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On becoming a Princess...

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Ok, I admit it. I've always wanted to be Royal. Yes, I even dreamed of Prince Andrew marrying ME when I was a kid (we're the same age), and was truly disappointed when he picked Fergie over me...even though I was already married. So when I heard that Disney was putting on a race for PRINCESSES, I just KNEW I had to participate. There was No Way I could resist earning a Tiara of my very own... I just had to figure out the logistics of making my dream come true.

And that's when my fairy godmother sang "Bippidi Boppidi Boo" and waved her magic wand, bringing Kate into my life. Who new she would be willing to not only host me at her home, but drive back and forth from her town to Orlando and Disney four days in a row???? Truly a stroke of magic... but I'm getting ahead of myself.

I hardly slept last week, trying to get healthy and still do all those things that we wives and mothers do so that our families can manage without us for a few days... and still trying to organize my "princess attire". What to wear? Pink, certainly, but with a tiara? Hmm, where would I find one? In the end, it was a child's tiara sewn to my running club hat that would be my "crowning touch". I also managed to make up some Princess tags for Kate and I in the shape of a Mickey Mouse head (the actual artwork was courtesy of another runner, but I laminated them and stitched up some ribbons to wear them on). I packed all my stuff and set off on this adventure full of hope and anticipation, but also with a little bit of anxiety; would Kate think me silly for wanting to shop for Princess regalia? Would she be bored with me? Would she regret inviting me?

I wore my bright PINK jacket on the plane so that I would be easily recognized at the airport, and Kate and I found each other without a hitch. From the moment we met I felt as if we had known each other for some time... we just had the same tastes (champagne! Goat cheese!) and we hit it off right from the start.

Friday morning we went to the expo and got there early, which enabled us some great photo ops... and then, like a crazy woman, when the doors opened I RAN in to get my chip and packet and shirt (I really didn't want to spend my time standing on line, when I could be SHOPPING!!!!). Kate got her bib really fast and then we formulated our plan of attack... aisle by aisle, row by row we covered the entire expo. I got a mini-tiara (which I wound up wearing to the after-party), a princess running skirt, a commemorative shirt and hat (saying "Run Like a Princess") and tried on some new shoes. All in all, the expo served as fuel for my excitement -- because there were lots of women there and they were all in "Princess mode"! Kate and I wore our Princess name tags and met some other gals from another board who we'd been "talking" to, and that was fun too.

When we got home Kate picked out her outfit and got it all set up for the 5k. We spent the evening relaxing and got to bed kind of early. Heading out early Saturday morning I wasn't sure who was more excited for the 5k, Kate or I! I was a little disappointed that I couldn't be along the route to cheer for her, but I made sure to take lots of pictures at the start and finish and help up my sign cheering her on! There were LOTs of costumes at the 5k - a good prelude to what we would see at the 1/2 the next day. Kate finished in her best time yet and I was so proud of her!!! It was such a joy to be there and share in her excitement! We headed out for a celebratory breakfast (yes, I know, food should not be a reward, but truth is it was!) and then found a couple of hammocks on the beach of the Polynesian and had a rest... Talk about total peace!

Kate and I did a little browsing and shopping at Downtown Disney and then we met up with my friend Jodie, who I spent the night with in Orlando. Before bed I made sure I had my clothes set out, my water belt loaded with gels and shot blocks, my body glide ready to go, my "throwaway" blanket for the start line, my camera and watch and gps... I set my alarm for 3:50 am and went to sleep. At 2:50 Jodie got up and I asked her if she was OK...(I never really sleep the night before a race) and she said "Oh good, you're awake". I said, no, we have another hour to sleep -- but no, she tells me its time to get up because of the time change. I JUMPED out of bed in a panic because I had forgotten to change my clock! As it turns out we had plenty of time to get there, I just was anxious over what Might have been...

