Thursday, November 17, 2016

Spectating the NYC Marathon

Last weekend I had the pleasure of being on the sidelines during the biggest and one of the most popular marathons: The NYC Marathon! A long-time friend and run coaching client was running his first marathon, and I promised (especially after bailing on him for the Staten Island half) that I would be out there to support. Lucky for us, it was a beautiful day and we probably would have gone even if he wasn't running!

Some things to know:

The marathon starts in waves, anywhere from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Our runner wasn't starting until 11, so we took the opportunity to watch the elite runners finish on TV before heading into NYC.

The app rocked my world (hello, runDisney, can we get in on this?!?!?). The tracking was incredible and the maps were perfect. Of course, NYC is easy to get around with it's simple grid layout. The app let us pick the best places to watch as we were riding the train into the city.

Central Park is pretty much off limits unless you pay, so you'll have to decide which end of the map to cover.

We took the Metro North train and got off in Harlem. It's the perfect place to see your runner twice without much travel for yourself. We got to spectate at mile 19 and at mile 23.

All in all, it was a fun day. I'm glad we decided to just plan to see my friend, since it's tough to be in NYC with a baby in the cold (you know, with trying to breastfeed and change diapers--those things are much more comfortable when it's warmer). If you start with the elite runners and plan to stay until the end, it would make for a very long day.

Of course, I would have loved to run too! This race has been on my bucket list for years, so I'll just keep throwing my name in the lottery and hoping for the best.

Is NYC on your bucket list? What are your tips for spectating a big race?

Friday, November 4, 2016

Race Report: 2016 Disneyland 10k

I know, I should have done this all BEFORE leaving for Paris, but c'est la vie!

The 10k is the first part of the Dumbo Double Dare. This was the 4th running of the race, and therefore the 4th time I've done this race. I have to say, this has been my favorite Disney course. There is SO much park time, backstage time, and downtown time. The race literally flies by!

Going with the partners theme, the race theme was Genie and Aladdin. We had a bunch of friends running this race too, so we decided a group costume was the only way to go. Of course, none of us actually wanted to be Aladdin or Jasmine, so we managed to be every other character from the movie. That left Bill and I as the carpet and lamp. I have to admit, my lamp was LAME. It was not my best showing for sure, but Bill's carpet was pretty awesome.

If you remember, we started at the back of the pack because I forgot to add a proof of time for Bill (I had just had a baby...that's my story and I'm sticking to it!). We had our friends go ahead and the two of us stayed behind in the last corral. Truth be told, we weren't properly trained and just wanted to have fun.
Party Corral! 

The first mile is on the streets and through the Anaheim Convention Center. We always laugh here because we often stay at that Hilton, and on more than one occasion have said, "Let's just go back to bed instead of finishing this race." when we pass the entrance. After that mile or so is out of the way, it's all Disneyland!

Last chance to take this pic!
There were a few changes to the course this year. One thing I noticed and didn't care for was not running UP Main Street. Yes, you still get to run through the castle, but I miss that first glimpse of the castle from Main Street. It's always been my favorite part of the race (and spoiler, they did the same thing for the half marathon course).

The miles ticked by quickly and we stopped for a few selfies along the way. Tower of Terror is always a favorite. We're going to miss taking those pics! A bit before mile 5 you head through the castle. We aren't big on standing in line for pictures, but we pulled over for a quick selfie, and POOF, there was the rest of our crew! They had taken full advantage of the many photo ops and we caught up with them. It made for a great pic in front of the castle and a really fun end to the race. Don't you just LOVE running with friends?!?!?  runDisney is the BEST for that!!!
Pic Credit: Holly Casino (aka Genie!)
Just like that, the 10k was over. It still tops my list for favorite course, even with the changes. We finished the race in 1:39:58. Okay, it's almost laughable, but we had fun! That's what it's all about. Someday I'll get focused on running fast again, but until then, I'm just enjoying the ride!

Sunday, October 23, 2016

My Favorite runDisney Race -- The Diaper Dash!

The last few months have been really busy. Alyson and Bill have relocated to the East Coast. We had 2 vacations in the past months before they even finished unpacking. And, I’m doing physical therapy for back pain and researching knee replacement.  

There are a lot of race recaps to catch up on, especially the ones from Paris. But I wanted to write about my favorite race of all time.

On Labor Day weekend, we went to Disneyland because Aly and Bill want to keep the Dumbo Double Dare as a legacy race. Even if I didn’t tag along to watch Robby as his parents raced, I would have gone to see Robby do his first runDisney race – the Diaper Dash. (Honestly, I don’t know why I never spectated this race before.)

The Diaper Dash is the most entertaining runDisney race that exists. It is for 12 month and under crawlers. Entries are limited so it’s just like signing up for any other runDisney race -- they sell out fast.  Robby was signed up before we knew if he would be crawling at the time of the race. 

