Yearly Archives: 2013

21 posts

Goal Completed: Run 13 races in 2013

Last year I set a goal of completing 13 races in 2013. When May rolled around, and I found out I was expecting … I wasn’t sure that I’d be able to finish – but I DID!

About the Challenge. 

Here’s a couple shots from my 13 in 2013 journey (in no order)

April 2013
First Half Marathon! 
Last pregnant run
Last Pregnant Event – (walked it)

October 2013, 26 weeks pregnant

June 2, 2013 (First Pregnant Race!)

When I began 2013, I had dreams of finishing the Goofy Challenge in early January. As you know, I’m currently expecting our first child and due DURING MARATHON WEEKEND! Soo, my 2013 goals had to change. Instead of Marathon Training for the last half of the year, I focused more on the health of myself and Baby Jimenez. I’m pretty excited for her to get here, and to celebrate her first birthday at Disney in 2015 when I’ll finally (Lord Willing) be able to run the Goofy Challenge!

What was your activity level like in 2013? Did you stay active no matter what the challenge or change in plans? 

Our 5th Wedding Anniversary

Today’s post is brought to you by the Number 5!

On this day 5 years ago, I had the privilege of becoming the wife of @cjmnz8. It’s hard to believe that he has been in my life since December 1999. When we met in the dining hall of the summer camp during a staff reunion, I never imaged that he’d be my husband someday. 

As I reflect on the many years of our friendship, relationship and marriage I can only think of one thing… 

The LORD has done great things for us… (Psalm 126:3)

As we anticipate the arrival of Baby Jimenez, I’m thankful for the 5 years that we’ve had with just the two of us. It’s been quite an exciting journey and we are very much looking forward to the next chapter in our story! 

Happy 5th Anniversary Christopher, I love you!

AD: Announcing the 2014 Kaleidoscope Tour!

This is a sponsored post, I recieved two complimentary entries into the race in exchange for this post.
 All opinions are my own. 

Remember a few months ago when I talked about the Happiest 5K on the planet? Well! I’m very excited to have the opportunity to share about 2014 Color Run!

The Color Run can still be referred to as “The Happiest 5K”. However, they have re-imagined the race, and in 2014 your Color Run Experience will be different than ever before.

The Color Run returns to Florida in January, and it’s sure to be a lot of fun! There’s new participant gear, fresh music, and Color crazy race attractions. The 2014 Color Run promises magic as only the Color Run can do! 
The Color Run is a 5K event where all participants (young and old) begin in a white t-shirt and end with an array of colors splashed all over! There are no time constraints, no times, and the rules are to wear as much white as you can and HAVE FUN! 
The focus of The Color Run isn’t to “win” or get a qualifying time for another race. The focus is bringing families together, and having fun while being active! 
One of the best parts of The Color Run is that it’s safe for  ANYONE to do! Parents, Grandparents, Children, and even Pregnant Runners like me! 
26 Weeks Pregnant, October 2013

Ready to sign up? Be sure to check out the Events page to find The Color Run closest to you!

*Florida Runners, here’s a couple of options for you!
When you sign up, be sure to save 5 dollars with the discount code COLOR5OFF. Be sure to physically type the code in (don’t cut, copy and paste).

Question: Have you ever done The Color Run? What’s your favorite memory? 
*This is a sponsored post, I received 2 free entries for the run in exchange for this post. The opinions expressed above are my very own.*

Being diagnosed with gestational diabetes

Last Monday, I had the delight of seeing my baby girl on the big screen (ultrasound). My princess is already head down, so I didn’t get to see her face or much of her profile – BUT the rest of her body sure is cute. πŸ™‚  After my ultrasound I was to meet with my OB and learn the results of my GTT from Friday (Glucose Tolerance Test). I was so nervous.

I’d read all week about Gestational Diabetes, what it means and was pretty confident that if Gestational Diabetes was a part of my journey i’d be okay. However, it clearly wasn’t something I wanted to experience.

I stepped on the scale, and had (surprise) lost another pound. Now, officially bringing my pregnancy weight gain to 4 pounds.

Blood Pressure – perfect range

“I’m doing great with this check up!” I thought to myself.

Then, the doctor comes in.

“How are you feeling” … “Any decrease in fetal movement” … (You know all the normal third trimester questions). Then, …

“How do you think you did with the GTT”.

I was silent for a moment then, I responded with “I hope I passed, but i’m prepared if I didn’t”.

My OB is very kind, she paused – looked at me in the eye and said “It’s going to be okay… You did fail the GTT. HOWEVER, you barely failed it” She went on to explain the test, my results and the risks of me developing type 2 diabetes in the future.

So yes… I failed it.

What does that mean?

1) I failed the test by 2 points. My actual diagnoses is “Gestational Diabetes Mellitus”. I’m still trying to wrap my head around it. But, my understanding is that the difference between GD and GDM is that GDM is more commonly able to be controlled with simple dietary and lifestyle changes.

2)  I will now be induced at 39 weeks, to prevent Baby Jimenez from growing too large. – This is something I’m still looking into, because I really don’t want to be induced – and I feel like there has to be information out there on WHY I’m now being told that I have to be induced.

3) New diet, Sugar Testing, Urine Testing, and monthly ultrasounds.

I met with the Diabetic Counselor on Friday morning to talk about number 3. Of course, going into the appointment I was a disaster. Although I was anxious and disappointed … mostly … I was just sad. I was sad that I wasn’t able to outrun GD, I was sad that Baby Jimenez would now be a “statistic”. I’ve read the reports, that babies with mom’s who have GD during pregnancy are more likely to develop diabetes and other health problems. I was sad, that THIS was now a part of my journey.

My appointment began by the usual.
Weight and Blood Pressure.

Weight – Lost 2 more pounds (total weight gain is now 2 pounds)
Blood Pressure – Still at perfect health.

The Diabetic Counselor was lovely. Her first words to me were, “you can do this!” I know she probably says that you everyone – BUT- it’s nice to hear. She then asked me about a thousand questions about my health, my family history, and Chris’ health. After that exhausting task I was handed a folder and probably ten different pamphlets of information.

