March 01, 2018

This Magic Moment: The Disney Princess 5K

Once upon a time, in the southern state of Georgia, there lived a runner who had a dream. Her greatest fantasy was to one day dress up as her favorite fairy tale princess (Snow White) and run through one of the parks at Walt Disney World.

Every year, she read runners' blog posts about their dashes through Disney. She scrolled through pics on her Facebook news feed of her friends racing in the most magical place on earth. And every year, she would longingly say to herself, "I'm going to do that... one day..."

Years passed, and finally, the runner could stand it no longer. She knew she must do whatever it took to make this dream a reality!

So, she messaged some of her most beloved friends and running buddies. She proposed that they unite and work together to make this fantasy an actuality. And they agreed!

Upon hearing her three girlfriends had her back - as they had similar ambitions of dressing up and running through one of the happiest places in all the land -  the runner called upon her friends at Magically Ever After Travel. And with the assistance of agent Jenny Casey, the plans were set to run the magical 5K through Epcot during the Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend presented by Children's Miracle Network Hospitals.

When the day arrived for the runner and her fellow females to embark on the journey, she simply could not contain her joy. Smiling from ear to ear at 4am, she awoke that morning, readied herself, grabbed the bags she had already packed, and, accompanied by her friend Jordan, drove to pick up her other two running buddies Jaimee and Dusty. Their journey had begun!

The drive to Walt Disney World went quickly by, and before they knew it, the runners had arrived at what appeared to be runners' heaven on earth - the runDisney Health and Fitness Expo!

At the expo, they picked up their race bibs and shirts, purchased a couple racing items, and got further excited by the running atmosphere.

New hat!
Reluctantly, they then went to check-in at their hotel, but soon after dropping off their bags, the runners went to Disney Springs to shop! Too excited, they stayed out very late but eventually went back to their lodging to rest up for the race the next morning.

At 3am, the runner's alarm went off, and she awoke to the sound of Snow White singing "I'm Wishing." She sprung out of bed, yet again smiling from ear to ear, and proceeded to get dressed in her Snow White running outfit purchased from Rock City Skirts.

Dressed as her favorite princess and accompanied by her dear friends, the now newly transformed running princess made her way to the 5K start line. Absolutely nothing could ruin this magical day. And magical it was!

Fireworks marked the start of the race!

Everything was enchanting as she ran among other runners also realizing their dreams coming true. And what made the whole experience even more amazing was that she got to run the race with her bestest running buddie, Jaimee.

It was absolutely spellbinding running through the night with Disney music filling the air and everything all aglow.

The running buddies stopped on occasion to take pictures of moments they wanted to remember forever.

It was an extraordinary experience!

Even crossing the finish line felt magical.

And as if all that wasn't enough to make the runner smile for the rest of her life, at the conclusion of the race, she and her friend were handed a beautiful talisman to forever gaze upon and remember their spellbinding journey together.

The runner's dream had finally come true!

To further mark the momentous occasion, after refreshing themselves back at the hotel, the runner and her friends then spent the rest of the day at The Magic Kingdom where even more wonderful, fascinating, and altogether marvelous moments were realized!

Driving back to Georgia the next day, after a few more stops to shop, the friends fondly remembered their time in Walt Disney World. After everyone arrived home safely, the runner laid her head on her pillow that night knowing now - after finally realizing her dream of dressing up as Snow White and running through one of the parks at Walt Disney World - now she could live happily ever after.

February 11, 2018

I finally got it!

Every year, for the past four years, I have run the Hot Chocolate 5K in Atlanta.

And every year, for the past four years, I've watched runners complete the 15K and walk away with these amazing chocolate bar shaped medals.

And, Lord, forgive me, but in those moments, I have coveted.

Last year. My husband's 15K medal.

But this year, I signed up for the 15K, I trained with my running bestie, Jaimee, and I ran it.


A dream come true for us!

Not gonna lie. This was hard! The training was hard - waking up every Saturday morning to go run in the bitter cold. And then, race day was less than ideal. #wet


Not only did I get the 15K medal, but because this was my 5th year running the race, I was given a special legacy medal!


These medals were HARD earned! Especially after mile 7. It was at about that point where Jaimee and I began to REALLY feel the miles.

But we pressed on!

9.32 miles of memories.

My running chicas and I came, saw, and accomplished.

Before and After

Now, we're on the lookout for our next adventure.

I hope you are too!


January 19, 2018

Why You Should Make Lots Of Plans

It's 2018, and I am excited about running. Last year, I lost a good bit of the passion I had for running. I just couldn't find any motivation to lace up my shoes. Not sure why, and it doesn't really matter at this point. It's time to focus on the now and the future, and the forthcoming days are filled with thrilling plans.

First, I'm kicking off the new year with a 15K. My very first long distance run! I've been training for this since before Christmas along side some of my favorite running buddies.

Upon close examination of the above pics, you will no doubt see a common denominator: my bestest running buddy Jaimee has been training with me. Every Saturday morning, without fail, no matter the weather, we rise to meet the pavement. This has been exactly what I've needed to get my running groove back.

The training plan has basically been to meet one morning a week, increasing our distance by a mile each week, and running .25 and then walking .25. It's working! We will have gone 8 miles before we run/walk the Atlanta Hot Chocolate 15K (9.3 miles).  We won't be the fastest, but I'm sure we won't be the slowest. And we will have finished a run longer than our typical 5K or occasional 10K. I'm so psyched!

Honestly, this is giving me the confidence I think I've needed to even consider tackling something of more significant length. Yes. I'm talking about possibly completing a half marathon.

I NEVER thought I would EVER even consider running something of that length. But now, I want to. I really want to!

So I've discovered, this is what is really fueling my passion to run regularly again: plans.

I have running plans, and I want to make even greater running plans. And those plans, they translate into purpose. They are inspiring me to keep moving. I'm no longer running to run; I'm running to accomplish bigger goals. To achieve grander ambitions. And to boldly run races I never thought I would run before (Star Trek pun - yes, I went there).

If there are any words of wisdom I have to end with, here they are... Make plans. Lots of plans. They make running - and living life - all the more worth it.