Wednesday, September 17, 2014

The War is On........

I 'm sorry that this post today has nothing to do with running, or Disney, or traveling, or fashion, and it's not even a random Thursday thoughts post. What's going on?   I had a little funny/not so funny story to tell. I know it's kind of random, but maybe it will help somebody else one day.

Here goes........

This past Monday was our dad's birthday. Before I could call or text him "Happy birthday", I got an alarming text from him.  ( I would take screen shots of my phone, but I don't know how)

Dad: Someone stole all my fish in the pond. Seriously, All of them.

Me: What????

Dad Yes, no fish in pond.

Me: Could there have been a bear or other wild animal in the yard?

Dad: No, they took them all


So here is a little background on this pond. My dad has built a decorative pond with a waterfall in their backyard. He's had koi and gold fish in this pond for about 20 years. Just this summer he had a professional landscaper come in and redesign this pond. He kept all the same fish though. One fish we knew for sure was 18 years old. It was a big one. My dad cleaned this pond and fed these fish every day for 20 years. You could say that he is quite attached to the fish pond. So this of course was devastating! Certainly not a way to start a birthday.


This is Belle sneaking a drink out of the pond before it was re-designed

So by the time Scott and I arrived at my parent's house, my dad had already gone to work. We walked outback and looked in the pond and just like he said, there were no fish!  We thought someone was playing a cruel joke on my dad for his birthday. But why would someone do this? Where they stolen? What happened to them?

Of course we couldn't let my dad come home to an empty pond, so Scott and I bought him a few new Koi and some gold fish. It doesn't come close to the 60 plus fish he had but it's a start. Did you know that some Koi are $249????

There was a LOT of investigation that went on that day, and to make a long story short, we have determined that the culprit was a blue heron. Blue heron are really tall birds. In the 30 some years my parents have lived in that house, they have never seen a blue heron in their yard.

The next morning, my mom just happened to look out the window, and there he was, the fish bandit.
My parents made noise and hollered at the blue heron and it flew away. After my dad left for work, it came back again!  So yesterday my mom researched how to get rid of blue herons, and we spent all afternoon boobie trapping the yard and pond area.  We certainly did not want these new fish to end up missing too! We put nets up over the pond, and apparently these birds don't like shiny things. So of course we put some silver garland around the pond too.

We later found out that this bird has visited a another family in our neighborhood and ate 14 of their fish and most recently visited a family down the street from my parents and ate their fish too. I guess this blue heron is making his way through the neighborhood snatching fish along the way.  Not only do we fear the fish being ate, but these birds can do damage. They have very pointed beaks and can very easily poke holes in the liner of the pond. Hopefully what my parents are doing will deter him and he will move on.  But until then, my parents will be keeping a watch out for this blue heron!

Have you ever had a wild animal damage anything at your home? Has it bothered your animals or ate your crops?




Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Building up confidence AFTER signing up for a race challange: AKA Goofy Challenge

 
Today's Tuesdays on the Run is about hitting that wall. As far as distance running goes, I've run several 10K's, an 11K, and a few half marathons and so far, I have never hit that "wall" that everyone talks about. However, I think I am about to hit that "mental Wall".
 
As you know, my sister and I have both signed up for the Goofy Challenge at Disney World in 2015. For those who don't know, the Goofy Challenge is a half marathon on Saturday and the full marathon on Sunday. This is something that I would expect Lacey to do ( and to be honest it probably wouldn't even be much of a challenge for her). But for me, competing a half marathon is a big deal, so of course completing a full marathon is a much BIGGER deal, and doing that after already running a half marathon the day before makes me wonder what I was thinking when I signed up for this!
 
I'm pretty certain that as far as Full Marathons are concerned, this is a one and done deal for me ( I know never say never, but I'm pretty sure).   I know this sounds silly, but I worry that in someway doing the "challenge" will reduce the excitement I feel about completing the Marathon on its own.
Although I've signed up for the challenge, I have been contemplating forfeiting the half and just running a strong race on marathon day. Of course this would mean not getting those two extra medals.
 
