Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The Story of My Life 2013

As a final goodbye to 2013, I sit here in my first WDW half marathon shirt and wonder what 2014 will bring me in the coming year.
Last year at this time I was positive that 2013 would be a awesome year and that I was going to make it life changing and that it was! This year was a rollercoaster of emotions. Some higher than a mountain and some lower that deepest sea. God surely gave me obstacles that I never thought I would overcome, things to work on, and things to be grateful for including a new life!

I appreciate EVERY moment I had this year including even my lowest moment when I could not walk 2 feet after my emergency surgery after running 6 miles 2 days before. I never cried so hard wondering what the future had in store for me. You see I am a planner. I like to know what it coming next and feel secure but at that moment, nothing was promised to me and I had to fight. It was me, myself, and I that had to fight for my future and being positive and settings goals for myself was the only way I knew how to start paving my way and regain my life back. The diagnoses of Chrohn's is life altering and many times I find myself asking "Why me?". It has brought me to tears while running alone on a treadmill on my worst days and happy tears when I accomplish something no one thought I could do.

When I cross the finish line of a race I always cry happy tears. Some taking my breath away more than others. Those tears mean different things to me every time not only because I finished the race but because I earn that medal after every new road I travel on.

For some of you that don't know, when I ran through that finish line chute of the Disneyland Half in August it was exactly 16 weeks and to the minute that I was rushed into emergency surgery, which was my darkest moment, on that day it all changed. That day was a new beginning for me because I did not cry... I gave a big thumbs up as I crossed that finish line, laughed and smiled so big! It may be one of my proudest moments because I set out on a journey and "I" achieved it whole-heartily. I did it with friends taking care of me and asking me if  I was ok and the answer was "I feel great!" and I did.. I never felt better and it felt like a piece of me that had missing in my running puzzle was finally found.

My last half marathon was at Wine and Dine a few months ago, another milestone for me that not only made me scared but excited to do. I have always had my running girlfriend with me by my side. She keeps me in line when I am struggling and laughs with me along the way creating moments of a lifetime, but this time I was gong in solo. 13 miles of me, my iPod, and the road. It was different but with the support of texts and tweets from friends around the country while I was running I kept happy and going. That night as I came around the corner I saw the finish line lights. I kicked it into gear and sprinted like I never had before. I don't know what was in me at that moment but I as I crossed the finish line solo I yelled out a big "YES!" I proceeded to stop, laugh, cry, and then hyperventilate from excitement. My time may have been someone else's slow... but this was MY race and not anyone else's! With a half marathon Disney PR, I kicked Chrohn's ass and every other fear I had in me right in the face that night! Why? because I am a fighter, I am persistent, and yes I am a dreamer. Like Walt Disney said, "If you can dream it, you can do it!"

DO NOT tell me I can not do something.. I will prove you wrong and DO NOT tell me that Chrohn's will win over me... I will find a way!

As 2013 comes to a close I would like to thank EVERY person that has been a part of the rollercoaster ride that has brought me to where I am today. Without the support of my real family and my running family I could not have done it. I have laughed with all of you and cried with others. The friendships that I have made this year are priceless!! Not a day goes by without thinking of some of you. You all played a special part of each and every memory I had this year!

Here is a video of 2013 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Qw_uYHEtC4

(there is music so turn your volume down)

I hope you smile and laugh as I did watching the video of my best and a few worst memories of 2013. If you know me, you will know that Bon Jovi is my favorite band not only because Jon is really my secret husband, or because they are from NJ (lol) but because they always seem to find the right song to fit me and this one fits again!

Happy New Year to each and every one of you.

May 2014 be a fabulous year for each and every one of us.
May it bring you PR's
May it bring you SMILES
May it bring you friendships that last a lifetime
May it bring you prosperity
and May it bring you love like you never dreamed of before


Friday, December 20, 2013

Christmas ready? ...NOPE! Not even close.

