baked corndogs

Last week I had a few brilliant ideas for some meals to make this week. One of those brilliant ideas? Homemade corndogs. Oh man has it been forever since I’ve had a corndog! When I used to make them at home in the past, I would definitely gravitate toward a pre-packaged variety, one of the favorites being Morningstar Farms. I thought this veggie variety was delicious and not too unhealthy (or at least nowhere near as unhealthy as ones you would get at a fair!).

Luckily, being corn dogs, it’s easy to convert this recipe to be gluten free. Yes, I understand that baked corndogs really look nothing like their fried counterparts (or maybe it’s just me not being able to get them to compare), but the taste is pretty darn similar and the nutritional info is a heck of a lot better. Plus, you can do with the recipe what you will.

Baked Corndogs

  • 2/3c cornmeal
  • 1/3c sorghum
  • 1t baking powder
  • 1.2t salt
  • dash chili powder
  • 1 egg
  • ~1/3c milk (unsweetened almond, regular, soy – not vanilla!)
  • 1T honey
  • 4 gluten free hotdogs (I used Smart Chicken – but feel free to sub any beef or veggie dog you like the best!)

1. Combine all of the dry ingredients and whisk together.

2. Add in the egg, milk and honey and stir to combine. The mixture should be thick, but still spreadable.

3. Pat off the hotdogs with a paper towel and them dip/smear them in the cornmeal mixture. You can be pretty creative at this point and use whatever method works best!

4. Bake in a 425* oven for 15-20 minutes.

My hotdogs pre-oven were definitely not going to win any beauty awards, but I thought the breading would stay on for the most part.

The cornmeal breading did sink off a little bit, but not enough to make it a complete fail of a recipe :).

Want to make these more of a finger food? Cut each hotdog into 3 or 4 pieces and make a mini corndog variety. Perfect for an appetizer or snack! I’m also thinking these would store well in the freezer, and just need to be reheated in the oven or microwave when that corndog craving hits. Serve with a side of steamed broccoli slaw, and you’ve got a perfectly healthy and fun weeknight meal.

You can pretty much sub any spice into the cornmeal breading to give it a unique twist (spicy, mexican, italian) and changing around the type of hotdog inside will also change the flavor considerably. Also adding some shredded cheese in the breading sounds like a pretty good idea ;). You can spice it up, add in other ingredients or just make a special topping to jazz up these corndogs for any occasion.

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what i ate wednesday #14

I have zero creativity right now. I tried to think of a clever title and what did I come up with? What I ate Wednesday #14… There was quite a large gap between number 12 and number 13, but only one week between 13 and 14! I would say that’s improvement :).

With wonderful Wisconsin winters and an 8:30-4:30 job, natural lighting for food pictures is a rarity. So, this week, I decided to take my pictures on Sunday when I was home to take in the natural lighting. Genius, no?

With that, I give you breakfast!

Udi’s Whole Grain Bagel with Cream Cheese and a 1/2 of a grapefruit on the side. I am loving grapefruits lately – even without any suger topping! I always used to load at least a teaspoon of sugar on each half, but this was so naturally sweet that it needed nothing.

Lunch was leftovers from the day before. P.F. Chang’s Gluten Free Pork Fried Rice. This was the best fried rice that I’ve had in so long! I was absolutely in love :). And even though it looks like I used chopsticks to eat it… I so did not.

Midafternoon snack was a Nonfat Latte from Stone Creek Coffee. I absolutely love Stone Creek (just a Wisconsin chain I think?). There was a line of at least four people with one barista behind the counter, and I waited for at least 15 minutes instead of pulling up to the Starbucks drive thru. Good thing it was Sunday and there was nothing better to do so I could wait in line for this delicious and perfectly frothy drink!

I also had some gluten free pretzels + string cheese. I headed off to a heated Vinyasa Flow class in the late afternoon, so I needed come carbs + protein to make it through!

Dinner was definitely a pizza night. Nothing tastes better after sweating buckets in yoga class! Brown Rice Tortilla + marinara sauce + string cheese + mini turkey pepperoni. So good!

We ended up watching quite a few movies this weekend, and what’s a movie without popcorn?? We use the airpopper, and then top with canola oil spray and popcorn salt. The saltiness of it is the perfect way to end a night, and a weekend!

