Thursday, January 31, 2013

I'll Be There With Bells On!..... A #ThrowbackThursday Post!

Jingle Bells on my shoes!
Running through the streets of Birmingham hearing all of the jingling of the bells puts me in the Christmas spirit for sure!
     Jingle Bell Run 5K holds a very special place in my heart! This was the first 5K that I signed up for over 5 years ago and I've ran it every year since! This was the race that I fell in love with, got so mad in, felt like a runner (well sort of) and knew that I wanted to run more. I absolutely love running through the scenic parts of Southside Birmingham and I am one who actually enjoys the few hills on this course. The Arthritis Foundation is the charity for this race and so many are affected by it so I'm always more than happy to donate to this very worthy cause! And.....the t-shirts are always supercute too. That always helps! ;) This race usually falls on the first weekend of December and the weather is is usually COLD, however, it was unseasonably HOT this year! I don't mind the warm weather but it stays so hot here in Bama most of the time that I really look forward to the cold weather runs....  Oh well maybe next year.
 Hanging out with Santa after the run!

Only 50 seconds separated me from 5th to 2nd place. uggghhh. NEXT YEAR I'm placing.
 Yeah...I was photobombed by Santa Claus!
 LOL. #crazyman

Finish Line: Thanks for Jingling with us!

My Top Five Fave things about this race:
1.) My "Near to my Heart" Race
2.) Excellent Cause
3.) Jingle Bells on my shoes
4.) Santa is at the race
5.) Hot Cocoa and Coffee at the Finish!

Happy Running and Hope to see you with your bells on next year!


     So today when I was scrolling through Twitter and Instagram just as I do every Thursday, I see the Hashtag...#ThrowbackThursday. I usually post a pic or two, just kind of whatever I randomly find on my phone. Today I posted these two pics because we are getting close to Disney's Princess Half Marathon. Seems appropriate right? The first is a pic of me and my sis earning our Coast to Coast Medals after running the Inaugural Tinkerbell Half Marathon at Disneyland and then Princess Half at Walt Disney World.

 Coast to Coast Bling!

      The second pic was me and some of my Princess peeps having a blast at Magic Kingdom during Princess Half weekend. These girls are a ton of fun and I've got about 15 more Princesses in my group, so there is NEVER a dull moment during our favorite girls getaway trip!
Hanging with #thosealabamagirls
     So then I was off to run when it came to me, right in the middle of my favorite Pink song, I thought...I should really do a #ThrowbackThursday blog post every Thursday. Maybe recap a random race? No particular order...So here goes! I think what I'll do is start today. I've been kind of feeling lame because I didn't make any New Year's Resolutions so this will be something fun to keep up with all year. I may have to change up a few things along the way but i think it will be a fun way to post race recaps! New Post coming soooooon! :)

Happy Running and don't forget to follow me on Twitter and Instagram!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Walt Disney World Marathon Meetup...a Pics Post!

            More pics during the Walt Disney World Marathon Meetup!  Read my full blog post about the meetup here!
 8 time Walt Disney World Marathon Winner, Adriano Bastos posting with Pluto!

The New Balance Crew giving away the Brand New RunDisney shoes.

A little and Donald at Hllywood Studios before the park opens!

 Group pic. #Team RunDisney/Pacebook Running Club

Found My name on Joe from The Marathon Show's shirt! I love that!

 Mickey welcoming me to the Meetup! yay!!

 Having a very silly conversation with Bill Rogers. :)

 Deep thoughts with Joey Fatone and Jeff Galloway.

Joey Fatone and Bob Hitchcock taking questions from the audience!

Surprise! Drew Carey comes out from behind the crowd!

 Drew Carey telling us about his relationship with runDisney.

Bob Hitchcock and Winner of the Marathon Adriano Bastos.

 I'm a runDisney girl!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Walt Disney World Marathon Meetup

Marathon Mickey and I at Hollywood Studios!!
(photo courtesy of runDisney)
    What started out as a great Goofy Challenge Weekend just got happier when I received the email that I had the opportunity to attend the Walt Disney World Meetup on the Friday before the 20th Anniversary Walt Disney World Marathon! I was ecstatic! Are you kidding me?? And just wait until you see the lineup...I'm still in shock. Shock I tell ya! We were to meet at the entrance bright and early (before the park opened) at Hollywood Studios where we were then given a limited edition 20th Anniversary t-shirt. Thank you runDisney. I love mine and have worn it several times at home already! First surprise of the morning, Mickey, Donald and Goofy in their RunDisney Marathon attire. aaaaaahhhh!!! Best ever. Pics with these guys before race even began. No words to describe how happy I was at this point. I was feeling like a RunDisney Rockstar!!!  I met tons of friends at the meetup and will cherish being a part of such a historic event!
 Hanging out with my pals Jindy and Goofy!

