Archives for February 2015

Almost Home

Hey guys, thanks for being patient with the blog while I have been on vacation! We fly home today (sad times!) and I will have race, expo, and trip recaps for you! I met several readers while in Disney, it was so fun to chat with all of you that I met. I’m wiped and need a vacation from my vacation! 

Here are a few pictures of the fun. 





Jeff Galloway Tips: Part 2

Hello friends! It’s time for another installment of Jeff Galloway’s run/walk/run tips! It seems fitting to post this today since I am going to the runDisney Princess half expo and am hoping to run into him there! Check out these great tips!

-The training journey for a marathon or half marathon raises your body’s physical performance capability and your sense of what you can do in life.

-Running helps to bring body, mind and spirit together in a unique and wonderful way

In researching my book MENTAL TRAINING I discovered that -running turns on brain circuits for a better attitude more vitality and empowerment better than other activities studied.

-In researching my book RUNNING UNTIL YOU’RE 100 I found numerous studies showing that runners have healthier orthopedic units than non runners even after decades of running.

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Training:

-When a runner takes walk breaks early and often enough for the individual the muscles are strong to the end.  See RUN WALK RUN at www.jeffgalloway.com for recommendations by pace per mile.

-The “exhaustion wall” can be avoided by running longer long runs up to or beyond race distance-using the appropriate run-walk-run strategy.

-Marathoners tend to improve time by an average of more than 15 minutes when they increase their longest run from 20 miles to 26 miles.

-To recover fast, run the long runs at least 2 min/mi slower than you could currently run in a marathon

-The right run-walk-run strategy from the beginning of each run, gives any runner control over fatigue, injury-elimination, and recovery.

-In numerous surveys, runners improved over 13 minutes when they shifted from running continuously to use of the right run-walk-run strategy.

As always, you can use hashtag #runwalkrun #runinjuryfree #jeffgalloway to join in the conversation on twitter, facebook, and instagram!

Last Minute Princess Thoughts

Tomorrow! Tomorrow! I will be back in Disney World tomorrow after a year away from my happy place! I absolutely CANNOT WAIT to not only be there and run, but to spend a week with my husband, just the two of us. We vacationed a lot before Emma Kate was born, but I totally took our time together for granted. That has definitely changed and I am stoked to fly out first thing tomorrow!

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My mom is on her way up to the house today, she will be watching the baby here for the first half of the trip and Bobby’s mom the second half. We are so thankful they are coming, that way EK will be in her own environment and on her regular routine, go to school, etc.

Ok, so, a few last minute things I am doing today that I wanted to remind the other princesses about. Don’t forget to check in for your flight if you need to, print out your waiver, print out the form to get a free bookmark at the expo, and if you are staying on Disney property, don’t forget to pack your magic bands in your CARRY ON BAG.

I will be staying at Port Orleans Riverside, so if you see me at the resort or parks say hi!

Also, don’t forget I am hosting two meet up’s, very informal, come and go. The first one is SATURDAY EVENING at 6:15 ish in front of Ghirardelli at Downtown Disney. I will try to post a pic prior as to what we are wearing so we can be easily spotted, so be sure to follow me on Instagram and Twitter so you don’t miss anything!

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Did someone say ice cream?

The second meet up is SUNDAY MORNING in front of the Race retreat tent around 4:15 or 4:30. I have another meet up at 4 and will try to scoot away from that one to get to this one between those two time, so if I’m not there yet, I’m coming! Again, I will try to post my updated whereabouts on Twitter so check there if you don’t see me right away I may have posted that I’m on my way etc.

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Also, I will be at the race expo Thursday afternoon (maybe around 2ish?) It will depend on how long magical express and check in take. IF YOU SEE ME AT THE EXPO, say the password “Looking Glass” and I may have a special prize for you! Please don’t be shy, I love love love meeting new friends, I promise I won’t bite.

