Thursday, July 24, 2014

Frozen Characters Visit Disney Cruise Lines!

Yes, you heard that right. The characters from the hit film Frozen are now going to be cruising on the Disney Cruise Lines this summer!

Princess Anna and Queen Elsa will be making appearances on  the Disney Magic, Disney Wonder, and the Disney Fantasy!

Sadly they will only be on those cruises that are 7 nights or longer. But hey, who wouldn't want to go on a 7 night cruise, right?

Ann and Elsa will be available for meet and greets at certain times during the cruise. I wonder if they will have different cruise attire?

If you are not able to get to the Frozen event at Hollywood Studios, this would make a great alternative!

Who's planning a Disney Cruise?

My new place and a treadmill for it!

For those of you that don't know, I recently moved to the Philadelphia area. (Anyone live close?)  Such a big change from Virginia Beach. Although there are many things I will miss about living at the oceanfront, there are other things that I am excited about. In Virginia I lived in a small condo. Now in Philadelphia, I moved to a three bedroom house with a den. I knew this would be a perfect space for a gym. I already have an exercise bike, but I knew I wanted to get a treadmill for training for my upcoming marathons, especially since it will be much cooler here in the winter. Even now, it's been so hot to get runs completed outside if you're not up first thing in the morning.

                                        This is my new workout space all put together.

                                                   I've already started to hang some of my race medals!

I've done a little bit of research on some treadmills,  but when it came down to it, I knew I didn't need anything too fancy with bells and whistles. Just the basics, and one with an incline adjustment. (I had got one years ago, but had left it at my parent's house). I decided to get the Gold's Gym 420. The reviews that I read all said it was great for the price. That works for me! Anxiously awaiting my treadmill to come, I was like a little kid on Christmas morning:) It finally arrived right on schedule. Some of the reviews I read said that their delivery man even put it together for them. But unfortunately,  I had no such luck. The assembly wasn't too hard though, but you definitely need 2 people to put it together. Good thing I had some help. 

There are so many mixed feelings on treadmill training. Of course there is nothing like a great run outdoors, but that's not always an option.  For me, I'd rather use my treadmill and do my workout, then not do anything at all. Now there are no excuses for not getting my runs in! I have used it a few times since I got it and it does the job! I didn't think it was too loud while I was running. My only complaint ( which is just me being picky and I knew this when I bought it) is the display screen is small and it doesn't light up so it's not as easy to read while you're running. Which is not that big of a deal because I am watching my Sex and the City anyways and the time flies by.  ~L

How do u feel about treadmills?  Do you have one that you train on?  Do you live in the Philly area?

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Beach to Bell and a Race Discount for You and a Partner too!

Besides Disney races, the Rock n Roll Series races are probably our favorite! We've participated in the Rock n Roll VA Beach for the last several years and although its very hot, we enjoy it!

We were debating if we wanted to do VA Beach again this year or if we wanted to try RnR Philly instead.   As we were in the process of debating this, RnR and Competitor announced the Beach to Bell Challenge.
Run VA Beach on Aug 31 and then run Philly on September 21 and you will receive the additional 3rd medal shown above.   Since I decided to finally register for VA Beach last week,  I'm actually considering doing this challenge. 
Since I will already be running 2 RnR races this year ( VA Beach and Vegas), I will already be earning the Rock Encore Medal. If I throw Philly into the mix then I will earn the Triple Crown!
New this year at VA Beach is the Mile on the Beach Fun Run which will result in an additional 2 medals. One for the mile run and then one for completing the both the half marathon and the mile ( the re-mix medal).
If you are interested in running either the VA Beach Half Marathon or RNR Philly, use our Discount Code: GAZETTE1  for $10 off (code expires 9/14)
Now, I have convinced my sister that she has to run VA Beach but unfortunately the half marathon does not fit into her training schedule.  She would love to run the second half of the half marathon relay ( she ran the first half last year), if she can find a partner.  DO YOU KNOW ANYONE THAT WOULD LIKE TO RUN THE RELAY WITH HER?  
(Psss, If you've always wanted to run RNR VA Beach, this may be your time. We heard a rumor that this may be the last year for this event)
Are you doing any RnR races this year? Will you be at either VA Beach or Philly?   ~L

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Tips For Staying Fit While On Vacation

Today's Tuesdays on the Run theme is Staying Fit While on Vacation.

