Monday, February 28, 2011

I made it!

I did it! I made it! Headed home today, so I'll have details later. Thanks everyone for the support!

Location:Millers Rd,Orlando,United States

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Almost there!

I'm almost there! I laid out all my gear and tomorrow morning I'll be running the princess half marathon! Can't wait to tell you all about my weekend!

Location:Peninsular Rd,Orlando,United States

Thursday, February 24, 2011

I'm Leavin' on a Jet Plane (and a Review)

It's finally time for me to leave for Disney World and my first half marathon!!!!! AHHHHHH! So excited! Before I go, I wanted to do a quick review of BIC Bands. BIC Bands (or Because I Can Bands) are super cool workout headbands that come in many widths, colors, and designs. Recently, I entered a giveaway on Running Through Life, which, by the way, is an awesome blog! I never thought I'd win, but I did! So, I got to pick out the BIC Band of my choice. I chose the skinny minnie black sparkle. This is the smallest headband she makes, and I thought it might be cute for the race if it worked. Well I just got it and tried it for my last training run this morning.

First, let me say I'm a heavy sweater. Like I don't know where it all comes from, but I look like I've taken a shower after even a 30 minute run. I know, it's gross, but true. Second, I've tried about a billion headbands, and NONE of them have lasted even 2 minutes running without flying off. I've even tried the special Goody no-slip ones. So I went into this thinking, well this will be a cute headband for around town, but no way will I be wearing it to the gym. I tried it on this morning and heres what it looked like:
Definitely doesn't do it justice
The headband was uber cute and sparkly (you can't tell in the picture, but trust me). It felt nice and comfortable, not like the kind that would give you a headache five minutes in. Then came the ultimate test, a 30 minute run in my boiling hot gym. I'm very happy to say I was totally wrong about the headband. It didn't budge an inch and looked great even when the rest of me didn't! I would totally recommend trying them. I've heard good things about all of the sizes, and they are only $7 which is cheap for running headbands :)

Well I'll miss you all in Florida. I Probably won't be posting while I'm gone, but might throw in a quick update. Good Luck to everyone running the Princess Half !! Come find me I'd love to meet other bloggers out there. Email me at if you wanna meet up!

UPDATE: I used the headband for my half marathon followed by a full day at the parks and it never budged. WONDERFUL!!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Birthday and Packing

Today's my birthday, but I am busy preparing for my race. Tonight I have a short run, and then I'm going to have drinks with friends. Yay!!

In the mean time, I'll be packing like a crazy person. Everyone says running is awesome because all you need are some shoes and you're good to go. LIES! Just trying to remember everything I will need for the race has been a definite challenge. Here's what I've got so far (for race day):
  • Shoes
  • Socks
  • KT Tape
  • Compression Sleeves for my shins
  • Running outfit and sports bra
  • Throw away sweatshirt for the start
  • Pins (for my bib)
  • Garmin (and charger)
  • Body glide
  • Sunscreen
  • iFitness belt
  • Gear check bag packed with:
    • Change of clothes (I'm headed straight to the park after the race)
    • Perfume
    • Wipes so I don't totally gross everyone out with my sweat
    • Comfy Shoes
    • Cell Phone
    • Wallet
  • Road id
  • Deodorant
  • Headband
  • Fuel
  • Camera 
  • Inhaler
  • iPod and headphones
So tell me, what did I miss???

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Weekend at Home

This weekend I went home to see my family to celebrate my birthday (it's coming up this week). It was fun seeing my parents and Munchkin, my little sister (By the way she would like me to say that the pictures I posted of her before "look nothing like her", she's "not that weird" and is forcing me to post better ones at some point). When I got home they had some cute presents laid out on the table.
I spy some sports beans! and carbs!
My family has been really supportive of my new passion for running and are almost as excited for my race as I am, so all of my presents were running-themed or for the race. After blowing out candles on my MASSIVE cupcakes...

