Guest Post: Reasons to runDisney

Today I am participating in a Blog Swap!  I’ve guest posted over on Kristin’s blog while she’s come to share some reasons to runDisney with you!  I’m excited to read her post as running runDisney races has become a big dream of mine since returning from Disney World in July.  Now I want to run them all!  
We are both participating in this Blog Swap as part of Sweat Pink AMbassadors.  If you would like to see a full list of all the blog swapping that’s going down today please pop over to Katie’s blog and see the master list.  Enjoy!
Hi All!! I’m so excited to be guest blogging (or blog swapping) on Suzi’s blog today!
My name is Kristin and I blog over at and tweet @ShoretoRun about my health journey, running routines, workouts, my attempt at healthy recipes, and some other fun stuff about living at the Jersey Shore!
Suzi and I are both Sweat Pink Ambassadors, and have chatted a bit about things we have in common that we might want to guest blog about (those things included fitness (of course), dance, and our recent blog-related travels: Suzi just attended BlogHer 2012 in NYC and I am about to head to Healthy Living Summit 2012 in Boston!)
I loved Suzi’s recent posts about her first EVER trip to Disney! It made me want to hop on a plane and head to the Magic Kingdom immediately, especially since I haven’t been there in almost 10 years! The post also inspired the subject of this guest post! Being that neither Suzi nor I have ever RACED in a Disney event, I thought I’d take to twitter and the blogosphere to find the Top Reasons to runDisney.
For a bit of context, Walt Disney World and Disneyland are homes to a host of race events that have grown over the years and now include marathons, half marathon, 10 miler and 5K races of various themes accompanied by event weekends full of activities (including one with a “Wine and Dine” theme… sign me up like, yesterday).
I came to learn about Disney’s race offering a few years back when I worked for The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, which hosts a training program for runners/racers to participate in endurance events while fundraising for LLS called “Team in Training”. Back then I was not the least bit interested in running. Even if it was through the Magic Kingdom!
Today, as my passion for running and motivation to set new goals grows, the runDisney programs are probably the most enticing distance events for me personally. But, without direct experience, I wanted to see what seasoned Disney Marathoner had to say about the events…
Here’s what some runDisney enthusiasts, tweeps, and bloggers had to say:
M. Love ran her first half marathon with runDisney. She’s currently preparing to go for 3 more Disney race events in the next year! Awesome!

Rides after a run? I’ll take it!

The Expedition Everest Challenge is a 5K event that may be good for those not quite ready to make the jump to a half or full marathon.

You can read about Callie’s costume at the Princess Half Marathon here.

Malinda has run in 17 runDisney races… WOW! Her photos from the Disney Princess Half Marathon here.

Megan’s tweet seems to about sum it up…

Have you done a (or a few) runDisney race(s) before? Thinking about signing up for a certain one? What is your reason to runDisney?

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BlogHer 2012 Day 1: The Rockettes, Martha Stewart and Physique 57

I wish I could sit down and write out all of the things that happened during my trip to New York last week.  At some point I hope to at the very least write out the story of the calamidy Jen and I ended up in within minutes of finally meeting each other in person (after our 3 year long internet friendship), as well as the mess I ended up in when trying to get back to Nova Scotia on Sunday (briefly mentioned here).  The truth is, so much happens at these events that it is impossible to write about it all, or even talk about all of it.  I’m sure J will be hearing about this trip for months and months as I recall little stories and things that happened.  Because baby, a lot happened!

As a fitness blogger at a blogging convention it shouldn’t come as any surprise that I jumped at the opportunity to participate in fitness events, and one in particular caught my eye – Working out with The Rockettes!

Pfizer the makers of Centrum and Caltrate hooked us up.  We got to go backstage at Radio City Music Hall


and even used the stage entrance!


How many people can say that?  Very cool.  Once inside we rode the elevator up to the floor where The Rockettes have their dance studios and hold all of their auditions.  It was really special to be there as normally only The Rockettes, those auditioning for The Rockettes and the people taking their camp during the summer get the chance to use those spaces.

