Aug 29, 2014

Five Things to Look Forward to in Fall | Friday Five


It's that time of year again. The temps are warm but starting to dip. It's getting darker on those early morning runs. Soon the leaves will change. Pumpkin Spice is invading everything: the coffee, the beer, the cake, the dogs, the cats, the humanity! Sorry, started down a pumpkin spiced rabbit hole there. Damn, did it again. Anyway, this week, the Friday Five linkup is looking ahead to fall. This week's topic is

Five Things to Look Forward to in Fall

Friday Five - Fall and Fairs

1. Fairs

One of my favorite thing about fall is it's time for fairs. This weekend I'll be attending the Allentown Fair with my wife's family, which means delicious fair food I'll spend the week running off (but SO worth it). In my hometown, near halloween is always Farmer's Fair. Growing up that meant entering decorated pumpkins when younger, then working the boy scouts pizza stand, marching with the band and then even later an enjoyable weekend with friends you haven't seen in a while. I even got the chance to take my daughter last year and she had a blast. Petting zoo and a parade with marching bands, what's not to love? Growing up every year we attended the Bloomsburg Fair: crafts, animals, rides and of course food. In college, it meant mostly the food, like daring to eat the heart stopping deep fried cheesecake (btw, fantastic, worth however many miles).

2. Cool but not Cold

I love when the temperature just starts to drop and cool down before it gets cold. I love jeans and t-shirt weather. I'm most comfortable in it, outdoor activities are great and you can drive with the windows down. Music up, windows down, perfect ride. Perfect temperature to run as well, which brings us to the next item.

3. Beat the Blerch

the blerch
If you're a runner, you may likely have seen this comic from The Oatmeal. It became quickly popular shortly after being released. The popularity of the comic and the blerch prompted Matthew Inman to start his own race, the Beat the Blerch 10K / Half / Full Marathon. The race sold out immediately after being put on sale. Not just runDisney fast, but in a matter of minutes fast. They eventually decided to add a 2nd day. That day sold out from the number of people on the waiting list alone. Then, finally, the added a virtual run. Sign up, get all the swag, and run from anywhere you can. This was on sale for just a week, and I can't even imagine how many people signed up. However, I am one of them. The race dates are September 20th and 21st, so I plan to run the same day. I'm hoping to run a half for it, but may only do the 10K, if scheduling won't allow for the time to run 13.1 miles.

4. Halloween

I always enjoyed dressing up for Halloween growing up. Getting to pick out a costume and be something fun. It was always a good time and came with the perk of candy. Now, I get to share that time with my daughter and son. She loves playing dress up. This week I've come home to her twice in different princess dresses. This year, she is excited to be Cinderella and decided that her brother should be Jack the Mouse. I can't wait to see it.

5. Preschool

It's back to school time, which is usually a time parents love and children hate. I'm excited because my daughter will be in preschool for the first time. The down side to Virginia is my daughter misses the cutoff for school. From everyone we've talked to, our county is also very strict on that, even private schools. So for preschool, we had to find one with a 'young 3s' program, which means she'll only be going two half days a week. But two are better than none. She's very excited for it as well. She loves learning, which makes Mommy and Daddy happy.

A Helping Hand (Again)

Liked this post and want to see more? Just want to do me a favor anyway? I recently started a Facebook page to go with my blog (you're reading it now) and Twitter (@rgrdisney) when I did my giveaway, so I'd love if you'd help it grow and give it a like. If you do and drop me a message, I'd be more than happy to return the favor. I know I asked this last week, but felt it wouldn't hurt to ask. Thanks.

</self-promotion>

Linking Up

Check here for some links out to others sharing, staring with our three lovely hosts: CourtneyCynthia and Mar. Check their posts (Eat Pray Run DC, You Signed Up for What?! and Mar on the Run to see the full set of links). I will add some others, usually randomly, as I read them to share the love. Go visit and keep reading!

Our hosts:

Mar on the Run

Eat Pray Run, DC

You Signed Up for What?!

Some other good reads, pulled from the link up

Chaitali @ Running and Enjoying

M @ readeatwriterun

Amalia @ Live Travel Eat and Run


Image credit:
Fried cheese cubes - yorkblog.com
Ribbon fruit - dillsburgfarmersfair.org
Tractor - dillsburgfarmersfair.org
Crowd shot - martmagpa.com
Blerch - beattheblerch.com

Aug 27, 2014

Support Runners at Disneyland Half in New Way


One of the cool things about runDisney is they offer free runner tracking. You can sign up to receive alerts for the runs at various points in their race (I think for my half it was every 5K if I'm not mistaken). This lets you know how they're doing, but also help you judge when they will reach certain areas of the course if you are spectating.

