Monday, February 29, 2016

random thoughts

1) Like 8 billion other people, I wish there was more time in the day...I feel like I can only have 1 "hobby" or fun activity in my life...I either spend my time running, scrapbooking OR reading, but not all 3 and certainly not in the same day...unless I'm on vacation. *sigh* I may be just having a bit of a pity party for myself right now. Sorry.

2) More than excited that I just have to get through the next 2 weeks and then Spring Break will be here. 

3) Continuing with the pity party - sorry again - sometimes writing it down (or typing) just helps me feel better....I am NOT at peace (at all) with NOT being able to do the Disneyland Dumbo Double Dare this year in September. I would be earning my Coast 2 Coast medal if I could do this race. I'm already half way there, it only makes sense. Add that the race weekend falls on Labor Day so I would only need 2 days off from work (wherever that ends up being). I get that we are not swimming in money and that is the issue, but it's SOOOOOOOOOOO hard seeing all these women on the FB groups I'm in talking about the race. I don't want to leave the groups but I did have to put them on "no notifications"...I just can't handle it. Comparison is the thief of joy!! Big time!! The big issue of course is the flight...they are between $400-500!! The DDD registration is $350. Sure I could just do the Half, which is $175ish...but if I'm going all that way...why not do the DDD and earn 3 medals vs. 1. It just makes sense, especially now that I know my knee can handle it. Then the last issue is that I really don't want to go without Ethan, which means then O has to go to and now we are at 3 flights - $1500!!! For a weekend!!! I haven't even looked at hotel costs either!!! I dream of being able to afford that. (insert SUPER DUPER SAD FACE HERE).

4) I may have resorted to buying scratch off tickets in an attempt to win the money necessary to go to Disneyland. Yes, I am *that* desperate. But I did win $18 this morning!

5) I have been UNSUBSCRIBING from tons of regular emails that I get. I don't even know how half of them end up in my Inbox, but so glad to see it cleaner every morning. 

6) Well, it's Monday. The start of another (dreaded) week. Ugh. 

7) Happy Leap Day!!

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Bookish and Not-So-Bookish Thoughts

Bookish and Not-So-Bookish Thoughts is a weekly blogging event hosted by Bookishly Boisterous. It allows book bloggers (and non-book bloggers) to write about pretty much anything, bookish or otherwise (i.e. share exciting plans for the weekend, rants on things&encountered during the week. **************************************************************************************

1) Re-entry to life after Disney is never easy. I even had thoughts on the way home that maybe it isn't even worth going because coming home is so hard. We all know I could never give up Disney, so that's not really an option. I think it was especially painful this time because real life (AKA work) is not a happy place for me right now. #truth

2) Ethan got put into a novel study group in his 2nd grade class. They are reading "Ophelia & the Marvelous Boy", a book on a 5th grade level. Let's just say that he is NOT excited or remotely happy about this at all. After two days of arguing w/him after school, I decided that I will not spend my afternoons that way. I told his teacher that I will let him fail if he chooses not to read. The group meets on Thursdays and he has to have the first 3 chapters read. Last night at about 630pm he had finished Chapter 1. I had given up at this point and was enjoying a run on the treadmill when he came into the bedroom, book in hand, and said "I only have 10 pages to go!"...the angels were singing....I love that he took it up let's see if he hangs in there for the rest of the book.  I am also reading the book on my own and it's been fairly enjoyable. 

3) I've been reading a lot of FB posts in the runDisney groups I'm in and I had never realized that of all the races Disney offers, the Princess 1/2 is the most crowded/populated race. I definitely believe that after my experience on Sunday. 

4) I'm struggling with finding a half marathon to run in March that is close to home. My best option right now is the Chattanooga 1/2, however it starts at 8am and I'd need to get there by 6:30am to pick up my packet (which they really don't want you to pick up ON race day) and it's also 1 hour 15 minutes from my house. I'm trying to avoid hotel stays if possible since we will need one for Nashville in April for the RockNRoll 1/2, but it just stinks that there is nothing close by in March. In April, the Knoxville 1/2 will be held on April 3rd, but I ran that in 2012 and I swore it off right then and there, the MOST.AWFUL.HILLS.ever!! I am doing the 5k though.

5) I recently signed up for a St. Patrick's Day 5k. It is on the Sunday before our Spring Break starts. It is also in VA which is where Oscar will be working so we will go stay with him a few days of our break and then come home and be lazy. A perfect Spring Break indeed! I just ordered a green Sparkle skirt and visor for the race. We also went to Party City today where I got a great pair of shamrock socks as well as some other costume items for the race. So fun! Ethan even picked out a plastic green top hat and a sticky green mustache. 

