Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Tinker Bell Half & Princess Half Medals

Disney has released photos of the 2014 medals for the Tinker Bell half marathon & 10k and the Princess half marathon, 10k & Glass Slipper Challenge (completing both the 10k & half). Check out this for the full blog post. 

Personally, I am super excited that the Tink half medal still has the spinning Tink. I confess that was a lot of my motivation for wanting to run Tink. :) I'm also excited to be running the 10k. The medal looks so cute! :)

Will you be at Princess or Tink? 

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Tink Tuesday : Restart

Life has really gotten the best of me lately, so I apologize for the lack of blogging! After a week of cramming in training for my 10k, I opted to take a week off running. Mostly because my mother-in-law came to visit. Between cleaning like crazy, running last minute errands, and then the whirl-wind weekend, I just didn't have time to fit everything in. 

We had a good time with my MIL visiting. She lives across the country, so we don't get to see her more than once a year. Sometimes this can be a good thing? When she's here, my husband's stress level seems to peak, which in turn makes me stressed out. Don't get me wrong, I love her dearly, but long visits can be mentally exhausting. With her visiting, there was a lot of eating out and beer or wine with every meal. Combined with not running... well... you get the idea.

With the Tinker Bell weekend (my dear husband pointed out that it's a weekend, not a race, since I decided to run all the races) less than 12 weeks away, I need to get my fitness and eating habits back on track. 

To jumpstart that, I bought a new scale to replace my broken one. I was nervous to face the scale, but it wasn't as bad as I expected. We usually eat a "flexitarian" diet: mostly a vegetarian lifestyle, but we still eat meat, just not with every meal or even everyday. It started as a money-saving idea a few years ago, but we found that we didn't miss the meat, so it stuck. It also helps that we have an awesome produce market nearby. 

I got all this for $20! :)

I'm making stuffed bell peppers, roasted butternut squash, and quinoa with veggies. My goal is to cut out carbs for a week or so until I get back into the groove of getting better and running more consistently. 

The good news with my running is that I'm starting at a base mileage of at least 6 miles for my long runs. Even if I add an extra mile every 2 weeks, I'll make it up to 12 miles before my trip. I'm not planning to run any of the races for time, I'm all about enjoying the races and having fun. :) I'm also running my first race by myself- so if you know anyone running the Tink 10k who's looking for a (slow) buddy, let me know! :) 

Have you ever had to "jump start" your eating/fitness regimen? 

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Tink Tuesday

This past week was pretty awesome, running wise. I had just *mostly* recovered from a nasty cold and was cramming in some last minute training for a 10k on Sunday. You can read my recap of the race here. I may be a procrastinator in other areas of my life, but I can tell you that training for a run isn't one of them. I like to bide my time and work up to mileage and/or pace. But when you're on a time crunch after being sidelined by a cold for a week, well... Sometimes you just gotta go with it. 

My main goal was to improve my pace. I had already proven I could physically go the distance, but the whole point of this 10k was to get a good time for Tink. I opted for shorter distances, but at a faster speed. I also did a little strength training every day- I'm faster when my whole body is stronger.

Weekly Recap
Tues: 2 miles
Wed: 1 mile
Thurs: 1 mile
Fri: 2 miles
Sat: rest
Sun: 10k! 
Mon: rest

I'd say the plan paid off! I finished the 10k in less than an hour- I met my goal! :) Part of me thinks it was my determination, but most of me thinks it's because it was so cold! It was 48 degrees- I had on pants, but just a short sleeve shirt. I'm pretty sure I was the only woman in a short sleeve shirt. It took at least 30 minutes of running before I could feel my fingers. :/ Next year, I'll remember to bring a long sleeve. 

On the way home from the race, we passed by a tree farm. Christmas trees, that is! So excited for Christmas! 

This weekend my mother-in-law is coming to visit. It's not a bad thing, we get along, but truthfully, I just don't know her too well. She lives across the country, so we don't see her all that much. In any case, it means lots of cleaning and hosting. Wish me luck! :) 

How was your week? Have you ever thrown together a short last minute training plan?

Monday, October 21, 2013

Race Recap: Pumpkin Run 10k

Only earlier this month I decided to run the Pumpkin Run 10k. I was looking for a sanctioned and timed 10k in hopes of having a great time to submit for the Tinker Bell half. The race isn't until January, but the last day to submit proof-of-time changes is November 1st. With my disappointing PR flop at Disneyland, I wanted to find another race- and fast. Lucky for me, this race wasn't too far and it's USATF certified. 

