A Little More Each Day

One working mama learning to run & to maintain my 100+ pound weight loss!

Weekly Wrap-Up: Feeling a bit wrung out . . .

I’m not sure if I’m coming or going this Monday, I’ve gotta be honest. We got back last night from our trip to Nana’s, a 7 hour drive in the rain that thankfully went well from a road safety and a traveling child perspective. I got everything unpacked and put away last night, a huge win, but realized mid-un-packing that I’ve just got to pack back up again Tuesday evening for a work trip Wednesday. That’s only a two night trip and it’ll take me to Portland to meet the lovely Mary from RunstoGetWaisted (more about her down below!) and to run a bit in Oregon to check Oregon off of my 50 states. Still, all this travel plus Oliver’s cold has me fuzzy headed. I looked at my calendar in my office today and realized I’ve been home all of 12 days in the month of November. Bonkers! I’m ready for a break. I’m reminding myself that I’m fortunate to have a job that allows me to travel to see new places and also to take vacation time with my family (which has been the bulk of my travel this month) to counteract my current whining a bit. After this little hop to Portland, I don’t have any travel on the horizon for a while and I can settle in to enjoy the holiday season.

Workouts

Monday I was thankfully able to get out for a little run while O played with my parents and then did an hour of digging and weeding in my parents yard. I’m not used to work like that anymore!

Tuesday Oliver and I spent another day helping with yard work at my parents’ house, which definitely counts as a workout given how sore my back was afterwards!

Wednesday Oliver and I headed out together for a little run/walk/flower picking and then did some strength training together back inside. Nothing like a little dude hanging out underneath you to make you hold a plank longer!

I loved the little walk/run, with flower picking, that O & I enjoyed together amidst the holiday chaos.

I loved the little walk/run, with flower picking, that O & I enjoyed together amidst the holiday chaos.

Thursday I ran 3.1 miles for Meg’s virtual 5K, which was just as fun as driving out to an actual race start somewhere would have been I’m sure and easier to work around my cooking schedule, although I did get a little spooked by a coyote while I was out there! It was seriously dark!

Friday Lots and lots of steps while I was shopping, including a rainy walk to Old Navy while my husband was in Best Buy shopping and an extra walk when I got home at the end of the day to get to my step goal for the day.

Saturday Amazingly few steps on Saturday which is weird for me, but we spent the whole day hanging out watching football and decorating the tree. What few steps I got were up and down the ladder to decorate the tree, which definitely counts, right? I got in some strength training and yoga before bed, so this wasn’t a loss of a workout day.

Sunday I got to participate in a very fun virtual race on Sunday. The Lovely Ladies Losing It group came together for the #carrymaryhalfmarathon, to help our friend Mary finish her full marathon. She had to drop to the half in Seattle instead of her originally planned full due to injury, so we divided up those extra 13.1 miles among us to help her run the whole marathon in spirit. My chunk was two miles in the cold and the rain, but I smiled the whole time thinking about how cool it was that women all over the country were coming together to help Mary with her marathon in spirit.

It was seriously soggy in Arkansas!

It was seriously soggy in Arkansas!

I’ll be honest –Β  this week was a struggle food wise. As it went further and further along, I found myself struggling with the urge to binge more and more often. My NSV this week is definitely the fact that I consciously made the choice to shut the door on the week when we were driving home yesterday. I got fries with my grilled chicken sandwich at McDonald’s because I (consciously or unconsciously?) didn’t ask for apples instead and since I had a large Diet Coke, naturally I had the giant fries. I’m proud of myself for eating only a couple and then burying them under all of the fast food garbage so I didn’t eat more. The temptation to say “screw it” and eat them all was strong.

Evil golden arches!

Evil golden arches!

I’m grateful that we were able to travel to and from my parents’ house safely and that we were all able to spend the holiday together. Not all families are so fortunate, I know. My favorite good deed was helping a woman to the last of Target’s $10 seasons of the Flash on DVD while we were shopping Friday. She seemed surprised to have someone be helpful in the midst of holiday shopping, which is a sad little commentary on the state of holiday shopping.

