Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 in Review in Pictures

What a year it has been!  There have been some high points (started running) and some very low points (the loss of my awesome mother in law whom I miss terribly).  I just started my running so this review will mostly be non running related. This is super long so sit back, relax and enjoy.

January was pretty uneventful.  I was going to therapy twice a week from a small car accident Rick and I were in on Christmas Day 2012.  I was hoping to be better for the Royal Family 5k in February.  My daughter started another softball season and her team won first place in the Early Bird Tournament.

In February, we lost a beautiful young lady, Cara Biggs.  She was far too young to leave us and will forever be missed.

I was cleared by the doctor to run the Royal Family 5k and this is where I started to catch the running bug.  My daughter and I ran/walked this together and it was so much fun.  That weekend I decided I wanted to run the Princess Half Marathon in 2014 and that's what started my running journey.

March is a busy month at work so it was pretty uneventful.  We did manage a couple of theme park visits and we took Hazel to her first Rays game.

April was filled with fun times.  Krysti and I attended a Lightning game.  The Lightning are a super fun team to watch and the game experience is awesome.

We also experienced Mardi Gras at Universal Studios Orlando.  This is our favorite theme park event (I'll do a full review for the 2014 event) and one of the reasons we continue to renew our annual passes.  The concerts and parade are tons of fun.

May was mostly filled with theme park visits including Disney's Monstrous 24 hour party where we partied through the night in Magic Kingdom.  

June usually means vacation for us and this year was no different.  This year we spent a week in a condo in Panama City Beach with my cousin Alex and his wife Starlena.  It was a fun filled week were we swam, explored, rode scooters, relaxed, and drank.  This was also the trip I discovered the Lighthouse Passport.  I love lighthouses and the passport is where you can track the lighthouses you have visited by getting it stamped.  It also included a map with all of the lighthouses in the US.  On the drive back, we found and got stamps at 4 lighthouses in Florida.

June was also when Universal opened Fast Food Boulevard so we went to check it out. 

In July we celebrated my little cousin's graduation with her associates degree.  We are all so proud of her.  She starts school again in January to pursue her Bachelor's degree.  She is a super hard worker with determination and I'm sure she will accomplish all of the goals she sets her mind on.

We also went to the Buccaneers Fan day.  I'm a huge fan of the Bucs and had high hopes for a great season.  Unfortunately, it was not to be.

August was a big month for me.  I turned the big 40!!  and celebrated in a big way.  I started the day participating in the Wig Out 5k.  Then celebrated with family and friends at Ferg's Sports Bar before finishing the day cheering for the Rays as they defeated the Yankees in a great game.

In September we celebrate a few birthdays in our family.  This September we celebrated Hazel's 1st birthday with a fun pool bash.

We took her to Magic Kingdom for the first time

On Friday the 13th we braved the crowds and enjoyed Disney's Unleash the Villains Party at Hollywood Studios. It was crowded.  

We celebrated Keith's birthday at Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue

October is all about Halloween and I love Halloween.  Normally we visit both Howl O Scream and Halloween Horror Nights but this year we decided to just visit HHN.  We got a multi-day ticket and got to experience the houses more than once for the first time.

We also went to SeaWorld's Spooktacular

We also went on a river kayak trip on Weekie Wachie River where Rick jumped out of trees.

November was the longest, hardest month of the year.  It started out with a wonderful anniversary trip to Washington, D.C.  It was Rick's first time and we were both very excited to explore our nation's capital.  We did a lot in the three days there including museums, Arlington Cemetery, monuments and lots of walking.

The last day of the trip we received a phone call that my mother in law, Jeri, who had been battling cancer for the past four years was in the hospital.  She lost her battle on November 6, 2013.  I still miss her terribly.  She was an amazing women with the best sense of humor that told the most wonderful stories, specially if the stories were about her two boys.  She loved Epcot, Eeyore, and life.

