Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Wine and Dine Trip – Day 1

Yay!!!  The day that I waited for for close to a year had finally come!  We were jet setting to the Happiest Place on Earth – Walt Disney World!


I was so incredibly excited :)  We hadn’t been to Disney World since 2013 when I ran my very first half marathon, the Princess half, but we didn’t get to play in the parks since we had just returned from spending 2 weeks in Hawai’i…our last time in the parks was 2008 on a family vacation.  Needless to say I was ready!


Since it was part of my 2013 Christmas gift, we flew down to get us there quicker :)  We hopped on board Disney’s Magical Express and waited impatiently to arrive


We’re here!!  We got to our hotel, checked in, and headed to Downtown Disney for a late lunch and to meet up with my friend, Meg!  We met on social media in the past year and were finally getting to meet in person :)  We enjoyed a corn dog lunch from the Fantasy Fare food truck (highly recommend!)

WD4  WD5

After doing a little shopping for some new Alex + Ani arm candy…


We had a drink at the bar behind Cookes of Dublin (can’t for the life of me remember what it’s called), and then hopped a bus to the Polynesian Resort for dinner at the Kona Cafe!

This trip we decided to try some new to us restaurants and I’d heard good things, and it did not disappoint!  I had to have a Lapu Lapu, and my NY strip was tasty.  The hubby enjoyed his lamb chops and the swiss chard was AMAZING!  Meg had the noodle bowl and said it was very good.  For dessert I had the chocolate lava cake and hubby had a pineapple upside down cake.  AND they brought me a birthday cupcake, too! (We got it to go since we were so full)

After dinner we headed back to our respected resorts, but not before snapping a picture with Meg

We had a busy day the next day – hitting up the expo and then off to Epcot!

How do you spend your first day at Disney?

Until next time,

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Monday, February 23, 2015

Weekly Workouts – 2.16 – 2.22

I need to get back to posting my workouts, and what better time than the present :)

As I told you I’ve been going to Orangetheory Fitness a lot lately.  I’ve been doing a good job of working out there 4-5 days a week, and I’m still really enjoying it!

Just as a refresher as to what the numbers mean – they encourage you to aim for being in the green zone for 25-35 minutes.  That’s your fat and carb burning time.  For the orange and red zones, they want you to try and get between 12-20 minutes in these zones combined.  This is your afterburn.

Monday’s workout was okay, but not great.  I’m a number person and kick myself when I don’t get at least 12 minutes in the orange zone :P

MUCH better today! 


Rest day

I had a lot on my mind during this class.  My head just wasn’t in it and I couldn’t seem to reach the orange zone very much at all.

KILLED it with this class.  We did a longer block on the treadmill and I really worked on bumping the incline up and running.


Rest Day

Another great class this morning!!  I couldn’t believe how long I spent in the orange zone and was so pleased with my performance.  We did quite a bit of rowing in each block we had in the weight room, and I think that helped keep my heart rate up.

I’m scheduled to go another 5 days this week, and I’m ready to go!  I have honestly never enjoyed working out this much :)

I hope all of my friends and readers who participated in the runDisney Princess half marathon weekend had great races!  I loved watching the live feed this morning and seeing some of my friends cross the finish line.  It was the next best thing to being there :) I even showed my #DisneySide at the gym this morning

rundisney headband

Until next time,

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Thursday, February 19, 2015

2015 runDisney Princess Half marathon weekend is here!

This weekend Walt Disney World will be taken over by princesses (and a few special princes) who are earning their tiaras and some pretty sweet medals during the runDisney Princess half marathon weekend!

photo courtesy of Disney Parks Blog

This race weekend really holds a special place in my heart as it was where I ran my very first half marathon back in 2013. 

I am so incredibly envious of all my friends who are jetting down to Orlando to participate in this year's races.  Whether you're running the 5k, 10k, half marathon, the Glass Slipper Challenge or ALL the races, always remember to take a minute and soak everything in.  Running at Disney is such a magical experience, one that you will never forget.

I'm super excited that this year they will have a live stream at the finish line of the half marathon!  You can get more information about this on the Disney Parks Blog.

Do you have runner tracking set up to see how your friends and family are doing during the race?  Go here to sign up now.