It's the Friday before Christmas and am I ready? 
Since November I have been running around with my head cut off and I am not ready.
Somehow this year Christmas snuck up on me like a bad episode of Punk'd. 
Every year I am ready a few weeks prior to that weekend. I buy my gifts one at a time and hoard them in places I usually forget, I wear holiday shirts to work to get everyone on the mood, I get all of our favorite teachers gifts, I write out cards to friends,I bake, and I put decorations up at work and all over the house.
 Nope, not this year.
Last Sunday I baked for 10 hours straight and at the end of  it all I took a picture of the goods on the table and it looked like I made nothing. UGH.

Monday I went to go get my nails done and all I could think about is getting my toes to look good for WDW marathon weekend coming up in 3 weeks. 

I went to the store to buy gifts and gift cards and I swear an associate asked me a few times if I was OK or needed help, why? 'Cuz I was blank. I haven't even walked into a mall or store. The heck with pixie dust ...I need some spiked egg nog and a big Christmas slap in the head to snap me out of this.

A client of mine asked me yesterday "Did you ever I ever get  the Christmas spirit this year?" and I said "Nope!" Do I need to go to the store tonight and buy a Grinch shirt? What is the deal? I have no idea.
So on this last day of work I donned my favorite holiday shirt and thank God I will have a few days off.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Destination Friday: Where would you go?

You go to your mailbox and there is a envelope marked with your name on it that says "OPEN IMMEDIATELY". You open it to find that is a note addressed to you that says..

Dear ____,

Surprise you are going on a dream vacation! Here are your details for the trip...
*You MUST use these airline vouchers starting this weekend 
*The trip will can last any amount of days
*You can bring anyone with you 
*Money is no option you will be give a credit card that you don't have to pay back
*Your work has already been notifies and cleared for you to take off with pay.

Start packing!

 So...where do you choose you go? 

Do you have a top 3 destinations that you would love to go to if money was no object? Share yours!
#1 Bora Bora 
#2 Italy
#3 Hawaii 

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Chasing a PR on a Wed night

It had been almost 2 weeks since I ran in the 2013 runDisney's Wine and Dine Half and it seemed like forever since my feet hit that pavement. 

Since the Florida weather was stormy and it was humid outside I decided to go to the gym and hit the dreadmill in my new runDisney meet up shirt and see if  "Every mile is magical" 

With a January 10k on my horizon I wanted to train to run and beat my PR time of 1:12 which was set last March.
This is usually how my runs go and tonight was no different:
Mile 1 is always a warm up
Mile 2 is breaks my mood in
Mile 3 I hate you mile 3!!!
Mile 4 I always start to make a come back and find my groove. 
And at Mile 6... I GOT THIS!  

After running about 2 miles, the stomach kicked in & of course I had to stop, leave everything in the treadmill and take a potty break. 

Ok back on! If you know me, this drives me crazy because I like to see the numbers on the screen and see how I am doing but now I would have to do simple math and keep logging the numbers in my head~ ugh!
The first recorded time I took as a warm up and thought "ok let's try this again!" 

But then passing that 6 mile mark and setting a new PR for myself I felt great and wanted to keep going. With a little motivation from some other runners posting their mileage of the night I thought to myself "Let's see what I can do tonight?"

But of course leg cramps started to cramp my style literally and I had to start to slow down and walk the last part left of the mile that I was at.
( By the looks of my heart rate... I wasn't working for this PR was I?)

With a total of 11.78 miles in, it was a great night despite the potty stop and the leg cramps.
 I PR'd and felt great!
Now if this could happen again and I could kick that 10k's booty in January I'd be happy! 

Sunday, November 17, 2013

My visit to Club Cool

For years I always heard of everyone going to this place in EPCOT and I had walked by it a million times or forgot to walk by, but never stopped in. It's located on the right hand side as you are walking towards the International Gateway to the countries past pin trading and Innovations. 

On my last trip I was walking by and I mentioned that I had never gone in so a friend and I decided to go in for my first time. This was going to be interesting! 

