Thursday, November 17, 2016

Spectating the NYC Marathon

Last weekend I had the pleasure of being on the sidelines during the biggest and one of the most popular marathons: The NYC Marathon! A long-time friend and run coaching client was running his first marathon, and I promised (especially after bailing on him for the Staten Island half) that I would be out there to support. Lucky for us, it was a beautiful day and we probably would have gone even if he wasn't running!

Some things to know:

The marathon starts in waves, anywhere from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Our runner wasn't starting until 11, so we took the opportunity to watch the elite runners finish on TV before heading into NYC.

The app rocked my world (hello, runDisney, can we get in on this?!?!?). The tracking was incredible and the maps were perfect. Of course, NYC is easy to get around with it's simple grid layout. The app let us pick the best places to watch as we were riding the train into the city.

Central Park is pretty much off limits unless you pay, so you'll have to decide which end of the map to cover.

We took the Metro North train and got off in Harlem. It's the perfect place to see your runner twice without much travel for yourself. We got to spectate at mile 19 and at mile 23.

All in all, it was a fun day. I'm glad we decided to just plan to see my friend, since it's tough to be in NYC with a baby in the cold (you know, with trying to breastfeed and change diapers--those things are much more comfortable when it's warmer). If you start with the elite runners and plan to stay until the end, it would make for a very long day.

Of course, I would have loved to run too! This race has been on my bucket list for years, so I'll just keep throwing my name in the lottery and hoping for the best.

Is NYC on your bucket list? What are your tips for spectating a big race?

Friday, November 4, 2016

Race Report: 2016 Disneyland 10k

I know, I should have done this all BEFORE leaving for Paris, but c'est la vie!

The 10k is the first part of the Dumbo Double Dare. This was the 4th running of the race, and therefore the 4th time I've done this race. I have to say, this has been my favorite Disney course. There is SO much park time, backstage time, and downtown time. The race literally flies by!

Going with the partners theme, the race theme was Genie and Aladdin. We had a bunch of friends running this race too, so we decided a group costume was the only way to go. Of course, none of us actually wanted to be Aladdin or Jasmine, so we managed to be every other character from the movie. That left Bill and I as the carpet and lamp. I have to admit, my lamp was LAME. It was not my best showing for sure, but Bill's carpet was pretty awesome.

If you remember, we started at the back of the pack because I forgot to add a proof of time for Bill (I had just had a baby...that's my story and I'm sticking to it!). We had our friends go ahead and the two of us stayed behind in the last corral. Truth be told, we weren't properly trained and just wanted to have fun.
Party Corral! 

The first mile is on the streets and through the Anaheim Convention Center. We always laugh here because we often stay at that Hilton, and on more than one occasion have said, "Let's just go back to bed instead of finishing this race." when we pass the entrance. After that mile or so is out of the way, it's all Disneyland!

Last chance to take this pic!
There were a few changes to the course this year. One thing I noticed and didn't care for was not running UP Main Street. Yes, you still get to run through the castle, but I miss that first glimpse of the castle from Main Street. It's always been my favorite part of the race (and spoiler, they did the same thing for the half marathon course).

The miles ticked by quickly and we stopped for a few selfies along the way. Tower of Terror is always a favorite. We're going to miss taking those pics! A bit before mile 5 you head through the castle. We aren't big on standing in line for pictures, but we pulled over for a quick selfie, and POOF, there was the rest of our crew! They had taken full advantage of the many photo ops and we caught up with them. It made for a great pic in front of the castle and a really fun end to the race. Don't you just LOVE running with friends?!?!?  runDisney is the BEST for that!!!
Pic Credit: Holly Casino (aka Genie!)
Just like that, the 10k was over. It still tops my list for favorite course, even with the changes. We finished the race in 1:39:58. Okay, it's almost laughable, but we had fun! That's what it's all about. Someday I'll get focused on running fast again, but until then, I'm just enjoying the ride!


Sunday, October 23, 2016

My Favorite runDisney Race -- The Diaper Dash!