I’ve closed the door on last week, food wise, and am already back to tracking and my normal routine this week. We started our morning with ice, so I haven’t gotten a workout in yet, but I definitely will tonight. How do you get “reset” after a holiday?

 

I’m linking up with Holly and Tricia as usual. Thanks as always for hosting ladies! I hope everyone had a good holiday weekend!
weekly wrap up
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Friday Favorites: An attitude of gratitude

I love that this time of year makes us all pause and give thanks. It always makes me feel so much better about my outlook on life and makes me wish that I was better I was incorporating these grateful pauses in my everyday. πŸ™‚ This week, my Friday Favorites are all about good vibes.

#thankful for little moments like this one yesterday, where Oliver & I worked on Christmas ornaments

#thankful for little moments like this one yesterday, where Oliver & I worked on Christmas ornaments

This story from Runners World, about a woman with a terminal illness who runs for others, is so incredibly inspiring. I love that she turned so much of her energy to others rather than dwelling on her own illness. She is such an inspiration and a reminder that we should embrace the joy we have while we can.

I loved the little walk/run, with flower picking, that O & I enjoyed together amidst the holiday chaos.

I loved the little walk/run, with flower picking, that O & I enjoyed together amidst the holiday chaos.

Another story of amazing positivity in the face of of horrible circumstances is this one, in which a man is honoring his late wife by sharing their love and asking that others do the same with the #100LoveNotes project. We should absolutely appreciate the people we’ve been blessed with while we can.

We got locked out of the house Wednesday night and broke in through the dog door. O was disappointed that we managed to unlock the door by reaching through the dog door instead of letting him crawl through it. :)

We got locked out of the house Wednesday night and broke in through the dog door. O was disappointed that we managed to unlock the door by reaching through the dog door instead of letting him crawl through it. πŸ™‚

As a mom who still has post-baby belly (and had to tell Oliver that Santa was going to skip our house if he didn’t stop shaking it yesterday!), I found myself cheering for this woman and her #BadAssUndies project. She encountered a physical trainer who assumed she wanted to get back to her pre baby weight and I love her quote in response to this whole situation:Β  “It’s been great to see people reclaiming the power and owning their own bodies,” she says. “It’s not about whether you are big, small, lumpy, cuddly, boney, shaped like a dodecahedron, a woman, anywhere on the gender scale or anything else you can think of. #Badassundies is about reclaiming the world we live in and flooding it with real bodies, no, REAL PEOPLE.”

I’m taking this positivity with me out into the world today for a little holiday shopping. It’s a family tradition to shop together on Black Friday, so we’ll all head out today together. It’s always a chance for good people watching. πŸ™‚

Whether you’re working, traveling or hanging out with football games and leftovers, I hope you have a great weekend!

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Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Today, I’ll be giving thanks with my family (and eating loads of turkey!). Whatever your Thursday brings you, I wish you all the best.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Reminding myself of the important things about some bad choices . . .

Remember how we talked about the struggles of Thanksgiving week beyond just the one day? I fell into a bit of that trap yesterday and had two cookies I didn’t need, as well pancakes and three pieces of pizza I didn’t need. Catastrophic? Of course not, but I feel Blech this morning anyway. So that I don’t let that feeling carry me into poor choices today and on into tomorrow, letting this bad momentum build, I’m going to remind myself this morning of my Make the next best choice mantra and focus on what’s coming today rather than what happened yesterday. I’m also going to remind myself this morning of all of my good, important things rather than dwelling on the negative:

