AVENGERS ASSEMBLE !

written by: mrs. duhamel
happy blustery wednesday kittens!

okay… let me just start this post by saying this much first.
spring — where the eff are ya?
i realize i live in rhode island and new england is notorious for bi-polar weather — but this is just some nutty shit!
coldest march in history…
we have blustery snow and frigid temps out there today and the rest of the week is forecast to be in the low 50s.
i am just DONE with the cold.
rant over…

other than the weather — i’m golden.

VERY golden as a matter of fact…
because yesterday, this happened!!!!967621_10202486638385296_684247878_n
AVENGERS ASSEMBLE!!!!!
i am OFFICIALLY registered for the DISNEY AVENGERS SUPER HERO HALF MARATHON !!!!
and for anyone interested who hasn’t registered — it is SOLD OUT!
registration opened at noon yesterday and by 12:40 when i went to register it was 90% sold out!
the 5k was totally sold out!
now even the kid’s races are sold out!
i knew this would be a race i needed to register for immediately but i truly did not expect it to be THIS much of a hot thing!
wowzers!

from what i understand and have read, you can still register but you would need to do it via a charitable group (link on the link i provided above) or travel providers.
how that all works — i just do not know?
but it is an option if ya missed registration yesterday.
and it’s just for the half marathon.

at any rate — i am just elated to have gotten mine in on time!
i was so crazy about it i accidentally registered twice!
yes twice!
errrr….
but one quick call to rundisney and that was taken care of!

now comes the travel plans.
thankfully i have a good connection (there again — anyone interested leave me a comment and i will get you her contact info) and i should have that underway ASAP!
it will just be dean and i making this trip — a long weekend trip across country no less — and i totally admit that i am already feeling IMMENSE guilt that we are going without the kids — especially the younger kids.
should my daughter find out we went to disneyland without her…
oh lordy!
i will be disowned…
FOREVER!

but it’s just not feasible to do this as a family…
and basically we will be there a mere two full days… so i am trying like hell to not let the guilt overshadow it all!
just pray skylar does not become privy to our plan!

in other news:
my new thought process of balancing my lifestyle with a healthy lifestyle is really coming along nicely…
i am not over-obsessing about it too much but it is a conscious process to some degree.
i am tracking on my fitness pal — when i think of it — and not mentally punishing myself when i don’t.
i know what i need to do and don’t necessarily feel like i need to obsess over an app to do it.
but it is nice to see stuff like this…

900 calories! w00ts!  (add me as a friend on MFP!)

900 calories! w00ts! (add me as a friend on MFP!)

this is what motivates me!

yesterday i went to planet fitness, for the first time since rejoining, with my BFF lisa…
it was a GREAT workout overall!10152962_10202486454740705_1254146089_n
i had the best feeling run i have had since the half marathon and it was on the DREADMILL no less.
i had no foot pain or shin pain or weird numbing sensation in my toes…
it was a nice clean run and i really felt unstoppable and actually worked my intervals as i should!
so a good day one for restarting my half marathon training!

after this past month of mediocre and painful runs i felt it best to just restart from day one…
because i would like to finish the avengers half in 2:30 or under!
with a run like yesterday — that’s totally doable!
and now that i have the treadmill option i have NO excuse to slack over the summer!

after the run, lisa and i did the circuit training (aka 30 minute express workout) and that was FABULOUS!
it has been SOOOOOO long since i have done ANY weight training and it made me realize how much i miss it.

lisa and i have made a pact to be workout buddies and hit the gym three times a week!
no set schedule — just a conscious choice to make the gym a priority in our week…
operation sexypants is in FULL effect!

it’s nice to have a gym buddy!
i haven’t had someone to workout with in way too long.
conflicting schedules, etc and it’s just hard to find someone who can workout the same times i do.
but lisa and i are committed to motivate and keep each other accountable.
so yay!!!

my plan was to get a short outdoor run in today (i still need the occasional outdoor runs in the hood with all the hills to keep me race ready) but with the wind gusts i decided it might be best to just not push it.
i could not be more ready for spring if i tried!!!!

my daughter -- frozen/"elsa braid" obsessed!

my daughter — frozen/”elsa braid” obsessed!

even if i don’t get a run in today — i am not going to beat myself up about it.
i really feel myself pushing that pushy need deep down these past two weeks…
it’s about progress and i need to trust the process.
pushing myself to extreme measures to meet some ideal i have created in my own head has NEVER really served the purpose i intended it to.
so instead i am pushing myself to “let it go”.
(yes, i know how sick people are of hearing about that song and the movie overall… but i live with an almost five year old who is OBSESSED with frozen to the point of having me braid her hair EVERY day and who sings the songs and watches the movie excessively… deal with it, i have to! plus i secretly love the movie and songs as much as she does… heh!)
i feel more in control by letting go of control…
my decisions to choose the things that better my life feel more like just a given fact that some over-thought choice that i internally battle over.
my head, heart and body thank me… trust me!