The last few months have been really busy. Alyson and Bill have relocated to the East Coast. We had 2 vacations in the past months before they even finished unpacking. And, I’m doing physical therapy for back pain and researching knee replacement.  

There are a lot of race recaps to catch up on, especially the ones from Paris. But I wanted to write about my favorite race of all time.

On Labor Day weekend, we went to Disneyland because Aly and Bill want to keep the Dumbo Double Dare as a legacy race. Even if I didn’t tag along to watch Robby as his parents raced, I would have gone to see Robby do his first runDisney race – the Diaper Dash. (Honestly, I don’t know why I never spectated this race before.)

The Diaper Dash is the most entertaining runDisney race that exists. It is for 12 month and under crawlers. Entries are limited so it’s just like signing up for any other runDisney race -- they sell out fast.  Robby was signed up before we knew if he would be crawling at the time of the race. 

You get a bib and race shirt just like the other races.  Robby also got the optional race ears.  You have to pick up your packet at the expo and you get your medal at the finish.
Robby at the Expo
It happens at the end of the kids races. They lay down gym type padding under the “kids races” finish line and then cover it with a “lane” mat.


















Before the race began, they gave an entertaining display of what to expect at a diaper dash. 


DDD (no. not Dumbo Double Dare
----Diaper Dash Demo!)
And, yes, there were cryers, crawlers and our favorite, “the sleeper”. The costumes abound with these little racers. One little girl was decked full out in a Disney Tour Guide outfit! Our little guy was Mickey. You are allowed 2 "helpers", one at each end of the mat.

The first “wave” of crawlers lined up. The little guy in the first lane took off with determination. About halfway up the mat, he made a severe right turn, crossed over all the lanes and almost went right off the edge of the mat! Parents brought cell phones, toys and one even had a tv remote to entice the little people to crawl to them.
Robby was taking a quick
nap before his race.



As each wave of crawlers lined up (I think there were about 5 sets), I kept looking for Robby and his parents. I saw them keep moving to the back. Later I learned that Robby was fast asleep.






The final group was lining up, and there was Robby (with his I just woke up, where am I? face). The last wave of little racers were ready to go.   Robby was on his hands and knees, looked around and then just sat up! (He wasn’t actually crawling at this point. However, while he was sitting he must have been watching all the other little guys and gals. That afternoon, when we returned to the Disneyland hotel, he started taking his first few crawling “steps”.)  






As the other little dashers were helped to the finish line, Robby still sat and looked around. Carissa (for those who don't know, she is one of the runDisney announcers) got down on the mat next to him and announced that Robert wasn’t interested in racing, he’d rather be an announcer. She handed him her microphone and Robby gladly took it.  




Maybe I do have a shot at being an announcer!

Coaxing Robby in Lane 2 to the Finish Line


Finally, the finish line!
So, at the 2016 Disneyland Half Weekend Diaper Dash, our Robby was the official last finisher!  But, as it goes in any other race, he finished and that’s what counts.  He happily chewed on his medal and we all were proud of him!











Have you ever watched a Diaper Dash (or any other of the Kids Races) at a runDisney event?  If you ever get the chance, you should check out the Diaper Dash.  It truly is fun race to watch.

Robby is now looking forward to his next race, the 100m Dash at the Tinkerbell Half Weekend in 2017.


Celebrating race weekend at Goofy's Kitchen

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Back from Paris (and my social media hiatus)

Hi there! Remember me? Well, we are back from Paris (OMG...amazing trip...I can't wait to share all the details), and I'm back from a social media break. No blogging. No Facebook. No Instagram. No Twitter. Nothing. I spent a solid two weeks hanging with my family and being present. The verdict? It was so awesome to disconnect!

I have to admit, both Bill and I are attached to our phones like they provide oxygen. We get super annoyed at each other, yet we continue to do it and never change our behavior. While in Paris, we decided not to turn on our phones (I actually left mine at home) because we didn't want to pay the international fees. It was the perfect way to quit cold turkey. Admittedly, we did bring the iPad and we had WiFi at the hotels, but I rarely checked anything. Mostly I just did a quick scan on FB to get updates on the twins.

