I’m Only Half Crazy

Good afternoon!

So, I did something a little crazy yesterday. I signed up for a half marathon…the Disney World half marathon in Florida in January, 2015.

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I know, I know. It came as a surprise to me too.

My sister-in-law, Crystal, has run two Disney half marathons and has loved them. She set a new goal for herself of running the Disney half marathon followed by the Disney full marathon the next day (impressive!). She told us about it on Easter and said that she was registering Tuesday.

I have wanted to run a half marathon for a long time. As some of you know, I was signed up for the Zooma half marathon last year, but started having hip problems. After seeing the doctor, she recommended that I not run the race.

My hip still isn’t fully better and it took my calves four days to recover from the Shamrock Shuffle 8k, but running a half marathon is something that I feel like I need to do only if it’s just once in my life.

For what I hear, Disney races are more about the fun and experience than how fast you can go. I plan on simply finishing the half marathon. All I want to do is cross that finish line. If my hip hurts or my calves get tight, I’ll walk. I’m not going to push my body to do what it can’t do, but I sure am going to give it my all and try to the best of my ability.

I have dealt with many running injuries – hip bursitis, plantar fasciitis, compartment syndrome, and my current hip/quad/glute problem. For me, every step I run is an accomplishment. Running doesn’t come easy for me and it never will, but that’s what makes me work harder.

And can we just talk about my sister-in-law for a minute?! A half marathon followed by a full marathon the next day?! Talk about an accomplishment! Awesome! That is such a great accomplishment and I can’t wait for her to be able to achieve her goal!

Registration for the Disney marathon weekend opened up yesterday and already the half marathon, 10k, and 5k are all sold out. When I went to the gym this morning, registration was still open and just an hour later it was sold out. Danny had decided to also run the half marathon since we were able to find someone to watch the kids, but now he won’t be able to. :( Disney races sure are popular.

It’s still quite a while from now, which gives me plenty of time to train and save up! :)  I’m excited but nervous!

Today’s Workout

  • Walking/running – 35 minutes
  •   BodyPump – 60 minutes

Post workout, I had half a Cellucor chocolate protein shake and a Kashi bar.

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Lunch

For lunch yesterday and today, I had fish tacos made with Mahi Mahi taco mix from Whole Foods on corn tortillas topped with pineapple salsa.

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I accidently bought the pineapple salsa thinking it was mango salsa, but it was still delicious on my tacos!

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I also had a Steaz iced green tea with lemonade. These are great when I need a little break from water.

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Have a great afternoon!

  • Have you ever run a Disney race?
  • Have you ever run a half marathon?
  • Biggest goal you’ve ever set for yourself?

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Easter Weekend 2014

Good afternoon! I hope everyone had a good weekend and a great Easter. We had absolutely gorgeous weather here yesterday and spent most of the day outside.

Friday

Friday evening, my dad and stepmom came over to dye Easter eggs with us.

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My dad always gets really creative with his eggs.

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This year, he made eggs for the girls and had them decorate their own eggs to look like themselves!

Saturday

On Saturday morning, I made Easter bunny pancakes for Jaden.

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I thought they came out so cute!

After breakfast, Jacob had his first soccer game.

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I had to leave about halfway through the game to take Jaden to his baseball practice. It’s hard juggling activities with two kids – I don’t know how you moms with more than two kids do it! Luckily, my in-laws are always willing to help take the kids to practices and games if we need them to. :)

After baseball practice, I went to the gym for a workout. I did an upper body workout (biceps, chest, shoulders, triceps) followed by a 20 minute HIIT workout on the Stairmaster.

Saturday night we got the kids in bed early since the Easter bunny was coming! Jaden lost both his front teeth on Saturday so he got a visit from the Easter bunny and the tooth fairy! I have never seen him so excited!

Sunday

We woke up early Sunday morning and the kids had fun searching for Easter eggs and their baskets.

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Later in the morning, my brother, sister-in-law, niece, and mom came over for breakfast.

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Jaden missing his two front teeth:

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My niece had fun going on an egg hunt in our backyard. I just love when they’re that age – they get so happy and excited!

