Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend

What a weekend! This was probably one of the best weekends I've had in a long time. We shared so many laughs and we really just had a great time.

I did my weigh in on Thursday because we were leaving so early in the morning, and I was down 2.4 pounds. Making my total for 9 weeks 20.2. So that was a great beginning. It was a pretty busy day for me on Thursday. I was trying to get everything finished up for the trip and also make sure that everything was organized for the kids to be left at home. The big boys got home from school and then all the boys were off to gymnastics. Next it was time to go to the airport to pick up Kelly one of my best friends from highschool. Here's where we hit our first obstacle of the weekend- her luggage missed the flight! Luckily, it made it onto the next flight, so we went back to the house and then returned to the airport to pick it up a little later. Thankful for a neighbor who came to hang out at the house while the kiddos were sleeping! My parents and sister arrived about the same time that we got back to the house with her luggage and we spent some time catching up and going over any last minute instructions and questions.

Then we headed off to bed. The plan was to leave at 4 am. Kelly and I were sharing a room and still busy catching up, so it was probably closer to 1 am before we went to sleep :) Alarm went off a little after 3 (I have to shower in the mornings to get going), and we were on the road by 4. On this trip were myself, Kelly, Katie (my sister) and Darlena (neighbor and friend). We were all a little excited getting started so everyone was awake and chatting a little. They all got a little rest on the way down- everyone was napping on and off. We went straight through and arrived at Walt Disney World at 4:30 pm (just a little traffic in Orlando). We headed straight to the expo to pick up our race bibs, shirts, and also to pick up a few things from the expo for the race.

We made it!
The expo
The glass running slipper

After finishing up at the expo, we went to check into our resort. We stayed at Caribbean Beach Resort, which was one of the host resorts for the race weekend. That meant that bus transportation would be provided to the race start (very important if you don't want to have to drive over at 3 am! Plus, it was really cool to stay in a pirate room! We got settled, checked out our goodies from the expo and then walked over to the resort's quick service restaurant for dinner. After dinner, we headed back to the room and soon I was fast asleep.

Our pirate beds in our pirate room

Saturday we woke up and relaxed a little before going to get some breakfast. We had planned on a low key day. After breakfast we went over to Downtown Disney to shop and walk around. We took plenty of breaks through the day- we were trying to be careful not to overdo it. We made a dinner reservation at Rainforest Cafe for dinner at 5:15. We ended up getting there a little early and they sat us immediately, which was good, we were getting hungry and I think all of us were anxious to get back and make sure we were prepared for Sunday. After a yummy dinner, we caught the bus back to our resort.
I usually have a hard time sleeping before a race, but I was exhausted. I think I was the only one who slept well Saturday night. I heard someone moving around before my alarm went off, and we all were awake. The plan was to try to catch one of the first busses and they started at 3 am. We all got dressed and made sure we had everything and headed out to the bus stop (did I mention that it was only about 20 steps from our door? This was very helpful when we got back!). We got over to the bag check and porta potties and hung out there for about an hour before walking to our corrals. This was where more waiting began. Kelly, Katie and I were in the last corral (H), so our start time was not until about 6:30 (the first corral took off at 5:45). It was so cool to see the fireworks start and see the first runners take off- it was really starting! Katie, Kelly and I made sure to yell for Darlena (not that she could hear us!) when her corral (F) took off and then we were one corral closer to starting.

The start line

The sea of princesses behind us
And then we were off! We had all talked before starting the race saying that we were all just going to run our own race and if we caught up with each other, great, if not, we'd just see everyone at the end. That is what ended up happening. Everyone just kind of took off at their own pace and we didn't see each other again. I really enjoyed the course, it was fun to check out the characters as I passed by (I didn't stop for any pictures) and also the spectators. I ended up beating my Tinker Bell time by over 3 minutes. I was happy with that, I do wish it was better, but maybe next time. Overall I am very happy with how I did.
My Mile Times:
Mile 1 ~ 15:18
Mile 2 ~ 15:23
Mile 3 ~ 15:39
Mile 4 ~ 15:18
Mile 5 ~ 15:16
Mile 6 ~ 15:20
Mile 7 ~ 15:11
Mile 8 ~ 16:09
Mile 9 ~ 15:36
Mile 10 ~ 15:51
Mile 11 ~ 16:31
Mile 12 ~ 16:09
Mile 13 ~ 16:34
Total time for 13.1 ~ 3:28:34

I was so excited to be finished. I cried again- I'd done it again- the second half marathon of my deployment challenge was complete! I got my medal, got some powerade and water and then went down the line a little further and collected my coast to coast medal as well! I had signed up for runner tracking for myself and for Katie. This is a really neat free tool that rundisney does for all of it's races. It will send your split times for 5k, 10k, 15k and the finish in the form of a text or email to anyone you choose. It was great to check my phone after I'd gotten through the line and see that I already had a text from my other sister and my mom congratulating me on my race. I was also able to check Katie's status and see that she was estimated to finish just a few minutes behind me, so I decided to wait until I got to see her. I got the text that she had crossed the finish, so I waited a few more minutes and then she came through as well. We hugged- I was so proud of her.