6) I have started my 5th grade boy and girl book clubs. This was our first week and we will meet for two more. Girls are reading "Cartwheeling in Thunderstorms" and the boys are reading " Lost in the Sun". I think both are pretty good but some of the girls are complaining about their book...hopefully the next part they read will change their mind.

7) I'm looking quite forward to a weekend of doing nothing. Ethan and I will meet my mom for lunch on Saturday but that is the extent of our plans, and I love it!!!

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

WDW Princess 1/2 Marathon Recap

I hadn't planned on doing a recap post for the WDW Princess 1/2 Marathon Weekend, but then I thought, why here goes.

We arrived on Thursday heading directly to the Expo after reading a bazillion Facebook posts about the "mad rush" to get there to get the RunDisney items you want. There were plenty of parking spaces and it didn't seem overly crowded so I was fairly calm as I picked up my bibs and then headed over to the Expo where all the shopping would happen.

I spent a whopping $5.95 at the Expo. On a small car magnet. That I'm afraid to put on my car because it will get stolen. I only spent that little because the RunDisney booth was pretty much cleaned out. I later discovered that at the time I arrived, (12pm) the morning rush had just occurred and they had not yet restocked. Ugh! To go back would be such a hassle but we decided that we would do just that on Friday morning after I finished the 5k. There was an adorable pink jacket that I saw people posting on FB. It was not at the Expo when I was, because it had already been sold out. People reported on FB that at 5pm on Thursday, they had been fully restocked. And then there was the crazy not-so-Princess-like behavior at the Expo. It wasn't me!!

Change in plans: I was happy to discover while AT the 5k race that the back of said pink jacket had the words "Princess Up!"...yeah, that is SO NOT that saved us the additional trip to the Expo. And saved me some $$ too!!

At the time of registration (July 2015), you could pre-order a race jacket for $85. There was NO picture of the jacket nor a description of what it would look like or what brand. I have a hard time spending $85 sight unseen. I also did NOT know it could be returned if you did not like it!! Argh!!! Of course, this was the ONLY apparel item I liked from the weekend and I could not get one. I posted on the FB groups to see if anyone was selling them. Apparently, they run really small and people were upset about that, so I was (secretly) hoping someone had one that wouldn't fit them and wanted to offload it. A sweet lady at the 5k let me try on her XL jacket (Thank you!!!!!) and it was a PERFECT fit, so now I knew what to search for. Another lady had offered to sell me her XXL but I knew that just wouldn't work. I also heard rumors (?) that there would be a merchandise booth set up on Sunday after the 1/2 and any returned jackets would be there. I was really hoping this would work out for me!!!

Sadly, with my finishing time of 2:45, that meant all the jackets were gone from the merchandise booth by the time I got there. I turned around and walked out hiding my crocodile tears. I was super disappointed by this and also that my family members did not make it to the finish line to see me. I know I shouldn't let that bother me, but I was kinda sad about it. *sigh* (Just another reason to make it a girls weekend next time!)

Race Retreat: This time around, I decided to indulge myself and purchased the Race Retreat. Of the two times that I had previously run the Princess, one time I froze waiting for the race to start and the other time wasn't so bad. I really DID NOT want to freeze again. Hindsight: the Race Retreat is not really worth it (to me)...unless it's COLD...and this year it was NOT that cold. The selling points of the Retreat include breakfast, private bathrooms, private gear check and character pictures. The above is the ONLY character picture opp provided. Princess Tiana did appear later but of course I was out of the line by then....and honestly, I wasn't too excited about their character choice!  Back to the bathrooms, if I'm going to pay $125 for a "retreat" then the private bathrooms should NOT be porta potties, but if that is the ONLY option, then how about installing some flood lights so I can actually see inside the porta potties?!?! This was a not-so-fun experience. Who wants to use a porta potty in the dark? Yikes! Gross and creepy all at the same time. 

The last time I ran the Princess 1/2 was 2012. So much had changed in the past 4 years, one of which is that it was much more crowded. This is the #1 complaint of all Disney races (more so in FL, than CA) so while I knew to expect that, it was still frustrating when people would switch to walking without moving to the right. I lost count of how many times I should have been on a run interval but could not run because of all the walkers. 

I was in Corral H, which was scheduled to start at 5:56am but actually we were sent out at a bit early at 5:54am. Yay!!

Finally approaching the castle...I was really torn with wanting to (stop and) take pictures (or not) and whether I would use my phone or the teeny tiny camera I had in my FlipBelt. I tried the camera and it was not working well, so I quickly took off my armband and snapped this with my phone. 

I later tried to get a selfie in front of the castle but that didn't turn out well and since I was on my own, I had no one to take a picture for me. They had photographers set up in front of the castle to take pictures and I did that, but looks like the package is $90 for all my marathon pictures....umm, that's a bit outrageous. :(

I finished 5 minutes later than my time from that 1/2 I did a couple weeks ago here at home where I thought I would die with the constant rolling hills. While I was a bit irritated about it, I knew it was still a decent time considering the crowds. When I compare to my prior two PHM races, I finished 11 minutes faster, so I guess I need to focus on that instead.

