Monday, October 30, 2017

MARATHON MONDAY: WDW Marathon, Week 18

Happy Monday, Pals!

Week 18 was quite busy for me, I did a lot of yoga and cross training this week in order to stay lose and strong for my long run on Saturday.

Some of my current favorite cross-training routines can be found over here on this post, best part? They are FREE so go check it out!

Tuesday Run
We struggled to get the girls all to bed at a decent hour so instead of running my full thirty minutes I opted to just do one quick mile on the treadmill. I didn't even dress up in a character, I put on my shirt from the first time I ran the Goofy Challenge and headed out the door.

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Wednesday we took advantage of some absolutely beautiful weather and headed to the park for some family fun time.

Thursday was an absolutely perfect day for the Pumpkin Patch, so I pulled out some cute coordinating clothes and loaded the girls into the car to pick my husband up and go straight to the pumpkin patch! It's one of our favorite Fall traditions!

Since we had another evening of Family time, I decided to skip my training run on this evening. Running and Training is very important to me. However, my girls are even more important to me and they are growing so big, so when my house is filled with the giggles of three precious little ones, I just can't seem to leave for my run.

Friday was a fun-filled day, my sister in law watched our littlest love so that I could take the two oldest girls to the library for storytime. After storytime, we spent the day with Tita and then I left all three girls with my in-laws and headed home for a relaxing evening at home with my Husband and friends. We had pasta (my current carb load meal of choice) and watched the Secret Window with Johny Depp.

I've seen the movie several times, but it still freaks me out every time. It's a classic Halloween movie in our home, we like it because it's creepy - but not gory.

4:12 a.m., my alarm went off and I rolled back over... I decided to snooze for another 30 minutes before getting up for my run. Around 5:45 we headed out to our running spot so I could run my 16 miles. The weather was so beautiful! It was a nice 70 degrees and low humidity. I could tell it was going to rain - but while I was running there was no rain.

Mile 1 - I started to have some GI issues, so I paused my watch and called my husband. He came and picked me up, took me to a restroom and then I continued on my merry way.

Mile 2-7 - Felt great, I did an interval of 45-second run and 1:30 walk. It was recommended to me by another mom friend who is training for the WDW Marathon, so I thought I would give it a try. She was right, I felt SO much better throughout the run!

Miles 8-11 - I started to get frustrated with some cyclists, and I could tell the weather was about to cave in so I cut my run down and did some post-run yoga flow and then we headed to Starbucks for a coffee and some other errands for my daughters Halloween Party.

I felt great while I was running, but according to my Fitbit, I'd only slept for about 3 hours - this could be the reason I completely crashed onto the couch and slept for two hours after everything was all set up for the girls to come home.

For the run I decided to dress like Eeyore, I purchased the shirt for our daughters Winnie the Pooh themed Birthday.

And that's my week, it was pretty amazing and I'm excited for next week!

Shop the Look* 
Favorite Running Shorts:
This is great for fitness enthusiasts or runners with chub rub. They are a little longer and with the compression, everything stays nice and tight.
Favorite Running Skirts:
I basically can't run without my sparkle skirts! I love that they add sparkle to my outfit, and cover my bottom when wearing compression shorts - these skirts are huge confidence builders! 
Favorite Visors:
with their built-in sweatband, these visors keep sweat out of my eyes perfectly! I also wear these to the zoo and theme parks!

* This post contains affiliate links. It costs nothing extra to you, but your purchase supports our family and the storybookerin website. 

Thursday, October 26, 2017

From the Archives: My Experience at the 2015 Marathon

Hiya Pals!

Happy Throwback Thursday, as I prepare for the 2018 Walt Disney World Marathon I can't help but reminsce about the first time I ran a Marathon!

My desire to run the Walt Disney World Goofy Challenge started after my first 5K, That's right before I even ran the Princess Half  I had decided that I wanted to run the biggest, baddest, RunDisney race (at the time) of them all!!

Goofy's Race & a Half Challenge! 

