Running in Costume at a runDisney Event

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2014 Disney Princess Half Marathon

I’ve been running in runDisney events since January 2009, but the first time I wore a costume was for the 2013 Princess Half Marathon weekend.  I wouldn’t necessarily call it a costume – it was a tutu with a tiara!  However, adding this new element of dress up to the weekend heightened my excitement for runDisney races!

2013 Disneyland Half Marathon

2013 Disneyland Half Marathon

So should you dress up for a runDisney race?  You don’t have to, but it really makes the races more fun!  Here are some of my favorite photos from my runDisney races.

2014 WDW Half Marathon

2014 WDW Half Marathon

Here are my top tips for running in costume at a runDisney event:

Know the “official rules –  Per the runDisney website, “Are you allowed to wear a costume in runDisney races?  Yes, however, your costume cannot include a face mask. Anyone seen in violation of this will be removed from the course. If your costume is questionable or offensive to others, we reserve the right to either have you change into something more appropriate or remove you from the event.”

2014 Neverland 5K

2014 Neverland 5K

Begin your planning early:  Costumes take time to sew, purchase, and put together.  The more people you include, the more time you’ll need.  runDisney has an entire blog series dedicated to costumes.  Here you can see photos for the Princesses, Maleficent and The Evil Queen.

2013 Tower of Terror 10 Miler

2013 Tower of Terror 10 Miler

Look for inspiration:  Go Google runDisney Running Costumes!  There are so many websites and blogs that are dedicated to runDisney.  Here are a few of my favorites:  According to Kelly and   This Momma Makes Stuff Snow White Tutorial  This Momma Makes Stuff Sleeping Beauty Tutorial - I made and wore both these costumes at the 2014 Princess Half Marathon Weekend 5K and 10K.  Here’s  some more from my runDisney inspiration Pinterest Board.

2013 Jingle Jungle 5K

2013 Jingle Jungle 5K

Remember you are going to be RUNNING:  I’ve seen many fancy costumes tossed to the side of the road during a race.  I don’t run in my costume prior to the race, but I do make sure my costumes are made to withstand a half marathon and that means using tech light-wicking fabrics.  If sewing isn’t your thing, my favorite one-stop shop is Sparkle Athletic.  Another is Sparkle Skirts and Raw Threads.  Remember these vendors will be at the runDisney expo so if you decide the last minute to dress up – you will have options!

2013 Disneyland 5K

2013 Disneyland 5K

Try it out:  I don’t do a test run, but I do sit, go to the bathroom, get dressed myself in my costume prior to race day.  No one, and this includes your family, wants to help you into your costume at 3am.  It’s best you can do it yourself – family members then to be cranky at 3 in the morning….

2014 Disney Princess 5K

2014 Disney Princess 5K

Don’t stress:  runDisney is supposed to be for fun – remember you can always purchase a costume!!!  Some of my favorites include iGlowRunning, ThisPrincessRuns,  and Harvester Products.  Don’t forget about online costume shops like Spirit Halloween and Amazon.com

2013 Tower of Terror 10 Miler

2013 Tower of Terror 10 Miler

 What are some of your favorite places to find runDisney costumes?  What’s the best costume you have seen on-course? 

Breast Cancer at 41: You’re Not Crazy But…

I share this because I believe going to a therapist is not a sign of weakness.  To me it is a sign you acknowledge help is needed.  I think it is very strong and brave to realize you need help.  I hope that this helps someone who might need the confidence to ask for help. 

During my last check-up with my medical oncologist, we were reviewing my status – both mental & physical.  After my hysterectomy on February 25, 2014 I had felt relatively fine, actually good as my blood levels had slowly gone back to normal levels.  However, once I was placed on Anatrozole, a hormone suppressant, I had become incredibly weepy.  So much so, I could not stop crying.

Now, I’m not an overly emotional person – sure I can cry at the drop of a hat if it is warranted, but I was crying over not being able to fill out a camp form and bawling while watching a preview of the remake of the movie Annie.  Yes.  Seriously.  Annie.  This is when I knew I had a problem.

