In honor of the New Year tradition, here are my resolutions:
1. To run 1,000 miles in 2013
2. To try 3 new types of fitness classes that I haven’t tried. Take myself outside of the box.
Short, sweet, and to the point.
In honor of the New Year tradition, here are my resolutions:
1. To run 1,000 miles in 2013
2. To try 3 new types of fitness classes that I haven’t tried. Take myself outside of the box.
Short, sweet, and to the point.
In closing 2012 I decided to make a list of some of the things I am thankful for that happened this year. I have so much to be thankful for, so this is just a few.
1. First and foremost, QUITTING SMOKING! I hid the fact that I smoked from quite a few people because I hated it and was ashamed I did it, but now I am admitting it. I was a smoker and I QUIT! It is an ugly, horrible, dirty habit. As a runner I would steal a cigarette here and there and be so ashamed. As of April 13, 2012 I have not touched one single cigarette and took 17 freaking minutes off my half marathon time!!! Kind of amazing right? If I could pass one thing on to the younger generation is to never start smoking. Quitting is harder than anything I have ever had to do…including child birth.
2. I am thankful for my supportive husband traveling all over the country with me and our 2 year old so I can run races. I was able to run all the RunDisney distance races in 2012. Goofy Challenge, Tinker Bell Half, Princess Half, Disneyland Half, Tower of Terror 10 miler, and the Wine and Dine half. Thank you hubs! Even though you aren’t a runner, don’t really understand it, and think I’m a little nuts, thank you for being supportvie!
3. I am thankful for finding Newton running shoes. I was having tons of ankle problems. To the point that my specialist wanted to ground me for 6 weeks! I switched up my shoes to Newton running shoes and voila! I haven’t looked back.
4. I am thankful for my cute little yellow Keurig coffee maker. With out it I would have a very hard time functioning. I don’t drink more than one cup, which is what makes it perfect for me, but without that one cup I just can’t keep up with life. Ironic that I never even owned a coffeemaker until I had my daughter…hmmmm correlation between coffee drinking and motherhood, imagine that.
5. I am thankful for all the supporters I have that have donated to the many causes I have ran for this year. I find it important to spread awareness for charities I believe in and run for them too instead of just for me. Run for the people who can’t. In 2013 I’m kicking off the year at RunDisney’s Walt Disney World Marathon week, running the Goofy Challenge for Autism Speaks. 1 in 88 kids are now diagnosed with Autism. I am alarmed how this number keeps increasing and want to make sure others are alarmed too so we can start finding answers.
6. I am thankful my beautiful, smart, funny, crazy, bossy, lovey daughter. She is the most amazing little girl ever (I may be a little biased). She inspires me ever day, all while keeping me on my toes and humbling me. She never ceases to amaze me. I asked her one day if she was going to be a good girl again today like she had been the day before. She sat for a minute thinking and than looked at me with a completely serious face and said, “No, I’m going to be a naughty girl today mom.” Hey, at least she was honest with me right? Can’t wait to see what the teenage years bring.
7. I am thankful for the food in my refrigerator. I am lucky enough to live in an area to be able to get amazing produce. Locally grown, organic, fresh produce. I have an extreme love for fruits and vegetables and love cooking huge varieties of them every night for dinner.
8. I am thankful for Southwest Airlines. The people that work for you make traveling so much easier than other airlines. Your employees generally seem so much friendlier than other airlines. With the amount we travel, especially with a 2 year old, that makes a world of difference.
9. And I am so very thankful for the health and safety of my friends and family. We are so very fortunate and I never let a day go by without being thankful for that. Never take anything for granted.
Hope everyone has a safe, healthy, happy, and inspiring 2013!
Inspiration is all around me. I find inspiration from the many amazing people I meet at a race. My family is a huge source of inspiration. Friends and friends of friends are constantly inspiring me. I don’t have to look to far to find something that inspires me to want to be a better friend, mother, wife, runner, dancer, crafter, chef, driver, golf player, but most of all human being.
