May 22, 2015

Friday Five: Mother of the bride musings

It's just a little over three weeks until Christine and Adam's big day.  There are still preparations for the parents of the bride so this became my topic for the Friday linkup with the lovely DC girls, Courtney, Mar and Cynthia! So now here is my "to do" list for the next few weeks:

1.  Find a dress for the rehearsal dinner: While visiting my mother earlier this week, I went shopping while she was playing bridge one afternoon.  The stores in Wellesley are so familiar to me and one shop has loads of brands that I like including Lilly Pulitzer.  The first dress I tried on I loved. Score!

My favorite color too!

2.  Plan a run for the wedding morning:  With the help of some of Christine's running friends and relatives, we have cooked up a little surprise for Saturday morning.  It will involve running and eating, but I cannot give any more hints.  Hopefully it will relieve some of the tension of the big day!

Not Christine!

3.  Gather lawn games for the rehearsal dinner:  The dinner will be a casual affair, and playing games seemed like a good way for the guests to get to know each other. We love corn hole, bocce ball, croquet etc.  Tom and I will be bringing our corn hole game that has lights for night play for the young people who will be up all hours!

4.  Champagne:  We will be going to dinner on Thursday night with Adam's parents before the arrival of the other wedding guests.  Celebrating the occasion seemed appropriate so Tom purchased this for the toast that evening.  I still need to go to Party City to buy some disposable flutes!

5. Calf pain:  While Christine deals with a bum knee, I am now suffering with calf pain. while running last week, it became tight and I immediately stopped.   Today I see my PT and hopefully he will have me straightened out in no time.  I do have to run with the bride in just 3 weeks!

May 21, 2015

The time crunch: Working out vs. W-Day

When Adam and I started planning our wedding, I swore it wouldn't take over our life. Fast forward about 6 or 7 weeks and we're in wedding planning mode all.the.time. Or at least that's what it feels like. What did I do after work on Tuesday? I spent about an hour going through our catering proposal and requesting that they make many of the changes I'd already requested (read: I was highly irritated). I also researched wedding officiants since we had a crisis with ours. And then I ordered our guest book since I finally threw in the towel and admitted defeat that I wouldn't have time (or emotional energy) to do the fun DIY project I found on Pinterest (side bar: y'all the wedding section of Pinterest is INSANE and WILL make you feel inadequate...I just quit looking!). It doesn't sound like a lot but after 10 hours at the office, this was the last thing I wanted to do. What did I do after work last night? We went and met with an officiant...who we picked to marry us. Yay! One thing checked off the list!
Toasting the one month countdown!
The next two weeks are littered with appointments and a day-of timeline, meet with the photographer one last time, finalize the rehearsal dinner menu, pick up my dress, meet with the caterer again, etc. I feel like I eat, breath and sleep the wedding. While I love Adam and greatly look forward to having a day to celebrate together, I loathe this phase. I keep telling myself it will be worth it, that we did the most minimal wedding we could, and that we chose a short engagement thereby bringing on some intense weeks of wedding planning. But my body and mind are tired and the last thing on my mind is working out.
Organized. albeit long list! 
I promised myself that I would get my knee and hip troubles in order after the Pixie Dust Challenge so that I'm ready to launch into marathon training this summer. I've been doing lots of yoga and stretching. I've cut back on wearing high heels as much to work. I've been keeping up with my daily ab workouts and push-ups so mixing in a bit of cardio should be a good balance. And I haven't run since the Tinker Bell Half Marathon. So far so good!

Given that my stress levels seem to be perpetually elevated, I know an intense sweat session would help. After walking the dog with Adam last night, we both agreed that working out would be good for both of us. So I'm committing to 3 cardio workouts a week...maybe at the gym, maybe on my bike, or maybe a quick workout DVD. I know I'll feel better, my stress levels will be in check, and I wouldn't mind a byproduct of a svelte physique for my wedding dress!

A long weekend on the horizon is the perfect backdrop for renewed focus on working out. We've talked about taking our bikes out to one of the rail trails or maybe going for a run. What workout or running plans do you have for the long weekend?


