I Conquered Everest! (The race, not the mountain)

As you may have heard, we went to Disney World a couple of weeks ago and IT WAS AWESOME! We have been dying to go to Disney since having Luna, and we found the perfect excuse to plan a trip: a race. Several months ago, we signed up for the Expedition Everest Challenge. So, not only did we get to spend 4 magical days at our home away from home, but we also got to experience a magical run and after party. I think Disney runs might be my new obsession!

run disney

The Expedition Everest Challenge is a 5k through Animal Kingdom at night with obstacles and a scavenger hunt! I’ve got your interest, right? It was an extra special race because it was the 8th and final challenge. Why? I’m not sure, but I believe it has something to do with the Animal Kingdom expansion… Anyways, to prepare for the run we picked out Winnie the Pooh themed costumes. I was Pooh, Bella was Piglet and Husband was Christopher Robin. (BTW, I don’t know if Husband will ever allow me to dress him in costume for a race again… apparently Christopher Robin isn’t super cool. Whatevs. It could’ve been worse, my original plan was the three kittens from Aristocats.) We also prepared by doing Insanity Max 30 and running almost never. It’s so hard to stick to a running schedule, am I right?!

kittens
You’ve got to admit, it’s a cute idea!
Here's what we went with instead...
Here’s what we went with instead…

our group

Even without running we totally kicked butt! We ran our fastest 5k ever at 22 minutes and 51 seconds! Husband placed 15th out of individual men, Bella placed 7th and I placed 8th out of individual women. I am super proud of us, and impressed with Insanity Max 30 for keeping us in good shape. It was very intimidating to start the race in the first heat. We were surround by individuals and teams who have placed or won the challenge in previous years. Some had run every single year. We were shaking in our tutu’s, but we managed to keep up with the pack and it was a blast!

Before the race began
Before the race began

We ran through the parking lot, through the park, through three (albeit mediocre) obstacles and across the finish line. At the finish line we were handed the usual bottle of water, a cool towel and a clue! That’s right, the challenge was only halfway over. We were to solve the first clue, run to the second, give the correct answer, receive the second clue and so forth. It was not easy to keep running, but we pushed through it and took a few breaks to solve some serious clues. There were a total of 6 clues and at the second finish line we had to hold up the “hidden Yeti” with our 6 solved clues in order to cross and receive our medals. It was exhilarating and so much fun!

We did it!
We did it!

Then, the after party. We celebrated at the post-race private after party in the park. The Dinoland and Asia sections were open for us to enjoy. There were characters, open food and drink stands and rides! Yay, for rides with no lines! We rode Expedition Everest, Dinosaur and Kali River Rapids. It may have been a mistake to get soaking wet on the rapids considering it was chilly out and night time, but it was still worth it to be in Animal Kingdom at night during our own private party.

We conquered Everest!
We conquered Everest!

We didn’t get back until almost 2am. (Wild night for us lame parents.) After spending the entire day at Magic Kingdom and running all night we were EXHAUSTED! It was definitely a night to remember. In fact, it was such a good time that we are already planning our next Disney Run: The Disney Princess Half Marathon!!! (And, by “we” I mean me and Bella. Husband is thrilled to be the babysitter.) Who’s with me???

There were characters all along the course cheering us on and Mickey and Minnie were at the after party.
There were characters all along the course cheering us on and Mickey and Minnie were at the after party.

Also, who has advice? I am SO not prepared. Good thing I’ve got 9 months to whip myself into running shape!

Cheers!

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Making the Best of Any Situation

foam glow
Our before pic

Another weekend, another run. We typically do one glow each month, but May is special so we did two runs! The Disney Expedition Everest Challenge (blog to come) and the Foam Glow 5k in Nashville. Saturday night was the Foam Glow run and we had our biggest group yet! We ran with 9 of our friends, and while the race was a complete disappointment, we still had the time of our lives.

The start
The start

Let me do you all a favor: do NOT sign up for the foam glow run when it comes to your town! It was such an unorganized mess. It was impossible to actually run because of the crowds, mess, darkness and a myriad of other issues, and it was not nearly what they advertised. Having said all of that…we still had a great night.

lined up under the black lights and ready to go!
lined up under the black lights and ready to go!