From the entrance, we were given the option to either run/walk with Jeff Galloway or run through Hollywood Studios with a few Olympians. That was a very hard choice to make but ultimately I had to take the path with the Olympians! When will I ever be able to say again that I ran through Disney World with Olympians?!?! And just like that, we were off! We ran 2.6 miles and had a few surprises along the way! First stop...Minnie Mouse! Pluto, Buzz and Woody were on the course too!
 Flip-cammed Minnie! (photo courtesy of runDisney)
 Big Smiles with Marathon Minnie!
We ended our run through Hollywood Studios at Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show  where the stage was set to include lots of surprise celebs, Olympians, NFL players, sponsors and RunDisney folks waiting to speak to us and give us insight, tips and advice on all things running! I was able to mix and mingle for a few minutes before they started speaking and grab a few pics.

I was in Celebrity overload!! :)
First I had a nice chat with Bill Rogers, famous marathon runner, I had met him at the Talladega Half in Talladega, Al. last Fall and we chatted about upcoming races and what he thought about the Nascar course. Then I moved on to chat with Dick Beardsley....aaaahhhh I loved him! Super nice guy! I told him all about riding Everest during the Marathon two years ago with my sister and he gave me a shout out when he addressed the meetup crowd. How exciting! Moving on to the next guy is Runner's World Bart Yasso! I didn't get to chat with Bart as long as I would have liked to...I want to hear all of the details of the Runner's World Challenge. Runner's World Challenge is on the Bucket List for sure! Next up was the 7 time winner of the Walt Disney World Marathon, yes I said 7 times, Adriano Bastos! And I'm sure by the time I am done writing this post he will be the 8th time winner. He showed us his tattoos, one Mickey for each win. How cool is that?!?!
Hanging out with more RunDisney fellas by the stage. :)
 An incredible lineup of speakers!
(photo courtesy of runDisney)
 I missed a photo-op with NFL player Eddie Mason!
(photo courtesy of runDisney)
As we sat down, all of the guest speakers sat down and gave us lots of advice, tips and personal experiences about running, racing and overall general health. I really enjoyed hearing Jeff Galloway talk about his philosophy on running marathons and was very excited to hear him talk about being a "Perfect 20" this year for the 20th Anniversary Walt Disney World Marathon. WOW. What an accomplishment!! I can't even imagine what type of discipline he must have to be Marathon-trained for 20 years!!! That seems so crazy to me and I'm a tad bit jealous of that BUT..... this year I will be a Perfect Princess for the 5th Anniversary Princess Half Marathon! Yep. That's right. I'm on my way to Perfect 20 too. Princess Style!  I was so intrigued that I asked Jeff Galloway if I could see his "Perfect 20" ring up close and personal. It was given to him (along with 95 others) by Disney. He was very proud of it and pointed out all of the details to me. Thanks Jeff!
 A closeup of Jeff Galloway's Perfect 20 Ring.
Next up we heard from the New Balance crew. RunDisney and New Balance have partnered up and designed a shoe specifically made for RunDisney that were sold exclusively at the Marathon Expo. Check out the Disney Parks Blog to see the inspiration behind the design of the new Mickey and Minnie inspired runDisney shoe. I totally missed out! Bummer. New Balance had brought in 1000 pairs of shoes (mens and women's) that they thought would last throughout the expo. Little did they know that they wold sell out in less than 2 hours. That will teach me a lesson: NEVER schedule flight to Orlando the same time of the Expo opening! Lesson learned. However, New Balance and RunDisney were so very gracious to give out a few pairs during the meetup to a few lucky attendees. Congrats to those winners!
 The New RunDisney running shoe from New Balance! Must. Have.
(photo courtesy of runDisney)
 There were lots of very famous ladies at the meetup as well. Joan Benoit Samuelson, remember her?? She won the gold medal at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics for running a marathon, the first year the marathon was added to the Olympics. She is a HUGE inspiration to me! She spoke so humbly about her experiences on being a marathon runner and winning the gold medal. It was so cool to meet her in person. I hung out with Minnie a few more minutes and grabbed a "not so crazy" picture, then chatted with Des Davila, Long distance track runner in the 2012 London Olympics. She was very sweet and all smiles posing for pics with everyone. I sat through the meetup right next to runDisney's own, Tara Gidus, aka @DietDivaTara on Twitter, so of course had to grab a quick pic with her! She is a wealth of knowledge regarding diet and nutrition and how it all relates to exercise and running. I'm going to be sure to catch her speak at the Expo.
 Hanging with some of the most important RunDisney ladies.
And just when I thought there couldn't quite possibly be anyone else that could top the list of celebs and Olympians....Joey Fatone  rides in like he is part of the stunt show!!! OMG!! I'm a music junkie and this just made my day! He spoke about running in his wife's place for Goofy Challenge and how he was thrilled to represent Disney in their races. I love seeing Celebs and Disney coming together! And now for the pic..yes please!
 Joey Fatone..Tearing up my Heart! :)
 Joey getting silly with the crowd! (photo courtesy of runDisney)
Okay so really at this point I'm thinking it's over. Nope....ONE LAST SURPRISE!!!! It's Drew Carey from The Price is Right!!!! Get out!!!!!!!!!! I knew he had ran a few Disney runs on the West coast but NEVER expected to see him here on the East Coast! He's a huge Disney fan and was honored to be a part of such an epic weekend. Of course I had to tell him "Thank you" on my sister's behalf. We went on the Price is Right two years ago the day after running Princess Half Marathon and she actually got on stage and won!! She won a $3060 bathtub, Maid Service for a Year and a $600 gas-powered remote control airplane. I was her "People" in the audience along with my Mom and another friend! I've never screamed "ONE DOLLAR" so many times in my life. LOL!!! And to think she got on the stage and won because she still had the chip-timer on her shoe from the Princess Half and told them all about the race! So Cool! As luck would have it, Drew was recovering from an injury and wasn't running this weekend and neither was my sister. She had torn a ligament in her foot and had to back out at the last minute so I had to grab a pic of Drew and I to send to her. :)
 Drew Carey!!!
Well I don't know what to say except THANK YOU runDisney for a great Walt Disney World Marathon Meetup Experience!! I knew the races were well organized and were fabulous but when said "meetup" you really went above and beyond! I could never have imagined all of the big names and surprises that would be here!! I took tons of pics, had a great run through Hollywood Studios and am proud to call myself a "runDisney" runner!
 They say a picture is worth a thousand words...I can sum this picture up with one word.
"runDisney" :)
Thanks for reading. I was excited to share this post with you!
Make sure to check out the latest and greatest runDisney information on! Happy Running and See you at the Castle!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

