Training Update #1 for the Eugene Half Marathon

Since I am generally terrible at starting things on Mondays, I will measure from Wednesday to Tuesday… I know. Sorry!

Wednesday 

With the race only about 11 weeks away, I knew that I really needed to get on the ball. You can check out my previous post about my training plan, but for today I had a usual scheduled run for 30 minutes. For this run, I tend to just go to the gym to get it done on the dreadmill after work.

I am trying to do more of a warm up right now, so I did about five minutes of dynamic stretches and then five minutes of a brisk walk before getting into my 4:1 run to walking ratio. This was the first time I shortened the ratio. I used to do 4 minutes of running and then 1 minute of walking. For this one I started doing 1 minutes of running and 15 seconds of walking. I found that this made the running more manageable and allowed me to catch my breath a bit better. I will be playing around with this, but for now I really like it.

Thursday

On Thursday I worked until about 9:30, which meant that I was definitely unmotivated to head to the gym. Instead, we just had dinner and went for a walk later on. On days like this, I really want to try doing more youtube workouts from blogilates or another fitness guru. We will see how that goes…

Friday

Fridays tend to be my days off, so I went to volunteer in the morning and then headed to the gym after dropping Andy off at a Tennis game. I did another 5 minutes of dynamic stretching, 5 minutes of a brisk walk and then started in on another 30 minute run. I did the same 4:1 interval doing one minute of running to fifteen seconds of walking. I felt a lot better after this run than I did on Wednesday, so that was great!

I was also super proud of myself for going to the gym independently. Usually Andy is my main motivator, so it was pretty great that I pushed myself to go it alone.

Saturday

I worked on Saturday but, again, headed to the gym solo to do some strength training. Right now, my “strength training” is a little pathetic, but I am getting there. I am trying to get down a more organized routine to work on my hips, IT band and knees to help protect them for running. In the past I have had some pain with my IT band, so I really try to do strengthening exercises and stretches to help it out and prevent it  this time around.

I still need to do more core workouts, but for now, this was okay…

Sunday

Long Run Day!! Finally my first long run in a while. That said, the planned “long run” for today was relatively short. We are starting slow and building up, so our first run was three miles plus 1 mile of warm up and cool down. It was pouring rain all day on Sunday, so we ended up just doing it at the gym, so no fun photos, but it was good for keeping my pace consistent.

marathon-starting-line

Monday

Someone had a really bad case of the Mondays….and that person would be me. Had a super long day at work again, so I didn’t go to the gym. Instead I just got more and more stiff as the day went on. Oops.

Tuesday

Tuesday was a good 30 minute run with some core exercises. I am beginning to think that it will never be sunny again though. This is apparently going to the the rainiest February in modern history for our area, which is already really rainy. As of today we will have had 10 inches this month and it is still going. That said, we definitely ran indoors for this.

 

Hawaii Trip Planning 101: How to Save on Booking at Disney’s Aulani Resort

From the moment I found out that Disney was building Aulani, I have wanted to go there. Now, it has definitely been a while since then, but I have finally booked my trip! I wanted to put out a few suggestions, if, like me, you find the cost of rooms prohibitive.

If you look online, even the discounted Aulani rooms are quite expensive. Let alone the summer prices: $640 for a standard view hotel room. Because of that, we decided to do something a little different with our booking.

Now, I am not a fan of time-shares, that said, I am beginning to be a fan of renting the points from them. Disney has its own time-share like program called Disney Vacation Club. People buy into the DVC and get a certain allotment of points based off of what they pay. If they can’t use the points, they then may try to rent them out to other people, which means that you can get reservations at really nice Disney resorts for huge discounts.

14927699722_a7a20a86bf_z.jpg

Aulani Lobby Entrance (Photo Credit: James Armstrong)

If we booked our room just through the Disney website we would be paying $936 a night. Through the DVC option we ended up only paying $405 per night. Now, these still aren’t cheap, but it is definitely a huge discount!

