Thursday, February 28, 2013

"Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo" - Princess Half Recap!

If you have been following my recaps this week, you've already read about staying off property AND my expo experience and are probably are ready for me to get on with the good part! Well, i'm finally ready to tell my 13.1 story. I'm finally ready to talk about the most grueling, scary, exhausting, frustrating and FUN 3 hours and 27 minutes of my entire life! I'm not ashamed to state that it took me 3 hours and 27 minutes to complete the Princess Half Marathon. In fact, I am proud to declare that I did it!

Here is the story of how I "ran" the 2013 Princess Half Marathon.

Since we stayed off of property, we had to get up EXTRA early. My Ursula costume wasn't working (skirt was too big) so I changed to a "Cinderella inspired" option. Upon checking the weather I realized it was probably going to rain and I didn't really want to be wearing white if it did.

So, ... I snapped a picture (because I thought I looked cute for 2 a.m.) and changed into a pink shirt.

We left the hotel and headed to Epcot!  We may have left a little early because the roads were not blocked off all the way yet, and our gps (and the traffic directors) directed us right to the STAGE! Yep. ... the stage. The bad thing is, we were IN OUR CAR!!! haha So, we got turned around (yelled at by some other traffic people) and headed to find the runner parking!

Finally at the race (about 3:30ish a.m. a.k.a. 1 hour after we left our hotel room that was literally 5 minutes away) we made our way to the stage. I really wanted to meet up with some princesses and be calm before the race but that lines were REALLY long and so I opted to stand in the potty line instead.  After a little bit of dancing, and sneaking in shots of the Princesses between pictures with the runners it was time for us to start walking to the Corrals.

Hello Nerves ...

On the way to the race I had eaten my traditional handful of nuts and right when we got there I ate my apple. So, at 4 a.m. I felt great! My tummy was full, I was excited, I was in the zone.

We finally made it to the Corral (after what felt like an eternity) and I began to realize that I was about to run a half marathon. After months of training, a wisdom teeth extraction nightmare and starting my whole training plan OVER after 2 months of not running, the day was here and I was ready!

FYI - we were originally scheduled for the very last Corral (H) but with our 10K time were were able to get moved up to E!!!

Anyway - we sang along to the music, took some more pictures and before we knew it, it was our turn!
Tip: If running a race with your love, take a moment to hold their hand and thank them for being a part of the race with you. It makes the race that much more magical! 

I was so thankful to have my husband there with me, he has been my coach, my cheerleader and my bestie and I couldn't be more thankful to have him in my life (His blog. )

With the sights and sounds of fireworks, we were off.

Miles 1-5 weren't exactly anything to blog about, a lot of smiling, a lot of happiness and a lot of running! In FACT we were running at about a 10 minute pace. For a girl who averages 13 - 14 minutes, i'd say
 that is PRETTY GOOD!

We entered the Magic Kingdom, and just about the time you'd THINK I would start to pick up the pace, my body began to crash.

Remember when I told you I ate right when we arrived (at like 4?) Well, we didn't start running until 6. Therefore, my food was practically gone so I was relying heavily on my cliff shots, water breaks and power aide.

I held it together through the Magic Kingdom, and had fun stopping for some pictures along the way..

As you can see, I was super happy and excited to be inside the Magic Kingdom. I got a little wave from Minnie, and continued on my way.

As I continued, my pace began to slow down and my body began to shut down... I needed food. That apple and those nuts were GONE.

I was dizzy, my head was pounding, my cheeks were as bright as a red rose. With rosy cheeks, and chills I refused to let it beat me! I grabbed my husbands hand and asked him to please let me walk.

As we walked and I refused to tell him what I was experiencing (because I didn't want him to take me to the medical tent) I felt the tears begin to come. We had sacrificed so much to be at the race. Hours upon hours of training, hours upon hours of reading and researching how to be a runner. Hours of planning and budgeting. How could mile 9-12 be this hard? How could I have been so stupid not to eat enough?  Why was this happening?  All those thoughts filled my head and a few tears began to fall. Just as I was getting ready to act like a big girl, I felt someone rub my back, look me in the eye and tell me "good job!" She made sure I saw her, because she then grabbed my elbow and repeated herself. With tears in my eyes I thanked her and hoped she would move on so not to see me cry.


