5 Tips that Make Breastfeeding Easier

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After going through the breastfeeding process twice, there’s a few tips I wish I knew ahead of time. My first son I breastfeed for 15 months and my second well, we are still on the journey. During my first and second, I learned to enjoy my time feeding baby and hope to help others who wish to breastfeed. Here are 5 tips I came up with that helped my journey and I hope for them to help yours as well:

  1. Patience – being calm and patient allowed me to relax with my baby. This also allowed me to enjoy the time I had feeding Baby. The more relaxed I became the more milk I produced, after feedings I eventually able to pumped what baby didn’t eat!
  2. Breastfeeding Pillow – This can be anything from a regular pillow to ones made exclusively for breastfeeding. I used “My Brest Friend” for both kids. I loved the way it clipped around my waist and gave both baby and I support, it was perfect for breastfeeding.
  3. Nursing Cover – Using a nursing cover helped my breastfeeding anxiety in public. I used anything from a muslin swaddle blanket to wraps made for breastfeeding. Even the right loose t-shirts opted for a cover and that was enough. The importance of allowing yourself to go out n’ about as a new Mom is a lot. Breastfeeding shouldn’t stop your freedom.
  4. Nutrition – A healthy balanced diet helped me produce more milk. I also felt I was restricted from more foods while breastfeeding than pregnant. I learned quickly specific foods either didn’t allow me to produce quality milk or would upset the baby’s tummy! To eliminate what foods didn’t work, I created a list of what I ate, how I felt, how it made baby feel, and how I would replace it, if needed. Another reminder was how much calories you burn while breastfeeding your baby. Increasing your food intake is normal and will help increase your milk production too!
  5. Schedule – Stick to a feeding schedule. Not only is routine healthy in any lifestyle, it also helps develop one of the first schedules for your baby. Even though its breastfeeding, think of it as lunch, breakfast, and dinner, as well as snacks. You may also start to produce enough milk to include snacks as milk you pumped after feeding baby nights before!

As I encourage any Mom or Mommy-to-be to breastfeed these are just a few tips that helped me while feeding my two boys. A huge help was investing in a breast pump! A breast pump allowed me to increase my supply as well as keep breast milk safe for baby to eat while I was away. Pumping also gave my husband, grandma, and friends the ability to bond while feeding baby. The Breastfeeding Shop helps Mommies-to-be obtain a breast pump through their medical insurance. They make the process fast and easy. All you have to do is follow the instructions on this form and submit it! I would recommend using this company to help make the breastfeeding process easy and stress free! The mom life was created to be enjoyed, stay positive and strong!

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Run Revel – Mount Charleston 2017

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On April 29th, 2017 I ran my first downhill marathon. Just an hour out from the glowing Las Vegas Strip you will find cottages and two lane roads up Kyle Canyon, this is Mount Charleston. Most runners gravitate towards downhill marathons with bright eyes and their heart set on a BQ time. While downhill racing tends to give a runner a new PR, it’s not as easy on your body as you would think. When I registered for Mount Charleston, I wanted a vacation along with the experience of a downhill race. I knew I wasn’t ready for a BQ but a PR would be in my future. Run Revel is known for their downhill beautiful courses and quality race experience. They host a few races a year with half and full marathon distances. When you Run Revel, you know you are joining a strong group of runners that train hard and finish strong.

runrevel_03When I told Mav I registered for Mount Charleston, he jumped online and said, “you know this is going to be a Vegas vacation.” While there are hotels near the race finish line, you bus up to the start line from a parking lot in Summerlin. Since we drove to Las Vegas and had a car, staying on the strip was ideal for us. We drove up the day before the race, checked in and headed out to packet pick up. Once I had my bib, I was getting excited. Training for a downhill race included a lot of uphill runs, along with stretches, fuel prep, and IT roll outs. One thing that always makes me nervous while running is my knees, I can train, prepare, and supplement. However, I never know if they are going to act up. I knew if they were going to give me trouble, a downhill race would be when be when pain may show up. Instead of being scared, I prayed and figured if Mount Charleston was going to be my race then everything would go as planned. Las Vegas holds a lot of my favorite restaurants, so Mav and I had an early dinner and for the first time ever, I was able to get to bed by 8 PM with a 3 AM alarm.runrevel_04

