Friday, September 28, 2012

Last Call on my Bondi Bands: A LLS fundraiser

Hello friends--I am finishing up my fundraising for the Nike Women's Half Marathon.  I still have some Bondi Bands left.  Please email me at if you are interested.  The cost is 1 band for $10, 2 bands for $18 and 3 bands for $25.  I will cover the cost of shipping.  All of the proceeds go to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society to help find a cure for cancer!

A dream is a wish...


Tiara Bands

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Foot Growth

In the past year and a half since I started running, my foot has grown two entire shoe sizes!  Since I was a teenager, I have worn a size 8.5 shoe.  My very first pair of running shoes was a size 9, to allow for a bit of swelling, the sales guy told me.  By the time I was ready for a new pair, I got a 9.5.  My first pair felt really tight by the time I was done a long run in them.  When I got my newest pair of running shoes, I planned to get a size 10 because the 9.5 were starting to feel tight after a long run.  Since I am doing the Nike Women's Half Marathon in a few weeks, I wanted to try a pair of Nike running shoes.  This time the sales guy told me to go up a half a size because Nike's run small, so I got a 10.5.  There you have it--two whole shoes sizes!

Is adult foot growth normal?  Does running cause foot growth?  I did some research online about this.  I am sad to report that I could not find much about it.  I really doubt it's anything to worry about, but I just don't like it.  My Doc Martin's that I have had for half my life are to small now.  My Ugg boots don't fit me anymore!  What is going on???

Have you experienced anything like this?  What do you think is going on?

A dream is a wish...


Sunday, September 23, 2012

Working the SparkleSkirt! booth and the Disneyland Half Expo

A few months ago, Miss Leah, the Queen Mum of SparkleSkirts! asked me to work with her at the SparkleSkirts! booth at the Disneyland Half Marathon Expo.  I was thrilled!  You know how much I love SparkleSkirts! and really admire Miss Leah and her company.  There are not many athletic wear companies who make sure us bigger bottomed girls have just as many choices in running wear as the skinny girls.  Miss Leah makes all of her skirts to fit all body types.  Not only do they fit every body type, they flatter every body type!  That is a big deal in my book.

I took the early shift, from 9am to 1pm.  It really did not feel that early to me though--I had already run the Car Land 5k, went back to my room and changed, and went to a character breakfast with my girlfriends.  I got to the expo about 10 minutes early, like an good and eager worker should.  The nice women guarding the door would not let me in because I did not have an exhibitor pass.  I had to call Miss Leah to meet me at the door.  Once I got there, she gave me a quick lay of the land.  By then, the expo was open and I was helping ladies find their perfect running skirts.

It was so much fun working the SparkleSkirts! booth.  We had women of all shapes and sizes stop by and try on skirts.  We had so much good stuff at the booth--my favorites were the SparkleLight skirts that you wear over shorts or capris and the SparkleTech that has build in shorts.  I loved showing off all of the SparkleTech features, like big and roomy leg pockets, no slip/anti chafe legs and the zippered waist band pocket. The time went by so quickly.  Before I know it, my 4 hours was up.

Picture borrowed from the SparkleSkirts! Facebook page. 
I had the best time working the SparkleSkirts! booth at the Disneyland Half Marathon.  It was so much fun representing a product that I believe in.  I hope Miss Leah asks me to work for her again really soon.

A dream is a wish...


Thursday, September 20, 2012

Instead Softcups

What is Instead Softcups? It's an alternative solution for period protection. It's exactly what it sounds like. It's a soft cup. And yes. It goes in there.

Some facts about Instead Softcups: 
It can be left in place for up to 12 hours.  That is an entire work day, or long enough to get a good nights sleep with out changing a pad or tampon.

Unlike pads, it can not be felt while you are using it.

It will not move, shift or bunch.

It does not cause odor, dryness or irritation.

It will not mess with your body's pH levels.

There have been no reports of TSS (toxic shock syndrome) associated with Instead Softcups, unlike tampons.

It allows you to run, swim, take a bath, dress up and not even think about your period.

