Minor details of course, still an amazing race!

QOTD: What is your favorite race distance? Are you excited about the addition of a 10k to runDisney races?

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.

Disneyland Half Meet Up 2013

Last week, I had the privilege of attending the runDisney Disneyland half meet up. It was my first west coast meet up, and I was stoked to participate…as you can see by the below photo.

joey fatone runDisney text

I met up with some friends in the lobby (I use the term friends loosely, think Ali Vincent, Joey Fatone, and Sean Astin.)

Bloggers Meghann, Carissa and myself snagged a photo with Ali before we had to walk over to the meet up.

ali vincent

On the walk over, I took advantage of the small group of us and got some photos and even a fun video of Joey. He cracks me up.



You’re Welcome. If only I could have gotten him to twerk…

After introductions were made, we had a good form mini running “clinic” from New Balance. It was a fun way to start the morning, making sure we are all running correctly!


Before we headed out on our run I got to see Joe from The Marathon Show. He ran the half, maybe you saw him on the course?


Also, I finally got to meet some bloggers I have “known” for a long time online, like Monica! (With funny girl Carissa photo bombing us of course).


Also, I finally got to hang with Linzie for a bit.


We were split into two groups: the Galloway group and the straight run group. I headed out with the straight run group for a humid run through the parks. Having never participated in a west coast meet up, I found it really fun to run through empty Disneyland!

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I was so excited when I saw the castle with no one in front of it. Not a shot you see often.



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We ran through the castle into Fantasyland where we were greeted by Alice! We took some photos then went for a spin on the teacups.

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It was nice to have the breeze on the teacups. I underestimated the humidity, and immediately pulled my hair up and off my neck (what was I thinking?!?)


I was a LITTLE excited.

I don’t know why but the below photo cracks me up.

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I got to hang out a lot with my buddy Cindy from, and last year’s Disneyland half champ! Skirt buddies for the win!


We picked back up on our run and headed into California Adventure park and through Cars Land which was a lot of fun.

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We stopped at one point and I didn’t realize the run was over, sad times! The Mad Hatter came out and did his best “crossing the finish line” pose for us  (He really IS mad if you are wondering!)


As we headed over to grab some grub, I caught up with Sean Astin who is the king of funny faces.


When it was time to take a photo with the mad hatter, he insisted we stand facing the stage. Ok, sure thing!


We’re all mad!


It was time to eat and get ready for the program, yum yum, I was starving.


Cute spread


LOVED the water!


Since my earlier Joey photo was so dark, I had to get another and chat about the New Orleans concert I went to as a teen. Same convo from January. Maybe he remembered me? Wishful thinking I believe.


The program began, and I was super excited to learn more from Amy Roth of ABC about the new show airing this fall: Once Upon a Time in Wonderland. I am a HUGE Once Upon a Time fan, so I am interested to see this spin off. We got to watch an extended preview of the show, so fun!

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We also heard from Tara, runDisney’s nutritionist, about eating strategies: “just because you run 14 miles does NOT mean you can eat whatever you want.” Darn.


We also heard from one of the coolest dudes around, Jeff Galloway. He is always so encouraging and gives great race day tips.


The always inspiring Ali Vincent also took the stage and said she is running Dopey in January!


Sean Astin also talked about running, but with his daughter. He loves making it a family affair.


Joey Fatone broke our hearts when he said NSYNC was not getting back together. Sad. He did a little Bye Bye Bye dance for us though. More! More!


As the reigning female champ, Cindy got up and spoke about the race last year, and how important it was for her at that point in her life.  She was also excited to run it again!

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There was also a special surprise I was not expecting: the unveiling of some new runDisney medals by Faron Kelley! If you follow me on instagram you saw my feed blow up with individual photos of each medal. So pretty! My favorite is next year’s Goofy.

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At the end of the program, we took a group photo. Can you spot me?

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We were given gift bags as we left, so generous of runDisney and some of the Disney sponsors!


It was a fun morning, and different from the east coast meet up’s I have done. I loved getting to ride the teacups all by ourselves, and having meet and greets with some different characters was a blast. The meet up got me geared up and ready to run dumbo the following day! A huge thanks to runDisney for hosting such a fabulous event.

QOTD: Who is your favorite character from Alice in Wonderland? Do you like to ride the teacups?

Disclosure: I attended this event as media invited by runDisney, however all opinions are my own.


