Global Running Day 2017.Β 


Before you ask-NO I did not participate today. But I did wear my favorite Team Sparkle shirt and of course a Sparkly Soul headband

I went back and forth on if I wanted to/should try and go for a run, but not only does that defeat the purpose of breaking up with running, but today also happened to be my rest day. So the universe already decided that would be a hard no. And I’m ok with that, truly I am. But I did spend the day reflecting on the last 3 years that I celebrated Global Running Day. 

3 years I’ve been running. And while I know for most runners that is just a notch in the bedpost compared to all their years and miles, but for me, those years brought a lot of new adventures that I one day hope to get back to. 


So for everyone who went out today to celebrate, I applaud you and cheer you on every step! Maybe by next year I’ll have rekindled my love with running to join you. 
How did you celebrate Global Running Day? 

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14 Weeks of Fitness: Week 1 Recap

A few weeks ago I decided I was going to make the most of my summer. I’ve been sort of all over the place with my workouts and didn’t have a plan in place so every day was sort of a workout roulette. But when I finally got my hands on the PiYo dvds, I needed to figure out a way to make all these different programs work for me. 

So I printed out a summer calendar and use my O.C.D. mind to color coordinate each type of workout from Memorial Day to Labor Day. I included lifting, cardio (not running, it will be different forms like walking, elliptical, biking, and possibly even swimming 😱), Country Heat dancing, and PiYo. And so, my 14 Weeks of Fitnesss summer program was born! 


It officially began on Sunday, May 28th. I stepped on the scale that morning to get my starting weight. 239.8 lbs. πŸ™ But it’s only the starting point, it will only go down from here! 

Sunday, May 28: 


Day 1 started off easy, cardio on the schedule. John and I took advantage of the break in rainy weather we’ve had here in eastern Pennsylvania, and took a trip into Philadelphia to spend time at our favorite place: the Philadelphia Zoo! It had been over 2 years since we had been there, and we loved all the changes they’ve made since then. And all but maybe a few hundred of those steps were taken at the zoo! We made 2 loops around, the first to see everything and then the second after lunch to see our favorites again (like the otters!) 
Monday, May 29:

Day 2-Monday was Memorial Day, which was a nice day off for both John and I so we got up and went to the gym together. The first picture is my face when I walked into Planet Fitness for the first time in 3 months to see all the weight machines were new and the layout was totally changed around! But I still got in lots of arm and shoulder work as well as some weighted squats and even a few Tukish Getups (done with proper form I might add). It wasn’t until I got home that I looked at my calendar, and saw I was supposed to lift on TUESDAY and Country Heat on MONDAY! Whoops! So I did half of the Country Swing dance and called it a day. 

Tuesday, May 31:


Day 3-Tuesday I didn’t have to go into work until 9:30, so I was able to get up and do my Country Heat routine(s). I finished up Country Swing from the day before AND completed Giddy Up for one super sweaty dance workout. Apollo was obviously not entertained with my dancing 😝

Wednesday, June 1:


Day 4 brought PiYo-Define Lower Body. I had attempted to do this about 2 weeks prior and was left feeling pretty unsure on how I felt about it. But I wasn’t going to give up until I REALLY gave it a try, and I’m so glad I did! I always loved yoga, but being a bigger woman I always struggled with taking classes because I’m not flexible or able to do all the poses. But with this program I’m able to get my yoga fix and I’ve decided that my goal is to take an actual yoga class at my local studio by my 32nd birthday at the end of August. I mean, the studio is literally 2 blocks from my house, I have no excuses for not trying it. After I finished on Wednesday I felt so strong! 

Thursday, June 2:


I was a little scatter brained for Day 5, I need to start taking my AMOFit programs and writing out exactly what I want to accomplish when I hit the weights instead of just winging it. But I got something done, even if it wasn’t pretty or really planned out. I’m still learning y’all. 

Friday, June 3:


Day 6 was my first (much needed) scheduled REST DAY. I came home Thursday to these beauties in my mailbox, so I rocked the Mermaid Scales on Friday. And I still hit my step goal of 10,500 before bed Friday! πŸ™ŒπŸ»

Saturday, June 4:

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And here we are, Day 7. Country Heat on the schedule, Giddy Up routine. I even took a video of my favorite part, and even though I’m too chicken to post it on my other social media platforms, I’m trying to be 100% transparent on my blog with this process. Also, I think I look pretty good doing The Cheerleader, and in the end, isn’t that what matters most? 