Oh, and how can I forget the multiple World’s Best Chocolate Chip Cookies? Yes, a few of those were consumed as well…

So happy it’s Wednesday!

world’s best chocolate chip cookies

Now don’t get me wrong, I would eat pretty much any type of cookie I could get my hands on. Especially if there’s chocolate. Or frosting. And sprinkles. Anyways, I know cookie recipes really have been taking over my blog lately, what with my 12 days of cookies before Christmas, but these are not Christmas cookies. These are every day and any day cookies.

The best cookie, in my honest opinion, are cakey chocolate chip cookies. Ever since childhood these have been by far my favorite, but I was never successful in making them. They would always turn out too flat, too buttery tasting, I could never get it right.

Little did I know that I would finally find a way to make my favorite kind of chocolate chip cookie while being gluten free. You mean gluten free cookies don’t have to be dry, hard rocks? No, no they do not. I’m not sure if regular bisquick would result in the same type of cookie, but there is just something about the gluten free bisquick that I am just a little obsessed with. Betty Crocker, please feel free to send me unlimited supplies of gluten free bisquick. I will send you some cookies in return. Thank you.

World’s Best Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • 2 1/4 cups gluten free bisquick
  • 1t xanthan gum
  • 1/2t baking soda
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
  • scant 1/4c brown sugar
  • scant 1/4c organic sugar
  • 1t salt
  • 2t vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs (I used egg whites this time because we were out of real eggs!)
  • 1c+ chocolate chips (Guittard semi sweet)

1. Cream the butter and sugar together.

2. Add in the salt, vanilla and eggs.

3. Once that is mixed together, add in the baking soda and bisquick until everything is combined.

4. Add in the chocolate chips.

5. Scoop into larger scoops and place onto a parchment covered baking sheet.

6. Bake in  350* oven for 12-14 minutes, flipping halfway through.

*Adapted from Martha Stewart’s Cakey Chocolate Chip Cookies.

I am still shocked with how delicious these cookies are. I will never go back.

banana bread pancakes

I feel bad for not providing any new recipes since before Christmas… So that’s already almost a month. I really wanted to post something, but haven’t made anything recently, and if I tried during the week my pictures would turn into a major fail – sun, why do you hate Wisconsin in the winter? Thinking back to filling my (NEW!recipes page this past weekend, I came across this picture on my hard drive…
 

Mmm, those look like delicious pancakes! I searched over my blog to see if I ever posted the recipe, and it turns out this one went un-posted. I even had a named post in my draft posts with only the ingredients put in. At least I had gotten that far! And when, you may ask, was this picture/recipe taken and made? September 15th. Oh goodness, that’s quite a long time ago. I wish I could say for certain that I loved this recipe, but to be quite honest, I can’t really remember… but I certainly wouldn’t have saved the picture if they were bad!

Banana Bread Pancakes

  • 1 c oat flour (ground using gluten free oats)
  • 1t baking powder
  • 1/4 c rolled oats
  • 1/4c ground flax
  • cinnamon
  • 2 bananas
  • 1/2 c unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 2 eggs
  • vanilla

1. Mix together all the dry ingredients in a large bowl.

2. In a smaller bowl, mash the banana and then add that, the milk, eggs and vanilla to the dry ingredients.

3. Stir everything together and then cook on a griddle until done.

At least all pancake recipes are cooked basically the same way! Served here with some delicious chicken breakfast sausage.

I imagine these would taste like banana bread… and that sounds quite tasty. I think these might have to be recreated this weekend, along with a bunch of other recipes :).

wiaw revisited


Wow, it’s extremely hard to believe that I haven’t participated in a WIAW since August 10th. What the heck happened? Well, I’m back for the day but not with nearly as nice of pictures to go along with it! Next week will be better!

I wrote way back then that I was in the middle of my third week of working… I’m now coming up on 6 whole months. Crazy, right? I was really busy at work today. Well it’s actually been crazy ever since I got back from the Disney 1/2 Marathon last week – I guess I deserve the busyness for skipping out of work for three (work) days right after the holidays!

I started out this morning the same as I do every day… with a tablespoon of chia mixed in V8 V-Fusion A?ai Mixed Berry  and a (couple of) cups of coffee with my current favorite mix in, chocolate milk, frothed with the Aerolatte. Mmm, I love coffee :). Drinking some chia in the morning really helps me stay hydrated throughout the day, as well as provide some additional protein + fiber for the morning! The coffee is merely a necessity at this point… I wouldn’t want to be around me without it haha.

