Week in Review – August 18, 2017

Happy Friday!

Let’s get this weekly recap started!

Workouts

Dopey Challenge Training Week #11 is one day away from being complete. Some of you may be wondering…did I skip a week? Nope! I just recounted my schedule earlier this week and realized that I had actually started one week earlier than I thought. Oops! At least I was further ahead than I thought!

  • Friday: 20 minutes on the elliptical at the gym and some leg exercises
  • Saturday: 11 miles on the treadmill at the gym – Netflix saved me here!
  • Sunday: Rest day! My legs needed it this week!
  • Monday: 20 minutes on the elliptical and some leg exercises
  • Tuesday: 3 miles around the neighborhood and some arm and ab exercises
  • Wednesday: 4 miles on the treadmill
  • Thursday: 3 miles around the neighborhood and some arm and ab exercises

I plan to do 30 minutes on the elliptical and some leg exercises at the gym today, and then I have a 5-mile maintenance run tomorrow morning. It looks like it may be another rainy Saturday, so I’ll be heading to the gym again….more time to catch up on my Netflix shows!

Favorites:

Experiences

My favorite experience of the week has to be going to Hollywood Casino to see Hollywood Nights, a Bob Seger tribute band. Because my parents were both born in 1968, I grew up listening to 70s and 80s music, so this band was right up my alley. They were VERY good and very entertaining to watch!

Another one of my favorite experiences would have to be my 11-mile run, oddly enough. I felt so good during this entire run, even though it was on the treadmill. I downloaded a few episodes of The Crown and really focused on my form. I finished with a 9:20/mile pace, but I didn’t feel winded. It was a GREAT run.

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Books:

Yes, I’m still reading Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire – I’m getting through it!

Food:

We really didn’t have anything outside of the norm in terms of food this week. But, I will share that Steve and I have started a weight loss percentage challenge. Each week, we weigh in and compare weight loss percentages. In August, the loser has to do the dishes….EVERY DAY. Last week, I was the loser, and, let me tell you, I’ve never been more motivated to stay on track in my life. I HATE doing dishes. It’s on this week 🙂

Anything Exciting Happening Next Week?

Steve and I have a family party tonight, and then we plan to take it easy tomorrow. On Sunday, we may be going to the PA Renaissance Faire, and I am so excited! We haven’t been to the PA Ren Faire since middle school, so it will definitely be an adventure for both of us.

What are you most excited for this weekend?

Design

#TBT Wedding Edition

Happy #TBT, friends!

On this #TBT, I’d like to share my five favorite wedding photos. Steve and I got married last October, and I’m completely in love with the work that our photographer did. He truly captured the atmosphere and the pure happiness that Steve and I felt on that day.

Enjoy 🙂

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Design

Dopey Challenge Training Update #1

Hi, all!

I just completed week #10 of Dopey Challenge training! Wow….I can’t believe it! This plan is flying – it feels like I just started yesterday.

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My puppy welcomed me home after my 11-mile training run at the gym on Saturday 🙂

Now that I’m 1/3 of the way done, I thought that I’d recap my experience so far and share some of the lessons I’ve learned along the way.

Ten weeks in and I’m feeling great! All of my runs have felt fantastic, and I’ve been hitting my training goal pace for each one. But, with that being said, I’ve definitely had some problems that I’ve had to adjust for.

Five things I learned, in particular, are:

  1. Body Glide is EVERYTHING. Yes. I trained for two marathons and too many half marathons and other races to count, but I’ve never experienced as much chafing as I have this cycle. I think that the extra weekly runs are really wearing down my sports bra line.
  2. Smoothies are my new favorite recovery drink. I love me some Nuun, but lately I’ve been craving smoothies after my runs. I make mine with Greek yogurt and chia seeds, so I’m sure to pack in the protein! Now if I don’t have my morning smoothie, I feel sluggish for the rest of the day, which affects my workout the next morning. It really is a vicious cycle.
  3. My stick roller is my new best friend. Four runs a week, plus cross and strength training, really pushes my muscles to the limit. Nothing beats my daily roll sessions…it hurts so good!
  4. Mornings are the only time to run. Lately, if I don’t workout in the morning, I can barely get myself to go after work. Running in the morning energizes me and makes me alert for the rest of the day. Plus, there’s no sun or heat!
  5. Treadmill runs aren’t terrible. As I’ve previously mentioned, treadmill runs over 5 miles used to make me annoyed. How would I keep myself busy? Do I really have to look at the wall the entire time? Ugh! But, I’ve now discovered the beauty of Netflix downloads. Yes, I’m a millennial, and yes, I am just now learning how to download Netflix shows for streaming offline. This is seriously the best invention ever. So far, I’ve watched re-runs of The Office, and I started watching The Crown – which is very good! Now, long runs on the treadmill (due to weather) don’t bother me!

