Friday, March 29, 2013

Here Comes Peter Cottontail...

So I am toying with the idea of going down to WDW for the Expedition Everest 5k and volunteer. I really want to make it for this years Flower and Garden Festival and would like to see how this event is actually run. It's been a while since I actually volunteered for something too.

I also feel like I've been in kind of a rut. It's like I ate healthier when I was on vacation for the Princess Half and haven't been able to continue that afterwards. Isn't that usually backwards! My running has been harder to schedule as well as feeling tougher while actually out there too. UGH.

Some much needed girl time this evening. I'll update later this weekend.

Friday, March 22, 2013

"What do you do when things go wrong? Oh! You sing a song!"-Snow White

runDisney has made it official today! The Dopey Challenge is a new option for the next level of obsessed runners at the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend. It will extend the festivities by an extra day.

(pricing is for each individual race and the first price deadline after June 18th they all go up)

Thursday is the 5k-$60
Friday is the 10k (BRAND NEW EEEEEEE!)-$95
Saturday is the half marathon-$160
Sunday is the full marathon-$160

The price tag for the Dopey Challenge is mighty hefty - $495 before the additional fee from but what I love the most about it is you get all 4 individual medals PLUS the goofy race and half PLUS the dopey medal.

Sammy Jo was so excited about this she text'd me about 60 seconds after it was posted on the website hahaha It is so fantastic to have someone else in my life as insane as I am about these races. Although her and I might need to start our own side job to make money to do all these.

Registration opens April 9th. I have until then to talk myself off the ledge....the 10k does sound pretty phenomenal though....

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Runner's Night Out!

I did it. I pulled the trigger! Half Marathon #2 is on its way to being paid for! I have officially registered for the 2013 Wine and Dine Half Marathon in Walt Disney World.


I am so excited to run this half marathon, the person who came up with the concept is literally a genius. EPCOT's Food and Wine Festival is my favorite time of the year. I actually prefer it to Christmas...I know what you're thinking but really...try it out. You'll agree with me. They put up all the marketplaces and you get to enjoy foods you wouldn't normally get the chance to. So to add the Festival with my new love of running. Bang bang! It's like Charlie Sheen WINNING.  Also the other reason I am so excited to run it is I inspired my best friend to run this too. My goal is accomplished! Finally I have a running buddy! Plus she is just as irrationally, insanely in love with Disney like me. I am lucky to have not one but two gals in my life like that! Emilia and Sammy Jo <3 I love you two! 

Thank you for not judging and making this a true statement!

I will give you a small recap of October 2012's Food and Wine Festival. Get your sleeve ready for the drool.

Mexico Pavillion

Goodies from Poland

Kahlua Pork Slider in Hawai'i and Pomegranate Kir in France

Love of the Irish, cheese plate <3

Raglan Road MeatFest 2012. Two words: DO IT! DON'T THINK TWICE!

Big Kahuna Breaky at Kona Cafe in the Polynesian

I'm about 5 seconds away from getting down on my knees to beg Disney to bring this back to Mexico. One of the best margaritas I have ever had, Strawberry Lime.

Cape May Cafe at the Yacht and Beach Club

This and more is why I am excited to go back to Disney for the Wine and Dine Half Marathon. 
Let the training begin!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Starting From Square One

I so love this! 

So this week has been crazy. I only got to run a little Saturday and today. Yesterday was okay. Only 2 miles and I had to be really really careful because there was black ice all over the place. I could not handle an injury. Speaking of which, the outside of my patella feels much better, I think it was probably for the best that I rested this week. Then I had to work the Health and Wellness Expo at the CT Convention Center. It was an absolute blast. I wished there had been more fitness vendors though. It was more health oriented.

Sammy came over last night and we talked about the Wine and Dine Half Marathon. I am so excited she is training for her first half with me! I feel so honored! We will be running together Wednesdays and one weekend day. We figured out where we want to stay and how long. So the saving begins! I can't wait to make dining reservations! I definitely will do the 5k the morning of the half. (And I'm still trying to figure out if I can make it down to do the TOT 10k! eee.) I am so excited! Finally something else to look forward to! 

Anyway, my run today felt amazing. 3.05 miles in 40 minutes. Unfortunately half the sidewalks still don't exist so there was more stopping than I had planned because of cars going by so close. Still I am working my way safely back up to 13.1 before the Wine and Dine so I am not upset at the time it took me. I do not want to injure my knee again/any worse.

This week I begin cross training, adding more water into my diet and having small snacks throughout the day.

As a closing note, HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ERIN from For the Love of Disney Running !!!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Let me tell you 'bout my best friend!