Before I knew it 3 AM rolled around and I jumped out of bed, from that moment I started pre race hydration with nuun performance. I can’t eat before a race so nuun performance has been a game charger for me. It’s the right amount of carb and electrolytes to keep me hydrated and strong throughout my long runs. Mav drove me to the parking lot in Summerlin, I sat in the car for awhile until I braved the chilly windy weather and jumped in the bus line, which was headed to the marathon start line. While in line, everyone was ecstatic and excited. Talking about the previous years race, where they flew in from, and that BQ they were chasing. One women shared her story of chasing a BQ for 15 years, I admired her journey and wished her luck. I thought to myself, “this race is serious, it’s a make it or break it for a lot of runners.” Driving up, we passed the half marathon start line…a part of me thought, “can I change my mind now.”  Soon, we were at the start line which was a cute little cabin restaurant and lodge. While the race temperature at finish was a perfect 72 degrees. The start line reminded me of my fun chilly race in Florida this past January. You forget how chilly and windy it is the higher up the mountain you go. Knowing I would be running and warmed up soon, I just couldn’t wait until that blow horn went off.

runrevel_01Starting down the hill, it was really windy. I once again had a flashback to my first marathon and tried to keep a positive focus. The first couple of miles were steep and allowed me to gain momentum, this is were I kept a steady 8-8:30 min/miles. Hydration stations and port a potties were located just about every mile down the course. I kept to my plan of at least getting an ounce or two of water each stop, along with my honey stinger gels each hour of running. nuun performance keeps me hydrated for a good portion of the run, while the gels give me the amino acids my body needs. This course had so much to see and kept me mentally free. my focus on the scenery and the sounds of the outdoors kept me on pace. When I would set my eyes on the distance I could see the north side of the strip. Coming up on the half marathon start line, I was feeling good. This is where it started to warm up and I knew I was halfway to finish. Arriving at mile 18-20 during a marathon is tough, I always feel like I’m almost finished but the miles start to get longer and I need to stay head strong. This is also were the Mount Charleston course tends to flatten out. I started to feel my quads on fire. I knew if I wanted to PR, It was going to have to be on me and my training. With 5k to go, it really hit me. I wanted to walk but my legs weren’t ready to give up. I kept my focus on the signs of the spectators cheering the runners on. Since most of the course is closed off, it does give spectators a tough time to cheer on loved ones, unless they drive up or live along the course. I’m always for spectators towards the end of 26.2 miles!! Since my head was telling my body to slow down but the crowd was telling me to “finish strong.” Before I knew it I could see the finish line, approaching it took forever even though it was a quick minute. lol. I could see Mav to my right at the finish, this gave me the strength to push harder. Shortly after I finished I checked my time, which was better than the time I saw while crossing the finish line!! I finished in 4:09:45 for a 9:31/mile, a new PR for me!

Looking back at this marathon, I found myself in most of the miles. Run Revel exceeded my expectations, from a organized quality course to the quality of challenging runners. Once you run a downhill marathon, it’s tough to meet your running goals with any other course. This was my third marathon, and I plan to make a Run Revel event my fourth. If you are pursuing your dream of running Boston, I would advise to sign up for a downhill marathon. Run Revel shaved 17 mins off my previous marathon time!

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15 Summer Activities to Help your Kids Appreciate Nature

What are your kids doing this Summer? For many of us Summer time with the kids is a time to enjoy the outdoors, the sunshine and if you’re lucky the ocean.

As much as kids love Summer holidays, keeping them busy can be a real chore! If you’ve not got the luxury of a Summer camp then it’s up to you as parent to find things for the youngsters to keep busy with.

Failing that, your kids might spend all their time in front of a computer, tablet, phone or other screen and research has shown that spending too much time in front of a screen can have a detrimental effect on the health and wellbeing of children.

Studies have shown that taking part in nature-based activities helps people who are suffering from mental ill-health and can contribute to a reduction in levels of anxiety, stress, and depression. In fact, a daily walk in nature has showed decreased activity in a region of the brain associated with a key factor in depression.