I was doing well until she said “You know, after baby you might want to consider getting on a weight loss regiment”.

EXCUSE ME? 

I smiled, and said “may I tell you something? I understand that I am still considered overweight, and that I need to lose weight. However, prior to my pregnancy I lost over 50 pounds through running and a modified diet. I am confident that post baby I will be able to continue on my journey to a healthy weight”.

She paused. Smiled back and said “I apologize, Congratulations!”.

To be honest – once I got that off my chest, we were both more open with one another about this new lifestyle.

The Lifestyle.

From now until December 6th, I will have to test my sugars four times a day and my urine once a day. I log all the information and then email it to the counselor twice a week. On December 6th, (my birthday) we have another appointment to see the baby (growth ultrasound) and check in with the counselor. If i’ve been able to keep everything under control with diet and exercise I will get to decrease the amount of finger pricks.

How’s it going?
So far, everything has been good! My sugars have been normal with the diet, and I’ve even almost adjusted to testing my blood.  I will never cease to be amazed at the level of love my husband must have for me. He’s held my hand, and dried my tears as i’ve learned to adjust to this new lifestyle. He’s always supportive, and has even changed his eating to mimic mine. He’s reading labels, giving meal suggestions and just loving me through it.

How’s the baby?

The baby is fabulous. She’s healthy, active, not too big, not too small and we love her sooo
much.

Miami Zoo Run – Recap!

Last Sunday I had the opportunity to participate in an inagural run at the Miami Zoo. One of my fitness dreams for this year was to run in an inagural race, and I got to run in TWO (so far).  The first one was the Tutu 10K relay and the second, of course this one!

My thoughts!

Packet Pick Up
They had packet pick up at a local running store, and everything was super organized. I was in an out super quick, and even had a chance to check out a new running belt.

The Event
We arrived at the event nice and early, found parking and headed to the start line. Note to self, porta-potties are gross. Porta-potties when you’re pregnant are unbearable! (Runner Problems) Anyways!! The event started on time after a moment of silence in memory of September 11th, as well as The 2013 Boston Marathon. I had tears in my eyes as a crowd of 2200 runners + spectators stood silently reflecting on freedom.

The course was great, and who wouldn’t love running through the zoo?  One of my favorite aspects of running through the zoo is the amount of families who run together. When I think of zoos, I think family and memories. When I think zoo runs … I think healthy active fun for families!

The Post Event
After the run there were several vendors, bounce houses and activities. I certainly enjoyed walking around eating all the samples. πŸ™‚

In addition to all of the samples, bounce houses and other fun activities the zoo was open for everyone to enjoy!

Pregnant Running
Wow! Running while pregnant is not easy. I ended up walking most of the 5K – but I did manage to complete my goal.

My goal was to complete the 5k in under an hour and my time was 52 minutes and 4 seconds.

Question: What has been your most recent fitness goal that you accomplished? 


Weight Loss Journey – Non-Scale Victories

Since I’m expecting, I no longer get the pleasure of standing on a scale and celebrating when I lose weight. In fact, when I lost weight during my first trimester there was NO celebration.

So, I thought it was time to celebrate a non-scale victory!

What is a non-scale victory?
It’s reaching a goal, or noticing a healthy change in your life and celebrating it!

My Non-scale victory?

Last October I had to buy a new suit for work. I bought a beautiful suit, that “fit” but was a little snug. Since I was losing weight I figured it wouldn’t a problem. Since I got pregnant I haven’t exactly tried the suit on.

Until… Tuesday.

Tuesday I had to wear a suit to work and guess what …

Not only did it fit.
It didn’t look horrible, and was even a little lose in some places and not too tight around my bump!

So!!

That was my non-scale victory!

What’s your’s? – What are you celebrating right now?

It’s a Girl – Our first Baby!

If by chance you missed it … We are having a GIRL!

Prince Charming and I found out on August 29th, but we had to keep it a secret until my parents could come into town for the big reveal! So, our dear friends opened their home and allowed us to invite our families and friends over to announce!

Prince Charming and I went over to our friends house (in the pouring rain) early on Saturday morning to decorate. I was dropped off to decorate and Papi went to party city to get the final supplies for the reveal ready!

Our guests arrived, and voted!

We then had an “Old Wives Tales, Gender Prediction Trivia”. It was fun to gather all of the old wives tales from google and create the little trivia cards. We had 7 general questions, and then 3 questions based off of my pregnancy!

The bonus Round!
1) What is Baby Jimenez’ average heartrate? (140)
2) What has been Erin’s number one craving? ( Peanut Butter / Cuban Food)
3) What day did we find out we were expecting? (Chris’ birthday)

It was fun to listen to everyone shout out answers, and try to make me blush.

Directly after the trivia we moved over to the voting board and split into teams!

Team Mustache and Team Bow!

The two teams were given clues and had to run through the house searching for the answer. The final clue read:

He or She? 
Come to the Dining Room and be the first to see! 
Once in the dining room everyone waited with great excitement to see what was going to happen next (It was great!) Then … out appears my husband with a giant bouquet of dark balloons!! 
Confusion, speculation EVERYTHING you can imagine was being whispered as he slowly made his way through the sea of excited people and got everyone in a circle. 
First, he gave a balloon to each grand parent. Then one by one the aunts and uncles recieved a balloon and each couple also got one. 
At the count of 3, everyone popped the balloon and out exploaded (EXPLOADED!!) Pink, Purple and Silver confetti!! (a few seconds later) out popped screams of joy as people realized that even though BOY was the popular vote, Baby Jimenez is indeed a girl! 
We are very excited, and feel very blessed that both Baby Girl and I are healthy. 

AD: The Happiest 5K, Color Run

Sponsored Post – All opinions are my very own. 

Are you a runner, a walker, a non-athletic person who loves to have fun?

