3/9/14

GWGW–Disney Princess Half Marathon

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Grown Women Gone Wild – Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend (February 21-25, 2014) is in the bag and what an awesome time we had.

 

This weekend had been in the planning since June 2013 when discussing with my BFF what she wanted to do to celebrate the end of radiation & chemo treatment. She wanted to do a race and I decided it had to be all bling, sparkle and over the top fun.

 

The Disney Princess Half Marathon was just the celebratory ticket.

 

And there was no skimping on the bling…from our awesome purple tutu’s infused with glitter (I think I’m still finding glitter in places that there SHOULD NOT be glitter) made by Pattey’s daughter, Candice, to the larger than life tiara’s, to the coordinated tops & socks, to the BEST WINGS EVER – we were blinged out, BABY!

 

We also maxed out on the activities (well, not really cause EVERY.SINGLE.THING. costs a fortune). We went to the Pasta in the Park Party on Friday night in Epcot, where we ate so so pasta & chicken with a cash bar while jamming to an awesome DJ and watching adults and kids alike dance to the latest tunes. We piddled around watching this little girl make dance moves like the next Beyoncé, and missed our opportunity to take pictures with the Disney Princesses.

- As a side note, from our weekend observations, Princess Tiana gets short Tiananewshrift everywhere at Disney World. We had to scrounge to find even a pin of the Princess character in any store – and we went to plenty. She was not represented ANYWHERE we could see during the race. We saw every single other Princess, villian and Prince Charmings EXCEPT for Tiana. Interesting and a damn shame. They would have gotten a whole lot more money out of me had they had some Tiana merchandise. HUMPH.

We tried to wait for the Epcot Illumination show but we were too pooped to party anymore and decided to go back to the hotel.

 

The next day was the Packet Pickup at the Expo which they housed at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports.

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We got there around 2pm and ended up shutting the expo downt. We worked this madness with a purpose and didn’t miss a booth. Whew Chile. We found our names on the New Balance Wall of Fame. We had our pictures taken at the Lady Footlocker booth with the giant fairy wings and tiara, had our eyes checked (and the lady exclaimed to Pattey – “Do you drive at night?!” I was DONE), tried on every brand of compression socks known to man, bought charms, and almost passed out from starvation.

 

After the Expo, we grabbed a quick bite to eat, went back to the Wyndham and laid everything out for our 3am wake-up. Had to be in our corral by 5:30am – AKA – OH DARK THIRTY.

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Sunday morning came real quick and we were off. We had to carry our tutu and wings with us in the backseat of the car as, well, it was a little to cumbersome to drive in full regalia. We got parked and made the gazillion mile trek to the corrals. I swear 20k people did a 3 mile forced march to get to those corrals. Amazing. We were in Corral I and it took 30 min for our corral to get to the Start Line and begin the race.

 

We were off and my girl, who 4 weeks earlier had a surgical procedure and hadn’t ran in 15 months ran this race like a gazelle. I would end up catching up to my junior Kenyan when she would stop to take pictures and whatnot. She was just amazing. The race was fun and colorful – filled with supportive, happy people enjoying a run in the parks. We had glorious finishes and hung out with some women in the Self-Check (DIY first aid) who had a 5 pieces of bling. They had done the 10k & Half earning the Glass Slipper Challenge Medal and had done a half marathon in California which also earned them the Coast to Coast Medal.

 

We were JELLY!

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It was decided, right then and there, that we would be coming back and at least doing the Glass Slipper Challenge (10K & Half) next February. DONE!

 

MUST HAVE THE BLING!

 

After hobbling back to the car, grabbing a sammich from Panera, and peeling out of our compression socks, we took to the hot tub and pool at the resort. It was most awesome!

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We managed to pull it together to go across the street to eat, make it back to the resort and pass out. The FireMarshall skyped me at around 9pm and when he said he wanted to call me before putting Cara to bed, we were like “da hell is Cara up this late for on a school night” –we couldn’t believe it was only 9pm. It felt like we had been asleep for hours.

 

We certainly got our rest because the next morning we were up and our at the Lake Bonavista Prime Outlet and we did some major shopping damage that ended up requiring the purchase luggage in order to get it all home. Note to self – always put a foldable duffle in your luggage – you know you are going to shop!! 6 hours, 9 bags, 2 pieces of luggage later…

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Best time EVER!!! Already looking forward to next year for Grown Women Gone Wild – part 2.

 

I put together a video slide show from the weekend. Enjoy! – We certainly did.

1/14/14

The TravelDiva Swim Bike Run’s…Skip, Hop, Jumps Too!

Most of my friends & family know me pretty well and know that I plan out my run, skip, jump, leap tall buildings calendar out pretty far in advance. See…all this Wonder Woman business requires sponsorship, small business loans or, if necessary, time on the pole.

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Since the New Year, the most popular question I’ve been asked is NOT what my resolutions are but what races/adventures are you up to this year. Well, after a meeting with my coach to develop a 3 year plan to IRONMAN GLORY for my 50th birthday, here is the plan of attack for 2014!

 

PRINCESSHALF                    Marine-corp-17_7k-logo

Princess Half Marathon – Feb                        Marine Corp 17.75K – Apr

 

COLUMBIATRIATHLON RebelRaceLogo 

Columbia Triathlon – May                             Rebel Race w/HardBodies - June

RipItDuWOMENSDU 

MD Olympic Du – July                                MD Sprint DU – August

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                                        IG Rocky Gap Relay Team – Sept

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                                            NUFF SAID – September 2014

 

There will be some grins & giggles races added in cause my coach said so – group training (Icicle Ride, 6 Pillars) – I generally do what she tells me – mostly. Also, I’m waiting to see if I made the second lottery drawing for the NYC Half Marathon March 16th - from Central Park through Times Square to lower Manhattan! WHAT FUN!

 

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Plus I would get to mooch off my BFF Val in Manhattan. Now that is how to race.

 

So, stay tuned for the occasional picture update from all the suffering training and adventures. Really, this is actually what I consider fun. REALLY!

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                                     SWIM         BIKE             RUN

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11/30/13

Product Review & Giveaway–Soy Protein Bars

I was recently given the opportunity to test out a variety of Soy Protein Sports Nutrition Bars. It can be pricey to try all the different varieties of sports nutrition until you find something that you like and works for you. I have usually gone by recommendation or tried something at an expo and if I like it – I stick with it. I don’t venture off the reservation too much and this opportunity gave me a chance to try 4 different bars.

 

I was sent receiving a variety of one Eat-Smart Bar, Nogii Protein Bar, Nogii Paleo Bar and NOW Energy Bar, as well as a “Powered by Soy Protein” Traveler Exercise Kit. 

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Key Information Regarding Soy Protein:

• Soy protein is a high‐quality, plant‐based protein derived from soybeans

• Soy protein preserves lean body mass, promotes fat loss, and boosts satiety during weight loss

• A blend of proteins – soy, whey and casein, prolongs muscle building after exercise and increases recovery compared to whey alone

• Soy protein promotes muscle growth and development

• Soy protein is equivalent to whey protein for building muscle when consumed as part of a resistance training program

Soy protein has the ability to displace fat and sugar calories

 

I spread the taste test over a week either before or after a workout. My favorite was the NOW Energy Bar – DELISH!! The Eat Smart protein bar and the Nogii Protein Bar were very good as well. The Nogii Paleo bar – not so much. It tasted okay, but I couldn’t get through the whole bar. It was too sweet and I have “teeth issues” – I don’t like things that stick to my teeth, so this bar was a NO.

 

You can check out the links below for more information

Would you like the opportunity to try these bars for yourself. Enter the raffle below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

“The products, information and two gift packs have been provided by DuPont Nutrition and Health.”

11/29/13

iCaughtSanta–You can too!

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Look who we caught putting presents around the tree. Thanks to an awesome website  - http://www.icaughtsanta.com/ –  we were able to keep the magic alive for Princess Cara! Love it!

