Still Running With Sass


I have thought about how I would word this post over and over for the past couple of months. Let me preface by saying I hate change. It has always been a flaw of mine, as I am sentimental and very much a lover of routine. I am learning that sometimes change is good, and required for growth.


When I started writing Running With Sass over three years ago, I never in my craziest dreams would have imagined it would turn into what it is now. A place for me to share my thoughts, experiences, and loves with a wonderful community of readers and like minded people. Something so important to me I would call it “my baby”, and work every day to make it better than the day before. As my blog grew and changed, I did as well. It came to my attention about six months ago that some change may be beneficial, but I quickly dismissed those thoughts. However, they kept creeping in over and over and I couldn’t keep my mind off of them. This was when I knew it was time to step out of my comfort zone and make some changes.

It is said that with great risk comes great reward, and boy am I taking a huge risk. My anxiety level has been through the roof the closer I got to launch date, and I am still petrified that things won’t go as planned. However, no one ever said growth and change would be easy. With that being said, I am so pleased to announce my “new” blog: Through Heather’s Looking Glass. If you remember ANY portion of this long post, I want you to remember one thing: I’m still me. I may have a new name and URL, but I am still Heather, I am still running with sass. You can even still call me that if you want. Smile I have ZERO intention of changing who I am, or my writing style.


Ok, so why the change? Basically, I wanted my name to fit with what I was already doing. Yes, my blog name was Running With Sass, but I blogged a little about EVERYTHING from travel, to Disney, to my family, to motivation and my faith. However, I realized most people looking to read up on those other non-fitness topics were not very likely to come to a blog called “Running With Sass”. I discovered I had unintentionally pigeon-holed myself and wanted the freedom to pursue a wider audience and more opportunities as I grow and change as a person.

Please note I will ALWAYS have a huge focus on running, health, and fitness. I have plenty of races on my calendar for the year, and don’t plan to take my focus off something that is such a huge part of my life. However, you may see a few more “sprinkles” of other things here and there on the blog. If all you want to read about is running, that is totally cool, no hard feelings. You can simply click the coral-colored word “running” up in my header and you will be taken to all of my running posts in chronological order.

So why Through Heather’s Looking Glass? The lovely Jen helped me come up with the name, and I love it. I still wanted to include “sass” somewhere in my tagline to never forget where I started. I think it all has a nice ring to it when said together. I wanted a name that was generic enough that I could blog about anything, but also gave a nod to Disney (Alice in Wonderland anyone?) which is a HUGE love of mine, and I also love the double meaning. This blog is the world according to me, how I see things through MY looking glass.


You can still type in “” to get here, however I recommend getting used to the idea of either “” or “” (all three will redirect here). I will be changing over my names on Twitter, Facebook, etc. too so be on the lookout for that as well. I will also be updating some of my pages, but these things take lots of time. Take a look around, I hope you like the new look!

In closing, I would be lying if I didn’t say I was a little sad. I feel like Running With Sass has been my identity for over three years. When I’ve had the opportunity to meet some of you, I typically don’t hear “look it’s Heather!” It’s usually “look it’s running with sass!” Even though this is the same blog with the same posts, it almost feels like I am saying goodbye to an old friend. I will be forever grateful for the opportunities RWS gave to me, but I also feel it would be foolish to not let the natural process of growth and change take place. I am also so excited about the future, and about where my new name could potentially take me. I hope you will stick around, it’s going to be quite the adventure!

Thank you all so much for your loyalty, understanding, and support. I wouldn’t be anywhere without you, my wonderful readers. <3

QOTD: So….thoughts?

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March 2013 Goals


Better late than never right? Being gone at the end of February caused March to sneak up on me (plus the 28 day month thing doesn’t help!) I wanted to share some goals with you because March has the potential to be quite the insane month for me. More on the tomorrow. Please stop by my blog tomorrow morning, you won’t want to miss it.

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Pascal says it’s ok that I am late with my goals. He says his only goal in life is to annoy Flynn. Go figure!

First, let’s take a look at my February goals and see how I did:

1.) Comment on more blogs: (A-)  I really made an effort every morning to comment on multiple blogs, and I was sure to throw in some new ones I had never read before. I found some great ones that are must reads now!

2.) Have a great race: (A+) SO happy to be able to put an A+ next to this one. I had an AMAZING time at the Princess half marathon, and got an almost 4 minute PR, even in less than ideal conditions. I am a happy girl.

