Flower & Garden + Star Wars Rival Run Weekend - Disney 2019

It’s been a month since I got back from our most recent trip to Disney World. We went for both Flower and Garden festival and the Star Wars race weekend.

This trip was a bit different than what we’ve done in the past. There are rides we missed and things we did that we usually don’t and even two brand new rides we’d never done before! I also packed everything in carry-ons as a challenge to myself. This meant carefully planning out each outfit ahead of time. Plus I incorporated quite a few handmade pieces!

Day 1:

We flew in as early as possible to maximize our time! We checked in and I instantly ran off (pun intended) to the race expo to get my race swag. I even waited in line to visit with R2-D2 and Boba Fett! I hardly ever do character meet-and-greets! Then I rushed to Epcot for our dinner reservation at the Coral Reef. I decided to get to Epcot by taking a bus to one of the resorts close enough to walk to Epcot. The race expos don’t have buses directly to the parks, so this ended up being a great option. It makes me want to stay in that area of the parks sometime! We usually stay close to the Magic Kingdom, but the Boardwalk is lovely and I’d like to do more than rush through! We ended the evening with a few rides in Epcot. We watched Illuminations because it’s leaving soon! I’ll miss it but I am excited to see what comes next!

Food themed outfit details:

Ice cream bar ears - Donut Purse - Ice cream bar Alex and Ani Bracelet - Macaron Shirt - Make It Minnie Ice Cream Bar necklace - Kate Spade Keds - Donut Earrings by Gracie Makes Things

Day 2:

This rainy day started off in Universal! We took a Lyft from our hotel to Universal Studios, which, aside from realizing we should have requested it before we got to the lobby and our driver not remembering where the right drop off is, worked out pretty well. Cheaper than renting a car and paying for parking! My homemade touch was my Marauder’s Map skirt (and the Marauder’s Map top my sister is wearing) and I got lots of compliments on it! People often ask me if I sell my stuff after I say I’ve made it, which is a great compliment, but I have a full-time job and other hobbies, so I don’t have the time to make a business out of it!

The Universal parks closed at 6 that evening, so we went back to Disney and grabbed a drink at Trader Sam’s, then hit the Magic Kingdom for a couple hours.

Hogwarts outfit details:

Marauder’s Map Skirt - Radish Earrings by Gracie Makes Things - Spectrespecs - Wand - Hermione’s Bag - Crocs - Time Turner - Platform 9 ¾ Alex and Ani bracelet

Day 3:

10k day! I wore the Chewbacca shirt I bought at the expo and my Star Wars Aloha Ears! I love that these ears are 3d printed and interchangeable! Definitely check them out! I took this race pretty easy, and it felt GREAT. Best run I’d had in a while. BUT I made the mistake of chugging a Powerade right after and my body was not pleased. Not making that mistake ever again - luckily it didn’t mess with our day too much. I still made it to Epcot in my Flower and Garden inspired outfit. The Epcot ears are another set from Aloha Ears! I did add some ears to a “rose gold” fanny pack, so I still sort of had something handmade! We drank around the world (sharing drinks and hydrating is KEY), and tried some of the food from the special carts there for the festival - a fun way to try several things and not have to sit down for a whole meal! The topiaries they have this time of year are gorgeous, too! After Epcot we ate dinner at The Wave at the Contemporary, then we headed to the Magic Kingdom for the fireworks and a couple rides. 

10k outfit details:

Chewbacca Shirt (from expo, couldn’t find link) - Victoria’s Secret Leggings - Aloha Ears - Flip Belt - Brooks Adrenaline Shoes

Flower and Garden themed outfit details:

Madewell Shirt - Universal Threads Shorts from Target - Alice in Wonderland Shoes - Rose Gold Fanny Pack - Aloha Ears

Day 4:

Half Marathon morning! I actually made my top with amazing floral Star Wars swim fabric from Knitorious and the Deer + Doe Zephyr pattern (they’ve got dress styles and a crop/skirt option). The half ended up feeling pretty good, but my watch and the mile markers on the race were NOT the same. My watch said I went an extra 0.7 miles! If I trust my watch, I think I might have PR’d (not saying much because I’m slow 😉), but my official time was not a PR. Disney isn’t necessarily the right place to try for that anyway. Most of the courses seem to be longer than they’re supposed to be, and many people decide to stop for character photos. I only stopped for one photo, and it’s cute so I’m glad I did. Hubby met me at the end and he can vouch for this - I’ve NEVER been sweatier in my whole life. By the end of the race, it was almost 80 degrees and something like 95% humidity. I was sopping 😂

The only thing I don’t like about Disney races is how long you wait in your corral early in the morning. Otherwise they’re generally well-run, with lots of hydration stops, and lots of on-course entertainments. I mentioned the photo-ops above, but for this one, they also had huge screens with clips from the Star Wars movies playing. Around mile 2, they dimmed all the lights and had lasers coming from the trees on either side of the road and it felt like being in a Star Wars battle! Plus you get to run THROUGH DISNEY WORLD. There are definitely more runDisney races in my future.

After the race, I hopped in the pool for a couple minutes. Felt great on my body, plus I wanted some photos of the swimsuit I made from the same fabric I used for my running top! Oh, and I ate a donut bigger than my face.

Then we headed to the Magic Kingdom - I wore another version of the Deer + Doe Zephyr, this time both the crop and skirt from another color of the Knitorious floral Star Wars fabric. I made hubs take a bunch of pictures. None of them are as great as I want because of crowds, but they’re cute enough (and life isn’t all about Instagrammable moments, I need to keep reminding myself of this!). He’s such a trooper for putting up with me asking for pictures every five minutes.

We had dinner at the House of Blues in Disney Springs (a little nostalgic since it’s where we got “engaged”) and did a little shopping, then ended the day at the Magic Kingdom again.

I went over 50,000 steps that day! Hubs said he could feel the bed sheet moving because my feet were throbbing when we finally went to bed 😂

Both outfit details:

Deer + Doe Zephyr top (and top and skirt) using Knitorious fabric - Lululemon Leggings (similar) - Aloha Ears on a Dad Hat - Brooks Adrenaline Shoes - Goodr sunglasses - Band Buttons

Day 5: 

We started early at Animal Kingdom because we wanted to do the two Avatar rides! Nathaniel hadn’t ever done them, and we didn’t have fast passes, so this was the best way to do it! My sister and I wore matching mermaid tops that I whipped up with my new Cricut Maker cutting machine! I used iron-on glitter vinyl on plain white crop tees I got at Target, and they turned out super cute!

We ate at Yak and Yeti that day, which is always a good idea - we highly recommend it! Then we headed to the Magic Kingdom where I got stuck by the Festival of Fantasy Parade, but ended up having the best view I’ve ever had because of it! Nathaniel also discovered the Sorcerer’s of the Magic Kingdom game which was great because he’d beaten the Pirate scavenger hunt game, and needed another game to play.

We had dinner at ‘Ohana then headed to Hollywood Studios (in the rain, typical!) where we got to go to the new Toy Story Land and ride the Alien Saucers. It was fine, but not something I’d wait in a huge line to do. Maybe if I were with a small child. We had FastPasses to Toy Story Midway Mania, and then tried to get in line for Slinky Dog right after (just before park close), but it ended up shutting down for the evening. They did give us FastPasses for the next day, though, which was a good consolation.

We again ended the evening in Magic Kingdom. We got there during the fireworks and WALKED onto the Seven Dwarves Mine Train. Never have I seen a line so short for it! My sister and I decided to go on Peter Pan as the wait wasn’t too crazy. They redid the queue to look like the Darling’s home, and there is an interactive game app to help pass the time now!

Mermaid outfit details:

White shirt from Target with iron-on’s made by me - Mermaid Leggings - Rainbow Ears - Make It Minnie Shell Necklace - Scrunchie

Day 6:

We started the day in Hollywood studios so we could go on Slinky Dog! I also got a Jack-Jack Num Num Cookie which is giant and delicious 😋 It was hot and humid that day, so wearing my Outdoor Voices polka dot workout dress was perfect. I had really wanted to see the Easter Eggs at the Grand Floridian, so we stopped there next. We finished up our trip by going to the Magic Kingdom for some shopping and some more game-playing for Nathaniel. And Mickey ice cream bars in the rain. We took the latest flight out we could, again to optimize our time in the parks

Outfit details:

Outdoor Voices Workout Dress - Rose Gold Ears (new version) - Goodr sunglasses - Make It Minnie cloud necklace

This trip was super packed and yet we still missed plenty of my favorite attractions (Voices of Liberty, Imagination, Pooh). I think the race weekend definitely played a part in that - it’s hard to do everything and have enough energy to run and stay upright! But we had such a great time and I’m already itching to go back again. And maybe next time I can have handmade items everyday!

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Running Through May - Part 2: BB10k

This May brought me my first Ragnar Trail Relay and my fourth BolderBoulder. You can read Part 1 about the Ragnar here, but now I’ll tell you about America’s best 10k in 2017.

The first time I was not in shape at all. I had it in my head that I couldn’t possibly be a “runner”, so I walked a lot. It was still fun. I did it with my hubby, and we smiled a lot along the course. I totally could have pushed myself harder, but that’s the past. The second time I did it, I wasn’t in much better shape, but I was super sick, with a crazy cough, so we walked the whole thing. Nathaniel and his friend wore tutus, and I wore a flowy ballet-esque skirt.

BB10k 2013

BB10k 2014

BB10k 2015 - Probably the leanest I've ever been

The third time I ran is still my PR, and I even qualified for a wave because of it! [The slowest qualified wave, but still!] I probably could beat that time by a tiny bit if I really set my mind to it, but I think that was the best physical/mental shape I’ve been in. It was also after I lost a bunch of weight and had a treadmill at my disposal so I could pace myself better. I do struggle with that on roads and trails.

This year I ran with my best friend. We decided to run for fun rather than run for speed, but we still finished in about an hour and 15 minutes, with a handful of beer breaks (and therefore beer in our bellies). One of the big sponsors for the BolderBoulder is Oskar Blues, so there are a ton of tents set up on the side of the course where they have beer. The course goes through neighborhoods too, so sometimes people are handing out their own drinks, food, jello shots… or are shooting you with hoses or water guns and have slip-n-slides set up. I typically skip the slip-n-slides because I’m a major klutz, but they’re fun to watch! This year there were dancing Chick-fil-a cows, and we got countless high fives. And even though we weren’t running at breakneck speeds, because we were having fun together, the time passed quickly. Another great thing about the BolderBoulder is that they let you have your race photos for free. Anyway, long story short, I’ll take it 😉 We had a great time and I’d totally do it the same exact way over again.

All in all, I ran over 60 miles in May, 20 of which were in organized events with amazing friends. 🏃🏻‍♀️💜

#TransformationTuesday

Feb 2014 Enchanted 10k in Disney World on the left. May 2015 BolderBoulder 10k on the right.

This one will be shorter than usual, and is mostly being written because, well, I'm damn proud of how well I've been taking care of myself. No starving, no crazy exercise regimens, no diet pills - just everything in moderation.

Want to know how I did it? Put simply, I ate a little less and got more active. I've been using MyFitnessPal to log my calories and Runtastic to track my workouts (mostly running and yoga). Also, the more I run, the more I get to eat. 😉 

In September 2014 I got weighed at my doctor's office, and while I expected to not like the number, I didn't realize it was quite as high as it actually was. I wasn't a couch potato, but I definitely was a bit in denial about how far I had let myself slide. I'm all about body positivity, and I do think that women of all sizes are beautiful. However, for ME and my own well being, I had to make a change. I had spent longer than I'd like to admit in this body that I hated, and I had tried everything to start liking it, so I took action.

Some days are better than others. But between September 2014 and March 2015, I lost 60 pounds. The past few months I've been eating a bit more, because it's exhausting counting every calorie when you've got friends grilling and going out, and I wanted to take a little break. This has kept me at the same weight since then, but I've stayed active, so I think I'm having some fat to muscle conversion happening, which is still wonderful.

Do I love my body? Sometimes. I definitely don't hate it anymore. Of course there are things I'd change (and am still working on), because I'm only a human trying to navigate this crazy world filled with unrealistic standards and photoshopped models.

I eat burgers, ice cream and beer, and I'm fit. It's a happy thing.

 
 

My First Year of 10k's

I like that Disney gives out medals :)

I like that Disney gives out medals :)

All my life I told myself I wasn't a runner. I hated huffing and puffing, and I could NEVER run that 8 minute mile in middle school gym class, which earned me a B on the "assignment". Being a straight-A sort of girl, that really didn't do much to make me feel good about my ability to run.

A year and a half ago I had my third knee surgery, which was my second ACL repair on my left knee. A (at the time) 24-year-old really shouldn't already be getting her third knee surgery... My boyfriend helped me realize that if a pro athlete can get the same injury as me, and be playing pro sports again within months, why can't I run? I had always blamed the impact feeling bad on my knee, but if I keep up with my physical therapy, that really shouldn't be an issue!

I set my sights on the Bolder Boulder, one of the biggest 10k's, held right here in Boulder every Memorial Day. Five and half months after that surgery, I did the 10k. I did not run the whole thing - heck, I didn't even jog most of it. But I DID finish it, and I wasn't the slowest one.

A little while after that, I discovered that Disney World was adding a 10k to their Princess Half Marathon weekend. The half marathon was a bit much for me to swallow (and a bit out of our price range), but the 10k sounded perfect - not to mention that it took place in and around Epcot. If there is one thing you should know about me, it's that I am absolutely head-over-heels in love with everything Disney. So I signed my boyfriend, my sister and me up for it, and started to train so that I could jog a good portion of it.

After the race!

After the race!

Before the race!

Before the race!

Fast forward to last February (Presidents Day weekend). They have three races - a 5k, 10k and half-marathon - and an Expo that runs through the weekend at the ESPN Wide World of Sports. The Expo is where you pick up your badge and T-shirt, and anything else you may have ordered when signing up. My sister and I are pin collectors, so we each got an Enchanted 10k pin. There are also a bunch of shops where you can get extra RunDisney gear, cute running skirts and princess gear. New Balance even made special shoes for the occasion. It took a lot of will power not to let myself buy the shoes or anything else, because in reality we had already spent hundreds of dollars each to get down there and just do the race. I had decided to make the running skirts you see me and Maddie wearing, and (for now) hold off on new shoes (my closet is already full...) Next time I go, I will hopefully be ready for the half-marathon AND I'll be rich so I can buy all the shoes I want ;)

On race day we woke up super early and waited around for a while, but finally we started off, running along the streets, finally into Epcot, a little bit behind the scenes, and finished just outside the entrance to the park. Along the sidelines, characters were cheering us on and you could even stop for a photo op. I didn't run the whole way, and my pace was nowhere near where I hope it will be someday, but I DID make a personal best that day. Plus, I got to celebrate by being in Disney World with two people I love very much. Doesn't get much better than that.

In May, I did my third 10k. Unfortunately I was super sick (I had been coughing uncontrollably the whole week before), but I walked the whole thing sucking on Halls cough drops. I don't think I could have run it while sick unless I wanted to make myself even sicker. Before I got my cold, though, I had been regularly going for a jog a couple times a week and was super excited to hopefully make another personal best.

BB10k 2014 with my guy (left) and our friend Nate (right)

BB10k 2014 with my guy (left) and our friend Nate (right)

These may pale in comparison to other people's experiences and paces and achievements, but my experiences mean a lot to me. I also know that I still have a long way to go. I still sort of dislike running - it's harder on my body than biking or the elliptical - but I don't hate it the way I used to. It's something I can do with my dog or people I love. I can do it inside or outside, depending on the day. I can listen to audiobooks, podcasts or music of my own choosing. It's exciting to have such freedom in such a healthy activity.

I can tell you that these won't be my last 10k's, and I look forward to the mini milestones (and hopefully bigger ones) that I come to with each race.

 
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*Note to MarathonFoto - I would possibly consider buying your pictures if they were more affordable or possibly if I could package together a few people's pictures. I will not be spending $70 a person to get a few pictures, because I cannot afford such frivolous things in my life at this time. I like what you do, but there were only about a half-dozen pictures of me and my boyfriend at each BB10k, spread over two runners, and that many pictures is not worth $140. There were just over 40 pictures from the Enchanted 10k, but $210 is a bit steep for me. I understand that this is the business model you've chosen, but for now, I will live with the watermarks on my face.