I am Officially Going to Run a Half-Marathon

I think I have forgotten to mention that I am training for a half-marathon.

Let me say that again. I (the person who HATES running) is training (like running…A LOT) for a half-marathon (translation: 13.1) miles. The Disney Princess Half-Marathon to be exact.

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But, that’s not even the whole truth. I am actually going to run the Disney Glass Slipper Challenge in February. This means that I will run a 10k on Saturday (6.2 miles) and a half-marathon (13.1 miles) on Sunday. A total of 19.3 miles.

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Belle and I have been training for a couple of months now and Husband is refusing to train. Of course, he will probably do just as well as we do without any training, because he’s just one of those people who is good at everything. Yes, it’s okay to hate him.

look like a beauty

Unfortunately, I have already had a couple of hiccups in the road (hello injuries!), but I don’t want to focus on the struggle just yet.  No, instead let’s talk about the important stuff…. costumes.

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Obviously, I need to dress like a princess for the half-marathon and this may be the hardest decision I’ve ever made. What do you guys think?

Cinderella and Prince Charming? You know, Husband loves when I force him to dress in costume.

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Cinderella pre-fairy Godmother

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Belle…and Husband could be Prince Adam (post-Beast)

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Belle Pre-Beast

blue belle

Those are my top four favs, but I am open to suggestions. OH and before I forget Luna will be running a toddlers’ 100m dash! Gah, another costume to plan!

Wish us luck and I’ll keep you posted on all of our training plans, triumphs, set-backs, costume decisions and everything in between!

Cheers!

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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!

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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!

10 Minute Workout With a Toddler

What? What? Guess who is back with more workouts???

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The last few months of juggling life, Luna and the blog have been challenging. I am trying so hard to manage everything without ever having a sitter (like, ever), and it’s tough. Just last week, I went through my stats and realized that I am getting tons of hits on my “10 Minute Prenatal Workout” blogs and I am stoked! I LOVED exercising during pregnancy and love even more that I have been able to keep it up since having Luna. Thank you so much to everyone trying out the prenatal workouts!

I wish wish wish I would have written about working out with a newborn and an infant, but you know, you live and learn and now I’m back and ready to share new workouts with you! Since having Luna I have completed Shaun T’s T25, P90X3 and am almost done with the 4th month of Insanity Max 30. I have also picked up running and walking. Luna is with me during each and every workout (unless she by some miracle is napping). Having her with me has taught me a couple of things about the challenges of working out with an infant and toddler. I’ve learned a lot.

We workout in a fairly large room and basically let her have free reign. She runs around, plays with her toys, eats snacks and of course, interacts with us. She babbles, yells, pulls, points, pokes and climbs all over us. There are often occasions where I hold her and workout with her in tow. So, today’s 10 Minute Workout is going to include those exercises that her and I have found to be the most successful for Mommy-toddler workout time.

This workout uses no equipment and can be done virtually anywhere! Do each exercise move for 1 minute. I suggest doing this when you are a) Trying to squeeze in a quick workout. b) In need of a warm-up. or c) Trying to entertain your child while simultaneously energizing yourself. Of course, you could always do it three times in a row for a good 30 minute workout!

(I KNOW some of these photos are blurry. Blame it on the toddler.)

10 Minute Workout With a Toddler

1. Squat, squat, squat, squat, squat, squat, squat, squat, squat, squat, squat, squat, squat, squat, squat, squat EVERYBODY! Hold that baby and get low. Remember, sit your butt back, chest up and don’t let your knees go past your toes.

squats

2. While lunging you can hold your baby facing you, or facing out while sitting on your thigh. Do 30 seconds on each side. Keep you knee in line with your ankle. If you are feeling really strong do an extra 30 seconds of pulsing on each side!

lunges

3. Luna is a big fan of knee lifts. The faster the better. Lift each knee as high as you can, tighten your abs and tilt your hips under.

knee lift

4. In hindsight, carrying your baby on your shoulders may not be the best idea. Hold your little one however you feel safe in comfortable and lift those heels up! Don’t forget to tighten that booty!

calf raises

5. The ab twist is another favorite of Luna’s. I usually have to switch her to my other hip halfway through, but she loves being twisted from side. Remember to hold your abs in tight, keep your back straight and knees slightly bent.

ab twist

6. The pelvic lift is so good! Lie back, tighten your glutes and abs, and lift and lower down. Luna tends to run over and jump on me for a ride every single time I try this.

pelvic LIFT

7. Time to work the arms. Clearly, Luna has made herself right at home. Keep your bottom off the floor, and lift and lower you body while making sure your elbows go back, not to the sides, as you lower down.

tricep dips

8. Time for some ab work. I love V-sits but it’s near impossible to do them when Luna is crawling all of me. The trick is to use your arms. It’s not considered cheating when a 23 pound baby is jumping on your chest. Just focus on squeezing your abs and using your lower abdominals to hold up your legs.

vsit

9. For your low plank, go to your elbows, keep you body straight (no butts in the air or sagging hips). Let your babe go wild. Luna enjoys crawling over and under me.

low plank

10. Finish it off with some cardio! Run in place! When the little one starts begging for attention, grab their hands and have them run with you! Fun for the whole family.

runinplace

Good luck peeps! Let me know what you think of the new workout and any new workouts you would like to see!

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!

