Weekly Recap: February Week 1

 

This has been quite the interesting workout week for me! I was in New Orleans all week with no gym access, so no weight lifting at all. I did however run three times and walk once with my dad, and it just so happens I got an accidental PR on Friday.

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My runs on Monday and Wednesday were less than stellar, and my confidence was shot. I ran a 5k on Monday, and it felt like such a struggle. (It was my miles of shame because I picked the 49er’s to win the Super Bowl). I was pushing hard but my legs were barely moving. My disappointing workout prompted me to write my Ode to the 5k post. Then, on Wednesday I ran six miles with a one hour time goal, and ended up at 1:01:30 ish, and again…it felt SO hard and I told my friends and family there is no way I can hold that pace for a half marathon. It was very disheartening and made me question my training.

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I had thirteen miles on the schedule for Friday, and honestly was expecting another crappy run. I ran sans music, just did some thinking…and what do you know, a half marathon PR by nearly four minutes! I have been trying to PR for a year now, and have been very frustrated by illness and injury. I couldn’t believe this happened when I wasn’t even trying, how about that! I am still on a runner’s high and so proud of my accomplishment.

Here is the week’s workouts broken down by day:

Sunday: rest

Monday: 5k run

Tuesday: 1.25 mile walk with dad

Wednesday: 6 mile run

Thursday: rest

Friday: 13.1 mile run (PR!)

Saturday: rest

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So, no cross training except for a walk and no weights, but my body probably needed a break. I am ecstatic about my PR, so I honestly don’t really care that I missed weights this week. I will be back at it Monday.

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I also wanted to mention a cool new feature I found on my Windows 8x phone called Kids corner. I don’t have kids so it’s not as important to me, but I thought some of you would find this very interesting.  It’s a separate screen in your phone (like a computer within a computer) for your kids, and you choose what apps and things they can access. No more handing over your phone and worrying about who your kid is going to email or face time without you knowing!

You can add games, music, videos or apps for your kids and know they can’t access the whole internet or mess up anything on your phone!

*Disclosure: I was provided with a device and phone service from Verizon Wireless

 

QOTD: What was your best workout of the week?

Wedding Take Two?

 

Some of you may have seen the teaser photo on my social media accounts yesterday, asking why I was wearing a lot of makeup and nice jewelry. Well, I got to do something fun with Bobby yesterday…we were in a local TV commercial for a hospital, and we had to dress up as a bride and groom! Also, I got to wear my own wedding dress! It was a lot of fun (and we got paid, which REALLY makes it fun!)

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Bobby and I have dabbled in acting/modeling for years and we enjoy it when we get the chance to participate.

We headed to a church not far from our house to shoot the commercial, and once we got me into my dress (which takes forever!) It was show time.

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Truck full of filming equipment

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It was neat to see again all of the work that goes into filming just a short scene, those guys work hard! We had to stand and smile, look at each other, kiss, etc. and only shot for about ten minutes. However, I can’t wait to see the finished product!

Not to mention, I never thought I would put my wedding dress on again, so we couldn’t resist taking some fun photos since I was all gussied up. So, here you go, six years later! We had a blast taking these.

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I will be sure to post the finished product whenever I get to see it.

QOTD: Have you ever worn your wedding dress for anything other than your wedding? Do you still have your wedding dress? Do you plan to save your dress?

Risk and Reward

 

I don’t like change. I am a very routine person, and change is scary. I am also very sentimental, so the thought of letting go of something to make room for something new or different is not too high up on the list of my favorite things. That being said, I am slowly learning that sometimes change is good, if I decide to stop freaking out long enough to realize in the long run, good things can come with change.

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I have a habit of being short sighted. I want results, and I want them now. I don’t want to wait for things to slowly unfold or happen, and if something is going to take awhile, even if it will end up being a better fit, I typically want no part in it. Growing up, we ALWAYS had Christmas at my grandparents house. One year when I was about thirteen, my parents decided we were going to do something different and I threw a fit. I was devastated, and too this day it stands as my least favorite Christmas. Where am I going with this? Yes, I know I have a tendency to ramble when it comes to talking about serious stuff like this.

I am currently going through some big life changes, and this includes some big blog changes. Don’t worry, I’m not going anywhere. I’m super freaked out, but also super excited for what is to come. I’m not quite ready to share yet, but I would appreciate your prayers. Sometimes the most scary things can end up being the most beneficial, and that is what I keep telling myself.