So I spoke with my doctor.

She asked if I was running.

Yes, I’m running, but I don’t think that’s the problem.  I think it’s the medication.

Then she turned to me and said, “I don’t think you’re crazy, BUT…I think you need to see a therapist.”

She went on, “This is common with my very intelligent, highly motivated patients.”

Uh…..okay.  Thank you for the compliment….I think?

But, deep down I knew she was right.

I had been so focused on getting through the tumor biopsy, the first round of surgeries, the diagnosis, the chemotherapy, the second round of surgeries and not letting it affect me or the children I had not taken the time to process all that has happened to me in the last year.

My way of coping was to put my head down, my blinders on and power through.   Now that it had been a year since my cancer diagnosis I was finally ready to breath.  I was finally ready to let out my pent-up emotion I had been suppressing the past year.

Yes, she was right indeed.  I needed to speak to someone.

I have been to a therapist twice in my life.  The first was when my mother had died after a long illness, I had a miscarriage and found out my mother’s friend had stolen from her.  The second time was when I was a small business owner.  My partner and I were in the middle of a bad partnership in our 3rd location and we were faced with not one but two business lawsuits as a result.  During each of these times, speaking with a therapist had helped me cope and ultimately move on from the problems.  I had learned therapy is not about the therapist fixing the problem, but therapy is figuring out what the problem is so you can acknowledge and make steps to accept and make a plan to move on from the problem.

So what I learned from my therapy session:

I have always known I was going to get cancer, even before I did the genetic testing.  In my mind, I was trying to make it past the age of 42 because my mother had been diagnosed at that age.  I thought I would follow my mother’s path and die by the age of 54.  Because of this I felt the need to cram as much into my life as possible.

But what I now know to be true:

I did get cancer, not at 42, but 41. Yes, it was aggressive cancer.  But I am going to live because…

My cancer was caught early.  AND I took the necessary steps to prevent it from spreading.  I had a bi-lateral mastectomy.  I had chemotherapy coupled with Herceptin treatments.  I had a complete hysterectomy so I couldn’t develop ovarian cancer.

I cut cancer off at the pass.

The big bad cancer has come, but it has not conquered.  It’s now time I realize I have more than 12 years left on this earth.  It’s time for me to acknowledge I’m going to live, maybe even to 100.  It’s time to breath.  It’s time to celebrate.  It’s time to live the life I’ve been given.  And you know what, I haven’t shed a tear since!

Product Reviews: Pure Via Stevia Sweetener Review & Summer Fit Kit Giveaway

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I decided give Pure Via, a zero-calorie, stevia sweetener a try for my husband.  My husband likes diet cola, but has been trying to stay away from NutraSweet.  I liked that Pure Via is natural and comes from the leaves of a plant called stevia.

024Pure Via is available in convenient “take anywhere” packets.  The packets dissolve quickly in both hot or cold liquids.  I tried them in both ice tea and in my morning coffee.

However, my favorite product is the Pure Via Stevia Liquid - especially the Vanilla flavor!  I loved this product!!!!   This little 1.6 oz bottle was fantastic and very convenient to take with you while on the go!  I brought it to work to use throughout the day.
The thing that I noticed was that Pure Via DOES have an aftertaste.  I wouldn’t want to sprinkle it on top of something to sweeten it.  However, I would use it in drinks or in baked goods.  There I did not notice an after-taste.

Here’s your chance to give Pure Via a try!  I’m giving away 1 Pure Via Summer Fit Kit!

The ‘Pure Via Summer Fit Kit’ contains:
• Box of Pure Via® non-GMO packets
• Bottle of Pure Via® stevia liquid
• Bottle of Pure Via® vanilla stevia liquid
• Container of instant iced tea
• Pure Via mason jar & straw
• Pure Via pedometer
• Pure Via SPF 15 lip balm

Enter a Rafflecopter giveaway by Sunday, July 27, 2014 at 12am EST.