Of course, since then RunDisney has added the Dopey Challenge - so Goofy isn't as highly recognized as being a big deal... but... Mr. Goof' I think your race is pretty sweet, and to be honest... Even just part of the Goofy Challenge is pretty tough - and something you have to train for.

But ... enough babble - let me actually talk about the race.

The Night Before
The night before the race we had dinner with our families (yep.. OUR families) So, my Mother, Father, Sister, and Brother in law. Along with my Mom, Dad, Grandma, Sister, Sister, Brother in Law & Niece all got together at the Olive Garden for some dinner.

Of course, Little Lady and Little Miss stole the show with their cuteness and I could barely eat. I just didn't feel good, and nothing on the menu seemed appetizing so... I picked at my food and shared with Little Lady.

We got back to the hotel room, organized our things for the race in the morning and went to bed as early as possible.

The Middle of the Night
Little Lady had gotten cold in the middle of the night, and so I snuggled with her until the alarm went off and it was time to get ready to go!

Little Lady was snuggled warmly on our bed, and we began to get ready to go. I felt really stiff so I grabbed my headphones and my iPhone and went through a Yoga Sequence (Yoga with Adrienne).

Pre- Race
We were in Corral O, which is pretty much the last corral to start. I mentioned that there was whining before the half, and honestly... what's the deal?  To block out the noise around my I put some music on and tried to get my nerves in check before the race.

Miles 1-5 
Just like the half, these miles seemed to FLY by. We didn't really go FAST, in fact, I was a little dehydrated, so I had to drink a little more water than I wanted to in order to avoid a cramp. So, an extra bathroom stop became necessary - which made our time a little slower. My sisters and niece had decided to follow us along the course - it was a HUGE surprise to see them when we turned onto Main Street. I almost cried, because... there it was... The castle, and my sisters cheering me on!
I defiantly had an "is this real life" moment.

Miles 6-12
A blur... I stayed so focused on my 1 min walk / 1 min run ratio, and was determined NOT to get swept, I just buckled down and ran. I will say, I do remember this being a really boring section of the course. A special thank you to the employee in the Animal Kingdom the words "course to the left, bathrooms to the right" sounded so beautiful to this preggo.

At mile 12 I ate a Clif Bar and treated the second half of the course like "just another half marathon". I think breaking it down like that really helped me.

As we crossed the Half Marathon mark I heard a lady say her friend was swept at mile 10. I got scared... Truly - it lit a fire under me because I was NOT ready to be swept. I'd trained too long and hard for this, I WOULD finish.

13.1 - 17
So,  this was another really boring part of the course. My husband saw Little John from REALLY far back and ran ahead to get in line. Robin Hood is his FAVORITE Disney movie, and he'd never seen Friar Tuck out for pictures. So, we waited in line.

He didn't know about what I overheard, and how terrified I was of getting swept.

Also during this stretch, someone tapped me on the shoulder and said "I know you", at first I was a little surprised because I was so focused on my intervals I wasn't sure if he was talking to me, but it was pretty neat to be recognized.

Mile 17.
Is there anything as disheartening as seeing the mile marker for mile 17, then a BUNCH of people turning into the road that leads to MGM at Mile 21 right next to you? Yeah, don't think so.  I'd noticed it but didn't want to think about it. Until some total stranger taps me on the shoulder and says "THAT'S MILE 21, AND WE ARE ONLY JUST AFTER MILE 17" ... I could see ESPN Wide World of Sports, and I knew it'd probably be a scenic 5 miles, but ... now all I could think about was how many miles we had left and how much I had to use the bathroom (again!).

ESPN Wide World of Sports
We made it. The Wide World of Sports, full of interesting things to look at, a banana fuel station, a cold wet towel, lots of people cheering you on - it was a dream. I (sadly) had to pee SO badly. Our time suffered greatly because we waited about 5 minutes for a bathroom. Annoyed almost to the brink of tears, I held it together. During the WWOS we also ran the track that we'd just run for the kid's races, so naturally, I started thinking about Little Lady about how much I missed her, and how someday I'd get to tell her and the little love bug inside of me all about our first Marathon. The two of them were such a big part of it - I guess mile 19 brought out the sentimental side of me?  We saw my sisters again, and got some more hugs and were on our way.

