Thursday, November 28, 2013


As we celebrate Thanksgiving, here are a few things I am thankful for...

my husband



running & my health

beautiful places I have traveled to

What are you thankful for?

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Tink Tuesday

There's less than 8 weeks to go until Tinker Bell weekend! We passed the 60 day mark, which also meant making dining reservations for my trip. Can't wait for all the yummy food! Cause really, that's why I run, right? To justify eating whatever I want? ;) 

I signed up for a gym membership last week. The gym used to be more of a spa/gym, so everything is really nice. It's got a heated outdoor pool for laps and a heated indoor pool which is used for therapeutic swimming. But most importantly, there are plenty of treadmills. I tend to be more of a night owl, so I like having the option to run at night without all the worries. 

Weekly Recap
Tues: rest
Wed: rest
Thurs: 2 miles
Fri: rest
Sat: rest
Sun: 5 miles
Mon: 2 miles

I was on vacation most of last week, so I really embraced the laziness. :) I'd forgotten how much running on the treadmill is different than running outside. I naturally have pretty even splits when I run outside, but it was hard to find a happy pace on the treadmill. Anyone else have that problem? 

I suspect this week's running will be similar due to all the Thanksgiving festivities. Thanksgiving meal is hands-down my favorite meal. I used to not be a fan, but now I love it! I especially love that Whole Foods consistently has all the Thanksgiving foods in their hot bar section. When the husband works late, that's my go-to for dinner. Between the traveling and family time, I hope I can get in a few decent runs. 

Do you take a running break during the holidays? How do you stick to your training schedule?

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Disneyland Dining Reservations for Tinker Bell Half

Just a reminder- you can now book your Disneyland dining reservations for the Tinker Bell half marathon weekend! Disneyland books 60 days in advance (WDW is 180 days).

I'll be having my celebratory race weekend meal at Carthay Circle in California Adventure. I've eaten here once before and it is delicious! 

I also made a few reservations at my favorite breakfast spot. This is hands down my favorite place to eat breakfast. It's one of the few table service places in Disneyland and the prices are comparable to quick service places. 

Another popular place to eat is the Blue Bayou in Disneyland. The restaurant is actually inside the Pirates of the Caribbean ride! Perfect for a romantic dinner or a nice celebratory meal.

Here's the complete list of restaurants inside the parks where you can make dining reservations. Links lead to more info about the restaurants.

Blue Bayou
Cafe Orleans
Carnation Cafe
Plaza Inn
Big Thunder Ranch BBQ

California Adventure
Carthay Circle
Ariel's Grotto

You can make these reservations online or by calling (714) 781-3463. If it's been a while since you've made a reservation at Disneyland, they now require a credit card to hold the reservation. If you cancel less than 24 hours in advance, you will be charged $10/person. 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Tink Tuesday

Another week already? I am enjoying this week a lot more though since I'm on vacation!!! Yay! :) 

My running has gotten a *bit* better. I ran on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday before work and then my "long" run on Sunday at just 4 miles. I think since I already have it in my mind that I'm not running for time, I'm just not trying anymore. I really need to snap out of that. 

During my long run: the birds (pelicans and seagulls) were going crazy!

I suspect that some of my lack of motivation comes from the fact that I essentially run circles around my house. Okay, it's a one mile loop that I try to run 2-3 times before work. But usually when I pass the house after mile 2, I just stop running. I also don't like running in the dark (call me paranoid, but better safe than sorry), so I don't run at night. So I'm joining my local gym! :) It's been a couple years since I've run on a treadmill, so hopefully I won't trip! Haha.

I may be on vacation this week, but my husband on the other hand has a jam packed week of work, school, networking events and two interviews. I really feel bad for lounging around the house while he's furiously working night and day. :/ 

On a more exciting note, we may be going to Europe! One of the jobs my husband is interviewing for won't start until February, so we might take advantage of the time off. But.... I'm also running Tink in the middle of January. So I may end up taking a 3 week adventure. Running with jet lag anyone? In any case, it reminded me that I need to change my name on my passport. I totally forgot about changing it when we got married. 

Check out my awkward photo- you can smile, but no teeth. Apparently it messes with facial recognition software. Who knew? 

How was your week? Do you train on the treadmill or run outside? 

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Fitbit Zip : Review

I got a Fitbit Zip last week and I thought I'd do a little follow-up/review post on how it's going so far.

*My thoughts are my own. I was not compensated for this review.*

A little background for you- I got the Fitbit as part of a work fitness challenge, so two of my co-workers also have one. My brother has one as well. Having friends who also have Fitbits add a lot to the experience of using one. 

