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Welcome to my blog

Many many years ago I started a blog to document all the different races I was doing. I did it for personal reasons, kindof like a journal or diary. I am so happy I did that because I love to go back and read them from time to time. The memories fade and I love reminiscing.

Sadly I stopped doing this a few years ago, and now I really would like to get back into. Even if I’m the only one who ends up reading. But perhaps some of my posts may inspire others to try a race, or check out the things I’ve been doing, or product I love.

I hope you enjoy!

Photo credit: James p mccoy

Hilton Head Half Marathon 2020

“Disclaimer: I received free entry to The Hilton Head Half Marathon race as part of being a BibRavePro. Learn more about becoming a BibRavePro (Ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review, find, and write race reviews!”

I could not have been more excited to run this race. As I said in a previous blog post Hilton Head truly is my happy place. I’ve never been there during the winter and was really looking forward to seeing the island in February.

I flew into Raleigh the Thursday before the race since I planned to run with my friend Ray and that’s where he lived. We woke up super early Friday and hit the road toward South Carolina.

Since we left earlier than expected we decided to make a pit stop in Savannah Georgia. Then head back north to Hilton Head. Savannah is another one of my favorite places to visit.

When we got to Hilton Head we headed to the Westin. This hotel was gorgeous and we were so happy it has a nice heated pool and hot tub. We took a stroll down beach so I could show Ray the resort my family usually stays at in the summer time. It was weird to see it look so empty and quiet but still beautiful.


We took advantage of the hot tub, which felt nice in the mid 50 degree temps and then headed to pick up race bibs.

This was a very easy process. Parking was easy and we quickly got our bibs and our fleece race vests. We both really liked these. If I could have any criticism about this race it would be I wish they had some more race merchandise for sale. I had emailed ahead of time to ask and they responded promptly and let me know they only had a few hats. While I loved the vest I would’ve also loved a shirt.

We went to eat after at Coconuts a restaurant at the Hilton Head Tennis and Beach Club. That’s where my family stays during the summer. Felt a bit like home along with the Buffalo Wings we got for dinner. My favorite prerace food. After another visit to the hottub and a quick dip in the ocean at night, hey why not?!? We eventually headed to sleep before our big race day.

We woke up early planning to catch sunrise before race but both agreed it was too cold. It was a brisk 37 degrees out. We had a nice view from the balcony anyways.

I was so happy I threw in my Bibrave long sleeve 3/4 zip because it was colder than predicted. I decided to go with that and capris. We hung in car as long as possible before heading to race start.

Everything is so easy with this race at this point. Parking, the start line, the portopotty line and a beautiful park at the start line is just what I like at a race. They had music playing and soon we were off.

The course itself was shaded and had more twists and turns than it seemed on the map but not in a bad way. The typical Hilton head trails which some may not be used to. Some beautiful spots I had to stop for photos of.

I should’ve paid more attention to the map because I wasn’t expecting to cross the huge bridge off and back on the island and oh that jill was huge. But Ray and I made a decision to push and run the whole thing. And we succeeded.

The race itself went pretty fast and I have to say I was overcome with happiness several times. I kept thinking how lucky am I to be here doing this. It felt magical and this is coming from a girl that does lots of disney races.

As we approached the finish we knew we’d be close to finished under 2 1/2 hours. We were so happy and proud. And we got that beautiful medal that I fell in love with 10 days prior.

We opted to skip the free beers after the race and get back to the hot tub at the Westin and get some beach photos.

This truly was a great race and it was easy drama free and fun. I would love to do again next year! Thanks Ray for being a great running partner!

If you’re interested in watching a video recap of this race weekend check out the following link

You Only Live Once! Call it impulsive or spontaneous I just registered for the Hilton Head Half Marathon

“Disclaimer: I received free entry to the Hilton Head Half Marathon as part of being a BibRavePro. Learn more about becoming a BibRavePro (Ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review, find, and write race reviews!”

Sunday afternoon word started spreading like rapid fire on news of the helicopter crash involving Kobe Bryant as well as 7 others. I’ll admit I do not follow basketball at all. I know of Kobe Bryant but embarrassed to admit I had no clue what team he was on.

As the night went on there was a huge sadness all over, and as the Grammys came on you can tell it wasn’t the usual festive mood. This man has impacted so many lives. People are heartbroken. We were all faced with the reality of how quick life can change.

