Disney and A New Restaurant

J and I finally renewed our Disney passes. We put it off during August because it is so freaking hot here and no one wants to be outside waiting in lines sweating like a pig.

Sadly, last weekend was super busy at Disney, so all we were able to do was walk around. The great part of living here and having annual passes is if you do go on a day with tons of other people, just walking around is fine.

We were really excited to see the open parts of the Fantasyland expansion. One of the many circus-themed signs.

Fantasyland Expansion Circus Sign

Fantasyland Expansion Welcome Sign

This area had lots of new rides and a water area for the little ones.

J in front of one of the many retro circus signs.

Old Circus Sign Fantasyland Disney New Area

Cinderella’s fountain.

Disney Cinderella Fountain

Inscription next to the fountain.

Disney Cinderella Fountain Sign

The castle.

Disney Castle Magickingdom

J trying his luck at the sword in the stone. This picture was fun to take, I kept giving instructions like make it look like you’re straining. People may have been staring.

Sword In The Stone

The sign.

Disney Sword in the stone sign

I took a picture of this sign because I am five and the word nugget makes me giggle.

Disneyworld funny sign

After walking through the crowds of people pushing strollers, we needed to eat. Of course because we left it to the last-minute we could not get reservations anywhere in the parks. We decided to go over to the Boardwalk and see what we could scrounge up.

Cat Cora has a new to us restaurant called Kouzzina by Cat Cora that looked promising. Sadly, it had a very long wait. We decided to try our luck with one of the restaurants at The Dolphin Hotel and found another new to us restaurant called Todd English’s BlueZoo. We were able to sit at the bar at BlueZoo, so no waiting required.

The bar menu’s are tablets.

BlueZoo Bar Menu Tablet

BlueZoo Bar Menu Tablet 2

The food was really good and it looks like they have some crazy happy hour specials. J and I will definitely be paying Todd English’s BlueZoo another visit.

My Attempt And Fail At Weight Training

I am still very new at weight training. I am enjoying learning new exercises and watching my body change. As I follow The New Rules Of Lifting For Women, I am continually pushing past my comfort zone and starting to feel more comfortable lifting weights.

Having just progressed into Stage Two (finally was really starting to get bored in Stage One) there is a new exercise introduced in Workout A, the Front Squat/Push Press. It may be me but this is the worlds most awkward strength move.

My issue has something to do with my elbows and resting the bar on the front of my shoulders. I get that the bar should be in on my fingers and not the palm but it feels so uncomfortable.

I have watched a million YouTube videos and googled this move relentlessly. I even spent 30 minutes practicing in the group fitness room at the gym. I will get this move right if it kills me.

I do not look at all like this.

A few other resources I found in my obsessive internet searching

Hang Clean Front Squat Push Presses from Men’s Health

Barbell Front Press To Push Press from fitbie

Any advice on the arm and hand position on the front squat? Do you usually give-up or keep practicing until you get it right?

Second Annual Margarita Run 5K

For the second year in a row, I ran the Margarita Run in Haines City, Florida. This race is down the street from my house and benefits Haines City Main Street. Haines City Main Street Inc.. is a group whose’ purpose is to revitalize downtown Haines City. I happen to live in Haines City, so I have a vested interest in the downtown being revitalized. (For example, can there be a place in which to buy coffee that is not a fast food restaurant?)

I was also lucky to meet-up with a great group of activists and dedicated campaign workers. Karen Welzel is running for the Florida House of Representatives in District 41 against John Wood. Karen came out to this event to show her local spirit and meet with future constituents. It was great to have people to hang out with before the race and I also got this nifty t-shirt.

Karen Welzel campaign t-shirt

This race was insanely hot. It started at 5PM when it was 90 degrees with very high humidity. The course is pretty hilly (for Florida) and has zero shade so I knew this would not be one for the record books.

The race started with a lack of bang because the starting pistol would not fire. I felt really bad for the guy who was meant to fire it because it just would not work. After four failed attempts, he went with “ready, set, go.” I don’t know if it was the lack of pistol excitement or the temperature and humidity, but I definitely took the first mile too fast. I felt good running it and thought I might be able to sustain the 9:14 pace. Turns out I am not able to maintain that pace. Sadly the too fast start made me feel like a wilted flower later in the race.