I'm glad I have my sister here to always talk things through with me. After quickly telling me to " Suck it up buttercup and just do it," some other sisterly advice came from this marathon runner.
 
You spent a lot of money to enter this race. You are going to finish regardless of what obstacles come along your way. You didn't spend that much  money to not get what you wanted out of it in the end. ( do the challenge)
 
*Remember, you have done a challenge before ( on a smaller scale), when you completed the Glass Slipper Challenge and you were even injured during that race weekend.
 
*Just go at a nice and easy pace and feel comfortable. You want to finish feeling good, not like you never want to do this again. 
 
*Run when you can, walk when you need to, crawl if you have to but never give up.
 
As you know, I ran the RNR VA Beach last month. That was kind of like a redeeming run for me since I ran the Princess half injured. Even though I took it slow due to fear ( fear of bringing back an injury), I still finished strong and I was not completely sore afterwards. This was a big confidence booster to me! And to think I wasn't even planning on running VA Beach. I am now glad that I ran that race so I could prove to myself that I can do at least that much!
 
Another thing that keeps me going is the fact that this race is at DISNEY. It will be a fun 26.2 miles, even if I have to walk half of them. I was prepared to run one of the most difficult marathon courses in the country last Spring ( Big Sur Marathon), before I got injured. For sure I can hobble my way through Lake Buena Vista if I had to, right?
 
 
Do I think it was a smart idea to do my first marathon in conjunction with the half marathon? Probably not.  But on the other hand, my training has been going very well. I took off a few days to rest after running VA Beach, but I picked right back up in the training schedule. In fact, my speed has even increased on some of my shorter runs.
 
So tell me, Are you doing your first marathon as part of a challenge? What advice would you give me for when I start being fearful for what I am about to do?
 
                           Thank you to April, Patty, and Erika for hosting Tuesdays on the Run.
 

Monday, September 15, 2014

Welcoming Fall with a GIVEAWAY


 
Happy Monday Folks! This weekend kicked off our community's Harvest Festival. For two weeks our community hosts craft and food vendors in town, a bike race, a road race, a football game, a pet parade, multiple concerts, and other harvest events.

I try to put off Fall for as long as possible, but I think it may be time to close up the swimming pool and get those fall decorations out!

With that being said, I have been working on my costumes for my upcoming fall races. I thought maybe some of you have started working on yours too.  So I figured this giveaway might be helpful to those of you dressing up for Tower of Terror, Wicked, Wine-n-Dine, or any other fall race!



The winner will be given one  (Brand New) Bondi Band with the phrase Will Run For Beer on it.



Please enter using the Rafflecopter below. We love all our International readers but this prize can only be shipped to US addresses at this time.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

We are co-hosting this giveaway with Kristy from Runaway Bridal Planner. Be sure to visit all the other great bloggers who are participating in the hop!


 
What are you doing to prepare for fall?

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Being a guest at the Miss America Pageant


It's that time of year again when folks flock to the Atlantic City boardwalk to take part in the pageantry of the Miss America Contest.

We wrote a little about this event last year, but thought we would mention it again.......

This is the second year that the Miss America pageant is back in Atlantic City again!  I can’t help but wonder if they brought it back  last year in an effort to help boost the economy since hurricane Sandy’s visit. Regardless of why they brought it back to the East Coast, I'm glad they did.  Atlantic City is such an Iconic backdrop for the Miss America Pageant.
My sister and I had the opportunity to sit in the audience of the Miss America Pageant when it was previously held in Atlantic City.  The competition was held inside Boardwalk Hall.  Although the venue looks all glitzy and glamorous on TV, I assure you, it is not that way in person.  I was shocked when we walked in to Boardwalk Hall and the atmosphere was like a ware house!
Here is a zoomed out picture so you can see the whole area.
 
