Running Down Memory Lane…2014

While 2014 was not always sunshines and rainbows, I am very thankful for both the good and bad days. For all of the experiences, trials and tribulations, and days that literally took my breath away, make me appreciate and savor every moment. Everyone thinks that there will be time. Turns out there’s just roads. Long and paved filled with potholes. So what are you waiting for?

Here are my top moment’s from 2104:

Birthday!

Most Magical Inaugural Race: There is a very soft spot in my heart for inaugural races especially if it is a runDisney event which then gives me the opportunity to strive to become a Legacy Runner. I am entering my 4th year as a Perfect Pixie for the Tinker Bell Half Marathon and my 3rd year as a Perfectly Dumbo for Dumbo Double Dare Challenge. Lucky for me I live in California and I was able to participate in the Inaugural Avenger’s Half Marathon weekend. November is typically an excellent time of year to run a race in California. Avenger’s weekend despite the beautiful temperature, it was awfully windy, but all in all I have to say it was a magical run. I simply loved that it was a different course than the Disneyland Half Marathon and Tinker Bell Half Marathon. Running this race made me realize how given time everything falls into place. For the first in a very long time, I felt my stride coming back, my pace returning, and I was starting to get my groove back. My heart and soul that blistery windy weekend was finally all taped up and glued back together! Needless to say it was a Thor-ific weekend!

Thorific!

Proudest Moment: In light of the previous months, it was honestly a miracle that I was not only on the road to good health, but I was able to participate in the 2014 Dumbo Double Dare Challenge during the Disneyland Half Marathon weekend.  That weekend I earned my 20th runDisney medal. Since 2009 I have run over of 188.9 miles between Walt Disney World and Disneyland. That is seriously A LOT of miles!

Figment DDD 2014

Most Inspiring Race Weekend: Participating in the 2014 Napa to Sonoma Valley Wine Country Half Marathon with the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation was an amazing experience. I have personally never been in a situation where I was with so many people who have had so many similar experiences as I have had. Very few people my age have walked in my running sneakers or at least so I thought. I always knew that I was not alone and not the only one, but to actually see and hang out with people in my situation, who like me DON’T give up was an eye opener.  For those that know me, know that this weekend almost did not happen for me. While I am not going to mention names, you know who you are ;-), without my running partner who grabbed my hand to cross the finish or my friends who kept checking in on me via text along the course, or my running coach who stayed with my running friend and I for the last few miles this race weekend would not have been possible and for that I am forever thankful.

Napa!

Coolest New Race Distance: I have always felt that if you are going to run a 15k you might as well run at least a half marathon, otherwise what is the point. Well let me tell you, if it is the right race series or event a 15k could be a perfect alternative to running a half marathon. While planning a special weekend the idea to run in the Hot Chocolate 15k Scottsdale was thrown into the festivities of fun. I have never participated in an event hosted by the Hot Chocolate racing series and they did an amazing job! Being the holiday season I thought that it was only fitting to run as a candy cane and my running partner in crime very sweetly agreed to go as Buddy the Elf. WOW!! How lucky was I to have someone go along with my crazy scheme to run a race in a costume, especially in yellow tights!! This was a wonderful way to end the 2014 race season. If you have ever thought about participating in a Hot Chocolate race I suggest that you give it a try in 2015!

Hot Coco

As I reflect on the enormous lessons and the gratitude that I have for 2014 I can’t help, but reflect on how far I have come. Often times we lose sight of that and get stuck in the moment. Everything in life happens for a reason and while I thought that I would never bounce back or be the runner that I once was I am slowly, very slowly, might I add, but surely not only am I becoming the runner that I once was, but even better.

QOTD: What are you most looking forward to in 2015?