 

Check out how iCaughtSanta and Rudolph in this unique photo opp at http://iCaughtSanta.com using the free code #SantaShare and you can too. While there I entered one amazing #giveaway for a new iPad Air and Visa, Starbucks and Amazon gift cards. But just like Santa it's only around for a limited time! You have until December 10th to use the code and create your own magic.

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You can add Santa or Rudolph to a family photo to create a cool Christmas eGreeting Card, share the image with friends and family, scrapbook it or use it to create a fun button photo for you to wear. Choose from a variety of Santa poses and themes.

 

The free code for is #SantaShare and remember, it expires December 10, 2013.

 

Merry Christmas!

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

11/21/13

Diva Review: Organic Matcha- Green Tea Powder

Organic Matcha

I was recently asked to give Organic Matcha – Green Tea Powder by KissMe Organics a try and provide a review.

 

I’ve heard a lot of my friends talk about Green Tea and it’s benefits, but I’ve never really tried got into it. The over the counter bottles of green tea always seemed to have a weird (but not unpleasant) aftertaste and well, it just never became a habit. Furthermore, I prefer coffee so drinking hot green tea just wasn’t doing it for me.

 

KissMe Organics Matcha Green Tea Powder is sold exclusively on Amazon.com and I was sent a packet along with a 70 page Organic Matcha Recipe Guide for a trial.

Here are the particulars about the Matcha Green Tea Powder:

ORGANIC MATCHA - GREEN TEA POWDER --THE ANCIENT SECRET TO BEAUTY, HEALTH AND LONGEVITY
 
USED FOR:  LATTES | SMOOTHIES | BAKING

ALL DAY ENERGY WITH INCREASED FOCUS
Matcha provides 4 to 6 hours of mild steady energy as it acts as both a stimulant and a relaxant. This is ideal for focusing on whatever the day throws your way.

METABOLISM BOOST
Consuming matcha green tea can increase thermogenesis (the body's own rate of burning calories) from a normal 8%-10% of daily energy expenditure, to between 35% and 43% of daily energy expenditure.

IMPROVED SKIN HEALTH
​Scientists have discovered that Matcha Green Tea helps protect the skin from harmful UVrays, while improving blood flow and oxygen levels lifting the overall quality of the skin.

137x THE ANTIOXIDANTS OF BREWED GREEN TEA
Antioxidants are essential as you age to boost your body's natural defenses against oxidation. Researchers have found that a high level of dietary antioxidants can prevent many age-related diseases.

For a week, my daughter Erin and I made smoothie drinks…

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…and they were DELISH!!! I used too much of the powder the 1st try (using a tablespoon when I should have been using a TEAspoon); however, I didn’t notice a difference in taste and there wasn’t any after taste. I did notice improved energy…I was doing 5:30am boot camp every morning and was not tired or sleepy hours later in the day once I drank my Matcha Smoothie. I was also STARVING and hour – hour and half after as well which might be a verification of the metabolism boost and the only way to ensure I didn’t gnaw my hand off was to add a touch of protein powder or have an egg along with my smoothie. I can’t say about the improved skin health – IMHO, my skin health was already awesome so…I’ll have to consume more and see if it gets even more so. I also like the idea of the 137x the antioxidants because as we all get older, you need to get those antioxidants in to get rid of the free radicals that build up in the body.

 

I enjoyed the product and will definitely add this to my wellness/fitness (and journey to better eating) routine.

 

If you want to learn more, visit www.KissMeOrganics.com and/or at their product page on Amazon.

 

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

10/25/13

A Runner’s Prayer for the Marine Corp Marathon

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Two Days. Sunday.

 

YES, WE CAN!!!

 

Ever since coming back from IM 70.3 Cozumel it has been a roller coaster of emotions – with a bout of bronchitis, then another problem exacerbated by the intense coughing – I have been relegated to the sidelines of training for the Army 10 Miler followed by the MCM.

 

I had nothing but fear, doubt and uncertainty that I would be able to run the MCM let alone the Army 10, but last weekend I went out there with no expectations. All I wanted to do was beat the cutoff times and get in some kind of training – some version of distance before the MCM.

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AND IT WAS A GLORIUS DAY FOR A RUN. I felt great, refreshed. I actually looked up and looked around to take in the beauty of the city, talk to other runners and since I was all back of the bus – offer some encouragement to those who had their heads down. Si Se Puede. You CAN do it. It made my day and quickened my steps when I say Princess Erin at mile 6 and 7. When I saw BK with the cow bell (you NEVER have enough cow bell) at mile 7 right before going across the 14th St. Bridge and off to the finish line, I KNEW I had it in the bag.

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photo 1Now, as I approach Sunday and 26.2 miles- I pray. I pray for me and I pray for my run buddy as well as all the runners who are winners in my book for getting up Sunday morning, lacing up their shoes and putting their toe on the line. WINNERS.

 

Search me, oh Lord, and try me; test my soul and my heart.
For your kindness is before my eyes, and I [run] in your truth.
Psalm 26:2-3

I know I will be tested, but He will be with me every step of the way.

 

The Runner's Prayer 
Father God,
Watch over me Sunday as I run. 
It is the day
and it is the time for the race.
 
Watch over my body.
Keep it free from injury.
 
Watch over my mind.
May I listen to the signals from within
as I enjoy the scenes from without.
 
Watch over my spirit.
Keep my heart and ears open for your voice.

Give strength to my steps

 
Watch over my fellow marathoners.
Remind us that we all are struggling equally.

I believe I am not running or struggling alone. 
 
Lord,
Let me win.
Not by coming in ahead of my friends, but by beating myself.
 
Let it be an inner win.
A battle won over me.
 
And may I say at the end,
"I have fought a good fight.
I have finished the race.
I have kept the faith." 2Timothy4:7
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Adapted from The Ultrarunner’s Prayer by Carolyn Erdman & Jay Hodde

 

See you out there! God BLESS!

10/7/13

Being Relentless - Working through Another Challenge

Relentless- to be a firery, driving force that let's no challenge or obstacle get in the way of a noteworthy goal.
So...I conquered a tropical storm to finish the IM 70.3 Cozumel and was rewarded a few days later with line horrendous, painful sore throat followed up with a chest crushing cough.

I made it through the rest of the week on a bag of cough drops and two bottles of cough syrup. Came home on a Saturday, ran 16 with my MCM buddy, Misty. Everything went south from there with me ending up in the doctors office and having her throw the kitchen sink at me; tsk tsking me at not getting in there earlier; glad that we MAY have caught it (bronchitis) early enough - blah blah blah.

She got my attention when she said no running till I finish the antibiotic. 10 days. NOT GONNA HAPPEN DOC! I have the MCM in 23 days. Ummm, yeah that's not gonna work. More sucking of teeth, a rescue inhaler added and you can try on Sunday.

I get up and go for what is supposed to be an easy 8 miles...and didn't make it 2 before I was sucking on my inhaler and it wasn't doing anything. I coughed my way back 2 miles and spent the rest of the day wishing I'd actually crack a rib instead of just feeling like it.

What to do? I'll put it to you exactly as the FireMarshall did...SIT YOUR AZZ DOWN SOMEWHERE AND BE STILL! Woman, get well, trust that you have a base of training, trust that you are tenacious enough to finish and pick it up when you can friggin breath. *stomps out of room*

Mmmmm...it is damn near killing me to sit still. After training damn near every day for months, going 2 days - 4 days doing no more than going to work...I'm pulling my hair out. 

This has been the absolute worse racing years. Sick or injured more often than not, I have felt like I've been behind the power curve making no forward progress at all.

...and perhaps I should back this bus up, regroup, get healthy and start again. 

I will run the Army10 and the MCM. Will I have put in all the mileage - no. I know I can do the distance but it won't be fast by any stretch of the imagination. If I don't make the bridge, I'm okay with that. I can only do what my body lets me and I believe I'm getting a strong message - LISTEN or ELSE. Keep pushing and we gonna push back. I'm trying to listen...sigh.

Off to take my Meds and go to bed. Ya know, there is nothing cute about a bag of drugs by your side. Not a single thing.

Being RELENTLESS!