I got to open up the goods. First I got an iTunes card from my brother to update my workout playlist. Next was a whole bag of running goodies from Mom, including Gatorade (i have an addiction), blister bandaids straight from the gods, a new sports bra, and fuel. 
Just a few of my running goodies
The next thing I opened up was a really special present from mom. It was a necklace that she had engraved to say "Breathe and Believe". I think that's just about the most perfect saying for me. It also has a princess tag (for our race) and a crown and a black pearl for luck. I tried to get a good picture, but I'm miserable with that stuff so here's my best attempt:
The big thing I asked for was spending money for the trip. Daddy didn't like the idea of boring cash, so he gave me some pasta (for "carbo-loading" all week before) and then gave me money with funny post-it notes attached to tell me what each bill was for. Here's what they said: Snacks at the airport, petit fours at Publix (ps: if you haven't tried them, you are missing out on life), Old Key West gift shop (our hotel), drinks in lobby bar,  running gear at expo, more expo stuff, present for dad, first aid stuff, crutches and my favorite:
clearly dad has some doubts about my post-race condition
I also got some comfy sandals made out of this cool squishy material to wear after the race. I'd say I made out like a bandit! Do your birthdays/holidays look like a running store exploded too?

I can't believe I have less than a week left!!!! 

Thursday, February 17, 2011

I want a plastic bubble

ONLY 10 DAYS LEFT!!!!! Can you tell I'm a little excited? If you haven't trained for a distance event before, you may be wondering what it's like once you start to "taper" your training before the race. Tapering is a part of almost every training plan, and basically it means that a couple weeks or more before your race, you start decreasing your mileage in order to rest up for the big event. Well, tapering is hard, but only because it's so easy. I am getting my pre-race nerves like crazy and I am supposed to take it easy when I have so much pent up energy. I'm just a giant ball of nerves right now and I can't run them off! haha

I want to finish this race so badly and I'm starting to really feel the pressure for so many reasons. For one, I stupidly told the whole internet world that I'm going to do this. For another, this trip is going to be fairly expensive between flights and disney "magic". I would feel pretty guilty if I didn't finish after all the expense that went into. But mostly, Im nervous because I feel like I need to do this to prove that I can. I need that medal!
gotta have it!
The sun is finally out here, so I've been worried that my allergies might act up. I sometimes wish I could live in a plastic bubble for the next few days just to make sure I make it to the race in one healthy piece. :P

I cannot stress enough how wonderful it has been having this race to look forward to. I really think signing up for a race is the best motivation to get your workouts in and everyone should do it. On another note, I'm thinking of hosting a virtual 5k when I get back to keep me from getting into a rut. I would host it in early march and anyone who finishes would get a "finisher's medal". What do you guys think? Would you be interested?

Monday, February 14, 2011

2 Weeks!

In less than 2 weeks (13 days!)  I will be running my first half marathon! And in only 11 days I will be in Disney World! I can't even begin to tell you how nervous/excited I am!

On Saturday I ran my longest training run on the plan I've been following, so from here on I will be running shorter runs before the race. The run on Saturday was 14 miles! It was one of those bad days I talked about in my last post. Asthma was definitely an issue, so I had to walk a much larger portion than I had planned, but I did finish it. I now know that I can finish this half marathon if I put my mind too it, even under some rough conditions. Hopefully the day of the race things will go a little more smoothly though!

Now I'm just trying to plan for the race and start thinking about packing. I am so excited for everything that's going to happen in the next couple of weeks. First, my birthday is coming up so hopefully I will have a bit of spending money for the trip. Then I fly to Disney, and the race weekend magic starts. The fitness expo sounds amazing and I can't wait to try out some new products. Then my first half marathon! After that I get to wear that medal all around Disney World and show it off every chance I get. I can't wait!
Pic from last year's expo stolen from another blog
While I'm counting down the days I'll try to post some helpful tips for packing and planning for a race.  Anyways, I hope everyone is having a fabulous Valentine's day! 

If there's anything you're curious to hear about/ have me look for at the race let me know! 

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Good Days and Bad Days

Today I had a great run! I pushed myself to go faster than usual and felt strong throughout the entire run. At the end I didn't even want to leave the gym because I felt so good. But, a few days ago I didn't feel anything like this. I couldn't finish my run, had an attack, and left feeling frustrated and scared about my half marathon plans.