Through the Looking Glass…runDisney Dumbo Double Dare Race Weekend Expo Recap

Within the past year I have learned that in terms of racing my favourite and newest distance is the 10k, well actually 19.3 miles is the preferred race distance. To accomplish 19.3 miles however you need to run both a 10k and a half marathon and you can’t have one without the other so I am honestly loving the 10k! This distance is the newest race craze created by the amazing team at runDisney a little over a year for Disneyland’s Inaugural Dumbo Double Dare. They have now added on this race challenge distance to several other race weekends. I was getting very comfortable with running 13.1 miles and they could not have introduced this distance at a better time. In true runDisney fashion to sweeten the deal for running both races and participating in the challenge you earn three medals! YES friends THREE medals!! That is a whole lot of runDisney bling. For this diehard, obsessed runDisney running gal it is all the more reason to sign-up! Back to back days of having the opportunity to run through the happiest place on earth and three medals I simply could not ask for more!

I LOVE RUNDISNEY

I participated in the 2013 Inaugural Dumbo Double Dare, you can read about my journey here and here, and had fallen head over running shoes in love with the challenge that I have been looking forward to the 2014 Dumbo Double Dare ever since.

Seriously in love, heart stopping, LOVE!

I clearly remember at the close of the weekend last year that I was already looking forward to 2014. It is a fun filled weekend what’s not to look forward to and besides when things got beyond difficult during the year I had this as a bench mark, something to look forward to, my silver lining. This past year went by in a blink of an eye and yes I went through WAY TOO many hurdles to get to the 2014 Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend, but I MADE IT!  I MADE IT!!

I knew that the 2014 Dumbo Double Dare Challenge was going to be extra special, even though they are all special in my heart, this was the race weekend where I would be earning my 20th runDisney medal. Since 2009 I have run a total of 188.9 miles between Walt Disney World and Disneyland. In Disneyland alone I ran 136.5 miles and Walt Disney World I ran 52.4 miles. That is A LOT of running!! While running the 2013 Goofy Race and a Half Challenge during the marathon portion of the challenge I saw this sign.WDW Miles

While I did not run 7 full marathons in Walt Disney World I did achieve and surpass that distance of 167 lane-miles of paved Walt Disney World roads! I wonder the total mileage of lane roads in Disneyland.

To kick-off the 2014 Dumbo Double Dare a proper visit to the expo is in order. I feel that a race experience is not complete without an outstanding expo. Disneyland Half Marathon lives up to the hype and the expo they host will never disappoint. I think that each seasoned runner has a method to going to the expo. The method to madness is no different. I always pick-up my bib as I feel that will always be there as official race merchandise might not be.

This year was no exception I headed directly to the official race merchandise booth as soon as I arrived at the expo and started shopping! A few of my favourite booths aside from runDisney’s was SkirtSport’s where I purchased the most adorable compression stockings, KT Tape is a must stop for as I like to be professionally taped, being a running who has chronic joint pain due to Crohn’s disease KT Tape always saves the day, and Sweaty Bands which I always love stopping and seeing the latest hair accessories.What runDisney is all about

Once I feel that I have explored enough of the expo I had down and pick-up my race package. Since runDisney discourages attending the expo in my preferred order I need to revisit the expo area to pick-up my official race day tees.  Kudo’s to runDisney as this was the first year that they have a women’s cut race day tee in addition to the standard unisex tee that they typically provide to all runners. When I signed up for the race last January I selected women’s cut and since then I was eager to try out the new women’s cut. They did a fabulous job and I am loving the fit!Shirts

Living in Southern California and being uber close to Disneyland I rarely stay at one of the Disneyland Resort Hotels unless it is a special occasion or race weekend. Being that it was both Labor Day Weekend and the Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend that meant one thing; that I will be staying at Disneyland’s Grand California Resort and Spa! I always enjoying staying at the Disneyland Resort for an extended weekend, it is not only a car free weekend, but I am able to really take my time and enjoy everything that the Disneyland Resort has to offer.

***Stay tuned for the second half of my Through the Looking Glass…runDisney Dumbo Double Dare Race Weekend Recap! Next up the 10K***

Happy New Year’s Eve

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As we close the door on 2013 and embark on 2014 here is my wish for you. Thank you for taking the time in following me along my journey called life. Your continued support and interest throughout the year has meant more to me than you will ever know. May we climb the highest mountains and soar to the highest peaks! Let’s make 2014 count!! Remember wherever you go, there you are! 