3.) Get my tax info together: (A+) Donzo! We sent in our info to the accountant two weeks ago. Whew!

4.) Raise my weight at the gym: (B-) I raised my weights on about three machines and some free weights, but not all of them. Still a work in progress but at least I am making a good effort.


As I mentioned before, March has the potential to be a huge month (come back tomorrow for one of the reasons why.) I will have a lot going on, and I am excited about the future but also scared to death. I loved accomplishing some of my mini goals this month, and hope I accomplish some more for March!

1.) PR in the 5k distance (officially): I PR’ed unofficially on a training run the other day, but I haven’t PR’ed in a 5k in almost two years, which totally bums me out. I am running two 5k’s this month and so I hope between one of them I can pull this off!

2.) Stretch: I have been a bad example of this lately. I have put stretching on the back burner and it’s starting to show. Back to it!

3.) Continue with Body Pump: This class is tough for me, but I am so sore after which I LOVE. I think if I continue with it I could reap some major benefits, but I have to commit to this night class! Going to try to go every Monday in March.

4.) Update the races page on my blog: It has been in sad shape for a long time. i want to reformat the whole thing and make it easier to read. It’s been on my “list” for a year….maybe it’s time to get to it!


Another goal: Get outside more, hello daylight savings!

There you have it. Mini goals for the month of March. I HIGHLY suggest mini goals. Unlike yearly resolutions that you forget about by February, these goals are small stepping stones that can stay fresh in your mind all month long. Make your own, then print them out and stick them on your refrigerator so you see them multiple times a day. I would love to hear if you try this out!

QOTD: What is a mini goal you have for March?

Posted in fitness, motivation and tips, running, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 40 Comments

runDisney Royal Family 5k 2013


The runDisney Royal Family 5k took place on Saturday morning, the day before the Princess half marathon. At the last minute I decided to pace a friend, so I went from running just the half to doing both races in two days. However, after running Goofy in January I felt up to the challenge.


My alarm went off at 4:45 so we could get on a bus at 5:30. With no coffee, I was very much still asleep.

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I got dressed, ate a banana and a mini Luna bar, and Bobby, Jen and I headed out to the busses. Bobby and Jen were playing spectator, and you can check out Jen’s spectating recap to see how she did watching the race. (Hint: she failed as a spectator. I kid.)

We made it to EPCOT, and I didn’t have a lot of time to get into the Corral. I said quick goodbyes to my cheerleaders, and headed towards the crowds.

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After some texting, I found my group and jumped into the Corral. We chatted and stretched as we waited for the race to start. Before we knew it, they were moving us up to the starting line.

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We inched closer and closer and then it was go time.

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I was a little surprised at how slow the beginning was. We were in corral B, and a lot of people started off the race walking. We did a lot of weaving in the beginning. I tried to remind myself it was a family FUN run and just go with it. We saw Jen and Bobby right after we crossed the starting line and they snapped a couple of blurry pictures of us. I know it’s not because we were moving too fast. Smile

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One of our group members took off to run her own race, and the three remaining runners continued on looking at everyone’s costumes, and enjoying the race. We made it into EPCOT, and the girl I was with wanted to stop for photos. We stood in a long character photo line and my picture came out blurry. #photographerfail

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We continued on around the World Showcase, and the crowd thinned out.

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I loved seeing all the families running together. Some wore matching costumes, some were being carried by mom or dad, and everyone looked like they were having an amazing time. I can’t wait to run this race one day with my kids!

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The sunrise was beautiful over the lake and I really started to enjoy the race. We stopped for another character photo, in an even longer line, and after standing there a minute the girl who wanted the photo told us to continue on without her, so off we went.

I’m not used to running shorter Disney races, so before I knew it, we were hitting mile three and almost to the finish line! There may or may not have been a friendly sprinting competition across the finish line, and just like that we were done. We grabbed our medals and our water/snacks before meeting up with Bobby, Jen and my parents as well as the rest of our little running group.

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The four of us that started together

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Me and my new bling

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We stood around and chatted for awhile before heading out of EPCOT.

My thoughts on the race:

The 5k was well organized, a lot of fun, and the course was great. I loved how the characters were out front in the different countries, and I felt like there was plenty of run to spread out and run around the World Showcase. It was a bit of a tight squeeze in the beginning, but once we got into EPCOT it was fine. This race is a great family run or beginners run, totally no pressure which is really nice. You still get the characters, the big start and big finish, but without feeling intimidated by a longer distance. I highly recommend this as a way to get your feet wet into racing or runDisney races.

