Friday, January 30, 2015

Dee Runs Disney (Part 2)

Thursday morning we got up pretty early, hit the Sassagoula Floatworks and Food Factory for some breakfast, and grabbed the bus to the Disney Health & Fitness Expo at the ESPN Wild World of Sports complex. I had no idea what to expect there, but it was pretty cool. I picked up my race bib and t-shirt, and they had lots of running goodies. Poor Jay was completely bored out of his mind as I dragged him from booth to booth. I had no idea how many cool running gadgets, accessories, etc. were out there! It was a runner's paradise for sure. We stopped for some photo ops and then set off for Epcot.   

My one major complaint about the Expo was all the walking. Walking from the bus to the complex, walking back and forth between the buildings, walking back to the bus... it was exhausting! Next year we must plan better! More time up front and after to properly rest the legs! 

Anyway, off to Epcot we go! We had a pretty good day there. We had planned our Fast Passes in advance, so we hit up Mission Space first, the Soarin' (which we hadn't been able to get on in our last 3 trips!) and then we hit the character spot and had some pics taken :) 

The best part about being there without the kids was that we didn't have to rush anywhere! We weren't being pulled in 5 different directions, so we were able to take our time. We used that time to wait an hour to ride Test Track, which would have been a nightmare with the kids!!! Then we took  a very slow stroll through World Showcase and actually wandered through every single country, which I haven't done since I was a kid! It was so much fun!



Of course, my favorite stop was the good ol' US of A!!!

Funnel Cakes!!!

We finished off the night with the most delicious dinner in Japan, at Teppen Edo. It was a wonderful hibachi style meal with a very talented and funny chef, and a very friendly family from Indiana who were celebrating the engagement of one child and the college graduation of another. Dinner ended just in time for the fireworks show, and then we headed back to the Port Orleans. Hollywood Studios was on the agenda for the next day! 

Our plan was to hit Toy Story Midway Mania as soon as the park opened and get that long wait out of the way, then head off to take care of our fast passes. It must have been only ten minutes past 9 by the time we got over there but the wait was already over an hour!!! That ride is insane. So we set off to do some of the smaller stuff while we waited for our fast pass times. They were scheduled one right after the other so we rode Star Tours, Tower of Terror, & Rock 'n' Roller Coaster (MY MOST FAVORITE RIDE EVER!!!) pretty much back to back. I still haven't purchased my Disney photopass pics yet, but when I do I'll post our pic from Tower of Terror. It is priceless. I am screaming like a mad woman, I look like a lunatic really, and Jay is just looking at me, laughing hysterically. This pic pretty much sums up a day in the life of "us". 

We used our extra fast pass to ride Star Tours a second time because everything else was sold out. In our travels we noticed the wait for Toy Story was down to 45 minutes so we jumped on that and waited. We also hadn't been able to get on this ride in our last 3 trips, so we were determined. I decided after that I don't think it's worth the wait, but hopefully now I'll remember for next time! 

After that we decided to basically see every show in the place, another feat that is next to impossible with 5 kids in tow. We saw Indiana Jones, Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid, and the Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show. The only things we missed were Frozen & American Idol. I couldn't believe how fast that day flew and before we knew it, it was time for our pre-race dinner! We hit up Mama Melrose's Ristorante Italiano for some pasta & meatballs. 

3 am was right around the corner, so right after dinner we headed back to the Port Orleans & grabbed my runner's box (breakfast: bagel, PB, granola bar, banana, water). I hit the shower quickly and then laid out flat me. Flat me is basically every single thing I need to put on for a race. You would think that some things are obvious, but I am terribly forgetful, so I lay every single thing out. All the basic attire including my Brooks Adrenaline GTS 14's,  plus my Garmin GPS watch & heart rate monitor, Glide, iPod Nano & super cool new headphones, Flip Belt (for my phone, inhaler, tissues, snacks & ID), headband, race bib and pins. 

I was fairly satisfied that I had everything, so I hit the sack.