  • This time last year, I was still recovering from being hospitalized for that weird lymph node thing. Now I know that was part of this whole lupus process and while having lupus sucks, I’m so grateful that my medication is working and I don’t have any complications of the disease so far. I’m happily sitting at the annoying end of the chronic disease spectrum and all in all, that makes me very lucky.
  • I have fantastic support from my husband, my son, you guys and my awesome Lovely Ladies Losing It crew to keep me motivated and healthy every day. I can’t tell you enough how much that means to me. You guys are all like having this invisible cheering squad in my head every day and you rock.
  • I get to be part of the most fantastic little family on the planet. Being Darrell’s wife (counting the hours until he gets here tonight!) and Oliver’s mother is such a privilege and I hope I never take that for granted.
Last night, I was out in the dark with a flashlight because he'd lost one of these little cars. Love him anyway :)

Last night, I was out in the dark with a flashlight because he’d lost one of these little cars. Love him anyway πŸ™‚

  • I have coffee.
Also, I have fabulously comfy pajamas and the ability to cross my legs. And a kid who is sleeping in :)

Also, I have fabulously comfy pajamas and the ability to cross my legs. And a kid who is sleeping in πŸ™‚

  • I have running shoes, so when the extended family time (and the politics – oy the politics) gets to be too much, I can escape.
  • The world is an increasingly scary place, but I have a degree of safety and security so many people don’t have and have never had. I hope I never lose sight of the privilege that is my life. I’ve done nothing to earn it, I know, but I’m grateful for that blessing.

Today, if you find yourself overwhelmed by the holiday preparations or last day of work chaos or travel or the misery of having to work when everyone else is getting ready for a little break, I hope you can find something good to reflect on and I hope that you know that you’re part of the good in my life.

Thanks to you all!

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This runner’s wish list . . .

This week’s Tuesdays on the Run topic is runner’s wish lists and at the moment, I’m wishing for better wifi at my parents house so I wasn’t writing this on my phone. πŸ™‚ I’m also wishing for a winter full of good running mojo so that I keep moving through the off season, but I’m thinking more practical suggestions might be more helpful to you guys right? Here are the things on my list this year:

  • Socks: Seriously, every runner always needs new socks. Snoop around and find their favorite brand and they’ll love you forever (Feetures for me, if any of my people are reading!)
  • Winter gear: I could use a new running jacket (and see several suggestions in the link up!) and somehow don’t own a winter hat. I have several ear warmer bands but an actual hat would be nice when it gets down to the teens and single digits.
  • Strength training support: I’m really bad about skipping the strength training part of my training and I know I’m not the only runner who does this. I’ve got a suspension system on my list because I love the TRX at the gym. Other ideas for your runner might be a strength training boon or DVD, sessions with a trainer or weights like hand weights, a kettlebell or weighted bars.
  • Books: You guys know I’m a total book nerd so there are always books on my list. I’ve just added the new Runner’s World cookbook to my wish list (Meals on the Run: 150 energy-packed recipes in 30 minutes or less). I’d definitely recommend the first Runner’s World cookbook (reviewed here) and any of the Another Mother Runner books (hereΒ and here) for the runner in your life. A whole list of other book reviews for ideas is here.
Both full of gorgeous pics as well! The Cooking Light Dinnertime Survival Guide and The Runners World Cookbook make great gifts.

Both full of gorgeous pics as well! The Cooking Light Dinnertime Survival Guide and The Runners World Cookbook make great gifts.

  • New FitBit: Mine has served me well for years now, but I’ve got a FitBit Charge, with the heart rate monitor, on my list this year. Extra data is always interesting, right?

On my non-running list, I have a bunch of seasons of Once Upon A Time since I’ve realized I’ve forgotten a lot of the detail of the early seasons. I’ve also got the new Adele album on the list (or else I’d have already have purchased it by now!) and a couple of new John Besh cookbooks. I may have a bit of a cookbook addiction. πŸ™‚

What’s on your wish list this year?

Thanks as always to Patty, Marcia and Erika for hosting the Tuesdays on the Run link up!

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Weekly Wrap-Up: Back to the real world

The first week at home post vacation is always painful, isn’t it? It was especially tough this week since I had only one week of “normal” before Oliver and I hit the road again. Yesterday he and I drove from Omaha down to my parents’ place in Fayetteville Arkansas. Let’s just say that the fact that I got through a seven hour drive alone with a four year old who is coming down with a nasty cold/fever bug and a big case of the whinies without eating all of the snacks in the car is definitely my NSV this week.

