Serendipitous WDW Marathon Cheering

Brooke and I weren’t planning on going to any of the parks on Sunday. However, I sort of had Disney non-visit remorse on this short trip (I know, I know) and since Brooke has an annual pass, I suggested an Epcot visit.

We were about halfway there when I said, “Hey, wait a minute. Doesn’t the marathon go through Epcot?” (You know, because we live in a bubble and didn’t think about it prior!) After a brief glance at the course map we realized that it did, indeed! Not only that but it was at the very end of the marathon, miles 25 and 26.

SCORE!

mickeyfaces

Brooke and I are VERY big into the rah-rah! I mean, if we had the supplies in the car, we would have whipped up some signs on the spot. But since we didn’t we had to rely on our big mouths.

No problem-o!

We knew quite a few people running the full marathon. Naturally, we were tracking exactly zero of them.

But everyone is a friend in Disney, right? Knowing that everyone deserves a good cheer, we decided to just cheer for everyone and hoped that maybe we’d stumble across pals!

I’ve got to say, the way that Disney handle crowds while the park is open is very impressive. They had a couple of different routes so when they routed runners one direction, the park goers would wait. Then they would change the runners directions slightly so that the crowds could cross. It works very well (as long as you wait at the crosswalk and don’t dart out in front of runners).

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It started raining a little after we arrived but it wasn’t as cold as it had been the past few days. We made our way over to Mexico, cheering as we walked.

Figuring margaritas were in order for cheering, we grabbed yummy beverages. Some of the runners had the same idea. Because, why the heck not? (This nearly made me say, “Hey, we should run the marathon so that we can drink at the end.”) (Nearly. Then I realized I could just do that anytime in Epcot and NOT run a marathon.)

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This awesome guy was drinking around the world! He’d already gotten an Orange Slush and beer and was rounding it out with a margarita.

We hung out around the Mexico pavilion for awhile, cheers-ing and cheering the runners!

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We made sure not to say that they were almost there or that the finish was just around the corner. Instead we emphasized how much they all rocked and were looking good and strong!

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Of course, while we were there we made our way to Norway! We needed to give a Scoot a Doot shout out to our favorite statue of Grete Waitz!

Around this time, we started wondering if we would be able to track down Kristen and Suzanne. We did a little social media stalking (I feel only slightly weird saying that; after all, we were looking at people’s skirts yesterday to find them!) and knew we were looking for peach colored shirts and that Suzanne was wearing a cool superhero skirt. We continued to walk and cheer until…

I don’t even know HOW to describe the noise we made when we all saw each other. I really don’t. I mean, we were excited when we found each other during the half the day prior. But this? This was a whole other level!

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We offered them our drinks and they took sips before they were once again on their way! Oh my word, it was seriously awesome.

I’d been texting with our friend, Meredith, and told her we’d be by Morocco. It was her first marathon and my hope was to see her to cheer her on at some point because we’d missed each other the rest of the weekend!

Brooke and I grabbed some yummy food and sat down outside to eat when I heard Meredith yelling my name. We were falling down on the cheering job!

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Mer and I had met each other at the 2013 Wine and Dine meetup and it was especially awesome to see her again, right where we had first met. She was running for Team Noah and she ROCKED it!

We sat and ate while watching more running streaming through the World Showcase. We saw awesome costumes, people who looked like they were hurting (but they were persevering!), and family members cheering on their people. It was all wonderful!

balloonladies

After awhile, we saw the balloon ladies come and go. For those not familiar with the term, the balloon ladies are the very last people to start a race and they keep an exact 16 minute mile pace so people know how fast or slow they are going. The goal is to be in front of the balloon ladies to keep an accurate pace and avoid being swept.

I’m not sure what mile you have to get to in order to be “safe” but I know that we spent a good amount of time right near the balloon ladies in Disneyland and it seemed like mile 10 was the key mile there.

Brooke and I continued to walk along the course while the runners became more sparse. Finally, the last runners made their way through the course while we were in France.

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What wound up as spontaneous cheering for the marathoners was a great treat for us! As runners, it was wonderful to be out there, supporting our tribe.

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You’re all out of this world and we give you two thumbs up! Way to rock!