You get a bib and race shirt just like the other races.  Robby also got the optional race ears.  You have to pick up your packet at the expo and you get your medal at the finish.
Robby at the Expo
It happens at the end of the kids races. They lay down gym type padding under the “kids races” finish line and then cover it with a “lane” mat.

Before the race began, they gave an entertaining display of what to expect at a diaper dash. 

DDD (no. not Dumbo Double Dare
----Diaper Dash Demo!)
And, yes, there were cryers, crawlers and our favorite, “the sleeper”. The costumes abound with these little racers. One little girl was decked full out in a Disney Tour Guide outfit! Our little guy was Mickey. You are allowed 2 "helpers", one at each end of the mat.

The first “wave” of crawlers lined up. The little guy in the first lane took off with determination. About halfway up the mat, he made a severe right turn, crossed over all the lanes and almost went right off the edge of the mat! Parents brought cell phones, toys and one even had a tv remote to entice the little people to crawl to them.
Robby was taking a quick
nap before his race.

As each wave of crawlers lined up (I think there were about 5 sets), I kept looking for Robby and his parents. I saw them keep moving to the back. Later I learned that Robby was fast asleep.

The final group was lining up, and there was Robby (with his I just woke up, where am I? face). The last wave of little racers were ready to go.   Robby was on his hands and knees, looked around and then just sat up! (He wasn’t actually crawling at this point. However, while he was sitting he must have been watching all the other little guys and gals. That afternoon, when we returned to the Disneyland hotel, he started taking his first few crawling “steps”.)  

As the other little dashers were helped to the finish line, Robby still sat and looked around. Carissa (for those who don't know, she is one of the runDisney announcers) got down on the mat next to him and announced that Robert wasn’t interested in racing, he’d rather be an announcer. She handed him her microphone and Robby gladly took it.  

Maybe I do have a shot at being an announcer!

Coaxing Robby in Lane 2 to the Finish Line

Finally, the finish line!
So, at the 2016 Disneyland Half Weekend Diaper Dash, our Robby was the official last finisher!  But, as it goes in any other race, he finished and that’s what counts.  He happily chewed on his medal and we all were proud of him!

Have you ever watched a Diaper Dash (or any other of the Kids Races) at a runDisney event?  If you ever get the chance, you should check out the Diaper Dash.  It truly is fun race to watch.

Robby is now looking forward to his next race, the 100m Dash at the Tinkerbell Half Weekend in 2017.

Celebrating race weekend at Goofy's Kitchen

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Back from Paris (and my social media hiatus)

Hi there! Remember me? Well, we are back from Paris (OMG...amazing trip...I can't wait to share all the details), and I'm back from a social media break. No blogging. No Facebook. No Instagram. No Twitter. Nothing. I spent a solid two weeks hanging with my family and being present. The verdict? It was so awesome to disconnect!

I have to admit, both Bill and I are attached to our phones like they provide oxygen. We get super annoyed at each other, yet we continue to do it and never change our behavior. While in Paris, we decided not to turn on our phones (I actually left mine at home) because we didn't want to pay the international fees. It was the perfect way to quit cold turkey. Admittedly, we did bring the iPad and we had WiFi at the hotels, but I rarely checked anything. Mostly I just did a quick scan on FB to get updates on the twins.

What did I learn in the two weeks? I'm missing out on life by aimlessly scrolling on my phone. I can pretend that it's work, that I'm building my social media presence online to build my fitness business, but that would be a lie. The truth is I'm often scrolling, reading the same posts multiple times a day, and not getting anything accomplished. What a waste of time and a waste of life!!! I refuse to miss out on Robby's growing up or my precious time with my husband to read up on every little coming and going on social media.

Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not a quitter! I won't be going anywhere, but I know that we need to put in some boundaries. Our first step is no technology at dinner. We are having dinner every night as a family. Even when it's just me and the Robster, dinner is sacred time. I know it sounds simple, but I figure it's a great way to start. Personally, I'm going to be coming up with a daily schedule. My days are all on my own schedule, which lately has turned into no schedule, and that's not productive at all. I have so many great business ideas to help so many people, but I've got to dedicate some time to get to work.

Everyone needs to start somewhere. It's so crazy to think that just a few years ago I could go days without looking at a phone. I love what social media has done to keep me connected with friends and to introduce me to new friends. I'll never be one of those people who deactivates Facebook. I just need to find the perfect balance!

Have you ever disconnected? Do you have technology rules in your house?

Friday, September 16, 2016

Heading to Paris?

I can't believe the time is FINALLY here! Do you know how long runDisney nuts (like all of us) have been speculating about a Disneyland Paris Half Marathon? It's been years in the making, and the time has finally come to pack our bags and put the final touches on our preparation for this magical vacation.

