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Running update and what have you

I am finally back at it. I have just recovered from a crazy upper respiratory infection. i was getting worried about it because I have a half marathon this coming weekend. I ran a 5 k two weekends ago with the infection and it wasn’t that fun. (How could I turn down a free registration though!?)

Anyway, I did two runs this weekend and they weren’t too bad. Saturday I felt pretty great. I tried out 3/1 intervals and they seemed to work pretty well. I averaged about 13:06 min/mile. I even managed to run all the way up the massive hill of death at the park.  It wasn’t my fastest run but it would be enough to get me a PR at the half if I can hold that pace all race. I really want a PR on this one. It was the second half I ran and ended up being a 20 minute PR for me. This year’s will be my fourth half and I just want to come in under 3 hours.

Yesterday, i ran with my bff and she is just getting back into running. She’s a natural speed demon but we both struggled yesterday. The wind was awful. Leave it to us to go for a run in the middle of a dust storm warning. I thought we both did good. We averaged about 14 min/mile and I still think she did great despite her saying she didn’t. I was just happy to keep up with her!

There are some other things going on lately too. I am still going to personal training 3 times per week and it is going wonderfully. I love my trainer and I’m seeing massive differences. My biceps are more defined as are my shoulders, back, and triceps. Today she told me she could tell my knees were getting stronger due to the amount of weight we used in one of the sets. it was a weight I was never able to do before.

I have also started redoing my diet and started juicing. I’ll try to make some posts about those soon. I also have a review of my new Garmin planned.

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The Future of the Blog

Well Princess is over and I, unfortunately, do not have any new Disney races in the works right now. I have been debating on what to do with this blog now that the journey to Princess Weekend is over. I have come to the conclusion that I will keep writing here. It may be a hodge podge of different things. I have a variety of interests so I am going to expand my topics and see how it goes. 

Very Late Princess Recap: Half Marathon edition

Okay, I admit it. I have been slacking. I mean, I have been sick but I’ve also been completely slacking on everything except work and personal training. So here it is, my recap of my first ever Disney Half.

1:30 am I wake up on my own to avoid the whole flashlight in my face thing from the previous morning. Seriously thought i was about to be murdered. I’m dressed and ready, pacing a bit by around 2:10 am.

  
I was far more awake than I expected to be and I beat my running buddy to the lobby once again. My ChEAR squad was sleepily in tow. We boarded the bus first, once again at 3:00 am and were well on our way to the pre-starting area. More dance party and character meets ensued. My adrenaline was going and I was so beyond ready to get in the corrals.

   

 My running buddy was correct, we had to walk FOREVER to get to our corrals this time but it gave us something to do so I didn’t complain. Everyone was packing in and eagerly awaiting the fireworks to get us going. Miss America gave a short speech and they played the super cute video about dreaming big and the corral starts began.

   
 We had our planned stops for the run, which was less than for the 10k. We had two priorities the Heroes and the pirates. Beyond that, we just wanted to finish ahead of the balloon ladies. We saw the heroes early on before Magic kingdom and jumped in line. My heart was joyous when I saw Flynn Rider. He’s my favorite! We took that quick pic and were off. We ended up not seeing the pirates at all, sadly.

  
Running buddy needed quite a fe bathroom breaks and I took those times the get a good stretching in. Who knew hard hard it could be to do two races back to back, right? Haha yeah…

We ran through the gates to MK and passed the Contemporary resort. The first sign of the park itself that I remember was seeing Space Mountain. It was so neat to see it so early in the morning with oodles of princesses in running gear. Some midrun selfies and quick pictures of our view happened throughout the run. We photo bombed some characters to save time. (Aladdin and Abu, The Stepsisters, and our castle pic.)

   
    
    
    
    
    
   
Running through the castle was a lot easier than I was expecting. They did a great job of keeping a steady flow of runners and that was nice. Elsa, Anna, and Kristoff were standing on the balcony of the castle waving and talking to us as we passed. My running buddy shouted “Do you have any chocolate?” to Anna and Anna responded with “Chocolate?! Where?!” Which was pretty fun.

   
    
    
    
   
There was a lot of roadway and the two large hills toward the end but nothing horrible. they had  DJ at the beginning of one of the hills. My running buddy and I dance/ran and sang “Call me maybe” as we conquered that hill. It was the homestretch from there. I ran it in strong despite my severely aching feet. Hubby was texting me toward the end to tell me which side to stay toward so he could see us. When I came up to where he was, he had a surprise for me. He made me a sign and both he and our friend were yelling for us! There was nothing quite like crossing the finish line for the second time at Disney and going to collect our medals. I will admit it…I teared up.

In summary, I DID IT! I earned my Glass Slipper and proudly display them separately on my wall.

