Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Setting a good example

I get asked all the time- why do you like to run, why do you run so much, what is your motivation?

The answer is very simple. I run because I love to. I truly enjoy lacing up my newtons and jumping on my treadmill. I love putting new songs on my iPod and running down the street dancing to the tunes in my head. I have only one goal when it comes to running and that is to enjoy every step that I get to run.
I have 3 wonderful and vastly different children and I want them to always work hard. How can I tell them to work hard if I am not willing to do the same. When I was training for the marathon, there were many days when my
long runs would come along and I just plain didn't want to run for 3 hours on my treadmill and I would tell them that- and then I would do it anyway. I did that to show my kids that even when you don't want to do something, if you want to have good results you have to plow through it - that is life lesson not just a running one.
My goal isn't like most runners- I am not super competitive (at least not most of the time). It does not bother me to run the same pace and I don't really have to ever run faster. It is showing others and my kids that if you set a goal and work hard, yes there will be setbacks but you just keep going and you will achieve greatness.
Your Greatness!!
You may just want to walk around the block without stoping or you may be like me and want to eventually do a half ironman- I want to encourage people
to just get out and enjoy every step :)
Everytime one of my kids conquers something in their lives -I want them to be able to say, my mom encouraged me and she showed me through her actions that I can do anything with a lot of hard work ( and a little pixie dust).

One Step at a Time,

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Life after a marathon

Well, life after a marathon is still as crazy as ever in the Kyle household. I had the post marathon blues for a few days and now I am trying to focus on the Princess Half which is the next race that I'll be doing. I also was able to sign up for the Dumbo Double Dare at Disneyland- yippeeeee!! So the hubs and I will be traveling to California in September. I won't even go into the mess that was registering for that particular race but we will both be running at least and that is all that really matters to me.

Ashley is in FULL CHEERLEADING MODE- their first competition was the same weekend as the marathon and I couldn't be more proud of my girl. She continues to push me, even though she doesn't know it. I am so amazed by her athletic talents and she really does make things look so incredibly easy, when I know that they are not.

Ryan and Lexi have started ice skating lessons. Ryan because he eventually wants to play hockey and Lexi because she is already there when Ryan is :) He has made tremendous improvements since his first class and he has actually started watching hockey games on T.V. It has been hard to find something that he likes that "isn't hot" but I think that we have finally found it.
We have also had 2 new additions to our family and have started a new business. Blue Anchor Frenchies has been occupying a lot of my time. We added Sophie and Louis to our family and we are so in love with them. In about a year we are going to start breeding them and I KNOW that it is going to be hard to part with those puppies.  I just love mine so much that I want everyone to experience Frenchies.
Louis is a blue french bulldog and Sophie is what you would call a Blue Pied. They fill all my time when the kids are at school with tons of laughs and snuggles.

Well... that is the latest update from the Kyle Crazies... My goal is to blog more often and I am going to try...

One Step at a Time,

Friday, January 18, 2013

20th Annual Walt Disney World Marathon (my first)

...I woke up at 3:15 (that is A.M. people) and this was actually the thing that had been worrying me the most throughout this whole process. I really enjoy running at night and although I am a morning person, I do not choose to wake up so early in order to go running. Becky ( my sis in law) and I made our way down to the bus and luckily we got right on (or so we thought). Our bus driver proceeded to try and avoid traffic (weird!) and drove the opposite way from the drop off point. He drove us to the corals which of course we couldn't get off there. He then made a U-turn (its a bus- very scary) and we proceeded to join the traffic back to the drop off point.

When we got to the drop off location at Epcot, we walked up to hear the announcer saying that they were loading corals C & D because A & B had already been called. Yikes!!!

 We headed to the port a potties because I really figured I should go get it done ASAP. (I still after all the years I have done races do not understand the port a potty lines...why does one line go to 4 toilets instead of one per potty?? oops- I digress.) After the potties we headed through the sea of people headed for corals A-D

We got up to the corals and Becky and I separated and I was on my own (with a whole lot of other people). I made it to my coral and started to squeeze in and realized that I was a bit too close to the front of Coral B.
At this point all I was thinking was that I was about to start running 26.2 miles and that I was going to enjoy every single step. I had a vague time goal in my head but I was not going to beat myself up about it and I was going to run my race. Before I knew it, they had sang the National Anthem and then the fireworks...
photo by runDisney