The official race guide has been published. You can check it out HERE

Here are a few important reminders that we have added to our regular packing list. What's #1? Remember to pack your patience!!! I've seen quite a lot of complaining already on social media sites. This is an inaugural event, and remember it's NOT runDisney really running the show. This will be all new for everyone involved. Things will go wrong, but if you just enjoy it for all it's glory, you won't be disappointed.

Remember to print and pack your voucher (it was sent via email) and your waiver. You can find your adult waiver HERE and the kids waiver HERE. These waivers are not the same as your medical certificate for those running the half. On that note, don't forget to bring your original copy of your medical certificate as well.

Don't forget to alert your credit card company and bank that you will be traveling internationally. If you plan on using your cell phone, be sure to contact them and find the most economical way to be able to do so. I would also recommend getting some cash to work with when you get there. You don't want to land and be stuck finding places to exchange money (you can do this pretty easily at the airport, but let's get real, when you land you are going to want to start your vacation immediately!).

You may want to register with the state department. They keep track of everyone traveling abroad and if you need the embassy for any reason, you should be registered. No one wants to think of bad things happening, but I'd rather be prepared. You can do this really easily HERE. You will want to register your whole travel party together, so have everyone's passports ready to go!

Finally, don't forget some of those essentials for packing: outlet converters, passport holders, print outs of tickets and reservations (because we're going to try to not use our phones daily), a translator (or app), Also, don't forget to make sure you carry on any essentials You definitely don't want to be stuck in a different country without things like medication or special foods.

I hope to see some of my favorite runDisney faces in Paris! We can't wait to run this race, visit Disneyland, and make once in a lifetime memories.

Anything else we're forgetting? Drop it in comments below!

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Race Report: 2016 Disneyland 5k

We're home from our California vacation (which started at the Disneyland Half Marathon weekend) and it's time to start reliving our favorite race weekend. In case you didn't know, this weekend is very special as it was our first runDisney race back in 2010. Our whole family has been at this race weekend in some form, and it's a non-negotiable on our race calendar annually. This year was the first year that Katie and Chris didn't join us, but it was for VERY good reason! We have TWO new members of Disney Runs in the Family!!! I'll let them introduce you to our tiniest DRITF bloggers, but for now, I'll just say that they were greatly missed. I cannot wait to head to Disney with all three little ones soon!

The face you make when you oversleep on race morning!
Now, back to that 5k thing. Well, I guess a digression is the perfect way to start this blog post because it's very telling of that race. Do you have nightmares before big races? I do! One that is recurring is that I oversleep and miss the start of the race. I then have to play catch up and it just goes on from there. Well...guess what? On Friday morning, my dreams came true! Wait...what? They say dreams come true at Disney, right? Well, after shutting off my alarm in a sleep-deprived haze (you know, the kind that comes along with traveling with an infant who can't quite get it together in a new place in a new time zone), I never reset the alarm. Come to wake up at 5:21, 9 minutes before the start of the race. Seeing that number on the clock wakes you up really fast! Luckily I was pretty organized and knew exactly where all my running stuff was. I threw on my clothes and went running out the door, leaving Bill, Robby, and my mom sleeping in the dark. No food, grabbed a water, and ran to the start. I missed the whole pre-show, the national anthem, and as I heard, "30 seconds to the start of the 5k" I thought I had made good time...until they continued with "corral B, are you ready?" OH! I had actually missed the start too! Thank God this was only the 5k!

I made it right in time to line up in the back of corral C. I wasn't planning on running fast, but I had wanted to stop for photos and really be able to document the race. Too bad I didn't have time to get any of that together. Believe it or not, this was my first DL 5k. Because of the expense of the races, I don't always register for the 5ks. I know the course changed a little from previous years, but I couldn't tell you exactly how. Actually, I was in such a daze that I can't tell you much about the course. One change that was great was you run through the castle. I know this had previously been a rarity in shorter races. I'm glad they made that change. It's one of the most magical moments of the race, and it's nice that all the participants get to experience this now.

Cars Land Selfie!
Another big change was the medal. It was a medal medal, not a rubber medallion like in years past. Of course, you heard people complaining about that too. You just can't make everyone happy! I do appreciate that they at least are putting a bit more noticeable changes into the race since the price tag is so steep.

The course is mainly through the parks and backstage areas. They had the Country Bears out (it was the race theme) plus there was country music playing throughout the course. I'm sure someone else could tell you more about the music. Country music just isn't in my knowledge-base! It was a lot of fun, despite the rocky start. Disney always does it right, and next time, I'll be sure to set more than one alarm!
The new bling-ier bling

Did you run the 5k? Do you enjoy shorter or longer distances at Disney?

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Disneyland with an Infant: My Packing List

Well, here we are! We're (finally) packing our bags for the 2016 Disneyland Half Marathon weekend. We started running this race in 2010 and have run every year since. This, though, is a WHOLE new world. This year we're traveling with a baby. Who knew these little creatures needed so much stuff? I've got the race-cation packing thing down, but this new territory is a bit scary. Here's my packing list for Robby's first Disneyland trip. What am I missing? Help a new mama out!

