Back to the Beginning – Happy New Year’s Eve 2018

Wow!! All I can say is…WOW! Where did 2018 go???? I feel like I just started writing a post for 2017 going INTO 2018. I kind of fell of the radar a bit this year from the Blogosphere. I’m not really sure I have a good explanation, but I know #MomLife is busy! This is truly the definition of mishaps in my life. 3M for LIFE!

I started this blog 5 years ago, this month! I want to say my first post was right around NYE, so this time of year is always a little bit more special for me. It is always fun to look back and see the year brought me. I can’t say that I had an overly exciting 2018, but I did have a few things to share…..

I completed my FIRST half marathon in April . I was EXTREMELY afraid to do this distance, I am not going to lie! I was convinced by my running friends from Junior High (YES!!! You read that correctly….JUNIOR HIGH!). See, we have participated in the Star Wars run in previous years. This year was year #3, so “we” decided to do the challenge. WHAT is the challenge, you ask? Friday-5k; Saturday-10k; Sunday-Half. Sounds doable, right? Sounds like a piece of cake, right? #thatsaNO. 5 and 10k days were fine, but Sunday rolled around and for the first time in a LONG time….I was afraid. What did I possible get myself in to, that I know I can’t possibly get myself out of?? I set a goal for 3 hours, because I honestly had NO clue what to expect. I prepared, using my Nike+ running app, however my longest run was only 9 miles! (good ol’ #MomLife getting in the way!) . Many told me, even the guy on the bus ride back from the 10k, told me not to worry! He/they were right! I mean, I am by NO means supporting lack of preparation to complete a race…it’s just for me…it WAS enough. Given working full time, 2 active kiddos, and being a commuter, I figured it had to be enough. I found myself very emotional at mile 12. This is when I realized…in my best Shalane Flanagan voice…that I.WAS.DOING.THIS!! (she used some other words, but folks, I gotta keep it family friendly! LOL🤣)

Happiness and SUCCESS!

I FINALLY got under 30 minutes for a 5k!! I still don’t know how the hell that happened…but I did it! My sister and I ran a Turkey Trot this year in Haymarket, VA. We’ve done this race before…and as per usual…she kicked my a**! This chick even HATES running! Don’t you LOVE to HATE people like her??

We got up on a VERY cold Virginia morning – 27 degrees to be EXACT- and went for a run. I felt good..and I figured to day was going to be a decent race. I’ve gotten past the pressure I put on myself to ALWAYS be good. I have some good races, I have some bad races, but this one, I would consider a GREAT race. First mile, Nike+ tells me “Distance, one mile; average pace 8:58 per mile”. Ummm, excuse me? Did the cold get to my watch? Did the weather freeze my brain to point of no comprehension? Did my AirPods magically sync with someone else’s watch? These are all plausible explanations to ME, other than I actually did a mile in 8 FREAKING 58! By the time I had completely registered my brain around that first mile, seems as if the race was done! Chip time- 28:41 (Pace of 9:14/mile). I HAVE NOT seen a pace or time like this in a YEAR!! I will keep plugging along and working hard to see that time again!

The Faster Sister, The Turkey, and Me!

My diet FINALLY made sense to me! I decided after training for the half (and after a trip…more to come on that) that I needed to do something about my eating. I am very active and I know that you can’t run or work out enough to compensate for a bad diet. You are fooling yourself that you can…and once I realized that…it began to change for me. My husband was my inspiration, really. He has LOST 100 pounds and has managed to KEEP it off for 2 years! I decided to try the plan Hubs did, called Ideal Protein. It is a medically supervised ketogenic diet that has taught me so much about nutrition. *****DISCLAIMER: While I am a health professional, I am simply expressing my OWN opinions on a plan that worked for me. Anyone that may be considering starting ANY diet plan/program should consult their medical provider prior to initiation. This is NOT an advertisement and I have not been compensated for my opinions in this post.****** . I learned how to balance the macronutrients (carbohydrates, proteins, and fats) and how my body can utilize it for weight loss. I scaled back on my running, sticking to just interval training walking on the DREADmill and strength training, while I was on the plan. Let me say, plan, as in what I had to follow and learned to maintain. This is NOT a quick fix, but a lifestyle change. Maybe I will do another post of the plan and how I am living now. But I will tell you, that I lost the pesky 20 pounds that have been paying for homeownership on my body since I turned 40, almost 7 years ago! You may not see the difference from my pictures above…but trust me..it is there!