We finally made it to Epcot, and my darling waited in line to meet Pinocchio. After a few pictures in Epcot it was time to finish what we started.

So, we took a picture at mile 13 grabbed hands and ran it in!

As we ran it in, my husband got a big high five from goofy, and I was dusted with some pixie dust!

A beautiful pink, gold, glittered, Princess Half  Marathon medal was placed around my neck and the realization hit me.




We did it! 


Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Numbers, Meet Ups & an Expo!

Welcome to part 2 of my Princess Half  recap! It's hard to believe HOW much I want to share with only a short weekend of experiences. The truth is, today is the 1 year anniversary of my career as a runner and I'm feeling a little emotional about it.

On February 27th, 2012, I laced up my sneakers, put the leash on my dog (one of my dogs) held the hand of my husband and began a journey. We had been walking with our two dogs each morning for a couple weeks, and were starting to see some weight loss results. Motivated to continue, we woke up at 5 a.m. and headed out the door for a walk.  If you know my story, you know that on that particular morning, a larger man ran by me and inspired ME to run.

Source: facebook.com via Erin on Pinterest


I, Erin (former swimmer, current couch potato) began my journey. If you are new to my blog, you may not realize that this is my transformation. ...

In one year, I lost an estimated 60 pounds through running, eating less, drinking water, and sleeping. That's it. No special diets, no special pills, no schedules, just the good ol' fashion hard work.

Pictured to the left you will see my husband and I at Epcot (on Vacation) in 2012 and at Epcot at the end of the Princess Half Marathon (2013).

I began my blog with this information, because I truly believe that if I can run 13.1 miles, YOU can run 13.1 miles (or walk).

This weekend, I had the amazing opportunity to meet so many of the bloggers I follow (and pretty much stalk). Meeting someone you follow on social media sites in real life is quite the experience. During the Marathon Weekend, I was only able to meet one person, so this trip I was determined to meet as many people as possible!

I met, Lena from The Beginners Runner. This girl is adorable! We first met at the TeamRunDisney ice cream social, and then I tagged along to another meet up. I LOVED talking to her about running, training, energy supplements, life, The Dumbo Challenge ... Um, yeah. It was GREAT and I love reading her blog on Thursday's when she posts the songs she's currently jamming too!

I also met Erin from For the Love of Disney Running I have followed her since my early running days, and also LOVE her running costumes and LOVE for Disney. She and I also share the same name, so be default she's cool and you should check out her blog!

Let's see, I met Marcia from Travel, Run Eat actually. ...I am fairly new to her blog, I just started following it in January. She was extremely kind, and i'm looking forward to reading about her traveling adventures.

Finally ... I met Kat. I started following her blog after Pretty Muddy Tampa and just really never stopped. She's a lot of fun to follow on instagram, and her blog. She even gave me a little shout out on her blog today (blush!). So, check out Sneakers and Finger paints! 


In addition to ALL those wonderfully inspiring ladies I met, I ALSO experienced the Fit for a Princess Expo! 

Oh. my. word.  was THAT an over crowded mess!!!  Due to the Baseball Season, we were not able to have the Expo at Disney's World Wide of Sports. Therefore, we were crammed into one ballroom with packet pick up, t-shirt pick up, hundreds of vendors and of course 20+ thousand of our new best friends. 
For some reason, ... we went both days. 

I was glad we did because I got the opportunity to meet Jeff Galloway (twice) and tell him about my
 blog, my running anniversary, and my weight loss story. I got a side hug and a bow from Jeff Galloway. Seriously, I think I glowed for HOURS after that - I was just THAT honored to meet the man who helped me train!!  I also got to meet Ali Vincent (First Female Biggest Loser). She was pretty inspiring to talk to, and encouraged me a LOT.

Even though it was crazy crowded, and a lady offered to buy my tiara OFF MY HEAD, and another lady tried to steal the mug (out of my hand) in the Disney Merchandise tent, I LOVED the expo. The energy, the excitement, the tempers. ... Oh the magical memories.