For some of us, that's never a problem ( especially if you are traveling for a race-cation), but we have a few people in our family that take the word "vacation" to mean that they just want to relax and be pampered. I on the other hand always want to be on the go!

Regardless of your vacation style, here are a few tips to help you maintain your fit and healthy lifestyle while away from home.

1.  If you have the option, walk to wear you need to be instead of driving or taking public transportation. Walking from place to place is one of my favorite things to do while on vacation. I feel like you really get to see more of the city ( or where ever you are at) when you are on foot. Plus it saves you the cab fare ( or bus or subway).

2. Once you get to your hotel/resort, take the stairs instead of the elevator. This holds true on a cruise ship as well. Skip the elevators and find the stairs.

3. Participate in at least once endurance activity or an activity to get your heart rate up.  Rent bikes, play volleyball, tennis or go for a jog.

4. Eat your biggest meals at earlier in the day. Most people have their largest meal in the evening, don't do this. Spring for the breakfast buffet and then decrease your food intake as the day goes on. I you are not a breakfast person, then have a big lunch. Having more calories earlier in the day allows you to burn more calories throughout the day.

5.  ( This kind of goes along with #4) Have desserts earlier in the day, not in the evening. Of course if we are trying to stay healthy, I would suggest skipping dessert all together, but hey, you're on vacation and you'll want to splurge.  if that's the case, order the dessert after your lunch, not dinner.

6. Make sure to stay hydrate. Drink lots of water. And since we trying to stay fit and healthy, limit alcoholic beverages.

7. Pack a few healthy snacks. packing nuts, granola bars, fruit bites and other healthy treats allows you to have a healthier alternative once a craving hits. This might prevent you from buying an order of fries from a boardwalk vendor or randomly thinking you need to grab a quick slice of pizza to hold you over till dinner.

Thank you to April, Patty, and Erika for hosting the Tuesday's on the Run!

Monday, July 21, 2014

When You Need to Clean Your Fitness Gear and a GIVEAWAY

Everyone knows that One Mr. Clean Magic Eraser can help you clean about ONE MILLION tough jobs around the house, but what about the stuff that you take outside of the house? For me, that's the stuff that really gets dirty.

Mr. Clean sent me a generous supply of Magic Erasers to test and see how well they cleaned my fitness gear.  Since I do a lot of trail running and running through the woods, I figured my shoes would be the most dirty piece of gear I have.  I went through my shoe pile to see which ones were the filthiest!   I found a pair of New Balance that I use to wear on the trails and then retired them to being my yard work and grass mowing shoes!

Sadly enough, I admit that the grass stains are not new. I can't tell you how long it has been since I cleaned these shoes (Its' okay though because I don't wear them in public), yet with one swipe of the Magic Eraser, they are looking pretty good, wouldn't ya say?  Maybe I will start wearing these shoes in public again!

The Magic Eraser also works well for cleaning these other fitness essentials.

*My Garmin- I often wear it while doing yard work or mowing grass ( so I know how far I've gone) and some how that gets grass stained too but the Magic Eraser easily cleans it up.

* My Yoga Mat- I often take my mat outside to do my stretches.

*Stretch bands, jump ropes, yoga blocks, massage sticks, and of course other sports equipment as well. Scott likes that the Magic Erasers keep his golf clubs looking shiny!

* The Magic Eraser isn't just good for getting the outsides of your shoes clean.  I have found that running on the treadmill can sometimes leave black marks on the soles of your shoes.  If you don't clean those black marks off, you can end up dragging them through your house on your shoes. I've left black streaks on my tile before because of this.  Those black streaks can easily be removed with a Magic Eraser of course, but I'd rather avoid it to begin with so I'll just wipe  the bottom of my shoes off with a Magic Eraser when I'm done on the treadmill!

* And for all the Triathletes and bikers out there, I'm sure you want your bike looking good. I saw this tweet the other day and thought it was cute.

