26. March 2013 · Comments Off on Florida Discoveries 40: The McGuire’s St. Patrick’s Day Run · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: , , , , ,
Just before race time!

Just before race time!

A couple weeks ago we took part in another Florida Panhandle tradition: the McGuire’s St. Patrick’s Day 5K Prediction Run on March 9th.

This is a race that rewards not how fast you can run, but how close you finish to a time you predict at registration time. It happens to be considered the nation’s largest prediction run. It’s also a race that welcomes crazy costumes and serves Irish stew, beer and the restaurant’s signature drink, the Irish Wake, for 3 hours after the first person crosses the finish line.

Our whole family was registered to do the race, but Timmy was sick the week before, so his baseball coach offered to take him to the Navarre Baseball opening ceremonies and we were able to meet him in time for his game. Jacob was excited to take part in the run!

More »

16. February 2013 · Comments Off on What Does it Take for a Successful Long Training Run? · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: ,
Just before the Gulf Coast Half Marathon, April 2011. There are many things I had to do before I was ready to take this run.

Just before the Gulf Coast Half Marathon, Pensacola Beach, FL, April 2011. There are many things I had to do before I was ready to take this run.

I’ve discussed before how my brain goes through some pretty funky thought exercises when I’m taking long training runs (as well as long drives by myself).

On Friday I took my last training run before the Disney Princess 1/2 Marathon next weekend.  This last run was somewhat delayed because the week prior I threw out my back somehow and I had to rest it for a week.

For this last run, I had to turn around after about 1/3 of a mile because I had forgotten something. This got me thinking about everything I have to do before taking a long run.*** I tend to get a bit Princess-and-the-Pea-ish about making sure everything is perfect, otherwise I could get miserable in a hurry.

More »

20. May 2012 · Comments Off on Nebraska Discoveries 21*: The Keystone Trail in Bellevue · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: , , , , , ,

* I plan to renumber/redesignate my Nebraska-sightseeing-related blog posts into something more mangeable for search engines. Stay tuned, if you subscribe via RSS you might get inundated with updates. I’m not changing the text of the posts, just the titles and tagging.

The Keystone Trail parallels Papio Creek in Bellevue.

On Friday I took a short run on one of eastern Nebraska’s awesome running trails: The Keystone Trail.  I used to run on this trail a LOT when we were living in Nebraska, and I’ve written previously about the great views it gave us of the Offutt Air Show in 2008.  This is how I did my 10K and 1/2 marathon training when I lived in the area.

From where I’m staying in Bellevue for my reserve work right now, it was about a 1/2 mile run to a trailhead off Capehart Rd.  It was so easy.  So I set my Nike+ for a 5K run and ran out 1.5 miles or so on the trail.  On the return trip, once my Nike+ told me I had run 5K, I stopped to enjoy the views.  I could take some pictures too.

The markers are approximately every tenth of a mile. They are a bit misleading on this marker: the "K" is for "Keystone" and not "kilometer". The numbers posted are miles.

More »

16. May 2012 · Comments Off on Seen at the Offutt Field House · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: , , , , , ,

The Offutt Field House.  It was my second home when we were living in Omaha.  It seemed to be a shorter drive from our house in Nebraska to the Offutt Field House than our current drive from our house to the neighborhood community center’s gym.

The Field House is one of the largest gyms in the Air Force.  It is a converted aircraft hangar and even with everything in the fitness center, there are still large parts of the same building dedicated to other missions.  The Field House has several basketball and volleyball courts, three tennis courts, a 0.4 mile running track, a soccer pitch, indoor golf driving range training cages, several cardio training areas, several weight training areas (both free weights and machines) and even a kid-friendly area where parents can do both cardio and weight training on the perimeter of a full-sized playground structure.

I was half-marathon training on my last visit to Nebraska in January so I was running outside, and I wasn’t in Nebraska on my previous Air Force Reserve stint.  So I hadn’t set foot in the Field House since last September.

There were some pretty significant changes after not having visited for 7 months.

There are Fathead wall decals throughout the facility now.  I hope those were donated to the Field House and not purchased with government funds.

This huge Crossfit gym appeared. While I didn't capture it in the picture, there were over a dozen people doing Crossfit workouts while I was running laps around them on the track. http://totactfit.com/

This area used to be a kid-friendly cardio area with basketball hoops available for kids. It's now the Offutt Combatives Club training area. There is also space for MMA training. Boy, times have changed. I'm awaiting the return of a square boxing ring.

Finally, I thought I'd show off some of the Fatheads that were gracing the blank walls around the track. This is Troy Palomalu (from his USC days). To the right of him is Clay Matthews of the Green Bay Packers. There was also a huge Nebraska Stadium Fathead.

