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Thursday, January 22, 2015

Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend

It was a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, when RunDisney runners blasted off to the Inaugural Star Wars Half Marathon weekend.
Okay, okay...so it was last week and it was in Anaheim....but it was still AWESOME!  RunDisney and the Disneyland entertainment team really up the ante with this race.  Everything was themed and some of the greatest Star Wars characters were out on the display.
As one of the RunDisney race announcers I am on site early in the morning for the start of the 5k, 10k, and half marathon races as well as the kids races and expo.  During the morning of the 5k we learned that things might not go as smoothly as we thought when it was revealed that Lord Vader was looking for Rudy....dun dun dunnnnnnn
The next morning during the 10k, Darth came back and we were able to "force push" him away for a moment, but he eventually returned to the start line and did in fact kidnap Rudy.
Here's a fun video of the moments after from runner Mike.

Darth Vader did return during the half marathon, but we were able to evade him by dressing as Jedi's and convincing him we had traveled to another half marathon that was obviously "far, far away".
The 2 overall race winners were double RunDisney winners this year.  Nick Arciniaga and Jennifer Berry both won the Disneyland Half back in August and Jennifer won the Wine and Dine half in November in Orlando.
Top 3 overall female
We were also honored and inspired to have Chris Powell from ABC's Extreme Weight Loss at the race running with a contestant Jen who in 6 months had lost over 120 pounds.  I know there were many runners who shared her dream to lose weight and live a healthier lifestyle and Jen provided great inspiration.  I know she had some challenges during the race, but she finished and earned that bling!
Mom ran all 3 races and came away with a 10k AND half marathon PR of 2:31.  She's getting closer to sub 2:30 and she stopped at the med tent and to "fix her music". Great job Mom! We're not sure how much racing she'll be able to do when Baby B is here, but I hear they give great medals for babysitting??? :)
The force was also strong with Baby B as she made her love of donuts WELL known.  Kelly from Sparkle Athletic came through and Dan stole the show by delivering a BAG of donuts after he finished his race.  Mmm mmmm good!
And I couldn't properly recap this race if I didn't acknowledge the awesome costumes out there on the course.  Take a look at the RunDisney Facebook albums and this article from BuzzFeed.  I'm partial to the "Animal" Jedi, Tink stormtroopers, and THIS guy!
Congrats again to all the runners and I hope to see you at a starting line soon!

Are you a Star Wars fan?
What movie would you like to see for a race theme?

Love and let the Wookie win,
Carissa & Kyle

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend 2015

What makes an epic race weekend?  How about 84,150 race registrations, more than 100,000 spectators, athletes from 65 countries, and 5 days of races and excitement.  It is the largest RunDisney event and I'm happy to have been a part of the Walt Disney World Marathon weekend.
I am grateful to be a race announcer for RunDisney and this year was my 11th marathon that I announced.  Yes, I started when I was 12 years old - wink, wink.  For the big weekend we have 4 announcers and we cover everything from each start and finish to the expo and kids races.  For the first time ever we were live streaming the finish line of the half and full marathons, so thank you to those of you who watched and cheered on the runners virtually!
Carissa, Rudy, John, Creigh
The Marathon weekend consists of 4 races: the 5k on Thursday, 10k on Friday, half marathon on Saturday, and the full marathon on Sunday.  Some people choose the Goofy Challenge (6,500) and run the half then full marathon...AND some people are really Dopey and run the 48.6 miles of all races.  There were 7,700 such people including Sean Astin, Jeff Galloway, and our RunDisney Diet Diva Tara Gidus.
Interviewing actor Sean Astin from Rudy, Lord of the Rings, and The Goonies
Two members of our Evolution Fitness Orlando family decided to do Dopey(Thomas and my girl GooberMonkey) and want to hear something crazy?  They both ran personal bests in the marathon after doing races the 3 previous days!?!?! Beast mode!
The winner of the overall marathon was Fredison Costa and he won his 4th WDW Marathon and his 2nd in a row.  He also ran a personal best that was 4 minutes faster than his 2014 time.
Fredison Costa winning in 2:18
I want to highlight 2 inspirational athletes that I had the pleasure to meet this weekend.  The first is Jacqui Kapinowski.  Jacqui did the Goofy Challenge and won the women's push-rim wheelchair competition in both races.  She knew she had some tough competition in the full marathon, but she persevered and took home the title.  Jacqui was an elite able-body runner, but a neurological disorder called "Stiff Person's Syndrome" left her wheelchair bound.  Wanting to continue to run and compete, she earned a spot on the US Paraolympic team and has been racing with them.  Last year she was diagnosed with cancer, but I am happy to share that today she is a survivor!  A survivor and a champion!
Now we've already established that the 48.6 miles of the Dopey Challenge is NO joke.  The marathon presenting sponsor, Cigna, brought over 600 employees to run this weekend and many of them ran with athletes from Team Achilles many of which are wounded veterans. No runner humbled and inspired me more than Cedric King.  Cedric is a double amputee who lost his legs in Afghanistan and he conquered the Dopey Challenge.  Simply amazing!
From Facebook via #TeamRunDisney
I watched his Ted talk the other day and wanted to share that with you too.
I have already made the journey cross country and we have a full day of rehearsals today for the Star Wars Half Marathon weekend.  May the force be with all of you running and recovering this week!

