Monday, December 31, 2018

Runner Recipes (I can actually make)

Now that the cookies are eaten, the candy is gone, and the leftovers are no longer left, I am focusing on getting a few weeks of solid nutrition before the WDW Marathon Weekend. If you've been following along on my training journey, you know it's been less than ideal, but that doesn't mean I'm totally throwing it all to the wind for race day. I'm focused on fueling my body with healthy foods and finishing up my training with some strong runs.

Cigna, the WDW Marathon Weekend sponsor, has some great recipes for easy, nutritious, on the go breakfasts. Of course, you don't have to only have these in the morning, but for my busy mornings, these both work perfectly! Peanut butter, yes please! Pumpkin, you bet! And yes, even I, the most unskilled cook ever, can make these.

Overnight Oats

I used PB2 and almond milk in this recipe. I find the powder is much easier to use when mixing and I'm not a huge fan of dairy (or should I say, my belly isn't a huge fan).

Pumpkin Cranberry Granola Bites

These were perfect for my early mornings! I don't like to eat a full breakfast before teaching at 5 a.m., so these are simple and work great to have a little something in my stomach. Gotta love the pumpkin love!

Thanks Cigna for always looking out for the runners!

Friday, December 28, 2018

Flashback Friday: Marathon Weekend Before Kids!

It's Friday. Marathon Weekend is right around the corner. Of course, that has me thinking of past races. I've been to the WDW Marathon Weekend 4 times, and they were all awesome in their own way. I got my very first coast to coast after running the Marathon and the Disneyland Half. I remember feeling like crap in that race, but thinking, "This is my only chance to get a coast to coast" and pushing to the finish. That statement is comical now! I was a runDisney neophyte! I've since run Goofy twice (first did the unofficial Dopey before it was a thing) and the inaugural Dopey Challenge. I have to admit, these longer races meant a lot of sacrifice in training, and I can't imagine doing that with 2 littles at home. For now, I'm happy to be returning to "only" run the half marathon in 2019, two boys in tow. Here's a look back at some of my favorite races at Marathon Weekend! Enjoy!

In 2013, I completed the unofficial Dopey--the full, half and 5k. Of course, I had to return when they made it official the following year. Disney Runs in the Family didn't even exist! I actually had an unknown blog: Just Keep Swimming. I regretfully deleted those posts! It journaled my work toward my first Goofy Challenge.

2012 was my first Disney marathon. It was my second marathon ever. Here's a fun fact: my first road race EVER was a marathon! Yep, it was on my bucket list as a one a done, so I trained and ran the Vegas marathon (long before it was a Rock and Roll). I didn't run a race again for 5 years!

Who will I be seeing at this year's Marathon Weekend? What are you running?

Friday, December 14, 2018

The final (one month) countdown...

We are a month out from the 2019 Marathon Weekend! Luckily I'm NOT running the marathon, because my training has been less than ideal. Okay, my training has been non-existent! We've had winter colds running rampant through our house, busy holiday season stuff, and Bill has been working a lot (which means no time for mommy to go run without the kids). It's been rough you guys! As I sit and type that, all I can think is, "Not as rough as this race is going to be!" Ugh! So here we go again, another untrained, mediocre race to be run. This was not my plan, and I'm super frustrated with myself. Again.

I have a month, and I have built up to 7 miles. It's not terrible, but it's definitely not great. I plan to continue to build mileage this month with the hopes of at least getting to 10. If I can get to 10, I'd feel like I have a little bit of training and won't die on the course. I'm only going to focus on speed training. Goodbye hills. Also going to try and get some shorter runs for conditioning in. Let's get real, I threw out the plan long ago.

On a much happier note, the trip is paid, fast passes are booked, dining is reserved, and all of our outfits have been planned. Matching family shirts galore! I still need to finalize my plans for our costumes (I have them planned in my head, but I'm waiting on a good sale, hopefully closer to Christmas). If we didn't have a California Christmas trip before then, I'd probably already be packing. This trip will definitely be more of a vacation with a run, not a run-cation!

So, my wonderful running friends, how is YOUR training going? Anyone want to shout out their successes? I need some encouraging stories!

Friday, November 9, 2018

Progress Post: October, 2018

It's been a hot minute since I started an actual training plan for the WDW Half Marathon, so I figured it's time to take stock in how it's going. Spoiler alert: I'm not getting all the runs in!

My goal for October was 3 runs per week, just focusing on nailing intervals and figuring out a plan for the half (time goals, interval times, etc). I averaged 2 runs per week, so not terrible, but when running so infrequently, definitely didn't feel great. It's getting cold in NY, I was sick, the boys were sick, and it's just stinkin' HARD to get out and run with 2 kids in tow most days.