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I can’t believe it’s been a year, and as I think back to last year’s race and trip I am glad I get a “redo”. Last year at Princess, I was 9 weeks pregnant and at the height of my morning sickness. I felt awful and nauseated and have never experienced that level of exhaustion. I had not told anyone yet but my parents, so I had to pretend to smile and be happy even though I felt so bad! It was my first time running a runDisney race alone, too so that was hard with how bad I was feeling. I remember being so upset because I felt like I ruined the trip for everyone (my parents were with us) and I knew it would be a long time until I got to come back to Disney again. Oh how a year can make a huge difference! Definitely not pregnant this year, although some days I still feel I look it trying to get rid of these last few pounds! Anyway, I am so thankful I get to go back and race again, and I won’t take it for granted!

PS: Don’t forget to check out my runDisney Princess Half marathon tips!

QOTD: Are you running princess? What day will you be at the expo?

Hip Injury Update

Hello friends! HAPPY  MARDI GRAS!  My brain is all over the place today. I have so much packing left to do and errands to run and we leave tomorrow afternoon! At least the baby goes to daycare for a few hours today so hopefully I can get it all done.

Anyway, I went to the doctor yesterday to see about my hip/knee situation. After filling out lots of paperwork, I was taken to the back.

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They took some xrays, and after a physcal evaluation etc. didn’t find any tears thank goodness. They poked around a lot and found several tender spots, and he had me stand on a stepstool on my bad leg and hold my other leg off the front and so a squat. Yeah….I was wobbling all. over. the. place.

So my officially diagnosis is tendonitis. He said the scoliosis probably doesn’t help, but he said every time I run and take a step with that right leg, it is basically doing all of that wobbling with every step. A lot of people run with it and are fine, but due to my run on the crazy streets of NOLA, mine kind of “flared up”. So, he gave me some strong anti-inflammatory pills and I have an evaluation with a physical therapist tomorrow.

Bummer is I won’t be able to start right away because I will be out of town for a week, but hopefully they will be able to give me some strengthening exercises I can do at home. If I am still struggling before the marathon, I can get a cortisone injection to get me through it, but the doc is confident I will be able to manage the race. I can still run though so with the help of the anti-inflammatory pills, I should be fine to finish training.

I’m not looking forward to all the PT, but I am glad that I went to get it looked at and am hopefully on my way to getting well!

QOTD: Have you ever been to physical therapy?

What I’m Loving Lately: February 2015

It’s time again to see what some I have been loving as of late. As the weather changes and as my workouts/training cycles change, my favorites most definitely change as well. Here we go!

1.) Opedix Knee-Tec 2.0 full length compression tights:

Marathon training is painful yall. My joints hurt, I ache a lot, and need serious help recovering. I was given these tights and so far I am really liking them.

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They help improve alignment and joint function, as well as reduce muscle fatigue. They have compression plus torque reform technology. These tights are moisture wicking, anti-odor, and breathable. They have a high waistband with a drawstring, and they have a great fit. My favorite thing though is that they are made in the USA! I have been wearing them after some long runs and my muscles feel more relaxed and I feel more fresh the next day and ready to run again. They have a lot of seams which I wasn’t sure about at first, but soon realized it helps and gives more compression and a better fit. (Follow them on Instagram here).

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2.) Emma Kate’s Easter basket:

I never click on the sponsored content that comes up on Facebook, but this time I did. There was a great sale price plus free personalization on baskets from Viv and Lou, so I had to get one!

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3.) Starbucks baby gift idea:

I saw this on Instagram. How adorbs is this? Baby blankets made to look like Starbucks drinks. I die. Now I just need to find a fellow Starbucks lover who is expecting, yes, I even have hypothetical pregnancy gift ideas for people who don’t exist yet in my life. Don’t judge.

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4.) This. Need I say more?

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5.) External charger from Jane.com

I bought this a month or so ago and it has been a lifesaver. I just stick it in my purse and can recharge my phone when I am using it a lot and don’t have an outlet nearby. It was only about $7, and I have seen them pop up on the site several times. Oh, and if you aren’t familiar with Jane.com, enter at your own risk. Ssssoooo addicting!

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QOTD: What is something you are loving lately? Do you have or like any of the things I mentioned?

Disclosure: I was sent the Opedix tights to try free of charge, but everything else in this post I purchased. All opinions are my own.