2015 Walt Disney World half marathon recap

Fun fact: I’ve never run a Disney race twice.

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I kicked it off in 2012, tackling Princess as my first half marathon and doing the 5k for funsies the day prior (and friends thought I was nuts). From there it’s been a whirlwind of the Castaway 5k, Tink, Wine and Dine, Disneyland 10k and half (again, with the nuts comments – they obviously don’t know many who have done Goofy/Dopey), and most recently the Walt Disney World half this past weekend.

Anyone who has run a Florida runDisney race knows about the dreaded early wake up time.

Anyone who has not run a Florida runDisney race but wants to… you may want to set your alarms now for 2:45am and practice that along with training. Because yes, that’s what time you get up for these races.

The struggle is real.

Extra, extra, read all about it. It's COLD outside.

Extra, extra, read all about it. It’s COLD outside.

Brooke and I decided that we would be Newsies. We also decided that we would wear cute little tanks and running skirts. And then Mother Nature decided that she was going to throw a curveball at all of northern Florida and make it fairly chilly. Warmth took precedence over cuteness.

Sleep nearly took precedence over the race, if I’m being quite honest. Have I mentioned how early it was?

We stayed at the All Star Movie Resort, which made our travel to the start very simple; buses are scheduled non-stop starting at 3am. We didn’t check bags so we gathered our SPIbelts, food (wheat flats, almond butter, and bananas), and braced ourselves for the cold weather.

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Donning our pajama pants and Brooke’s husband’s sweatshirts we found ourselves at the start village. Our dear friend, Ashley, was doing her first half marathon and our plan was to find her before the race. Attempts to track down Kristen and Suzanne were made, as I knew they were starting in our corral but to no avail.

The walk from the start village to the corrals is about a mile or so and while I found it daunting during the Princess half (remember, that was my first half ever), this wasn’t bad at all. The flow of traffic was smooth and we were able to get to the corrals with no issues. Our walk consisted of us geeking out over Universal’s Harry Potter world and books in general.

These are my people!

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Ash, Brooke, and me

Soon we had to split off and go to our separate corrals, so we gave hugs and high fives to Ash and her friends before heading to corral J.

Thanks to social media, Brooke and I knew which skirts Kristen and Suzanne were wearing so we spent a good long while walking around the corral, peering at people’s legs. Yes, indeed. Sadly, we didn’t find them (but hey, it was a way to pass the time).

The earlier corrals began to cross the start line and we both shimmied out of our pajama pants, tossing them into the collection boxes. We listened to the announcers banter and watched the fireworks at the start of each corral.

Before long, it was our turn!

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Our plan for this race was to HAVE FUN and I would say we succeeded! We thanked volunteers left and right. We ran when we felt like it. We walked when we felt like it (or when the course narrowed and there wasn’t much of an option). We cheered for other runners.

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We pulled to the side and took selfies.

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This course is the exact same as Princess so we knew what to expect. But honestly, my feelings toward this race couldn’t have been more different. My first half, it was all about getting through it. This? This was just about having fun and spending time with my friend. I didn’t hurt. I didn’t push any limits. I just had fun with Brooke.

The park is always crowded, as you can see in this video. There are people cheering and there’s not much room to navigate if you want to go faster than the people in front of you. What’s a courteous runner to do? Just roll with it. Soak it up, enjoy the moment, and smile.

It was "snowing" as we ran into the castle.

It was “snowing” as we ran into the castle.

If you’re a middle to the back of the pack runner, realize that you probably won’t get that awesome running shot of you coming out of the castle. I know for me, it was slightly disappointing when I first ran a Disney race. However, there are photographers stationed right in front of the castle if you want to stop and grab pictures with the castle in the background.

Brooke was hoping that this train would bring us to Diagon Alley. It does not. Sadly.

Brooke was hoping that this train would bring us to Diagon Alley. It does not. Sadly.

Miles 7-11 are what I like to call “the boring miles.” You exit Magic Kingdom and it’s lackluster. I feel like Disney could do something MORE in these miles to make it less tedious. I said that 2 years ago during Princess and I’m saying it again.

That’s not to say that the boring miles only pertain to runDisney, it’s really true of any half marathon. They are just sort of ho-hum, are we done yet? miles. For the record, the answer is no. You’re not even close to being done.