Woohoo! Thank you all you crazy people for viewing my blog! I have made it over 100 pageviews. Gosh I didn't think anyone would care enough to see what I have to say. I mean. I'm not really an authority on anything (except margaritas...don't forget that). I just have recently found an uncontrollable passion for running and getting healthy. Like my bio says I am only 25 but I guarantee I have the metabolism of a 400 year old person. I took advantage of my perfect size and weight when I was in high school/beginning college. I thought I could live like that forever. Boy, does it catch up to you. 

I only say my 'perfect size and weight' because looking back at pictures from those days I can remember feeling 'fat' or 'ugly' and realize now I wasn't mentally healthy. I feel like this is karma's way of saying 'oh yeah, you think THAT was bad'. I am almost thankful (almost) that I have been through the changes I have been so I could realize what was wrong before it was too late. I am psyched to share my journey with you all too. 

It was almost like it clicked one day. For all of you who do not personally know me and do not know my boyfriend Miguel, he is an ACE certified personal trainer, is huge into fitness and has what feels like an endless bound of knowledge of how to get healthy and stay that way as well as an obsessive commitment and drive to working out (it's actually impressive). I admit I listened selectively over the years but it wasn't until we rescued Ace that I realized another living being was relying on me to stay healthy, so I needed to be ASAP. I guess you could say it was maybe how mothers feel after giving birth? I dunno. I can't say I know what that is like, I don't have any human children. I just realized although Miguel needs me to be healthy and fit for our future Ace is dependent upon me to have a long, healthy life.

When we brought this little ball of fire home playing in the back yard with the frisbee was good enough. A short walk about three houses down....and then back. He was a little bit of a brat when it came to his leash. But once he got older, he needed to expend his energy more. Our walks started off a little stop and go. Stop sniff a fire hydrant, speed up and go to the nearest garbage can, stop smell the garbage can, go towards the smell of another dog, stop and sniff the air. But once him and I got into a groove it proved to be the best relationship building I could ask for. I remember on our first 4 mile run he slowed down to a dead stop and looked at me like 'alright mom, I'm done, carry me home' (this was of course after being dragged for the previous 3.5 miles) it was the first time I, myself, had to cheer on someone else. I kissed him on the nose, and said 'lets go!' I continued to cheer him on saying I was so proud of him and that we would take a nap when we got home, daddy so proud of him, it felt amazing.

The reason I'm going all History Channel on you is to hopefully say to someone, if you have the time and commitment for a dog, FOR ITS WHOLE LIFE, it might be just the thing to save you. The unconditional love, the need for energy, its that whole working out with a partner thing without the excuses of them having to work late etc. There is no excuse, your dog spends more than half it's life waiting for you to come home. If that isn't powerful guilt I don't know what is. The second reason I am saying all this is so that you can know that rescued dogs need love too, they are the best kinds of dogs around. He is no pure breed by any means and for that I am proud to be his Momma. He is a lab, pit, greyhound, beast, lovebug mix. Before he was with us he was a stray off of the streets of Texas. He was picked up by  Lab Rescue Network and brought to CT where he only spent maybe a week with his foster family until we met him. We changed his life by rescuing him, but he has changed mine more.

Okay, so now that you know a little bit more about why I am passionate for exercise I hope this gives you a chance to look at your own self and say what can I change about my life and what amazing benefits will I reap from it!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Official Princess Status (Monday-->Tuesday)

Don't ask me why I woke up at 6am the day after the longest race of my life. I did though. Doesn't mean I physically got out of bed, but I was wide awake. This is where the pain on the outside of my patella started. I kind of felt it a little during the half marathon about mile 7 or so but thought it would go away when I rested it. Yeah, no such luck. 

So I woke up, taped my right knee up again and got dressed for breaky. Kouzzina is one of the top 5 breakfast spots in Disney. I would say for me it takes a second place to Kona Cafe, but that is only because Kona Cafe gives you warm pineapple on the pancakes...sorry, I'm a sucker for pineapple. I would probably sell my house for the Kahuna Breakfast Platter right now. Anyway, back to carb city.

I get the waffles with honey and marscapone cheese. If that was possible to order as a body spread at a spa, I'd sign up like yesterday. I got an egg over medium and wheat toast to fill up on before the pillow of waffles. And you know I needed my Sunrise Sangria. I told you it's a good source of your daily veggies as well as a pick me up before you even need it in your day. Matka decided a bloody mary was needed as her pick me up. Like mother, like daughter. Mmmm What a fabulous start to my life as a half marathon finisher.

