Motivated to Train and Ready to Run

Did you see it??

Today was the big reveal by runDisney of the 2019 Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend medals! In case you missed it, you can see the medals and read the entire article on the Disney Parks Blog here.

This year marks the 10th anniversary of this event and I am so excited, both as a chef and as a runner, to be there. After an accident and having to cancel my solo trip back in the spring when I was supposed to run the Star Wars Rival Run Challenge, I have regrouped, healed and rescheduled my trip. I’m crazy excited for what will be both my first Wine & Dine runDisney event and my first 10k.

If that Olaf & Sven Frozen themed medal isn’t motivation for me, I don’t know what is. Maybe it’s the Canadian in me, but that icy finish on the medal…love it!

Ok, but to get that medal takes a lot of work on my part.

I’m not going to lie, it’s been 3 months of sloth recovering from my injuries, and I’ve put on 10 lbs, so I’ve got some work to do to get back in shape. Thankfully, my training has already begun.

Meal Prep

Two of the big issues for me when it comes to getting back on track and maintaining my optimal weight and fitness level, are portion sizes and making better food choices. Nothing helps me with this more than a little meal prep.

I don’t go crazy here. I’m not one of those people that worries about fats vs carbs vs protein, or weighing out each of my ingredients. Kudos to those that do, but I don’t. That just doesn’t work for me. So I do what does work..

I’ve found that spending a couple hours in the kitchen once a week (usually Sunday afternoons) doing meal preparation helps A LOT. My weekly staple prep items tend to be a sugar-free fruit compote (to mix with Greek yogurt or to top buckwheat pancakes), simple grilled vegetables and chopped raw veggies, salads for quick lunches, tuna burgers, and spinach egg muffins. These things are my go-to items that are almost always found in my refrigerator.

 

Then I plan other items to add to the mix just to shake things up a bit every week to avoid boredom. Things like spinach vegetable quinoa cakes, pumpkin quinoa burgers, sweet potatoes topped with Buffalo chicken, or pesto vegetable pasta with roast chicken all add big flavour and keep me excited about food while not going overboard.

As long as its in the fridge and ready to go, I won’t linger in the kitchen and grab the wrong thing, or eat more than I should.

(Happy) Planning My Workouts

One thing I’ve discovered is if I write it down, I’m more likely to do it. And that includes workouts.

I schedule my workouts like I would a doctors appointment. I find mornings work best for me and scheduling three workout sessions per week works well. If I get in a couple more workouts or manage to get in some kind of physical activity with my family above and beyond that, great. But I find if I try to schedule more than three, I end up missing or cancelling those extra days when life gets crazy (or my kids make plans over my plans) and I end up frustrated. If I have an upcoming run, my three workouts tend to be runs as per my running plan (that’s discussed below). Otherwise, it’s three workouts of my choosing: a run, gym session, weights at home, running hills & stairs along the waterfront trail…whatever.

So, like meal prep, once a week I sit down and plan out the following week. I look at what appointments I have, what hours I have to work, where I have to be and when, and plan my three workouts to fit. I do all of this using fitness pages in my Happy Planner. I know to some this might seem silly, adding stickers and washi tape to a fitness planner, but for me it helps. I can add whatever sticker quotes I come across that help keep me motivated for whatever mood I’m in that week, or add a habit tracker sticker so I can track how many meals I’m NOT skipping, or how many meals I ate sugar-free. I’m not saying it’s for everyone, but it’s really helped me. Recording my workouts and seeing the results in writing (how many calories burned, miles I ran, or steps I put in) is incredibly rewarding and motivating for me, and formatting the pages ahead of time help keep me immersed in all things fitness.

Fitness Planner

Fitness Pages in my Happy Planner

As for the workouts themselves, I mix it up. If I have a marathon event on the horizon, I do try to follow the Jeff Galloway training plans on the runDisney site (you can find them here). I love the walk/run combination and have had good success with them for my past runs.

I also love Pilates and try to do a couple short sessions (20 minutes or so) each week to help build core strength, and I mix those up with a couple weight sessions. I have found these critical to proper form on my runs and in building speed.

Off and Running

Alright, so I’ve shared what works for me. What works for you? Do you use a food journal? An exercise log? What are your favourite meals to prep ahead?

Anyone else have a run coming up, runDisney or otherwise?

 

 

 


Garden View Tea Room – Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

We have been fortunate enough to enjoy afternoon tea in the Garden View Tea Room at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa many times over the years, and it has become a family tradition for every trip.