I got through to Kelly to find out where she and Darlena were and we headed to meet them. After meeting up with them we got on our bus to go back to the resort. We all were in good shape- taking the stairs on the bus a little slow, but all feeling decent. We got showered and just relaxed (napping off and on) for a few hours and then decided to head out and walk around a little to avoid getting stiff. Our dinner plans were at Chef Mickey's, so we caught a bus to Magic Kingdom and then rode the monorail over to the Contemporary Resort. We had a little extra time so we browsed the shop there and then went into the arcade. Here is where I need to mention that I beat Katie twice at air hockey, and Kelly ended up with her only blister of the weekend- and that was from playing Pac Man! Then it was time for dinner. We all enjoyed a very yummy buffet and also visits from various characters.

Thank you to these three ladies who made this a very enjoyable weekend! I'd do it all over again!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Sunday Meal Planning

Ok, so I'm not at home right now, but I wanted to correct a mistake I made when I traveled last month for the Tinker Bell half marathon in California- I didn't plan ahead. Because I didn't plan ahead, I was not prepared at all for the week after the race and it showed. I didn't make bad decisions, but I also didn't make the best decisions- using more frozen meals than cooking. So this time I'm trying to make sure I am prepared for the transition for the week after.

Monday: Traveling, so we're back to making good decisions while on the road.
Tuesday: Not sure, my friend will still be in town so we may take the kiddos out for dinner this evening.
Friday: Chicken and Broccoli Noodle Casserole from SkinnyTaste- this is a new one. I'm thinking that it'll be a hit for us, we all love broccoli, chicken and noodles. Look for the review later on!
Saturday: Kid's choice- I would like to give the kids a chance to choose dinner. We've got a few busy weeks and weekends coming up, so I want to give them a chance to choose something fun :)
Sunday: Leftover night

Monday, February 20, 2012

My Weekend Struggle

I have a hard time getting a run in over the weekend.  This happens most weekends.  Weekdays are easy- it's built into my schedule.  I get up, get Caleb breakfast, make sure everything is ready for him to get out the door and get on the treadmill.  By the time I am done, the other two boys are up and I get them breakfast and then get my shower.  By then Sophie is up and we are all up and moving ready to take on the day!
Saturday is different.  There isn't an alarm going off to wake anyone up.  I am usually woken up by one of the boys coming to snuggle.  It is really hard for me to interrupt that time- there seem to be so few of the snuggly, sleepy, quiet moments that happen in our house.  I usually run a short distance/time Monday-Friday, so missing that Saturday morning run isn't that big of a deal, except I did plan to run on Saturdays for my longer run.  I have been very committed to my weekday runs, and I know that has paid off.  And even with my shorter runs, I am increasing speed and mileage with every week.  But, since I had planned on doing a Saturday run, I feel like I am letting myself down.
So the answer to that problem would be just to run during the day sometime, right?  That's almost impossible.  Not because there isn't time, but because I feel so guilty for taking the time away to run.  Gotta find a way to get over that guilt (or figure out how to squeeze a long run into the week).

On another note- I switched up today's menu.  We had corndog waffles instead.  My kiddos loved them.  We had broccoli as a side, and since I used turkey hotdogs and made the batter myself, they were healthier than they sound :)  We had them with broccoli- a much better choice than the tater tots we used to have with hotdogs!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Sunday Meal Planning

This week will be different. I'm getting ready to head out of town on Friday for the Disney Princess Half Marathon. So this week I'll cook a little but not as much as normal. This week also includes packing making sure everything is ready for the kiddos while I'm out of town.

Monday: Chicken and Dumplings from Weight Watchers I didn't end up making these last night because we had our dinner out last night instead. I am looking forward to trying them because it is supposed to be cold and rainy again tomorrow (much like it is today), so it'll be nice to have some comfort food!
Tuesday: Going to do an easy night for this week. I've got some leftovers we can use or
Wednesday: Chicken Pot Pockets from Hungry Girl This was such a big hit the last time that I hope it is again for the kiddos!
Thursday: Pick up dinner from Chick Fil A. I will be picking up my best friend from high school at the airport Thursday afternoon and then we will be getting the last minute stuff together to get ready for our trip to Florida! Half marathon #2 will be done by this time next week!
Friday: Traveling. Trying to make good decisions while eating on the road.
Saturday: Again, making good decisions while on the 'vacation ' part of my weekend.
Sunday: Dinner at Chef Mickey's. Definitely a celebration meal :)

Friday, February 17, 2012

Friday Weigh In and Pinterest....