*You can now sign up for the Tower of Terror 10 miler, which also has a 5k option (The Happy Haunted 5k trail run). Be sure to check it out before they sell out!

QOTD: Have you ever run a 5k fun run, no pressure? Would you like to run a runDisney 5k?

Posted in Disney, runDisney, running | Tagged , , , | 23 Comments

runDisney Princess Half Marathon Race Recap 2013


I did it. I beat the odds. A lot of things were stacked against me going into the runDisney Princess half, but regardless I still managed to have a great job and pull out an almost four minute PR. Did I mention I did it in a tutu? How cool is that?!?


I was worried about this race for a few reasons. 1.) I have been suffering from calf cramps whenever I run fast (going on since October), so I was petrified it would happen again despite my best healing efforts. 2.) I ate like crap the week leading up to the race. It’s hard not to indulge when you are in Disney. 3.) I ran a hard three miles on Friday at the meet up, then I ran the 5k Saturday morning…then the half Sunday. Fresh legs? Not exactly. 4.) It was hot and more humid that the Disney marathon in January. I was drenched and it was pretty gross and hard to breathe. There were heat advisories and my buddy Jeff Galloway reminded everyone to take it easy. However, this competitive girl just couldn’t do that with my probably last chance to race a half this season. Let’s back up shall we?

Oh, 2:45 how early you come in the morning. Nevertheless, I was up and ready to go in my Rapunzel costume. (Arm sleeves by Katie, tutu by Rachel).

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Jen, my mom and I snapped some photos then mom left to get on a bus and Jen and I headed up to the hospitality suite for breakfast.

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We hoped on the VIP bus and saw the traffic and were SO glad we weren’t driving ourselves! The bus went in the back way and parked next to the starting line. It was nice to have a bathroom on the bus and to sit and hang out until time to get into the corrals.

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Chillin with Jeff Galloway on the bus

After awhile, I started getting antsy and at 5:00 I texted Bobby and found out he and my dad were at the starting line. We were going to be put in the corral at 5:15, so we went ahead and walked to the start to try to find the guys and take a couple photos.

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Getting excited/nervous on the bus

When we were waiting at the front and I was texting Bobby to find out where they were, one of the photographers covering the event asked to take pictures of me and Jen, and one ended up making the official album on the runDisney Facebook page!

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I finally spotted the boys on the other side behind the stage so I ran over to say hello and take some pics.


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The guys followed me back to the front of A and took a couple photos of me and Jen after we got into the corral.

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Can you tell we are wearing fake eyelashes? You should have seen us putting them on the night before. Hilarious.

Sean Astin showed up next to me, ready to jump in during corral C. Poor guy was having a hard time untangling his headphone cord. I wasn’t sure how to help, so I just took a picture of his plight instead! I am SO kind.

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Before I knew it, we were singing the National Anthem, and were about to start! The Fairy Godmother was on hand to see us off, and with a wave of her magical wand the fireworks started, and we were crossing underneath a beautiful banner for a 13.1 mile journey.

We started off running conservatively. I finally learned that it takes me a while to warm up and so I run better for the half distance when I give my body a chance to get used to the idea of 13.1 miles. Our goal was to stay between 10:00 and 10:15 minute miles for the first few and then see how I felt leaving the Magic Kingdom.

Those first few miles were pretty uneventful. I was grateful for the darkness because it was about 97% humidity out and it was quite warm. We chugged along, not stopping at the first water stop. Jen took a bathroom break and caught back up to me. We chatted, and then quickly came upon the Magic Kingdom…and I felt like I was just there. (Ummm..I was, hello Goofy!)

I was very grateful for the big crowds around the Transportation and Ticket Center. Crowds always pep me up and make me run faster, so we took advantage and had some fun. We started doing the “princess wave” and thanking everyone for coming out to see us. As we would run by, I would ask spectators if they had seen Flynn, and Jen asked people if they had seen Prince Charming. Everyone got a kick out of it and waved back, took pictures, and cheered for us. We even had a couple of stalkers follow along and “run” on the sidelines taking video of us. It was a bit odd but I guess we asked for it!

We made it up the crazy steep hill before making the turn into the Magic Kingdom. My absolutely favorite part of the race was upon us, and it did not disappoint. We hooked right onto main street as cheering filled the air, and I did my princess wave the whole way towards the castle.


You can see how absolutely covered in sweat I was, it wasn’t even halfway into the race!