In 2012 I had ran every RunDisney race except for some reason I didn’t register for the Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon, which is their last race of the year. (We live primarily in California, so doing all the races at WDW takes a little more planning) My husband, who is not a runner at all, looked at me and said “Why wouldn’t you run ALL the Disney races? That’s like running only 12 miles of a half marathon.” I was amazed that my husband even remembered the distance of a half marathon! That is inspiration, that my husband is willing to travel with me and our 2 year old across the country for one more Disney race in 2012.
My daughter likes to put on her “running shoes” and tell me to say ready set go and she runs down the hallway and back and than I give her a “menal” (what my 2 year old calls a medal). The fact that my 2 year old finds joy in running is inspiration for me to keep running.
Every time my 2 year old over hears me talk about a new race I’m running she tells me exactly what I should wear as a costume. For the Disneyland Half Marathon she told me to dress at Rapunzel in May, the race wasn’t until September. She stuck by her decision the whole time. Never changing who I should dress up as. It is just as fun for her to see mommy dress up as what she wants as it is for me to do it. Thats inspiration.
Friends and family telling me that I have inspired them to enjoy life and try new things like a yoga class or even running a 5k. This is some of the best inspiration to keep doing what I’m doing.
I have changed my life for the better. I no longer take my body for granted and I sometimes surprise myself with what I can do. That is some good inspiration. It isn’t being self centered or conceded to be proud of yourself and inspire others.
My daughter, who will be 3 in March 2013, has been running the Disney Kids Races since she was 17 months old. She has ran them at every runDisney race in 2012. I didn’t really know what to expect the first time at Disneyland and Disney World. Here is what to expect:
1. They tell you to get there early. This is both true and false all at the same time. The kids races are broken up by kids age which corresponds to the distance they will run. The 1-3 year old 100 yard dash is first, and than the 200, 300, 400 and last is the diaper dash. If you are in the 400 group you are in a staging, waiting corral until all the other kids have raced. Keep this in mind when you are rushing to be there “early”
2. They don’t have the whole age group run at once. They send off about 10 kids at a time to run, so it takes a little longer than one would think.
3. The parents can run with the child.
4. The medals they get are cute, but rubberized plastic. My young daughter loves them, but I have heard some older kids complain that they aren’t metal, so maybe prepare older kids for this.
5. They hold the kids races at different places, so it isn’t always the same. At Disneyland Half they hold it down between ESPN zone and the Disneyland Hotel, but at the Tinker Bell Half they were inside California Adventure down by Paradise Pier. At Disney World it is usually at ESPN Wide World of Sports. We have ran on the track there before and also on the fields. I saw that this years Princess they are listed at Epcot.
6. Be patient and you will have a blast. Sometimes it seems a little chaotic, but my daughter is always happy and proud at the end and that is what counts.
7. You will print out a waiver for your child, just like yourself, to bring to the expo and pick up their race bib and t-shirt.
8. The races at Disney World are usually $10 and $20 at Disneyland. I say usually because sometimes it changes, but I still feel like this is one of the best deals at Disney! They get a cute shirt, a medallion, a race bib, and the action of the race for less than the cost of a counter lunch at one of the parks.
Here is a picture of some of my daughters kids race medallions.
While I was looking and figuring out my race calendar for 2013, I was marking the dates for when registration opens for them since most sell out quickly. I thought that it could also be helpful to some of you. Again, these are some of MY favorite races.
1. Disneyland Half Marathon August 30-September 1, 2013
Registration opens: January 22, 2013
runDisney has also announced the addition of a 10K race the day before the half marathon and if you do both you can get the Dumbo Double Dare medal.