Sunday morning we got an early start to make the hour drive to Half Moon Bay, CA. The race takes place as part of the city's annual Pumpkin Festival. There's a 5k, 10k, and kids' 1k. When we got there, it was foggy and cold, which is the norm for the coastal town. 

We pre-registered, but it didn't make too much of a difference with such a small race. As my first non-runDisney race, I knew a lot would be different, but when we went to pick up our bibs, my husband noticed there wasn't a tracking chip on it. I panicked a bit- I was supposed to be running a sub-hr 10k for an official time! There was definitely a giant clock, so some sort of timing was going on. 

The announcer invited all the 10k runners to come up to the start area (the 10k walkers would start a bit later). We all gathered around, but the only mention of any kind of pace/self-corraling was that the really fast runners should go to the front. 
We were somewhere along the side of the pack when a guy pushed his jogging stroller right in front of me (and the couple standing beside me). Okay, I think it's great that you want to run with your kid. And I get that you're probably going to be running faster than me. But I don't understand why you push in front of other people AND your stroller is sideways and practically facing the wrong way! When the race starts, people are going to start moving and probably a lot faster than you can maneuver it to move forward. I really don't want to get trampled. Needless to say, we moved. 

The race started and we headed out. I'll be the first one to admit that I let the adrenaline get the best of me at the start of a race. But it's never been an issue since runDisney races are always so crowded. You couldn't sprint even if you wanted to. But not here! We were off onto wide residential streets in a matter of moments and I was flying! Flying too fast though... We slowed down and settled into a nice pace. 

The course took us onto a state park coastal trail, which had this old wooden bridge. At the start of the race, the announcer explained that they had had a little snafu with the park rangers. Due to the state of the bridge, there could only be 20 runners on the bridge at one moment. The course went across the bridge twice (once on the way to the turn around and once on the way back). The rangers could hold runners if there were too many and the runners coming back would have the right of way. The announcer said "so when you get to that bridge, you better sprint!"

Not only did I have to worry about a buffer for the start of the race (going off the official gun time, not when I personally crossed the start), but I was worried about being held at the bridge. Thankfully when we got there, they didn't hold us. But there were definitely more than 20 of us on it. The bridge was creaking and bouncing from all the people running. I took the announcer's words to heart and sprinted, but mostly because I wanted to get the heck off!

We reached the turn around a little after mile 4 and headed on back. 

I was starting to slow down after mile 5. My body didn't take too well to how hard I pushed myself at the beginning. But I also knew this was the home stretch and I didn't have far to go. My husband really kept me going, saying how close we were. I'm so thankful to have him as a running buddy. :)

We passed the mile 6 marker and soon after I could see the finish line balloons. I could also see the giant time clock. My husband told me to go for it, so I sprinted to the finish. I saw the clock at 59:24, but I may have crossed the line a few seconds after. Later my husband said I really "pounced on it" towards the end. Can you blame me, I could see the seconds ticking away! Regardless of the exact time, I finished in under an hour and met my goal! Yay!

There were no finishers medals, but we got a t-shirt and pumpkin! Goes perfectly with the theme of the race. They're too small to carve, but I'm thinking about painting them.

The official results haven't been posted yet, but this is what my running app says:

I shaved 30 seconds off my 5k time and ~2 1/2 minutes off my 10k record. 

I'm guessing that the official time I'll end up with will be around 59:30. According to the McMillan running calculator (some have suggested this is what runDisney uses for corral placement), a 59:30 10k works out to a 2:12 half. My best half is a 2:12 during a training run. This new official 10k time is just what I wanted. :) 

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Are you a Disney Addict?

When I saw this, I immediately thought "Oh my gosh! I totally do that!" Whenever I'm in a mall that has a Disney Store, I always take a few moments to stop in, even if to just browse a bit. :)

How do you get your Disney fix between vacations?

