Archives for 2014

Orlando Sentinel Dopey Story

Good morning folks! By the time most of you read this I will be DONE with the half marathon and will only have one day left of racing. Halleluiah!

I normally don’t post on Saturdays anymore, but this is something I just had to share. I was Interviewed for a story for the Orlando Sentinel about running Dopey, then Thursday, I met with a photographer and we shot video and photos in the pouring rain for the paper.


(Photo credit Red Huber, Orlando Sentinel)

If you live in Orlando and get the Sentinel, check out the sports page today! Here is the online version and the video we shot. I hope you enjoy!

Story HERE

On the front page, eeekkk!

dopey paper


QOTD: Do you run in costume? Would you ever run Dopey?

Racing Fears

Another guest post today from a fellow runDisney lover! Enjoy!

HI! I’m Jen from and Heather graciously agreed to allow me to hijack her blog for the day! If you like what you read come over and see me there. And even if you don’t, come see me anyway. I write a lot so there’s bound to be SOMETHING you like;). I’m a wife to Scott, who’s getting ready to run the Goofy Challenge, and mom of three teenage boys including a set of identical twins. For my day job I’m a pastor at a large church in the Dallas area and running is my sanity and my passion!

Me at my last race, Wine and Dine Half!

I’m getting ready to head out for the Disney World Marathon weekend. This time, I’m only doing the half, but I’ve done the full the past two years and this half will make my 14th half marathon and my 20th race overall. I LOVE racing. I love the excitement of race day and most of all, the solidarity you feel with runners from all over the world!

But I still have some big time fears before a big race. Some rational, some irrational, but all very real. So you ready to get comfy and vulnerable with me? Here we go:

My Five Biggest Fears Before Every Big Race

  1. I will get found out for not being a “real runner” – this is IRRATIONAL and I know it is. In fact, although there are certainly folks who have run more races than I have, it’s not the majority and I absolutely belong there. But ever since my first race I’ve had this nagging case of Poser Syndrome (this is when you walk into a running store and feel like it’s the first day of 8th grade). I thought this would go away the longer I ran and it has subsided but I feel get that butterfly feeling when walking into an expo.
  2. I will get sick before the race. This is actually a rational fear. I’m blessed that I don’t get sick much, but I am quite paranoid about germs in the weeks leading up to a big race. I can be downright anti-social if you have so much as a sniffle. I’ve worked really hard and don’t want the flu to take me out when I’ve put in so many hours of training!
  3. I will get sick DURING the race. Those signs that say “Don’t Poop Your Pants” are no lie. I have a, shall we say, finicky stomach and race day nerves mixed with traveling can cause lots of problems. Come to think of it, I think I’ll go get my Imodium and put it in my carry on RIGHT NOW. Thanks for reminding me.
  4. I will get injured and not finish. This fear started as “I will finish last” before my first few races. I now realize that’s unlikely but there can always be an injury that would take me out. We can put in all the training and work in the world, and a rolled ankle or a sudden flare up of an old injury can take us out. It’s not the end of the world and I think it happens to most runners if they run enough races, but I still don’t like it!
  5. And lastly, and this is the biggy, I WILL MISS MY ALARM AND OVERSLEEP AND MISS THE START. For Disney races this is a very rational fear. I get up at 2:30 am on race morning and will set my iphone, the clock radio in the room AND schedule a wake up call. And when I’m traveling with Scott will set his phone as well. And still I won’t sleep well because I’ll be worried I’ll be late. Hasn’t happened yet. Knock on wood:).

So what’s the bottom line? Fears are normal and honestly? That fear is part of the fun! It makes me feel alive and it means I’m taking chances. At 43, I love that I’m still pushing myself to do things that scare me and I hope I never stop!

Happy Running! Hope to see you over at my blog or on twitter where I’m @jenlefforge.


QOTD: Do you have any race/running fears?

Things I wish I’d known when I started running

Please enjoy this guest post while I am off running 48.6 miles!