08. March 2012 · Comments Off on Runner Girl Plays Dress Up — Part 2 · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: , , ,

As you read in Part 1, Steph and I had to try to sleep the night before the big race, except we were too excited to sleep and we each probably got 3-4 hours of sleep total.

We got up at 2am — YAWN! — and was ready to meet the first bus from our hotel to the race venue.


Once we were dropped off, we had a long walk to the bag check.  A girl who was sitting near us on the bus was chatting with us.  And wouldn’t you know it?  Her brother is a weatherman in the Air Force!  And was traveling down to Dave’s squadron for some training!

Where’s Kevin Bacon???

I won’t bore you with the details of waiting to wait for the start of the race.
But here are some cute costumes to put smiles on your faces:

The start of the race is impressive.  Fairy Godmother comes out and says “Bibbity Bobbity Boo!” and fireworks are shot off!

I was in Corral A — so I had a great view of the start of the race!

During the race there are many opportunities to take pictures with the Disney characters.  I didn’t start doing this till the castle at about mile 5, when it was clear that most of the girls in my corral didn’t care about the pictures and there were no waits for most of the pictures.

So even though I didn’t plan to, I bought the digital copies of the race pictures.  There were so many, it was worth it!

Enjoy some of the professional pictures taken during the race:

That Prince Charming was — WOW!

The girl in the Snow White costume is Lisa from Houston.  She paced with me for miles 2-10! 
I wish the castle wasn’t so dark behind me.  We were there right at sunrise….
Flynn Rider — it’s remarkable how Disney finds such likenesses!

Mulan was the LAST Princess on the race route, at mile 12.  It was TOUGH getting back on the route after visiting with her.


The girl on my left is Stephanie (a different Stephanie than the one I traveled with).  She and I work together in the AF Reserves.  We paced each other to the finish!

Best. Finish Line. Picture. Ever.  Usually I look like death.

The medals are very substantial.  Downright heavy around my neck.

It was Stephanie’s birthday.

Stephanie and I had quite the adventure after our race trying to get lunch and then take the monorail and buses back to our room.  Our legs are like jello!

After we got back to the hotel, Stephanie D. and I took it easy for the rest of the day.  We enjoyed the hotel’s hot tub (along with about 10 other racers) and then enjoyed some Cajun food for dinner at the hotel’s food court.  We enjoyed the Oscars and fell asleep nice and early.

We drove home on Monday and that was that!

I’m trying to convince Dave to run the race with me next year.  I’d like to dress like Mr. and Mrs. Incredible!

But we’ll need some help w/ the kids to do that…we’ll see.

08. March 2012 · 2 comments · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: , , , ,

I’m so excited to finally have time to sit down and share my experience with my first runDisney race a couple weeks ago!

Last fall I signed up to run the Disney Princess Half Marathon, whose route covers Magic Kingdom and EPCOT.  The race was on February 26th.  A neighborhood friend, Stephanie, and I made the trip together over a long weekend.  We had a wonderful trip and it was fun to be part of such a magical weekend.  There were nearly 20,000 runners.  While men are allowed to take part, they cannot win race awards.  There were about 1000 male runners.

Can you see me?  I am towards the right, just past the finish line.  Do you see the man in the light blue tutu to my right?

The training for this race was very similar to the program I did for the Gulf Coast Half Marathon last spring.  Like last year I was able to take advantage of the Pensacola Double Bridge Run as a good mid-point for training — and it was smart to incorporate the hills because the Disney course isn’t flat at all!

It’s tradition to dress in a costume for this race.  Needless to say, most of the women racing dressed as their favorite princesses.  Many of the men dressed up, also.  I chose to run as Mulan, due to her military and Asian backgrounds.

After ditching the tulle tutu option after a test run (I don’t know HOW all those other women did it), I opted to just stick to modern running clothing with a couple of additions.  I bought a pink running skirt, and I had several lighter pink running shirts to choose from already.

I had this old Susie Wong-style dress that I had bought in China years ago.  I outgrew the dress and the silk was looking worn out in spots.  I cut off the top and bottom to make a corset-style belt.

This could fit over my head and then zip into place w/ the original dress zipper.

This was the flower for my hair.

I after hot glue not holding the flower onto this comb during a run, I used floral tape to really bind it on.  It held up for all 13.1 miles!
A friend gave me this pretty lace scarf that served well as a gold sash and bow in the back.

Now that I had a costume ready to go, let’s talk about the race experience itself!

Stephanie and I arrived at Walt Disney World around 5pm Friday.  We headed straight over to the “Fit for a Princess” Expo, which featured numerous fitness vendors selling all the typical goodies.  We enjoyed samples of Clif Gel, Luna bars and got to test iPod armbands, headbands and other gadgets and gizmos.

I had wanted to look at the Dooney & Bourke commemorative handbags Disney had commissioned for the race.  They were sold out.  An employee said they had all sold out in two hours.  Gee, I wonder why they sold so quickly?  I wasn’t necessarily planning to buy one — I’m not a super Princess-ey kind of girl — but I still wanted to see them in person.

Forget the Princess race bag, this is the one I want!

We stayed at the Port Orleans French Quarter hotel on the Walt Disney World property.  This helped getting to/from the race venues more easily.

The landscaping and ambiance of this hotel is so beautiful!

We enjoyed a fun evening at the Boardwalk Resort.  We visited a piano bar called Jellyrolls and met up Debbie, with an Air Force friend who lives in Tampa now, as well as fellow blogger Rosalind of Girls Are Geeks.

Rosalind and me.

On Saturday, many runners who had their families at the resort with them took part in the Tangled Family 5K race.  I didn’t go to see the race, but I could see that being a nice warmup for the biggie the following day.

Steph, Debbie and I enjoyed a leisurely day at Magic Kingdom.  For the first time, I could spend the day at Magic Kingdom doing GIRLIE things!**

We browsed all the stores we wanted…slowly!  The lines weren’t bad at all, and we could manage our Fast Passes well enough to go on any rides we wanted to.  For the most part, we stuck to leisurely rides, but we didn’t let a trip on Splash Mountain escape us!

**On my 30th birthday my Mom and I spent the day at EPCOT…similarly doing girlie things and it was great!

Because we were wearing our race t-shirts, many cast members wished us “Good Luck tomorrow”.

This was about 30′ from the big drop at the end of the Splash Mountain ride.  The ride STOPPED for about 2 minutes.  Which is why I got this picture.

Enjoying some shopping!

We had dinner at Downtown Disney Saturday night, said goodbye to Debbie, and then Steph and I attempted to go to bed early — we had a 2am alarm set for Sunday morning!  But I was too excited — I hadn’t been this excited in YEARS about anything.  I felt like a kid on Christmas Eve!  I probably got about 3 hours of sleep before the race.

Stay tuned for Part 2…the race itself!

15. November 2011 · 2 comments · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: , , ,
This is from last May.  The boys did a 1 mile fun run, even though those running numbers say “5K”.  Jacob saw a classmate at this race who was registered to run the 5K itself and he asked, “Mom, why can’t I do that?”  Well, no one ever said you couldn’t!

Meet my new running partner, Jacob.

I invited him on a recent run, since I was just coming off a pretty nasty cold I wasn’t running for speed or anything.  Just to burn some calories and use up some pent up energy.  So Jacob joined me and ran about 1.25 miles on Saturday without stopping!

He asked if he could run a 5K race soon, so on Saturday, right after we came back from the 1.25 miler, we registered for a 5K on December 3rd right here in Navarre.  It’s a Jingle Bell 5K and registered runners will not only receive a t-shirt, but also a set of jingle bells to ring while running!  We can’t wait!

Know what else is cool?  This race course will be designed with “Shortcuts to Grandma’s House” so the younger ones can go back early.

Today I took him out for 1.5 miles.  I keep alongside of him and he can watch my Nike+ distance ticking on my iPhone strapped to my arm.  HE LOVES THIS!  For those who know Jacob, you know he’s a numbers/data kind of guy!

I am so incredibly proud to have this goal with Jacob — to run a race together!

02. January 2008 · 1 comment · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: , ,

So…who should be our victim this year?

A better question probably is: Which of these diet programs have the Vollmer already attempted??? You’d be surprised!

Since we’re not in a financial position to pay for those “We supply the food” programs, I guess LA Weight Loss, Nutrisystem and Jenny Craig are out.

Did anyone else notice the number of weight-loss program commercials during Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve???

One of the ones I noticed was a “free” Weight Watchers online program, that doesn’t involve the meetings and weigh-ins…hmmm….

…okay, I just went to the link and it immediately kicked me to a signup page to include things like “Payment Plan”…WTF???

Off to taking the kids to school/the gym. I foresee the gym being PACKED! Sigh…

01. January 2008 · Comments Off on The New Year’s Resolution — who thought of that??? · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: , ,

Not to sound like Jerry Seinfeld, but it’s a topic of conversation Dave and I have every year. Why do we need to have a New Year’s Resolution? I think Dave put it right yesterday during the Dick Clark New Year’s show when this girl was going thru the crowds asking everyone’s resolutions:

“If I think I need to improve something about myself, I’ll start improving immediately and not wait till January 1st.”

Of course, one of things we always do on Jan. 2nd is start our Annual Vollmer Diet Attempt. We’re coming up on the 13th Annual Vollmer Diet Attempt tomorrow! Yep — lose 10 pounds by Feb. 1st! Whoo hoo, the enthusiasm is there, can’t you tell???