Weekly Workout Recap: September Week 1 2013

After I skipped my weekly workout recap last week, I am back at it! Although, my workouts this week were pretty uneventful (aside from the Disneyland half of course. It’s never uneventful running the happiest race on earth!)

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After the Disneyland 10k

I ran the runDisney Dumbo Double Dare last weekend (recaps coming this week!) and then well….walked around the parks until we went home Wednesday. let me tell you, we walked, and we walked, and we walked…and it was hot…I think California missed the low humidity memo. I *may* have gotten blamed a few times for brining it with me.

Then I gave my body a break Thursday and Friday. Let’s just say my run yesterday was TOUGH. You really are what you eat (and I ate whatever I wanted in Disneyland! so basically I am lots of desserts, cheese and fried food) and I am paying for it now.

Sunday: Disneyland half marathon

Monday: walked around parks

Tuesday: walked around parks

Wednesday: rest

Thursday: rest

Friday: rest

Saturday: 3 miles in 29 minutes <—-tough!!!

I will rest again today, and hope to feel more like myself Monday. I also plan to get back to weights, my goal is 4 times this week. (Mon, Tues, Thurs, Fri) because yes folks, I go out of town AGAIN on Saturday and will have little time to workout for another six days. More on that later, it’s a work trip, but will also be fun. Smile

*Don’t forget to enter my Raw Threads giveaway!

QOTD: Do you have a hard time getting back into workouts after a race?

Disney’s Grand Californian

Whew! Yesterday was an insane day of playing catch up at home. I did 5 loads of laundry in between answering emails and chatting with clients. SO glad today is Saturday though and I get a slight break to catch up. Also glad it’s football time! You can bet I will be parked in front of the TV for the better part of the weekend…after my workout of course. Smile

Next week is going to be loaded with fun runDisney posts, I can’t wait to share everything from the meet up to the races, but I thought today I would start with the hotel.

We were lucky enough to stay at Disney’s Grand Californian. It is a beautiful resort steps from the parks (my favorite perk!) with a rustic theming. We had a gorgeous view of the pool and part of California Adventure park (Grizzly peak is so cool looking!)


We were on the fifth floor and had two queen beds.




Yummy fruit for us that was replenished daily (note: this was a special gift from the hotel.)




We also got to hang out in the concierge lounge on the 6th floor where they had food and drinks for us.



It was nice after a hot day in the parks to relax, look at the mountains and have a snack.


I may have even bumped into a buddy in the lounge.


The balcony of our room was nice to relax on, and I enjoyed people watching from it.


The convenience of the hotel cannot be beat, especially when you are used to Walt Disney World like me where you have to drive everywhere. The resort also has two great restaurants that we ate at, Storyteller’s on the first night and Napa Rose (much more formal) on the last night.

Both were great for different reasons I have outlined in this post.


I plan to stay here in January for Tinkerbell and cannot wait to go back.



QOTD: What is your favorite Disneyland hotel? Or Walt Disney World Hotel?

*Don’t forget to enter my Raw Threads giveaway! 

I would love to book your Disney trip for you at no extra cost to you. Email me at [email protected] for details!

Raw Threads Review & Giveaway

Good morning! I am officially home from California! I had an amazing time and cannot wait to share with you. I will be writing my meet up and race recaps at the beginning of next week, so be on the lookout. However, the lovely ladies behind Raw Threads reached out to me about doing a giveaway, so I thought it would be a fun way to start my posting back off now that I am home!

raw threads

(also, a HUGE HUGE thank you to all my awesome guest posters from the past week. They wrote some amazing stuff, be sure to go back and read if you missed any of them!)

I’m jumping all over the place here, so let’s get back to Raw Threads Athletics. I love this company. I get to see them all the time at expos, and their clothes are so, so adorable. Not only adorable, but comfy! I wore the Belle shirt around Disneyland the other day and it was super soft and I got lots of compliments. I didn’t feel too hot or heavy in it either. Score!


Here are some stats on the clothes:

Core Benefits
Stay comfortable, push harder

Flexible and Soft
-flex-fiv performance fabric drapes like silk and feels like cashmere, making you feel as though you’re wearing nothing at all. (<—-It really does!)
-Dry Workouts
flex-fiv performance fabric naturally draws perspiration from the skin and wicks moisture to keep you dry.
UV Protection
-flex-fiv performance fabric naturally protects you from the sun’s harmful rays and retains little heat.
No Stink
-flex-fiv performance fabric naturally remains odor free. (One of my favorite features!)