New Years Eve

 

Happy New Year 2014

QOTD: How do you intend on making it count in 2014?

Happy Holidays 2013

Happy Holidays! Though Thanksgivakah is a distant memory filled with special memories and I can’t help, but still love this time of year. I absolutely fall in love with it each and and every year. This year  I will be spending the day with my family and friends and hope you are spending the day with your family and loved ones. Cherish those special moments and savor the time spent with loved ones for that’s what life is really about. I hope that you have a warm and delightful Christmas and wonderful holiday season!

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QOTD: How are you celebrating the holiday’s this year? 

Where in the World is Mel?

First let me apologize for going MIA these past few weeks. The past few weeks I have been going through a lot of big changes and transitions in my life, which is causing me to question EVERYTHING! It’s beyond hard to put into words all of my feelings and emotions. I’m not even sure that I am ready or have fully processed everything. Needless to say all of the extra stresses in my life is not helping my Crohn’s. San Pellegrino has become my new best friend!

Building and creating a new life is not easy and I don’t think that it is meant to be easy. It’s really hard and I miss all of the comforts and familiar surroundings of home. I am not sure if my “new” home is where I am meant to be, but as they say all roads lead home. Eventually I will wake up in my bed, in whatever city it may be in and have that feeling, until then I am waiting.

Attitude

While I am grateful and beyond appreciative of the situation that I am presently in, I can’t help to question the unknown. I am very fortunate to have a roof over my head and a job that I actually enjoy waking up to and going to on a daily basis. Did I make the right decisions? Perhaps I need to stop questioning myself and go with the flow, which is really a hard task for this Capricorn! It has already pointed out to me that while I think that this whole experience was a huge mistake, it is actually a learning experience, I just need to keep telling myself that! I am learning what I like and realizing quickly what I what out of my life.

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The little blog and running hiatus of mine, due to the cold weather, has opened my eyes and I’ve decided to blow the whistle on myself! All of a sudden, it’s obvious that I’m not performing as well as I should be. It is time to put the legendary Capricorn self-discipline to work. I need to change my work methods and diversify my activities. All sorts of solutions are available to me, I have the whole world at my fingertips!

Today we are a little less than a month till my birthday and the New Year, and I’m not going to lie: I’ve spent the past couple of weeks feeling kind of down about where I am with my running, life and fitness lately. This has not been the year that I would have wished and expected it be. In a lot of ways, it feels like I am drowning on dry land and dancing in the dark. Not a great feeling I must admit and definitely not a productive and positive way to view life. I need to stop directing all of my negative energy on why I am at this standstill in my life and instead I need to start prioritizing my life, regrouping, and most importantly remembering all the reasons why I love running. The sun on my face, the wind in my hair, discovering new routes, to name a few. Running has taught me so many valuable lessons that I need be applying towards my daily life.

All of this negative energy does is bring me down, zap me of my energy, and make me feel like it’s not even worth trying anymore. Besides it’s blatantly not true. No, I haven’t done as much training for my upcoming Walt Disney World 10k and World Half Marathon as I would have liked, but I have about six weeks to get my act in gear and start training. I have enough time to train, right?! After all this is not my first rodeo! I have been looking forward to this race since I crossed the Goofy Finish line at the beginning of 2013 and I am not going to allow the road blocks of life to slow me down!

Just Go

No, I may not be even remotely close where I want to be in my life, which brings me back to the title of this post; where in the world is Mel? I will need to accept and be proud of myself, where I am in my life, and fight like hell to make a better life for myself. As the expression goes, if you don’t like what you see in the mirror, change it. And that is exactly what I am going to do. Besides, if I keep consistent and diligent with all of endeavors including with my workouts, everything will fall into place and I will begin to not only be the person that I want to be, but also be the runner that I envision myself to be.

Motivaiton

While we might only have one month left of the year, I fully intended to make the rest of 2013 count. I am going to wake up every morning with optimism that today is a new day and to believe in the power of the day. I am going to take full advantage of the promise that each new day holds. I’m eager to get out and hit the pavement again and reach my goals!