Chilly Arkansas morning!

Chilly Arkansas morning!

In O’s defense, my good deed this week is the fact that I’m raising a kid who does good deeds. He’s been on a big kick all week about opening doors for people. It’s very sweet. πŸ™‚ He’s always so proud and tells me (and everyone else-this is never quiet) that he’s got manners.

Workouts:

Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday – 30 minute walks each day, plus some strength training and yoga on Tuesday. Every morning I set my alarm for 5:15 am to go run and every morning my body said a big fat “NOPE” and went back to sleep.

Thursday – I finally hauled myself out of bed for a thirty minute run! It was my first run in almost two weeks and it felt good to get back on the horse. It helps that our weather turned cold and I love running in the cold, freakishly enough.

Friday – 30 minutes of stretching, which felt so good!

Saturday – 3.2 miles running in the cold and the dark, enjoying the number of my neighbors who already have Christmas lights up (even though in theory I think we should give Thanksgiving it’s due and wait!)

Christmas lights always brighten up winter runs

Christmas lights always brighten up winter runs

Sunday – This was our travel day and it was exhausting even though I sat all day. Isn’t it weird how that works? After I got O to bed, I did some stretching and some breathing exercises which were sorely needed to settle down after a long day. I’m totally counting that effort in my current activity streak (70+ days now!) even though it wasn’t as physical want usual daily workout.

I’m grateful for safe travels today and wish the same to any and all of you traveling this week. Here’s hoping I can stick to my plan regarding my food and activity for the holiday week so I can stay in a healthy frame of mind. I know I feel happier and steadier when I’m taking care of myself and I have a feeling I’ll need that to get through another travel week so close to our last one.

Thanks as always to Tricia and Holly for hosting our weekly wrap up link up. I’m looking forward to checking out everyone else’s week.

weekly wrap up

What does your week look like? Travel? Days off work / school? How do you adjust for these chaotic holiday weeks?

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Friday Favorites: (Early!) Thanksgiving edition

I know it isn’t Thanksgiving quite yet, but it will be in less than a week! With vacation and a holiday, this month has flown by. I definitely have a Thanksgiving theme to this week’s round up, with some of my favorite vacation pictures sprinkled in. It’s hard to believe I was in Disney World just a week ago!

We were THOSE parents with the inappropriately young kid on Tower of Terror.

We were THOSE parents with the inappropriately young kid on Tower of Terror.

That pic is one of my favorites from this vacation, weirdly. O LOVED Tower of Terror on Tuesday night and begged to ride it again. When we took him the next morning, he started shrieking and begging to get off pretty much as soon as the doors closed. He cried the WHOLE time and people gave us the evil eye for having him on the ride so young. We tried to defend ourselves a bit at the end or I did at least – as you can see, Darrell found the whole thing to be funny.

There have been a lot of “surviving Thanksgiving” posts on the web this week. Check out this list of 10 ways to beat holiday overeating, 17 no-diet tricks to keep off holiday weight and Runner’s World’s How to avoid packing on pounds. Of these, my favorite tip and the one I’ll definitely use is the three bite rule – Three bites of the indulgent things is probably enough, so I’ll definitely be keeping the portion of those things small and setting a time limit on myself before I can go back for more.

Eskimo kisses with Daisy - she's such a flirt :)

Eskimo kisses with Daisy – she’s such a flirt πŸ™‚

One of my indulgences is definitely the homemade macaroni and cheese I make for Darrell every year. Macaroni and cheese isn’t a regular item on my family’s holiday table, but it was for Darrell’s family so I make sure to have it for him every year. Alton Brown’s recipe is absolutely the best (here) and totally worth the calories!