Please note that Pure Via can only award one kit per person/household, and winners must be limited to U.S. only.  Thank you and I hope you enjoy Pure Via!!

Disclaimer:  Pure Via provided me with a Pure Via Summer Fit Kit free of charge to review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Race Report: Shipyard Old Port Half Marathon

Race morning at the Pier

Race morning at the Pier

I’m not one for spontaneous decisions, but once I found out my BRF, Alison, would be heading up to Maine to run the Shipyard Old Port Half Marathon in Portland Maine, I decided to crash her party!  Heck my plan called for 14-miles anyway – I might as use the race as a training run with a cool medal as a bonus.  Plus Alison’s sister has a home near Old Orchard Beach, just south of Portland, and graciously allowed me to spend the night.

Valley Street Dog Park

Valley Street Dog Park

This race would be my 29th Half Marathon in my 10th U.S. State (omitting the DNF from the 2012 Iron Horse Half and relay from the 2012 Rock n Roll Providence Half).  It would also be my 8th Half Marathon of 2014!

 

Following a birthday girl on our way back along Route 1/Commercial Street

Following a birthday girl on our way back along Route 1/Commercial Street

I had missed early registration by the time I had decided to register for the race late Friday night.  This was supposed to be a weekend without races, but since the family had other plans, I decided to drive up to Portland after HMF’s Red Dress Run 5K Saturday morning.  Race morning registration was offered, but I decided to drive straight to the expo to register on Saturday.  I arrived at 5:10pm to mass chaos at the pier – well, chaos to me – a huge festival to the crowd.  The expo was set up on the Maine State Pier and was open from 11am to 6pm.  There they had vendors, bands, and bib pick up.  Parking was non-existent so I illegally parked, put on my hazards and raced to registration were I quickly filled out the paperwork, got my bib and ordered an elite race tech to be shipped to my home at a later date!

Along Eastern Promenade

Along Eastern Promenade

After a wonderful dinner, we turned in early to get some shut-eye.  Race start was a manageable 7 in the morning.  The sun was up, the sky was clear and the breeze was comforting. We made our way to downtown Portland and quickly came halt behind a line of cars trying to find a place to park (tip – get there early or stay at one of the hotels across from the start).  Even though we were in a little late we quickly made our way to a parking garage – the fee was only $10 for the day.

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Slight hill

The race began ON Ocean Gateway Pier – which was a new experience for me.  Pacers were provided and corral line-up was on the honor system and based on pace per minute.  The race began under a balloon arch and quickly turned left onto Route 1.  We ran in the center of the road between cones so the street could remain open to traffic.  It was congested, but manageable even when run/walk/running.  There we made our way south until turning up-hill towards Valley Street Dog Park.  This was our first hill – steep but no Heart Break.  We were soon upon Mile 3 and a water spot.  Good thing for me, I was carrying my own water.  Bad for others because there was a line for water and the volunteers were frantically trying to fill cups from a hose.  I stayed left and avoided that mess.

Water Stop Mile 7

Water Stop Mile 7

The neighbors were pretty and the race went fast.  There was a steep downhill on Clark Street as we finished the loop and then retraced our steps back down Route 1/West Commercial Street.  Once we hit the pier again, we turned onto Hancock Street and then right onto Fore Street.  Here we journeyed along the water and Eastern Promenade.  There was one additional uphill, but it wasn’t a bad hill.  It was a very pretty course and overlooked the cove.

The bay

The bay

From there the course took us along Back Cove Trail for 3 miles as we made our way around Back Cove.  Just as the name implies, it was a gravel trail and made for a nice change from the pavement.  It was a beautiful 3 miles, but it was time to finish the race crossing back over I-295 on Washington Ave bridge.  The worst part of the entire race was running by the sewage plant at mile 12 (it reminded me of the Walt Disney World Marathon course).  We picked up the pace to escape the smell of the sewage plant.  After this, all that was left was the mile back to the pier, past a misting station, running through the finisher chutes and under the arch for the medal!!