Monday morning I woke up and I was scrolling through twitter before getting out of bed as I usually I was seeing more sad details on the crash and the victims. I also saw a tweet that had nothing to do with Kobe Bryant but caught my attention from someone name “sporky”. (Gotta love twitter handles.)

He posted a pic of the medal from the Hilton Head full and half marathon. I immediately fell in love. Our family began going to Hilton head back in the summer of 2013 and you can ask my husband or sons and they’ll all agree Hilton Head is our best vacations. The medal has the lighthouse on it. We visit the lighthouse every year and the wheels in my brain started turning.

How could I do this race? I’m not sure why I was so impulsive or spontaneous with this perhaps the mood from the night before, you only live once and oh how fast things can change. I’ll admit I’m often torn and feel guilty between following this mentality and being responsible as well as the best mom and wife I can be. Was I being too spontaneous here?

I immediately asked my husband what he thought and he was supportive as always. I knew it was a race that was working with Bibrave. Maybe I could get a bib through Bibrave because I know I’d love to promote and review this one! So I began researching. Yes!! Still an option for me!! Now I needed to get off work, I sent out an email. Can anyone work my shifts? Also needed to check flights. I fly standby so needed to see how full they were looking. Also anyone want to do with me. I knew my friend Ray who I’ve been running has the same spontaneous mentality as me so I sent him a text. Hey wanna do this one with me? Oh and can my mom help get my son on bus Friday?

So many variables needed to come together would it work. Everything within a few hours came together in place and I now am registered for the Hilton Head Half Marathon. I am beyond excited to get to go to my home away from home. July seems so far away afterall!

The race looks great. They have warm fleece vest as part of their swag as well as an afterparty and two free beers. I’ll give those to Ray! I’ve done countless training runs through the years in Hilton Head and am so excited to bring home a medal.

If you’re interested in doing the Hilton Head half or full marathon it’s February 8th at 8am. For late registration I actually think it’s a reasonable price as well. I’d love to see you there. Oh and there’s a race discount of 15% off using HH15

Disney World Half Marathon 2020

The Disney World Half Marathon 2020 would be the first race of my Goofy Challenge. I haven’t done the Goofy Challenge since 2015. Since then I’ve completed 3 Dopey Challenges. When doing Dopey the half is always the race that I struggle with the most, I wasn’t sure what the day would bring this year.

Given that they changed the course for the full, I was actually happy to be doing the course I was used to for the half, few minor tweaks didn’t make a huge difference for me.

Our group decided to dress up as Donald Duck as it is Donald’s race after all. I also was sure I wanted to be ready with costumes as soon as possible so began watching YouTube videos on how to make this costume.

Quick costume info. We got blue shirts or tanks, I hand sewed yellow felt for neckline and made bow out of felt using a YouTube video. It was so easy and I was so happy I was able to do (I’m not crafty) I offered to make for the group. Probably about 10 bows in all. We used blue berets we unfolded and sewed a piece of felt around headband and a black felt tail on hat. The gals wore white sparkle athletic skirts. Easy peasy. Any questions let me know I’d be happy to help.

Ok back to race day. We decided to get to race early to try and get some character photos. The Donald’s met up near the pop bus and headed to prerace area. We got some pics and even danced a little then hit the Porta potties and took the mile walk to start.

I had planned to run this race with Ray. And this day was his “special day” as we say. It would be his 50th half marathon. He has never run in costume and we have never run together so what could be more special than that?! Ok so we ran the Christmas story 10k as a practice run and knew our speed was comparable but would a half be different? I think we started out great. We discussed taking it easy knowing we had a full the next day and I never felt he was going too fast and I don’t think he felt that way either.

He has never stopped for character photos and I knew I’d want to stop for a couple if I really loved. We approached around 4 miles and a huge pace group was on my right and I noticed the Duffy Christmas bear out and I wanted to stop but couldn’t get over due to railing and the big pace group. This made me a bit sad but I had to keep going.

As we approached Magic Kingdom I was excited because we’d just make getting to the castle in the dark. Not always an easy feat. We enjoyed our moment through the castle and stopped for some great shots. After that I made sure I stopped for one of my traditional photos at the Liberty Bell.

Exiting the Magic Kingdom we made our way through “cone alley” and headed back to Epcot. Stopping several times for more characters. One of our favorites was in Mexico at Epcot.

Finally we made our way along the new ending of the course and approached the finish line. I was happy for Ray to reach his goal of finishing his 50th and had the honor of giving him his medal.