After I was done cleaning my fitness gear, I used some of the Magic Erasers around the house. I have 2 dogs so I am always cleaning up my floors. To make matters worse, all my appliances and kitchen cabinetry are white.  Fingerprints? You bet.  I also discovered the Magic Erasers are perfect for cleaning my porch railing and siding.  Just an all around great product wouldn't you say?

Do you want to win your own Mr. Clean Magic Eraser gift Pack?

Tell us in the comments what you have at your house that REALLY needs a good cleaning?

This review was made possible by Double Duty Divas and Mr. Clean. I was provided the featured product free of charge to facilitate my review and compensation, but all opinions are 100% mine.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This review was made possible by Double Duty Divas and Mr. Clean. I was provided the featured product free of charge to facilitate my review and compensation, but all opinions are 100% mine.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

A Peek in Our Week: New stuff I've tried and a Giveaway WINNER!

This week didn't seem to be as humid as last week. Although it made for some perfect morning runs, I missed the fact that it was already scorching hot when I would get up at 6:15. It almost felt like there was a chill in the air this week. ( but of course ' m over sensitive to that).

Here are some highlights from the week!

I got every one of my "Goofy" training sessions in! -M

I finally got that massage. The massage Therapist was blind but she was EXCELLENT! She only charges $50 for a full hour. What a bargain! I will be sure to make another appointment to return before TOT weekend. -M

I received a cool RnR VA Beach T-shirt from a contest I won with Pam and Christine from We Run Disney! -M

We registered for the Glass Slipper Challenge -Both

I Finally got a long-ish run in outside! -L

I FINALLY saw the movie Frozen! -L

Here are some new things I've tried this week.

 These are yogurt covered granola balls from Rickland Orchards.  I just noticed right now as I am typing this that the bag says they are Strawberry. I honestly did not taste any Strawberry flavor, but they were good.  At first I was hesitant about spending $5 on them, but the bag was pretty big and they lasted a while.
I always buy Vanilla Almond milk.  I've never had the Coconut kind before.  Even though this is the Almond Coconut blend, I wasn't sure what to expect.  This taste much better than Coconut water, but not something that I would enjoy just in a glass. It was great on cereal and it was absolutely FABULOUS in the banana and blueberry smoothies I made. I may keep some of this on hand just for smoothie making. I'm thinking my next one might be banana, pineapple, and coconut milk!

And our Winner for the Runner's Gazette Subscription is:

We hope everyone had a great weekend!

What are you looking forward to this week?

Friday, July 18, 2014

Are the Disney Princess Races the Right Races for You?

This weeks theme for the Friday five is "Friday Favorites".  So of course we will talk about our favorite race which is the Disney Princess weekend of races!  However, we know that not all our runner friends like Disney and some of them wouldn't be caught dead at a Disney race, and that's okay, to each his own. But something that we find to be very odd are some of the negative feelings about Disney races that other runners have expressed, runners that have never experienced a Disney race before.  Some have confessed that they will not "Drink the Kool Aid" that is Run Disney!

If you've come and run a Disney race and you find that it's not your thing, it's okay but please don't bash a Disney race before you've tried it.

Here are some of the common comments we've seen mentioned about Disney races and our responses to them.

1. It's Way too Expensive: Yes, Disney races are very expensive. If you are use to only running local road races, you may loose your breath for a moment when you see the cost of the 10K or Half Marathon. My first race ever was a Disney 5K at $50. I had no idea that local 5K's were only $25, so therefore I had nothing to compare it to at the time and by golly I thought that $50 was a bargain for being able to run around Epcot when the park was closed. I also received a Disney T-shirt (which saved me $29.95, if I would have bought a souvenir shirt at the gift shop anyway).   Add to this race registration fee, your transportation, hotel stay, park tickets, food, and don't think you'll get through that expo without a new t-shirt, sweaty band, or race magnet, and you could end up spending 2 months worth of mortgages in one weekend.  The costs for everything that encompasses this weekend seems to increase from year to year. Do we complain about the cost? Yes. Do we keep going back? Yes. So I guess in essence you could say that we are contributing to the problem. If people are willing to pay, Disney will keep charging and charging.  We are just Disney fans at heart and we know that the joy we get from being there always gives back two fold to what we pay!