2. Marine Corp. Marathon, Washington DC October 27, 2013
Registration opens: March 27, 2013 (FYI, the registration for this race lasted all of 2 hours before it sold out in 2012)
3. OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon, Indianapolis May 4, 2013 (One of the largest in the country)
Registration is currently open until sold out
4. More/Fitness Magazine Women’s Half Marathon NYC April 14, 2013
Registration opens: January 2013
5. Rock N Roll Las Vegas Strip at Night November 17, 2013
Registration is currently open
6. The San Francisco Giants Half Marathon, Date TBD but usually mid September
Registration Typically opens in April
7. Chicago Half Marathon, September 8, 2013
Registration currently open
8. RunDisney Wine and Dine Half Marathon at Walt Disney World, Nov. 8-9 , 2013
Registration date currently not listed, usually opens In March
9. Nike Women’s Marathon San Francisco, Usually In October
Registration is usually a lottery system with entry for the lottery in April
10. Support a local race. As fun as the big races are, sometimes a small local race ends up being a favorite. Pick a random local race that you haven’t done before.
When the kids are out of school and Christmas is around the corner a fun project for the whole family is a great way to celebrate. Below is how to make a family handprint Christmas tree. I made this one using my whole families handprints.
What you need:
green and brown paper (I used various green and brown designs of scrapbook paper, but you can also do it with just construction paper)
glue stick or adhesive
large piece of paper to mount the finished project
1. Trace everyones hand on the backside of the paper.
2. Cut out everyones hands. My daughter is only 2, so i cut out hers for her, but older kids can cut out their own. You can make this project as big or little as you want to. I made multiples of everyones hand so the tree would be larger.
What is your favorite DIY holiday project?
One of my favorite parts about running a half marathon is crowd watching. Both the runners and the spectators offer lots of fun visuals. The signs of encouragement from spectators though just can’t be beat. Here is a list of some of my all time favorite signs.
“Just keep swimming.”
“Worst parade ever!”
“You trained for this longer than Kim Kardashian’s marriage lasted.”
“You are an inspiration to me total stranger!”
“Run like her husband is chasing you.”
“Don’t stop! People are watching!”
“I bet it seemed like a great idea 4 months ago.”
“Longest beer run ever”
“If it was easy I would do it too.”
“Chuck Norris never ran a marathon”
“Don’t worry, you are way in front of my husband.”
“Run like you stole something”
These are some of my all time favorite signs. I’m sure I will have some more to add after this years Goofy Challenge.
Peace Love Run
There are two gifts we should give our children. One is roots and the other is wings. I feel that one of the best educators is travel. Reading about things is good, but going to see those places is great. Even if this is just to your local museum or historical landmark. Due to the nature of our business (and my obsession with half marathons) we travel a lot. My daughter has been traveling all over the United State since she was 4 months old. I have learned a great deal of things while on these travels. Here are my tips for travel with your young tot:
1. Bring LOTS of snacks. There has been money times where we are delayed and almost miss our connection to our next flight which means no time to get food between flights. I always bring plenty of snacks for the whole family.
2. Children are allowed to be lap children (meaning they don’t need a plane ticket) until the age of 2. Airlines require a copy of a birth certificate at check in to prove the age. Once a child is 2 however you will need to buy them a seat and they do not need ID (unless out of the country and than they of course need a passport).
3. I always bring new toys, books, movies, or whatever I can gather together. New is always fun for a child. Even just a new note pad and crayons or stickers. I usually also download a new movie on our IPad which my daughter loves. I found magnet paper dolls and they are small, stay in the little metal container, but keep her busy for a while.
4. The hardest part was when my daughter was done breastfeeding and with formula, and switched to milk. I would bring a bottle cooler with ice packs, but on an 8 hour travel day it doesn’t stay cold long enough and nor is this enough milk to last 2 plane rides. You CAN bring the shelf stable milk boxes through security. I find these at all grocery stores. They kind of look like a bigger juice box, but it is milk and doesn’t need to be refrigerated until it is open. I usually travel with 5 of these, so when she wants a bottle I just pop one open and dump in a bottle and than discard. No cooler bags and ice packs needed. If your child is still drinking formula, the single serve ready-to-feed bottles are great and the same idea as the milk boxes, no water necessary. Most airlines will not have milk on board and never use bathroom water on a airplane for anything your child will ingest. Airplane water tanks are not clean.