We got a great parking spot at Epcot and hung out in the car for a while before heading out to the start line. Little did I know that it would be over a mile walk to the corrals... just before the corrals the announcer was informing everyone that these were the last port-a-pottys before the start, so everyone was lining up... as I walked down the rows I unfortunately collided with the edge of a door, seriously bruising my forearm. Oh no, I thought, I've broken my arm -- now I'll have to run with it like this! Not for one second did I think of NOT running - even as tears of pain were streaming down my face - I started to wonder if I could rig my old mylar blanket as a sling... but eventually the pain started to subside. I made it into my corral with about 10 minutes to spare before the starting gun... surrounded by women of all shapes and sizes, most in crowns and tiaras of some kind, some in tutus and dresses, a few costumed as their favorite disney princesses... and then the race began.

It was dark and still a bit cold as we headed out of Epcot and over the main road into the Magic Kingdom... music was playing and girlfriends were chatting with each other as we started up the hill of the first overpass... and I thought, once again, how this was my first solo race in a very long time... I'm so used to having someone to run with that I wondered if I would enjoy this, or if my mental demons would come out and try to persuade me to quit along the way... I tried to focus on staying loose and pacing myself in spite of the morning chill, and as the sun rose I noticed the piles of clothes others had dropped along the way... I added my mylar blanket to their shirts and set my rythym, avoiding the walkers when I ran and stepping to the side of the road when I walked. And so it went, for about 5 miles... There weren't any spectators along the road which meant there were only other runners to focus on... A few people asked if I was really from CA (my Mickey head on the back of my shirt read "California Princess") and that was good for a minute of conversation before we drifted apart again; one runner from San Diego recognized my running club (our name is on the back of my hat) and marveled that we had a presence at this race... I saw a few really great t-shirts on other runners and enjoyed reading them as we passed each other...

Before I knew it I was at the Transportation and Ticket Center, the first place spectators could gather. I looked for my friends but didn't see them so I kept running into the Magic Kingdom. How exciting it was to enter Main Street to cheers of "Way to go Princesses!!" and see my friend Jodie waiting there with my Powerade refill. I ran down towards the Castle and took a moment to have my picture taken... then it was around the back and through the castle, then into frontierland and out of the MK ...

I was pretty happy with my pace as I was averaging 12:30 mm at the half-way point, so I took a few more pictures along the route. I really couldn't believe my pace -- I've never maintained that kind of pace for longer than a 10k, yet here I was nearing the 7 mile marker and my time was actually dropping a bit... the sun was getting warmer and I forced myself to keep drinking powerade because I feared getting muscle cramps... but truth be told I was feeling pretty good. There was a long boring stretch of road between the MK and the turn to go over the highway into Epcot, and Disney had placed lawn signs along most of the route with trivia questions about their princesses to keep us distracted..."Which princesses have grandmothers?" Which Princess has the longest hair?" "Which princess speaks the most languages?" etc... every 20 yards or so there would be a question followed 20 yards later by an answer. It was certainly educational!

At mile 8 Cliff was handing out gel packs and I took one but thought better of trying it on the race... I stuffed it in my water belt and kept going. I used my asthma inhaler a few times as my lungs were a bit "tight" but otherwise felt pretty good... at mile 9 they had Biofreeze on the course and I stopped long enough to slather it all over my legs, which were beginning to tighten up... then it was around the loop and over the overpass again heading into Epcot. I had been running most of the way from the MK alongside a woman who had lost 30 lbs on Weight Watchers (she had her ribbons hanging from her shirt) and I took this opportunity to tell her that she had been inspiring me for the past 6 miles! We chatted a bit and kept right on running down the hill and into Epcot for the final 2 miles...

At this point it was quite warm already and I was tempted to slow it down for fear of cramping (a chronic problem I have in warm weather long runs) but I realized that if I just kept on at the same pace I might actually get a new PR... that was a pretty strong motivator in spite of my fatigue! I did allow my walk intervals to last a few extra seconds, but then I realized that if I kept doing that I would regret it once I crossed the finish line, so it was back to sticking to the beep of my watch... finally, I came around the last bend and saw the finish line ... as luck would have it, I was on a walk interval... and I debated whether or not I could run the last two minutes to cross the finish, or if I should stick to a minute of walking and a minute of running? 30 seconds into the walk I decided to just go for it and sprinted to the end, finishing in 2:45:03.

