Wednesday, September 20, 2017

3 ways to ensure a HORRIBLE race

September 17, 2017 I attempted to run the Navy-Air Force Half Marathon, and literally everything that could go wrong did and there is no one to blame but myself.  I should have known better, especially after the Mount Dora Half experience... but I didn't learn. 

So, here are my 3 ways to ensure a HORRIBLE race. 

1. Neglect your Training. 
I have EVERY excuse available:
  • Three Small kids
  • Hot Weather
  • Hurricane 
  • Lack of Sleep
  • Lack of Motivation
  • ....
However, if you register for a race, and want to have a fabulous time at the event. Do not neglect your long runs. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to get out the door for a few long runs before the race and then we were trapped inside while #hurricaneIrma moved through my beautiful Florida so, I just wasn't as well trained as I was intending to be - and I paid the price for it.  

2.  Forget to Hydrate
The day before this race we had the opportunity to go to an Air Show on base with our friends. It was an AMAZING experience, truly a highlight of my trip to Washington D.C.. However, I didn't drink enough water the week before the race, nor the day before the race. So, when I got to mile 3 and found myself throwing up, I was in tears. 

I called my husband in tears and told him I wasn't going to be able to finish the race. I talked to him about possibly switching to the 5-miler, but hadn't made up my mind.  I decided to stick with the half-marathon but in retrospect, I should have just quit. 

In addition to being under-hydrated, the temperature and humidity was a lot higher than I anticipated. To be honest, it seemed a lot of runners were struggling with the weather that day.

A post shared by Erin ✨ (@storybookerin) on

3. Ditch your PLAN the night before...
::Face Palm::
I really wanted to get my P.R. (Personal Record), like... really bad. A few weeks ago, I was on track to accomplish that goal. However, life happened and my training went from consistent to non-existent.

I am a #gallowayrunner. I am literally always singing the praises of Jeff Galloway's method of running and training. If you've ever talked to me about running, or getting started with running I probably told you to do the Run/Walk/Run Method.  - I believe in that method, it's the method I use...

Except when I lose my mind over a silly goal...

In my quest for a 2:40 Half Marathon, I messed with my intervals. Right before going to bed I changed my intervals from 1:00/1:00 to 2:30 Run / :45 Walk.

Have I EVER done that for a long run?

Mile 3 was about the time I couldn't keep up with the intervals anymore and EVERYTHING caught up with me. The lack of sleep, lack of water, lack of common sense when setting up my intervals - so disappointing.

I was sick.

I called my husband, and in tears told him I couldn't do it anymore. He was supportive, and encouraging so I kept at it and did eventually finish.

Did I accomplish my goal?
Not even close...

My final time was 3:29:10
Almost a solid hour longer than my goal.

Final Thoughts on the Navy-Air Force Half Marathon

Course: Loved it, Running is such a great way to see a city - I loved the course.

Packet Pick up: It was well organized, had plenty of booths for people to shop. The only disappointment for me was the location. Last year when my sisters ran it they got to tour the Washington Nationals Stadium, this year it was outside in a tent.

Race Day Organization: There was a little bit of confusion at the start, people all seemed to be kind of lost, and not really sure what color bibs were intended to go first...? I felt more communication would have been helpful.

The other issue I had was the start / finish line was really far from post-race water, snacks and bag check.  In all other runs I've done, the finishers exit through a shoot and are guided to the beverages and snacks - this race was not like that.

The Bling: I loved the medal. Such a great design, and if you look closely you can spot some glitter - and we all know how I feel about sparkles!

Would I run it again?
Maybe, maybe not. I did enjoy running through Washington D.C., but I think i'd like to explore a different race. Perhaps the 5-miler or Rock-n-Roll D.C.

Question of the day: What race is on your bucket list?

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

MOTHERHOOD DIARIES: When your last baby turns 1.

It seems as quickly as we entered into the season of life that includes parenting babies, it has vanished. I've never exactly shared the struggles we faced when trying to conceive, but it was a struggle and on May 21st, 2013 when we FINALLY saw the words "pregnant" we were over the moon excited! (Baby Number One) 15 months after baby number 1, we welcomed our Love Bug. Life was hard, we welcomed our sweet and spunky second born into the world and then moved away from our support system a few days later.

February 2016
I remember going to the grocery store and purchasing a box of cereal, coming home, standing in the kitchen and eating it - The.Whole.BOX!
"That was strange" I thought to myself, I don't even like cereal.
Let me go buy a pregnancy test...
"Are you feeling okay?" - someone randomly asks me
Yes, I think so...
"Are you still running?" - another person inquires
...Yeah,... I mean...when I can... am I getting pudgy? I wonder silently to myself.
Let me go buy a pregnancy test....

5 Pregnancy tests, all negative.

Then, on February 11, 2016 I took 2 more tests.

Both positive.

It was you, my sweet little Belle.
Our last baby. 

This week is your last week as a baby, and my last week to snuggle you as a baby. Soon you'll be a toddler.  You will become more and more independent, and although I want to hold onto these sweet baby memories I am excited watch my three toddlers grow.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

How #HurricaneIrma affected my Marathon Training

Marathon Monday   Thursday!

If you've been following my blog for any length of time you are probably aware that I am located in South Florida, and I have three of the most amazing kiddos in the world! I, like EVERYONE in Florida watched Hurricane Irma grow in strength and uncertainty for several days, and began to prepare.

Between organizing a baby shower for my niece (coming this fall), and preparing my house for Irma, I haven't had any spare energy or time to get out the door for my training runs but here is what I have been doing.

I purchased comfort items, such as non-perishable chocolate milk so my three year old would be able to sleep a little easier when the power went out.

