runDisney Half Marathon 2016 Race Recap

Saturday morning, my alarm went off at 1:45. I had only gotten about two and a half hours of sleep, and I knew I would pay for it later. But, it was time to run a half marathon!

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I stumbled around the hotel room, thankful I had laid out my costume the night before, and started getting ready. My amazing tutu came from this great Etsy shop. She does tons of Disney characters, so be sure to check her out for your next runDisney race! (You can also follow her on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.) I knew just where to find the best shirt to complete my outfit, Raw Threads. They always have a great booth at the runDisney expos as well. I ran in my new ASICS Meta Run shoes, they are so comfortable and the black goes with any costume.

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We were running a little behind, but thankfully Hilton Bonnet Creek had multiple buses to take people to the start, and we had plenty of time to grab some food and get onboard. Once at Epcot, we realized we were really early and still had a lot of time to kill, so we got in line for a character picture, which we usually never have time to do.

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Daisy told me Donald was getting ready for the race, but he wished us good luck.

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We used the bathrooms, and then headed to the corrals as soon as they opened. We made it to the front of F, and took a seat on the ground to wait. It was truly amazing watching all the people try to sneak into the wrong corral. I mean dozens and dozens of people. Those volunteers have a TOUGH job. People were trying to hide their bib under a sweatshirt, put their finger over part of the letter to make it look like a different one, begging and pleading because their best friend wanted to run with them, you name it. I am glad we had tough volunteers who didn’t let anyone in that wasn’t supposed to be there!

Before long, it was our turn to be at the starting line. Since we were in the front, they kept pushing us up closer and closer to the start line…and then I got a text saying I had started the race (I was tracking myself). NO! I had NOT started the race, they had made us squish up so close to the line that the official tracker started! It wasn’t until about a minute later that we were sent off, so it was a bit frustrating starting the race already losing 60 seconds!

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The first few miles were pretty uneventful. It was cool but not freezing, but SO FOGGY and very very humid. I soon started sweating pretty badly, and made a stop at a medic tent for some body glide. We kept a steady pace, and made it to the Magic Kingdom sign.

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After a couple more miles, we went through the TTC, and then the Magic Kingdom was in sight. I was stoked that the still had the icicle lights on, because I had not yet seen them this year, or the year before actually, so I was really happy to run down Main street towards the gorgeous castle. Bobby snapped the below picture of me and I love it. I think it really captures all the feels of running down Main Street!

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The crowds were great as usual, and I heard a couple of people shout my name and I waved in the general direction of the noise, so if you were yelling to me and I didn’t see you, I’m sorry, but I did hear you!

I knew I wanted to stop and get a pic in front of the castle. It was so foggy it barely came out though, but I think the castle looks kind of cool.

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I had told Bobby before the race that I didn’t care how long the line for the Queen of Hearts was, that if she was out, I wanted a picture. We saw her just past the carousel in Fantasyland, and even though the line was about 13 deep, we stopped anyway.

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We made it to the back of the castle, and had to stop for a shot of these guys. Imagine how long the line would be if they were on the ground! I also wanted to get a shot of Bobby by the castle but it didn’t come out too well.

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We sadly came out of the Magic Kingdom, knowing the most fun part of the race was over. We wound around by the Grand Floridian and Wedding pavilion, and I was thankful the road opened back up again. At about mile nine my lack of training started to get to me, and I was mentally done. Once we hit mile 10, we started counting down saying things like “it’s just a 5k left”, and that seemed to help.

We made it to the turn that kills my IT band every time, and Bobby wanted a picture with our green army man friend.

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Once we were on this new road headed to EPCOT, I knew we were getting close and didn’t even want to stop for water, I was just ready to be done. It was also about this time I told Bobby I was SO GLAD we weren’t doing Dopey again this time! I may have cried if I had to run a full the next day.

We made it up the last bridge, and down into EPCOT where I saw my favorite sign….”run like Steve Harvey is trying to give your medal to Miss Colombia”. I died yall, love it.

We made it around the EPCOT ball, and were finally in the home stretch! This last part is always hard because I get excited I’m “so close”, but really have more to run that I think, and I try to kick harder way too soon and I die out. Whoops. I heard the choir singing, and knew we were REALLY close.

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Wwweeee! Finsih line in view! We made it!