 

Jeff Galloway Running Tips

Hello everyone! I was selected as a Jeff Galloway blogger and can’t wait to share some of his tips with you. I have had the opportunity to meet Jeff many times over the past few years and he is just the sweetest kindest man and I am thrilled to get to share some of his tips with you all.

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I am running the LA marathon next month and am slightly undertrained, so I will be using the run/walk/run method to make it through. I have found that my finish times are VERY similar from running straight through or using the run/walk/run method. I tend to run faster during the run portion when I know I will be getting a walk break!

See below for more tips:

-A well-paced run enhances vitality for the rest of the day. Start each run at least 30 seconds a mile slower than you will run at the end.

-If you have a Run Walk Run strategy that is right for you on that day, it’s possible to feel good after every run-even the marathon.

-Running is the best stress reliever I’ve found. Research shows that running tends to activate the conscious brain which over-rides the emotional subconscious brain and manages the negative and anxiety hormones during and after the run.

-Research shows that as runners get faster, their stride length shortens. A quicker cadence is the mechanical key to faster running.

-The finishing of a run that is longer than you’ve run in the last 3 weeks can bestow a sense of achievement that is unique and empowering-due to positive brain circuits that are turned on.

-You can’t run a long run too slowly or take too many walk breaks. You’ll get the same endurance based upon the distance covered.

Thanks for the tips Jeff! I will be sharing more with you all soon!

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Be sure to use hashtags #jeffgalloway #jeffgalloawy131 #runwalkrun #runinjuryfree to see more tips and info about Jeff!

QOTD: Do you ever run/walk/run?

Bonding With Your Newborn

Before I had Emma Kate, I had family, friends, and strangers alike tell me that the day I have her would be the best day of my life. That the second I saw her my heart would explode into a million pieces, and that I would experience love that I have never known. I was told this so. many. times. That I became rather curious. I couldn’t imagine this particular feeling, so I was excited to experience it. Of course, how could so many people be wrong? And, if I DIDN’T feel like that, it would clearly mean something was wrong with ME, right?

The day came, and it was slightly traumatic and filled with anxiety. Emma Kate came out screaming, meanwhile I was dry heaving into a bucket as I got stitched up. It was all a blur, and when I looked at her and didn’t have that immediate Elmyra from Tiny Toons gushy squishy feeling, I panicked. What was wrong with me? Who was this creature screaming her lungs out that I was now in charge of? I really, really just wanted to take a nap. It was all so surreal. I was relieved that the dreaded labor part was over, but now I was hit with this new reality that I was in no way prepared for.

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Did I love my daughter? Yes. In an “it’s my job, and I am going to take care of you” kind of way. I would never let any harm come to her, and I would take care of her. But did I love her like I love my husband? The rest of my family? No, I did not.

The first month of Emma Kate’s like was so hard. I was sleep deprived, having trouble with breastfeeding, and I was grieving the loss of my old life and freedom. I felt like there was something wrong with me for not having the same love for my daughter as I saw some people have on the internet. Oh the internet. I will save that for a different post, but seeing everyone else with their babies over the past year on Instagram and blog posts and how they were immediately gushing over them furthered my panic.  Were these people being truthful? Maybe they felt just like me, but were scared to talk about it, as was I. To not want to spend every waking second with your child? Taboo! Terrible mother! That’s how I felt.

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People were very passive aggressive about when I started running three weeks postpartum. “Don’t rush, don’t you want to spend every waking second staring at her face?” Um. no. I wanted to run to have some alone time, I needed to think. “But how can you be so selfish, I could never leave my daughter’s side even for an hour for months after I had her!” The fact that people told me I was supposed to just stare at her and be content with that…again, caused panic.

Then, around 7-8 weeks postpartum, something happened. Emma Kate started to smile. I didn’t feel the Elmyra squishy gushing feeling that I felt I was “supposed” to feel, but I smiled back, and my heart melted just a tiny bit. The smiles came more and more often, and the random crying (colic) became less and less. I was getting reciprocation from this tiny creature, and it warmed my heart. Soon after that, she started laughing. All the time. Everything I did or said was apparently VERY funny, and around three months I started to be excited to wake up and get her in the morning and see her smile at me.