The inside was not what I expected it was a lot more modern and colorful than I imagined. I thought it would be dull but nope, I was wrong.

We headed over to the machines and stated to taste test all of the flavors. Making tons of facial expressions I laughed... UGH! Some of these were terrible, and a few others not to bad. 

New flavors added to the sample station are:
  • VegitaBeta – This Japanese beverage combines apricot and passion fruit flavors.
  • Fanta (Melon Frosty) – This melon-flavored soda is number one in Thailand.
  • Bibo – This fruit-flavored juice drink originates from South Africa.
  • Sparberry – This raspberry cream-flavored soda has been a favorite in Africa since 1955.
  • Guarana Kuat – This drink, flavored after the guarana berry, is popular in Brazil.
  • Inca Kola – This Peruvian favorite offers a sweet, almost bubblegum-like taste.
  • And of course, I had to try the Italian beverage, Beverly! UUUUGH!
    Beverly: With its bitter flavor, this drink is a popular non-alcoholic aperitif. (Though many visitors to Italy claim that nobody knows about it there!)
    Have you ever been to Club Cool? If you haven't it's a fun spot so go on over and make some faces for yourself! 

Friday, November 15, 2013

2013 runDisney #WineDineHalf Meet Up

On Nov. 7,2013 I was honored to attend my first runDisney meet up during the Wine and Dine half marathon weekend.
I drove directly to EPCOT, where the meet was held, from work and after picking up my friend Kim at our hotel. As we walked through the gates we were approached with a smile from a rundisney coordinator clearing the way to a sign in table. There we were given clear bags to put our personal belongings in, a park ticket into the park, a fast pass to Test Track, and the best gift of all... The glorious runDisney shirt we've all been waiting to wear!

We ran into some other runners and introduced each other as we walked to Test Track for a group ride before we had to meet in out designated area. We all boarded our vehicles and off we went laughing hysterically and having so much fun! 

Next, we headed over to a VIP area to watch Illuminations with 125 other runners attending the meet up. As we waited for the fireworks to start we saw many of our running friends. Some of us were finally meeting for the first time after talking over Twiitter and on group pages. We took pictures together and shared stories of excitement about the event. 

It was time for the fireworks show and the night to begin. Using hashtag #WineDineHalfmeetup we all started to snap shots and tweet about the event. 

After Illuminations was over we all started to make our way to the second part of the meet up... The Food and Wine!! 

The next part of the event would be held over at the American Pavillion stage. As expected, runDisney did a fabulous job with decorating the stage, and setting the  atmosphere that night for all runners. 

Food tables were plentiful of wine, fruits, vegetables, pita, cookies, and a sampler from the Terra kiosk of a spicy vegan dish with rice, and more. Very yummy! 

As we were eating runners could mingle with each other and then stand in line to take a photo op with our pal Mickey! This is the picture that everyone always dreams of taking when you go to a meet up. You, Mickey, and the shirt!! 

As we finished our snacks our event speakers started taking the stage. Diet Diva, Faron Kelly, and our friend Jeff Galloway. Each one cracking jokes and giving us a little info about the night and how special RunDisney is... As if we didn't know it already :)

Our special speakers of the night were chefs that introduced us to a new vegan wine that premiered this year and spoke about some of the dishes and happenings at the food festival this year. 

New Balanced talked about the new design & enhancements of the 2014 runDisney shoe that is made exclusively for us Disney fanatics. The shoe will be premiering at the 2014 Walt Disney Marathon Weekend this year along with a new product, insoles made for each and every race for collectors or people like myself that may think they might be our next good luck charm during that race! 
We may or may not have seen the new shoes and insoles that night....and if we did ...well, only the mouse and me know! 

Giveaways were of course were in store that night from New Balance RunDisney shoes to the newNew Balance shoes the NYC marathon winner wore & a snazzy orange NB jacket (seen on everyone) that
my friend Kim Requa won to a free entry in to a runDisney race. Oh! How I wish I got that one, but my lovely friend Kimberly Markey one that one! 