The service is very easy, we'll do it Special Agent Oso style with 3 special steps:

Step 1. you go to the site.

Step 2. You search their name or bib

Step 3. You add your phone number to receive text messages.

In addition, runners can sign up to share these notifications to Facebook and Twitter as well. If you want to sign up, just go to http://www.disneylandhalf.racejoy.com/

This year, there is a new element available under race interaction. This year, you can text your support to 567890 or tweet using the hash tag #DisneylandHalf to send messages to runners on big screens along the course. This will be done for both the 10K and Half, with screens at the start line, finish line and Family Reunion area. During the half marathon, messages will also appear at Angel Stadium of Anaheim. 

Get the full information from the runDisney blog.

Show your support for any runners you know. I plan to be supporting my friends Brian and Dave who are both running.

Will you be running? If you want me to send a message hopefully bound for the JumboTron, just let me know in the comments!

Aug 25, 2014

runDisney Primer | Mickey Monday

I was taking a look over my blog the other day and realized something; there isn't enough Disney on my blog. That's not to say there is none, but there certainly isn't enough for a blog with Disney in the domain. That requires a certain level of commitment, one I am fully ready to take on. With that in mind, I've decided to start a new weekly post called Mickey Monday. That way, every week on Monday you can look forward to a dose of Disney related blog goodness. Or, if you're one of those people who doesn't care for Disney (also known as "grown-up suity suit men") you can know to avoid my blog for the day. But do come back after, please. Seriously, I still want you to read. For my first officially Mickey Monday post, I'm going to give a primer on runDisney.

What is runDisney?

I thought this would be a perfect place to start. Then I tried to answer the question and I couldn't write one that I liked. So we'll take the high school graduation speech, but instead of turning to Webster's we'll turn to the runDisney site About page.
runDisney is a series of events that provides runners the unique opportunity to run through Disney Theme Parks at the Walt Disney World® Resort in Florida and the Disneyland® Resort in California, earn Disney-themed finisher medals, experience legendary Disney entertainment & Guest Service, and ultimately celebrate their accomplishments with a Disney vacation. 
That does a pretty good start. Usually, the first thing I would say is it is a series of races run through Disney parks filled with Disney magic. That's the side of it that's hard to put into words, the Disney magic. The races, and runDisney, are more than just the races. It is the Disney experience, the attention to detail, all the small things that pull it together. It's hard to match running down Main Street U.S.A, or out of Cinderella's Castle. The precision of how the race is run, the supplies, the service is fantastic. runDisney is how Disney does running: a step above and pace ahead.

What is there to run?

Lots of bling options, I mean distance options.
So what does runDisney have to offer for races? They have races that start with a diaper dash for the wee little ones and go all the way to a full marathon. Every race is part of a race weekend. That weekend holds a selection of events to choose from. Each include a set of kids races which vary on length allowing any kid the opportunity to run and complete their own race. They may vary race weekend to race weekend, but include distances such as 100m, 200m, 400m, 1 mile and of course the cute little diaper dash. The kids races are for those 13 and younger. All runners get a t-shirt and medal, so they won't be left out of the bling. I've seen kids in the parks with those medals, and let me tell you, they were smiling ear to ear.

For the rest of us, the kids at heart, weekends include a combination of races. Most, except for Expedition Everest Challenge, include a "long" distance, either 10 miles or half marathon. Every January, there is also a full marathon as part of Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend. Weekends always include a 5K distance, to help encourage everyone to take part. No matter your fitness level, you can be sure to find a distance that fits your needs.

What about the parks and the characters?

One of the most unique and magical parts of the runDisney races is the opportunity to see the parks from the soles of your running shoes. You even get to cut through backstage areas, which for a Disney geek such as myself only ADDS to the excitement. For the full marathon, for example, you run through all four parks (Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios and EPCOT) as well as ESPN Wide World of Sports and the raceway. How often do you get to do that?

Castle Selfie
I'm about to run through Cinderella's Castle, but first, let me take a selfie!

