Surviving 2014 & 14 races in 2014

Can you believe that 2014 is over in just a few hours?!?! I personally will greet 2015 with open arms. To say it simply 2014 was a YEAR! A year of growth, change, troubling times & lessons. I learned a lot about myself, I faced challenges I never thought I would experience. But you want to know something? It's okay, I not only survived this year but I dare say I thrived. 

Perhaps me running 14 races in 2014 was God's plan to ensure I could get through a miscarriage & divorce this year. He knew I would need the motivation to keep moving forward.

And I did :) 

Why I Run


Well I've done it again, totally abandoned my blog... not on purpose but life has completely distracted me.

 If you happen to follow me on Facebook or Instagram then you'll know that my life has done a complete 180. I am getting a divorce.

My husband & I have decided that it is time to end our nearly decade long relationship. Sure I could get into details, but I won't, I'll leave it at this; we have both changed. We started dating at 19 & got married at 24. Maybe that's young, but at the time it seemed right. I have no regrets in getting married young, or moving out to Las Vegas, or being married to a cop. All these things have made me who I am & changed me, as well as changed him. So we are doing what we can to end our marriage amicably. It's hard but this quote seems to sum it up rather well:

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Dumbo Double Dare 10k

With Friday being a FAR too eventful day for me it was an early evening! I was exhausted on Friday night & wasn't 100% sure I would have the energy to participate in either the 10k or half.

Thankfully Saturday morning came & I felt good, cramping was very minimal & it seemed as though I would be OKAY to run the 10k.

So I got dressed...
All Dolled Up As Bo Peep from Toy Story

Washington DC

Today I am off to Washington DC! I'm thrilled to be heading there. I haven't been to DC for over 10 years & I remember only bits & pieces of that trip.  

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This week has been full of packing & repacking (the weather keeps getting cooler & cooler there) & updating iphones & charging running gear.

Ya know the usual, race-cation kinda stuff. 

Dumbo Double Dare Expo!!!

I don't believe I have ever been more excited for a race! With all my health things going on I decided to focus on what made me happy. And Disney + Running = HAPPY KARA! 
So we continued our drive to California & we reached my favorite part... these beautiful mountains.  I love this view, the first time we ever drove to California it reminded me of Hawaii. Yup no idea why but even if I am sleeping hubs will wake me up so I can enjoy this view.

Recycled 5k

Race #6 for my 14 in 2014 challenge was another event with Calico Racing. This one was called the Recycled 1/2 Marathon, 10k & 5k.
"In the spirit of recycling, awards will be modified from left over awards unclaimed from previous Calico Racing events. For this discounted RECYCLED! event, awards will go to overall male and females winners 3 deep only for each of the distance races. No age group awards will be offered for this race."
How fun!? I love that the left over shirts & medals are still used! 

My confirmation!

Some Days...

some days im amazed i can get through the day, today was one of those days. ever since i shared the news of our miscarriage there have been a lot of pregnancy announcements but recently i received news of one pregnancy that knocked me over. i have been so genuinely excited about all the couples expecting children, some i know have had fertility struggles of their own. but this one has taken me by surprise, i'm hurt & while i realize i shouldn't be i've realized i am still healing. i am human a super emotional woman.

it doesn't help that this morning i woke up from a very realistic dream where i was pregnant, cut to me waking up from that sleepy haze & placing my hand on my stomach realizing there was no baby bump there & by now there would of been a bump.

today october 15 is pregnancy & infant loss remembrance day & i finally have the strength to share the rest our story

28 Random Acts of Disney Kindness Part 4!

Sooo... nothing like finishing up a recap for a trip that happened ohhh 6 months ago. Oops!

In case you don't know what I'm talking about - hubs & I went to Disneyland to celebrate my 28th birthday. We did it in a unique way - doing 28 random acts of Disney kindness throughout the Disneyland Resort. To get caught up I recommend reading the below posts: 
What sparked the RAODK




Labor of Love 10k

WAY back in May of this year I did my fifth race of my 14 in 2014 challenge.  I decided to give the Labor of Love 10k a try, it would be my very first 10k distance & I wanted to try a race company in town called Calico Racing.

Thankfully a sorority sister, Amy, signed up to participate with me! She had done TONS of half marathons & it was our first time running together.