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Have you ever thought about doing something, and it never appealed to you? Then all of the sudden one day it clicks, and you can’t get your mind off of it, and you just KNOW you have to do it? That’s kind of what I am going through. I feel like God has placed something on my heart, and I think about it so much it literally keeps me awake at night, so I know it’s the right thing to do even if it’s scary. I have never been one to take risks. I have no desire to put my life in danger, to “walk on the wild side” or attempt the impossible. I am a “play it safe” kind of girl, the one who is always the sensible voice of reason. While I may not be wild about taking physical risks, I think it’s high time I take some risks in other areas of my life.

With great risk, comes great reward.

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Don’t get me wrong, I am afraid. Afraid to fail, afraid things will be too hard, and afraid of letting others down. However, I also know if I don’t start taking some risks, I will always look back and wonder what could have been. Have you ever felt that way? I just know I have to have faith. If I feel like God is calling me to do something, I can’t ignore it, I know it won’t go away. Faith is a tough thing, trusting in the unseen, but I believe God has big plans for me, so who am I to say “I can’t do that?” God doesn’t call the qualified, he qualifies the called.

So, today, I encourage you to take a risk. Talk to or e-mail someone you have been afraid to talk to. Reconcile with a friend. Take a leap of faith. You may not get the results you hoped for….they may be even better than you could have ever imagined.

QOTD: What is something you were afraid to do but it ended up being so worth it?

Claim Your Journey

Happy February! I hope you all had an amazing first month of 2013!!! Have you ever heard of Claim Your Journey? You’re in luck, it’s what I am sharing about today.

I have known Brandon from Claim Your Journey for over a year. We both ran Rouge Orleans last year, and I have seen him at several races since. When he asked me awhile back to be a Claim Your Journey Ambassador, I of course said yes! I already sport the Run Louisiana shirts, and I love the whole movement and am excited to officially be a part of it.

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Claim Your Journey is a digital guide for Running in Louisiana.

Launched in January of 2011, Claim Your Journey aims to be Louisiana’s one-stop news source for local running enthusiasts. You can find inspirational stories, information on races, rips for runners, and contests. You may have seen these shirts in some of my photos.

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Claim Your Journey talks a lot about running local, and supporting your local running community. Check out this video that I appear in, and see why it’s great to run local!

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I will be sharing info about Claim Your Journey from time to time, you may see the hashtag #ClaimYourJourney around on Twitter.

Be sure to follow their other social media platforms:

Twitter

Facebook

YouTube

You can also buy their awesome shirts here!

QOTD: Why do YOU run local?

February Goals 2013

 

I can’t believe the first month of 2013 is coming to a close. I am finally getting used to writing/typing “2013” instead of 2012, which i got the hang of fairly quickly as opposed to previous years. Since February is looming close, it’s time to check in on my January goals, and make some new ones for February. First, let’s see how I did this past month:

1.) Finish Goofy in an upright position. (A+) It. was. awesome. Not only did I finish in an upright position, but I had a smile on my face AND a full marathon PR to boot. I couldn’t be happier with how this race went. Definitely one I will always remember.

2.) Vlog more. (C-) Well, I vlogged….once. But hey, it was one of my favorites, and I am really proud of it. Still working on this one, as it is really important to me.

3.) Stretch more. (B+) I know this was essential for getting through Goofy, so I actually did stretch, a lot. Before and after runs, Bobby and I both took the time to really work on this. It’s something I can always improve on though, so I’m not giving myself an A.

4.) Stay healthy. (A-) Knock on wood, I have stayed pretty healthy. The weather keeps changing so my allergies have caused a bit of trouble here and there but nothing major. Hoping to stay that way so I can get through Princess healthy!

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Now here are my February goals:

1.) Comment on more blogs. Not going to lie, January was very busy and I barely had time to blog let alone read other blogs. I want to be supportive of our little community so I want to do better with this in February.

2.) Have a great race: I am going to try to run a 5k or two and then I of course have the Princess half at the end of the month. My goal is to have a great race in February. Not necessarily a PR race, just one where I am healthy, feel good about myself, and have fun with.

