Friday, April 24, 2020

Friday 5: Workouts at Home

Stuck at home? Need to workout? Don't worry, I've got you covered! I rounded up some of my favorite at home workouts for this week's Friday 5! Check them out, and let me know what you think!

1. Virtual Running with New York Road Runners
Love running with NYRR
In general, I'm not a super-fan of virtual races, however we are in trying times, and sometimes you need some motivation. Last year, I did the virtual NYC marathon to gain entry to this year's race. It was crazy intense, but I also found the awesome community of NYRR virtual racing! These races are a bit more serious than other virtuals. You have to upload proof of completion through Strava, there is a wonderful, international online community for support, and there are ways to run virtually to gain entry to some of the most popular road races. I've already signed up (for FREE) for the 5k this month. Check out their site for the full schedule HERE

2. Les Mills On Demand
It's no secret that I love teaching Les Mills classes at my gym. Since most gyms (if not all) are shut down, they have made even more content available for free to keep you fit from home. My favorite, BodyPump, is definitely a challenge without the fancy bar and step, but I've been able to make some small modifications to use the weights I have at home. You can find everything from dance to yoga. Check it out HERE

3. Beachbody On Demand
(Affiliate link: If you click the link and purchase a package, I make a small commission at no additional cost to you. Thank you for your support!)
It's no secret that I love my Beachbody On Demand too! There are so many amazing programs, nutritional supports, and full guides to help you stay on track. I personally love Shaun T the most, but I've yet to find a workout I don't love. I highly recommend following a program (or two--look for some hybrid schedules) to ensure you have a good balance in your weekly routine. Reach out if you'd like some guidance--I'd love to help! You can find BOD HERE

4. Strong by Zumba
If you want a high intensity workout, seriously, get to a Strong by Zumba class! I am currently doing live classes twice a week on Zoom (come find me on FB and join in), or you can do a sample workout HERE There's no cha cha cha in this format! Think burpees, biceps and beats!

5. Virtual Spartan Race
Last year a friend at the gym convinced me to do a Spartan race, and I actually had a lot of fun! We had a big team and it was short enough to manage. Spartan has put together a virtual option, giving us a whole list of self-made "obstacles" to do along with a run. I even know of a few groups who are doing it, then getting together on Zoom afterwards to share their results. It's a great option for runners who want to switch up their regular routine. Check it out HERE

Finally, I wouldn't be me if I didn't also add my words of caution. Please be mindful of where you get your exercise advice, especially now. Everyone is a home workout expert on Facebook these days. Many of us have gone through years of education, training and assessment to call ourselves fitness professionals. Even more, though, have not. Working out at home presents some of its own risk: no one is there to correct your form, monitor your effort, or give advice. Be safe, and be selective about what or who you follow. I'm always here to help, so never hesitate to reach out!

I'd love to hear about how you are staying fit at home! Drop me a comment below!

Saturday, April 18, 2020

A New runDisney Era

After Thursday's record sellout of the virtual races and the craze of Wine and Dine registration, I feel we are in a new, yet familiar, runDisney era. We have warped back in time to earlier years when registration frenzies were a regular occurrence and getting in the race was (almost) harder than running the race.

Sadly, I missed out on registration for the Haunted Mansion race. I'm hoping some magical extra registrations come up. I mean, really, why not make some extra cash runDisney? No, I don't actually expect this to happen, but hey, a girl can dream!

There is something fun about returning to the insane runDisney days, though. I made some great friends in those years. Those were years of lots of travel, PRs, park days, and fun. There were blogger meetups with celebrities and swag. There were new races, familiar races, and legacy races. Most importantly, we were in a time of thriving, not in a time of international pandemic like we have never seen before.

So thank you, everyone who has made runDisney insane again. It gives me hope that we will all run again, together, very soon. Stay safe. Train smart. I can't wait to be back at Disney World in November to enjoy all 3 races at Wine and Dine. Love you all!