One in four people are estimated to experience bouts of mental ill health and it’s on the rise. Prescription medication of antidepressants are also at a record high level and the demand for more invasive treatments are also on the rise. Health and social care commissioners are examining and commissioning different options for cost effective services for mental health and one of these options is a daily walk of 90 minutes or more. We need to learn from the past when kids got excited to spend their time climbing trees and building dens rather than spending hours inside.

Joe at Nature Rated understands this all too well and has put together an infographic on 15 Summer activities to help your kids appreciate nature.

This is what it looks like:

15 Summer activities to help your kids appreciate nature

From baking a blackberry pie to constructing a pond or insect hotel, there’s plenty for the youngsters to get up to. Head on over to his site for step by step instructions to get your kids out and about enjoying nature.

Hope that works!

Bio:

An outdoor enthusiast, Joe is the lead editor at Nature Rated; a website which rates and reviews the best outdoor gear for people who quickly want to know what to get. He believes in no fluff, to the point reviews, which help you choose the right gear for your next adventure.
Whenever daily life gets him down he heads to the nearest lake or river with his kayak and camera spending time recharging his batteries.

“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” – M. Gandhi

Breastfeeding Simplified at The Breastfeeding Shop

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The age difference between my first and second son is almost 3 years. Since I breastfed my first son, It came natural to do so with my second. Even though the age difference isn’t large, the advances in all sorts of baby gear made it hard to reuse the second time around. One of these items was my breast pump! While my first breast pump worked great, it also had seen a lot of love. So once again I found myself shopping breast pumps. This time around, I also was running a lot so I needed one that was convenient for travel. Luckily, I didn’t have to search far as I did with Baby Baby. The Breastfeeding Shop was a one stop, easy and great way to shop the perfect pump!TravelBreastPump

By offering a variety of breast pumps and accessories, I knew I could find one for the comfort of home and travel. Along with bottles and storage items I would need. Since they work with your insurance company, they help ensure your breast pump is covered. Their expertise is working with Military Moms and Tricare insurance, so that they can receive the top of line breast pumps at no cost.

In order to start the process to your insurance covered breast pump, you will need a prescription. No need to worry though, if you don’t have one yet.  The Breastfeeding Shop is able to contact your doctor on your behalf.  Once the prescription is available, you are able to fill out this form. In a few easy steps, the claim is processed and the pump is shipped directly to you! The Breastfeeding Shop simplifies the breast pump process and allows Moms-to-be access to the best products.

 

It’s Giveaway Time!

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TinkerBell Half Marathon Weekend is in just a few short days. This half holds a special place in my heart as it is my first! In honor of my first half, I am giving away a Momentum Jewelry Wrap to two lucky winners! In order to win, please click on the link below and make sure you follow my Instagram!

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Baby Mum-Mum Rice Rusks Review

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I was excited when Baby Mum-Mum reached out to Pray Run Live Love because their baby rice rusks were next on my list while shopping for the boys. We are always looking for different snacks, especially ones that offer a healthier alternative. If you’ve followed my blog for awhile you know that when I first introduced solids into Baby Baby’s diet, I made all his food. I really enjoyed knowing everything that went into his body. Of course over time and “grandma” visits, his diet isn’t always restricted to what I can make. So doing research and purchasing items that reflect a good diet is what I strive to do.BabyMumMum2

Now that I’ve begun the same process of making food for Little Little, I’m starting to introduce more healthier pre made snacks into his diet as well. We love Baby Mum-Mum Rice Rusks! Not only does Baby Baby eat them with peanut butter, Little little enjoys them too on their own. This past month I started adding snacks to his diet that he can feed himself with.  I was sent four flavors: original, original “fruit juice sweetened, no salt added,” banana, and carrot. Little Little liked all of them but favored “carrot” the most. The packaging is great and allows us to throw a few 2-pack mum-mums in the diaper bag for out ‘n’ about snacks. I could have seen Baby Baby really loving these snacks when we first introduced him to solids. They are lightly flavored and practically weightless. Since they quickly disolve while in your mouth, I’m not worried about the boys choking or eating too much. They are perfect for teething and introducing solid foods. I recommend Baby Mum-Mum to any child 3 and under.