Cinderella is Oliver's absolute favorite princess. :)

Cinderella is Oliver’s absolute favorite princess. πŸ™‚

Because I’m someone who likes to think of what I CAN have rather than what I shouldn’t, I appreciated this article from Runner’s World on some of the healthy things I SHOULD eat at Thanksgiving. Turkey is really my favorite part of Thanksgiving, so I was happy to see it on the list.

Lastly, for a laugh as we get ready for the kick off of holiday shopping season AFTER Thanksgiving (I for one refuse to go shopping ON Thanksgiving), check out this article about the 2015 Goop Gift Guide. It’s amazing what people will spend money on.

Wish me luck and safe travels tonight! I have to drive from Omaha to Lincoln to give a lecture tonight and we’re supposed to get our first snow of the year during my travel time. You’d think people in the Midwest would be better at snow, but people always freak out a bit driving in the first snow storm of the year.

Anybody have big plans this weekend?

 

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TLWH Book Club: My Life on the Run: The Wit, Wisdom and Insights of a Road Racing Icon

One of my favorite things about vacation is the extra time to read and amazingly, you can find time for a new book even in the midst of a Disney trip! I realized while we were on the trip that the book for Wendy’s Taking the Long Way Home book club had changed to Bart Yasso’s memoir My Life on the Run: The Wit, Wisdom and Insights of a Road Racing Icon. Thanks to the Kindle app on my iPhone, I was able to download the new book and start reading while I traveled. Given that a) this is an engaging, easy read and b) I had a big chunk of time to get started on it while I was waiting out the Wine & Dine evacuation, I got sucked into this really quickly.

yasso

I confess, even though I’ve been running for several years now, I didn’t quite get the allure of Bart Yasso. He’s a big figure in running in culture and it seems like everyone has a story about meeting and being encouraged by him, but I wasn’t really very familiar with his story. Now that I’ve read this book and gotten a glimpse of the real love he has for running and runners, I begin to understand his popularity a bit more.

That rhino figures prominently into an early story!

That rhino figures prominently into an early story!

The stories in the early part of the book are focused on his adventures with a wide variety of races, from a nude race (that was a date?!?), encounters with wild animals, burro racing, treks through the mountains and a half marathon where they were pelted with paintballs to confirm they’d really run the course! His vivid descriptions of his travels quickly suck you in and I soon found that it didn’t matter that he was running farther and faster than I could ever imagine because he ran with a kind of joy and wonder that I had on my very best running days.

Scattered throughout his adventures, and in a couple of dedicated sections of the book, are stories of other runners that have inspired him. One of my favorite running quotes has always been “I often hear someone say I’m not a real runner. We are all runners, some just run faster than others. I never met a fake runner.” In the pages of this book, it’s clear that he really does believe that and embraces all of us, no matter our pace. My favorite quote in this book is in the Finish Line chapter, in which he states “I know I feel more like myself when I run, even if it’s only a few miles, or at least I feel like the self I like best.” That is absolutely true for me and I suspect for many of us. Bart Yasso, despite his adventure and accolades, is one of us.

If you read this book, you should absolutely read it for the stories because they’re fascinating and engaging. They will give you a glimpse of running adventures that most of us will never experience. As almost a bonus, this book also includes a back section devoted to training plans. While it is interesting to see a different variety of training plans, there are books with a lot more detail about training so if you’re looking for a training guide, I don’t think this would be sufficient. However, there are some good tips there. The final chapter also includes a recounting of some of his favorite runs all over the world, if you want to start a race wish list of your own to experience some of these adventures after reading about them in the preceding chapters.

All in all, after reading this, I definitely understand the role Bart Yasso plays in the running community a little better. He’s an ambassador for the best of running and I would recommend this as a gift for any runner on your shopping list (yep, we’re already near holiday shopping time!).

TLWH Book Club

Be sure to check out Wendy’s review and link up here, as well as her interview with Bart here. Have you met Bart at a running event? What’s your wildest running story?

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When Thanksgiving isn’t just ONE day . . .