Note to new runners: I am in the process of updating our most popular posts: So You Want To Run Disney?  This is a great series that walks you step by step through runDisney races. Stay tuned! I can't wait to share the updates!

Saturday, April 11, 2020

Re-Planning Your Disney Vacation

Raise your hand if your Disney trip has been cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic! I fell your pain, friend!

Many of us have had the perfect trips cancelled, and the only way I know to cope is to start planning again! For me, it meant focusing on smaller trips first, then planning (and budgeting) for our 11th wedding anniversary. Here's what we are doing, step by step!

We loved the party in 2017!
1. Pick a return date. We originally rebooked our trip, with MANY changes, for mid-May. Since that isn't looking too great, we started to research some of the perks Disney is offering for those who had to cancel. If you booked an on-site room that was cancelled, you have until the end of May to book a new reservation to get free dining (must travel before October 1). You can check out the details HERE  Unfortunately for us, we already have annual passes, so we can't advantage of this offer. We are still on the fence about where to stay, but we did pick dates for Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party in September, booked with our Disney Visa points. Our travel agent (I always try to support my friends and their businesses) is also able to book for May 2021 as soon as we are ready. Our hurdle now, like many people, is Bill being furloughed and not knowing when he will return to work. With so much uncertainty in our budget, we are trying to be smart.

2. Change your flights. This is actually a bonus! We have found some very inexpensive flights, even when booking with points (which is how we mostly travel). Depending on how you paid, who you fly through, and when you were supposed to travel, you may be getting a refund or a credit. Either way, booking a flight now definitely seems smart. We are also looking ahead to Wine and Dine Weekend, seeing if we can even get those flights now. 

3. Stalk :) runDisney has postponed all race registrations, most likely because of the reduction of employees. That's my theory, at least. I have confidence that by November, we will be back to running races on schedule (please, don't burst my bubble!). With the quick sellout of Wine and Dine, I want to be sure we don't miss a registration day, especially with my goal of 40 for my 40th!

4. Rebook your dining and FastPass+. If you are within your booking window and you are planning on the (loosely) the same itinerary, you can login to My Disney Experience and change your plans right from your "My Plans" page. Of course, you can also start over and search. This is always my favorite part, so doing this has been a great way to add some fun to my daily "stay at home" life. 

5. Confirm your refunds. Since everyone is having to get refunded, it is always a good idea to stay on top of your refunds. Disney gave me a 4-6 week window for my refund, but it showed up on my card much sooner. Because we had multiple charges (split stay, rebooked reservation, and some prepaid dining), I made notes to be sure it all went through as expected. It did, and much earlier than expected, but it never hurts to be 100% sure.

6. Share your excitement. Even my most upbeat Disney FB groups seem to have some negativity about rebooking or vacations in general. I'm here to be your cheerleader! Tag me on Facebook! Share with me on Instagram! I think the world can use a little Disney magic these days!  

Can't wait to "See 'Ya Real Soon" Disney World!

Friday, April 10, 2020

A Hopeful Thought...

I can only speak of my experience here in New York. Every commercial is about staying home or celebrating the heroes of this pandemic. Yesterday, watching these emotional commercials, I had a very hopeful thought.

I can see it. I can feel it. The 50th New York City Marathon on November 1st, 2020. I know it is possible and even likely that this pandemic will be impacting us for months, maybe even into the fall, but I have high hopes that this race will not be cancelled. And damn, it's going to be an epic celebration!

Running down the streets that are now empty. Bridge to bridge, borough to borough. Celebrating life and health. Cherishing every moment even more than before. Getting to say "thank you" to our first responders, our medical teams, and our volunteers that make it all possible on that day and today. I can only imagine the tears, the chills, the smiles and the support when we all get to the other side of this.

Looking to the future and holding onto hope is what is pulling me through, day to day. Our lives are different now. These are the moments that change us and shape us; they force us to remember what is important. I would love to hear about what you are looking forward to. How are you going to celebrate? And if you're in NY, I'd love to see you in the crowd celebrating with all of us--this is America's race!