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PROS:

  • lightweight
  • no mess
  • several flavors
  • naturally sweetened
  • made free of all 10 common allegies
  • individually wrapped 2-packs

 

CONS:

  • quick to snap apart

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LA Marathon 2017

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The LA marathon has to be one of my new favorite races. The course is amazing and the energy was vibrant. When I first signed up for LA, my goal was to run it vengeance. While it was fun and exciting, my last marathon kicked my butt. The weather sucked, I took advantage of many photo ops, and I was learning how to fuel properly. There was a lot of trial and error. This made me really want to PR in LA. Days after the WDW marathon, I signed up for LA, revised my training schedule, and experimented with different foods. I dressed light for the run and for the first time in awhile decided to take my phone to document the race. The plan for hydration was to drink only water and nuun hydration tabs the week before the race. During the race I would stop at each water station and at least drink about 4 ounces. My meal plan for marathon week included prepping with a mix of protein and carbs. I wouldn’t be eating this marathon, instead I would use 4 gels with higher amino acid intake, sodium, and 35 mg caffeine in which I would spread out each hour with goal finish time of 04:30:00.

Yep, so many selfie opportunities on the course ;p

Yep, so many selfie opportunities on the course ;p

So on March 19th at 6:55 AM I was ready. While the LA marathon has 20,000 runners, I found a spot in between the 9-10 minute mile marker which made me feel as if it only had 100. Starting out of Dodger Stadium I found a steady pace that allowed me to make it to the 5k marker at around a 9:10 minute mile. I was feeling good and my legs were ready for the long haul. This race has so many sights to see that you really can live in the mile. I was able to focus on where I was at and how I felt about it. Doing this is therapeutic for me, especially since I rarely run with headphones during races.

Before I knew it, I was approaching Hollywood Blvd and there was lots to see and take in. I ran into a few friends during these miles and I also felt good enough to FaceTime the husband and boys during mile 9-10. The halfway marker was West Hollywood and the energy was high. During my last marathon this is when I took some time to eat and relax, this time around I started on my 3rd gel and stayed on my hydration plan. I did stop for a quick pic as it was a accomplishment to be making the course at my goal time. I found myself pacing the 4:15 team for a little bit, I enjoyed listening to the pace leaders plan and how they were adjusting their miles. It wasn’t what I had planned for the race, as I wasn’t even thinking of the miles ahead of me. So, this lasted a little past mile 18, which found me in Century City. I’m still in disbelief how this course is structured, so many awesome sights to see, and a lot of downhill opportunities. I really didn’t have time to pay attention to anything else. For the second half, I did tone down my pace the last 8 miles. I kept telling myself to stay comfortable. “Find a comfortable pace, is this comfortable?” When I reaffirmed my pace, I knew I could make my goal time. At mile 20, I FaceTime the husband again. He was already making his way with the boys to Santa Monica so it gave me a little boost of energy.

Showing my youngest my medal!

Showing my youngest my medal!

The last 10k of the race is really where you have to stay strong and stick to your motto. This is always where I’m usually running with the same group of people and we tend to keep each other motivated until the finish line.  Running the neighborhoods of Brentwood was neat, so many homeowners were outside and cheering on everyone. I found the breeze of the ocean start to blow on my face and through my hair. My motto was “you are amazing and you’ve got this!” I kept repeating this to myself and if you know me, I said it a few times out loud ;p As I came up on Ocean Blvd, You can’t help but speed up when seeing the crowd. Since I was documenting my run on social media, I clicked on a few unread messages. I glanced over a few of encouraging messages and found myself pushing harder. Santa Monica Blvd arrived and mile 26 came with it, the finish line was in sight!! Crossing the finish line I noticed the gun time of 4:31 and thought, I did it!! I got around my goal time, soon realizing my chip time was 04:26:27. Shortly after crossing and receiving my medal, a young women came up to in tears. She said, “Thank you for finishing!” I was sort of confused then she explained she had been pacing behind me most of the race but the last 5k she kept her focus on me and it helped to finish her first marathon! I teared up and just said, “Congratulations!! It’s only uphill from here.” I gave her the biggest hug. That moment is truly why I love the running community; helping others reach their goals and when they do, we celebrate! It’s really what running is all about. Even though, I compete with myself, my goal is to always grow stronger, wiser, and better. The running community helps me by

Baby Baby enjoying all the post-race snacks!