Backcove Trail

Back Cove Trail

Here is the official course map complete with a video.

 

At the finish

At the finish

I was pleasantly surprised how enjoyable the course was – granted we did have a perfect day, although a little warm (low 80’s).  My tips would be to bring your own fluids and gels, wear sunblock and a hat, and definitely put this race on your bucket list!  I would highly recommend this half marathon and cannot wait to do it again!

Finishers of the Shipward Old Port Half Marathon

Finishers of the Shipward Old Port Half Marathon

 

 

 

Get Yourself on the Cover of Runner’s World!

coverI’ve never fancied myself a cover model, but when I heard that my beloved Runner’s World was having a contest to be on the cover of their December issue I knew I had to apply and YOU SHOULD TOO!!!

Why?  Because I think it would be awesome to see someone on the cover that is NOT your typical skinny, fast, “I win all the races” runner, but a runner that represents the middle of the pack, possibly a charity runner that runs to overcome an illness or disability.  Someone I can relate to –  are you this runner?

Then do it now – apply!!!! 

Step 1:  http://covercontest.runnersworld.com/enter

Step 2: Provide up to 100 word answers to 3 questions.

How did you start running?

What is the personal running accomplishment you are most proud of?

Why is running important to you?

One word to describe your running self.

Step 3: Upload 1 photo of yourself that is under 2MB!

Step 4:  Share with your friends and remember to use the hash tag #RWCoverContest!

Yes, I decided to throw my hat into the ring and enter the contest!  But I love a good contest and relish in competition!  So vote for me if you want or don’t – but do take the time to read all the runner’s stories before you vote because there are some very good ones listed!

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Race Report: HMF Red Dress Run 5K

Elizabeth Park's gardens

Elizabeth Park’s gardens

On Saturday, I participated in my first Hartford Marathon Foundation’s Red Dress Run 5K.  This 5K run/walk is a women only event which celebrates women’s fitness.  The course begins and ends in historic Elizabeth Park Rose Garden traveling out of the park and around surrounding roads.  The course is mostly shaded and relatively flat and fast.

I arrived to see the Kid's Race beginning!

I arrived to see the Kid’s Race beginning!

Runners were instructed to park at UConn’s Hartford campus lot for a quick bus ride to the park.  Once we arrived, the scene was festive!  Sponsor’s tents were set up in the clearing.  We had time for some quick photos and potty break before it was time to line up and race!

At the start!

At the start!

I loved the course.  Even though I wasn’t trained to run the 3.1 miles straight through without walking, I decided to push myself and try to set a PR.  Unfortunately, I had to walk twice between miles 2 and 3, but fortunately for me I still managed to set a 5K PR of 28:02 – 9:02 pace!

Members of Team HMF sporting our new kits

Members of Team HMF sporting our new kits

This is a fantastic race to work towards for both the experience runner and newbie.  The event is supportive of walkers and runners of all abilities.  I think it’s the perfect event to bring the entire family.  Kids can race in the Kids Races and husbands can support their partners!

Finisher's bangle

Finisher’s bangle

My favorite part of the race, besides earning a PR, was receiving the beautiful charm bangle as our finisher memento!!

Tips for Registering for Disney’s Princess Half Marathon Weekend

2014 Disney Princess Half Marathon - photo runDisney

2014 Disney Princess Half Marathon – photo runDisney

TODAY at 12pm EST early registration opens for Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend – February 19-22, 2015!  General registration will only 12pm EST on Tuesday, July 15, 2014

With The White Rabbit, 2014 Princess 10K

With The White Rabbit, 2014 Princess 10K

The Princess Expo will open on Thursday, the Cinderella Royal Family 5K will be held on Friday morning, the Enchanted 10K on Saturday morning and the Princess Half Marathon on Sunday morning at 5:30am!

Both the Glass Slipper Challenge (running both the 10K and the Half Marathon) AND the 10K races will fill first. If you are planning to run them in 2015 then book today to not be disappointed. Do not wait to register.

Remember to register go to runDisney before 12pm.