I'd saved a FunSize Hershey bar for mile 20 celebration. I knew if I made it to Mile 20 without being swept, I could do it!

Mile 21 - 24
We finally made it to MGM and the volunteers never looked more fabulous with buckets full of chocolate for us back of the pack runners. (One of the fuel stations was empty before we got there) We moved pretty quickly around the park and before we knew it, were on our way to the Board Walk. As soon as I saw the boardwalk I got so emotional.

1) I just ran a WHOLE lot of miles with a 25-week baby bump - I'm allowed to get emotional.
2) The crowd on the boardwalk was vibrant! So many runners with their medals, and families, and people with "way to go" signs.
3) We were almost "safe"

Mile 24-26.2

As soon as we turned the corner into the World Showcase of Epcot, I could NOT stop the tears. I'd made it. Only 2 more miles until I was given the title of "Marathoner". I'm not talking pretty tears, I'm talking big ugly tears. Through the rain, humidity, and COLD we followed the Galloway Run/Walk, and we had done it. About the same time we made it to Epcot I noticed my watch had died, so we just did what felt good for the end. 

We soaked in the energy from the crowd, high-fived small children, and waved to people on the sidelines, and then as we approached the finish line we smiled and waved at our families and I blew some kisses to my dear friend Lena who came to cheer me on.

A hug from Minnie Mouse, and we crossed the finish line.

Goofy Challenge Finishers.

Never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined I would be running a Marathon. Never would I have imagined I'd run a Marathon at 25 weeks pregnant, but sometimes dreams change.

I'm so thankful for the opportunity to complete the Goofy Challenge without anything more than bruised and ugly toenails.  My husband was my constant beacon of love and support, I knew he believed in me and together we could cross both finish lines for the goofy challenge. 

I'm also thankful for our families who supported us, watched little lady for us during long training runs, fed us when I was too tired to cook, and came and cheered us all the way to the finish line. 
Purchase your Minnie inspired tutu here!*

We are truly blessed. 

Now, to focus on havin' this baby in just about 13 more weeks... 

*This post contains affiliate links, this costs nothing extra for you but your support of is greatly appreciated. ;-)

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

WDW Wednesday: Magic Kingdom with Toddlers

Hi Pals! 

As a Disney loving mom of three young children, I've learned so many hacks to having an amazing day at The Magic Kingdom. Today on the vlog I share a few of my favorite tips, so I encourage you to take a look. 

On the vlog, you will find:
  • Where to meet your favorite characters
  • Best spot for a picnic
  • How to get an extra fast pass, and give your toddler the opportunity to ride a favorite ride twice
  • Tips for having a memorable conversation with your favorite princess
See ya real soon. 

Monday, October 23, 2017

MARATHON MONDAY: WDW Marathon Training Week 17

Happy Monday Pals!
I've been really focusing on two things the last couple of weeks.
1) Identifying the intervals I want to use for the Marathon.
2) Strong Core!  You can check some of my favorite workout routines on this post.

I had hoped to get down to the 12 - 13 minute per mile pace by the time we run the Marathon. Unfortunately, I just do see that happening. In order to improve my pace, I feel as though I need to really rebuild my core and get better sleep.

I can't do much about getting better sleep - with a 3, 2 and 1-year-old in the house sleep is precious and often interrupted.  I can, however, work on my core. So, I'm really focused on building my core and make the most of the runs. Instead of working to improve my time, I am working to improve my endurance.

Here are my Disney Inspired costumes for this weeks training runs.

On Thursday I was a Fireside Girl.
Inspired by Isabella from Phineas and Ferb, I used an orange Nike shirt and a black Sparkle Athletic skirt for my costume.

On Saturday, I was scheduled to run 5 miles. I'd intended to run all 5 miles, but was having such a fun-filled family weekend I opted to run 3 miles in the afternoon with a costume inspired by Dory.

My skirt was a black Sparkle Athletic Skirt, and I used my trusty blue Nike running shirt. I completed the look with a yellow ribbon in my hair.