so that is how my week is progressing so far…
how is life out there in the blogosphere????

peace, love and margaritas,
cyn
xxoo

running, gyms, soup and tattoos…

written by: mrs.duhamel
happy monday monday kittens!

so yeah — almost another week in between posts.
SMH — no excuse… but here i am!
TA DAH!!!10009430_10202467974438709_975040286_n

so my new frame of mind in regards to fitness and diet are going decent… it’s a process to ween myself off of two months of just not giving a fuck but i am least giving half a fuck now.

10013898_10202445151708155_1423291280_ni got two runs in last week and made an effort to eat clean MOST of the time.
i also did rejoin planet fitness and will be hitting the gym TOMORROW with my girl lisa!
so i’m on the right track and feeling better about making conscious decisions to better my ALL AROUND health.
its progress and not perfection and i am happy with that.
in the words of jillian michaels, “perfect sucks — perfect is boring.”
werd jillian, WERD!

10009547_10202476449330576_1712614859_ni even broke out the crockpot and made my healthy version of ZUPPA TOSCANA — my most favorite soup in the world!
i would have made a whole post about it but i have done one on this recipe before and for some reason it is lost?
next time for sure…
i followed the recipe linked above but used turkey sausage, skipped the bacon, and used half and half in lieu of whipping cream.
in a word — DELISH!!!!!
just like olive garden’s but healthier and IMHO — better!

moving on…
so i did something SUPAH cool friday night…
i got my tattoo for my disney princess half marathon!!!!

i was VERY torn about what i wanted to get… i literally tossed around a million options — but ultimately went with what i wanted initially — ariel, the little mermaid!

outline getting done...

outline getting done…

color being added...

color being added…

FINISHED!  as you can see my arm is raw and swollen by my wrist... for me, a very painful spot to get tattooed -- as was the shading in her tail and hair.  but worth it!

FINISHED! as you can see my arm is raw and swollen by my wrist… for me, a very painful spot to get tattooed — as was the shading in her tail and hair. but worth it!

I LOVE IT!  of course i had to incorporate the 13.1 and i love this design that dean helped me create!

I LOVE IT! of course i had to incorporate the 13.1 and i love this design that dean helped me create!

taken today -- healing nicely and i just love it!  my first major tattoo and it's amazing!

taken today — healing nicely and i just love it! my first major tattoo and it’s amazing!

MAJOR thank you to anthony c. from RED’S TATTOO and BODY PIERCING in providence, RI for the amazing job!!!!

it’s funny — a month ago yesterday i ran the half marathon… although in some ways it seems a lifetime ago.
and tomorrow i will be signing up for my next one.1f4438827b67f7a172a6d8ad34a4e857
i keep pushing myself to race to keep me motivated to run… and with the ten miler in a little over a month & now this next half marathon, i think i will be golden!
especially with the treadmill option at planet fitness.
i prefer to run outdoors — but running on a treadmill versus not running at all works too!
plus the treadmill option motivates me to get to planet fitness to use the weight circuit.
there is a method to my madness as you can see…

oh and i also got my official race photos in the mail this past week…

woohoo look at me!

woohoo look at me!

just waiting on the frame — then i will decide which one to use — and that bad boy will be hanging in my office!

dean ordered me the frame on the sly — i think he is more proud of me running that race than i am.
if that’s even possible?

so yes — i feel like i am getting back to being in a better place.
things feel more balanced and i don’t feel so utterly frustrated all the time.
as much as i am keeping my distance from uber structured discipline… it’s nice to feel more in control of what i am doing.
its by choice and not because i feel forced.
and that feels really good!

peace, love and margaritas,
cyn
xxoo

all or nothing…

written by: mrs. duhamel
happy day after st. paddy’s kittens!

so with all the disney hub bub & kitty introductions behind me now – i’m free to get back to random writing – and i like it!
i wish i, in good faith, could say SO much has been going on but the truth is life has been pretty normal these days…
NORMAL!
did you hear that?????

what a refreshing place to be after MONTHS of utter chaos!

i was asked the other day if i was suffering from downer moments with all of the major events being behind me/us now.
to answer that — a ginormous NO!
no doubt we’re in an adjustment period still – acclimating two different families is never easy and certainly not the brady bunch – but it’s nice to just be and reprogram ourselves to this new life!