I was asleep a little before 9 pm if I had to guess. I had a little trouble settling down, but I still ended up with a little more than 6 hours sleep. 

The Mickey Mouse Clubhouse theme song woke me up at 3 am on the dot. I could hardly believe that the day I had been working so hard for over the past year had finally arrived! 

Stay tuned for my recap of the big day, the WDW Half Marathon!


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Thursday, January 29, 2015

Dee runs Disney! (Part 1)

As many of you know, I took up running 2 years ago. 

I had reached my Weight Watchers weight goal a few months before and I was looking for a new way to challenge myself and aid in me maintaining my weight. When I first started out, my goal was simply to run the Marianne Volpe Pumpkin 5k & Fun Run - a local 5K that honors my late cousin Mary, the proceeds from which go to the Leukemia and Lymphoma society. In the beginning I used the C25K app on my phone, a program which uses a combination of walking and running to gradually build up to running a full 5k. I found that the app worked great for me and I completed the program on time with success in a full (albeit slow) 5k. I ran that entire summer, and I was totally ready for the 5k that October. When I crossed that finish line it was like nothing I had ever experienced before, and I was hooked!

I started looking for other small races to run locally, and I really enjoyed my training. 

Last January, after seeing a friend posting from Walt Disney World, where her husband had just run a half marathon, I decided that would be my next goal. "I can do that", I thought... "I never thought I could run one mile, but I had been running 3.1 for past year, so why not? Right?" Who wouldn't want to run through the most magical place on earth???

I spoke to Jay, and went to work on putting my plan in motion. Registration didn't open until April, so I had 3 months to secure some funds and try to find a babysitter for M. Thankfully, because I have the most amazing Dad ever, he agreed to pay my registration fee as my birthday gift for last year, and to watch M for half of our stay!!! Yippee!!! 

Now we just had to wait for the registration to open and hope I could get in. Good news! I did!!!

I was really daunted by the task of running 13.1 miles. How does one run 10 miles more than they're used to? I wasn't even sure where to start... I did some asking around, and decided I would try the Galloway method, which RunDisney shares on their website. It uses run/walk intervals to maintain stamina and put less wear and tear on your joints. According to their schedule, training should start in September, but I was so nervous that I started training in July. I ran 2 short runs during the week and every weekend I would run a mile longer than the weekend before. Every week I thought it would be so much harder than the week before, but it really wasn't. Some training days were better than others, but I was able to just push through. 

As the summer came to a close I began to panic about my placement for the WDW Half. I had heard if you don't submit a legit time, they place you in the last corral. Now, I'm not a fast runner, but I'm not that slow either. I had been averaging between 10 - 11 minutes on all my training runs, so I didn't want to be at the back of the pack. I had to decide if I wanted to run a longer race and use that time for corral placement, and it had to be in by 10/15/14. "What should I do?" I was definitely trained for it. My body was ready to go. So, I registered, extremely last minute, for the Run like a Diva Half Marathon at a local park for 10/5/14. 

It was unbelievable! Somehow I finished, in spite of my nerves, with a pretty awesome first time PR of 2:28:33. I was so proud of myself not only for finishing, but for getting in under 2.5 hours. I felt like since I had one under my belt, now I could really enjoy the WDW Half when the time came. I submitted my time to RunDisney and actually ended up with a fairly decent corral placement of I - pretty much halfway through the pack. 

I kept up my longer runs on the weekends all through the fall, and thankfully we had some really warm weekends in December where I was able to get some road time in. The problem came when I got sick in December with a virus that I just couldn't (and still can't) seem to shake. I went to the doctor right away because I knew we were getting close to crunch time. She told me it was an upper respiratory infection and gave me two rounds of a Z-pack. I ended up taking them both because, while I felt a little bit better, it was still not good. I was still having trouble breathing, terrible head aches and severe exhaustion. I was getting pretty nervous about all the not feeling well. It's pretty difficult to run when you can't breathe! 