The runDisney Health and Fitness Expo is a great place to do a little shopping for official race merchandise as well as other fantastic vendors.  Make sure to swing by the runDisney booth to sneak a peek at the medals you'll be earning over the weekend!  Just in case you need a reminder, here are the times the expo will be open -

photo courtesy of runDisney

If you love social media like I do and want to share your pictures throughout the weekend, runDisney has created some hashtags for you to use -

photo courtesy of runDisney
And last, but not least, I thought I would share my recaps from my 2013 Princess half marathon weekend with you :) 

runDisney's Fit for a Princess expo - Day 1
runDisney's Fit for a Princess expo - Day 2
runDisney Princess half marathon - Part 1
runDisney Princess half marathon - Part 2

I hope each and every one of you have a magical time at Walt Disney World this weekend and I look forward to following along on social media and watching the live stream on Sunday morning!  I hope to get my recap of my Wine and Dine half marathon up in the next week or so.

What was your first half marathon? 

Until next time,

Friday, February 13, 2015

Michelob 13.1 Atlanta race recap

I need to do some catching up on race recaps!  I have really slacked off lately.

So the Michelob 13.1 was October 4th.  In 2013 it was down in north Atlanta in a city called Brookhaven but for 2014 they moved it to a new location about 10 minutes from my house…score! 

I drove the course the day before just to get a feel for it.  There were some decent hills but I didn’t think it was horribly bad. 

I picked up my bib Friday after work and, I must say, I absolutely LOVED the race shirt -


People made quite the huge fuss about the race location not being “in” Atlanta, so the description was perfect (OTP stands for “Outside the Perimeter”…and no, I did not wear the race shirt before the race – this was taken the week after…it’s just the only picture I have of the shirt)

The usual pre-race carb loading was done and the outfit was laid out.


Getting to the race was super easy as I knew right where I was going.  I knew to get there early so I was able to park fairly close to the start/finish line.  I met up with Brandi and Ramona and we huddled together as it was super windy that morning!  I also saw a few other friends while we were waiting to line up in the corrals to start the race.

I had a goal in mind, but was going into the race not feeling too confident in myself.  After a horrible race the month before at the Divas Half Marathon, I really didn’t have high hopes, but I wanted to see what I could do.

I remember sticking with my intervals pretty well throughout the race up until around mile 11.  The course was on the back roads of Forsyth County so there was next to no crowd support, except for the awesome volunteers at the water stations and the course marshals.  There were a couple of DJ’s but they were hanging out in their cars with just the music blasting for us to hear.  Oh well!

I was on pace to hit my goal until mile 12…we had a DREADED uphill to go and it kicked my butt.  I ended up walking a majority of it and was pretty bummed out – until I realized that even though I may not make my goal, I could still PR!

I kicked it into high gear (as much as I could) and crossed the finish line with a 5 minute PR – slowly chipping away to reach a new milestone.  Ramona’s mom was on medal duty so I made a beeline for her to hang my new medal around my neck :)


I met up with Ramona and Brandi (who also PR’ed!)  We all completed both the Publix half and the Michelob half, which entitled us to an extra medal, the ATL Challenge!

Michelob6  Michelob7

We chatted for a few and headed our separate ways.  Normally we would do breakfast but Brandi and I had football games to get to :)

I rushed home, showered and we headed to Athens for the Georgia Bulldogs game!  It was Homecoming and my brother played in the Alumni Band during the pre-game ceremonies.

Michelob3 Michelob8
It was COLD but the Dawgs finished with a nice victory, so it made it all worth it :)

Michelob9(Weird reflection of light on hubby’s face)

It was a long day, but a great one :)  I’m not sure if I’ll be running it again this year, but I’m definitely not opposed to it!