When I decided to take up running a little over a year ago, I was completely new to the sport.

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I decided I wanted to make a healthy life change and jumped in with both feet—I signed up for a half marathon before I’d ever run a mile. The next few months were a crash course in running—I bumbled my way through a training plan and across the finish line. Since then, I’ve learned a lot about running. Here are some of the things I wish someone had told me before I laced up my shoes for the first time.

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  • Shoes matter: In the beginning, I thought all running shoes were created equal. Boy, was I wrong. It took me months to step out of the outlets and into a specialty running store, but once I started wearing shoes that suited me, I was amazed at the difference it made.
  • Function over fashion: What you wear when you’re running matters. Running in the cotton race t-shirt? I only made that mistake once. Training for a race in the south means moisture-wicking clothes are your best friend, and when the weather turns cold, it is really important to have clothes that suit the chilly temperatures. It took me awhile to find the pieces that fit and suited me best—and luckily, there are so many companies that make functional, cute running pieces that sometimes it is hard to choose. Bottom line: good running clothes are worth the investment.
  • Consistency is key: Deciding to run a long distance race is a commitment, and it takes dedication and consistency. You have to be ready to put the effort in, especially as a beginner.
  • Chafing happens: I didn’t discover body glide until after my first half marathon. My first long, humid, layered half marathon. The thought of it still makes me shudder.
  • Learn how to recover: It took me awhile to learn how to recover from a long run, and that everyone recovers differently. My magic combo is foam rolling, Epsom salts and the occasional massage.
  • You have to find the best hydration plan for you: I trained for my first half pushing a jogging stroller—which meant I had plenty of room for a water bottle and refills. When I started running without my kid, I struggled with hydration. Should I carry a water bottle? Get a hydration belt? It took me awhile to figure out that my preference is to just carry a bottle, and to take advantage of the water stops during races.
  • Use gels and chews: When a volunteer handed me a gel a little over halfway through that first half, I was hesitant to try it. Once I did, though, I was completely converted. What a difference it made! I couldn’t believe it had taken me so long to discover the benefits of them.
  • Make friends (on the running trail and virtually): Running started out as a solo activity for me, then I started to make friends at the starting lines of races. What a friendly group of people! I joined some online forums and groups that connected me to runners in my area and all over the country—it’s a great way to get support, cheer people on, and learn about races you might not know about otherwise.
  • Plan ahead: Some races fill up quickly, some races are chosen by a lottery, and some races have time requirements. If there is a race you really want to do, make sure you do your homework. If you miss a deadline or the race fills up, make it a goal for the next year.
  • Keep it fun: Most of us aren’t professional runners, but we often forget that. It is easy to get caught up in tracking our pace, getting a PR or filling up our medal hangers with shiny bling. Don’t let it all get the best of you, and remember that running should be fun.

QOTD: What do you wish you had known when you started running? What was the best tip you got?

Allyson Brandt lives in Atlanta, GA, and can be found blogging at

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7 Years

Seven years ago last night, at 6:30 in the evening at First Baptist Church New Orleans, I walked down the aisle and married my prince charming. Life hasn’t exactly been a fairytale all the time since, but I would never change the person standing beside me.


You can check out a recap of our wedding here, on my four year anniversary post. I love that to this day, many people tell us it was the best wedding they have ever been to. I am a little bias if I do say so myself, but it was pretty amazing.


I cannot believe it was seven years ago, I still remember all the details so clearly.



We danced, we laughed, we celebrated the beginning of a new stage of life with our best friends.



I am so thankful that I was able to have such a beautiful wedding, and an even more amazing marriage.

Here’s to many more years of wedded bliss.


QOTD: What is your favorite part of a wedding?