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Tink Tuesday: T-14 Weeks

A little over a week later, I've finally recovered from my cold! No more sniffly nose or annoying cough. I didn't run all last week due to being sick, but I took a chance and went out on Sunday. I have a 10k this coming Sunday that I'm running for *hopefully* a good time. The furthest I'd gone in the past 6 weeks was 3 miles, so I was freaking out! It wasn't a great run (random coughing attacks, etc), but I was able to go 10k. I still have a week to work on my pace, but I'm feeling pretty excited. :) 

I finalized all of my big travel plans for Tinker Bell weekend, so now I'm thinking about food options. I have my regular spots I love (Hungry Bear for sandwiches, Carnation Cafe for breakfast), but I wanted something special for a victory lunch after the half marathon. 

Carthay Circle in California Adventure! 

I've eaten here once before and the food was amazing! The ambiance is great, the perfect place for an upscale meal (and adult beverage). And after running a half marathon, I need to replenish my calories, right? ;) Here's a link for more info on the restaurant. I'm getting hungry now... 

Do you make special plans or have a favorite place to eat after a race? 

Thursday, October 10, 2013

A long overdue post

Only recently did I realize I don't have an actual "about me" page on my blog. By now, most of you know who I am, but this will give you a little insight into the history of my blog. :) 

**Taken directly from my new "about me" tab.**

About my Blog
I started this blog when I moved to a new town with my husband, Dearest, who was then just my boyfriend. I had a lot of free time, so I chronicled my adventures and experiences as a new-found "house girlfriend," then life as a newlywed. Now I write about our journey as a married couple, mainly our recent endeavor as runners, but I try to stay in touch with my domestic side with recipes and crafty projects. I hope you'll follow along! :)

About Me
I'm Kim, a pint-sized gal who loves being a domestic housewife when my busy work-life permits. My happy place tends to be in the kitchen, whipping up a delicious meal or tasty treat. I enjoy socializing and hosting dinner parties for friends, especially during the Christmas/holiday season.

I also spend a lot of time sewing various projects for the house and crafting in general. I am definitely a DIY-er. I could spend hours on Pinterest. :)

In college I studied film. Yup, there was lots of movie watching (and not just interesting blockbusters) and now it's hard to see one without analyzing every last bit. I also concentrated in writing, so I suppose that's why I got into blogging. Maybe someday I'll publish a book or write a screen play. ;) If I have all the art talents, my husband definitely has all the technical brains. He's an engineer specializing in electronics. I hope our kids get my creative skills and his brains. :) 

I am a huge Disney nerd. I go to Disneyland as often as I can, or as often as my husband can handle it. My dream is to someday renew our vows at Disneyland. Gonna need to save up a lot of favors for that. Still, there's a little touch of Mickey in every part of my life. 
Our wedding cake with our Bride & Groom Mickey antenna ball cake topper.

I'm a runner. Not a fast one, but I still get my miles in. My main motivations for running are the shiny bling and staying healthy (and probably in that order). I wasn't always a runner, though. In fact, I used to be an overweight, non-active, fast-food munching college student. Then I met my husband (who was also overweight). Together we made a pact to get healthy. It started with trips to the gym and eventually jogging around our neighborhood. We signed up for our first half marathon (the 2011 Disneyland Half) and have been running together ever since. Oh, and we lost a lot of weight in the process! ;) 

I lost ~15% of my original weight. My hubby lost ~20% and combined we lost over 65 lbs.
Check out the difference:


Writing this blog has been a fun journey so far and I can't wait to see what else is in store. :) 

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Tink Tuesday: T-15 Weeks

We're another week closer to the Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend! Exactly 100 days until I leave on my trip! I am so very excited for this race weekend since it's also a girls vacation for me. But I really need to get back into my training. I heard there's supposed to be some running. ;) The main race, or races I should say, that I'm training for is the Tinker Bell half marathon. I'm also walking the 5k and running the 10k. For those of you who have done runDisney 5ks, do they enforce the 16 min/mile time pretty closely? Some say they don't, but I do want to be prepared to have to speed walk if need be. 

Weekly Recap
Tues: 1 mile
Wed: strength rest
Thurs: rest
Fri: 1 mile
Sat: strength rest
Sun: 3.1 miles
Mon: strength

I've been feeling a bit under the weather lately and now it's a full blown cold. I was hoping that I wouldn't be all stuffed up and could still run, but no luck so far. :/ I'm running a 10k in less than 2 weeks, one that I hope to run in under an hour so I can use it to move up a corral for Tink. My 5k on Sunday was pretty good, but I'm not holding out too much hope since I can't run right now. :/

Do you still try to run when you're sick? Or do you wait it out? 