What I have also seen is my running is different. You do not realize how 20 pounds affects your body. Outside of the cold…that probably why my butt moved fast at my last 5k in VA! 🤣

I placed in a race. Yep… you read that right! 3M over here placed in her AG! I did the Santa’s Run for Our Kids in Winter Haven, FL. This race is special to me because it was my FIRST 10k 3 years ago. I missed it last year, but I couldn’t wait to do this event this year. Mostly because it my friend’s FIRST 10k and I wanted to be there to share the experience with her. I was able to cut 3 minutes off of my last 10k and I missed getting under 1 hour by 2 MINUTES!! (Chip time 1:02..ugh!). My friend came in 20 seconds behind me! I had another friend that swore she heard my name when they were announcing awards. I told her to not worry, because that NEVER happens! Come to find out…it actual does happen! Now..before you get all excited for me..there were only 6 in my AG! So, throwing confetti and streamers in a parade for me is a liiiiiiiiitle much but I’ll take the win!

Spain…here I come! I could probably do an entire SERIES of posts on this trip. Hubs and I got to visit the Andalusia region of Spain this year. As a matter of fact, it was right after my half marathon. This trip was nothing short of PERFECTION!

Granada- view from Alhambra
Alhambra- Granda
Ronda
The Gorge-Ronda
Christopher Columbus’ tomb- Seville

Suffice to say, this was a trip of a lifetime! These pictures are only a small sample of all the wonder and glory of this beautiful country.

I went to my first OrangeTheory Fitness class. I’ve wanted to try this class since my sister started going about a year ago. I am always looking to try something new, like when I tried Pure Barre in 2017. I have to say…I loved it! I have only been with my sister twice- once on vacation in Hilton Head Island and during Turkey Day break in Gainesville, VA. It.is.EVERYTHING! I like the interval training and it mixes the workout up, so there is no room for boredom. They use treadmills, rowers, free weights, TRX and floor exercises in each class depending on the type of class (strength, endurance, etc). There are two OTF in my two, which I am equidistant from both facilities. The question is…when can I get there again???

The OTF guru (ie my sis) and Me

J got his license! This is another one of my “OMG’ moments in parenthood, when your baby can now LEGALLY drive a car, on his or her own! He received his license the DAY BEFORE his junior year of high school. He has been driving to school on his own (a little bit more every day), but I am still a nervous wreck! Who said they could grow so fast???

Stop growing so FAST!!!

I am sure that there are some other things that happened in 2018 that I have no doubt forgot, but these are the special ones that come to mind!

Tell me….what have you been up to this year???

I want to wish you all a Happy and Healthy 2019! I can’t wait to see what is in store for us all!! #cheers

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My First Time

Hello out there! It’s been a while since we last chatted about life, and miles, and mishaps,huh? Looks like DECEMBER was my last post! Ugh….! Life’s mishaps for you! 😏.

So, this “first time” I speak of is NOT what you think…but I did get your attention, right? I am talking about my first half marathon!

Never…never….NEVER in a million years on this planet did I ever imagine I would do 13.1 miles of running. 13.1 miles of driving? Sure! 13.1 miles of traveling? Absolutely! 13.1 miles of running, intentionally and no one is hurt or chasing me? Never thought so! Guess I fooled myself! 😂.