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Sunday afternoon, we went to my dad and stepmom’s house for dinner.

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The kids had another Easter egg hunt and had fun playing outside.

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The weather was perfect so we spent most of the day outside:

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I cannot wait to start having beautiful weather on a regular basis.

Of course, we finished the night with some delicious Easter cake.

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How cute is that cake?! And it was so good – vanilla cake with strawberries.

By the time yesterday night rolled around, I was exhausted. I was happy to get in bed and sleep!

**Congrats to everyone that ran the Boston Marathon today – an awesome accomplishment!**

  • How was your weekend/Easter?

 

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Homemade Peanut Butter Eggs Recipe

Every0ne knows that peanut butter and chocolate is one of the best food combinations ever. Ever. I feel sad for my brother and Jacob who are both allergic to peanut butter. They don’t get to taste the most delicious food in the world. Okay, okay, maybe it’s not the most delicious food, but it’s pretty good :)

Tonight my family is coming over for dinner and to dye Easter eggs so I made peanut butter eggs for dessert.

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Reese’s peanut butter eggs are one of my favorite holiday treats, so I decided to try making them myself. At first I tried using a plastic egg to make the egg shape out of the peanut butter but that didn’t work too well, so I just used my hands to shape them. They weren’t perfect egg shapes but they tasted delicious!

Also, these are not healthy by any means. But they are a prefect for a treat. :)

Peanut Butter Eggs

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/4 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 2 cups milk chocolate chips
  • 2 tbsp. Crisco or other vegetable shortening

Directions:

  • In a saucepan over medium heat, stir together peanut butter, butter, and brown sugar. Stir constantly until completely blended. (This step can also be done in the microwave).
  • Remove from heat and let cool. When mixture is cool, slowly stir in confectioner’s sugar in small amounts until completely blended.

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      • Refrigerate peanut butter mixture for about 30 minutes so it’s easier to shape into eggs
      • Line cookie sheet with wax paper. Shape peanut butter mixture into egg shapes and place on wax paper cookie sheet.

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    • Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
    • Melt chocolate chips and Crisco together in the microwave at 50% power in 30 second increments until melted. Make sure to stir well every 30 seconds.
    • Using a fork dip each peanut butter egg into chocolate making sure to coat the whole egg. Place eggs back on wax paper
    • Refrigerate 30 minutes so the chocolate can set. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

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Enjoy!!

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40 Minute Workout: Core and HIIT

Good afternoon!

Yesterday’s Workout:

  • BodyPump – 60 minutes

Today’s Workout:

  • Core workout – 20 minutes
  • HIIT workout – 20 minutes
  • Walking/cooling down/stretching

This morning at the gym, I did the following workout:

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After the ab exercises, I did a high intensity interval workout on the Stairmaster. I climbed fast for one minute and recovered for two minutes. My recovery speed was 5 and my work speed was between 18 and 20. The Stairmaster at my gym only goes up to a speed of 20, so I was nice and sweaty by the time I was done!

I finished up my workout with some slow walking and stretching. My hip has been bothering me lately, so I am trying to make sure I stretch.

Post workout I had an EAS protein drink and a Kashi bar – random but I was hungry!

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FitBit

I have still been wearing my FitBit on a daily basis and I walked almost 20,000 steps yesterday! So close!

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So far, I am really liking it. The one thing that I don’t like is that I have to put it to “sleep” each night. It’s really easy to do – you just have to tap it 5 or 6 times, but for some reason, I can never remember to do this. I am not too concerned about my sleep, so it’s not really a big deal to me. And it also has to be “woken up” in the morning. If I do remember to put it to sleep, I usually forget to wake it up in the morning.

The one other thing I don’t like is that I don’t think it counts the Stairmaster as steps. I walked over 100 floors and it didn’t count it. Besides that I like using it and I feel like it helps keep me accountable.

The kids don’t have school tomorrow so I won’t be teaching BodyPump. Instead, we’ll be getting ready for Easter!

Have a great afternoon!

  • What’s your favorite cardio exercise or machine?
  • Do you prefer strength training or cardio?
  • What do you do for Easter?

