Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Why Do We Get Injured?

I don’t know about you, but I’m loving all of the tips we’ve received from Jeff Galloway over the past month or so! The tips that focus on injury and injury prevention are definitely my favorite because it seems to be what I struggle with the most in my running journey.

runDisney Castaway Challenge (20)

Why do we get injured?

1.  Be aware of irritation of weak links.
  • The Key Weak Links are body parts where my runners tend to experience injuries: Knees - Feet -Calf - Achilles -Hip - Glute/piriformis/sciaticia
  • The body parts that YOU need to be aware of are the sites where you are injured or suffer more aches and pains.
  • If you're sensitive to the first indication of irritation in these areas and take immediate action, it's possible to avoid injury. (I love to hear that…just means you have to be careful and not continue running through irritation – don’t be stubborn!)
2.  Stress buildup due to the way we train.
  • Training schedule is too intense-not enough rest between stress.
  • Adverse Training Components-speed is too fast or has too much, too soon.
  • Running form-too long a stride, forward lean, bouncing too high off the ground.
Staying focused on the way one runs and following these guidelines can often allow runners to maintain a manageable increase without injury.

Top 5 ways to avoid stress buildup-and avoid injuries
1.  Take walk breaks more frequently, and run shorter run segments
2.  Form: shorter stride, feet low to the ground
3.  Slower long runs, with more walk breaks
4.  Avoid Stretching
5.  Be careful when running speed sessions

I’m going to pay closer attention to my form this afternoon when I go for a run. While “in the zone”, I have a habit of getting comfortable and not paying attention to anything…so yes, I’m definitely going to do do this today!

Interested in running the Jeff Galloway 13.1 in Atlanta? Keep reading!! :)

Register now for the Jeff Galloway 13.1!  The 2nd annual half marathon on Dec. 13, 2015 is currently $95. You can sign up with no risk! Take advantage of this low price, and if you can't make it, you can roll into the virtual option with no extra charge!

Disclaimer: As a Jeff Galloway blogger, I’ve been provided with these tips to share with you – no compensation was given in return. 

Monday, March 30, 2015

Long Run, Productions, & Snow Cones!

HOW is it Monday  already?! I’m pretty sure I blinked and the weekend was over like that…  Thankfully, I don’t have any meetings or events tonight, so my life can somewhat return to normal now that the production is over!

Saturday morning, I met up with my running group for a 10 mile run. It was a little chilly at the beginning, so I wore a long sleeved shirt and regretted it about halfway through my run. Oh well. At least it was a cute shirt! :)

Long Run and Come See (2)

I took the run a little slower than normal because my knee started bothering me about halfway through.

Long Run and Come See (3)

I was going to attempt a 12 mile run but decided to cut it down to 10 when my knee started acting crazy. This is the longest I’m going to run before the Diva’s Half Marathon in a few weeks. Twelve miles is what I prefer as my longest training run before a half marathon, but I’m not running Diva’s for time so it’s ok. I also want my knee to feel good for the race and that’s the most important thing!

After the run, I came home and stained the planks of the deck in our backyard…..then I convinced my husband to take me to get a snow cone!

Long Run and Come See (4)

This one’s a new creation called “The Little Mermaid” and oh my goodness….it was delicious!

Friday night, Saturday night, and all day Sunday were filled with rehearsals and performances of our Easter Production.

Long Run and Come See (1)

I was Mary, the mother of Jesus. I didn’t have a baby doll for our first few run-throughs, so it ranged from Big Bird to Hello Kitty to (finally) a “real” baby doll.

Long Run and Come See (5)

Overall, the production went really well and everything flowed smooth! I love being a part of these but it’s exhausting at the same time. Seriously, I can’t tell you how much I’m looking forward to a night off tonight!

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Lunch at McAlister’s was a must this weekend, too (of course)! :)

How was your weekend? Anything exciting happen?

Friday, March 27, 2015

2015 Princess Half Marathon Vlog

Happy Friday! I’m so glad it’s the weekend! We have our Easter production this weekend, so it’s going to be another fun filled one for sure! Hopefully it doesn’t go by togoo fast, though. I need sleep. Maybe a nap or two. :)

I’m terribly sorry about the delay of posting this video, but here’s a video recap of the Princess Half Marathon! Like I said about the 10K video, I had so much fun making this one and reliving those fun memories and special moments!

Princess Half Marathon 2015 (20)

Missed any other recaps? Check them out here:

Thanks for watching! Have a wonderful weekend!!

If you ran the Princess Half this year, what was your favorite moment or memory from the race?

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Achieving a Sub-2 Hour Half Marathon (A Few Tips)

While training for this year’s half marathon season, I did a lot of reading on achieving a sub 2 and I studied the steps that others took to reach that goal. Today, I’m going to share with you a few of the tips I used and what worked for me!

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(Please know that I’m not trying to come off as if I’m bragging or praising myself in any way, shape, or form in this blog post.  I debated on writing this post, but I’ve decided to share it anyway, in hopes it will help someone with their half marathon journey! )

Prior to this half marathon season, I was so close to a sub 2 hour half…and it remained that way for three years (my best time was a 2:01). Every year, I tried and tried to reach my goal but it never happened. From IT Band problems to sickness and crazy weather, it just didn’t seem possible for me.

This past fall, I did a lot of reading from a google search and I came across a Jeff Galloway runDisney plan. I noticed that his plans from past rD events utilized a strategy I didn’t think was necessary. (Sounds funny, right?! How silly I was…) On all of his training plans and on the longest training run days, he had runners train at least a mile over the distance they were trying to achieve on race day. For instance, I turned two of my 12 mile training runs into 14 mile training runs last fall. What good did that do? Well, I noticed that my legs weren’t as fatigued during the race and I felt like I was able to run 13.1 faster! 


(Side note here – While participating in the events for the Castaway Challenge, I was able to thank Jeff for his advice and share my accomplishment with him. He was SO excited for me it really made me feel great – he’s such a standup guy and a class act. I respect him even more now than I did before!)

Ok back to the reason for my post…

I also cleaned up a my diet a bit about 2 weeks before the race. Yes, I should have started earlier but it was right around the holidays and lets face it, I wanted to eat all the delicious things!

Mid December (for my mid-January race), I broke in a new pair of running shoes. I always perform better when my shoes are at the front end of their lifespan, not the back end.

I had two half’s on the schedule for January of this year and I knew I wanted to try and sub 2 in one of them. I’d run both courses in the past and the Louisiana Half was the flattest from what I could remember. If the weather decided not to cooperate, I figured I’d try the following weekend at Rock N Roll New Orleans instead. Rock N Roll NOLA became my back-up plan…just incase!

Last but not least, I found a pacer to run with for the half marathon. (Not all races have them, but most do.) I know that all of my efforts prior to race day, plus the assistance of the pacer is what helped me achieve my goal. The pacer kept us right on target and I’m definitely glad I chose to run with him and the 2 hour group because I couldn’t have done it on my own!

Sub 2 hour Half

So, to recap….

  • On two occasions, I ran a mile longer than my planned race distance.  (These were not back to back weekends, they were about six weeks apart with the last one being three weeks before my half marathon.)
  • Cleaned up my diet – no processed bad garbage, I tried to “eat clean” for two weeks and reduce sugar intake.
  • New-ish shoes (but still broken in)
  • Picked a race and had a back-up plan
  • 2 Hour pacer to run with during the race – he was essential!

Want to read a recap of my version of the Louisiana Half Marathon? Click here. This is such a great race – if you’re debating on running a race in the Louisiana area, it’s a fantastic one to choose! :)

Sub 2 Hour Half (1)

*Please note, I’m not a coach nor a training expert, I’m just sharing a few of the things I did to help myself achieve my goal of a sub 2 hour half marathon.

What is/was the best tip you ever received on obtaining a running/race related goal?

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Photo Flashback

Over the years, my family and I have shared so many wonderful moments at Walt Disney World. For a “Photo Flashback”, I tried to find a few pictures I haven’t shared in the past (except the first photo of course…I’m sure you’re tired of seeing it)! :D

The remaining photos are from our family trip in 1999 (the summer before my senior year of high school) and 2003 where we “followed” my brother and his class on their senior trip (we left them alone and did our own thing)!

Today’s theme is: Photo Flashback
Deb at Focused on the Magic


Want to participate in an upcoming Wordless Wednesday? Click on the button below for more details!

Focused on the Magic

What’s your favorite WDW memory?

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

OOFOS Review

Prior to leaving for Princess Half Marathon Weekend, I was contacted by OOFOS regarding a review. Disclaimer: I was sent a pair of OOFOS to review, free of charge – all opinions stated are my own, I did not receive any monetary compensation for this review.


I remembered seeing these all over the parks after previous runDisney races and just knew I had to try them out. I’d heard they were crazy comfortable and felt amazing to wear after running a race/walking in the parks all day, etc.

My first debate in the ordering process was the color choice. OOFOS come in a WIDE variety of sizes and colors. After a little debate between a pretty aqua blue and black, I finally decided on black because I figured it would match anything.

Oofos (1)

OOFOS are made from a unique and proprietary material called OOfoam, which is 37 percent more impact absorbent than EVA, OOFOS allow the recovery process to begin as soon as you finish your workout and slip them on!

OOFOS offer unparalleled impact absorption and arch support, yet they are soft and insanely comfortable. Our biometrically designed footbed massages the foot, causing you to feel the OO as you tackle all of your daily responsibilities.

These shoes truly live up to their description!

Oofos (3)

Like walking on a bed of clouds, I kid you not!

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Here you can see the awesome arch support!

Oofos (2)

OOFOS come in full sizes only and I hear they run small – I ordered mine as an 8 (I wear an 8 in work tennis shoes and an 8.5 in running shoes) and the size 8 OOFOS fit great!


These shoes were made for recovery. After running the Princess Half Marathon, I found myself wishing I had these with me. I was incredibly envious of those I saw wearing them around the parks. My feet were definitely feeling all of the excess park walking plus race mileage on top of that! I’m running the Diva’s Half Marathon in Galveston in a few weeks and I’m curious to see how they feel after that. I’ll keep you guys posted!

Head over to OOFOS to check out their great products in a wide variety of colors! Your feet will thank you later! :)

Want to find out more information about this great product? Follow OOFOS on Twitter & Facebook!

Have you ever tried/do you own a pair of OOFOS? What are your thoughts on them?

Monday, March 23, 2015

Long Run, Rain, & A Softball Game

What a week it’s been! Last week, I literally had something going on every single night of the week (including the weekend). I’ll admit, some of it was for myself, but the majority was “extras” or things I agreed to help with. By Sunday I needed a BREAK, so I spent all day outside where I pulled weeds, spruced up the flower beds, cleaned off the front/back porch, etc. It was a great and super productive day! Perfect way to kick off spring!

This past weekend’s weather was ridiculous – the forecast changed at least three times before the weekend actually hit, then it changed again on Saturday. Basically, it was supposed to rain all day Saturday…which then changed to rain all day Sunday….which then changed back to rain all day Saturday.

A girl can’t keep up!

Long Run (2)Long Run (1)

After much debate, I finally decided to stick with my normal schedule and run my long run on Saturday morning. My running group was out of town, so I ran it solo around my neighborhood.

The air was cool, but the humidity was pretty thick which made for a warmer run. I also wore my lucky shirt from the Louisiana Half to give myself a little motivation! :)

Long Run

During my run, an unmarked garbage truck almost hit me (I mean, WHO drives unmarked garbage trucks anyway?!). I was running in the lane towards traffic and there happened to be vehicles coming both ways. I was off the side of the road (almost in a ditch) when the trash truck passed. Instead of him stopping and waiting for the other car to drive by, he charged ahead and nearly hit me. He didn’t even slow down. I was livid and I know he saw me because we made eye contact. UGH. After I hit my turn around point, I was headed back towards the area where he stopped to pick up a trash can and I realized that not one but two people got out of the truck.

My mind immediately went to these thoughts….unmarked trash truck, two random dudes, CSI episode. Ok maybe that’s a TAD bit dramatic but hey…you never know!! Unmarked trash truck? That’s creepy and totally suspicious to me.

They lingered in that location for like…ever. I kept thinking that I’d rather play it safe than sorry. Instead of standing there, I ran the .2 mile loop at the end of the road for a while. It added .6 miles to my total distance! HAH!

Long Run (1)

They finally left and I was able to finish off my run, 8 miles total! I have the Diva’s Half Marathon in Galveston coming up in a few weeks and I gotta stay prepared. Next up is a 12 mile run (with a ton of squats and lunges in between) and I’ll be ready!

After my run, my BRF Heather and I spent the day together! We planned to watch a softball game by our local university but the ran kind of put a damper on it.

MSU Softball (1)

The game was supposed to start at noon. Around 1 p.m., she asked if I wanted to leave. After checking twitter which said the umps would return to the field to evaluate at 1:15, we decided to stick around a bit longer.

MSU Softball (3)

Thankfully, they agreed that all was well and the game began around 1:30 p.m.!

MSU Softball (4)

We hung around until about the 6th inning when it started sprinkling again. I could see from the radar that a monsoon was about to hit, so we decided to leave….just in the nick of time, too!

MSU Softball (2)

After checking out the new Ulta store in the mall, we parted ways. I had such a great time with her, it’s been far too long!

On Saturday night, I saw Insurgent with some friends and really enjoyed it. However, I read the book like 2 years ago and the movie really didn’t trigger my memory. Kenzie kept asking “What’s happening now?” and I couldn’t answer because I truly didn’t know! Did anyone feel like it actually followed the book? I think it’s been too long…maybe I should read them again.

Our work relay for life team is holding a silent auction at the end of the week to raise money for ACS. Today, our team captain is going on a local news station to talk about a few items we have up for bidding and he wants me to tag along. I’m so nervous. Ugh. LOL

I hope you all have a great start to your week! Happy Monday!! :)

How has the weather been in your area? Has spring made its way there yet? Did you run/workout this weekend?

Friday, March 20, 2015

2015 Castaway Challenge Part 2

runDisney Castaway Challenge Title

Hi there! Happy Friday – I hope you are looking forward to an amazing weekend! It’s going to rain most of the day here on Saturday but that’s ok….we’ll make the best of it! :)

Today, I’m sharing Part 2 of my Castaway Challenge experience – an overview of the “extras” that were provided from runDisney, specially created for runners who participated in the Challenge!

rundisney Castaway Challenge (2)

As mentioned in the Expo recap, runners were instructed to pick up their bibs/shirts at the Princess Half Marathon Weekend Expo. There was a special booth dedicated to the Castaway Challenge…completed with CM’s wearing fun Mickey Cruise Line ears!

Each day, I scoured the Cruise Line Navigators for any runDisney info. I wanted to try and participate in everything that was available!

A little while after we left Port Canaveral (I think it was like an hour maybe?), the shops on Deck 3 opened up for customers. We just so happened to be passing by and saw a line (mostly runDisney people), so we jumped in it. At first, I didn’t even know what we were in line for! HAHA!

Sadly, I was slightly disappointed in the merchandise. I collect a pin for every runDisney race I run – there were no pins. I also collect coffee mugs or tumblers for every runDisney race I run – there were no mugs or tumblers.

Basically, they had women’s Castaway Challenge “I Did It” shirts (which were incredibly cute…I did purchase one of those and I love it) and a men’s Castaway Cay 5K shirt. That’s. It. The rest of the merchandise was Princess themed or regular Castaway Cay 5K merchandise, like the CC5K pins they had available – which I already own from last February. For some reason, I’m lacking pictures of the merchandise that was available, but I do have video footage so that will come soon in the Castaway Challenge Vlog…stay tuned! :)

rundisney Castaway Challenge (9)

The next event for Castaway Challenge runners was held on our Nassau day in the Walt Disney Theater.

rundisney Castaway Challenge (10)

It was a speaker panel, complete with Jeff Galloway and a couple of runDisney experts (Allison who facilitated the panel and Chris who shared important race related info)!

rundisney Castaway Challenge (11)

First up was some important race-day information from Chris

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Jeff Galloway shared expert advice and great tips with the runners! He also took questions from the audience as well.

After he was finished speaking, they opened up the floor for questions. Uhhh…that probably wasn’t the best idea, I kind of felt sorry for them because they were pelted with questions from the audience about anything and everything having do with runDisney! Basically, they were put on the hot seat! From Paris to Disneyland races to challenges and the like, you name it, people asked it.

It was here that we were informed that Tower of Terror 10 Miler is indeed gone for good – there are NO plans to bring it back.

Also, the current Castaway Cay 5K on the island is a free event and has been since it started – it was asked if there is currently a charge for that event since the medal has changed and the answer was…. “not at this time….” I captured a lot of footage from this Q&A so stay tuned for the Castaway Challenge vlog coming up soon!

rundisney Castaway Challenge (13)

After the panel, I stopped to say hi to Jeff and thank him for his great advice. I also told him that I used some of his advice while training for my half marathons this year (more on that later)and because of it, I was able to finally break 2 hours and PR. He was so excited for me, it made me feel so good. Y’all, I can’t say enough wonderful things about Jeff Galloway. He’s a class act and a truly genuine person.

Listed in the Navigator on our Castaway Cay 5K day was a runDisney smoothie. It was advertised as a green smoothie made with bananas, dates, coconut milk, and kale.

rundisney Castaway Challenge (15)

I had to try it, of course!

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I purchased mine from the Vista Café and drank it while watching Villains Tonight in the Walt Disney Theater. The smoothie was really delicious!

The final “extra” was held on our last afternoon onboard the Dream. runDisney hosted a reception in the Castaway Challengers honor on Deck 4, Evolution. We found this invitation at our stateroom door the evening before the reception was held.

rundisney Castaway Challenge (17)

We left our room around 3:45 p.m. to get in line (all we had to do was walk down one flight of stairs right outside our room) and we arrived to THIS! Holy moly!

rundisney Castaway Challenge (18)

We walked in to an amazing stage display – two runners made out of ice and a wonderful selection of hours D’oeuvres!

rundisney Castaway Challenge (4)

To our surprise, we were informed that each runner only took the kitchen staff 35 minutes to make (that’s 35 minutes a piece)! They were fabulous…and that’s some fast chipping!

rundisney Castaway Challenge (5)

After we were seated, Jeff Galloway spoke for a few minutes, then a very special guest came out to greet us. It was Cinderella!

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rundisney Castaway Challenge (6)

We first got in line to see Cinderella, then we joined the line for food. I knew with the amount of people in the room, not everyone was going to have a chance to snag a picture with her. Instead of wearing all my medals, I put on my Glass Slipper and Castaway Challenge medals for the photo op.

runDisney Castaway Challenge (22)

It was so hard to choose between the amazing selection of food, but dinner was coming up soon and I didn’t want to spoil our last evening!

runDisney Castaway Challenge (21) 

As we were eating, I heard one of the Cast Members tell someone that the line for Cinderella was closed (it was still pretty long) and I felt sorry for them. They waited for the line to die down and it never really did. :(

runDisney Castaway Challenge (20)

Jeff Galloway and his wife Barbara were in the back of the room, taking pictures and speaking with people. I decided to say hello to him once again and have him sign my medal!

rundisney Castaway Challenge (7)

Before leaving, I took one final picture with the really cool ice sculptures. By this point, it was around 4:15 p.m. and we were pretty much “kicked out” of the room! Haha whoops! What can I say? Runners like a good party!

rundisney Castaway Challenge (8)

Another “extra” that wasn’t really because to runDisney…but kinda was…related back to dinner. Since we were travelling alone (just the two of us), I knew we were going to be seated with another couple for dinner. Usually, DCL tries to pair people up with others that are similar to their family size/style/age, etc. Imagine our surprise when a lovely couple from California who were also runDisney fanatics, (ran Princess, were running the Castaway Challenge, etc) were seated at our table! Y’all, we had the BEST time at dinner and even looked forward to dinner each night and sharing our days adventures with them! For real, Disney Cruise Line really did an awesome job with this pairing! :)

Remember the lack of a Castaway Challenge pin I was sad about when we first got on board? Well, our dinner friends found the Inaugural Castaway Challenge pins for sale on the island! Say what?! Even though it was from the inaugural race, I didn’t care – it was a “medal” style pin! They purchased two pins and after we returned home, I received an email from Christine, offering to ship one of the pins to me! How nice is that?! I was seriously blown away by her generosity!

Seems like I run into amazing runners everywhere I go! I love runners, especially of the runDisney kind! :)

rundisney Castaway Challenge (3)

Final thoughts on this event? It was incredible from start to finish. I would run it all again in a heart beat. I loved being both on land and on the Disney Dream. I also loved all of the runDisney extras that they held for us on board! I hope they bring this challenge back for future races!

Would you participate in an event like this if the opportunity presented itself?

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