Chase:Every:Second

Enjoying every second of life and running.


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Disney World Tips for Traveling with a Pre-Schooler and Toddler

There are MANY great blogs and YouTube videos available on tips for traveling to Disney World that I hesitated to even write about it. However, perhaps our family dynamic and preferences will be relatable to some and perhaps others can benefit from what we’ve learned. Some of these tips may be obvious to folks, but for us they just were not. I felt quite overwhelmed by the all the information and felt like I needed a degree in Disney. We did not use a travel agent and chose to manage the logistics ourselves. Travel agents can be super helpful getting everything organized and perhaps extra perks, so if you have that option definitely consider that as well.

We’ve now traveled to Disney World with our kids three times in a year, including flying commercial. While frequent to some, others are even more frequent visitors than us with more experiences to share. So three trips definitely doesn’t make us experts, each time we learn and see new things. I would love to learn from your tips and experiences, so please leave comments if you have other suggestions.

Dates / Hotels

Our trips were the following months and hotel locations:

  • September 2017 (post major hurricanes) – Polynesian Resort
  • February 2018 – Contemporary Resort
  • June 2018 – Polynesian Resort

There is information about the best times and the worst times to go to Disney World. We ended up seeing a variation of that because of the timing of our trips. September 2017 ended up being our hottest trip so far, February 2018 had the best weather, and June 2018 was our most crowded experience. However, each trip stands out with unique memories as each time we saw new things and tried new restaurants.

This will not be a recap of each entire trip, but a summary of the tips we have picked up along the way that are making each next visit that much more enjoyable.

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September 2017

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September 2017

So in no particular order, here are tips and tricks we’ve done in our Disney World travels:

Tip #1 – Know your family dynamic and preferences.

Our personal preference is to make the trip fit you and not the other way around. I know that’s hard to say based on the level of investment it takes to go to Disney World. Yes there are ways to make Disney World more affordable, but for the whole it can be a pricey experience. The money spent coupled with perfect photos on Instagram/FB can bring a pressure to maximize your experience to your own misery. It’s SO unfortunate that multiple times my husband and I walked around with grins on our faces and noticed how tired and unhappy the majority of the crowd was. Even if it’s Disney World, I desire it to feel like a vacation (even if there are times when it doesn’t). Therefore, we chose to honor some things about our family over the pressure to maximize the Disney experience.

The aspects we took into account were:

  • Our children are young (ages 2 and 4, eventually 5 on our last trip). Our kids need naps/bedtimes to function.
  • Our kids are snackers and our 2 year old will sit still for a meal for about 15 mins.
  • Our daughter prioritized meeting characters for our first trip.
  • I have little patience and my 2 year old has even less, which means not standing in line over 30 minutes, even if that means missing some cool rides or character visits.
  • We knew we needed to fly 2.5 hours vs. drive 16 hours, direct flight is best.
  • We likely won’t be in cute matchy-matchy outfits. As much I adore that in other people’s photos, it just wasn’t going to happen. It takes extra money, time, and stress to accomplish. It was less pressure to make sure we all had on the right clothes and kept them nice, especially since our son is a messy kiddo and it was super hot on 2 of our 3 trips.

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Our first time at Disney World – September 2017

Tip #2 – Bring more extra clothes than you think…add two extra outfits per child, at least

So if you have little ones I’m not telling you something you don’t already know, except above your normal “extra clothes” plan for a trip, add two more AT LEAST. And here’s why that was a lesson learned for our family:

On our first trip, I had an extra outfit for each day for our son, Nash. Little did I know how fast we would go through those extra outfits. He was extra messy eating new foods and playing around on various things. Before I knew it we were leaving for home with one spare outfit left, which felt like I just squeezed by until we ended up having a super long bus charter ride (Disney’s Magical Express) and a long wait to get through security to our gate that Nash had peed through his diaper and clothes. I took him to the bathroom to change into his very last clean outfit. He was so unhappy about this situation he refused to lie down for the changing so I had to change him while he was standing up. He then proceeded to pee when undressed and ruin his socks. So we end up with no socks, shoes, and his last outfit. Then the flight takes extra long landing as they are in the pattern for an extra 30 minutes, followed by a 30 minute taxi to our gate. I’m not able to get Nash changed and it turns out he has again peed through his diaper and pants. Due to our quick repacking of bags, all I have left is a pair of Chase’s PJ pants and a shirt. I have to change Nash in the seat right there and put him in his sisters clothes. He was so upset and kept pulling at the clothes in frustration because he knew he had on his sisters stuff. LOL We are the hot mess express! 🙂 So many lessons learned here. Triple the extra outfits, more ziplock baggies for change of clothes, and definitely more diaper changes when there is time on the plane because Nash drinks more fluids when on trips and he’s tired. 🙂 I can say that we haven’t had a situation this bad again so far. 🙂

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Our first Disney World Trip – September 2017

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Our second trip for Nash’s 2nd birthday.