Which is why when you run into Kristen and Suzanne, whom you’ve been looking for the entire time, you basically lose your ever-loving mind and make loud squealing noises!

They spotted my hair and hat and we spotted their SKIRTS. How cute are they?

They spotted my hair and hat and we spotted their SKIRTS. How cute are they?

We hung out with them for about a half mile (I’m guessing – my watch was set on kilometers so I wasn’t exactly knowledgeable of anything in the distance department) before I pulled to the side because I had something in my shoe. It was so wonderful to see them and it definitely made those “boring miles” way more exciting!

Since the race is mostly on access roads, it’s hard for spectators to get out to the more remote areas. That’s why I totally have to give kudos to this guy! This was mile 10, just before going up the access ramp.

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Brooke and I kept chugging along although we were straight up speed walking at this point with the hopes of finishing up faster. Right outside of Epcot there were people cheering and it was wonderful to hear my name being called. Only LATER did I realize it was Bonnie! OH MY GOODNESS, I love that girl!

EPCOT

When you hit Epcot, you hear the same thing over and over. “The finish is just around the corner.” But we knew the course and we knew that it was NOT. You have to wind your way through Epcot a little before that corner finally comes. However, this is how you know the corner is really the actual corner and not a fictional one.

That’s right! There’s a gospel choir! You can hear Brooke WOOing them, like a good Woo Girl should.

Then, and only then, can you expect to see the finish line around the corner.

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This is the moment that you’ve been waiting for for 13.1 miles. You take it in. The crowds cheering. The people in front of you holding hands. The far off sound of medals clanking.

The sound of Brooke as she exclaims, “WAIT! Is that Minnie Mouse?”

Well worth it!

Why, yes. Yes, it is.

The finish was wonderful. Filled with great medals and snacks because runger is a real thing. Oh, and banana phones.

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W stayed at the finish area, snacking and stretching, so we could meet up with Ashley after she finished her very first half marathon. Mark my words, next time we are running TOGETHER.

Different races have meant different things in my life. Some are for PRs, others are for fun with friends. This one, and this weekend in general, was therapeutic. It was good for the soul and exactly what I needed.

theafter

Do different races hold different meanings in your life? When is your next race? Anyone entering the Broad Street 10 Miler Lottery? The next 5k I’m registered for is the Adrenaline Run 5k. After that it’s the Atlantic City April Fools Half. Will I see you at either of those?

Throwaways: the good, the bad and the really ugly

I have a stash of old sweatshirts and hats in the corner of our guest room.

Of course, they’ll go to charity. But first, they get one last use – as early morning road race throwaways!

IMG_1497It’s overflowing

Since the days are growing colder, and I’ve started to actually wear long sleeves while running on crisp mornings (gasp!) so I thought I’d share some tips on throwaways – including a how-to manual to create my infamous tube sock mittens!

Throwaways:

Most race organizers have volunteers collect discarded clothing at the starting line and along the course. Those items are then donated to charity. I love this. It’s such a smart form of recycling and giving an item a second – and third – life.

Typically, I scavenge my house looking for clothing (read: warm outerwear) I don’t mind parting with. I typically don old sweatshirts, long-sleeved shirts and knit caps.

If I forget or can’t find what I am looking for, I head to the Dollar Store or a second-hand store to find what I need. I even found a $5 fleece at Target in a pinch.

A Mylar blanket – the kind you receive at the finish of most large races – or a garbage bag – with a hole for your head – will also do the trick.

vic throwawayMe and my many layers before the Philadelphia Marathon in 2010.

 For my first marathon, I was overdressed with throwaways.  Sweatshirt, sweatpants, mittens and knit cap. I had it all. I also tossed it all before I started running. That taught me that its sometimes smart to hold onto mittens and hats until I warm up, typically a mile or two into my race.

nwh5The chicks and friends in a few throwaway tops before a 2014 race in D.C. Note how Meri dons a fancy shrug. (yeah, its really a ripped Lululemon shirt)

The key is to wear something that will A.) keep you warm and B.) you don’t mind discarding.

I struggle with this. I want everything to have a second life. And I hold onto some clothing for far too long. What’s that? You want an example? Well, ok.