Stroller Lock
Mommy Hook
Handlebar Tote
Sign or Luggage Tag
Weather Shield
Suck Pads
Cooling Towels
Face/Hand Wipes
Pacifier Wipes
Hand Sanitizer
Disposable Diaper Bags
Quart & Gallon Zipper Bags
Noise Reduction Headphones
Baby Monitor
Picture Mat & Markers
Toys & Links
Basic First Aid Kit
Inflatable Bathtub
Baby Wash
Nail Clippers
Baby Lotion
Sample Sizes of Other Care Items
Disposable Placemats
Sponge/Bottle Brush
Dish Soap
Sippy Cups/Bottles
Breast Pump
Burp Cloths/Receiving Blankets
Laundry Detergent
Backpack as Diaper Bag
Changing Pad
Pack N Play Sheets
Bathing Suit
Swim Diapers
Pool Floatie

I will definitely be posting this in a printable format so it's more user-friendly after our trip. First, though, I have to test out my list and see how good it is! LOL

Also, I'll be 'going live' on Facebook (on my business page) this Wednesday to show you what I pack in my carry-on when I'm flying to a race weekend. Hope you join me! Here's the link:

Monday, August 22, 2016

My Disneyland Half Marathon Goals

I've made no secret of the fact that I'm not prepared for the upcoming Disneyland Half Marathon weekend. I actually don't even have costumes ready. SO not like me! Especially when I haven't run a Disney race since last November's Avengers Half. These little humans really do take over your life!

Yesterday I managed an 8 mile training run. It actually went better than expected, but I was dealing with ideal running conditions which are never guaranteed on race day. I also have a bit of an advantage (I think) in that all of the runs I have done have been pushing a stroller. I'm hoping that race day will prove a bit easier without Robby in tow.

When you're on the road for 8 miles, you get to thinking a lot about race day and your goals. When I train clients, I always suggest giving yourself 3 goals for any given race. On a perfect day, you'd reach all three goals, but it's always nice to have your mind set on things that are achievable too.

Here are my 3 goals for the half (for the 5k and 10k, it's just finish and have fun):

1. Finish the race. That's my "given" goal, that I will pretty much achieve, regardless of the day. I'm pretty stubborn that way and our Castle to Chateau medal depends on it.

2. Finish the race in under 3 hours. I've been running an easy 13 min/mile pace with the stroller, so as long as I don't completely exhaust myself the previous days, this pace should be doable.

3. Finish the race in under 2:45. This will be a stretch, especially since I know I'll lose some time starting in the last corral. I refuse to be rude and unsafe in getting around walkers, so I already expect a slow start (and I'm okay with that, because we are there to have FUN first and foremost).

Anyone else have specific goals for the race weekend?

Monday, August 15, 2016

Corrals Are Like a Mullet

Have you heard this before? I hadn't, until I posted my somewhat major runDisney mistake: I forgot to enter a proof of time for Bill. Whoops! Looks like we'll be starting back in corral J. Honestly, we haven't trained properly at all so it's not like we were going to run these great races anyway. Might as well have fun.

This is when I learned that corrals are like mullets--business in the front, party in the back! How funny is that? And I'm sure it's quite true. My only concern is the hour+ it'll probably take for us to get started and how that's going to cut into our time in the parks. Nevertheless, it was our mistake and I refuse to whine about it or let it put a damper on our race. I do, though, all of a sudden feel like I really need to get a costume together. We weren't planning on anything fun for the half because we've just been too busy with the move.

If you are running the Disneyland Half Marathon or the Dumbo Double Dare, you can find your waiver HERE and the corral information HERE for Dumbo and HERE for the half. You just need to get your number from your waiver and match it to the corral. Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

7 Tips for Running with a Baby

Even though my training has been less than ideal, I've managed to get out a few times with Robby in the stroller. On these runs, I was thinking about being a new mom and trying to figure out this running with a baby thing. First, my soapbox. Parents, it is NOT recommended that you run with your child before 6-8 months. I got these guidelines from both our pediatrician, many licensed physical therapists, and the good old internet. Please check with your child's pediatrician before hitting the road (we're there all the time anyway, might as well add it to your list of questions). Now, here are my top 7 tips (why 7...well...that's how many I had):

My favorite running buddy!
1. Check the stroller: I have a BOB Revolution (which I love), and the tires do lose air. You want to be sure that the stroller is in good condition and the tires are filled. You will notice a difference when they aren't--the stroller will feel wobbly and unstable.

2. Use one hand to push the stroller (and don't forget to switch): Keep a steady push with one hand and swing the other. It's super convenient if you're using the Galloway method to make sure you're switching hands on each interval. Otherwise, just try to remember to switch from time to time.