But then the moment of the night fell upon us... IT WAS FUN RUN time!!

There were two groups. The straight run group and the wak/run group with Jeff Galloway, of course I took Jeff's group but first I had to get my picture with him again in my shirt! 

Friends and I made way over to Jeff's group and wished for "the photo op" we all dream about in the front of the line running with him, but this picture was even better!! Can ou tell by the looks on Nina's and my face that we were excited? 

Jeff did a a 20/20 2 mile run around the World Showcase which ended up meeting the other group later in the front just infront of the big ball. 
As we ran we could ask Jeff questions and he kindly responded back with answers. I will have to say that the 20/20 was not my favorite. I am not used to such short paces and frankly I didn't like it but who's to argue with a man that is an Olympian & marathoner! 

As the night ended both groups merged again into one for a big group picture. 

Then before we headed out Faron Kelly
gave a fabulous toast to all of the runners and thanked them for coming out to the event. 

Still floating in cloud 9 we all said our goodbyes, good lucks to everyone running , took some more last pictures, and made plans for more personal meet ups later.  It was a a night to remember for sure! 

Enter my wine and dine giveaway 
Below from that weekend...

(Giveaway has been removed) winner was Gregg Plonisch.. 

Until next time... See Ya Rea Soon!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Friendship in Many Ways

Have you ever sat and thought about friendship and all the different ways it comes in?

Recently, I had the chance to sit and think about this powerful topic and how it changes over the years from life's little experiences.

Many years ago when you were in high school didn't you think that your best friend would be there with you forever? For some lucky people that still holds true, but if you moved away or went to college most of us drifted apart from that person over time and before you know it you don't speak except for at reunions or meet ups when your in town visiting for a weekend. Tastes in things change, jealous rises from the past, and it seems that you have nothing to catch up on because you have both grown but have gone on different life paths. Some of us become parents, and that life seems to have little or no time for our single friends and we grow apart. 

Then there are the marriage friendships. These are when you marry someone and couples bring their friends into the picture. Either you hit it off or you just play nice when you get together. You do things "as couples", but they're not really the person who you would confide in or go on a solo outing with if asked because  you really don't have anything in common  with them. 

There's also the working friendships. Those are the people that you see every day and you are selective on telling certain stories to because you never know if it will be used against you or not someday. You exchange birthday gifts, go on luncheons with and gossip to about "things" but again... it all stops when you walk out the door. 

But then there are the surprise friends. They're the ones that start off as strangers but then end up to be your rock and support system. When you least expect it and think you have nothing in common with these people they become some of the best friends you will ever have. Why? These people know nothing about your past, nothing about your job, kids, family life, or the amount of money you make, they like you for just being you. You can meet them doing a hobby you both like, meet them in a public place volunteering, or maybe in a sports group. Under these circumstances you tend to forget the outside world and focusing on the moments you spend together. You tend to listen to this person's stories and share your own in return resulting in a relationship that can be supportive, fun, and sometimes uplifting. I think that because you live in the moment you both tend to be more open and and can give no-holds bar advice. 

With the world of social media the word "friendship" has a whole new meaning. It's measured as a popularity status on Facebook and not what the true meaning of friendship should be. 

True friends should be the people you can confide in. The people that you don't worry about spreading your secrets. The people that when you fall or need that extra pick me up are there by your side to lend you a hand and say it will be alright even thought that road you are traveling on is bumpy at the moment. They are the people that you share your happiest moments with and hope there will more of in he future. 

I have been very blessed to have some wonderful friends. I have belly laughed with them, shared joyous moments with, and have received words of encouragement and sent words of encouragement when times were tough medically. Whether it was a cancer diagnoises, a major surgery, a loss of loved one, or a decision that was not easy to make. We are there for each other. 

Each one of you know who you are and have a special place in my heart. I thank you for being my friend! 