The tricky thing about the points is that you have to book really far in advance. We booked the room relatively late in the process and that was still 7 months out. Really, we should have booked about 11 months out if possible. You may also want to go through a broker like we did, because otherwise you are really just relying on an individual to uphold the agreement that you made.

6173088932_03ca2fec10_z

Pool View (Photo Credit: Glennia)

We went through David’s Vacation Rentals and had a really good experience with them. They couldn’t get our original request, but worked with us to find something that would fit. Within about a week, they had secured the points and the reservation that we needed.

Of course, we haven’t actually gone on the vacation yet, but so far things seem to have worked out pretty well. Definitely let me know if you have experience with renting DVC points or if you have more questions about this. If it does work out this time around, we will definitely be using them again to stay at Animal Kingdom Lodge on our next trip to Walt Disney World.

Featured Image Photo Credit: Glennia

How Much Does the Disneyland Annual Pass Save You?

I will start by saying that I am definitely not the most logical person. For as long as I have been a hard-core Disney fan, I have wanted an annual pass.

The main reason why I have been unable to get one in the past: we live 16 hours by car to Disneyland.

If we were any closer, we would have one every year, but since that isn’t the case, we have waited and waited and waited until the time has been right. Luckily for me, this year the time was right!

Now, I will tell you a little secret… I didn’t care how much the pass was going to save me. I really just LOVED the idea of being able to go to Disneyland at any time. Luckily this year, based off of our schedule we were planning at least three trips to the park. Once we started using the passes though, the savings did seem to add up.

IMG_3094

Now down to the nitty gritty:

We purchased the Disney Signature Passport, which as long as you aren’t planning on being in Disneyland during the two weeks covering Christmas and New Year’s (which you REALLY shouldn’t) then this is the one to go for.

It will give you entrance to both parks on every other day of the year except for the two weeks listed before. Plus, the pass will give you 15% off of select dining and 20% off of select merchandise.

The dining applies to full meals rather than snack stands. You can check in with the restaurants to see which will take the annual pass discount. As for merchandise, I haven’t really found something that wasn’t covered with the 20% discount.

img_0754

When we bought the pass we spent $849 per person.

With our three trips we would have spent (1 five-day park-hopper pass, 2 three-day park-hopper passes and 1 one-day park hopper pass) $1145 per person.

Unfortunately, I didn’t keep track of our first trip, and we haven’t had one of our three-day trips, but I did manage to keep an account of what we saved on our five day trip. Based off of both food and merchandise purchased over the trip for six people, we saved close to $450.

All told, we managed to save $1,042 for our purchase savings and tickets for two people.

IMG_3053

This certainly isn’t an option for everyone, but even if only one person in your group gets an annual pass, you can still use the pass to get discounts on everything for the group. It is definitely something to keep in mind if you are planning an extended trip to Disneyland with a family.

Will we buy it again this year? Probably not, since we have a lot of other trips planned this year not to the parks. Would we ever get it again? Definitely!

Feel free to let me know if you have any other questions about annual passes down in the comments and I will try to answer them!

 

 

December Disneyland Trip 2016: Day 1 and a run in with John Lasseter!!

It is extremely difficult not to visit Disneyland during holiday time, because the decorations, entertainment, and food is so festive and exciting. This year, we went with Andy’s parents and my mom and brother. I am alway leery of traveling with a lot of people to Disneyland mainly because it can lead to extra stress about who wants to do what. This time though the traveling group was so much fun and we planned a lot beforehand to make sure that it would work out with a larger group.

I would definitely suggest that if you go with a group that is larger than four people to really plan ahead. I will be writing up some posts about planning for larger groups, but for now, I will dive into what we got up to on our first day.

We flew to the Anaheim airport early in the morning and stepped foot in Disneyland by 10:00! Our first stop was Fantasyland and who did I randomly see walk past me with a Plaid   in tow… JOHN LASSETER!!

img_4756-2

That was certainly a great start to our trip!

We then went to ride Peter Pan’s Flight, Dumbo, Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, and Snow White before heading over to the Disneyland Hotel for their Holiday High Tea.