3. BUT use two hands over bumps: I found it a lot easier to keep control of the stroller over bumps if I just gripped with both hands for a few seconds. If not, the stroller veered off course and it interrupted my cadence.

4. Keep the stroller away from your belly: You want to keep the stroller about 6-12 inches in front of your belly, which should be about the distance of keeping a 90-degree angle in your arm that's pushing. Keep it at this distance consistently.

Our running path even marks bumps!
5. Don't lose your form: Mid-foot strike. Arm swing. All that good stuff shouldn't go away just because you're also pushing a stroller. I've been keeping Robby in his infant carrier on the stroller, so he's facing me when we walk (not run--again, check your specific stroller for guidance as mine stated not to run with the carrier attached). I've noticed that I tend to look down at him, putting my neck and spine all out of alignment. Do regular checks of your form; you may not even realize how out of whack you are!

6. Don't bring the whole kitchen sink: The stroller is big. Babies come with lots of stuff. Resist the urge to bring it all with you. I like to live on the edge, so I don't even bring a diaper or change of clothes (not that I recommend that).

7. Find a well-paved path: Our new hometown is country (okay, it's really suburban, but it feels country to me!). We don't have sidewalks, streets are curvy, and there's a whole lot of 'nature' around us. Luckily I found a great paved running trail a short drive away. It's made it so much safer to run with Robby!

Baby bonus tip: Remember, your little one is on the run too. Don't forget sunscreen, a hat, and some toys and/or snacks to keep him occupied while you run!

I write this post first as a new mom, then as a running coach. I'm definitely not the end-all, be-all expert. My running mamas-what would you add?

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

The Paris Medal Reveal - Just In Time to Motivate

This morning the medals for Disneyland Paris were revealed!!

We can't wait to earn ours!  It has been a hectic year for our family, with a new baby and a cross country move, but we are looking forward to our vacations in September.  

First up, the Disneyland Half.  That's where Robby gets to do his first runDisney race...the Diaper Dash!  I'll be doing the 5K and Bill and Aly are doing the Dumbo Double Dare. (That's the first step for them in getting that beautiful Castle to Chateau Medal.  They really did a nice job on it.)

Then, it's off to Paris!  I'll be doing the 5K with Aly.  Bill and Aly will be doing the half.  This Fairy Grandmother and Robby will be chEaring them on.

So much planning to do....

Will we see you in Disneyland or Paris?

Sunday, July 10, 2016

My First Run in a New Town

Well, the move is complete. I'm currently writing to you from the great state of New York. It's quite the change from Las Vegas in so many ways. We're not even kind of sort of unpacked. Had a bit of drama during the move (the truck broke down), and if I thought packing was hard with an infant, unpacking is nearly impossible! Robby is just off--but of course he is, because it's not like he understands what's going on. I think we've finally adjusted to the new timezone, but getting on a schedule is far from reality.

EEK! Super blurry, but you get the picture
Today, though, I finally bit the bullet and went out for a run. It was awesome! Of course, I never thought that I'd be so behind on unpacking so I didn't set aside my running shoes or my Garmin. I know, I don't know what I was thinking!!! I had a pair of New Balance running shoes that I wear to the gym and just hanging around, so those were my shoes for today. Luckily I only really packed workout clothes anyway to wear while moving, so I had plenty of those. I also had to download the Run Keeper app to track my mileage.

A quick social media shout out and a few minutes on Google and I had a solid plan for where I would run. My immediate area is not really conducive to running with an infant--no sidewalks, lots of hills and blind spots for drivers, plus terrible cell phone reception (which is important when you still rely on GPS to get you home from pretty much everywhere). I did find a biking, running, walking path about 12 miles from my house. I, of course, prefer the convenience of starting my run from my front door, but an 11 mile paved path is awesome when you have no clue where you live.
Robby clearly was super excited to run!

Along with this being my first run at our new home, this was also my first run with Robby. He's 6 months old now and has amazing head and trunk control, so we are in the clear for the impact of running--I'm planning on a separate post for that info!

I did a quick (or rather, not so quick) 3 miles today. My main deterrent from going longer was the simple fact of I had to pee! I'm not used to having no other option other than to drive home to use a bathroom. I figure I need to get started on some back to back runs for Dumbo prep, so I plan to get 6 miles in tomorrow.

It really felt great to be on the road again. I remember why I love to run, but I hate that it's been so long since I've trained consistently. I ran at a pretty consistent 12 min/mile pace, but had to take some walk breaks in there. I definitely need to buckle down and stick to a schedule now. There's not much time before fall races begin. I have 3 halves, 1 10k, and 1 5k already on the calendar. I better get to it!

New York has such a great running community. I can't wait to make some connections and really get out and run!