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We left her for the weekend with my parents to go to New Orleans for a race in January, and while it was great to get away and have some time without her, I was so excited to see her and hug her when we got back. The affection continued to grow, until at four months, we were sitting together laughing one day, and I realized I loved her so much I just wanted to squeeze her so hard just like Emlyra. I am now constantly pinching her cheeks, kissing her head, and laughing with her. I find myself saying things like “I can’t wait until we can do XYZ together.”

When you think about it, it really makes more sense to me to have it happen this way. When you met your boyfriend or spouse, or best friend, I doubt you felt deep affection for them right away. Bonding takes time, and it occurs at a different pace for everyone. The more you get to know a person and spend time with them, the more you begin to love them. This is how it happened with my baby, and I honestly think this is what happens to a lot of people but they are so afraid to say anything for fear of people thinking they are bad mothers who don’t love their children.

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I know I was afraid to say anything at first, but I realized a lot of people felt this way and wanted to let you know if this is you, that you are not alone! Don’t be fooled by instagram photos or blog posts where moms say everything is going great and they couldn’t be more in love or more happy. Yes it is true for some of them and they do have an instant connection, but I can promise not everyone is being truthful. For me it was more of sidestepping the issue and not talking about it on the blog. If being on social media seeing how other new moms are doing is stressing you out, turn off your phone. Step away, and don’t compare your life to anyone else’s. They may be struggling with someone else that has been a breeze for you. Having the baby blues is ok too, just be sure you know when it’s time to ask for help.

So, ask me now, do I love my daughter, in the squishy love kind of way? Absolutely. But I also know as I get to know her more, I will grow to love her even more. So if you have a newborn, and aren’t “there” yet, don’t fret. It will come. It may take weeks or even months, but don’t ever let someone make you feel guilty or bad because your love came differently or more slowly. We are all just doing the best we can, and should be supporting each other in this crazy thing called parenthood.

QOTD: Did you have an instant connection with your baby or did it take some time?

Weekend Fun in New Orleans

When Bobby and I were in New Orleans a couple of weeks ago, not only did we have a great time running, but we also got to experience some new things I wanted to share with you. Since I am from the area, I don’t get to experience New Orleans hotels very often, we simply just would drive home, so I was stoked to be staying at Hotel Monteleone for two nights. We dropped off the baby with my parents Friday afternoon then drove into the city.

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We found the hotel and valet parked. (Please note if you plan to stay here, valet parking is the only option and it’s $40 a night plus tax).

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The lobby was absolutely gorgeous, and had a very Victorian vibe to it.

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Hotel  Monteleone also houses a rare oddity, it’s called the Carousel Bar. It’s the only moving/rotating bar around, how cool is that?

It was late so obviously our room was ready. We requested a king which is always nice to have but one thing I have learned when requesting a king bed is that the room itself is usually smaller hence why they can only fit one bed in it. While our room was very fancy, it was by far the smallest hotel room I have ever stayed in.

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In the above photo, the left wall is right at the edge of the photo, and on the right side you can see the curtain for the window.

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The bathroom was nice but really small, too. Oh well, we weren’t planning to be in the room much, we had lots to do! But not before a glorious night of sleep not listening for the baby monitor. We slept 9.5 hours! It was amazing.

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robes in the closet

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view from our room

Saturday was beautiful but very chilly in the morning. We knew we were getting breakfast at Café du Monde so we bundled up and walked towards Jackson square.

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We wandered around the French Market before the Rock ‘n Roll Tweet Up

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After the Tweet Up and charity event, we headed to the expo then walked over to the Riverwalk for lunch.

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We both wanted different things so we hit up the food court before walking back to our hotel. We were having an early dinner with Megan and her husband Gabe, so we just chilled in the room until dinner time. Bobby actually took a nap while I read over the final event information for the half marathon the next day. The restaurant we were eating at, Mr. B’s Bistro, was literally right across the street from our hotel so we headed down when Megan said they had arrived.

Yes we had a half marathon the next day, but we all knew none of us were in shape to do our very best, so we decided to have a drink. I tried out the Mardi Gras martini and WOW it was delicious!

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We had good food and great company, it was a blast!