Nov13 to May14 079See these duds? They are hideous and I couldn’t part with the 17-year-old fleece for about 15 years too many. That and my hubby’s torn-on-the-behind sweatpants have me looking voluminous pre-NYC Marathon in 2013. But hey, Christy Turlington Burns complimented them as we waited to start the race.

Brooke is fantastic about tossing unwanted or damaged clothes. We’ve traded throwaway layers at more than one race.

bthrowawyBefore the 2012 Princess Half Marathon, Brooke tossed these layers.

Sometimes, I really don’t want to part with an item.

In March, I passed on a favorite pair of warm up pants I’d had for years. They were ratty, but fit over my sneakers so became my go-to pants for regattas and road races.

Nov13 to May14 1601I memorialized these pants before I discarded them before a race in March.

Good bye, old friend.

The key with throwaway pants is the ability to take them off in a rush – without having to untie your shoes.

Most warmup pants don’t fit over my sneakers, so I make them fit. I take a pair of scissors and cut up the seam of the pants, starting at the ankle. I make the opening large enough for my show to fit through. (If you look closely at the first pic in this post, you can see my handiwork)

And yes, this is why a supermodel/runner told me I was brilliant before we both ran NYC last fall.

How to make your own tube sock mittens:

It’s easy. Place tube socks over your hands and push your thumb through the heel area of the sock.

IMG_1499So simple, so stylish

If you’re like me, your socks are well worn and might even already have a hole in your heel.

If you don’t wear your socks to threads, you can opt to use scissors.

Presto change-o! Done! Tube sock mittens.

wineglassmittensTube sock mittens paired with an old sweatshirt. These mittens lived to see another race day.

Now that you’ve seen my hideous throwaways, I want to hear what YOU do! Share pics of you in your discard layers with us on social media! – We’re ScootaDoot on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook!

Did Good, Feeling Really Good: Alex’s Million Mile Wrap-Up

What a month! We walked, we ran, we rode. We made lemon food and wore yellow clothes. We talked about it here, there and everywhere. All with one goal- to raise awareness and funds for childhood cancer and Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation.

This has become my favorite time of year for our little corner of the internet. Running for a cause, and seeing the momentum build among our community of friends is nothing short of amazing. Watching our miles and donations climb every day, exchanging shouty-caps texts with Mer because we’re so excited about our team’s successes, seeing that my own local friends have joined our team or donated, reading Megan’s almost daily Facebook posts just pushing for more donations (Megan really should go into professional fundraising because she’s a rockstar, and not at all pushy about it, either.) And of course, the running. I am actually running regularly again and it feels almost as good as my donation to ALSF did.

I just have to say it again- WHAT A MONTH!

First, I have to thank our team. Together, we logged 1,871.13 miles. We all deserve a refreshing glass of lemonade!

But that’s not all…

Together, we helped raise $2,070 for childhood cancer!

Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation has funded over 450 projects with the goal of curing pediatric cancer, so you know those funds are being used for something GOOD. I’m raising my glass to you, Team Scootadoot:

teamscootadoot

Thank you. Thank you, very much.

At the beginning of the month, we told you about a few rewards we had…

For the second year in a row, our top fundraiser is Megan! Her posts to Facebook and Instagram were funny, heartfelt, and obviously very effective. Megan, you’re the BEST! I’m sending you big hugs from Florida.

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Our next award goes to Bonnie, for logging the most miles this month: 193.90! High fives to you, girl!

And finally, the winner of our random draw for our #onwednesdayswewearyellow campaign is Jenn! I like your style, Jenn!

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Thank you, Megan, Bonnie, and Jenn! We’ll be in touch to get your prizes to you. We’re so grateful to have you on our team!

On a personal note, our #journey2amillion was exactly the push I needed to start running regularly again. And it only took two weeks of that for Meridith to convince me to run the Disney World Half Marathon with her in January. Looks like we’ll be having a lot of virtual runs over the next few months.