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Our official time was 2:25:07. Not bad with the stops, humidity, the timer starting before we were running, and (totally my fault..) lack of training. I still have a long way to go, but the goal for this one was to enjoy it and have fun, and I’m glad we didn’t take it too seriously.

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I got to cheer runners on as they approached the finish which is one of my favorite things to do ever. I also had a little chat with Mr. Galloway, and got to see part of my favorite announcer team.

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All in all a successful race and a successful day. We got a lift back to the resort from a friend, and showered and our car arrived to take us to the cruise…where we promptly fell asleep in the back seat! (See, I told you it would catch up to me!) Another great runDisney race weekend was over, another shiny medal to add to my collection, and many many more memories to hold on to forever.

QOTD: Has humidity every changed your race goals? Favorite costume you saw from marathon weekend?

runDisney Marathon Weekend Expo 2016

Hello friends! I am finally back home! I still have a lot of unpacking and catching up to do, but I wanted to let you guys know I am still alive, and I have a lot of fun recaps coming your way, plus a giveaway so hang in there. Today I thought I would tell you about the race expo, then I still have to recap the blogger meet up, an interview I did with some famous TV stars from Mexico, the race, the cool hotel experience I had, and of course the cruise!

We were actually only in Orlando for 24 hours, but a LOT happened in those hours. First after landing Friday I ran over to the Cigna blogger meet up with Megan, and then we went to the runDisney expo to get our packets for the half the next day. We had dinner at California Grill at 5:00 so sadly I didn’t get to spend near as much time at the expo as I would have liked, but I still got to soak up the runDisney magic and see some friends.

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First we picked up our race packets. It was weird “only” doing the half, since last time we participated in marathon weekend we ran dopey!

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Ready to run! or something like that (wait, we have to run? I haven’t really trained!)

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LOVE my new rundisney ears! They don’t give me terrible headaches like the ones from the parks. Maybe I just have a large noggin?

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We of course had to take the obligatory instagram photo before heading over to check out the merchandise. The guy asked how we wanted to pose and we said “something funny” and he just looked at us like we were crazy. No worries! We shall come up with something on our own!

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Hello expo floor, oh how I have missed you!

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A closer look at the shoes, and I dig them.

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I made my way to the Raw Threads booth (adorable stuff yall, go check them out!) and had a quick chat with my buddy Bobbi! Was great to see her again.

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I also ran over to my favorite running skirts brand and said hello to my former colleague and the sweetest girl in Minnie ears ever, Michelle!

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We literally flew through the official merchandise, I got an I did it shirt (I always get one) and a shirt for Emma Kate that says “future runner, catch me if you can” SO stinkin cute). and unfortunately we had to grab a cab back to the hotel so we could change for dinner.

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I wish I had gotten to spend some more time shopping and saying hello to other friends working expo booths, but there will always be other races, and hopefully for those I will be in town more than 24 hours!

QOTD: Is there an item you buy at every race expo?

5 Fall Races in the Southeast

I am in the middle of my fall half marathon training plan, and I have heard many others say that they are beginning to ramp up their mileage as well. For us here in the south, half marathon and marathon season is VERY short. It won’t really start cooling down here until October, and most distances races are over by March, so we have to cram in as many races as we can.

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Training in cooler weather! Yes!

I am honestly still undecided about my race season and thought many of you may be as well, so I decided to compile several fall races you may want to check out if you live or plan on running in the southeast. Some I have run myself, and some just look like a lot of fun! Hopefully some of you can give input on the ones that I haven’t run that look fun!

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1.) Gulf Coast half Mandeville, Louisiana: This is a fun, flat half marathon in my hometown! Just a short drive to New Orleans, you can run a race and still visit the city without expensive city hotel prices. This course is beautiful and goes through old Mandeville and along the beautiful lakefront. October is a great time to race in Louisiana, too! I haven’t signed up yet, but really hoping to run this one with Bobby this year! I had just had Emma Kate last year so I missed it.

2.) Rock n Roll Savannah: As a member of the Rock ‘n Blog team, I am partial to Rock n Roll races, and while I haven’t run this one, it’s on my bucket list and I have heard nothing but wonderful things about this gorgeous course in such a historic city. It sounds like a great November weekend racecation to me! (enter code LOOKINGGLASS15 for $15 off registration!)