For breakfast I ate steel-cut oats, made the easiest way ever. 1/4c steel-cut oats + 1 cup water, cooked on the stove the night before. Bring to a boil and cook for just two minutes, and then cover and let sit overnight. The next morning all you have to do is reheat! So simple and I much prefer the texture of the steel-cut oats to rolled. I mixed in some flaxseed and put a big scoop of Smucker’s Natural Chunky peanut butter on top :).

I ended up making it through the whole morning without a snack, even though I was hungry – there just wasn’t time! So I made up for it at lunch by having a salad (with a hidden scoop of hummus), some cottage cheese and Udi’s Millet-Chia Ancient Grains Bread – this is by far the best GF bread on the market!

Pretty much immediately following that I had some Snyder’s Gluten Free Pretzels and string cheese. I don’t know what it is about it, but this is one of my favorite combinations ever! Definitely brings me back to my childhood :).

A few hours later I ate this Mint Chocolate Luna Protein bar – I am more than slightly obsessed with these bars. Full of protein and they taste like a candy bar?! The Mint Chocolate flavor is definitely one of my favorites.

I left work a little later than usual, but was able to make dinner in no time! Sweet Sister put it all together the night before so all I had to do was put it in the oven to warm up and then eat! It ended up being perfect because I was able to shovel (seriously snow, you decide to snow for the first time last week, and it’s already the second downpour in 5 days?!) while it was warming up. Then I quickly ate and was off to my first massage! I ate too quickly and forgot a picture… but this is what was left after we ate – it’s a “baked ziti” dish with gluten free pasta, spaghetti squash, mushrooms, mini turkey pepperoni’s and some sliced string cheese on top. It looks a little interesting, but it was delicious and filling!

The massage was definitely my favorite thing of the day! I had never gotten one before, but Sister gifted me one for Christmas. It was so nice to be in a heated room and on a heated bed for an hour when it’s so cold and snowy outside! It was also really nice to get my muscles relaxed after the 1/2 marathon, I somehow manage never to stretch enough after running and am always tight. Massages might need to happen more in my lifetime… hmmm. And to top it all off I now smell like a coconut haha. The masseuse also had a dish of Dove Dark Chocolate Raspberry Swirl Chocolates – I had never had these before but they’re delicious! When I got home I continued to help shovel off the driveway – I guess that ended up being my workout for the day, darn snow!

Hope you all enjoyed my semi-return to WIAW – I’ll try my best to remember next week and have my food be a bit more colorful! Happy Wednesday!

sweet tomatoes

I know I’ve talked quite a bit about Sweet Tomatoes during my Disney vacation posts… but seriously it’s my favorite restaurant and Milwaukee needs to get one stat. During our final meal there on Monday, I decided to take a few pictures and give it a more in-depth review than I had before.

When you first enter Sweet Tomatoes, you are greeted with two rows of the longest salad bar ever. You pick a side and then pick whatever salad topping you’d like. They even have a premium section with chicken and other more gourmet items on it that’s a few dollars extra. I just went for the basics – romaine lettuce, carrots, sliced raw butternut squash (such a great idea!), hard boiled eggs, tomatoes, and then there were the prepared salads that I loved – Joan’s Broccoli Madness, Wild Fruity Rice and Southern Dill Potato. These three area all gluten free as well as many others (just check their website and they also had a table tent with all the options that I saw after we sat down). Once your plate is piled high, you pay for your food and either find a seat or are seated (depending on busy-ness level).

Once you sit down you’re free to go and grab something to drink (water’s free!) as well as any hot items you’d like. The items I went for? Baked potatoes and sweet potatoes! They had cups of whipped butter and whipped honey butter – could it get any better? They also had a few gluten free soup options, but being in Florida that was the last thing I wanted! For gluten eaters, they had rows of freshly baked bread as well as a pasta bar with freshly tossed and pre-baked pasta dishes. So many options for everyone!

I was more than happy with my salad and potatoes with butters – especially when they had the perfect dessert. Frozen yogurt! I always went for chocolate and vanilla twist, topped with their homemade butterscotch caramel topping – only real ingredients used so it was okay to splurge, right?! And the frozen yogurt was fat free… Making it totally acceptable to go back for a second bowl… ;).

