Apr 30, 2014

Posted by Jo W. in , | 4/30/2014
The Journey

I haven't written much about the journey I am taking this summer, but I am embarking on a trip of a lifetime in only one, short month. Starting June 1st, I am cycling from Baltimore, MD to Portland, OR with a team of 29 college-aged riders to support young adults with cancer. We will be riding 70 days and arriving in Portland on August 9th. This ride is organized annually by the incredible organization, 4K for Cancer, and each year we are growing to include more teams and get more people involved. There is even a running team that is going from San Francisco to Baltimore!

Our mission is to get passionate young adults involved in the fight for cancer through community service and support.

The Route itself is a work in progress, and each leg leader will be deciding the safest roads to take during the trip. The cities we will be riding through have been decided, since we need to contact host families, churches, community centers, etc. to ensure we have a place to stay.

Throughout the trip, we will have service days where we visit cancer patients, deliver chemo care packages, award scholarships, and share our stories. In total, we will have 10 service/rest days and 60 riding days.

I am incredibly excited to be able to tour this beautiful country at the pace of a bicycle. There are a few cities that I've visited or have lived in (Idaho Falls), but so many more that I've never been to. We are going to be relying on the kindness of strangers for a roof over our heads, a floor to sleep on, and all the food we will be eating. Almost everything we need will count on donations! We will meet a lot of generous and kind-hearted people from all over the country and listen to their incredible stories about battling cancer.

How you can help

If I am riding through your hometown and you are interested in learning more about the 4K, I would love to meet you! Please let me know and I can pass along information about the events that we will host in different cities. Even knowing that I am passing through a reader's hometown will bring a smile to my face :)

Riding 70 days across the country is no doubt going to be physically and mentally strenuous. Words of encouragement and positive vibes will help me tackle those rough days (climbing the Rockies, hello!). I will try to be blogging on the road, posting brief updates and pics when I can, and writing longer posts on rest days. There will also be mail drops along the road, so even a brief note of encouragement will make me super happy! I will share the addresses for the mail drops once I get more details on that.

All the participants in the 4K for Cancer this year are incredible, and we've already raised over $700,000. A large percent of that goes directly to patient support services (over 80%), so we are really making a big difference! Each participant is required to raise a minimum of $4500 before the start of the trip, and a lot of riders have already exceeded that goal. I am still seeking donations to meet the fast-coming deadline, so if you are able to make a tax-deductible contribution, it would help me tremendously. No donation is too small (or too large!)

Click to view my fundraising page

Am I riding through your hometown? 

Apr 29, 2014

Posted by Jo W. in , | 4/29/2014
Last Sunday, I ran my goal race for the season and did spectacular in running a PR in the 10K. I also found out yesterday that I got 2nd place in my age division (18-24). I think I win a $35 gift certificate, which is about how much I paid for the race registration. Haha, that's funny to think that I earned that back. I don't care about the prize, but I'm just kind of in disbelief that I actually won something in a running race. I have only gotten a lot faster recently since focusing on 10K training this spring, so I'm still kind of absorbing the fact that I am relatively fast runner. I guess I'm living up to my blog name, eh?

After finishing a big running goal, I always feel a bit at a loss as to what my next move will be. I felt the same way after the Marine Corps Marathon last fall when I didn't have my next goal race to train for. There are no running races on the calendar, and I know that I probably won't run at all this summer as I am biking across the country. After this summer, I will be moving to Boston to start dental school, where I will be Busy with a capital B. I'm not sure whether I have time to run, let alone train for a race. So my running future is a bit uncertain. I will dearly miss running this summer, but that's okay, because I love cycling equally as much!

Right now, I am working on becoming a stronger cyclist. I've been toying with the idea of racing for a while, now, and I have always wanted to try it. The race I am targeting is a road race, and it's two 22 mile laps. I'm not confident in racing a criterium, where racers go around a much shorter loop (about 1 mile) for a certain amount of time or laps. Crits require a lot more technical skills, power, and knowledge to read the race, which I don't have. Maybe after I have a few more years of cycling experience, I'll give it a try.

Here's a roundup of goals from last week, and my goals for this week.

