Disneyland Half Marathon

This past weekend I completed my first Disneyland Half Marathon. I was invited by runDisney to participate and signed up at the  last minute. I was a little worried that I hadn’t trained enough and because of that I would have a terrible race time.
All of those worries seemed silly as I ran past the starting line and saw Mickey and Minnie cheering on the crowd. Taking pictures soon took precedence over anything else. And there were so many pictures to take.

This was my race BFF.

We met coming out of our hotel rooms and soon realized that we were both running alone. This is what I love about races; you make friends in a minute. We ran together until mile 6 and then unfortunately I lost her. Hopefully she remembered my email address.

The first few miles were fantastic. There was so much to see it hardly felt like I was running.

Stopping for a picture


Running into California Adventure
Disneyland’s Main Street
Running into Tomorrowland
Frontierland where Winnie the Pooh and Friends posed for pictures
It was great running through the park. There were so many employees out cheering us on. And a lot of the Disney characters including Mary Poppins, Winnie the Pooh, and a few Princesses.
A folklorico group entertained the runners
Once we got out of the park the sun started beating down on us, but luckily it was not very hot. And there was a lot to see along the way. Folklorico dancers, cheerleading squads, and high school bands were all along the route plus the runners costumes were so much fun.

Near the end of the race I got very competitive. I sprinted the last three miles while I searched for my husband and kids. I didn’t see them until after the race, but was very happy to see this!

I took the above picture later. My actual time was 2 hours and 36 minutes. Not bad. Next stop, the Tinkerbell Half Marathon!


CorePower Yoga, CardioBarre, and Jillian Michaels

Running has been my go-to form of exercise for years. Whether I’m training for a race or just need a little exercise, it’s convenient, fast, and I generally feel good afterwards. But the downside to having your only workout be one where you primarily use just your legs is that the rest of my body suffers.

This came to my attention after looking at several summer pictures of my arms. After untagging myself from pictures on Facebook, I thought I should probably do something about the extra weight on my upper body. It’s not only unsightly, but it’s very unhealthy for women to carry extra weight around their middle.

It was about that time that I got two invitations to try new workout studios in Los Angeles. Plus I bought a workout video at Target called Jillian Michael’s No More Trouble Zones.

The first studio I tried was CorePower Yoga on Granville and Wilshire in West LA.  I like Yoga and feel that I should do it more often. I don’t like that I feel like I need to another form of exercise because I didn’t get enough of a cardio workout. Not so with CorePower Yoga. I went to a Hot Power Fusion class where the room was heated. It made the class more challenging and I definitely felt like I was getting a workout. I was sweating buckets and my heart rate was up. Absolutely no need to go for a run before or after. And I felt great.

Next, I tried CardioBarre in Beverly Hills on Robertson. It’s a take on the barre ballet-type workout classes that are so popular right now. I tried a barre class before, but it was like yoga where I felt like I wasn’t getting enough of a workout. This class was barre on steroids. It was fast paced with weights, barre exercises, and a lot of cardio. It was fun and I definitely felt like I got a good workout. Frankly, it kicked my ass.

Both CorePower Yoga and CardioBarre offer a free trial class. It’s worth it to try it out and see which one works best for you.

My favorite workout of all was the one I did in my own home. Another reason I love running so much is the convenience. I can just get up and go. The few times I did Jilian Michael’s video I had planned to go do a class outside in the world, but there was too much work to make the time. Instead I popped No More Trouble zones in the DVD player and got a great workout. The goal is to eliminate “muffin tops, love handles, and wobbly arms for good.” It’s a really tough workout and the week I did it consistently, I feel toned and strong.

If I did all of these exercises, I would be superfit. But like everything that’s good for you, it’s all about making the effort. Let’s hope I do.

Time for Mom

Thanks to Crystal Light for sponsoring this post. To learn more about how Crystal Light can flavor your day with 30 refreshing flavors, visit http://www.facebook.com/crystallight.

Finding time for myself is not easy these days, which is why I’m so glad that I’m training for the LA Marathon.

It doesn’t seem like running 4, 10, 20 miles counts as time to yourself, but it really does. I’m a work at home mom and for me that means that work never stops and neither does being a parent. If there’s a spare minute, I’m at the computer or putting in a load of laundry. Because I don’t have a set schedule, I have to work in time for me and I oftentimes feel guilty when I do.

But when I’m out on the road, I can’t feel that guilt. I have to make this time for myself because if I don’t, I’ll be hurting on the next long run. Or worse, I won’t be able to complete the marathon. And, not only that, I signed up to run for the non-profit Help a Mother Out on Crowdrise. So not only am I running for me, but hundreds of babies who need diapers.

I get so much out of this time. I don’t take my phone with me when I go jogging, just my Ipod. Four times a week for 30 minutes to an hour, I have uninterrupted time to myself. I listen to podcasts, music, or my own thoughts. How often does that happen? I can actually pick a song to listen to without my kids yelling, “I hate this song, turn it off, ahhhhh!” or “Why is that lady saying that she’s gotta shake her ass?”

And when I’m running I don’t feel like a chubby middle-aged mom. I’m Sydney Bristow, or Diana Prince or me at 19. It’s liberating to run like a kid or a crazy person. And it’s fun to be outside or in a gym.

Running can be hard on your body, I’ll admit, but it could be worse. When I don’t exercise, my body aches. My hips, knees, ankles just don’t feel as good as when I’m exercising. It’s not just my body that feels good. If I’m in a bad mood and I go on a run, I almost always feel at least a little bit better when I get back.

And when I feel good, when I have time to take care of myself, I’m a much better mom.

Here are some tips to help get you to make time for yourself and exercise:

1)    Sign up for an event – a marathon, a 10K, or a walk can really help get you motivated to start a routine.

2)    Join a group –  Meetup.com has walking groups or if you sign up for a marathon or bike ride through Team in Training, they train you along the way. If you live in LA, see my post for CBS about how to start running in Los Angeles.

3)    Make it an adventure – Map out a new walk, run, or hike every time you leave your house.

4)    Pick an activity that’s fun for you –  If running isn’t your thing, try swimming, walking, biking, yoga, pilates, bar workouts or any other sport that works for you. Check out your local YMCA to find out what it offers.

Remember, visit http://www.facebook.com/crystallight to learn more about how Crystal Light can flavor your day with 30 refreshing flavors. I was selected and paid for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective, which endorses Blog With Integrity, as I do.