Friday, February 28, 2014

I did it!!

Just a small post, we just arrived home last night.   I'm sick, up to my ears in photo editing, work, and cleaning up the house!  I'll have a full...and I mean VERY full, probably million-part race recap in the days to come.  I took about 2,700 photos, which is pretty normal for me. LOL. We had a fabulous trip and I completed the Princess Half Marathon, my first half!  It was hard and painful, but more on that later. I met so many new friends and had such a fantastic week! I cannot wait to share it all ad nauseam with you.

 I am purchasing all my photos from the race, most of them are horrid, but it was my first half, I can't not get them! 

Wednesday, February 19, 2014


The last Wide-angle Wednesday before the race.  How did that happen?!?! When the miles started to build, I would always imagine running down Main Street, my happy place.  Running down Main Street and through the castle is what made me decide that I wanted a Disney race to be my first half marathon, I wrote more about that here. No matter how many times I walk down that street towards the castle, it's always magical.  The thought of running down it is overwhelming!

Next WAW I will be at Epcot & Magic Kingdom, so no post, but you can be sure the following week that WAW will bring many many photos of my happy place! 

Do you have a happy place at Disney World or somewhere else?  Somewhere that no matter what, you just feel like all is right with the world when you are there? 


Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Letter to Future Me & final PHM plans!

I was going to post this on Thursday, but realized that a lot of my readers will already be in Orlando by then, so I decided to post it today. 

I've been dreaming of this race and planning for a LONG time.  Three years now, to be exact.  I ran across information about the Princess Half Marathon right before the 2011 race.  I was financially not in a spot to do it but the seed was planted.  In 2012 while injured, I thought for sure I would be able to pull it off by 2013.  I had started back up running but then found myself set back by Plantar Fasciitis for ten months.  As I read all the race reports from 2013, I decided that I was not going to let another year go by without running this race.  I had set the goal of running a half marathon by my 40th birthday and I realized that even though I couldn't do it before turning 40, I could still do it during my 40th year! (less than 2 weeks before turning 41). 
My 40th bday, March 5th, 2013:

As I started training for the half and reading everything I could get my hands on, I came across   It's a site where you can write your future self a letter and they email it to you on the date you set.  I loved this idea and immediately wrote myself a letter to be delivered in February 2014, before the race.  

I've been waiting.  I didn't remember the exact date it was to be sent, I thought two weeks out...when it didn't come, I thought maybe a week out...but that passed as well.  When I had my little freakout last week, I wished and wished for it to come.  I needed that boost from my past-self!  I even tried to login and find it but it looks like I never created an account so there's no way to retrieve it.  I searched my spam but didn't find it either.  It's lost out there in cyberspace.  I was so looking forward to that letter and reading what I had written before this long year of training.  There are little bits I remember and I realized yesterday when it didn't arrive, that it was from ME.  I have all that inside me, I just need to rewrite it.  So, that's what I'm doing.  Without further ado, my letter to my future self...written by my current self! 

Dear me,
        You are about to run your first half marathon!  I cannot begin to imagine what this year has brought to you.  It's never the way we think it's going to be, is it?  I'm sure there have been struggles, tears, and pain.  I doubt you have gone without injury and have stressed about not only running a half marathon, but paying for a trip to Disney.  This kind of comes with the territory, you should be used to this by now!  Let that all go now.
      By now you have finished those long runs and even though I cannot imagine what they were like, I know you have found strength inside yourself.  It's why you love to run.  I hope you haven't forgotten that.  No matter what this year has brought, you are going to finish this race.  If you have to walk the whole thing, you will!  The work is done now and you can get excited!  You are going to your favorite place in the world to do one of your favorite things.  ENJOY this. SAVOR it. You will only have your first half marathon once.  
      I know you have it in you and I know that our future future self will want to remember every moment of magic and fun, so relax and soak it all in.  You made it!!
                                               Your Past Self

We are headed out very early Friday morning.  Rey will drive us to the airport and then he and the boys plan to have a wild week at home, no doubt playing computer games all night, every night.  Hopefully they remember to scoop the litterbox.  

Our plans for the week include:
-Staying at Pop for 4 nights, then Beach Club Villas for 2 nights!
-2 special days with one of my dearest friends I have not seen for 5 years!  Kim is coming up for the race. love this girl. 
-ADR's at Crystal Palace, Boma, Cinderella's Castle, Tusker House, and 1900 Park Fare 
-The #Runnerslove meetup at The Polynesian
-Numerous people I'm meeting before the race for photos and pre-race fun (I seriously have a list going. LOL)
-and last but not least, running my first half marathon! 

Mainstreet, here I come!  
(the only thing that would make it better would be if Rey was actually there watching me)

I will be posting one last WAW tomorrow and then you'll have to follow me on twitter because I'm such a babyblogger that I really have no idea how to do a blog post from my phone! I'm also unsure I would have time.  I'm kind of commando at Disney!  I'm sure to be back on the 28th posting hundreds of photos and pages of race/trip report stuff!  If you want to follow me on twitter, you can find me at @twoboysnmygirl

Thank you so much for being a part of this journey with me.  I don't know where I would be without all of the support and advice that my fellow runners and friends have given me.  I really can't believe how fast the time has gone, I started this blog to document this journey and here it has arrived! I cannot wait to run! ~Karen


Sunday, February 16, 2014

Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo! Princess Half Marathon Costume.

Way back when I decided to run the Princess Half, I knew I wanted to dress as Cinderella.  I haven't really had a favorite princess but figured if I was going to dress up as one, then I should be dressing as THE Princess.  I'm pretty happy with how it came out! 

Salagadoola mechicka boola bibbidi-bobbidi-boo 
Put 'em together and what have you got 

I might need to work on my poses though! LOL.  The petticoat is something I picked up after Halloween on clearance.  I didn't even think of the costume when I got it but Rey suggested it when I was trying to figure out what to do.  Since I only run in Sparkleskirts I have my black one under it.  Can't go without my pockets!  When I first tried on the shirt and petticoat together, the shirt was riding up a bit when I ran, so I took it to a seamstress and she connected them.  Worked like a charm and is really comfy. She also added the ruffles on the shoulders.

 I hot glued a little foam bird to my wrist.

Salagadoola mechicka boola bibbidi-bobbidi-boo
It'll do magic believe it or not

Oops!  I had to come back and edit, I forgot to add the shot of the back.  Naturally, I had to have a shirt that displayed my tattoo!  (Rey didn't notice the tag of my shirt was sticking out when he took this apparently)

Ok, so need opinions on one last thing on my list...Garmin or no Garmin?  
I'm not sure I want anything else on my wrist, I'll already have a magicband and I'm carrying a point & shoot as well as a rag (I sweat a lot) with my phone in one of my pockets.  I could use the Nike+ app on my phone if I really needed to.  Do I really need to worry about it?  Mile markers are there already, I'll PR either way and I'm trying not to worry about speed, just finishing. I'm on the fence about taking it. 

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Weekly Freak-up

Err...wrap-up?  So, I nearly didn't write this.  Ok, to be honest, I'm still on the fence about it.  We'll see what happens when I get to the end of the page and decide if I should publish.   I know at some point in the future, I will come looking for this entry, the one where I was talking about the days building up to the race.  I think I will want to remember, it is part of the process, so that's why I'm bothering to write it all up.

 It's one week.  ONE.WEEK.  To say I'm excited, stressed, happy, freaked out, or impatient would be an understatement.  

The week started off well for the most part.  I ran 10 last weekend, my knees were feeling good and I was pretty confident.  Then a day after I ran the 10 my right foot started to hurt. Out.of.nowhere.  Nowhere! My mind was all over the place with questions  as to why my body continues to fight me at every turn.  At first I was just annoyed but as the days passed, I started to worry.  It took a while but by Thursday it was feeling better and I had planned a 4 mile interval run/walk with a client of the furry nature.  

Headed out and it was pretty bad from the get-go.  The first mile my foot was nagging but I just kept telling myself that the first mile lies. The foot loosened up, but the run never really got better.  I couldn't get into a groove and when I got to the turn around point I realized I was going to be running straight into strong wind and up hill.  It was a real struggle. I finished up with 3.7 miles and my foot was killing me by the time I drove home.  I felt like I should have just left it at the 10 mile run because my confidence was totally shaken by this shorter run and I was back to being worried about injury.  All these feelings were just jumbled up in my head. 

The rest of the day it just built up until that evening I was in complete meltdown mode.

  I told Rey that I didn't understand how this had turned into something I was dreading, something so stressful, something I just wanted to be done with.  I wasn't sure how I got to this place, I think just putting so much pressure on myself, building it up for so long, and stressing out about it.  I really just felt like I wanted it to be over and never go through this again. What? This was supposed to be fun!  I also think I have a tendency to beat myself up when I get upset about something, so that made it worse. 

It's not that I don't think I can do it.  I will finish, I think it's the manner in how I finish that has me bothered.  I don't want running to hurt all the time.  I don't want to finish and not be able to walk around Disney for the rest of the week and be in pain.  I want to have fun and I think if I focus on that, I'll be fine! I can sometimes get myself all worried about a situation and in the end I expect the worst so it ends up being far better than I expected. 

 I'm not sure if this is "normal" but it happened.  I tend to forget these things and just remember all the fantastic stuff, so I wanted to put it here for the future.  Maybe in the future when I freak out, I can learn from it.  Either way, I had my little cry and felt better.  When it's all said and done, I use these experiences in the future.

I hope this didn't feel too horribly negative, it's not been all doom, gloom, & freakout here.  We are so excited to go to our happy place and are counting the days!  The girls have a countdown chain they made 150 days out and a couple days ago I took another photo of them at 9 days. I cannot believe how fast it has gone by! 


Tomorrow I'll have some shots of my costume! I'm really happy with how it came out!

Ever freak yourself out stressing over a race? 

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Wide-angle Wednesday!

There's only one WAW left before the Princess Half!  ONE!!!! 