It started to get ugly on each successively more gnarly hill and I started to take regular walk breaks. Like last year, many of the runners missed a turn and ended up coming it at 2.82 miles instead of 3.10. I really did not mind because it is such a new race that benefits charity. I will give the organizers the benefit of the doubt that they can sort it out for next year.

My splits were all over the place. I think it was too hot to really race.

Margarita 5K Haines City DinaRuns

The race director did announce that everyone would get free entries into an upcoming race in November to make up for the miss-hap. That race actually takes place in a park where I run weekly. It has a paved one mile loop which would make it impossible to make a wrong turn.

Even with the wrong turn snafu and the complicated race layout, I really enjoyed the Margarita 5K. The race is local and the money benefits a great cause. I loved that the race allowed me to mix my politics with running. Plus there was free pizza and a vendor selling cupcakes.

Cupcakes Haines City Margarita Run

Cupcakes and smoothies from Cakes 4 the Memories. J picked up two for us to share (red velvet and margarita) and both were delicious. I recommend stopping by this bakery if you are in Haines City.

All sweaty and smiley after the race.

Margarita 5K Haines City Dinaruns

There were campaign signs around the vendor area.

Karen Welzel Sign Margarita Run Haines City Florida

Have you ever run a race that had course issues? Do you give them another chance or never run it again?

Half Marathon Training Week Two

If you would like to follow my other weeks of training, they can be found on my Workouts page. I break my half marathon training down by week to make it easier to follow.

This week really ramped it up! I did most of my runs on the treadmill at the gym because it has rained nearly everyday after work and the heat is still pretty killer. I am finally watching Buffy The Vampire Slayer on Netflix. Not sure why I missed this show when it originally aired because I am in the target demographic for it (female and was in High School when it originally aired.)

Week Two Half Marathon Training

As I mentioned in my first post, I am following this plan by Nike Coach Magness. It is a plan designed to get you a PR. After running two Half Marathons last year and spending the summer experimenting with speeding up, I am ready to concentrate more on time rather than just finishing.

So how did I do versus the plan?

Total Plan Miles: 36

Total Actual Miles: 29.82

Strength Training: 1

Cross Training: 0

I did pretty well based on the plan minus the missed long run. I planned on running six miles after my 5K on Saturday but decided against it. This early in my training, missing one long run is not much of an issue.

Things I learned:

  • It can take some time to get back into higher mileage
  • I need to spend more time stretching
  • Running on a treadmill can be kind of a drag but watching TV on your phone makes it much better

Next week I would like to concentrate on getting my long run done and doing more strength training.

Half Marathon Training Week One

As summer comes to a close (most places but obviously not in Florida) runners all over the country start upping their mileage in preperation for a fall marathon or half marathon. I am trying a new half marathon trainng plan this year which is from Nike Running written by Coach Magness. The plan is geared towards those looking to PR in their upcoming half marathon.

Half Marathon Training Week One Nike Running

This week is all about base building and I every run was done at a conversational pace. Most of the runs were done on the treadmill because of the intense heat. The exceptions are Friday and Saturday. Friday I intended on running at the gym but couldn’t when I opened my gym bag and realized that I had everything I needed except my running shoes. Not sure why I did not realize that my bag was very light. Saturday was fairly miserable in the last two miles. I wanted to quit and call it every two minutes but forced myself to continue.

Plan Mileage: 22 Miles

Actual Mileage: 21.2 Miles

Strength Training: Two days of full body strength training from the New Rules Of Lifting For Women. (I have four more workouts left in Stage One and cannot wait to move onto some new exercises.)

Cross Training: 0

As I start to get back into longer running, I am starting to think about what to eat before and after runs. I like to keep it quick and simple after my runs because I am typically hungry and ready to jump right into the shower.