I won’t be weighing myself again until the end of the month, since I get so hung up on numbers on that stupid scale. But already I feel stronger. And my baby muscles in my biceps and triceps are starting to pop. These next 3 months are going to be hard at times, but mostly I’m hoping to make it fun. I want this to help me make this change permanent, and I’ll be working on my nutrition as the weeks progress as well.

Also, if you want the daily updates you can follow me on Instagram *HERE* and I also made a Facebook page Princess Runs For Sparkle, feel free to give me a follow! 

Breaking Up.Β 

Almost 4 years ago I entered into a relationship. It was totally new, so of course it was exciting. But it was also terrifying. This relationship had lots of highs as most do, as well as a few lows. But for the most part, the highs always surpassed the lows. During those years I experienced so many new things and even got to see some new places. But like all relationships, this one started to lose its luster. 

But I kept on with it, and even with quite a few tears I kept it going. I even took a break recently to see if I still needed this relationship. If I still felt the drive to continue on. And after a month I thought I had missed it because I loved it, but it turns out that I missed it because I have let it become part of my identity. And when something becomes a part of you so much that you don’t know who you are without it, that’s when things start to get tricky. 

Today I tried. And today I just felt defeated. This relationship is so one sided anymore, and no matter how much I’m putting into it, all I get is pain and frustration and humiliation. 

So today I’m making the decision to break up with running. 

I find no joy in it anymore. The thought of going outside to run has be nearing a panic attack. My running shoes are left untouched most of the week. My body, my head, and my heart are in pain when I muster up the courage to try. 

So I’m going to say goodbye. Not forever, maybe one day I’ll rekindle the love I felt before. Maybe one day I’ll wake up and finally be happy enough with who I am to allow running to just be a thing I do, and not define who I am. 

Yes, I understand how crazy this sounds. But I can’t keep forcing myself to be someone that I’m not capable of being right now. There’s only so much you can take before a relationship goes from loving to toxic. 

I Have A Dream-Part 3, The Princess 1/2 Marathon 2017

Hello again! This will be my official recap of the 2017 Walt Disney World Princess 1/2 Marathon. (Finally, I know). This is going to be a looooong read. So go get that second, or third, cup of coffee and settle in.

It’s taken me a while to find the right words to do this recap justice (and I’m a seriously lazy blogger), but I’m going to try and recount the day as best I can, thankfully there are a LOT of pictures to help paint the picture.

We’ll start with that awful alarm going off at 2am. I did not sleep well (or long) the night before, partly from the heartburn I got from eating too much guacamole but mostly from nerves. My stomach was all jacked up. But I got up and put on some coffee and started getting dressed as quietly as I could so I didn’t wake the whole house. A big part of my outfit involved doing my hair so I spent a lot of time in the bathroom making sure I had hair that would make Lottie proud, and spraying the crap out of it with AquaNet. Then I drank my coffee, some water, and tried to get some bagel and peanut butter down without yakking. Finally at 3am I woke up my husband so he could drive me over to Epcot. The drive over was uneventful and all around quick and painless. As we got closer to Epcot there were more signs up to get us in the correct line for runner drop off. We said goodbye and out I got with my check bag to make the mile long walk over to the bag check and meet up with Arianne.


Bag check was super easy, but I still didn’t know where Arianne was so I texted her where I was standing and tried to nibble on a protein bar but my stomach was all knotted up and I only got a few bites down before chucking it. Arianne texted me back around then saying she was in one of the character meet lines by the stage, essentially she was right behind me! After 3 years of online cheering and texting we were going to meet in person! She was with her friends Chris and Tony, so I jumped in line with them which I’m so thankful for because talking with them while we were waiting for the time to head to our corrals really helped me forget my nerves (for a little anyway)

LeiaBelle and Beast Solo/Tiana and Lottie

First character stop: Pocahontas (she rotated out with Merida) but we were on the wrong side of the stage, Tiana was taking pictures on the left side. 