Registration Tips: 

  1. Know your Disneyland Annual Pass or Walt Disney World Annual Pass or Disney Vacation Club log in and password for early registration.
  2. Know your Active.com account and password prior to 12pm – EST.  If you do not have a Active.com account and password please register for one prior to 12pm registration day!
  3. Remember to stay calm and block off your calendar and silence your phone for no distractions!
  4. Know which races you are planning to register for PLUS your time for corral placement.
  5. If you are registering others:  have their home address, phone number, email, date of birth, In Case of an Emergency Contact Name and Phone Number, shirt size, and time for corral placement (remember you will need the race name, date the race was run and the time run).
  6. Have your credit card available for serious damage!

Good luck and please visit http://RunAllTheRaces.com for Our Top 10 Tips for Royal Run.

Are you signing up for the 2015 Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend?  What are your registration tips?

Staying Fit On The Road Is A Must Do!

Workout options

Workout options

So you’re deep into marathon training and you have to travel for business OR you are going away on vacation and don’t want to miss a workout – WHAT DO YOU DO?

The question shouldn’t be what do you do?  The question should be – WHAT WORKOUT CLOTHES SHOULD I PACK?!!

You don’t have to miss a workout while on the road.  So go on.  Pack your workout clothes and shoes because YOU ARE GOING TO GET IT DONE!

7pm and these people are getting it done!

Marriott – 7pm and these people are getting it done!

Now look, I’ve been there – I am constantly on the road for both business and pleasure.  I know how exhausting traveling for business can be.  Early meetings, all-day conferences, and then late dinners.  It’s really difficult to fit in your workout…or is it?

The morning treadmill line at the gym - Aria, Las Vegas

The morning treadmill line at the gym – Aria, Las Vegas

Actually, I find when I work out rather than take a nap or watch TV, I have more energy, am more productive, eat and sleep better!  Well, the same can be said for working out while traveling.

Happiness after an evening run!

Happiness after an evening run!

Here are some tips on how I stay fit while traveling:

  1. Pack your workout clothes, bands and shoes.  If you have them you are more likely to use them.

    Yes, you can even get your run in on a boat! Fantasy, Disney Cruise Line

    Yes, you can even get your run in on a boat! Fantasy, Disney Cruise Line

  2. Bring your workout schedule or DVD.  You can also download your workout to your tablet and workout in the privacy of your hotel room.  If I only have 30-minutes, I will use a Beachbody DVD like 21-Day Fix.
  3. Use the hotel gym.  The quality of the hotel gym varies from hotel to hotel, but most will have a treadmill and free weights.  That’s all you really need to stay fit on the road!
  4. Buddy up.  Just like at home, having a workout buddy to meet in the gym helps hold you accountable.  Sure it can be a little intimidating working out along side your colleagues, but it can also be a great bonding experience to know you both are committed to staying healthy while on the road!
  5. Get advice.  Remember to ask the hotel for recommendations on local running routes or special programs.  Some hotel chains have special programs or classes in their health clubs.  This might be a great time to try a new class that you’ve been interested in taking!  But remember to not go running alone if you are unfamiliar with your surrounds – it pays to be safe!

What are your tips for staying fit while traveling?

Early morning vacation workout complete!

Early morning vacation workout complete!

 

 

 

It’s my blog and I’ll brag if I want to….

January 2014 - June 2014

Medals earn January 2014 – June 2014

It’s the end of June and we are half way through 2014!  It’s time to take stock of what I’ve accomplished in my running hobby this year.  Or as my husband likes to say, brag about my medals!

I know, I’m obsessed with running and racing.

6-years ago, I couldn’t even run a mile without stopping.  I started running in the summer of 2008 to cross “running a marathon” off my bucket list.  I was a small business owner with 3 retail locations, 4 business partners and 2 small children.  To say I was stressed out would have been an understatement.