While I liked my race shirt, it was hard to read and no one really notices the front of shirts when running anyway. It says "I don't judge a book by it's cover" (I'm Belle)...but I think next time if I dress as Belle, I will put on the back of my shirt "running to the library" or something like that in the cute Disney font.

I really  wished I had signed up for the Glass Slipper Challenge (the 10k and 1/2 on 2 consecutive days), but at the time of registration I just wasn't sure my knee would tolerate it since I was only 6 months back into running training since my crazy surgery. Of course now I know I could have done it so it was a little hard to see people with 3 medals on Sunday and me with just one. *sigh*  I did, however, sign up for the 5k just so I wouldn't leave with ONLY 1 medal....though the 5k medal is made of rubber. Next time/year, my sights are set on all 3 races. The worst part of it all is getting up so insanely early. Ugh, I'm so not a morning person and waking up at 3am is killer, no matter what time I go to bed. 

I remember a few people asked to see my costumes, so here is what I wore for the 5k. 
I am Jessie from Toy Story. 
I loved this costume and it was super comfortable.
I also really enjoyed the 5k race...more than the 1/2. 

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Bookish and Not-So-Bookish Thoughts

Bookish and Not-So-Bookish Thoughts is a weekly blogging event hosted by Bookishly Boisterous. It allows book bloggers (and non-book bloggers) to write about pretty much anything, bookish or otherwise (i.e. share exciting plans for the weekend, rants on things&encountered during the week. **************************************************************************************

1) Our Uverse box died last week, completely out-of-the-blue and in the middle of watching The Mysteries of Laura....I was less than happy. On the bright side, we got a new box on Saturday and apparently it holds 3x as many recorded shows....this may excite some people but we never filled the smaller box, so doubt we will fill this one.

2) Today I am happier than a pig in mud. Depending on when you are reading this, I am either driving the last few hours to THE happiest place on earth - DISNEY of course...or I'm already perusing the goodies at the race Expo...oh my goodness,  I hope they have lots of good stuff!!

3) I fear that I am so excited about this WDW Princess weekend, that coming home will be so hard and super depressing. #fact

4) And that's all I got because I'm so distracted...

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Bookish and Not-So-Bookish Thoughts

Bookish and Not-So-Bookish Thoughts is a weekly blogging event hosted by Bookishly Boisterous. It allows book bloggers (and non-book bloggers) to write about pretty much anything, bookish or otherwise (i.e. share exciting plans for the weekend, rants on things&encountered during the week. **************************************************************************************

1) Ethan & I went to the library last night to pick up a few books, for him primarily, but then of course you know I had to get a couple for me...though I'm not sure why I bother as I prefer to read on my iPad and e-books just seem to be faster for me. I still love the feeling of leaving the library with a couple of real books though - even if I never open them up. *face palm*  Oh and my nightstand is it's own mini-library at this point.
2) We had to get books for Ethan because it turns out he is reading at a 5.2 grade level. Um, what?!!? He is in 2nd grade. I knew he was above grade level and I think when he started 2nd grade he was at a 4.1 level, so that's a huge gain this year already though I'm not sure how it happened because he fights me tooth and nail on reading at home, which pains me greatly. I'm struggling with these battles because I don't know how much to push him, I don't want him to hate reading, but I want him to read more than he is. We typically read at least 15 minutes in bed every night, but also last night he wanted me to read half the book and he read the other half. It was a simple picture book (3.3 grade level) that we had picked up because it was a recent award winner (Last Stop on Market Street). If you have suggestions for how to encourage him to read more at home, please DO let me know. 

3) I'm officially "behind schedule" in my Goodreads Challenge...already! *sigh*

4) It has been painfully cold here this week! So much so, that once I am home, we are NOT going out again, which means I have not been to the YMCA all week. Thank goodness my treadmill is back in working condition, I've put it to good use this week. Tonight though I have to brave the cold as I won't miss my awesome Yoga class for anything...I've also been doing a Spin class which I feel is a good change for the legs (no impact on the knees either), so I do Spin at 6pm and Yoga at 7pm, it's been a great way to finish out each week. 

5) The kids get Presidents Day off. Teachers - not so much....another "con" to the long summer and construction...oh well, at least it's only a half day in-service. With food provided!! There is a threat of snow that day though, so maybe teachers will get a day off after all. #bringonthesnow

6) RunDisney released all the Princess Half Marathon Weekend shirts and swag. I am TOTALLY bummed that I DO NOT LOVE the colors or designs of ANYTHING I saw posted. Well, except for the Glass Slipper Challenge hoodie (blue) and I'm NOT running the GSC, so that ruins that. I'm seriously hoping there are more clothing items available when I get there compared to what I saw on-line yesterday. Please Please Please. 