Road Runner Girl

Goals from last week:

1. Prepare for my charity yard sale/bake sale- I sold quite a few items and made a few hundred dollars. Overall, I would say this was pretty successful, though I wish I could have gotten rid of more stuff. The baked goods didn't sell as well as I would have liked, too. Oh well, more cookies for me.

2. Do two quality runs- I reached this goal about 30% of the way... only did one run last week, and that was kind of a fail. Was planning on doing 8ish miles at slightly slower than race pace, but I went out way too fast, was dehydrated, and underfueled. I also opted to go for a training ride instead of running a second time.

3. PR in the 10K- Done. I ran hard and gave it my all. Shaved almost 4 whole minutes off my 10K time and won 2nd place in my division. Read my race recap here.

4. Go to yoga class three times- Reached this goal by going to yoga class on Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday.

This week's goals:

1. Find an apartment- not fitness related, but I really need to find an apartment by the end of May. I am moving to Boston in August, and I need to secure a place before I head off across the country in June. So this is my top goal right now.

2. Go on a group training ride- Last week, I went on a group training ride with a local bike club and it went great! If I am going to do my first road race in May, I need to practice riding in a group more. The training rides are great for me to practice pace lining and staying out of the wind. These people go FAST, and it's great to challenge myself to become a stronger rider.

3. Run at least once- Although running is taking a backseat in terms of training, I still love it and can't bear the thought of not running anymore. Cycling is my main focus right now, but I will still run to crosstrain.

4. Run some trails- Every time I go for a trail run (which is rarely), I tell myself that I should do it more often. Well, I don't listen to myself most of the time, so I haven't gone trail running all that much. Now that spring is in full bloom, it will be beautiful to run in the forest.

5. Go to yoga three times- I have been consistently going to yoga classes for the past month, and I am going to buy another unlimited month class pass. I only have one month left before I leave, so I'm going to make the most of it!

What goals are you focusing on this week?

Apr 28, 2014

Posted by Jo W. in , | 4/28/2014
This Weekend Eats doesn't sound so healthy, does it? Let's start with this huge batch of cookies I made on Friday to sell at my charity yard sale. I made about 7 dozen sugar and chocolate chip cookies. I still have some left over, since they didn't sell very well.

After baking cookies in the morning, I went to yoga and was running errands, so I didn't get to eat lunch until 2pm. A great way to spend over $10 on salad is to hit up the Whole Foods salad bar when you're really hungry.

Since I had my Pikes Peek 10K race on Sunday, I ate my traditional pre-race pasta dinner on Saturday. I always eat pasta before a race, regardless of whether I need it because it's tradition. My brother, cousin, and I went to Buca di Beppo. We made the mistake of ordering only a small seafood pasta and small eggplant parmesan. All three of us can put away a ton of food, and we demolished ALL of it. Plus two bread baskets. And only one of us was racing the next day!

Monday was my brother's birthday, so I spent the day making him a carrot cake that he requested. I frosted it with cream cheese frosting and decorated with buttercream frosting.

For his birthday dinner, the family went out to celebrate at a steakhouse. We started with a basket of freshly baked bread, fried shrimp, and parmesan asparagus for appetizers.


I got a 16 oz T-bone steak, medium rare. Only ate about half it and most of the baked potato. I like steak on occasion, but I'm not a huge fan of eating huge slabs of meat. This will go on top of a salad for lunch tomorrow :)

Dessert was the birthday cake, even though we got free dessert at the restaurant. There's also about 3/4 of the cake left, as well as leftover cookies from the yard sale. So many sweets! Send help.

What was the best thing you ate this weekend?

Do you usually go out to eat for birthdays? What is your favorite birthday meal?

Posted by Jo W. in | 4/28/2014
Last Sunday, I came back from a week-long vacation in Disney World. During vacation, I indulged to my heart's content, but stayed active by walking around all day and doing three runs. I had a great time and it was totally worth it ;) When I got back, I used this week to tune up for my Sunday 10K race. I was planning on running at least twice, but that didn't happen. Instead, I felt like training on the bike. I cycled 26.2 miles on Marathon Monday, because I'm a dork. On Wednesday, I went with a local bike club for a training ride. It was pretty hilly, with about 1000 ft of elevation gain. I felt strong on those hills, and had a great ride.