This “race”, yes, THIS race is for YOU! 
Why is this run so perfect for EVERYONE? 
  1. No pace requirements
  2. No minimum / maximim age requirements
  3. No possible way to be involved in the event and NOT smile
  4. Two rules! 
    1. Whear white at the starting line
    2. Finish covered in color! 
Why do I love the Color Run? 
  • The goal of the Color Run is to promote healthy living! 
    • Not only for individuals but families! 
I’ve been very open and honest about my struggles with healthy living, and my weight. So, when I see a FUN run with the target of EVERYONE I get excited! I get excited because I strongly believe that working out and making healthy choices should be FUN!  The color run, my friends is exactly that -FUN! 

Does the Color Run come to my city? 

The 2013 Color Run is traveling to over 100 cities, so there is sure to be one near you! 
Check out the list of locations HERE
Last year I ran with my sister and husband in Tampa, IT WAS A BLAST! 
Aren’t you pregnant, is the color run safe for Baby? 
Yes, I am pregnant. 
As long as my physcian clears me to run/walk at the time of the run, there is no reason I cannot participate because there are no chemicals in the color! 
*For the safety of yourself and your child, if you are pregnant PLEASE be sure to check in with your physician prior to participating in this or any race!* 
As an ambassador for the Color Run do you have a discount you can share? 
Yes! Use the code COLOR5OFF for 5.00 off any upcoming race that is NOT sold out. 
This discount can only be used at the time of registration, it is not valid for those already registered for the color run. 
Check the list of Locations for a race near you! 

Still want to learn more? Be sure to check out the Color Run website

Question: Have you ever participated in the Color Run? – What do YOU love about the Color Run? 
*This is a sponsored post, I recieved two race registrations in exchange for this post. Although this is sponsored, the above opinions stated are my very own. *

The TUTU 10K, Key West Florida

On June 1st, my husband sister in law and I ran a Tutu 10K relay? Well, I never did a recap of the run because I wanted to wait until the news of Baby Jimenez was announced.

So, now that it’s announced. I will give you the long awaited recap!

Location: Key West, Florida.

Passing the TUTU!

Course: We began in a restaurant parking lot right on the beach mostly followed the water line and at a certain spot turned around.

Format:
Teams could be as big as you wanted, but it must contain 3 people.

The Experience:
At the time of the race, I was about 7 weeks pregnant. At that time, I was experiencing extreme fatigue and trying not to be moody (since no one knew I was expecting!) So, when the humidity was close to 100% and the temperature was not far behind I was NOT having a good run. Truth be told, if my sister in law hadn’t been with me for part of the run I probably would have cried during the run.

Now, MY experience was directly related to where I was in my life (a.k.a. trying to figure out how to share a body with a growing baby!)

The Tutu Relay experience was a blast! It was a small local race filled with lots of food (brought by volunteers) and free beer for runners at the end. I know a lot of runs have free beer at the end. However, this was different because it honestly felt like you were walking up to a pic-nic table of friends and sharing a beer. I didn’t drink a beer, but that was my sense of the experience.

It was an adorably fun run, and I loved sharing the experience with my family!

Baby Jimenez’ first Bling! 

Pregnancy Announcement: Our first Baby!

On May 21st, 2013 my Prince Charming celebrated a birthday. I was very tired the night before so I went to sleep around 8:00 p.m. When I woke up at 4:30 a.m., I waited (kind of) patiently for Prince Charming to wake up and go to breakfast with me.

We enjoyed breakfast at the local cuban cafe, and I enjoyed my last cup of cafe con leche. At this point I was suspecting I might be pregnant, but not willing to believe it. We had tried for many years, and I was ready to move on, train for my marathon and let God decide when HE wanted us to have a child. 
After breakfast we went to work for a few hours and then, … we went to lunch! So, here’s the fun part! ready?? 
I had lunch with 5-guys AT 5-guys! Yep, we celebrated a birthday lunch with some of our dear friends at one of our favorite burger joints! After lunch we went back to work, and I watched the clock… I couldn’t wait for the clock to strike 5 so we could go to CVS! 
Pause. 
We live VERY close to a LOT of people we know and love. These people all share a Publix and a CVS with us. 
End Pause. 
So, we arrived at CVS and snuck into the store trying our very best not to be discovered. Unfortunately… EVERY SINGLE PREGNANCY TEST WAS SOLD OUT!  So, we snuck over to Publix! 
Thankfully, we didn’t get caught. 
Right before I tested, I paused. 
I prayed that I would accept the answer no matter what. I prayed that no matter what the answer, God would be with us. 
So, … fast forward through the TMI part. 
“Pregnant” 
I’m pretty sure I froze. At that moment, all I could do was remind myself “breath in, breath out”. I finally let out a yelp, or scream, or …some type of noise and burst into tears. Prince Charming ran in and asked me what the answer was.  Not able to say it outloud I handed him the test. 
We both hugged, cried and thanked God for the beautiful gift. 

Spirit of the Marathon II

Disclaimer: I received two complimentary movie passes and press release materials from NCM Fathom events in exchange for my post promoting the movie. As always, all opinions are my very own. 