 

 

 

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Anniversary

Happy anniversary to my wonderful husband, Danny! I love you! PicMonkey Collage Breakfast

Breakfast this morning was strawberry peanut butter overnight oats…even though there’s snow on the ground, I still went with a cold breakfast. 011 My oats included:

  • strawberry Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup oats
  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • 1 tbsp. chia seeds
  • 1 tbsp. PB2

I mixed all the ingredients up last night and let it sit in the fridge overnight and then I topped it with blueberries this morning.

Today’s Workout

  • Women on Weights Class – 45 minutes
  • HIIT Stairmaster workout – 20 minutes

20140415_112851 In Women on Weights class today we focused on abs, triceps, and biceps. After the class, I did a 20 minute high intensity interval training workout on the Stairmaster. I haven’t been on the Stairmaster in quite awhile and I was sweaty by the time I was done. I did climb as high as the Eiffel Tower :)

Post workout, I had a CorePower chocolate drink that Danny got me as a morning anniversary present. He knows me too well. 20140415_113416 Lunch

Lunch was delicious today. I made English muffin hummus melts. 005 They are amazing. The spinach, cheese, and hummus is such a great combination.

Have a great afternoon!

  • What did you have for breakfast or lunch today?
  • Ever use the Stairmaster?

 

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Anniversary Dinner – Texas de Brazil

Good afternoon! How was your weekend?

Saturday

On Saturday night, Danny and I went out to dinner to celebrate our anniversary. Our actual anniversary is tomorrow.

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That’s the only picture where both our eyes were open at the same time and you can see my little photographer in the reflection :)

I surprised Danny with dinner reservations at Texas de Brazil, a Brazilian steakhouse.

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Since I’m not really a meat eater, we don’t go to steakhouses often, so I thought it would be a nice change for Danny to go to Texas de Brazil. Neither one of us has been there before, and it was amazing.

I was a little worried about going since Texas de Brazil is a meat lovers dream, but after reading reviews online about their salad bar, I decided it would be worth it to try out. I got the “light dinner” which includes everything but the meat and it a little cheaper.

The salad bar was amazing with so many different items – lobster bisque soup, lettuce, smoked salmon, fresh mozzarella balls, roasted peppers, olives, smoked provolone cheese, couscous, sushi, pineapple, green beans, asparagus, au gratin potatoes, breads, etc. It was delicious. The best part was the lobster bisque - hands down.

The restaurant was pretty dark so I unfortunately didn’t get any pictures of the food.

Danny loved the meat. He had a few different kinds of beef, lamb, and sausage. They also have chicken but it didn’t make its way to our table. It was a really good dinner and a really fun night with my husband :)

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Sunday

On Sunday morning, Jaden had an Easter egg hunt in the pool at our gym. He had fun but it was a little crazy and chaotic. There was 100 kids there and they split them up by age group. Ages 3-6 went first in the shallow pool, and the kids ages 7 -10 went in the big pool.

They should have separated the kids by skill level not age because although Jaden is seven, he can’t swim in water over his head. He wouldn’t have been able to get one single egg since they were all in the deep end of the pool until I had Danny ask the lifeguard for a life jacket for him. Luckily, he was able to get a few eggs while wearing the vest.

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After Jaden’s egg hunt, I went upstairs to the gym to do an upper body workout.

I did the exercises as supersets (no rest in between exercises, resting one minute in between supersets). I did 12-15 reps of each exercise, 3x.

Superset #1

  • Seated cable row
  • Wide grip lat pulldown

Superset #2

  • Standing barbell biceps curls
  • Single leg dumbbell biceps curls (switch legs halfway)

Superset #3

  • Seated dumbbell shoulder press
  • Standing dumbbell lateral raises

Superset #4

  • Seated stability ball overhead triceps extensions
  • Skull crushers on bench with EZ bar

Superset #5

  • Bench dumbbell chest press
  • Cable chest flys

It was a great workout and my upper body is feeling it today!

  • What did you do this weekend?
  • How old were you when you learned to swim?
  • Favorite restaurant?

 

 

 

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Friday Favorites: Food and Drink

Good afternoon! The weather today is absolutely beautiful and it’s such a wonderful change after a long, cold winter!!