And speaking of "how often", how often while you're running up an incline do you get yelled at by a giant plastic green army man? Do you often see Darkwing Duck as you go by or Goofy looking ready to tee off on the 16th tee. On all of the races, there will be characters to be found. They wait off to the side and you'll able to stop for a quick photo opportunity with all the characters. The longer the race, the more opportunities there will be. Certain races, like the Tower of Terror 10 Miler (ToT), lend themselves to certain themes. In the example of ToT you'll find more villians.

What do I get when I runDisney?

Ah, the swag question. As I mentioned in my last Friday Five post of Five Things I Love About runDisney, one of the things I love are the swag. Or more specifically the race shirt and medal after you complete the course. I love the quality of the technical shirts you get as well as the (literally) heavy duty medal you get. It's easily the highest quality medal I own, and there isn't even any that come remotely close.

Disney-ification
Disney head-to-toe
In addition, when you pick up your packet, you have the expo. There is plenty of runDisney merchandise for your shopping therapy needs: pins, magnets, shirts, hats, headbands, jackets, sweatshirts, almost anything your heart desires and your wallet can handle. Then there is the rest of the expo. The size and popularity of the race will cause variations in the expo size, but all of them have something to offer. Like any race expo, you have vendors with free stuff to try and get you to buy non-free stuff. At the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend expo, the size of the expo meant lots of free stuff just for taking a walk. Have you been meaning to try a new running product? Chances are I have it there.

Then, there are the shoes. Not just any running shoes. No, these are the runDisney specially designed New Balance shoes. The first year featured a Mickey men's design and a women's Minnie. This past year featured two show types, each with their own design. This lead to a Sorcerer's Mickey Mouse and (my personal favorite) Goofy design for the lads and then a Minnie Mouse and Cinderella design for the lasses. I bought my pair not even for running, but just for occasional comfortable walking (need to make them last).

What are these "challenges" I hear so much about?

Ah, so you've heard of something like the Dopey Challenge or Glass Slipper, or maybe the Dumbo Double Dare that is about to take place in Disneyland. Many of the weekends offer some sort of official challenge, when one race and it's distance isn't enough. These various challenges involve running a minimum of 2 races, on back-to-back days, to complete the "challenge" and earn an addition medal for the accomplishment, to accompany the bragging rights. The most difficult of these is the Dopey Challenge, where in four consecutive days you run ALL of the races at WDW Marathon Weekend: the Family Fun Run 5K, the 10K, the half marathon followed by the 26.2 miles of the full marathon, resulting in 48.6 miles being conquered and earning the title of Dopey. Then, you'll likely tell yourself "never again" only to have runner's memory kick in come registration time.

Is it true you wear costumes for runDisney events?

While not a requirement, one of the awesome things about runDisney are the costumes. Like the Halloween parties, it's one of the times as an adult you can get away with a costume inside of the Disney parks. (The young of age can of course always do so, the young of heart are a little more limited.) You'll see everything from Comic-con level cosplay outfits to outfits that look like Snow White took up running to pass the time at the castle. Some may hint at a character while others are a little more obvious. In the end, you can do what best fits your style. I prefer the more outright costumes for the shorter races while sticking to the more standard running gear hinting at characters for the longer distance.

So, it's some Disney races, with nice stuff and costumes?

That's not all it is. Just like running is its own community, runDisney is its own sub-community. The easiest case in point is Team runDisney (TrD). TrD has it's own blog, full of great stories and tips. When I first started running and planning to do my half, I came across the site. Then, over a day or two, I proceeded to read every entry, every story of running at Disney. It was a fantastic guide and just helped hook me in.

Team runDisney
But wait, there's more! Team runDisney also is a very active fantabulous Facebook community. A great place to ask questions, share your accomplishments, costumes, ideas or meet runners like you. It's one of the few things I use Facebook for anymore. Lastly, but not least, they even recently started their own forums. I must admit I'm not very good at keeping up on there as much as I'd like. I just tend to forget about it.

With runDisney, like many things, you get some really passionate (in a good way) people. Many love running and love Disney. They can be great resources if you don't know much about Disney. I myself think I'm quite knowledgeable about Walt Disney World, so I love to share my knowledge and experiences. However, for Disneyland, I have zero actual experience there, so these are some of the first people I'd turn to for opinions.