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3.) Get my tax info together. We have an accountant, but we also have TONS of receipts, and I have done work for lots of companies this year which makes tax preparation quite a headache. We like to have everything totaled up for our accountant, put in spreadsheets etc. It’s a lot of work and I have done some but keep putting the rest off.

4.) Raise my weight at the gym. I have been kind of a lazy gym goer when it comes to lifting lately. I am consistent, but I noticed I haven’t raised my weight in awhile. I think i can try a lot harder to lift heavier weight, and I really want to push myself to do that this month.

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There you have it, my mini goals for the month of February. it feels great to accomplish a few smaller things during the month as opposed to a huge looming yearly goal. This is how I operate best, and it’s a big confidence booster to see results!

*Sparkly Soul giveaway winners! A huge thanks to everyone who entered and I hope you will go check out Sparky Soul even if you didn’t win! Congrats to Amanda Reid and Courtney Norman! Look for an e-mail from me!

QOTD: Do you have a goal for February? Share!

Super Bowl Excitement

 

Yesterday, Bobby and I decided to drive downtown into New Orleans and hang out with some friends who are in town for the Super Bowl. We got there in the afternoon on a gloomy, misty, humid day.

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We parked in the French Quarter, and took a walk over to see some of the ESPN set up, and they happened to be filming while we were there. Some of you may have seen it on TV yesterday!

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It was neat to see all of the behind the scenes action with the camera crews and directors.

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There were a good amount of people mulling about for the middle of a Tuesday afternoon, and I know the crowds will ramp up the closer we get to the weekend.

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I am quite sad it isn’t my boys in black and gold playing for the Lombardi trophy, but it was still awesome to see all of the excitement in the air. There were signs and billboards everywhere announcing the game, advertising merchandise, as well as Mardi Gras! Kind of neat that everything kind of coincided this year. It’s great news for the city of New Orleans, the publicity and tourists will give a much needed boost to the local economy.

After walking around a bit, we met up with our friends, at their hotel…which happened to be the team hotel for the San Francisco 49er’s. There were banners and photos of the team everywhere, as well as a lot of added security. We hung out with our friends and had some drinks at the hotel, and it was so funny to see all the fans lurking around the lobby waiting for a player to walk by. Then they would pounce, asking for autographs and shaking hands.

I am jealous of everyone getting to go to the game, but I am at least glad I got the change to hang out for a bit downtown and experience some of the fun and the hype of the week.

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Darrell and I in front of the Super Bowl sign at the 49er’s team hotel.

Can’t wait for Sunday’s game, going to be a fun one to watch! Will anyone be watching from the dome?

QOTD: Who are you rooting for in the Super Bowl?

Tips for Running a runDisney Race

Thanks so much for the encouragement and congratulations on my Disney marathon race recap. I enjoyed writing it and reliving that special race, and hope you will all sign up and run the next runDisney race with me!

I have gotten a lot of questions from people about runDisney races in general. Tips for getting the most out of the weekend, what to expect, when to go where, special things to note that are different from regular races. Well, I thought it was high time to compile all of my info into a blog post of tips for running a runDisney race to share with you all!

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TIPS FOR RUNNING A RUNDISNEY RACE

Expo: Try to get to the expo the first day it is open if you are able. Merchandise can run out, especially in popular sizes, after the first day. Not to mention the first day is typically less crowded. For marathon weekend, all the Goofy merchandise was sold out by Friday afternoon, and the expo had a line to even get into the building!

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Race retreat: I have done the race retreat once, and while it was very nice, I don’t thing it’s “necessary.” When it’s very cold outside it’s nice to have somewhere to go and relax and eat, but it’s definitely not a “must” and you will be ok without it, so don’t fret if you didn’t get in before it filled up.

Characters: There are plenty of characters along the course, especially within the parks. Have your phone or camera out and ready to hand to the cast member, and give them any instructions you want to give. They aren’t all “great” at photo taking, I had to tell the to tap the screen to focus the picture after getting a few blurry ones. Bummer. There will also be professional photographers on the course and at the character stops, so be sure your bib is visible to the camera when they are taking your photo.

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Fueling: There are PLENTY of aid stations and I have never brought my own water bottle. There was water and Powerade available about every 1.5 miles. I do bring my own fuel/gel minus one for the half and two for the full (there is one clif shots stop during the half, and two during the full). If you aren’t used to taking Clif’s products, be sure to bring your own or practice with them before the race. These are the ones I take and love. They taste like vanilla frosting!