We ate here four times in four days, and you can be certain we will be coming back the next time we’re in Orlando! We’ve even got our eyes set on one just over the boarder in Illinois… a road trip is definitely in order. Milwaukee needs to get the ball rolling here and get a Sweet Tomatoes… although I think I would find any excuse to go there for lunch and dinner multiple times per week! If you ever stumble across a Sweet Tomatoes, definitely head in for a delicious and healthy meal out!

disney 2012: epcot + heading home

We had packed up most of our stuff the night before, so Monday morning was fairly painless (for packing anyways, it’s amazing how sore my legs still are!). Checkout was at 11 so we needed to have everything packed in the car before heading to Epcot. I couldn’t pass by another breakfast of Mickey waffles, so mom went down to the cafe in our hotel to order them and bring them up to our room. After getting ready, packed and having eaten breakfast, we started to load up the car. On the way back from the first load, Sister and I walked around the grounds for a little bit to take some pictures of the hotel – at least we remembered before it was too late!

We headed to Epcot and there were really only two things on our list to do: go on Soarin’ and go on GM test track. It ended up being a really good thing we didn’t have anything else on our list – the place was PACKED! The marathoners were out in full force today after they rested the day before (or Epcot was just more popular today than Hollywood Studios had been the day before). Waiting in line for Soarin’ took almost an hour, but it was well worth it! Soarin’ across California is always nice :).

After we made it through that ride, we headed over to GM Test Track. the line for single riders was only 20 minutes vs. 45-50, so we gladly took the shorter route. Many other people had decided that as well, but it was still not a terribly long line. GM Test Track was not as great as I had remembered – fairly boring anyways, maybe the novelty had worn off? We definitely didn’t feel the need to go on it again.

With our two planned items off the list and not a whole lot of time left, we decided to go to the Coca-Cola refreshment station that has free samples of foreign soda. I know, I know, one of my goals for 2012 was to give up soda, but this was more of a special treat rather than actually drinking it as a beverage haha. I had a cup of the Kinley and some Mezzo Mix – Mezzo Mix is my absolute favorite and I’ve had it in Germany before. You can easily make it at home too, by just mixing half cola and half orange soda – sounds super weird but it’s awesome!

I saw these huge candy buttons in the store too – so cute!

We decided to get on our way then and spotted Bambi on the way out – Disney finally seems like they’re getting rid of their Christmas decorations and putting up some normal ones instead!

Our last day would not have been complete without our fourth and final trip to Sweet Tomatoes. I can’t wait until we can come here again!! After filling up on salads, sweet potatoes and frozen yogurt, we started heading to the airport to get checked in for our flight. The GPS ended up taking us on this super out of the way path that resulted in a dead end… it was great… We finally made it and got our rental car returned, and then checked in to the flight and through security. It was very painless and I didn’t have a mysterious medal toe like I did on our flight here (my toe had to get patted down by security – seriously?!).

I mostly read on the way home and once we got back to Wisconsin, we were greeted with extremely cold weather, but also adorable and excited Crosby so it wasn’t all bad to be back home! Until our next adventure…

disney 2012: hollywood studios + downtown disney

I have officially been a half marathoner for a week – can you believe it? This week was crazy busy at work so I didn’t have the time to finish out my Disney vacation like I had planned – nothing like a weekend to work on the blog! I already updated my about page and races page and will hopefully continue to recipage my recipes page! And of course finish out the Disney trip and then get on to more new and exciting things ;).

Now back to Sunday. This was our only full day to spend in the parks, but we still didn’t get going incredibly early. It is so nice to have relaxing mornings! My legs were still feeling it from the half marathon, but mostly when I went from sitting to standing/walking… continual walking seemed to be better and helped loosen them up a little bit so it wasn’t a horrible thing to be at Disney! We decided to go to Hollywood Studios again because they have the best rides and the most things we wanted to do.

