Archives for March 2013

Weekly Recap: March Week 4 2013

Happy Easter! I hope everyone has a great Sunday. This is a very important day to me. Jesus is risen and the reason we celebrate! We are headed to church then lunch with the family before heading back to Mississippi. Here is a recap of my workouts this week. It was a race week, so I took it easy.

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Sunday: 6.2 mile run plus 3 mile run total of 9.2

Monday: body pump

Tuesday: 2 miles of speedwork

Wednesday: 3.1 mile run (5k PR! 27:30) and chest/triceps

Thursday: walked the dogs

Friday: rest

Saturday: Crescent City Classic 10k road race

I know I said I had a runDisney going up tomorrow, but instead it will go up Tuesday and my Crescent City Classic 10k recap will go up tomorrow. Both will be fun posts you won’t want to miss! Happy Easter, go spend time with your family!

*Tine Featured me over on her blog, go check it out! 

QOTD: Who has fun Easter plans or traditions?

Weekend Ramblings: March Edition

Good morning! Today I am running the Crescent City Classic 10k in New Orleans. It is only my second 10k, with my first being the same race back in 2009, so I am excited! We will also be spending Easter weekend with the fam, and I am excited to see them as well. Be sure to follow me on Twitter, Instagram, and Facbook as I will be updating those accounts with all the race day fun!

Also…

1.) Be sure to check out my new “runDisney” page on the top menu bar. It has been a work in progress and will continue to be, but now you can see all of my runDisney posts in one place.

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2.) Join in my Challenge Loop April cross training challenge! It’s easy and free to sign up, and you can win really cool prizes. What do you have to lose?

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3.) Happy Easter weekend! This weekend is super important to me, and holds very special meaning. I will be a bit more scarce on social media as I spend time with my family and time at church, reflecting on what the meaning of this special day is tomorrow.

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4.) I have a fun runDisney post going up on Monday with some insider information so be sure to come back and check it out!

QOTD: Will you be doing anything special this weekend?

How to Get More Blog Readers

 

After the post I wrote about starting your own blog, I had a lot of questions along the lines of “ok, I started my blog, but how do I get readers?” Great question. Keep in mind it won’t happen overnight. The numbers I used to get excited about for a whole day on my blog are now what I get in an hour. But it took time, and lots of hard work. Here are a few simple things you can do to start building your pageviews.

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1.) Pinterest Pin It Button for Images. Pinterest is a great way to get traffic, but you have to use it effectively. That is a whole other post in and of itself, but this free WordPress plugin puts a pin it button on your picture when you hover over it (like on my blog) so readers can pin any photo on your post.

2.) Comment on Other People’s Blogs. While you are sitting around waiting for a blog comment…so is everyone else. So take some initiative, and go comment on some blogs! I try to hit at least 5 in the morning and 5 in the afternoon/evening, more if time allows. Also I try to read NEW blogs and mix them in with old favorites. You will start to see people clicking over to your site from a comment you wrote on another blog!

3.) Interact with your readers. No one wants to feel like they are talking to an empty void, so try and reply to comments when you can.

4.) Be active on Twitter. I avoided Twitter like the plague when I was first blogging because I didn’t understand it, but now it’s my preferred form of social media and I get a ton of pageviews from it daily. Don’t just talk about your stuff, but engage in conversation with other people and make some friends! Also, twitter chats are a great way to get exposure, more followers, and readers.

5.) Host a giveaway. This may cost you a little money, but could be worth it. You may even be able to get someone to donate a product. Put a post up announcing your giveaway and have people enter, and share about the giveaway as an additional entry. That way, you get extra exposure! (I use Rafflecoptor, so easy!)

6.) Write a guest post. A lot of bloggers will put out a call on their blog or on their Twitter or Facebook asking for guest posters. This is a great opportunity for you to be seen by new readers and get exposure on a more experienced blog. It takes a little time to write that extra post, but is definitely worth it if you are guest posting on more known blogs!

