"If you can dream it, you can do it." -Walt Disney

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year!

2013 is here! A new day. New month. New year. New me and you! I'd like to sit here and tell you all about the awesome plans I had last night to ring in the new year, but the truth is I have been sick for the last week. I wound up watching New Year's Rockin' Eve and enjoyed the quick Disney World clips they showed.

2012 was an interesting year for me in every aspect. But I wound up accomplishing something I never thought I would do: I finished a half marathon. And not only did I do it, I did it at one of my favorite places ever. I surprised myself with my abilities and the fact I was not limited to or by them. I surprised myself when I found that not only did I accomplish finishing a half marathon, but began craving more. I believed I would do what I set out to do, and that would be it. I did not anticipate that this would instill a desire to do more. Yet, here I am.

It is never unusual for people to make resolutions with a new year, and I am no exception to that. In addition to a few personal ones, I have also made health and fitness related ones. I won't share every last one, but I will mention a couple big ones...
1. I need to regularly eat healthy. I think this is something pretty much everyone vows to do eery new year. But I have blood sugar issues, and I wake up nauseous every morning. This nausea is further aggravated if I spent the day before eating junk. This has to change. I don't like feeling worse than I have to, and want to actively prevent that if I can.
2. More workouts, more runs. I have every intention of doing The Color Run this year, and there is discussion about possibly participating in this year's Expedition Everest Challenge. Running this winter, so far, has been nonexistent. By the time I finally, well, mostly, winterized my running gear, temps started dipping into the 20s and teens, with wind chills even lower than that. Perhaps some are fine with that, but I know my body, and it has never handled the cold well. Being sick also doesn't aid the whole desire to get up and run, so hopefully I will recover soon.

I wish I could say that 2013 is the year I will be adding a plethora of Disney race medals to my collection. But I am quite proud of myself for what I accomplished last year and am thrilled to be taking steps to ensure that continues, even if it means I have to wait until the next medal is received.

Happy New Year, friends!!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Twas the Day After Christmas

Christmas has come and gone and we are hurtling towards the new year. I should probably be focusing on run stuff and making all my healthy New Year's resolutions, but I am cold. The wind chill here only just raised to an entire degree above zero within this past hour. It had been below zero all morning. I guarantee I will not be doing any running today because I love this thing called "keeping warm." Only one thing is dominating my mind today: hot tea. Well, that and I realized I don't own any sweaters and my favorite pair of boots were destroyed by a rogue can of hairspray during my Wine & Dine Half Marathon trip. My mind is scolding myself for always looking at happy summer dresses instead of sometimes focusing on warm things.

And yes, I realize this post, so far, has nothing to do with running. But, in case you haven't caught on...it's cold!!

Ok, enough of that. When it is this cold outside, I love hearty meals such as stews and chunky soups. And I especially love shepherd's pie. It is great comfort food. So let me share one of my favorite recipes, but taken to a more healthy level.

Photo source: skinnytaste.com

Shepherd's Pie, Lightened Up
From skinnytaste.com

  • 1.5lbs Yukon gold potatoes, peeled & diced
  • 3/4 cup fat free chicken broth
  • 2 tbsp fat free sour cream
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • paprika

  • 1lb 95% lean ground beef
  • 1 tsp oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, diced
  • 8oz mushrooms, diced
  • 10oz frozen mixed vegetables
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1 cup fat free beef broth
  • 2 tsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp fresh chopped rosemary
  • 1 tsp freshly chopped thyme
  • salt & pepper to taste

Boil potatoes in water until cooked and soft. Drain and mash with chicken broth, sour cream, salt and pepper. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Brown meat in a large saute pan. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside on plate when cooked. Discard any fat in the pan, add oil, onion, and garlic, and saute on medium heat about 2 minutes. Add mushrooms and celery and saute another 3-4 minutes. Add flour, salt, and pepper and mix well. Add frozen vegetables, beef broth, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, rosemary, thyme, cooked meat, and mix well. Simmer on low about 5-10 minutes. Spread the meat mixture on the bottom of an 11x7 glass baking dish. Top with mashed potatoes, using a fork to scrape the top to make ridges. Sprinkle with paprika. Bake 20 minutes, or until potatoes turn golden. Remove from oven and let cool 10-15 minutes before serving to give it a chance to set.