3.) runDisney Wine and Dine half and 5k: This race is sold out for this year, but listen to me, SIGN UP AS SOON AS YOU CAN for 2016! It’s SO MUCH FUN. It’s a nighttime race, in the happiest place on earth! Plus, it has an amazing after party in EPCOT celebrating the race and the food and wine festival. This race is typically held the second week in November.

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4.) Space Coast marathon and half: This is another one I have heard nothing but good things about. This is Florida’s oldest marathon, and is run along a beautiful waterfront course on Florida’s east coast. The entire event revolves around the space theme, which is pretty awesome. Race is November 29th!

5.) Thunder Road marathon, half, and 5k: This race weekend is in Charlotte, North Carolina. There is a whole weekend of fun with a marathon, half, and 5k option. This is a fun weekend in mid November and celebrates stock car racing. Plenty of family friendly fun and music, this weekend is for the everyone. I have also heard the course is very scenic!

QOTD: Any favorite fall races in the south?

runDisney Star Wars Race Comes to Walt Disney World!

Yes, you read that right! After hearing some buzzing and rumors for awhile, the newest runDisney race has been officially announced! a runDisney Stars Wars race comes to Walt Disney World!

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The weekend of April 14-17th, may the force be with you as you run through Walt Disney World meeting some of your favorite characters along the way. The theme for this race weekend is “the dark side”, with the Disneyland race being called “the light side”. There will be kids races, a 5k, 10k, half marathon, and of course a challenge! The course sounds awesome, taking runners through EPCOT, Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, and ending at the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex.

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More information can be found in the official press release:

April 14-17 event in Florida joins Star Wars-themed race at Disneyland Resort and features new Kessel Run Challenge and Dark Side Challenge

 

LAKE BUENA VISTA, FL (Aug. 25, 2015) – runDisney is summoning the Force today to announce another Star Wars-inspired intergalactic journey, this time to the dark side.

The “Star Wars Half Marathon – the Dark Side” enters the galaxy April 14-17, 2016, at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida and pays homage to the dark side forces of the Star Wars universe. This new race follows the debut of the popular Star Wars-themed race at Disneyland Resort, which will return in January as the “Star Wars Half Marathon – the Light Side”.

“Ever since we launched the Star Wars race at Disneyland Resort, runners have been clamoring for more, so we’re thrilled to bring the Star Wars franchise together with the runDisney brand to Walt Disney World Resort,’’ said Maribeth Bisienere, senior vice president of Disney Sports Enterprises. “If the inaugural Star Wars race at Disneyland Resort is any indication, this new running adventure to the dark side is sure to be the out-of-this-world experience that runners have come to expect at runDisney events.’’

The new Star Wars race at Walt Disney World Resort will be a journey of personal achievement all its own, involving kids’ races, a 5K and a 10K in addition to the half marathon, plus a variety of Star Wars experiences, medals, events and merchandise inspired by a galaxy far, far away. Among its many features will be a unique 13.1-mile course that propels runners through Epcot, Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Disney’s Hollywood Studios and finishes at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. There will also be a Star Wars Dark Side Challenge — running the 10K and the half marathon on consecutive days – that offers each finisher a Death Star-themed medal.

Jedi and Sith Lords who dare to experience both Star Wars races will have the chance to take on the Kessel Run Challenge — completing the Star Wars half marathon missions on both coasts. Kessel Run Challenge runners can earn a commemorative “Coast to Coast” medal inspired by the Millennium Falcon starship. Race registration opens Sept. 22 at www.runDisney.com.

 

The addition of this second Star Wars race continues the recent wave of significant growth and popularity of runDisney events domestically and internationally. This is the second new runDisney race announced for 2016, joining the Disneyland Paris Half Marathon Weekend (Sept. 23-25 at Disneyland Paris), and the fourth addition to the runDisney series in the last two years (Star Wars Half Marathon at Disneyland Jan. 2015 and Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon Weekend Nov. 2014).

Each year more than 200,000 runners sign up for runDisney events, which often sell out in record time.

“We are committed to creating extraordinary experiences and events that appeal to runners of all ages and attract even more fans of our various brands and franchises to the sport of running, creating opportunities for them to live a healthier and more active lifestyle,’’ said Bisienere.

 

QOTD: Do you plan to try to run this new race?

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.

Body After Baby: Four Months

Hey guys! Sorry this month’s update is a little late, but I wanted to get it written. After this month’s post, I will skip month 5 and do a 6, 9, and 12 month update. Progress is much slower month to month now, so there isn’t as much to say, but here we go!