i am finally getting over an almost three week battle with the voodoo death flu.
i truly thought i would escape this winter unscathed but the VDF had other plans for me.
i started with a dull headache/meh feeling for a week and then about a week ago it hit me like a ton of bricks.
the chills, the body aches, the stuffy head, the feeling of imminent death…
or at least wishing for death.
it was classic VDF!
even now i am not 100% — but on the mend.

and of course being sick has seriously affected my running…
as in i am NOT running at all.
i tried to run about a week ago during the major onset of VDF and was shown who was boss, and it wasn’t me!

but being “off” and post disney princess half marathon has given me a lot of time to reflect and think about where i wanna go fitness/running/goals wise from here.
where do i wanna go???

i will get to that — but first i have to confess…
here goes…
i have gained about 12 lbs since the wedding.
yes as in less than two months.
how does one do such a thing you ask?
well… when you are basically not on track the three months prior to your wedding to the point that you “crash diet” to lose about 10lbs. to get into a wedding gown by a certain time and then suddenly throw ALL caution to the wind starting the day after the wedding — you WILL regain that “crash dieted” weight back VERY quickly and it WILL bring two or three or MORE of it’s friends with it!
so yeah while i am not very proud that i “crash dieted” because it goes against everything i believe in regarding health and fitness — i also think lying is utter bullshit.
so i am owning my shit for all to see!

but i wanna be clear on one thing…
i know i have said this before, but i am SOOOOO over the scale.
until a week ago i hadn’t stepped foot on it since my wedding day.
and i only stepped on it a week ago because suddenly my clothes feel tight.
like i needed to see that number to know i’ve gained weight?
i knew i had!
i could feel it when i run…
i could feel it in ALL my clothes…
i could see it clearly…
hell, even just sitting down now i can feel and see the difference.
but sometimes i do need the scale to snap me outta whatever fitness/eating funk i am in.
and to show me that these past almost two months of not giving a shit is starting to take its toll and take me back to a place i just don’t want to be!
as in sedentary… eating unhealthy… exhausted all the time… various aches and pains… not feeling good in my own skin… and tons of self doubt and regret!
who in their right mind wants to be THERE?
especially when you have been THERE before and know how uncool it is!

but i am going forward with a resounding determination to NOT have a goal weight.
because i am truly done being defined (in my own head more than anywhere else) by a stupid three digit number!

i want to shift my focus to my health — to my ALL AROUND health — and there lies the difference from any past declarations of the same!
and not in some fanatic form where i am cutting out entire food groups…
or committing to exercising “x” amount of days/hours per week…
or giving up drinking…
or jumping on whatever the latest health trend may be!
because decisive deprivation is no better than crash dieting…
and i can confidently say that from experience!
i have put myself on just as many STRICT outlined regimens as i have thrown caution to the wind.
and i just cannot be that ALL or nothing person anymore — because that does NOT help my all around health.

i am not discrediting what i have achieved with my past weight loss and certainly not with my running — i am just saying that the yo-yo methods of either being ALL in or ALL out just are not cutting it for me anymore…

and most of all — i am tired of that guilt i tend to feel at just about any given moment.
guilt over food choices or consumption…
guilt over not working out…
guilt over not running… or not running long or far enough…
i mean it’s literally maddening at times and enough to really make any efforts at all seem pointless because they will never be enough to me when i am in one of my ALL in moments.

so once again i am at that crossroads of finding the balance and because of that — i am NOT setting specific weight loss/running/fitness goals.
but i will say this…
i have several races coming up that i WANT (not need) to be prepared for.
i WANT to feel comfy in my clothes again.
i WANT to eat healthier and cook healthier for my family again.
i WANT to add some variety to my workouts.

but i also WANT the freedom to not feel so scheduled and regimented!
so i am banning myself from the home workouts that require i participate daily and/or by a schedule.
(sorry shaun t and jillian — ya know i heart ya long time!)
instead i am thinking of rejoining planet fitness so i have the weight circuit and other methods of cardio to cross train with when i WANT to.
not to mention the treadmill at planet fitness.
it’s my least favorite method of running — but sometimes the weather dictates i find an alternative method.
it would be nice to have that option!

so yeah — that’s where my head is at.
so don’t expect a weekly weigh-in as they will not be happening.
i plan to weigh myself in a month or so…
and while this has predominantly been a blog about my weight loss/fitness journey — i do plan on trying to make it a bit more well rounded.
i hope to be able to write about how freeing this new mindset of mine is…
and that maybe letting go is the key i need to truly make this a lifestyle and not just a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants diet.

my methods may not be for everyone…
but i know my past methods were not for ME!
and i just wanna live life by my terms AND be healthy and fit!
so i am trying to find out the best way to do that…
because i am always a work in progress!