Hotels: Be sure to stay at a host hotel on property for the least amount of stress come race morning.  Not only will you be surrounded by other runners, but it is the only way to have official race and expo transportation, which is important when you don’t have a car!

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Transportation: There are busses outside of the host resorts to take you to the expo and the race and back. Typically there are big signs out front of the resorts directing you to race transportation pick up. If you aren’t sure be sure to check with the front desk at your hotel. After the race, there are busses near the family reunion area to take you back to your resort, just look for the signs so you know which line to get into. Also, be sure to get to the busses EARLY. There is a LONG walk from the family reunion area to the corrals, and it is a slow walk full of people, so allow yourself even more time than you think you would ever need. Trust me on this one!

Sweepers: You have to keep a 16:00 per mile pace or you will be swept off the course. They have busses at certain cut off points to transport those who cannot maintain pace. Keep in mind Disney doesn’t start the timer as far as SWEEPERS go until everyone crosses the start line, so you have a bit of a head start as long as you aren’t the last one to start. Smile

Weather: You can’t control the weather, neither can Disney. I have run in Disney in weather in the 20’s and in the upper 70’s. Be prepared when you pack for ALL weather situations, they can quickly change. A garbage bag is a good alternative to a poncho, and remember that if you throw off old sweatshirts, etc. Disney picks them all up and gives them to charity.

RELATED: I love this jacket for running!

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Finish line/family reunion area: After you cross the finish line and get your medal, Disney will give you water, Powerade, and a little box of snacks. Then you can take photos, get your bag at gear check pickup, and meet your family in the family reunion area. There are big signs with letters on them so plan a meeting spot to meet up with friends and family after you finish the race.

Training: There are training programs on the runDisney website to help you get ready for your big race day!

Gear check: Disney gives you a big clear bag when you get your race shirt, and there is a sticker with numbers on it, you put it on the front of your bag and this makes it your gear check bag (be sure to tie a knot in the top of the bag so your stuff doesn’t fall out!) I pack a pack ticket for walking back through EPCOT to our hotel if I feel like it and am staying in the EPCOT resort area, flip flops, a jacket, a towel, and my hotel room key.

Corrals/proof of time: You are put into a corral based on your proof of time from a 10k race or longer. If you have no proof of time, you will be put towards the back. Be sure to put an accurate proof of time, runDisney checks them and puts you into a corral accordingly. There IS a cut off date for proof of time! The volunteers DO check corrals and have flashlights to read your bib to make sure you are going into the right ones.

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Bathrooms: There are plenty of port-o-potties at the start, but there will still be lines so arrive early. There are some at the family reunion area but we usually skip these and use the ones right before you get into the corrals, they usually have shorter lines. There are also potties all along the course, but we usually try to wait and use the “real” bathrooms in the parks. There are some you run right by in Tomorrowland in the Magic Kingdom, as well as in Frontierland. When running the full we have stopped at the ones at the Ticket and Transportation center as well, and you run right by some in Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios.

Meet up/Tweet Up: You may have seen blog posts about the cool runDisney social media meet ups that are held during race weekends. These meet ups are typically held on Friday morning, very early. If you want to try to get in, keep an eye on the Disney Parks Blog and the @runDisney Twitter feed for information on when you need to keep an eye out for registration. The meet up for marathon weekend was full in three minutes!

***These meet ups have been discontinued***

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Family fun run/5k: The 5k is typically the day before the half marathon, early in the morning. It is an untimed fun run, but you still get a shirt, bib, and (rubber) medal. There are characters along the course, and it’s a fun relaxing way to get a taste for runDisney racing. The 5k typically doesn’t fill up as fast as the half marathon.

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Kids races: The littlest runners can take part in runDisney races too! There are kids races at the Wide World of sports (think diaper dash and kids one mile run).

Spectating: Have a plan! Disney has info for spectators on their website. The chEAR squad packages are nice, but not necessary to see someone at the finish. I know a lot of spectators that catch their runners at multiple points during the races, relying on Disney transportation to get them around and the monorail to the finish line.

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I also have some personal tips….

-Have FUN! runDisney races are great for running with friends and family Don’t take yourself too seriously!