I had such a beautiful run on Saturday. When I stopped focusing my effort on being FASTER, I found myself enjoying the runs again. After my HORRIBLE experience at my last Half Marathon in D.C., I've had to really do some soul searching and find balance with running and goals.

So, here we go! This week I plan to continue my focus on building my core and hydrating for the 16 miles I'll be running on Saturday morning!

Have a great Monday Friends!

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Tips for taking your Toddlers to the Magic Kingdom - AFTER Bedtime!

Hiya Pals!

In an attempt to capture as many beautiful memories of the days when we traveled through Disney with three toddlers, I have brought my Youtube Channel back to life!

In my most recent vlog, I share several tips on how to have an amazing time in the Magic Kingdom with your toddlers after they are typically in bed. You can find three of the tips listed below.

Tip 1 
Make sure children are well rested. Since we live about 5 hours from Walt Disney World, our children are often asleep most of the time we are driving. Since it's next to impossible to get them to go to sleep once we get to our hotel room, we opt for a few hours of fun in the parks. 

Tip 2
Have a plan. 
We decided to grab fast passes for the Princesses and Peter Pan because those activities typically have a long line. In order to make the most of our evening, we only did things located inside Fantasy Land. This helped maximise our time inside the parks. 

Tip 3
Utilize the Baby Center! 
We always head to the baby center to change our girl's clothes and give them a snack prior to leaving the park. 

What are are some of your favorites tips for having a great evening in the Magic Kingdom? Share them in the comments! 


Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Current Favorite (Free) Workouts!

Who has time for DVD's? - Not this momma! That's why I'm obsessed with streaming workout routines from Youtube! Today I'm going to share two of my favorite Fitness Channels on Youtube!

POP Pilates

I'm fairly new to the POP Army, but when I saw several amazing momma friends on Instagram using the hashtag #POPARMY I wanted to check it out. POP Pilates was developed by Casey Ho, she took the everyday fitness routine and created a time of not only fitness but empowerment. I absolutely LOVE her personality and create moves.

Currently, she is doing a superhero series on YouTube, you've gotta check it out!

This is not the first time I've mentioned YWA, truth is - she's my absolute favorite Youtube Yogi! Her videos are perfect for someone who has never tried yoga before but would like to get into it. The way she effortlessly explains how to move from position to position is amazing and has truly helped build my fitness vocabulary, giving me confidence during more advanced fitness routines!

I like to go through her Pre-Run routines before a run to help get me stretched and ready!

Let's Connect!
Tell me about your favorite fitness routines, who do you follow on Instagram that inspires you? 

Monday, October 9, 2017

MARATHON MONDAY: WDW Marathon Training, Week 15

It's a long road, but it's worth it.

Welcome to Week 15 of Marathon Training! 
In case you missed my previous post, you can Read all about week 14 here! 

This week I started the 21 Day Fix again. I'm really trying to get a handle on my eating. I find that I don't eat enough of the right foods throughout the day, so I just don't feel my best! Something I do love about the 21 day fix eating plan is that it's spelled out for you. You are told (based on your personal weight) how many servings of proteins, carbs, greens, fruit, etc... 

I first did the 21 day fix in January of this year and had great results - check it out my results here! 

On Tuesday I did my 21 day fix exercise and ran on the treadmill for 20 minutes. I felt pretty good, no aches or pains and was pretty happy with my pace! 

Tuesday Run
  • 1.40 miles
  • 14:17 pace
  • Disney Bound as Candace from Phineas and Ferb

How I completed the look
Wednesday I took a full rest day from fitness. I played with the girls chased them around as per usual, but did not do anything extra. 

Thursday... Seriously... Thursday about had me in tears (if you saw my Instagram Stories!)
I got all dressed up (like Gretchen from Recess), gave the girls a snack, made sure my husband had knew where all the sippy cups were and headed out the door for my run.

When I arrived at the gym there was a couple there. The lady sitting in a chair, and a man on a bike. The woman was sitting literally right next to the treadmill on a chair, so I asked if I could use it. She said sure and I began to run.

