Saturday, August 12, 2017

Oops I Did It Again!

You guys...seriously?!?!? I did it AGAIN! I spaced and forgot to enter proof of time for both myself AND Bill this year for the Disneyland Double Dare. Oh! My! Gosh!

Now, I'd be the first to tell you that it really isn't that big of a deal. We had to start in the last corral last year and the sun still came up, the world kept spinning, and we still finished the race. We weren't nearly as frustrated as we thought we'd be, and we actually ended up having a lot of fun.

I just seriously cannot even believe that I forgot again. Actually, for real, I can't believe it. I remember submitting my own proof of time. What the heck? I am starting to think this baby brain thing never goes away.

Regardless, we are in the second to last corral. Guess that means less park time for us and maybe we can sleep in a little. Oh well. Still my favorite race weekend of all time. Now I guess I should run or something to get ready. I should probably make some costumes too. I mean, since we won't even start before the sun comes up we might as well look good for the whole 13.1 miles.

Now to just keep hoping that runDisney will honor the legacy runners for the Disneyland Double Dare!!!

Friday, August 11, 2017

Race Report: 2017 Tink Half Marathon

Yep, let's keep going with the recaps! I registered for the Tink Half in the eleventh hour. I was not trained well, but got in some long runs so I wouldn't hurt too much after the race. It was my Mother's Day gift, and I loved every minute! I ran this race once before (when I was in much better shape), so I was definitely looking forward to this race.

First, I have to say that staying at Paradise Pier was the BEST way to start the race! We were right by the start line and it allowed me to catch some extra sleep. I was in corral C; I've had a few years of not so fast races so the benefit of the female-only first corral was beyond my pace. No worries, though. I knew I wasn't going to be breaking any speed records!

The energy at the start was great. Tons of sparkle, tutus, and wings crammed into the street ready to run. The weather was absolutely perfect. It seriously could not have been a better day to run a half marathon. This is my favorite Disneyland course. I know, I've said before that the Disneyland Half Weekend is my fave, and it definitely is for nostalgia. This course, though, is just perfect! You get to run through beautiful neighborhoods, get a ton of park time, and it really does just fly by.

Bathroom Selfie!
I completed the race with a 1 minute run/30 second walk interval ratio. I've been playing around with it and this seems to work best for me. I was able to keep up with this plan for the entire 13.1 miles. I finished the race in 2 hours, 35 minutes. Nope, definitely not a great time, but for the minimal training I've put in and my lack of speed over the past 2 years, I'm satisfied. Most importantly, I was able to run easily and still walk around the rest of our trip. I took plenty of selfie breaks and a bathroom break, so my overall pace was not too bad. Most importantly, I had a blast and enjoyed every mile.

Sometime you need candy from a stranger!
Ride selfies, because I hate lines!
We have to talk about the elephant, right? If you didn't read recaps of the Tinkerbell 5k, you can check mine out here. There were many moans and groans about no characters on the course for pictures. Well, the half had plenty of characters! I'm not one to stop and wait for most races, but the character stops were pretty much the same as I had seen in the other runDisney races. Looks like if you want character stops, you might need to push yourself for the 10k, half, or full marathon distances.

Always need a finish line pic!
Tink is not a yearly race for me, but this being the second time running, it's one I would definitely return to. The time of year is perfect weather, the race is super fun, and I personally think it's a great way to celebrate Mother's Day! Now, we just need to sit it out and hope that whatever difficulties are preventing the registration of next year's Tink gets resolved!!! (Let the rumors continue!!!)
Beautiful bling!

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Dear runDisney!

Dear runDisney,
Photo credit: Team Sparkle

As an avid Disney runner, and one who just HAS to be part of the cool kids club, I'm begging you PLEASE give Dumbo/Disneyland Double Dare runners legacy status!!!

The rumors have been swirling that challenges other than Goofy will not get legacy status. This just can't be! I know that Mickey wouldn't want it that way! I get that some of the shorter races don't have legacy status, but 19.3 miles deserves some recognition (not to mention the hefty price tag, times 5 that we've gladly paid year after year). Now that I'm an east coast girl, traveling for this weekend is tradition and even though it will be a pain in the butt I'm still doing it. We've run every half since the 5th anniversary, so even though we aren't legacy half runners, this feels like OUR race! When Dumbo was added, it was perfect! We could finally have a legacy race during the weekend that started our runDisney obsession. Don't take that away!

In case you are less about heart and more about practicality, I came up with 5 great reasons to acknowledge us Dumbo legacies:

  1. Money! It encourages those repeat runners to continue to register year after year.
  2. More Money! It encourages other challenge racers to be repeat customers.
  3. Repeat Customers Equals More Money! It will get those new runDisney nuts committed to earning legacy at a race weekend when the opportunity presents itself.
  4. Let's be honest, the sellouts aren't happening at warp-speed anymore. A little happiness with some runDisney enthusiasts (who likely will spread the happiness to new runners) wouldn't hurt. While we're here, can I put in a plug for more blogger events too?
  5. Magic! Anniversary years are definitely more special when you can see all those runners who have run every year of the race. 
Okay, I know not everyone will feel me on this one, but really if you're a nut like me, you've gone to GREAT lengths to maintain legacy status (yes, even planning pregnancy around running this race--that has to count for SOMETHING). I know it shouldn't mean that much, but I'd love a spatula, a special ribbon, a bib, really anything just to make me feel a little more special on race day.  C'mon, you know you can't resist the runDisney spirit!