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Our third trip we had a 2 hour rain delay, but luckily we were just held up in the terminal and not stuck on the plane.

Tip #3 – If you have a toddler, have an exit strategy for meals and experiences

Nash is a great eater and a great sleeper. However, he is not one for standing or sitting still. Our boy is always on the go. He will sit down for dinner, but after he’s eaten all of his food he’s ready to get down and go run. This doesn’t work well for table service meals and there were some character experiences we wanted to enjoy. Also, neither of our kids are very distracted by a tv show or game on our phone. We might be able to get 10-20 minutes, but they would rather go explore than be on a phone. Therefore we have implemented an ‘exit strategy’ plan. Basically if Nash gets too fussy and is disrupting other patrons I will take him to wash his hands or go for a walk outside. Either seems to help him reset and then come back to the table. However, sometimes the meals can take up to 45 minutes to an hour. Nash is off schedule for naps and overstimulated by all the new things going on so he gets fussy even easier on a trip like this. So without a big conversation, I will just leave with Nash and Rob knows if I don’t return to just box up our food, pay the bill, and then text us to see where we are. In some cases we’ve been able to walk around near a restaurant, in other cases we just head back to the hotel room.

Since we’ve finally seen many character meals on our last trip we spent dinners taking food back to our hotel room and it was the best decision ever. The kids were able to relax and focus on their meal.

 

Tip #4 – Don’t stress over experiences being on opposite ends of a park

When planning our first visit I was stressing over which rides to fast pass and should we see and do things in a certain order based where they are on the map. This turned out to be unnecessary. Fast pass have an hour long reservation and I think you can be 10 minutes early or 10 minutes past those set times. Plus the parks are all very walkable (well the ones we saw: Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Animal Kingdom). I felt like rides appeared to be further apart on the map for Magic Kingdom and then in reality it was a very easy walk to the opposite end of the park.

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Our third time at Disney World, but Nash’s first time riding the tea cups. – June 2017

Tip #5 – Research restaurants and balance scheduled meals with flexibility

Each trip we’ve had the Deluxe Meal Dining Plan, just so we wouldn’t have to think much about what and where to eat. I wouldn’t say this plan is necessary, especially if you are like us and don’t need to have a giant meal (appetizer, dinner, and dessert) at every meal or more than one snack a day. Now that we have a good idea of the restaurants we like, I would consider just paying for meals and see if the budgeting is better versus the meal plan or reduce our meal plan category. Here are some other things to think about:

  • Consider Character buffets to maximize seeing characters and getting a meal that works for everyone (note these types of dinners may require more points on your dining plan or separate payment). Not all character meals are the same. Our favorites are:
    • 1900 Park Fare at Grand Floridian Resort – You get to meet Cinderella, Prince Charming, the evil step mother, and both step sisters. They spend more time meeting your family and cracking jokes.
    • Chef Mickey’s at Contemporary – A character filled (Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Donald, and Pluto) and large buffet that has food for everyone. The character visits move quickly (including a fun dance party) that keep things interesting.
    • Cinderella’s Table – The menu for breakfast and lunch are extensive and well done. You get to meet a lot of princesses and the ambiance of the castle is so nice.
  • Our least favorite character meals:
    • Crystal Palace in Magic Kingdom (I know some hard core Disney folks may hate our assessment) – I found meeting Winnie the Pooh and friends a low priority, but also the food was sub-par, and the worst part is that the size of the facility is so large that the character greetings are spaced out far a part making the meal way longer than it needs to be.
    • Lilo and Stitch Breakfast at O’Hana (again I know others enjoy this one) – The best part for us was Mickey Mouse being there. The breakfast is okay and we are not a fan of the Hawaiian juice they offer here. I felt the service was slower and personally I haven’t enjoyed the sit down meals at the Polynesian. I feel the quick service meals are there better at the resort.
    • Akershus Royal Banquet Hall at Epcot – The line just to wait for your reservation is very long and slow. The buffet is has smoked fish and other more unique items that personally I wasn’t interested in trying while being out in the blazing hot sun all day. While you get to see a lot of princesses, the service is slow. Between the long line, slow service, and an impatient toddler I just felt like it wasn’t worth it. I would have rather had a nice quick meal in the park somewhere instead.