   

  

Enchanted 10K Recap

It’s taken me a while but I’m finally able and ready to give my recap of the Enchanted 10K. I asked our friend to make sure I didn’t oversleep. I’m not a morning person and getting up at 1:45 am sounded pretty daunting. That was not the best idea.

I woke to a light being shined directly in my eyes and a voice saying “Get up.” I seriously thought I was about to be murdered for a second. It did the trick, though. I was up and fully ready long before I was supposed to meet my new running buddy at 2:45 am. 

  
Rapunzel was surprisingly ready at this early in the morning. We all headed to the lobby of our resort to meet my new friend. That’s when we found out that the buses didn’t start running until 3:30 am not 3. We were the first ones on the very first bus. There was a lot of standing around to be done once we got to the race area.  

    
   
Plenty of time for pre-race photo ops. The lines for the characters got really long but we did jump in for a picture with Belle.  

 Then there was more standing before heading everyone toward the starting line. 

   
 It wasn’t too long before we set off. Seeing the fireworks for the corrals ahead of us really got me pumped up for the run ahead. It was fun seeing Elsa and Anna waving to us from the bridge 

   
We had most of our picture stops planned out for this run. We planned for most of the character photos to be in the 10K  with just a few in the Half. First up was Tink. I HAD to stop for her because she’s my favorite. I was so pumped to see it was Tink and Terence since I have never seen him in the parks. The line wasn’t too long but right as we got to the front they brought out new characters and I was afraid they were giving Tink a break. Nope! We lucked out and got Silvermist, Rosetta, Tink, AND Terence! 

  
We passed up meeting the Hag from Snow White and ventured on. We saw some neat stops along the way but felt they were ones we were okay with passing up. Soon, we were entering the World Showcase at Epcot. It was so gorgeous when we emerged from the backstage area. 

   
   
We were having a blast! It really didn’t feel half as tough as all the other 10ks I have ran in the past. The World Showcase was where the characters really got started. 

  
Pinocchio and Jimminy Cricket

  
We were surprised and super excited to see Lumiere and Cogsworth.We were one of the last few to get the pics with them. From there, we headed on toward the Boardwalk. We were greeted with warnings about the possibility of the area being slippery, which I was grateful for. Slippery surfaces and my crazy knees don’t mix well. We got another surprise….the Genie!! We had talked about getting him in the Half since that’s where my friend saw him last year. 

   
   
Apparently, this is my excited face. 

After that was the home stretch and finish line bound. I can’t tell you much about the mechanics of the course. I know there was a hill or two but I was having so much fun and there was so much going on that I really didn’t notice. Running through the finish line was great! 

We gratefully accepted our medals and snack boxes before reuniting with my boys. 

   
    
  

The boys had fun while we’re were gone too. No lines to hang out with the princesses. 

 

Princess Weekend Day 2: the Calm Before The Storm

Day 2 of the fabulous race weekend was a park day. We hit Ohana for breakfast. Hubby LOVES Stitch so we sprung for the extra meal. Plus they have that amazing juice. 

   
    
    
 
After O’hana we hit Hollywood Studios. We didn’t use hardly any of our fast passes because of the funkiness of the day. I managed to fudge a little on our reservations. We had breakfast at O’hana and an hour and a half later, we ate lunch at Sci-Fi Dine in Theater. Oops. I also had to leave for a meet up with one of the Facebook groups I was in. (I was sucked in by the pretty purple princess sash.) It took forever to get myself back due to the crazy situation with the bus rides to and from the resorts. By the time I returned to Hollywood Studios, I was in a near break down state. Pretty sure there were tears. 

I recovered quickly and we set out to do some of the fun things in the park. The guys were stoked to meet Kylo Ren. We got in line for it and they conversed about all the clever things they were going to say to him. 

Hubby repeatedly said he was going to ask what he was planning for Father’s Day and our friend was going to call him Matt. 

Yeah…none of that happened. They totally froze. He was pretty intimidating actually and grilled us about droids. At one point he got right in my face. It was a fun meet though!

   
   
We ended the night with a ride on the Rockin Roller Coaster then headed back to the resort to get some sleep before the early morning wake up for the 10K. I was incredibly sad that we didn’t get to see Fantasmic and, as much fun as the meet up was, I was a little sad I didn’t get more park time. 

Next up…Race day #1!

Princess weekend recap: Expo edition

So I am back to work in the reality of life and I am finally going to take a little time to relive the amazing experience I had for my first ever Princess Weekend. I’ll start with the fight to the death on day 1. (This may also be referred to as the expo.)

The first day of my trip was Wednesday, February 17 but that was mostly spent riding in the car or crummy gas stations for pee breaks. We drove until we were about 2 hours outside of Orlando then grabbed a cheap hotel. In fact, it was the same exact hotel we stayed at on the way down in October and has now been named the official hotel of the Neeley family Disney trips. It should be easy to remember. It’s the ONLY hotel for miles at this point in the trip. 

Anyway, I insisted that I make it to the expo by the time the doors opened. I preferred to be there before they opened and I planned to go straight to the Official Disney merchandise tent. I had great tips from posts here as well as on the Facebook groups and felt this was the best plan of action. 

We arrived just in time and I made a beeline for the Official merch. I really didn’t know what I was in for. I expected to see a ton of people and I expected to have the chance of things selling out quickly. I hadn’t bargained for the pushing, shoving, screaming mass I found myself in. 

   
   It was a mad dash for anything you wanted. You just needed to pray you picked the right size. I didn’t pray hard enough apparently because I ended up with a hoodie that was a size too small for me. It was all rectified thanks to the Facebook groups. 

   
 Although I did see people grabbing things from all directions and there was some poor usage of manners, I did not personally witness the alleged fight over the wine glass. I was lucky. I got pretty much everything I wanted. Wine glass and the much sought after Tervis water bottle included. Once I was done with that crazy area and I dropped more money than I care to remember (it’s what a princess does right?) I grabbed the hubby and friend and we left that mess. 
The area with the vendors had a lot more breathing room and slower pace. I looked around for a bit, bought myself a few shoe charms from Beecause shoe charms, and snagged a picture with Jeff Galloway.

  
I got in on the virtual queue for the New Balance shoes even though I just can’t run in New Balance shoes. I wasn’t sure if I would purchase a pair or not but I wanted to try them on anyway. I got a great time. 11am I headed over there after looking at the other vendors. (Really tough not to buy a new Sparkle skirt, just saying) We didn’t have to wait very long and we talked to some super nice ladies that gave me extra encouragement and info about the races. 

My turn came up and they snagged my size for me. Needless to say, those babies came home with me. 

  I don’t trust any shoes to run in other than my trusty Brooks because of my wonky knees but there was no way I could pass up Ariel shoes. They were super comfy to walk around the parks in though and I have toyed with the idea of displaying them on my running wall at home. 

The Glass Slipper packet pick up was much more laid back since it was in the other building. I opted not to look at the Dooney & Burkes because I knew I would probably end up forking that money over too. Overall, it was a success. It was crowded and everything but I expected that. We finished out the day by going to our resort before heading to Animal kingdom. 

Wait…It’s really over!?!

I went  MIA for a while again. Sorry peeps! Prepping for the race weekend was brutal as far as work and time goes so I didn’t have much of an opportunity to even read let alone write. Anyway, I have arrived back in dreary Arkansas and am taking the day to relax before work. I did survive the race and had an absolute blast. I plan to post recaps within the week! See you soon!

 

Exhaustion

It’s Friday. Oh thank heavens, it’s Friday. I’m off work. Productivity is done and all I have left is polishing off my paper work. I am thoroughly exhausted. It’s been a long day. My workouts at the gym this week have been killer.

I have put in plenty of hours at work and yesterday’s run as glorious. It was one of my faster times. 11:10 min/mile. Not quite the Flash yet but still better than I was last year! I am just about two weeks away from Princess weekend. (Two weeks from today I will be enjoying an adult beverage at Hollywood studios and hanging with Kylo Ren.)

Corrals are in and I am pretty happy with my placement. I will be in corral H and I’m good with that! I look forward to meeting the awesome people I have made connections with via the Facebook groups. I’m staring down the weekend that involves 7 miles tomorrow and 14 Sunday. That’s possibly the most distance I have ever done in a single weekend and I have no idea where those will take place.

I think the biggest exhaustion comes from the fact that I had a minor heart attack this morning after the workout when hubby called to say he couldn’t find our oldest dog. This dog was my dog before hubby and I even talked marriage. We pretty much got him together but I spent hours training him, taking him to the vet, and he cuddled with me every night when I was sleeping alone in my apartment. I looked all over the neighborhood. Called my best friend. Cried my eyes out. Luckily, I was able to regain composure and think about calling Animal Control.

He had been found the previous night and a lovely couple had taken him home for the night. I was so relieved to have him back that I took him to the pet store and bought him a doggy cake.

 

 

Tiny biceps and nerves

Yesterday I rested and today I did personal training with the awesome Mallorye. As I did bicep curls she tells me “Hey there’s a bicep there!” I looked in the mirror and, sure enough, there was a little baby bicep. Guess this sticking to a routine thing actually CAN work! Seriously though, I love personal training and it’s helped my running in both physical and confidence. I feel better. I feel stronger. I tell myself I can and WILL complete the Glass Slipper Challenge.

I’m still nervous. I have both my skirts in and the tanks from raw threads are on their way. I will either do the assigned 5 and 14 mile runs this weekend or I will do the 10k and half run through in costume. I still want a few props ( an apple and a headband for Snow and a toy frying pan for Punzie..if the new rules will allow those.) but I am mostly ready. We set out for Florida in exactly two weeks!

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