Monday, October 7, 2013

Early Bird Gets The Worm

You know that saying "the early bird gets the worm?" Well, in my case, the early bird saves a TON of money and stress. 

When it comes to vacations, especially run-cations, I like to do my travel research early and book early. So when Tink registration rolled around in July, I had already done my homework and I booked a hotel within a week of signing up for the race. I'm traveling with some of my friends. I found a hotel with a sweet Annual Passholder discount and booked a room that could sleep 6 for less than $110/night. 

Now that same room is on Expedia for over $650/night... 

This pretty much sums up my reaction.

Do you plan ahead for your vacations or do you wait to make your arraignments? 

Friday, October 4, 2013

Foodie Friday: Butternut Squash Muffins

These are my favorite muffins. They are so yummy right out of the oven. They freeze well, so I usually make a double batch. If you like pumpkin, you'll probably enjoy these. Perfect for fall!

Butternut Squash Muffins

(makes about 3 dozen mini muffins)

butternut squash (1 lb or 1 cup of cooked and pureed squash)
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
3/4 cup milk
1 egg, beaten
1 tbsp butter, melted

To make your own pumpkin pie spice, you can mix these ground spices:
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ginger
1/8 tsp cloves

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Cut the ends off the butternut squash, then cut in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds and pulp. Rub a bit of olive oil on the exposed squash to keep it from burning in the oven. Lay cut-side down on a baking pan. I line it with foil for easy clean up later.
 Bake the squash for 1 hour or until soft.

Once cool enough to handle, scoop out the flesh of the squash. Puree until smooth in a food processor. You only need one cup of puree.

In a large bowl, mix the dry ingredients together (flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and pumpkin pie spice).

Measure out the milk and beat the eggs into the milk. While stirring, slowly add the melted butter. Mix in the butternut squash.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry mixture and stir just until incorporated. Don't over mix it.

You can use baking cups or grease a muffin pan with baking spray. I prefer mini muffins, but you can make regular size ones as well.

For mini muffins, bake for 13 minutes at 350. For regular size muffins, bake about 17-20 mins.
Cool on a baking rack.


To freeze, wrap them in plastic wrap, then put in a plastic bag (protects them from frost). For best results in reheating, microwave for 30-45 seconds. You can also let them thaw at room temperature.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Up Next

I've been running for almost 4 years, but I'm a pretty sporadic racer. I've only participated in 4 official races (DL 1/2 three years running and this year's DL 10k ). I definitely lack variety. ;) So I'm branching out in this upcoming year. Here's what's up next for me:

October: Pumpkin Run 10k 

January: Tinker Bell 5k, 10k & Half
April: Santa Cruz, CA Half (my local race)
August: Disneyland Half
November: Wine & Dine Half & Mickey's Jingle Jungle 5k

They're spaced out about 3-4 months apart, which gives me just enough time to drop my mileage down after a race for a quick break and then pick right back up. I already know that the Disney races will be fun runs and I won't worry about my pace. I'll focus on my time during my local race- the course is where I usually run. Kind of like home field advantage, right? :)
The race finishes on the beach!

What's on your race calendar?

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Tink Tuesday

The weather is beginning to cool and there's a definite feeling of Fall in the air. To celebrate, I've been baking up a bunch of Butternut Squash Muffins. I'll post the recipe on Friday.

I'm still in shock that the year is almost coming to an end. But that means Christmas is just around the corner!
Getting our tree last year. :) 

I happened to look at my year-to-date mileage the other day. 336 miles, not too bad. I'm setting a goal for myself: run 500 miles by the end of this year. Works out to ~12 miles/week. With Tink quickly approaching (less than 16 weeks!), I need to ramp up my mileage and fast. 
I didn't get the PR I was aiming for at Disneyland, which I was hoping to use to update my Tink registration. I've been on the hunt for a 10k race before the November 1st deadline to send an updated proof of time to runDisney (no more changing at the Expo). Doesn't give me too much time, huh? I found a 10k in October that's not too far away! It's called a Pumpkin Run, so I was a bit skeptical it would be a certified course (a requirement for runDisney). Luckily it is! I asked the hubby if he wanted to dress up. He kind of rolled his eyes at me and said "Really? How are you going to run fast in a costume?" Guess he's right. Kinda hard to haul ass as a giant pumpkin. ;)

What have you been up to lately? Have any goals you want to complete by the end of the year?