Question: What's your strategy for Run Disney Events, and Expos? 

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Princess on a Budget - Staying Off Property!

As a  Princess on a budget, I am always looking for ways to cut costs while traveling to Run Disney events. It's tough to have Princess taste and a Peasant Girl's budget; but, Charming and I make it work. It hasn't always been this way, and trust me it won't always be this way. We made a commitment to make it through Graduate School without the stress of student loans. Therefore, we talk about EVERY penny we spend and make a decision together.

When choosing a Half Marathon we could have saved money and run the ING Miami, or some other local race BUT why? Disney has always been a part of our story and we felt it was important for it to be a part of our running story.  (Engaged at Disney, Honeymoon at Disney, First 5K at Disney .... you get the picture).

So how do we pay tuition and participate in two Run Disney weekends (Marathon Weekend Part 1 and Part 2)?

You make lists and you budget.

Hotel.

  • King Sized Bed. 
  • Quiet
  • Near Disney 
  • Under X amount of $$$
  • Comfort Level = High! 
With our list we began to research. I wasn't able to find any hotels on property that fit my budget and met the "quiet" or "comfort level = High" items.  Soooo, I turned to one of my favorite sites for booking travel. 
This site has a name your own price feature, So ...what did I do? I picked my location, picked my comfort level and ...

BOOM! 

A room was booked. 

This Princess just booked The Hyatt Regency for 60% off!  I was so excited! (seriously. ... SO excited). 

Since I was "SO" excited, it was time to begin researching the hotel. The more I read about it, the more excited I got. I've stayed in a Hyatt before and knew the quality of staff and rooms. I also knew that we'd have some resort fees. 

When we checked in, I told the front desk that I was here to run my very first Half Marathon, and just talked to them for a while. This Princess used her kindness and charm  while checking in and ... scored an UPGRADE! Our room had a view of the Lagoon Pools, Epcot, and Downtown Disney. In addition, we could see fireworks from both the Magic Kingdom AND Epcot.  

Honestly, it was amazing!

The room was everything I wanted. When I went to sleep at night, I felt as though fluffy clouds were hugging me. It was magical. 

But was it worth it? 

In the end, we paid just a little bit less than we would have in a Moderate level resort and had to deal with the crazy stress of driving to the race. 

If I had to do it again, I would not stay off property for a morning race. It was too stressful to wake up, eat and get over to the event in time.  The stress isn't worth the savings. 

Question: Have you ever stayed off property for a Disney Race, what was your experience? 

Disclaimer: I received no compensation for this post. The above opinions and experiences are my very own. 



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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Pinterest Tested! - Microwave

Last week I really wanted to try a Pinterest cleaning tip.
See, here's the proof!

anyways...  I didn't get it done last week, and even though it wasn't on my goals for THIS week, I decided to give it a try! So,.. thank you Pinterest for your inspiration!

Source.

Thank you to Jill, for sharing your microwave cleaning tips! (her microwave pictured below)

On her blog, she recommended the following recipe:
- 1 cup of vinegar
- 1 cup hot water
- Microwave for 5-10 minutes

Erin's revisions! 

I only had 3/4 cups of vinegar, SO I just did equal parts water and vinegar (seemed reasonable!). I through it in the microwave for about 6 minutes and then wiped everything clean. Next time! I'm going to microwave it a little longer, I think it would have been good for some of the tougher food stains.

Overall, I was pretty happy with how quick I was able to clean my microwave. I'm even going to be as brave as the original source and post a picture of my microwave before and after.

Let me know what you think (but be nice!!)


How do you clean your microwave? 






Monday, February 18, 2013

Weekly Chase!

Is it time for another Weekly Chase? Already?????

Thank you Mindy Molly for hosting the weekly chase (Blog links are in the image below).


