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Thursday, November 20, 2014

Wine and Dine Half Marathon Weekend

The RunDisney Wine & Dine Half Marathon takes runners on a 13.1 mile journey through 3 Disney parks and finishes with a party at Epcot's International Food & Wine festival until 4am.  Here is my recap of the 2014 race weekend.

When you list your favorite running gear do you list a poncho?
If you ran the 2014 RunDisney Wine & Dine Half Marathon then you just might think of adding it to the list....but let's start at the beginning.

Like any RunDisney weekend the W & D fun began at the expo.  That's where you pick up your packet, shop all the latest running gear and race day wardrobe essentials, and catch great information from the running experts at the speaker series.  The expo goes on both Friday and Saturday at this race.
Your RunD race announcers
Saturday morning I stopped by the North Pole on the way to the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex to get dressed....
Yup, HOLIDAY KIDS RACES Y'ALL!!
I am a huge fan of the holiday season, so I didn't mind getting into the spirit a little bit early at all.  For the kids races we have races of different distances for the different ages ranging from the 100m, 200m, 400m, 1 mile, and diaper dash.  We also have a Disney friend at the finish line to welcome the young athletes and this weekend it was Duffy.  (love him!)
A highlight of the race was the inspiring mile run of Sarah Kate.  I first met Sarah Kate and her Mom Andi at the Princess Half Marathon and have kept in touch via social media.  Sarah Kate as a form of cerebral palsy and had surgery over the spring.  All summer through rehab she worked to be able to finish the 1-mile run this weekend and she not only finished it, but conquered it!  Talk about inspiration.
Finally on Saturday night it was time for the big event.  The announcing team arrived at the start line around 630pm to rehearse and prepare for the night.  We were expecting rain, but were happy to see that it hadn't started as we headed for our start line show at 8pm.  We were costumed as different countries from the Food & Wine festival.  I was Germany, Rudy was Mexico (yum shrimp tacos), and John was France.
By the time Rudy and I were ready to send Corral A on their way it was a different story.  Luckily we had a tent to hide under, but the runners were waiting and getting wet.  Unfortanuately Mickey Mouse can control a lot of things and there's a lot of magic at Disney, but weather and cold fronts are out of his reach.  Kudos to those runners who enjoyed themselves despite the less than ideal weather....that continued for 5 hours from the start of the race.
My friends Gail and Kim who blog over at Run All the Races described it like this - "Get dressed to run a half marathon.  Get in your shower.  Turn on the shower on cool not warm water.  Run the amount of time it takes you to finish a half marathon. The end."

Again, it wasn't ideal, however I'm sure it's a race that runners will remember for a soggy long time.  I know my Mom will!  She didn't run her best time, but she rocked her poncho for 13.1 miles and picked up her 3rd Coast to Coast medal.
If you have a chance and the weather plays nice, think about signing up for the Wine and Dine Half.  The after party is great and I think a highlight for many runners is being able to run through the Osbourne Family Spectacle of Lights at Hollywood Studios.

What's the worst weather you've ever run in?

Love and absorbent material,
Carissa & Kyle

Friday, November 7, 2014

Where'd Ya Go?

So y'all we've been a little absent!  You noticed huh?

I hate excuses, so I don't have them.  It may be a few more weeks before we return to our "regularly scheduled blogging programming", so thank you for your patience!  Are we still friends?
Since we have SO much to catch up on I thought I'd share some snapshots of what we've been up to (as I sit here listening to my first taste of music for the Christmas season 2014).

1. Mickey's Not-So Scary Halloween Party
The Halloween parade at the Magic Kingdom is one of my favorite events of the year, however you can only see it at the Halloween party.  Since Mom is now an Orlando resident I took her for her first Halloween party experience.