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

2013 Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party


On Friday November 8th, I headed over to Magic Kingdom with some friends Kim and Gregg to the sold out event on it's first night. We decided to go early and meet up with other friends there. As we walked through the gates we all OOOH and AAAAAH'd at the first sights of the Christmas decorations. The streets were lines with wreaths and the garland was swagged over Main Street from the very first shop to the end. The lights glistened and you could feel the excitement in the air. 
My friend Gregg wanted to see the castle light up at 6:15pm so we grabbed some a Nutella waffle at Sleepy Hollow and sat waiting for the show to begin. With Disney glitz and glamor...it finally was lit and beautiful!

We met up with Jim and Brandi and off we went to explore and have some fun.  Story time with Belle, Disney World Speedway, Buzz Lightyear, Thunder Mountain Railroad, Jingle Cruise,were some of the attractions we took in before watching the parade. Along the way we stopped for cocoa and cookies which made us very merry :-)

We decided to watch the first parade so we could do some more later on after the park emptied out of little ones.  As the parade started is started to snow (magic snow) on Main Street. The floats slowly drove past us...each and every float was decorated in true Disney Holiday spirit one more magical then the next.


If you are going to be in the Disney World area during the months of November or December I highly recommend going to this with your family and/or friends during the holidays! 
Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party
November: 8, 11, 14, 15, 17, 21 & 22, 2013
1, 3, 5, 6, 8, 10, 12, 13, 15, 17, 19 & 20, 2013
Event time:
7:00 pm - 12:00 am

 Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party doesn't officially begin until 7:00 p.m., ticket holders can enter the park starting at 4:00 pm with their MVMCP ticket. Once the ticket is swiped, you're issued a wristband. 
(If you're already in the park, you can go back to the main entrance to have your ticket processed or look for the ticket stations that will be set up within the Magic Kingdom.) 

General Pricing
November 8, 11, 14, 15, 17 & 21, 2013
  • Advance Purchase:
    Adult: $62.00 + tax, Child: $57.00 + tax
  • Same Day Purchase:
    Adult: $67.00 + tax, Child: $62.00 + tax
  • Passholder/DVC Discount (Advance):
    Adult: $58.00 + tax, Child: $53.00 + tax
  • Military Discount (Advance):
    Adult: $43.40 + tax, Child: $39.90 + tax
December 1, 3, 5 & 10, 2013
  • Advance Purchase:
    Adult: $62.00 + tax, Child: $57.00 + tax
  • Same Day Purchase:
    Adult: $67.00 + tax, Child: $62.00 + tax
  • Passholder/DVC Discount (Advance):
    Adult: $58.00 + tax, Child: $53.00 + tax
December 8, 12, 15, 17, & 19 2013
  • Advance Purchase:
    Adult: $62.00 + tax, Child: $57.00 + tax
  • Same Day Purchase:
    Adult: $67.00 + tax, Child: $62.00 + tax
December 20, 2013
  • Advance Purchase:
    Adult: $71.00 + tax, Child: $66.00 + tax
  • Same Day Purchase:
  • Adult: $71.00 + tax, , Child: $66.00 + tax

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Help Me Meet My Goal by Thurs: Compression Sock Giveaway

I have just a few days left until I run in the 2013 Wine and Dine Half and my fundraising has fell short...now every dollar matters at this point. 

If you are able to donate even $5 or $10 that would be appreciated!

In return for donating I am giving away a free pair of Adidas Compression calve sleeves in black (L/XL) or Compression socks in white (knee length/ M)
The winner will be able to choose which pair they would like. I will be running in a pair of sleeves myself. I love these!

Please go to the link below and donate.
Then afterwards, come back here and enter the giveaway below. 
Giveaway ends Thurs.at midnight.

If anyone is running the Wine and Dine I am bringing these with me incase one of you win them and would like them for the race. I can exchange them at the expo on Friday or meet up with you around the resort  before the race

Thank you all!