In total, my Dopey Challenge training will last 31 weeks, including race weekend. So, only 20 left until it’s Dopey time! I’m motivated to keep going, and I can’t wait for the challenges that lie ahead.

Who will I be seeing at Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend?

Design

Week in Review – August 11, 2017

Happy Friday, friends!

It’s weekly recap time again – let’s get started!

Workouts

Dopey Challenge Training Week #9 is almost complete, and I’m still moving along!

  • Friday: 20 minutes on the elliptical at the gym and some leg exercises
  • Saturday: 5 miles on the treadmill at the gym
  • Sunday: Rest day! My legs needed it this week!
  • Monday: 20 minutes on the elliptical and some leg exercises
  • Tuesday: 3 miles around the neighborhood and some arm and ab exercises
  • Wednesday: 4 miles around the neighborhood
  • Thursday: 3 miles around the neighborhood and some arm and ab exercises

I plan to do 20 minutes on the elliptical and some leg exercises at the gym today, and then I have an 11 mile training run tomorrow morning. It looks like it may rain tomorrow, so I may have to do this run at the gym, which means Gilmore Girls on the treadmill again.

Favorites:

Experiences

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We had a pretty relaxing week, so we didn’t do too much outside of our regular routine. With that being said, Steve’s family got together for trivia night at Lydian Stone Brewing Company last night. This was my first time playing trivia, and it was a blast! Steve was my partner, and we did pretty well!

Books:

I’m still reading Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire – it’s getting really good!

Food:

This week, Steve made DELICIOUS meatloaf. He used his family’s recipe, and it was so good! I, being the terrible blogger that I am, forgot to take photos…BUT, I plan to do a recipe post on this very soon!

Anything Exciting Happening Next Week?

Steve and I will be getting a pizza tonight, as is the norm the night before a long training run. We also plan to snuggle up and watch a movie so that we can relax before tomorrow morning. While this might not sound exciting for some, pizza is VERY exciting for us…..it’s one of our favorite foods! 🙂

What are you most excited for this weekend?

Design

My Running Belt Collection

Hi, friends! With my 11-miler coming up this weekend, I’ve got running, fuel, and gear on the brain. So, today, I want to talk a little bit about how I store all of my gear when I run.

First things first: let’s start out by discussing how and when I use a running belt. I usually don’t need a lot of “stuff” for my shorter weekly runs, which range anywhere from 2-8 miles during this training plan. I don’t like to drink too much water (for obvious reasons relating to my bladder :)), and my body doesn’t require fuel for any runs less than 10 miles. I also usually don’t carry my own water with me during races (except Marathons), unless the race course does not feature any. I do, however, always carry my phone, no matter how far I’m running.

With all of that being said, I usually don’t wear a running belt for any training runs under 10 miles. I don’t find it necessary, and I like to just be “free.”

Alright…so when I do run longer than 10 miles, what do I use?

I’ve gathered a fairly large collection of running belts over the years, and I’ve narrowed down a few of my favorites below:

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  • Fitletic Mini Sport Belt (I believe I had a different model, but this is the most current version that I can find). This was my very first running belt. After I decided to sign up for my very first half marathon in 2013, I did A TON of research on what I would need to train. Because I followed several RunDisney bloggers/social media gurus, I was instantly drawn to this belt. It was water resistant, had plenty of storage for my phone and cards, and did not ride up. Now that phones have gotten larger, I don’t really use this belt all that often anymore. Fitletic does sell separate pouches for phones and other add-ons, but as you’ll see below, I have plenty of other options to choose from when training!

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  • The Buddy Pouch. These were actually gifts from Aunt for Christmas a few years ago. She got me both sizes so that I could have options when running. One fits my phone, while the other does not. I’ll admit – I was extremely skeptical about this pouch before I used it. Would the magnetic strip really hold? Would the velcro be strong enough for my fuel and phone? But, I am happy to report that I was wrong. Although not ideal for long runs, this pouch is perfect for long walks, hikes, and runs under 10 miles. This does not bounce, and it keeps all of my items in tact.