I believe half of the struggle of running with asthma is the mental aspect of it. Asthma can lead to a lot of frustrations. Some days you wonder if you can finish. Some days you feel frustrated that your lungs can't keep up with your muscles. It can make you feel discouraged and self conscious. It's incredibly frustrating when you have a bad day despite all of your hard work and training,when your results aren't consistent with the work you put in. There are some days when running with asthma is the worst. But then there are those days when it all seems worth it.

I've learned a lot throughout my running journey, but the biggest thing I have learned is that attitude is everything. Going into running with a health issue, like asthma, you have to accept the fact that you will have good days and you will have bad days. There are things out of your control. You won't always go farther or faster than you did the day before. You won't always breathe easier. But, if you can accept this fact and keep on going, you will see more good days and you will improve. But how do you make it through those bad days? Here are some strategies to keep you motivated when you're feeling down:

  • Focus on your accomplishments - Think about how far you've come, or the fact that you tried in the first place. Remember, it's an accomplishment just to try. Be proud!
  • Take time to count your blessings - There are so many people who can't run at all. Remember how lucky you are just to be able to run even the smallest amount. There's this really cheesy song I love to listen to when I'm having a bad day and it says "no matter how your sad and blue, there's always someone who has it worse than you. Sometimes you gotta pay your dues. So don't worry just push on through."
  • Get support - whether it's from your family and friends or the online community support is key. Telling yourself that you did great is never as effective as hearing it from someone else.
  • Do something - I always feel better when I know I'm doing something to make sure my run is better next time. Every wheezer has their go-to fix that makes them feel better after an attack. For me it's hot liquids and plenty of sleep. Doing something to help you feel better physically, will help you feel better emotionally. It makes you feel like you're taking control of the situation.
  • Remember tomorrow is another day
One of my favorite quotes is by Walt Disney. He said "it's kind of fun to do the impossible". A few months ago I thought running was impossible, and you know what? Now it's kind of fun. I'm proud of all the wheezers out there, and all the runners in general, for pushing through even when the going gets rough! Keep it up. 

Monday, February 7, 2011

Stylish Blogger Say What??

YAY!!!! YAY!!!!!!!YAY!!!!!

I had a long day today, and then I came home and checked out the blog world to cheer me up and found something! Karen at Just Me and My Running Shoes gave me the "Stylish Blogger Award".  Thank you so much Karen! You guys need to read her blog. She's super inspiring and loves all things Disney just like me. Thanks Karen for always encouraging me with my running and congrats on finishing your first full marathon! Yay!

Here are the Rules for the Stylish Award:
-Make this a post and link back to the person who gave the award to you
 -Share 7 things about yourself
 -Award 5 great bloggers. 
-Contact the bloggers to tell them they've won!

Well let's start with 7 things:

  • I love the water so much I should be a fish. I was on swim team my whole life, lifeguarded every summer since I was old enough, and teach swim lessons all the time. I grew up in Florida, and am definitely a florida girl. There's nothing better than a day on a sailboat or a nice swim. 
  • I have the worlds best family. I have two amazing parents who are still together and a younger brother(19) and sister(17). My parents are the most supportive amazing parents you could wish for. My dad is always coming up with crazy stories and is one of the smartest people I know. My mom is basically a hero. She inspires me everyday and is always there for me no matter what. She's also my running partner :) My brother is like a little kid. He loves legos and remote control cars and really brings out the 5 year old in everyone. My sister ashley is just a nut. She's a blast to be around and really breaks me out of my shell. I love goofing off with her
My sister and I being goofy...again

Typical Munchkin
  • I love adventures! Anything new and exciting is my type of thing. I'm not the kind of girl that likes to go on vacation and lay out. Exploring is where it's at.  
Repelling in Puerto Vallarta

Playing with Tigers
  • I'm all about Disney. I love all things Disney, but especially the parks. When we lived in Florida I used to sing and dance on stage in tomorrowland and it really got me excited about the magic of the parks. My dream job would be to work there programming rides or making the park more magical. If you ever need inside tips about Disney, I'm definitely your girl. 
Cam making me laugh as usual