Flat Kara & Stella ready to Sparkle! Yes Stella LOVES to wear anything on her head that I would wear. She's SO my dog :)

Rock'n'Roll Virtual 5k

As part of my 14 in 2014 plan I decided I would allow myself one or two virtual races. While I'm not a big fan of virtual races (only because I ALWAYS run on my own & I love going to races to meet other runners) I knew that due to availability of myself or of races & finances that a virtual race or two could work out for me. 

 So I took the leap & signed up for the Rock'n'Roll Las Vegas virtual 5k. First things first it was FREE, if you signed up soon enough you would get a free shirt & a virtual medal. Why not?!?

To celebrate the Rock 'n' Roll Las Vegas Marathon & 1/2 Marathon weekend, the fab people over at Rock 'n' Roll decided to have a virtual & satellite 5k!

Sign up was easy & the emails kept coming to keep you informed. 
 

Happy Fall!

Happy Fall Y'All!
While I'm not southern I do love saying y'all! Even though it has officially started it doesn't really seem like fall to me until October. 

So to celebrate the official start of fall {& Halloween in our house} here are some of my favorite Halloween/Fall-ish movies to get you in a festive mood.

First Annual Mutt Strut Announcement

If you follow me on Instagram then you know I have a darling goldendoodle named Stella. Occasionally Stella will join me for short walk/runs around our community - nothing more than 4 miles. She LOVES going, anytime I put my shoes on for a run she "sits pretty" (her perfect full of manners sit meaning she wants something) & follows me around the house as I get ready. 
 So you can imagine my excitement that there is FINALLY an event taking place in our area that is a running event with your dogs!!! Yup I said it - a running event I can take Stella to. Heck yes :)

Ladies & Gentlemen & your darling pups, may I introduce to you the First Annual Mutt Strut! (Okay seriously I love the name!)

Dumbo Double Dare Outfit Reveal

If you follow me over on Instagram then you know I've been posting teasers of my costumes, here's a quick recap of what I've posted.

Loss

I never thought I'd be posting about something like this, I had hoped the news would be happy, sharing that we were expecting our first child.

However on my first doctor appointment (around 8/9 weeks) during the ultrasound the doctor said "hmm" & nothing else. Photos printed & I thought they were to be ours, I wanted to see our little blip. He turned the monitor towards hubs & I showing what he was seeing. There was a sac (good thing) & a yolk (another good thing) but then there was another sac below that he believed was full of blood (bad thing) & I was only measuring at 6 weeks (bad thing) & he did not see a heartbeat (bad thing). So there were two conclusions, I had my math wrong (which there was a very very slight chance of that happening) or I was having a miscarriage.

Turns out it is a miscarriage - that word still knocks the breath out of me.

Fallen Heroes 5K

When the Fallen Heroes 5K was announced we both registered right away in order to support the work of his police department. The race was held over St Patrick's Day Weekend & put on by the department, benefiting the Henderson Honor Guard. This was the first year for the run & honestly you wouldn't of known. It was well organized & emails were sent on a regular basis with any updates & details needed.

This was my first timed 5k, I'd done a couple Color Runs before but who actually races those?? To be honest I was a bit nervous as to how I would do. Knowing most of the people participating were very fit police officers! 
The run was held at a local park in the city, what was most amusing about the location is it used to be a gravel pit!
Always rocking Sparkle Athletic! 

Three Life Changing Events

There are three events in my life that I stand out to me as life changing moments, in no particular order:
1 - Moving to Las Vegas with my then boyfriend, who is now my husband. We have been together nearly a decade.
2 - Starting to run, yes I've mentioned it before but never gone in to great detail, I promise I will explain one day. But simply put running saved my life, saved my marriage & allowed me to find myself again.
3 - Joining a sorority, my first semester at college was tough, being away from family was one of the hardest things & sure everyone goes through that. But during the second semester of my freshmen year at Grand Valley I some of the most inspiring women who thankfully wanted to share the magic of Greek Life with me. Yes Greek Life is magic and at that time it was exactly what I needed in my life. And to this day it still is. I meet women from all around the country who are my sisters, and we have an immediate connection, these are women I do not know, yet we share a bond so strong & powerful it's undeniable.
Can you find me? Hint - check out the very front row ;)
The last weekend of June I had the opportunity to represent the Alpha Omicron Pi Alumnae Chapter of Las Vegas in Franklin, Tennessee at an event called Leadership Institute. I wrote about day one at #AOIILI2014 on the chapter's blog. Feel free to read, as two more posts will be coming about Leadership Institute. 