Here’s why, we were with awesome people and we made the best of a disappointing situation. We went all out with our white clothes and glow gear, and I’m always happy when I get to dress up in some form or another. While waiting in the crowd of 15,000 people, we started a trend of breaking our glow sticks open and splattering them all over our clothes. (BTW, it burns if it gets in your eyes.). We walk/jogged/skipped through the dark course while tripping over strollers, children and holes. A couple of us may have peed in the bushes to avoid VERY long port-a-potty lines. We sang, danced, finished the race with a myriad of new inside jokes. Next, was the foam party.

This is what it looks like when you throw glowing liquid on your clothes: awesome.
This is what it looks like when you throw glowing liquid on your clothes: awesome.

There was a DJ, a mosh pit and several colored foam machines. There was foam up to our knees and thousands upon thousands of bubbles showering us from above. We jumped around and danced like college kids again, but we were done after about 20 minutes. Of course, we then realized we were drenched and none of us brought towels or a change of clothes. Woops.

foam party

It was a good time, but honestly, the best part of the night was probably our very late and long dinner at iHop, because where else do you go at midnight when you are covered in neon foam?

The view when you looked up.
The view when you looked up.

I won’t sign up for this even again because I prefer more organized 5k’s, but I will definitely be spending more time with these crazy people who know how to make anytime a good time!

And, the after shot.
And, the after shot.

Cheers!

The MOOsic City Run

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She loved running all over the park with her purse!

 

Another run and another sunny and warm weekend is in the books! This spring weather in Tennessee is wonderful. I don’t mind the rain a bit, and I’m soaking up as much outdoor time as possible before the unbearable summer heat hits. Plus, this was probably one of the most pleasant races we are going to be able to run until fall. Saturday morning we (our growing team!) ran the Purity’s Moosic City Dairy Dash benefiting Our Kids.

Always the entertainer... Luna stood on the winners' podium and dance for the crowd.
Always the entertainer… Luna stood on the winners’ podium and dance for the crowd.

Can you guess what we dressed as for this race?

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Cows, of course! Our official team name was “Bellarie’s Bovines”. Unfortunately, there was no costume contest, but we did run at a 7.48/mile pace! I’m especially proud of that time because we have only been running once a week lately. I guess Insanity Max 30 is doing a good job of keeping my cardio up.

me and my little farmer
me and my little farmer

Aunt Amy (the newest team member) ran her second race with us and beat her previous finishing time by 5 minutes. That is incredible! I am so proud of her, and super excited about running more races together.

5k's are exhausting for babies
5k’s are exhausting for babies

When we finished the race we were treated with milk, chocolate milk, juice, popsicles, ice cream, mac & cheese and meatballs! I think Luna, our farmer, enjoyed the treats most. Her first sip of chocolate milk was definitely a hit.

And, THEN it was time to get naked!
And, THEN it was time to get naked!

We completed our race day tradition with breakfast and Starbucks. Then, we took a sunny 6 mile walk, played at the park, did our Saturday Insanity Max workout, worked in my flower bed, made dinner and got in bed by 8pm! That was not only a very busy very fun day, but the earliest I have gotten in bed in probably 15 years. It. was. wonderful.

It was the perfect day to run around the yard naked and play in the water.
It was the perfect day to run around the yard naked and play in the water.

Bring it, Monday.

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Cheers!

P.S. WARNING- if you let your baby run around naked there is a good chance they will poop on your porch.

Who Do You Run For?

She was so happy....just hours before all hell broke lose. Boo.
She was so happy….just hours before all hell broke lose. Boo.

Forgive the rushed review and many typos ahead. I am writing this from the living room floor after a looonnggg day and a half of baby stomach flu, Husband stomach flu and a washer that decided to break and flood the laundry room floor while in the middle of cleaning puked on blankets. PLEASE DO NOT LET ME BE NEXT. 

free to breathe

Do you run or workout in any form? Who are you doing that hard work for? Yourself? Your spouse? Your kids? A friend? All of the above? I think the last would be my answer. Mostly, I run/workout for my health and sanity, which is definitely good for every one. However, on Saturday, I ran for those who have been affected by lung cancer… and myself, my baby, my Husband, my Aunt and my friends (my workout team).

