The Disney Princess Half Marathon in Pictures


…Becuase words simply could NOT do it justice

This was NOT just a race; it was an experience. ¬†An amazing and magical experience. ¬†As the fairy said when she dusted me with magical fairy dust, “Bippity Boppity Boo, may all your wishes come true!”

A 25-Mile Week


Yup, I said it. ¬†A 25-mile week. ¬†Not trying to toot my own horn, but I am proud. ¬†Honestly, running has been a real struggle this winter so¬†I’m allowed to be right? ¬†ūüôā

Yea, so you’re probably thinking damn, that girl takes a LOT of pictures in the car. ¬†Well, ya know what? You’re right, I do! ¬†I spend SOOO much time int he car that my ratio of car time to not in the car time being so high contributes to my numerous “at the wheel” shots. ¬†Oh wait, here’s another one just for good measure ūüėČ

Cheese! This was from today too, prior to changing into my workout gear.

Anyway, it was GORGE out! ¬†So beautiful. ¬†This is what my car said, but that was after its day in the sun in the parking lot at my job. ¬†In reality, it was about 69…still AH-MAAAA-ZING! ūüôā

You ordered some blue skies, you say?

‘Twas a beautiful day but a tough run. ¬†I attribute its roughness to kicking butt on Wednesday’s run (6 miles in about 53-fast for me! ¬†Woot!). ¬†Today I ran the whole loop. ¬†It is 8 miles. ¬†I think I probably averaged about ten minute mils (a bit slow for ) but I in no way had fresh legs. ¬†I have this weird superstition or something, that if I don’t run the loop at least once (I am so lucky I got it in due to all of the ice and snow!) then I haven’t “fully trained.” ¬†I know, I have issues. ¬†But anyway, it was a bit of a mental fight during the run. It hurt. ¬†I also remember that I walked the loop with Shiya (who, by the way, I ran into on my run today!! funny!) on Sunday (another 8 miles) and although we walked it, I DO count it as mileage for training. ¬†Caitlin did a post on this. ¬†To me, being on your feet moving counts in training (and we don’t walk slowly by any means either). ¬†Anyway, that helped to bring my weekly mileage total to 25 ūüėČ ¬†So I am currently watching House Hunters International and playing on the www. ¬†I just LOVE HGTV! ¬†Do you like those kinds of shows?

Good Times.


I've been wanting to show off these amazeballs vday cookies I made in the beginning of the week for a while now- Good times!

The beginning of the week started out with Vday, but due to Husb’s and my crazy schedule, we have postponed this “day of love” to everyday Saturday.¬† More on that to come.¬† Anywhoooooo, this week was sandwiched between an AMAZING river run on Wednesday- DEFINITE PR:¬† 6 miles in about 52 minutes!¬† WHO WAS THAT!??! I called Husband and told him that if he looked out his office window onto the river route, he’d¬† probably see the trail I blazed ūüėČ lol.¬† Really.¬† It was one of those “amazing” runs.¬† Funny, because Caitlin did a post on just that yesterday; the idea that one day your run can be completely torturous and make you question why the heck you run in the first place, while your next run might be like skipping through the heavens on pillowy clouds (right-cause that’s how I usually feel hehe)!¬† Case in point: on¬†last Friday’s run I wanted to turn around before I even hit the quarter mile mark, but on Wednesday, I was sad when the run came to an end.¬† Anyway, I guess running is just like that…and just like life!

Oh, hi there!

Moving on, I also had an inpromptu fun night on a weeknight!¬† For anyone who knows me, they are completely aware that this is a serious rarity in the upsanddownes house.¬† We went…wait for it…

Can you guess who is who?!?!


With cousin Justin!!!!

Stephie and Husband joined along!

She will shoot me, but this is the only (outdated) picture I could find in a pinch.

Here is me in my official bowling glory outfit.


In other good news, I am REALLY trying hard to cut down on both my sodium intake (per my NYR in February) as well as my artificial sweetner intake.¬† Enter:¬† Yogurt.¬† I am a Yoplait light-gimme-all-the-fake-sugar-you-can-get-girl usually.¬† But upon some nose holding reflecting I tried to healthen-it-up and I went for the NATURAL ORGANIC FF Stoneybrook Farms.¬† It’s ok.¬† The addition of fresh fruit is helpful.¬† Baby steps, people, baby steps.¬† Next, I will work on the diet soda thing..NOT!

What is your biggest “vice” (like artificial sweetener for me)?¬† Do share!¬† Happy Friday!