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

The Woes of a Cross-Country Move

Do you know what happens when you are moving your whole family clear across the country? Well, I can tell you what DOESN'T happen: working out and eating clean!

We are finally packed up and the move is here. We're in our new home, and by "in" I mean the truck is here full of our stuff and the house is empty, needing a deep clean, and not quite ready to go. I've been sleeping on a couch for almost a week, Robby is a cranky mess (because try explaining to a 6 month old why his world is completely upside down...the boy just doesn't get it), and needless to say, I haven't even made a to-do list because the thought is overwhelming.

One to-do that I'm really excited about, though, is getting back to my healthy, fit self. I've slipped. Maybe slipped isn't even the right term. I went head first down a steep mountain filled with boulders. Between packing, finishing up at work, not having any sort of normalcy, and days of eating out as fast as possible, I'm a mess!

What's a girl to do? Go EXTREME! Yes, tomorrow I'm starting the 21 Day Fix Extreme--all of it--from the meal plan to the workouts to the Shakeology. Of course, that means I have to find it in the boxes today, but I digress. I will be finished just in time to meet up with my friends and fellow coaches at Beachbody's Summit in Nashville, plus it's the perfect way to kick off my delayed training for the Disneyland races in September.

There's no more excuses! I can't keep putting this off--it's not good for my health, which is not good for my family. goes nothing!

I'll be doing some blogging here about the next 21 days, but be sure to follow me on Facebook for daily updates :) Using the social media thing to keep me accountable!!!

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Tips to Beat the Heat

This week we're looking at record high temps here in Las Vegas, and what better time to talk about how to stay safe when you're working out in the heat? Whether you're running outside, spending a day swimming in a pool, or even hitting the gym, high temps mean you have to take some extra precautions to keep yourself safe when working out! Here are my top tips:

Don't wait to hydrate!  Regardless of where and when you workout, it's important to START hydrated. That means you're working on keeping yourself fully hydrated before you even lace up your shoes. You cannot afford any level of dehydration in the heat. My favorite way to check? Look at your pee (sorry, it's not glamorous). The goal is a pale yellow. Too dark and you're on your way to dehydration, clear isn't the best either. Yes, you CAN over-hydrate--it's a real thing--so the best way is to keep on top of your pee and let your body be your guide.

It's NO fun in the sun.  Don't workout at the hottest part of the day, and if you're headed outside, go out in the dark. I personally prefer early morning because even the nights are still hot here in Vegas. Be sure you take precautions like wearing lights and dressing in bright colors.

You need more than water.  Water is not enough, especially if you sweat a lot, it's really hot, or you're working out for more than an hour. This is why Gatorade and other sports drinks were invented! Your body needs salt, electrolytes, and sugar to sustain itself during these workouts. Also, skip the low calorie junk--it's all chemicals! I prefer to dilute the full-strength stuff and just control the portions. Read your labels to make informed choices. My personal fave right now is Nuun tablets, especially because they are so easy to carry around everywhere.

Slow down.  Yes, this pertains to running, but it really is a tip for all workouts. When it's hot, you just need to slow it down! It's no coincidence that races are few and far between in the summer (well, and in the winter). It's because this is not the best time to go for a PR. Slow it down; just get the miles under your belt and the rest will come when the weather cools off.

Dress for success.  Take advantage of technology and get yourself some sweat-wicking clothes that help keep you cool. Don't forget to strap on your favorite water belt too--you never want to be without fluids in the heat!

Plan ahead. This can encompass so much, but for now, let's just keep it to planning ahead for what you might need during your workout. For me, that means planning a route that has parks with water fountains, keeping a few dollars on me so I can stop and buy a drink if I need it, and making sure I have plenty of fluids and fuel for after my run.

That's the best I have! What about you? Do you have any other tips for beating the heat? Stay safe this summer!!!

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

When Moving Interrupts Life

I have been cranky lately. Like, really, really cranky. Life has been consumed with moving across the country: planning, getting work done on both houses, packing, packing some more, throwing things away, then packing again.

As I plopped myself down on the couch last night exhausted, I realized that I am not working out and I'm not eating well. I'm letting life's stress and a long to-do list get in the way of my health and wellness. What's the result? Simple. I'm CRANKY! I'm over-tired, not productive, and not really all that fun to be around. I know the solution is to turn this around and get back on track. Get working out. Get to eating healthy, clean foods. Get to spending some time outside in the sunshine. Get to sleeping on a regular schedule (okay, this one probably won't happen, but hey, that's life with a 5 month old).

Seems simple enough, but here's the problem. I have nowhere to workout. It's too hot to go outside, I don't have a gym membership anymore, and there is not a clear 2 foot space in my house where I can workout at home. We're trying to use up what food we have left before moving. That means lots of pasta, tacos, random junk around the house. We aren't doing much for food shopping either because we need to clean everything out. It's only going to get worse as the days progress. Probably the biggest barrier is TIME! We are NOT ready to move, I'm working right up until the last second before we leave, and this little 5 month booger is taking all of our attention and time. My heart rate is rising just thinking about this.

