Gearing up for Gasparilla

It looks like I’m finally going to get to race this weekend! Looks like the weather is going to be pretty good! I’m heading over to pickup my packet today and taking a look at the expo. Tomorrow I’m volunteering with the Humane Society at the expo to hand out bibs. Then early on Sunday I’ll take to the streets of Tampa to run my first half marathon in quite a while.

My training has been pretty good. I even have the chance of a PR. I don’t know that I get to my half marathon PR from 2012 but I think I can get pretty close. My goal is sub 3 hour and that would be an 11 minute PR from last year’s race.

It has been raining a lot this week so I actually did some cardio indoors instead of running outside for my easy runs. I’m hopeful to get a nice easy run in later today and then take tomorrow off.

It is an interesting situation to be in nutrition-wise because I would normally carb-load for the race. However, I’m really trying to get off a weight-loss plateau. So, I’m trying to regulate while also not jeopardizing my race at the same time! So, I’ve focused on really drinking A LOT of water this week and I’ll have some pasta tonight and probably some for lunch tomorrow. Then a nice, light, dinner with a good amount of protein! Here’s hoping that I do it right and have a good race!

Anyone else rocking the pirates this weekend?

Friday Fives – Thing I’m loving

I haven’t done a favorites post in a while! I’ve been trying out some new things lately and have found some new loves! Both in running and with my home projects! Here are my current five favorites!

  1. 361 degree Shoes

I have this exact pair. These are my new favorite go-to shoes! It is the first pair that I think feels light and moves with my foot. I’ve now worn them up to a 10 mile run and NOT. ONE. BLISTER! That has never happened. On my long runs I always end up with at least 1 hot spot or blister. I can’t wait to get another pair of these! Until then, they are the main shoe in my rotation now and I highly recommend them!

2. Feetures socks

Ok, I’ve always known the importance of socks. I’ve used different ones, Adidas/Champion/Balega/etc but I’ve never found ones these good! I’ve been wearing the elite light cushion no show tab and LOVE them. Super comfy, good support, and no blisters! I need to get a few more pairs! I don’t know if these socks with the shoes are the magical formula for me to be blister free but I’ll take it!!

3. Vega Vanilla Chai

I’m LOVING this flavor! I needed something for when I travel for work and need to get a meal in. Or if I need to workout in the morning before work but don’t want a full meal! I mean there are lots of choices but this flavor is so tasty!

4. Sparkly soul Headbands

These tend to make my list but not in a while. I just love these headbands. They are the only ones that I have found that don’t slide off my head. I picked up the one above to wear for Gasparilla next week! I don’t know if I have an odd shaped head or what not but all the other ones inch back or don’t stay on at all. These bad boys don’t budge! I have like 12 now and use them all the time!

5. Thumbs (or earworms)

Ok, this song popped onto my Pandora last week and now I can’t get it out of my head! I LOVE this song so much that it is now on my running playlist! Maybe I’m going through Girl meets World withdraw but I’m loving this!

So, that’s my Friday five favs! Have you checked any of these out? Whatcha loving these days?

Tuesday Travels

Yes, I’ve been a little MIA lately. There is just so much going on between my running, work, and all of our home projects. However, I figured I need to get back to it. What better way than to share my latest work trip – LAS VEGAS.

I’d like to say it was super exciting cause I’d never been to Vegas, or Nevada, for that matter.

We start with the early morning flight. Ok not super early, 7:30am, but I was landing in Vegas at 10:30am so early by Vegas standards.

The Hoover Dam

Super glad I looked out the window as we came in. I’ve never seen the Hoover Dam before so it was awesome to catch it from the air.

Desert and Mountains!

I’ve also never seen a desert before so I just LOVED checking it out for a while from the air.

I joked because based on our agenda for the conference I was really only going to get to see the airport. So, just in case

I played a quick slot when I landed. My dad asked me to play a dollar for him so I did! No, I didn’t win anything.

Please come to Tampa!!!

When I turned a corner I ran right into a Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf and freaked! It is the BEST coffee and I never get to have it! I wish I could have grabbed a second, so delish!

I caught an Uber to the hotel and then spent the day at the conference. Honestly, I crashed at 9pm cause it was midnight my time and I’d been up since 5am! I’ve never really experienced jet lag but I sure did this time. I woke up at 3am WIDE AWAKE! Thankfully, my roommate was also from Florida and having the same issue. So, at 4am we got up and went to the gym, cause why not!

After a full day of activities. We went to check out the Bellagio fountains. It was 11pm but I figured why not, it’s Vegas!

Paris?!

Bellagio Fountains

We also walked around a little bit and went into Caesar’s Palace. Which, FYI, the shops close at 11pm! However, the lights are all on and things were pretty to look at!

I got to head home the next day at 3:30pm Vegas time. I was grateful because we had an awesome pilot on the way home. He made sure to let us know that we were over the Grand Canyon. I didn’t snap and photos but it was absolutely beautiful! Something I really want to see in person!

I’m excited to get to mark this as a place I’ve visited! I’ve never been a big traveler, but I’m enjoying seeing more sights as I get older!Thanks for stopping by!

 

Home renovations: When you can’t race

No, I haven’t been sidelined. Mother nature apparently does not want me to race in January. I’m hopeful that February will be better. However, it gave us 2 extra weekends for house stuff.

When we bought this house I knew it was going to have some DIY projects. What I didn’t realize was that I would really enjoy those projects. Everything is pretty much cosmetic but I enjoy the painting, the sprucing, and the making things new! I have a running list in a notebook of projects I want to tackle and we have a priority list on the fridge to keep us focused.

Our main project has been the garage. We have the rare air conditioned garage and we have a goal of making it useable. We would like to have a side dedicated to our fitness stuff and possibly get a fitness area in there. We would also like to be able to pull a car in there if wanted. Sadly, home improvements are expensive and we have been doing things little by little.

I completely forgot to take a before picture of the garage. I’m glad I did think to take some photos after the purge. So, we started with going through everything and doing a donation run to the local Humane Society and Goodwill.

So, some before photos. Notice the wire shelving and the BRIGHT yellow paint. Yes, the previous folks painted everything BRIGHT yellow.

We have too much crap

I mean, there was a pegboard up on the wall and you can see that the previous owner put everything on the wall and THEN painted.

Check out that bright yellow!

The next photo you can see we have started to hand the Rubbermaid Fast Track system. Which we have found to be awesome. You will also see I have started to paint the garage a tan/gold color. I had to do each side separately.

Seriously, too much stuff!

Then, everything got pulled off the walls and sorted into tubs. Thankfully, I was able to condense from our moving boxes to tubs easily as we got rid of stuff.

Piles of tubs!!

I’m happy to say that we are 3/4 of the way done. We have to hang some shelves still. We plan on installing some closet pieces so we have have a place for running/biking shoes and to hang our winter jackets. Like I said that takes the monies (FYI Lowes it totes cheaper than Home Depot when it comes to the Fasttrack), and unlike some blogs I wasn’t paid to make improvements (not that I’m opposed to that).

Before on top and After on bottom

I think we are making excellent progress! Hopefully, I will be able to find the floor this month!

My next project is the garden. I’ve already started but have to work in the AM when the weather is nice, thanks Florida! Also, if anyone ever says to you “you know what is better than normal mulch, ROCK mulch” just punch them in the face! So far, most of my work has been shoveling rocks into a bucket to take to the dump. It is NEVERENDING! This weekend we also pulled out some of the dead bushes! Goodness! The joys of homeownership.

One joy however is that spring means ducklings! These are the ones that just hatched in our backyard!! The cuteness!!!

 

Disney half marathon recap 2017 – the year of the cheer

or my 0.0 half marathon!

Not my medal

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts my Disney half marathon got cancelled. However, I did find the awesome above hat at the outlet when I took Amber and Casey to get cold weather gear at Under Armour.

So, Amber and Casey were running the Dopey, Jon was running the marathon, and I was doing the half marathon. As we were getting ready for bed on Friday night, at 7pm people started posting on Facebook that signs were out that the race was delayed…and then cancelled

I am glad Disney made the call that they did. We all awoke at 1am to CRAZY thunderstorms. There is no way that the race staff could have been setting up anything for the race in that weather. The thunderstorms did continue until mid-morning. Disney also offered up a truly amazing refund option. You could get your money back, trade for park tickets, or transfer into another Disney race within 24 months! SAY WHAT? Seriously, for a race that could have said “sorry you are SOL” this was pretty nice.

We said “let’s run” Casey said “no”

Instead, on Saturday we made the best of it and since I wasn’t going to have any race photos I took photos around with my race shirt on! I also realized that since I carbloaded for a half marathon I needed to do A LOT of walking the next 2 days.

I did not “do it”

Run from the stormtroopers!

At this point my race weekend became a sherpa/cheer weekend! I was already planning to cheer everyone on I wasn’t as excited cause I didn’t get to run. Also, it was crazy cold! Like, I haven’t been this cold in Florida EVER

My day started off with the three of them at 3am. Due to the cold, I changed my plans so that we could drive the car to Epcot and stay warmer just a little bit longer! However, I didn’t think this through very well.

So FYI if you ever Disney marathon cheer please note any asterisks in the printed instructions. It said spectator cheering from 7:15am – 1pm at mile 24 in Epcot. However, there was a little unnoticed * next to it which indicated that Epcot didn’t actually open until 9am.

Decisions, decisions

At about 4:45am they all headed to corrals and I had to figure out my situation. I was at Epcot. I couldn’t move the car anywhere cause roads closed. The plan was to go an cheer at Boardwalk around mile 23. I had promised marathoners I would be there with snacks, and life sustaining nourishment. Note: getting to any Epcot resort on race morning is a pain in the ass. After walking around the parking lot for 20 minutes looking for the car, I charged up my phone and decided sitting in the car for 2 hours sucked and hopped onto the monorail headed for ticket and transportation.

Now, I figure at least TTC could get me to other places. I stayed there and cheered as Lauren, Jon, Bob, and Jay came through! I also cheered Meghann as she came past but I don’t think she saw me. I wish she would have cause based on her race report I could have given her nutrition for the rest of the run 🙁

It is at this point that I notice a bus that says “Hollywood Studios” and lightbulb! If I can get there I can walk the path to Boardwalk. The nicest bus driver said that indeed they were taking spectators to the different parks so I hopped on. First time I’ve ever had a Disney bus to myself

He and I chatted for a bit and I told him my crazy story for the morning. How awesome is Disney magic?? He dropped me off at boardwalk instead of studios!! Thank you Mr. Disney bus driver! I took that opportunity to use a real bathroom. I grabbed coffee and a sandwich from the boardwalk bakery and started on my walk! It was at this fun point that my bag broke…

“It no break..it broke”

Ugh! So I tie the straps together and keep trekking along! I get to my spot and boardwalk and really regret not bringing a chair with me! Katie joined me around 10am, right after the boys passed me. At one point, it was so cold that my phone just straight up died. Hence very few photos from cheering. Jon finished his race and then came to join me!

Why are his race photos always so damn good?

Like seriously!

I was happy to provide Meghann with a Hershey bar and Gatorade and send her onto her finish! She was our last speedy runner. We hung out and handed out pretzels and twizzlers to runners until Janice, Tricia, and Nicole came through around 12. Handed off the sugar and sodas to them before they headed off for their finishes! We stayed put until Amber and Casey came through right before 1pm (Side note: I forgot how long cheering at a marathon is).

I recommend that everyone who has ever had sherpas return the favor! Bring snacks because you are much more appreciated by the runners! Maybe I didn’t get to run my race but I’m so happy for my friends who rocked their marathons! I am currently waiting on my link from RunDisney to try again for next year’s half!! Hope to see you all there!!

 

A new goal and a new plan

So, the game plan was to train for the Donald Half marathon, ride that into Hot Chocolate 15, and then maintain until Gasparilla half marathon. Well that all got shot to hell when Donald got cancelled. A new game plan was needed. Let’s be honest, a new motivation was needed.

When Donald was cancelled, I planned on running the race the following week. Then it dawned on me that I had a race a week later and I didn’t want to mess that up, so I ended up doing a short run. So, I have a 15K this weekend and I hope to do well but yet again they are calling for thunderstorms. GREAT!

2017 medal

Now, I have 5 weeks until Gasparilla and 8 weeks until the Excalibur 10 miler. I need to put together a new training plan because right now I am lacking the motivation to get out the door in the morning. My original plan was to see how I’ve improved for Donald and then make Gasparilla my goal race. Now, I have to change it up a bit.

Time to sit down tonight and create a training plan and figure out life! I have some lofty running goals this year!!

Transformation Thursday – the difference a year makes

Last Thursday I was in Disney. I was chilling in my hotel room waiting for friends to get ready to go to dinner. I pulled up my time hop and a photo showed up from my marathon last year.

I remember taking this picture and being super jazzed to run my marathon 3 days later. I had been training and I knew it was going to be slow (I was hoping for an average of 14-15 minute miles) going but here we are. I also remember trying to tackle WAY too much. I wanted to get faster, I wanted to run a marathon, I wanted to lose weight. I was contemplating running races and triathlons. I was tackling A LOT! I also had a super stressful and unpleasant job. Too many not good layers here.

Fast forward a year later, and I have zeroed in on specifics. I realized that I need to focus on 1 maybe 2 things and that is it. I decided to losing weight and running. I figured that maybe losing weight and just running might lead to becoming a better runner. No more triathlons, no more marathons, no more super crappy job. I’m excited to say that I hit my first goal of 175lbs and yes, I’m averaging a 12:30 – 13:30 minute mile now for my runs. I was so excited to head to Disney for my half marathon!

Here’s the thing though. My parents blessed me with good self-esteem. Yea, I know that isn’t really a thing. However, when it comes to weight loss, I saw the number on the scale but not in the mirror. I was horrified when I hit 200lbs and how clothes fit but I never looked in the mirror and had a problem. It really wasn’t until Thursday when I saw the 2 pictures side-by-side that something clicked.

I mean I feel WAY better. I’m learning to enjoy better foods (damn you Reese Bells but hey it was Christmas) but I’m really learning portion control and meal planning. I still eat things I enjoy eating but in better forms.

I’m onto the next weight loss goal. The next goal is 155lbs so 20 more pounds. However, I feel like I’m doing it right this time. I totes over ate this weekend being a Disney, and that is ok. I remember trying to find a balance and when I got on the scale this morning, I had lost half a pound.

For once I’m excited to keep working on both the weight loss and the running. I’m enjoying finding balance and structure. I’m looking forward to creating a training plan and seeing how it goes! The first 2 goals are specific and measurable:

  1. Get to next checkpoint of 155lbs
  2. Run 3 days a week

Here’s hoping that I can hit goal 2. I sometimes have a problem motivating myself out the door in the AM! So here’s to the goals, the new things, and the new year!

Quick 2017 catch-up

Ahh, it has been a crazy start to the year! Including what was supposed to be a really great Donald half marathon that was cancelled, a post on that later.

The last 2 weeks of December the hubby and I spent the whole time doing all the projects we had been putting off. It was really quiet at work cause everyone was off for the holiday so I caught up on some of my office organization. We took a quick trip to the beach on Christmas just to send the photo back to our families in the North!

We went for a walking tour of the holiday lights in Hyde Park with our running group Run Tampa.

We also signed up for the 2017 miles in 2017. Me, Jon, and Danielle are a team and have to do 680 (ish) miles in 2017 for our team to do the 2017!

I’m currently trying to figure out what my goal races are for the year and what my plans will be. Mapping out the training and races is much more detailed than I remember!

So, updates on Disney Marathon weekend, weight loss journey, and training plans to come! How’s everyone else’s 2017 getting started??

I miss the cozy


Things have been a bit crazy around here. Due to the hubby not being able to have Christmas off we celebrated a week early. Which meant we were back in MD and PA last week. 

We got the…pleasure… of getting both snow and ice in the time we were there. I can honestly say I do not miss ice or wind! Goodness, when we left Tampa last Thursday it was 70 degrees at 7am. We landed in MD and it was 24 degrees with a windchill of 15 degrees! Brrrr 

What I can say is that I do miss the cozy feeling. Getting to wear slipper boots and big chunky knit sweaters. Sipping cocoa and watching the snow fall. I have no desire to be out in it but I miss the cozy. 

Now, we are back and it has been a blissful high of 70 the last couple days and I love it! Hope everyone had a happy (and cozy) holiday!! 

Been down for the count!

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Ugh, I have been down for the count for the past week or so! No workouts, no updates, just kinda working. I took a week of vacation that I had to burn and was able to catch up on house stuff. I guess between being super busy with work and then having a down week just opened me up for failure. It doesn’t help that the hubby started back at the hospital in June so he cause whatever is going around the ER and brought it home! Finally after a week of rest and a small stock in Mucinex maximum strength we are both recovered! Now back to everything else!