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We said our goodbyes fairly early so we could get to bed. It was nice just walking back across the street to our hotel!

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One thing I forgot about when staying in the French Quarter: it’s loud at night. Not to mention, we forgot the fan we always sleep with! Luckily I had a white noise app, but we heard non stop honking and had an ambulance parked outside our window for awhile at one point (we were on the 7th floor).

The next morning was of course the race, and we had just enough time to come back and shower before our late check out. While we wish the room was bigger at the hotel, the service was excellent and everything was beautiful. I hope we get to come back and stay again sometime!

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Our weekend in New Orleans couldn’t have been much more perfect. I am so thankful for the beautiful weather, and a weekend just the two of us was just what we needed. Also I am glad I got to do some of my favorite things: race, hang out with friends, and hang out with my husband. I can’t wait until next year!

QOTD: What is your favorite spot for a racecation?

Disclosure: Our room was paid for by Rock ‘n Roll, but no further compensation was received. All opinions are my own and I was not asked to write about my hotel experience, I just like to share about my travels and great places to stay!

runDisney Disneyland Half Marathon Registration

It’s finally time to register for the runDisney Disneyland half marathon! Today, at noon EST, you can sign up at rundisney.com to take part in this amazing weekend. This is one of my favorite races, and the first time I ever visited Disneyland was when I ran it in 2012. I had hoped to be able to come back for 2015, but my money tree hasn’t started producing anything yet. Smile

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However I am stoked to let you in on a few details that have been released and get you pumped up for registration day! This particular year is a special one, because it’s the 10th anniversary of the race. As if runDisney medals weren’t cool enough, there will be a special commemorative 10 year one placed around your neck after you cross the finish line.

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2012 medals

Also, there will be a special party, see below, taken from the official press release:

“… a special Disneyland Half Marathon Annual party.  This private, ticketed event, held Thursday evening Sept 3, will give guests access to select attractions, Disney entertainment and character meet & greets in Disneyland Park West Side.”

How fun! Oh, you need even more to celebrate? How about the newly-announced 60th Anniversary Diamond Celebration? The special party will offer an exclusive viewing of the new “Paint the Night” parade!

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This weekend promises to be jam packed with fun from the health and fitness expo, to the kids races, and the 5k, 10k, and half marathon. Also, I DARE you to sign up for the Dumbo Double Dare race challenge!

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2013 Dumbo Double Dare

Good luck and happy registering! See below for full event schedule:

Event Schedule:
Disneyland Half Marathon Anniversary Party
Thursday, Sept. 3, 4 p.m. – 12 a.m.

Disneyland Family Fun Run 5K
Friday, Sept. 4, 5:30 a.m.

Disneyland 10K
Saturday, Sept.5, 5:30 a.m.

 

runDisney Kids Races
Saturday, Sept. 5, 9 a.m.

Disneyland Half Marathon
Sunday, Sept. 6, 5:30 a.m.

 

Disneyland Health & Fitness Expo
Thursday, Sept. 3, 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Friday, Sept. 4, 12 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 5, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Remember, registration opens at noon. Do NOT wait! This anniversary year is going to sell out fast!

QOTD: Will you be signing up this year? Have you ever been to Disneyland?

Rock ‘n Roll New Orleans VIP Experience

Bobby and I were able to take advantage of the VIP experience at Rock ‘n Roll New Orleans a couple of weekends ago. I have never done VIP for a Rock ‘n Roll race, and was excited to compare it to others I have done with different races.

The morning VIP breakfast and lounge was at the Hilton New Orleans. When we picked up our bracelets we were told it was “right next to the start line” but we ended up passing it up because they were doing construction so we saw no signs for the VIP or anything outside the hotel which would have been helpful, also it wasn’t exactly right next to the start, we saw a bunch of people a couple blocks down but turns out that was the 10k start so it was kind of confusing It was freezing so we were really happy to get to go inside once we finally found it!