The Boo Bash Dash

In the last few months we have run a handful of races, and much to my surprise, I’ve really enjoyed them. It may just be the medals, the tshirts or the fact that I get to dress-up in some sort of theme that makes it enjoyable, but that’s okay, as long as it keeps me running! We (and by “we”, I mean me and my friend, Bella, Peter is just forced to join us) have decided to sign up for a race at least once a month. This month we did the Boo Bash Dash.

Boo Bash Dash 2014
Boo Bash Dash 2014

The Boo Bash Dash is put on by CASA (advocates for abused neglected children). They encourage costumes, so we obviously wore them. Bella, myself and her Mom all dressed alike in the most ridiculous Halloween accessories we could find. Luna, clearly, had to join in on the theme. Our friend, Derek, was a green man. And, Husband is lame, so he dressed as “a runner”.

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Because of a back injury, I had to walk this race, but on the bright side, I got to push Luna in the stroller. Derek was one of the top finishers, and after he crossed the finished line, he ran back to get Bella and Peter and cross the finish line with them as well. Then, the three of them went back for the rest of us, and all 6 of us (Luna included) finished the race together. The organizers seemed impressed by our sticking-togetherness and we gathered quite a bit of attention with our big group, matching costumes and cute little baby.

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Could there be a more gorgeous run??
Could there be a more gorgeous run??

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We hung around for the awards ceremony, and were shocked that we ALL placed! Bella was first in her age group. Derek and Peter were first and second in theirs and I got first place in my age group for walkers! I’m 99% certain that I am the only person in my age range who walked (and several senior citizens beat my time), but whatever, I GOT FIRST PLACE!

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Then, as if that wasn’t enough, they gave out trophies for best costumes. The first trophy was for honorable mention. They announced that the “Halloween group” won and everyone just kind of clapped and looked around for the winners. The announcers then pointed to us and said “You! You are the ‘Halloween group’, you and the baby.” They were very clear that the baby gets the trophy for being so cute, and who could argue?

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Afterwards, one of the organizers came to thank us for coming, asked where we heard about the race and if we had any suggestions on how to improve the race for next year. I thought this was really nice, and we did have a couple of suggestions, which they took very seriously. It was so great to be appreciated! We loved the experience and plan to do this one again next year. It was worth the hour drive!

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Now, we just have to decide which race is next… the Mustache Dash or the …? Hmmm…guess you’ll find out in a few weeks!

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Cheers!

Apparently I Like to Run

I’ve created a monster.

running

 

We ran the Mud Run two weeks ago, which inspired us to sign up for a local 6k last weekend. Now, we are signed up for the Warrior Dash in a few weeks and already looking into holiday runs, more obstacle runs and even Disney Runs. (OMG, Did you know there is a Princess run???) Anyways, last Saturday was the Heroes in Recovery 6k (weird distance, right?) and it was the first run where I didn’t feel like death at the end. In fact, I enjoyed the run. I felt awesome at the finish!

start

This race had zero obstacles, yet it was a hell of a lot more fun than the Mud Run we recently ran. The cool, breezy slightly misty weather certainly made for a pleasant run, but the whole experience was so positive that I am certain we will be running it again next year. I’ve narrowed it down to 5 reasons why the Heroes in Recovery kicks the Mud Run’s butt.

1. Pre-race shenanigans. Before the race started we enjoyed walking around the tents set up nearby. There were local gyms, stores and groups advertising and giving away free passes, t-shirts and selling cute merchandise. We got some cute free tanks for warming up on some rowing machines. There was also music playing and a stage set up where a local jazzercise group taught a few routines. It was the perfect way to warm-up. Everyone was silly, dancing and just having a good time. Fruit, bagels, trail mix, coffee and water were also available for everyone for no extra cost. Everything was well-organized and geared towards pumping the crowd up to run/walk.

jazzercise

2. Scenic route. The race was held in Leiper’s Fork which is a gorgeous part of town. We ran up and down hills, through the woods, past farms and wide open fields and around cows, horses and llamas. The race was never boring.

horses view cows

3. Cheerleaders. Everyone working, volunteering, watching and running was so enthusiastic and supportive. Before we started everyone pumped each other up, warmed up together and lined up excitedly. During the race we cheered for the people passing us and encouraged the ones behind us, as did everyone else. Volunteers on the side handed out water and constantly told us “great job!” At the finish line we were completely bombarded with people screaming, cheering and telling us how fantastic we are. We were handed metals as our chips were taken (that’s right, we got chips in this race). We also got water, more snacks and lots of praise. All of the love and support made us feel like heroes. In fact, it was so fun and encouraging that after we finished we stuck around to the end to cheer on everyone else running/walking the race.

4. After party. Once the race was over, the party continued. We were not rushed away and immediately sent home. The tents remained opened, a band played music, people snapped photos and everyone continued celebrating their accomplishments.

5. A sense of community. Heroes in Recovery is a movement started by Foundations Recovery Network and the those who are in recovery from addiction and mental illness. They want to break the stigma that surrounds substance abuse and mental health disorders and keeps millions of people from seeking help. They put together events like this 6k to create a sense of community, and they did a perfect job. Everyone was working together, supporting one another and behaving like neighbors. We were all coming together for a good cause and doing something active and positive together.

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Besides these 5 reasons, the Heroes in Recovery 6k also offered free pics and free parking. We are definitely doing htis again next year. Aanndddd probably several other races in between. Any suggestions?

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Cheers!