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  • Flip Belt. I’ll be honest…I totally bought this because everyone was talking about it. I  didn’t necessarily need a new belt at the time, but I really wanted to try it. And, to my delight, it is one of the best running belts I’ve ever tried, and it’s super simple to use! You slip your belongings into the holes and then flip it inside-out. Easy! I’ve used this on a few long training runs, and I’ve never had any issues. I’ll surely be using this again throughout the duration of my Dopey training!

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  • Fitletic Forte Armband. Ok…so this isn’t a running belt per say, but I do use this a lot, so I think it deserves to be featured in this post. I love this armband! I’ve used it for several half marathons, and it’s been great! This armband provides the perfect amount of storage for my phone and Gu, and it comfortably stays put on my arm. I love it!

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  • Fitletic Hydra 16 oz. Belt. And, finally, this is the most recent belt that I purchased. While training for my first two marathons in 2015 and 2016, Steve would ride the bike next to me to keep me company – since I had never gone that far before. He also carried a bag full of water bottles for me to use at any time. This time around, Steve and I have some other commitments, so I’m not sure that he will be able to ride next to me for every long training run. So, I decided to look for a running belt that would meet my hydration needs. Because I had such a great experience with my first Fitletic pouch, I decided to go back to it. I haven’t tried this belt out yet, but I’ve heard rave reviews from multiple bloggers and YouTubers. I’m hoping to try it out in the next few weeks!

And, those are the belts that I tend to use during my training cycles. I love them all and use them for very different reasons. I’m looking forward to using my new Fitletic hydration belt, and I’ll be sure to post a review once I do!

What’s your running belt of choice?

Design

 

Week in Review – August 4, 2017

Hi, friends!

It’s weekly recap time again – let’s get started!

Workouts

Dopey Challenge Training Week #8 is almost in the books – I can’t believe how fast this is going!

  • Friday: 20 minutes on the elliptical at the gym and some leg exercises
  • Saturday: 10 miles on the treadmill at the gym
  • Sunday: Rest day! But, Steve and I took the dog for a 5-mile walk.
  • Monday: 20 minutes on the elliptical and some leg exercises
  • Tuesday: 3 miles around the neighborhood and some arm and ab exercises
  • Wednesday: 5 miles around the neighborhood
  • Thursday: 4 miles around the neighborhood and some arm and ab exercises

I plan to do 20 minutes on the elliptical and some leg exercises at the gym today, and then I have a maintenance 5-miler tomorrow morning. I may do this run at the gym, depending on the weather. Gilmore Girls on the treadmill FTW.

Favorites:

Experiences

YOU GUYS. I. HAVE. NO. WORDS. Last night, I got to meet Scott Patterson (Luke) from Gilmore Girls! He was so nice, and he looked great! How awesome is this picture?!

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I’ve been a big Gilmore Girls fan since I was in the 4th grade, so meeting Luke was so surreal!

Books:

I’m still making my way through Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, and I am loving it. This is probably my favorite book so far!

Food:

This week, Steve and I made Chocolate Covered Katie‘s chocolate peanut butter swirl black bean brownies again and they were DELICIOUS! We’ve been really trying to suppress our sweet cravings, and these brownies certainly did the trick!

Anything Exciting Happening Next Week?

Steve and I are don’t have any set plans this weekend. We are thinking about either going hiking tomorrow (if it doesn’t rain) or to see Dunkirk (we weren’t able to see it last weekend) if it does rain.

What are you most excited for this weekend?

Design

July Goals Recap and August Goals

Hi, friends! What? It’s August?!?! What happened to summer?

At the beginning of each month, I like to sit down and reflect on the previous month and make a list of goals to achieve during the new month. July was a great month, and I really got a lot accomplished!

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Our home is starting to look fantastic, and we ate some pretty delicious food!

Now that it’s the beginning of August, I wanted to recap my progress on my July goals. So…how did I do?

  • Lose 4 pounds. And…I failed at this again. I maintained, which is good, but I really wanted to make some progress in this area.
  • Continue training for Dopey. I’m happy to say that I’ve kept up with this! I just finished week #7 for Dopey Challenge training, and I’m feeling great!
  • Try 3 new DIY projects. DONE! As you can see in my photos above, I did three DIYs this month, which you can review in my blog post here. These projects were so much fun!
  • Finish my home decor projects. Again, DONE! I absolutely love my new wall decor – it really reflects the personalities of my family. See my new decor here!
  • Finish Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Yikes…I overestimated how big this book is….I’m only at the the half-way mark…so I definitely failed this goal…

So, overall, I accomplished 3/5 goals…not too shabby…but not perfect!