Baby Baby enjoying all the post-race snacks!

keeping me accountable and giving me the push I need!

The LA Marathon let me set a new PR, by an hour nonetheless! It’s funny to think 26.2 miles use to scare me, now it’s one of my favorites distances. My current race schedule has a lot of half marathons approaching in April. I’m looking at changing my current OC Marathon entry into the full. After running my first full I thought it may be my last but as I feel more comfortable in the miles, my next goal is to be a Boston Qualifier. This means I would have to set my PR by 50 minutes less than what it is now. I know with determination and the current training schedule this is possible. I had a few goals set for this year and as I continue to crush them, I find myself not only marking them off but also replacing them. For 2017, I would like to run each distance up to 26.2 the fastest I can.  Once I can get a solid grasp of what I’m capable of, I can start to set new goals for 2018…..possibly Boston?? =) We’ll just have to see!


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Inaugural Pasadena Half

 

The Bling

The Bling

The Inaugural Pasadena Half Marathon was a last minute decision that allowed me to PR but also run while splashing in puddles. January was a wild month for races and me. I never caught a break in weather. However, this race was one I could sort of prepare for as the weather was going to be rain or rain. I wanted a challenging course and another race before I had to focus on some personal issues in February. So I looked at races right after running the Star Wars 10k and saw the Inaugural Pasadena Half Marathon was just a week away. Conqur Endurance Group was organizing the race, they also do the LA Marathon. I thought this was perfect. I would get my miles in as well as get a little taste of what I have to experience come March. I registered and prayed for a misty rainy Sunday runday ;p

The morning of the race, I left at about 4:45 am to get to Pasadena around 6. The start line was just outside the infamous Rose Bowl Stadium and finished on the field. The storm already started to roll in; it wasn’t too bad though just a light mist. After talking to friends and doing research, I realized there was nothing I could wear and do that was going to make me stay dry. I already knew going in I was going to have to “Embrace” the rain. However, that didn’t stop me from buying a 99-cent store poncho to toss after mile;p Soon enough 7 came and went, the race ended up starting around 7:30 to allow more time for those who still hadn’t made it in to park. The start line was very narrow, but once you found your pace a quarter mile out the parking lot, the road became a little wider and lead you into the cutest little neighbor. This neighborhood was also on hill after holy hill! I looked at the course, even studied it the week prior to the half and when they say “challenging but rewarding,” they definitely mean it. The plus to all the hill madness was the residents that made their way out to cheer us on, robe and coffee in hand. If anything, that kept a smile on my face and determination in my gut.

I originally had hoped to have a larger PR with this race as I started pacing with LA Road Runners. I did really well for the first 5 miles and then once again I started to experience the same pain that magically arrive while I was running WDW. This time I was prepared and had brought my Zamst knee band. I pulled aside from the pace group and stretched. I put on the brace and started to find my own pace. I knew I wasn’t going to finish under 2 hours at this point and in a sense I could enjoy the run a little more. By mile 7, I was completely soaked but the weather was amazing. It wasn’t too hot and the rain was misty. I found myself running through Downtown Pasadena, the course took you by the Norton Simon Museum, California Institute of Technology, and the Convention Center. One of the most breathtaking views was running over the Colorado Street Bridge. If I could have gotten one picture, that’s definitely one I would have wanted!

I realized the prop was a "finish line" after .... lol, at least it was still a cool picture ;p

I realized the prop was a “finish line” after …. lol, at least it was still a cool picture ;p

The last 3 miles of the half marathon rounded the Brookside Golf & County Club, then into the Rose Bowl Stadium. This little area is where I found my cheer group. As I mentioned before, I’m a motivational self-talker while I run…. especially when I’m close to finishing. Luckily the amazing running community encourages this self-talk and I’m able to get others to join in. Of course, Pasadena couldn’t let me go without one last hill (it was a small one.) Then you run up away from the county club and begin rounding the Rose Bowl. I got a last minute push and was able to run on to the field with a strong finish! I finished with a new PR by 47 seconds…. wet, sore, and happy!