I am SO excited to have the opportunity to share about the Spirit of the Marathon II.  This movie features 7 inspirational and motivated competitors training to run the Rome Marathon. As a self proclaimed “Newbie Runner” who aspires to conquer the 26.2 challenge, I am very excited to see this movie. 
This movie will race into select theaters across the United States at 7:00 p.m. (local time) THIS EVENING! That’s right, check your local theater and make plans to attend the premiere of “Spirit of the Marathon II”
About the movie
Get ready to be transported to six countries for an “up close and personal” look into the runners’ lives. When I was training for my first half marathon, I remember the struggle I faced. I wanted to stay out late with friends, or watch movies until late hours of the night or you know eat junk food. But, I knew that if I wanted to achieve my goal of running and completing my first half marathon I couldn’t live that way anymore. I had to make some sacrifices. I had to go to bed early, and make healthier choices about the food that went onto my plate. 
During this documentary, we will have the opportunity to see how these 7 athletes deal with the struggles and continue to motivate themselves as they prepare for the Rome Marathon.  
The event will also feature interviews with marathon greats such as Stefano Baldini, Paula Radcliffe, Frank Shorter, Kathrine Switzer and others.  They will offer perspective and insight into this incredible run. Since I am currently daydreaming of the 26.2 challenge, I can’t wait to hear what they have to say! 
Information about the runners has been extracted from the above link. 
Julie Weiss, Veteran Marathoner. Julie began a quest to run a marathon a week or a year to honor the memory of her father on an emotional journey to shed awareness and raise money for pancreatic cancer – the devastating disease the claimed his life. 
Ylenia Amelli, First time marathoner. While struggling to keep her mom-and-pop running shoe store open in Milan and raising two children, Ylenia takes on the challenge of training to run her first marathon. 
Vasyl Matviychuck, Olympic Hopeful. The elite, but aging marathoner trains with the pride of country in his heart in hopes that a fast time at the Rome Marathon will earn him the last spot on the Ukrainian National Olympic Team. 
Mimmo Scipioni, Veteran Marathoner. The good-natured, hard-working owner of “Pizzeria II Podista” (The Runner Pizzeria) in Rome, Mimmo has lined his pizzeria’s walls with photos and trophies from more than 40 marathons which he has run. It is a pre-race tradition for runners to carbo load with Mimmo. For Mimmo , the family tradition of running the Rome Marathon is in jeopardy due to a nagging injury. 
Domenico Anzini, Veteran Marathoner. Prodded by his cousin Mimmo, it took a lot of convincing for Domenico to give running a try. Now, 18 years later, the 73 year-old has run in every Rome Marathon since its inception. The camaraderie and humor the cousins share during their training runs goes to the heart of the family. 
Cliff Scott, First-time Marathoner. Scotts bucket list decision to run his first marathon in his 60’s is an inspiration until itself. When faced with an unimaginable family tragedy he struggles to make peace with himself during training runs in the woods. It is painfully obvious that his loss has taken its toll and calls into question whether he will be able to finish the Rome Marathon. 
Epiphanie Nyirabarame, Two-time Olympian. One of the few professional runners in Rwanda, Epiphanie proudly represents her country around the world to create change for women. Having been deeply affected by the genocide in 1994, Epiphanie uses her resources to invest in her community, advocating for progress and growth, especially for the future generations of runners. 
As you can see, there are 7 very powerful stories, and I’m not sure if I could ever choose which story I am most excited to follow.  
Ready to join me? 
Tickets for “Spirit of the Marathon II” are available at participating theater box offices and online at www.fathomevents.com  The event will be broadcast to more than 600 select movie theaters across the country through NCM’s exclusive Digital Broadcast Network. 
Film producers, NCM Fathom Events and movie theater circuit partners AMC Entertainment Inc., Cinemark Holdings, Inc. and Regal Entertainment Group will donate a portion of the proceed from the “Spirit of the Marathon II” event to The One Fund Boston to assist those families most affected by the tragic events that unfolded during the 2013 Boston Marathon on the 15th of April. 
“Spirit of the Marathon II” is a passion project made by marathon runners and accomplished filmmakers Jon Dunham (director) and Gwendolen Twist (producer), who led a team that includes three-time Academy Award Winner Mark Jonathan Harris (executive producer) and Academy Award nominee Megan Williams.
Once again, I am honored and excited to be teaming up with National CeneMedia (NCM) to promote this inspiring documentary about running!   

Review: Bokos Sandals


This is a Sponsored Post, all opinions are my own

A few weeks ago I was given the opportunity to review a pair of sandals. Being a shoe-lover I was SUPER excited for the opportunity.

The Bokos Story! 
From the Website. 

 

My Bokos Story! 

When you read my blog you can be sure of one thing. No matter if the post is sponsored, or just a post about my goals you will find that I provide my honest opinion. My honest opinion of the look of the shoes? … well, It was a little masculine, and not exactly “cute”.  But, I slipped them on and …
Hello New Favorite Sandals.  

Yep. My entire perspective changed. These aren’t shoes for “looking cute”, these are shoes for the more sporty aspect of your life. 

I wore my Bokos all over the house, walking outside, canoeing, and even took them to a run. Prior to the run, I was really happy with the shoes. They were so comfortable, and I loved how my feet didn’t slip and slide around while being drug around the neighborhood by my two dogs, or canoeing.  I was completely sold on the shoes when I traveled from Miami to Key West for a 10K relay. 

We left our house early in the morning, and I really wasn’t ready to put on my sneakers. So, I put on my trusty compression socks and slipped on my Bokos Sandals. When we arrived at the run, we were a little early so we went for a little walk on the beach. I’m usually a flip flop kind of girl for the beach – but honestly I get SO annoyed because they flip and flop sand all over the place. Not my Bokos! I hardly had any sand to wipe off my feet prior to putting on my shoes! – It was fabulous! 
We ran the race, and then I quickly changed from my Nike’s back into my Bokos. The moment I realized that I wanted to put the sandals back on was the moment I knew I was hooked. I can get over the fact that they aren’t exactly “cute” because they are so functional and practical for sporting events, the beach and general life activities!

If you don’t want to take my word for it, go ahead and check out what the website has too say! 
Why Bokos? 

Again, I do not recommend these sandals for going out on a date, or any place you’d need to wear fancy shoes. But, I do recommend these shoes for runners, swimmers, triathletes, soccer players, football players or people who enjoy the beach or camping. These are very functional, comfortable and affordable sandals!

Question: What are the characteristics of your favorite sandals?

*This is a sponsored post. I received one free pair of Bokos shoes in exchange for this post. Although this post is sponsored, the opinions are my very own.*

What it’s like to Volunteer for a RunDisney Race!

It may or may not be a life long dream of mine to be a Disney Princess. I may never get to be a Disney Princess, but I did get to volunteer for the Mouse last Saturday and this is my experience. Full disclosure, I am a RunDisney / Disney fan, I have not other affiliations to the Walt Disney Company. The opinions posted are my very own. πŸ™‚

To Volunteer is to freely offer to take part in an enterprise or task. Our first task? Run Disney Kids Races. I have always wondered what the Kids Races were like. Since we don’t have children, I always felt it might seem a little strange to go watch. So, how can I get in on the excitement of the Kids Races? Volunteer of course!

