I Did It! First 10k In The Books….

1:34:36

That was my time for the Inaugural Star Wars – Dark Side 10k at Walt Disney World. This was also my personal first 10k and one that I had been feeling completely unprepared for. It wasn’t necessarily pretty and it was HOT and muggy as is the current climate of Florida. But I started, I finished, and I earned that Tie Fighter medal. I was 745 in my division, 3969 in my gender with 6921 women running and 12172 runners completing the race.

I’ll take it.

Not only will I take it, I have another 5k coming up in June to keep me motivated and not sitting on my butt in the hot and humid summer sun.

I have also started taking full advantage of my YMCA membership and getting into the gym three times a week during lunch breaks to cross-train. Generally legs and lower back one day, light cardio the next and arms and upper body/abs the third. All with a 10 minute attack on the elliptical to get heart rate up.

I’ve seen a lot of offers lately on my Facebook feed for friends that are peddling Plexus and Shakeology. Now, don’t get me wrong – I have P90X and T25 in my arsenal at home for the days where I might want to get something a little extra in (which hasn’t happened in quite come time because, well, LIFE and there are so many things I want to do with my time at home like my dolls and new capital ventures in the works) I’ve even been seeing OrangeTheory quite a bit lately as well and know that will be close to my office soon. But thinking that this way works for my schedule, budget and everything in between.

Now to see what progress I can make in the next year.

It’s Amazing What A Day Makes….

I ran yesterday. For the first time in over a month, I ran without pain or discomfort!

I tried out my new orthotics yesterday with the intention of only running a mile at the most. I didnt wnat to overdo it and wasn’t sure how running in the orthotics would feel, or how well they would work. It took a bit to get used to the additional support and admittedly felt a little weird to start. Then I realized about a half mile in I was alright. NO pain. NO stress or soreness. I ran a mile. Then I decided to go farther.

I ran two.

The woman who couldn’t even run a mile a month ago, after having completed 5k’s and 4-milers, ran 2 miles pain free and could likely have done more mileage. I opted not to so that I wasn’t overdoing it. I spent last night brainstorming on a running costume for the Dark Side Weekend 10k.

Today, I woke up a little sore and happily so. I put on my shoes and ran another mile.

It is utterly amazing to me how much my mood has improved and how excited I am now that I can and will be abe to run again and continue to participate in races. Physical therapy is coming on Tuesday and I’m looking forward to it. Anything that will not only help me regain running, but lead towards my goals to loose weight and get back to where I’m physically happy with myself is exciting.

Cross training resumes tomorrow.

Cheating at Races…

I saw this blog post this morning from Lani Tashima who is a writer for MousePlanet and I couldn’t agree with her more. Now, I am nowhere near a level where I would ever have to be concerned with being cheated out of an age group win – but as someone who diligently pays for her races and trains for them, those that do not really rub me the wrong way. I know the first race I ever ran, when I went onto Marathofoto to look at my pics I realized someone else also had my bib number. Now, how they got it I have NO clue unless they just guessed, but it was still an annoyance.

We all know cheating, in any environment, is a bad thing. We’re (hopefully) taught it at an early age. When you cheat on a race, regardless whether it’s a small local event or a large production like the runDisney races, you are hurting not only everyone that pays to run that race, but everyone that helped to ensure that the race was something that could even exist AND you make future races all the more difficult to participate in, which is really counterproductive.

Now, I wish I could say I get it because, particularly in the case of runDisney races, they are expensive. A 5k is generally going to run you about $65 – $75 and the challenges are usually a couple of hundred dollars and that’s before you factor in hotel stay, transportation, etc. Local 5k’s in my area, by comparison are usually $25 -$40 with little to no transportation and obviously no need to lodging to factor in. But runDisney races are expensive in part because they do provide finisher medals for all and (usually) those medals are solid quality items that simply because they are Disneyana can become collectors items. This is in addition to the event shirt that is provided with registration, AMPLE amounts of post race refreshments (which cheese dip that is not purchasable anywhere else and is apparently to die for) and race specific merchandise that is available for an additional charge that has to be designed, created and stocked. Beyond that though there is the traditional Disney spin on things; on route entertainment, plenty of water/rest stations, medical staff on site and on the routes themselves (not all races provide this!) plus opportunities that are intrinsically Disney with character meet-and-greets before, during and after the races and a tremendous amount of organization for not only the races themselves, but logistically pre, during and post race. Even the Expos that they provide are generally larger events unto themselves and chocked full of vendors and training and information.

But here’s the thing, just like anything else that someone loves to do, they are going to be alright spending money on that thing. For some it’s crafts, others it’s dolls, for some it’s even Christmas decorations. For some of us, we ENJOY the races, even when we despise the training, and there for we plan and save and decide which ones we want to do and invest not only in the race, but in our own motivation, determination and enjoyment of the experience.

When someone cheats – either transfers/sells/buys a bib when that is not allowed, or has a sub racer run for them, or outright just copies a bib from one posted online – they are hurting everyone. They might feel that they are sticking it to Disney, or the race promoter or whomever. They might feel that they are getting away with something taboo. They might just be an ass who simply doesn’t care. But they forget that they are hurting the people who want to invest in this sport and themselves. They are hurting the person who decided to start running in order to improve themselves, their health, loose weight, help out an existing medical condition, or otherwise celebrate something that they have overcome. They hurt the kids that have goals and dreams to accomplish something. Because if they continue to do this, then the races get more and more expensive, there is less and less provided and those that normally could have participated have to opt out.