Last week's WAW was all about the resort, so I thought we would continue up the priority list this week with libations. Drinks are pretty high on my priority list at Disney! Yep.  Ok, I have to be honest since most of you don't know me in real life.  I talk about drinking quite a bit, I enjoy it, some may even say I'm a bit preoccupied with talking about it...but the truth is, I can't drink much. It's probably why I talk about it so much.  Not sure if it's the training or age, but alcohol tends to give me a headache and hot flashes all night, followed by severe dehydration.  But hey, that doesn't keep me from pretending to be a lush in my spare time.  I'm certain I will be having each and every one of these beauties AFTER the race, headache be damned!  I'll be on vacation!

Disney World has some of my favorite drinks, which sucks for me since they cost an arm and a leg, but I digress...

Not in any order of favorites because that would just be unfair, they are all yummy and delicious in their own right! You can never go wrong with a margarita in Mexico, World Showcase.  Regular ones, rainbow ones...

 and if you go inside to Cava De Tequila, you may never come out of "The Cave".   

I love this place, Rey & I spent an hour or two just relaxing in a dark corner tasting avocado, pineapple, and blood orange margaritas! 

My favorite margarita was from Sanaa at Animal Kingdom Lodge (Kidani).  We went to dinner and I ordered this beauty and spent the rest of the trip asking bartenders if they could recreate it.  
Mango Margarita.  SO GOOD! 

 I did get them to make me one at the Pop Century pool bar, Petals, on my following trip, but it wasn't quite the same. Still, a fruity drink by the pool, laying in the sun, is perfection. 

 I usually make a B-line for Mexico to get a margarita when at Epcot, but it's most likely because France is farther away.  One of my all time favorite drinks is the Grey Goose Slushie in France.  I love them so much, Rey once walked off while we were waiting for Illuminations and came back with 3 of them for me!  It was hilarious.  Of course I couldn't let them go to waste. 
Maybe trying to convince you I'm not a lush is lost at this point. 

 Special treat during Food & Wine Festival!  They had a cherry slushie!  It was fantastic. 

 Okay, okay, so I'm a lush.  It's vacation!  I'm probably going to end up on my face after the race with the drinks I have on my list to have again, but I'm looking forward to celebrating.  

One of my dearest friends will be driving up to stay a couple days with us and I cannot wait to hit World Showcase and with her!  She makes a mean drink herself, so it's fitting. We always have fun together.  
Exhibit A (excuse the poor photo quality, it's an old photo... and yes, I'm flipping burgers, it was part of what made the photo funny, since I don't eat meat!)

So there you have it.  There are 9 days until I leave for Disney and I'm tapering and planning drinks.  That's how I roll.  Stay tuned for the reveal of my full costume coming up next week.  

Do you have a favorite alcoholic or non-alcoholic drink at Disney?!?

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Two weeks! (Weekly wrap-up)

I ran 10 miles yesterday!! and I did it on a treadmill.  Yep, I did.

I really wanted to get in one more long run before tapering and was hoping for 8 without knee pain but once I started running I decided that I felt good enough to go to ten.  My right knee was a little sore by the end, but it wasn't too terrible.  I was sore last night but much better this morning, I will continue to date my foam roller, it really helps.

Two weeks from today!!! I'm so excited, I really cannot think of anything else.  See, this was supposed to be the weekly wrap-up but all I did was post about ten miles and how the race is two weeks off!  I have nearly all of my clothes packed already, it helps that I cannot wear any of those things right now anyway because it's negative-freezing here all the time.  

I think I'm going to keep this short and sweet since I will just end up repeating how excited I am over and over if I continue. 

Who has started packing?  Are you a drag-it-out for weeks packer or a last minute packer?

Wednesday, February 5, 2014


There are only two Wide-angle Wednesday left before the race!! Continuing on with my Disney-theme, today's WAW is all about the resort. I should probably start calling this Wide-ALBUM Wednesday.  I'm just so psyched for this trip, I cannot share just one or two shots!

Savannah & I stayed at Pop on our first trip ever to Disney World, in 2008.  It was a magical trip with friends and ever since, she has insisted that we stay at our "home" each time.  
We love the in-your-face Disney theming..all Disney, all the time...

Now I have to share a little secret with you...

I love Pop and seeing my daughter light up when we arrive, full of magic and memories of this place she loves, is  fantastic...but Pop is not actually my favorite resort.  *gasp* 

Rey and I took an Anniversary trip for 3 amazing nights in November 2012 and rented points at Animal Kingdom Lodge.  I fell so deeply in love with this resort, I honestly could just go stay there and never step foot in the parks (and you KNOW I love the parks!)  It pays to have insomnia as well folks because I laid on the lobby floor at 3am and took some of these shots.  It's just stunning, I love everything about it and wanted to share a few of those photos as well. 

As if the beauty of the resort wasn't enough, our balcony view put me over the top. I spent quite a few hours of our three day trip on that balcony in bliss! 

 I will admit that these are the only two resorts I have stayed at, but I have visited others and I don't think my opinion on my favorite will change even if I stay at them all.  We'll see!  Thanks to the generosity of my amazing friend Lisa, we are staying two nights at Beach Club Villas on this trip and I'm really looking forward to getting some photos there as well.

Shew!  Did you make it through all of those?  So, you know I'm going to ask...
What's your favorite resort at WDW?!?!