Road Runner Girl

In case you missed it, here is what I chased last week
1) Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate - Done! I started taking my BIG water bottle to work and filling that up. 
2) Don't over eat in the name of "carb-loading" - 1/2 good, 1/2 bad. I did well at work, and HORRIBLE at home, birthday parties, and the valentines dinner at my in-laws. 
3) Run 2 days - Fail. I rested and relaxed this week.
4) Organize my closet - Nope. 

Sometimes, we just have a bad week with our goals and you know what? It's OKAY.  I'm not making excuses, I'm owning it. That's right, I ate birthday cake, chocolate covered strawberries, Shake & Bake Chicken and LOVED it! 

Next Sunday is my very first Half Marathon, and I'm SO excited. I think I told EVERYONE at church, birthday parties, work and maybe even a few total strangers at CVS that I was running in a half marathon. I couldn't help myself!! How can I help but get excited? I have NEVER trained so hard, and looked forward to a race so much in all my life. Even in my swimming days, training for states (I was an alternate in my Senior Year - yeah. ... don't let the title fool you, I wasn't fast! - haha) It is FINALLY here and I canNOT wait!!!! 

So, what am I chasing? 

1) Hydrate!  
2) Run my last two training runs - Tuesday / Thursday
3) Fold / Put away the laundry - by Wednesday
4) Wash the dogs / dog bedding - by Wednesday 
5) Dust my living room / Sweep and Mop - Thursday

Love Challenge - 
Discuss 2 new ideas, hopes and dreams for our future with my husband.  If you are a long time reader of my blog (which, only my husband really knew it existed for the first couple months) you may have seen this post from last February. I participated in a love challenge. It was a challenge to love your spouse in THEIR language. My husband LOVES to talk about ideas, "what ifs" and dream. Sometimes we don't take time to discuss life - I think it's important to get back into that. So, babe. Let's talk! 

Question: Who is racing this weekend?!?!?!!!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Weekly Chase! 2/11 - 2/16

Formal shout out to Mindy and Molly for hosting this every week. Those ladies always do such a great job of motivating and inspiring others to be healthy and active. Be sure to check out their blogs for some more great reading! (Blog addresses can be found on the image below.)


Road Runner Girl


If you read my post last week   you already knew I was chasing the following:
1) Run 2 days. - DONE! I ran a 5K with my pups, and I ran a 12-miler on Sunday with my husband. I also had a bonus run when my dear Juliet escaped from her leash (Read the story here)
2) Try 1 new cleaning tip from pinterest. - Fail. I did scrub my kitchen (with bleach and everything) this week. Does that count?
3) Plank - done-ish oookay ... I did it once ...
4) Make valentines for my former Sunday School Class - DONE! Actually, I made them for all the Youth Group kids and they were super cute.
Fun memories from the week.
- Juliet's grand adventure.
- Getting my Girls Gone Sporty Tank!
- 5K with my puppies!
- Making a special valentine inspired breakfast for my husband after our 12 miler (Okay, I ran 12 and he ran 14).


astorybooklife.us

I'm very excited to announce that I am DONE with my long runs for this training session. I am officially in taper-mode for the Princess Half Marathon. aahhhh Hello Butterflies, it's not nice to meet you!!

Goals for this week!

1) Hydrate, Hydrate, HYDRATE!
2) Don't over eat in the name of "carb-loading" (It doesn't work like that!)
3) Run 2 days
4) Organize my closet

Thanks what I'm chasing!!

Have a positive week!

-

Friday, February 8, 2013

Juliet's Grand Adventure


Friday night in our home is always the same. We come home from work, we quickly change, grab the guitar, grab some snacks and head out the door to Youth Group. I'm not going to lie, giving up a Friday night at home can be a little challenging at times. We are a young couple, we like adventure, we like spontaneity. ... doesn't everyone? 

As the Friday before Valentines Day, I decided to make everything a little more special. Balloons, candy, Hershey Kiss Brownies and chips. I was SUPER excited that my #sharingheart tank had come in too! So, anyway, everything was pretty normal. 

On the way home, Senior Cupid made a deal with me. 

The Deal. 

You (Erin) will promise to take the dogs for a walk while I (Husband) go for a 20 minute run. Upon the completion,  WE will go to 711 and get Slurpees together. 