-Take lots of photos! Where else do you get to run through a castle and get character photos in your running gear? Enjoy the cool things you don’t get to do at other races

-Be prepared. All right boy scouts, always be prepared for any situation. Don’t forget things like chapstick, tissues, layers to keep warm, sunscreen, and your camera.

-Wear your medal around the park after the race, be proud!

-bring extra safety pins in case there aren’t any or enough in your bag

-If you are wearing a costume practice in it beforehand to make sure it doesn’t rub or chafe. I use body glide especially when wearing costumes!

-Need packing advice? Check out my “packing for a runDisney race” vlog to make sure you have everything you need!

-Check out the runDisney website and Facebook page, they are always updating them with great info!

QOTD: What are your best tips for running a runDisney race I have left off?

*This post contains affiliate links.

Weekly Recap: January Week 4

 

Good morning! It has taken some time but I feel like I am finally getting my legs back after Goofy’s challenge. (Part two of the marathon coming up tomorrow!) I had a really good run yesterday, and feel like I am getting back on track after being gone.

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After 6 tempo miles on the treadmill, felt great!

So here is what my workout week looked like:

Sunday: rest

Monday: Stationary bike 30 minutes, chest and tri’s (weights)

Tuesday: Stationary bike 20 minutes, bi’s and back (weights)

Wednesday: elliptical 20 minutes, chest and tris (weights)

Thursday: rest

Friday: Ran 3 miles on the TM, back and bi’s (weights)

Saturday: 6 mile tempo run on the TM

Didn’t run as much as I would like, but feel good about my efforts especially with cross training and weight lifting, and my run yesterday was a big confidence booster. I am still having some trouble with my left leg, and am actually going to an orthopedist tomorrow to see what’s up. Fingers crossed it’s nothing major!

I hope everyone is having a great weekend, don’t forget to enter my Sparkly Soul giveaway!

QOTD: What is your favorite thing to do on Sunday?

Favorite Apps For the Windows 8X Phone

 

I have spent the last month getting used to the Windows 8X phone, and have finally discovered some of my favorite apps. It is true that the app store is a bit lacking, however I have found some great substitutes, and new favorites, check them out!

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Fhotoroom- Mobile photo editor, good substitute for Instagram. Filter your photos with 50+ filters, then share to skydrive, Facebook, twitter, or flickr. There is also a basic editor to tweak your photos.

Allrecipes- Delivers thousands of recipes featuring photos and reviews, and it’s free! Choose by ingredient, time it takes to cook, or type of dish 9appetixer, dessert, etc.)

The Emergency Kit– Store your blood type, allergies, medications, or your emergency contacts. A personalized lock screen will contain your emergency contacts even if screen is locked. You can also turn your phone into an SOS light beacon and learn how to treat different injuries.

Pinspiration – Browse and post to Pinterest from your mobile phone. You can even sign into your account and share images.

Rowi- Third party Twitter app. You can use multiple accounts so you can “tweet as” different accounts.

QOTD: What phone app could you not live without?

*Don’t forget to enter my sparkly soul headband giveaway!

*Disclosure: I was provided with a device and phone service from Verizon Wireless

Sparkly Soul Giveaway- Closed

 

Happy Friday! The second part of my Disney marathon race recap will be up on Monday!

Awhile back I was contacted by the wonderful folks at Sparkly Soul and asked to do a review and giveaway on my blog. Yes please! I picked out one thin (silver) and one think (rainbow) band, and I love them! I not only wear them for running and working out, but also just around town, or to dress up an outfit with a little sparkle.

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Sparkly Soul is based in NYC, and was started by a runner/triathlete who want to push their athletic limits, and also needed something to keep their hair out of their face without giving them a headache.

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I especially love the rainbow option because it matches so many different things.

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I have gotten so many compliments, and even wore my rainbow headband during the Disney half marathon! They don’t give me headaches, they stay put, and are a very reasonable price. What’s not to love?

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Be sure to check out Sparkly Soul:

Facebook (www.facebook.com/sparklysoulinc),

Twitter (@SPARKLYSOULINC) and

Instagram/Pinterest/Tumblr (SPARKLYSOULINC),

Google + (Sparkly Soul)

LinkedIn (Sparkly Soul, Inc.).

How would you like to win a headband of your own? The company graciously offered to give away headbands to two RWS readers. One of you will get a thin band, an done a thick band. Ready to enter? See below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway