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Run Disney Race Tips

My bib signed by Jeff Galloway during the Health and Fitness Expo.

My bib signed by Jeff Galloway during the Health and Fitness Expo.

This past weekend, I ran the Walt Disney World Marathon. It was my first marathon and first run Disney race. I cannot begin to describe how I feel about this past weekend. If I had to put my feelings into one word it would be… incredible. °o° I accomplished a huge goal of running a marathon. A goal that I have had ever since I started running when I was first at BYU in fall of 2008. It’s been a long journey since I have begun running. I was supposed to run this race in 2015, but I had to defer to this year. At the end of 2013 I was having knee issues. It wasn’t until it got worse in February 2014 that I finally made an appointment and saw a doctor. I started Physical Therapy in Corpus Christi, but once I finished the allotted appointments from our insurance. After a few months I didn’t feel they helped at all. So I saw the doctor again and was told to get an MRI. I got the MRI and then a new physical therapist for more therapy, which helped a lot more. Anyways, I started training for the marathon around October of 2015. I definitely needed more time in order to get a better time, but I finished the marathon and I’d do it again in a heartbeat!

Disney puts on a great race! I’ve ran a few races and this one was by far the most packed, but the most organized. The only thing you need to worry about is carb loading the day before, waking up on time, and getting your clothes on. Everything else is a walk in the park. 😀 About a month before the race, Disney will send you an event guide. I recommend you read it and get familiar with expo, bus, and race times, etc so you can plan your run-cation accordingly.

Another is getting a run in with your costume, if you plan on wearing one. So you can make adjustments necessary so you’re more comfortable. I’d also recommend having a CamelBak or fuel belt. You’ll want your phone and definitely fuel. I know Disney provides you with fuel on the course, but if that’s not what you’ve been training with, I would not introduce it to your body while running. I use a CamelBak, I can’t wear running belts.

After getting my costume ready, I was in bed the night before pretty early. I was actually interrupted from a flying tablet hitting my lip causing me to wake up with a bloody lip, but I survived. Haha. I was up around 0230, so I could get on the bus around 0300 to get to Epcot. I wanted to get to my corral a bit early so I could be in front so I didn’t have to be crowded and try to weave too much. That was wishful thinking, I did get in the front, but I started catching up to the other corrals and some spots on the course are very narrow. I weaved a lot, but still enjoyed it.

Laying out my costume the night before.

Laying out my costume the night before.

They had plenty of water/Powerade stops and a quite a few medial tent stops with Biofreeze. I slathered that stuff on my quads a couple of times during the race. The medical stops also had Tylenol, but they only let you have one dose and they write down your race bib so you cannot get more. They also had bananas during mile 11.4 and 18.3. Then at mile 15.4 and  19.4 they had Clif bar products. My favorite was at mile 17.1 when we got nice cold wet sponges. Those really felt amazing on my face. The last goody stop was at mile 22.5, where they had Dove chocolates. I picked a couple up and gave to Travis, my husband, at the end of the race. I didn’t stop and eat any bananas or Clif bar shots, I brought my own fuel in my CamelBak. I only stopped for Powerade. I’m glad I brought my CamelBak with water. That gave me more time to stop with characters since I didn’t need to stop for water. In my CamelBak, I had my phone, chapstick, body glide, and fuel. Very handy during the race!

At the end of the race, you’re going to want to take your running shoes off – at least I wanted to. So I had my husband put some things in his backpack. Since he had a backpack, I didn’t need to do any gear check before the race, which was nice. He had Cetaphil face wipes, Oofos flip flops, small blanket, and my compression socks. It felt good to wipe my legs and face after the race and put on my Oofos. Those things are amazing! They definitely deserve all the hype. I have plantar fasciitis and those make my feet feel great. After I wiped my face and took most of my costume off, we headed to the bus to get back to our resort where I took an epsom salt bath, drank some Powerade, and ate some of the snacks from the run Disney snack box we were handed at the finish line.

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Snack box runners received after getting their medals. The cheese with the tortilla chips tasted amazing! I ate these while soaking in the tub with my epsom salts 😉

I’ll do another post of things I packed that might be helpful. If you have any questions or other tips, feel free to leave a comment! Thanks for reading.

My anchor holding me up so I can show off my medal in front of my Castle. <3

My anchor holding me up so I can show off my medal in front of my Castle. ❤

Just Finish It

This will be my third post dealing with lifestyle and fitness. This blog post title also happens to be my Twitter handle. Now, I really like the Nike slogan – Just Do It, but how often do we actually start something and never finish? This happens with many things like crafts, organization projects, eating goals, workouts, etc. I know I am not alone in this. I have always been the type of person to finish what I start. I seldom, if ever, quit. It’s just not in my nature.

When thinking of fitness and being healthy you really just have to do it – as the Nike slogan suggests. You’ll always be making changes to what you eat and how you workout. This time last year,  I wasn’t doing the workouts I am now and I definitely wasn’t eating all the foods either. Last year, I was more concerned with calories in vs. calories out and not what those calories contained (ie. a 7″ banana has 105 calories verses a Fiber One Brownie has 90 calories). If it were me last year, I would have eaten the Fiber One Brownie because it had, technically, less calories and tasted good. Now, I would most definitely go for the banana because my body needs those nutrient-dense unprocessed foods. My body works better because I fuel it better. It’s like a car, you need oil and you won’t put in nasty oil either.

So with exercise, you need to just finish the workout. There are plenty of YouTube workout videos out there to satisfy your needs and desires. There are 5-minute ones and even ones for those who are just starting to workout. There are definitely more advanced out there too. The thing that you need to do though is… Finish it. Don’t give up. First, be like Nike and JUST DO IT. Then be like me and JUST FINISH IT.

Benefits of REGULAR exercise: (3-6 times a week)

  • Boosts energy
  • Reverses the detrimental effects of stress
  • Lifts depression
  • Happier
  • Builds self-esteem and improves body image
  • Reduces risk of dying prematurely from heart disease and others from lack of exercise
  • Aides in reducing blood pressure
  • Helps control weight
  • Build muscles to help you move better
  • Helps build and maintain healthy bones, muscles, and joints
  • Prevent cognitive decline and sharpen brain memory
  • Helps control addiction
  • Inspire others
  • Wards off viruses and other sicknesses
  • Detoxifies body
  • Reduces body fat
  • Boosts decision making skills

Finding Motivation

A long with my last blog post… When I tell people today, that I used to be fat in high school, they look at me like I am crazy. It’s true. I was. I sometimes I still see the same person in the mirror. I’ve lived with that person for like 6 years. It’s hard for her to leave when I look in the mirror. To continue on with my previous posts about my lifestyle changes, I’ll now be writing about how I first started to lose weight.

Usually they say that students who go to college gain 15 pounds (freshman 15). I was neither a freshman, nor did I have the room to carry more weight on me. Haha. When I lived in Provo, UT, I was south of campus. I had a lot of walking to do. From this experience, I truly believe in walking and the good it can do for you. I would walk to and from campus a couple times a day. And I was a pretty busy college girl. I had a goal of finishing in two years, so I took full loads of classes. Anyways, on my way to one of my classes every other morning, I had to walk up these huge steps! I had a roommate that I would walk with and she was skinny and in shape. This gave me motivation to keep up with her and just tackle the steps. After a month of two of college, I noticed my pants were fitting a little looser. When I went home for Thanksgiving (2008), people even noticed I had lost some weight.

People noticing actually gave me more motivation on my journey to becoming more healthy. When I got back to school, I decided my major would be in Public Health. I decided that would be my major because it was one of the only majors that I had a lot of prerequisites done for and I would be able to finish by 2010. I just wanted to get my BS degree, but I am very glad I majored in it. It motivated me even more to become healthy since I’d feel like a hypocrite if I didn’t practice what I believed. I didn’t even realize that I was becoming motivated, but around spring time the following year. I had been walking a lot around campus and drinking more water. That is really how it all started.

I also have another roommate, who loved to cycle and run. One day, when all my roomies were gone, I decided to lace up my gym shoes and try it out. OH. MY. GOSH. I didn’t last long at all! But I did it. I ran from my apartment to the train tracks, which was about 10 minutes. That was my goal – to run to the tracks. I don’t even think it was even a mile. Then I walked back. I was an athlete in high school, I played volleyball and softball, but this was a whole different type of workout. I was so sore the next day too. But I kept doing it.

Eventually I started looking at calories and what I should be eating. It was the simple things, like looking at saturated and trans fats. Also looking at volume in regards to calories. I like staying full. This was now my second semester in college. I went home for the summer and I was about a size 8. I used to be a 14! I started running more and taking time to do so in the morning. I was running about 15-30 minutes. Not much, but then when I went back to school, I started running 3 miles daily with 5 miles on the weekend.

Basically, I didn’t even know I started loosing weight during my first semester. Then during my second semester, I decided to lace up my shoes, run, and carry water with me everywhere. Then during my first summer off, I started running a little more. It started slow with me, but the weight came off fast. Just these little lifestyle changes really made the difference.

I Was Fat in High School

I suppose it is time for another post about fitness and lifestyle changes. As I mentioned in my first/previous post, I do not diet; I lifestyle change. I honestly detest the word. Maybe that’s why I’m more of a “classy” girl, at least that is what I think. I don’t really give into a bunch of fads (occasionally I do, like the pleather pants fad back in elementary school). I like things that are timeless.

Growing up, I semi-thought I ate healthy and thought I was in good shape. I lied to myself. I knew I didn’t have the best fitness lifestyle, but I sorta “tried.” I played volleyball, basketball, and softball in middle school and some of high school. I kept a water bottle with me everywhere I went. Some days, I would go on a run down the road by my house and then go in my room and do some exercises I found in magazines. All of this led no where.  You need to change not hope for the change. Actually do something and stick to it. Start slow if you need to or do it all at once.  None of your working out really amounts to much when you still drink pop, eat chips, candy, etc.

Thus, I had low self-esteem. It’s a horrible thing to have. It’s a disease I tell you. Even now, I still do have a low opinion of myself sometimes. I question what I am able to do. I question the people I meet and if they really do “like” me or if they put up a front. I question who my friends are and why they are my friends. I even question why my husband fell in love with me. I question why he still loves me. I know none of these really should have to do with looks, but more with who I am on the inside, but low self-esteem plagues the person in every facet of their being. I look back to my high school days and realize that I’m not really friends with any of the people I wanted and tried to be friends with. I still have some great people that I knew and I know they are genuine. I tried so hard to hang out with certain crowds, but I always left feeling that I hated myself because I was always just “there” never acknowledged. I remember one time they were all talking about a dance coming up and they pretty much all decided to take each other. Did anyone once ever look towards me? No, they did not. And what did I do? I kept quite and made rationalizations for them and for myself. I remember driving home that night and feeling the pain of hate that I had towards my mind, my soul, and my body. No one should EVER feel that way. Especially after hanging out with friends.

I sat back and told myself it’ll get better once you go to college. I didn’t hang out with those people much anymore. It wasn’t because of that night either, it was because somethings happened between me and one of my friends and I decided to stop calling to see if they would think to call me, they never did. Basically it was a one sided relationship and I was done trying.  The sad thing is most of them were people from church. Luckily, I have a strong conviction and the way people are and how they treat me will never change the way I feel about my savior and his church. I still love them and I am in no way upset.  I’m lucky that I had other friends who loved me and my religious beliefs and that’s who I hung out with. I might have made some questionable decisions, but I still turned out alright. I had a great childhood and I had parents and family who loved me. I am very grateful for them and still am.

Once I graduated high school and got my associates degree, I went off to college to get my BS . I received them at the same time because I took a test and  went to the community college my last two years of high school. One of my best decisions ever. After both graduations, that fall, I left for BYU in Utah. This is where I had many challenges my first semester and where I decided to change my life around. That’s for my next post though. I will leave you with a picture of me from my high school days and a picture of me when I graduated college. I am nervous about doing this, I hate putting myself out there. Honestly, I had this post written for about a week before I mustered up the courage to upload the photos to it and publish it to the blog.