After breakfast my parents went to MGM seeing as how they had only spent time at the pool the last 5 days and Emilia and I were to head over to the Magic Kingdom. I ran up to the room and grabbed my medal. I had initially felt silly to wear it the day after but after I saw some ladies on the Boardwalk wearing theirs I felt better. So we walked through EPCOT and decided to stop by the new and improved Test Track.

The line wasn't too long but it was long enough to give us the opportunity to really take in our surroundings. I personally loved the new atmosphere. We were able to then design our car and save it to our room key. Something went wrong with our key though and we weren't able to use it once we arrived to our physical testing car. It was cool but reminded me exactly of the same Test Track as before. I did like the personalization aspect to it. After you are done you pretty much walk into what you think is a showroom for GM. (Smart move GM. I see whatcha doing.) We then headed over to the monorail to the Magic Kingdom and when we got to the TTC to switch to the MK express monorail we saw the most ridiculous line ever. We chose the ferry. What a pretty ride.

I love the Magic Kingdom for the shear fact that the entirety of Main Street is shopping. We made our way down and Emilia informed me she needed a Dole Whip. Even though I would say I actually spent my childhood at Disney I have never had a Dole Whip. I thought now is better than never. It was refreshing and delicious, it was a little too hot for comfort so I immediately downed it instead of snapping a photo. I am regretting that now. We both got the Dole Whip Float with vanilla ice cream and pineapple juice. We continued to shop, and made our way around the Adventure Land, through Libery Square and into New Fantasyland. What would a trip to the MK be without stopping at Gaston's Tavern?! 

Lefou's Brew is a must and as I down mine Emilia entered the land of Sugar Comas with a cinnamon roll the side of a small child's head.  Once we were done we headed back to Main Street. My feet were killing me so we decided to head back to the room and rest before dinner. It must have been ESP because we got back to the room starving and my parents brought up pizza from the Boardwalk Pizza Window. I'm going to go a little off topic here. If you had asked me a year ago what food I could eat for the rest of my life, if it could only be one, I would have told you pizza. After finding a healthier lifestyle I have resisted pizza for results but have not forgotten the extensive taste-testing history I have. This pizza was delicious. It wasn't greasy, it wasn't overly sauced, thank Walt there were no chunks of tomato and the pepperoni wasn't too thick. I was so pleasantly pleased with it. Anyway, I showered, spent between 45 minutes to 60 minutes blow drying my hair. (It's probably too long, but I am scared by a too short cut in my past to chop any of it off). We got ready for EPCOT... for the last night. Still makes me sad to think about it.

The MOMENT we hit the World Showcase entrance into EPCOT it started to rain............................. really. Really, Florida. Of all the days..... We took refuge in the Rose and Crown and grabbed a couple Strongbows. By the time we made it to the garden of OZ the rain was over and so was my perfectly straight and beautifully blow dryed hair. 

We had reservations at the San Angel Inn Restaurant. It is typically darker than dark in here but it is easily my favorite restaurant on Disney property. Jalapeno Margaritas and Pollo a las Rajas. This, ladies and gentlemen, is the dinner of champions.

The Jalapeno Margarita is not entirely what you assume it might be. It has a sweet, cool, refreshing flavor to it. They add cucumber with the jalapeno to give it this amazing flavor, it's not spicy or hot at all. Be aware of the rim though, that has a phenomenal kick to it. Ojciec (my father) has even mastered the Jalapeno Margarita at home. Don't ask me how, I mean the man took a computer course at the height of the information superhighway demand and found typo's in the manual... Seriously La Cava del Tequila might want to hire him. Just throwing that out there.

It was the perfect way to go out with a bang. I had an amazing time and appreciate my family for being there for me. I had a blast and can't wait to do it again. The flight home obviously was unwanted but the moment I got home and saw my best friend waiting for me it was completely worth it. I can't say he was happy when I told him I'd be leaving him again for another half marathon but he promised to be the best training partner I could find. 

This is why I run. For him. Because even though he is my little chameleon, he is part pit. If I could get just one person to understand that I am not a thug. I am not a drug dealer. I am not a bad person because of this baby then I have done right by him. Breed Specific Legislation tears apart families in the dog world the way the Holocaust destroyed humanity. Please understand that trying to exterminate any race or breed can not be successful and only does unimaginable harm to those affected. We have no right to take someone or something else's life because of the way they look. This is why I run. For him. <3

Monday, March 4, 2013

Disney's Princess Half Marathon (Sunday)


Today is the day! Had my alarms all set and clothes laid out. Check out that sick Raw Threads tee! Of course you know I didn't need more than one alarm. I could barely sleep I was so excited. I also had a nice surprise text from Miguel with the sweetest encouragement a girl could ever get. I am very lucky. I did get about 5 hours of sleep, maybe 5 and a half? If you follow this blog long enough you will probably get to see my obsession of the skull and cross bones more. I would apologize in advance but I'm not really sorry. It's completely kick-ass. Obviously I wore pants too. My capri leggings were black compression leggings from Old Navy. They are amazing and affordable. I suggest you give them a try before spending $70 on Under Armour or something else.