Regardless of what “our end” looked like, it was amazing getting to watch something “in person” that we’ve only ever got to watch on television.
The pageant began back in the 1920's in Atlantic City. It was always held the week after Labor Day in an effort to extended the tourist season and build more revenue for the city.  2004 was the last time the pageant was held here. It has since moved to Las Vegas and instead of holding it in September, it was held in January.
There is a whole weekend of pageant activities that take place along the boardwalk. Yesterday was the annual "Show us your shoes parade".  The parade is a full fledge parade that includes floats, and of course all of the Miss America Contestants!  Last year it was hosted by Chris Harrison ( The Bachelor) and Lara Spenser ( Good Morning America).
I hope we can make it to the Parade next time we visit Atlantic City for the Pageant!
The Miss America Pageant  will be broadcast lived tonight, starting at 8:00 pm Eastern time.
Will you be watching the Pageant?  Have you ever seen a live production of a TV Show?
 

Friday, September 12, 2014

Bye Bye Maelstrom, Hello Frozen!

 Looks like Florida just Froze over! The Frozen event at Hollywood Studios was such a big hit that Disney decided to keep the Frozen party going longer and to extend it to the other theme parks.



A brand new "Frozen" attraction  and character greeting area will be constructed at the Norway Pavilion at Epcot. The sad news is that the new attraction, will replace the  Maelstrom! That kind of makes me sad because that was a great ride! It was a great "go to" ride when you needed to get out of the heat and stand in an air conditioned line!

But anyway, the new ride will be a journey through Arendelle and you will be able to experience moments and music from the film. The attraction will also host a greeting location for Anna and Elsa!

The last day to ride the Maelstrom will be October 5th! That stinks for me because I wasn't planning on visiting Epcot until the 6th :(

The project is anticipated to be complete by early 2016, but the Norway pavilion will remain open through construction.



"Frozen" fever will also continue into the Magic Kingdom during the Holiday season .

Anna, Elsa, Kristoff, and Olaf  will be participating in  "Mickey's Once Upon a Christmastime Parade," along with"ice" skaters, skiiers, and ice cutters from the Kingdom of Arendelle. This parade will only be offered during Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party!

But don't worry, you will still be able to see Anna and Else when they appear in a new show on the castle stage each evening beginning on November 5th.  Elsa will be using her powers to transform Cinderella's castle into a glimmering ice palace!

Who's excited about this?

5 Websites Every Runner Must Visit

Happy Friday Folks! As usual we are linking up with the lovely ladies, Courtney, Mar, and Cynthia for another edition of the Friday 5.

Although this week's theme is "Blogs we love", we could never just share five great blogs. We read and enjoy so many more than that! So instead, we are going to share 5 great websites you might enjoy as a runner or fitness enthusiast.



1. Runningintheusa.com : Running in the USA is a great sight to find races all around the country.  Just select your state and it will give you a list of races in your area. This is a great tool we use when we are free on the weekends and want to find a local 5K or some other racing event. You can also find running clubs and race results from this site!





2. Theactivetimes.com :The Active Times is another great resource for runners and all outdoor enthusiasts. In fact, We were just invited to be a part of the Active Times Network and will be contributors to the site.



3. Thedailymeal.com : The Daily Meal is a new to me site and I just love it. It is about everything food and drink. I could seriously spend A LOT of time on this site. They have lots of advice on how to eat as a runner/athlete.  A few topics they are featuring this week include Shopping at Trader Joe's, Healthy recipes, diet tips, tailgating tablescapes, how to be a great at home bartender, wedding drinks, and kooky cookie cutters. Any of these sound interesting to you?
 
 
 
 
 
 
4. Goneforarun.com: Gone For a Run is hands down our favorite site to shop for all things running. They offer great gear and a lot of fun way to preserve those race memories. If you have never visited Gone For a Run you should do it right now, but be warned you will want to buy EVERYTHING!
 

5. Athlinks.com : We learned about this site from our blogging friend Lauren ( who also has a great site so you should go check her out). Athlinks is the largest database of race results. Pretty much any race that you've run ( that had been chip timed), the result is saved in there. I think this it is an awesome site and I have referenced it often. I was excited to see that my very first race back in 2006 was still recorded here! Not that you would ever forget what your time was from a certain race, but just in case you did, you can look it up at this site!