According to my GPS I ran 13.31 miles, finishing with an average pace of 12:24/mile - my best time yet! I immediately saw Kate and her husband and youngest son waiting for me, and was so happy I'm sure I just rambled on for 5 minutes! I had my photo taken and we all met up for pics and hugs.

I'm not ashamed to say that I wore my Princess medal all day and evening, and even put it on for the plane ride home the next day! There is nothing like being a Princess, especially in the Happiest Place on Earth!! This is definitely a race I want to do again... hopefully with my Royal Sisters by my side!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NAVYMOM133 3/12/2009 4:16PM

    Hi Tammy -
Thank you so much for this wonderful blog of your Disney Days and 1/2M with Kate and your friend Jodie. You are a lucky girl indeed to have spent such a nice visit with our Kate! I am green over here, but like I tease Kate, Matt's bound to come home from Qatar someday soon, and his home base is in JAX!!
These marathon blogs are really wild to read. I am learning some much that I did not know. Your writing style has brought the experience right to me, from the plane trip and anticipation right down to that final sprint. VERY excited for you and your personal record, too!!
emoticon Melly

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SUNFLOWER66 3/12/2009 10:18AM

    what an awesome recap of our weekend. and YES it's awesome how the right person can enter our lives at just the right time. tammy, you inspire me so much and i have the utmost respect for you, what you do and how you do it - with grace, knowledge, perseverance, and with a tiara to boot!

i have added my bib and medal to the laundry room wall with the others you saw!

i remember being in the final stretch of my 5K and sprinting to the end and hoping you would be there to let me collapse in your arms, and there you were!!! ready to hug me no matter how sweaty i was. i'm glad that i figured out why the event (my 5K)wasn't officially timed and that disney wanted this race to be more about the experience. every princess imaginable was there. even YOU tammy!

congrats again on your PR!!! you are amazing!

curtsying to you,
kate :)


Comment edited on: 3/12/2009 10:19:36 AM

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SORGIN 3/12/2009 9:28AM

    What a great blog! Thanks so much for sharing this. It sounds like a fantastic event with lots of positive energy. How couldn't it be with all those women! I learn so much every time I read a blog like this. I guess it boils down to staying focused on your body and assessing whether your mind is tired or your body is tired. It was so cool to follow you online and see that push at the end. Wow, girlfriend, you REALLY pulled it out! I've never heard of the stuff you lathered on the legs but if it's at Shamrock, on it goes! Sorry about the porta potty assault. That would have sent me over the edge but it does show you have the DRIVE TO RUN! Congrats again and thanks for sharing your experience. It helps me process this upcoming event more and more. I appreciate your support and insight. PS I cried when I read Kate and your friend were there cheering you on and then you saw them again at the end. I think that's what gets me is that people take the time to do that, and they mean every good vibe they send out into the crowd. How could we be so lucky?! Running is so cool!

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JENNIFER124 3/12/2009 5:53AM

    You have made a believer out of me!! This race sounds like a BLAST!! of course Disney would put together a first-rate event.. 2 things--- i am SO impressed with your get up and go attitude/approach to life.. isnt it interesting that running really fosters that?? i love it!! i love how you took "risks" in going solo to FL and got to meet new friends along the way.. i love how you met your goal of running a race you have been wanting to complete for awhile.. you set your sights on the prize and YOU GOT IT!!
the other wonderful aspect to your blog is your blow by blow of your race.. i appreciate the details very much... i am like soaking them in..." what works for Tammy" kind of thing??? congratulations on your PR.. just an amazing feat..sounds like you ran solid and very smartly.. thank you for being here and just sharing your experience and love of running so openly with myself and the team... you are my inspiration!!

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KELLEA927 3/11/2009 4:02PM

    That run is my ultimate dream run!!! I want to do it so badly I can taste it. Couldn't quite afford it this year since we will have to make a vacation out of it but I am hoping next year! I can't wait to see if you posted your pics because I would love to see them. Way to go!

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DICANRUN 3/11/2009 12:59PM

    Sounds like you had a blast! When I grow up and can actually run more than 2 minutes I want to be just like you.

Reading your post makes me realize there is so much more to it (water belts, cramp cream, walking intervals, GPS, etc etc etc) so I am trying not to feel overwhelmed.