On Sunday, my legs were feeling rested and ready to race! My head was in the game, and I had a great race. I must have done something right with my training, even though it's been pretty lax, lately. Check out my race recap here.
This pic makes me LOL

Monday- cycling 26.2 miles, avg 17.9 mph

Tuesday- running 6.2 miles with walking breaks, avg 7:22 pace for the run

Wednesday- 60 minutes hot yoga

Thursday- cycling 25 miles, hilly group ride, avg 19.3 mph

Friday- 60 minutes vinyasa yoga

Saturday- rest

Sunday- 10K Pike's Peak race , avg 6:59 pace
               90 minutes Yin/Yang yoga


Running- 12.4 mi

Cycling- 51.2 mi

Now that this season's goal race for running is over, I am considering entering in my first cycling road race. I am still pretty new to cycling, but have made significant improvements since the fall season. There are a lot of skills I need to work on, and racing a bike is a whole different beast. I am learning, and though I feel far from confident in racing, I may just do it.

How did your training go this week? What was your best workout?

Any cyclists who can give me racing tips?

Apr 27, 2014

Posted by Jo W. in , , | 4/27/2014
I've never been very fond of shorter-distance races. I am an endurance runner, and I do better the longer the race is. I usually really get into the groove at about mile 6, and the more miles that pass, the stronger I feel. Sprinting and running above my VO2 max is not my thing because it hurts. The lung-searing, lactic acid burning, and gasping-for-breath pain really scares me. Which is why I chose to focus on my nemesis, the 10K distance, this spring. The Pike's Peak 10K on April 27th, 2014 would be my goal race.

If you know how I train, I tend to not follow a specific training plan. The workouts I do are usually decided as I am heading out the door. Sometimes, I'll have a vague goal for the week, such as running a tempo and an interval workout. But my "training plan" is a plan in the loosest sense of the word. 

I have changed the way I've been running, though. When you're training for endurance, it's important to get those "easy" miles in to acclimate to the high mileage. Ever since I finished marathon training back in October, I have been pushing the pace of most of my runs. I needed to decrease my mileage since I had a few niggles to deal with, so my plan was to run less, but run faster.

My runs for the past few months have been significantly shorter, but I would run in such a way that I was pushing the limits of my comfort zone. Sometimes, I greatly exceeded it, and had to walk. My mind would tell me to quit, but each run trained me to ignore that voice for a little bit longer. 

I had no doubt in my mind that I would PR this race. In the days leading up to it, some negatives thoughts did creep into my mind, like did I do all that I could have to train? Maybe I should have done more structured speed work. I'm scared of racing my heart out because I know it will hurt. The other part of my mind told those doubts to shut the fuck up and just run. Hard. Who cares how bad it will hurt, it's only 40 or so minutes of pain. 

So I toed the starting line ready. Ready to run my best. Ready for the pain and to work through it. I had a goal. I wanted to run a sub-46 minute 10K, making my goal pace 7:22 minutes per mile.

Ready to race!
I am terrible at estimating my race pace. Or more accurately, I am terrible at estimating my ability. There are a few factors that I neglected to take into account: #1 is that I underestimated the 190 ft elevation drop (making it a great PR course) and how that would affect my time. #2 is the fitness I've gained from the cycling I've been doing recently. I was worried that I've been slacking on the running-specific training these past two weeks, with my Disney vacation and all. But all that worry was unfounded.

I got up 15 minutes before my 6 am alarm clock and had my usual extra-large mug of coffee and bowl of oatmeal with egg whites, chia, coconut, cranberries, dates, and almond milk. I also had half a Clif Builder's protein bar and a bite of a fig bar right before the race. My brother and cousin came with me to spectate, and we got to the starting line 30 minutes before the race start. The weather was a bit chilly, albeit perfect racing weather. I like to start a bit cold and then warm up, instead of getting over heated. Those arm warmers came off before the race, which was a good decision.

The race had a wave start, and I was in the 1st wave, which included everyone running under an 8:00 pace. There were pacers, and I lined myself in the vicinity of the 45 minute pacer. I wasn't planning on following him, though. The race has only one turn, at the very beginning, and then it's a straight shot down to the finish. Although there is that 190 ft elevation drop, there are still a few uphill sections. According to my Garmin, I gained 72 ft.

Here's how my splits went down:

1- 6:37
2- 6:53
3- 6:56
4- 7:05
5- 7:10
6- 7:23
6.2- 6:28

Sprinting to the finish
I crossed the finish line at 43:38 minutes, averaging 7:01 min/mi.

Why I still doubt myself sometimes, I'm not sure. I beat my previous PR of 47:32 by almost 4 minutes! I need to learn to believe in myself. Believe that I am a fast runner and that I can push myself to become better and better.

I am still a work in progress and I still have a lot of room to improve. One thing to work on from this race (and my previous 10Ks) is to run even splits. I tend to start too fast because I am afraid of not making my goal pace, and then fade near the end. It's so easy to get caught up in the crowd at the beginning. I really wanted to run even splits this race, but seeing my first two miles were well under 7:00, it was very difficult to maintain that, especially when I hit the uphill sections. So pacing

For now, I don't have any other running races on the calendar. This race went swimmingly, and I am satisfied with the outcome of my training this season. In the next month, I am switching my focus to cycling as I prepare for my cross-country bike ride, and possibly my first cycling road race in May. So stay tuned for more about that!

Apr 26, 2014

Posted by Jo W. in , , | 4/26/2014
Don't these lovely lemon cookies remind you of spring? They have a bright citrus flavor with a rich, buttery coconut scent. The tops of the cookies get rolled in coconut flakes, which get lightly toasted as they bake. Don't like coconut? If you just want to make lemon sugar cookies, simply omit the coconut.

Lemon Coconut Cookies

1 stick butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
2 tsp lemon zest
4 Tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt
1 2/3 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
2/3 cup unsweetened coconut flakes

Preheat oven to 375 F

In a large mixing bowl, use an electric beater or mixing spoon to cream together the butter and sugar until smooth Add the egg, lemon zest, juice, and salt and mix thoroughly to combine. (Tip: using a food processor for these two steps is a lot easier) 

In another large mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and 1/3 cup coconut flakes. Add the butter mixture and mix until a stiff cookie dough forms.  Use a rounded tablespoon or cookie dough scoop to portion out dough into balls. Place the rest of the coconut flakes onto a small plate, and gently press one side of the dough balls to coat. Place cookie dough onto greased baking sheets, coconut-coated side up, about 2 inches apart. 

Bake for 7 minutes, or until the edges look very lightly browned. Cool completely on the baking sheets.


Apr 25, 2014

Posted by Jo W. in , | 4/25/2014
Today I want to share with you the staple foods in my diet that I eat almost every day. You will find at least a few of these items in my grocery cart. I try to stick with whole foods because I believe that a varied diet consisting of mostly whole foods can provide all the nutrients the body needs. Since I am very active, I focus on getting enough protein and superfoods (foods with high nutrient density and antioxidants). Carbs are also my best friends, and I tend to eat a lot in the form of oatmeal, bread (preferably whole grain), and fruits.

To read more about the way I eat, check out my Food Philosophy here. Remember, what works for me might not work for everyone.

Peanut Butter

What would I do without my peanut butter? I eat a lot of PB, multiple times a day sometimes! My favorite way to eat it is slathered over toast and topped with sliced banana or raspberry jam (with seeds). PB&J is my go-to snack when I'm a bit hungry, and the healthy fats and proteins help satisfy my runger (running-induced hunger). I also sometimes add a spoonful into my oatmeal or green smoothie.

Egg Whites

I eat egg whites to add some protein to my usually carb-heavy breakfasts. I add a 1/4 cup to my oatmeal, stirring it in about 40 seconds before it's done cooking in the microwave. It makes the oatmeal fluffy and thick. I also sometimes use egg whites when I'm making French toast.