Servings: 6 Serving Size: 10.5oz
Per serving..
Calories: 290.5  Fat: 11.1g Protein: 16.8g Carbs: 31.5g Fiber: 4.9g

*I make a few changes to this recipe. For an even leaner version, I use lean ground turkey. The only vegetables I use are corn, carrots, and peas. This means I also eliminate the celery and mushrooms. I use garlic powder and onion powder in place of actual onion and garlic since I always have that on hand so it doesn't require I buy additional items. And while I have not tried it yet, this can be even healthier using mashed cauliflower, which is a great low carb alternative to potatoes.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Inaugural Disneyland 10K Announced!

Have you heard the news?

runDisney announced yesterday that the Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend will now include a 10K! This brand new event will take runners through the Disneyland park, Disney's California Adventure, and onto the streets of Anaheim. It is scheduled for August 31, 2013.

And if that isn't enough, you will have an opportunity to register for the Dumbo Double Dare. Similar to Goofy's Race and a Half Challenge, the Dumbo Double Dare are for those interested in completing the 10K AND Half Marathon, a total of 19.3 miles. Finishers will not only receive their medals for those races, but will also receive a special medal for completing the Dare.

Watch the video for your invitation!

Interested in signing up? Registration opens January 22, 2013!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Home is Now Behind You, the World is Ahead

Friday, December 14th, was the opening day for the anticipated Peter Jackson movie, The Hobbit. I won't spend time on this blog giving out spoilers for those of you who have not seen it yet, but I will say there is running. A lot of running.

All this running reminded me of a challenge that I came across several years ago: the Walk to Rivendell Challenge.

The original challenge began in March 2003, as a way for Lord of the Rings fans to combine their love of the books/movies with exercise. The idea was that every mile represented a part of the journey that Frodo, Sam, Pippin, Merry, and eventually Aragorn made from Hobbiton to Rivendell. The cumulative journey was 458 miles.

The original journey ended at Rivendell. But as the popularity of the challenge grew, so did the challenge itself. The challenge now covers the journey all the way to Mt. Doom to Aragorn's coronation, back to Bag End, and even to the Grey Havens and back with Sam. Not only that, but the challenge has now incorporated Bilbo's journey from The Hobbit.

If you are looking for an interesting way to add a bit of fun to your fitness routine, I definitely encourage you to check this challenge out. This won't give you pointers on anything, and it isn't designed to be a specific plan to follow. It is simply a way to see where you are with the Fellowship or with Bilbo as you "walk" through Middle-earth. You'll want a way to be able to track your distance, such as a GPS watch (there are also apps that track this), or make sure you are paying attention to the distance on your treadmill if you are staying indoors. That way, you can check out the challenge and see where you are. One thing I want to point out: the challenge might say something like "18 miles" for any given day. That is not what it is telling you to do for that day. It is simply saying how far the characters traveled on that particular day. Go however far you are able.

Sound interesting and fun? Join the Walk to Rivendell (and beyond!) Challenge! I think I will be participating again.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Disneyland Half Marathon to Open Soon!

Have you been waiting for the 2013 Disneyland Half Marathon to open its registration? Do not fear...the day is arriving!

runDisney has announced that registration for the Disneyland Half will open on January 22, 2013. Taking place on September 1, 2013 with a 5:45am start time, the race will begin in the Disneyland park, go through Disney's California Adventure, and then wind its way through the streets of Anaheim before ending back near the Disneyland Hotel.

If you wanted to complete your Coast to Coast challenge in 2013 but were unable to get into the Tinker Bell Half Marathon, this is your only other chance to participate in the Disneyland portion of the challenge.

Mark your calendars for the registration! As always, spots are limited for the races, but the Disneyland Half tends to sell out considerably more quickly due to the fact that there are only two half marathons at Disneyland. This isn't the race to sit back and dawdle on if you are seriously interested in it. And just in case you forget about registration, make sure you sign up here to be notified of when it opens up.

And don't worry... I will post all the details once they are available!
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