Lots of advice on managing your weight over the holidays includes the reminder that the holiday is “just one day.” I know I’ve said that here myself and to some extent it is true. Those worth-it, once-a-year indulgences should be kept to just one day, but that doesn’t mean that Thanksgiving is the only day that’s going to include challenges.

  • Leftovers!
  • Football!
  • Shopping!
  • Family stress (that one isn’t just me, right?)

All of those work together to make the whole holiday weekend a minefield.

What am I going do to manage the whole weekend without feeling like I’m either over-restricting or going off the deep end?

  • Exercise every day: This is going to serve a lot of purposes. It buffers some of our indulgent choices, calorie-wise. For me, starting my day with exercise gets me in the right mindset to make healthy choices throughout the day because it reminds me that I’m a healthy person now. Most importantly, for me anyway, it gets me out of the chaos of family holiday time for a while and serves as a huge stress reliever.
  • Choose one indulgence each day, just keep it small: There are going to be treats and temptations beyond just Thanksgiving day itself. Telling yourself you can choose one helps avoid that feeling that you must restrict it all, but gives you a limit. I’m looking forward to a peppermint mocha when I’m out shopping (if I can find one dairy free!) as one of my indulgences. πŸ™‚
Love when the Starbucks holiday drinks arrive!

Love when the Starbucks holiday drinks arrive!

  • Make a healthy food plan for the whole weekend, not just Thursday: The extra special Thanksgiving trick for this is making sure whatever healthy food options I want to have available for myself need to be largely non-refrigerated, because we all know fridge space is at a premium on Thanksgiving! Having a healthy breakfast gets me started on the right foot and gives me the mental boost of knowing that I’ve tackled one of three meals for the day successfully. πŸ™‚ I’ll be bringing my handy oatmeal and PB2 packets, so I can make a quick and healthy breakfast instead of succumbing to my mom’s eggs/bacon/pancakes in amounts fit for an army of football players! I’ll also pick up some veggies with hummus and greek yogurt with ranch dressing mix.Β  Greek yogurt can serve double duty as a breakfast with fruit as well. I’ll get some counter-stable fruit like apples, pears and bananas as well.
  • Bring a water bottle and fill it often! I tend to drink way too much soda when I travel, so I’ll be keeping my water bottle close at hand and refill it often. If we’re being totally honest, I’m also bringing a bottle of red wine with a promise to myself that I can have a glass every evening to unwind after a day full of stuff. πŸ™‚ That’s good for you too, right? So long as it stays at just one glass . . .
  • Get back to normal as soon as Monday hits – but maybe stay off the scale . . . Last year, I was “good” and stayed on plan all through Thanksgiving. Despite that, my weight was up a few pounds when I got home and I confess it left me in a funk about “what is the point of all of this” and likely contributed to my plan to give up WW by the end of December (although it certainly wasn’t all of that decision). The reality is, your weight when you first get back from traveling probably isn’t real. There’s water retention from the car/plane time and the increased salt in the foods you’re eating while you travel. There’s the effect of stress and lack of sleep. There’s just the crazy possession that happens to the scale. Whatever causes it, know that you shouldn’t take weigh ins in the first week post-travel too seriously. When we got back from Disney this weekend, I weighed 189+ lbs on Sunday morning. I was NOT pleased by that. I’m already down to 183. Have I lost 6 pounds just from tracking calories over the last three days? Of course not – not really. Most of those 6 pounds were just water weight that’s now gone its merry way. I’m glad I didn’t let seeing that number on the scale Sunday morning make me give up until the holidays were over, even though that temptation was there.
My weight change in the 4 days since we've returned from vacation

My weight change in the 4 days since we’ve returned from vacation

Yes, I made a graph in Excel this morning just to illustrate this point. I’m a data person. And more than a bit of a nerd. πŸ™‚

If you need moral support through the holidays, seek me out. I assure you I’ll be on Facebook and Instagram and everywhere else as a distraction from the stress of it all (I promise I love my family, but you know how family gatherings can be). I’ll be keeping up my #thankful project on Instagram to remind myself of what’s really important amidst all the hustle and bustle. What’s your biggest struggle with the Thanksgiving holiday season? Or if you’re someone who sails smoothly through – what’s your secret?