I tend to eat a lot of oatmeal for breakfast in the colder months. I like my oatmeal on the runnier side, and I always prepare it with water, cinnamon, a pinch of salt, egg whites, and topped with almond milk and sliced banana. When it's warmer, I prepare muesli, and soak my oatmeal in almond milk the night before, and


I used to eat a lot of Greek yogurt, but I've switched to this lactose-free yogurt since dairy seems to be giving me issues. I really like this yogurt because since it's treated with lactase, the enzyme that I'm apparently lacking, the lactose sugars are broken down into galactose and glucose (sugar our taste buds detect as sweet), which makes the yogurt taste sweeter without added sugars. I usually have a bowl of yogurt topped with frozen berries and granola for a post-workout snack.


Blueberries are rich in antioxidants, which are important for people who are really active. I like to buy frozen blueberries and add some to my post-workout smoothies. I also add them to yogurt, oatmeal, or pancakes.


You can bet that there are always bananas on my counter in various stages of ripeness. I can never have too many bananas because when they get overripe, I toss them in the fridge for smoothies or bake with them. I eat so many bananas, my friends make fun of me. But it's true, I eat a lot of bananas. They're cheap and full of potassium and easy to burn carbs, which is why they are great for athletes!


Now that the weather is warmer, I've been making more green smoothies. I almost always use spinach for my smoothies, since it's an easy way to add some greens to my diet. Plus, I like the pretty color it adds. Spinach is great because it's rich in iron, vitamin K, A, fiber, and a host of other nutrients and antioxidants which are important for athletes who produce more free radicals.


Not really a food, but I can't ignore coffee as an important part of my balanced diet! It might be a lie that I'm not addicted to coffee, but I usually only drink one cup a day. Making coffee is the first thing I do. I always make it in my French press with freshly ground beans. In the summer, I make cold-brewed coffee the night before, so it's ready in the morning. All I have to do is press and pour over ice. I like the ritual of waking up with my daily morning cup. There are also studies that show the benefits of caffeine for athletes, especially for endurance athletes since it reduces our perceived levels of fatigue.

What are the staple foods in your diet that you eat on a daily basis?

Apr 24, 2014

Posted by Jo W. in , | 4/24/2014
Yesterday, I shared the different types of yoga classes that I enjoy the most. I have been practicing yoga regularly for the past month, and I find that I am reaping the benefits in my running and cycling. Here are some ways that yoga can be used to improve your training.

Increases awareness of your body and breath

During a yoga practice, you increase your awareness of your body. It is important for runners to be in tune with our bodies and pay attention to the little niggles that can become full blown injuries. Being aware can let us know when we need to back off on training.
Yoga also helps us practice controlled breathing and deep breathing. Most of the time, we breath shallowly and don't exhale and inhale to our full lung capacity. Breath awareness can help our running by teaching us to breath more smoothly, expel more CO2, and take in more oxygen to power those muscles.

Great way to stay active on rest days

A rest day from training doesn't mean that you have to be inactive. Yoga is gentle on the body, but it can still give you a good workout. Sometimes it's hard for me to take a rest day because I just want to train hard everyday (I probably would if I could!). I know that recovery days are important, and going to a yoga class is a good way to do something active while giving my muscles a chance to recover.

Improves flexibility

Ever feel really tight or sore from training? I certainly do when I am in the middle of a hard training cycle. Yoga can help counteract the tightness by stretching those muscles and connective tissues that are used for running. Flexibility is also important for runners so we can use the full range of motion of our muscles to run more efficiently and prevent injury. A slower-paced class may hold poses longer to get a deeper stretch, while a flow practice warms your muscles up for more dynamic stretching.

Prevents burnout from training

During a training cycle, doing the same activities every day can cause mental fatigue. Try a faster-paced yoga class to replace one of your workouts to keep things interesting. Some of my yoga instructors are tough and we do a lot of crunches, planks, and push-ups that leave me sore.

Tones the core and upper body

Core strength is so important for runners. Having a strong core helps us run with good form, which is crucial for preventing injury. Has your form ever gotten sloppy when you're fatigued? That probably means your core needs some work.
My arms and shoulders definitely feel more toned after practicing yoga, since most of my training mainly works my lower body. It's important to tone the entire body to prevent any muscle imbalances.