Garden View Tea Room tea pot and cover

Sweet Curry Chicken

That’s because my family knows that if there’s one must-have food item I need to eat every time I go to Walt Disney World, it’s the Sweet Curry Chicken finger sandwiches at the Garden View Tea Room.

These little delights haunt me in the best possible way.

It’s the one recipe I cannot duplicate when I get home, and believe me, I’ve tried. And tried. And tried.

Garden View Tea Room

The Disney Dining Plan is not accepted in the tea room, so it’s worth noting that this is an extra expense if you typically use a dining plan as we do.

There are a few different packages at different price points on the menu, but we love The Bedfordshire Tea package (the least expensive package) which includes assorted finger sandwiches, a scone, your choice of dessert, and of course your choice of tea from their vast menu. There is no shortage of food here so be sure to go hungry!

 

A Delightful Gluten-Free Tea Experience

I’m the only one in our family that has to follow a gluten-free diet, and the chefs never disappoint when it comes to my personal tea experience.

Gluten-Free Finger Sandwiches

As with their standard menu, there is a gluten-free assortment of finger sandwiches that come on fresh gluten-free bread and they are amazing! The selection can vary but my plate pictured above included egg salad, sweet curry chicken, tomato, cucumber, and poached pear (did I mention there is plenty of food?).

gluten free cakes and spreadsThe scones on the menu are the one difference and for anyone dining gluten-free, they are replaced with different breads (snack cake style), but you won’t miss the scone and you still get to enjoy the trio of spreads that everyone else does: strawberry jam, clotted cream, and lemon curd. Again, amazing! macaroons inside view

As for dessert, I always enjoy the plate of sweet macaroons that go perfectly with those last few drops of tea.

While the entire menu is tasty, I can’t help but hold a sweet spot for that curry chicken. I have created my own sweet curried chicken salad recipe at home which is close, but that magical ingredient is sadly missing.

My hunt for that perfectly duplicated recipe continues and every time I find a recipe for curried chicken somewhere that looks close to what I imagine the Disney recipe must be, I test it. I’ve had no luck so far, but I’m enjoying the process. And if it means I have to keep visiting the Garden View Tea Room in hopes of getting my fix, so be it.


When You Can’t Get to Disney…

One week ago today, I had a nasty accident that left my entire right side badly battered and bruised, and my right wrist broken.

In an instant, all of my Disney dreams went out the window as a surgeon spoke the words I’d already been telling myself but hadn’t been strong enough to speak out loud, “there will be other marathons.”

I have spent the past seven days feeling sad and sorry for myself. I cancelled all of my vacation plans and let go of my dreams of my first Disney solo trip and running the runDisney Star Wars Rival Run Challenge.

Until today.

Today I stopped feeling sorry for myself and started thinking. I’ve trained hard and I’m ready to run my first half, so why let all of that hard work go to waste?

Virtual Running

I cannot tell you how many times the words of the surgeon have played over and over through my head, “there will be other runs.” So today I went looking for other runs.

And bingo, there it was right in front of me!

As I roamed social media, hitting every marathon and running site looking for a run in the not-too-distant-future, there it was. The runDisney Star Wars Virtual Half Marathon.

It’s perfect:

  • I have time for the bruising to subside and my wrist to heal enough to run again.
  • I don’t have to travel anywhere or run with a cast in heat and humidity (suddenly I’m thankful for the cooler Canadian temps).
  • I have the option to break the distance down over shorter runs if needed (not that I want to).
  • I still earn a Disney Star Wars themed medal.

I thought about it for all of five minutes before I hit the Register button.

Back to my Roots

This isn’t my first virtual run. It’s actually how I first began running and earning medals. I started out with the runDisney Virtual Running Shorts back in the summer of 2016, earning my Yellow Shoes, Red Shorts, and White Glove medals. I quickly also joined the Hogwarts Running Club where I earned medals running longer distances and going beyond 5K’s. And once my daughters saw me earning my medals, they were all in too!

While the official deadline for this virtual half is March 31st, I want to complete my run safely and with doctor approval. Maybe I’ll set the medal aside and run it at home on the same day of the runDisney Star Wars Rival Run Half Marathon. That way it won’t hurt as much when I see all of those fabulous finish line photos pop up on social media on the day of and after the run.

Maybe it will have to wait longer. Only time will tell. Either way, I won’t unwrap and wear the medal until I’ve earned it. Safely.

So remember…where there’s a will, there’s a way.

And watch for my future post where I’ll be wearing that Star Wars half marathon medal!

runDisney Star Wars Virtual Half Marathon Medal

runDisney Star Wars Virtual Half Marathon Medal

Look here to see all of the Star Wars runDisney 2019 medals.