This morning, I taught BodyPump. Lunges are still killing my legs and hips as usual.

On to today’s favorites! Here’s a few of the foods and drinks that I’ve been loving lately.

  • Clementines

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I love clementine’s. I bought a box a couple of days ago and it’s almost gone already. I eat like four or five of these things a day.

  • Dole BBQ Chopped Salad

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Danny and I have been loving this salad lately. I have been eating it with lunch or dinner almost everyday. I usually skip the tortilla strips.  It has carrots, green onions, cabbage, kale, and romaine. It’s delicious.

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  • Starbucks Green Tea

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I get my unsweetened and add in my own Truvia. Zero calories and a nice change from water.

  • PB2

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This stuff is so good and can be used it in so many ways. Lately, I have been using it in smoothies, Greek yogurt, and oatmeal.

  • Chocolate Strawberry Dippers

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I buy a box of these every time I go to the store. It’s a problem really. I am just afraid of running out because I love these little chocolate covered strawberries so much!

A lot of the time, I crave something sweet after I eat, and these are perfect. They only have 60 calories for a package (four halves), I get my chocolate fix and I’m eating fruit too - It’s a win-win situation!

This afternoon, I am off to be a mystery reader at Jaden’s school. It’s a surprise and he doesn’t know I’m coming so he’ll be so excited!

  • What is your favorite food or drink of the moment?

 

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Peanut Butter Oats and a Workout

Good afternoon!

Today’s Workout

  • 3 miles outside
  • Strength training
  • Stretching

It’s so beautiful here in Chicagoland that I ran outside today! I parked by the gym and ran three miles outside. The first two miles were good but by the third mile my hip really started to ache so I had a take a few walking breaks. Darn hip.

After running, I went inside the gym and did some strength training.

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(For my run, I wore my Garmin and Polar heart rate monitor and the calorie count is different by about 100 calories. I know I should get an all in one device, but I wondered if anyone knew which one were more accurate on the calories burned? The polar or the garmin?)

I did the following supersets with no rest between exercises and one minute rest in-between sets. I did each set three times.

Super set #1:

  • incline biceps curls x12
  • plank to row x12

Superset #2:

  • standing hammer curls x12
  • reverse flys x12

Superset #3 (abs):

  • plank – 1 minute
  • sit-ups with medicine ball x20
  • hip bridges x15

After I was done, I stretched for a short time.

Breakfast

Breakfast today was something a little different than my usual protein pancakes or eggs and toast. I made peanut butter oatmeal.

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For my oatmeal, I used:

  • 1/4 cup Perfect Portions Quaker Oats
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1 tbsp. PB2

That’s it! I mixed everything up and cooked it in the microwave for about 90 seconds and topped it with a few blueberries. It was so fast, easy, and delicious!

After the gym, I had a hair appointment and then I stopped at Starbucks for an unsweetened ice tea – the perfect afternoon treat on a beautiful day :)

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Smoothies

Yesterday I made my first smoothie of the year! I swear I live on smoothies in the spring and summer.

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My smoothie yesterday had frozen strawberries, plain Greek yogurt, PB2 (I’m on a PB2 kick lately), almond milk, and ice. It was so good and I was sad when it was gone.

Have a great afternoon!

  • What did you have for breakfast?
  • Do you like smoothies?
  • Favorite Starbucks drink?

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Changes

Good afternoon! Spring break is over and life is back to normal…for the most part.

On the last day of spring break, we took the kids to a local train restaurant where all the food is delivered by train.

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We went once a few years ago for Jaden’s birthday. It was fun, but I think they both might be getting a little too old for it.

Workouts:

  • Sunday – taught BodyPump
  • Monday – Running (indoor track) and abs
  • Tuesday – Women on Weights class and incline walking on treadmill

Tomorrow is supposed to be sunny and 60 degrees so I am hoping to run outside. :)

My normal schedule has changed quite a bit lately. I am now watching my niece two days at about 10:30 am which changes my workout schedule a bit. I am also working four evening a week, a couple of mornings, and teaching BodyPump on Friday mornings.