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1900 Park Fare (on our first visit – September 2017) The step mother was so wonderfully in character and begrudgedly said “milk” instead of “cheese” since Nash was not interested in taking a photo. 🙂

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Chase asked the sisters to sing “sweet nightingale  which then they required her to sing it first and then then they joined in. 🙂

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Lunch at Cinderella’s Castle for Chase’s 5th Birthday – June 2018

 

 

 

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Chef Mickey’s – February 2018

We get so many photos at Chef Mickey’s every time we go. This one is a lot of food and character experience for your time.

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Chef Mickey’s – June 2018

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Be Our Guest – Magic Kingdom – June 2018

Tip #6 – Never pay for a bottle of water (if you can help it)

So this was a rookie mistake the first time we went. We had our refillable cups from the Disney Dining Plan, but we weren’t noticing the water fountains. We were so thirsty that we kept buying bottled water and not once did an employee tell us we could have a cup of ice water for free instead. I wouldn’t have thought to ask for this, but I found out from a youtube channel that had Disney tips that every snack and quick service spot will provide you free ice water upon request. Don’t make the mistake we did and pay for water if you can help it! 🙂

Tip #7 – Memory maker is worth it

I would say the memory maker is worth the money. You can get professional photos from photographers throughout the park. They sync with your magic band and become available quickly in the Disney World App for download. It was just one last thing to think about that we had photos of our vacation quickly and easily, including photos from some of the rides.

Also we got beautiful photos as a part of the Bippity Boppity Boutique package we purchased.

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Our first trip Chase chose to be Princess Belle from Bippity Boppity Boutique – September 2017

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Our third visit was to celebrate Chase’s 5th birthday. She chose Princess Elena from Bippity Boppity Boutique

Tip #8 – Download the Disney World App and consider other apps to enhance your experience

The Disney World App is a must have. You can manage your fast passes, view line waits, monitor your Disney dining plan, see photos, and more. Plus also research grocery delivery apps and consider adding Lyft as an option in case you need to get quicker transport to/from locations.

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Animal Kingdom – February 2018

 

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Magic Kingdom – September 2017

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Tip #9 – Find ways to chill out for your little one (or for the whole gang)

We spend most of our time in the Magic Kingdom and we’ve come to love the train rides as a way to relax and enjoy the breeze for a good 20 minutes. We also found the Casey Jr Splash and Soak Station in Fantasy Land to be a hit. Nash could splash around on a hot day while Chase and Rob would ride rides. I would do this before a diaper change and then just fully change his clothes as well so he was good to go to the next spot afterward. We also found a playground area at the exit of Splash Mountain that is fully shaded. Nash also enjoys looking at the birds and fish in the lagoon in Frontier land. Also, the baby center behind Crystal Palace is a large, well air conditioned area to get a little one’s diaper changed, fed, etc. before heading back out to the park.

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Tip #10 – Park extra events may sound like a good idea, but don’t forget the dynamic of your family

This was a complete gamble, but we have purchased the extra tickets for Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party and for the Fireworks and Dessert in Magic Kingdom and neither worked out for us. Chase isn’t into scary things so despite the fun decorations and truck loads of candy, she was ready to leave early because she said “I think we should go before I get too scared.” 🙂 Another time then. 🙂 For our June 2018 trip we had tickets to the dessert and fireworks event. You get all you can eat treats and drinks and special park seating for the fireworks. Despite a good nap our kiddos were too tired and fussy to enjoy this. It was just too much too soon. Also, another time. 🙂

To wrap up this post (because I could go on forever about things we seen and enjoyed in Disney), make sure to also consider the following when planning your trip:

  • Bringing a stroller versus renting versus other options
    • Bringing your own stroller allows you to use it during your entire trip even outside the parks and can be an economical option. However, you have to be willing to lug it on and off gate check of airplanes if you fly commercial.
    • You can search and rent strollers delivered and picked up right from your hotel.
    • You can also rent a stroller inside a park, but you are not able to take it out of the park to use as you travel to other locations.
    • Some people purchase an inexpensive umbrella stroller via Amazon, have it delivered to their hotel, held in their name and then leave it or give it someone else.
  • Selecting your parks and park hopping or not
    • As I’ve stated before our family is young and requires a lot of breaks. Therefore we never park hopped and we also never spent open (“rope drop”) to close in a park. We even took time to enjoy the hotel pools and play areas to help the kids unwind for naps and bedtime.

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Aloha Disney – Leaving the Polynesian Resort after our first visit – September 2017

I hope this was helpful in some way, or at least entertaining. I will finish the post with a bunch of character photos. 🙂

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A quick wrap up of 2015 – October through December

Once again blogging is literally the last thing I make time for these days. My pregnancy nesting mode is in full effect that I’m cleaning spaces that have nothing to do with our nursery like our workout room and our utility storage. When I finally sit down I usually fall right asleep versus get on my computer. Thank goodness it’s a new year because that forces me to get a post done to wrap up the last three months so I can start 2016 fresh blog-wise. While in the spirit of nesting, it also needs to apply to my blog. I’m going to remove my Facebook page that relates to this blog. It just seems so unnecessary. I never post to it separately so really it’s just re-posting my blog posts and tweets. I appreciate that some of you have liked my FB page and I hope you understand that it just seems like clutter these days.

Okay so onto the wrap up of 2015:

October was a very full including a trip to Hawaii, finding out that we are having a boy, and Chase’s first trick or treating experience. 😀

First, pregnancy update pictures:

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Some professional photos:

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We got the opportunity to travel to Hawaii with our company because Rob completed his Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU). It was a gamble to see if our 2 year old would handle a 9 hour direct flight (plus the waiting to get on the plane, off, shuttle, and hotel room) and a 5 hour time delay, but she was a champ! Chase was so excited for the flight that she wouldn’t nap. We don’t give Chase a lot of screen time so we came armed with movies on an iPad for her thinking that would buy a couple hours at a time watching Frozen or something else. However, within like 10 minutes of using it should would put it down and want to go back to imaginary play: dumping goldfish crackers into and out of cups, playing ‘house’ with her seat and mine, coloring, etc. Plus she loved using the potty every 30 minutes – hour because she got to see people as she walked by, dance while we waited in line, and then comment on how bumpy it was to go potty in the tiniest of rooms ever.

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Finally we made it and enjoyed 5 days including Chase’s first time seeing the ocean, playing on the beach, swimming in the pool, checking out the hotel animals (fish, ducks, and parrots), our first luau, Chase’s first fireworks from our balcony, and our first submarine dive.

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I’m so glad that we decided to take the trip because every day went really well. I’m also glad that we didn’t extend our trip and push our luck though. We stayed on Oahu and next time we plan to visit another island.

Oh and Rob got me a souvenir, my first Chanel handbag.

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Halloween – Our Princess

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November – full of celebrations of our 12 year anniversary, Rob’s birthday, and Thanksgiving. Plus our first snow and Chase’s first (tiny) snowman.

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December – included 3 Santa visits, 2 decorated gingerbread houses, over 70 Christmas cookies, Hardy’s Reindeer Ranch, Chase’s Christmas Pageant, and the Nutcracker ballet.

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Our baby boy

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And that’s the nutshell recap of 2015. 🙂 Life will only get busier when our little boy arrives. So I’m not setting any particular goals for running or blogging. I want to take life as it comes this year and savor the time with Rob, Chase, and Baby J. I’ll document things twitter (@MrsCJ2003), instagram (mrscj2003), pinterest (mrscj), and blog here and there. Thanks for dropping by to check in!

 


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Da Bears

Sunday Rob and I went to our first Bears game! I got us tickets as a part of Rob’s birthday present. I like to get Rob presents that are something he wants and something we do. I think it’s fun to make memories, especially new events like this.

Me in my Bears hat with baby bump, ready to go!

The stadium

We had seats in Section 113, Row 18, Seats 1 and 2. I got tickets on an aisle on purpose since I pregnant and need to get up to go to the bathroom a 100 times an hour. 🙂 The seats were covered by the seats above, which would have been good had it been raining. We had perfect weather though. It was upper 30s, sunny with a light breeze. Plus being row 18 allows us to have two TVs to view the broadcast and in stadium cameras.

Us in our seats. Game day they gave out Bears scarves.

The sweet potato fries were really good in my opinion. Plus we had hot chocolate to keep warm. 🙂

The Bears did amazing against the Minnesota Vikings and won! The game was so exciting that we were jumping, shouting and cheering throughout the whole game. Afterward on the way home I was so exhausted. I felt like I had partied for three days straight I was so worn out. 🙂

Go Bears!

 


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Deep in the Heart of Texas

About a week ago I traveled for a work conference to Houston, TX. While most of the trip was work, I thought I would share some of the restaurants and my short experience visiting.

One of the first things we experienced upon arriving at the Hyatt Regency Downtown was learning about the Downtown Houston Tunnels. There are seven miles of tunnels underground that connect the corporate buildings. Plus there are restaurants and shops.

It was late afternoon so we made a quick decision to try out a local restaurant, Treebeards. It was quick southern comfort food. I tried the red beans and rice with mashed potatoes. It was filling and delicious.

The second day’s lunchtime meal was at Mia Bella Trattoria was a select your own pasta ingredients. I went with mushroom and sun-dried tomato with farfalle in a basil pesto sauce. It was so yummy and the price couldn’t be beat, $10! They had unique sauces like a mushroom pesto. I wish we had a place like this back home.

And probably the best lunch I tried on the trip was at the Grove. Nestled in a beautiful park, this green building grows it’s own herbs and produce, and filters their water on-site. This place also is dog friendly on the patio, which is a nice bonus.

I had the Crab and Shrimp Salad. It was perfection! The greens and zesty tomato taste was amazing. I also had truffle fries with parmesan. While they tasted like most truffle fries, they didn’t have that addictive quality going and I probably wouldn’t order them again. I also loved that they served a small amount of almonds in herbs (not pictured), rather than bread.

My favorite dinner was the one I got to have with my family. We don’t get to see each other nearly enough. The best part was spending time with my brother, my sister-in-law, niece and her boyfriend. Being with them made me feel like I was back home. I only wish Rob could have been there with us.

 

We ate at one of the best Mexican places in the Houston area, El Tiempo. Every thing tasted amazing! I had green spanish rice, which I have never tried before and it was so good! I had a fish and crab taco that was to die for. I should have cut it open before the picture to show the yumminess inside.

The weather was perfect for early November. Lows were 60s and highs were mid-80s. While I didn’t run outside during this trip, I did hit the hotel treadmill for miles ranging from 5-10 miles a pop. The gym at the Hyatt Regency Downtown is well equipped with Lifetime Fitness equipment that is well kept and maintained. This hotel also had access to the downtown tunnel system (didn’t learn that until the second day). I would say this is a runner friendly hotel and would recommend it to others.


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2012 – Rock and Roll St. Louis Half Marathon – 1:50:11

Race Takeaway: Running with Rob makes time fly by quickly!

Last weekend we made our way to St. Louis to run the Rock and Roll St. Louis Half Marathon.

We met up with Drew and Chrissy for the expo and hung out on Washington Street. They were interested in sushi for dinner and checked out Wasabi Sushi on Washington. I was more in a burger mood so we checked out Bailey’s Range. It was amazing! All of the meats are grass fed, free range, local and the sauces (ketchups, mustards, etc.) are all homemade in house.

We split the onion rings, these are a must do!

And I enjoyed a small salted carmel shake. OMG it was delicious!!!

I also got the Ozark Burger with white cheddar on a pretzel bun. The pretzel bun wasn’t what I imagined. It was hard as a rock and I wouldn’t get it again. So I only had a couple bites. I was so full of shake and onion rings anyways. 🙂

That’s a good pre-race meal, no? Knowing my past stomach issues this would have been the kiss of death, but being on a probiotic pill (as advised by my doctor) really helps. Plus Rob and I were planning to run this race for fun together. So it wasn’t like I needed to be ‘race ready’ or anything.

Sunday morning we were up at 4am and all headed down to the start just after 6am. It was a quick walk from our hotel. The weather started out cold with a brisk breeze and I wished I had brought a throw away shirt. I don’t know why I don’t just pack one for every race just in case because I’m usually cold at race starts year round.