While growing up, I had only been to Pasadena a handful of times. So running this race allowed me to explore Pasadena in a non-touristy type of way. As a runner, the best way to see a new area is to lace up your shoes and go for a run. I’m not sure if I’ll be back for this race. However, it was the first so I am considered a legacy runner so that’s kind of an incentive. While it was “challenging yet very rewarding,” it gave me a new appreciation for hills. Running for a short time with a pace team, taught me new tricks on how to slow my pace on hills and how to pick back up on the downhill. Overall, the Pasadena was a learning experience; it made me a stronger runner physically and mentally.

ranking and splits

ranking and splits

WDW Marathon 2017

 

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The 2017 WDW Marathon made me a Marathoner. It was the race I signed up for while I was 5 months pregnant and wanted that challenge after my second son was born. I look back now and shouldn’t have let the hormones run the show, but if I didn’t I wouldn’t have made the jump so soon. With only 16 weeks post baby and 10 weeks to train, I knew I had a lot on my plate.

Leading up until marathon week, I begun to prepare myself for 26.2 miles. I gathered as much information as possible; tips and wise words. My training was intense for a short amount of time. Also, between natural body changes and life, there were plenty of days I had to force myself just to get back out. I knew giving myself the short amount of time between having a baby and the

Under the castle hangs!! Feeling good at mile 5!

Under the castle hangs!! Feeling good at mile 5!

marathon may have been a stretch but I was going to stick to it. I meal prepped and stuck to a strict diet just the week of to ensure I had the proper nutrition and energy to keep me strong all the miles. I started to monitor which energy gels and hydration drinks worked best and for what amount time. One thing I would just have to accept is my milk production, since I was breastfeeding and that my boobs were going to throw me off during the end of my run. I didn’t even want to get the idea that I could stop and pump during the marathon. I’ll tell you now, I did pump after the run and filled 4 bottles for a total of 18 ounces! lol. Preparing myself for the marathon helped a lot. With proper nutrition I didn’t have any cramping or stomach pains during my run. Also, training prepared me to pace myself, slower then I was use to but at a pace that kept me comfortable. As long as I was under 12 minutes a mile, I was happy. My overall goal for the marathon was to “FINISH,” by finish I meant completing all 26.2 miles! (Disney will sweep runners if they fall behind and won’t be able to finish at 16min/mile pace.)

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I had to stop for Wreck-It-Ralph and Vanellope Von Schweetz!

The morning of the marathon it was 30 degrees, along with wind chill which brought temperatures down to 18 degrees. Nonetheless it was freezing!! The only change I could make in my attire was adding a top layer, with the hopes that my legs would warm up. Just three days prior to the marathon the temps were looking to be a solid typical florida 77 degrees. I couldn’t have prepared myself if I wanted to, unless I put a treadmill in a freezer while training. It’s really what it felt like.

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Literally running through the pain! This was taken while at Hollywood Studios!

Once the gun went off for my corral it was game time. I tossed my throwaways and started down the road. I was freezing but my mind wasn’t focused on being cold, it was focused on watching my pace. I really didn’t want to leap out and tire out too quickly. The first 10 miles flew by, I had ran out of Epcot and through the Magic Kingdom. The one thing about the WDW Marathon is WDW is huge and you cover a lot of highways and parking lots. Once you get in the Parks it feels good to be able focus your eyes on something. This allowed me to use my highway miles as a way to pick up pace and the Parks as a place to slow down a little bit. By the halfway point, I was feeling good. It was smack in the middle of Animal Kingdom and I couldn’t believe how good I felt. I was still cold but it didn’t really bother me. I watched as some runners stopped at a bar and had a drink at the halfway mark, good for them I thought. There’s no way I could ever do that, lol. Heading out of Animal Kingdom and my way to the ESPN Park there was a lot of nothing, my mind started to race and I kept checking my watch. I was calculating numbers when I didn’t have to and was reminding myself, my goal for this race was not to come in first or last but, just to finish!! The idea of “just” finishing was hard to accept but with so many unexpected changes the weekend brought, it was all I could grasp. Although an ideal time for me to finish was 05:00:00 hours.

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My oldest son was signed up to participate in the Saturday Kid’s Races, which were cancelled due to weather. However, we had fun later in the week and did our own 100m dash!

