2014 in Review: My WordPress Stats for 2014

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,100 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 18 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.


Back in the USA, Back on Track

Well, my contract aboard the Seabourn Sojourn is finished, and I’m officially land-based (making training much easier).

Beyond just preparing for the Princess Half Marathon Weekend at Disney, Mom and I have other, even more important goals:


Getting physically (and, as planning gets more intense, emotionally) fit for my wedding in June!

So, we traipsed on down to LA Fitness, on Thursday, and signed up for a membership and personal training sessions. Then, on Friday, we came in for an introductory fitness test and joint personal training session, and OH MY GOD are we sore now. I couldn’t bare to do my long-run yesterday, so I rested and went today. It felt like someone tied weights to my thighs. Regardless, it was 6.5 miles at about an 11 1/2 mile pace, which is passable for a long-run. The training is going to make me stronger and less susceptible to injury, but I may start planning “leg day” to be as far away from a run as possible! YEOW!

Anyway, I feel good despite a rather painful run and delayed-onset muscle soreness… It’s on like Donkey Kong!


Want AWESOME HEALTHY RECIPES? Look no further!

My father, Roger Hootman, just joined the WordPress community and created his own foodie blog! He is a stellar cook. Unbelievable. And the majority of his meals are healthy, high-fuel, and low-fat. Follow his blog for some of the best recipes of your life, and check out his first post below!


Homemade Yogurt. It’s Easier Than You Think!.

PRing on a Disney Race?

Right readers: Question Time.

Has anyone PRed on a Disney race or run a Disney Race for time, and if so, was it worth it?

Basically, I’m set to walk the Princess 5K and Enchanted 10K with my mom, so there will be ample photo and character opportunities on those races. Thus, I’m considering running the Half for time. However, I don’t want to do it if I’m going to feel like I’ve missed out on the race that I’ve paid for. Thoughts? Opinions?

Tips for Running Multiple runDisney Races in One Weekend:

Good advice for us challenge-takers.

Maker Mother Marathon Runner


I’m not sure if there necessarily is an art to running multiple races in a day or weekend, but I do know it takes months of training and planning to make your races a success.  Here are my tips for running multiple races in a weekend – assuming you put in the effort into training!

092Get Your Game On:  Or mentally prepare for your races.  What I’ve learned from running multiple races on the same day or consecutive days is you must be mentally prepared for the long haul.  The trick is to take each day at a time, with the emphasis on the last and longest race.  So remember to pace yourself through the weekend, keeping your eye on finishing the weekend injury-free and smiling.  And remember it is not advisable to run all the races for time – choose 1 race as a goal race and the…

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Here We Go Again…

Turns out one race for charity wasn’t enough, so I’m back for Magical Miles Part Deux: Two Hoots, Three Races!

Yup, I’ve signed up for the Disney Princess Half Weekend Glass Slipper Challenge AND Princess 5K, and I’ve roped Mama Hootman, who has never run a race in her life, into doing BOTH the Princess 5K AND the Enchanted 10K! Go Hoot Mama!

So, I’m getting back in the proverbial saddle, taking my running shoes out of retirement – and I’ll be doing at sea, as I’m working on a cruise ship until mid-November, all whilst planning a wedding… Did I mention I was getting married?

Yeah, probably should have mentioned that…

All-in-all this training season is going to be Challenge-tastic, but that’s all fine for me because it makes for some great blogging, and come February, I’ve got four medals with my name on them…


In Which I Did Everything Wrong And Still Turned Out Fine: The Walt Disney World Marathon

So, I owe you guys a bit of an update after going MIA for so long.

Back in October I started rehearsals for a show in London. My very first week of rehearsals, between the running and dancing, I lost 8 pounds. In five days. On an already small frame. I immediately came down with a cold that I’m convinced had everything to do with how much sweating I was doing.
So, I decided to forgo the long miles while we were in rehearsals. Doing the Fezziwig Jig sixteen times in a row in a stuffy rehearsal space would maintain my endurance until we started the run.

But then we started the run. The show was a tour of the UK, ending in a three week run in London’s West End. Because it was a Christmas show, and only playing for two and a half months, we didn’t have the luxury of spending a week in each venue. We might spend the whole day in the tour bus, arrive just in time to get ready for the show, go to bed, and get up first thing in the morning in time to drive to the next venue. When I did have more than one night in a venue, I chose to relax and enjoy a lie in. I felt guilty, but did it all the same. All-in-all, on tour I only did one run (on the beach, in Whitley Bay, which felt great), swearing to myself that I’d get back in the swing of things once we were settled back in London.

Did I? Fuck. Once back in London, I had until Christmas Eve to move out of my flat and plan to host Christmas dinner for the first time with my boyfriend. All whilst still doing the show every night, as well as most afternoons, as there were added matinees and a Christmas Eve concert in the days leading up to Christmas Day. After Christmas had passed and I had moved out of my flat, I could have gone for a run, but I had already built up a two month routine of sleeping in and being lazy with my partner instead of getting up and doing work, so, of course, I did nothing of the sort.

I moved back to the US a week before my race. Surely I would try to fit in a few laps around the block then? Nope.

A mere three or four days before my race, I decided I wanted to practice running in the (new) leggings and sports bra I’d bought to run in. The tutu and skirt were still yet to be constructed, so I’d have to run the marathon in a costume I’d never run in before.

I searched every box and suitcase I’d brought from the UK and my running shoes were nowhere to be seen. Then I remembered. I knew exactly where they were. They were sitting by my boyfriend’s bed in his house in London. I had left them out of the boxes, intending to put them in my carryon, and I must have forgotten to do so.

Panicked, I drove to the running store and asked if they had my shoes. They didn’t, but they sold me the nearest thing. Did I take them home and break them in and practice running in them? Of course not!

The day before the race, I wore flip flops. We got to Walt Disney World at mid-day and walked around for about eight hours. My feet and calves were aching. I had blisters from the rubber straps on my flip flops. I knew that none of this would not bode well for the next day, but I wanted to tour and have fun.

The morning of the race, I woke up at 3:00 am. I went to the bathroom and had that sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach. Why did I sign up to this? What was I thinking? Was I going to finish? Would they sweep me because I’m too slow from not training for months? Would I give up?

I ran a marathon on almost no training, in a costume I’d never worn, in shoes I’ve never worn, on tired feet… And I finished in exactly 6:30 hrs… And I never stopped smiling the entire time.

First thing in the morning, before the race. You can see how apprehensive I am.

The Walt Disney World Marathon was an amazing experience. In spite of all of the odds stacked against me, I enjoyed every minute of it. I can’t say for sure if I would have had the same success in another marathon. I think the magic of Disney kept me going!

Disney pose!

I had decided even before I signed up last April that, being that this was my first race, and it was a DISNEY race, I was not going to run it for time. I was going to stop and take lots of pictures and enjoy the en route entertainment. Which is exactly what I did.




Slowing down to take some of my many pictures and videos…






Just coming up to the halfway mark, I was exiting Animal Kingdom as the park was opening when I hear “Amanda!” I turned to see my parents! Apparently, when making up their minds on which park they’d do first, they just decided to get on the first bus that stopped by their resort bus stop, which happened to be Animal Kingdom! They arrived at the entrance, just as I was running through!


Waving at my parents




















At mile 20, I was thinking “This is fun, but I think I’m more of a Half girl. I don’t think I’ll do a Full Marathon again…” An hour after the race I was trying to figure out how I’m going to afford running both the 2015 Marathon and Princess Half a month later! (And what year should I dedicate to trying the Dopey?!) The whole experience was phenomenal. It was the most fun I’ve ever had on a Disney vacation!



When you finish a Disney race, and walk around the parks wearing your medal(s), the Disney Cast Members make you feel like a friggin boss. Everyone congratulates you everywhere you go. You get into conversations with other runners on the Disney buses and swap war stories (one guy saw a girl pass out at the 26 mile marker! Out cold .2 miles before the finish!!) and well wishes. It’s such an awesome feeling that I can’t imagine getting from any other race!



Now I’m addicted to Disney running. See you in 2015!


You can still donate to my cause until April! Just follow this link.


On Spooky Runs:

I know I’ve missed the third week. I’m super busy with rehearsals and the like. They have been intense! But my Spooky runs are coming! (And I won’t make the zombie race count, although that totally does count and I’ll probably do it as a bonus blog 😉)

I’m doing my very first organized race ever this morning…

I’m up early to run an obstacle 5K where zombies chase me. I’ve been having nightmares about it for 2 weeks. I have first race nervousness AND obstacle course nervousness (what can I expect?! What if I don’t have the strength to do obstacles? I’m just a runner!) AND an enormous fear of zombies. Please wish me luck? 😳😁😱😖