To be honest, our original intent was not to work the Everest Weekend. On the first Saturday in May of 2012, I laced up my sneakers and ran my very first 5K. The Everest Challenge. I had been begging Prince Charming to let us register but the event sold out before we could register. So, we opted to volunteer. A perk of volunteering is that you can earn hours or points towards a free ticket to Disney. Since we plan to run the Goofy Challenge in January, we are trying to cut costs here and there soooo earning a ticket, AND being at the event that changed my life one year ago,… it was a win win!

Truly, my experience at the Everest Challenge in 2012 gave me the confidence to continue running and register for the Princess Half (Recap)

So, now that you know my motivation to volunteer for this specific weekend, let me get on to the volunteer experience.

Kids Races

The Everest Challenge Weekend isn’t exactly the largest weekend Run Disney does. I’m not really sure why though, it’s REALLY fun! Prince Charming and I serve at our Youth Group on Friday nights so we couldn’t leave until either late Friday night or early Saturday morning. Since we wanted to save some money and sleep in our own bed, we opted to drive up Saturday morning. 

3:00 a.m., my alarm went off and we loaded in the car and headed to Disney! When we arrived, it was fun to see they had parking reserved for us volunteers! Since it was raining, and our spot was literally the first row before the side walk – I was pleased!

We checked in and waited for our turn to be escorted to the Kids Races! Prince Charming and I quickly realized that most of the volunteers are PROS! Seriously,… these people all know each other and have “their jobs” a.k.a. “I ALWAYS give out medals,  …” and … “I Always pass out the water!” haha Prince Charming and I waited for our team leader to ask for 2 volunteers to … (whatever, as long as we were together, we didn’t care). Our turn came, “I need 2 people to work the obstacle course!” Yess!!! We were chosen!

Our job?
1) demonstrate the obstacle course for the kids while the announcer cheered us on.
2) cheer on the athletes!

I was super excited about our job!

Although we were super stars at demonstrating the obstacle course, we were moved to parent direction. Yeah, … we had to stand in the middle of a field with signs and direct parents.

Have I mentioned it was raining?

After that job, we hung out at the medals for a bit and then were moved over to the Family Scavenger Hunt for more runner direction!

It was there I saw Rachel from Runners Tales. Okay, … when I saw her. I didn’t realize I’d seen her.  I knew she looked familiar, and I loved her team shirts – but didn’t say anything. It wasn’t until I was on Instagram that I realized WHY she looked so familiar!

anyways! After our shift ended at 1, we drove to our hotel and checked in.

After a quick power nap (2.5 hours) we were back up and ready to go volunteer for the Expedition Everest 5K! I was SO excited!!

When we checked in, we were given an arm band. This was a Magical Armband! Why? it gave us 2 hours of access into Animal Kingdom after our volunteer shift was over!!!

Our shift went pretty quickly, it was our job to make sure runners were properly hydrated, and that they had plenty of garbage cans to throw cups into!

Prince Charming and I were stationed at some tables between Coral B and C. It was so much fun to see the crowd get excited, and be there for the start of all the waves. Prince Charming and I started walking up and down the corrals offering cups of water to runners inside their corrals. I know that when I take my GU I always wish I had a little sip of water to help wash it down. We also tied an extra trash bag on the outside of the fence so runners had more opportunity to throw garbage in a bin!

After all the athletes started, we moved over to the finish line where we congratulated runners and handed out water!

I felt like a hydration Diva!

There was a young boy passing out water just in front of me, so runners would go to him first and thank him for volunteering. It was cool to observe.

Overall, I’m taking the following lessons with me from my volunteer experience.

Fact:  Filling cups of water and lining them on the table is exhausting, and there are very few people that actually say “thank you”.

Lesson: Say thank you, volunteers need to hear it!

Fact: Sometimes just two hours in the park can feel like a full day and riding Everest 7 times in a short period of time can make your tummy twirl!

Lesson: No matter how tired you are, take the time to ride Everest as many times as possible. Because when you leave the park, you only have your memories you don’t get to take the rides with you.

Fact: I’m afraid of dinosaurs!

Lesson: I think I should skip the Dinosaur ride, because it makes my heart rate go up.

Would I Volunteer Again? 
Absolutely! I loved it!

Colorado Springs Glow Run – Race Recap

A few months ago Prince Charming and I were talking about our fitness bucket list. One of the items on my bucket list was to earn some race bling in a different state. The intent was to travel somewhere specifically for a run. Well, if you think I’m addicted to the Active.com website… you should talk to Prince Charming. Knowing my desire to earn some bling in a new city, he found the Colorado Springs Glow Run!

Over dinner we discussed our travel budget, and quickly came to the conclusion that we would skip the whole Horseback riding through Garden of the Gods and just drive or walk through it. (I’m pretty sure that’s a clue that we are addicted to running).

When we picked up our packets the young man (probably about 11 or 12) says to me “Are you really from Florida? I LOVE FLORIDA!” Prince Charming and I talked to him for a little bit about how excited for the run and then. …

Decision time. 
Pink, Orange or Yellow. 
Okay, … it wasn’t THAT hard. Since I’d just gotten an email welcoming me as a Sweat Pink Ambassador, (YAY!!) Pink was the obvious choice!! 
Race Day! 
Prince Charming and I had a full day of adventures planned for Race Day. So, we got up super early and headed over to the the Olympic Training Center and then found ourselves at the Zoo. 

We hiked around the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo for a few hours and then headed back towards the hotel for some pizza and much needed rest! 

The run took place fully on the Pikes Peak International Speedway. (I felt a little like Lighting McQueen!) anyway! The energy was as vibrant as all the colorful shirts, tutus and glitter! 

We arrived pretty early so we had lots of time to take some goofy pictures use the restroom before the sun went down. The sun went down, we loaded into the start line and then … We were off!! 
There were about 2,000 runners at the event but it didn’t feel crowded. This was because the course was on the track and so there was plenty of space! The weather was a lot colder than I’m used to running in, and there is the whole, I walked 4 miles through a mountain zoo that afternoon AND some little thing called Elevation Sooo, I wasn’t all that surprised when my Asthma started acting up during mile one.  After a walk break and some deep breaths I was back in business! 