When I was racing the Dumbo Double Dare, I saw so, so many ladies sporting the adorable Fly 19.3 shirts, and I know several of you were probably wishing you had bought one a the expo, so now here is your chance to WIN one! You can choose from the red tank, or the red or pink v neck. All cute.





See Rafflecoptor below for rules:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Run Towards A Balanced Stress-Free Life

Last guest post! Show some love for my fellow runDisney runner who ran in Disneyland as well this past weekend!

Everyone’s life is different. That’s one thing that makes being alive so exciting. No two people are alike. We share similarities, heritages, and personality traits, but everyone is responsible for shaping the way their life turns out.

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Well, of course we know there are external influences that can put a roadblock in our dreams, so of course it is silly to think that a Utopian life is just out there waiting to be discovered. I personally wouldn’t want that…I enjoy the excitement in my life.

Running wasn’t always a part of my life. Running is something that has embraced me over the past year and three months and truthfully it has given me more than I could ever repay. Running isn’t just a sport. Running is a lifestyle. Running is a community. Running is a living, breathing, energy that is able to transport your mind to planes of clear thought, clarity, and understanding. Running is a connection.

Whenever you feel stressed, anxious, or things aren’t going the way you would have liked…go for a run. Running has been proven to lower stress-levels. For me, I use this time to be alone. I tune out and focus on my stride, and my destination or goal. Usually what may happen is while you are out, you will encounter some new thoughts you may not have had before, that may lend some clarity or answers to your dilemma. Sometimes, all we need is just a good run to clear our heads and bring balance back to our spirits. If you don’t want to run, try yoga. Yoga stretches are specifically designed to balance the mind, body, and spirit. Yoga is a form of art, use the techniques to stretch and upon your exhale release all of that harmful energy back into the universe.

Stress is a killer. Don’t let it get the best of you. Run, stretch, relate, relax, and release. We all make choices about how we feel. If something doesn’t feel good, evaluate what the root-cause is and make a different choice. Your life can be amazing, but it is up to you to find and achieve that balance in your life. Running has done than for me. I hope it can do that for you as well.


By: ‘Captain’ Linz Starr


Twitter: @SeeSharpRun

Facebook: SeeSharpRun

QOTD: How have you found balance lately?

Spice Up Your Life

Hello Through Heather’s Looking Glass readers! I’m a fellow Heather who blogs at and am lucky enough to share a post with you guys while THE Heather is away at Disneyland… lucky lady!

A great way to give flavor to your food without the additional calories and WITH disease fighting compounds is to use spices! I think a lot of people overlook not only the flavor of spices but the benefits of them. Here are a few I use on a regular basis and the health perks that come along with them 🙂 It’s pretty much a win win.


My most favorite herb/spice is Rosemary! Rosemary contains compounds that stimulates the immune system, increases circulation, and improves digestion. It has also been shown to increase the blood flow to the head and brain, improving concentration. I think we all know my favorite way to use Rosemary, but you can also use it in marinades for chicken/pork/steak/fish, on veggies, in pasta sauces… the options are endless!


Actually, cinnamon is probably tied for my most favorite. I use cinnamon the most (in my oatmeal, coffee, on sweet potatoes/butternut squash, even on rice reheated with a touch of almond milk for a sweet treat!) The antioxidant compounds in cinnamon help prevent blood sugar spikes and dips. And research has shown that eating half a teaspoons worth of cinnamon a day can reduce the risk factors for diabetes and heart disease!


To me, nutmeg is cinnamon’s partner in crime and I use it in the same ways as I listed above. I also like to add it when making dark greens like kale and on the rare occasion when I make a cream sauce. Nutmeg may prevent cavities. The antibacterial compound macelignan can reduce plaque formation by 50 % and block out  cavity producing microbes. Nutmeg also has anti-inflammatory compounds, which is always a plus!


Next up… Cumin! Like most spices, cumin comes in both a seed and powder. I usually use the powder on chicken, in salad dressings, on roasted/grilled veggies or mixed in rice. ONE tablespoon has 22% of your daily recommended iron and it may also boost your memory!