I love lists, so why not sum up the month in 5 highs and 5 lows?

1. Didn't get all of the weekday runs in
2. Got sick mid-month so all of my workouts suffered
3. My nutrition stunk, so no weight loss
4. Halloween candy. See number 3.
5. 6 miles feels like a really long run.

1. I did all of the long runs as planned (even if they didn't get done on the weekend)
2. I figured out my intervals. A 90/30 seems to be a sweet spot.
3. People at the gym are noticing an overall weight loss.
4. I did some neighborhood running, which added in intensity with hills and curves.
5. A 2:30 half seems like an attainable goal. I may even be able to squeak out a 2:15 if I really push these next 2 months.

November means a switch in focus to hill training and really extending that long run. It also means the holiday season is here, and it'll be non-stop busy until our trip in January. I plan to take advantage of every nice day and every opportunity to run without kids. While I love the extra training pushing a double stroller provides, it's definitely harder to accomplish things like hills and 8-milers when you have little ones with you.

How is your training going? Any highs and lows? I'd love to hear them here, on IG or on our FB page!

Monday, October 15, 2018

My Training Plan for the 2019 WDW Half

Whoa! 2019! That was weird to type! It's true, the 2019 Marathon Weekend training has begun. This year, we are heading down to the world for Marathon Weekend with the real purpose being a vacation. We're doing all the things: meal plan, staying on property, fast passes galore. We even are using a Disney Vacation Planner to help us coordinate our party of 11! Disney Runs in the Family has really grown!

Even though we are mostly focused on vacation, we still are there for the races, so training is a must. In fact, in some ways, training is even more important this time. There's no down time after the races, no super early nights (because we're doing all the things), and our main focus is to see as much as possible. After all, this is our California family's very first time to the world!

With that said, I'm also coming back from a big hiatus from running. Yes, I trotted a bit when I was pregnant with Ryan, but truth be told I was not training for anything! Even before he was born, I wasn't doing a great job at training for races. It's been a LONG time since I was chasing after the 2-hour half! My goal for January is to run a faster race than I have been doing (so definitely under 2:30), but also to not kill my legs since we have a lot of vacationing to do after the race
. I also have to scoot along quickly because Robby has his race at 10:30 that morning. Thanks to Mom/Babci for getting both boys to the race on her own (and hey, if you see her getting on and off the buses with 2 kids, give her a hand!).

I am not only coming back from a running break, but I am also dealing with a few injuries. My knee has some cartilage damage that flairs up from time to time and I have a foot pain that is constant when running. Don't worry, I'll be working with doctors to find relief and to make sure nothing is getting worse, however both injuries are not "rest and they get better" type things. I have to run with proper form and continue to work on strength to compensate.

In running, since I am starting over again and working through injuries, I plan to use the run-walk-run method that is wildly popular for runDisney events thanks to their partnership with Jeff Galloway. His running method has been very successful for me at these mid-range goal races. After listening to him speak and reading a few of his books and publications, I am working with either a 2 minute run/30 second walk or a 90 second run/30 second walk cycle. I will play around with those in October and see which works best.

I have made my own training plan using a 3-day-per-week rotation of running. Again, with the injuries I don't want to run too much. I teach 5 classes per week at the gym, minimum, and often will be doing a 6th or even 7th. Since I teach BodyPump twice a week, that will be the base of my strength training. I plan to add in some therapeutic strengthening for my knee and I definitely need to work on core strength. Two babies in just about 2 years has done a number on those muscles!

Each month I gave myself a main focus. Again, time is precious around here and I feel like if I try to do too much I'm setting myself up for failure. October, my goal is to get my intervals set and work on a strong base. I worked backwards for the long run, and will spend the final month getting in distances of 10+ miles.

I'm tracking my progress using a printed paper calendar. Fancy, I know, but if it ain't know the drill. I will write my successes and know that at the end of this training cycle, if I can look back and see more wins than losses, I'll be happy!

Stay tuned for progress posts! I can't wait to see all my runDisney friends in January! I think this is actually the longest I've gone without running at Disney! I need some bling STAT!

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Party of Four, Please!

It's about time we added our newest addition to the blog! On March 28th, we welcomed Ryan to our little family. Another Disney baby has joined DRITF! 

The transition to a family of 4 has been smooth and crazy all at the same time. Robby is the most incredible big brother, most of the time, and Ryan even had a little stint of sleeping through the night (emphasis on little). 