Now that August is underway and I’ve evaluated my July goals, I’ve come up with a list of 5 goals that I’d like to achieve before September.

My 2017 August goals are:

  1. Lose 4 pounds. THIS WILL HAPPEN! My husband and I have cut out a lot of unnecessary carbs and sugar (as of this week), so we are in it to win it this month!
  2. Continue training for Dopey. I have some longer runs coming up in the next few months, so sticking to my training plan will be key this month.
  3. Start my Dopey Challenge costumes. Within the next month, I want to start creating my Dopey Challenge costumes. I have some stuff already, but with a busy fall/winter training season ahead, I want to get a jump start on creating these costumes. I’m listing this goal here because it will take longer than one month to complete!
  4. Start my last few home projects. Steve and I want to paint a few walls that are rather…bright…I think that’s a good word…just picture a safari….painted on a wall….yep…our home’s old owners liked bright walls…(we avoided this when we first moved in because our dog was so young). We hope to finish this by the end of September. We also want to hang new lights in the dining room and kitchen. Our current lights are absolutely awful…like gold and gaudy awful. Again, this goal will most likely take longer than one month to complete, so I’m listing it now with the hopes of starting it before the end of the month.
  5. Finish Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. I’m giving myself a little wiggle room on this goal this time around. I have the entire month to finish this book. Can I do it? Let’s hope so…

So, there you have it: my goals for the month of August. I’m looking forward to recapping and reflecting on these goals next month! See you then!

What are your goals for August?

Design

5 Reasons to RunDisney

Hello, friends!

Within the next few months, our Instagram feeds will be filled with tons and tons of RunDisney photos. From Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend to Super Heroes Half Marathon Weekend, the next 3 months will be quite busy within the RunDisney realm.

As this next RunDisney race season approaches, I thought that I would take some time to explain why I love RunDisney events so much.

  • Entertainment. From music to character stops, RunDisney race courses are filled with tons of entertainment for all types of athletes. More serious runners can enjoy the music, signs, and parade floats as they zip through the course, while the “fun” runners (runners looking to have fun and take their time) can also enjoy character stops. Character stops really set RunDisney races apart from other races for me. Need a break? Stop to hug a character! Want a photo with your favorite character? Stop and get that photo!

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  • Swag. No RunDisney race is complete without the swag! With each registration, you receive a a beautiful race shirt (or multiple if competing in a Challenge). Each race shirt is themed to whichever race weekend you are participating in and is made from very durable materials. I almost exclusively run in these shirts at home! They are so comfortable! RunDisney expos also have fantastic official merchandise booths, where you can buy shirts, jackets, magnets, wine glasses, mugs, pins, headbands, and more! I always come home with more than just the race shirt 🙂

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  • Courses. RunDisney race courses take you on a scenic route of the Walt Disney World Resort, Disneyland Resort, or Disneyland Paris Resort. Runners are given a behind-the-scenes look at each resort’s entertainment, rides, access roads, and more, and most races take runners through the parks BEFORE they are open to the public – how cool! My favorite part of any RunDisney race? Running through the the castle in the Magic Kingdom. There’s nothing like running down Main Street U.S.A. with hundreds of fans cheering you on!

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  • Costumes. RunDisney races give runners the ability to compete in costume. Most runners dress in Disney-themed costumes – in fact, you’re sort on your own if you don’t wear one! I previously shared my costume plans for Dopey Challenge in an earlier blog post, and if you want to see some of my previous RunDisney costumes, see my previous blog post here.
  • Atmosphere. And, my favorite part of any RunDisney race has to be the atmosphere. NOTHING beats the way that RunDisney races make you feel. Yes, the sights and sounds during the entire race are great, but the RunDisney race officials create an atmosphere where you truly feel that you can do anything – characters are cheering for you, fans are cheering for you, and all volunteers/race officials are cheering for you. It is absolutely incredible!

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If you’ve never done a RunDisney race before, you absolutely have to! Yes, the races aren’t cheap, and, yes, travel is required for most of you, but each race will leave you with the most incredible memories to last a lifetime!

What’s your favorite part about RunDisney races?

Design

Week in Review – July 28, 2017

Hi, friends!