7) I know it's really (totally!) NOT an option to run the Disneyland Half Marathon this September, but my brain has not completely accepted that yet. I would get the Coast to Coast medal too!! Want soooooo bad!!!

8) I'm so very glad that January has ended. It was an awful month. I am hoping February proves to be better and with a trip to Disney, I can't imagine it not being better. Disney makes everything better. 

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Strawberry Plains 1/2 Marathon Recap

I had good intentions to get this post up earlier, but you know, life happened. 

Anyway, as a last minute thought, I signed up for the Strawberry Plains 1/2 Marathon, which is about 30 minutes from my home. 

After signing up I read more in detail about the course...which ended up being full  of rolling hills. Ack!

Anyway, it was colder than I would have liked it to be that morning and from the minute I got out of my car and through to mile 3 (last chance to turn around and do 10k) I seriously contemplated only doing the 10k, but that bling is such an incentive for me. There was no bling for the 10k. 

I did not enjoy this race much at all. Between the hills and being cold, I was fairly miserable. At mile 8, I was so ready to be done and a lot of my 1:1 intervals changed to longer walking/recovery intervals. 

While I know my competition is the person in the mirror, I can't help but feel competition with the people who have been running near me during the majority of the race. In this race in particular, quite a few people passed me during the last 2 miles, which was frustrating for me to watch. I was struggling with recovery and being able to run my full 1 minute intervals. Ugh!!

Anyway, all that to say, I finished with an 11 minute PR and while that is exciting, I also realize that my initial half marathon times are SOOO slow because I weigh quite a bit less now and I feel like my training is much better these days. For me, it will be interesting to see how my times come in this year with the races I plan to do.

One obvious note of improvement for me is that I was only sore the remainder of the day Saturday and by Sunday was feeling just about normal...when I ran the Santa Hustle in December, I was sore for 2-3 days!!!

Thursday, February 04, 2016

Bookish and Not-So-Bookish Thoughts

Bookish and Not-So-Bookish Thoughts is a weekly blogging event hosted by Bookishly Boisterous. It allows book bloggers (and non-book bloggers) to write about pretty much anything, bookish or otherwise (i.e. share exciting plans for the weekend, rants on things&encountered during the week. **************************************************************************************

1) I have been spending way too much time surfing the web in bed at night instead of reading. Proof: I'm only 10% into a book I started 3 days ago...and it's already a good story, yet I remain addicted to Poshmark, Pinterest and other internet villians. 

2) I am over the hump of Catholic Schools Week and couldn't be happier...biggest worry now is preparing to be observed by my Principal on Monday morning 8am. Ugh. Why does worrying exist? Oh and CSW is one week later this year which means it runs concurrently with Nat'l School Counseling Week...a week where I normally bring in treats EVERY DAY for the staff. Do you think anyone has realized that it is NSCW? I'll let you answer that one. 

3) I have never wished away so much of my life as I have in the past few weeks. Seriously, that is NOT good and to me, it feels like a "sign".

"This has been a really hard mantra to live by being in a long distance relationship and wanting to be together, but it's something that I have really tried to take to heart, because the days I wish away now will never be mine again.." -person I repinned from I was going to write something about how I need to work on this, but I think whoever I repinned this from summed it all up perfectly:
4) Signed up at the "last minute" for a 1/2 marathon this Saturday. Originally I wanted to run a 1/2 on March 6 in Chattanooga, but the early start time, lack of hotel points & high race fee changed my mind. I settled for a race 30 minutes away, half the cost and no hotel needed. #win And then I read the course description in detail "rolling course"...those are like curse words on my ears. I hope I survive the rolling parts. Meh - I'm trying to not "care" and just plan to go out and do my best. I'm going to consider it a great training run since I have yet to run even 7-8 miles in prep for the Disney 1/2, well besides the 15k I did in October. 

5) I am certain I will want to spend Sunday on the couch after that "rolling course"..however, Ethan is having a few friends over to celebrate his birthday so I'll be running around (again!) like a crazy woman. Hoping we have weather that allows for a true pinata "event" - the husband is EXCITED about this (and so am I really!)

6) Public Service Announcement: when I request "light ice", that does NOT mean the cup should be 3/4 FULL of ice. Seriously! #notcoolchickfila

7) In January, I attempted a "No Spend January" project. I would deem it "somewhat-successful"....I had only 2 days all month where I spent ZERO, but overall I was more cautious with my spending, not going out to eat with Ethan as much. I was writing down every penny I spent, which I feel made a big difference in my spending decisions. It's only Feb 4th and I have not been documenting my spending and it already feels like I'm spending too much. I need to sit down and make my "No Spend February" chart  STAT.