The day of her service, we had the Zombie 5k.  We went because she would of wanted us to go and finish.  
I finished the month by running the Tampa Bay Times Turkey Trot.  It was cold but I finished in my goal time and was super happy.

December has been mostly about training for the upcoming big race and planning to stay motivated in this new running journey.  This is why I started blogging again.  I want to share the things I love about the theme parks but mostly I want to hold myself accountable with my running.  

The family and I participated in the Vanessa Welch Reindeer Run which we enjoyed very much. The month wrapped up with Christmas with the family.  

2013 had lots of ups and down but I'm ready to say good-bye to it and start 2014.  I didn't have any 2013 goals to accomplish but will have 2014 goals posted soon for accountability.  Here is hoping 2014 brings everyone happiness and health.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to everyone!!  

I hope everyone got everything they wanted from Santa.  

Santa was very good to me.... he gave me my wonderful Fitbit

Let me tell you, I love this thing.  I got it a couple of days early and it's so awesome.  It's eye opening how non active I can be on non training days.  I also like the sleep function.  I'll do a full review soon.

I also go some new running shoes

I have some relatively new Ascis so these may not be used for a little bit but I'll do a review once I use them.

Finally for the Disney side of me, I received this beautiful hand painted glass

A wonderful Christmas indeed.

Did you get some favorite running things for Christmas?

Wishing everyone a magical, love filled day.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

8 miles training somehow turns to 11 miles

So this morning I had an 8 mile training on the calendar.  I'm following the Jeff Galloway training for Disney's Princess Half Marathon and the 8 miles were scheduled for last weekend but I participated in the Vanessa Welsh Reindeer Run instead.

I woke up a little after 7am and headed out the door.  I munch on half a Clif Bar  on my way to Flatwoods Park while drinking water.  I had been to Flatwoods once before and really enjoyed it.  It's a flat course with shade and no traffic.  There is a $2 fee to park since it's a Regional Park.

I was under the impression that the full loop was 7 miles long so I took off in the direction that everyone else was headed in.  As I said, this trail is paved and partially shaded, which is great for hot Florida mornings. While it's the first day of winter, it was about 75 degrees outside at 8:30am with about 50% humidity.  The good thing about this is that it may be that hot on race day so it's good to get acclimated to those possible conditions.  

The first few miles were easy.  I soon was at the first water spot that is around mile 2.   At mile 5.5, I made my third stop at a water stop was studied the map that was there of the trail.  It seem there was still a long way to go to make the full loop back to my car.  It was at this point that I realized that the full loop was actually 11 miles long and I still had 5.5 more miles before I would see my car again.  I have to admit this got to my head a little bit.  It was hot, I was starting to get tired and I was only half way done.  I made a decision right there to just continue with my walk/run intervals until mile 8 (my original training distance) and just walk the rest.  

As I trucked along the trails, I imagined myself on Walt Disney World property enjoying the sights and sounds of the Princess Half.  These visions and the music playing in my ears got me through the next couple of miles.  Before I knew it, I had reached mile 8.  I checked my RunKeeper app and was glad to see that I had maintained a high 15 minute mile even with the water stops and the extended stop at mile 5.5.  This made me feel great and gave me confidence that I could stay in front of the balloon ladies and complete my first half marathon in February.

The remainder 3 miles were long.  It was hot.  I was done yet my car seemed so far away. I walked and walked until I finally saw familiar surroundings that indicated I was getting closer to my car.

Finally I made it to the final turn that was the last mile back to the parking area.  The entire 11 miles took me 3 hours 3 minutes and 40 seconds with a 16:41 average mile pace.  I was pleased with this because it was further confirmation that I could finish the race in February.   I was tired but felt good.

So next weekend is 9 miles on the schedule.  I'll return to Flatwoods but will get up earlier to avoid the heat even though it is suppose to be a little cooler next weekend.

There are just 2 months left until race day...............

Who else is as excited as I am???????????