The Fitbit Zip is the lowest model of the Fitbits. There are others (the Flex and One) that offer sleep tracking. Personally, I don't feel the need to track my sleep, so the Zip is perfect for me. 

The clip holder, computer USB plug in and tool to open the Fitbit to change the battery. Battery life is estimated at 3-4 months.

Some of the screens that the Fitbit cycles through.

Calories Burned:

There are different smiley faces based on your activity level. This one is after I went for a run (very active).

I love that Fitbit has an app. It will sync to my phone automatically, so I can check my stats throughout the day. It's pretty straight forward- green means you've met your goal, orange means you're close. 

 This is really where your fellow Fitbit friends are key. Rankings are based on the number of steps over the past 7 days. (I fuzzed them out for privacy.) As you can see, I am bring up the rear. By A LOT. I need to get out there and run! 

 Another neat feature- water consumption tracker. I'm terrible at remembering to drink water, so this is a fun way to keep track. 

All Fitbits come with an online account where you can see all your data. You can set your own goals for your steps, calories, distance, and active minutes. 

There's more detailed information about your activities. You can log your food and it'll compare your calories in vs. out. 
You earn little badges for different achievements- mine is for 10,000 steps in one day. 

All in all, I really like my Fitbit. It keeps me in the mindset of being active. (I may or may not have jogged in place while watching TV to hit my daily steps goal.) Plus the friendly competition between friends adds some fun to it. It also has the ability to log your food- something I used to use the MyFitnessPal app for. Now it's all combined into one!

What do you think? Would you get a Fitbit? If any of you have a Fitbit or get one, please let me know so we can add each other! :)

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Tink Tuesday

Running this past week has been slow going, but the good news is my pace seems to be surviving. I got a Fitbit Zip and it's keeping me motivated. Check back tomorrow for my follow up post. :) 

I realized that I'm into the single-digit week countdown for Tink! Eeeekkkk!!! I know that I'm not running any of the races for time, so I'm not too hung up on my training schedule. I gave myself rough estimates of where I should be mileage wise. Basically I'm starting from my base of 6 miles and adding one per week. That'll have me at 13 miles 2 weeks before the half. I know I should be including some back-to-back running days to prepare for the 10k and half, but I'm more in the mindset that I'm going to wing it. No pun intended. ;)

Christmas is in full-gear, at least in the stores. Check out some of my Disney finds! 

Mickey Waffle Maker at CVS (also on Amazon)
I was going to keep this, but it didn't have good reviews on Amazon. :(

Disney Christmas gift wrap & bags at Target
My local Target has a nice little section of vintage-Disney inspired Christmas wrap, gift bags and gift tags. All super cute! :) 

Do you always follow a training plan? Are you seeing Christmas stuff in stores yet?

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Running for Time vs Fun

Running for time or fun? 

I've been asking myself this question a lot lately, especially with the Tinker Bell 10k and half coming up. Prior to the Disneyland half a couple months ago, my answer would have been a resounding "why not both?"

Let's rewind a bit... I've been running since 2010, but until Disneyland this past September, I'd only participated in 2 races. So to me, I was running for both time and fun. In 2011, I finished my first half in 2:48. In 2012, I PR'd and finished in 2:23. Two weeks before 2013's half, I ran a 2:12 training run. So naturally, I was all about running for another PR! 

(I took the 10k nice and easy, it was purely for having fun in our costumes. I loved it!)

But for the half, I had different plans. I was going to run like heck and get my PR. Bad plan. The hot and humid weather kicked my butt. I should have listened to what my body was telling me- it was too hot, I should take it slow and just enjoy the race. 

In my true stubborn fashion, I didn't listen. And it was miserable. I wasn't having fun, I was grumpy and just exhausted. It wasn't until the last couple miles that I came to grips with the fact that my PR was long gone and I would probably not even beat last year's time. My lack of pictures from the half was what really made me realize just how much I wasn't into the race (I am usually a picture taking maniac). :/ At the last minute, I was able to focus on just having fun and my hubby and I crossed the finish line hand in hand, something we haven't done before. 

I was happy it was over and that I finished. 

Please don't feel sorry that I didn't have the amazing race experience I wanted. If you're new to racing, especially runDisney events, let my experience be a lesson for you- don't be afraid to let your PR plans go and just enjoy the race! PRs can come and go, but you'll always have those memories of the race. Make the most of it and just have fun. :)

I'm still not sure what will happen on race day for the Tink 10k or half. But I do know I'm not going to let my PR desires or pre-conceived ideas get the best of me. I still have yet to stop for any character stops- I think that needs to change in 2014! 