I am now 4 months postpartum, and January was a tough one. Coming off of the holidays not really losing any weight, and the cold made for slow progress. Also, I dove head first into marathon training, and when I do lots of long runs, I eat. When I marathon train I typically gain a little weight because I am hungry ALL THE TIME, so this has been a tricky balance.

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I joined the gym, but am not happy with their childcare situation, so I’m not sure what to do about that one. So, because of this, I haven’t gone as often as I would like. I have been going on Tuesday and Thursday when Emma Kate is at daycare for part of the day, but then that cuts into my time to work so it has been difficult. I try to make it at least one more time, whether it be when Bobby comes home from work or on Saturday when Bobby can watch EK, but, I also need to long run on Saturday so again, haven’t really found a balance yet.

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My weight fluctuates a lot, but I am pretty sure I only lost .5-1 pound this past month. I’m not sure what to think of it, except hopefully it will be easier once the marathon is over and I’m not running so many miles. Since I have such limited time to workout, I have really only been running. I run 5 days a week as opposed to my ideal which is to run 3 days a week, and cross train/strength train 2-3 days a week.

I still feel much “thicker” in the middle, and have about 9-9.5 pounds to go to be where I would like to be. I feel like my body has shifted where my weight is held, and I am just shaped differently now. I would be lying if I said looking back on old photos didn’t irritate me a bit.

I successfully ran my first post baby half marathon, and am looking forward to running the runDisney Princess half marathon at the end of this month. I am running with Jen, and we are running for fun/stopping to take lots of character photos etc., so thankfully there is no pressure.

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I am still taking my Advocare products, the Catalyst and Spark seem to give me an extra boost in my workouts so I don’t feel as tired, but that doesn’t stop me from wanting to eat all the things after. I have recently started taking another one of their products, called Fibo-trim, that will hopefully help with my portion control.

I FEEL good which is really important to me, and I have been sleeping well, but I know if I can get a few more pounds off it will help my running and my confidence. I can finally fit into my old runningskirts.com athletic skirts (they are cut a bit bigger than the running skirts) so that was a nice surprise, I was able to wear one under my tutu at my race in New Orleans. I have a ton of cute workout clothes I am dying to get back into, so hopefully soon!

Be looking for another update at the end of March for my 6 month progress, and hopefully I will have more to report by then!

QOTD: When you train for a race and log a lot of miles do you eat more/feel more hungry?

Rock ‘n Roll New Orleans Half Race Recap 2015

This was my 4th time to run Rock ‘n Roll New Orleans, and we were so blessed with amazing weather! I know the year before it was muggy and humid, so I was preparing for the worst and was pleasantly surprised! Low of mid 40’s at the start (very windy!) But sunny and high of 65 for the day. Perfect! We ran in the 50’s the whole race, but let me backtrack.

We set our alarms for 5:15 in hopes to be out the door at 6:15. We had to walk over a half mile to get to the Hilton which is where the VIP breakfast was being held (more on that later).

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My tutu was made my Lesley, I love the beads!

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It was dark, and cold, and very windy! Luckily we were checking gear bags so I was able to wear a jacket as we walked.

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We ate breakfast, checked our bags, and waited until the last possible minute to head out into the cold. The race was starting at 7:30, so at 7:15 we began our short walk to the corrals.

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There was no one checking bibs at the corral entrances so people from almost every corral were jumping into ours and we could barely squeeze in. Def. something I hope they change in the future.

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We only had to wait about 3 minutes before the National anthem was sung and the first corral was off!

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We slowly moved up until it was our turn.

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We started out slow, and I quickly warmed up like I knew I would. I had no idea what to expect from this race. I had only done one 10 miler and one 12 miler since having the baby, so I was just aiming to have fun and get a general idea of where my fitness level was.

We left the French quarter and headed into the garden district with the big beautiful houses.

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The miles were ticking by and I was trying to keep a steady pace. I wasn’t pushing too hard because I didn’t want to blow up at the end.

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Somewhere around mile 4.5ish, the leaders passed going the other way, and other runners slowly began to trickle past going in the opposite direction.