We got there around 10, and we came across some marathoners still running the course. They were at mile 23 and the only thing I kept thinking about was that during the half marathon, the last three miles were the worst. Pretty sure anyone yelling “you’re almost there!” to the runners was risking getting punched. Although the crazy part in me was looking at these runners and was incredibly jealous of where they were. Mile 23 of a marathon? These people are going to finish and get that incredible Mickey medal – some were even going to get a Goofy! This group was finishing between 5 and 5 1/2 hours, and I just got to thinking that it really doesn’t matter the time you finish in, what matters is that you finished, and I can definitely finish a marathon one day – running, walking, crawling or a combination of all three. And next year just so happens to be the 20th anniversary of the Disney Marathon

Anyways, back to Hollywood Studios. We wanted to head straight to Tower of Terror to get in line, but we had to cross the marathoners. It was still a constant stream of runners and we didn’t know how we would manage to get across. Well, Disney is full of geniuses as well as imagineers so of course they had a spectacular plan in place. The running path was split into two paths with a small median in the middle. A group of the spectators/park-goers would group together, go across the path that runners weren’t going on to the median, and then the runners would switch paths while the walkers kept crossing. It’s hard to explain, but it worked like a charm.

Once to Tower of Terror we saw that there was only a 50 minute wait, but we still grabbed a fast pass first for a second trip. We got in line and it only took us about a half an hour to get to the “hotel” and through the ride. Immediately after we got off, we used our fast passes and went again. And then when we got back from that the line was so short we went a third time. We ended up going on Tower of Terror three times in under an hour – it was fantastic!

After we had enough of the Twilight Zone movie (why can’t there be a fast pass that goes straight to the ride?!) we headed to grab a fast pass to Rock ‘n Rollercoaster. We had some time to spend before coming back on that ride, so we decided to go to the 12:45 showing of Beauty and the Beast – mom’s favorite! It was a really cute show and it was a nice perk to be able to sit down for a bit. But getting back up was painful! I really should have worn my medal so that people knew I had an excuse for walking funny… ;).

Once Beauty and the Beast was over, we headed to grab a bite for lunch. We ended up at Studio Catering Co. near the back of the park and Kinley and I shared a turkey sandwich on an EnerG bun and a greek salad (how have I forgotten how much I love feta cheese?!). Disney was fabulous with dealing with the food – a manager came over, took our order and then saw it through from start to finish. They even offered to grill our sandwich between parchment if we wanted or get it cold – we opted for the grilled and it was devine.

After lunch, Kinley and I went back to Rock ‘n Rollercoaster when mom went to go stake out seats for the afternoon parade. Kinley and I hustled and got right to the ride. I had forgotten how much fun this ride was! I especially like the take off at the beginning!

We then hustled back over to where mom was saving seats (right in front of the American Idol experience on the steps) and ended up grabbing ice cream before the parade started. They parade was okay – it was filled with Pixar characters and even though I love Pixar, the parade was pretty boring. The same tiring tune over and over again, but it was still nice to be off my feet.

The parade pretty much finished us up for the day. We had spent a good 5 or so hours at Hollywood Studios, and in combination with Friday had done everything we wanted to do. We decided to go to Downtown Disney for a little bit to get some souvenirs and our last stop at Babycakes – I am going to miss these doughnuts so much!! I ended up getting a Mickey mug and decided to pass on everything else – I had already gotten the long sleeved t-shirt and track jacket from the race expo as well as the marathon goodies (my XS but still big tech T and race bling!) so I was pretty well set already!

We went to bed early tonight. One more day at the parks tomorrow and then heading back home! Vacations always go by too darn fast.

disney 2012: epcot

After we got back from the post-1/2 marathon Mickey waffles, it took awhile to get showered and ready for the day. Showering felt so nice on my sore and fatigued muscles, but standing up getting ready was not as pleasant! There were plenty of breaks where I just sat down on the bed before continuing haha. By the time we were all ready it was time to head for lunch. We decided on Sweet Tomatoes again for the unlimited salad bar :). I didn’t end up having much of an appetite and my eyes were much bigger than my stomach, so about half my salad went untouched, as did a little bit of my potato. By the time we were done eating, we headed toward Epcot to get some park time in.

Even though Sister and I had already ran 13.1 miles today (and mom had a traumatic event of her own 😉 ), we figured the afternoon was perfect for walking around the Epcot showcase. We started in Canada and continued around the world toward Mexico. On the way, we stopped into shops in both the UK and Germany to look for sweatshirts. They didn’t have any that looked that nice and I decided not to spend $50 on just an okay sweatshirt – I’ll find something better to buy with that money :).

