Friday, March 2, 2018



It has been almost four months since I have written. I believe the last time we chatted, I had just returned back from a two-month-long stay in New Jersey. You know, weddings and Hurricane Irma and all that jazz.

Well, I kind of lost my writing mojo after that. Truthfully, I kind of lost my mojo, period.

I had a pretty difficult time adjusting to being back in Florida. We arrived just in time to escape the cold northern weather, for which I was VERY grateful. But leaving family after being with them for so long... it was really hard. And I felt very lonely. And when I get lonely and depressed, I isolate. With the coming of winter, regardless of where I am in the world, comes seasonal depression. Since I moved to Florida, it has been WAY better. But it is still there, and being away from family, especially over the holidays, was so, so hard. Throw being sick every other week on top of it (thanks, teething toddler bean!), and you have a recipe for mental disaster for me.


I did have one thing to look forward to over the past few months:


Yes, remember that time I signed up for the Disney Princess Half Marathon? I thought it would be a good idea to get myself motivated to work out and feel like I was working toward a goal just for me, post-baby. Remember all that?

Okay. So. I am just going to be straight with you. I did not really train much at all for this race. I ran maybe five miles max. We were sick every other week, no lie, and it is still going on. One of the things that kept me happy over the winter was spending time with friends, and since most of us have kids, that involved lots of playdates and fun toddler classes for Atlas. We do music and mommy-and-me class once a week each, plus go the park, wildlife center, and house playdates. If you are unaware, toddlers are notorious for picking up and sharing germs for the first couple years. They put everything in their mouths, and their immune system needs to strengthen. Alas, that means cold and flu season is a TOTAL WRECK.

So, as race day neared, I did what I could to strengthen my body. I ran if I felt well enough and had enough time in the morning. But overall, I chose not to stress about it. It's not like I could change my situation. I have myself, my family, and a kid to take care of. I have a house to keep up. I have a social life, which I am not willing to sacrifice to go for a run. Plus, it was going to be Atlas's first trip to Disney. I chose to be excited about that instead of anxious about the run.

The morning of the race, I woke up at midnight and couldn't get back to sleep. We (Eric's cousin, Erin, and I) left at 3:45am, got to Epcot around 4am, and didn't start running until past 6:30am I believe. It was a very long, very tiring morning, but I felt excited and physically amazing when we started running. There were so many people just walking the entire thing, it was actually difficult to run at certain points on the course. The path would get clogged, but we did our best to keep going.

I think I ran up through Magic Kingdom, which was mile 6-7ish. I nearly cried when I saw the castle, because I am a Disney nerd like that, and even making it that far without proper training was better than I had expected to do. But once we left the park, my right leg started to hurt. I took a little break to walk, tried to run again, and I knew something was not right. Long story short, the rest of the race was straight highway into the Florida sun, and I was in pain. Erin paced us for 4 minutes run/ 30 seconds walk, but that became 1 minute walk, then 2 minutes walk, then just all walking by the time we got to maybe mile 8-9ish. I tried to stretch, and I tried to keep going, but I couldn't.

It was pretty disappointing, because I felt great besides my leg. I was excited, I could breathe, and I really thought I could run the whole thing when I got that renewed burst of energy in Magic Kingdom. And I felt bad for holding Erin back (even though she yelled at me for saying sorry. SORRY!)

The last few miles of the race were uphill highway and ramps to get back in to Epcot. It sucked, but whatever. Once I saw the 10 mile mark, I tried to jog as much as I could again without seriously hurting myself any more than I already had. We knew our family would be waiting to cheer us on soon, which motivated me.

If I am being honest, the REAL motivator was the spectator who was holding up a picture of Jack Pearson that said, "RUN LIKE YOU LEFT THE CROCKPOT ON!" Thank you, Jack. I love you forever, you sexy, amazing husband/father.

So, we rounded in to Epcot and saw Erin's fam, and then shortly before the finish, we saw Eric, Atlas, and Kelly. It made me smile so big to hug my little bean. Just as we saw the finish line, Thunderstruck by AC/DC came on, and I forced myself to run across the line. Was that a sign, or what? Times like that make me think that someone MUST be looking out for me.

And then, I cried happy tears / tears of pain, got my medal, got some ice, and went on my merry way to a day full of walking around Epcot!

I truly can not believe I finished 13.1 miles. I couldn't have done it without Erin. Even though I was disappointed that I couldn't run the entire thing, I did better than I originally thought I could. And I am pretty proud of myself for feeling fine afterwards, besides the pull in my leg (which is still bothering me, but it could be WAY worse). I had a great time in my favorite park (I say that about every Disney park though, I am starting to realize), was able to drink a margarita in Mexico, and had a celebratory Last Snow that night at the hotel while watching the fireworks from our balcony.

The original purpose of signing up for this race was to allow myself to take time to do something for ME again. JUST FOR ME. Alone. And to get back in shape, boost my self-confidence, and make myself feel like I can still accomplish insane physical feats like I am still 25 years old.

But... I am not 25 years old anymore. I will be 30 in a month. I had a baby. My body is WAY different now than it was several years ago. I have no family here to support me while I take the time to train for a half marathon. Florida is HOT, and I do not like to run in the heat. And you know what? I am not going to make excuses and say I don't have time to eat healthy, because I do. The truth is that I feel like I have better things to do with my time than meal prep for myself, when I know Atlas and Eric will need completely separate things to eat. And at night, I would rather relax with my husband, who I rarely see, or go out with friends, who I also rarely see.

This race was supposed to make me feel like I am still "myself" post-baby, but what it actually taught me is much more valuable than that. It taught me that "myself" has changed. My life has changed, and my priorities are different. While I believe it is important to take care of myself (which I will continue to do), I have realized that getting my pre-baby body back will not make me happiest. What makes me happiest? Spending time with people I love. Reading books. Watching Atlas explore outside. Relaxing and playing board games with Eric. BEER. TEQUILA. PIZZA. And setting attainable goals for myself that will not interfere with those things.

I am proud of myself for doing another half marathon, and I think it was a worthwhile experience. But I hope that, when I tell Atlas about it, he realizes that trying your hardest and doing what makes you happiest is what really counts in life.

Up next: DISNEY PART TWO: Atlas's First Disney Trip!

Hello Epcot at 4am. Yes, we are R2D2 and Princess Leia inspired.
Happiest place on earth, amiright?

Famsquad Pt. 1

Famsquad Pt. 2. Atlas looks less than thrilled to be next to a sweaty Mommy.

Crossing the finish line THANK THE LORD

This is after I basically bathed myself in baby wipes in an Epcot bathroom. Just tryna keep it real, kids.

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