Once in the studio we were split into two lines and divided up according to our height.  The tallest girls were in the middle of each line and then we went in order from next tallest out to the shortest.  This is done to make everyone look as tall as possible.  And how excited was I when I got to be the left middle split for my row!?  That means I was the tallest (yay for tall girls!!)


Once we warmed up we were taught how to do the soldier march from their Christmas Spectacular.  Oddly enough I already knew how to do it because that is one of my standard exercises in my Seniors Fitness classes for helping to build hip strength – and don’t tell anyone but my seniors could have shown a few people there a thing or two about how to do it correctly 😉

We also got to learn some of the classic Rockettes kicks, the scoop and slice (otherwise known as the Rockettes arm hold) and our grand finale was a finishing move that we got to put together with the kicks.  It was a lot of fun and I wish someone had taken a video of it, but the problem with taking a video is then you’re not in the video!  Sheesh.  So you’ll just have to take my word for it.  Afterwards we got the chance to ask them questions, and have our photos taken.



This is the measuring tape on the wall that everyone auditioning has to get measured against.  If you’re not in the height requirement you don’t get to audition (The Requirement is between 5’6″ to 5′ 10 1/2″)


Can we just take a minute to recognize how wide I am standing next to her?  During the season they practise from 9-6 6 days/week!  They must consume and insane amount of calories!

All in all it was pretty cool morning – and it wasn’t even 9am yet!

After a shower and the morning session it was time for lunch with someone you may have heard of before – Martha Stewart!



For someone who has always been crafty (and by crafty I mean craft-y not CRAFTY) I was pretty excited to get to see her.  THEN when they said she would be at the Staples booth at the Expo I had to get my rear there to see if I could meet her.  Enter #sadpanda face here as she left before I got to meet her but at least I tried!

After missing Martha I went back to our room to chill for a little bit before heading off to Physique 57 with Courtney.  We along with a number of other Fitfluential Ambassadors were invited by Well & Good NYC to attend a class at Physique 57 taught by Tanya Becker herself!  After hearing all about barre classes on the interweb this past year or so I was really excited to give one a try!

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Holy. Crow.  I swear that I died at least twice during that class, and considering I was already having trouble walking up and downstairs from the boot camp and walking I had done the day before this certainly didn’t help the situation!



I believe this was taken just moments before my first death 😉

The Physique 57 classes work on the maximum overload principle.  What does that mean?  It means they kill you with a smile on their face 😉 (for a more scientific answer check out Gina’s post on Physique 57).  Afterwards we were treated to a Chobani refreshment from their new Chobani Soho Bar (which I visited the day before – recap on that coming soon!) and I was happy to partake in one or two of the samples while everyone mingled.



Shortly afterwards Courtney and I had to leave to get back to the hotel to shower and head out to another party.  Let me tell you, walking down to the subway – not fun.  And then we entered the scariest, smelliest, subway underpass ever.  We could barely move but we had to run just to get out of there!  Here we are looking sad and scared waiting for the subway car (is that what they are called?) to come.


I look more evil than scared really, but you get the idea.  And yes, we were totally matching, though it was completely accidental. Though everyone seemed to think it was funny that the Canadian girls showed up in matching outfits.

The awesome thing is that they sent us all home with a copy of the Physique 57 book and DVD so we can keep on with the workouts at home.  I’m excited to give the DVD a try and see how it compares to the live class.

And there you have the Reader’s Digest short and condensed version of BlogHer Day 1.

Have you ever tried PHysique 57 or another barre class?  What did you think?

While I swear I did die, I thought the workout was awesome, and am really hoping that I can manage to add the video workout to my schedule at least once a week.

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High Five For Friday

Because I am weird and love seeing what everyone chooses each week I thought I’d join in on From My Grey Desk‘s weekly High Five For Friday meme this week. 


Each Friday bloggers pose 5 photos showcasing things they are loving from the past week, it’s quick, it’s easy, and it’s fun!

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My New York Pandora(esque) bracelet.  I bought it in the jewellery store connected to the HIlton, the price tag read $99, they were selling them for $19.  I’m sure it’s not of the same quality as a real pandora bracelet, but as a memento from New York that I won’t be wearing all the time how could I go wrong?

