Monday, February 29, 2016

Accountability Monday: Leap Day Edition

Good morning, y'all! It's Leap Day- I hope you do something cool with your once-every-four-years extra day!

It's been a busy few weeks around the sparkly household. As you know, I ran the Glass Slipper Challenge last weekend with my friend Jen. We had the BEST time. We ran two fun races, got our New Balance Ariel shoes, and got to play in the parks all last Sunday. And, as you might know, Matthew flew down to Orlando late Saturday night to surprise me and cheer me on during the half Sunday morning. He's seriously the greatest thing that's ever happened to me :-)

Life is de bubbles, under the sea! 

He even wore his Princess 1/2 shirt from 2012 for support <3 

When we got back from Princess late last Monday night, it was go, go, go all week! Work is super busy for me right now and I'm currently leading TWO Weight Watchers meetings! Which is awesome, but also means that I'm working an extra two nights a week plus the 45-50 hours a week I put in at my full-time job. It's going to be pretty crazy around here for the next few months. 

Also, as you can see from the pictures above, I've still been struggling with back of knee pain. Luckily, I was able to get an appointment with my ortho last Tuesday and got the official diagnosis: popliteal tendonitis and a possible Baker's cyst. Basically, there's some inflammation within the knee and it's pushing out onto the back of the knee, causing pain. Everything else in the knee looks good- no meniscus or ACL/MCL tears. That was my biggest fear- especially with Shamrock, Pittsburgh, and our wedding and honeymoon right around the corner! The treatment plan? Two weeks of absolute rest (one week down, one week to go), daily ibuprofen, then a return to walking and running as long as I don't have any pain. It is already significantly better than it was in Disney last week just from resting it this week.

Did you catch that little fun fact in the last paragraph? We are headed back to run the Shamrock Half Marathon in Virginia Beach for the third year in a row. Due to scheduling conflicts, we won't be able to run the Dolphin Challenge (8k on Saturday, Half Marathon on Sunday) but we are super excited to race at the beach again this year. AND- they're giving away FREE race photos for all participants- how cool is that?! Some of that "luck of the Irish" must have rubbed off on me because I just got the most perfect sports bra for this race- the new limited edition ENELL- Biscay Green!

How beautiful is all this swag from ENELL?!

As part of my ENELL Ambassadorship for this year, they just sent me my first package, including the newest limited-edition color ENELL sport- perfect for a St. Patrick's Day race! I also got a super cute racer back tank that says "I <3 ENELL" and the heart is actually an image of the front closure of their bras; so clever! They also sent a sweet pull-over jacket (WITH thumb-holes!), an ENELL tote bag and an ENELL measuring tape. I am so excited and proud to represent this company for another year. 

Enough about last week, here's something cool happening this week- I have my first bridal gown fitting TOMORROW! I seriously cannot believe that our wedding is less than three months away- and that we've got two more big race weekends until then. It's going to be a whirlwind spring, that's for sure. But really, would I want it any other way? Heck no! Life is bursting at the seams lately and I'm totally loving it :-) 

I can't wait to recap our Disney trip- stay tuned this week/weekend for the race recaps.

Have a wonderful, fantastic, fabulous Leap Day, friends! 

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Countdown to Princess Half Marathon Weekend!

TOMORROW, Jen from All Four Love Blog and I fly down to Orlando for Princess Half Marathon Weekend!

I can't believe it's finally here! Jen and I have been planning this trip for what feels like forever. This will be Jen's first runDisney race and I am so incredibly excited for her to experience all the magic of this weekend. 

Me and Jen after her first half marathon- Divas DC in September 2014.

We are flying to Orlando on Friday and heading straight to the expo. The merchandise is so adorable this year and we are both hoping to score a pair of the new Ariel New Balance sneakers! After the expo, it will be an early bedtime- the buses start running at 3:30 am on Saturday for the 10k. We are running the Glass Slipper Challenge: 10k on Saturday, half marathon on Sunday. 

Aren't these beautiful?!

I also can't wait for the We Run Social meet up Saturday afternoon. I'm hoping to finally meet up with some folks I "met" on the internet- and may win some cool Pro Compression socks! There will also be tons of other friends in WDW for the weekend and it will be awesome to reconnect with them.

See you there!

So, the big question- what costumes are we wearing?! Because you couldn't possibly run at Disney without a Disney-related costume, right? :-)

For now, I'll show you mine. Jen and I will have coordinating costumes- make sure you're following me on instagram, twitter, or facebook so you can see the full effect this weekend:

Big shout out to Sparkle Athletic for having such cute skirts that are easy to incorporate into runDisney costumes. And I LOVE that I can coordinate my ENELL to match each outfit- I just can't get over how beautiful that Dazzling Blue is! Even though no one will see it, I still like that it matches the costume :-) 

This race weekend holds a special place in my heart- it was my very first half marathon back in 2012. I remember being insanely nervous at the beginning of the race and then by the end, I was wondering when I could sign up for the next one. It will be weird not having Matthew there this weekend- I blame him for getting me hooked on running and runDisney :-) - but it will be fun watching Jen run down Main Street USA for the first time. There is something just so magical about running through Walt Disney World and I hope this weekend will be just as wonderful as I remember!