From the Inaugural Dumbo Double Dare

Thursday, July 20, 2017

My Disneyland Double Dare Training Plan

It's coming up quickly: the 2017 Disneyland Double Dare (you know, that race we used to call Dumbo...). I just ran the Tink half poorly trained, so I knew that I wanted to put a little more time into my next runDisney race.

Since Robby's been born, I have not had much success sticking to a structured training plan. I used to be SO good. Color coded calendars. Journaling my progress. I did it all. Then, well, baby and life and home and work (but let's be honest, it's mostly baby). 

2016 Dumbo Double Dare!
I have been able to really think about the challenges that are holding me back from a highly structured plan. First, my neighborhood doesn't have sidewalks. Not a big deal when you run solo, but I don't feel comfortable on country roads with lots of turns and hills with a big stroller. Second, the weather. Okay, I know most people have to deal with weather, but my Vegas self isn't used to it. I also feel pretty guilty dragging my toddler out in the rain so I can run. Finally, our schedule, which is probably the most prohibitive. For those of you who don't know, Bill travels for work, which means most of the time is just me and Robby. That means no early morning runs while he sleeps; no late nights after dinner. This also means no runs over about 4-5 miles with a stroller.

After thinking about my individual challenges, my current plan is a little nontraditional, at least for me. I came up with a weekly plan with 4 runs each week. Instead of putting them on specific days, I have put them in order of importance: long run, short run, speed work, short run. I have to say, in the few weeks since starting, I haven't been able to get these all in. What has worked, though, is I'm getting in my long runs, regardless of the day of the week. I'm getting at least one more run, and this week I actually got a track speed session in.

Obviously I still have many weeks to go (thankfully) and I still am not completely sold on this training plan. I like to be a bit more committed, but hey, life, right? Anyone else have a nontraditional training plan? What's it look like?

Disclaimer: This post is all about my personal plan, as an intermediate, middle of the pack runner. As a coach, I personalize plans for clients based on individual goals, running levels, and other factors. This post is not intended to provide direct coaching advice. If you would like more information on coaching or have a specific question, please email

Friday, June 30, 2017

Race Report: 2017 Tink 5k

Perfect Start!
Recycled Costume!
Time to start recapping those races I ran a month ago! HA! In all honesty, this past vacation to Disneyland was WAY more about vacation than races, but nonetheless, we ran. It was a family trip, and the 5k was about family! I had the pleasure of running with Katie and Chris. This was our first time running the 5k and our main reason was the start--I mean, really, it doesn't get better than a Main Street USA start with Tinkerbell!

We stayed at the Paradise Pier hotel, so luckily we didn't need to wake up TOO early. We got into our costumes and headed to Disneyland for the start. We lined up in corral B (note: everyone was in corral "A" then they corral you based on when you arrive, so if you are dying to be in the front, get there early). As we looked up, we realized that we had a big old tree in view of the Tink flight path. Meh! Then, smart me moved us back to corral C with a little, "Excuse me, we need to use the restroom" tactic. Now we were in the middle of Main Street with a perfect view! So, word to the wise, if you arrive later, stay back and start in corral C.
Corral C, please!

Always fun in DCA!
It took a bit to get going since we started in the back, but hey, we were there for the fun. We started right in front of the Matterhorn with a small start line. The course had tons of park time, and we did some run/walk intervals and took a few selfies. It was a beautiful day, perfect running weather, and since we weren't running for time, it was no pressure.
Always time for a bathroom mirror selfie!

The finisher's medal was beautiful! This was the first "medal medal" I earned (the non-rubber ones) for a 5k. Of course I also got the infamous snack box...yum!

Here was your character stop...
Okay, but let's get to the proverbial "Dumbo" in the room--characters on the course. Everyone was talking about it all weekend. You might have thought they made us run on a treadmill instead of even having a race. There were no character stops. Yes, that was true. There was a place to take a selfie, but that was it. I totally get why people were upset. Had my goal been to stop and take pictures, I would have been upset too. Had this been my first and only runDisney event, I would have been really upset. Yes, I'm planning on getting more thoughts out about why I think they tried this.

Even with the big character snafu, I still think this race was totally worth it! Main Street USA alone was worth the price! I'm not sure when we'll make it out for this race weekend again, but if we ever do, the 5k will be a must do for me!

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Week In Review: 4/30/17

Whoops! Missed out on a few weeks since it was Easter and Hope you all had a great holiday!