What events have greatly impacted your life?

Vegas Fun & Life

Can you believe it's June!?!? Where has the year gone! Sorry to be missing for so long - life has gotten the best of me, keeping me busy all the dang time. 

So let's get reacquainted shall we? I'll catch you up a bit with what's been going on...

I got the chance to participate in my sorority's alumnae ritual. I love being a sorority woman & participating in ritual, it brings me back to why I joined Alpha Omicron Pi. During that meeting I became the Las Vegas alum chapter's president - meaning the next couple years will be full of AOII. I'm so honored to hold this position & can't wait for next weekend - I'm headed to Tennessee, home of AOII headquarters for Leadership Institute!
Yes we still wear whites to ritual!

Morning Run

This morning I decided to do something different... go for a run in the morning! Crazy talk right?! 

It's starting to heat up here in Vegas & it doesn't cool down much at night. Running when its 90+ degrees outside isn't exactly ideal. 

28 Random Acts of Disney Kindness - Part 3

 With 15 RaoDk completed, hubs & I took a much needed break at our hotel pool. I had hopes of doing more RaoDk while we were there, but the opportunity never arose.
(Not sure what I'm talking about?? Check out Part 1 & Part 2 of my Random acts of Disney kindness trip.)

Can't even express how tranquil this pool is!

28 Random Acts of Disney Kindness - Part 2

Picking up right where we left off, after a fun first earthquake filled evening we went to bed knowing full well the next morning meant PARKS & more importantly my birthday!! Sadly we had issues with the tickets we purchased online (the legal way through Disney) & we were quite late for our breakfast reservation.
After 45 min of issues we were finally in Disneyland!

Fourteen in 2014

For quite some time I've been toying with this idea - I was inspired during last year's Disneyland Half Marathon. I spotted a woman's shirt stating she was running 13 half marathons in 2013. Okay I'm no where near that dedicated to half marathons! But I wanted to challenge myself in 2014 (as if doing 3 half marathons in 2013 wasn't enough!).  
 
That said, I'd like to announce that I will be running FOURTEEN races in 2014!! I'm excited about this venture, it gives me something to work towards everyday. Staying healthy, eating healthy & CREATING memories. (Create is my word of 2014)

28 Random Acts of Disney Kindness - Part 1

Hi! I know it's been a while, but with three weekends & one full week traveling I've been a bit busy. Before we go any further I recommend going back & reading this post.

Now assuming you're all caught up let's continue. As you know I celebrated my 28th birthday in Disneyland, with a twist. I decided to do 28 random acts of kindness - I did all 28 in Disneyland, California Adventure, Downtown Disney & the Disneyland Hotels. 

The cards I made to inform others of what I was doing

28 Years

Sorry I've been MIA this month. I've been busy planning for my 28th birthday (yes I am fully aware how lame that sounds taking nearly a month to plan your own birthday! Ha). But it's all for good reason. When I realized my birthday would be on a Saturday it meant we would be able to celebrate in DISNEYLAND!!
Image via - http://www.rcocdd.com/

2014 Vegas Color Run

On February 22nd The Color Run came to Vegas. This was my second year participating and I LOVE this run. For the past two years it's been in downtown Las Vegas (around the Fremont Street Experience), this area has been changing SOOO much over the past few years. I really enjoy seeing Vegas come to life, adding culture & experiences away from the Strip. 

Any who... before the run I had to do packet pick up, it was offered the Thursday & Friday before the run. The Vegas packet pickup was in a recently opened (super cool) area of downtown called Container Park. The majority of this area is made out of shipping containers!


Yes that is a massive praying mantis at the entrance... 

There's even a Disney Fine Art Gallery there! 

The line for packet pickup, not too long. 

Disneyland Character Roundup

While in Disneyland for the Tink Half, there were special character meet & greets happening. We were lucky enough to find the lines VERY short, I believe it was due to the location. The Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree area is a bit hidden, behind Big Thunder Ranch & Big Thunder Ranch Barbecue.  I was thankful for the short lines (even if the meets were mentioned on the Disney Parks Blog) because it meant I got to have longer interactions with all the characters. 

First up was Friar Tuck & Robin Hood, both were perfect gentlemen.