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7.) Sprinkle in other forms of social media.  There are so many to choose from. Instagram, YouTube, Periscope, Facebook, etc. are all great ones to get involved with to make new friends and get new followers.

don’t forget, I highly recommend becoming self hosted. I use Bluehost, and WordPress is free through them, and the prices are very very reasonable, and it is pretty user friendly. Click the image below for more info:


 

QOTD: What is your best tip for getting more pageviews on your blog?

Favorite Disneyland Restaurants

I have only had the pleasure of going to Disneyland once (twice come Labor Day Weekend for the Dumbo Double Dare!) but when I was there, we were able to eat at some fabulous restaurants. I don’t want to make one post per restaurant or go into a ton of detail, but I wanted to share with you all my favorite five table service Disneyland restaurants and why I loved them. Can’t wait to eat at some of them again this summer!

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1.) Napa Rose: Hands down the best meal of the trip. It reminded me somewhat of Citrico’s in WDW which I love. The service was impeccable, the food was delicious, and the atmosphere was relaxing but sophisticated. We ate here the last night of the trip and it was a great way to end a wonderful week.

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2.) Blue Bayou: This one wins the top prize for best theming. What a cool idea to have a ride pass by the guests eating at the restaurant. The theming is amazing, feeling like you are outside under the stars, on the bayou eating dinner. We loved the ambiance and the food was good for this Cajun girl, too. We asked to be seated by the water, and got to watch the boats full of riders float by into the Pirates of the Caribbean ride.

BlueBayou

3.) Steakhouse 55: This restaurant is a fancy place at the Disneyland hotel. It has a beautiful waiting area and the restaurant itself is quite swanky. The food was top notch here, I would put it as second best in the food category food under Napa Rose.  The mac n’ cheese was amazing. order it. Seriously.

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4.) Café Orleans: Café Orleans is a quaint little place in Orleans square with an adorable outdoor eating area. I love that the weather in southern California is so mild that there is lots of outdoor seating at Disneyland. We sat outside and people watched and ate gumbo and other goodies under an umbrella. it was peaceful, and a perfect lunch spot. This says a lot coming from a New Orleans native who is usually very critical of places claiming to be “New Orleans-Y”

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5.) Storyteller’s Café: This was the first dinner we ate after arriving in Disneyland. It is at the Grand Californian where we were staying, and I had actually eaten here before with a friend. Bobby loves a good buffet, and this one while not huge, had a lot of delicious food that we both love. It has a light and childlike atmosphere while still being beautiful!

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I plan to revisit all five of these restaurants when we return to California in August. I also can’t wait to try out some new ones as well! If you have any questions about these restaurants or would like Disneyland tips or info please e mail me!

QOTD: Have you eaten at any of these places? Which one looks the more appealing to you? Do you have a different Disneyland favorite?

Crescent City Classic 10K

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Back when I first started running in 2009, The Crescent City Classic was my very first “big race”. I had only ran one other race before that, a 5 miler, so I was very nervous about such a huge event. Luckily, I ended up having a blast and went on to run many more races. It has been since 2009 that I last ran the CCC, so what better year to get back to it and run in my home state than on the special 35th anniversary year! This year is different for a lot of reasons other than the fact that it’s an anniversary year.

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Bobby and I from the 2009 CCC.

For starters,  The race has a new title sponsor, the Allstate Sugar Bowl. There is a new host hotel, the Hyatt Regency downtown. This is also where the expo will be held (new location) on Thursday and Friday from 10:00 to 8:00 pm. (you can still register for the race at the expo!) The expo is open to the public and will showcase tons of fitness gear as well as host speakers and sessions. Be sure to check out the schedule. The expo is where you will pick up your bib and awesome new race shirt.  Also new this year is the starting/assembly area. The race will me making use of the awesome Champion’s Square downtown by the Superdome. Parking will be available at the dome for $5 a car, just take the Superdome exit off of I-10.

Another “new” thing for this year’s event is that the race will have corrals for the first time ever. Check out the starting area map for information on the breakdown of starting areas. Along with the new starting area is an all new race course! New Orleans is a great place to run a race because the weather will be mild and the course is SUPER flat. The course runs through the French Quarter and finishes outside of Tad Gormley Stadium. After you finisht he race and collect your awesome finisher’s medal, it’s time to celebrate at the Michelob Ultra Post-Race festival.

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(photo courtesy of Larisa)

The festival is from 8:30 am – 1:00 pm at the Practice Track in City Park. Runners have free access, and family/friends are $5.  Free food, beer, water, and fruit will be served.  Live entertainment by Papa Grows Funk and Marc Broussard, as well as an Awards Ceremony, will take place on the main stage.  This is a great family event and the weather is supposed to be awesome this weekend. If you are on the fence about registering, come on down to the expo and sign up, you won’t want to miss this huge party and 10k race. I will be there with bunny ears on, ready to go!

QOTD: Thoughts on the 10k race distance? Are you racing this weekend?

Cross Train or Remain the Same Challenge

I am going to be hosting a challenge for the month of April on Challenge Loop. It’s called “Cross Train or Remain the Same”. Why this challenge? This is something runners and non-runners can participate in for one thing. Particularly for runners, we have a bad habit of wanting to just run all the time and not add any cross training into our schedules. This can lead to burn out and injury. Some days your running muscles just need a rest, but you can still get in a good burn and strengthen other muscles by cross training. Cross training can be anything from yoga, to hiking, to riding your bike. So for the month of April I challenge YOU to cross train twice a week.

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PRIZE:

Prizes? Oh yes, I will be randomly drawing a winner for a prize at the end of the month from the pool of participants. The winner will receive a Sony wireless Meb Keflezighi, water resistant MP3 player (value $70) Plus a surprise pack of some of MY personal favorite workout and running essentials (value $50).

DETAILS:

The challenge will run April 1 – April 30, 2013 and the official hashtag for the challenge is #CrossTrainOrRemainTheSame. To be eligible to win the prize, you must post on the challenge page at least 8 times. (Be sure to use the hashtag if you tweet about your workout!)

SIGN UP:

Sign up is free on Challenge Loop.

1) The easiest way to sign up is to go straight to my challenge link. Once you  click through you will be able to accept on that page.

2) You can also download the iPhone app “ChallengeLoop”, look for my challenge under “Prize Challenges”, and then accept from there. It’s super easy to check in from your iPhone. If you don’t have an iPhone app, you can still participate on the website!

So all you have to do to be eligible to win is cross train 8 times in the month of April and post on the challenge page each time you do so for a total of at least 8 times. May 1st I will randomly draw a winner and post their name on my blog. Remember, cross training can be any form of cardio workout that isn’t running. Let’s have our whole bodies be strong and in shape for the month of April! Good luck, go and sign up now!

QOTD: Favorite form of cross training?

What’s in Your Fitness Closet

Brian from the Pavement Runner challenged us to show the world what we have in our fitness closet. It could be running clothes, yoga pants, bike shorts, you name it. I happen to have workout clothes all over the place, so decided to film a vlog showing some of my collection.

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First, a couple of photos. I have an insane amount of RunningSkirts.com gear. (Being a sales rep for them will do that to you!) It started as just a little corner of my closet and kept growing and growing! (This was taken post run so excuse my red face!)

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Skirt fans! get 15% your entire runningskirts.com order by entering code “SKIRTSASS” at checkout!

 

There you have it, just a sneak peek of my fitness clothes. It would have been a llloonnggg video had I pulled everything out! Be sure to head over to Pavement Runner’s Blog to see what other people have in their fitness closets.

QOTD: Do your fitness clothes take up more room in your closet/drawers than regular ones?