May 20, 2015

Tinker Bell Half Marathon Race Recap

It felt like groundhog day when the alarm went off on Sunday at 4:15 and we arose for another early race morning.  After a very busy day Saturday, it was a little tougher to be motivated to run on Sunday!  We quickly got dressed, had something to eat and headed to the race start, the same place where we started the 10k on Saturday.
Ready to complete the Pixie Dust Challenge

It was slightly warmer on Sunday, but a throwaway was still necessary.  My Delta blanket kept us warm in the corral as we waited a short time again for the race start. The announcers were lively and Daisy Duck was absolutely hilarious, wiggling her tail and causing the crowd to laugh out loud.  She was super cute and definitely stole the show from Minnie!

Soon the national anthem played, fireworks were lit and we were starting the half marathon.  The race plan was to finish around 2:03-2:05.  My secret goal was still in the plans and if I could finish around this time, I would have a chance at another age group award.  Christine and I planned to run this together, but would not be stopping for photos.  While some people think you should always stop during Disney races to "get your money's worth", we prefer character photos at the parks with our medals after the race.

Pre race. The girls behind us were dressed up so cute!

Instead of boring you (and me) with a mile by mile recap, I thought including highs and lows from the race would be best.  The  course itself it similar to the 10k except the additional 6.9 miles that weave through Anaheim.


*  Running through the Disneyland Parks is the best part of the race.  When you run behind the scenes, it is fun to see extra equipment and in my case, I saw an extra train car for the Casey Junior Circus train ride. There were at least two other single ride vehicles, but they are escaping my memory at the moment.

*  The characters in the parks were not busy at all and if we had wanted to stop, there were many opportunities where there was no line or just one or two runners in line.  We both were wondering if this is a phenomenon of the California races because we have never seen so few people that wanted to stop for photos during a runDisney race.

*  Volunteers on the course were fabulous.  They were always ready during the water stops and we never wasted a second of time waiting for water or Powerade.  We tried our best to thank them too!  The maintenance staff for the parks were out cheering and they were amazing and probably the loudest group within the parks.

*  The red hat ladies were the absolute best part of the race.  I screamed to them several times that I was old enough to be in their group!  They were unbelievably supportive, cheering and offering support to every runner who passed by them.  And their group was by far the largest I have ever seen at any race.


*  I got a little bored during one long stretch in Anaheim, probably between miles 9 and 11 on Harbor and Anaheim Boulevards.  There are numerous streets you run through the city, but it seemed that these areas  had very few people and not much to keep you entertained!

*  Christine was still having knee trouble but was an absolute trooper to keep me going and help me finish.  This was not an easy day for either of us, me being tired and she having trouble from a high school knee injury.

The finish line was a very welcome sight as both Christine and I were getting hot and tired.  We pushed to the finish and my time of 2:04.36, was good enough for another 2nd place finish in my age group.  Excited and happy, we showered quickly so we could go celebrate another race and our Pixie Dust Challenge finish.

Happy finishers!

Tinkerbell, Pixie Dust Challenge and Tink medals!

Celebrating at World Of Color in California Adventure after a lovely dinner at Carthay Circle!

Have you run Disney races on both coasts?  If so, which is your favorite?

May 19, 2015

Tinkerbell 10k race recap and a shiny new PR

When our alarm sounded on Saturday morning, it was a mistake.   Unfortunately the time on my cell phone was never changed from east to west coast time, so my lovely alarm went off at 1:20am instead of 4:20am.  Feeling very stupid, we went back to bed, but neither of us got much more restful sleep after that mishap.  Finally, when it went off at the correct time, I jumped out a bed and finally was able to yell, "It's race day!" This always makes me so happy and probably annoys the heck out of Christine although she always laughs!


After getting dressed and having something to eat, we headed over to the starting area which was very close to the Disneyland Hotel where we were staying.  After passing through the main staging area, we kept walking and soon were in corral A waiting for the start.  Rudy Novotny and a fill in for pregnant Carissa entertained us while we waited just a short while for the national anthem and the race to begin.  Before this, we were lucky to run into several runDisney running friends.  We had fun chatting with many and also wishing speedy feet to Kellie Nickerson dressed in her green tutu! She ended up winning the race in a cool 39 minutes and change!

Our race plans were a little different since Christine is a faster runner.  My goal for the 10k was to run a time of between 55 and 56 minutes and she would definitely be running quicker than that.  After chatting with my coach, and looking at last year's results page, if I could run around 9 minute mile pace it would put me in position to place in the 60-64 year old age group. My secret goal for this race weekend was to place in my age group in not one, but both races of the Pixie Dust Challenge.  It was a crazy goal, but coach Sami encouraged me to go for it!

Christine and I wished each other luck after running together for the first few steps from the starting line. After about a quarter mile, I took a peak at my Garmin and realized I was running way too fast. The pace was 8 minute miles and there was no way I was running that for 6.2 miles.  I backed off and soon mile one was 8:45 pace.  After a few more miles we passed the 5k split and my time was 27.12 which was slightly faster than my goal pace.  I started to do the math in my head and realized a PR might be possible.  This is when I started to focus on the miles.  This course takes you through both Disneyland Park and California Adventure, so you are running the majority of the miles being entertained! Luckily, most of the hills were in the first few miles except one tiny one between miles 4 and 5. My splits were pretty even until the 6th mile when I knew I needed to pick up the pace. I put my head down and concentrated on a girl in front of me who was running a great pace,.  After the sixth mile marker I turned on the jets and took my pace down to 7:25 for the last .2 miles.   It was an absolute delight to finally achieve a 10k PR after more than 2.5 years.

Finish Time: 53.50
Division Place 60-64 year old female: 2/217
Overall Female Place:  154/7379

Christine was waiting for me at the finish area and unfortunately her knee had given her alot of trouble during the race.  She was on PR pace for the first half and then throttled back to save her knee and make sure she could finish the half the following day.  Despite that, she finished 114/7379 female finishers and 21/1285 in her age division.

It was now time to celebrate by going to the Disneyland and California Adventure for the rest of the day after a shower and a quick stop for breakfast.  Wearing our 10k medals, our first stop was at Pixie Hollow to see Tinkerbell and take some photos!  She told us we had won the race because we were the first runners with medals to visit her! She is now my favorite character ever!

More picture opportunities and tons of fun rides and entertainment kept us busy until late afternoon!

Dale loved checking out Christine's medal

Posing with our favorite Chipmunks!

We;love the Walt and Mickey statue!
After a final photo stop, it was time to rest up for the Tinkerbell Half Marathon!

May 18, 2015

Illumiseem, a great safety item for runners

Disclaimer:  We were both given an Illumiseen belt for review.  No compensation was received for this post and as always, the opinions stated here are our own.

A while ago we were contacted by the Illumiseen Company and asked if we would like to review their belt. After looking at their website, and being someone highly concerned about safety and visibility while running, I jumped at the chance.  This belt has features very different to running gadgets I have for illumination while running in the dark.  Normally, it is just my winter runs that are in the dark, but when it gets really warm here in the summer, I am usually out before the sun rises!

Made with LED technology, this belt lights up very brightly and also reflects light with the 3M Scotchlite reflective material.  Providing full 360 degree coverage, runners can be seen by any vehicles well in advance.  I love the wide strip and know that I will always be seen unless someone chooses to drive with their eyes shut. Most runners don't want any extra pounds when running, but this lightweight belt will be unnoticeable after a couple runs in it.

Excellent instructions and a Micro USB Cable are included inside the package.  Once my belt was fully charged, I checked out how to adjust for fit.  There is a large amount of adjustment, but if you look at the photo, this band is just barely small enough for me.  Once I ran in it though, I realized it is just fine for size.  However, if you are quite small, this might not adjust to the correct size for you.  Should I wear this to ride my bike or walk the dog, I might be tempted to fasten it as a shoulder harness, one of the options they suggest in the brochure. If you happen to wear a backpack or other bag, it could easily attach to that instead of you.

This is a great item to add to your safety equipment while running, biking or doing any activity when it is dark.  You can purchase it through Amazon if you are interested.  As always, there will be no compensation for us should you choose to make a purchase.  We just like to share good quality items with our readers!

May 17, 2015

Weekly Roundup - May 17th

Summer has arrived and it has been such a hot week after arriving home from California late Monday night.  The trip was a whirlwind of fun and I can't imagine a better Mother's Day.  Running races at Disneyland and then celebrating with dinner at Carthay Circle that night followed by World of Color made for a perfect day. Despite two prior trips to Disneyland for races, viewing World of Color had never happened for me.  So I was determined we would view this as our last thing before hitting the bed Sunday night.
An adult beverage to celebrate our races!

After dinner we raced to Radiator Springs and then Toy Story.  Never let it be said that we don't push though the parks with great speed and determination!  And I am not talking about the races either!  Soon it was our time for World of Color show and I could not wait.  It did not disappoint and I would highly recommend this for anyone visiting the California Adventure park. 