So, this begs the question: What do I do? I'm the queen of "no excuses" but lately I just feel like I'm full of them. I'm just being real here. I want to be the person that can say "If I can do it, you can do it." but I just don't think I can do it. Let me know your thoughts. For now, though, I'm going to have some peanut butter filled pretzels and think about everything I need to do before the 30th.

Monday, May 23, 2016


The time has FINALLY come! After having a baby, then having my knee injury stop me from really working out, I have finished my treatments and I'm feeling great. That means it's time for #operationpostpartumfit is in full effect!!!

Here's my plan: continue eating based on the 21 Day Fix plan. My goals for breastfeeding are to get Robby to one year old, so I can't do anything crazy drastic as far as diet goes. It's a delicate dance to be sure my supply stays up. This plan is perfect because it's just good, clean eating!

For exercise, I'm committing to 60 days doing Focus T25 at home. With Bill on the road and our upcoming move, this quick but effective home workout was the best option. Since it needs no equipment and I can stream it On Demand, I have no excuses to skip on these workouts.

Of course...there are a few important races on the calendar for the fall. We're going to Disneyland AND we're going to Paris, so I've gotta start training! I'll fill you in on the dirty details later, but for now, my plan is to walk with Robby when I can and try to build mileage running when Bill is home. Since Robby can't yet run with me in his stroller (we're waiting until at least 6 months, as recommended to keep him safe), I'm at the mercy of Bill's schedule. I figure I'm going to rack up the mileage as much as possible now and wait just a few more weeks to get on a regular schedule.

So there you have it--my full plan. It'll be hard with all of the stress of moving, finishing up my job, having an infant, and just living my normal life, but I know I can do it!

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Ohhhhh...(more than) halfway there!!!

What can you say? You can't take the Jersey out of a girl!

Yesterday I got my second round of Euflexxa shots in my knee. Even though this means that I can't really workout very much, I know the long term benefit will be awesome! I'm already feeling a little better and can't wait to put this treatment to the test.

My nurse yesterday that did the shot was really informative. She helped me to understand why the shot is so painful and why, in some ways, it's even better than cortizone. I'm no doctor, far from it, so please don't take this as medical advice. Here's what I like: it actually acts as more cushioning in your knee (which for me is gone from when I fell and tore up the cartiledge), it doesn't just reduce the swelling/inflammation. With more cushioning, the hope is that there won't be any reason for the knee to become inflamed. Love it!

Of course, the timing of this means that I'm missing the first few weeks of Dumbo Double Dare training. Guess it's better to get it out of the way now! Stay tuned, because I'll be sharing my personalized training plan in a few weeks (once I have it all hammered out). I can't wait to get back to running again, and hopefully, pain free!!!

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Progress Post: 5/3/16

Well...what a difference a week makes, right? I'm surprised I haven't published this sooner because I've had the most encouraging week so-far! Yep, that's right! I finally got out of my own way and, like Nike, just did it!

If you've been following along, I've had a really tough time getting into a healthy routine after having Robby. The weight is NOT falling off like everyone expected, and exercising has taken a backseat to being the tummy time entertainer. I have no regrets, though. Robby's health and happiness are my top priority, but I do truly believe that for me to be a great mom I need to take care of myself too.

Got my workout streaming and baby monitor buzzing!
I'm happy to report that this past week I got in a groove! I've been loyal to the 21 Day Fix meal plan. I got over myself and my "I only like to workout in the morning" attitude. I sucked it up and completed the first week of Focus T25, working out every night when Robby went to bed. I know, I know, I'm going all "I love Beachbody" on you all, but seriously, I do! I've come to the conclusion that until Robby is old enough to run with (6-8 months old), I've got to workout at home. I just don't have a choice right now.

What were the results? I broke through a weight loss plateau that's been haunting me. I proudly modified moves to accommodate for my knee still bothering me. Most importantly, I taught my class on Thursday night virtually pain FREE!!!

One week down, a lifetime to go. I know that this is just a small start. My biggest upcoming challenge is going to be keeping the momentum as I receive injection treatments on my knee. For the next 3 weeks, I can't workout Wednesday or Thursday, and I have to keep it low impact the other days too. I plan to really focus on nutrition and keep up with some of the T25 workouts. I won't be able to follow the calendar exactly as written, but I'll modify and be sure I continue to work at it.

Finally, a progress post where I can say "I MADE PROGRESS!!!!"

Friday, April 29, 2016

runDisney Goes Virtual

Yep, it's official. runDisney is doing a virtual race series. Yep, it's also official. They've lost their minds. C'mon...really? The whole fun of doing Disney races is actually running AT Disney! Although I have some real "characters" in my neighborhood, they aren't quite the same as having Mickey at the finish line.