  • I really believe in the opposites attract theory. My boyfriend and I couldn't be anymore different. He is a guy's guy, super athletic, charismatic, can talk his way out of anything and can make friends anywhere. He loves watching movies and relaxing. I'm pretty shy, not coordinated in any way, book smart but terrible with common sense, and so ADHD. I cannot sit still for more than 30 minutes and love to go do active things. But we are a great balance and we both admire the differences in each other so it just works. 
  • I'm incredibly forgetful. Like wait five minutes and I'll lose something I promise. Just call me Dory. 
  • Obviously I'm an asthmatic, but I don't say much about life before running. I always had asthma, but it wasn't a huge issue until late high school when I was forced to quit swim team because I had an attack at every meet that year. Still, aside from occasional bad days, I managed. Then last fall things got really bad for me. I was sick more than I was well and missed a ton of class. My grades dropped and I was miserable. I never felt like myself. It wasn't a life. One day I went to the doctor and cried and told him I had to find something to make it better. He doubtfully suggested running, because if my body could no longer handle competitive swimming, much easier on the lungs, running didn't look good for me. But I tried it. I took it very easy and am proud to say a few months later that my asthma is so much better! Running changed my life. I still have attacks, but they aren't the kind that keep me home for a week or send me to the hospital. I'm very blessed to have discovered this new passion and way back to living. 

Okay enough about me! I have a lot of blogs I am crazy about but here are my five that I picked for the award: 
A lot of other great blogs I read are all ready stylish winners so check out my links page and make sure to check out Karen's blog. Thanks again Karen!!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

The f word

Lately a lot of things has got me thinking about weight loss and the f word (fat). Thinking about race photos/outfits coming up for one. Also, two of my favorite blogs got into a fight about weight loss. I won't post it because neither really expressed my personal opinions clearly, but basically it was over the issue of whether or not being skinny brings happiness/if weight should be a basis for happiness. I REALLY don't want to start another debate over that issue, but it did get me thinking about my own weight.

I have always strived, although somewhat poorly at times, to love my body the way it is. I have a great guy who has always been supportive of me no matter what shape I am, and I love that. As an asthmatic that frequently has to take steroids and other medications that reek havoc on your waistline, I try very hard to avoid scales and do the best I can in terms of weight. I just kinda went with the "if I pretend it's not happening, maybe it's not" attitude. For a while this worked for me. I managed to stay in a healthy weight range even if I was chubbier than I would've liked. But as my asthma started progressively getting worse, so did my weight. I will admit I recently edged out of the healthy range, and while I'm sure that muscle mass and blah blah blah are somewhat factors too, it was a wake-up call. 

For me, my weight does have a large impact on my quality of life. There are MANY factors that impact asthma, but weight is definitely one of them. I read a study the other day about how gaining just 5 pounds over a year can cause you to be 22% more likely to have poorly controlled asthma. While losing weight isn't the magic cure for wheezers, it definitely can help with maintenance (if you have extra pounds to lose). I've always thought about weight loss in a purely shallow way; fitting into old jeans feels great. But, now that I'm more conscious of my body and how weight can affect many other things I love (running and breathing) I have decided that it might be time to become more aware of what I'm eating and try to shed a few excess pounds so that I am at a healthier place.

In the midst of the blogger drama the other day, one commenter posted something that I really liked (and the original poster even noticed it too). Basically she said: Getting healthy is hard, but staying unhealthy is hard physically and emotionally.  Choose your hard. I really liked that idea. It's very true. By being unhealthy, I'm adding stress to my lungs, stress to my legs while running, and stress to my self-esteem. When trying to be healthy it's hard to make the right choices, make sacrifices, and be "good". But it's up to me which hard to choose. I hope to start choosing the healthy hard more often. 

What are your thoughts on this? 

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Snow Day

Sorry I've been absent lately. I haven't had much exciting going on to blog about lately because my running has been virtually non-existent due to health issues, winter weather, some slacking, and a busy schedule. I finally tried to get back on the wagon this weekend and had a bad run with an asthma attack that caused me to have to quit early. I was really hard on myself about it, but a blogger and some daily mile friends cheered me up and encouraged me to keep on trying.

Now, my only problem is the weather. We had a snow storm today and last night so my car is trapped and so am I:

Curse you snow!