The race started 10 minutes late, which can get a bit annoying standing there, freezing, waiting to just get things going. And then we were off. While I liked having a hat, I regretted the gloves by mile 2.

Time flew running with Rob. We chatted about buildings we saw, cute doggies with spectators, etc. While the miles clicked by quickly, my right piriformis hated the inclines and hills that are through out this course. My leg was not ready for the race, so I had to really back off the pace and it was just a family run more than a workout. We had a good time smiling for the cameras too.

One particular race highlight – I got rapped at! A girl around mile 7 actually starting rapping a beat “you’re running!” and then dropped some beat box sounds. It was crazy! I was like “Did I seriously get rapped at?! She took my mind off the pain in my leg!” Loved it!!

All done!!

2012 Rock and Roll St. Louis Half Marathon Medal

Stats:

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8:25 Pace

2011 – Rock and Roll St. Louis Half Marathon – 1:43:09


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A San Francisco Treat

This post may be a bit longer and all over the place because I want to share all the non-work highlights (other than the SF Giants game in previous post) that we had in San Francisco.

First the most important – running! Rob and I ran on the hotel treadmill, but one of the mornings we went for a run with our work colleagues through San Fran and across the Golden Gate Bridge. Our run was approximately 13 miles, we couldn’t get satellites in the downtown area so our Garmins showed 11.29 miles.

Us leaving our hotel to run down to wharf to meet the other runners.

The run on the bike trail was gorgeous! Such a great scenery to run to. I can’t imagine living in the homes that were right by the bay and getting to enjoy the scenery on runs everyday.

It was a hilly run, but we took it easy and really went out to enjoy the run and take lots of pictures.

Rob and also rode in bike paddy cabs for the first time, which was fun and easy way to get around the conference.

Out for sushi

At the wharf

And Rob treated me to a little memento. 🙂 Tiffany & Co. Black Onyx Bracelet

And riding on our first trolley, in San Francisco no less!

Even with the highlights it feels so good to be home!


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They Might Be Giants

Rob and I traveled to San Francisco for a work event. While the days were filled with work events and trying to keep up with emails while being away, we did manage to get out and do some touristy things, including going to a San Francisco Giants game. We had club seating right by the bay. I have to say AT&T Park is really nice!

The food and drink options were great. I had to have sushi, when again will I get to have sushi at a ballpark? So I got the spicy tuna roll and it was pretty delicious.

The Giants won against the Rockies. I got a really nice Giants hoodie with a zipper and Rob got a stocking hat, both came in handy with the chilly air off the bay. It was such a fun night and definitely a trip highlight.


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2012 Rock and Roll Chicago Half Marathon – 1:54:07

Race take away: I have no gas pedal, I have no go. This is not starting at square one, this feels really off.

Rob and I didn’t have great sleep the night before the race, too many people out late partying and making noise that kept us up. 4am came early and we got ourselves ready without rushing. One thing that was off, my stomach. I wasn’t in pain, but just suffice it to say that I think stress and business is taking its toll again. I resign myself to the likelihood that I will have to make a stop along the course, based on other past races.

It was in the 70s and humid, but at least the start of the race was 6:30am and it was expected to be cooler than the record 100 degree temps that we’ve had lately. Rob and I walked just over a mile to the race start and chilled in our corral. Before we knew it we were off. Rob was swallowed up in the crowd and gone before we even got to .25 mile. I took lots of water at every water stop because I felt thirsty already. I knew I was in for a long day when by mile 2 I just didn’t feel it. I wasn’t in pain or anything like that. My legs were dead heavy either. I was just not there. I had no gas pedal, no go, in no way race ready. I had set a realistic goal. I wasn’t trying to break my PR of 1:35, I was trying to improve upon my 1:51 hilly course half marathon in June that was the race where I knew I had an injury and got Graston’s treatments. Surely recovered from my injury, on a flat Chicago race course I can at least do better than my 1:51. Something in the 1:40s would make me feel like I’m whittling away at progress on getting race ready again.

Alas, every mile was just a slow and painful reminder of how out of shape I am. I had to mentally just call it a workout to keep any momentum. I mentally had to focus on each mile than getting into that meditative happy state that I’m used to. I actually can’t remember feeling like this other than when I’m frought with stomach issues and just wishing for the race to be over.