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We soon found the turnaround…and my hip started to ache. This was not good because 1.) It was so early in the race and 2.) I had already taken tylenol, so it was apparently hurting badly if the tylenol wasn’t even helping anymore. I have had IT band and hip bursitis issues on and off for years. I took really good care of my knee the week leading up to the race. I ran a fast for me 5 miler the Monday before and had zero pain anywhere, so why was my hip hurting before mile 5? Then it hit me. The stupid terrible roads! They were bad yall. People all around us were tripping and catching themselves. They were so uneven, so many potholes, it was difficult to run, and I think that may have had something to do with the hip issue. I trudged on, looking for people I knew going the other way. There was a section where we passed runners right next to us.

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We passed a couple of bands, and my hip pain got worse and was changing up my gait.

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We made it back to the French quarter, and there was a fuel stop. I had already taken one around mile 5, but I took another and also took some more tylenol. I must say, despite the hip pain, I was still having fun. The miles were ticking by fairly quickly and the weather was just perfect.

We passed the relay point for those running in teams, and just kept on trucking along.

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As we headed back into the heart of the city, we passed the lulu cheer crew, which made me think about some of the other really funny signs we saw…none of which I can remember now. Whoops!

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Good morning New Orleans!

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By this time we were around mile 9-10ish, and I remembered a stretch I used to do to help with my hip pain a couple of years ago. Bobby stopped to go to the bathroom and said he would catch up to me, so I pulled off to the side to stretch. I crossed my ankle over the top of my other knee and squatted into a sitting position and could feel the immediate pull and stretch on my hip. It hurt but felt good at the same time, and gave me a couple of tenths of way less painful running.

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This would begin the pattern for the rest of the race, and is when my pace slowed because of all the stopping to stretch. However, doing this every so often helped me to finish so I’m not complaining!

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We passed the French market, and made a turn only tree lined Esplanade.

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For those wondering, the Mississippi River is on the right, behind that big wall.

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The final two miles of the race I really began to struggle. I was reaching my threshold and was pushing myself a bit more and it was getting harder to keep pace as I hobbled along.

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Fake it till you make it right?

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I kept reminding myself I JUST had a baby four months yesterday, and at least I was out here trying, and that there would be better races.

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Just keep swimming…almost there!

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My breathing was getting more labored, but I was ok because I knew how close we were.

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I could see the art museum in the distance and knew he finish line was just behind it. But not before some King cake and jello shots, right?

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I stopped and stretched again, right before a final push to the finish.

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My hip was throbbing, but I was about to get to stop, wahoo!I could see mile 13 up ahead, almost there!

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Finish line. Finish line, Finnish line.

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aaannnnd DONE!

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2:27. I wanted 2:20, but I’ll take it considering the hip issues. It definitely slowed me down, but I am still proud of myself. It gives me a base to work off of and gave me the confidence I needed to keep going with future races. After having to take over 5 months off completely from running during pregnancy and starting from scratch run walking one mile after delivery, I will definitely take it. I now know I really need to focus on stretching, rolling, and strengthening my hip and butt muscles. The good news: my knee held up great!

A huge thanks to my wonderful husband who is way faster than me for running along side of me, taking pictures, and encouraging me. What a trooper! We headed to the VIP tent to enjoy the gorgeous afternoon (more on that later, too!)

Another half in the books. It wasn’t the prettiest, but I am still so proud.

Do you want to run ANY* Rock ‘n Roll race in the US and get $15 off? Enter code LOOKINGGLASS15 at checkout for the discount! Offer INCLUDES Canada!

QOTD: Have you ever been proud of a race that wasn’t your fastest?

*Does not include RnR Vegas

 

Rock ‘N Roll New Orleans Expo 2015

After we attended the tweet up and Feed the Children charity event, we were dropped off at the convention center to pick up our bibs and explore the expo.

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Packet pickup was very organized. We went at kind of an odd time of day towards the end of the expo so it wasn’t very crowded.

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After we got out bibs, we were funneled out into the official merchandise area.

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They had plenty of things to choose from, and some fun photo ops that we didn’t feel like standing in line for ha! About that time, Karen texted me asking where I was, and I told her we had just arrived. We were able to meet up for a quick hello. I hadn’t seen her since my baby shower in July!

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I also got to meet a couple of blog readers and chat with them for a bit which was fun! We took a look at all of the heavy medals for Rock ‘n Roll, and WOW they are so cool! Way bigger in person than I imagined they would be!

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I had some friends working at some of the booths so we stopped and said a few hellos, and also picked up our VIP packets at the VIP booth.

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About that time I was feeling a little shaky, and I realized Ii t was 2:30 and we hadn’t had lunch yet! We decided to go ahead and leave and get some food.