I dreamt about the beautiful bling I could get if I just finished this one race.... And what my next race would be....hmmm

I got to the spot where there were already ladies waiting for the bus to arrive. I was about fifth in the line at 2.45am. I had my water and wheat thins and was snacking away as I got to talk more with a seasoned half marathoner in her 70's. What an inspiration. She was so excited to run. I thought if she can do it, why am I so nervous?! I also helped out a lady with her Garmin. It's nice to be able to help someone else out. I had been the novice in every conversation I had this weekend. She didn't know how to set up intervals and needed her pacing turned off. Once on the bus I made friends with a girl who had deferred from last year because of surgery and missed out running with her friends but had her family come with her this year. Her and I walked towards the Race Retreat and that was where we separated (she had it, I didn't...thumbs down Meg). Very nice girl, I hope she did well. I then made my way towards the pre-corral walk. I ended up talking to a woman who was from Buffalo, New York. I wished I was a little faster so I could have had a corral near hers, she was so much fun to talk to. But FGH were to the right and ABCDE were to the left. We parted ways as well. runDisney did a great job with spreading out port-o-potties near the corrals. I appreciated them within hopping distance but far enough away to not smell them. As I was waiting in my corral I wished I had brought something to wear and donate before I started running. It was a little chilly. I did have room to stretch which was nice. Again, this is probably the best time to have someone to run with.

A little blurry but this is my view as we walked to the starting line. Didn't get any shots of the fireworks. Boo.

As we got going it was such a relief to see the entrance to Magic Kingdom, boy could I have kissed that speed bump! On purpose though, because they really are no joke, you gotta watch your step. Once the mass of 'princesses' (I use quotes because although I am famous for being the jerk in these situations some of the ladies I encountered were horrible to each other and I just kept to myself) ran down main street we turned towards Tomorrowland, wound through Fantasyland and well, what a perfect Gaston did my eyes see. Dear runDisney, THANK YOU! From the bottom of my cast member judging heart. Love, someone too short to be a princess. There have been some recent Gaston mess ups since the opening of New Fantasyland. This one was perfect. Had the smile and gestures down, everything was spot on. So here was my first picture break.

After I left Gaston I got cattle herded into the castle. The guys with the trumpets only distracted from the fact that it was the tee shirt line from the expo all over again. Holy Cogsworth I nearly had a panic attack.

Finally once outside of the castle we wound through Liberty Square, I momentarily got in line with Tiana, Naveen and the croc but didn't want to waste time so I quickly kept running. After we got out of the MK there were lines of characters. I passed them all waiting to find the shortest line. I can not remember where Pocahontas was but I know I really hoped Meeko was with her. It's okay, she was really really pretty.

Like I said before I had never actually seen 10 miles in a run before. I had ended at 9.75 my last long one before I came to Florida. I snapped a photo of Mile Marker 11 and iMessaged Miguel with my excitement. 

As I approached Mulan I got in line, took out my phone to get ready to take a photo with her and read Miguel's text message... "You're almost there don't stop"...It was exactly what I needed. I kept going, sorry Mulan, maybe another time. I was getting a little overwhelmed with relief and pride in myself once I hit the entrance of EPCOT. Seeing the tons of people there to enjoy the park and cheering you on is one of the coolest feelings in the world. One of the most UNcoolest feelings in the world is having a wall of people walking in front of you. There was only 1 mile to go. I wanted to just kick it into high gear and cross that finish line. 

Once I crossed the finish line I wanted to collapse and kiss the ground. I wasn't tired and was only in a little bit of physical pain. I was just exhausted with the emotions that had tagged along with me the whole half and then to see those cheering at the finish was the icing on the cake. I promptly accepted my medal and continued towards the Powerade/Water line. I couldn't get a hold of my father so I kept walking through. I wish they would give you more than 5 nanoseconds to take your picture with your medal. I completely faked my smile because of my emotions and you can tell. Grabbed my second days box of treats!!!! And had a seat on the ground, not my best choice all day.