"Ruben Studdard Half Marathon" and Bimingham Triple Crown Challenge

 Feeling like a shrimp next to my pal, American Idol Winner Ruben Studdard...He's a BIG dude!
The Magic City Half (Formerly known as Ruben Studdard Half Marathon...and that is what it will always be to me) was the third and final leg of the Birmingham Triple Crown Challenge sponsored by the The Birmingham Track Club! We had a great turnout for the Weekend Events and the race will be returning in 2013! I have been on the planning committee for this race for the past two years and am hoping to be able to continue helping out in the future.

A few details about the events of the race via the website:
The 2nd annual Magic City Half Marathon Weekend, part of the Ruben Studdard Celebration Weekend is in the books! Thanks to everyone who made this growing event a great success. We are dedicated to bringing health, wellness fitness and fun to Birmingham, AL. We are planning on returning in November 2013 and look forward to seeing you again! The events benefit the Ruben Studdard Foundation for the Advancement of Children in the Music Arts.
The Celebration Weekend will feature great music, entertainment, and the family friendly Iron Tribe Fitness Festival. The marquee running events include The Magic City Half Marathon and 5K as well as the “Linn Park Lap” a short fun run / walk for all ages!
All running and fitness events will take place in Downtown Birmingham around the historic Linn Park City Center.
**I will definitely be adding this race to my 2013 Running Calendar!
 Ready to start the race with Holly and Bomb Diggity. Not really sure what the dude behind us is doing!  I love background people. 

 The Magic City Half Bling!
13.1 Miles around Downtown Birmingham is always one of my favorite distances and places to run! It's like a big family reunion for me and my running peeps! Being the final leg of the Triple Crown Series, we finished the race, received our cool medal and then got another for doing the Talladega Half Marathon in September and the UCP Race Without Limits Half Marathon in October! 