Prince Charming and I did the whole run in about 32 minutes. Now before you get all excited congratulating me on my time I must tell you. The Course was about a 1/2 mile short!

(Another clue I’ve crossed over into Running Addict!)  I was disappointed because I’d taken a walk break and was gearing up to push it the last 1/2 mile when I was brought to a halt by the clanking of medals and flashes of cameras.


More Info About the Run! 

1) This Run is for EVERYONE
If you are new to running, prefer walking, want to encourage your children (or other family members) to be active this is the run. It is sooo non-competitive, and family friendly. 

2) Fun Shirts & Medals
I know a lot of people take shirts and bling into consideration. The shirts were cotton, BUT they had youth sizes for the kids (See family friendly) and the medal was pretty substantial AND it glows! 

3) Glow Zones
The glow zones were pretty cool to take some fun pictures – we didn’t stop BUT I saw a lot of families and groups taking pictures! 

Would I do it again?

Conditionally.

I don’t think Prince Charming and I would run it alone. However, if I were given the opportunity to run with some friends I would TOTALLY do it again!

Clearwater Iron Girl Half Marathon – Race Recap

As you probably know, my husband is in Graduate School (Gradschool Blog). The program is online, but not fully. Therefore, he has to travel to Tampa every so often to attend classes in person. When he goes, I try to find adventurous things to do. I happened to see that the Iron Girl event would be taking place in Clearwater one of the weekends he had class! I was soooo excited, I began to check some of the Tampa Bloggers for discounts (or better, a give-away!).

Mindy was hosting a give away on her blog and I was determined to win! One of the entries was to tweet about the give away every day. So, … every evening after work, I’d sit at my lap top and tweet away! The day the give away ended, I’d told myself that if I didn’t win, it wasn’t meant to be.

But … it WAS meant to be. Because, I WON (post)!

Heading into the run, I had 1 thing on my mind.

Have Fun. 

I knew I’d be running it alone, and I was determined to have fun no matter what! Of course, I had my eyes on the 3 hour mark. …but. …

Those bridges were like mountains, and it wasn’t like a just had to cross 1 bridge. I had to cross multiple bridges.

So, the idea of dropping 30 minutes off of my Half time was extremely hopeful.

The run began with us heading up a hill straight towards a bridge. Honestly, before we even hit Mile 1, I was drenched in sweat, questioning why I even wanted to run this thing in the first place, and tempted to turn completely around and go home. – Yeah, I was freaking out!

but I remembered my goal.

Have Fun.

So, I put my head up and ran.

As I approached mile 4, I see the pace car and the lead runner zoom by. We cheered, took pictures and continued on with the race.

Around Mile 4.5, I turned my phone on and sent a text to my family. I’m pretty sure they were just getting out of bed, but they all texted back with words of encouragement and I continued on my journey.

I walked, ran, and took pictures throughout the course. I wasn’t tracking my run with any apps or anything so I really had no idea what my pace was. Since i’d lost the 3 hour pacers I didn’t really care too much. I just wanted to (you know, Have Fun!)

Mile 8 I was given a girl scout cookie by some of the cutest little girls. Seriously, it was adorable! “Erin, do you want a cookie?” Now, I’ve never had a cookie in the middle of a long run before but … who can pass up a cookie from a girl scout? 

Mile 9 was approaching and even though I was sooooo sweaty and tired I began seeing signs for “hot pirates ahead”

Of course they are hot. … It’s FLORIDA!

Right after I took my picture with the Pirate, I started to get nervous about those bridges. If I thought going over them the first time was bad … going BACK over them might actually be worse!

I turned my phone on and saw a tweet from a fellow Girls Gone Sporty Ambassador.  Rachel had sent out a tweet to cheer me on, and you know what? It was amazing to have her support. Truly, I felt so loved! 

I made it back over the bridges, and found out that apparently “tired legs are sexy” and found myself at Mile 12.

Right before I left for the start line, Prince Charming told me “when you see Mile 12, you know you’re almost there! Don’t give up!”

Mile 12.

A couple ladies asked if I’d take there picture, of course I said yes and asked them to return the favor.

Mile 12.

Just one more bridge, and a spiral ramp leading me to the finish line.

Just off of the spiral ramp, I hear my name. I’d heard my name throughout the course, (seriously those girl scouts were cheering runners on by name! – how cool is that?) Anyway, this time it was my prince.

There he was.

With his sign, a venti coffee from Starbucks and our large camera. I couldn’t help it, all I could do was smile.

I crossed the finish line, gathered a bottle of water and ran over to the side on the fence to give my husband a kiss. At that moment, that medal (with glitter) didn’t matter. The only thing that mattered was my Prince. It was such a joy to have him there cheering me on.

Did I meet my goal of 3 hours?

No. I did not. However, I did shave 20 minutes off of my official half marathon time so I have no complaints.

Iron Girl Highlights
– The Course, BEAUTIFUL!
– Volunteers, outstanding!
– Girl Scouts, adorable!
– Organization, excellent!

Would I do it again? Absolutely!

Question: Have you ever done an Iron Girl Half?


Epcot Flower and Garden for my Moms Birthday

Last Friday Prince Charming and I took my Mom to Disney’s Flower & Garden Festival at Epcot. If you’ve never been, and if you like flowers I highly recommend it!

Instead of a frilly or glittered card Prince Charming and I wanted to give her the gift of memories. So, on Thursday night after work we loaded up in the car and drove to Central Florida to stay at my parents house.

After enjoying breakfast, and getting into the park we convinced my mother (who is deathly afraid of heights) that going on Soarin’ would be a “good idea”. We waited line for about 20 or 30 minutes, and finally it was our turn to soar through California. We got my mom all loaded into the ride, the lights lower and I lean over and whisper …

“Mom, you don’t even feel it when it flips upside down!” 

 “WHAT, ERIN YOU DIDN’T SAY ANYTHING ABOUT GOING UPSIDE DOWN!” 