This insta-connection with others is what I love about runDisney. It happens with other runners, bonding over running tales, but it is different with runDisney (to me). It's that factor, that's hard to put into words, that I love about it. I can't quite quantify it, but I could talk about it for hours, which I think speaks volumes itself. That is runDisney to me.

How about a #MickeyMonday Link-up?

That's a fantastic idea, almost like I had thought of that very question myself. This week, there is no link up, but fear not. Next week, you'll be able to find a link up on this. very. blog. I'm going to team up with Katie from Adventures by Katie (also a member of Team runDisney I might add). She already posts plenty of great Disney content, so feel free to check her blog out. If you want to join us, and why wouldn't you, prepare any Disney related post for next week. I have several runDisney related posts set for MickeyMonday, but the point is to spread the Disney love: the parks, the food, the characters, whatever your little heart desires.

Aug 22, 2014

Five Things to Love About runDisney


I keep hearing more often about the high cost of runDisney. Yes, the registration fees are higher compared to other races of the same distances. And yes, the cost can stack up with travel, on site accommodations, park tickets, food, etc. Frankly, that's going to happen with any destination race, there's just more to do when you're going to Disney. But you know what, there is plenty to love about runDisney. For that higher registration fee, you get an A++ experience. This week, I'm using the Friday Five linkup to address this. It fits perfectly into the topic, that was built with a fill-in-the-blank. This week's topic is

Five Things to Love About runDisney

1. The Bling and the Shirts

Goofy Challenge 2015 Medal and Shirt
Fighting... urge... to... register...
I love both the race shirt and medals you get from a runDisney race. They're awesome quality. With the exception of the 5K races, they great quality tech shirts with cool designs. The bling is heavy duty, awesome designs that constantly get updated and refreshed. You even get unique medals that spin or with a working compass (in the case of Expedition Everest). Anniversary years for races or challenges also come with special designs. Just check out the 10 year Goofy Challenge shirt and medal recently shown off. Spots are still available for the challenge. I wish I was one of them. (Anyone want to finance my trip? You can pick my #2 from this list...)

2. The Costumes

One thing you'll see at Disney more than any other races are costumes. I love that about runDisney. You'll have everything from picture perfect outfits that look straight out of the movie to very cool "inspired" costumes that may look like what Snow White would choose if she was running the Princess Half Marathon. I prefer the more full on costume for the shorter distances like the 5K, where it's untimed, and the less cumbersome inspired ones for the longer half marathons. Just like Disney in general, you get to be a big kid without having to worry. I am a very big kid inside (and out really).

3. The ChEAR Squad 

ChEAR Squad
Sporting the ChEAR Squad shirt
with Mary Poppins herself!
If you're familiar with this, I don't mean just the actual ChEAR Squad, which is a package you can buy at WDW Marathon weekend, but the spectators in general. I just wanted to use ChEAR. You see, it says EAR, like Mickey is know for his ears... get it? See, it's a clever name. Anyway, the spectators at the races are great. As with any long course, there are portions where there is no one but the runners and the sporadic volunteer, but throughout the course, I've never seen more people cheering on anyone running by them. It's fantastic. When you head through the parks, it's LINED with people. When you're slow and later like me, it's not just people there who know people running. It's people who just happen to be at the park, stopping to cheer. It really helps give you a boost on the course like you wouldn't believe. It really adds to the magic.

4. Running through the Parks

Running in front of castle
Why yes, that was awesome to do.
And speaking of magic [kingdom], one thing you'll get nowhere else is running through the parks. I love Disney. I love the Disney parks. Getting to run through them, around them, through back cast areas... fantastic. When else can you run down Main Street USA, out through Cinderella's Castle, around the Tree of Life, by Everest, around a giant Sorcerer's hat, circle through 9 countries and out Spaceship Earth (the giant golf ball for the non-Disney) all in ONE course?! That's the Marathon in January in a nutshell. Even the 5K went under Test Track, around through the countries and out under Spaceship Earth. It's hard to beat. The same thing goes in California, running through both parks there as well as some of Anaheim. Where else do you run the magic like that?

5. Run-cation in Florida or California (or coming soon, Paris)

Lastly, part of the cost for people is also one of the things I love. Running in a runDisney race means a trip to Florida or California. Who doesn't love that kind of trip? I mean, from traveling from the cold northeast to Florida in January? Heaven. When we left it was so cold we had to wait to board the plane because the breezeway door froze open so they had to shut it so the walk to the plane wasn't too cold. I will gladly leave that for a sunny 70 degree day. Sure, the cost of the run-cation is why I can't go in January, but that's mainly so I can take one later in October (so don't feel too bad).