I turned on my ipod and off I went. I kept telling myself to SLOW DOWN. It didn't really feel like I was going fast, but it never does, and I really really didn't want to go fast and then bomb. So, if 1000 people wanted to pass me, that was ok. What I noticed right away was that there were A LOT of people walking!!! Not that there is anything wrong with that but it was the first couple miles and some of the people really were looking like they weren't going to make the 26th mile. I don't remember much about the first 4 miles except that they went by really fast for me. At about mile 4 the 4:15 pace group went past me and I told myself once again to SLOW DOWN!!! I didn't wear a watch or have RunKeeper going (drains my battery) so I didn't really know what my pace was for the first 6 miles. Mile 6 is when you are in the Magic Kingdom and there really is nothing like running down Main Street and through Tomorrowland.
Disney has the best workers and volunteers I have ever seen at a race. I was trying to take pictures along the way and they had  really nice people stationed around to help with pictures :)
photo taken by RunDisney

No matter how many times I do it, running through Cinderella's Castle never gets old. On my way out of the Magic Kingdom is when I saw the pace group for the 4:30 finish time. I knew that I had to add my 7 minute start time to that but I decided to stay with this group. In my mind, I figured that I would stay with them up until mile 20 and if I was feeling good, I would try to make up those pesky 7 minutes in the last 6.2 miles. My pace leaded was a nice lady and what really helped me was that she was carrying a stick with balloons. Yes, she carried the stick the whole 26.2 miles and those balloons really became my focal point. Miles 6-13 were making our way to Animal Kingdom. I knew that once I got to Animal Kingdom I would be half done and also that I would be seeing my family there. Oops, I forgot that once we left Magic Kingdom, we ran around Richard Petty Experiences track. It was one of the 3 "hills" on the entire course. All around the race track were people with their classic cars and that was a nice distraction because the track is curved and not the easiest terrain to run on. I really just focused on keeping the balloons of the pace leader in my sights at all times. Another great part of running with the pace group was that they walked through EVERY water station. The other thing that I was concerned about during the race was hydration. Everyone knows that I have history of kidney stones and dehydration and this was key to making my experience the best it could possibly have been. I knew that my group was going to walk through the water stations and I was able to fill up my water bottles (half Gatorade (yuck!)/half water) every time without being nervous about losing my pace group.  We got to Animal Kingdom and I started looking for my family.
When we were running out of Animal Kingdom I got to see them and give them a wave and I knew I would see them again toward mile 24. Through the next 6 miles- I focused on the balloons :) I figured that this race was kinda like childbirth and those balloons were my focus point. Wide World of Sports  was about mile 19 and I honestly do not like running there. We ran there during the Tower of Terror 10 mile race and it really didn't hold good memories for me (ha!) At the end of Wide World of Sports, we got to mile 20-
I was feeling really good at Mile 20, but I stayed with my pace group until we walked through the next water station and then I decided to try to make up those 7 minutes that I lost in the first 6 miles.
Through Mile 22, I started to think of my family and I dedicated that mile to Ryan and I chanted his name when things started to get tough. Mile 23 was going into Hollywood Studios and that one I dedicated Ashley. Since I was doing so well, I stopped to take a picture with Wreck It Ralph for Ryan :)
I knew exactly where Mile 24 was because I had seen it the day before on my run from the boardwalk to Hollywood Studios. This is where I started to look for my family again. I was starting to get my runners high and knew that I was almost done. I dedicated this mile to Lexi.
By this point I was knew the exact route that I would be running to the finish and part of it I had run just the day before. There were so many spectators and the energy was amazing.
This picture says it all!! I was having such a good time and right here was Mile 25 where I saw Lexi and knew that I had only one more mile to go. Now let me tell you, that Mile 25 was for my hubs Dave. He had put up with all my craziness during the training for this marathon and I dedicated it to him. The longest mile you will ever run in a marathon is the last one. I knew every step I took through Mile 26 that this last mile was for me. I tried to treasure every step and to think of all the hard work that I had out into the training. I concentrated on focusing on the moment because you only do your first marathon once. 
And before I knew it, I was turning the corner and the finish was before me. I had no idea how fast or how slow I was going, but I knew that it had been the race of my life and that I had smiled the entire way and that I loved every step.