In case a virtual run series intrigues you, you can find all the information HERE. In short, there are 3 5ks that must be completed within a certain time frame. They even added a challenge if you want to pay $142 for doing all 3. You don't have to prove that you ever really did anything, and you get a medal for all the races plus a virtual bib.

Clearly this is a test of the market--the turnaround time for the start is very quick and the rumors only started recently. Virtual runs are popular, I guess, and this is another way for Disney to make a quick buck. As my mom says, it'll just make my stock go up!

Truth be told, I don't like any virtual races. I just kind of don't get it. Bill and I ran the inaugural Christmas Story run virtually, and even though we did it together, it just didn't feel very race-like. At the end of it, I really felt like I just paid for a medal and a shirt, but maybe that's just me.

It'll be interesting to see how this pans out. Will it be a hit or a flop? I'm a little surprised at how many people are planning to run these races (yes, even my mom considered it until she saw the price tag).

What do you all think? Good idea? What do you think about virtual races in general?

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Bill's Top Ten Disneyland Rides

So many things to do at the Disneyland Resort. So little time. Decisions, decisions. Which attractions do we absolutely HAVE to fit in? Which can we leave out until next time? Relax, my friend, because now the guess work is finally over. Without further ado, welcome to my Top 10 List of the best rides at Disneyland and California Adventure!

10. Star Tours: The Adventures Continue - I am so glad that they updated this ride several years ago because, let's be honest, the original was getting pretty stale. The current Star Tours has much better 3-D effects, a variety of missions so there is always something different, and C-3PO is now the captain. Seriously, what was with that other droid?

9. Big Thunder Mountain Railroad - As the ride is about to begin, you hear the voice of a miner warning you to hang on because "This Here's the Wildest Ride in the Wiiiiillllllll-derness."  Couldn't have said it better myself. 

8. Indiana Jones Adventure: Temple of the Forbidden Eye - Definitely want to get a Fast Pass for this one because the line can get pretty long! I love the unpredictability factor of this ride, you are never quite sure what's around the next curve. Oh, and make sure to hang on to your belongings while the ride is in motion! Read Aly's Top 10 Magical Memories of Disney blog post to find out why.

7. Toy Story Midway Mania - Come on, an interactive, competitive, 3-D ride featuring the Toy Story characters that I kick butt in? How could this not make the list?

6. Mr. Toad's Wild Ride- An absolute classic that you can't find at Walt Disney World anymore. This was one of my favorites as a child, and that hasn't really changed. Or maybe I have never really grown up...

5. Space Mountain - Even though this roller coaster is not really that fast (35 mph), the darkness and pulsating soundtrack make it feel a whole lot faster and scarier.  And honestly, who didn't dream of being an astronaut as a kid?

4. Twilight Zone Tower of Terror - Between the music, the decor, and the creepy cast members (who REALLY get into character), this ride effectively sets an eerie tone. Then the ride starts and you find yourself in an elevator that tosses you up and then sends you into a free fall of anywhere between two and thirteen floors (I think?!?). This is repeated several times. Best of all, the sequence is different each time, so it doesn't matter how many times you have been on This ride, you can never get too comfortable!

3. Soarin' Over California - As much as I love this ride, I recommend saving it until the afternoon or evening because it is feels SO good after you've been on your feet all day. It also is a great reminder of just how AWESOME the state of California is!

2. Pirates of the Carribean - Yo Ho, Yo Ho! Another classic! But wait, how could Pirates of the Carribean be number 2 on the list? Which ride could possibly be better than Pirates? That honor goes to...

1. The Haunted Mansion - Of course, THIS has to be number 1. To this day, whenever we arrive at the park and someone asks me "What ride do you want go on first?", the Haunted Mansion will always be my answer. In fact, I think I hear 999 happy haunts calling my name now...

Of course, I know this list is absolutely perfect. But I suppose you are entitled to your opinion as well. Should I have included the Tiki Room? Perhaps Star Tours should have been ranked higher? How could I leave out The Tea Cups? Peter Pan? California Screamin'? What do you think? 

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

On Your Mark, Get Set...

Go! Yep, it's GO TIME for those of you hoping to snag a spot in the 2017 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend. Registration opens today at noon EST/9 PST. Although recent races haven't been the quick sell-out we once saw, I predict Dopey will go quickly, followed by the 10k and 5k races. Also, if you have little ones, the kids races have been going quick too.

2017 also marks the 20th anniversary of the half marathon, so I'd expect a pretty cool medal and a quicker-than-usual sellout. I think the marathon and Goofy are going to be overshadowed once again. We'll see how it all pans out as the day rolls on, but if you're anxiously watching the clock, here's a little throwback to my favorite race: the 2014 marathon and the end of my first (and possibly only) Dopey Challenge.