The capsaicin (the compound that creates the burn) in Cayenne Pepper, heats your body up, which in turn revs up your metabolism. It also helps curb your fatty and salty food cravings. I like to add a dash to my popcorn, use it in marinades and on top of roasted veggies. Most peppers contain capsaicin, but the degree of spiciness varies drastically, so be careful! If your mouth feels on fire, grab a glass of milk and NOT a glass of water. The water will only disperse the capsaicin while the fat in milk will bind to the capsaicin and carry it away (down your throat.) Also be sure not to touch your eyes after handling the spice as it will make them burn. Ouch!


Oregano. I don’t use this spice enough, considering all the benefits it has. One teaspoon has has 6 micrograms of Vitamin K (helps build your bones) AND the same amount of antioxidants in 3 cups of spinach. What what?! I am all about adding spinach to every smoothie I make, but what an easy way to sneak in even MORE antioxidants 🙂 It works great in salad dressing or even just sprinkled on top of a salad. I often add it to pasta sauce and of course on my beloved roasted veggies.


And last but not least, ginger! This is commonly known to help settle an upset stomach, but it does more! The chemical gingerol, found in ginger, can help reduce inflammation and block the pathways that process pain. This could help reduce exercise related muscle soreness. Nice. I use ginger the most in stir-fries… they are one of my favorite pre-long run dinners. It is also good on pork and chicken and in baked goods like ginger snaps!

QOTD: Do you prefer fresh or dried spices? What is your favorite spice?

Getting Back to It: Exercise After Baby

Hey guys! Please enjoy another guest post! I come home tomorrow, and have so much to share with you. I cannot wait, so stay tuned!

Well around here it is Back to School time. I have watched the kids all summer having fun sleeping in and enjoying the break.

As a mom with no school age kids living with me I have yet to experience how hard it is to get your kids back into school mode. I can relate in another way though.

I call it Body after Baby. I have had 2 babies. Now I am done and trying to get my body back in running form.

After suffering a miscarriage before each of my babies I have always tried to take it easy. I know that it is perfectly fine to run and exercise while pregnant but I wasn’t taking any chances.

Just before finding out I was pregnant with my daughter I was running 8 miles a day. When I was 6 weeks pregnant with her I walked/ran a half marathon. I could barely walk afterward. I decided after that to take it easy.
I walked every once in a while and gained 70 pounds with her. I was not happy about it but I was glad she came to this world safely. I started running again after about 4 months post partum. I just could not get into it. I hated the way I looked and could not get into the mood to change it. We knew that we would try for one more child before my daughter turned 2 so I wasn’t really trying.
I trained for the TinkerBell Half Marathon and ran it in January 2012. I had suffered a miscarriage the previous September but continued to train.
About 6 weeks later I found out I was expecting my son. I knew from exercising something was not right. I was out of breath and could not get through my workouts. Sure enough I was pregnant. That was March 2012 and I knew that I wanted to try and be healthier this pregnancy and be able to get back to running quicker so I walked. A Lot!

I gained about 50 pounds with my son. I just gain a lot during pregnancy I guess. I had him in November. I live in cold country so getting outside to walk or run was not possible with a newborn.

I do have a great support system from my husband but I wanted to find a way to exercise with my children.
I knew I had to get creative about working out or I would not get it done.


We walk a lot. I got a Baby Trend Double Jogging Stroller, which I love. We walk about 5 miles a day when the weather allows.

When the weather is not so cooperative we have done some creative things

We have gone to the gym:



We do home videos like T25 and Insanity. I say WE because you can see it is a group effort.


We go to the park and use the equipment there. I sometimes just use the walking path while the littles play.

I love being active with my kids. It shows them I am being active and I spend quality time with them.

I have lost all my pregnancy weight. From the second one. I still have 20 pounds to go from my daughter.

I will do it. Even if I don’t I am setting an active lifestyle example for my children.

It has been hard to get back into exercise after a baby but they depend on me and I plan on being here for a long time.

I am getting back into racing slowly. I have signed up for a relay and a half marathon.

Come find out how I have do over at Running through MommyLand. We are full of adventures over there.

Snack Happy: Healthy Snacks to Make at Home

Today’s guest post is from Karen at Karen Loves to Run. Be sure to stop by her blog and show her some love!

I don’t know about you but I love to snack.  As a runner training for a handful of races, high mileage = hungry girl.  It’s easy to make unhealthy snack choices (hello, chocolate covered pretzels) but lately I’ve been snacking happy at home with a few easy to make healthy snacks.