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How could a cupcake lover like me go to New York without getting a cupcake from Magnolia Bakery? Let me tell you, they live up to their reputation.  I’d like to live in a bowl of the toasted walnut coconut icing that was on my cupcake!

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My Velata fondue warmer.  I may or may not have eaten an entire pineapple while dipping it in milk chocolate fondue recently.  And I may or may not have been dreaming about doing again ever since.  I swear chocolate fondue it’s made of chocolate and happiness, I don’t know how anyone could have chocolate fondue and not be in a good mood afterward.

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After the l-o-n-g time it took me to get home, I couldn’t have been happier to see this furry face, along with Pekoe and J when I got home.  The other thing I was thrilled to see when I got home?  My bed.

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S’mores!  It’s national S’mores day, and we just happen to have a S’more’s making station (best wedding gift EVER!) which we’ll be getting out tonight to celebrate.  Please note, the above photo is from last year and it perhaps the only time in my life I’ve ever toasted a marshmallow without burning it.  That needed to be documented.

There is my dessert filled five – what five things are you loving this week?

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In A New York Minute

BlogHer 2012 is over and I’m back home.

Okay, so it was less like a minute and more like 23 hours of sitting around in the Newark airport alone after all flights to Halifax were cancelled.  Either way, I am back in the good old Nova Scotia!

I’ve got a lot that I want to write about, things I got to see and do while I was in New York, like hanging out with two of The Rockettes, a workout with Tanya Becker the creator of Physique 57, and getting my butt kicked not once but twice by Jamie and Alyse founders of Fit Approach.  I’ll be back to tell more about those and other exciting adventures over the next few days but while I try to sift through the piles of papers that have magically covered my desk here are some photos for your viewing enjoyment!




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Central park


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(hour 22 of sitting in the airport – going on 26 hours with no sleep at this point)

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Guest Post: Marathon TIps

Good morning everybody!  I’m busy running around today getting ready to leave for BlogHer tomorrow morning!  So while I’m off running errands, please enjoy this guest post from my friend Abby!

Hi guys, I’m Abby and I normally blog over at BackatSquare0, but am extremely excited to be here with you all today. My blog focuses on my story of learning to live healthy. One of the biggest steps along this journey has been getting active and learning to be consistent with my exercise. I discovered I actually enjoy running (most days) and set a goal – to turn myself from the girl who couldn’t even run to her own mailbox into a marathon runner.


I’m currently training for my second, the Marine Corp Marathon this October in DC. Along the way I have picked up lots of marathon training information and tips which I’d love to share with you, too bad I didn’t know all this when I started. Contemplating your first half or full? Go for it! You will not regret the decision.

Tips for the First Timer (Half/Full Marathon Running):
Before You Start:
1. Register for a Race – This gives you an end goal and a reason for your training.
2. Create a Training Schedule – Runners World Online has tons of free options. Find one you like, tailor it to fit into your schedule, print it out, and post it where you can see it. Everyday check off when you finish the workout or note any changes. This will help keep you on track.
3. Buy Quality Shoes – You are no longer just walking or jogging around the neighborhood and this isn’t like a Zumba class at the gym. Your feet are taking a beating for multiple miles, protect them. Go to a running shoe store and be professionally fitted for your first pair, it is worth it in the long run. (Below are my Mizunos – I personally wear Wave Creations or Wave Enigmas.)

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4. Invest in Good Clothing – I started doing my training runs in old t-shirts and basketball shirts, but once you start hitting double digit miles you realize that just won’t cut it anymore. Invest in a few good pairs of running shorts, crops, or pants, a couple nice running shirts that are moisture wicking (while you will still sweat the shirts will stick to you way less and it will feel so much better), plus good socks , ladies this is the time you’ll also need to find some quality sports bras.

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During Your Training Runs:
1. Be Safe – Let friends/family know where you are running and take your cell phone with you. Don’t be afraid to call for a ride if you need it. If you twist your ankle running the rest of the way home on it will hurt your training plan much more than calling someone to pick you up will hurt your pride. If you are running at night or early morning make sure you can be seen. I wear very (obnoxiously) neon colors and even have a blinking light that clips on to my shirt (these are sold at most running and sporting goods stores). I may not look the most fashionable, but cars can see me coming and that is what counts.

