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.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Progress Post: 4/25/16

I'm channeling my inner turtle lately--slow and steady wins the race, right? I was I had more "progress" to talk about, but really the only progress has been that I'm set to start Euflexxa injections in my knee. I saw the surgeon who did my surgery two years ago, and he's hoping that the extra lubrication that these injections will add will "get me over the hump" so I can workout more, lose the baby weight, and finally feel better.

This past week, I have to admit I didn't do much at all to make progress. I taught my 3 classes at the gym and did one walk with Robby. Food wasn't the best either. SO, why the heck even write a post about it? Well, I told myself I needed to stay accountable so here I am, being accountable.

I took some progress pictures, or rather, lack of progress pictures, and I plan to take my after shots in 6 weeks. Stay tuned for a (hopefully) noticeable transformation! For this week, I'm sticking strictly to the 21 Day Fix meal plan + Shakeology. I'm home alone with the baby pretty much the entire week, so my workouts will consist of walking with him and modified Beachbody workouts. Since my knee isn't up to any kind of heavy workouts, I'm going to take it slow and really work on my core and upper body. I also plan to incorporate some of the PT exercises I was doing after surgery. Can't hurt, right?

There you have it! Minimal progress, but a few steps in the right direction, nonetheless. How was your week?
Even Robby's less than impressed with my progress!

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Progress Post: 4/14/16

If you remember, I've been working on getting back to fit after baby S made his debut 3 months ago. Today, I can say that I've made teeny tiny steps toward that goal. Here's where I'm at:

Cardio: I can't do much in terms of intense workouts yet. My knee is really acting up, so I'm basically stuck walking. I taught a few Zumba and Hip Hop classes last week, but by Sunday I was paying for it. A nice 3 mile stroll last night with the baby felt great!

Strength: I'm still teaching my Saturday class, but for myself, I'm hitting daily PiYo workouts. I turned to this program when I was recovering from knee surgery, so I thought it would be the perfect way to ease back into strength training with a ton of gentle stretching. I've only just started, so I have plenty to still work on.

Nutrition: This is the piece that I'm being most aggressive with--I'm sticking to the 21 Day Fix plan, and doing pretty well. Of course, my weekends are my enemy, and Chris & Katie are heading out to visit for a few days, so I'm sure I'll be a little off-track. I definitely notice a difference when I get all my veggies and proteins in. My energy is so much better!

Health: My knee is the nagging problem these days, so I made an appointment to meet with my orthopedic surgeon on Monday. I'm not planning on another surgery, but I'd like his opinion as to some options. I'm holding onto the hope that when I regain some strength and flexibility, my knee issues will resolve themselves. 

So there it is! Some progress--definitely NOT perfection, but I'll take progress any day!!!

Monday, April 4, 2016

Building a Base

It's time for me to go back to basics! It's so important to build a solid base of running before jumping into a training program. My next race is the Dumbo Double Dare, so I have plenty of time to get moving, get training, and really show up to race those races.

My goal for April is to get 3 runs in per week. I'm going to (gasp) give up the run-walk-run method at the moment and just get out to run. I'm not even (double gasp) going to strap on my Garmin or time my runs. Yes, I'll still listen to podcasts because I love using my time to better myself, but other than that, no technology. Heck, I might even go out and just listen to the world around me!

Whether you're just starting out or are a seasoned runner, building a solid base is an important first step. It allows you to have a starting point for increasing your training, and it's a great time to really focus on attaining perfect form. I suggest you map out a fairly easy distance to get started. For me, I have a flat 3 mile out and back from my house that is perfect for weekday runs. On the weekends, this month, I'm going to work my way up to the 4 mile loop, which includes one long uphill and one long downhill.

So far so good! Yesterday, I went out for 3 miles. I ran a bit, walked a bit. My knee is holding me back at the moment, so I'm going to start taping it more. I know the main culprit is my weight after having the baby. As I key into my nutrition and exercise, the scale will move, and I know that will lessen the impact on my joints.

One day down, many more to go! I'm making myself accountable to all of you! I can't wait to run fast again!!!