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We walked the length of the convention center (which is a LONG way!) out to the front where the Riverwalk is. We went inside and grabbed a late lunch before our early dinner, bibs in hand and ready to go!

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Final thoughts: I’m not sure what it was, but the expo seemed a lot smaller and not as exciting as in years past. There was no stage or speakers which bummed me out, and it just had a bit of a different feel than in previous years that I can’t quite explain (anyone else that was there feel the same way?) It also felt kind of dark in there, was it just me? Don’t get me wrong, it was very well organized and had it some great vendors, but I didn’t leave feeling as excited about the race as I have from other expos I have worked or visited in the past. I do hope next year the expo is larger and that they have a stage/speakers!

***Use code LOOKINGGLASS15 at checkout to save $15 on ANY US or Canada Rock ‘n Roll 2015 race! Share with your friends!***

QOTD: What is your favorite thing about race expos?

Rock ‘N Roll New Orleans Tweet up and Charity Event

This past weekend, not only did I get to run my first post baby half marathon, but I got to meet up with fellow runners and bloggers, and do some good for the city of New Orleans. For those that don’t know, I was born right outside of the city in Metairie, and I grew up about 30 miles away. I still consider it home, as all of my family is still there, so I was excited to give back and help Feed the Children last Saturday.

But first, let’s backtrack. I slept over nine glorious hours Friday night, sans-baby, and woke up to a gorgeous chilly day in the French Quarter. Bobby and I decided to leave early and walk around for a few minutes before the tweet up. We were just a couple of blocks from all the action!

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Our first stop was Jackson Square.

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Some of the paintings were so beautiful.

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We still had some time so we passed up Café du Monde and walked down to the French Market.

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After a quick walk through, it was time to head back down to meet up with some bloggers and some of the Rock ‘n Roll team!

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We saw a couple of friends who didn’t see any of the Rock ‘n Roll crew anywhere. So I went inside and spotted Dan who was trying his best to hold down tables for us (it was VERY crowded!). Soon after others began to trickle in, as well as the food!

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I knew to wear white, powdered sugar gets everywhere!

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Bloggers and beignets, so much fun!

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PR guy Dan forgot his phone charger. I of course came to the rescue with my pink charger!

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Had so much fun meeting more of the Rock ‘n blog crew and some of the Competitor group employees.

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After photos, we split up in multiple vehicles to head to the Feed the Children charity event.

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Feed the Children was the benefitting charity for this race, which I was happy to hear. We have been supporters of the charity for years, and it was really great to see them in action in the community. On this day, 400 families were going to be given food, toiletry items, haircuts, lunch, and fro yo! We arrived at the Apex youth center and a line had already formed outside.

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We arrived just in time to throw on some volunteer t-shirts and catch the end of the volunteer meeting.

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Families would go through the inside of the center and then out onto the basketball court where we had boxes of food and such. Whole Foods was there giving away fruit, and we manned the milk station.

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There was a DJ, a lot of amazing volunteers, and…..

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THOMAS MORSTEAD! He is the punter for the New Orleans Saints….and if you know ANYTHING about me, you know I love Saints football. Heck, I stalked Malcolm Jenkins in the New Orleans airport last year so I could get a picture. Thomas does a TON for the city of New Orleans. He is always in the news helping different charities, and it was so great to meet him. He actually took the time to talk to me which was super nice. He and his wife were running the 10k the next day, and he told me he wasn’t in running shape so he hoped a lot of people stopped him along the way so he could get a break! The coolest thing was not once did he “act famous”. He graciously took photos when asked, but I constantly saw him working, carrying boxes, and helping people…and it was awesome.

After my total geek out moment, it was back to work. I moved over to the boxes provided by AVON, helping hand them out to the grateful families.

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It was such an amazing experience getting to give back during a race weekend, and see where the charity money goes. Yes I could have been out on the beautiful day that is was exploring the city or enjoying my first baby free weekend with Bobby, but this was way, way more important, and I am so glad that Rock ‘n Roll made it possible for us to take part. We need to never forget while we are enjoying our racecations and running our miles, that there are families out there thankful just for a quart of milk and a free haircut. It really makes you realize how truly blessed we really are, and how great Rock ‘n Roll is for having a charity for their races!

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Thanks to Larisa for some of the photos!

QOTD: Have you ever helped out at a charity event?