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2. Listen to Your Body – As a distance runner training for a race you must change your mind set. It is no longer just about having a great run that day, it is about the end goal, your race. If you are in pain when running, or can tell something is wrong, it is not worth pushing through. Stop, rest, recover, and save it for another run. By pushing through injury or even through sickness you may mess yourself up more in the long run (says the girl who didn’t listen to her own advice and ended up with bronchitis/borderline pneumonia for 2 months because she thought she could run through her cold). However, that being said, realize not every run will be a great run and learn to tell the difference between runs where you are injured/sick and need to stop and those where you are just having a run of the mill crummy, hot, or tired run and need to keep going.
3. Hydrate – Carry water, or your beverage of choice, with you on your long runs or plan in hydration stops. I hate carrying my water, which is why I am so glad they have tables and
volunteers at the races, so I personally plan in quick pit stops on my long runs. However, I know many people who run with fuel belts and love them.
4. Fuel – Once you start running into the double digits you need more than just water or a sports drink to fuel your body. Many races offer gels or bananas. If you plan on eating these during the race practice with the same brand to make sure they don’t upset your stomach. I personally can’t use gels because the consistency freaks me out (weird, I know) so I carry my own alternative (many brands have blocks/gummies, Stinger makes waffles, and Jelly Belly even has Sport Beans) on my long run and also on race days.

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5. Practice Like it is Race Day- Try everything you plan on using or wearing on race day out on your long runs. I mean to the letter. Wear the same underwear, shorts/pants, shirt, socks, shoes, etc. so you can make sure everything is comfortable and stays in place. Pack your fuel and practice using it. If you want to use cell phone apps or take a camera with you then do it on your long run to make sure it is practical and will work for you. Get the kinks and mistakes out of the way now so you can change and alter before the race.

After Your Training Runs:
1. Hydrate More! – When you are back home refuel again. Lots of water and also a specialty beverage or sports drink. I’m a big fan of Nuun as it has less sugar junk and hardly any calories.

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2. Stretch – I am the worst about this, but you must schedule stretch time. I do it before I even walk in the door so I won’t get distracted by other things. Even after all that stretching you still feel sore? Maybe it is time to invest in a foam roller. It hurts so good!
3. Relax/Celebrate – One of the best ways to get through that long run is to know you have a little you time coming up so be sure to reward yourself. Let yourself watch a movie or read a book, cook one of your favorite dishes, or my favorite after an early morning long run – take a nap!

The Day Before The Race:
1. Get your Supplies – Lay everything out the night before. All your clothes, shoes, fuel, race bibs, etc. so nothing will be lost or left in hustle and bustle of race morning.
2. Get your Transportation Set – Double check and make sure your transportation is confirmed and you know exactly where to be and when so you will make it to the race on time. This is especially important for large out of town races since you are unfamiliar with the area in the first place and crowd size affect transportation a lot. Big race – leave even earlier than you think necessary.

3. Set 2 Alarms – You’ll sleep better at night knowing you have a backup. Trust me.

4. Have Breakfast Planned Out- You don’t have to eat a full breakfast, but you do need some fuel before you run. I personally grab something I can eat on the shuttle/bus to the race. Make sure you have something you can eat in mind so you can grab it and go the next morning.

Race Day!:
Fuel up, hydrate, listen to your body, & enjoy! If you made it this far you already won the battle.
Celebrate your victory by running a race that makes you proud.

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If you read through all of this you must be seriously considering a half or full marathon. Awesome.

Any questions you have still?  Which race are you thinking about?
(Or maybe you are a fellow distance runner who was just curios to check out my tips. How’d I do?)
Leave a comment and let me know.

I’d love to help you along on your journey if you ever have any questions, need motivation, or just want someone to brag to about a great run or a new personal distance record.

Please feel free to connect with me:
Twitter/Instagram: @BackAtSquare0
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