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I smiled the entire stretch, so thankful to be there and have the opportunity to race in Disney yet again. It was strange to me, because I have never “raced” a Disney race, and so the lack of runners was very nice. We made our way over to the same spot I took my castle photo in last year, and they had it blocked off for some reason! So we stopped next to the area and took a couple of quick photos.

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We soldiered on through Tomorrowland, where there were characters standing there waving at us, with no one in line! A sight I had never seen before. We made it to Fantasyland and to the back side of the castle.

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We ran through the middle, and smiled at the photographers as we went by.



We wound our way through Frontierland and out the other side of the Magic Kingdom. I looked at my Garmin and realized I had slowed down way too much running through the Magic Kingdom, and it was time to get serious. I told Jen no more silliness, let’s do this thing, and we turned onto Floridian way.

I started paying more attention to my pace, and we stopped at every other water stop. I had been taking a gel every three miles along with water and sports drink at every other stop, and it seemed to be working for me. The sun began to rise in the sky as the road opened up and the runners thinned out. I would like to mention I cannot even count how many times people would say “Hey! she’s got a frog on her shoulder!!!” Um…excuse me. If you have seen Tangled you know Pascal is a LIZZARD and not a frog thankyouverymuch.

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Jen was a GREAT encourager/coach the entire way. Telling me I could do it, giving me ways to motivate myself and telling me the pain is temporary and I would get to bask in the glory of my PR forever. I was doing great until about mile ten. The humidity was really starting to get to me and my already labored breathing was getting faster. Circling around the big hill where the army man stands was brutal. My IT bands were screaming, and the solider kept saying this was the last hill. Umm…no it’s not, don’t tell people that! I walked for about 15 seconds to regulate my breathing and we were crossing over the overpass before long. I knew this was the final stretch, just 2.5 more miles and I would get to stop.

I went up another hill towards EPCOT and grabbed some water at the water stop. Jen told me no more stopping, this was it until the end. We made it around the circle where everyone shouts where they are from and Jen yelled “NEW ORLEANS!” For me. I halfway smiled but kept my head down and kept going.

I kept praying those last three miles, over and over, simply saying “Lord give me strength, Lord give me strength.” It was the only thing I had the energy to think of, and I kept clinging to it. I kept trying to talk and Jen politely (haha) told me to stop talking to save my energy. We had one more beast of a hill to go up, and it was a killer but I kept going. We hit mile twelve and I knew this would be the hardest mile of my life. We started seeing some spectators and Jen would yell “cheer for my friend Heather, she is about to PR!” and then everyone would yell for me.

I kept my eyes on the ground in front of me, trying to focus on the task at hand. I was cursing myself for running the prior two days before this, and for eating so poorly all week. All of my professional photos show me looking at the ground at this point, and I don’t look happy! We made it to the turn around in Epcot, and I was pushing as hard as I could go. I glanced down at my Garmin and saw we were running low 9:00’s, woo hoo! Jen told me I was absolutely going to PR, now I just had to decide if a PR was good enough, or if I wanted to work my butt off and get as big of a PR as I could. Obviously, I was going to kick some butt, so I just nodded and kept pushing. Jen had been texting the boys the whole time letting them know where we were so they would be ready at the finish.

We passed the gospel choir and I honestly did not even look up, but I could hear them, and I knew I was going to make it. We passed mile 13, and made that final turn towards the finish line. I could SEE it, I was about to finish my 19th half marathon, and finally PR in the distance after a year of injury and disappointment. I had so much determination in me that final 200 meters, I kicked hard and looked straight ahead.


I glanced over to my right at the VIP area and saw Bobby and my dad, holding up a sign for me. I had made it. I smiled as I went by, so happy to have them there cheering me on.


Pain mixed with determination

Carissa the announcer yelled out my name. She knew I was going for a PR and she asked me if I did it, all I could do is give her a thumbs up as I ran by. They congratulated me as I raised my hands in the air triumphantly and crossed over that sweet finish line. To be honest, I didn’t cry like I thought I would. I was so focused, and just so glad it was over, I don’t think I had the energy to cry!



I stopped my Garmin and had to look down at it because I didn’t even see the clock as I went by. I had done it, 2:11, a near 4 minute PR in less than ideal conditions. I know a sub 2:10 would have easily been in my reach on a normal race day eating normal food the week before and without a 5k the day before, but regardless I was happy. I worked hard, and accomplished yet another goal. This is proof that no matter what injury you may get, or sickness you may deal with, you CAN come back stronger than before and reach your goals.

Jen snapped the below photo of me right after I crossed. Pascal was happy to be done, too.

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Here is the video of me crossing the finish line:

Excited Bobby caught this special moment on video! We got our beautiful medals, and headed off to the VIP area where we reunited with my dad and Bobby. This was followed by lots of picture taking.

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We went into the tent for some breakfast (omelets, french toast, amazing bacon…yes please!) and had some champagne to celebrate.

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I finally had the nerve to take off my shoe…I knew my foot was bleeding, it was hurting and it felt…sticky. Surprise! I was right.

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You’re welcome.

After eating and resting for a bit, we went back outside to take some photos and wait for my mom to finish. I found the super speedy Tara

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As well as Biggest Loser sweetheart Ali Vincent

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We kept waiting for my mom, I was so nervous for her. I know she was struggling (I had talked to her on the phone at mile 11) and was just ready for her to cross.

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Waiting on my mom to cross

We finally spotted her, and we yelled and screamed and I held up her sign. She had a huge smile on her face and Bobby got the best photo of her.

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Jen and I ran around to the other side of the finish to grab her before she got lost in a sea of people. We of course, had to take some pictures. I am so proud of her, she finished in 3:01!

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I was so happy she made it in ok, now we could relax and celebrate. More mimosa’s anyone? We ate and relaxed and stood on the sidelines cheering for the rest of the runners. It was such an amazing morning and I am so glad I got to spend it with my family and friends in my favorite place on earth.

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Here is my Garmin info from the run:

Mile 1: 10:06

Mile 2: 10:10

Mile 3: 10:18 <— stopped for gel

Mile 4: 9:51

Mile 5: 10:02

Mile 6: 10:37 <— stopped for gel

Mile 7: 9:59

Mile 8: 9:41

Mile 9: 10:15 <— stopped for gel

Mile 10: 9:43

Mile 11: 9:38

Mile 12: 9:43

Mile 13: 9:24

Mile .27: 2:20

13.27 miles

avg. pace 9:56

Hooray for negative splits! Smile

Overall this race was amazing. I was blessed to get to run with my best friend, PR in a tutu, and do it all at my favorite place on earth. What more could a girl want? Better weather of course but that’s not Disney’s fault! runDisney did an amazing job as usual. Everything went so smoothly with the race, I have no qualms at all. As I always say, they keep outdoing themselves and I have no idea how they are going to keep it up. I highly recommend this race, especially for a fun girls weekend with some friends. The excitement in the air was amazing, I loved seeing all the strength and the girl power, and I can’t wait for my next runDisney race.

*You can now sign up for the Tower of Terror ten miler!

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QOTD: How do you adjust when conditions are not ideal? Who is ready to run Princess 2014?

Disclosure: runDisney invited me to this fun weekend as media, which means my hotel accommodations, race fees, etc. were taken care of. However, all opinions are my own, who doesn’t love runDisney races?!?

Posted in Disney, fitness, runDisney, running | Tagged , , | 97 Comments

Weekly Recap: February Week 4


Good morning! I hope you are all having a magnificent weekend. Bobby and I have been relaxing and doing a little catching up from being out of town, but we haven’t gone anywhere and it has been fabulous! I am STILL doing laundry from the trip, and my e-mail inbox is still overflowing. But, I can’t complain. Anyway, this past week of workouts was a bit off for me. After running a PR in the Princess half (recap up TOMORROW!) I was wiped. Then we walked around the Disney parks all day Sunday and Monday, plus an 8.5 hour car ride home. I have also been trying to eat really well because let’s face it, I ate whatever I wanted in Disney.

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Post-race park hopping in my matching KT Tape which did wonders for me during the race!

I also came home with a nasty headache that won’t go away, and some sinus congestion. I’m not sure if it’s allergies or a sinus infection, but I have been taking emergen-c, mucinex, and Claritin just to be sure. All of that combined did not create the recipe for an awesome workout week, but that’s ok, I know this coming week will be epic!

Sunday: runDisney Princess half marathon: 13.28 miles

Monday: walked 7 miles around the parks (thanks to my fitbit for the distance info, I love this thing! *coupon for $5 off your fitbit here*)

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Tuesday: travel day/rest

Wednesday: weights, 20 minutes stationary bike

Thursday: rest

Friday: 2 mile sprint workout

Saturday: 15 minutes elliptical, weights workout

It’s supposed to be a chilly couple of days here with the high today being 50…super cold for March on the gulf coast! I have a couple shorter distance races coming up so stay tuned on Sunday’s for my training recaps!

QOTD: How was your week of workouts? Anything you are super proud of?

*Disclosure: I was provided with a device and phone service from Verizon Wireless

Posted in Disney, runDisney, running | Tagged , , , , | 10 Comments

runDisney Princess Half VIP Reception


Bobby, Jen and I were lucky enough to snag invites to the runDisney Princess half VIP reception that took place on Friday night the weekend of the race. We were excited to take part, and didn’t know what to expect. We waited not so patiently (did I mention we were excited?) outside of the hotel, chatting with Rachel Booth (two time Princess half winner), and her family.

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We soon boarded a large bus which took us “backstage” into EPCOT and we were greeted and led to the Odyssey pavilion. I have always wondered what was in that building, and now I know what at least some of it is! We were brought into a big beautiful room with round tables and a buffet full of food, yum!

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I was happy to see we would be eating pasta for the evening. There were three types to choose from, as well as salad, bread, and a couple of other side items.

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There was also wine, beer, and sodas. I had a 5k the next day, so I was good and only had about a half glass of white wine. The pasta and bread were excellent, but I couldn’t wait for the dessert. These mini sweets were so cute I almost didn’t want to eat them…almost.

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Mini chocolate cupcakes that were a slice of heaven, and tiny key lime pies in the shape of mickey heads were served. There was also some sort of apple cobbler I took a few bites of that was delicious as well.

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As we were eating, a couple of Disney princesses came out to welcome us and take photos. I of course jumped into line knocking small children out of the way. I kid.

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After we ate, we did some mingling with the other guests and we got to chat with Sean Astin for a few minutes. Bobby is a huge Lord of the Rings fan and was exited to meet Sean.

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There was a short presentation where we were thanked for coming, and there was some talk about runDisney races expanding, as well as the popularity of the brand. I just love seeing runDisney grow so this made me so happy for them!

Soon it was time for us to head out to our private viewing area for Illuminations. We had a big area all to ourselves, and it was a great way to top off an amazing night. The show was awesome as always, and our front row seats made it extra magical.

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Thanks runDisney for putting on an amazing event, it was a fabulous way to get excited for the races ahead!

*Don’t forget to register for the runDisney Tower of Terror ten miler that will take place in October!

QOTD: What do you eat the night before a race or other sporting event?

Posted in Disney, runDisney, running | Tagged , , | 14 Comments

Cool-Cat Pro Review and Giveaway


I was contacted by the great people who created Cool-Cat Pro about doing a review and giveaway. I checked out their product and was intrigued by its versatility, so I decided to try it out! The Cool-Cat Pro is a headband for serious athletes.



Wearing my Cool-Cat as a bandana

This headband is more than just a headband, it is also a neck warmer, a scrunchie, wristband, a sunshade, and bandana. It even has snaps on one side to help you create the look you want.


For me living in the south, I love that it wicks sweat away and keeps my hair out of my face. I highly recommend this product if you are looking for a diverse product that you can wear multiple ways, all year round! I doubt I will be using it much to stay out of the wind and cold, but it comes in handy for the sweat and sun for sure!


This product is also lightweight and at a great price point. The snaps ensure it fits all sizes. It’s stretchy, but never hurts my head like some headbands do. It is also machine washable and comes in a variety of fun colors (with more colors coming!) Go to this page to see other ways to wear the Cool-Cat.

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Cool-Cat worn as a headband

Cool-Cat has been featured on, and they have a neat story. The husband-wife team came up with this product after going fishing and getting sunburned necks. The idea was born, and with a few tweaks, has become what it is today. I love great stories like that!

Cool-Cat has offered a giveaway for one lucky RWS reader! Check out rafflecoptor below to see how to enter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Posted in Ad-free, fitness, Giveaway, running | Tagged , , | 63 Comments

runDisney Princess Half Meet Up 2013


There’s no doubt about it, the runDisney meet ups are a sought after and hard to get into event. A lucky few get to join in the fun and experience an up close and personal look at the runDisney brand. These meet up’s take place at the beginning of the race weekend, early in the morning. No one knows the location or exact details when they are signing up, but what they do know is it’s going to be an awesome one of a kind event.


This year’s Princess meet up took place in EPCOT. We had to be at the gates around 6:30 am for a prompt 7:00 start. There was plenty of excitement in the air as everyone donned their runDisney shirts and prepared for a three mile run to kick off the morning.

I caught up with some friends before the run began including my twin for the morning, Diet Diva Tara.

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I also caught up with Faron Kelley, the Director of Marketing and Communications for Disney sports.


I took a few photos and soon it was time for the run to start. Jen and I were ready to run in our skirts.

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Some of the runDisney team and celebrities that were participating were introduced, such as Rachel Booth, Princess half winner (and fellow Mandeville, LA girl) and Sean Astin of Rudy, The Goonies, and Lord of the Rings fame. We took a group photo then split into two groups for our run. The straight run group led by Rachel, and the run walk group led by the legendary Jeff Galloway.


Can you spot me in the photo below?


We ran around the World Showcase in the peaceful stillness of the morning before the hustle and bustle of another Disney day began.

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I was running SO fast you can’t even see me clearly. Smile

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When we made it around World Showcase, we were surprised with a quick visit from the Fairy Godmother. We told her we couldn’t wait to see her the morning of the Princess half marathon, and after a quick photo we were on our way, heading out to the Boardwalk.


We made a loop around the Boardwalk and back into EPCOT where we finished up in Germany. Breakfast was waiting for us (as well as coffee!) I had a muffin, banana, and bagel with cream cheese. It hit the spot after a fun morning run.

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The lovely Shannyn sat next to me, she is super sweet!

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The speakers soon began, and I knew we were in for a treat. First up we heard from Faron Kelley who praised us ladies for making runDisney events so successful. We outnumbered the guys during marathon weekend! Girl Power!

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We also got to hear from Jeff Galloway (the official training consultant for runDisney) and Tara Gidus (official runDisney nutritionist). Jeff reminded us it was going to be a warm weekend, and to adjust our expectations accordingly, and Tara gave some quick nutrition tips as well.


Rachel Booth talked to us about training, and how even in her lower mileage weeks, you can still have great runs and do well. I had to chuckle when she said a 50 mile week was low mileage! She’s a total sweetheart and answered questions from the crowd.


Next up was Ali Vincent of Biggest Loser fame. I am a huge Biggest Loser fan and cheered on Ali during her victory, so I was excited to hear what she had to say. She spoke about her weight loss and even gave our towels to those in the room who have lost the most weight. It was so inspirational to see all the hands go up around the room of the people who have had significant weight losses.


I even recorded Ali speaking for a minute, you can just hear the passion in her voice, I love it.

We also heard from Josh Rowe about the ever popular runDisney/New Balance collaboration. (Check out my post about the shoes in case you missed it.) They even gave some shoes away!


My favorite part of the meet up was hearing from three time Paralympian April Holmes. If you aren’t familiar with April, be sure to read up on this amazing lady. She was involved in a train accident in 2001, and lost her left leg below the knee. While in the hospital wondering what to do next, one of April’s doctors gave her a magazine and told her about the Paralympics. At first she was hesitant, but then she went on to shatter record after record, and brought home the Bronze in London in the 100 meters (which is what I ran in high school!)

The thing I loved most about April is that she openly spoke about her faith, and how she knew even despite the horrible accident she was in, that her life was spared because God had a plan for her. What an amazing plan it was indeed! She claimed she has so many medals she can’t even find them all! She was so inspiring and motivational, and it was just what I needed before trying to beat my own personal best in the Princess half marathon.

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She even handed our autograph cards to all in attendance, such a nice touch!

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We also heard from the folks at the Senses spa at the Grand Floridian. This spa was recently renovated and reopened (you will be hearing more about that from me later!) They drew names and used attendees to demonstrate ways you can self treat before or after a race at home, and some lucky folks walked away with prizes like spa robes and massages!


Before the meet up ended, a special guest was brought out to greet us, and we were told we had some Princesses waiting outside to meet us as well.

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As we headed out the door to see who was waiting for us, we were all were given amazing goody bags by runDisney including a one day park hopper pass and products from some of the race sponsors.


Once we made it out into the sunshine, we were introduced to some beautiful princesses! I had to go say hello to Rapunzel first. After all, I was dressing up as her for the race on Sunday. Do you see me explaining that I was going to run with Pascal on my shoulder? It as quite the conversation.

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She was a great Rapunzel, very in character and fun.

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Next I had to say hi to my girl Minnie. My outfit was inspired by her, and she was quick to notice.

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I think she was pleased with my skirt choice.

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Lastly, Snow White was waiting to say hello and wish us well in the race. I don’t have a clue what was so funny here. Or maybe I was just star struck.



I then spotted April Holmes, and couldn’t miss out on a picture with her. She even let me hold one of her medals! I told her how inspiring I thought she was and I loved how open she was about her story and her faith. She was so humble and sweet!

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I was sad to say goodbye, but I knew it had to come to an end. We all wished each other well for a great race and were on our way. A big thanks to runDisney for hosting this special event for us runners, I had a blast!


QOTD: Who would you most like to meet/see at a runDisney meet up?

Interested in attending a meet up? Be sure to watch the Disney Parks Blog closely the week before the race. They will post a blog about how to enter the meet up, but you have to be quick, these events reach capacity in a matter of minutes!

Posted in Disney, fitness, motivation and tips, runDisney, running | Tagged , | 32 Comments

Disney Post-Princess


I will be blogging about all of my race experiences later this week, but right now I am pretty darn tired. I am writing this on Tuesday night for Wednesday’s post, and we just got back from Disney this afternoon. I have been unpacking and cleaning then realized I needed to blog. Oops! I thought it would be fun to recap the day of the race (after the race) and Monday, what we did with my family etc.

After we got cleaned up on Sunday morning post half marathon, we headed to Epcot. My mom wanted pizza, and we were able to walk up and get seated immediately at Via Napoli, yes! I was starving, and pizza never tasted so delicious. A sweet Princess runner came up to our table and said she read my blog (hi again!) we chatted for a minute, it was great to meet her and see a fellow runner wearing a medal!

After lunch we walked around Epcot a bit, not even riding anything, and realized we were exhausted from our 2:45 wake up call. We decided to head back and rest, and I took a whopping one photo of the day.

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We went back to Animal Kingdom Lodge, and headed to the hospitality suite for a snack before taking a nap. Well, the nap never happened. Sean Astin was in the suite, and we ended up hanging out with him for two hours. I interviewed him about the race so stay tuned for that later! My parents picked us up for dinner and we ate at Trails End buffet. So good, but I was basically a zombie by this point and had been up for almost 19 hours. We made it back to the resort and fell into the bed for a good snooze before our last day in Disney.

We “slept in” until 7:30 (sad I was finishing the race at that time the day before!) We got breakfast in the hospitality suite and chatted with race announcer Rudy before heading to Hollywood Studios.


It was super crowded so Bobby rode Aerosmith and we did Star Tours before deciding we were hungry. Mom wanted to ride the boat from port Orleans to Downtown Disney, so we did just that and ate lunch at Wolfgang Puck’s Express.


We stayed at Port Orleans the last night with my parents


On the boat to Downtown Disney

After lunch, we wandered around a bit then decided we needed some ice cream.


Oh yes, I ate all of it by myself

We rode the boat back to the hotel, it’s such a nice little ride.


It was such a nice relaxing day and awesome not to have any major plans except for dinner. We walked around the resort just enjoying the grounds and sat in the food court and chatted.


Our royal room:


It was soon time for dinner, so we headed to the Magic Kingdom for a long awaited feast at Be Our Guest restaurant.


We ate in the West Wing, and honestly I loved it. I was bummed at first, but the main room seemed so noisy and this one was much quieter and more intimate. I also loved that you can get your photo with the Beast after! I met another sweet reader in line for photos, and she just got engaged!


We tried to recreate the picture behind us. Totally dorky.


Right as we were walking out of the restaurant, we realized Wishes was about halfway over. We stood on the bridge and watched. It was SO COOL. Fireworks were coming from both sides. it was an amazing wyt to end the night.

My mom took the below photo without me even knowing, and it’s not one of my favorites ever!


Love it! We headed to Gaston’s and got some er….drinks? Before leaving.


It was an amazing last day, a perfect way to end the trip! Stay tuned for meet up, 5k, and half marathon recaps!

QOTD: Have you eaten at Be Our Guest? Do you like Fireworks?

Posted in Disney, family, Uncategorized, vacation | Tagged , , | 25 Comments

Goodbye Disney

I had a great time running the Princess half marathon, but now it’s back to the real world and a bunch of unopened emails. I can’t wait to tell you all about the race and some other things I am working on. Stay with me as I get back on track this week, and sorry for the short post!

We have a long drive home today and I can’t wait to see my pups this afternoon. Here is a sneak peek of the trip:




Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 14 Comments