Monday, March 24, 2014

The Weekly Chase #3

Another week down.  Can you guys believe that we are almost done with March already?  Where is the time going?   So how is everyone doing with their goals this week?

These were my goals for last week.

  • Complete week one of Camp Gladiator.  I'm loving this new workout and I'm super glad that my friend Liz got me started doing this. - week one complete!  and let me tell you guys I'm loving this class!  It's fun but super challenging.  I'll do a full review soon.

  • Complete a 7 mile run at Flatwoods on Saturday - Complete!  It was slow but we got it done.  Hubby, daughter and I all went.  We learned a valuable lesson too - it's getting hot in Florida, so we must get up early to do longer runs on Saturday.  I'm hoping this becomes a weekly habit for us.

  • Continue to track all of my food for the week - Complete!  This was easier this week without the trip to Epcot.  

So for next week, we are keeping it simple. 

  • Complete week two of Camp Gladiator.  This will only be complete if I go 4 days.
  • Complete 5 mile run on Saturday
  • Continue to track all of my food for the week
  • Get caught up on the blog.  I have two race recaps and a Universal Mardi Gras review to get posted and I'm hoping to get that done this week.
On the weight front, I lost a pound.  I'm half way to my goal.

What are your goals for this week?  How are you tracking your goals?

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

The Weekly Chase #2

Sorry this post is so late, it has been a super busy week.  I started a new workout, Camp Gladiator, and it's keeping me busy.  Add to that a Lightning Hockey game and my daughter's softball game last night and it has been non stop.

So let's see how I did with last week goals;

  • Complete week 3 of the Couch to 5k app. I restarted this program after completing the Princess to increase my run intervals in the hope of one day running an entire 5k. - Not complete. Only did 2 of the 3 days but I did run a 5 mile race on Saturday.  This will be put on hold for a bit while I do Camp Gladiator. 
  • Complete the 13th Annual Bolt Run on Saturday in under 1 hour 15 minutes - Achieved! and ROCKED it!  I finished with a great for me time.  I'll be doing a full recap later this week.
  • Track of all my foods for the week.  - Not complete.  I did pretty well except on Saturday when we went to the Flower and Garden Festival at Epcot where we ate samples at the kiosks.  It was too hard to keep track.

The goals for this week are....

  • Complete week one of Camp Gladiator.  I'm loving this new workout and I'm super glad that my friend Liz got me started doing this.
  • Complete a 7 mile run at Flatwoods on Saturday
  • Continue to track all of my food for the week

What are your goals this week?  How did you do with your goals last week?  

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Walt Disney World Flower and Garden Festival 2014

Yesterday we went to Epcot to check out the Flower and Garden Festival at Epcot.  The Festival started on March 5, 2014 and runs through May 18, 2014.  The event includes beautiful topiaries,  gardens and two fun play areas for the kids.  This year they also have kiosks with food and drinks similar to the Food and Wine Festival.

Here is a picture of the guide map

This will be a picture heavy post as there is not much to say about the beautiful sights throughout the park.  The topiaries start as soon as you enter the park

There were Photopass photographers at some of the topiaries.  The first one was the one below with Goofy and Donald playing soccer.  Disney does not miss out on details, each of the tri-color balls around the field have a different country name on it. 

Sorcerer Mickey is right before the lagoon along with Fantasia topiaries

At the food kiosks, there is a menu of the offerings along with a small garden of the plants featured in the items on the menu.

They also have this amazing sand sculpture celebrating the Disney movie Bears

A popular offering this year is at the American Pavilion at The Smokehouse.  It's the "Piggylicious" Bacon Cupcake.  The description reads "bacon cupcake with maple frosting and pretzel crunch featuring Nueske's Applewood smoked bacon. Rick and Keith were happy to try this out.  They both agreed it was very good with strong bacon flavor.  I had one bite and did not really care for it even though I normally like bacon. 

Another highlight of the event is Tinkerbell's Butterfly Garden.  Inside, not only will you find beautiful flowers and butterflies flying around but also these gorgeous glass flower sculptures. 

At the Buttercup Cottage by the UK, they had great offerings; freshly baked potato and cheddar cheese biscuit with smoked salmon tartare; field greens with plant city strawberries; pork and apple sausage roll, fresh baked lemon scones.  The field greens with strawberry was fresh and light and had a wonderful dressing. It was my favorite offering that we tried.

Lemon scones  and Biscuit with smoked salmon tartare
Peter Pan Topiaries

Mary Poppins and her tea gardens.  Epcot offers a 20 minute guided tour though this elegant English Tea Garden featuring some of Twinings finest tea blends.  You can sign up for the tour at the Tea Caddy.

Winnie the Pooh and friends

Princess Aurora

Princess Cinderella

Snow White and the 7 Dwarfs

The Lion King



Lady and the Tramp

Mrs. Potts and Chip

Disney's Muppet's Most Wanted

The Festival Center is home to the Designer's Stage and Greenhouse Stage where experts and celebrity presenters from HGTV have scheduled presentations throughout the day during the festival.  You can find the complete schedule for the presentations here.  