Packing for the runDisney Marathon Weekend/Dopey’s Challenge

Last year, I wrote a post about packing for runDisney’s marathon weekend. I even included a fun video to help be your guide, and I thought packing for TWO races (Goofy) would be the most I would ever pack for. Check out that link if you want a super extensive packing list!

dopey packing

Weeellll, I was wrong. Most of you know I am running runDisney’s Dopey Challenge, so now I will need FOUR of everything! This can get quite confusing since We are staying for six nights and will also need park clothes, nice clothes for dinners, etc. I am not going to do another vlog (sorry guys, there is just no time!) but I did want to give you some tips to ADD to this vlog, for those running Dopey.

1.) Ziploc Bags: You will need four sports bras, four pairs of socks, etc, and it can get confusing as to which you want to wear for what race. To minimize confusion (and a messy suitcase) pack the items you need for each race in a ziplock bag or two, and label the bag with a sharpie.

2.) Carry on your shoes: If you are flying, be sure to carry on or wear your running shoes. Most other items are replaceable, but you don’t want to run (especially four races!) in new shoes

3.) Extra running shoes: I plan to bring three pair at least, and rotate them out for the races. Also, in case one pair gets soaking wet, muddy, etc. you will want to have a back up pair for the other races.

4.) Lots of fuel: I take fuel every 3-4 miles, so between my husband and I we will have a lot! (They also sell GU etc. at the expo but don’t try anything new for the race!) I will also be hydrating a lot, it’s going to be another warm race weekend.

5.) Recovery aids: In between each race there are certain things you can do to minimize stiffness and aches for the next race. I plan to bring my traveling stick/foam roller, ibuprofen (do not take ibuprofen before a race, take Tylenol if you must!) compression socks and pants, and Biofreeze.

I hope everyone has a wonderful race experience! If you see me at the expo or any of the races be sure to say hello! You can follow me on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook as well, I will be posting live from Florida and from the races.

Happy packing, safe travels, and I hope to see many of you in Florida!

QOTD: What am I leaving out between the video and these tips?

For information on runDisney events, registration, and dates, be sure to check out

Weekly Workout Recap: January 2014 Week 1

First workout recap of January! I hope everyone had a great workout week kicking off the new year. I am tapering for Dopey, so I took it easy on the running front.


We are ready to see some characters!

At this point, nothing I do is going to make me faster, so it’s just about maintaining, keeping injuries at bay, and feeling confident. I took 3 rest days this week, Friday was unplanned, but I didn’t have a great day and working out was the last thing on my mind. Take a look:

Sunday: rest

Monday: 10 mile run

Tuesday: rest

Wednesday: 30 minutes elliptical

Thursday: 30 minutes stationary bike, weights

Friday: rest

Saturday: circuit workout at home 25 minutes

My plan for next week is to rest today, run 3 or 4 miles tomorrow, and that will be my last run until the 5k on Thursday. We leave Tuesday and are driving halfway down to Disney, and then arrive Wednesday morning to go to the expo. If you are going to the races, I hope to see you there!

QOTD: Do you run the week of a race/before the race?

Bib Display Frame

Good morning!

As a Gone for a RUN ambassador, I will be doing reviews from time to time of their products. I have met these guys before at race expos and own several of their items, and they are super sweet and have quality gifts. I thought this would be a fun product review for right now since everyone is thinking about runDisney events with marathon weekend around the corner. a lot of people are looking past that and on to Princess weekend, which is in February. I have a GREAT gift idea for you, or if you know someone running (or for any runner you know!)

Gone for a RUN has created a really cool bib display frame for you to proudly display your running achievements in your home or office. You can even customize them and add your own text!!


I however, picked out a princess one, and I plan to add in my bib after the race.


You can set them up on a counter or dresser, or hang them from a wall by the two hooks provided.

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The screws were very simple to unscrew with a flat head screw driver, and I had my display ready to go in no time. I know it’s meant for bibs, but I also thought it would be a cool race photo collage, maybe with the bib and a photo or two cut out and put in as well. There are a ton of options!

Look how adorable this one is:


For the non princesses (who are THOSE people? I kid.), check these out:



The words/pictures are laser engraved, and the display is made form high quality acrylic. I love how the bibs just “pop” against the background. I have mine sitting on a shelf in my office next to my medals that are hanging on my wall. it’s a great conversation starter, and fabulous gift!