2 minutes in, my shirt is riding up and bothering me. Upon investigation of the situation I realized my shirt was on inside out. :::shakes head:::
So, I left all my stuff on the treadmill, ran into the bathroom and flipped it around - the whole thing took less than a minute.

During that time, the man (who saw me go into the bathroom, and that I left all my stuff on the treadmill) TOOK THE TREADMILL.... STOPPED MY PAUSED WORKOUT!!

I came back, and got my stuff and went home to get my garmin so I could run outside. - I was not impressed....

It's unfortunate that our gym only has 1 treadmill, but I did have a lovely run outside.

Thursday Run
  • 2.20 miles
  • 14:08 pace

How I completed the look
Saturday was SUCH a great day for me. I was absolutely terrified about running 16 miles, but I knew I had to do it - no matter what.  So, I asked my inlaws if they would host a slumber party for the grand babies and set myself up for success.

I was able to go to sleep quite early (and then toss and turn all night worrying about the girls) and get up at 3:45 to be running by 5:00 a.m., my goal was to have the majority of my miles finished before the sun came up.

My husband went with me, and was to be my moving water /fuel stop.

Miles 1-4, Walking
Miles 4-8, Run/walk 45s/45s intervals
Miles 8-10, Walking
Miles 11-12, Run/Walk 45s/45s intervals
Mile 12, Walking
Mile 13, Run/Walk 45s/45s interval
Mile 14, Walking
Mile, 15, Run/Walk - intervals maintained as best as possible

My husband did miles 1-4, and 12-16 with me on foot and then met me around the loop with water around mile 6.

How did I feel?
I felt great until mile 10, then suddenly my smallest toe was in such pain. It was like my shoe and sock were both too tight. Unfortunately, I didn't know how to fix it without stopping and redoing everything. That would risk me getting too tight, so I just dealt with it.

Details of the Run

  • 16:01 miles
  • 17:21 pace
  • Costume inspired by Ursula! 
For this run, I decided to wear one of my favorite shirts and go with an Ursula Vibe. It was so comfortable and the black sparkle skirt always feels so nice! If you are only going to buy one sparkle skirt, go with black - it matches everything! Second, I'd vote white! I wear my white one literally ALL the time! 

How I completed the look
So that was my week, I'm pretty proud of the week and am looking forward to next week! 

Question of the day: Who is your favorite character in the Little Mermaid?

Monday, October 2, 2017

Marathon Monday: WDW Marathon Training, Week 14

Training Week 14

it's getting real. 

We've hit the part of Marathon Training, where we regularly run longer distances than most people will ever imagine running. That's right, on Saturday I was scheduled to run 15 miles! - but before I jump into that, let me talk about the weekly runs. 

Tuesday, I did 30 minutes on the treadmill dressed as Marie. - It was so much fun! 

Costume Details:
  • White Tank - TJ-Maxx
  • White Sparkle Skirt - Sparkle Athletic
  • Brooks Shoes 
  • Pink Bow's - Wal Mart
Thursday, I was scheduled for 30 minutes. However, it was Banned Books Week and my husband was participating in an event at FIU,  so I was with my Librarian. 

A post shared by Erin ✨ (@storybookerin) on

Saturday rolled around and i'd set myself up for success with my 15 miles. However, when I went to the location I was going to run, It seemed to be pretty full of branches from Hurricane Irma, so I came home and ran on the treadmill.

I got 5 miles in, and got distracted by someone talking to me so I just called it a day. 15 miles on the treadmill was a bad idea...

Next week I plan to do 15-16 miles! I mother in law is going to take the girls on Friday night, so I can get an uninterrupted night of sleep, and then my husband can go with me and keep me company for the run!

Today I am also starting the 21 day fix, mostly to get my eating back on track - i've totally fallen off the band wagon of healthy eating, and it's starting to show in the way my clothes fit...

Question of the day: What are your goals for the week?

What to do in the Everglades with Children

Well, we survived our first Camping trip with the girls !  After a cup of coffee and some lunch at a nearby Burger King, we headed home...