Of course, if you're following the runDisney rumor mill, the runDisney schedule will include Disneyland Paris in fall 2015. If that interests you, you may want to make sure your passport is ready and start saving for an international run-cation, and tentatively keep September 2015 open.

Honorable Mentions a.k.a. Cheating in a List of 5 Things

I also need to throw in here the awesome way they do food post race at runDisney. I'm not even talking about the wonderful options you have around Disney property. At the end, there are tables and tables of water and Powerade. After that, there are tents you go by and they give you a snack box and banana. The box has a very good assortment of snacks. The beauty of this method is people can't be jerks and take all the food. Even if you're the last person, you know they'll have a box waiting for you. And speaking of the last person...

They treat the last person to cross the finish line like the first. They never leave early. They never take down water stations or barriers before you get there. They are there cheering until the last possible second. Don't believe me? Check the runDisney blog and video from the Tinker Bell Half Marathon in 2013. A++ experience. The only way Disney knows how.

A Helping Hand

Liked this post and want to see more? Just want to do me a favor anyway? I recently started a Facebook page to go with my blog (you're reading it now) and Twitter (@rgrdisney) when I did my giveaway, so I'd love if you'd help it grow and give it a like. If you do and drop me a message, I'd be more than happy to return the favor. Thanks.

</self-promotion>

Linking Up

Check here for some links out to others sharing, staring with our three lovely hosts: CourtneyCynthia and Mar. Check their posts (Eat Pray Run DC, You Signed Up for What?! and Mar on the Run to see the full set of links). I will add some others, usually randomly, as I read them to share the love. Go visit and keep reading!

Our hosts:

You Signed Up for What?! - Five Things to Love About My Vacation

Mar on the Run - Blogging Conference Love

Eat Pray Run, DC - Five Things to Love About Summer

Some other good reads, pulled from the link up

Heather @ Divas Run For Bling - 5 Things I Love About Half Marathons

Nicole @ Fitful Focus - Five Thins I Love About Life Right Now

Jennifer @ Run Jenny Run - Five Things I Love About J&A Races


Image credits:
Goofy medal & shirt - runDisney Facebook

Aug 21, 2014

1K Giveaway Winner!

Let's not beat around the bush, especially because that bush didn't do anything to me. The winner of my 1K Giveaway is...

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner

... as drawn randomly by Rafflecopter...



... as powered by Random.org...



... as generated from atmospheric noise...



Kay Lynn Akers



Kay will be receive a BondiBand, a variety pack of mini KIND bars and some Nuun Active Hydration. And while we're talking about her, why not congratulate her on Twitter @Kaylynnakers or Google+ +Kay Lynn Akers or check out her blog Weight Chronicles.

Thank you to everyone who entered. Thank you to the first 1,000 followers on Twitter to make the giveaway happened and welcome to the 242+ that have joined us since then. Thanks for reading!

</mushy-thanks-stuff>


Image credit: bigtimeteez.com

Aug 20, 2014

GoTape Review

GoTape
Go Go Gadget Kinesiology Tape!
I wanted to share with you all a new product that I recently got a chance to try out. The product is GoTape, a new brand of kinisology... kineiology... konnecticutology... *types in google*...  kinesiology tape. Well, when I say recently, this has been a long time coming. But the delay has paid off, in that not only have I tried it, but also my lovely wife and my sister have given it a run through. I had never used any such tape before, my wife had used another brand once (a free taping at WDW Marathon Weekend Expo) and my sister not at all either.

My Initial Test

At first I was a little unsure how I would get to give it a good test. I have the occasional pain in the knee, leg muscle or ankle, but nothing reoccurring right now. But, as luck would have it, as I procrastinated, I got just what I need (a stroke of bad or good luck, however you want to look at it). After working a day from home on the couch instead of my desk, I started having some pain on the side of my knee. After consulting the almighty internet doctor, and following up with a text consult with a family friend (who is an actual physical therapist), the diagnosis was IT Band.