The only country we stopped in for more than just taking pictures was the 360’ movie in China. We had seen it on one of our past trips, but it was neat to see it again!

After we got around all of the countries, we decided to stop in the Land building. There was no wait to go on the boat ride through there so we figured we could go on it to see if that had changed at all. The beginning was the same, but going through the greenhouse was really neat. All of their new growing techniques make everything look so cool.

After the boat ride we stopped at Seasons for a quick snack. We decided on hard boiled eggs, potato chips and an unsweetened black iced tea. I needed caffeine but have been good about my no soda resolution so the tea was a good option!

We were pretty set at Epcot for the day, so we decided to leave around 5. We drove to Downtown Disney because we were offered a free meal at Portobello’s because of the crouton incident with the salads on Thursday night. The manager called mom checking on how we were doing – Kinley wasn’t feeling so hot on Friday but is unsure whether it was from a crumb or just the unhealthy eating we had the previous day. He wanted to make good with us and show us how they can deal with allergies, and how they train their servers to do so. We decided to go back and give it another try, especially since the manager was very adamant that we take him up on his offer. It is a really good thing we had reservations and a “VIP” table – the wait was hours long by the time we got there and we only had to wait a few minutes for our table to be ready. We were seated and the waiter came over and explained that all of their pasta dishes could be done with gluten free penne pasta. I had my eyes on the rigatoni calabrese (Italian sausage, mushrooms, tomatoes, olives, escarole) and it could easily be made gluten free. The chef even came over to our table to assure us that everything was being made without cross-contamination. She has a son with a gluten intolerance so that made us even more comforted! After she talked to us she headed back to make the homemade gluten free pasta!

Let me just say that I am so glad we returned! I didn’t know that gluten free pasta could be made in a restaurant and it was so delicious! I only wish they would have served some kind of gluten free bread with their roasted garlic that looked oh-so-good. I ate almost my entire bowl of pasta, and then we headed back to the hotel and very quickly went to bed. Dinner did end up taking longer than expected because the chef made fresh pasta for us (and the place was packed!), but it was well worth the wait. We were all very happy to be back and in our beds finally after a whirlwind of a day!

race recap: walt disney world 1/2 marathon

I can’t believe my first half marathon is OVER! Training seemed to fly by and the past week has just flown. We woke up at 2am to drink coffee (lots and lots of coffee!), eat something (half a bagel with PB2) and get dressed and ready to catch our shuttle.

We got on the one from our hotel (a perk of staying at a Disney property!) at 3:50 and headed toward the parking lot of Epcot where the start/finish line was. It took about 30-40 minutes to drive the short distance. The roads were packed with half marathoners. We were urged to take Disney’s own transportation, but for people staying off-property or who live in the area there wasn’t a way to take it. When we finally got to the area, we got off the bus and walked close to 10 minutes to find the port-o-lets. Too much coffee! Each port-o-let had a huge line, so we got in one and made our way up. Mom came with us for this part. Originally we were thinking we would need sweaters in the morning from the chilly air, but not this morning!

When it was closer to 5, mom left and headed to the spectator spot at Cinderella’s Castle. She got a ChEAR squad package that let her have special access to front-row viewing. I think she’s glad she did that, and got a t-shirt and blanket to wear as well! There was a spot for bag drop-off. We didn’t need to do this since mom would be at the finish, so we passed on by and headed into the cluster of people ahead. There were more port-o-lets on this side with even longer lines, and somehow we funneled through them in the crowd to start getting into the corrals. This walk was super long! Along the way we got on an off ramp with more port-o-lets and decided to take the opportunity to go again before waiting to run.

We finally got to my corral (I was C, Kinley was B but decided to hang back to run together). At 5:30 the wheelchairs went and then were followed every 7 minutes or so by another wave. We took this time to take a few pictures, obviously :). They had large screens up so we could watch Donald and the gang count down for each corral. Each corral got a countdown, and each corral got a fireworks show. Of course the first fireworks were the best and biggest, and scaled back from there. In no time, it was corral C’s turn and we were off! We were stuck in a hoard of people, not able to keep anything better than a 12:30 average, below what we were wanting. Some were dodging left and right, weaving in between runners, but that was difficult then we were running together and didn’t want to sprint to pass by others. We thought it was going to thin out, but it never did…

The first part of the race went pretty well except for incredibly slow. Probably why it felt okay! It was all on roads/highways so there was no scenery until we reached mile 5 – 5 1/2 and got to Magic Kingdom. We had to go through a few tiny doorways to navigate around to actually get in the park, that caused even more traffic back-up. I loved running through Tomorrowland. It was still really dark out and it was nicely lit up with a ton of music blasting – just what I needed to give me motivation! (Side note: I decided to run without music for this race and I never missed having it! I still had my iPod on to track my time and splits but only looked a few times since it was clipped on my bra.)