More info on the Triple Crown Challenge:
The Birmingham Track Club is proud to present the Triple Crown Half Marathon Challenge! All you have to do to qualify for the custom BTC Triple Crown medal and shirt is run the following 3 half marathons:  
  1. Talladega Half Marathon on September 16th at the Talladega Motor Speedway.
  2. The UCP Life Without Limits Half Marathon in Florence, AL on October 27th. If there is enough interest we will charter a bus for a small additional fee. 
  3. The Magic City Half Marathon  in Birmingham, AL on November 18th. The Triple Crown Awards Ceremony will take place following this race.
After running the first two races, participants will be required to email proof of completion of those races to the event director before the start of the third race. Please send results to Upon completing the third race, finishers will be able to pick up their special BTC Triple Crown Challenge medals on the award stage at the Magic City Half Marathon. 
Registration is $20.00 for the Triple Crown Half Marathon Challenge. Participants must still register for each individual race. Participation in the Triple Crown Challenge does not guarantee entry into the three races, so please register early.
This event is the first of its kind in Alabama. We hope you'll join us for a great time, three fantastic half marathons and an awesome medal and shirt!
 Me and Donnette...The famous leader of the HERGS!
Photobombed by Ruben! LOL!
 Outrunning the fellas behind me...Love it!
 Finished Magic City Half  with my peeps!
 Check out all of my cool bling from The Triple Crown Challenge!
Whew! LOTS of running but LOTS of good training miles for the Goofy's Race and Half Challenge at Walt Disney World in January 2013!!! It was a win/win for me. Long training runs with 4 very cool medals from my Sweet Home could I resist?!?!

**Make sure to check out all of the details of the Goofy Challenge that I will be running at Walt Disney World on!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Best of RunDisney 2012


How honored was I to be scrolling through the RunDisney Facebook Page and suddenly see my pic as one of the Top 20 "Best OF 2012"?!?!?! OMG!!!! The Facebook page is running a contest and the top 10 pic/quotes with the most "likes" will be featured along the course of the Walt Disney World Marathon. Double OMG!!!!!

I can't even imagine running along and coming up on this quote....they say in a marathon you hit the wall and if that's the case, I may have a complete meltdown!!! I love running through Disney Parks more than anything so this has completely put a perfect end to a perfect year of running Disney!!!

The pic was taken at the Neverland 5k (5k during Tinkerbell Half Weekend ) Start Line. Normally, I run with lots of friends and family but on this particular race, it was a night race and I was fired up! Living in the South and near Walt Disney World, I don't get out to Disneyland as much as I would like to so I had to make the absolute most of it!!! I ran the whole thing by myself and felt like a ROCKSTAR!! I had never ran through the parks by myself and I just wanted to be a big 'ole running kid again!

I was thoroughly impressed with the Tinkerbell Half and will definitely mark it on my calendar to do it again. Although I haven't registered this year for Tinkerbell Half, I am running the 20th Anniversary Walt Disney World Goofy Challenge during Marathon Weekend, consisting of the Half Marathon on Saturday and the Full Marathon on Sunday. I even decided to make it unoficially "Dopey" and add in the 5K on Friday. I'm following that up by running the 5th Anniversary Princess Half Marathon  and 5k in February. Whew!! That's a ton of running...but a ton of Disney bling too!!!

They also say that a picture is worth a thousand words, but I can't keep looking at the smile on my face in this pic. It's worth waaaaaay more than a thousand words to me. RunDisney.... I love you and I can't wait to take a thousand more pics running through the parks just like this!!!!!!!

Don't forget to check out RunDisney.comRunDisney on Facebook and Disney Parks Blog  for all of the latest and greatest updates on what's going on at the Happiest Place on Earth!

Can you tell that I'm excited?!?! Lots of !!!!! in this post!!!!
Happy Running to you...see you at the Castle!

**Photo taken by Disney

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

On the Hunt for a Good Oyster Bar!

     When I'm down on the Coast, I'm always on the "Hunt" for a good oyster bar. Well today I found one! Hunt's Oyster Bar in Panama City Beach, Florida was soooo yummy! First of all, the restaurant was small, quaint, painted bright yellow but was hopping with customers! 

 Hunt's Oyster Bar
     I ordered a Half Dozen Raw Oysters and a Seafood Mini Platter which included 3 oysters, 3 Shrimp, grouper and 3 hush puppies. All fried of course! For my side, I chose cheese grits. Who can go wrong with cheese grits on the coast?!?! All of it was delicious and I ate every bite. I did manage to snap a few quick pictures before I finished my entire meal. My favorite moment of the meal was when my server, "Bill", brought me a bottle of his own "Bad Bill" special sauce to try. He says its only for his customers and he grows his own peppers to use in it! I did try it on my oysters... Not bad!
 "BAD BILL" sauce.
      It's always a treat to stumble into the local oyster bats on the coast. Most of them are locally owned and their employees have been working there for a long time and have an incredible customer base! Thanks for the "Bad Bill" sauce, great service and delicious seafood! I will definitely be back soon!  
 Raw Oysters fresh from the Gulf!