She loved the parade, the fireworks, and the great decorations.
2. FNCE
As you saw from the Subway post I was able to travel to the national conference for Registered Dietitians and nutrition lovers in Atlanta.  I didn't get to attend a lot of the educational sessions, but I met with a lot of great food companies and learned about many new, exciting food products.
3. Utah
Directly after Utah I took a flight to Salt Lake City then headed to Logan, Utah.  Logan is the world headquarters of Icon Fitness and I was honored to be asked out to learn more about some new products that I might have the chance to showcase on HSN.  Utah is GORGEOUS and the weather gave me a perfect taste of fall!
4. Beach
From a chilly Utah we headed to the beach.  Yes, the beach...in October. One of the many perks of being a Floridian.  Kyle, his sister Kelsey, her husband, and I spent the weekend at our traditional beach house on Flagler Beach.
The whole family came down on Sunday morning and surprised me with a birthday cake and presents!
5. 30th Birthday
Speaking of birthdays I'm 30 now! Yikes! Kyle surprised me with a stay at the brand-spanking-new Four Seasons Resort at Disney.  It was stunning!
 
He even scored a park view room and we were able to watch the Epcot and Magic Kingdom fireworks from our balcony.  I found the music on YouTube, so it was like we were right there!
We had dinner at Copa, which is on the 17th floor of the resort and had just opened 9 days earlier.  The restaurant itself was stunning and Kyle loved his steak, however I think the service could be improved.
Finally last weekend Kyle and I had an AMAZING trip to Dallas to watch the Cowboys play.  That was such an event that it deserves its own post and I promise it won't take a month to post!
What have you been up to lately?
What's one fun thing you did in the last month?

Love and playing catch up,
Carissa & Kyle

Monday, October 27, 2014

Eat Smart with Subway

The following post is sponsored by Fitfluential, LLC on behalf of Subway.

If you are a long time Fit2Flex reader than you know I am totally #TeamBreakfast.  Breakfast is always a priority meal for me, because I believe it's starts my metabolism and gives my body and more importantly my brain energy to take on the day.  Also when I start my day with a balanced breakfast with at least 15 grams of protein, I find that I'm less likely to snack or eat mindlessly later in the day.

When I'm home breakfast is an easy meal to get in.  If it's a workout day I'll have a fruit and veggie smoothie.  If I'm at home I'll alternate between our favorite oatmeal bake, toast with peanut butter, or scrambled eggs if there's time.
Smoothie to-go
But what about when I'm on the road like last week? Often times I will pack breakfast and that works for a few days, but eventually I'll run out of food.  Or like last week I woke up at 6am, ate breakfast, drove 1.5 hours to the airport, checked into my flight, and by that time it was 10am yet 4 hours since my last meal.  Then it was time for second breakfast.

One of my stops last week was the annual Food and Nutrition Conference & Expo, which is basically a national meeting of Registered Dietitians.  In addition to eye opening seminars, there are many special events designed to help RD's understand more about the food brands that their clients may be choosing.  One such brand that I was invited to learn more about was Subway.
What I like about Subway is that it's consistent and easy to find.  If you are in a food (or breakfast!) pinch you can usually find a Subway where you can easily find a option with protein, whole grains, and veggies for under 500 calories.  My favorite choice has always been the sweet onion chicken teriakyi on wheat with spinach, cucumbers, banana peppers, and bell peppers.  That has about 370 calories and 25 grams of protein.  I leave off the cheese to save calories and because you really don't miss the taste.  Really...try it!

ALSO...Did you also know that a 6" sub can have 2 of your daily servings of vegetables?  So make sure to fill your sub up with plenty of Subway's diverse veggie offerings.

If you're on the hunt for breakfast then as a dietitian I recommend the 6" egg and cheese (real egg, not egg white) that has 360 calories and a filling 19 grams of protein.  Protein at breakfast is key to help prevent overeating later, so don't be afraid to go for the larger breakfast sandwich.  Think of it as filling your tank for a day of success.
Would you be surprised to know that Subway employs a dietitian?  They have for 10+ years and they were one of the first quick-service restaurants to do so. I had a chance to meet and briefly chat with Lannette at the conference, but I forgot to ask her what her favorite sub was.  Doh!  But I did snap a pic.
Thank you to Subway for providing consistently good food choices easy all over the country!

What's your go-to Subway meal?