Right before getting to the 6 mile mark, it was time to run through Cinderella’s castle! This was a really neat experience and definitely the highlight of the run. Right after we got through, we managed to spot mom yelling at us from her ChEAR squad station and decided to go over by her to get a picture of us. We were stopped for a couple of minutes and I also handed her my back bib because I had already sweated through it – whoops!

After the short diversion, we went on our way again through Frontierland and then out of the park. Again. The next 6 miles were on a highway and/or a backlot of Magic Kingdom. It was tough. After the 10k point I realized no race I had ever done is further than that, so I was headed somewhere I had never been. The miles between 8 and 11 are the dimmest for me, I think I was partly zoning out, largely freaking out, and tired from navigating through all the people. At one point along this stretch Kinley asked if we wanted a picture with Chip and Dale. Even though it would have been nice to stand and wait in line and rest a bit, the line was also 10+ people deep so it would have meant making it to the finish even later. I tried to not be concerned with time during my training runs, but I still had some expectations. Within the first mile of the race I dropped all expectations and just wanted to cross the finish and get my medal, but I thought stopping at Chip and Dale would have made the last stretch harder than it already was going to be.

Lovely Disney decided that at the 10 1/2 mile point they would send us up three hills, that would last for a good mile and a half to the finish. I remember Kinley and I were headed up the exit ramp and she looked over and said if we picked up our pace we could finish in 2 1/2 hours. That was tempting and even though I had nothing left in me, I prepared to run up the hills at a faster pace than the rest of the race. It was tough, and I was mentally and physically drained. I knew I could cross the finish, but I didn’t think I could make it in 2:30. I stopped and walked to catch by breath a few times, but I managed to keep my legs moving. The last half mile was in Epcot and I barely remember running this at all. I got really cold and shaky and felt lightheaded and the finish line was not getting any closer. There were so many twists and turns I kept thinking “at the next one, I’ll see the finish!”, but it never happened. There was no long straightway to the finish, only one filled with twists and turns. Right before the finish line came up, Kinley grabbed my arm and practically pulled me across the finish line. We somehow managed to get the exact same time. 2:30:54. With 6 seconds to spare in the 2:30’s.

Once through the finish line, I was real lightheaded and tried to keep my legs moving to go forward to get some nutrition and one of the blanket things to help me warm up and get rid of my chills. We stopped by the medical tent to see if they had Powerade, but they only had water and no salt packets or any electrolyte recovery anything. We kept on our way and I had to stop along the side for a bit, being yelled at to “keep moving” from one of the volunteers. Sorry guy, but if I move I might pass out so just give me a second. I got my race medal, and yelled at Kinley to get her own when she was about to walk away without one. Dork.

We then encountered multiple huge lines of people waiting for food. We passed these by, but I grabbed an orange while walking – sorry to bud in front of you person, but all I wanted was something fruity and to get out to sit down. We saw mom in the distance and were yelling at her, and she was looking in every direction that was not us, so we had to get out quickly so we wouldn’t lose her. We got there, and I promptly sat down and ate a couple slices of my orange. I was feeling weird, and not really like I wanted to be eating so I just sat there for a bit, looking at my medal :).

We took a few finisher pictures here too since we went around the Disney photographers to avoid yet another line. I still can’t believe I have finished a half marathon. It seems surreal and if I wasn’t in a huge amount of pain today I wouldn’t believe it :). Once we got back to the hotel, mom went and checked at our cafe to see what they could make gluten free. Turns out they could make special Mickey waffles with Bob’s Red Mill mix! They also used applesauce and apple juice (probably for kids with dairy allergies too). Disney is awesome with allergen-friendly cuisine and we will definitely have to go back for these waffles again!

With the race starting around 5:45 for us, finishing by 8:20 and getting back to the hotel by 9, we still had most of the day ahead of us!