These medals are gorgeous!

I put together a video for him recapping his 50th. I’ll post link for that below

After the race we met up at the finish, while some enjoyed their post race beers. The rest of the day we spent relaxing by the pool getting ready for the full the next day!

Tim and I resting legs after getting locked out of room

Congrats to all the half marathon finishers! I want to give a shout out to my friend Holly for completing her first half marathon in Disney. And to Ray of course for completing his 50th!

Holly at her first disney run!
Congrats!!

Disney Marathon Weekend 2020- expo

The Disney marathon expo is always quite exciting. I flew into Orlando early Wednesday morning. The first day of the expo I could see lots of friends and posts on social media with people already in line and doing live videos. Since I’m not a huge fan of long lines and id not plan on buying lots of merchandise I knew I’d go Wednesday but not in a hurry to get there quick. I planned to go with my friend Ray who was running the Dopey Challenge, I was running the Goofy Challenge.

We arrived around 1:00pm and I knew first things first I needed to eat. I was starving, on the edge of getting hangry and knew it would be smart to do the expo on a full belly. This is a good tip and will make much more enjoyable.

I had met at wine and dine weekend and I also ran the Christmas story run with. He’s pretty laid back and thankfully goes with the flow of what I want to do. We ate at the espn zone. Food was just ok, and I think pricy for quick service but we felt much better after. Past two times I’ve gone here the service wasn’t so great but choices are limited there.

After that we picked up Ray’s packet for Dopey Challenge which was in a different area than the other races. Dopey shirt pickup was located in same building which was convention. We then got mine for Goofy Challenge. For Goofy you picked up packet but had to go into another building for race shirts. We tried on race shirts and right away I knew the small I preordered wouldn’t fit. No clue why I ordered a small but exchanged for a medium. I tried those on and they were skin tight. So had to exchange for a large. I’ve always ordered mediums in the past. I do know Rundisney has changed the brand of shirts so I blamed this on the size change instead of all the cookies I had over the holidays. Be sure to try on before leaving.

We browsed some of the vendors but we planned to be on a budget this trip so really didn’t find anything that caught our eyes enough to spend some money and eventually headed to the official merchandise building. They had some great photo ops here as well as some character photos but we both agreed we didn’t want to wait in line for that.

I liked many of the items but didn’t love them. Again being on budget I didn’t want to get sucked into buying something because I was caught in the moment. I thought hard about the items I may be interested in. I really liked the race jacket but me and white fabric don’t go well together so I put it back. Ray and I did a good job of keeping the other on budget. Great teamwork. I ended up buying only one thing. A race magnet. This felt like such a success to me! I stuck to budget which makes me feel a little less guilty about doing the Star Wars Half in April. 8.00 total!!

So to others this expo may be a fail but a huge success for me. On the way out we made sure to stop for photos at the banners (a tradition) and headed out. I’m happy we went later and kept it stress free. Which was the ultimate goal for me.

By the time we got back to resort it was getting close to dinner time. We decided to eat at the quick service and planned to watch fireworks from the Top of the World Lounge. We invited some other friends, Tim, Stefan and Josh to join. It was great to see everyone and watch the beautiful fireworks from way up there.

Great way to end the night

Merry Christmas to Me!!

We have a small town outside of Buffalo NY called East Aurora. As a family, we like to visit East Aurora for it’s small town vibe, cute photo ops, little shops and usually for lunch at one of their restaurants a few times a year. This little town is so picturesque it’s even been used in Hallmark Christmas movies.

It’s tradition we take a pic in front of this fence when visiting

One of my favorite shops in East Aurora is Beulah’s General Store. It’s a cute little shop that sells all sorts of great unique items, from jewelry, socks, clothing, baby and household items. I always make sure I stop at this store when we visit. I also follow them on Instagram and saw them advertising a shirt I just HAD to have. It said “Living my Best Buffalo Life”. As someone so proud of my hometown I knew this would be a shirt I’d wear often.

I didn’t hear anything and was just enjoying the holidays, then on Christmas Eve I received a message I had won!!! 250.00 to use in this little shop I love so much. Merry Christmas to me!

I planned to go get the shirt when I noticed a contest. Used the hashtag #Livingmybestbuffalolife and you can win a $250 gift certificate for the shop. So I got the shirt and wore it for the Buffalo Turkey Trot and wore it to North Park theater when we saw “It’s a Wonderful Life”.