Noms at it's best! Thank you runDisney!

I finally was able to get a text through to my father and told him I would meet them at the ICE COLD BEER tent. Genius runDisney, genius. When I saw my mother, my father and Emilia all standing there smiling it felt amazing. Then of course my father has to go and do something so sweet it took all the energy I had left not to cry. He walked up to me so proud and handed me a pink rose with a mickey inside it.

I got to see their motivational signs too! I had the best chEAR squad around! I am so proud to call them family. I couldn't have done it without them.

My father or Ojciec as I call him bought me a glass of bubbly to celebrate. It had been over 24 hours...on vacation...without a drink. Now's a good a time as any to have one! As a side note the black sparkly sweaty band did not move when I ran. It was worth the $15. I couldn't tell you why my eyes are so closed but yeah...

We got in line for our bus back to the Boardawlk, and boy were there a lot of princesses waiting to get back to their resorts as well. As we rode back I immediately wished I had checked a bag with a change of clothing. I forgot in all the excitement that I was soaked with sweat. Air conditioning on a bus and sweaty clothes make for an uncomfortable and cold ride. Once we arrived to the room the shower became my best friend. I changed, taped myself back up and we headed for the ESPN CLUB.

I proudly displayed my medal upon me and hobbled along the boardwalk to the ESPN Club. I was ready to eat anything and everything put in front of me. (That goes for drinking as well.) After a filling lunch, it was nap time. I am happy that I chose to nap because I didn't realize how tired I was, walking around for a couple hours after the race was good though too. I changed in to comfortable clothes and we headed to the Yacht and Beach Club. We had reservations at Cape May Cafe. Bring on the crab coma!

We stopped at Martha's Vineyard for a drink before Cape May. I adore my Sunrise Sangria. You can't go wrong with it at Disney. They sell it just about everywhere. Plus you get your daily intake of fruit. 

I enjoy this meal to the point that I wait for the freshly steamed crab to come out and would possibly get physical in line to get it. Ojciec wrote me a little note on the table too. I love him.

The desserts were amazing. Strawberry Shortcake was top on my list. I thought the cheesecake might have been raspberry but it was definitely blueberry, no thank you. And the flour-less chocolate cake is tasty as well.

We headed into EPCOT for a round or two of World Showcase and went back to the room to crash.


A few things I learned from my first half marathon.

1. Not everyone follows running etiquette. Pay attention to the guidelines set for whatever race you are running. Read up on it. It's not nerdy, its common courtesy as well as safety.
2. Walk on the dirt please, the road should be for those running. I say this as someone who is a runner/walker. I moved all the way off the road to let those running have a safe place to land their feet. They are moving much faster and have a higher risk of injury.
3. Get on the bus EARLY. Whatever you think is early add an extra 15 minutes to that.
4. Bring something to wear while waiting as well as something to sit on that you could donate. Even in Florida the early morning is chilly.
5. Take the Powerade and the water at every stand if you can. It helped keep me hydrated like nobody's business.
6. Do not take a Clif Shot if you haven't trained with them. As badly as I wanted one I wasn't about to risk my race because I got greedy.
7. The hill at mile 10 is not as bad as people think it is. But whatever you do, DON'T look back down the hill, people stopping and taking pictures and walking are hazards. You have time to look once on top of the exit towards EPCOT.
8. As exhausted as I understand some people were, hell I was pretty tired myself, walking the last mile really is upsetting to those trying to finish strong. Have a little awareness of your surroundings. Move if you see someone hustling to the finish line.
9. Karma will hit you faster than a rude comment from me will. A woman was loudly complaining about those walking (again I remind you I kept my mouth shut the entire race) as she herself was walking. Approximately 10 seconds later she face planted into the concrete. That is not a coincidence. It's karma. You have no idea what someone else is going through or has gone through to get to this point. As frustrated as I was with those around me, I respected them and their journey to not say something regretful in the heat of anger that could ruin their day.
10. Pick your outfit wisely. Moisture-wicking, tutu size, etc.
11. Be careful getting on and off transportation, your legs are far more jiggly than they feel.
12. If you can... DO NOT PEE during the race. Even with as much as I was drinking (literally I took 2 cups of powerade and one cup of water at every single water stop) as soon as the fireworks went off I did not stop at a port-o-potty once. The ladies that did, looked miserable waiting in line. If I'm going to stop it's going to be for a fantastic photo-op!
13. Eat whatever you damn well please once you have finished. You earned it.
14. Plan your next race within a week of completion. This way you will hold off the Post Race Depression that will set in almost 24 hours after you cross the finish line.