2. I'm Not Prancing Around the Park in a Tutu and Tiara: Pleas know that it's not dumb to dress up at a Disney race and wearing a tutu does not make you any less of a runner.  Dressing up at a Disney race is not required but it certainly adds to the fun.  I love  coming up with ideas and preparing outfits for Disney races. Truth be told, I think about that most of the year.

3. The Course is Way too Crowded: It IS crowded! To help control the masses of runners, Disney will corral you based on your expected finish time. Last year I believe the corrals ranged from "A" through "P". My sister Lacey was in corral "A" and didn't experience much crowding at all. In fact, she said there were no lines for any of the characters when she passed through. I, on the other hand was in corral "D".  My corral was moving at a pretty good pace until we hit Magic Kingdom.  After we exited Magic Kingdom ( about mile 6), things really started to bottle neck for a little while. After that, I never really thought that I didn't have enough personal space to run.

4. Disney is Not a Course to PR at: Well, this one could go either way.  Of course you want to enjoy the race and have fun, get a picture or two but PRing is not out of the question. We know plenty of people who PRed and a few who won age group awards.  This course is mostly flat so if you want to try to PR for this race, go for it!

5. Disney Races aren't for Serious Runners: Just because the race is at Disney doesn't make the distance you are running any less. 13.1 miles is still 13.1 whether you are running a Rock N Roll series race or you are running a Disney race.  It's true that Disney races are great for first timers because of the fun atmosphere, the distractions along the course, and the generous time limits, but all this is great for advance runners as well.

We will be embarking on our 5th year of Disney Princess races. If you'd like to see pictures or read recaps of the last 4 years, you can see them HERE.

Have you ever ended up enjoying a race that others talked negatively about?

*Don't forget about the GIVEAWAY that is going on. It ends this weekend.

              We are linking up with Courtney, Mar, and Cynthia, for the Friday 5!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Are the Disney Princess Races the Fairest of them All?

So today our Thursday Thoughts are all about the Princess Races that we patiently waited to register for!

1. Since we've been reading blogs, there have been countless ones written on how to register for these coveted Disney races. Have your account ready, know your shirt size, have your proof of time ready, etc, etc.  We've had all this ready since the day after we came back from PHM this past February (because we knew we wanted to go back and run again).  Did this help our registration process go easier? NO

2. I think everyone who tried to register on Tuesday would agree that there was definitely something wrong with the site.  I am not exaggerating when I say my sister and I (both at separate computers) filled out the race registration at least a dozen times before it went through) Of course when 25,000 plus people are on a website all at once, there are bound to be problems. I am the least computer savvy person when it comes to computer programming but wouldn't you think that a site that invites SO much traffic would have their crap together and make sure it can support the traffic properly?  Again, I don't even know if this is possible, but its a thought. 

3.  I feel awful for the runners who wanted to sign up for this race but couldn't due to a lack of not being quick enough on the computer or basically just because the site had given them so many problems and they just couldn't get through in time.  We were on the registration site at exactly noon and it took us an hour and 20 minutes before we were registered.  When we were done, the GSC was 95% full! I couldn't believe it!

(I did hear through the grapevine that since there was such a problem on the site that some runners were double and triple registered. Once that gets taken care of, it might open up some more spots. I don't know if this is factual info or not. It might just be a way for people to still believe in the Disney magic and have some hope. Either way, keep your eyes out on the Run Disney site and other social media venues!)

4. We signed up for the WDW Marathon and Tower of Terror Races earlier this year and had no problems. I do believe this Princess Race is the most popular!

So is there a better solution to all this Princess pandemonium?  ( I was thinking about this on my run yesterday).

*Register by last name:  If your last name begins with A-M you register from noon till 3pm. ( only so many spots would be allotted for these folks).  Then runners with the last name N-Z would register from 3:30 -6:30pm. The same amount of spots would be allotted to them too.

Of course this like any other solution could cause some drama. For example, My sister has a last name that begins with a "B", so she would register early. I would have to wait till round 2.   If she got in and I didn't, that would turn our girls trip into a solo trip for her. Which to be honest, could have happened this week anyway.