At Dad’s: Flashbacks galore

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Saturday night, Husband, myself and the two fur babies ventured out to “grandpa Nate’s house” (my Dad, puppy grandpa).¬† We had an absolute BLAST!¬† The puppies immediately started “hanging out” in their puppy way…

Chewing toys is fun no matter where we are!

Of course Norman (“Normie”) joined in on the fun as well.

The “adults” had a different kind of fun…well, not really I guess.¬† The men “chewed” their way through some yummy Chinese take-out (a fam favorite) while I took a trip down memory lane.¬† Here are some things that I found:

A gorgeous painting made by yours truly...hmmm don't know how that didn't end up at the Louvre?!?!


A pic-y of sistah and I in our younger days!

Song lyrics.

OK, so this one deserved some attention.¬† Here is the background story:¬† when I was younger, there were NUMEROUS times when my Dad would call me into his room to “make” me listen to song lyrics.¬† I thought is was SOOOO annoying.¬† Now, do I not only do the EXACT same thing to people who I care about (like Hubs) but with even the same songs sometimes!¬† So, Dad, I apologize: you were ALWAYS right about your lyrics.¬† I especially like the line from above (song by Leonard Cohen)
Don’t dwell on what has passed away or what¬†is yet to be
Ring the bells that still can ring, forget your perfect offering.
There is a crack; a crack in everything.
That’s how the light gets in.
What are some of your favorite song lyrics?
PS:  The doggies were absolutely SPENT when we got home! 

Marvelous MANTRAS!

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Yea, I like alliteration.¬† Don’t judge.¬† So, anyway, I was reading one of the latest Runner’s World magazines and came across an amazingly helpful article about mantras.¬† I tend to need/use mantras either when I’m REALLY spent, or REALLY cold.¬† I HATE being cold, so on days like Friday, I REALLY needed a mantra!¬† The article had this REALLY cool chart with which you could “build” your own mantra. I loved it so I thought I’d recreate it here for you!¬† It is adapted from that RW article that you can find here.

So, here is the idea…Runner’s World gives the following suggestions regarding your “magical mantra:”

-Keep it short
Your mantra should be an affirmation, not a novel. “When you’re tired, you don’t want something elaborate,” says Stephen Walker. “It’s too hard to remember.” Keep it to five seconds or less.

-Stay positive
Think of the problem you’re trying to counteract and turn it around. “If you’re feeling weak, your mantra should be I am strong,” says Walker.

-Make it energetic
Your mantra should center on action verbs or strong adjectives, not abstract phrases, says Robert J. Bell. Look for words that convey energy, like “fast,” “strong,” or “power.”

-Embed instructions
Use the mantra to remind yourself what you plan to do or how you want to feel as you’re running, says Walker. Now is the time; go for it. Or, Run relaxed. Finish strong.

Mantra Maker: How to put together your perfect phraseBUILD IT, BELIEVE IT, BECOME IT
Choose one word from each section below to create a motivational, get-it-done power chant.

A                    B                 C               D
Run                  Strong           Think               Power
Go                     Fast                Feel                  Speed
Stride              Quick             Embrace         Brave
Sprint              Light              Be                      Bold
Be                      Fierce           Hold                 Courage

So, for example, one that I like that I “built” for myself (actually¬†during an intense 9-miler on the TM) was:


I tend to need more mental mantras like this sometimes, but other times I go for mantras that calm me, as I tend to get¬†anxious during races, expend unneeded energy and fear of bonking. SO, my usual go-to for races is “Settle In Steady, Settle in steady.”¬† I¬†don’t know- this just works for ME.¬†

What works for YOU?  Do you like this Mantra Builder?

Runner’s World¬†also¬†gave some mantras that some of their staff uses so I picked my top three faves to cap¬†off this post:

1.¬† “The strong get stronger.”

2.¬† “One mile at a time.”
‚ÄĒAMBY BURFOOT, Editor at Large

3.¬† “Save it. Save it.”
‚ÄĒJENNIFER VAN ALLEN, Special Projects Editor

4. Just stay calm.”
‚ÄĒTISH HAMILTON, Executive Editor

5.¬† “Think strong, be strong, finish strong.”
‚ÄĒRENEE METIVIER BAILLIE, winning the 2010 USATF Indoor 3000 meters. She wrote the words on her hand.


Takin’ It To the Street!