With a wedding just 4 weeks away, it is time to focus on something other than running.  Here are our workouts:

Sunday, May 3rd
Pam: 6.1 mile run, 9:54 pace
Christine: 4 mile run at 9:20 pace (cut short due to knee pain)

Monday, May 4th
Pam: stationary bike 35 minutes, crunches, clam shells, plank
Christine: Rest day

Tuesday, May 5th
Pam: Group run, 3.5 miles at 9:30 pace overall
Christine: 30 min elliptical, push-ups, weights

Wednesday, May 6th
Pam: Rest day
Christine: 30 min bike ride, abs, push-ups

Thursday, May 7th
Pam:  Travel to CA, walked 2 miles
Christine: 3.5 mile run easy pace

Friday, May 8th
Pam: Walked the parks, Disneyland and CA Adventure, 4 miles
Christine: Travel to CA and walked the parks, 4 miles

Saturday, May 9th
Pam: Ran Tinkerbell 10k  6.2 miles, 53:50
Christine: Ran Tinkerbell 10k  6.2 miles 52:29

Sunday, May 10th
Pam: Tinker Bell Half Marathon  2:04.28
Christine: Tinker Bell Half Marathon  2:04.27

Monday, May 11th
Pam: Rest day, travel home
Christine: Rest day, travel home

Tuesday, May 12th
Pam:  Rest day, walked dog
Christine: 30 min bike ride, abs, push-ups

Wednesday, May 13th
Pam: Rest day, walked dog
Christine: Abs, 30 min walk

Thursday, May 14th
Pam: Played 9 holes golf
Christine: Abs, housework

Friday, May 15th
Pam: Ran 3 miles at my group practice, average pace 9 minute miles
Christine: Rest day

Saturday, May 16th
Pam:  Shopped for wedding attire, does that count as exercise?
Christine: 30 min bike ride, 2 hours yard work

How was your week?  Have you raced recently?

May 15, 2015

Friday Five: What's happening lately

I feel like life has been really chaotic lately. I know part of this is busy season at work and part of it is planning a wedding in 10 weeks. But I'll be honest, I'm not loving this new routine. I had this epiphany the other day that I can really manage 3 things at, wedding planning, social life, a well-maintained home, working out. I can only manage 3 of those things successfully with the chaos in my schedule lately.

1. I bought some Jamberrys a few months ago with some gals from work. They convinced me of their fabulousness and I bought it hook, line, and sinker. I gave it a whirl the other night and while they're not perfect, I love having my nails done with a little flair.

2. Our wedding RSVPs are rolling in every day. With 4 weeks to go, we're starting to get to crunch time and my brain and head are feeling it. I made myself a detailed to-do list and plan to stick to it. I am trying SO HARD not to get anxious but some days, I can't help it. I'm lucky that Adam has been very helpful and engaged throughout the entire wedding planning process. I'm fairly convinced that I wouldn't have been able to pull it off on my own.
Even the dog (my future puppy SIL) approved of the invitations
3. My knee is giving me a lot of trouble again. I've had a few weeks of greater-than-normal pain and I've been working hard to ice it and focus on my stretching. I bought some resistance bands to work on my hip strength to counteract some of the knee issues. Unfortunately, it flared up really badly while we were out in Disneyland doing the Pixie Dust Challenge. I pushed very hard in the first 3 miles of the 10k and it promptly told me to slow down and take it easy. I was disappointed since I was on PR pace but alas, my long term health is much more important. I have a month or so to rest and I'm planning to take good care of it, see an ortho, and focus on strength training again.
My current view
4. I'm obsessed with my new Fitbit bracelet from Bezels and Bytes. The company was started by a classmate of mine and they have fabulous Fitbit accessories that are totally affordable! They're adding in new metals and leathers. Definitely check them out!
I have the basketweave bracelet. Super cute right! 
5. We capped off last night by receiving an email from our photographer with our engagement photos. We spent the next hour ooh'ing and aah'ing over our favorites. How lucky we are to have someone capturing this special time for us...and even better that our photographer is a dear friend's sister. I've known Melissa for years so it's an absolute pleasure to work with her!

I think this photo sums up our relationship perfectly...on our first date, I
worried that I hadn't talked enough. When I met Adam's brother for the first
time, I worried I hadn't talked enough. Adam (and his family members) are
a bit chatty. So this sums it up...him chatting and me along for the ride.
Do you have any fun weekend plans?

We linked up with the lovely ladies of DC, Mar, Courtney and Cynthia!