Are any of these sites new to you? What is one of your favorite running sites?




Thursday, September 11, 2014

Will Disney Limit Your Expo Purchases?

Welcome to another version on Thursday Thought!

Sometimes we read blogs that inspire us, sometimes we read blogs that give us good ideas, and sometimes we read blogs that make us want to dig a little deeper into a particular topic. That's what happened this week when I was reading Jen's blog The Final Forty. Jen and her boyfriend completed the Dumbo Double Dare at Disneyland over Labor Day weekend.   On her blog Jen talks about her experience at the expo. She arrived at opening ( they were allowed in in at 11:30 am). She admitted that the expo was more calm then last year. She made it to the official Disney merchandise area at 12:15 and had found out that the commemorative 10K pin that she had wanted was SOLD OUT. How could that be? The expo hadn't even been open for an hour.  Jen had been collecting these pins from each Run Disney race she has done. Don't worry though, she later found one on e-bay and no doubtably had to pay a bit more for it.


So this brings up two issues.

1. We all know it has been a problem with Run Disney not ordering enough merchandise. My sister and I discussed this issue at length yesterday ( yes, maybe we have too much time on our hands), and don't understand why Run Disney can't get a handle on this.

Hear us out: Every person that runs a run Disney race has to register. By their registration, Run Disney knows which race each person is doing and even what size shirts they wear.  For Example: Chances are, if you have 10,000 people that are running the 10K, wouldn't you want to make sure that you have enough 10K merchandise to support that?  Also, if you know that 5,000 people who registered for said race (again just picking numbers out of the blue) registered for a size small race shirt, then chances are they will be purchasing size small souvenir shirts and jackets as well. So why not make sure you have enough stock in said size!   (We understand that this does not account for any of the non-runners that plan to buy merchandise. And there are some folks who wear a different size race shirt then they would jacket, or t-shirt, etc... But at least it's a start)

2. It really irritated me to read that Jen had to go on e-bay to find the race pin to complete her collection. Not only did she have to pay more than retail price for the pin but I'm sure she had to pay for shipping too. We find it crazy that after each Disney race tons of Run Disney merchandise magically appear on e-bay. You mean to tell us that all these people decided they didn't want these souvenirs once they returned home?  Maybe there should be a limit on how many of the same item one person can purchase? This may prevent someone from buying a whole stack of size large zip up jackets and then selling them a week later on e-bay. Or taking all of the 10K pins.  I did not run the Dumbo Double Dare this year so I have no intentions of buying any of that merchandise on e-bay, but just for research sake, I took a look at what people were selling this week.  I saw the Dumbo Double Dare car magnet selling for $15.99 plus shipping.  I'm not sure how much more expensive things are on the West Coast than they are here on the East Coast, but I only paid $8.99 for my Princess Half Marathon Magnet back in February!

Of course putting a limit on how many of each item each person can buy sounds good in theory but it would be hard to track down how many times that person came back to the expo to buy.  But I'm pretty sure that a person buying 10 pins at a time or 10 t-shirts at a time is a pretty good indication that some of those items are going to show up on e-bay?  But then again, Why would Disney want to limited someone's purchases. They are in the business to make money and it really doesn't matter to them what someone does with all 25 of their car magnets once they leave the expo!

Of course it is easy to sit hear and come up with solutions to the problem but I am sure there are drawbacks to each and every one and that there will never be a fool proof plan to ensure that each runner gets the merchandise he or she wants, unless perhaps they make it that you have to pre-order all your official Disney merchandises months in advance. There would surely be no excuse for items selling out then!

What do you think about putting limits on how much official merchandise one can buy at the expo? 
 ( we mean of one particular item of course).  Don't they do this already with the Disney Dooney Bags? Do they do it with the Run Disney Shoes too?




Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Costume Confusion: I Could Use Your Help

Yesterday I mentioned that I hadn't even started working on my race outfits for theTower of Terror weekend yet. I had some ideas floating around in my head and I had the supplies I would need so last night I finally got to work. For most of my running costumes I try to use things that I already have at home. I very rarely buy something just to wear it for one race.

This was the race costume I made and wore for the Wicked 10K last year.

It was a ghost outfit.Last year one of our readers suggested that after I wore it for the race that I could dye It purple and use it as the Kool aid man for the next year! Although that was a clever suggestion, I think I'll pass on that idea for now.

Instead, I have two ideas brewing for the TOT 10 miler.
I knew I wanted to wear my black argyle and hearts running skirt from runninskirts.com and thought maybe I would go with a queen of hearts type theme,but then my idea started to fade and I didnt know what to do with it, so this happened.


I just sewed on a Mickey Head and outlined it in that glow in the dark fabric paint I told you about yesterday! I actually like how it looks in the dark. I'm thinking about adding even more paint to the mickey head!

My second idea involves dressing as a pumpkin/jack-o-lantern. I have an orange running skirt and an orange tank top. The problem with this outfit is that the orange top that matches the skirt exactly is not tech material.It is spandex and polyester.I do have another orange top but it is bright orange and does not match the skirt, but it is moisture wicking tech material.  See below.

 Do you think it matters if the top and bottom are a few shades off? Also, this orange skirt is not from Runningskirts.com and does not have pockets in it. I'll be wearing my running belt anyway so not sure how big of a deal that is going to be.

Do you think I should wear the black glow in the dark Mickey outfit for the 10 miler and save the pumpkin costume for another non-Disney fall race?

I'm pretty set on my 5k race day outfit but I suppose I should put that outfit together and see if it looks as good in person as it has looked in my mind the past 4 months!

What are your thoughts? Are you dressing up for any fall races?   ~M

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Disney's Fall Races Preview

I logged in to the "My Disney Experience" account today and it said I have 23 days until I arrive at the most magical place on earth for Disney's Tower of Terror Race weekend. 23 days!!!  I haven't even made our costumes yet. It was one of those things were I think "oh, I've got time". Well it appears that time is running out so I better get to work.

Here are a few things that are getting me excited about this fall race weekend:

 

1. I did purchase some glow in the dark fabric paint that I plan to use somehow on my 10 Miler outfit. I know that it works too because I saw the bottle of it glowing in the dark last night as I walked by it when it was sitting on my desk. This is making it all real! And a reminder that I need to get in gear and create costumes for the 5k and the Ten Miler!

2. Corrals are out! I printed my waiver for both the 5k and 10 Miler and now know my bib number and corral number. I am quite please with my number. I'm in the 1,000's. The only reason I would care about my corral for this race is because I'm not really a night person ( So you are probably asking "Why are you doing a night race?").  I figure that if I am in an earlier corral that I just might be able to finish before midnight!

3. Mickey's Happy Haunted 5K Trail Run: This will be the first Disney 5K that I will be participating in that does NOT take place inside one of the theme parks. I'm very anxious to see how this race turns out. My friend Tricia from Disneygals.com did this race weekend last year and did a guest post for us. Here are some of her thoughts and pictures.


This race started on Saturday morning at 7:30 a.m. at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.  The runners were broken up into five corrals as we were entertained by two very funny hosts throughout the morning. “Scarecrow” Mickey also showed up to see us off on our way but not before we were given a strong warning by a visit from the real Headless Horseman who warned us from veering off the path. New runners should be aware that this really is a trail run…it’s not just a cute name. You will be running on many different surfaces, such as dirt, grass, sand, track, gravel, woods, etc. and should be prepared for that.

The trail part makes me nervous, not for me because I do a lot of my training runs on trails, but nervous for my running partner as it will be his first race.