I was recently contacted by The Hershey Company and they sent me information about the benefits of chocolate milk as a recovery drink. This is not news to me. I am not a huge milk drinker but can force myself to drink anything with chocolate in it. Besides deliciousness, chocolate milk has lots of benefits.

·         Carbohydrates to help refuel muscles

·         Protein to help rebuild and restore muscle protein

·         Fluid and electrolytes to rehydrate and replenish what is lost in sweat

·         Vitamins and minerals to help build and maintain strong bones

So quick and easy to have 8 oz. low-fat (1%) milk + 2 Tbsp. HERSHEY’S® Lite Syrup with 50% less sugar and only 150 calories per serving. Quick and tasty recovery drink that’s good for you.

Are you training for anything?

What’s your favorite recovery drink?

I was contacted by The Hershey Company to share the benefits of chocolate milk. I was not compensated and all opinions are my own. 

JayBird Freedom Bluetooth Headphones Review

I have been on a quest to find the perfect headphones for treadmill running. Spending lots of time running on the treadmill, to avoid the heat and humidity of the Florida summer, I encountered a dilemma. Running on the treadmill is much more tolerable if I can watch TV but to watch Netflix on my phone, my arm is constantly hitting the wire to my headphones. This was starting to drive me insane plus I kept picturing my arm hitting the wire and my phone flying from its perch on the treadmill. That would be both embarrassing and dangerous, so I started looking for a pair of sport Bluetooth headphones.

The first pair I bought was the Motorola SF600 Wireless Sports Headphones. The price ($99) and sound quality were both excellent but I could not get the headphones to stay on my ears. The part that is supposed to hook around your ear would not fit behind mine. Even trying to pull my ear through the headphones did not work and the headphones never felt sturdy. In defense of the Motorola SF600’s, I do find it difficult to get ear buds to stay in my ears in any capacity, so this may be more about the shape of my ears rather than the shape of the headphones.

Back to the drawing board, I did some research which found tons of glowing reviews for the JayBird Freedom Wireless Bluetooth Headphones. At $99, I was able to do an even exchange at Best Buy for the Motorola SF600 and the Jaybird Freedom Headphones.

The JayBird Freedom Headphones have some very cool packaging.

Jaybird Freedom Bluetooth Headphones Box

Jaybird Freedom Bluetooth Headphones Box Inside

They come with a neat little carrying case which is great to throw in your gym bag. It also has enough room for the USB charger in case you need to charge them while you are out.

Jaybird Freedom Bluetooth Headphones Case

The packaging indicates that they last six hours between charges which I have not tested, I do know that I have been able to do a handful of runs ranging from 45 minutes to a little over an hour and have not needed to charge them.

The reason why the JayBird Freedom Headphones worked with my wonky ears is because they are very customizable. They come with assorted ear buds, ear cushions, and even hooks.

Jaybird Freedom Bluetooth Headphones Earbud Options

The ear cushions are really interesting and I have not seen them on other headphones. They work in tandem with the ear buds to lock the headphones in place inside of your ear. It gives the headphones a very secure fit.

Jaybird Freedom Bluetooth Headphones

I purchased the headphones to use at the gym but did want to test their effectiveness on an outside run. Running outside with my phone in a pouch of my FuelBelt, I did not have any connectivity issues and the sounds quality was excellent throughout the run.

Jaybird Freedom Bluetooth Headset Trial Run Side

Jaybird Freedom Bluetooth Headphones Back View

I am super sweaty and the JayBird Freedom Headphones did not move once on my run.

Another use I found for these headphones is when lifting at the gym I can put my phone down (even a few feet away), listen to music, and have no fear of being caught on a headphone wire. (I may spend more time than most thinking of ways I might harm myself in relation to the objects around me but I am clumsy. Better to be safe than sorry.)

The JayBird Freedom Headphones can also be used with your phone to answer calls. I have not really used that feature much but it could come in handy around the house.

Overall, I highly recommend the JayBird Freedom Wireless Bluetooth Headphones if you are looking for a wireless headset that you can sweat on. Also, if you have wonky ears like I do and need lots of customization for ear buds to stay put.