June 2008 high school graduation.

June 2008 high school graduation.

April 2010 college graduation.

April 2010 college graduation.

I Do NOT Diet, I Lifestyle Change

I’ve been thinking about how to go about writing this post. Matter of fact, I have been thinking about doing a post like this for over a year and starting my own personal blog. I have a family blog about my adventures with my husband and a blog on counterfeit drugs. I’ve been asked on several occasions about what I eat and what I do for my exercise routine. I’ve responded to quite a few people on Facebook about this. Personally, I like keeping things intimate, private, and basically just personal. So I haven’t really thought that much about writing a post about my fitness. But I did think that writing a post would help those who are a little ashamed or too scared to ask. Everyone is different and their needs are different – one of the reasons I like being intimate. What I do might not even work with you and your lifestyle. I will probably make this into a series of posts and start by saying why I did what I did. Some may dream of achieving their goals, but I didn’t just dream, I went out and did it.

I constantly try to remember this. I’m very hard on myself when it comes to indulging every once in a while.

First, I want to say that I am NOT on a diet. I do not give into fad diets and will not. I may; however, look into them and maybe incorporate a part of it to my LIFESTYLE. To me, when someone says diet, I think of an end to it and I don’t see real change. A diet is something that you do short-term to meet a short-term goal that, to me, will not last. To be blatantly honest, when I was in high school, I was fat. When I tell people that their jaws drop and they cannot seem to fathom that that was who I was. I’m slightly embarrassed to even talk about it. I won’t even show my husband my photographs of myself back in the day, I’d even go as far as to delete them or un-tag myself in them from social media. I was the girl who didn’t even get asked on dates like other girls and I was the girl who had to wait to get her prom dress until she got asked. There were other girls who would plan months ahead because they knew they would be asked. I never felt pretty/worthy enough to even be asked. I hated it. I hated myself. I hated my body. I hated what I felt like. Honestly, I still have issues to this day with how I look at myself in the mirror and what I tell myself in my head. I am afraid I’ll get fat. I’m afraid to enjoy food because of falling back into my old habits. I am afraid if I miss a workout day, I’ll get fat. This is why I don’t diet. I change my life. I make it a habit. I make it who I am.

Second, I enjoy taking care of my body. When you take care of your body it takes care of you – true story. Sometimes I even make myself enjoy what I do. Yes, that is possible. I’ve turned plenty of things I hate to what I love. It’s all in your head. I absolutely love working out and love pushing myself (sometimes). Haha. It’s an ongoing process though. I’ll never be done. Everyday is a new challenge. Will I workout? Will I eat to sustain myself? Will I have a sugary treat? Trust me, I still enjoy the yummy-sugary-goodness that this world has to offer, such as, cotton candy, cheesecake, Biscoff (crunchy and creamy straight out of the jar), wintergreen lozenges, mint Oreos, etc. I believe that you can always treat yourself to what you love. Everything in moderation though. If you want that cheesecake – GO for it! Just don’t “go for it” every single day. Try not to deprive yourself either. I’ve gone down that road and I’m fighting my way back. It’s tough.

Third and last, for now, just do it. You want to do something – do not hesitate. You’re as strong as you want to be. I always wanted the easy way out. I would find my mother’s magazines with their workouts in there telling you that you could have J-Lo’s bootay or Cameron Diaz’s arms or Carrie Underwood’s legs if you do these exercises. I’d read the workouts, cut them out, and do them in the secrecy of my bedroom and try to be as discrete as possible so no one would know what I was up to. It didn’t do much at all. I still don’t really like working out in front of others. Someday maybe I will. I hate being on display and I guess that is what I am semi doing by writing this post. You can sit there and pin all the workout and health food tips you want on Pinterest (or cut them from magazines and semi do them), but they won’t do anything unless you incorporate them into your life. The best tip I have is get off of your booty and move. Pick one thing to change and do it then move onto something else once you’ve mastered that. I started small, by accident actually, and then worked on from there. That’s for another post.

Fitness – it’s my lifestyle.