After all, during the race, you're not slow, you're just getting your money's worth! :) 

Do you run for time or fun? How do you decide?

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Tinker Bell Half Marathon Email

A little surprise popped up in my email today- the first "preparation" email from runDisney regarding the Tinker Bell half marathon weekend events. The email is pretty standard- tells you about discounted tickets through Get Travel, reminders to book accommodations, etc. There is also a link to the official training plan by Jeff Galloway. 

I was super excited until I realized the email says "Welcome Julia!" Ahh! I'm not Julia! I'll have to call and see what's going on. In the meantime, enjoy!

UPDATE: I just called runDisney at 2:46p (west coast time) and their automated message says they know about the issue with the name mistakes on the emails. 

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

My Happy Season

Christmas is my happy season. I start thinking about Christmas way before Halloween. It's the only holiday/season I decorate for. I listen to Christmas music in September. I get giddy perusing the holiday aisles at Target. It's the holiday of the year I look forward to the most.
I won the Ugly Christmas sweater contest!

But this year, something's not quite the same. I suppose it started a few months ago when work got really hectic. Even my husband, who I'm sure rolls his eyes at my holiday addiction, was telling me he couldn't wait for Christmas. When I asked him why, he said it's because he knows that's when I'm happiest. I went to Target after Halloween and they were in full Christmas mode, but I just wasn't feeling the cheer. 

My happy place...

If you've been following my blog for a while, you probably know that my husband is still in school. And has been for the past 5 years getting his engineering degree. We've had our struggles and it hasn't been easy living off one income, but we've survived. He's had good success finding internships and he's had a nice income since June. But now that it's time for him to line up a *real* job for after his graduation in December, things seem bleak. 

Maybe it's my naive assumption that finding a job out of college as an engineer would be easy. I can't tell you how many people have told me "Oh, an engineer? He'll always have a job." Where are those when we need them? I've seen him go through a few rejections so far and it definitely doesn't get easier. 

One job he's in the interview process for is a rotational program. 6 months in Texas, then 6 months somewhere else in the U.S. (we live in CA). It's too short a time for me to try to transfer to the area and the pay isn't enough where I could quit my job to go with him. 6 months living apart seems like a long time, I'm not sure how I'd handle it. Who will kill the spiders in the house for me?! And of course there are other jobs we're we'd have to relocate entirely. 

My home, sweet home... but for how long?

If he can't line up a job in the next month or so, he's probably looking at being unemployed for January. Not exactly what we were expecting.

So that's the weight I've been dragging around. The uncertainty of it all is really stressing me out and making me lethargic and mopey. Definitely not my usual self. If you made it this far, thank you for listening to my ramblings. In the mean time, I've resolved to let the stress go and just focus on the holidays and my upcoming Disneyland/Tinker Bell trip. With ~10 weeks to go, you'd think I'd be way more excited! 

Have any of you dealt with major life changes that are out of your control? How do you not let it affect the rest of your life? 

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Tink Tuesday: Fitbit Zip!

In a nutshell, my running has been terrible lately. On Sunday, I went on my first run since my 10k.... which was 2 weeks ago. I've been suffering from this weird morning cough and sniffles that I can't kick. Also, I may be suffering from a slight depression due to stress. More on that tomorrow though. 

My run on Sunday was pretty sad. I went 3.5 miles, which was nice for the distance, but my pace was a good 2+ minutes slower than normal. The realization that there are only about 10 weeks until Tink weekend has really freaked me out. It was probably because my hubby, in a very sweet way, told me that come race weekend if I wasn't feeling 100% ready for the 5k, 10k & half, to just skip the 10k and eat the race fee vs. injure myself for the half and/or the rest of my trip. He's got a point. But I'm also stubborn and determined to run all the races! 

I just got a Fitbit Zip, something that will keep me focused on my eating/fitness. It's a little wireless device that tracks your steps, distance, and calories. Combined with it's website/app you can also track your calories. It's pretty cool! It's super small, about the size of a quarter. It comes with a clip/holder so you can attach it to your clothes (even bra!). It also has a little plug-in for your computer so it'll sync the data automatically. 

Another great thing is that you can compete with your friends. My brother already has one and I actually got mine (for free!) through a work fitness challenge. At least 2 of my other co-workers have one so far, so I know there will be some friendly competition. :)

Anyway, I feel like I'm nearing the home stretch of training for Tink (maybe it's the almost single digit weeks left?!), so I know I really need to stick to my running. Feel free to keep me in line!