peace, love AND margaritas,
cyn
xxoo

hey jupiter…

written by: mrs. duhamel
happy saturday-ness kittens!

so with the disney trip recaps behind me i HAD to make my first non-disney post about our newest family member…
MEET JUPITER THE WONDER CAT!!!!!


jupiter is a young male american shorthair that my friend lori rescued from her neighborhood and graciously asked us to adopt!
he hasn’t had his first vet visit yet so were are unsure of his exact age or his health — but he is the sweetest and most mellow kitty ever and seems to be VERY healthy!
he loves to be around people — as he clearly thinks he is one of us!
he loves to talk when he needs something.
he is a master at opening the bathroom door at the most inopportune times!
he loves to snuggle and thinks he’s a parrot on occasion!
he loves to touch by placing his paw on some part of your body just to let you know he is nearby.
he purrs so soft and sweet.
and my daughter absolutely and is obsessively in love with him!

he is a MOST welcome addition to our family — even my non cat loving son is smitten with him!
how can you not love that face?

peace, love and margaritas,
cyn
xxoo

day six: saying goodbye to magic, princesses and summerlike weather

written by: mrs. duhamel
happy tee gee eye eff kittens!

wow, this seriously has taken me way longer to recap than i ever imagined.
but i am a bit under the weather this week with some vicious voodoo death flu thing.
came outta nowhere (mid run on wednesday i might add) and took me down and out!
but i am finally feeling a bit semi-human and wanted to finally wrap the disney vacay posts up!

so here goes…
the final day we were there we were sans park passes and our resort graciously allowed us to use their pool until our 4:30pm bus pickup to catch our flight for 7:05pm!

the saddest moment -- skylar having to say goodbye to her "balloon in a balloon" -- sadly there was no way we could've taken it on the flight home...

the saddest moment — skylar having to say goodbye to her “balloon in a balloon” — sadly there was no way we could’ve taken it on the flight home…

thankfully the young mind switches gears quickly and we were pool bound for the day!

thankfully the young mind switches gears quickly and we were pool bound for the day!

heaven is sitting poolside in 80something degree weather with a moscato colada in your hand!

heaven is sitting poolside in 80something degree weather with a moscato colada in your hand!

our last adventure in the lion king portion of the art of animation resort -- truly amazing!

our last adventure in the lion king portion of the art of animation resort — truly amazing! they scale everything to the size as if your were young simba — skylar, being a HUGE lion king fan, LOVED THIS!!!!

mufasa!

mufasa!

elephant graveyard!

elephant graveyard!

my pool soaked angel ♥

my pool soaked angel ♥

scar!

scar!

rafiki!!!

rafiki!!!

my daughter ALWAYS takes the time to smell the roses/flowers!

my daughter ALWAYS takes the time to smell the roses/flowers!

my pin collection -- cameron is a huge fan of pin trading and got me, skylar and peyton in it!  really love the few pins i got -- especially my race ones!  and the wedding mickey and  minnie ♥♥♥

my pin collection — cameron is a huge fan of pin trading and got me, skylar and peyton in it! really love the few pins i got — especially my race ones! and the wedding mickey and minnie ♥♥♥

my little mermaid shirt -- love this shirt so much -- i might wear it a bit too much!

my little mermaid shirt — love this shirt so much — i might wear it a bit too much!

i wish i had the words to properly express what this vacation was to all of us — especially to skylar and i.
i will say this much… my daughter BAWLED when the magical express pulled up to take us to the airport.

it was our first (and most likely last as my sons are 19 & 17 and forming lives of their own) vacation for us as a family of six…
our quasi-honeymoon — although i can assure you no *magic* was happening when six people are sharing two small rooms!
and the place where i ran my first half-marathon — the MOST magical and empowering half-marathon on the planet i might add.
this trip was chaotic, wonderful, exhilarating, exhausting AND amazing all rolled into one!
it was a lot to take in for just six days… i think we def could have used another 3-4 days to do it ALL — but honestly i was ready to go home and start “normal” life.

these past few months have been just INSANE!
between house hunting, buying the house, painting the house, moving into the house, acclimating for EVERYONE, the holidays, the WEDDING and then the trip — i am ready for some “normalcy“.