Before we knew it, it was time to leave! I don't fly well to begin with, and I was nervous about leaving M. We knew the boys would be fine, but this was the first time we were leaving our girl for an extended period of time. 

Anxiously waiting to board...

...and trying not to freak out before we take off!!!

Thankfully the flight out was smooth, and we landed on time. By the time we got the Magical Express to the hotel & checked in it was almost 11 pm. We hit the sack right away because I couldn't wait to hit the Expo the next day and get started at Epcot!!! 

Waiting for the Magical Express!!!!

Magical Express ride :)

Port Orleans - French Quarter 

Tomorrow, we go to Epcot!!!!

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Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Life Lately...

I thought about doing a holiday recap, but our Christmas was pretty much the same as it always is. We argue with the ex about what time we're picking up the boys, run the kids back and forth, eat, open gifts, run around some more, open more gifts, eat again.... pretty standard stuff. 

I will say this: I'm really so sick of arguing about the pick - up time every. single. year. "The agreement says 11 am. No you cannot have an extra hour. IMO, 11 is already too late as it is, considering you live an hour away and especially since you refuse to ever compromise and let them stay with us on Christmas Eve."  
That's right folks, my daughter has never woken up on Christmas morning with all four of her brothers. Not one single time. Every year we ask and every year she says no and then expects Jay to go out there later than the scheduled time to pick them up so her parents can have breakfast with them. Ummm, no. They just saw them at Christmas Eve dinner 12 hours ago. Give me a break. For once. 

I would just love to have at least one picture from a Christmas morning where I have all 5 of my kids together. Is that too much to ask???

Okay.... end rant. Now for a couple of cute Xmas pics before I move on to 2015 :)

Me and my love <3

Being goofy with my sis and nephew :)

This is the scene every Christmas morning. Baby M opens all her gifts by herself and when R is with us (not at his dad's) he has to wait until his brothers arrive. This is by far one of the things I hate most about the blended family. I do not like to share, and I hate that my kids are missing out on these priceless moments with each other :(

The gang's all here... even the dog! Love my family :)

We've been pretty busy since the start of the new year. Jay and I kicked it off with a trip to Walt Disney World, where I ran the WDW Half Marathon!!!! It was our first real vacation without the kids since our honeymoon 5 years ago. It was AMAZING!!! We had the best time and the RunDisney experience was beyond my wildest dreams. I will be doing a whole separate post on that shortly. 

Baby M started dancing lessons 2 weeks ago, which is also super exciting!!! She had SO much fun and is already talking about the recital :) I can't believe our baby girl is growing up so fast!!! 

As many of you know I have been a Beach Body coach for a little while now, so I've also been working on growing that business (if you have any questions regarding Beach Body you can check out my link or email me at With that also comes more work on my own healthy lifestyle, especially since I've been having a bit of a hard time with that after the holidays and our vacation. The winter always depresses me. I feel more hungry and less motivated to work out and get moving. I also don't run outside in the very cold temps because of my asthma, and I really miss running! 

2 of my favorite clean meals: spinach salad with cut up lean beef burgers and rotisserie chicken
with 1/2 baked sweet potato and steamed or grilled veggies!

Post InsanityMax 30 Sweat Intervals

One last major development... we got a new addition to our family!!! We rescued a kitty from the animal rescue shelter that my mother-in-law volunteers at. We thought maybe a friend would help Guinness come out of his shell a little and help him feel better. It hasn't really helped too much in terms of him making a mess, but he does seem to be happy to have her and more interactive with the family again. She is so sweet and cuddly and so great with the kids! They all love her so much already! 

Meet Miss Lily

She loves her new girly bed <3

... and her new brothers and sister, even the feline one!

One last thing.... This guy made his violin debut last week at his very first orchestra concert!!!! We couldn't be more proud of our little budding musician! Now we've got one violinist, one drummer, one guitarist, and one singer... Maybe they'll form a band and make us rich!!!

Stay tuned for D & J take on WDW Marathon Weekend & Happy Wednesday Ya'll!

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