5. When going through security at the airport you are allowed to carry your small child through, but if you have them in a baby bjorn or carrier you should take that off and put it through the xray otherwise they will do a pat down. If you carry a small child through you will go through the standard xray arch, not the body scan. Children under 12 do not need to remove their shoes either.
6. Checking car seats and strollers do not count as baggage and you are not charged the fee. If you want to bring your car seat on board for the flight I recommend the GoGo Kidz. It is like turning your car seat into a stroller. Than you don’t need to lug the car seat and the stroller through the airport.
7. Babies and young children often have problem with their ears at take off and landing. Have a bottle ready to go for take off and landing or a snack like pretzels of fruit snacks. The chewing and swallowing helps clear their ears and unfortunately pacifiers aren’t often enough.
8. Most of us always carry around a change of clothes for our child, but carry a change of clothes for yourself too!!! I have learned the hard way that a leaky diaper or if your child gets a little air sick the change of clothes come in very handy.
9. My personal recommendation to all parents is ALWAYS TRAVEL WITH AT LEAST 3 EXTRA GALLON SIZE ZIP LOCK BAGS! They come in handy for just about everything, such as dirty clothes, dirty bottles and pacifiers, open snack bags. This contains the mess so it doesn’t spread through your luggage.
10. Remember that even the grumpy traveler giving you dirty looks was once a child too. Some times kids cry and sometimes kids sing “It’s a Small World” at the top of their lungs, but everyone will get through it.
Half Crazy Mama’s Favorite Healthy Yummy Easy Slow Cooker Turkey Chili
This turkey chili is my own recipe that I have tweaked and I am in love with it…so is my family. It is so easy and your home will smell so good as it cooks all day. I use extra lean ground turkey for the healthiest option. You can use just lean ground turkey or ground beef if you like, but be sure to drain the meat after cooking before you add it to the slow cooker otherwise it will thin the chili. Enjoy!
1 ½ lbs extra lean ground turkey breast
1 yellow onion (chopped)
2 cloves garlic (chopped)
1 can diced tomatoes
2 cans tomato sauce
2 cans kidney beans (rinsed and drained)
2-3 tsps chili powder
1 tsp dry mustard
¾ tsp dried basil leaves
¾ tsp black pepper
2 tsps ground cumin
½ teaspoon salt
½ tsp onion salt
Saute the ground turkey and chopped onion, along with the chopped garlic until turkey is cooked.
Put cooked turkey mix into slow cooker.
Add all the rest of the ingredients and stir.
Cook on low in the slow cooker for 8 hours
Top with whatever anyone wants like chopped onion, sour cream, cheese, or just enjoy by itself.
runDisney races are all amazing. Let me start by saying that. If you have never ran one and are thinking about it, DO IT! I’m going to be talking about the races and my experiences and recommendations. Again, these are my opinions and tips:
1. runDisney races ALWAYS sell out and some faster than others. They also usually sell out within days and keep in mind this is MONTHS in advance, so mark your calendar for registration day. For example, the 2014 Disneyland Dumbo Double Dare Challenge sold out in less than an hour. If you want to run one go to the runDisney website and register for an email reminder of when registration for the race you want opens and once registration opens, don’t hesitate.
2. When you register they ask for a projected time. This is so they can put you in a starting corral with runners (or walkers) with similar pace. IF YOU WANT TO RUN AND NOT WALK PUT DOWN A TIME! If you don’t have a race that you completed before you register than run a 10k or longer race and email runDisney your time so you can be placed in a corral accordingly. If you don’t put down a time you WILL be put in one of the last corrals which do have a lot of walkers. Nothing wrong with this and so much fun if you plan to walk, but can be very frustrating if you plan to run and you spend the first 4 miles dodging walkers.