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This is my last blog post for the foreseeable future. I love my Scootadoot chicks! When I say we all became friends within minutes of meeting, I really do mean it. But life is beautiful and crazy here, and I’m a girl who likes to volunteer for all the things, which leaves very little time for me to share my story on the internet. I’ll still be running and reading though (especially here!)- link your blog for me, please? I’ve enjoyed talking running with all of you, and I thank you for reading. Happy Friday, runner friends!
 

Goofy Giveback: I’ll take one of those, please!

Earlier this month, runDisney announced that they were going to take a certain amount of Goofy Race and a Half Challenge registrations (that’s a half and a full marathon for those who don’t speak the runDisney lingo) and split them, giving runners the option to sign up for the previously sold out half marathon and full marathon.

Since participating in the Dumbo Double Dare I’ve been sort of bummed that I didn’t have another Disney race on my dance card. The Goofy Race and a Half Challenge still had room; however, I already decided that I’m not quite ready for a full marathon… let alone a half marathon on Saturday and a full marathon on Sunday.

BUT THEN, the Goofy Giveback came along and the wheels in my head started turning! I’m sure this surprises exactly no one.

goofygivesback

What’s a girl to do? I wanted to sign up. But should I? How would we swing it? Could we make it happen?

From what I hear, winter is going to be capital W-I-N-T-E-R this year in my area. It was pretty rough last year and I slowly but surely lost my mind. I know that I’ll need something to keep the blues away in January. Plus there’s running in costume! And race selfies! And my favorite characters!

Well, needless to say, Christmas came a little bit early for me this year and I’m now registered for the half marathon. Isn’t that the MOST? To say the least!

What’s more is that I’ll be running with Brooke, which is always beyond words in terms of fun. She is the best cheerleader and since she’s coming off of her injury and I’m fairly consistent with my training at this point, we might even be able to pull a PR for me.

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To say that I’m super excited for January would be an understatement! I’m actually looking forward to winter, which is a rarity for me.

Have you taken advantage of the Goofy Giveback? The half has sold out (as of earlier today). The full is at 91% so if you’re interested, act now. Or, if you want to do the Goofy race and a half challenge, don’t delay because it’s 98% full!

Or, were you a planner and signed up when registration opened? In other words, who should I look for in January?

Shiny (er, Sweaty), Happy, Person Running

If you have young kids, then you know that the only thing they’re really consistent about is being inconsistent. My happy little dude, who has always been fine with our babysitter, and really, never met a stranger he didn’t like, is currently going through some terrible separation anxiety. He cries when my husband leaves for work, he wails when we drop the girls off at school. He sobs when I leave- even if he’s with his dad, or our sitter who’s been with us since before he was born. We’ve been sitting together in the crying room at church and the gym hasn’t been an option- as soon as we walk in the doors of a nursery, he shakes his head and says, “Nope.”

I know this will pass, and typically, I’m pretty patient and let the baby lead on these things, but- (of course there’s a “but”) I need to exercise. I was excited to finally start running again, and had fallen into a decent schedule of treadmill walk/running and cycling on a stationary bike when the nursery meltdowns began.

A week passed without any workouts and September 1st arrived- the beginning of our #journey2amillion. I knew I had to do something, so I dusted off the jogging stroller and my garmin, grabbed a hat and some pepper spray, and off we went. I ran and walked just over 3.5 miles that day, the most I had done since the Nike half. A day passed and I went out again. I continued the next week, running every other day. I switched up my intervals quickly and I don’t want to bore you with all the numbers, but I started out running 15 minutes at a time, and yesterday, I ran a full 30 minutes without stopping to walk.

Slightly happier to be in a stroller vs. gym nursery. He'd probably most like to run alongside me!

Slightly happier to be in a stroller vs. gym nursery. He’d probably most like to run alongside me!

I am so crazy happy to be running again. My legs feel lighter. My mind feels lighter. And the best part is, I’m running for a cause this month- for Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation. Most of you probably already know that we’re logging miles (and wearing yellow) all month to raise awareness for childhood cancer.

#onwednesdayswewearyellow On Wednesdays, I also make a lot of jokes about dressing like Brenda Walsh.

#onwednesdayswewearyellow On Wednesdays, I also make a lot of jokes about dressing like Brenda Walsh.

We’re doing good, and feeling good, and I’m feeling even better because not all of my miles are coming from walking or cycling. High fives all around!