I purchased lots of fun snacks, packed puzzles, NEW crayons and little toys for our evacuation to Abuela's house.

I practiced putting a baby carrier on in a hurry in case we had to run to a closet if we were in the path of a tornado, or other extreme weather.

I got down on my knees and prayed for wisdom and guidance as we watched Irma.

I taught my girls a memory verse to recite to themselves when they were afraid, but if i'm being honest... it was really me who was afraid.

A post shared by Erin ✨ (@storybookerin) on

I gave my girls jobs to help them feel a part of the preparation, and took the time to talk to them about Hurricanes.
A post shared by Erin ✨ (@storybookerin) on
and once the storm passed, and we were among the first to have power we opened our home to family and friends who needed a place to cool off, take a shower, charge their phones or just relax.

I've never been afraid of a hurricane like I was for Irma, but I am so thankful for the many people who reached out to let me know my girls were in their prayers. Your kindness gave me such peace, I could never express how much your kindness meant to me.

A post shared by Erin ✨ (@storybookerin) on

To the many in Florida and beyond still without power, and working hard to find "normal" after the storm, you are in my prayers. 

Have Courage & Be Kind.

Monday, September 4, 2017

MARATHON MONDAY: WDW Marathon, Week 10

Hiya Pals,

Welcome to Week 10 of my journey to the 2018 WDW Marathon! what happened to week 9...? 


Week 9, didn't happen. Unfortunately, I've had a few set-backs, but now I am pleased to say we are back on track. 

- Rest Day

  • Pilates 
    • 10 minutes, focused on my arms
  • 2.35 miles
    • 30 minutes
    • 12:46 MM pace
For this run I was inspired by Max. Prince Eric's faithful pup! To complete the look put on a simple white tank top paired with my Gun Metal Grey Sparkle Athletic skirt!  I was quite proud of myself on this run because I was able to maintain very close to my goal pace, something I didn't think I could do - after a couple weeks of missed runs. 

  •  Pilates
    • 10 minutes, arm focus 
  • Pilates
    • 5 minutes, arm focus
  • 1:05 Miles
    • 12 minutes
    • 11:26 MM pace
For Thursdays run I was inspired by Olaf. I love his vibrant personality, and I thought a little inspiration from him would fuel my run and BOY did it ever! I had a goal to run 1 mile without stopping, and I did it!!! Not only did I accomplish the goal, I did it in under my goal pace! 

To create this look I grabbed a plastic carrot from my girls toy kitchen, and paired it with a white long sleeved running shirt and white Sparkle Athletic skirt! 


I didn't get an chance to get my long run in this weekend, I was organizing a Baby Shower for my sister in law, and visiting with my sister. 

Additionally, my oldest daughter spiked a fever that lasted over 24 hours so I took her to the pediatrician and had her checked for both the flu and strep throat. - Thankfully, both negative and she is fully recovered. However, another one of my girls now feeling sick. 

Can't wait to snuggle this sweet baby! 

This weekend was also the Dumbo Double Dare (Disneyland Half Marathon) weekend in California, I am so proud of my girl Lena for her accomplishments!   

Congratulations to all the finishers! 

Tuesday, August 15, 2017


What happened during Week 7? 
Well,... not a whole lot of running. In Fact, NO running - AT. ALL.

Here's what did happen!
Sunday School 
Story Time at the Library
Locked ourselves out of the bathroom...
Had to get rescued by my Father in law.
How many girls can we pack into the stroller?
Disney popcorn with Grammie! 
Family Figment Ride! 
Magic Kingdom Date Night! 
Fun at the Pool! 
Surprised my parents with Family Pictures!
Took a scenic route back home...

Each day of our lives we make deposits in the memory banks of our children. 
Charles R. Swindoll 

Monday, August 7, 2017

MARATHON MONDAY: WDW Marathon Training, Week 6

"I often hear someone say I'm not a real runner. 
We are all runners, some just run faster than others.
 I never met a fake runner." 
Bart Yasso

Sunday, July 30
  • Rest Day
Monday, July 31
  • Cleaning Day!
Tuesday, August 1
  • 2.25 miles, running on the treadmill
  • 13:30 pace
  • 30 minutes
I felt really good during this run, I'd previously had some knee pain. Happy to report my knee is doing better, and I felt no pain during this run! 

A post shared by StorybookErinšŸŽ  (@erins.disney.story) on

Wednesday, August 2
  • 21 Day Fix, 10 Minute Abs
  • Arms, 15 Minutes 
Thursday, August 3
  • 2.30 miles, running on the treadmill
  • 13:03 min pace
  • 30 minutes
The only way to get faster is to push make the treadmill belt go faster - that's exactly what I did today. I put it up above my comfort level and RAN. My legs were tired, my body was drenched in sweat but I did it!  If I want to make my goals a reality, I've got to work for it!

  • 1 Mile, Family Walk 
  • 45 Minutes, Family Swim

Friday, August 4

  • Rest Day
Saturday, August 5

  • 6.10 Miles, Pushing the Jogger
  • 1:28:07
  • 14:27 Pace per mile
The big girls had a slumber party with Abuela last night, so I asked my husband to come with me for my long run. I set out to do 8 miles, but since we left an hour later than anticipated and I got a head ache around mile 4, I only had 6 in me.  I pushed the stroller for the first 5 miles with our youngest, and then my husband took over the stroller duty. 

 Week 6 was good to me, I'm looking forward to week 7!!

3 ways to ensure a HORRIBLE race

September 17, 2017 I attempted  to run the Navy-Air Force Half Marathon, and literally everything that could  go wrong did and there is...