After we got out pictures taken we started the second mile walk of the day, to the corrals. I had read numerous blog posts about it but didn’t realize the truth until we started the walk, it was a slow cattle heard to get there! A lot of that traffic had to do with the last line of port-a-potties before you get on the race course too. The corrals are split into A-P, Chris and Tony were in D and Arianne and I were in O (I felt really guilty because Arianne could have stated up in M, but my POT wasn’t as good as hers so to the back we went)



And then we waited. And waited. And waited. Each corral was set off about 5 minutes apart with mini waves in each one to help elevate some of the mass chaos. I forced myself to eat one of my Honey Stinger waffles while we were waiting closer to the start because I’m so bad about nutrition during a race. And then finally about an hour after the first wave of runners started, it was our turn!


And just like that, we were off on an adventure together! I had my Garmin set to the :30/:30 intervals we were going to keep and Arianne had one earbud in with the intervals connected to her music so we could both be accountable. I had ditched my throw away sweatshirt in the corral right before started, but a lot of other people were still holding on to theirs, and the ground was littered with all kinds of clothing and ponchos and trash bags as we mad our way through that first mile. I saw one woman slip and fall on a poncho, I think she was ok but it did make my dad to see how all the other runners ahead of us were so careless when they disguarded of their throwaways and didn’t think about all the people who would be running after them.

Before we even got to the first mile marker we hit the first water stop. I’m not a huge fan of sports drinks, so I would wait until I got to the wafer and made sure I had some at every stop. And then we saw the first mile marker, and I was so excited, it was Aurora!

That’s a lot of pink…
Between miles 1 and 2 were the first character photo stops of the race, Pirates and Heroes. Arianne wanted this race to be everything I dreamed of, and asked at every photo opp if I wanted to stop, but I wasn’t prepared to stop running and risk facing the balloon ladies before we even got  to the 5k mark. So w kept going, hit mile 2and shortly after we heard the sweet sounds of “caution runners, speed bump ahead” which meant one thing, we were entering Magic Kingdom property! Still trying to master running and selfie-omg

Coming up after that was the mile 3 marker Cinderella and nearly done the first 5k of the race! 

The next character stop was ahead on the right and the line liked pretty long, but I almost cried when I saw it was The Evil Queen from Snow White by herself and MALEFICENT by herself! She’s my favorite villain and was really upset I couldn’t find her to get a picture with her at the Tower of Terror race. But we were still only 3.5 miles into these 13.1, and the line was a good 10 minute wait. So even though it broke my heart, we jumped out of line and I just had to settle for a drive by picture lol 

The first cone alley, heading downhill to run under Bay Lake.
I had heard horror stories about this section of the race, but I didn’t feel like it was as bad as others had made it out to be. Maybe it was different than in years past, or maybe I was still allowing the Disney Magic to keep everything positive. Mile 4 is right as you come up by The Contemporary Resort.

Since we were 4 miles in, and it had been nearly 6 hours since I woke up that morning I had to make my first mid-run bathroom break. Arianne said there was a real bathroom when we passed the TTC around mile 4, but they had it blocked off!! Guess I was going to have to wait until we got into Magic Kingdom!
Which meant one thing, it was almost time to run THROUGH The Magic Kingdom! Right around the riverbend, I mean corner, is the backstage entrance to MK! *Also, why is Lady and the Tramp a mile marker for Princess 1/2?*

 

Running right right down the middle of Main Street U.S.A.!

It was absolutely incredible. All the people lining the sidewalk to cheer on the runners, I can’t even put it into words. 

I only wish my bladder wasn’t forcing me to rush through so I could make the turn towards Tomorrowland and finally get to use a real bathroom!This view was worth the waitCastle picture while waiting to use the bathroomArianne was laughing at me trying to position the castle behind me for this selfie before jumping into the bathroom line.

10 minutes later, we were back on track and running around Tomorrowland and around the back way to Fantasyland. There were a bunch of characters out for photo stops, like Buzz Lightyear and the Queen of Hearts, but we had a lot of time to make up so we just enjoyed the sights. The course took us around the very back of Fantasyland behind Mine Train and Storybook Circus. 

After passing Voyage of the Little Mermaid there was a HUGE line to wait for a picture with Gaston by his fountain. There was no way we were going to wait for that, although how amazing would that have been to act out as Lottie? So another drive by picture was taken.Lottie was heart broken at not getting a picture with Gaston.

Almost immediately after that line was ANOTHER huge line at Be Our Guest restaurant. Beast was out in his revamped eveningwear. As cool as that would have been, we ran past and on to the castle! And we actually got to run THROUGH the castle! ​

​The Fairy God Mothers of The Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique were put sprinkling glitter on the heads of the runners as they ran by, I gladly allowed 3 or 4 to glitter me up. 

After making it through the castle we went down to the right and got out of the way to get our picture taken in front of the castle. Then is was back in to the fray as we crossed the footbridge into Liberty Square and up towards Frontierland where we would be exiting Magic Kingdom to head back toawrds Epcot and the finish.

On the way out of the Magic Kingdom, we passed yet another ridiculously long line. I had a feeling it was for the Princesses and their Prince. And sure enough, we saw Snow and Ferdinand and Cindy and Charming out. No thanks. If it had been Aurora and Phillip and Tiana and Naveen I might have considered stopping and risking the sweeper bus, but we had just hit mile 6, and we still had a long way to go.

The next 4 miles were some of the hardest, both mentally and physically for me. I was starting to get hungry, and even with the honey stinger chomps and the gu I took at mile 6, I knew the second half of the race was going to take more mental strength. Thankfully I had Arianne, and she found her groove at mile 7. We somehow got caught behind a Galloway pace group between miles 6 and 7, and our intervals were different than the group, and we kept getting caught in the middle of a very large group of walkers.

 This part of the course was my least favorite. It was very narrow, since we only had 1/2 of the road to run on so traffic could still get through on the other side. As we came up to The Grand Floridian Resort, we passed by the greeter of the Grand Floridian (whose name eludes me right now) and the penguins from Mary Poppins. There was also another photo stop that had Cinderella’s Glass Slipper  with some footmen. Right before mile 8 we saw the scary “Parade Buses” aka the sweeper bus. I knew we weren’t in danger of being swept, but we still yelled as we ran away and kept plugging along. 

Mile 8 brought a med tent and I thought about getting some advil for the headache that was brewing due to the serious hunger pains, but I headed towards the water station instead and this time I got a poweraide and a water to try and get some electrolytes into me. Mile 9 I had to stop and flip off the mile marker which was Elsa and Anna from Frozen (I also gave them the finger in the Magic Kingdom, they were positioned at the castle but not as a photo stop, I just had to get some aggression out and they are my most hated thing as Disney). Arianne thought it was hilarious.

And right when I thought I was going to have to start walking more, we saw that the Heroes photo stop was right up a head and Arianne ran to get in line. When I caught up we only had to wait a few moments, but it was nice to stop and stretch out my old lady hips. As we got closer Arianne asked who I wanted to stand with, Prince Eric, Flynn Rider, John Smith, or Phoebus. I figured NO ONE knew who Phoebus was (the officer from The Hunchback of Notre Dame by the way) so I announced as we were going for our picture “I want to stand with Phoebus!”, I’m pretty sure I made that guys day because I’m sure everyone wanted Eric or Flynn.

With that photo stop done, I would have been a happy Princess and just kept going to get to the finish. But then we saw the Pirates photo stop had NO LINE! So OF COURSE WE STOPPED! And I may or may not have swooned when Captain Jack Sparrow smoldered down at me and called me love.Lottie almost became a pirate…


And back onto the highway, coming up towards mile 10 and another round of Parade Buses. Again, we yelled at them to go away and ‘not today!’ as we ran past, and started the first of multiple uphill parts as we were finally getting towards the entrance to Epcot. I was fading fast, and as we rounded a turn, we could see the dreaded balloon ladies too close for comfort. Arianne was so incredible, pushing me to keep moving forward and to keep giving my running intervals everything I could until we got inside Epcot where we would be 100% safe from getting swept. Right around there, we picked up a third person to our party. Her name was Jillian, and  this was her very first 1/2 marathon and asked if she could run with us.


I swear, we just kept running up and up for mile 11. And right around mile 12, we started the desent to get into the Epcot parking lot and enter the park! We made it! We were safe! 

You enter Epcot from the side, and we saw one last character stop with Mushu from Mulan, but I was ready to get to the finish line! It was around that time that John asked where I was. He was still trying to find a parking spot with Ashlee and Heather. I was so happy that all three of them (and Hope of course) were there to see me finish! But we weren’t there yet. It was around 10am by then, and the park was open to the public. They had the race course roped off for the runners to go around Spaceship Earth and circle back around to the other side before exiting the park at mile 13.

 We stopped for one last picture, and we even jumped for joy at being so close to the finish!

Then we it that last .1 miles and saw the finish line!

We did it!

(That’s Jillian behind me in the black, she finished her first 1/2 marathon!!)

John, Ashlee, and Heather got there JUST in time to see me cross the finish line, and John was wearing the shirt I bought him at the expo too. Arianne and I then continued walking to get out medals and got a finish photo before getting that amazing food box and a bottle of water.

I then went to get my bag from bag check and met up with my husband and friends. There was not shade at the family reunion area, and I was not feeling great. So Arianne and I hugged like 8 more times and said goodbye, she to the busses back her resort (where she ran into the #PrincessMen group! I was so jealous!!) 

and we made our way to the car and started the drive back to Ocoee.

There are times when I can’t believe that it happened, but it did! And I learned a lot during that race.

  1. I need to eat more before I run longer than 6 miles.
  2. The 10k is my ideal race length.
  3. I have the best friends and husband in the world to support me.
  4. It’s time to knuckle down on my weight loss program and weight training before I try to tackle another distance race.
  5. I WILL be back to run Princess again, but only when I’m ready.

 

If you’ve stuck with this incredibly long post, I thank you. And if you’ve stuck with me from the beginning of this crazy journey, your support means more to me than I’ll ever be able to express.

What’s that one race on your bucket list? Have you been able to cross it off yet? How did you feel when you finally crossed that finish line? 

I Have A Dream-Part 2: The runDisney Princess Weekend Expo

So that last post was supposed to segway into talking about the Expo, but things got away from me a bit. 

I left off with a quick recap of the long road to Princess and the 3 days leading up to the Big Day. 

John and I decided we were not going to rent a car for the week, and just use Uber/Lyft if there was somewhere we needed to go and Ashlee or Taylor couldn’t go with us. So I was slightly at the mercy of others to get to the Expo by Saturday so I could get my bib for Sunday. I also had to make sure I got there in time to do a little shopping at the vendors since my Lottie costume was not complete yet. Thankfully I have incredible best friends, and Ashlee and Heather accompanied me to The Wide World of Sports Saturday morning so I could get my shopping on. 


The drive there was super easy, and it was really nice to see that you don’t have to live right at the start of Disney property in Orlando to get to the parks for your fix anytime you want. Once we turned to head into WWoS, I stated having nostalgic flashbacks of running out of there with John during our first (and his only) runDisney race, The Tower of Terror 10 miler. *please please pleeeeease runDisney, bring that race back when all the construction is finished at Hollywood Studios!* 

I was a little nervous about the time we got there because the kids races for the day were starting around the same time, but that was the best time got Ashlee to take Hope out, and it worked out just fine. We parked and started walking towards the entrance and I saw all the signs for the races up and just had to get a picture with the 1/2 sign! 

I waited YEARS for this!



We then walked over to the HP Field House so I could get my bib and preorder bundle (I was SO happy I did that to elieviate some of the stress of feeling like I HAD to buy some of the race weekend merchandise, I’d read a lot of horror stories over the last few years). There were so many banners up that people were taking pictures with and a lot of really awesome Beauty and the Beast sets. I didn’t realize that strollers were not permitted inside, so I had to leave the girls while I went to get my bib, which took a whole 5 seconds (seriously, so easy)


I wasn’t upset at being so far in the back of the pack, I prefer to be with runners more at my level then feel like I’m in the way of the speedsters. 

 and then I had to go find my way to the booths to get my preorder bundle. It seemed like such a strange set up, but they had a hallway with inspirational sayings from a few Disney movies that I had to take pictures of:

But the BEST part was the wall outside that they had painted a silloute of each princess! I tried to get a selfie with my girl (Aurora) but it didn’t work so well…


#AuroraIsMyHomegirl

I also took one of just Aurora, Belle, and Cinderella (to represent me and my girls) 


After I got my prorder tumbler and ornament I met Ashlee, Hope, and Heather out front of the Field House and off we went to park the stroller so we could walk the red carpet into the J Center and get my tshirt and finally spend some money! 




2017 New Balance runDisney sneakers designed after iconic Disneyland/Walt Disney World attractions. I was sad they weren’t Princess themed, but my wallet and my husband were happy I passed on them. 

The runDisney shirt pickup and official merchandise is all the way at the back of the Expo, so we made our way down into the fray and I quickly got my shirt and gear check bag. Big round of applause for the shirts this year, that purple 1/2 shirt is the prettiest race shirt I have ever gotten! I had plenty of Disney gift cards to burn so we made our way into the official mercy area and I had to force myself to stay away from the Dooney & Bourke bags, they were so pretty! I knew since I had gotten a cup and ornament already that the only must haves on my list were an I Did It shirt for the 1/2 and a new sweaty band, I got a plain runDisney one at the ToT expo and even though I’m a sparkly soul addict, it’s nice to change it up once in a while. I saw one that had Belle on it with the year and decided that would be the winner. I also saw tshirts that had “My Favorite Princess Is My Wife/Mom/Sister/Daughter” that I had to buy one for John. We continued to look around for a bit, but I didn’t go crazy with the merch and hopped in line so Ashlee could go find a spot to put down Hopes carrier.


After I paid for my items I couldn’t find the girls right away, so I wandered around a bit and had a nice couple take my picture and I took theirs for them in return 


I then ran over to the Sparkle Athletic booth so I could get my pink sparkle skirt and visor to complete my costume! While in line I saw they had their Princess In Training trucker hats for $10 with any purchase…heck yes don’t mind if I do! After saying hi to Carrie, Elise, and Kelly I texted Ashlee and Heather to find them so we could start heading out. I could have spent hours there looking at everything but I was feeling guilty for dragging my non-running friends here. We met back up and on our way out was the Sparkly Soul booth, Heathe had been eyeing up my headbands all week and asked if they really stayed on. I swore up and down that they did and Heather bought her first one that day! (I also gave Ashlee one of my duplicates because I watched mama mess around with those cloth ones all week and couldn’t take it anymore) 


Expo swag is the best!

As we were heading back up the stairs we saw the most gorgeous Beauty and the Beast backdrop with the rose that you could get your picture taken with, and since Ashlee IS Belle, we waited the few minutes to get a picture.

And one last selfie for the road….


Then it was back to the car and home to rest the legs and try to calm the nerves. We went to this amazing hole in the wall authentic Mexican restaurant for dinner and I had fish tacos and guacamole…so not a good idea. Not sure if it was the guac or the nerves or all of the above, but I had major heartburn that night. Not the best way to start the night before an early wake up!

I did get my Lottie costume completed before bed, layed out my #FlatJenna 


and got my bags altogether for the morning, my saint of a husband agreed to drive me to Epcot at 3am so I didn’t have to try and find an Uber the early and ride alone with a stranger. So I said good night at 8pm to go lay down, I maybe got 3 hours of sleep I was so nervous. But I wasn’t going to let that keep me from finally making this dream of mine a reality! πŸ’‹

What’s that one purchase you HAVE to make at a race expo? What booth do you have to stop and check out? 

I Have A Dream:Part 1-The Long Road To Florida.

IMG_0385[1]There really are no excuses, 2016 was a bit of a whirlwind of emotion and my running really didn’t go the way I had hoped it would. I had set a goal of 12 races in 12 months, thinking that would help me to really jump start my weight loss goals and turn me into one of those super runners that I follow on social media. Needless to say, neither of those things happened. I essentially just burned myself out. Which is not what I wanted to happen when I signed up for my dream race in July-the 2017 Princess 1/2 Marathon in Walt Disney World. (Quick side note-I was really on the fence about signing up for this race, another moment of self sabotage, but a few nights before registration I get a message from my friend Arianne that I needed to look on Facebook. Long story short, she had been in contact with my husband who was telling her that I was having doubts about running the 1/2, so she had to speed up her original plan to show up on race day and surprise me, and she posted a video explaining how the Princess races were the very last on her list of runDisney races, but she had just signed up to run  the 1/2 through a charity so that she could run WITH ME. I’m still blown away by her incredible heart and this friendship that started on Instagram to become so much more.)

 

 So, I registered. And basically stopped running. I was so uninspired, but I knew I had to get ready. I wasn’t going to let Arianne down. It was Arianne who got my butt back out there and running in December when we had a few weeks of mild weather. we had been talking about what intervals we wanted to use during the race, and she was a little leery to commit to 1/1, so I used the playlist she sent me with the :30/:30 intervals mixed right into the music, and that playlist was a game changer! I was able to get up to 9.3 miles in as my longest training run 3 weeks before John and I left for Orlando. This entire vacation was SO weird for me. We were NOT staying on Disney property this time *gasp*, we would be staying with our friends Ashlee and Taylor at their house in Ocoee. We also had NO PLANS TO GO TO THE DISNEY PARKS! *hyperventilating* Plus I was already getting nervous about the race, so needless to say, this week would be interesting.

John and I touched down at MCO around 8:30pm and Taylor was there to collect us and take us to their house. When we got there we were introduced to the newest Wright family member, the first Bean Sprout-Hope! (Ash had called me on my birthday in August to tell me she was 3 months pregnant and the original due date for the Bean Sprout was supposed to be the Friday before the race! I was happy that Hope made her debut before we arrived though so that way new mommy and daddy had some time to get used to the change and also so I could be there to meet her!) Our friend Heather was due to arrive late Thursday night, so we just spent Wednesday hanging out around the house (it also rained most of the day), and then went on a tour of the area so John and I had more of an idea of what its like down there (the idea of moving to Florida is growing more to a ‘when’ and not an ‘if’ everyday.) We then had a late lunch? early dinner? at a local brewery that had some food booths inside as well. Hope truly is a product of her parents, she slept the entire time we were there and wasn’t bothered by the noise of the people or the ska music being played (Proud Auntie Moment).

Enjoying the wonderful pillow that is Uncle John
Thursday was the only day that John and I had anything scheduled, we took the opportunity to go and check out Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure! Neither of us had ever been there before, obviously, since anytime we are in Orlando we stay on Disney property and can never seem to break away from tradition. But we are both big Harry Potter fans, and The Wizarding World of Harry Potter had been calling to us for quite some time. We had a really great time that day, even with a really bad Uber experience in the morning. We started at IoA and made our way over to Hogsmeade and had lunch at The Three Broomsticks. Ambiance and Theme= 9, Food=3. Really underwhelming food, that’s at least something we believe Disney does better. After lunch we took The Hogwarts Express, which was REALLY cute. As a Potterhead I was really geeking out. I was incredibly impressed with how they made Kings Cross Station look so authentic to London. The best part of the whole day was walking ‘through’ the wall into Diagon Alley. It really made you feel like you just transported into the Wizarding World. After a few hours we returned to the Muggle world and went to find something to eat for dinner since out lunch had left us less than satisfied. As we were walking around the wind started picking up again, and I got cat-called at from Beetlejuice , which I’m not going to lie was pretty rad. We ended up at Mel’s Diner eating typical drive-in food complete with milkshakes. After we ate we went back to Diagon Alley to get a frozen Butterbeer and take the Hogwarts Express back to Hogsmeade. The wind was still wiping around and it was starting to drizzle as we were leaving the parks and attempting to find our Uber back to Ocoee. There was still so much we didn’t get to do at Universal, which means we will definitely be back

Hufflepuff wife and Gryffindor husband πŸ’›β€οΈ

All aboard!


Heather arrived shortly after John and I got home, and we had some big plans for Friday. Taylor’s birthday was on Friday and Ashlee had made plans to have her mom come and watch Hope for a few hours so we could take Taylor our for dinner. We had reservations at Planet Hollywood at Disney Springs. I was really excited because John and I hadn’t seen Disney Springs since they finished all the renovations. We had a really great time at the new Planet Hollywood (I actually had not been there since Spring Break 2007 with Ash and Heather and I was running out of money so I made the super smart decision to have my dinner be a margarita….) and then walking around DS. They had a lot of runDisney banners up all over and it was not helping my nerves! When we got home that night, the girls and I decided we would go to the Expo tomorrow morning so I could get my bib and do a little shopping so I could finish my costume. Hopefully once I got that done, the knot in my stomach would loosen up a little bit. I was really excited to get over to the expo in the morning and get this dream to finally start feeling like a reality!

Belle-Cinderella-Aurora, back at Planet Hollywood 10 years later! 
Yes, I wore my oofos with my dress to keep my feet from hating me 

 

 

So I Did A Thing…

So if you know ANYTHING about me at all, it’s most likely that I’m OBSESSED with Disney. Disney movies, Disney characters, Disney parks, even Disney races. 