I would tell myself things like “the last 2 miles will feel so good, when we are running back to the finish”. 2 miles on the way back and it was not the case. I never felt a spring in my step. I just existed through it.

I’m tired of hearing myself talking about something being wrong at each race lately. What is most troublesome is my stomach held together for the race (not long after though), I am recovered from my injury, so there is no reason to feel this miserable and out of shape.

I was hoping for small progress to see I’m on the right path again. I am not a patient person so it’s hard to manage through a bad run when I want to build back my fitness. I have to buck up and just keep moving forward. Hopefully the contiued training and racing will eventually bring about some of the old good feelings again. I’m considering setting some running milestone goals that work from where I am today. Hopefully having milestones will help me focus on smaller goals for a while.

Rob had a strong race of 1:36 and I’m so proud of him balancing work, the basement project and still fitting in workouts to keep his fitness intact.

The medal.

Stats:

1:54:07

8:43 Pace

2011 Rock and Roll Chicago Half Marathon – 1:39:54

2010 Rock and Roll Chicago Half Marathon – 1:36:16

2009 Rock and Roll Chicago Half Marathon – 1:55:44


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Take Me Out To The Ball Game

After the BAA 5K Rob and I got coffee and I started to get caught up on blogging. We then got ready and made our way to Fenway for the Red Sox vs The Rays.

One thing we weren’t aware of is you can apparently bring your own water into the ballpark. We will definitely be doing that next time! I am in major hydration mode because tomorrow’s marathon forecast is 87 degrees. It is going to be wicked hot (insert Bostonian accent here) and it’s not marathon weather at all. So much that the BAA has announced that those who pick up their packet may choose to defer the race if they don’t start the race. They will have to re-pay for 2013, but they will automatically get in at registration time. They issued a strong email warning about anyone who is not in optimal health that they should NOT race. I hope everyone considers their personal situation and makes good choices and if that choice is to race, to just take it as relaxed as possible. It is a dangerous thing and we will all need to be mindful of how we feel, fuel, hydrate and back off the pace. I plan to run now very relaxed and just get this one into the books.

Okay back to the game…

Well for starters we found lobster rolls at the game and it was really good!

The game was great! It’s hard to believe that it was 72 degrees out and that tomorrow could be another 15 on top of that, yikes!

The game was everything we could want: relaxing, eventful, doing the wave, singing “Sweet Caroline”, all good stuff. I even held up my jacket and got on camera for a nanosecond. 🙂 Red Sox won 6-4!! Yeah buddy!!

After the game we headed to Whole Foods for some light eats and then back to our room so I could organize my race gear, stuff to take to Hopkinton, and the bag Rob will bring when he meets me at the family meet up area. Now it’s time for some shut-eye! Goodnight and good luck to everyone at 2012 Boston Marathon!!


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2012 BAA 5K – 23:25

This morning we got up at 6am to get ready for the BAA 5K race. The race was at 8am and it was very easy logistically to get some coffee, a banana and then get over to the start in Boston Common. The weather was about 60 degrees with the highs forecasted in the mid-70s for the day.

Heading out to the race.

We had time to get a few pictures while we waited.

The race size was about 6,000 runners and while they had suggested paces to line up to everyone just lined up where ever they felt like it. Since this was going to be a fun run for Rob and I it was no biggie to us. We were fine with having to run around people and weren’t worried about keeping a particular pace.

Looking towards the start.

Behind us.

Before we knew it we were off. We ran conservative and looked for openings to move ahead. We were able to break through the groups of people and find space after the first mile. There were some good inclines in the race that stayed made a sort of loop around the area. There were a lot of beautiful homes and historic statues to enjoy along the way. At 1.5 mile Rob said “I’m loving running this with you so much and it’s already halfway over”. I agreed, it was so nice to be out running through Boston and I’m so glad we added this event to our trip. We made our final turn from Dalton to Boylston just like the marathon will tomorrow. Rob got to see first hand the feeling of coming through the finish. The finish just gets you unlike any other race. We passed a few more people and were in with a 23:25 holding hands and smiling. 🙂

They handed us a nice medal and a goodie bag with G2, fruit and other treats, not bad for a 5K!

Stats:

23:25

7:34 Pace

Overall: 844/5253

F: 195/2973

F 35-39: 28/452

After the race we headed back for coffee and to get ready to go to the Red Sox game! More about that soon!