There are many other reasons why Instead Softcups are better than tampons and pads.  You can read about them here.

My Experience

When I agreed to give Instead Softcups a try and tell you about my experience, I was a bit nervous.  I had never even heard of Instead Softcups or anything like it.  Honestly, the thought of inserting it really freaked me out.  Luckily, there are good instructions with sketches inside the box.  After a few tries, I had the hang of it.

I did not know what to expect the first day I used the Softcups.  Would it be uncomfortable?  Would it give me cramps?  What if it got "lost" up there?  Once I got the hang of using it, I had not problems.  I could not feel it while I was using it.  Getting it out was a bit challenging at first, but just like inserting, there was good directions and I got the hang of it quickly.

I went about my day as I normally would--get the kids to school, grocery shopping, laundry, making dinner, get the kids to bed ect.  (I have a very exciting life).  Then it came time for my run.  I usually run late in the evenings after the kids are in bed.  I went out for my run and totally forgot I was even using it.  I see my running time as my me time--no music, no talking--just thinking.  I use this time to reflect on my day, my life, the world.  All of that went on as normal.  No pad bunching up or sticking to me.  How refreshing.

I am really happy to have found Instead Softcups.  It's nice to have another option for period protection.

A dream is a wish...


 Even though I am being compensated for this review, the opinions expressed here are 100% mine.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Philly Rock 'n Roll Half Marathon 2012

On Sunday, I ran in the Philly Rock 'n Roll Half Marathon.  It was a great races and I am so glad I decided at the last minute to do it.  I don't have the best memories of Philly.  My daughter spent a lot of time in Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.  We did not have the best experience there, so my memories of Philly are very tough to think about.  Honestly, I was very reluctant to every go back there again.  I am very lucky that I have some amazing friends who talked me into making some good memories in Philly.

My runDisney buddy, Chelsea, offered me to stay with her for the night.  She had a room with the Team in Training group from Texas.  It was so weird going to a race that started at 8 am.  I am so used to Disney races where you have to be at the start by 4 am.  We are usually done by 8 am.

We walked to the start where I meet my local friends Michelle, Lish and her momma.  We did the usually pre-race potty visit, bag check, then headed to the start.  One thing I really like about RnR races is that they use many, many small corrals.  I believe for this race in Philly there were 20+ corrals, each with around a thousand runners.  They let off a new corral about every two minutes.  This greatly allieviates the start line bottleneck. I started in corral 17.  Each corral got their own "Ready, Set, Go!"

I think this race had the most spectators I had every experienced.  Maybe not most in total number, but for sure most spectators in the area they covered.  At the other races I have been in, spectators were very concentrated in major areas, like the Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World.  In Philly, there were spectators  for the entire first five miles, like a parade.

The first five miles of the race were in historic Philadelphia.  We passed all the historic places--the Liberty Bell, Constitution Hall etc.  Then four miles up the Schuylkill River, over the bridge and back to the finish line.  Running by the river, I saw something very strange to me.  The road we were running on was at the bottom of a 3-4 story cliff.  On top of the cliff was a huge cemetery.  It seemed so out of place to me.  The run along the river was very pretty.  The race ended on a huge up hill right in front of the Rocky steps--classic Philly.

This was a good race.  Thanks to my friends for convincing me I should do it!

A dream is a wish...


Thursday, September 13, 2012

Welcome Fall 5k to benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society

Hello friends!