Miles came easier and my legs only felt stronger through the ESPN Park. Up until mile 20 I was soaring. In between mile 20 and 21 my left knee started to hurt. Through training I never experienced anything like this with my knees especially my left. So I was really caught off guard. As the pain escalated, I only begun to grow more frustrated. I wrestled with the idea I was undertrained, didn’t stretch enough, or maybe should have taken a pain killer, even though I’m too chicken to even take an Advil. The runner in me couldn’t imagine walking the remaining 4 miles, that would be the longest 4 miles ever!!! So I had to think fast, while I DO NOT recommend training your mind to think this way in case you may have a serious injury. I DO recommend learning how to use mottos and positive self talk in order to push your runs. I started to tell myself the “pain” was me growing stronger. I stopped at a medical tent at mile 22 and took a moment to stretch, and started to push myself up the road. I was just starting uphill on an offramp that would take me over and into Hollywood Studios. Uphill was grueling and as I came down the ramp, I straighten my left leg to keep it from bending, I built momentium and powered into Hollywood Studios. The Parks had just opened at this point and crowds started to form around the blocked off areas for runners. This was an adrenaline boost for me, it let me really meditate on my surroundings and off of my pain. I left out the park and started around the Swan Resort, another fun sight to keep me focused.  I had two miles to go at this point and I wasn’t planning on slowing down, a quick mile later I was already at Downtown Disney. That last mile the crowds grew bigger and louder, with that much excitement all you want to do is finish strong! Before I knew it I was rounding the corner to a finish line! At that moment nothing hurt, I was overwhelmed with emotion, and was tearing up. As I crossed the finish line, as cliche as it sounds…a part of me changed. I know many runners say this but it does. You feel like a weight has been lifted from your shoulders you never knew was there. I had started a mission months before the race, I had weak moments, I had strong moments, I stayed focused, and it was finally finished.

Post Race Photo!

Post Race Photo! “I DID IT!!”

Shortly after the finish line, I was reunited with Mav. My Mother-in-Law had flown down from DC for the weekend and watched the boys. It was still too cold for them to join me at the Friends and Family Area. It wasn’t too long before the warmth of the race wore off and we ventured back to our Hotel. My official finish time was 05:34:33.  A half hour later then I had anticipated but I had a time that represented, “I finished.” I was cloud 9 for about a day after obtaining the Marathoner title before I knew I wanted to do another one, lol. It’s funny how that happens. I registered for the LA Marathon in March and I’m now training to not just, “finish” but to run at solid pace that is similar to what I have ran my half-marathons. I’m happy I made WDW my first marathon, I learned a lot from the course. I had fun, stopped at photo ops, and took advantage of every water station. The runners were great as well and enjoyed meeting so many different people. I hope to eventually return to the WDW Marathon in the future but for now I’m glad I was at least able to check it off my bucket list.

My WDW Marathon Splits - overall: 05:34:33 for 12:46mi/pace (I managed to stay within my goal pace for a majority of race, slowing down at mile 22) 

My WDW Marathon Splits – overall: 05:34:33 for 12:46mi/pace (I managed to stay within my goal pace for a majority of race, slowing down at mile 22)

 

Website Changes and Posts!

Sometimes life throws you curve balls and you have to do your best to catch them. There’s one thing I’m sure of though, the obstacles I’ve been facing is a part of a bigger picture and a plan I’m yet to understand. My faith has kept me strong the last few months. If you’ve followed my social media outlets, maybe popped in on a few of my ig stories, or liked a post on Facebook. You may have caught some clues to parts of my life I’m not ready to talk about but they are life so I don’t mind sharing. Throughout the months I have been writing, which is apart of me that lets me express my hurts, victories, and stuff I really don’t understand. Keeping a gratitude journal is something I’ve done since I was 15 and it really does help me appreciate what I do have.

On another note, I have posts coming up over the next few weeks. A lot of recaps on running, including one huge run that made me a “MARATHONER!!” Some reviews, and a little bit about some things I’m yet to understand but God has blessed me with the strength to experience the moment. Also, I am in process of transitioning LoveLaughandSpitUp.com to PrayRunLiveLove.com. The idea to change up the concept of the site was one I debated but only makes sense as I’m growing and would like those changes to reflect the things I do on my blog. So you’ll see changes happening here and there; new pages, new “about me,” new layout, etc.

Thank you and stay tuned!

 

This entry was posted in Stories.