Right after I finished I looked up and there was Bart Yasso, so in true CrazyKyle form I walked up and got my sweaty post marathon pic with him :)
Honestly, I had the BEST time and I really didn't think I would. I believe that I trained to the best of my ability and it showed in the final product. I met my goal and finished in 

If you are thinking of running a marathon- I can not recommend the Walt Disney Marathon enough!!! It was worth every penny and next year I think I'll be Goofy!!! Next up is the Princess Half and I have some lofty goals for that race as well... 
I kept a smile on my face through the end and that was really was the only goal that I had. 

One Step at a Time,

The Expo and a bunch of Carbs

This is going to be a long one...
Let me start out by saying that short of my wedding and the birth of my kids, The 20th Annual Walt Disney World Marathon was the best day EVER!!!!
We got into town on Friday and went to eat a carbtastic lunch at Le Cellier (Canada) in Epcot. Normally, I would get a steak, because that is what they are known for, but since we were on Carbload 2013 I ate some
Pretzel Bread from Le Cellier is a MUST!!!

Yummy Gnocchi

After eating some great carbs we headed over to the expo at Wide World of Sports. Thank goodness we took the bus from the hotel because the traffic getting in and out was awful, so I was expecting some really long lines once we got inside. Much to my surprise it was really empty. I walked right up signed my forms and showed my id and everything was done in 15 minutes.

I was very impressed by how smoothly the packet pickup went. I think when I did Princess in 2011, I waited in line for 45 minutes to get my packet, so I definitely think that runDisney has taken things into consideration and made things much easier for all the impatient runners.

When we got back to the hotel, we met up with our kids at Beaches n' Cream and I had this beauty
it is called the No Way Jose and it was worth every calorie. It had chocolate and vanilla ice cream plus hot fudge and peanut butter- sooooooo good!!!!

Saturday night we ate at the Cape May Cafe and true to form I had A LOT OF CARBS!! It was a buffet, so I had a vegetable pasta and a seafood pasta (both were very good) tons of bread and A LOT OF WATER!! After a meal fit for a princess, I went up and went to bed (since my wake up call was)
and the next day I....

Friday, January 11, 2013

Thoughts before a Marathon

There are so many different thoughts running through my mind. I have just returned from the zoo aka The 20th Anniversary Walt Disney World Marathon Expo. I have been training for this single race since September. I have logged hundreds if not a thousand miles. I have woken up early, stayed up late, said no to going out in favor of training for this single event. I turned down a number of other wonderful races with the hope that I would remain healthy and able to do my absolute best.
With the race just 2 days away, the doubt has been settling in. Did I run fast enough, far enough, eat enough, drink enough?? Should I have followed a different plan, skipped taper (my favorite!)? Will I meet my goals or fail myself? I really am a bit crazy so these thoughts are on a round over and over in my head.
I do know that I have given it my best shot. That I have showed my kids how to set a goal, follow a plan, and the end result will be finishing the race. Am I going to win? ummm...NO! But will I treasure every step and remember all of my training- you bet I will.
You see, this race isn't just for me- it is for everyone who thinks they can't. For the people who say they are too busy, for the people who think their bodies aren't "runners bodies", for the kids who think running is just too hard. Yes it is hard and I think training for this marathon was one of the hardest things that I have had to do. Balancing mother and runner and wife was not easy and I won't say that I have it all figured out because I failed many days. But I did realize it was okay to be all 3 with different variations per day. I told Dave today on the bus back to the hotel that I may cry at the end and he couldn't understand why. The reason why is because I want others to see that you CAN do it (even if it isn't pretty, it's still done!) So I will be thankful that my body is letting me run these 26.2 miles. I will make the best of every step and who knows I may just want to do another (but don't count on it).