Weekly Workout Recap: March Week 3 2013

Happy Sunday! How has your weekend been? Yesterday was our relaxing rest day, and today I am running 6 miles and doing some housework. It’s been gloomy and humid here and supposed to get chilly again this week (hence everyone getting sick!) So far we are hanging on to our health fairly decently.

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Here is what my workouts looked like this past week:

Sunday: rest

Monday: body pump one hour

Tuesday: 5 mile run, legs, abs, biceps

Wednesday: 45 minutes stationary bike, triceps and abs

Thursday: rest

Friday: 3 mile run, triceps

Saturday: rest (switched workout to Sunday this week)

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I am super proud of myself for sticking with body pump. I am also still using my Fitbit Zip to track my steps, distance, calories during the day. I know it’s a little off but use it more of a “guide” to keep me on track with my movement during the day. My plan for this next week is to stick with body pump, but ramp up my mileage a bit. I want to run 6 miles tomorrow, so that will be the longest long run I have done since Princess. Hopefully I haven’t lost too much of my fitness. I may be racing next weekend, still waiting to find out. My plan is to do more work on abs and legs as swimsuit season approaches!

QOTD: Do you spring workouts look different that your winter ones? How?

Disney Springs

You may have already heard the exciting news that Disney is revamping Downtown Disney and giving it a new name: Disney Springs.

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(source)

The revamped area will replicate turn-of-the-century lakeside towns of Florida. True to the new name,  and Disney’s love of storytelling, the area will focus around an all new “town center”, with several bubbling springs leading to three other areas called The Landing, Marketplace, and West Side. The new construction will expand from the current 75 shops and restaurants to 150! The expansion will be starting next month and should be complete in 2016. There will also be two parking structures added, which I am happy to see because quite frankly, the parking lots and traffic can get dicey at certain times of the day. So glad to see Disney is wanting to improve this!

I took the following information from wdwnews.com regarding the three new areas:

  • The Town Center, which offers a sophisticated mix of shopping and dining along with a promenade where guests can relax, refresh and reconnect.
  • A colorful and thriving commercial district called The Landing with inspired dining and beautiful waterfront views.
  • The family-friendly Marketplace that will continue to delight guests of all ages by combining new experiences, such as an over-the-water pedestrian causeway, along with classic Disney favorites, including an expanded World of Disney store.
  • A West Side that provides an exuberant atmosphere with lively entertainment, along with a series of new elevated spaces that provide both shade and an overlook to the activity below.

 

I was so excited when Splitsville opened, and now a whole new revamping of Downtown Disney with boutiques, anchor stores, and more shopping and entertainment. I think this will be a fabulous addition to Walt Disney World and give families even more options for when they take a Disney vacation. I love the Disney details throughout the parks, resorts, and restaurants and cannot wait to see the Disney magic and pixie dust sprinkled all over the new Disney Springs.

QOTD: What would you love to see at the new Disney Springs? What stores or restaurants?

*Check out my post yesterday about the new runDisney marathon weekend Dopey Challenge!

 

 

 

Are you Dopey?

It’s FINALLY official! runDisney is recognizing the “Dopey” for marathon weekend 2014. Run all four races over four days (5k, 10k, half and full marathons) and get 6, yes SIX medals! I said I would never do goofy again but….this is too good to pass up. I don’t know what to do! Part of me is super stoked, but part of me thinks it’s well…Dopey! So, question is, are you DOPEY enough to take on this challenge?

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Check out the super cute video below:

 

 

I usually don’t post the press releases I get word for word, but there have been a lot of questions about dates and days, etc. so I thought it would be wise to post the actual release:

Dopey Challenge Among Dizzying Enhancements for 2014 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend

 

Four-racechallenge will produce six-medal opportunity for runners; New Walt Disney World 10K expands weekend event to five days; popular Runner’s World Challenge returns

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (March 22, 2013) – After celebrating its 20th anniversary earlier this year, the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend presented by Cigna is getting even bigger next year and is offering runners another challenge that will be, well, Dopey.

The 2014 Disney Marathon Weekend, Jan. 8-12, will expand to five days and will include a 10K, along with the Family Fun Run 5K, the Disney Half Marathon, the Disney Marathon and Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge. That creates the opportunity for an unparalleled proposition in the running industry: The Dopey Challenge – running all four timed events in successive days (48.6 miles) for the chance to earn an unprecedented six medals.

After the Disney Family Fun Run 5K on Thursday, runDisney’s new Walt Disney World 10K, a 6.2-mile timed event, takes place Friday, at Epcot. Runners completing the race will receive a Minnie Mouse inspired medal.

As in past years, the Walt Disney World Half Marathon will be run on Saturday followed by the Walt Disney World Marathon on Sunday. Runners who complete both – Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge – will receive a special Goofy-themed medal. Add on the 5K and the 10K and runners can earn four medals, one for each race completed, plus the Goofy and new Dopey Challenge medals, for a total haul of six medals.

Inaddition to those four races, the Disney Marathon Weekend will feature runDisney Kids Races and the Mickey Mile, which both take place at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. Special ticketed breakfasts with characters will be Thursday and Friday following the Family Fun Run 5K and 10K at Epcot, Pasta in the Park parties at Epcot and runners can celebrate their accomplishments from the weekend at the Cool Down Party at Downtown Disney on Sunday.

The expanded five-day race weekend begins on Wednesday with the start of Disney’s Health and Fitness Expo, giving runners extra time to pick up race packets, shop for the latest running apparel and technology, and meet experts such as runDisney official training consultant Jeff Galloway and runDisney nutritionistTara Gidus.  The expo is free and open to the public.

Online registration for all Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend events opens April 9, but runners can enter early by signing up for the Runner’s World Challenge starting April 2. This limited opportunity allows runners to register for the Half Marathon, Marathon, Goofy Challenge or Dopey Challenge, receive customized training plans fromRunner’s World magazine editors and enjoy VIP experiences throughout weekend.

For more information and to register for Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend events and other runDisney races, go to www.runDisney.com.

 

Schedule of Events

Disney’s Health and Fitness Expo

Jan. 8 – 11

ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex

 

Disney’s Family Fun Run 5K

Jan. 9, 6:30 am

Epcot

 

runDisney Kids Races and Mickey Mile

Jan. 9, 10 & 11

ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex

 

Pasta in the Park Parties

Jan. 9, 10 & 11

Epcot

 

runDisney Family Reunion Breakfast

Jan. 9 & 10

Epcot

 

Walt Disney World 10K

Jan. 10, 5:30 am

ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex

Walt Disney World Half Marathon

Jan. 11, 5:30 am

Epcot

 

Walt Disney World Marathon

Jan. 12, 5:30 am

Epcot

 

Cool Down Party

Jan. 12

Downtown Disney

ENTRY FEES

Walt Disney World® Marathon
$160 by June 18, 2013
$175 between June 19, 2013 and August 13, 2013
$190 on or after August 14, 2013

Walt Disney World® Half Marathon
$160 by June 18, 2013
$175 between June 19, 2013 and August 13, 2013
$190 on or after August 14, 2013

Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge
$340 by June 18, 2013
$370 between June 19, 2013 and August 13, 2013
$400 on or after August 14, 2013

Walt Disney World® 10K
$95 by June 18, 2013
$110 between June 19, 2013 and August 13, 2013
$125 on or after August 14, 2013

Disney Family Fun Run 5K
$60 per participant

Dopey Challenge
$495 by June 18, 2013
$525 between June 19, 2013 and August 13, 2013
$555 on or after August 14, 2013

runDisney Kids Races
$15 per child

Mickey Mile
$30 per child

Race Retreat Packages
$120 Half Marathon Package
$120 Full Marathon Package
$200 Goofy’s Challenge Package

Disney Parks Blog Post on the challenge went up as tell today.

QOTD: Are you Dopey? Will you be singing up? Why or why not?