Thinking about starting a yoga practice?

Like any sport that is new to you, it's better to take it slowly. Learn the different poses and work with an instructor to make sure that your body is properly aligned. Don't jump into head stands, crow pose, or back bends if you don't know what you are doing. Some poses can take years for yogis to master, so don't be frustrated if you can't do them yet! Your yoga practice is yours alone, and it won't do you any service to compare yourself to others.

Have I convinced you to start practicing yoga, yet?
What is your favorite pose?

Apr 23, 2014

Posted by Jo W. in | 4/23/2014
Did you notice something different? Last night, I decided to change the look of my blog and try to make it more professional-looking with my limited website skills. I will probably be tweaking it every now and then until it looks just right, so please bear with me. Still figuring out this whole HTML thing. I would appreciate if you could provide some feedback and let me now what you think. If there's anything bothering you or doesn't work on the site, I would love to know so I can fix it. Thanks!

Now with that out of the way, onto the topic for today: yoga! The first time I took a yoga class was a gym class during my senior year of high school. Since then, I really enjoyed it, but hadn't gone to a yoga class until very recently. The full extent of my yoga practice was doing a few sun salutations in the morning and P90X yoga videos.

About a month ago, I finally decided to sign up for yoga classes. A local studio offered an unlimited introductory week deal for only $20. I ended up trying four different classes to get the most bang for my buck! After my first week, I definitely wanted to continue practicing, so I bought a month of unlimited yoga. I try to go at least three times a week.

My favorite classes are:

Hot Power Yoga (60 mins)- The room is heated to about 85-90 degrees and we really get sweating! The instructor for this class is really energetic and fun. She plays upbeat hip hop music, tells us stories about her life (in which she drops a few f-bombs), and works us HARD. We do a lot of core work with crunches, planks, etc and I really feel it in my abs and shoulders.

Vinyasa Flow (75 mins)- I love this class because the instructor is sweet and super nice. She does give us a hard workout sometimes with a lot of push-ups and core work. Vinyasa yoga connects the breath with movements, flowing and breathing from one pose to another. Each breath and pose is controlled, increasing awareness of the body. 

Yin/Yang (90 mins)- This is the longest class I go to, and I try to make it on Sunday afternoons. The 60 minute yin part of the practice is holding a pose for a long time, about five minutes. Holding a pose for longer periods allows the body to relax into the pose and get a deeper stretch in the connective tissues. Being in stillness also trains the mind to meditate on the sensations of the body. My mind tends to wander all over the place during the yin practice, and I am working on the meditative aspect of this class. For the last 30 minutes, we transition to a gentle flow practice. We go through a series of poses, connecting breath with movements, and then end in savasana. I always leave this class feeling deeply relaxed.

Stay tuned for my next post, where I will discuss the benefits of yoga for runners! 

Do you practice yoga, either on your own or at a studio?

What is your favorite type of yoga?

Apr 22, 2014

Posted by Jo W. in , | 4/22/2014
Time for another Weekly Chase post, where I share my fitness goals every week and recap my previous goals. Last week, my weekly goals post was MIA because I was off on my Disney vacation. My only goal was to have fun (and not get sunburnt).

Road Runner Girl

Apr 21, 2014

Posted by Jo W. in , | 4/21/2014
The greatest road running event of the year is here! Here are some interesting facts about the Boston Marathon (source):

1897 the Boston Marathon was established

18 is the number of participants of the first Boston Marathon

24.5 miles was the length of the race before the starting line was moved in 1924 to lengthen the course to 26.2 miles.

118th marathon is today, April 21st, 2014

88 ft is the elevation gain of Heartbreak Hill

2:03:02 is the fastest course record, held by Geoffrey Mutai of Kenya (2011)

2:18:57 is the fastest women's time, held by Rita Jeptoo of Kenya (2014)

36,000 is the approximate field size today

500,000 will be spectating

3rd largest marathon in the United States

Hope you have a wonderful Marathon Monday, whether you are running Boston, spectating, or watching it on TV! Or you can watch the race online HERE

Any other interesting facts to add?