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Jingle Jungle 5K Race Recap

As part of Wine & Dine race weekend, I participated in my first RunDisney 5K – the Jingle Jungle 5K. As Oliver likes to point out, that means I did 3 races that Saturday (he wants to be sure I remember to include his race too!). While I wasn’t particularly keen on waking up early to race the same day I’d be staying up late to run, I’d heard such good things about the Jingle Jungle 5K I was willing to make that sacrifice. Truthfully, as a parent, it’s not like I’d really be sleeping in that day anyway, right?

Unlike the half marathon later that night, I had no trouble with travel to the race site on Saturday morning. Buses were quick to arrive to the Polynesian and we had no trouble getting to the Animal Kingdom for the race start. I didn’t bring a bag to check and the line for the character meet and greet (Minnie and Mickey, if I’m remembering correctly) was LONG so I just went to hang out in my corral until the race start. I enjoyed the costumes and the fact that there were actually families out to run the race. Seeing families getting active together always gives me the warm fuzzies. πŸ™‚

Loved this couple's Up costume!

Loved this couple’s Up costume!

I also got to see my first snow of the season! It’s odd for us not to have gotten snow in Nebraska by this time of year, but we hadn’t so this fake Disney snow was the first I saw this winter.

We ran across lots of fake Disney snow on this vacation and Oliver always LOVED it. It's a shame he missed this pile!

We ran across lots of fake Disney snow on this vacation and Oliver always LOVED it. It’s a shame he missed this pile!

Mickey and Minnie moved up to the starting line to get us on our way.

It was a little odd to encounter so much Christmas theming when we were soaking in sweat!

It was a little odd to encounter so much Christmas theming when we were soaking in sweat!

I had plans to take this race at a really easy pace and was liberally sprinkling in walk breaks in deference to both the heat and the fact that I was running again later in the evening. The first mile was a big loop around the Animal Kingdom parking lot without any character stops, so I ended up finishing faster than I’d planned (around 12 minutes).

Not the most exciting scenery for the beginning of the race.

Not the most exciting scenery for the beginning of the race.

In the second mile, things got a lot more interesting (as reflected by my 33 minute time!) with improved scenery as we entered Animal Kingdom, and lots of fun character stops.

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After mile 2, we exited the park into more backstage areas and while there were more character stops (Christmas Pluto and Donald and Santa Goofy) I was ready to be done. This was partially because I was melting and partially because I wanted to get back to the Polynesian in time for Oliver’s race.

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Love the Santa gator :)

Love the Santa gator πŸ™‚

Lots of people dragging at the end! It was miserable weather!

Lots of people dragging at the end! It was miserable weather!

As I finished the race, I was really tempted to just walk it in because this was by far my slowest 5K but as I came near another woman running into the finish, I decided to stick with her and run as much and as fast as she did the finish. I thanked her at the end for keeping me from giving up!

Cute medallion!

Cute medallion!

All in all, this was a lot of fun. I really enjoyed running through the Animal Kingdom (especially since that part of the Wine & Dine course was cut later in the evening!) and the Christmas theming was really cute. I also enjoyed all of the other runners, who had a really laid back, out-for-a-good-time vibe about the whole thing. I would definitely do this race again if we were in the area!

Bonus: Super cute shirt that I got to wear to the Mickey's Very Merry Christmas party later in the week!

Bonus: Super cute shirt that I got to wear to the Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas party later in the week!

Thanks as always to Marcia, Patty and Erika for hosting Tuesdays on the Run! This week’s topic is Playlists and I’ll definitely be checking those posts out to update my running lists to keep me entertained through the winter.

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Have you run any Christmas themed 5Ks? I confess, I had enough fun with this one that I’ll be looking for one here in Omaha even though I’ve met my 100 miles of races goal for the year already!

 

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