Tape it up!
We can rebuild him. We have the technology.
We can make him better than he was.
Better, stronger, faster.
So, I took to trying my first tape job ever. I have to say, upfront, there are some issues I have with the tape people. Not just GoTape, but all the brands. First, they talk in unit of measurements of strips. If you have a roll and not the precut strips, then, oh well, you are out of luck. No one seems to say (that I could easily find) how long this magical unit of "strip" is. I feel like I'm watching my daughter's television show measuring in cats instead of sticks to find a treasure (because a stick is a universally recognized unit if measurement). Second, no one really tells you how to get the sticky part off of the back of the tape. I had to see a twist method in a video and try to mimic it just to avoid all of the tape sticking together. As I said, it was my first time Frankenstein-ing my leg, so I assume it gets easier; but that would be helpful "getting started" information. And this wasn't just GoTape, but also the well known KT Tape as well.

So I taped. I have to say, for my first time ever, I thought I did pretty well. The online instructions were easy to find, grouped by body area, and included plenty of pictures to see what you should be doing. I went with the IT Band (Outer Knee) taping. I had no trouble following along, and the end result was pretty good I think.

My First Taped Run

I ended up taping up my knee a while before my run. When I finally got out the door, it was still tight and it fit well. I took a nice easy run; I didn't push the pace too hard, but I was not too slow either, and took my out-and-back short route. I did the equivalent of one of my "easy just get out there" runs. I took careful note of my knee when I was running. I felt no pain and no strain. I felt strong after the 2 1/4 miles and easily could have kept going, but didn't want to press my luck. After the run, I kept the tape on. It actually stayed well for about 2 days after. After that point, one portion started to come loose, so I felt it was time to take it all the way off. If I had a little more experience taping, I think it would have stayed even better.

Our Other Lab Rats

While testing out the GoTape, I gave the opportunity to try the tape out for my wife and sister.

My Wife's Test

My wife has runner's knee (without being a runner). We found during her first pregnancy that the extra weight causes her condition to worsen. With rest, she doesn't normally have pain, but at the time of having the tape on hand, she was pregnant with our son, which made it a good time to tape it up. For her, we went with the complete knee taping. She had this done at the WDW Marathon Weekend Expo this past January with KT Tape. She felt the same support with my amateur tape job using the GoTape. She didn't feel the pain in her knee like she did before the tape, and the tape job held up all day to her walking and standing for an orientation at work and coaching in the evening. Pregnant lady approved.

My Sister's Trial

My sister offered herself up as my second guinea pig tester. She has achilles tendonitis. She's diagnosed by a doctor (not just the internet) and received treatment for but still causes her pain. Ahead of the Color Run we ran together (you can see my recap and review here). She was open to trying the tape to help her out. The directions were simple enough and we got her taped up the morning of the race. As mentioned in my previous post, the course was very hilly. One on of the uphill portions, she said something that summarizes her experience with the tape into a nice little blurb
The only thing on my legs that doesn't hurt right now is the part you taped.

Overall Thoughts

At the end of the day, I was very happy with the tape. It came through for me when I needed it, worked as good as the competitor and got a glowing recommendation on some hills. I plan to keep a roll on hand for the times I need it and to order some for my wife for color guard season coming up with the marching band. The only thing I'd like to see is some more colors, like a royal blue instead of just light blue and maybe a red. They have a good set for being a new product, but doesn't mean I wouldn't love more options. You're talking to the man man rocking some stand out Running Duds. The nice part about the tape is that it isn't too expensive, just $14.99 for a precut box, so you can buy a roll and see if it helps you out without breaking the bank. I was glad I had it when I did. The most important part to me is:
Yes, I would recommend GoTape. 
I don't think I can be more straight forward than that. I'm not saying it's a "cure-all" or magic, but it worked for me, so that's all I need. Give it a try. Let me know what you think.


Have you ever used kinesiology tape? Do have interest in such a product?


Disclaimer: I was provided GoTape for free in exchange for the review, but all opinions are my own.

Image Credit: GoTape logo GoTape.com

Aug 15, 2014

This Summer I Will... Friday Five Updated


I'm finally back to the Friday Five linkup. I've missed a couple of weeks. Things got a little busy with #2 on the list below, so I think it was acceptable. I'm jumping back in this week on a Free Friday, where you can write about anything you want to. I thought I'd use this one to provide an update on a previous Friday Five, when I wrote about "This Summer I Will...". This week's topic is

This Summer I Will ... UPDATED

1... see my daughter earn her first "ornament"

On 4th of July, my daughter ran her first race. She also earned her first bling. I'm so proud of her. She did a great job. I just now realized I never wrote a proper write up on it, so I may have to rectify that at some point. For now, you can check out my Five Fitness Snapshots to see her in her cute tutu and bib.