Kids Fun Run Medal

I wanted to take time out of all my fun reporting about the Disneyland Half Marathon to tell you about a project I am working on.  As you know, I have been training with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training.  I will run the Nike Half Marathon on October 14th.  I will be running for a reason much more important than the personal challenge of completing a Half Marathon.  As a member of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Team In Training program, I have pledged to train on the behalf of all the affected children and their families to help raise money for leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin's disease and myeloma research and patient assistance programs
As you may or may not know, leukemia is the #1 disease killer of children and the leading fatal malignant disease of men and women under the age of 35.  Although the cause of leukemia remains unknown, recently developed treatments and steady advances in research bring us closer to a cure every day.  These research advances were only achieved as a result of contributions made by companies, foundations and individuals like you. 
Welcome Fall 5k Medal
My goal is to raise $3000 by October 1st. To do this, I will need to register at least 50 people.  If you would like to help, please consider registering for my virtual 5k.  For the 5k, anytime from now until the end of September, run, walk, skip or crawl the distance—BLING included!  As a thank you for registering, I will send you a finisher medal. Brand new for this run, I have added a kids fun run option!  If you register, your child can too at a discounted rate.  The children's race distance is at your discretion.  You know your child best.  You both will get a medal!  I have added a few new options this time:
Donate $20+ and you will receive a Welcome Fall 5k medal. 
Donate $25+ and your medal will be personalized with your name and/or finish time. 
Donate $30+ will enter you and your child into the 5k.  You will receive your medal and your child will get a special medal just for them! 
Donate $35+ to register you and your child.  You will both get a medal personalized with your name and/0r finish time. 
Register for:

To register, use the button above.  If you want to register and do not have Paypal, you can always donate directly to my LLS page on the upper right of this page.

Please consider registering and helping me reach my goal.  With the generosity of people like you, there is every reason to believe that a cure for blood-related cancers is in sight!

A dream is a wish...


Disneyland Half Marathon part II

To read part I, click here!

As we exited Disney property, it began to get very hot and very sunny.  We turned a corner and the sun blinded me.  I could not see the course ahead of me.  I could not even run because I was afraid I would trip. I do usually run with sunglasses, but I usually end up not using them so I left them behind.  We run up a ramp over an expressway, and then back down it.  The sun was still blinding me.  Thankfully, we made a turn and the sun was to my left.

From studying the course map before hand, I knew that Angle Stadium was at mile nine.  This time in the race, I was at mile marker six.  I began looking for the stadium in the distance.  To pass the miles in Anaheim, there was all kinds of non-Disney entertainment.  There was classic cars, high school bands, high school cheerleaders and dance teams.  I was very impressed with all of this.  My biggest concern with this race was all the miles off Disney property and through the town of Anaheim.  They did a great job at keeping the race fun, even though we were off Disney property.

By mile eight, I could see Angle Stadium in the distance.  As we got closer and closer, there were lots of community groups there cheering us on.  I saw Boy Scouts and local running clubs giving out snacks on the sidelines.  Then we arrived at the stadium.  The stadium was not full, but there was a lot of people in the stands cheering the runners on.  As we ran by, the runners were all shown on the jumbo screen.  The DJ inside the stadium was fun and gave me a second wind.

Leaving the stadium, I knew I had three miles left--the toughest three miles of the race.  I ran into a friend, Megan, and we chatted a bit.  The course was still filled with entertainment--mostly cheerleader.  I could see the Tower of Terror ride in the distance.  I knew I was getting close!

As we got back to Disney property, we still had a mile to go.  We ran behind California Adventure, just where we had around mile two.  I could see the Paradise Pier hotel in the distance.  Once I got there, it was just a quarter mile to the finish.  At this time, I felt a surge of energy!  I ran that last quarter mile strong and crossed the finish line.

Going through the finisher chute is always a bit overwhelming to me.  I was handed a cool towel and then my medal!  My next stop was the Coast to Coast challenge booth where I got my Coast to Coast medal.  Exiting the runners area, I grabbed a water, a power aid and a runner's snack box.  I did it!  I completed my fourth half marathon.  Then I headed back to my room for a shower and to get something to eat!

A dream is a wish...

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Disneyland Half Marathon

Last Sunday I had the privileged of participating in the runDisney Disneyland Half Marathon and completing the runDisney Coast to Coast Challenge!  The race was such an amazing experience.  I can't not wait to tell you all about it!

Race morning started out like most other--early!  The girls in my room and I got up at 4:30am.  We got dressed and left the room by 5:00am.   One thing I love about west coast races is that, due to the 3 hour time difference, the start did not feel as early.  I try to stick to Eastern time when I only go for a few days by getting up early each day of the trip.  A 4:30am wake up call does not feel as early in California as it does in Pennsylvania.