I just thought I’d share my excitement and urge you to enter those contests we often see online and as always support your local small businesses. AND if you’re ever in Buffalo take a few hours to visit East Aurora. And if you’re ever in East Aurora cost Beulah’s General Store

http://beulahsgeneralstore.com/

A Christmas Story Run 2019 Recap

Merry Christmas!!!

This is my fourth year doing the Christmas Story Run and this is still one of my favorite races. Each year we add a few more friends or family members to our party and it’s becoming such a fun holiday tradition.

We drove down to Cleveland from Buffalo. It’s about a 3 hour drive. We needed to take 2 cars this year. Included was my family of five, my mom, my cousin shannon and her daughter Ashley. We planned to meet other friends at our hotel once we got there. We all decided to go to lunch at the Winking Lizard which we all enjoyed.

Stephen who got there first picked up all of our race packets for all of us. This was super convenient and makes things easier for those of us traveling in for the weekend.

We had plans to hang at hotel and swim and enjoy the hot tub Friday night but that plan got changed when the hotel hot tub was broke. I could swim a bit but once cold I’m out.

The kids wanted to relax Friday in the hotel room, I decided to go with my mom, my friends Maria and Ray to downtown Cleveland to see the Christmas lights. They have an ice rink there and a great Christmas lights display. It was beautiful.

Saturday we woke up around 6:30 to get ready for the run. I was so excited all three of my sons were running this race. My husband decided to stand at finish to cheer those of us doing the 10k. I ran with Ray since we plan on doing the Disney Marathon and thought it would be smart to see if our speeds were compatible.

After meeting up with other friends from JoyfulMiles we got a group photo quick then headed to the start line. They had the movie playing on the big screen as well as a huge inflatable leg lamp from the movie. Christmas music was playing and it was such a fun holiday vibe. And soon we were off.

We slowly made our way over the bridge into the portion of Cleveland where the Christmas story house was located. This was the end point for the 5k. Those doing the 5k stopped here and could take busses back to the start. Since I was doing the 10k I kept going and made my back downtown. One of my favorite parts of the course is seeing the Cleveland sign with the beautiful view in the background. They had a great band playing Christmas music near there.

After that we ran back over the bridge and approached the finish line. We finally got our shiny bling with some great finish line photos.

With entry to this race you get free admission to the Christmas Story House (where the movie was filmed) and the museum. We went back to the hotel and showered and packed and went there later in the day. It can get quite crowded right after the race so if you are able to wait a bit I recommend doing that.

This is such a fun little getaway for the family and gets us all in the holiday spirit. I love my whole family can do this race. It can be competitive or casual. My mom who’s older walked it. So I’d def add this one to your race list.

Also if you’re interested in seeing my video recap you can find on YouTube at Joyfulmile Christmas Story Run https://youtu.be/RVqSlqVPjbk

Buffalo Turkey Trot 2019 race recap

I’m quite sure this is my 5th year running the Buffalo Turkey Trot. Funny how your forget how many times you do a certain race. This is a 5miler that starts in North Buffalo and ends at the Convention Center Dowtown. This is the 124th annual turkey trot, since 1896!!

I was on the fence about doing since it tires me out and sometimes leaves me exhausted for the rest of Thanksgiving but I caved based on it’s now a tradition.

Last year it was about 5 degrees and they traumatized me. Luckily it was 30’s this year “Heatwave”!! I planned to run with my cousin Shannon but sadly she had to back out due to my Uncle being sick and in the hospital. Race morning I asked my 16 year old son to do and he reluctantly agreed. He’s not a runner.

Joey and I got to race start area and met up with a group of friends. I met a local girl back in November at Disney’s Wine and Dine named Courtney. Courtney and I planned to meet up and say hello before the race but ended up running the whole race together. We had very similar race paces. My son Joey took off ahead of me.

This race is always fun as there is so many people I’m crazy fun costumes and lots of crowd support.

We got to the finish only to find my non runner son beat my time by about 10 minutes. I was very proud and hope he’ll do next year! Thank you Courtney for being such a great running mate

Aftershokz Aeropex

“Disclaimer: I received a pair of Aftershokz to review as part of being a BibRavePro. Learn more about becoming a BibRavePro (ambassador) and check out BibRave.com to review, find and write reviews!