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The race started at 7:30 and the VIP lounge opened at 6. We had the option of driving to the finish and parking our car and taking the VIP shuttle back downtown, but the shuttle left the finish at 5:45, which means we would have had to leave the hotel around 5:15 to make sure we didn’t miss the one shuttle, so waking up at 4:15 didn’t sound fun, I wanted that extra hour! So we decided to walk to the start, and take the VIP shuttle back downtown after the race instead. (We were able to get a late hotel checkout at Hotel Monteleone, so we had until 1:00).

We were directed upstairs where our wristbands were checked for the second time, and they had food for us. (Yogurt, bananas, bagels, coffee, water).

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Then they had a room with tables for us and plenty of room to stretch as well.

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It was really nice to just relax and sit in the warmth and drink some coffee before heading outside. At 7:00, I decided to go to the bathroom because I knew the line would get long, and I was right, it was already out the door and some of the stalls were running out of toiler paper. I was very thankful to not be using a port-o-potty though! After that, we shed our outerwear (reluctantly) and got our gear bags ready. We turned them in to the VIP gear check, and hung out in the lobby area as long as possible. Well, until 7:20. We then walked out to the start and it wasn’t so bad standing outside for only a few minutes.

Fast forward to after the race.

We crossed the finish line, got our medals and snacks, and headed to the VIP tents.

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We picked up our gear bags at our own private gear pick up, went ahead and got on the list for free 10 minute massages, and went to change. My hip was hurting so badly I didn’t even bother having Bobby take a picture of me with my medal. I realized it and then took a selfie inside the women’s changing tent.

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They had separate men’s/women’s changing tents as well as own our bathrooms. I was so glad I brought a full change of clothes, I felt way more comfortable and warm having on a comfy outfit. By time I came out and went to the bathroom, they were calling my name for my massage woo hoo! I was really excited about it since I was hurting, and was sadly disappointed. Fail.

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They had 3-4 tables with two people doing each 10 minute massage, and I just am glad I wasn’t paying for the massage or I would have asked for a refund. The massage was so light they were barely touching me. The stretching felt good, but that’s about it. Sad smile

Oh well, moving on, it was time to EAT! I have been thinking about food and mimosa’s all morning and it was time! The food and drinks were under the big white tent, along with a charging station with lots of different phone cords. I thought this was a nice touch!

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The temps were in the low 60’s with a light wind. I was comfortable in my long sleeves, but just in case, they had heaters stationed near some of the tables, another nice touch!

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To the left is the massage tent, to the right the gear check tent….Complete with Bobby hovering waiting for his massage (in the red shirt).

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We had a great view, too. The stage was just off to the left of this picture with the live music.

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The drinks were yummy, the food was alright, but the day was absolutely gorgeous. It was so nice to sit and relax and unwind while listening to the music.

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After I finished my first plate (and second drink), Megan came hobbling up. Poor thing didn’t have a great race either and was injured as well.

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We chatted for a bit and then said our goodbyes. I got to talk to a few more of my runner friends, and then lunch was brought out. Lunch? I thought the food I had already eaten was it. Nice! They put out pulled pork, dessert, and a few other things, so…another plate for me!

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The VIP shuttle was running every thirty minutes, and since we had to checkout at 1:00 we decided to take the 12:00 shuttle. I would have loved to stay longer (VIP was open until 2:30) but we had to go shower and check out. We we led out as a group by a competitor group employee to the VIP bus and so there was no waiting in line for the other buses which was really nice!

We headed back into the French Quarter, and the driver stopped along Poydras St. to let people off where they wanted, so we literally only had to walk one block down to our hotel, whereas the regular busses were only dropping off at one point. I was expecting a much further walk so it was nice!

We showered and we re out at 12:58, perfect timing! We had a really great day and a fun race made even better and easier by the VIP experience. Sure there are a couple things I would have changed, but overall we had a really good time and were thankful for the ease of the day due to being a VIP. Also, all the extra food and drinks didn’t hurt!

The only problem is now I am spoiled and want to do it for every Rock ‘n Roll race!

QOTD: Have you ever paid extra to do something like the VIP experience?

*Don’t forget you can use code LOOKINGGLASS15 and save $15 on any RnR US half or full marathon except for Vegas, and also save on Canada races!

Disclosure: I was provided with VIP entrance by Rock ‘n Roll, however all opinions are my own.