Did you #RunDisney at the marathon weekend?
Who inspires you?

Love and the grandaddy of them all,
Carissa & Kyle

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Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Call My Name When I Finish

Today's post is entitled "Call My Name When I Finish"...which is short for "How To Finish a Race and Have the Announcer Say Your Name (proper pronunciation not included)".
For those of you who don't know I work as a race announcer primarily for the RunDisney races and Track Shack series here in Orlando.  It always brings me great joy to see familiar races at the race and to have people tell me that I "said their name".  By the same token it always makes me feel really bad when I read a Facebook comment that says something like, "I've finished 10 RunDisney races and the announcer never said my name once."  Gulp.  My bad amigo.
So here are my tips for "How To Finish a Race and Have the Announcer Say Your Name (proper pronunciation not included)"

1. Win.  We hardly ever miss that moment.
Name announced AND an interview
2. Be a celebrity.
Hi Joey
3. Wear your name on your shirt in BIG letters

4. Have a short, simple name i.e. Joe Smith.

5. Finish outside of a big pack of runners.  Too many runners and our announcer screen looks like the thing in the Matrix.
6. Wear this.
7. Stop in front of the announcer mat and scream until we hear you and give you the proper race finishing kudos.
All jokes aside I hope we do help you celebrate that special moment and call your name when you finish.  That is our job, we love it, and we try to catch as many of you as possible.

I want to send good luck wishes to all of you taking part in the Walt Disney World Marathon weekend.  It is by far the BIGGEST RunDisney event with the most colossal of challenges - Dopey (5k, 10k, half marathon, full marathon).

Before I sign off and nap in preparation for the big weekend I want to stress one more thing:  If you are taking on the Dopey Challenge then you are BRAVE, FIERCE, AND AWESOME!  But guess what?  If you are running any race at Disney this weekend you are BRAVE, FIERCE, AND AWESOME!  There's a lot of hype about Dopey and the 10th Goofy's Challenge and rightfully so...however every race is an accomplishment.  Every start and every finish should be celebrated, so please don't feel bad if you are "just" doing the 5k or "just" the marathon.  You are "just" as much of a superstar to me!

Are you ready to RunDisney?
Any fun outfits?
Any nerves?

Love and Mouse miles,
Carissa & Kyle

Monday, January 5, 2015

Christmas Themed Gender Reveal

Gender reveal parties are a fun, exciting way to share with loved ones whether your bundle of joy is a "he or she".  Since we knew during December and I LOVE Christmas, I decided to throw a Christmas themed gender reveal party for Baby B.  It was also coincidentally thrown on Kyle's birthday, so it was a bday party too.
I ordered our invitations of Etsy and had them printed at FedEx Kinko's for about 50 cents each.
For traditional gender reveals guests typically wear pink or blue to show what their guess is for the baby.  Since ours was Christmas themed we had guests wear red for girl and green for boy.  We also made sure to note that on the invitation, so there was no confusion.

The next big question is how to reveal the baby's gender.  You can do balloons, a scratch off lottery game which I saw on Etsy, or a cake reveal.  We have a great friend who makes amazing cakes, so it was never a question which route we were taking.  Cake baby!  Thank you to Ashley from Cupcake Kisses for our beautiful cake.
Kyle's parents were kind enough to host the party at their home.  We ordered catering from Sonny's BBQ to keep everything simple and my FIL Jerry ordered cookies from Cousin's cookies in red or green to serve as party favors. We also gave guests a red or green Christmas bell to share their choice.
We took a pic of Team Red and Team Green before the big reveal.  Apparently the world was feeling "boy"....
.....but is baby B a he or a she.....
IT'S A GIRL!