There is NOTHING like crossing the finish line of your first half marathon. 

Will you be at Princess Half Marathon Weekend? If so, let me  know in the comments!

Monday, February 15, 2016

Accountability Monday: A Valentine's Message

Hello friends! And Happy belated Valentine's Day!

Today's Accountability Monday post is a bit different that than usual weekly round-up. Today is a special day- I start my very own Weight Watchers meeting this evening as a leader. 

As you know, I've been training with Weight Watchers to be a leader for the last few months. But really, I've been training for this for a very long time...

I first walked through the doors of Weight Watchers in the fall of 2002 after gaining a significant amount of weight after high school. After about six months, I'd lost some weight and convinced myself that I didn't need to keep paying for Weight Watchers- I knew how to do the program and would just "do it on my own." Guess how that worked out? ;-)

For the next 11 years, this pattern repeated. I would work hard while I was on program and then life would happen- I'd make excuse after excuse as to why I couldn't lose weight. I told myself that I was just meant to be "heavy." Even after I started running, I took a weird kind of pride in being a runner that could fit into the "Athena" category- over 165 pounds. 

But deep down, I knew I was hurting my body and my spirit. The way I was using food to cope with my feelings was not healthy and I knew that if I kept this up, I'd always be unhappy with myself and that this unhappiness could hold me back from all of life's cool adventures. Plus, the physical toll that being an Athena runner was taking on my body was starting to prevent me from doing the exercise I loved- running. 

So in January of 2013, I walked back into WW with a renewed and different focus- I wanted to be happy and healthy- no matter what the scale said. 

Dancing with my boo at an August 2012 wedding.

And this time, something clicked. Somewhere in all the meetings I attended, I found hope and inspiration, and a self-confidence that I didn't know existed. I found a way to love myself in a healthy way and that has made all the difference. I learned that I didn't need to be "skinny" to be happy or strong- I could do all the things I wanted to do- including going on all of life's cool adventures- right now with the body I have today. And I learned that loving myself included feeding it foods that made me feel good, which usually happened to be on the healthier side of the spectrum :-)

So on this day-after-Valentine's-Day, I hope you love yourself and who you are in this very moment. I hope you can be your own Valentine and cherish who you are- because trust me, you deserve to be loved and cherished; especially by yourself. 



A cute shot from our engagement pictures in October 2015.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Accountability Monday: 2/1/16

Good evening and welcome to February!

Seriously? January is already over?!

Ever heard that saying, "summer bodies are made in the winter?" Well, this is how I'm feeling these days:


To be fair, I did have some weird tendinitis-like pain behind my left knee for the last week and a half that has hindered my ability to workout/run.  I'm pretty sure it came from doing squats. Yup, by trying to strength train and avoid injury, I hurt myself doing squats. So freaking awesome.

Last weekend was supposed to be a long run for Princess but in order to totally rest my knee, I skipped it. I hate skipping long runs, but, if I've learned anything from my recent history of injury, it's to back off and rest at the very first sign of pain. Had I done that with my stress fracture, it might not have progressed to an actual fracture.

Anyway, that's how training has been going for the last week or so. Good news is- the knee is feeling much, much better and I even managed a run with Jen yesterday. We are planning on getting in our last long run in this weekend before the Glass Slipper Challenge. Only 19 days until we leave!

Three and a half sub-11 minute miles that felt like easy effort.

Food Find:
Let's skip this section this week. It's been a rough week, food-wise. During the blizzard, I didn't have any trouble sticking within my SmartPoints budget every day. This past week has been a struggle. There are just some weeks when it feels like I can just eat EVERYTHING. Literally, half of my daily points have been used on coffee creamer and chocolate. Winter eating is such a struggle for me. I crave high-point comfort food more often this time of year. However, with the wedding just a few months away (and the dress already purchased!), I've got to reel some of this wayward eating in if I want to love how I look and feel on our wedding day and honeymoon; which I absolutely do.

148.6 as of 1/27/16
+1 from last week.

Non-Scale Victory:
I led two Weight Watchers meetings last week and they went ok! And I just got the news that I'm going to be leading my very own meeting starting on February 15th! It's still hard to believe that I'm an actual Weight Watchers leader. Back when I first started Weight Watchers (2002), it was always a dream of mine to work for the company and now it's actually happening. Pretty cool :-)

Have a sparkly and awesome week, friends!