QOTD: I’m not too sure who is out there reading this, but I would love to hear from you. Please comment and share why you love to run and the hurdles that you have faced in your own running routines and how you over came them.

I’m Still Here…

First let me apologize for going AWOL these past few weeks. The past few weeks I have been going through something much too deep and it’s incredibly painful. It’s beyond hard to put into words and I’m not even sure that I want to really rehash all the ups and downs that I have been experiencing.

The little blog and running hiatus of mine has opened my eyes and I’ve decided to blow the whistle on myself! All of a sudden, it’s obvious that I’m not performing as well as I should be. It is time to put the legendary Capricorn self-discipline to work. I need to change my work methods, budget my money more carefully, and diversify my activities. All sorts of solutions are available to me, I have the whole world at my fingertips!

Today we are exactly six months into the year, and I’m not going to lie: I’ve spent the past couple of weeks feeling kind of down about where I am with my running, life and fitness lately. This has not been the year that I would have wished and expected it be. In a lot of ways, it feels like I am drowning on dry land. Not a great feeling I must admit and definitely not a productive and positive way to view life. I need to stop directing all of my negative energy on why I am at this standstill in my life and instead I need to start prioritizing my life, regrouping, and most importantly remembering all the reasons why I love running. The sun on my face, the wind in my hair, discovering new routes, to name a few. Running has taught me so many valuable lessons that I need be applying towards my daily life.

 So True

(Source)

All of this negative energy does is bring me down, rob me of my energy, and make me feel like it’s not even worth trying anymore. Besides it’s blatantly not true. No, I haven’t done as much training for my upcoming Dumbo Double Dare as I would have liked, but I have exactly two months to get my act in gear and start training. I have enough time to train, right?! After all this is not my first rodeo! I look forward to this fun-filled Labor Day weekend every year and I am not going to allow the road blocks of life to slow me down!

No, I may not be even remotely close where I want to be in my life, which brings me back to the title of this post; I’m still here. I will need to accept and be proud of my  where I am in my life and fight like hell to make a better life for myself. As the expression goes, if you don’t like what you see in the mirror, change it. And that is exactly what I am going to do. Besides, if I keep consistent and diligent with all of endeavors including with my workouts, everything will fall into place and I will begin to not only be the person that I want to be, but also be the runner that I envision myself to be.

While we might be half through the year, I fully intended to make the rest of 2013 count. I am going to wake up every morning with optimism that today is a new day. I am going to take full advantage of the promise that each new day holds. I’m eager to get out and hit the pavement again. Am I going to run a new personal record? Unlikely. Can I run a good, solid 13.1 miles to the best of my race-day ability? Absolutely! Who knows, I might even surprise myself a little with the results, if I put the work in.

QOTD: I’m not too sure who is out there reading this, but I would love to hear from you. Please comment below and share why you love to run and the hurdles that you have faced in your own running routines and how you over came them.

Losing and Find Myself

Is it a little cliche’ to say that running has saved my life?  I know that I have been a little distracted these past few weeks, lately I have been feeling as though I have been drowning on dry land. A few years ago my whole world was turned upside down and I don’t feel that it has been turned right side up ever since. Perhaps it never will be and this is the new normal. Possibly even a better normal.

My one saving grace has been running, especially half marathons and most recently a full marathon. Regardless of how many races I have participated in my journey as a runner, I view each race as a new experience, a new opportunity to learn about who I am as a runner. What works and what does not work. What needs to be improved and what needs to remain the same. For the two and a half to three hours which I am not connected to the outside world is oddly the time in my life when I feel the most connected. Suddenly I am eyes wide open. My senses are heightened. I can feel my lungs take in every breath and cautiously release them again to the world.

Working on a Dream

Not to sound like our good friend, Mr. Armstrong, but I can hear the passion of birds signing, I can feel the sharp rays of the sun on my back. This is the time that I feel blessed to be able to experience such a feat. No cars or wheels are needed as a mean to transport me to such an exhilarating experience. I am stripped down, raw, and left with only the sheer will to succeed. All that could guide me through such an experience is knowing that I have 2 legs that could take me anywhere and the confidence in  my abilities.