Princess B is coming into the world this June.  I was not shocked to learn I was having a girl.  My mom's entire family is ALL girl.  She has 3 sisters and all of them only have girls.  I know it truly comes from the man's side, but I knew girl.  The only reason we thought it might be a boy was because 2 other family members are pregnant or just had babies and they are both girl...so somebody HAD to have a boy right?  Nope.  Those boys better practice their tea party skills.

As of yesterday I am 18 weeks pregnant.  The second trimester has been great and I have much more energy and minimal symptoms.  I'm aiming to workout 4 times a week.  Two moderate strength training sessions and 2 30-minute cardio sessions on the elliptical or stair stepper.  I'm trying to get in walks on my off days, but I am SO bad about that.  At 4 months my weight is up about 6 pounds from pre-baby weight and I can still fit in my "normal" clothes, but it's not always comfortable.  I've been living in RawThreads capri pants loose tanks.  I did ordered from bigger LuLulemon Power-Y tanks and a belly band.
Cravings come and go....I think that because I typically try to eat healthy that I am used to ignoring cravings.  Friday somebody said "burger", so I've had one of those on my mind.  But for the most part I am eating a normal diet with a few more carbs thrown in.  I've been enjoying a homemade green juice blend most mornings too.
My energy will be put to the test this upcoming week at the Disney Marathon weekend, but I'm excited for our biggest race of the year.

Don't forget to check out our Week 1 #Fit2015 challenge and I'll see you at the race!

Did you guess girl or boy?
What was your first born child?

Love and pretty, pretty princess,
Carissa & Kyle

Friday, January 2, 2015

Fit2015 Healthy New Year Challenge

It's time for the goals, the motivation, the progress.  HAPPY 2015!  As always I want this to be your fittest, healthiest, most energetic year ever.

I encourage you to take a moment...a quiet moment..and actually write down a goal list for yourself.  Create short-term and long term goals for your career, your relationships, your health, and your fitness.  Keep them somewhere that you can refer to often and see how you're doing.  Create checkpoints throughout the year.  It's okay to slip up on a goal and have to start over.  Life is about progress and not perfection.
As one of my goals is to create a stronger blog (we're talking quality posts and not quantity..I am growing a human!) I want to invite you to take on a 7-week challenge to create a #Fit2015.  As a dietitian my personal philosophy is that small changes add up to BIG results.  A total diet 180 on New Year's Day, won't last or give you the body you want.  However changing habits and sticking with that change permanently will.  Add fruit as a mid-morning snack and finally stop raiding the candy bowl..that can mean success.  Little changes, new habits...BIG results!

Each week I'll share a new "Fit2015 goal" with you.  Try to incorporate it into your routine and build on it as the challenge grows.  There will be some prizes for those of you who highlight your #Fit2015 by sharing comments and photos via social media.
For your week 1 goal I'm guessing you are more open to adding new foods to your diet and making changes.  Come on - it's a New Year.  Let's shake up the kitchen!  My goal for you is to find 1 new "healthy" food to try and add to your diet this week.  Ideally I'd like you to have it 2-4 days this week and for it to be a food you find you like.  Replace one "not-so-stellar" food or something you have all the time with this new alternative. Or you can replace a habit like using store-bought dressing or eating white rice with a "better" habit like making your own dressing or cooking brown rice in big batches at home.

If you need inspiration check out this list of "15 Hot New Foods for 2015"

Ideas for foods include:

  • Matcha Tea
  • Daily probiotic (through supplementation or yogurt with active cultures)
  • Kefir
  • New protein bar with less than 6 ingredients
  • Arugula or other dark, leafy green you don't usually use
  • Fish!  Eat more fish!
  • Black beans (use them...they're good for you!)
  • Cook with a new fresh herb or even better plant one
  • New oil for cooking like coconut or grape seed
  • Chia Seeds
  • Goji berries
  • Pumpkin seeds in oatmeal or on salads
  • Kombucha
  • Homemade dressing for salads over store-bought
What is one of your health/fitness goals for 2015?
What "new to you" food are you going to add in this week?

Love and new beginnings,
Carissa & Kyle