The great thing about staying at a Disneyland hotel is that we could walk to the start.  It was so nice to not have to wait for a bus and the make a ride to the start. When we got to the corrals, it was very crowded. My friends/roommates--Danielle, Chelsea and I were all in corral D.  We barely fit!  The race got started at 5:45am.  The race DJ's were good, but the start was rather uneventful.  I was expecting fireworks and a big send off for each corral.  Each corral got there own "Ready, Set, Go" but that is really it.   There was a huge TV screen showing the send off of each corral.  I really enjoyed that.

The beginning of the race went past the Grand Californian Hotel and then the Paradise Pier Hotel, where I was staying.  We made a turn and run behind California Adventure Park.  In the road were these big reflectors, each about an inch high.  At about the .5 mile distance, an older man tripped on one and feel.  He smashed his face and his nose was bleeding.  Some police that were directing traffic jumped into action and helped him off the course.  I hope he is ok!

By about mile 1.5, we entered California Adventure Park.  We entered the park in the Paradise Pier section--right near the roller coaster.  All the exciting rides really got me pumped!  After running through Paradise Pier, we ran over the bridge and toward Cars Land!  We did not run through Cars Land, but got a great view of it running by.  Next was the Back lot and Hollywood land!  This is where the California version of the Tower of Terror is.  My favorite new part of California Adventure is the Carthy Circle--a replica of where Walt Disney opened his first full length film--Snow White.  This is part of the complete transformation to California Adventure.  We exited CA and ran the short distance into Disneyland!

We entered Disneyland though an employee/service entrance.  We turned the corner and I got a glimpse of the castle!  Wow, it took my breathe away!  We headed toward Frontierland and then back behind Fantasyland.  Here I was--the big moment--the run through the castle.  This, to me, is the big moment of the race, even more than the start or finish.  So magical!

After the castle, it was on to the rest of Fantasyland, including my favorite Disneyland mountain--the Matterhorn.  This ride is like a tamer version of Expedition Everest in the Animal Kingdom.  After Fantasyland, we ran through Toon Town.  Toon Town is something extra special in Disneyland because it no longer exists in Walt Disney World.  When we were done in Toon Town, we exited Disneyland but were still on Disney property.  We were in that mystical place called the staging area.  I loved seeing all the pumpkins and fall decorations ready to decorate the fall.  One not so pleasant area of the staging area was the Disneyland Farm.  This is where all the Disneyland animals live--like the main street transpiration horses.  The horses were so stinky!  Did you know that all the "pardoned" presidential turkeys go to the Disneyland farm?

By the time we exited Disney property, we were only at mile 4.  I so enjoyed my run in the Disneyland parks.  It was nice to have them so close together.  Disneyland is so magical!  Running there was such a blessing.

To read about the second half of the race, click here...

A dream is a wish...


Friday, September 7, 2012

Cars Land 5k Road Rally

This past Saturday, I had the privileged of participating in the Cars Land 5k Road Rally--part of the Disneyland Half Marathon weekend.  Race morning started like usual--early!  The difference in Disneyland (if you stay at a Disneyland resort hotel) is that I could walk to the start.  This saved so much time and allowed me to sleep in so much longer (something I am a big fan of!).  I got up at 5:45 and got to the start by 6:15 for a 6:45 start time.

The pre race area was so fun, the a DJ and lots of actors dressed as car mechanics.  Their antics were very amusing to pass the time before the race start.  The DJ and actors got the race started with lots of fun and jokes.  The first mile of the race was by far the most crowded and boring.  Basically, we ran from the huge Mickey and Minnie parking garage to the front of Disneyland park.  This was the most chaotic 5k start I have been park of.  There were people with strollers, groups walking, runners running like they were in the Olympics and parents literally dragging their little kids behind them.  All of the weaving in and out was dangerous! Several people tripped and fell.  After we got to the front of Disneyland, the crowd thinned out a lot and the race became much more enjoyable.