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Saturday, we ran the Free to Breath 5k in Nashville to raise money for lung cancer. I ran in honor of my Uncle John, who passed away from lunch cancer when I was in high school, and 2 survivors, my cousin and my friend.

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We had a new member to our racing team this time too. Our Aunt Amy ran her very first 5k with us and she was incredible! I know how hard it is to force yourself to get up and run and train, so I am always so impressed when anyone starts a new workout plan. Aunt Amy began “couch to 5k” training a couple of months ago and her hard work is inspiring. I hope she signs up to run with us next month!

Look who crossed the finish line for the first time!
Look who crossed the finish line for the first time!

This the first annual Free to Breathe 5k to be held in Nashville. Overall, they did a good job. The volunteers were some of the most enthusiastic cheerleaders and kept us motivated throughout the entire course. There was a DJ that managed to get the entire crowd doing line dances and hip-hop moves before 9am, and the treats and coffee they provided were great. They could, however, stand to improve their organizational skills and may want to consider timing the race and offering awards to the top finishers next time.

Post-race dance party!
Post-race dance party!

It wasn’t perfect, but it was a beautiful run through Shelby Bottoms and we will consider doing this race again next time around.

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Cheers!

Running for a Cause

small things

I may have mentioned one or twenty times that we (“team workout buddies!”), have been running 5k’s every month in order to not only mix up our workouts, but to stay motivated when it comes to running. Well, we decided to skip the month of March because we have all just been too busy to even think about going for a run, plus winter just won’t go away. However, while searching for a race to do in April, I came across the “Free to Breath” 5k happening in Nashville on March 21st.

The Free to Breathe is a non-profit raising funds for lung cancer research. This hits close to home for me. I lost an Uncle to lung cancer when I was 17. I have a cousin who is a lung cancer survivor, and a friend who is also a survivor. Cancer sucks. Cancer sucks, and I want to do my part help fund research in order to find a cure. Sooo, looks like we are doing a race this month!

Our team of 5 will run in honor of our loved ones next weekend and there are a couple of ways that you can help support us and our cause, if you so choose.

  • Join our team! If you are in the area, then sign up here, join our team and run the 5k with us! Go Team Workout Buddies! (Yeah, I know, we need a better name… suggestions?)
  • You can click here and make a donation with just a click of the mouse. Any amount is greatly appreciated.

act of kindness

It’s been raining all week, so hopefully the sun comes out soon and I can squeeze in some runs before the race. Either way, I’ll cross the finish line feeling proud and hopeful that I made a difference.

Thanks so much for all your support!

Cheers!

My Favorite 5k Yet

Our Valentine’s Day began bright and early, well dark and early. I was up at 4:30 am, and for once, it wasn’t Luna’s fault. We had to get up, get ready, drop-off baby at the Grandparents and head downtown for the Hot Chocolate Run!!! Who wouldn’t want to do a run with that title?

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It was the most organized and well put together race. It all began at the Expo where we easily picked up our race packets and hoodies. Everyone was so nice and helpful. They allowed us to try on the hoodies and even exchange them for a different size if it was needed. Everything was neatly stacked, color coded and well-stocked. It is one of the few races where I actually got the size I requested. They also handed out hot chocolate and chocolate dipped marshmallows, not a bad way to kick off the even.

The Hot Chocolate Run is by far the biggest race we’ve ever done. Over 9,000 people signed up, and when we parked downtown at 6am, the only people we saw walking the streets were other runners. It was below freezing, but everyone seemed happy and excited at the prospect of running towards a mug of hot chocolate. We were running a little late (surprise, surprise), and had to park about a mile from the Start line, so by the time we arrived and joined our corral the race started.

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Dressed in matching Valentine accessories, we ran around Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park and through the streets downtown. Since so many people were there, it made running a lot more fun and the race went by much faster. There were tons of excited volunteers cheering us on as we ran, photographers, signs, and video cameras. As we approached the finished line the race announcer actually said our names over the speakers…Here comes Hilarie! Bella is approaching the finish line.. It was all very motivating. At least it must have been because we finished the race with an 8.10 pace and we haven’t run in weeks. I was very happy with that time.

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After we caught our breath we picked up our mug full of hot chocolate, fondue and treats to dip in our fondue… all of which were delicious and so needed. We were freezing when we finished! The little amount we sweated chilled us to the bone once we stopped moving. We stuck around to check out the after party, but soon enough we were too cold and left for our traditional breakfast, cupcake and Starbucks. It was the perfect way to start our day of love.