Basically, if you cheat when it comes to running, then I have no sympathy for you and truly feel you suck. I worked hard to meet the goals I’ve met so far and to work towards the ones I have set for myself and I will not allow others to ruin the opportunity for me , or anyone else who is TRULY working and investing in themselves, to accomplish them. This is the feeling when you know you’ve worked for it, tackled it and overcame it. This is what you are actually robbing people of and that, my friends, is just despicable.

 

 

Resolution

I do not write as often as I want to or should. As I’ve mentioned before, my daily schedule is pretty chock full of things to do and mundane day-to-day tasks to tend to. I’m changing that with this post. I want to blog about my business. Yes. Because blogging about my business is a smart thing to do – it’s literally free advertising and it’s a great way to share the art that I find so much joy and relaxation in doing. But I also want to blog about the two other things in my life that take up what there is of my free time – running and Disney (and combined there is runDisney!)

This week I start to train for my first 10k coming up in January. Between now and then I’m certain to run at least a few official 5ks and I’ll recap those. I want to write about my experiences in training, the joys and heartaches, the progress and set backs and yes, I know there are plenty of blogs about the running lifestyle. But I’m a late thirtysomething who just recently truly discovered (and subsequently lost due to the opressive Florida humidity) the joy of running and I want to help inspire others to do the same.

I want to write about Disney because, yes, though there are plenty of other Disney bloggers out there, me and my family regularly take day and weekend trips to the Happiest Place on Earth and I almost always run into someone in the parks to whom we’re able to give some sort of information that they either didnt know or else were able to assist them in saving some money.

 

I also have grandiose ideas about costumes I want to do for various running events. All this in addition to the various things I want to do with my dolls throughout the next year. And maybe even some family/personal growth stuff too along the way.

Regardless, I want to get at least one post up a week, and preferably one a day if manageable.

Ready to take the journey with me?

 

The Struggle Is Real….

Work. Kids. Family. Finances. FINANCES. Time. Priorities. Love. Partners. Work. School. Exercise. Running. Social Activities. Play dates. Birthday parties. Finances. Personal Time. Hobbies. Yes, the struggle is real. I’ve mentioned it before that time can be tight when you’re a mom, a partner to someone who works night shift, work full time and basically am single mother most of the time. I wonder how I do it all and then realize there are plenty of things I’m unable to get to and have to decide if I can live with that or not. Sometimes that struggle is the worst as I can feel, quite simply, like I’m letting SOMEONE down; be it my children, my partner, my family, my coworkers or worse…myself. Its no wonder that since having my littlest one I’ve not lost the weight that I put on in pregnancy. I saw a post today about Loey Lane, a beauty blogger, plus-sized advocate and general all around bad-ass who talks openly about confidence, acceptance and just being comfortable with yourself. This is something that I realized I’d lost. I push myself so hard to get back to my pre-baby body and loose the gut I’ve gained without realizing or accepting my age, how exactly my body has changed, and where I am NOW.

 

I started running in 2013 as a response to the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings with the intent to eventually run that race. I had always had the adage that unless my life was in danger, I wasn’t running, and yet here I was signing up for 5k’s and taking great pride and pleasure in improving my per mile minute. I just turned 38. Yes, I’m overweight and weigh the most I have ever in my life. I also have two beautiful children to show for my efforts and the wear and tear my body has experienced. I have horrible eating habits that I have to work to improve. I run, when I can, and push myself to do so when the weather permits (when it’s 90-something in Florida and the feels like due to humidity is upwards of 110, you don’t WANT to go out in that!) Do I wish I wasn’t in this body? Yes…because I feel like I’m letting my partner down. I feel like I’m not attractive anymore and why should they have any interest in this mass of flesh and pudge? But then I remember that love transcends appearance (thankfully) and that when you have it pure it can overcome anything. But there in lies the crux…I can’t accept myself so how can I expect someone else to? In order to be where I want to be, I have to accept me as-is with the idea that I will take steps each day to make improvements for MYSELF.

And this is where the struggle comes in. Mostly this blog is about my Etsy shop, my creations and promotion. But I do want to share that we all have similar struggles in life – money, weight, confidence, acceptance. It was recently pointed out to me that I still seem to have some issue with wrapping my head around two things – 1.) my age and 2.) that I am now, officially,  a professional. Yes, I do have issues with this, particularly #1. I just turned 38 but you’d never know it. I dont look it. I don’t “act” it (and how in the world is one supposed to act any particular age, anyhow?) and I don’t generally -dress- like it because I didn’t have a household growing up that was anything other than blue collar. Now, I don’t dress like I used to – being semi professional and a recovering goth make that pretty easy – though I still tend to gravitate towards all black. But gone are the days of fishnet shirts under tank tops with chunky knee high boots and a cute skirt over more fishnets; replaced with jeans, a tee shirt and flats or sneakers most days.

The struggle comes in accepting who I am NOW instead of who I was or even who I want to be. The irony is I can’t get to be where I want to be until I accept where I am now and embrace it. Maybe that’s why I enjoy painting my dollies so much as well – I have an outlet for that recovering goth that’s not only beautiful, but the whole universe of Monster High in particular is about embracing your “freaky flaws” and being who you are – not what other expect you to be. This while holding on, somewhat, to the innocence and frivolity that is youth. Even funnier still is I’m generally the one to state that age is just a number and that when I get to be the big 4-0 it will be like any other age. I still believe that, but it’s easy to accept this train of thought when you don’t really accept your age to begin with. It’s certainly not a death sentence as many feel it is, but a new chapter – a new decade to explore and grow and adapt to.

I could continue on and on and I may in future posts…but for now I want others to know, even other thirty-something moms trying to hold down the fort without loosing their proverbial minds, that they aren’t alone, there are those of us out there that understand, and the struggle is real—-so don’t fight it. Embrace it.