The Flower Power Concert Series are held at the American Gardens Theatre on Fridays. Saturdays, and Sundays at 5:30pm, 6:45pm, and 8:00pm.  Acts include such artists as Paul Revere & The Radiers, Village People and Alan Parsons Live Project.  You can find the entire schedule here.

At night, the topiaries and gardens are illuminated  

We had a great time at Epcot's Flower and Garden Festival and are looking forward to visiting again.

Have you visited the Flower and Garden Festival?  What is your favorite part?

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Disney's Princess Half Marathon Race Recap (part 3)

So when I last left off (part 2 here)  I had just gotten a great picture at the castle and was feeling great.   Tiana and Louie  were right before the 6 mile marker.

 Then as we were about the exit the park, they had a great photo op with the train and the conductor.

 Snow White, Aurora and their Princes were next.  They had a huge line.
The 10k sign was right past the Princesses.  Disney had DJs all over the course playing great upbeat music.  This one was right past the 10k mark and before the 7 mile marker.

 Right before the 7 mile marker "Let it Go" from Frozen was playing.  I sang out loud.  I apologize to those around me that had to hear me.  My foot started to hurt at this point and I was literally trying to Let It Go!

Keith had moved to an area between the Grand Floridian and the Polynesian and caught these great shots of me on the course.  Check out the crowds.  This was another part of the course that was pretty crowded with only one lane to run on. That trailer in the back of the last picture is a character rest place.  

 Mary Poppins, Bert and a Penguin.  I like that Disney added props to these picture stops.  

This Prince Charming  was singing to us as we went by while his buddies took pictures with Princesses and the Glass Slipper.  

 Lilo and Stich were next followed by Genie with his lamp and the cutest Golf cart in the world.

I got a picture with the 8 mile marker because I was the "Belle of the Run" after all.  LOL  See those buses in the background of that picture?  Yup those are the "parade buses".  I won't lie.... seeing them made me super nervous but I had not seen a balloon lady or even heard they were anywhere close.  So I just kept on trucking.

Mile 9 marker followed by the Heroes, Jack Sparrow (sorry no picture) and Atta from A Bug's Life.

Keith was on the monorail back to Epcot and was able to catch this picture of me just past the water stop.  See my body language?  My foot was starting to really hurt and I was slowing down.  But these races have some magic in them and my came in the form of a lovely lady from Louisiana name Erica.  We were both part of a Facebook group for the race that had agreed to wear pink hearts on our left side of our body so we can recognize each other.  Erica and I started talking. She had hurt her ankle and was walking.  I was so thankful for a walking buddy.  

The 15k mark came followed by the 10 mile marker.  Then came the dreaded overpass "hills".  

 These are no joke. Specially after 10 miles in the heat.  Erica and I kept on talking and putting one foot in front of the other.  Talking to Erica made the time and miles go by faster.  I know understand why you ladies run these races with mothers, daughters, friends, and loved ones.

We got to see the kites again. So don't do them justice.

Right before mile marker 12 was another DJ.  Have I mentioned how much I enjoyed the DJs on the course.  They were just great!!!

I knew we were getting close to Epcot.  Erica and I talked about Sue.  The wonderful lady that is at all Disney races cheering everyone on.  It was great to see her.  

Once we passed Sue, I was pretty sure we were safe from being swept.  We had not seen a balloon lady but it was still a relief to know we would finish this race.   I had never been so thankful to see the Epcot and Space Ship Earth in my life.  The sun had now burned through the fog and it was hot! Hot and Humid.

Keith got these shots of Erica (she's the Belle in the pink compression socks) and I through Epcot.  First at the 20K mark...

And then towards the exit....

 A right turn right before Spaceship Earth and there they were.. the Gospel.  I had read so much about them and knew the finish was close.  

I missed getting a picture of mile marker 13 because my family was close to it but on the opposite side of the road.  I chose to hug them instead of getting a picture.  It was just the thing I needed.  They got this picture as we went by..

Erica wanted to run to the finish so we took off to the finish.  

That's her in front of me and I tried and failed to take a picture of Mickey.

More than 3 and a half hours after I started, I crossed the finish line.  I could not believe it but I just completed a half marathon!!!!  Erica shared our finish pictures with me but of course for some reason I didn't save them when she posted them and I can't find the post now.  I'll continue to look and update the post when I find them.

I picked up this beauty along with cooling towels, water, and the snack box.  I said good bye to Erica and thanked her for finishing with me.  She really did make those last miles so much better.

I went to find my family.  Disney has huge banners with different letters on them in the family reunion area to help you find your loved ones.  We went back to the hotel.  I took a much needed shower so we can could head back out.  We had lunch reservations at Kona.  My daughter enjoyed her dessert (she deserved it after being on the course all of that time watching me).  I can't say it enough how grateful I was for my family's and friend's support this day.  They woke up just as early as I did, stood around for hours, and were so supportive the entire time.  I'm truly blessed to have such  wonderful family and friend.  After lunch, I went to MK to get some pictures with my medal before returning home.

This is a great race and I hope to do it again ... BUT next time, it will  be with my daughter!!