Apr 20, 2014

Posted by Jo W. in , | 4/20/2014
Saturday was the fifth and final day of my Disney World Vacation. You can read about my days at each of the theme parks:

Magical Kingdom
Animal Kingdom
Hollywood Studios

I had a wonderful time at each of the parks, but it is really tiring to walk around the parks all day. Who knew having so much fun could be so exhausting? The last day was spent at a slower pace, and we took our time in the morning to sleep in (relatively) and eat breakfast. Of course, I wanted to go for a run, since it was the last day I could run around with this kind of a view:

For breakfast, I got mini Mickey waffles that came with applesauce and strawberry topping. It was actually a kid's meal, since I wasn't feeling very hungry.

We bought the "Water Parks Fun & More" option, which included admission to all the water parks, DisneyQuest (an indoor theme park), the ESPN complex, and mini golf. This deal is worth it if you go to at least two of the minor theme parks in Disney World. We decided to go to Typhoon Lagoon for half the day.

The water park had a large wave pool in the middle, surrounded by "beaches". It was so nice to lie down in the chairs and soak up the sun. Gotta get my beach tan on.

I swam around the wave pool, swam with some fish and sharks, chilled in the lazy river, and went down a couple of water slides. A couple of hours playing in the water was enough for me, and I just wanted to relax on the "beach" with a cocktail in hand for the rest of the time ;)

Got a chicken wrap, chips, and a beer for lunch. What the hell, I gave up trying to eat healthy at Disney World. It was my last day of vacation.

We headed to Downtown Disney for the rest of the afternoon and evening. We should have went earlier, since there was so much to do! I've been to Downtown Disney in the California Disneyland, but this one was about three times bigger. So many restaurants, shops, and entertainment centers. I could spend a whole day there.

I got one of the famous Disney character caramel apples. I chose Minnie Mouse, and shared it with the family when we got home. Way to make something healthy unhealthy, Disney! It was delicious.

We didn't go to Planet Hollywood for dinner. I just took this picture because I thought it looked cool.

I highly recommend making reservations for any of the restaurants in Downtown Disney. It gets so crowded and I imagine the wait times are ridiculous. I made reservations to Paradiso 37 for dinner. It was "Americas" themed, and the flavors were more Latin/South American. There was steak, burgers, burritos, and tacos among many other options on the menu. 

We started with a trio of dips and chips: guacamole, queso, and chili. I ordered a sampler platter for my entree, which included chicken flautas, skirt steak with chimichurri, chorizo, and cilantro beans and rice. Everything was delicious, but I think the steak was my favorite. So flavorful and juicy.

Dessert was a flan, and even though I was really full, I managed to eat most of it :P

Today, we left Disney World and came back to real life. Time to get back to my normal routine. Boo.

Do you go all out when you're on vacation, or do you exercise moderation?

I tend to do the former, as you can see...

Posted by Jo W. in , , | 4/20/2014
This past week, I was on vacation in Disney World, so I wasn't expecting much in terms of workouts. Our flight to Orlando was on Monday night, so I was able to go to my yoga class in the morning. The best time to squeeze in a run was in the morning, since I knew that I would be too exhausted after a day of walking around in the theme parks.

The resort I stayed at, Caribbean Beach Resort, had a small lake with a foot path around it. The loop was about 1.15 miles, and I ended up running the same loop for all of my runs. It was flat, and the view was gorgeous.

On Saturday, it was pretty hot and humid when I went out for my run. I am so not used to 70 degrees and humid after this winter of training in sub-freezing temperatures. The humidity kind of got to me, and my 3 mile progressive run was at a hard effort. 