2... have a 4th member added to our family

On July 18th, our family grew by one. Our wonderful son Timothy was born. He's an amazing little man. While we had some up and down moments the first week and a half, everyone is doing well now. I'm slowly remembering all the things I learned the first time around. You can see the cute little man on My Newest Reason to Run.

3... run on much less sleep 

On August 14th (yesterday) I finally got back out on the pavement. I've been functioning pretty well on the broken, small amounts of sleep. It's nothing a #bowlofcoffee can't fix. I hadn't gotten out and run at all the first 3 weeks, but broke that streak yesterday with a run after work. I need to keep getting out more, but it's a start.

4... buy a jogger stroller

On June 25th (I'm liking this pattern of putting dates to things) our Graco jogging stroller arrived. We purchased the Graco FastAction Fold Jogger Click Connect Stroller . You can take a look at it before our first run on twitter. And with breaking the streak on #3, I did so running with my daughter in our jogging stroller. After a couple more runs, I plan to post a full review of it. Initial opinions are very positive. And when I say "very positive" I mean "I love it." This may be evident in my tweets with @restlessrunner on the subject.

5... lose 20 pounds

On August 6th I joined a Dietbet to get my weight loss going. I had be doing alright, but then reverted just before Tim was born and thereafter put on pounds. I figured throwing down some money on a set goal of 4% in 4 weeks would help give me the kick in the pants I need. Hard deadlines often do help us procrastinators. My goal weight will get me down 10 lbs from where I started but still leave me about 14 to my first goal weight I have in mind. I will still have work to do, but I hope this will get the ball rolling back on the healthy track.

Don't Forget My Giveaway

In case you missed it, I'm running a giveaway for reaching 1,000 Twitter followers. I'm giving away some of my favorite things for others to try and enjoy. That includes a Bondi Band, a KIND mini bars variety pack and some Nuun.

Check out the post for the Rafflecopter.


Go now!


I'll wait...



Linking Up

Check here for some links out to others sharing, staring with our three lovely hosts: CourtneyCynthia and Mar. Check their posts (Eat Pray Run DC, You Signed Up for What?! and Mar on the Run to see the full set of links). I will add some others, usually randomly, as I read them to share the love. Go visit and keep reading!

Our hosts:

Eat Pray Run, DC - 5 Things About the Leesburg 20K

You Signed Up for What?! - 5 Ways the Second Whole 30 is Easier Than the First

Mar on the Run - I Heart Vacation!

Some other good reads, pulled from the link up

Deborah @ Confessions of a Mother Runner - 5 Cools Things from Runnerbox

Fairytales and Fitness - 5 Tips for Letting Your Pet Swim in Your Pool

RTGWS - 5 Ways to Reclaim Your Mojo

Aug 12, 2014

1K Giveaway!

The time is here. A short while ago, I promised a giveaway when I reached 1,000 followers on Twitter. On Thursday the 7th, I reached 1,000 with @JeanBrown747! I'm so excited because it also means I'm now going to do my first giveaway. I always enjoy entering them, now I get to do one of my own!

I was pondering what to give away. My first thought was to give away something I like, something running and health related. The question was, what one to pick. I had it narrowed down to 3 items that I really like and turned to my wife for advice. Which should I give away? She had a brilliant thought... why not give away all three?

A Few of My Favorite Things

The winner of my giveaway will get a prize pack of three of my favorite things.

Bondi Band

Bondi Band
The first item I'll be including is a Bondi Band. I won one of these myself from Fairytales and Fitness in one of their giveaways. I had been looking for a while for something to keep the sweat out of my eye while not heating my head. The Bondi Band is perfect for me. It keeps the sweat back, my head cool and me running strong. The best part is when I take it off, I don't feel a sudden release of heat. That shows that it's keeping me cool and not trapping the heat in, like I have had with other items I've tried. I LOVE it and hope you'll love it too.

