Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Princess Half Marathon Costume 2017

This year, my Princess Half Marathon costume idea did not come as easy to me as it has in the past. It's by far not my most glamorous or fancy costume, nor does it have very many pieces and parts, but I love it!

The idea behind this costume came to me sometime last month. I was debating over costume ideas, even thinking of re-wearing my yellow Belle costume (lame, I know), when the idea for my costume hit me! I could still be "Belle" this year, just in a different form!


That's when the idea behind a Provincial/Town Girl Belle costume was born.


To date, this has been my most difficult costume to piece together. For starters, I just couldn't decide on a costume idea this year. I also realize that the costume itself doesn't have very many parts, but do you know how hard it is to match shades of blue?! For about a month, that blue skirt stayed in my purse and came with me everywhere I went, just in case I happened upon dry fit blue shirts! Unfortunately, it's not a perfect match, but it works.

As I've mentioned before, I like my costumes to be functional, runner friendly, and not cost a large amount of money. I'm also fairly crafty (along with my mom's help), so I'm not scared to bust out a needle and thread or my printer! 

So, if you're interested in dressing as Provincial/Town Girl Belle, here's where the pieces of my costume came from....

  • White undershirt - I had this on hand but it would be easy enough to find at any athletic store. (The top is in 2 parts. I like it this way because the short sleeve shirt can be swapped for a long sleeve shirt in case the weather acts crazy.)
  • Blue top - this came from WalMart of all places! My mom had to hem the shirt because it was super long on me.
  • Sparkle Athletic skirt - I had this on hand and have worn it for several costumes in the past. I also put it on top of a Running Skirts skirt and pinned it in place.
  • White apron - I purchased a painters apron from Michaels, then folded it down and hand stitched it in place to make it a waist apron. I was able to use a coupon for 30% off the apron...bonus!
  • Compression socks aren't necessary, but I like to run in them. These blue ones are from Legend Compression Wear and I love them!
  • Blue bow for the hair - this bow actually came from the bottom of the blue shirt. My mom had to hem the blue shirt because it was super long, so I created a bow out of the extra material! Hey, it matches! 
  • Accessories - I've seen this particular Belle costume paired with a book, a basket, or both! (Just make sure whatever accessory you choose is functional for running!)

There you have it...my costume for 2017's Princess Half Marathon! I'm super excited and can't wait to run this Beauty and the Beast themed race dressed as Belle!

If you spot me out there, be sure to say hello! :)

What are your thoughts on costumes for races?

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Evenflo Pivot Travel System Review

In my research for our upcoming vacation, I've looked into various grocery delivery services, necessary baby check lists, and stroller rentals. Baby's first big trip out of town has given me so many things to think about, including things I never thought I would need.

After hearing from so many of you guys about the ease of flying with a stroller, I decided to forego my planned stroller rental and bring one from home along with me.

Enter the Evenflo Pivot Travel System.


This stroller is light weight and has several different modes for travel. The handlebar is high enough for my tall husband to push without hurting his back and it includes an infant car seat and base.


The box arrived and I couldn't wait to put it all together!


The instructions were super easy to follow and before I knew it, the pieces and parts were assembled!


My favorite part about this Evenflo stroller is the diversity of the whole travel system. The stroller itself can hold up to 50 pounds and works in several different modes.


Here's toddler mode - with a foot rest and all. This is by far the most popular way to use this stroller at our home!


The infant car seat clicks nice and easy into the stroller. I like this infant setup because it provides extra protection from the sun.


In infant mode, the toddler base can also be removed and the infant car seat fits right into the stroller base.


Another favorite is the bassinet mode! On our very first walk in this stroller, Brayden fell fast asleep and was able to lie flat and take a very nice nap while we continued our walk! I love it!


Another favorite part of this stroller is the fact that no matter which way you have it (toddler mode, bassinet mode, or infant car seat mode), the entire base can be turned to either face you or face out! (Look at the difference in the above two photos...so cool!)


Last but not least, the whole setup comes with a nice leg cover for cold winter days!


Another favorite thing about this stroller is the easy way it folds up and stays fairly compact! This was a huge deciding factor on bringing it on vacation with us! 


The rear facing car seat is very nice, too! I was very impressed by the snug fit with the latch belts - this base doesn't move one bit.


Remember that nap I mentioned earlier? Yep, he was out for a good hour!


So, after a thorough review, I asked Brayden for his thoughts on the stroller and car seat combo. He pondered the question for a while....


...then decided it should receive an A+!

Overall, we really love this stroller and have used it on many occasions! Although it does include a cup holder for the parent, I would include one improvement idea - it needs a pocket of some sort near the handle bar for keys, cell phones, and other small items. I do have a velcro pocket strap from another stroller that I'm going to add to this one and see how it works. In all, I'm excited to take this Evenflo Pivot Travel System with us on vacation! It's going to be a fun week! :)

Thanks so much for this opportunity, Evenflo!

Disclaimer: I received this product for purpose of an honest review. No monetary compensation was exchanged. All opinions are my own. Thank you to Evenflo for kindly sponsoring this post. All opinions are 100% honest & completely my own.


Monday, February 20, 2017

2017 Make Your Heart Race 5K

I so vividly remember my first ever 5K. It was held in February of 2009 and was called the "Make Your Heart Race 5K", put on by my hospital. It was a cool and humid morning and I completed that 5K in 32 minutes and some change. After a few years, they stopped putting on the race and nothing ever took it's place.

Well, imagine my surprise when I heard an advertisement for a race of the same name again this year! After several years, they brought the race back - our fitness center took it over and changed the location, but it was the same "Make Your Heart Race 5K", nonetheless! Needless to say, I jumped all over that race registration!




As my friends and I began discussing the details behind this race, the idea of forming a team came into play. You see, my friend Melissa's dad passed away last month from a sudden heart attack, attributed to heart disease. Since this race was all about heart health, we decided to create a team to honor him....so we called ourselves "Team Mickey". Mr. Tracy was a devoted Disney fan and loved Mickey Mouse, so that's where our team name came from! Also, he was a State Trooper and loved his line of work, so we outlined the writing on the back of our shirts with the shape of the state of Louisiana.


Assembled and ready to run!


The back of our shirts said:
Always in our hearts.
In memory of
Sgt. Tracy Morgan
EOW 01/10/17
 

Somehow, we arrived super early and we were one of the first on site!

Funny side note - if you remember the Disney Cruise Line story and the fog that happened that morning....well, guess what the morning of this 5K brought along? Yep...it was super foggy. I find the correlation between the two a little funny because I think someone was trying to play a practical joke on us from heaven. :)

Anyway, after a few announcements and a quick prayer, we were off and running. This route was brand new to me so I didn't know what to expect. We ran by a nearby high school and through a neighborhood. One of the streets was even named "Karen Lane"!

I somehow ended up with the lead pack in the very beginning of this race and as we hit the half mile mark, they began to fade away. You know when you watch the Boston or New York Marathon on TV and you see the lead pack way ahead of the next set of runners? Yep, that's how I felt. I was so worried I would get lost since this route was brand new to me and had lots of turns, but it was clearly marked and had someone on each turn to direct us!

I tried to stay below a 9 minute mile and didn't even check my current PR before this race began. I felt as if I didn't have a chance to get close to it, so I didn't think about it. This was my first post-baby 5K and I figured I would take what I could get.

After mile 2, I realized that was a silly idea as I was running WAY better than I expected. However, my sides were starting to hurt and I wanted to stop. I kept telling myself that I could sit down when I was finished and I only had a little bit to go. I could also hear Mr. Tracy telling me that I couldn't give up now...I was too close to the finish! That was just the boost I needed to finish strong.


Although it wasn't quite a PR, I was still incredibly impressed with myself! My pre-baby 5K PR was 25:08 so a little more than a minute off isn't bad!

After catching my breath and trying not to throw up (I truly gave this race all I had), I stood around and talked to a few running group friends. It was great to see them again since my running group disbanded!


I also had a chance to cheer for Jason and Brayden as they crossed the finish line...as well as the rest of Team Mickey!


Even Brayden's shirt was complete! :)


While waiting around for the awards ceremony, we took a girl team picture!

The awards for this race were for the top overall 1st, 2nd, and 3rd male and female. Imagine my surprise when they called my name as 3rd overall female! 


I knew I was close but wasn't completely sure that I placed!


Our awards were from the local Painting With A Twist and I love it!

After the awards ceremony, we deiced to head over to a local diner for breakfast.


Delicious and a perfect way to end a fun morning!

I want to thank my friends who all came together for this event. I truly am honored that I had the chance to run with this team. This one was for you, Mr Tracy!


Friday, February 17, 2017

Winter Fitness Rants

Today's Friday Five topic is one about Winter and Fitness Rants at this time of year. Sadly, we really don't have much of a winter in the deep south...but now that I say that, it brings me to my number 1....



#1 Lack of Winter

I mean hello. The end of summer and beginning of fall always brings a promise of cooler days ahead. While the temps outside definitely ARE cooler, we just don't get very many "really cold" days. Give me a nice, clear, crisp 40 degree day and I'm in heaven - perfect running weather. Sadly, those don't come around often enough.

#2 Cray Cray Weather

Seriously, one day I am running outside in shorts and short sleeves and the next, I'm bundled from head to toe. As mentioned above, we do have a few "really cold" spells during the winter months, but they usually turn to warm and crazy humid the following day. Cray cray.

#3 Cute Winter Running Gear

Do I own any? Not really. Sad times. I just don't have the need for it! However, I do love long sleeved tops with thumb holes (I have a few)...one long sleeved pair of tights and a few dry fit jackets and you've got my winter running wardrobe.

#4 Sickness

With the weather going back and forth like it usually does around here in winter, people ALWAYS get sick on a routine and regular basis. I'm currently nursing sinus garbage right now. 

#5 Random

While recovery from my recent oral surgery has not been near as rough as having my wisdom teeth removed, I do have occasional pain and discomfort. I was released to resume running yesterday, however Brayden didn't sleep very well on Wednesday night (like at all and I was home alone because my husband was on nights...go figure), so my brain gave in to a 2 hour afternoon nap on Thursday instead of running. I am regretting it a little because Thursday was one of those beautiful clear and crisp days I mentioned above but oh well...sometimes sleep is more important.

Bonus #6: I've been working on my Princess Half Marathon costume! Can't wait to reveal it next week...stay tuned! :)


Friday Five Linkup 2.0
Link up with Running on Happy & Fairytales and Fitness for the Friday Five 2.0 linkup!

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Dopey Challenge, Here I Come!

Well, I did it. Yesterday, I officially registered for the 2018 Dopey Challenge in Walt Disney World!!

 
Yes, this is a race I said I'd never run. I also said I'd never run a full marathon (now I've done 5) or Goofy's Challenge (I've completed it once), so here I am. Learn your lesson, Karen...never say never!

For those of you who aren't familiar with Dopey's Challenge, it's a 5K on Thursday followed by a 10K on Friday, the half marathon on Saturday, and the full marathon on Sunday for a grand total of 48.6 miles!

The whole idea behind Dopey began several months back. I finally began to feel the urge to run Goofy's Challenge again (it's been five years...so hard to believe) and I considered asking my Florida friend Melissa to run with me. Instead, she actually text me first and asked if I would run Dopey with her. Well, "it's just a 5K and a 10K more"...yes, and a couple hundred dollars more but who's counting...but ok. I agreed and now I'm in!
 

It's also an anniversary year for so many of the races! The 20th Anniversary of the Walt Disney World Marathon was one of my favorite races and I'm super excited to be going back for the 25th Anniversary!

This will definitely be a one and done for me, but I'm super excited to rise up to the challenge! As you know, Marathon Weekend holds a super special place in my heart as that's where my running journey all began.

My IT Band will have to be nursed extra carefully over the fall/winter as I don't want to go into this race with an injury. Hopefully it will behave...I'm crossing my fingers at least!



The races...the characters...the costumes...the medals...oh my I can't wait!

So, who else is joining in for Marathon weekend? Anyone?

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Oral Surgery & The Weekend

I hope everyone's week has gotten off to a great start! Happy Valentines Day!

Last Thursday, I had to have oral surgery to remove a fractured and abscessed tooth. Do y'all remember me having a bunch of mouth issues last year after having Brayden? Well, I went in last summer to have my back molar refilled and the dentist was worried about it abscessing. He put a temporary medicated filling in it and told me I might have to have a root canal or have it pulled. Well, in the mean time my sweet dentist passed away. He was close to retirement and already had another dentist in the area set to take over his practice, so I saw him two weeks ago for a routine cleaning. He told me the tooth was definitely abscessed (although it wasn't bothering me) and he wanted to try to save the tooth. I was referred to an endodontist who said a root canal wasn't my best option because the nerve root was fractured. In turn, I saw an oral surgeon because my dentist was worried about pulling it with the location, the curve of the roots, and the fact that it was fractured. In less than two weeks from the start of it all, I saw my oral surgeon and the tooth was gone. Now, I'm nursing the area, trying to remember not to drink out of straws (I developed dry sockets with my wisdom teeth), and letting it all heal up. 

Yikes. Did I mention I'm not a fan of the dentist (in any form)? All I can say is, I'm so very glad the oral surgeon knocked me out for the procedure!

Oh yes, I also made the oral surgeon PROMISE that I would be better and ok to run by Princess. He told me I would be ok to run mid week this week so here's hoping all stays well and I'm good to go!
 

We didn't sit in the waiting room long - and funny story - the nurse who started my IV last time for my wisdom teeth (about 8 years ago) was the one who started it again for this procedure (and in the same spot, too)! She said she started working for this oral surgeon when he first came to town and is still there!


My diet for two days consisted of blended bananas and potato soup.


I also had a few visitors after my nap! :)


Oh yes! Exciting news!! Brayden had several firsts this weekend!!

HE IS NOW CRAWLING! Just in the nick of time for his first diaper dash, too! Also, he started clapping his hands without us doing it for him, and he's finally learning the process of a sippy cup!


It's crazy to think that his first birthday party is right around the corner!


On Friday night, Brayden and I attended a gender reveal for some sweet church friends. Only one person at the party knew the gender and almost EVERYONE was team boy except maybe 3 people. It sure was a surprise to see PINK silly string come out of those containers!


On Saturday morning, we were supposed to have Brayden's Valentine pictures taken, but the weather was cray cray and the photographer had to cancel. Instead, my friend Kim came over to help me and in a pinch, we set Brayden up in his outfit with a few props and voila....a "free" Valentine mini session! Hah!


These were not what I wanted at all and I am in no way a professional, but they will do in a pinch.

After his nap on Saturday, we spent a little time shopping for a few things for Disney! It's coming up so soon - can't wait! 


We spent Sunday morning at church followed by lunch with my parents.

I also worked a lot with my silhouette this weekend. Our magic bands are ready to go!


This upcoming weekend, a small group of us are running the "Make Your Heart Race 5K" in honor of Mr. Tracy, my friends dad who passed away about a month ago. He passed away from a sudden heart attack and he loved Disney, so that's where the combo of the team name and race of choice came from. I also have a design on the back but I guess I forgot to take a picture! Whoops!


After Sunday's nap, we had to run to Michael's for a few extra rolls of heat transfer vinyl.


After returning home, we went for a 2 mile walk, then waited on Jason to get home from work so we could eat dinner.


In all, it was an awesome weekend despite the sore jaw and mouth pain! I feel great now and am hoping all continues to heal well!

Hope you have a great week!

Happy Valentines Day!

Friday, February 10, 2017

Fitness Friday - 2/10


 Currently Training For:

  • Disney's Princess Half Marathon & Glass Slipper Challenge
Saturday - Travel day
Sunday - Rock 'n' Roll New Orleans Half Marathon
Monday - Rest day
Tuesday - Rest day
Wednesday - 3 miles with Jason and Brayden
Thursday - Oral Surgery :(
Friday - Rest Day


Well, this week hasn't exactly gone as planned. I began the week with the Rock n Roll New Orleans Half which was so much fun. After returning home, I saw an oral surgeon regarding a mouth issue I've been having (he was one of three dentists I've seen in the past two weeks). The endodontist said a root canal wasn't in my best interested, so the oral surgeon agreed that my back molar that's been giving me trouble for over a year needed to be removed. I made him PROMISE I would be good to go for Princess so here's hoping!

The rest of the week was great, though! :)


I might have toted my medal around in my purse with me all week. :)


When we initially checked into the Hyatt Regency in downtown New Orleans for the race, the staff member couldn't stop smiling at my credit card. He asked if we'd ever visited the Tower of Terror at Hollywood Studios and come to find out, he was a former bellhop there! He also introduced us to another coworker of his who was a cast member in the Mexico Pavilion in Epcot. Literally, what a small world! We had a great time chatting and he even left this little Mickey on my room key! It was an awesome end to our first day in New Orleans!


This week, the weather was GORGEOUS so we decided to take advantage of the afternoon on Wednesday. With oral surgery scheduled for Thursday, I knew my mileage for the week wouldn't be so great, but I figured I was recovering from Sunday's half anyway. Those New Orleans streets are always super tough on my body. 


Anyway, Jason, Brayden, and I enjoyed a 3 mile walk/run around the neighborhood. The azalea's can't decide if it's winter or spring! I was chased by an angry red wasp at one point which had me in a dead sprint for about a quarter of a mile. Y'all...he was big and angry. Have I mentioned I hate wasps??


Despite the whole wasp situation, we still enjoyed ourselves!


Wednesday afternoon was an awesome mail day! Along with several orders I'd been waiting on, I also received a surprise from a sweet blog reader! She sent Brayden an early birthday gift so he could pick something out in Disney. It was so sweet...thank you again, Miriam! 

My oral surgery went well yesterday and now I'm at home recuperating. My jaw is incredibly sore and I can't keep my eyes open longer than a few hours at a time. They told me not to be surprised if day three was the worst which will be Saturday so we shall see how I feel. 

Princess is in 2 weeks! I can't wait!! 

How was your week? Have you ever had a tooth extracted?

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