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Thanks, Husband for running with me, even though I know you are faster, hate running and don’t actually enjoy us forcing everyone to wear matching outfits. I love you the most. Happy Valentine’s Day!

Cheers!

A Week in the Life

Ready for more excuses? I have been gone all day everyday this week, and now that I am finally home and sitting at the computer I am finding it very difficult to let my creative juices and photoshop skills flow. Luna, however, has had a very busy week! I’ve gone a bit crazy with one of my photo editing apps during our nursing sessions, so why not share the photos and a peek into what it’s like to be a Luna baby!

In preparation for our December 5,k that was actually this morning, we finally began running this week. Look how happy this munchkin is to get up and run in freezing temps at 6:30am. Her smile is real…mine is forced. I still do not love running, but man does it feel good to get it done! Oh and BTW, she is wearing a pink and purple floral dress in this photo and 3 PEOPLE called her a boy that day. I mean, I know she’s bald, but come on, does the child have to have an enormous bow on her head? If so, I’m totally okay with that.

see what I mean? I got a little excited while playing on my PicsArt app.
see what I mean? I got a little excited while playing on my PicsArt app.

Last year, we went to this adorable tree farm to pick out and chop down our very own Christmas tree! I was 100% sure it was going to be our new tradition and each and every year we would take a photo in front of our tree before chopping it down. Fast forward to now and uhhh, well, do we really have to make the hour drive to get a tree? Does Luna actually care? Could we maybe save a bit of money by getting our tree at Costco? Because, that’s exactly what we did. Picking our wrapped up tree out of the back of a semi didn’t exactly create an adorable kodak moment, but we saved at least $50 and 2 hours of driving. Maybe next year…

oh Christmas tree... Oh Christmas tree...
oh Christmas tree… Oh Christmas tree…

Luna and I got to volunteer at the Children’s Hospital and for NeedLink by packing tons of food for Holiday Food Deliveries. We may have gotten slightly distracted by the cutest little potato packer you ever did see!

I hope no one finds a nibble on potato in their sack.
I hope no one finds a nibble on potato in their sack.

Luna also had a really fun playdate this week with six other babies. I love watching her interact with other kids. They don’t exactly play together, they usually just take toys from each other and hit one another in the head, but it’s still so darn cute. They even made these precious little hand and footprint ornaments!

Baby's first Christmas!
Baby’s first Christmas!

Our attempt at taking a photo with all seven babies.

just like herding cats...
just like herding cats…

We shopped and shopped and shopped and shopped and shopped and shopped. Yay Christmas time!

cuz all the cool kids, they seem to fit in
cuz all the cool kids, they seem to fit in

And, we may have sneakily taken a first photo with Santa while Husband was not with us. Woops!

you have got to be kidding me
you have got to be kidding me

This morning we had our monthly race! This month we signed up for the Music City Christmas Run. Clearly, we sign up for these run because we are now obsessed with coordinating themed outfits, so this race we were snowflakes, and we rocked it. My goal was to have so much glitter that I would blind the other runners. I think it worked because I had my best time yet.

Go Team Snowflakes!
Go Team Snowflakes!

Under Luna’s layers she sported her own snowflake jumper and wrapped her stroller in snowflake lights.

ready, ready, ready, ready, ready to run
ready, ready, ready, ready, ready to run

I got 33rd overall, but the winner’s podium was left empty and unguarded sooooo…

We can always pretend to win!
We can always pretend to win!

After the race Luna was cranky, but Christmas carols were playing and I did the one trick that never fails…danced. Luna loves dancing with me! You have no idea how happy this makes me!

She can't help but smile. :)
She can’t help but smile. 🙂

Another monthly tradition is having breakfast and Starbucks after each race. We always go in full costume. We might the attention it draws, and we perhaps enjoy explaining to everyone that we just ran a race. We also maybe had a little too much fun with Luna and our costumes today…

oooooooh I can't wait to show you these one day
oooooooh I can’t wait to show you these one day
My little snowflake
My little snowflake

Thank God tomorrow is Sunday and we have ZERO plans. Wonder what next week will hold?

Cheers!