Here are some of my favorites:

Go Nuts

Nuts are a great snack; they are packed with heart-healthy fats, vitamins, minerals, and protein. Mix some of your favorites together, add in some dried fruits and even some seeds and you’ve got your own trail mix. There are many trail mixes available at your local grocery store but I find that they are pricey and I can never find the exact combination I like. I’ve started making my own by buying larger bags of nuts, seeds and dried fruit and combining them into a large jar I keep in the kitchen. Making it at home also lets me come up with some tasty creations!

Homemade Trail Mix

  • Almonds (unsalted)
  • Pumpkin Seeds
  • Sunflower Seeds
  • Raisins
  • Dried Cherries
  • Dried Cranberries
  • Peanuts

Sometimes I roast and salt the almonds at home before putting them into the mix.  It’s so simple to do:

Roasted Almonds: 4 cups almonds, 1T. canola or vegetable oil, Kosher salt on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper (make sure almonds are coated in oil) pop in the oven for 12-13 minutes 350 degrees. Remove, sprinkle with desired amount of Kosher salt, set aside to cool.

Berry Sweet Parfait

This easy combination of yogurt, granola, berries topped with a bit of honey makes a sweet snack or healthy dessert. You can add in any of your favorite fruit (mine is strawberries) and make it with Greek yogurt for extra protein.

Frozen Grapes

This one seems like a no brainer but until a few months ago I had never had frozen grapes, now I love them! It’s easy to pop them in the freezer for about an hour and voila! A frozen snack thats yummy and healthy.


Smoothies are a great snack anytime especially on the go or for breakfast.  I make homemade freezer smoothie packets.  They are perfect if you are short on time (especially if you are trying to get out the door in the morning).  All you need to do is pull one out of the freezer and pop it in the blender.

  • Homemade Freezer Smoothie Packets
    • I find it’s easiest to prepare all of the ingredients at once and place them in a mixing bowl and toss together.
    • Choose your favorite fruits (I prefer fresh but you can do this with frozen fruit as well) and divide into smaller portions.  I save mine in snack size plastic bags and label them.
    • You can pick and choose what you add into your smoothie I’ve been using: coconut milk, almond milk, soy milk, a pinch of Flax seed or Chia seed, and my favorite…spinach! Adding spinach into your smoothie is a great way to boost it’s health benefits.  My tip for green smoothies: stick to only a few fruits and make sure it’s something you love, the fruit flavor will overpower the spinach. I made a pineapple, banana and spinach smoothie.

I hope these ideas keep you snacking happy though out the day! 🙂

Question: What is your favorite at home healthy snack to make?

Back to School for Families

Guest post!

As I sit here leisurely drinking my coffee (out of a Disney mug of course) and nibbling on my yogurt, granola and fruit parfait, I look ahead at what is coming up. The 2013 Inaugural Dumbo Double Dare!!! Well, yes, that is coming up but I am looking ahead at Back to School….


What does Back to School mean? Is it when moms and dads all over are taking back their homes? Is it when the house remains clean for more than 2 seconds? For me, it means that here in my house, we make some changes to our daily routine. As you may recall, I homeschool my two girls. I have a freshman entering high school and a soon to be 5th grader. They now do online school which does take a lot off of my shoulders in preparation of curriculum, but I am their “Learning Coach” as their online school calls me and I need to be there to help out in any way I can. I still need to make sure they understand their formulas, their verbs, their Spanish or French words, etc…

Our summer has been pretty laid back. I let the girls stay up late, sleep in. They had a lot of time with their friends at the mall and the movies. My oldest has been going on group outings with boys and girls. (Boys too? YIKES!!!!) There has been church camp, church weekly bbq’s for my oldest, sleepovers, art classes, dance classes, etc. My youngest even had a trip to LA for a Dance Intensive and then we spent a day in Disneyland together to end our long trip. I know I need to start getting them on a bedtime routine to be ready for morning school time but I can’t help but want to let them be kids and just continue with their fun summer.


Another change is for me. I need to change when I get my run or workout in. 6 days a week is my fitness routine and I love it. It’s been great this summer as I could get up, get a run in, workout and start my day. I didn’t have to worry about making sure the girls were up and on their lap tops for their morning homeroom class or one of their many other online classes. So, now I need to make that change. Do I wake up earlier than normal to run or workout? That is generally what I have done in the past so it is nothing new but still….I have enjoyed my laid back summer too.

As your summer is coming to an end and your kids are going back to school, what is something that will change in your house?