I think this Disney Princess thing may be what I target for - at a shorter distance of course!

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Dang It! This is hard work!!

Thursday, February 05, 2009

I just got back from the gym (where I feel like a fixture since I'm there nearly every day!) and I'm soooo frustrated. I did my cardio for 65 mins and then weighed myself, only to find that I haven't lost anything since last Saturday. I was supposed to lift weights with the trainer after that but we started talking nutrition and she used my session to review my nutrition goals.

Turns out I've been eating TOO many carbs, too many fat grams, not enough protein and too many calories. And I thought I was dieting!!!!!!!!

So now I've adjusted my nutrition goals here on SP and have to try to figure out how to eat and still meet these goals. My first meal at home and I've blown through my fat cals for the whole day! And I didn't even eat anything "fattening" - just a protein shake and a grilled turkey burger. SHeeesh!

I told her I'd give it a try for 4 weeks... I'm wondering if its worth it? I mean, to be thin, when its so hard to do??

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    Tammy, I hope this is going well for you. Don't give up. It is a CONSTANT learning process we have to go through to find what works for our bodies and what doesn't.

It seems like as soon as I think I've found that key combination of calories per meal, time of day to eat, ratios of food, calorie expenditure, body goes and adjusts to it, and I need to tweak something else. I KNOW how you're feeling!

Learning to live a healthy lifestyle in today's world is not for the faint of heart or spirit. And, to answer your question: yes, I think its important for so many reasons...quality of life being the most important to me. I also feel like we have a social responsibility to be proactive with our health care...but that' a whole other topic for discussion!

Anyway, keep up the good've already got the exercise stuff down! That's 1/2 the battle!

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Its a slippery slope and I'm sliding fast!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Today was a BORING day at a seminar I didn't really want to be at. Way too much chatting going on, off topic, thereby delaying my return home! The room was cold, the weather was gloomy and the food was high calorie. Yuck!

I missed the weekly weigh in at the gym this morning. May be just as well after the past few days I had of eating poorly. I need to get back on track, and fast!

1. I need to plan, since failing to plan is planning to fail.

2. I need to shop, weigh, and portion out my food. Need to include some goodies that I can feel good eating too.

3. Need to schedule my workouts. Tough this week since there is no cross training the week of a long race...

4. I need to get some rest, visiting Mom or not. Lack of sleep makes me very cranky and cranky me wants to eat CHOCOLATE!

I think I'll get ready for bed, even though its only 7 pm!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SEARCH4ABS 1/24/2009 10:14PM

    There's nothing wrong with calling it a night at 7pm every once in a while. It keeps you from eating, lowers your stress, and prevents wrinkles! I'm all for it!

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What a day, what a day...

Friday, January 23, 2009

I went to bed soooo late last night (blame belongs with me, but honestly, I just HAD to catch up with all my gfs on the daily chat!) and ds wanted me to take him up to the mountains today to go snow boarding. So up at 5 (an ungodly hour after a good night's sleep, but absolutely unfathomable on 4 hours sleep!) and then start packing the car -- laptop, in case I find wi-fi up there, books, snacks, water, blanket, ski jacket, gloves, hat -- and that's just MY stuff -- snowboard, boots, backpack, camera, etc for ds.

Naturally he sleeps while I drive, in the drizzling rain, up the mountain road, now the fog so thick I can't see a dang thing, winding, curving, downshifting, upshifting, will this ever end? oh wait, I think I turn here, its been soo long I'm not sure, yes, park a mile from the lodge, unload, buy the lift ticket, back to the car, suit him up.... you get the picture, right? I send him off and I find the only bathroom which, naturally, is back where I came from before, and then into the lodge to settle in front of the fire. AAAAAAHHHHHH - finally, some quiet me time. I'd rather be asleep, but this isn't too bad. Maybe I should eat? Nothing friendly on the menu, so what the heck, I'll have the breakfast burrito, no meat thank you very much.