Monday- 75 mins vinyasa yoga

Tuesday- rest

Wednesday- running 1.5 mi, walking around Disney World

Thursday- running 3.75 mi, avg 7:35

Friday- rest, walking around Disney World

Saturday- running 3 mi progressive (7:45, 7:25, 7:07 pace), 2 mi recovery (8:00 pace), total 5 mi

Sunday- cycling 10.25 mi, avg 18. mph


Running- 10.25 mi

Cycling- 10.25 mi

(weird, my run and bike mileage is exactly the same)

I have one week to get ready for my 10K on Sunday! This is my goal race for the season, and I really want to break 46 minutes. That's a pretty big PR (1 minute 32 seconds faster from my previous 10K) and I'm not going to lie, I have some doubts about whether I can hold a 7:24 pace for 6.2 miles. However, the course has a 190 ft elevation drop. Also, given my history of surprising myself with my race day performance, I realize that I should set higher expectations for myself. I can do this!

What are your current goals? Are you looking to PR or finish a new distance?

Apr 18, 2014

Posted by Jo W. in | 4/18/2014
Today is my fourth day in Disney World, and the final theme park to visit was Disney's Hollywood Studio. I wasn't too too thrilled about this park as I was the other ones, but there were still some fun shows and rides.

First was Beauty and the Beast. This 30 minute musical show was very well done, just like the broadway show! Loved the costumes. 

The final scene!

I walked the Streets of America, and saw NYC and San Francisco!

All within a few hundred feet of each other ;)

One of the coolest shows I saw was Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show. There were stunt cars and they demonstrated how car stunts are filmed. 

There was an epic chase scene where a good guy was chased by bad guys on motorcycles, cars, and water jets. It ended with a guy on fire and a huge explosion!

What a great shot!

For lunch, I had a grilled veggie sandwich with fries. So much fast food lately...

Of course I had to get a FastPass for Tower of Terror! If you don't know, this ride is Twilight Zone themed, and it's an elevator that takes you to the "Twilight Zone". You go all the way up, and free fall down a few times. If you hate that stomach-in-your-throat sensation, avoid this ride! I got off feeling kinda queasy. I got a great photo from it, though! 

Got a frozen margarita and chocolate covered pineapple for a snack. Gotta live a little, right? 

That's all for today! Tomorrow is my fifth and final day in Disney World, and we're going to the water parks!

Apr 17, 2014

Posted by Jo W. in | 4/17/2014
Each day keeps getting better on my Disney World adventure. Today, I went to Epcot, the international-themed park. I felt like I was at the world expo! There was a lot to see and learn about different countries.

When we entered the park, we were greeted by this iconic structure: Spaceship Earth. I actually didn't get to go to the ride, but it's about innovations in space travel. 

My first FastPass was to Mission: Soace. It was a flight simulator, and it really felt like we were flying through space! Right outside is a sculpture of Buzz Lightyear :)

This spring, there is a special exhibit called the Flower Garden Festival. There were garden sculptures all over the park of Disney characters. 

The World Showcase was my favorite part. Countries from all over the world had a small area with shops, restaurants, exhibits, and iconic architecture. The first one I saw was Canada, where I saw a 360 degree video showcasing the sights of Canada. 

I saw Mary Poppins and Captain Hook near the UK. 

In Japan, I saw some cool Japanese architecture, temples, and gift shops full of cute Japanese toys. 

In the US area, we saw a short movie that was basically an over view of American history. It was a bit boring, since it was basically a review of a high  school history class. There was a cool acapella group singing right outside the theatre that I enjoyed. 

I loved the Germany exhibit the most! It brought me back to my days of studying abroad there. I really love German culture and studying the language. There was also beer, which know me, I totally got!

There was a miniature train display, which reminded me of Miniature Wunderland in Hamburg. 

I really liked this mini stein shot glass! Too bad it costs $27! Wtf?!

Next up was China! The area was set up like an ancient Chinese garden/ house. The ponds were really pretty. 

Simba sighting! The Lion King is one of my favorite Disney movies. 

And then I totally pigged out at Cape May, a seafood buffet in the nearby Disney Beach Club Resort. Um, I ate way more than this, and I am not at all ashamed. 

Started conservatively, then got an IPA and a pile of seafood. 

And a plate with more veggies. Followed by about 3 more plates of seafood (not pictured). 

Followed by a plate of mini desserts. Yes, I ate it ALL. 

My stomach felt like it was about to burst, like these fireworks, but thankfully it didn't. 

Another fun-filled day, and now I'm exhausted and going to collapse in bed!


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