I've been sticking mostly to my plan, eating better, and getting in long runs (no, the short ones have not been happening like they should). As one would expect when you stupidly ramp up mileage too quickly, I found myself injured and needing extra rest.

Sunday: Taugh HIIT (kind of--I really rested more than taught)
Monday: taught Fit Fun Kids and gave the knee a rest!
Tuesday: Insanity Max 30
Wednesday: Insanity Max 30, taught FFK, Pump & Foam Roll and Stretch
Thursday: Insanity Max 30
Friday: Insanity Max 30
Saturday: Insanity Max 30 (had to make-up from Monday), 9 mile walk/run

One more week of training hard, then I'm going to start really taking it easy and focusing on getting race day ready. We're hitting the parks before the half marathon (which is not preferred, but it works). I'm going to plan on a Wednesday workout while we're at Disneyland, plus I'll be running the 5k on Friday. This in additional to all the walking, and of course, the half, will be plenty of exercise for the week.

If I can, I'm totally going to brag on myself! I really focused and used this trip as motivation to get myself back to pre-pregnancy weight. I am, and I'm probably in even better shape. For once, I am not worried about family pictures, wearing shorts, or buying a new bathing suit. I'm excited! It's seriously the BEST feeling ever. No, this half marathon is NOT going to be pretty, but the rest of the trip is going to be awesome! The best part is I earned it!!!

Saturday, April 22, 2017

So You Want To Run Disney--Part 5: Your Costume


We are getting closer and closer to race day.  Now, it’s time for some of the final considerations when running Disney.  This post might not be for everyone, but many (if not most) people wear costumes to a runDisney race.  I always have, and I have never regretted it!  I even can get my family to wear costumes, and sometimes we theme it out together. 

You will want to start planning your costumes at least a month in advance (or if you’re like me, you’ve got the next year planned and then sometimes end up executing the morning of...yes, true story!).  You can get many accessories for race day at the expo, but I try to be 100% sure I have everything before I arrive.  You never know if they will run out of a size or not have the right color.  I have done it, so it’s most definitely not impossible, but if you’re a worry-wart like me, it’s best to plan ahead.  If you are really planned, you can purchase your next “set” of costume accessories at a previous race’s expo! Also, check your favorite retailers (like some I give a shout out to below). More and more they are allowing you to pre-purchase products and choose 'expo pickup' to save on shipping. Then there is no guess-work or risk!

My costume planning always starts with a trip to Google Images to get inspiration.  I often will use the theme of the race to inspire me as well.  I know, I know, it’s not the most creative, but hey, I like it, so who cares!  There really are no rules.  If you want to be unique, veer away from the theme.  Mickey and Minnie are always popular.  And yes, I do recycle costumes. 

From the Halloween Store
Mickey & Minnie--classic!
I have a few rules of thumb:  First, my “base” of the costume is ALWAYS running gear!  I have my favorites, but that is for another post.  This has worked for me, especially in terms of comfort and reliability.  I will purchase specific colors to work with my costumes, but I stick with tried and true brands and styles.  Second, I scour the sales at craft stores to try and get the best price.  You can make a tutu EASILY, and if you have any sewing skills, costumes can be a breeze.  I have little, but have managed to make many costumes without touching a sewing machine.  Third, shop the clearance costumes after Halloween, if it fits in your schedule.  Yes, I have flat out purchased costumes too.  This is also great for some simple accessories.  Fourth, make it cheap—which is an extension of 2 & 3.  Why?  Yes, I would rather spend money on other things, but more importantly, if a costume piece isn’t working, I want to feel no guilt in tossing it in the trash if it starts to annoy me.  Finally, I base the complexity of the costume off what my goals are and the distance of the race.  My Figment tail would have driven me NUTS over 26.2 miles, but it was fine for the 5k. 

Yep, the blue shirt chaffed BAD
A few more thoughts:  Try it out before race day.  I will admit, I don’t do this for every piece, but for anything touching your body/skin, you have to give it a trial run.  This is why I suggest at least a month lead time.  I learned this the hard way at the WDW Marathon.  I waited too long to purchase my shirts and ended up with chaffing that was KILLER.  It took months to heal (I started to think I would always have this permanent reminder of the Dopey Challenge and my poor planning).  Yes, I tried it for a few miles, but after getting sweaty over close to 5 hours, my 4 mile trial was useless.  Head gear is another thing you have to be willing to try, especially if you spent good money on it. 

I will not compromise my favorite shoes to match a costume.  Some people will, but my shoes are the most important part.  I will, though, get socks to match my costume. 

Always pack your costume in your carry-on.  I’ll get into this more during the packing post, but it’s so important, I’ll tell you twice! 

And last but not least—HAVE FUN!  Don’t be shy.  No one will judge you for wearing a costume, especially at a runDisney event.  It doesn’t have to be the most extensive costume ever, even just a sparkly skirt and some ears will do. 

Not the best pic, but LOVED the costume!
Here are some of my favorite brands for pieces of costumes (and no, I get no incentives for writing about them, I just genuinely love their products and use them often to make costumes):