What did I learn in the two weeks? I'm missing out on life by aimlessly scrolling on my phone. I can pretend that it's work, that I'm building my social media presence online to build my fitness business, but that would be a lie. The truth is I'm often scrolling, reading the same posts multiple times a day, and not getting anything accomplished. What a waste of time and a waste of life!!! I refuse to miss out on Robby's growing up or my precious time with my husband to read up on every little coming and going on social media.

Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not a quitter! I won't be going anywhere, but I know that we need to put in some boundaries. Our first step is no technology at dinner. We are having dinner every night as a family. Even when it's just me and the Robster, dinner is sacred time. I know it sounds simple, but I figure it's a great way to start. Personally, I'm going to be coming up with a daily schedule. My days are all on my own schedule, which lately has turned into no schedule, and that's not productive at all. I have so many great business ideas to help so many people, but I've got to dedicate some time to get to work.

Everyone needs to start somewhere. It's so crazy to think that just a few years ago I could go days without looking at a phone. I love what social media has done to keep me connected with friends and to introduce me to new friends. I'll never be one of those people who deactivates Facebook. I just need to find the perfect balance!

Have you ever disconnected? Do you have technology rules in your house?

Friday, September 16, 2016

Heading to Paris?

I can't believe the time is FINALLY here! Do you know how long runDisney nuts (like all of us) have been speculating about a Disneyland Paris Half Marathon? It's been years in the making, and the time has finally come to pack our bags and put the final touches on our preparation for this magical vacation.



The official race guide has been published. You can check it out HERE

Here are a few important reminders that we have added to our regular packing list. What's #1? Remember to pack your patience!!! I've seen quite a lot of complaining already on social media sites. This is an inaugural event, and remember it's NOT runDisney really running the show. This will be all new for everyone involved. Things will go wrong, but if you just enjoy it for all it's glory, you won't be disappointed.

Remember to print and pack your voucher (it was sent via email) and your waiver. You can find your adult waiver HERE and the kids waiver HERE. These waivers are not the same as your medical certificate for those running the half. On that note, don't forget to bring your original copy of your medical certificate as well.

Don't forget to alert your credit card company and bank that you will be traveling internationally. If you plan on using your cell phone, be sure to contact them and find the most economical way to be able to do so. I would also recommend getting some cash to work with when you get there. You don't want to land and be stuck finding places to exchange money (you can do this pretty easily at the airport, but let's get real, when you land you are going to want to start your vacation immediately!).

You may want to register with the state department. They keep track of everyone traveling abroad and if you need the embassy for any reason, you should be registered. No one wants to think of bad things happening, but I'd rather be prepared. You can do this really easily HERE. You will want to register your whole travel party together, so have everyone's passports ready to go!

Finally, don't forget some of those essentials for packing: outlet converters, passport holders, print outs of tickets and reservations (because we're going to try to not use our phones daily), a translator (or app), Also, don't forget to make sure you carry on any essentials You definitely don't want to be stuck in a different country without things like medication or special foods.

I hope to see some of my favorite runDisney faces in Paris! We can't wait to run this race, visit Disneyland, and make once in a lifetime memories.

Anything else we're forgetting? Drop it in comments below!


Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Race Report: 2016 Disneyland 5k

We're home from our California vacation (which started at the Disneyland Half Marathon weekend) and it's time to start reliving our favorite race weekend. In case you didn't know, this weekend is very special as it was our first runDisney race back in 2010. Our whole family has been at this race weekend in some form, and it's a non-negotiable on our race calendar annually. This year was the first year that Katie and Chris didn't join us, but it was for VERY good reason! We have TWO new members of Disney Runs in the Family!!! I'll let them introduce you to our tiniest DRITF bloggers, but for now, I'll just say that they were greatly missed. I cannot wait to head to Disney with all three little ones soon!