If you would have told me last year at this time that I would finally face my fear of running beyond 39.3 miles, I would have said “SERIOUSLY”?! I learned to seize the day today. This is the one I have been waiting for. Don’t back down from the intensity of the day, for I have the power now to get a leg-up in my journey toward whatever it is I wish to accomplish in this lifetime. That was exactly how I felt  when I laced up my running and decided to go to the start line for my first full marathon

I am learning, but I need to discover more ways to transfer this sense of self confidence into other aspects of my life. And this is why I can say that running did save my life. Regardless of how many races I have participated in or how many medals have been placed around my neck, it as though I am reborn each and every time. Running is a spiritual reawakening.

QOTD: What has running taught you that you are able to use in your everyday life?

Happy Holidays! 2012

Happy Holidays! I will be spending the day with my family and hope you are spending the day with your family and loved ones. Savor those special moments and time spent with loved ones for that’s what really matters. I hope that you have a warm and delightful Christmas and wonderful holiday season!

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QOTD: How are you celebrating the holiday’s this year? 

Happy New Year NOW!!!

I'm Fit Possible

If only New Year’s can hurry itself up and come already! It is not only my favorite holiday, but also my birthday! Yes I am a New Years baby and will perpetually love to celebrate birthdays for the rest of my life. Being the type of person that I am I do not typically like to set New Years resolutions on my birthday. I personally feel that in regards to New Year’s resolutions, most people make them and break them every year so what’s the point. Despite how I feel I have always felt that thanks to the calendar we were allotted at least one fresh start a yea, just set your calendars to January 1st. This year is going to be different as I am turing the BIG 3-0! With that in mind, when Tara from I’m Fit Possible asked me to participate in Happy New Year Now link up creating my New Years goals and resolutions now I jumped at the opportunity. Rather than creating a list of goals I decided that I wanted to created a list of 30 “to-do” items that I want to accomplish during my thirtieth year. Without further ado here is my “30 in 30 List”…

  1. Complete my first full marathon, look out Goofy 2013 here I come!
  2. Open a Gluten-Free Dessert bar
  3. Fall in love and not get my heart broken
  4. Actually feel happy about my life, even if it is just for a moment
  5. Run at least 40 miles per month
  6. Run at least 10 races
  7. Run a half marathon sub 2 hours 40 minute
  8. Create iPhoto albums from previous races & time spent with my family
  9. Break free of the recession cycle and find financial freedom
  10. Stay up all night and see the sunrise, okay maybe just wake up early and see it rise. I don’t do well on lack of sleep.
  11. Learn how to make fondant
  12. Go to a drive-in theatre, do they still exist?
  13. See Bruce Springsteen &/or Bob Dylan in concert
  14. Go horseback riding on the beach
  15. Swim with the dolphins
  16. Go scuba diving
  17. Take a class in American Sign Language
  18. Join #TeamChallenge & raise money for Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation’s
  19. Try 30 new foods
  20. Go through my clothes that don’t fit/don’t wear once a month & donate to local charity
  21. Learn how to actually cook
  22. Embrace Obamacare & achieve excellent health
  23. Place myself in more “social situations”
  24. Read 1 intelligent novel per month
  25. Discover local “stay-cations” (Being that I am so lucky to live in the amazing state of California)
  26. See at least 4 plays
  27. Spend the evening on the Queen Mary
  28. Take a photography class
  29. Be a more open and accepting person
  30. Take trapeze classes

I would love it if you too would link up and join Tara and I by sharing your goals and resolutions.

Once your fingers start typing your goals/resolutions, remember that it’s all happening and it’s real!



Motivation Monday

Motivation Monday is upon once again!! It is me or this month simply flying by? After taking a week off from my running routine, I am refreshed and ready to hit the pavement! I had a blast this past weekend with my brother and his fiance and am so grateful that we were able to send time together. This week focuses on gratitude. I believe that as a runner I need to always be grateful that I am healthy and strong enough to get out there and run.

QOTD: What are you grateful for this week?