She then proceeded to grip my hand so tightly I’m kind of sure I may have lost circulation at one point… just maybe? haha 



After Soarin’ we explored through the countries.

We met some princesses and had some tea. Of course, we invited Alice, we didn’t want the Mad Hatter to think she was just showing up uninvited you know. We explored some more gardens and towards the end of the day, we checked in with our friends Mickey, Minnie & Pluto.

 

Happy Birthday Mom!

St. Patrick’s Day Virtual 5K – Race Recap

In honor of my St. Patrick’s Day virtual 5K, please notice I have changed my text color to GREEN! St. Patty’s Day is one of my husband’s favorite holidays (no, we are not known to be found in the party-scene.. BUT for some reason, … he just loves the holiday!) [His Recent Postanyways!  I was very excited that one of Jill Conyers 13 in 2013 Virtual races was a St. Patrick’s Day theme!! I had BIG plans! Mr. Handsome and I were going to run the race together, we were going to eat some corn beef and wear green (blah-blah-blah). Well,… life sometimes happens and we aren’t always able to accomplish our plans. 

Life was so busy I didn’t even get to do the race during the scheduled time! (I was one day late.)
I tagged Jill in a photo on Instagram and asked for her forgiveness, and of course (being the fantastic lady she is) she gave it! 

She reminded me that “It’s all about the run”. So, thank you Jill for the opportunity to virtually run with you and so many other fabulous people! 


So, how was the weather? 
I’m sometimes torn when I think about the weather. On one hand, it’s SO ridiculously HOT for being March. When I left my house for the run it was 82 degrees outside. Seriously? It’s MARCH! On the other hand … I see my blogger / twitter / instagram friends bundled up praying for some sunshine. So, I’d decided YES, it was absolutely ridiculously hot out there. BUT I’d rather have my sunshine than a treadmill. … (p.s. treadmill runners inspire me!) 

And how about that run?
It wasn’t a PB or anything, BUT considering I haven’t had a chance to run at all this week, i’d say it was pretty good. I was able to maintain under 16 minute miles. Considering I’m not really much faster than that on a good day, and it was 82 degrees and sunny … I’ll TAKE IT! Besides, I felt so relaxed and happy during my run. All of the stresses simply melted away. (p.s. PB = Personal Best NOT Peanut Butter). 

Anything else? 
Yes! Our microwave officially died this morning (remember when I recently cleaned it?). So, my darling husband and I are going to go pick out a new one this afternoon. We are ALSO going to use one of our groupons for wine tasting this afternoon. I’m pretty excited! 

How about you? 
Are you doing the #13in2013 challenge, or did you participate in a St. Patty’s day run? 





Running Announcement: Goofy Challenge 2014

It’s official, I’m going Goofy.

On February 27th, 2012 there was NO way I was expecting to be thinking about running a Marathon in January of 2014. I mean, lets be honest. … training for the 5K was challenging  BUT, in less than 1 year I did run a Half Marathon and my running confidence level is kind of high right now

 So … Why not

To celebrate registering for this race, the Run/Walk method developed by Jeff Galloway and felt amazing!  Unfamiliar with what the Goofy Challenge is? Read about it here and follow my Journey to Goofy on the blog and on Instagram!

2013 Princess Half Marathon – Race Recap

Are you ready to read about the most grueling, scary, exhausting, frustrating and FUN 3 hours and 27 minutes of my entire life?  I’m not ashamed to state that it took me 3 hours and 27 minutes to complete the Princess Half Marathon. In fact, I am proud to declare that I did it!

Grab a cup of coffee, and read all about my very first half marathon!

Since we stayed off of property, we had to get up EXTRA early. My Ursula costume wasn’t working so I changed to a “Cinderella inspired” option. Upon checking the weather I realized it was probably going to rain and I didn’t really want to be wearing white if it did.

So, … I snapped a picture  and changed into a pink shirt and went with a Princess Aurora inspired look!

We left the hotel and headed to Epcot!  We may have left a little early because the roads were not blocked off all the way yet, and our gps (and the traffic directors) directed us right to the STAGE! Yep. … the stage. The bad thing is, we were IN OUR CAR!!! haha So, we got turned around (yelled at by some other traffic people) and headed to find the runner parking!


Finally at the race (about 3:30ish a.m. a.k.a. 1 hour after we left our hotel room that was literally 5 minutes away) we made our way to the stage. I really wanted to meet up with some princesses and be calm before the race but that lines were REALLY long and so I opted to stand in the potty line instead.  After a little bit of dancing, and sneaking in shots of the Princesses between pictures with the runners it was time for us to start walking to the Corrals.

Hello Nerves …

On the way to the race I had eaten my traditional handful of nuts and right when we got there I ate my apple. So, at 4 a.m. I felt great! My tummy was full, I was excited, I was in the zone.

We finally made it to the Corral (after what felt like an eternity) and I began to realize that I was about to run a half marathon. After months of training, a wisdom teeth extraction nightmare and starting my whole training plan OVER after 2 months of not running, the day was here and I was ready!

FYI – we were originally scheduled for the very last Corral (H) but with our 10K time were were able to get moved up to E!!!

Anyway – we sang along to the music, took some more pictures and before we knew it, it was our turn!

I was so thankful to have my husband there with me, he has been my coach, my cheerleader and my bestie and I couldn’t be more thankful to have him in my life (His blog. )
With the sights and sounds of fireworks, we were off.
Miles 1-5 weren’t exactly anything to blog about, a lot of smiling, a lot of happiness and a lot of running! In FACT we were running at about a 10 minute pace. For a girl who averages 13 – 14 minutes, i’d say

 that is PRETTY GOOD!

We entered the Magic Kingdom, and just about the time you’d THINK I would start to pick up the pace, my body began to crash.

Remember when I told you I ate right when we arrived (at like 4?) Well, we didn’t start running until 6. Therefore, my food was practically gone so I was relying heavily on my cliff shots, water breaks and power aide.