So where do we go from here? To Disney, of course! We will be traveling to the World in January to introduce the boys to Marathon Weekend and introduce our west coast family to WDW for the first time!!! Yes, three exclamation points because I'm really that excited!

Of course that means it's time to get back in shape. Ryan is 5 months old today, so it's about time I stop making the "I just had a baby" excuse and get to it. Luckily I have been back to the gym since 6 weeks postpartum teaching classes, but running has been a lot harder to return to. I definitely am fighting the same injuries that I had prior to giving birth (yippee for undiagnosed knee and foot issues). I have toyed with C25K, but honestly didn't really love it. Ryan is still a bit too young to be in the running stroller, so my runs have been limited. Excuses--see--they even come out while typing.

So here I am, with just a tad more experience than all those first time runners, but feeling like I'm starting from square one. I wondering what January will bring with my running and fitness in general, but at least for now I can rest assured it will bring LOTS of magic!

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Race Recap: 2017 Wine & Dine Half Marathon

On Sunday, November 5th, I took on my third Wine & Dine Half Marathon (if you want to know about race 1 & 2, check them out HERE and HERE). This was my first time running since runDisney changed the race to a morning race. I have never been thrilled about the change. I loved the night race, the after party, and the uniqueness of the old Wine & Dine. But I digress...

This year, we stayed at the Hilton Bonnet Creek. They have awesome race morning amenities! I started my day surrounded by "cheerleaders" and inspirational signs, while having a bagel and hydrating. It was a great kick-off.
Always a great start to a race!

We arrived at Epcot, then had to do the long walk to the buses to be transported to the start line. This was definitely a drawback of staying off property, but really wasn't too bad (it was definitely worse after the race). Once we were at the Magic Kingdom parking lot, we had plenty of time to use bathrooms and rest before the start of the race.

My running has been way less than stellar lately, so my proof of time got me in corral E. I'm definitely not complaining, because my pregnant self was not planning on a lightening speed race. Boy was THAT the truth!

The course didn't feel much different than the January half or the Princess half to be honest. It was another early morning race, you got a few different areas of WDW, and you finished outside of Epcot. I just did get much of the "Wine & Dine" feel. It was very much like most other runDisney races. Now don't get me wrong, running in Disney on a bad day is better than anywhere else on a good day. I just missed the night, the lights, the wine at the finish line, and the specialty of this race.

Yep, lot's of bathroom stops
Now let's talk about me: I had a terrible race. I wasn't properly trained and little dude was dancing on my bladder the whole time. I ended up taking 7 bathroom breaks and walked the entire second half. It definitely didn't help that I was running on tired, blistered feet from days of non-stop Disney. It was really unfortunate, because the day had the makings of a great race. The weather was perfect, the course was easy to navigate (only got stuck a few times by pacing groups), and the mood was great from other runners. This was my last real "run" of my pregnancy. I'm definitely ready to get back to running well-prepared and happily.
This was my first look at Pandora

Overall, I'd still say Wine & Dine is a favorite race of mine, I just wish it would go back to being a night race. I know it'll never happen, but a girl can dream! I love that time of year at Disney, and we were able to straddle both Halloween and Christmas in terms of special park decor. I like that generally it is a smaller race weekend when compared to Marathon or Princess (still haven't run Star Wars, so I can't speak much in comparison).

Registration for 2018 is now open (and some races are already sold out)! Make sure to register ASAP! Also, I'd be happy to refer you to friends who are Authorized Disney Vacation Planners if the race you are looking for is sold out. I have great friends in high places :)

Glad to have the anniversary Coast to Coast!

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party

During the 2017 Wine and Dine Half Marathon weekend, we made sure to plan around the Halloween party. Robby is obsessed with Halloween, and we thought this would be a great way to celebrate the holiday! This was our first time attending the party. Since we also wanted Robby to do real trick or treating, we opted for the last night of the party, November 1st. This was also significantly cheaper than attending on Halloween, so it worked out perfectly!

We flew down to Orlando the day of the party. This allowed us to take full advantage of the 4:00 pm admission ticket without "wasting" a day of our park hopper tickets. We made sure we were at the gates of Magic Kingdom by 4, and we were let in just a few minutes before the hour. Our first stop was the trick or treat stop behind Main St. We were given bags and a few treats to start the Halloween festivities.

We had ADRs, so we headed over to Liberty Tree Tavern for an early dinner. This was our first time eating there. I wish I had planned this a little differently, but it was a great start to our WDW vacation! We spent our time at dinner planning our "attack". We knew the fireworks and parade were a must. We also wanted to make sure Robby got at least one ride on Pirates.