I desperately wanted to go to the high tea at the Disneyland Hotel ever since they first mentioned it. I build it up in my head as the best experience that I would have at Disneyland…and is so was!

If you are a tea fan, you have to do this. It was so tranquil and relaxing to sit down to a quiet tea time after spending the morning in a noisy park. Not to mention the food. The food and tea was delicious and definitely covered enough for two meals for how much food there was. Do not just go there thinking it will be a snack.

I could go on, but we actually made a video about the first day that includes the tea, so if you are curious definitely check it out below! I you are interested in doing tea at the Disneyland Hotel plan ahead and reserve a table at as soon as you can make reservations. Also keep in mind that tea takes about two to three hours and will only be held on  Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays.

Also: Sorry about the screen capture for the video. My darling partner chose the picture, so naturally it has me looking completely ridiculous… I wish I could say that wasn’t my natural pose, but lets be real.

 

Training Plan for the Eugene Half Marathon

Part of also being back blogging is that I really need to get back on the ball in order to train for the Eugene Half Marathon. A long time ago, Andy and I registered for the half marathon and then promptly forgot that we registered! Oops!

We wanted to do it again, because it was super fun the first time, even though I hit a wall.
Eugene is a wonderful place to run, and the whole city comes out to cheer the runners on. We also thought that the timing would fit perfectly with our training for summiting Mauna Loa.

img_4295

I created a training plan for us and put it on the calendar, the only problem is that we never actually started following the plan! Now, we are about 11 weeks out from the race and need to get our butts in gear.

We are semi-following (that is definitely not really a word, but go with me) Jeff Galloway’s run-walk-run method with a few changes to the planned long runs, mainly because we have managed to skip about seven of our planned long runs already. *Definitely do NOT do this at home…

Luckily we have been staying active and running or hiking, but we haven’t been running much over three miles.

img_1121

Since we are getting such a late start to it, we are planning to take it a bit easier this time around rather than trying to get a PR. We will be using a 4:1 interval where we run for one minute and walk for 15 seconds.

We will still be starting slowly with a three mile long run and will gradually build to a little over 13 miles before tapering down before the race. We are planning on increasing our weekly mileage by no more than 20% each week, so hopefully that will help us to prevent any overuse injuries.

I wish that we could follow one of Jeff Galloway’s full 18 to 20 week plans, because we have loved them in the past, but this will have to do. If you are interested in checking them out just go to the Run Disney site or his own website to download a free plan.

I will try to keep things updated here as to how the training is going…

 

 

…and I’m back…

Okay, so it has definitely been a while since I last posted, but I am back on it again. There are so many reasons to start up, but the main one is that I have a ton of really exciting adventures planned in the next year, and really want to have some cool posts and pictures to look back at.

Here are just a few things that will be coming up:

  1. Eugene Half-Marathon

IMG_1980

2. Hikes Galore in preparation for…Hiking Mauna Loa!!

20130113_gerad_dean_mauna_loa_960

3. Ten Days in Hawaii (including a 4 day stay at Disney’s Aulani)

5642318729_01beed7882_z

Photo Credit: Joel

 

4. Disneyland Trips (at least two coming up)

IMG_3009

5. Two more road trips (Ashland, OR and Florence, OR)

and much, much more…

Here is to some pretty exciting things coming up! In the meantime, I will also be posting some previous adventures at Disneyland and some hikes that we did while I wasn’t posting. I am also planning on talking a bit more about how we felt about our first year as Disneyland annual passholders.

I will leave you with a video from one of our most recent adventures in the snow!

 

Unburying a 10-Year-Old Time Capsule!

The day after my friends and I graduated from high school we buried a time capsule and then promptly forgot that we ever did it. It wasn’t until late June that I got an email in my inbox inviting me to “unearth” a time capsule. I was extremely excited to see what our high school selves could have put in.

The event of unearthing the time capsule turned into a mini reunion with close family and friends from that time, which was probably more valuable and interesting than what was actually in our buried box. That said, we had to know what we put in there!

More than half the battle was figuring out exactly where we buried it… The video below captures the momentous occasion! I can’t wait to see what we find in another ten years.