I held it together through the Magic Kingdom, and had fun stopping for some pictures along the way. As you can see, I was super happy and excited to be inside the Magic Kingdom. I got a little wave from Minnie, and continued on my way.

As I continued, my pace began to slow down and my body began to shut down… I needed food. That apple and those nuts were GONE.I  was dizzy, my head was pounding, my cheeks were as bright as a red rose. With rosy cheeks, and chills I refused to let it beat me! I grabbed my husbands hand and asked him to please let me walk.


As we walked and I refused to tell him what I was experiencing (because I didn’t want him to take me to the medical tent) I felt the tears begin to come. We had sacrificed so much to be at the race. Hours upon hours of training, hours upon hours of reading and researching how to be a runner. Hours of planning and budgeting. How could mile 9-12 be this hard? How could I have been so stupid not to eat enough?  Why was this happening?  All those thoughts filled my head and a few tears began to fall. Just as I was getting ready to act like a big girl, I felt someone rub my back, look me in the eye and tell me “good job!” She made sure I saw her, because she then grabbed my elbow and repeated herself. With tears in my eyes I thanked her and hoped she would move on so not to see me cry.

We finally made it to Epcot, and my darling waited in line to meet Pinocchio. After a few pictures in Epcot it was time to finish what we started. So, we took a picture at mile 13 grabbed hands and ran it in!

As we ran it in, my husband got a big high five from goofy, and I was dusted with some pixie dust! A beautiful pink, gold, glittered, Princess Half  Marathon medal was placed around my neck and the realization hit me.

We did it! 

2013 Princess Half Marathon Expo

Today is the 1 year anniversary of my career as a runner and I’m feeling a little emotional about it.

On February 27th, 2012, I laced up my sneakers, put the leash on my dog (one of my dogs) held the hand of my husband and began a journey. We had been walking each morning for a couple weeks, and were starting to see some weight loss results. Motivated to continue, we woke up at 5 a.m. and headed out the door for a walk.  If you know my story, you know that on that particular morning, a larger man ran by me and inspired ME to run.

I, Erin (former swimmer, current couch potato) began my journey. If you are new to my blog, you may not realize that this is my transformation. …

In one year, I lost an estimated 60 pounds through running, eating less, drinking water, and sleeping. That’s it. No special diets, no special pills, no schedules, just the good ol’ fashion hard work. Pictured to the left you will see my husband and I at Epcot (on Vacation) in 2012 and at Epcot at the end of the Princess Half Marathon (2013).

I began my post with this information, because I truly believe that if I can run 13.1 miles, YOU can run 13.1 miles (or walk).

This weekend, I had the amazing opportunity to meet so many of the bloggers I follow.  Meeting someone you follow on social media sites in real life is quite the experience. During the Marathon Weekend, I was only able to meet one person, so this trip I was determined to meet as many people as possible!

I met, Lena from The Beginners Runner. This girl is adorable! We first met at the TeamRunDisney ice cream social, and then I tagged along to another meet up. I LOVED talking to her about running, training, energy supplements, life, The Dumbo Challenge … Um, yeah. It was GREAT and I love reading her blog on Thursday’s when she posts the songs she’s currently jamming too!

I also met Erin from For the Love of Disney Running I have followed her since my early running days, and also LOVE her running costumes and LOVE for Disney. She and I also share the same name, so be default she’s cool and you should check out her blog!

Let’s see, I met Marcia from Travel, Run Eat actually. …I am fairly new to her blog, I just started following it in January. She was extremely kind, and i’m looking forward to reading about her traveling adventures.

Finally … I met Kat. I started following her blog after Pretty Muddy Tampa and just really never stopped. She’s a lot of fun to follow on instagram, and her blog. She even gave me a little shout out on her blog today (blush!). So, check out Sneakers and Finger paints! 

In addition to ALL those wonderfully inspiring ladies I met, I ALSO experienced the Fit for a Princess Expo! 
Oh. my. word.  was THAT an over crowded mess!!!  Due to the Baseball Season, we were not able to have the Expo at Disney’s World Wide of Sports. Therefore, we were crammed into one ballroom with packet pick up, t-shirt pick up, hundreds of vendors and of course 20+ thousand of our new best friends. 
For some reason, … we went both days. 

I was glad we did because I got the opportunity to meet Jeff Galloway (twice) and tell him about my

 blog, my running anniversary, and my weight loss story. I got a side hug and a bow from Jeff Galloway. Seriously, I think I glowed for HOURS after that – I was just THAT honored to meet the man who helped me train!!  I also got to meet Ali Vincent (First Female Biggest Loser). She was pretty inspiring to talk to, and encouraged me a LOT.

Even though it was crazy crowded, and a lady offered to buy my tiara OFF MY HEAD, and another lady tried to steal the mug (out of my hand) in the Disney Merchandise tent, I LOVED the expo. The energy, the excitement, the tempers. … Oh the magical memories.

Question: What’s your strategy for Run Disney Events, and Expos? 

WDW Marathon Weekend: Royal Family 5K Recap

The Family Fun Run 

Remember when we were young and the day after Christmas we began planning for NEXT Christmas? We couldn’t wait for the season to come around again, we looked forward to everything about it! We were on our best behavior, we dreamed about what it was going to be like.

Maybe I’m the only one…

Well, this 5K was the equivalent of Christmas morning.

 It is the event that I begged my sister in law to register for, the event I convinced my mother and father in law to attend, the event I’ve been dreaming of for the last 10 months. Those 3.1 miles of beautiful Epcot.

Daisy and Belle

3:32 on Friday morning had finally arrived and I have absolutely Z-E-R-O desire to get out of bed. My throat hurt, I didn’t sleep very well, I felt horrible. Around 4ish, I pulled myself out of bed and began to transform myself into Daisy Duck.

My husband and I led our team of Fun Runners through a series of warm ups and stretches, gave them a couple of last minute tips and then warned them that we wanted to RUN!  Belle (sister) and I all dressed up and ready to run.

The course was everything I imagined it would be, and I loved every minute of this race! The Family 5k is such much fun, absolutely perfect for people who are just starting to run and love Walt Disney World!