Until next time,

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Thursday, February 12, 2015

#GetOutAndGo – Challenging Myself

Last week I wrote about the #GetOutAndGo campaign that I am participating in through the month of February, and one of the main goals is to get people to challenge themselves by doing something new.
Well….I am challenging myself.  I kind of started in January, but have really kicked it into high gear this month.  I joined a gym.
Yes, I know I joined a gym (Bodyplex) last year, and I tried Crossfit the year before that, but I did not enjoy either like I thought I would.  I found that I would walk in and had a hard time figuring out exactly what I wanted to do and how long I wanted to do it at Bodyplex.  Hardly any of the classes fit my schedule, so those were also out.  One thing that made it clear to me that I did not enjoy being there was that I felt judged every time I walked into both gyms – I felt like they thought I shouldn’t be there because I was not as thin and athletic as many of the other members were.  Bodyplex also changed brands in the middle of the week and didn’t tell the members (I was shocked that it was re-branded as “Georgia Fitness” just four days after the last time I was there). 
A friend had been telling me about a studio she was going to in Florida, but we didn’t have one anywhere near us that would have been convenient for me to even try out.  Lo and behold, last October I learned that they were opening one about 5 miles from my house.  Score!  She spoke so highly of it that I had to go in and check it out.  Since the gym was still being built, they had a small storefront where they were meeting potential clients and signing them up.
I felt at ease when I first walked in and chatted with one of the new owners about the gym, how the workouts were, and their concept.  It was more than I really wanted to pay for a membership, so I went home and thought it out.
Finally, I made the decision to go ahead and sign up so I could get their “founder’s rates”.  They would not be charging us until the gym was officially open for business, so if I changed my mind or decided it wasn’t for me I could cancel and not be out any money.  It just made sense so that if I ended up liking it, I had those lower rates locked in.
They had a “demo day” in December so I went to that at one of their other locations.  It was shorter than what a normal workout would be, but I enjoyed it enough to want to come back.
What is this gym I’m speaking of?
That’s right… Orangetheory Fitness!
The first couple of weeks they hosted a boot camp because the gym looked like this -
They were waiting for the equipment to be delivered.  I’m glad they did this because it got my body used to moving and working hard again.  I appreciated it once the equipment arrived and we began having semi-normal classes…I wasn’t nearly as sore as I could have been!
If you’ve never been to an Orangetheory Fitness, it’s like a circuit workout.  You spend about 25-30 minutes on the treadmill, doing a variety of different speeds and inclines.  Then you move into the weight room where you use dumbbells, Bosu balls, TRX straps, the rowing machines, and your own body weight to do different exercises.
You wear a heart rate monitor and try to keep your heart rate in different ‘zones’ throughout the workout.  Typically you want 25-35 minutes in the “green zone” which is your fat and carb burning zone, and about 12-20 minutes in the “orange” and “red” zones, which is your after burn.  They have TV monitors in the gym so you can check to see how you’re doing throughout the workout and they pull up your summary when the workout is complete.  They also send you an email shortly after class so you can keep track of how you’re doing.
Aside from running I have never really enjoyed working out.  I’m the type of person who needs structure, so having a trainer tell me exactly what I need to do helps me to focus on my goals.  I’ve never had this in a gym environment so it’s definitely something different that I have absolutely enjoyed.
The staff at my location is amazing.  We have wonderful trainers and the front desk staff and owners couldn’t be nicer.  They’re very personable, which I never experienced at the other gyms I have tried going to.  And they’re dog friendly…how can I not love that?
After having so many discouraging experiences at other gyms, I was very hesitant to try another gym, but I’m so glad I took that leap.  Every day the workouts are different so it’s fun to challenge myself to push a little harder.  I also joined their 6 week weight loss challenge, which I’ve never done one before so I thought “What can it hurt?”  I go to class 4-5 times a week and actually look forward to getting to the gym.  I’ve met some great and inspiring people in my classes so it’s always good to get a great workout in with them (even though we don’t talk during the workout because we’re too busy moving!)
All locations offer a free session if you’re curious about it and want to check them out.  I HIGHLY recommend it!  It can be a great cross training for running or other sports – my gym actually has a youth block for kids who are participating in team sports.
No, I am not being compensated for writing this.  I truly love my gym and I’m glad that I’m doing this for myself.  It’s fun to #GetOutAndGo with my workouts :)
Have you ever been to Orangetheory Fitness?  What’s your gym of choice?
Until next time,
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Tuesday, February 10, 2015

10th Anniversary of the runDisney Disneyland half marathon!

Today is the day hundreds of thousands of runners will be sitting at their computers or on their smart phones, credit card in hand, anxiously awaiting to sign up for the 2015 runDisney Disneyland half marathon weekend!

photo by runDisney
I had the opportunity to participate in the inaugural Dumbo Double Dare in 2013, and it was one of the best experiences ever!  While I'm super sad I can't make it out to Disneyland this year, I'm hoping to be there for the 5th anniversary of Dumbo Double Dare in 2017, and who knows...might even make it a Coast to Coast year!