But my biggest obsessions are the Princesses. For as long as I remember, and even before that from what my mom used to tell me, I have loved all things pretty, and sparkly, and Princessy. Even when I got older and it wasn’t “cool”, I was still watching Disney movies and I even assigned each of my friends a Princess and we still refer to ourselves as that Princess to this day.


You may call us Jasmine, Aurora, Cinderella, and Belle πŸ‘ΈπŸ»πŸ‘ΈπŸΌπŸ‘ΈπŸΌπŸ‘ΈπŸ»

 My wedding was even Disney themed and I assigned each bridesmaid as a different Princess as well. 


Ariel, Belle, Tiana, Aurora, Rapunzel, Cinderalla, and Tinkerbell (they didn’t have any more princess wands!)

“Where is this going Jenna?” Yes I know, slightly off topic, but I’m getting to the point I promise!

And then sometime around 2006-2007 I found out that in February each year, Walt Disney World hosts a PRINCESS THEMED HALF MARATHON! Even though I had never run a mile EVER in my life, k made a vow that one day I would run that race. 

And every year I would say “next year”. For YEARS I did this. Then I actually started running in the summer of 2013 and realized JUST HOW FAR 13.1 miles is…and I knew I would need to put in some serious training to make this dream happen. So I convinced the hubby to sign up for a 10 mile race at WDW- The Twilight Zone Tower Of Terror 10 miler that has since been done away with due to construction over at Hollywood Studios *sigh* I LOVED every single second of that race and knew that my dream of running Princess would DEFINITLY happen soon! 

I was 100% ready to sign up last July for February 2016, but my husband’s family wanted to take a big family vacation to WDW over Easter Break in March of 2016. Womp womp. So I would have to wait another year, 2 trips to Florida in 5 weeks is just not doable for us. 

So I have been counting down the days, hours, seconds to today-July 12. Registration Day. And all the stars must have aligned, because I actually have this week off work so I didn’t have to stress about being in front of the computer at noon. 

I got up and met my dad at the gym and did a 30 minute incline walk in my Aurora Raw Threads tank and Pink Princess Sweaty Bands headband. 


When I got home I was still a ball of nerves, you hear so many horro stories of people not getting in before they sell out, so to try and calm the nerves I made another) cup of coffee in my Aurora mug, threw on my Tiana water lily Raw Threads shirt, and my Aurora Mickey ears for double the Princess juju! I also put on Sleeping Beauty and The Princess and the Frog to keep my mind off the mad rush. 


And after refreshing a gazillion times, by 12:02 I was filling out all my info and I might have “accidently” checked the box for the presale Tervis tumbler and ornament 😳 But I figure better to buy now and return at the expo if I don’t like them instead of trying to get anything at the Expo on race weekend. 

And by 12:06 I was checked out. 


And just like that. My dream is finally coming true!

BUT!! That’s not even the ✨BEST✨ part! 

About 2 weeks ago I was talking to my friend, Arianne, about the idea of running for a charity and how to go about fund raising for such a thing. And then she tells me to check Facebook and she had just posted a video saying she was going to be RUNNING THE PRINCESS HALF WITH ME!!! I was a weepy mess. You see, I have never met Arianne. We started out cheering for one another via Instagram for various runDisney races. From there we became Facebook friends and we talk quite a lot over text and Facebook but since she lives in Miami with her husband and daughters we have only ever joked about running a race together. She was SO no into the idea of running Princess, she’s been trying to get me to do a Star Wars or Wine and Dine (before it became a morning race). We have virtually raced though, she joined Team Hundred Acre Wood 2 years in a row and ran 4 miles in honor of my mom (which still gets me all kinds of emotional!)

But she told me that she had been planning and plotting to signup via charity for Princess and text me that morning to surprise me and run with me! She had even been talking to my husband about it! (It’s scary how good he is at keeping secrets). She is raising money for such a beautiful cause called Sophia and Madigan’s Playground. You can read more about it HERE 

So I not only will be running my Ultimate Bucket List race, I’ll get to do it with my best running friend and she gets to raise money for this incredible organization! I will leave the link to her donation page HERE πŸ’–

So this ended up being a pretty random long post, but now the fun really begins-getting my but back in running shape. 

What is at the top of your bucket list? Will you be at Princess 1/2 2017?