Working four nights a week at dinnertime has made things a little more stressful. My kids also started soccer and baseball practice three nights a week making things even more crazy.

I have started to plan my meals out a little more since I don’t get home until between 8 and 9 pm. I usually have a small snack before I leave the house and dinner when I get home. I’m trying to prep some food so that I don’t grab the first thing I see and eat it all.

Yesterday I made some baked chicken and veggies.

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I can only stand so much chicken and veggies so I made a lot of chicken for Danny to eat for lunch and dinner and veggies for myself. (Danny’s been trying to eat better too).

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Danny will usually put some salmon or something for me in the oven when I’m on my way home.

I also bought some high protein snacks that are easy to grab fast.

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Cottage cheese and Greek yogurt. I like to eat the cottage cheese with a clementine, and I mix the Greek yogurt with one Truvia packet and PB2. I eat it with apple slices and it’s so delicious. It’s almost like eating a dessert. Almost. I kind of think desserts should contain chocolate :)

I think meal prepping and planning makes things a little bit easier and I’m not reaching for something unhealthy.

Have a great afternoon!

  • Do you work late?
  • Do you meal prep or meal plan?

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Fun Run 2014 in Color 5k Recap

Good Morning!

Yesterday, Jaden completed his very first 5k!

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We ran the Fun Run 2014 in Color 5k with my dad and stepmom. It was even featured on the local ABC TV news station that morning.

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The Fun Run is an untimed color race where powdered color is thrown on you as your run at four different stations.

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The race started at 8:00 am. We got there about 7:15 am and were able to find close parking right away. Jaden got his face painted by my dad.

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I use the port-o-potty twice. The first time, I was able to walk right up without waiting but then I decided that I had to go again 7 minutes before the race started and there was a long line. I waited and got back to the start line right on time. There was five port-o-potties, and with over 1,000 runners, I think they need to add a couple more next year.

The race started in waves depending how you lined up. They let a group of runner go with a couple of minutes in between each group so the color stations weren’t overcrowded with people.

My dad and stepmom stayed together, Danny and Jacob ran together, and Jaden and I stayed together. Jaden started out running really good and was able to make it almost a half mile before he got tired. He seems to have exactly two speeds – sprinting and walking. We walked a lot of the race with a little bit of running when he was ready.

But you better believe he ran like crazy when he saw the upcoming color stations:

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He learned very quickly to keep his mouth closed at the color stations. At the first station, he left his mouth open and spent the next half a mile spitting out color.

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The one thing I didn’t like was that there wasn’t a water station on the course at all. Jaden begged for water the whole time and I didn’t even think to bring any. I know that it’s only a three mile race but when you have a race that a lot of kids are running and a race where you can get color in your mouth and eyes, you should have at least one water station.

Jaden really slowed down at the end of the race and every time I encouraged him to go faster (mostly so we could move out of people’s way) he would scream, “stop forcing me to run faster!” at the top of his lungs so I got some not-so-nice looks from people around me.

About a quarter of a mile from the finish, we saw Danny and Jacob and Jaden took off running. Sure, start running when you see Daddy. We went through the final color station and crossed the finish line!

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According to my Garmin, we finished the race in 41:48. My goal for Jaden was 45 minutes so I was happy he was able to finish in under that. If we do it next time, I will definitely carry water for him.

My stepmom and Dad did awesome – I think my dad got the most color on him than all of us!

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There were bagels, bananas, and clementines at the end of the race. There was also Propel water and coffee – I love races that have coffee afterwards!

There was also an after party where everyone got bags of color and threw them all at once. There was color everywhere!

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We had to leave quickly after the race since the kids had soccer and baseball practice but we did stay around to throw our color packets! There was also a wind tent where you could get the color blown off of you.

Overall, this was a really fun race. It’s great for kids and Jaden loved it. Parking was easy and the course went through a local neighborhood and around a park. It started on time and everything ran smoothly. I do wish they had a water station on the course.

We didn’t wait in line for the wind station but we did bring towels to put on the car seats. If you run a color race make sure to bring towels or extra clothes!

Fun times!

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