Down 2.8 today! Very excited about that number because it keeps me on track for my 10 pound goal for February. This week it took a little more to get running. It was definitely a week for overcoming excuses and putting goals first. I got in a run every day Tuesday- Friday. I'm planning on another run tomorrow and taking Sunday off. Next week I'm also planning on running Monday- Thursday and then off Friday and Saturday in preparation for half marathon #2!

And on to pinterest. It is full of craft inspirations, recipes (dangerously delicious looking ones), organization ideas, quotes and endless ways to consume your time. Not by actually doing anything, but just by having tons of things to look at and just when you think you've seen it all, someone goes and pins something else! It's an endless cycle.

I love pinterest. I love to check out the recipes (even knowing it'll be a while before I make any of them), get ideas for reorganizing my house, finding new craft ideas, and even to make my list of places to visit one day. I really love to read the funny quotes that people pin. I don't know who comes up with some of them, but I like that when I am having a rough day I can usually count on being able to find a funny quote to make me laugh.

I've seen this one before, and being that I am now 8 weeks into this journey, I thought it was appropriate.

I have noticed a change. I don't know that I 'see' it as much as I feel it in my clothes. My 'small' jeans are loose and my shirts are also feeling loose. I have so much more energy than I had before. I've noticed a change in my attitude. I also feel like I have more confidence. I've got one half marathon of my deployment challenge done and in 11 days I will have the second one completed. I am not feeling as unsure of this half marathon as I did a month ago. I know I can do it. I know I can complete it in the time allowed. I just know. And that confidence hasn't been there- at least not in an exercise sense. So here we go, another week down- just keep going.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Non-Scale Victory

Today was a definite non-scale victory day for me today. I didn't sleep well last night- I was just kind of restless. No real reason, just didn't fall asleep until late (like after 1 am) and then up several times through the night. One of the times when I was awake I remember thinking that I would just skip my run in the morning and that would allow me to sleep a little later in the morning. But, when my alarm went off, I decided to get up anyway and run on the treadmill. I'm so glad I did. I felt so much better after that run and my general attitude was just better overall today. I hadn't run since Thursday, so it was good to get back into that as well.

The Chicken Divan that we had for dinner last night was really good. I was a little worried about the kids and the swiss cheese, but they seemed to really like it. I think this is also a recipe that will reheat well for leftovers. That is always positive because with just me and the kids, we always have leftovers.

Tonight we had Meatball and Spaghetti Soup. It was good. The kids loved it and ate it up very quickly- a good sign. I think it would be better with a little more spaghetti sauce, but the turkey meatballs were very good. They didn't seem dry at all, which is usually the problem I have with ground turkey. This was also a very easy recipe to make in the crock pot. I put everything in earlier this morning and then before we left for gymnastics, I added the noodles. When we got home, we had a nice meal waiting on us.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Sunday Meal Planning

It feels really good to be back on track for meal planning and exercising. I hit 4 out of 7 days for running and I'm hoping to get at least 5 out of 7 this week. It's been a very busy weekend around my house extra kiddos on Friday and Saturday and a birthday party today (made the cake for that one). I'm so tired and ready for bed, but wanted to get this post in first.

Monday: Chicken Divan from SkinnyTaste we didn't get to try this one out last week, so trying again!
Tuesday: Meatball and Spaghetti Soup from SkinnyTaste a new one for this week- hopefully it'll be a good Valentine's day dinner for us.
Wednesday: Broccoli and Cheese Stuffed Chicken from SkinnyTaste it was a big hit the last time we had it, we'll see how it goes this time.
Thursday: Skinny Tuna Noodle Casserole from SkinnyTaste another repeat for us, but again, it was a hit before so it would be nice if it was again.
Friday: I'm planning on a dinner out for us if everyone has a good week in school. If not, we'll be at home with leftovers.
Saturday: Chicken and Dumplings from Weight Watchers the past few weekends here have been really gloomy outside, so if it is the same this weekend, we will have some comfort food.
Sunday: Leftover night!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Friday Weigh in

Down 2 this week! I'm very happy with that. So far I have exercised every day this week. I'm hoping to get in two more workouts this week. I have a goal of 10 pounds per month, I reached that in January, with a couple extra pounds lost to give a cushion for February. So, 5 more pounds to reach the goal of 20 total pounds by the end of the month.

I know that being back to cooking and eating at home has made the big difference this week as well. I am happy to have found some new very yummy recipes that everyone seems to enjoy.