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Owen's Fish Camp

We really like food! and on the flip side, I am not a very good cook.  Even though I have MANY issues with food, I still like it and appreciate a great meal. My husband knows this and he has been finding some very interesting restaurants for us to try out on date night. This week we had an impromptu date night to a place in downtown Sarasota called Owen's Fish Camp. Do not let the name fool you- it isn't a dive- but I will get to that.
 We got to the restaurant around 5:30...I know, I know- but I like to eat early and this place doesn't take reservations except for parties of six or more. There is not a lot of parking near it either but we did snag a spot only a couple of streets over on Oak and it was a gorgeous night so a slight walk with my hubs was nice. We were seated right away (yes i know it was 5:30) and immediately approached by our waiter, who got our drinks on the table right away. Then we had the hard task of choosing what we were going to eat.
Honestly, it was a very hard choice. They had about 20 different items that I would have loved to try out and they all looked good. Dave and I discussed and ended up with...
Bloody Mary Oyster Shooters- these were so good. They come in orders of 2 so of course we had 3 orders but they were worth it. The bloody mary was just spicy enough but not too spicy that I wouldn't want to eat about 10 more of these.
I knew going in that I was going to order the cheesy grits...the issue I had was that what I wanted to eat for dinner really didn't pair well with grits. I went back and forth between fried catfish, seafood cobb salad, and the fried green tomato salad and that is what won out.  Their fried green tomato salad with goat cheese and ham crisps was AMAZING!!! I really could have done without the actual salad part and just had the tomatoes, cheese, and crisps. The cheese went great with the fried green tomatoes and I  still got my grits. The grits were nice and creamy and worth every calorie!!!!
Dave got the fried oyster po boy with shoe string fries- and being a fry connoisseur these were really good!!
Anyone who knows me, knows that I LOVE DESSERT!!!! I like things sweet and usually chocolate- they did have a chocolate special but I thought I would try somethings different (gasp!) Dave and I decided to share (not something I usually do) Bourbon Pecan Pie with Fresh Cream and Ice Cream. This may be a little crazy but I have never actually had Pecan Pie so this was my first taste, and I was not disappointed. It was so gooey and the homemade whipped cream was delish!! I may have to try this somewhere else but it was a great ending to our meal.
During dessert, I noticed that there wasn't a seat available and I am sure that during season, it must be hard to get a table. The food was excellent and the service was great. Would definitely recommend this place and I will be going back- they have fried pickles that I still need to try.

It was a good thing that I had 14 miles to run the next morning (I told you, I have issues!!)

I give this place a 3.5 out of 5 :) and if you need someone to go with you- I'm your girl!!

One Step at a Time,

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

"Crazy"? Aptly Titled

Long runs? Yes, I am the crazy person who enjoys running longer (not actually faster). I would rather run 10 miles than 3. I like spending hours rather than minutes...but 13 miles was my long run this week right? Isn't that the distance people sign up for races and pay good money for a tshirt and medal? Yes, that is how far my long was this week.
Did I also mention that this run was going to be done on the treadmill because I have 3 children who can not be left home alone for 2 hours? What does one do when running 2 hours or so, my advice watch TV shows or movies that will keep your focus off of what you are doing. I have said before I swear by my iPad - love it!!! I watch many different shows from Downton Abbey to Real Housewives of New Jersey. It really helps when having to run indoors. After I ran my 13 on Sunday, my running partner for the WDW Marathon and sister in law Becky came to visit. Her training plan called for 11 miles and being the crazy person that I am, I volunteered to run with her since she didn't know the area or distances.
Yes my friends, you read that correctly, after 13 on Sunday, I ran 11 yesterday. WE left around 7:30 p.m. (learned my lesson about running during the day from the infamous 15 mile epic failure) and the first street was well lit. Now, I wasn't 100% sure of the route we were going to run but I did know that a portion of it was not on streets with ANY lights ...hmmmm... maybe I should have remembered the headlamp, maybe next time. Ran down my favorite street where it was probably a good idea that I couldn't see anything because usually I see an alligator or two, so it was much better for me that I pretend there weren't any. When we got to the crossroad, I thought we were going right (down the lighted streets) but Dave had told Becky to go left, so that is they way in which we went. There were a few lights on this road as well as many runners which we had to avoid on the narrow sidewalk. We got to SR70 and oops I forgot, no lights on this street either. Becky used her iPhone flashlight app which apparently drains your battery :( Running in the dark takes a lot of focus, and at this point I was trying to do math (not my strong suit) while trying to avoid bumping into Becky and the wall I was running next to. We made it back to Lorraine but we still had about 4 miles left to go and once again these road are not very well lit (come on Lakewood Ranch, we need better lighting) when we got back to Greenbrook and started to go straight, I figured out the distance that we needed could be done on Loraine (in the dark) or on Greenbrook ( well lit path), which would you choose? We chose the later and had a interesting (avoiding cars) run down and back for a solid 11 miles ( 24 in 2 days furthest for me yet!). It was so much fun running with my sister in law but I think next time I need to plan a bit better (the story of my life). Next week is 14 miles and this week I am a single parent most of the week. I'm sure there will be some great things to share...and I really am a bit crazy.

One step at a time,