4. The Tower of Terror 10 miler: Again, these are thoughts from my friend Tricia.

 I loved the whole nighttime, Twilight Zone, Halloween atmosphere. The race begins at Hollywood Studios and heads out toward Animal Kingdom before turning right around and heading back toward the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex where you run through the baseball stadium! This section of the course also includes some of the same trail run from the 5K so runners need to be aware of the many surface changes during this part of the race. From the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, runners then head back toward Hollywood Studios and actually get to run through that park and finish with the backdrop of the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror.

5. The Last event during this race weekend that I am looking forward to is The Disney Villains Hollywood Bash!  It is held inside Hollywood Studios  from 10:00 p.m. until 4:00 a.m. and is included in the race registration. For an additional fee, friends, family, and supporters can also come to experience this event.


 
From what I understand, buying a ticket to the Hollywood bash is the only way your friends and family will be able to see you cross the finish line. I think that kind of stinks. It's the only Disney race ( at WDW at least) that is like that.  Scott did buy a ticket so he can see me finish. I hope to finish the race before midnight but since I am not a night owl, I don't know how long we will be sticking around!
 
 
Do you have a fall race weekend planned? If not, do you have a fun fall weekend planned doing something other than running?
 
We are linking up with April, Patty, and Erika for Tuesday's On The Run where the theme this week is Fall Races!

 

Monday, September 8, 2014

A Peek In Our Week and A Product Update!

Hello Folks! We hope you had a great week and weekend. We used most of last week as a recovery week from our Rock n Roll Virginia Beach Half Marathon last Sunday.

I got a new work schedule so I didn't get my usual runs in that I like to do.
Even though I did take some rest days,  I did get one 3 mile run in and one 4 mile run in.
I also caught up with some college friends and had a girls night one night last week.
My original Plans for the weekends fell through, so I decided a football game might be a great alternative seeing as it was the first Sunday of NFL Football and all! ~L
 
 
 
I on the other hand went another week without any runs, hey, I call it recovery, right?
Even though I had the normal achiness after the run, I was surprised at how good I felt considering the circumstances I've been under lately. I went away from that race weekend with only two incidents, a loss toenail and a bloody shin! That's right, I woke up on race morning feeling great, no hip pain, my chest pains were under control, I was ready to run. Then I hit my leg on the footboard of the bed and I just fell right down. It was one of those pains that you could feel through out your whole body. It stung for a bit and it bled but fortunately it did not prevent me from running a good race. The gash in my leg has now scabbed over and it itches like crazy!!!! ~M

Product Update:
Remember last month we posted an Honest Review of food and drink for Runners


Well we mentioned a drink called Neuro Bliss and Neuro Passion. The Neuro people must have read our post because they contacted us to let us know that they have re-formulated their drinks.

 
They were nice enough to send us each a case to try.

Neuro Bliss - The flavor is Summer Citrus Berry.  This one is still my favorite. I like the taste of this and didn't think the formula changed that much if at all. It was still great.

 Neuro Sonic -Blood Orange Passion flavored. I'm thinking since this is still in a red bottle that it was suppose to replace Neuro Passion ( the one I mentioned in the last post). I can say that this drink did not give me a headache this time.

Neuro Sleep - Mellow Mango flavored. I don't like Mango flavored stuff so I wasn't a fan of this one.

Neuro Daily- Tangerine Citrus flavor. This tasted like lemon lime and reminded me of a lighter version of 7-UP.

I think these are good for a nice refreshing flavored drink, but I did not feel like I experienced, less stress, more energy, or a better night's sleep  ( things they claim to do) because of drinking them. Now the immunity is a little harder to tell. I'll let you know if I come down with something in the next week or two...lol

The Neuro people gave us some really great products to giveaway at our Runner Meet Up in Disney in January. Yes, we are planning a meet up so stay tuned for some more info on it next month.

And speaking of giveaways, we are going to be Co-hosting a Giveaway blog hop with the lovely Kristy from Runaway Bridal Planner.
 
We would love for you to participate by either hosting a giveaway of your own and linking it up with us or by visiting all the great blogs that will be linking up! Be sure to check out Kristy's blog for more details.

What did you do this weekend? Are you a football fan?
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