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.

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 Lock
Mommy Hook
Handlebar Tote
Sign or Luggage Tag
Weather Shield
Suck Pads
Cooling Towels
Face/Hand Wipes
Pacifier Wipes
Hand Sanitizer
Disposable Diaper Bags
Quart & Gallon Zipper Bags
Noise Reduction Headphones
Baby Monitor
Picture Mat & Markers
Toys & Links
Basic First Aid Kit
Inflatable Bathtub
Baby Wash
Nail Clippers
Baby Lotion
Sample Sizes of Other Care Items
Disposable Placemats
Sponge/Bottle Brush
Dish Soap
Sippy Cups/Bottles
Breast Pump
Burp Cloths/Receiving Blankets
Laundry Detergent
Backpack as Diaper Bag
Changing Pad
Pack N Play Sheets
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:

Monday, August 22, 2016

My Disneyland Half Marathon Goals

I've made no secret of the fact that I'm not prepared for the upcoming Disneyland Half Marathon weekend. I actually don't even have costumes ready. SO not like me! Especially when I haven't run a Disney race since last November's Avengers Half. These little humans really do take over your life!

Yesterday I managed an 8 mile training run. It actually went better than expected, but I was dealing with ideal running conditions which are never guaranteed on race day. I also have a bit of an advantage (I think) in that all of the runs I have done have been pushing a stroller. I'm hoping that race day will prove a bit easier without Robby in tow.

When you're on the road for 8 miles, you get to thinking a lot about race day and your goals. When I train clients, I always suggest giving yourself 3 goals for any given race. On a perfect day, you'd reach all three goals, but it's always nice to have your mind set on things that are achievable too.

Here are my 3 goals for the half (for the 5k and 10k, it's just finish and have fun):

1. Finish the race. That's my "given" goal, that I will pretty much achieve, regardless of the day. I'm pretty stubborn that way and our Castle to Chateau medal depends on it.

2. Finish the race in under 3 hours. I've been running an easy 13 min/mile pace with the stroller, so as long as I don't completely exhaust myself the previous days, this pace should be doable.

3. Finish the race in under 2:45. This will be a stretch, especially since I know I'll lose some time starting in the last corral. I refuse to be rude and unsafe in getting around walkers, so I already expect a slow start (and I'm okay with that, because we are there to have FUN first and foremost).

Anyone else have specific goals for the race weekend?

Monday, August 15, 2016

Corrals Are Like a Mullet

Have you heard this before? I hadn't, until I posted my somewhat major runDisney mistake: I forgot to enter a proof of time for Bill. Whoops! Looks like we'll be starting back in corral J. Honestly, we haven't trained properly at all so it's not like we were going to run these great races anyway. Might as well have fun.

This is when I learned that corrals are like mullets--business in the front, party in the back! How funny is that? And I'm sure it's quite true. My only concern is the hour+ it'll probably take for us to get started and how that's going to cut into our time in the parks. Nevertheless, it was our mistake and I refuse to whine about it or let it put a damper on our race. I do, though, all of a sudden feel like I really need to get a costume together. We weren't planning on anything fun for the half because we've just been too busy with the move.

If you are running the Disneyland Half Marathon or the Dumbo Double Dare, you can find your waiver HERE and the corral information HERE for Dumbo and HERE for the half. You just need to get your number from your waiver and match it to the corral. Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

7 Tips for Running with a Baby

Even though my training has been less than ideal, I've managed to get out a few times with Robby in the stroller. On these runs, I was thinking about being a new mom and trying to figure out this running with a baby thing. First, my soapbox. Parents, it is NOT recommended that you run with your child before 6-8 months. I got these guidelines from both our pediatrician, many licensed physical therapists, and the good old internet. Please check with your child's pediatrician before hitting the road (we're there all the time anyway, might as well add it to your list of questions). Now, here are my top 7 tips (why 7...well...that's how many I had):

My favorite running buddy!
1. Check the stroller: I have a BOB Revolution (which I love), and the tires do lose air. You want to be sure that the stroller is in good condition and the tires are filled. You will notice a difference when they aren't--the stroller will feel wobbly and unstable.

2. Use one hand to push the stroller (and don't forget to switch): Keep a steady push with one hand and swing the other. It's super convenient if you're using the Galloway method to make sure you're switching hands on each interval. Otherwise, just try to remember to switch from time to time.

3. BUT use two hands over bumps: I found it a lot easier to keep control of the stroller over bumps if I just gripped with both hands for a few seconds. If not, the stroller veered off course and it interrupted my cadence.

4. Keep the stroller away from your belly: You want to keep the stroller about 6-12 inches in front of your belly, which should be about the distance of keeping a 90-degree angle in your arm that's pushing. Keep it at this distance consistently.

Our running path even marks bumps!
5. Don't lose your form: Mid-foot strike. Arm swing. All that good stuff shouldn't go away just because you're also pushing a stroller. I've been keeping Robby in his infant carrier on the stroller, so he's facing me when we run. I've noticed that I tend to look down at him, putting my neck and spine all out of alignment. Do regular checks of your form; you may not even realize how out of whack you are!

6. Don't bring the whole kitchen sink: The stroller is big. Babies come with lots of stuff. Resist the urge to bring it all with you. I like to live on the edge, so I don't even bring a diaper or change of clothes (not that I recommend that).

7. Find a well-paved path: Our new hometown is country (okay, it's really suburban, but it feels country to me!). We don't have sidewalks, streets are curvy, and there's a whole lot of 'nature' around us. Luckily I found a great paved running trail a short drive away. It's made it so much safer to run with Robby!

Baby bonus tip: Remember, your little one is on the run too. Don't forget sunscreen, a hat, and some toys and/or snacks to keep him occupied while you run!

I write this post first as a new mom, then as a running coach. I'm definitely not the end-all, be-all expert. My running mamas-what would you add?

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

The Paris Medal Reveal - Just In Time to Motivate

This morning the medals for Disneyland Paris were revealed!!

We can't wait to earn ours!  It has been a hectic year for our family, with a new baby and a cross country move, but we are looking forward to our vacations in September.  

First up, the Disneyland Half.  That's where Robby gets to do his first runDisney race...the Diaper Dash!  I'll be doing the 5K and Bill and Aly are doing the Dumbo Double Dare. (That's the first step for them in getting that beautiful Castle to Chateau Medal.  They really did a nice job on it.)

Then, it's off to Paris!  I'll be doing the 5K with Aly.  Bill and Aly will be doing the half.  This Fairy Grandmother and Robby will be chEaring them on.

So much planning to do....

Will we see you in Disneyland or Paris?