After my good friends from Junior High (yep…I’m that old because they call in Middle School now!) and I ran the Disney Star Wars 5k and 10k last year, one of my friend’s says “Let’s do the Challenge next year!” I was like…”SURE! Let’s do it!” Sign ups came…and I signed up for the Star Wars Challenge, which is the 10k and Half Marathon. I also wanted to do the 5k, as well, so I basically gave Disney all of my money for the Star Wars Weekend 😏. Now this sounds all fine and dandy when you sign up a year (or less) in advance. As I started training, still hadn’t hit me. The holidays came and went….hadn’t hit me. January and February…nope! March…uh uh. April showed up and I couldn’t BELIEVE I was going to do a half marathon! Apparently, I’m a little slow to the game! What made this half even more scary for me was that I was running the 5k and the 10k prior to the half! I know…I know…I’m crazy! Let me just give you a glimpse of how crazy I am…

Friday (5k):@”

3 am wake up to be on the bus by 3:30. Why??? The buses don’t run after 4 am to assure everyone is at the park and in their corrals for the start.

I don’t do costumes but I do like funny shirts….#truth

My time was ok, but I honestly don’t do the Disney races for time because of the amount of people, participants in costume and the numerous photo op stops. #5kDONE

This MEDAL,though!!!

Me, Kim, and Terri (the infamous “Let’s do the Challenge” friend! 😂). ❤️ them !!

Didn’t have to wait TOO long for Kylo Ren this year!

Saturday (10k):

Same obnoxious 3 am wake up to make the bus. It still sucked! But the funny shirt made me feel better….

My time was a bit slower than I wanted but considering it was a whole racing weekend, I didn’t give it much thought!

It was a really easy 10k. I honestly didn’t feel a struggle at all during the run. I kept an even pace (slower than I would have liked honestly) and just ran. The medals just keep getting better and better….

I went to bed after a nice meal and the nerves really began to settle in. I was nervous, anxious, and scared about this race. I haven’t felt this way about any race in a very long time. My friends, Terri and Kim, helped to keep me calm. Hubs reminded me that I was here to have a good time and to just run my own race.

Sunday (half marathon):

Yep…same 3 am wake up! Sheesh…3 days in a row! If that ain’t the definition of crazy, what is? Oh… running 3 races in 3 days…that’s all kinds of nuts!

I found out one of my favorite bloggers from Tampa was running the half as well! In the blogosphere, you get to know people but maybe don’t get to meet them in person. I was beyond excited to finally meet Denise from RunDMT! (check out her blog…she’s AMAZING!)Denise (aka BB-8), Me, and Terri

What did I think about the half?

I went into this race with (self imposed) expectations of how I should run. I felt as if I didn’t belong here because I am not a “real runner”. I was worried because my girlfriend had done so many half marathon races that I would almost embarrass her attempting to do the same. I was scared that I was setting this goal and that I would fail. I always wondered what do you think about for 13.1 miles?! How could possibly not feel like you are going to die at any moment??

Once I started, all of that crap went right out the window. I got into my groove, I found my pace and I ran my race! I knew that I’d be fine at the 10k mark because I like this distance. #myJAM. It’s what came after that I was worried about….but it never showed up! I just kept running my race and before I knew it, I crossed the 15k mark. At that point, I grabbed some water mixed with some Powerade (yellow…not that yucky blue one!) ate a few Sport Beans and kept.going. Before I knew it, I crossed the 20k mark. That’s when it became REAL for me! That mark was 12.4 miles and I had less than a mile and then I was done! Tears people…TEARS! This is when I realized I had accomplished a goal that I never thought I would!! I crossed that finish line like I knew I was winning a gold medal in the Olympics! I had my Shalane Flanagan NYC Marathon “**** yeah” moment! 😂I was so happy to have done this race and I got to share it with my friends!!! (I think Kim took the picture and that’s why she isn’t here! 😢)

These medals!!! The half marathon medal is the Storm Trooper and Kylo Ren…yeah…he’s the Challenge medal! #yeaBABY

What an emotional weekend that honestly I would do again in a heartbeat! I never thought I would say it, but I am looking forward to my next half marathon…hopefully, this year! (Who is this and what have you done with Angie??)

Thanks for reading and sharing this experience with me!

What have YOU been up to lately???

May the COURSE be with you, 31782!

YES!!! I was finally here!!!! The Inaugural Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend.  This race weekend, I opted for the 10k.  This is a distance that I really enjoy and haven’t had the opportunity to run in about a year (insert and see #onearmbandit posts from December!!).  I was nervous and excited and being at the Health and Fitness Expo just made it all too real!!

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The 3 day Health and Fitness Expo was located at ESPN Wide World of Sports IMG_8974
..and you could FEEL the force the minute you entered the property!!! The 5k was earlier on Friday morning, so you could already see some of the cool bling and tech shirts walking around.  Kind of made me wish I did the 5k too!

We made our way on in to pick up my swag bag…IMG_8970

You see how BUSY it is!!! There are SO many people!!!

 

 

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Who the HECK is Angela?? Am I in trouble or something???

There were so many people, but everything flowed well because of all the volunteers and Disney cast members. I got my race number and off we went to walk around the Expo.

I am thinking some one else was just as excited as I was to be there!!!

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It sure IS!!!!

 

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Kylo Ren is his MAN!!!

 

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Wise words, Master Yoda!!!

 

I had to resist the Dark FORCE to NOT buy anything at any of the vendors! And let me tell you…that was HARD!!! I don’t do that…that’s just not normal!! I did manage to convince Hubs to stay around a little and get some photos. He’s NOT the biggest Star Wars fan; he doesn’t hate it, but doesn’t really understand the FANdemonium, either! But that’s ok, because Aidan was with me, and he got it…

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See what I mean???? #Vader77 #OGVillan

After hanging out at the Expo, we went to check in at our hotel. There were MANY people signed up for the all of the races this weekend and therefore many road closures. For transportation to the race, it was suggested to stay on a Disney property. Hubs surprised me by making reservation at the ONE Disney hotel that I have always wanted to stay…..

Grand Floridian

This place is BEYOND magical!!!

 

We stayed in Building 8….BOCA CHICA

YAY!!!

 

The hotel is reminiscent of Old Florida, like the times of Henry Flagler, John Rockefeller, and the like (see St.Augustine,FL ).  It was like stepping into a time warp, in a good way!!  All of the buildings are named after some of the  barrier islands in Florida.  The kids had a great time at the pool and we had a wonderful dinner at one of the restaurants on property.   We had an early evening because I had to get up early to catch the bus to the start.

How early did you ask???

DAMN!! That's early.....

DAMN!! That’s early…..

Yep…you read it right…3:10 AM to catch the bus at 3:30 AM.  All race participants needed to board the buses no later than 4 AM in order to get to the corral for the race start at 5:30 AM.  I was at Epcot by 4:15 AM, cleared the security, and hung around a little.  I managed to meet up with a high school friend, Kim, that I hadn’t seen in 20 years.  She was there with some friends to celebrate a 40th birthday.  It was so good to see her and catch up as we walked to our race corral.  (See you Kim for our NEXT 10k…but a lot sooner, please!!).  I was in corral C and trust me when I say, the ‘corral police‘ made sure you were where you were supposed to be!!  You can move back a corral (or two) but you can’t move up!  There were a total of 6 corrals (A-F) and we all started in waves.  The first wave was the Wheelchair racers at 5:29 AM and Corral A starting at 5:30 AM; each corral after that was at 3 minutes intervals. My corral came up…the countdown began…

....and GO!!!!

….and GO!!!!

The course took to the back part of Epcot and eventually through the park itself, by the World Showcase.  Hi Canada, Hi United Kingdom!!!     Down the Boardwalk and then we got to Hollywood Studios.  I paid close attention because I’ve never been there before!  I must come back and see it…in the LIGHT OF DAY!!  3 miles in…I’m feeling pretty good!

Between miles 3 and 4 brought some unexpected hills, which we all know I LOATHE!  You know when you are at a park, and you have that slight up hill walk to get to the next attraction? Yeah, well try and RUN that a few times!  #notFUN .  Some where along the way, we made it out onto the street (more like the highway) and we had to run up an on ramp (or down ramp, I can’t remember).  I was NOT prepared for this uphill battle and the force (ie my big behind) forced me into surrendering….to walk!  This slowed me down some, but I wasn’t the only one.

Mile 5 was approaching and I think I kinda felt like him….

 

Angry Darth Maul!