It’s weekly recap time – let’s get started!

Workouts

Dopey Challenge Training Week #7 is almost in the books – just two workouts stand in my way!

  • Friday: 20 minutes on the elliptical at the gym and some leg exercises
  • Saturday: 5 miles around the neighborhood
  • Sunday: Rest day! But, Steve and I took the dog for a 3-mile walk.
  • Monday: 20 minutes on the elliptical and some leg exercises
  • Tuesday: 3 miles around the neighborhood and some arm and ab exercises
  • Wednesday: 4 miles around the neighborhood
  • Thursday: 3 miles around the neighborhood and some arm and ab exercises

I plan to do 20 minutes on the elliptical and some leg exercises at the gym today, and then I have a 10-miler tomorrow morning. It’s supposed to rain, so I will be stuck doing this long run on the treadmill….I’m planning on downloading Netflix on my phone so that I can watch Gilmore Girls during the run. Maybe this will help to pass the time?!

Favorites:

Experiences

My favorite experience for the week would definitely have to be when Steve and I watched his adorable niece! You guys, she is seriously so cute! We walked, got ice cream, and even watched Finding Nemo with her. We loved every second of our time with her!

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We didn’t take any photos because we were too busy playing with her, but I thought I’d throw this photo in to make up for it. I just think it’s so funny!

Books:

I’m still making my way through Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, and I am loving it!

Food:

This week, Steve and I decided to try a veggie-filled pasta dish that we saw on the Rez Runs YouTube channel. It was DELICIOUS and full of veggies! I definitely recommend giving this a try, but make sure that you are hungry and have room in your fridge for plenty of leftovers!

Anything Exciting Happening Next Week?

Steve and I are going to our favorite restaurant tonight for dinner, and I cannot wait! I’ll be carbing up for my long run, which means plenty of good food! Additionally, we have a family reunion on Saturday, and afterwards, we plan to shop for new lights for our kitchen and dining room. If we have time, we may go to the movies to see Dunkirk as well.

What are you most excited for this weekend?

Design

Disney-fying My Home

Hi, friends!

I’m sorry that I’ve been so busy! Steve and I have been working hard and spending a lot of time on our house. We bought our home (our first) in May of 2016, which was the beginning of a very busy year for us, and we haven’t had much time to decorate since then.

Well, I’m happy to say that we FINALLY finished decorating and decluttering our home this past weekend! We still have some work to do (painting, light fixtures, etc.), but it really is starting to feel like our perfect little starter home!

As you all know, we love Disney, so adding some Disney touches to our house was important to us (as you could probably tell from my recent Disney DIY projects).

Today, I want to share our newest additions to our home. I bought all of these prints on Etsy, and they all were AMAZING quality.

  • House Rules Frame: How cute is this?!?! I’ve been seeing this sign for a while now, and I knew that I wanted to add it to our home! We put this lovely sign in our living room.

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  • Disney Castle Print: You guys, THIS PRINT IS SO BEAUTIFUL! I was a little nervous with how the quality would turn out, but it is seriously flawless. It reminds me of the beginning of every Disney movie. We hung this in our spare bedroom, and I cannot stop staring at it! It’s the perfect touch of Disney for our guests.

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  • Be Our Guest Prints: As you all know,  Beauty and the Beast is one of my favorite Disney movies of all time, so I definitely needed to add something from that movie to my home. I found these prints on Etsy and fell in love. We hung these in our living room for all of our ‘guests’ to see…get it…’guests’…yeah, it’s late and my humor is lacking. These prints remind me a lot of the new version of the movie.

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  • Hakuna Matata Print: And, my most favorite Disney movie of all time is The Lion King, so a Lion King print also had to happen. Oddly enough, when I saw this one, I knew that it would be perfect for our guest bathroom. Not only does it match the color scheme in the bathroom, but it also is where I take my baths and have some ‘me time.’ So, it had to go in there!

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  • I Look At You And I’m Home Print (from MisoMade on Etsy – she’s taking a break now, so I can’t link to it): Story time: Our best man included this quote in his speech at our wedding, and we fell in love with it. We always knew the quote within the context of the movie (Finding Nemo), but now we say it to each other often. We wanted to have this displayed somewhere in our room to constantly remind of us of our perfect day.

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And, that’s all, folks! We absolutely love the way that these Disney prints complete our home. They provide the perfect compliment to our other decor and interests.

What Disney decor items do you have in your home?

Design