Sounded like a pretty good deal to ME! So, I accepted the deal. 

I loaded my two rats into their harnesses and headed for a walk. Our dear Romeo had stopped to do his #2 business, and my husband waved and ran on by.  Juliet was NOT to be left. She wiggled completely OUT of her harness and took off RUNNING after him. I (of course) freak out and start dragging poor Romeo (who is still pooping by the way) down the street. 

A quarter mile down the road I find my Senior Cupid and Juliet. ... My husband (Senior Cupid) confused beyond words, and Juliet wagging her little tale and smiling. ... Yes. my dogs smile. 

You'd THINK my story was over right? 

While I'm catching my breath and helping my husband get the harness back on I see that Romeo has now found a piece of PIZZA!!!! 

ARE
YOU
KIDDING
ME? 
?????
I walked them home, let them get some water and sat on the couch and had a good laugh. I guess Juliet thought I needed to take my New Tank Top out for a run, and I guess the Good Lord knew I needed a laugh. Thank you Lord for spontaneous adventures and memories to share with my family. 

Have you had any running adventures with your furry friends lately? 


Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The Sporty Girl Super Challenge!

If you follow me on Twitter, you may have seen my newsfeed go CRAZY during the 3rd and 4th quarter of the super bowl last night. I participated in the Girls Gone Sporty Super Bowl Work Out! It was a LOT of fun, for a couple reasons.

Firstly, I was able to basically live tweet through my Superbowl work out with the official "Sporty Girl (Laura Williams) Secondly, I know it was working because today I woke up sore.

In case you missed it, ...here was the game plan!
 I didn't think I was going to get to participate becuase Prince Charming and I were on our way home from Universal Studios, and were expected to arrive around the end of half time.  It's kind of my crazy strange thing, BUT when we get home from a weekend away (and while our pups are still away) I like to sweep and mop the floors. Like FIRST thing!

After I swept, mopped, prepped our lunches and put away some dishes I realized this black out had delayed the game so far that I was able to accomplish my chores and sit and watch the game!

Hello Twitter!  I don't know very many plays, so it was helpful to have Laura on the other end encouraging me on.  I also had my Prince Charming saying things like "1st down, 10 mountain climbers! - oooohh you are up to 20!!" Seriously, it was halarious!  
Joining me on twitter was Ms. Flash Fran. She tweeted out picture of herself doing some of the workouts, and I was inspired. Sooo, I sent my own.
See? thumbs up and everything!
 
 
This plan was shared on FB over 100 times, and liked over 70. So, it's safe to say a BUNCH of people saw this workout. Prince Charming and I had a lot of fun. In fact it was pretty much my favorite superbowl so far!
How about you? Did you participate in any of the fitness challenges over the weekend?


Monday, February 4, 2013

Weekly Chase.

Hey!

So, I'm on lunch posting from my handy dandy iPhone. Last week I took a break from blogging, chasing and well... Social media life. My love was sick and I didn't feel well either. Grad School was stressing BOTH of us out!! Tomorrow I'm going to post about my weekend adventures in Tampa. Driving around downtown Tampa looking for a 24 hour printing place, tea tasting, Tetris competitions... Yeah, it was quite the weekend (so come back tomorrow folks!)

The Weekly Chase is hosted by Mindy and Molly. Check out www.roadrunnergirl.com for more great chases!

Mindy is doing a love challenge this month, each week we are to show love and kindness to people. I'm excited about this! It's going to be so awesome!!

Here are my goals.

1) Run 2 days.
2) Try 1 new cleaning tip from pinterest
3) plank (challenge goal, I hate those things!!)
4) make valentines for my former Sunday school class. :(

I am now a substitute for Sunday school. I passed the middle school torch to another young lady. Every Sunday I miss sharing the Word of God with those Girlies... Anyway! I want to try and make them little valentines and surprise them!

That's my chase! What are YOU chasing??

MARATHON MONDAY, WDW Marathon Training Week 8

"Giving up is for rookies." Hercules  Welcome to week 8 of Marathon Training! Much like week seven , there wasn't a whole ...