After hitting a few rides, we started trick or treating. Disney is no joke when it comes to this! It was all good candy and lots of it. The lines were fairly short, and we were able to continue throughout the night. We also went over to the Monsters Inc. dance party. Meh. It was a bit disappointing. Robby loves the monsters and he didn't really get into it. We could've skipped it and done an extra ride.

We then lined up for the parade a bit later than we wanted. The parade was AWESOME! By far my favorite part of the night. Robby loved it, especially the pirates and skeletons. The music was great, the costumes were amazing, and it was definitely worth seeing. We opted for the earlier parade (it happens twice over the course of the night) because we didn't know if we'd make it to the later one. It was definitely a good thing, too, because from being up super early to travel, we were zonked by the time fireworks were over.

Robby was mesmerized by all the pirates!
After the parade, we headed to Main St. and got a great view for the fireworks. That short walk from Frontierland to Main St. was enough to put Robby out. Poor little guy slept through the entire fireworks show. We definitely enjoyed the fireworks with a twist for Halloween. It was the perfect way to end the party.

Our loot from the evening.
As much as my heart wanted to stay until closing at midnight, I was beat too. Once Robby threw in the towel, we headed back to the hotel. That was definitely the drawback of a 6 a.m. flight the same day as the party.

Overall, this was TOTALLY worth it! You have to do it at least once! I have heard from so many Disney friends that this is THE party to go to. We've been to the Christmas party twice, and this one was hands-down better! Dates are up for 2018, so be sure to book quickly, especially if you want to go on Halloween.

Before you go, here are some things I wish I would have done differently:
1. Bring a better trick or treat bag for Robby. I really didn't "get it". I had read you get a lot of candy, but you get a LOT of candy! It would've been easier to bring his own bag and just dump some out as we went along.
2. Eat before you go. We spent the first hour or so eating an early dinner. Yes, it was great, but between our travels and time, I would've preferred to take in some rides early and get more of the special snacks throughout the night (we were so stuffed we didn't eat anything at the party).
3. Get a better spot for the parade! The first parade was super crowded (I've heard it's better if you watch the later one). We squeezed in but Robby would have enjoyed it more if he could have been closer.
4. If possible, rest earlier or nap so you can stay until midnight. I bet the crowds thin out nicely and you get even more bang for your buck.

Have you ever been to MNSSHP? What did you think? Is it on your bucket list?

Monday, March 19, 2018

So, about this blogging thing...

You know how life gets crazy busy and some things just don't get made a priority? Well, blogging got put on the chopping block for the past 6 months. It's just reality. I didn't have the time or energy to keep up with it. Well, let me give you a quick update and then let's get this thing going!

So, we are still a family that loves running at Disney, but WHOA, a lot has changed! First, of course, there's the whole runDisney cancelling west coast races. Since we ran more of these than WDW, that significantly cut down on our runs. Now, don't let this fool you. Since my last update, I've run the Disneyland Challenge/Dumbo Double Dare and we went down to WDW for Wine & Dine 2017. I'll have to share my thoughts another time. Of course, we're also planning a BIG family trip for marathon weekend 2019. Unfortunately, 2018 does not have us visiting the mouse at all. Seriously. I might need therapy! In fact, this is the first year since Bill and I met that we will not see the big cheese. That brings me to our next big change...

Robby was thrilled to find out it's a boy!
The main reason for no trips (or running) is any day now we will become a family of four! Yes, we are super excited to welcome another little pirate to our family. My official due date is March 27th, but we are all hoping he comes a little earlier so Bill gets some extra time home with him. Life is about to get REALLY interesting!

That brings me to some more personal stuff. I've been working on some college courses to apply for a doctorate program in physical therapy. I'm super excited about starting a new chapter in my life as a PT. I have always been so passionate about helping people with their physical health, this really was a no brainer (except for the whole student loans, going back to school, taking a few years to chop away at some prerequisite courses, blah blah blah)! I'm also going back to being a "work at home" mom--because let's be honest, I have a million work from home gigs going on! I'll still be teaching English online, running my online fitness business, and teaching group fitness classes locally.

Oh, and of course there's that running thing! The honest truth is running has NOT been a priority in my life. I'm missing it greatly, though, and I look forward to getting back out there. I'm going to actually take my own advice and start slow. I know, I'm shocked too! In fact, I'm starting right at the beginning with C25K (like I've advised so many clients and friends to do). I look forward to slowly building distance and speed. Who knows? A sub-2:00 half may still even be in my future!

So that brings you up to date on the major life events. I'm happy to be back on the blog and can't wait to share future updates on Disney, running, and our family! See ya real soon!