As someone who has had a pair of the Aftershokz Trekz Air headphones I’ve been very happy with them. However I was given an option to test the Aftershokz Aeropex as part of their Give Good Vibes Black Friday promotion.

The headphones came in a colorful box and I couldn’t wait to open them.

Once I opened the contents were arraigned in such a cute way. Including the Aeropex headphones and a pair of AftershokZ Titanium’s to give away.

I immediately charged them. I noticed the charging cord on the new Aeropex is different than the universal charging cord that comes with the Trekz Air. It has a magnetic component that attaches cord to charging unit. I wonder if this is what makes them a bit more water resistant. But also concerns me because if you ever forget your charger it’ll be hard to find one that works. It does come with two chargers which is nice.

I wore my new Aeropex for the first time during a 17mile training run. They felt so light I never even noticed they were on except for the great sound. I began my run at 4am do I love the fact I can listen to podcasts and music and still be aware of my surroundings, especially as the rest of the town was waking and cars began to fill the streets. I feel more alert and aware of my surroundings without sacrifices some entertainment on this 3.5 hour run.

When I got home I checked the battery life and it was at medium which is great for such a long run. While I was so happy with the Trekz Airs I think the Aeropex is a nice upgrade and if you can afford I think you’d be happy with as well. They really felt lighter and head a better fit on my head. But overall I am happy with both! I truly love this brand!

Yoga, Yay or Nay?

As someone who’s been running races for about 7 years I’ve been told countless times that yoga is good for runners. Yet why do I never do it?

To be honest it seems boring. I don’t think I can stand being quiet that long and if I’m going to take an hour of my day to workout I want to do something that interests me more (running, strength training ect)

But since joining the BAC for women (Buffalo Athletic Club) I’ve been trying to force myself to try different classes. Yesterday I did a long run of 15 miles so I knew I didn’t want to do something not too intense to give my joint some recovery. Yes I could’ve totally taken the day off completely but I didn’t have work, kids were at school and I was bored so I decided to try a yoga class.

I was pleasantly surprised with how much I enjoyed. My muscles and ligaments were really tight from the long run and it felt so good to stretch. I often neglect proper stretch and this forces me to really take the time to focus on this. The instructor had a few challenging poses but as soon as I was getting bored she’d switch it up. There were a few moments I was even breaking a sweat. But it wasn’t too crazy for this inflexible gal.

I’m really happy I tried this and think I’ll try to do at-least once a week. I guess the lesson is to try again even if it wasn’t best experience in the past and if you belong to a gym that has a variety of classes try different types. They may be beneficial to us as runners.

Are you a fan of yoga? Do you prefer at home or in a group setting? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic

Trying Out Some New Cold Weather Gear-Turtle Gloves

“Disclaimer: I received a pair of Turtle Gloves to review as part of being a BibRavePro. Learn more about becoming a BibRavePro (ambassador) and check out BibRave.com to review, find and write reviews!

You have probably figured out from the name of my blog I’m from Buffalo, NY. Buffalo is notorious for it’s cold snowy weather. As wintry weather approaches I’ll admit I’m struggling to get outside and get my runs in. But recently I read a saying that is known in Norway “there’s no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing.”

So when I got a chance to test out a new pair of gloves by Turtle Gloves I jumped on the opportunity. The only way I’m going to get my butt out there in this frozen tundra is to be dressed and prepared for it.


My new turtle gloves

This morning I woke at 4:30 am to get ready for my long run. I planned to run 15miles and bundled up for it since it was about 31 degrees outside. There was no wind out but it was def cold. I was ready to test my turtle gloves.


I was happy to have my hands completely covered the first few miles but then my hands warmed up. I loved the option of being able to flip the tip of mitten over exposing my finger tips and letting some air in. The finger covering part of mitten is a bit long so when I flipped over I actually hand to fold over even more exposing more of my band. While appreciate having my forearms covered more than traditional gloves I will say it made looking at my Garmin difficult. Would be cool if there was a little slit to see watch or perhaps in future I’ll perhaps put watch over the glove near wrist.

The fabric choice kept my hands warm however it was still light weight. The fabric actually got a bit damp due to my hands sweating but dried quickly.

I will continue to use these gloves for long runs because I like the option of keeping hands covered or exposing my fingers and being able to touch screen on my phone. Those touch screen gloves don’t work too well for me. This is a better option. Though I wish they were a bit smaller in the finger tip area so I didn’t have to take time to flip over twice and maybe looked a little less bulky.

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