I’ve also been taking yoga classes again. Do you have a regular yoga studio? I like to switch it up based on my needs. My Saturday morning class works because it’s an early morning power hour, so I don’t feel like I’m missing most of the morning. There’s an evening class at a different studio that I love for relaxation. And finally, a new hot yoga place opened in my city! This is a BIG DEAL because all of the other hot studios are at least 40 minutes away. They have classes later in the evening, which is perfect for me because I can get the kids into bed before I “Om.”

So, hooray for recovering from injuries! I’m grateful for consistent exercise, even if I’m surrounded by chaos.

The 90s are back. Whose closet would you raid- Brenda, Kelly, or Donna (Martin graduates)? How far do you drive for yoga? Check out our page for Alex’s Million Mile! There’s still time to join our team, or donate: http://www.alexslemonade.org/mypage/1117658

It’s Lemon Month! Time to Run, Walk, Ride.

A few days ago, my friend challenged me to log some miles for ALS. I’ve already done the ice bucket thing; most of my friends and family have. Isn’t the power of social media amazing? To date, the Ice Bucket Challenge for ALS awareness has helped to raise $100 million and counting, and raised our collective consciousness about a disease that affects so many people, including a few of my friends. As with any internet thing, there are naysayers, but as someone with the inside scoop on charity workings (my husband serves as board president of a local nonprofit), raising awareness for your cause works. The proof is in the dollars- see that big figure up there? You never know who might be watching, who has funds to give, who has been personally affected or knows someone who has, and suddenly- they care. They want to make a difference. They want to give their money. And maybe it’s a one-time thing, or maybe they can afford a recurring donation, but either way- awareness matters.

Back to my friend’s running challenge- well, I had to decline. This month is Childhood Cancer Awareness month, and all of my miles belong to Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation. That’s right, it’s time once again to log one million miles for childhood cancer, and this year, we can run, walk, or ride our way through September. Check out this video:

We participated in the inaugural Million Mile Run last year, and were thrilled that so many of our friends joined us. If you would like to join Team Scoot A Doot this year, we would LOVE to have you! Fundraising is encouraged but not mandatory- what we really want you to do is log your miles with us and make some noise on social media. Let’s paint the month yellow for childhood cancer awareness!

BUT WAIT. There’s more! If you join our team, here are some things you can look forward to:

#onwednesdayswewearyellow Mean Girls wear pink, but Nice Girls (and guys) wear yellow. Show us your yellow every Wednesday on Instagram and Facebook, and help me prove that it really does look good on everyone. Team members will be entered into a random prize drawing at the end of the month, for every Wednesday they participate. (That’s one prize but four chances to enter! Time to start planning your outfits.)

We love our team so much that we have two other prize opportunities!

One prize for the most miles logged by the end of the month. Now, some of us our in marathon training season, and some of us are cyclists…who will win? Start moving, post your miles, and let’s find out!

The other reward is for our top fundraiser. Raising money isn’t a requirement for our team, but every dollar raised will help fund more research, and one day, hopefully, a cure.

We have a few other surprises in store for our team, and of course we’ll be posting lemony goodness all month long, in the form of recipes, outfit ideas, and more.

Let’s get this party started! Join Team Scoot A Doot for #alexsmillionmile and give us a shout on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook. Start running, walking, or riding and let’s make a difference together. The #journey2amillion starts today!

http://www.alexslemonade.org/mypage/1117658

Already joined our team? THANK YOU! Are you walking, biking, or riding? Do you love yellow as much as I do?

These Shoes Were Made for Running

You guys! Yesterday, I laced up my new sneakers (Asics Cumulus) and went for a run. ALL THE EXCITEMENT IS HERE.

New shoes, new socks and a sexy new running partner.

New shoes, new socks and a sexy new running partner.

My last run was the Nike DC half in April, after which my foot ached something awful, and swelled to the size of, well, a foot much bigger than mine.

April was a long, long time ago. It’s been a moody four months around my house, if we’re being completely honest.

I’ve been doing some conditioning, as my doctor recommended, as well as other forms of cardio when I’ve had time (which wasn’t often), but yesterday, I decided that it was time.

The best part? I ran PAIN FREE.

Wheeeeee!