I found this on another blog and thought I'd share- it definitely made me laugh and I know I feel this way sometimes:

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Winning Dinner!

The Chicken Pot Pockets from Hungry Girl were amazing! Since they were only 2 points per pocket, I also added a cup of shredded cheese to the filling mix, making them 3 points each. They were so good. Each of the kids had more than one- except the youngest. But, if you know her, you'd know that the next time I make these for us she'll probably eat the whole thing and seconds also. I was a little concerned that it would take a while to put them together, but it was really a fast process. One thing that I did do that I think helped was I got the egg roll wrappers that had a plastic wrapper between each wrapper so that I didn't spend a lot of time separating the egg roll wrappers. I was very happy with the finished result of this meal and I will plan on making them again.

I also ran one of my short intervals today. It was a good workout and I felt really good after finishing, but I've had a horrible headache since finishing. I used to get them a lot after my long runs or my races, but I haven't had one in a while. Oh well, nothing that a good night's sleep won't cure most likely.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Baked Macaroni and Cheese with Broccoli

Good. Not great. I love mac and cheese. I love both homemade and Kraft (the blue box). This one just wasn't cheesy enough. That's the problem though- more cheese= more fat. Oh well. I liked the broccoli in it and the kids loved that part. They are not fans of homemade mac and cheese, but the added broccoli seemed to go a long way (my kiddos are definitely broccoli lovers!). I was able to fix this one ahead of time and put it in the crock pot, so it made for an easy meal since it was a gymnastics night, but I just wasn't completely sold on it. I don't know that I will make this one again, instead I will continue my quest for a light, filling mac and cheese.

We have had our treadmill for about 3 years. I've put more miles on it in the past 6 months than ever before. But, I have always just done my own thing, never tried one of the pre-programed workouts. This morning I decided to give that a try. It was strange to only be walking at 3-3.5 mph. It seemed so slow! But, add in the inclines of 6-8 and man was it tough! I look forward to trying another workout on Thursday.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Crusted Honey Mustard Chicken Review

I thought it was good, all the kids ate it, so it is a keeper. One thing I was unsure of was the points value. WW has it as a 16 point per serving recipe. I thought that was extremely high for a serving. I decided to plug the ingredients into the recipe builder to see what it came up with. Also, I decided to skip the dill and scallions, so really the recipe was just the 1/3 cup of lite honey mustard dressing (I used Kraft reduced fat honey dijon), 1 cup cornflakes and 1 lb chicken cut into 4- 4 oz pieces. After I plugged that into the recipe builder, it came up to 6 points per serving. Much better! A side of broccoli completed this meal. After reading some of the reviews of the recipe on WW, I realized that I was not the only one who thought it was a high point value recipe and adjusted it using the recipe builder. I also used my ridged baker from Pampered Chef- it kept the chicken from sitting in the juice that chicken creates when it bakes, so the outside was crispy. Yummy! It is one we will definitely have again!

So I switched my interval days up a little. I did a long interval today and will do my short interval on Wednesday. I did long interval #1, each of the 800 meters I did at 5 mph. Not an average like last time, but at 5 mph the whole time. I'm very happy with that. Next month when I do this interval again I am hoping to do it at 5.5 mph. Tomorrow I am planning on doing my 10 minute trainer video as well as walk/jog a couple miles or so. We'll see how the morning goes!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Sunday Meal Planning

Back at it this week. I feel like I've finally recovered from the race and trip to California last week as well as birthdays and more company over this weekend. So here's the plan for this week:

Monday: Crusted Honey Mustard Chicken from Weight Watchers I've posted this one in the meal plan twice I think and for one reason or another we haven't had it. So this is the week! I'm putting it first so that I will make it for sure.
Tuesday: Baked Macaroni and Cheese with Broccoli from Weight Watchers Another one that has made the blog but has not been cooked.
Wednesday: Chicken Pot Pockets from Hungry Girl A new one- just looked too yummy to pass up!
Thursday: I have a meeting so we will be brown bagging dinner
Saturday: Dinner with out of town family
Sunday- We have a surprise birthday party for a friend (and I thought I was done with cake), so we will probably have leftovers for dinner.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Friday Weigh in

Down 1 pound this week. I'm okay with that. I gave myself a couple meals off while out in California for the half marathon. I know I worked some of that off, but I also knew that by eating that I would be counter productive in my weight loss. But I'd just run/walked 13.1 miles, so I was going to enjoy a good meal while I was there. Moderation is key. I didn't go all out all week and eat anything and everything I wanted, and that has paid off. One pound down is better than adding 3 :)

I will be back to meal planning this week, so the next post on Sunday will be a weekly meal plan.