I found comfort in running.  It became my time.  Time for me to escape the pressures of trying to “have it all.”  My time to think about nothing and everything.  My time – not to be a mother or a business owner or a wife – but to just be a PERSON.  To be Kimberly.  To figure out who the heck I was and what I wanted out of my life.

Now as I celebrate my 6th year running on July 7, 2014, I not only celebrate the 15 full marathons and 28 half marathons I’ve run, but I celebrate the person I am now because of the miles I have run.

I now know it is NOT only about the bling – it’s much, much more.  Running has taken a 36-year old woman who was trying to survive not having a nervous breakdown to a 42-year-old SURVIVOR.  Running got me through business lawsuits, personal bankruptcy and most recently breast cancer.

I now know I can survive anything and I can do whatever the heck I want to do.  It’s that simple.

So I’m very thankful to have found running.  And I’m really proud of all I’ve accomplished thus far in 2014.  But it’s time to put these medals aside and focus on training to Boston Qualify.  I can’t wait to earn that PR, I know I have it in me because I can do anything I choose.

  • Total medal count so far for 2014 – 29
  • runDisney medals – 14
  • Half Marathons run – 7
  • Full Marathons run – a disappointing 1 (to quote Jeff Galloway, “it doesn’t have to be…”)
  • 10K’s run – 5
  • 5K’s run – 8
  • New States run – Ohio for a Half
  • New accomplishments – a Duathlon, 1st Glass Slipper, 5th Goofy, 1st Dopey, 1st Ragnar

 Did you accomplish your racing goals in the 1st half of 2014?  What has running done for you?

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Race Report: 2014 Inaugural Cedar Point Half Marathon

With Perfectly Goofy Gail prior to race start...

With Perfectly Goofy Gail prior to race start…

The Inaugural Cedar Point Half Marathon took place on Sunday, June 29, 2014.  Race start was scheduled for 6:45am, but was pushed back 10-minutes because they weren’t done setting up the course!  But that was fine with us, because we were standing in the very long, single-file, potty line.  Running were Perfectly Goofy Gail and myself.  Her parents were also volunteering at the Mile 5/12 Water Stop.  I was a little worn out  from running the 5K, riding the rides and attending my cousin’s wedding the day earlier.  However, I wasn’t going to let a little exhaustion keep me from running 13.1 miles around Cedar Point and the hot Sandusky streets!

The course had us running around the outskirts of the parking lot and entering the park under Gatekeeper.  Then we ran pretty much the same course in the park as the 5k the day prior.  I had to make a pit stop at mile 3 and welcomed the ability to use flush toilets.  Soon we were out of the park’s front gate running toward the causeway at mile 4.  From there the course was an out and back.  At mile 5 (and then 12), we took photos with Gail’s parents who were volunteering at this water stop. At miles 8 and 9 we run through the historic waterfront district of Sandusky.  The course was flat as a pancake except for 1 little bridge (which you ran over twice).  If we had begun earlier in the day and it was a little cooler, it would have been a great race to set a Half Marathon PR.

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The volunteer’s course support was great!  Both water and Powerade were supplied at every water stop.  At mile 8 gu was supplied.

045The half-marathon registration was $90 for early registration and included park entry for Friday evening, Saturday and Sunday.  Your registration also allowed discounted admission for your family ($55 for Friday evening, Saturday and Sunday) and parking ($15 for 3 days).  For a family of 4 runners and riders, the cost made this race a great deal for a race and park weekend!  The half marathon fee also included a finisher medal, long-sleeve tech shirt and 2 – 13.1 magnets.

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Considering this was an inaugural race, I give the race high marks.  My only suggestions would be to start the race a little earlier and also allow runners to ride a coaster during the race!  Other than that I look forward to attending more Run and Ride races!

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Maker Mother Marathon Runner

Embracing life with a bit of grace, a lot of perseverance and a positive attitude.

From Dancing to Running

Dancer Turned Runner Running My Way Through Life!

Aussie Girl Gone Dopey

One girls road to running 78.3 km in four days at Disneyworld, I just have to run my first marathon on my 30th birthday first!

margaritasmilesmouse

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