I'm barely an hour into my book and ds calls - mind you, we drove nearly two hours to get here and have been here just over an hour now - and says he doesn't much feel like snowboarding anymore. WHAAATT????? Are you Kidding me???? Turns out he can't reach his long-distance girlfriend on the phone and she isn't texting him so he's all depressed and wants to go home. I tried soothing him, cajoling, and then outright lambasting him, but nope! he's got his board off and is heading for the car. Welcome to life with a bipolar teen - they act like 3 year olds sometimes - and the "big depression" is always just around the corner... so I make a last ditch effort to sell his lift ticket at 1/2 price to someone else (Praise God, a good kid came along and bought it from me!) and back to the car we go.

So now its the reverse - load up, head out, fogs gotten much worse, its raining, now I'm on the outside of the mountain road, can't see, downshifting, he's sleeping, I'm fuming... you get the picture... nearly two hours back home. He jumps into bed and I'm stuck explaining what happened to Mom who's out visiting from NYC and doesn't really get the whole mental illness thing...

Did I mention that I really over-ate last night and now I had that burrito so I'm super disappointed in myself too? AND by taking him to the mountain I've missed the gym today not that I want to go now, I'm way too tired, but I'm stressing over the extra calories... AND my body is just aching from head to toe. I had some leg pain from running and some regular muscle aches from lifting this week so I took myself off to the massage place last night... I mean, I deserve it, right? But noooo, the gal spent so much time on my lower legs that she never got around to the rest of me and today they hurt a 100 times worse from all the pushing and prodding (yes, i did ask for firm pressure, but that was because I thought there would be relief the next day, not masochistic agony!!) Add to that the tight neck and shoulders precipitated by my mortal fear of driving right off the mountain into the oblivion masked by the fog and I'm really a mess!

Decide I'd better log that burrito and be accountable, maybe I can live on nonfat yogurt the rest of the day, but Mom wants to talk about dinner.... this is all too depressing! Its cold and raining and I'm tired and want to go to bed but can't ... I am sooo ready for this day to end.

I'm trying to plan a good dinner, one that I can eat with minimal guilt: grilled ahi, green beans, baked yams (no toppings) and salad. I'll log it now so that after dinner I can just go to sleep!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JENNIFER124 1/24/2009 10:00AM

    okay....i GET this a T~~ and my oldest is ONLY 12... he has a variety of diagnosis' but the gist is that he is a DEMANDING and just intense kid and has been from birth.. now we are adding adolescence on top of the whole dessert!!its such a challenge to take care of ourselves and i have just this past year come to the conclusion i have to get selfish!! but in a good way.. if i dont i will go crazy, be a very angry lady and not be a very good momma..
good for you getting that massage.. and i just have to say that one of my all-time huge huge pet-peeves is a unsatisfying massage.. its like bad sex... well, sort of.. can you call back and say it just wasnt what you were expecting? i went to a really good therapist for about a year -- i looked around awhile until i found someone that i was really in tune with.. and with all this talk of massage -- that sounds like a fantastic idea.. take care of yourself and your mom-time.. emoticonjen

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One Week Later...

Sunday, January 18, 2009

I'm one week into this and loving the food tracker, fitness tracker and support of others! I just reread my intro and realized how negative it sounds (boo hoo, poor me, so I have aches and pains - SO WHAT!).

I'm thrilled to be losing weight and will try to use more of what's available on SP to keep on helping me!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JENNIFER124 1/22/2009 10:48PM


the food tracker was what began the real weight loss for me here at SP about 1 year ago..if i dont track, i dont maintain or lose.. simple.. keep coming back!!! so worth the time and energy.. jen

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NAVYMOM133 1/22/2009 12:34PM

    Hi Tammy,

So glad you're here! Don;t you just LOVE that nutrition tracker??? That was my love affair at first. I am coming up on one year and still use it every single day. The fitness tracker is cool too but I think we all want it to do/be more. Sort of 'ah-la peanut butter sandwiches - POOF!' and whatever DVD you've been working to will magically plug in just the right amount of strength and cardio! It's great for everything else, and DOES now include the SP videos, so that's cool.

BTW, I didn't think your intro sounded negative but you'll find that you'll want to change it up as you continue - it's YOUR page! I loved your page pics! I'm a big dog lover. I'll have to post this and take a peek in your gallery!

Welcome again!
p.s. note to self: spell check BEFORE posting

Comment edited on: 1/22/2009 12:35:55 PM

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