My doctor recommended that I ease back into running by doing intervals. Specifically, 10 minutes of walking, 10 running, 10 walking. I’m supposed to do that every other day for 10 days, at which point I can try 10 minutes of running, 10 walking, 10 running. And so on, until I’m running comfortably for 30 minutes. After that, I can slowly increase my mileage.

Day one. So far, so good.

SO HAPPY TO BE BACK.

Pop some nuun into your glass and celebrate with me. Cheers! What’s making you happy on this beautiful Monday?

Oh, Summer. I Miss You Already.

Summer lovin’, had me a blast…
Summer lovin’, happened so fast…

I introduced my daughters to Grease this summer, and this song has been on repeat the last few weeks. That line is appropriate for how I’m feeling now, because we’re in our last week of summer vacation. SAD FACE. Last Friday, I took my kids shopping for school supplies (which is one of my favorite activities. Paper, pencils, markers- oh my!). Today begins a flurry of back-to-school prep, including a PTA meeting and kindergarten orientation.

I’m excited to get back to our routine- which will mean regular gym time for me and consistent naps for the baby- but I’m sad to lose all this fun time with my kids. We’ve been swimming, visited museums, had movie nights every week, read lots of books, eaten all the cupcakes, baked pies and just enjoyed hanging out with each other. (Oh, and I reached our summer goals- Teaching my oldest to tie her shoes- check. Getting my middle one to start reading- check. Full night of sleep for the dude- CHECK AND HALLELUJAH. For me, learn to play chess- check, and the new goal is to kick J’s butt in a game. Or all the games. Checkmate, baby!) I had date nights, girls nights, moms nights, and while I rarely slept in, I basked in the contentment that comes with balancing adult time and kid time.

Here are some favorites from my summer vacation:

These were almost too cute to eat! The kids and I loved the tour at Chocolate Kingdom.

photo 1-26

One of our field trips was to The Container Store, because I was desperate for something to organize all of my makeup. I’m happy to report that two months later, things still look this neat.

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This book! I’m still thinking about it. I read a lot this summer, but this, Last Letter to my Lover by Jojo Moyes, and Astonish Me by Maggie Shipstead were my faves.

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One of my only naps with this guy (He is obsessed with those cute Honest brand diapers- he calls this one is “zoom zoom,” and the skull and crossbones pattern is “yo ho”). Now he naps in his crib! Glad I got a picture of this. Sniff.

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Ice Cream smoke! If you’re a run Disney person, and you bring your kids with you, try to check out Abracadabra Ice Cream. You choose your mix-ins and they use liquid nitrogen for a little ice cream magic. My kids loved it.

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My best friend is a teacher, and her daughter is six months older than my son. We saw them at least twice a week, usually more, for the first half of summer (before they traveled north to visit family. LEFT US, I MEAN.). She and little dude love each other the most, and I get bff time. How cool is that? Here’s our little crew at Chipotle.

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We spent so much time at the pool. We also spent a week at the beach with my wonderful inlaws. Flying kites, night swimming, boogie boarding in the ocean, collecting shells…that’s the life, man.

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The girls love baking with me. I let them bake m&m blondies for July 4th, and my oldest also helped make the crust for my berry galettes. At the beach, she helped with a strawberry-rhubarb pie (store bought crust here) and I taught her how to make a fluted crust. She’s my picky eater though, so she still won’t try most of what she makes. Silly girl!

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We also celebrated my middle one’s 5th birthday. We had a big party with friends back in May, and a small celebration with family while at the beach. She chose a menu of crescent roll hot dogs and s’mores. I made my husband’s s’more with a Reese’s Cup instead of Hershey’s and I don’t think he’ll ever have a plain one again. (Speaking of, have you tried the peanut butter cup Oreos? OMG.)

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I hope you’ve enjoyed your summer as much as I’ve loved mine! Tell me what you’ve been up to. Any book recs? What would you mix in your ice cream? The kids mixed cotton candy, white chocolate and marshmallow. I think they get their sweet tooth from me.

Happy Running Day!