As I was leaving them Robin noticed my New Balance Minnie Mouse shoes... he FREAKED OUT! It was hysterical.  We then had a very animated "conversation" about the half marathons.  They then proceeded to kiss my hand and blow me kisses as I left. 

A daisy in your hat makes you FAST!

After a relaxing day in the parks it was early to bed for us because the next morning was my SIXTH half marathon!!! At this point I am actually calm the night before a race.  I always do the same thing - layout my outfit, fill out my bib, hop into bed and watch a Disney movie while falling asleep. It's calming, peaceful and gets me in the right frame of mind for the next mornings run. 
Mike had fun with our bibs.

Flat Kara ready for the run!

Let's Go For a Stroll

Once finished at the New Balance booth we continued on with the expo, stopping at a few more booths then off to the official merchandise section. 

  
Stopped for a pic at the Lady Footlocker booth...

Dumbo Double Dare

 A little more than 24 hours ago registration for the Dumbo Double Dare weekend opened and nearly everything offered for that weekend is sold out. WOW!!

The Disneyland 10K sold out in 55 minutes! And 40 minutes after opening Dumbo Double Dare was 99% full!

I was lucky enough to get in for the Dumbo Double Dare. My trick was using the Active website rather than going through the runDisney site which continued to crash :( 

Starting 3 minutes before 9am PST I continued to refresh the page for registration. About a minute before it was to open I discovered the links for registration were active. If you notice my registration was complete at 9:00:32. Yup I was registered in full for DDD 32 seconds after it opened!!


Lines, Shoes & a Twerking Goofy

UPDATE: To those of you headed to Princess be sure to check out this New Balance page for details.

WARNING: Lots of pictures... and words ;) 

We're home from a quick trip to California. It was a ton of fun! We crammed lots in to two days but it was well worth it.

The first thing on our to do list was to get in line for the new runDisney New Balance shoes. I was lucky enough last year during Tink to purchase the original New Balance Minnie Mouse shoes.

Funny thing - both last year and this year our original plans for the trip didn't work out. Last year I didn't get in to the meet up and we forgot to pick up our park tickets so we wandered around Disneyland Hotel and stumbled upon the line to reserve the Minnie or Mickey shoes. This year due to work we arrived to California late Friday night and headed to the expo first thing Saturday morning - seems like everyone and their brother was running the 10k that morning! Everything happens for a reason! 

Bright and early on Saturday morning - so early in fact the roads by our hotel were blocked by the 10k runners and road blocks. We had to take the long way around to get onto Disneyland property. We ended up parking at the Mickey and Friends massive parking garage.  Nice and easy! Getting there just took a bit longer than planned.
I couldn't resist - no one was coming :)

Tinker Bell Half Marathon

I'm sorry for the lack of posts this week, between work and getting ready for Tink it's been crazy!




I plan on posting a trip recap once I get back... but for the time being feel free to follow me on Instagram & Twitter so we can stay connected!!

To all those running today & this weekend good luck! See you there!

AVATAR Land

On Friday, Disney Parks Blog shared photos of the ground breaking of AVATAR land at Animal Kingdom. I am probably one of the few people who is actually excited about this project. Sadly, there has been a lot of nay-saying about the Animal Kingdom expansion.  But knowing Disney and the films that James Cameron releases I have a sneaky feeling it will be stunning!! Plus, an Imagineer at D23 Expo promised it would make all the naysayers hush right up when they see the land.

An Imagineer's desk on display at D23 Expo this past year.
Another shot of the Imagineer's desk - SOO cool!

Tinker Bell Half Marathon Medal

Virtual Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend Blog Hop Directory
Check out more posts about the runDisney Tinkerbell Half Marathon on the DisTherapy blog (just click on the pic above!)

Let's be real, I run because of the bling! It's big, flashy, colorful and means you worked your butt off to earn it.  

On January 19th I'll be earning my third set of wings. The stunning runDisney medals have become a bit of a status symbol. But rather than keep you waiting.... ladies (& gentlemen) I give you the 2014 Tinker Bell Half Marathon medal: 

Welcome

Hi I'm honored you stopped by my little corner of the internet. Want to know more about me? Visit the links above and trust me the more I blog the more we will get to know one another. Now don't be shy read on, comment, message & share!

On with the blogging:
This year instead of resolutions I am giving myself goals... monthly goals. But the main goal for this year is a word. One word - CREATE
memories, crafts, good runs and bad runs, laughter, love, the list goes on...