Love and 5 dollar foot longs,
Carissa & Kyle

Sunday, October 19, 2014

How to Eat Smart While Watching Football

It's no secret that the Bealert Home is a football home.  Sunday, Saturday, Thursday, Monday...sometimes Friday..it's football time!  If you have wondered where our weekend recaps have gone recently I have saved you the exciting recap that states, "We sat at home and watched football."  Sometimes we ate food, but we mainly just watched football. And we loved it.
However when you are eating food while watching football, mindless calories can add up.  Munching while distracted is a big contributor to excess calories and over the 16-weeks of a football season that can add up.  2 beers + 1 serving of tortilla chips = roughly 380.  Over 16 weeks that's 6800 calories and about 1.7 pounds gained.

Recently I appeared on Emotional Mojo and shared some of the tailgating tips and traps to avoid.
Wonderful Pistachios are a great snack food, because 1 serving is 49 nuts and because you have to crack the shells it takes you longer to eat.  Win, win.

I also shared a blog favorite recipe for our super easy crock pot buffalo chicken.  These sandwiches were a hit at the studio and will be at your next tailgate too.

Who's your football team?
What's your favorite tailgating snack?

Love and first downs,
Carissa & Kyle

Sunday, October 12, 2014

RunDisney Tower of Terror 10 Miler 2014

The first week of October, we stepped back into the Twilight Zone for the RunDisney Tower of Terror 10 Miler.  Thousands of runners (10,000+) embarked on a 10-mile journey through the dark woods of Central Florida to finish with a Villains Bash in Hollywood Studios that went into the wee hours of the morning.
The RunDisney TOT event weekend started Friday afternoon with the expo.  There were a lot of great vendors, however this expo was far less crowded than those for other race weekends.
The race weekend continued Saturday morning with the Haunted Trail Run 5k.  Last year I was able to snag a bib and run the race, however this year the kids races started earlier, so unfortunately there was no time for me to run and change into my pirate gear before the kids races.
Despite it being a "smaller" weekend the kids races were packed and it seemed to me that the 200m run was the biggest draw.  Must be a lot of 4-6 year old kids around!
DJ Steve and I had a great time as always with the kids races and we hope the families enjoyed them too.
After we wrapped the kids races (and changed clothes) I headed back to the expo for announcing duties there until 330pm when it officially closed.  It's funny how fast 2 days of an expo flies by compared to 4 days for WDW Marathon weekend.
My Mom was running the race, so after the expo she met me at the hotel with some delicious homemade pasta and veggies.  Perfect fuel for the night ahead.  I grabbed a 40 minute cat nap and met our van at 630pm to head out to the start.

The job of a RunDisney announcer is pretty fun all the time.  I personally love the energy of the start line and then seeing the excited runners come across the finish line, but the costumes are starting to be a highlight as well.  For the Tower of Terror 10 Miler, we were dressed in our best 1930's attire as regular guests of the Tower Hotel.  This was the first race where I had my own cosmetology person to help me get ready. John as you can teller is overjoyed with his costume.
Talk about the Twilight Zone!
Rudy and I headed out to the turnstiles at Hollywood Studios to send off the runners amid smoke, lasers, and fire for their 10 mile journey.  If you've run the TOT before then you know it can be hot.  Hot, sticky, humid...all of the above!  However this year a cold front came through in the morning and the weather was much better for the runners.
After we sent off corrals A - J, we headed over to the finish to wait for the runners.  There were a lot of amazing costumes and I particularly liked the "Skeleton Crew", which was a group of about 40+ all dressed and painted like skeletons.  Mom dressed up too and ran as Wonder Woman!
We celebrated our final finished about 145am and then after a quick costume change it was time for bed.
By now I'm sure most of you have realized that Tower of Terror is not on the RunDisney schedule for 2015.  I'm know some people are bummed as it's a really fun, well themed run, and a great long tempo run to get in before marathon season.  However Expedition Everest will be returning in May of 2015, so I'm happy about that.
What's your favorite RunDisney race?
What's your favorite Disney villain? 

Love and spooks,
Carissa & Kyle