*Take turns: Now this one is really a long shot, but instead of letting the same people register year after year, what if Disney said you can't do the same race 2 years in a row?  Meaning if you did PHM or GSC last year, you would have to sit it out this year and let others participate.  If this meant that other runners who have been dying to run this race and could not get in would be allowed to have their chance at running, I would gladly give up my spot!  This would just give me more incentive to try a different Disney race I hadn't run yet.

I suppose this would cause a ruckus no doubt and we would have people signing up under different names. Of course you would have to show ID to pick up your race stuff, but still I wouldn't see runners appreciating this new rule!

So, congrats to all of you who survived the first step of Princess pandemonium, registration.
Now the next step is getting through the expo! (that's a whole other post)

Do you think there are any other solutions to this problem, or is it what it is?

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Visitng Negril, Jamaica

Jamaica has to be one of my favorite places to travel. The past several times I stayed right in Montego Bay. It is probably the easiest because it is only a mile away from the airport. This time I decided to visit the other side of the Island, Negril. This is considered part of the 7 mile beach. Although the beach was beautiful, it took over an hour to get there with the bus transfer.

After arriving at the Sandals Negril, we got checked in and headed to the swim up bar. There was definitely a lot of lounging around with fun tropical drinks during the time there. But that's what you have to do when your on vacation right?
Even though there was a lot of relaxation. I did manage to make it to the gym twice while I was there. It was a nice gym with plenty of cardio equipment and weights. I'd get up and go to the gym for at least a half hour before breakfast. There was actually a lot of people working out during this time. I guess just because you are on vacation that's no excuse to not workout!

After breakfast I wanted to try some activities before relaxing at the pool. Since it was an all inclusive resort there was no reason not to. First was kayaking. I've done this before but it is always fun and a great upper body workout. While I was kayaking I saw one of the boats pulling inter tubes that look like a blast. I knew that was the next activity I wanted to try. It was so much fun! It was even much faster than expected.

That evening we went to a Seafood Restaurant on the beach. How cool is that? Watching the sunset while enjoying a lovely dinner.

The next day I woke up and went to the gym again before enjoy a great breakfast buffet. I kayaked once again. Afterwards we went out on the glass bottom boat hoping to see some colorful coral and fish. Unfortunately, there wasn't any of that. It was still neat seeing a bunch of different fish and being out in the middle of the ocean during this time. Then it was time for the pool. After the afternoon in the sun, I enjoyed a lovely massage at the spa.

While we were there we went to a Japanese Restaurant around a Hibachi grill. I'm sure most people have been to one of these before, however this restaurant allowed you to try everything on the menu. It was all so delicious.

Each night after dinner there was always a show or some entertainment going on. Unfortunately, I would get up so early to work out and spend the day at the pool enjoying cocktails in the sun, that I was exhausted after dinner and never got to enjoy that experience, maybe next time.

Negril was beautiful with a great beach. That's what draws people to this particular one. However, we always find ourselves at the pool anyways. In my opinion I think the Sandals Montego Bay resort is just as nice. In additions to being close to the airport, it is even close to two other resorts that the van will take you to enjoy other restaurants. 

Have you ever been to Jamaica? Where at and what did you think? -L

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Course Maps ( and corral placement) for Princess Half Marathon Weekend of Races

Since so many runners were asking about the course maps  and about where the water stations where and what not, we thought we would post a copy of what the route was last year. The routes will be the same again this year and the water stations will most likely be at the same locations.

These images were taken from the 2014 program.

The first map is for the Enchanted 10K.

Half Marathon Route Map

" 9 beverage stations will be set up along the course, offering both Dasani Water and PowerAde. Clif products will be distributed at mile 8.7"

Corral Map

Those runners who are staying at Port Orleans, Key West, or Saratoga Springs will find that it is easier to walk across the highway to get to their corrals, BUT DON'T DO THAT.  Two years ago our bus was one of the later buses and some anxious runners wanted to get dropped off at the intersection  ( because it was right in front of the corrals) instead of riding the bus to the parking lot. I can't believe the bus driver left them off there. You can no longer do that! You will have to ride the bus to the parking lot and yes, it is a LONG walk from the parking lot to the corral, but it is enjoyable!

Here is a map of the staging area. This is where the bus will drop you off at.

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