Happy National Running Day! I’m not running, of course. To make matters worse, I wore my sneakers for a little (okay, a lot) longer than I should have on Sunday and ended up with some pain around my ankle on Monday. Since then, I’ve been in the boot for most of my walking time, and now I feel ready to ease back into sneakers. Again. I should have been more diligent but now I know a little more about what my foot can handle. This injury stuff sucks.

Anyway, I’ve been thinking a lot about running, and also trying not to think about running. Sara sent me a text last week to tell me that the Gasparilla half-marathon registration opened soon, and it was quite a low moment for me. I can’t even walk in sneakers for more than four hours right now, so obviously, I’m not registering for any more races until I’m running again.

That said, I know I will run again. Tendonitis is a common injury, and not super serious (don’t tell my doctor I said that, omg.) and I feel whiny and I hate that- I have a 6 year old, a 4 year old and an 18 month old- I hear enough whining during my days without having to listen to my own. Setbacks happen to all of us and the best thing for me to do right now is take the time to heal, and remember that there’s always another race. There are more sunrises to see while on my morning run, more things to chat about during my long runs with Sara, more shoes and patterned pants to buy and many, many more runcations with my Scoot chicks.

School is out down here and I’m in full camp mom mode with my awesome kids. I’ve been looking forward to this since Spring Break because I love creating activities for them (on Monday, we painted rocks to make tic-tac-toe game pieces) and I love taking them on field trips (yesterday- the library and a picnic at a local playground). I think they’re the coolest. I’m planning to take a little break from blogging because I have a lot going on during the day, and most of it is mommy/kid stuff and not exercise stuff, which makes me both happy and sad. I’ll still be reading blogs, of course, so please link yours below.

Today, I’m going to share some of my favorite running photos with you, in celebration of our favorite sport.

With Meri, before the Rothman 8k in 2011

With Meri, before the Rothman 8k in 2011

Running with my middle babe at the Disney Princess kids races in 2012

Running with my middle babe at the Disney Princess kids races in 2012

Happy at mile 13 at my PR race, the Melbourne Beaches half marathon in 2012

Happy at mile 13 at my PR race, the Melbourne Beaches half marathon in 2012

It's not often we get to run together! A beach run with my husband last summer.

It’s not often we get to run together! A beach run with my husband last summer.

Post- UCF 5 miler with my family (we all ran a race that day except the boy!)

Post- UCF 5 miler with my family (we all ran a race that day except the boy!)

Wine and Dine with Meri and Lisa (who had a huge PR that night). Love these girls!

Wine and Dine with Meri and Lisa (who had a huge PR that night). Love these girls!

New Year's Day run with my girl, Dorothy, who is blurry because well, we were running.

New Year’s Day run with my girl, Dorothy, who is blurry because well, we were running.

Before the 10k portion of Disney's Glass Slipper Challenge. I miss my running time with Sara almost as much as I miss running.

Before the 10k portion of Disney’s Glass Slipper Challenge. I miss my running time with Sara almost as much as I miss running.

A friend gave me some advice many years ago- to hold onto a memory, to really be able to pull it back into you mind, you should take a mental picture. Focus on the smell, the sound, the scene before you. How you feel. This isn’t easy to do during a race, because your body is so tired, your mind is thinking of everything, or nothing, or that pain in your whatever…it’s almost impossible to soak in a single moment in time for later recall. I carry my phone in my hand to snap pictures, but my mind does a decent job, occasionally.

I will never forget how I felt after I crossed the finish line after the Melbourne half in 2012- partially because I had achieved the sub-2, and also because I was breathing pretty poorly and worried I was going to pass out. (Later I found out I had bronchitis. Oops.)

I will always remember the joy of crossing the finish line with Mer at her first half marathon. It was such a tearful, happy moment.

My friend Danielle ran my last run of the RW Holiday 2013 streak with me, and went a lot farther, mile-wise, than she planned to because she wanted to help me get to 100 total miles. I don’t remember what the weather looked like, or what we wore, but I remember how grateful I felt for her friendship.

Watching Anne finish her first half-marathon in April is probably my favorite running memory of 2014. I felt high all day because of it (okay, a little bit was due to my own race. But mostly hers. Seeing a friend believe in herself, and achieve something they’ve worked so hard for is magical.)

I can’t wait to get back out there and make some new memories. Share one of your favorites with me?