Entering Disneyland always takes my breath away.  I love that place!  It's the original--the park that Walt built!  This was my first time into Disneyland for this trip. We entered Disneyland next to Splash Mountain.  We then ran past Tom Sawyer Island, the Haunted Mansion and New Orleans Square.  This is one of my favorite parts of Disneyland--because it is not part of the Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World.  Leaving New Orleans Square, I got a glimpse of the Dream Suite, or what used to be Walt Disney's Disneyland apartment.

Next, we ran through Frontierland and then into Fantasyland!   I got my first glimpse of the Matterhorn--my favorite mountain in Disneyland, and something else that can not been found in Florida.  Something fun they did to make the race more memorable is to have Peter Pan, Wendy and the pirates riding the carousel and waving to runners as they ran by.  Up next was my favorite part of a Disney race--the trip through the Castle!  It is always a magical experience to walk through a Disney castle.  As a runner, it is even more magical to run through it!

After the castle, we ran past the Matterhorn and past some more of Fantasyland.  Fantasyland in Disneyland is bigger than in WDW in Florida (at least as of now, until the expansion in FL in complete).  After Fantasyland, we ran through Tomorrowland and then down Main Street USA.  I turn around to get one last look at Sleeping Beauties Castle before leaving Disneyland.  Just a short run through Down Town Disney and we were in California Adventure park.

Disney's California Adventure park highlights all of classic California. We entered the park in the Golden State area, complete with a rapids ride that travels around a huge grizzly bear mountain.  Then we entered Paradise Pier.  This area looks like a classic California beach front boardwalk, complete with a ferris wheel and roller coaster.  After Paradise Pier, we entered Cars Land!  This is a brand new area of Disney's California Adventure.  It is amazing! They made the area look so realistic to the movie.  You actually feel like you are in the movie, in Radiator Springs.  The finish line was right in from of the Radiator Springs fire house.

I will tell you more about Cars Land and California Adventure later.  There were lands in CA that the race did not enter, but that are to cool to not tell you about.  The Cars Land 5k Road Rally was an amazing experience.  I am so happy I got to be a part of it.

A dream is a wish...


Thursday, September 6, 2012


Sleeping Beauty's Castle (photo by Danielle Ryan)
I just got back from an amazing trip to Disneyland!  My main reason for crossing the country was to run in the runDisney Disneyland Half Marathon.  I am not going to lie, I was just as excited to visit Disneyland again   as I was to run in the race.  I love Disneyland!  It's the original--its the park that Walt built.  His spirit can be felt all over the place.

My favorite DL mountain--The Matterhorn
I am the Disneyland guru at my travel agency.  People often ask me which I like better--Disneyland or Walt Disney World?  Well, that is a tough question!  Usually the one I like best is the one I was at most recently.  Honestly, I can not answer that question.  I love the size of WDW.  There is always something new to do or see, even when you go as often as I do.  The history and nostalgia of Disneyland can not be beat.  I tell people I can not chose my favorite.  And then I ask them theirs.  If I hear that they have not been to both, I then insist they go!  As similar as the two parks are on the surface, they have two distantly different feels.

Splash Mountain
The Magic Kingdom in WDW and Disneyland are very similar.  In both parks, guests enter the park to a Main Street.  At the end of each Main Street sits a beautiful castle.  Both parks have a lot of the same rides--Pirates of the Caribbean, Space Mountain, Splash Mountain, The Haunted Mansion, Small World, ect.  While these rides are not exactly the same at each park, they are similar enough to hold the same name.  Disneyland has more rides than the Magic Kingdom, but it is a smaller park.  My favorite ride in Disneyland is the Matterhorn, a mountain ride that is similar to Expedition Everest in WDW's Animal Kingdom.

The Haunted Mansion
The Disneyland Resort is much smaller than WDW.  The Disneyland Resort has just two theme parks, Disneyland and Disney's California Adventure. The resort has just three resort hotels.  I will tell you more about this on another day!  If you have any questions or want more information on a Disney vacation, contact me at

A dream is a wish....