The face you make when you oversleep on race morning!
Now, back to that 5k thing. Well, I guess a digression is the perfect way to start this blog post because it's very telling of that race. Do you have nightmares before big races? I do! One that is recurring is that I oversleep and miss the start of the race. I then have to play catch up and it just goes on from there. Well...guess what? On Friday morning, my dreams came true! Wait...what? They say dreams come true at Disney, right? Well, after shutting off my alarm in a sleep-deprived haze (you know, the kind that comes along with traveling with an infant who can't quite get it together in a new place in a new time zone), I never reset the alarm. Come to wake up at 5:21, 9 minutes before the start of the race. Seeing that number on the clock wakes you up really fast! Luckily I was pretty organized and knew exactly where all my running stuff was. I threw on my clothes and went running out the door, leaving Bill, Robby, and my mom sleeping in the dark. No food, grabbed a water, and ran to the start. I missed the whole pre-show, the national anthem, and as I heard, "30 seconds to the start of the 5k" I thought I had made good time...until they continued with "corral B, are you ready?" OH! I had actually missed the start too! Thank God this was only the 5k!

I made it right in time to line up in the back of corral C. I wasn't planning on running fast, but I had wanted to stop for photos and really be able to document the race. Too bad I didn't have time to get any of that together. Believe it or not, this was my first DL 5k. Because of the expense of the races, I don't always register for the 5ks. I know the course changed a little from previous years, but I couldn't tell you exactly how. Actually, I was in such a daze that I can't tell you much about the course. One change that was great was you run through the castle. I know this had previously been a rarity in shorter races. I'm glad they made that change. It's one of the most magical moments of the race, and it's nice that all the participants get to experience this now.

Cars Land Selfie!
Another big change was the medal. It was a medal medal, not a rubber medallion like in years past. Of course, you heard people complaining about that too. You just can't make everyone happy! I do appreciate that they at least are putting a bit more noticeable changes into the race since the price tag is so steep.

And...done!
The course is mainly through the parks and backstage areas. They had the Country Bears out (it was the race theme) plus there was country music playing throughout the course. I'm sure someone else could tell you more about the music. Country music just isn't in my knowledge-base! It was a lot of fun, despite the rocky start. Disney always does it right, and next time, I'll be sure to set more than one alarm!
The new bling-ier bling

Did you run the 5k? Do you enjoy shorter or longer distances at Disney?

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Disneyland with an Infant: My Packing List

Well, here we are! We're (finally) packing our bags for the 2016 Disneyland Half Marathon weekend. We started running this race in 2010 and have run every year since. This, though, is a WHOLE new world. This year we're traveling with a baby. Who knew these little creatures needed so much stuff? I've got the race-cation packing thing down, but this new territory is a bit scary. Here's my packing list for Robby's first Disneyland trip. What am I missing? Help a new mama out!

Stroller
Stroller Lock
Mommy Hook
Handlebar Tote
Sign or Luggage Tag
Fan
Weather Shield
Carrier
Suck Pads
Cooling Towels
Diapers
Wipes
Face/Hand Wipes
Pacifier Wipes
Hand Sanitizer
Disposable Diaper Bags
Quart & Gallon Zipper Bags
Noise Reduction Headphones
Baby Monitor
Picture Mat & Markers
Toys & Links
Blankets
Hats
Sunglasses
Sandals
Basic First Aid Kit
Inflatable Bathtub
Baby Wash
Nail Clippers
Brush
Toothbrush
Baby Lotion
Sample Sizes of Other Care Items
Disposable Placemats
Sponge/Bottle Brush
Dish Soap
Sippy Cups/Bottles
Bowls
Spoons
Food
Snacks
Cooler
Bibs
Breast Pump
Burp Cloths/Receiving Blankets
Laundry Detergent
Backpack as Diaper Bag
Changing Pad
Pack N Play Sheets
Pajamas
Outfits
Shoes
Socks
Outerwear
Bathing Suit
Swim Diapers
Pool Floatie

I will definitely be posting this in a printable format so it's more user-friendly after our trip. First, though, I have to test out my list and see how good it is! LOL

Also, I'll be 'going live' on Facebook (on my business page) this Wednesday to show you what I pack in my carry-on when I'm flying to a race weekend. Hope you join me! Here's the link: