Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Favorite Non-Running Hobbies

Today's Tuesday Topics Linkup is all about our favorite non-running hobbies! If you've been a blog reader here for a while, I'm sure you can guess mine! :)

#1 Disney and Traveling 

We LOVE going to Disney, but we also love seeing new places! One of the reasons we joined the Disney Vacation Club last fall is because it gives us the opportunity to do just that. Already, we've discussed the idea of visiting Hawaii in the future (I traveled there for my senior trip, but Jason's never been)! We are also taking a cruise this summer (non-Disney) with Jason's family to Alaska! This time, we will be sailing on Royal Caribbean. I am excited to return to Alaska and take in the wondrous beauty of it all. For this trip, we are planning on excursions we've never done before which include whale watching and visiting a musher's camp. I know Brayden is going to LOVE seeing the dogs! It should be an all around fun time!

#2 Family & Friends

Family and friend time is absolutely the best. I love being with my family and friends and spending time with them! Life is seriously so fragile - I see it every day. One thing about working in oncology is it has given me a better appreciation for LIFE and enjoying loved ones in the here and now. In the end, I want to be able to look back over my life and say that I truly took the time to appreciate my family and friends. Our loved ones bring such a richness and fullness to our lives and it's important to truly value that.

#3 Baseball

During baseball season, you can either find me at home watching a ball game or at Minute Maid Park cheering on my beloved Astros! I've been a fan since birth and love carrying the tradition over to Brayden! We also love visiting Minute Maid Park! It's almost opening day, y'all!! I'm SO excited!

#4 Volunteering

When I look back over my life, I can't remember a time that I didn't volunteer (because I truly love it that much)! At my church, I've been a volunteer with our Girls Ministries program since 2000 and once I started working in oncology in 2007, I also became a volunteer with the American Cancer Society. Over the years, I've also helped in various other areas, but these two have stuck the longest and I wouldn't trade it for anything. Giving of yourself and your time, especially with how busy life can be is truly rewarding, especially when you know you're helping to make a difference.

So, there you have it - when I'm not working or running or going to Orangetheory, those are the areas you'll find me! 

Join Kookyrunnerand Zenaida every Tuesday for the Tuesday Topics Linkup!

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

2019 Princess Half Marathon Race Recap

Happy Tuesday, everyone! It's March 19 and do you know what that means? It's Wine & Dine registration day!! I'm happy to say that I was able to register for the Two Course Challenge for the Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend and you have no idea how excited I am! I love Disney during the fall and combining it with a runDisney race weekend makes it even better!

For a full recap of the weekend, check out the additional links below:
Today, I'm also sharing a recap from the Princess Half Marathon weekend I ran just a few weeks ago at Walt Disney World. This race was so much fun as usual, and I love being able to relive and recap it with you, so thank you for giving me this opportunity!

As I'm sure you know, I decided to dress as Mary Poppins for the half. This costume had been rolling around in my head for a while and it was something I've always wanted to do but never got around to it. You can see a full costume reveal here.

 Having gotten myself in trouble in the past by not being on a bus early enough, I decided to attempt to make it on the first bus out of Wilderness Lodge. I'm pretty sure I was actually on the second bus but oh well - whatever works, right?

Race transportation was super easy to find and I never had any issues with super long lines or anything over the weekend. However, note to self - arrive at the bus stops EARLY!

So, I somehow got placed in coral E. I'm not meaning to make this sound like I'm whining at all because I'm not - but this was all just a part of my overall race weekend experience and I want to share that experience with you. Because of this, my plan was to arrive to the starting area early, get to my corral early, so I could get as close to the front of it as possible.

I also met up with my pal Melissa at the start! She was ahead of me in corral D and wanted to run this race for time, so we said our goodbyes as soon as we reached our corrals.

I managed to make it up pretty far to the front of my corral and ended up being in the second wave of corral E which I was pretty happy about!

The start line is always so pretty!

After the announcers called GO, I managed to kick up a decent little pace for a while which was nice. I also skipped the first few character stops because I had those photos already.

Arriving at the Magic Kingdom parking area is always so cool and such a fun sight to see! You know the real fun is about to begin!

Mile 3!

Something I also never noticed in the past was the fireworks trailer. It was literally sitting in the middle of a field and kept going off for all the various corrals. In fact, this trailer kept shooting off fireworks for most of the race (not sure if there was a malfunction or what)..it was rather interesting!

I am also happy to report that the TTC restrooms were open again! You have no idea how happy that made me!! These drummers at the TTC were also back again and always make for a cool sighting!

One of my favorite parts of this race took place at the underpass by the Contemporary. In the past, I've never been able to run this entire incline without stopping, so I made it a goal to do so. I'm happy to report that I did it! What an awesome feeling!

After looping around through the bus drop off, we spotted the train station! I know it's been this way for a little while now, but I'm still loving this route change and the "new" entrance into the Magic Kingdom!

Here we go!

Main Street is always so incredible during a race! I absolutely love it!!

A kind cast member agreed to take my picture with the castle. I was attempting to make it to the Magic Kingdom before the sun rose, but I didn't get to it this time. Maybe next race!

After looping through and passing a few more characters I already had photos with (like Buzz and the Alice characters), I stopped in Fantasyland for a photo with both Belle & Gaston. This stop (with Gaston alone) was my favorite from a couple of years ago and I knew I couldn't miss it!

After looping over to the castle, I spied Cindy out front, so I also stopped for a quick photo with her!

She recognized "Polly" and told me that she would tell Mary I said hello! Hah!

While standing in line for Cinderella, we watched a squirrel attempt to cross the running path. He almost got kicked, but managed to dash across without injury. One of the runners ahead of me in line was dressed like Snow White, and Cinderella commented to her that she even brought her "furry friends" along for the race. It was rather comical!

A new to me character was Goofy in his cowboy outfit! Of course, I had to stop! He was hanging around Fronteirland. 

After leaving the Magic Kingdom, we then began our journey on one of the toughest parts of the course to me - also known as "cone alley". Thankfully, it flowed rather well this time and I was able to make it through without any issues!

At the wedding pavilion, these hilarious bridesmaids were out for pictures! They cracked me up!

Also, these construction workers were pretty funny - they kept hollering at the runners trying to go in the port-a-potties. "What's behind door number 1?" Hah!

Mile 10 and just a 5K to go!

We looped around that giant overpass to Epcot, and I knew the end was almost near! The weather for this race was terrible - it was hot, humid, and sticky yet again. Of course the weather on Monday morning was perfect racing weather! Isn't that how it always seems to work out?!

Traditional mile 12 photo!

Pluto and The Incredibles were out with very short lines, so I jumped in for a picture!

A group of photographers was tucked away in a corner with the Epcot ball clearly visible, so I stopped for a quick picture. There was zero line for this one because I don't think runners realized these photographers were there!

The gospel choir was also out to sing runners in to the finish line!

Mile 13 and just a bit to go!

After crossing the finish line, I grabbed a medal, had myself "bippity boppity boo'd" with fairy dust, then made my way over to meet up with Jason and Brayden!

This photo was a must!

Melissa was also at the finish and our husbands surprised us with roses! How sweet!!

After milling around for a little while, we decided to head back to our resort for breakfast.

Mickey waffles, the runDisney runner's breakfast of choice!

We relaxed for a little while at our resort, then made our way to Epcot for the afternoon.

With a ribbon like the one on the half marathon medal, I knew I had to have a picture with the bubble gum wall, too!

...and just like that, the 2019 Fairy Tale Challenge was complete! I had a blast running this race (as always) and can't wait for Wine & Dine! Again, stay tuned to my YouTube channel for video recaps coming soon! I'm attempting to finish our cruise recaps before starting on these, and there's just a couple of cruise ones left. Thanks for being patient with me! :) Have a wonderful week!

Thursday, March 14, 2019

2019 Princess Enchanted 10K Recap

Hello there and welcome back to another runDisney Princess Half Marathon Weekend Recap. I'm sorry these recaps are rolling out so slowly, but I'm also in the process of planning my soon to be three year old's birthday party. THREE? Craziness!

For a full recap of the weekend, check out the additional links below:
Today's recap is all about the Princess 10K which was actually my favorite race from this year's Princess weekend!

The weather on the morning of the 10K was super hot and sticky. I'd checked the weather forecast ahead of time, so I was definitely well prepared.

For this race, I decided to wear a Raw Threads shirt, and although Disneyland races are currently on the DL, it was still fitting! This was my first Princess race after having earned the pink Coast to Coast medal from Tink a couple of years ago!

After waking up at an insane hour of the morning, we headed to the bus stop. A bus was waiting, so it didn't take us long to get on and out to the start line.

We milled around the start line for a few minutes because I had plans to meet up with a blogger friend, Lesley! 

It took a second, but we found each other! It was so nice to finally meet her in person!

Jason registered for the 10K as well!

We walked around for a few minutes and I realized how hungry I still was (because just my granola bar didn't cut it), so I bought a banana.

Before long, Jason and I said our goodbyes and headed to our corrals.

I ended up in the second wave of my corral and landed right near the front!

It made for a cool picture of the start line, at least!

When the announcers called go,  I loved it because I was able to run at a pretty quick pace for a good little while - that is, until we hit the back of the previous wave of corrals. No worries, though...I was just having fun with this race anyway!

Around a half mile, we spotted Pocahontas on top of the overpass!

I loved seeing this road sign, too!

The line for the very first character stop we approached was INSANE. It was both Belle and Beast with a cute backdrop...but that line, y'all. Just wait till you see the video recap! (Coming soon, I promise.)

It was then and there that I decided if I had a picture with that character in the past and the line was long, I was going to skip it.

Imagine my complete and utter surprise when the next character along the way was Elvis Stitch! I seriously almost went into heart palpitations!  Y'all know how much I love Lilo and Stitch, so this was perfect. Seriously, if I didn't see any other characters for the remainder of the races, I would have been 100% ok with it after this one.

Next along the way was vacation Donald and the line was rather short. Since Jason's a huge Donald fan, I had to get a picture with the #1 Duck!

Another exciting character spotting for me was Sadness and Joy! I missed this photo opportunity during the Marathon last year, so this was a must-stop for me!

After winding on the highway for a while, we made our way into Epcot. This is one of my favorite parts of this race because I LOVE Epcot and it's just simply a magical moment!

These guys were out in Norway, so I had to jump in for a quick picture!

A selfie with the EPCOT ball is also a must!

I somehow managed to snag a photo pass picture without a million runners around! Score!

By this point, I think the humidity had gotten to my brain, and I waited quite a while in line for a picture with Pinocchio - which broke my rule of "don't wait if you already have it". Honestly, I think I knew my time in Epcot for this race was coming to an end, so I just wanted to make it last as long as possible! Also, you can see how absolutely drenched I was here!

A little view from the runners perspective. :)

After leaving World Showcase, we looped around to the Boardwalk and Beach Club area resorts. Goofy, in his baseball gear, was waiting out along the Boardwalk with a relatively short line, so I jumped in!

Mile 5 was out in front of the Yacht Club, and I knew the finish line wasn't much further. Jason was somewhere around, so I kept trying to find him but I never did.

The final character stop along the course was classic Mickey, and I waited in a ridiculously long line for two reasons...number one, it was classic Mickey...and number two, it was the final character stop for the 10K and I was sad the race was almost over. Sad times.

Anyway, after a seriously 15ish  minute wait, I was off and running again towards the finish line. It was around this time that Jason sent a text that he was finished with the race.

Mile six!

Although there wasn't a gospel choir here for the 10K, they did have these drummers who were doing a great job!

...and just like that, the 10K was over!

At the finish line, they were handing out the usual boxes of food, water, gatorade, and bananas, but they also gave us these really awesome cooling towels since it was so dang hot out there!

You can see how drenched I was from this race. It blows my mind how race weekend weather has been all over the place over the years - from seriously freezing to ridiculous heat and humidity. 

We did it!! You can see the cooling towels I mentioned around our necks. They were serious life savers for sure!

Despite the weather (which is totally out of Disney's control...shocker, I know), this was such a fun race and definitely turned out to be my favorite of the weekend!

Thanks again for being patient with me, y'all! More recaps (blog and video) are to come!

If you ran the Princess 10K this year, what were your thoughts on the race?

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