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I’ll admit; as I prepped for my run Friday afternoon, I was definitely singin’ that tune to myself, “takin’ it to the street!”¬† I was SO excited to FINALLY take my run outdoors after months of treadmills and tracks.¬† I was pleasantly surprised to monitor my dashboard thermometer on my ride back into the city Friday afternoon…

I was UBER excited for what I thought would be an amazing way to end my week- a wonderful outdoor run…BUT within the first quarter of a mile, all I could think about was turning around and going HOME!¬† It was SOOOO cold!¬† Literally JUST as I got out of my car to start my run, the sun immediately became ensconced behind the clouds.¬† Awesome.¬† What a miserable 4 miles that was!¬† It was one of those runs that made me keep praying to be back at my car!¬† When all was said and done, I did my 4 miles slowly but surely and was THRILLED to be back in my car, en route to HOME (where MY heart is) to play with my family!

When I got home, this ensued…

And this…

And this…

What an amazingly fabulous Friday!   When Husband got home, he immediately joined in on the laziness fun.  These are my FAVORITE kinds of Fun Friday nights!  What is your ideal Friday evening?!?!

Surviving NINE.

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Hi all!¬† I’m alive!¬† I swear!

Gotta love the car pics!

Oh boy, I am a downright BAD blogger sometimes!¬† Absence for days…¬† Ok, moving forward, SURVIVING NINE!¬† As you know, I am training ferociously for the Disney Princess Half Marathon in two weeks!¬† EEK!¬† Yesterday I planned a long run.¬† BUT, as you might also know, it is negative a million degrees (it truly is- I think that was the exact forecast lol) and running outside is NOT an option, so, second third best (second is the indoor track but I’ve been getting dizzy and overusing my inside leg which is my “bad leg” to make sharp turns over and over) is the dread treadmill.¬† Actually, I really don’t mind the treadmill sometimes. I love zoning out to the tube or music or even looking at magazine pics (reading while running is out of the equation).¬† BUT, what IS in the equation for a great LONG treadmill run (yesterday was NINE) is…


Dr. Phil!

LOVE me some Runner's World!


In other news, here are some cute doggies pics (I mean, what is a good blog post without THOSE!?!)

OMG too cute- the fur babies are sharing a water bowl!

So, tell me:¬† how do you “pass time” on the treadmill!??!

NYR in February


You know that saying, “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all?” ¬†Yup, that’s my the latest culprit in my most recent MIA from the blog. ¬†So, in the spirit of that bummer, I have been thinking a lot about New Years Resolutions (NYR). ¬†Yup, in February. ¬†The fact is that on January 1st I was not ready to make resolutions…at least ones that I was serious about, had a chance to reflect on, and had “sticking power.” ¬†I do NOT want to quit my NYR next month, so what will help with that as well, is that I am going to refer to them as GOALS…NYG have you ūüėČ ¬†OK, so here are my NYG (better late then never, eh?):

OK, starting with easy ones- the need for these were confirmed this morning when I couldn’t get my rings on due to water bloating. ¬†Cute.

1. ¬†Drink more water. ¬†I’m not quantifying- anything would be better then nothing (my current level). ¬†Just more. ¬†It will help my rings fit ;)my running, and my digestion! ¬†And…well, it’s just more healthy!

(Shiya modeling water on a glorious walk by the river)

2. ¬†Have less sodium per day. ¬†Reason? ¬†See #1. ¬†Prime examples: ¬†Limit diet soda, sea salt “seconds,” etc.

3. ¬†PR my half. ¬†So here is what I am thinking: ¬†lately I have been UBER stressed about running the Disney Princess Half Marathon at the end of this month. ¬†It is definitely adding more unneeded stress to my life. ¬†I was just unable to train as much as I would have liked because, frankly, life got in the way. ¬†You know? ¬†And I think that I just need to accept that and run the race with a positive attitude, ¬†and truly FOR FUN. I am NOT looking to PR, just a “fun run.” ¬†hey, it is 13.1 miles either way, right? ¬†I mean we already paid for the race, flight and hotel, so canceling is NOT an option. ¬†Instead, I am going to take a positive attitude and “go with it!”

That's me!

OK, so regarding PRing my half, here is my plan. I hope to PR a sub-2 hr. halfby my next to races (so either in Disney-but remember no pressure-or the National Half I registered for at the end of March). ¬†THEN, for the Philly half next year (this November I ran it in 2:02 and will hopefully run sub 2 by the end of March) I want to run a 1:55. ¬†Woah. ¬†DREAMER! ¬†ūüėČ ¬†Hey, it’s ok to dream!

Oh, and this is not a NYG but I hope to PR my Broad Street if I can get a bib somewhere (anyone?!  anyone?!).  I would like to run it sub 1:30.

Leads really nicely into #4

4. “Be yourself because those who matter don’t mind and those who mind don’t matter.” -Dr. Seuss

5.  Over-schedule less.  Self-explanatory. Needs to be done.

So, I want to ask:  Did you make NYR/G?  Did you follow through?!?!