would i change anything about our trip?
— i think i would have been a bit more organized in regards to finding out what everyone wanted to do and planned our days better — we got it down the last few days but the first two were TURMOIL because we were just all over the place!
— i would not go with a crazy dining plan — with kids i think the quick service meals are easier because you can just eat when you are hungry. for smaller families it’s easier to make spur of the moment reservations — we did that our last full day at magic kingdom for dean, myself, cameron and skylar. but when there are six of you reservations are a must and that route just didn’t work out well for us — plus we were unaware that am 18% gratuity was not included!
— i would go for longer and allow ourselves more time to RELAX poolside. coming from 20something degree snowy weather into basically SUMMERTIME was so therapeutic and i wish we had spent more midday hours by the pool!
— i would grab my own luggage as opposed to having the magical express get it for me. we had six bags and it would have been easy enough to drag it through the terminal in lieu of waiting HOURS to get in at the resort and make our first few hours at disney unnecessarily stressful!
– i wish i had taken more photos. i know i took tons, believe me there are way more that i didn’t post, but there is so much that i didn’t capture and mainly because i was reserving cell battery and too lazy to break out the point and shoot! i wish i had used a more artistic approach because so much of the little details of disney that are in my head were not captured on film and that makes the photographer side of me sad!
— i wish dean and i could’ve had a bit (okay maybe A LOT) more couple time. it just was not gonna happen this trip which is why come november for the avengers super hero half marathon in disneyland — we are going ALONE! shhhh don’t tell skylar as she will surely disown us. (i truly feel so guilty but we never had a proper honeymoon and even a four day race excursion doesn’t count IMHO!)
– our room was really small — but within our budget! even with a separate bedroom and two bathrooms it was cramped quarters and made it quite easily for the kids (and parents) to get on each others nerves. not sure what i could do to remedy that — we are spoiled with each of us having our own space in our home — but it was definitely on the list of things to change!
– i wish we had stood in line and had more time for character greets! i kick myself for not searching out mickey for skylar or going back to see goofy and donald! i also wish i had made time for russell & dug (for me more than anyone else), elsa & anna and merida!

the best parts of our trip???
— bibbidi bobbidi boutique! if you have a young princess it is a MUST! my daughter STILL talks about it!
— the entire rundisney experience (minus my crazy adventure to the race expo which was entirely my fault for poor planning!) — it was so amazing i want to do every single race they offer at some point before i die and i DEFINITELY want to be back next year for the princess half!
— all of the musicals, shows, character greets, etc. — its just not for the little kids and they are FABULOUS!
— the desserts! seriously! i am not a sweets person but the desserts in disney are unlike any other! my favorite of the entire trip was the cappuccino cupcake we had at pizza planet — OMG i could have eaten twenty!
– disney pin trading! that was a lot of fun for all of us involved and skylar loved trading pins with the various cast members!
— the entire crew of amazing people who work at disney (minus one snarky concierge who basically was of no help during our baggage/bibbidi bobbidi boutique crisis and a cranky balloon salesguy who acted like we were bothering him for our daughter’s TWELVE DOLLAR “balloon in a balloon” — seriously dude you are a disney cast member — cheery the fuck up!). i wrote about it but let me tell you — these people take their jobs seriously and go beyond the call of duty to make you happy — especially the kids! my daughter was addressed as princess everywhere she went — even by young college guys who you would assume could care less about such things! and i was congratulated everywhere i went the days i wore my medals. it’s nice to be made to feel special no matter what age you are!
– beer from eleven different countries at the world showcase in epcot! had this been a more adult oriented vacation we would have sampled them all (i think we shared six beers total). happily i might add! that was a lot of fun and we were exposed to two different beers that we now LOVE!
– being there with a four year old who truly believes the characters and in fact the actual characters from her favorite movies — she literally felt as though she was meeting movie stars and real life princesses! watching her was magical and made the trip so much more amazing. she loved the musicals and the shows and the character greets the best and going to those with her in lieu of all the thrill rides (which i LOVE) was really okay because she was so mesmerized and happy!
— doing something as a family… granted the times spent with the six of us together was far and few between — it was nice when we did!

it was a great six days and i cannot wait to go back!
skylar especially!
two more disney fanatics were created on this trip!
and one rundisney fantatic!
they call it the “happiest place on earth” for a reason…
i can name a bazillion reasons why!

peace, love and margaritas,
cyn
xxoo

day five: our last full day at disney

written by: mrs.duhamel
happy monday kittens!
(helps when you hit publish ON monday… ugh!)

one of my MOST favorite pics overall from the entire trip -- we just LOVE marie kitty!

one of my MOST favorite pics overall from the entire trip — we just LOVE marie kitty!

so it has taken me far longer than i would like to recap our trip — but just the post on THE DISNEY PRINCESS HALF MARATHON alone proved to be far more time consuming that i had planned.
but never the less i am back and ready to tie this all up and get back to posting about current events!

the ride back on the bus from the half marathon (medal proudly around my sweaty neck) was long and hot.
i was so elated to have completed the race but so anxious to get back to dean and the kids.
it felt like i was never going to get there!
but i did and it was nice to have my family ooh and ahh over what i had accomplished!

surprisingly i wasn’t over tired or even all that sore.
my inner thighs were a bit sore but other than that i felt great!
so i showered and we decided we would spend our last full day at magic kingdom — minus hunter and peyton who wanted to go to the water park for the day!

the saddest looking family pic of them all -- the kids look JUST DONE while i am floating on cloud nine and proudly wearing my medal!

the saddest looking family pic of them all — the kids look JUST DONE while i am floating on cloud nine and proudly wearing my medal!

speaking of medals -- show off muich????

speaking of medals — show off muich????

skylar and marie ♥♥

skylar and marie ♥♥

showtime!

showtime!

love them ALL!!!!

love them ALL!!!!

cameron & dean on the toy story ride ♥♥

cameron & dean on the toy story ride ♥♥

skylar meets cinderella!

skylar meets cinderella!

blowing kisses ♥

blowing kisses ♥

aurora -- sleeping beauty!!!

aurora — sleeping beauty!!!

skylar was in her glory & these gorgeous princesses really go out of their way to be in character and make the experience for the kids MAGICAL!

skylar was in her glory & these gorgeous princesses really go out of their way to be in character and make the experience for the kids MAGICAL!

because my phone had completely died during the race and i barely had time to charge it before we went to magic kingdom — sadly i do not have a lot of pics from our last full day!
but it was wonderful…
very easy going and we had two fabulous sit down dinners — the liberty tree inn and be our guest.
both i highly recommend as the food was FABULOUS!
be our guest is a must because not only is the food amazing but the experience of being in beast’s castle (he makes several appearances too) and the staff being fabulously in character makes it so much fun — even for big princesses like myself.
and yes, i did try the “grey stuff” — honestly it was meh at best, but it has A LOT of competition because dessert was my favorite part of the disney dining experience overall — and i am NOT a dessert person even.

we also met up with my dear friend lisa (and her amazing crew of running friends) at be our guest (thanks to sylvia for sneaking the four of us on your reservation as its nearly impossible to get into the restaurant period!) and that was just amazing to see my friend after THIRTEEN years!
i think we have both changed a lot but all for the better — she looked amazing and so happy!
which makes me happy of course!
but it also makes me miss my mississippi girls something fierce!

the rest of the day was spent kind of meandering around at our own pace.
i finally got to ride pirates of the caribbean, the tea cups, the little mermaid ride and we met some of our fave characters as you can see above!
we ended up being in the park through the fireworks and castle projection show again and i got this beauty right in a shop on main street (a disney world exclusive i might add)…

alex & ani disneyworld bangle !!!

alex & ani disneyworld bangle !!!

it’s the perfect commemorative of my half marathon right through that castle — but i gotta tell ya i was VERY torn between it and the minnie mouse bangle.
but very glad i ultimately decided on this one.

it was a groggy ride back to the hotel because truth is — we were ALL beat!
and yes the race fatigue didn’t help — but i was still high on what i had done plus it was a perfect last full day of our vacation…

peace, love and margaritas,
cyn
xxoo

day five: the disney princess half marathon

written by: mrs. duhamel
happy saturday-ness kittens!

 shirt and bib ♥♥♥

shirt and bib ♥♥♥

so it’s been almost two weeks since i ran this — my first — half marathon;  so i have had ample time to really think it through on how and what i wanted to write about this race and my experience overall… honestly, it’s still a jumbled mess in my head. it’s surreal… exhaustion… elation… feeling overwhelmed… and pride — above anything else i am proud! but it’s a bevy of other emotions all rolled into this big ball of mush that i almost cannot make sense out of? imagine running your first half with 25,000 other runners – 20,000 of which are other women – most dressed as princesses in tutu’s no less — in the heart of disneyworld?!?!? yeah – it’s unreal! so in order to make some sense i think i will just jump in and try to write what i can recall (honestly there are parts of that race that i think i was SO focused on running that i can’t distinguish one thing going on around me?!?!?) in a semi-chronological order…

up and at 'em -- go team ariel ♥

up and at ‘em — go team ariel ♥ got my crown and donning the ariel colors — let’s do this thang!!!

the morning of the race was sketchy. sketchy in that i was tired — had about 2-3 hours sleep, was feeling really sluggish (AKA fat — i swear i ate more in disney than i ever have in my life!), and not digging anything i brought with me in regards to my ariel costume. but i was determined to put the bad attitude behind me — don the green and purple, STFU and get my butt to the race! oh and i had purchased these green tights (shown in upcoming pics) to wear for the race as part of my costume (ahem, ariel’s fish tail of course!) in a hasty moment in target right before our trip. i have never ran in actual tights (made for a fashion statement NOT running) before. what ever possessed me to purchase them for my first half is beyond me? but never the less i did, i had them on, and i figured the worst that would happen is that they would cause me to chafe or be uncomfy and i would be stopping along the way to remove them? after the 5k — that was ridiculously hot and humid — i was totally prepared to have issues with the heat and what i was wearing — but a little problem such as a wardrobe malfunction was truly so far off my radar… i was just consummed with whether or not i would be able to run this sucker… NOT what i was wearing!

starting line!

starting line!

what i was not prepared for was the line to catch the bus at our resort…
i was literally 100+ people deep…
and i had, of course, waited until the last minute to go and catch the bus.
but it actually moved faster than i thought it would and i got to chat with some really awesome runners from all over the country while i waited.

i was also NOT prepared to walk a mile plus to get to the starting line. and by walk what i mean to say is powerwalk because the bus took much longer than expected and the corrals were already packed!

but i got there, found at least one friend, nicole, and i tried to just be in the moment and not think about the run, the distance or the fact that i was letting that bit of self doubt permeate my thoughts!
there was SO MUCH going on around us…
excitement and just this intense vibe of 25,000 giddy runners ready to run 13.1 miles through disneyworld!
it was easy to be in THAT moment!

the corrals were alphabetized — myself being in H — and it was shocking just how fast rundisney got the corrals going… literally 5-8 minutes between each corral and every single corral literally started with a bang!
as in fireworks!
for every single corral — A through O !!!

and before i knew it i was here…

at the starting line -- OMG!

at the starting line — OMG!


and this happened…

fireworks set off at the start of each corral -- the race has officially begun!!!!

fireworks set off at the start of each corral — the race has officially begun!!!!


and i was off running!

i had my plan in place — the walk run method — run for five minutes and walk for a minute and for the first few miles… four to be exact… that plan was SUCKING!
once again it was VERY humid for being SO early (the race started at 5:30am) and i felt fatigued VERY early on.
i was paying careful attention to my pace — trying to keep it slow (for me) and not overwhelm myself early on.
but the way i was feeling overall wasn’t helping me at all.

at each corral is a pacer — a runner who runs with a cluster of balloons — that you can keep up with to finish in a certain time frame. my corral had the 2:45  pacer and i hadn’t seen her since the start of the race and i was trying to not let that factor into my run — but i won’t lie — it was!

as i mentioned earlier — the run was surreal.
there are parts that are so vivid but overall there are mostly times where i was so self-consumed that i couldn’t tell ya what was going on.
i know i passed aid stations (where people were standing with tongue depressors with some goop on the end to hand out to runners that i didn’t realize until over half way through the race that it was vaseline to ease chafe!)…
character greets (sorry didn’t stop at a one!)…
mile markers with the clock that i was trying like hell not to look at…
and there was music all along the route.
but i was totally in MY ZONE!

but before i knew it i saw this…

the entrance to the magic kingdom!!!

the entrance to the magic kingdom!!!

and what a beautiful sight it was.

i knew cinderella’s castle was at about mile six and at that point that became my driving force.
just get to cinderella’s castle cyn before you totally lose it and need to walk for more than a minute!
because i will be honest — i was so not feeling my run AT ALL and that fact that i wasn’t even halfway done was weighing on me heavily.
i was feeling pretty defeated just four miles in!!!

but then something bizarre happened.
i got about another mile in and the entire climate changed.
we were closer to the lake that surrounds and weaves through disneyworld and i swear to all that is holy that it felt like the temperature dropped ten degrees and the humidity just virtually disappeared!
in my head all i could think was, “it TRULY is a magic kingdom!”
true story!

it made that next mile through the backlots of the magic kingdom so much easier and i distinctly remember running down an underpass into the employee entrance and a cast member standing on the overpass with the BIGGEST mickey gloved hands i have ever seen dancing and cheering us on!
i hope whomever that fella is that he knows that what he did was MUCH needed.
i actually caught myself smiling and my entire attitude changing.

i was running in THE MAGIC KINGDOM (aka mickey’s house according to my daughter) and this was no place for self pity, doom and gloom and shitty attitudes!

we wove through the backlots a bit and ended up coming out the right side of main street and that is a moment i will NEVER forget.
the streets were lined with the chEAR squad and cast members holding signs and just cheering us on!
and then i rounded the corner and there it was…

 the view of cinderella's castle -- one of the most amazing moments of this race!!!!

the view of cinderella’s castle — one of the most amazing moments of this race!!!!

it’s cliche and cheesy but it literally took my breath away.
i instantly became vaklempt and it really hit me that i was just mere minutes away from running through cinderella’s castle and being VERY close to being halfway done with my first half marathon!!!!

getting closer!!!!

getting closer!!!!

almost there!!!!

almost there!!!!

about to enter the castle

about to enter the castle

running through the castle and clearly ON CLOUD NINE!!!!  one of the best moments as a runner EVER!

running through the castle and clearly ON CLOUD NINE!!!! one of the best moments as a runner EVER!

O M G look at me!!!!

O M G look at me!!!!

after exiting the castle we ran a bit through frontierland and back into the backlots and back out onto the back roads of disney on our way back to epcot where the race began…
this is where the true testament of your strength begins!
other than other runners — which i admit is a joy because about 90% are costumed and AWESOME — the aid and water stations, the occasional character greets that are far and few between in the latter half, and some music… it’s ALL open road.

running the long stretches of open road...

running the long stretches of open road…

but hitting mile seven was heaven (cheesy i know…)
first off all they were BLASTING “let it go”  (from frozen!) and it was here that i decided to down my second GU gel and take some powerade in my water bottle to regroup!
and i admit that i allowed myself to walk about 5-6 minutes at this point.
i wasn’t sure how it would effect me overall.
might be good or VERY bad.
but it ended up being VERY good.
i got back to running on plan and literally the last half of the race whizzed by and i felt INVINCIBLE!!!!!

almost to the finish!!!!

almost to the finish!!!!

i had HORRID phone reception the entire trip and i knew by mile eight that i would never have enough battery to get me through the entire race and the usual anal retentive me might have had a breakdown over this but honestly — i just didn’t care.
i just “let it go”
it was just what it was and not a damn thing i could do about it.
the worst was not having a timer to keep my running pace but even that wasn’t anything i was overly fretting about.
i texted dean between mile 10 and 11 to let him know my phone would die before i finished and i would see him back at the hotel and then i just continued to run….

i had read many blog posts about the HILL at mile 10/11 and i kept waiting for that to happen but all i encountered were two (one bigger than the other) overpasses to travel up and after running two months in my new hood (aka HILLTROPOLIS) it was NADA!
so thank you new hood for that much!

on the second larger overpass is where runners began dropping like flies and where my phone went adios!
knowing i had to run basically blind the last two miles was nothing to me after i passed two guy runners who had been running neck and neck with me almost the entire race.
but it was also where i was passed by the 2:45 pacer balloon lady!
that floored me as i assumed she was MILES ahead of me!
all that self doubt for those first few miles and i was obviously smoking her and doing WAY better than i thought.
seeing that pacer — albeit passing me — just charged me on!
and i ran that last mile back into epcot like i had places to be…
as in THE FINISH LINE!

SO CLOSE!!!!

SO CLOSE!!!!

the happiest moment of my runner existence!!!  i was bawling -- and so wishing that my husband was there to see me!

the happiest moment of my runner existence!!! i was bawling — and so wishing that my husband was there to see me!

HAPPIEST RUNNERS ON EARTH!!!!!

HAPPIEST RUNNERS ON EARTH!!!!!

finishing my first half — especially THIS half which has been on my bucket list since i got my first real pair of running shoes — was magical.
i don’t know if i have ever been more proud of anything i have personally done.
i didn’t get under my original goal of 2:30 — but i did finish at 2:46:23 which is nothing to scoff at considering my lack of hard core training the three months prior to this race.
and for the record — the pacer balloon lady only finished TWO MINUTES ahead of me!

PROUD princess right here!!!

I DID IT!!!! one of the proudest moments of my life!!!

there it is -- mine all mine and in my hot little hands!!!

there it is — mine all mine and in my hot little hands!!!

minus those first really tough four miles i felt really good most of the race.
i stuck to my plan…
hydrated at EVERY water station past mile five!
even the green tights were a blessing — they were surprisingly breathable and i never chafed or even sweated!?!?!?!

i loved them so much with shorts that they will be a staple for all my long races from here out!

the entire rundisney experience surpassed my expectations.
it’s like you’re instantly inducted in this secret club.
you ran a disney race — you’re one of the cool kids!
silly yes, but that’s how it feels.
never mind FINALLY being the half marathon club!
i am a HALF MARATHONER people!
i wear that title with the most immense pride imaginable!

the official results ♥

the official results ♥

i started running in late september of 2012.
i ran my first 5k in november 2012.
my first 8k in janaury 2013.
my first ten miler in april 2013.
my first 10k in october 2013.
and my first half marathon in february 2014.
i am amazed and beaming by what i have accomplished as someone who started out not being able to run a minute straight.
i have always told myself that if i can see it i can attain it.
and on february 23, 2014 i attained it!!!!!

YES I DID!!!!

YES I DID!!!!

peace, love and margaritas,
cyn
xxoo