Who wants a discount? THLG readers can save through January 6th when they order a bib display. Just enter in LOOKINGGLASSBIB at checkout to receive 10% off your own display. Happy shopping!

QOTD: How do you display your bibs right now?

Disclosure: I was provided with product for this review, however opinions expressed are my own

The Year of Optimism

Oh, 2013. My head is swimming with so many thoughts that I don’t know where to start. I feel like every year I start the year off all excited and ready for change, but by February I have slipped back into my same old mindset. Not only that, but I totally forget about my resolutions and at the end of the year it’s a surprise to me to even read what they were!
In my house, we have a tradition where we write our resolutions down and put them in our Christmas stockings for safe keeping. Then, the next year when we pull out the decorations we have them ready to read….and ready to be depressed about. I realized that a lot of my “resolutions” are actually things that are mostly out of my control. No wonder I get so disappointed when they don’t happen! This isn’t true for all of them, but a lot, yes. I have decided that this year I am not going to set myself up for failure and disappointment by writing down lofty things that may or may not happen during the year. Especially when I know I will forget about them in a couple weeks.
Hear me out, I’m not saying you shouldn’t have goals or strive for certain things, if you have been reading my blog for awhile you know I typically do small monthly goals. I just think a laundry list of lofty things for the year may not be the way to go for some people (like me).

This year, instead of setting myself up for disappointment, I am going to try to focus on bettering myself as a whole person. I’m not labeling it, I’m not putting limitations, restrictions, or specifics on it. I know technical goal people are probably having a panic attack right now because that isn’t exactly “measurable”, but I want the freedom to make it whatever I want it to be for that day, hour, or even minute. For example: I may wake up one day and decide I want to run 25 miles that week. So I will focus on bettering myself in that way, and then that’s that. The next day or week, I may decide I want to volunteer in some way,do it, then move on to something else. I don’t want to limit myself, box myself in, or set myself up to fail. Heck I may decide in the middle of something to change my mind!

Bottom line, January puts a lot of STRESS on me, and it’s not necessary. I want 2014 to be low key and laid back. This in itself will be a huge feat because I am quite high strung. I have always been very competitive and in turn am very hard on myself. This year I don’t want to beat myself up for things I DON’T do, but instead want to CELEBRATE the things I do accomplish.

It’s all about your mindset and attitude, and I am striving to be more of a glass half full kind of girl. So, my word for the year is OPTIMISTIC. Again, not putting any rules on this, I just want to strive to be an overall better and more optimistic person, whatever that looks like depending on the day. You are the only one who can change your attitude, and we all know your mental health has a huge bearing on your physical health.


So for 2014, I will be counting my blessings and being optimistic about the future. I think if I can do those things, then I will WANT to better myself because I will have the right attitude. It’s a cycle! 2013 was tough, I don’t share everything here on the blog as I don’t want to air my personal issues online…so just know there were a lot of days I really struggled. I’m not sad to see it go and am ready to start fresh with this new approach. Even though things last year didn’t go as planned, I am a very blessed girl and owe every good thing I have to God, who has been with me even when I felt the most alone and sad. It’s tough, but I am trying to remember that my plans may not be what God has in mind for me, and may not be best for me. I don’t want to settle, so I will be optimistic and try to go with the flow and remember it will all work out!

Here’s to a laid back, glass half full 2014. I just know it’s going to be my best year yet. (See, already working on that optimism!)
Thank you for reading my blog in 2013, you all mean a lot to me, more than you can know.


Happy New Year 2014!

Well…it’s 2014! I hope everyone had fun last night. I am visiting family so will be writing a couple New Years posts over the next few days, but I just wanted to pop in and wish you all a year of health and happiness!

We all have a blank slate starting today so think carefully about what you will do with it! Do good things, make healthy choices, don’t bring unnecessary baggage into 2014. Love y’all!

QOTD: what did you do last night?