Angry Darth Maul!

 

I felt like I was further than this…but I wasn’t!  1.2 mile left!  A huge movie screen greeted us with scenes from The Return of the Jedi, when Princess Leia is riding through the forest, racing and battling the Stormtroopers.  That scene led us to the rocky, cross country like path that began the ending of the race (wasn’t prepared for THAT either!).  There were props from the movie to pose with, but I…..kept going!  As we entered towards the finish at ESPN Wide World of Sports, it started to sprinkle a little and that made me go faster! (I really don’t like running in the rain!!).

Official Time : 1:15.26

1353 out of 6919 Women       

3533 out of 12169 finishers

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My new BLING!!

A close up of the bling….

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I wasn’t in love with my time, but considering the course that I was completely unprepared for, I was ok.  Additionally, I hadn’t done the 10k distance in over a year, so considering this, I was ok.  I just have to do the distance again AND get some speed/hill work going!!!  As much as I hate hills, I know my time would be a little better had I been prepared.

 

NIce tech shirt, huh??

Nice tech shirt, huh??

Opinions on the race, as a whole?

My likes:

  • I thought the race was very well organized.  I had heard many “minuses” but I found it to be the opposite.  From the transportation to the start and finish, to the line up in the corrals, and to the ON TIME start….it all went so well!!
  • Fun with LOTS of costumes and people watching GALORE!!
  • You get to see the “behind the scenes” of the parks when all is shut down.  It was kind of neat being in the park when the “MAGIC” was off!
  • The after race photos with your medal(s).
  • The post race snacks were yummy!!
  • ...and I was HUNGRY!!!

    …and I was HUNGRY!!!

My dislikes:

  • I’m not really sure WHY this race was $110. I mean, this shirt and the medal were awesome. It was cool to have my name on my bib, but was ALL of this worth that price tag? #welcometoDISNEY
  • It’s not really a race that you can PR.  Many people stop to take pictures with the characters, mile markers(see above), and Star Wars props/memorabilia.  It was a little distracting, but I kept on running. You can do all this IF you keep up your pace (16 min/mile maximum).
  • The course was a little off for me…the hills and the rugged terrain.  I didn’t hate it, but I didn’t love it either (but I would race it again!!)

Oh…I forgot!  My outfit!!  I went with my favorite droid, R2D2

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…and it has a HOOD, too!!!

I told you it would be anticlimactic and it paled in comparison to some of the costumes and original outfits, but I was happy with it!

I had such a great weekend, and now I can see why everyone loves to runDisney.

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Well, Mickey…add me to the list, because next year 10k…you WILL be mine!!! #maytheCOURSEbewithyou

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Congrats to all of you who participated in any and ALL of the races this weekend!!!  

Thanks for reading! ❤

What events did YOU do this weekend??

T-minus…

…2 days and counting!  To what, you ask??

 Yes,folks…it is almost here!  No…not the movie (which I DID buy the DVD last week)…the Star Wars Race Weekend at Disney.   

 I’m going to run the 10k on Saturday.  This is my first Disney race, so I’m excited and nervous all wrapped together.    Like most of the themed races, costumes are encouraged (with rules of course!). I’ll  give you a hint of who I’m leaning towards… 

Cute, ain’t he?? Wonder how many R2D2s there will be?? Can’t wait to show you what I have to wear. Warning: it may be some what anticlimactic for you as a reader considering what some may wear. But I’m still excited! 

The expo started today, which I won’t be able to get to until tomorrow.  This is when I pick up my race packet and see all the stuff I want to buy and take home! 😂 I’ll be able to bring you some info on the expo tomorrow. #excited

The race weekend includes:

  • 5k on Friday 
  • 10k on Saturday 
  • Half marathon on Sunday

Whew!!!!

I’m staying on Disney property this weekend with the fam, so getting to the race will not be challenging.    They have free bus transportation to and from the race because I hear that parking is no bueno and there are several road closures, as well. #ainthavingTHAT

Can’t wait to bring you all that is Disney racing from this weekend.  May the Force be with You! 

Anybody else Disney racing this weekend??