KIND Bars

KIND Bars
I tried KIND bars a short while ago. I got a variety pack of flavors. I have to say, I haven't tried a flavor yet I haven't like. Not all are my favorites, but they all are good. They're healthy and tasty with good ingredients. They believe "if you can’t pronounce an ingredient, it shouldn’t go into your body." So you know what's going in them. I also recently found out they sell large boxes at BJ's Wholesale Club (happy me). I want to give you the same chance to try them out. So I'll be including in a KIND Minis Variety Pack. That way, you can try out some flavors for yourself, and hopefully find some you enjoy. My personal favorite right now is Dark Chocolate Cherry Cashew. Just the right amount of sweetness.

Nuun Active Hydration

Nuun
The last item included in the 1K prize pack is Nuun. I picked up a tube of tablets from my local running store, Potomac River Running, after reading a lot of positive things online about them. I wanted something to help hydrate me better then water but not as heavy as Gatorade. Bring in Nuun, the perfect combination of what you need in an easy to use form. Just drop it in the water, it dissolves and is ready to go. The tablet form is easy to pack and take with you as well. My personal favorite is the Cherry Limeade Energy. The energy comes from the addition of caffeine. This was also the first flavor I tried. I'll add in two tubes of Nuun to keep you hydrated in these summer months.

The Giveaway

Now what you've been waiting for, the giveaway. I'll be using the defacto standard, Rafflecopter. Fill it out below and best of luck.


Non-Disclaimer: I was NOT provided any of the following. The thoughts and opinions are all my own. The giveaway items are purchased by me and given to you.

Image Credits: Bondi Band - bondiband.com, KIND bars - kindsnacks.com, Nuun - nuun.com

Aug 11, 2014

Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend On Sale

It's that time again. No, not free ice cream day. No, not that either. Yes, it's time to register for runDisney. Next on the runDisney sale schedule: Tinker Bell Half Marathon weekend. This is a Disneyland event, so, go west young man!
Tinker Bell Half
Tinker Bell weekend was previously held in January, just after Marathon Weekend in Walt Disney World. However, for 2015, Tinker Bell was bumped to May, lining up with Mother's Day. The race weekend includes the kids races, Neverland 5K, Tinker Bell 10K and Tinker Bell Half Marathon. And for those chasing the bling, there will also be the Inaugural Pixie Dust Challenge. Running the 10K on Saturday followed by the Half Marathon on Sunday will earn you that extra piece of hardware.

Pink Coast to Coast
But wait, there's more! If you run both the Princess Half Marathon and Tinker Bell Half Marathon in 2015, you can earn the special pink Coast to Coast Race Challenge Medal. (If you were to then tack on a 3rd half another 2 halves, you could earn the normal Coast to Coast as well. Oh, the bling.)

Registration opens tomorrow, Tuesday August 11 at 12 noon. Races are selling out quick this year, so be ready for some lunch time registering if you want to check this race of in 2015. Let's face it, you know you want to be there.

Who's registering?


Image credit: runDisney (email) and runDisney.com

Aug 5, 2014

Still Alive and Coming Soon

I am alive and still here. Now that that’s out of the way…

It’s been a pretty crazy two weeks in our household. And not even the normal “new baby home” crazy. It also hasn’t all been good crazy, but everyone is good now. Things are settling into place, and with that, I’m trying to get things rolling back here when it comes to eating right, exercising and blogging.

I’ve put some things off for a while, that I’m going to try and use this time now to push myself to do them. For starters, coming soon includes a review of GoTape, a Liebster Award post, some Friday Fives and even a new blog layout. I also want to enter some more reviews on BibRave. Love that site. We may even see a book review or two and a giveaway when I reach 1,000 Twitter followers (currently 984!).

I’ve also joined a Diet Bet with Eat, Drink & Be Skinny. Join me if you want. Get some support for losing those pounds and some monetary incentive to go with it. Currently 13,895 monetary incentives to go with it. If you haven't seen these before (I've never done one, it's my first) the basic premise is everyone puts in a certain amount. Your goal is 4% of your weight lost in 4 weeks. Everyone who makes it gets their money back. The ones who don't... their money gets split by all the ones who did. For a longer (read: better) explanation, see the official "How it works". The bet does start tomorrow (August 6), so don’t wait if you want to join in.

That’s all I have for here. Short and sweet. Now, time to go have one last sweet before the Diet Bet begins.  ;-)



Image credits:
GoTape logo GoTape.com
Diet Bet logo dietbetter.com
Gift box FreeDigitalPhotos.net by Master isolated images