3. If you want to earn the Coast to Coast medal you need to run in one race at Walt Disney World and one race at Disneyland that is a half marathon or longer in a CALENDAR YEAR. Again, between Janurary-Decemeber in the same year you need to run in one half marathon or longer at Disneyland AND Walt Disney World. Expediation Everest and the Tower of Terror 10 miler don’t count towards a Coast to Coast medal because they are not a half marathon or longer.
4. The Tinker Bell Half Marathon at Disneyland and the Princess Half Marathon at Walt Disney World are women centric races. This means that while MEN ARE ALLOWED TO RUN, they will not start in corral A and they will not have awards for placement. Again, they will get regular finishers medals, but not awards for time.
5. The Tower of Terror 10 Miler and the Wine and Dine Half Marathon are both races at Walt Disney World and are both NIGHT races starting at 10:00pm.
6. While races at Walt Disney World are ran entirely on Disney property, races at Disneyland are not. The first 4-6 miles or so are on Disney property and than you run through streets in Anaheim and than back to Disney property to finish. The courses for the Tinker Bell Half Marathon and the Disneyland Half Marathon are DIFFERENT COURSES. They are both lots of fun, but the Disneyland Half Marathon course takes you through Angels Stadium and you get to run around the inside of the field, which for me is an added bonus.
7. The Walt Disney World Half Marathon and the Princess Half Marathon at Walt Disney World are pretty much identical courses. You will start near Epcot, run to the Magic Kingdom and through it, and than work your way back to Epcot. If you are thinking of running 2 races at Walt Disney World and would prefer different courses you may consider running the Wine and Dine Half Marathon instead. It starts near ESPN Wide World of Sports and you run through Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, and finish through Epcot.
8. The races never start inside a park and the race registration is not a park ticket. If you plan to spend time in the park before or after you race YOU WILL NEED TO BUY A PARK TICKET. The night races do have after parties, but the park is technically closed and only open for racers and friends and family that buy party tickets ahead of time.
9. The Goofy Challenge is when you run the Walt Disney World Half Marathon on Saturday and Full Marathon on Sunday. You get a special goofy medal in addition to the half and full medals. You must register for the Goofy Challenge to get the medal and not register for each event separately. This is the same for ALL challenge events! The Dopey Challenge use to not be an unofficial event that some people who ran the Goofy Challenge and also the 5k race called the Dopey. New in 2014 runDisney made the Dopey Challenge an official event where you run the 5k, 10k, the half marathon and the full marathon. You earn 6 medals!
10. The race weekends include kids races and a 5k race. The finishers get what runDisney calls “medallions”. These are different from medals because they are not metal. They are made of a rubberized plastic, but are still very cute. My daughter loves hers. I’ve included pictures below. The 10k medals are metal.
11. During Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend all resort hotels are host hotels. This means that they all offer bus service to the expo and race events. During other Walt Disney World races not all hotels are host hotels. You will need to check the website for info on which hotels are hosts, meaning offering bus service, if you want to be able to take the bus to the race events.
12. As many runners know the lines for port-a-poties are usually very long or along the course they tend to be very gross. Here is my little hidden gem of advise, listen carefully: STUDY THE COURSE ROUTE AHEAD OF TIME AND KNOW MILEAGE WISE WHEN YOU WILL BE INSIDE THE PARKS. WHILE RUNNING PAY ATTENTION TO WHERE YOU ARE AND PLAN YOUR BATHROOM BREAKS FOR IN THE PARKS BECAUSE THE NICE CLEAN RESTROOMS INSIDE THE PARKS ALONG THE COURSE WILL BE OPEN!!!
13. Plan ahead of time with your family where you will meet them or where they want to be along the course. RunDisney races have anywhere for 10,000-30,000 participants. Multiply that by at least a couple friends and family for each participant and you have massive amounts of people. When I have my choice of seeing my family along the course or at the finish line I choose along the course. The reason for this is the area right at the finish line normally is reserved seating for people who buy cheEAR squad packages. I have personally never had my family buy the package with reserved seating, but have heard both pros and cons. Cons, if you have small children they aren’t going to want to sit still for that long so it is better to walk around with them. Pro is for older family members who have a hard time standing it would be nice to sit. Once you finish you go through a process that can take you usually from 7 min to 45 min to get through before you exit out to an area where you can meet your friends and family. This is another reason why it is nice to see my husband and daughter along the course and than they can go back to hotel and I finish and meet them back there instead of having to have them stand around a parking lot waiting for me. At the end of the race you will get your medal and than wait in line for pictures if you want one, and than wait in line for the snack box if you want one, and than wait in line for bag check if you checked one.
14. To pick up your race bib you will need your waiver printed and signed. At the expos they have computers there for you to do this, but the lines can be quite long. If you have the opportunity to print it before you come than do that to save yourself time.
15. runDisney does not allow bib transfer, meaning you can NOT sell your race entry to another person and if caught you will be banned from races. They do however usually allow you to defer for a future race if you contact them by a certain date. This means if you are injured or for some reason know you will not be able to race don’t just flush the money down the toilet, contact runDisney and ask to defer.
16. Standing in a starting corral can get chilly. Unless you plan to run in something warm or don’t mind carrying clothing with you while running, plan according. I sometimes use a large trash bag and tear holes in top and sides for my head and arms. This isn’t super warm, but warm enough that I’m not shivering and than once I start running and warm up it is easy to take off and throw to the side. Another option is wearing an old sweatshirt you don’t want anymore or hitting up a Good Will and buying a cheap one. All clothing that runners discard is donated to the needy. Meaning if you wear something you don’t want, you can throw to the side of the course and it will be donated.
17. Be courteous of runners around you. If you are running with 6 of your best friends, try not to run all in a row because this makes it hard for faster runners to get around you. Also if you need to walk just check behind you real quick to make sure there isn’t a runner on your heels that will trip on you and cause a domino effect causing injury. Just slow your pace and carefully move to the right side of the course. RunDisney races have lots of participants and the course can be crowded so it helps that everyone is courteous.
18. Here is another helpful tip: IF IT IS ON A STICK DON’T EAT IT! At a lot of the medical tents hand out vaseline on tongue depressors to rub on areas for anti chaffing. This is not an energy goo or gel. I have heard people joking about this to new runners…but I have also witnessed it.
19. If you want to run for a personal best time Disney courses are usually very flat and can be good courses to do that on; HOWEVER consider why you pay the higher race fees. Part of the fun is taking pictures with the characters along the way. Also, unless you are starting at the front in corral A or B it gets really congested on the courses.
20. While photographers are periodically along the course and are stationed with some of the characters, not all have professional photographers. These photographers are also NOT Disney photographers and don’t use photopass. They are a separate company and the race photo prices are a little pricey. Consider running with a camera or camera phone if you want pictures.
21. runDisney races have 16 min pace requirement. This is because they will need to open the roads that are closed for the race. The 16 min pace requirement is based off the last starting corral. Meaning if you are in a corral that ins’t the last one that buys you a little bit of extra time. Sweepers are not horrible people that will just throw you on a bus. If you are lagging a little behind pace you get a little warning of the impending sweep so you can pick up your pace.
22. Most importantly, HAVE A REALLY GOOD TIME AND ENJOY YOURSELF. Every mile is magic!
Below are pictures of the 2012 runDisney medals from the races. Keep in mind that runDisney changes medals somewhat regularly, so for a couple years the medals with be relatively the same and then change for an anniversary or when they feel like it.
Some of the runDisney kids’ races medallions
Walt Disney World Half Marathon, Full Marathon, and Goofy Challenge 2012
Princess Half Marathon at Walt Disney World 2012
Tinker Bell Half Marathon at Disneyland 2012
Wine and Dine Half Marathon at Walt Disney World 2012
Disneyland Half Marathon 2012
The Tower of Terror 10 miler at Walt Disney World 2012
The Coast to Coast Medal for completely one race at Disneyland and Disney World in the same calendar year