The weekend is full of fun and running!  Check out the event schedule -

runDisney Health & Fitness Expo
Disneyland® Hotel Exhibit Hall

Thursday, September 3, 2015 - 10:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Friday, September 4, 2015 - 12:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Saturday, September 5, 2015 - 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM

Disneyland® 5K presented by Cigna®
Disneyland® Resort
Friday, September 4, 2015
Start time: 5:30 AM

Disneyland® 10K presented by Cigna®
Disneyland® Resort and the City of Anaheim
Saturday, September 5, 2015
Start time: 5:30 AM

runDisney Kids Races
Downtown Disney® District near ESPN Zone®
Saturday, September 5, 2015
Start time: 9:00 AM

Pasta in the Park Party
Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree inside Disneyland® Park
Saturday, September 5, 2015
6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

Disneyland® Half Marathon presented by Cigna®
Disneyland® Resort and the City of Anaheim
Sunday, September 6, 2015
Start time: 5:30 AM

ChEAR Squad
Disneyland® Park
Sunday, September 6, 2015

And, of course, the most important information - the pricing!

Disneyland® Half Marathon
  • $199 by February 24, 2015
  • $214 between February 25 and March 10, 2015
  • $229 on or after March 11, 2015
Disneyland® 10K
  • $110 by February 24, 2015
  • $125 between February 25 and March 10, 2015
  • $140 on or after March 11, 2015
Dumbo Double Dare
  • $330 by February 24, 2015
  • $355 between February 25 and March 10, 2015
  • $380 on or after March 11, 2015
Disneyland® 5K
  • $75 by March 10, 2015
  • $85 on or after March 11, 2015
runDisney Kids Races
  • $20 by March 10, 2015
  • $25 on or after March 11, 2015
Pasta in the Park Party
With a Theme Park Ticket
  • $135.00 for Adults (ages 10 and up)*
  • $115.00 for Children (ages 3-9)*
Without a Theme Park Ticket
  • $89.00 for Adults (ages 10 and up)*
  • $69 .00 for Children (ages 3-9)*
* A theme park ticket is required to enter this party.
ChEAR Squad (Half Marathon Only)
  • Bronze – No Charge per package
  • Silver – $45 per package
  • Gold – $69 per package
  • Platinum – $99 per package
With this being the 10th anniversary I expect this to sell out quick, so make sure you're ready at noon EST to register!

If you aren't able to get in, there are always tons of amazing charity groups that you can fundraise for and run through them.  There are also travel providers who had bibs, but make sure you contact them as soon as possible because once they're gone, they're gone!

Best of luck to everyone who will be registering!  I'll be following along at home :) 

Have you run during the Disneyland half marathon weekend before?  Do you plan to run this year?

Until next time,

Monday, February 2, 2015


Did you know that February is American Hearth month?
This year, Staples has a really great campaign to encourage us all to #GetOutAndGo” throughout the month!
Each year, one out of three women die of heart disease and stroke.  This really hits close to home since two of my grandparents both passed away from heart disease.  I, myself, was diagnosed with hypertension/high blood pressure back in 2012.  It was a huge wake up call for me as I was put on medications to help stabilize my blood pressure and bring it down.  It was during 2012 that I started my running journey, and I truly believe that the change in lifestyle helped to regulate my blood pressure.  Now, I’m happy to report that my blood pressure is back to normal and I’m off any medication!  If I can do it, you can do it.
So what exactly is #GetOutAndGo all about?  It’s about challenging yourself to push out of your comfort zone, get your heart rate up (in a healthy way), and to live a healthy life that you can share with your family and friends.  It can be anything from trying a new class at the gym to taking daily walks with your family or training for a race.  The opportunities are endless!
Staples hooked me up with some great products to get me started on this fantastic campaign!  I totally didn’t know that Staples even carried fitness equipment, but they have a wide variety of products.  Definitely check them out the next time you’re in the market for some new toys :)
getupandgo campaign
With my new Fitbit One (make sure to friend me!), Garmin Forerunner 15, Trademark Remedy compression sleeves, a Gaiam foam roller, and a Carrom Balance Board, I’m looking forward to the upcoming weeks!
Stayed tuned because one lucky reader will win their own Fitbit One!
I will update you each week on what I’m doing to #GetOutAndGo, and I already have a plan in place :) 
I hope you’ll participate in the #GetOutAndGo campaign throughout the month of February.  Make sure to use the hash tag anytime you exercise or are active and post on social media!
What are you doing to #GetOutAndGo?
Until next time,
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I received these products at no cost to me.  However, all thoughts and opinions are my own.