Monday, February 4, 2019

Race Report: 2019 WDW Half Marathon

We're unpacked and back to our normal schedules, which means it's just about time to recap the races! This year, the adults were in for the half (only...) and it was right in the middle of our trip. We already had 3 full days of parks, food, and late nights leading up to the morning, so needless to say, we weren't giving the race our best. With that, I had a blast and it was a great reminder of why I love to run Disney!

My mom stayed with the boys while Bill and I were up early to run (thanks mom!). Disney World races never disappoint with those early wake up calls! We were out of our hotel around 3:45, which is pretty good since we were aiming for 3:30. We met up with Chris and found out that Kate's kidney stones (which clearly did not get the memo that we were on a Disney vacation) had kept her up sick all night. She decided it would be best to sit this one out and come back next year for the full, but that's another post, another day, and a fun prospect for next year!

We boarded the buses as usual. I personally prefer to let Disney do the driving on vacation. I know many will disagree and say take your own car, but I should never be trusted driving at 3 am in a sparkly skirt and ears! We had our hands full with breakfast, bags, watches, headphones--I always look like a hot mess getting on the bus. It was business as usual, minus the bag tags. This, friends, is why you should read your event guide. I freaked out because I was missing my tag, just to find out they label it for you when you get there. Corrals were well organized and we did the long trek, hit a few port-o-potties, and got a little time to rest before we began. I was in corral E, but we got off surprisingly fast. I was in the second wave of this corral. I have to say, I appreciate the waves instead of corrals lined up to P. It's a nice incentive for people to get there early!

The course felt so comfortably familiar! It seriously felt like a homecoming! I was sad to have missed the Cigna meetup the day before (we were doing lots of family stuff and I couldn't bail on them), but it was great to just know I was surrounded by friends.

If you've never run the half at WDW, here's the quick summary: lots of back roads, a little Magic Kingdom, the CASTLE, more back roads, lots of cones, a touch of Epcot (really just a touch), and the finish line. I was lucky to enter MK in the dark and got to see the castle all lit up for the holidays. It is so beautiful, and running up Main Street to the castle may be my favorite part of every runDisney race. The WDW races never have much time in the parks, but in some ways the wide open spaces are nice. There's a few crowding points (hello cone alley!) but overall there's space to breathe and move.

I didn't do many photo stops in this race, but I had to stop for Jack Sparrow. My first big disappointment as a mother--here I was so excited to show my pirate obsessed kid, and nope. Not impressed at all! Of course Daddy got a picture with Lightning McQueen and that was a huge hit! Robby hasn't even seen Cars, nor does he really care much about cars in general. Go figure!

I finished in a respectable, but definitely not goal-reaching or "good" by my standards 2:33:33. Far from a PR and far from where I wanted to be in this race (my initial goal was 2:15), but it felt good, I wasn't in pain or pushing so hard I thought I'd die, and I finished in time to get back to the hotel and help my boys get ready for their big races.

Post race was very well organized: medal, snacks, pictures, bag pickup. Pro tip: pack a lightweight, small backpack in your gear check bag! Those bags are so big and cumbersome. It was really nice to be able to stick all my junk in an actual backpack. I saved the ones we got a Princess and Tink. They are perfect! I wish runDisney did those for every race!

I got back to the hotel with plenty of time for breakfast, waking the kids, getting them ready for their races, and taking the bus to ESPN. I wish I had a bit more time for a shower, but luckily it wasn't too hot for the race.

I do hope to be back next year for the marathon with Kate. We are planning on it, but also seeing how training is going for both of us as the race day approaches. Little kids definitely make this whole thing a lot more difficult!

Did you run marathon weekend? What race or races did you do? How did you do? Any PRs out there?

Monday, January 7, 2019

My Ultimate Packing List

I LOVE planning! I LOVE planning Disney vacations even more! I LOVE lists about planning Disney vacations the best! I've been adding to and working on a HUGE list for our family for marathon weekend. Ever wonder what a family of 4 packs for a race weekend when everyone is running? Here you go!

Cereal (x 7)
Shakes (x12)
Recovery/preworkout drinks
Shake bottle (x2)
PB&J (x5)
Pouches (x16)
Fruit snacks (x8)
Granola bars (x7)
Almond milk
Vitamins (Robby, Aly)
Ryan spoons
Bibs (x4)
Bottle brush
Storage bottles (2)

Gift cards
Small bills for tipping

Magic Bands
Headphones (B, A, R)
Disposable placemats
Coloring packs
Running shoes (B&A)
Running clothes (all)
Underwear (B&A)
Socks (B&A)
Pants (B&A)
Shirt (B&A)
Mylar blanket (x2)
Hand warmers (x2)
Compression socks
Socks (x2)
Gloves (x2)
Garmin w/charger
Gymboss Timer
Pacing band
Running belt
Diapers (4 extra for each)
Race waiver

Mickey ears (x3)
Stroller handlebar caddy
Reusable shopping bag
Stroller tether
Stroller hook
Stroller signs
Bubble machine
Extra bubbles
Extra batteries
Backpack for park
Size 4 diaper pack
Size 6 diaper pack
Wipes (x2)
Water bottle (x 3)
Dish soap/sponge
Diaper disposal bags (x2)
Extra battery pack
Disney book
Printed itinerary
Blankets (x2)
Camera, battery charger
Small backpack (for gear check) (2)
Laundry bag
Post card stamps
Autograph mat
Autograph markers
Winter hats
Daily surprise gifts

Diaper bag:
Size 6 diapers (x6)
Size 4 diapers (x4)
Changing pad
Diaper rash cream
Phone & charger
Chap stick
Extra clothes (x2)
Teething necklace
ID for kids

Outfits x7
Outfits x 9—Robby
Outfits x 10—Ryan
Bras x 3
Underwear x8 each
Socks x7 each
Bathing suit (one each)
Flip flops
Sweatshirts (B, A, Rx2, Rx2)

Baby bath wash
Baby lotion
Baby comb
Baby nail clippers
Robby toothbrush
Robby toothpaste
Robby gel
Baby Tylenol
Hair ties
Hair clips
Hair spray
Hair pomade
Rock tape
Arnica gel roller
Golf ball
Bath puffy
Razor (A)
Razor (B)
Shave gel
Face wash
Body wash
Makeup remover
Nail clippers
Nail file
Hand sanitizer
Body glide
Extra contacts
Contact solution and case
Deodorant (B, A)

Monday, December 31, 2018

Runner Recipes (I can actually make)

Now that the cookies are eaten, the candy is gone, and the leftovers are no longer left, I am focusing on getting a few weeks of solid nutrition before the WDW Marathon Weekend. If you've been following along on my training journey, you know it's been less than ideal, but that doesn't mean I'm totally throwing it all to the wind for race day. I'm focused on fueling my body with healthy foods and finishing up my training with some strong runs.

Cigna, the WDW Marathon Weekend sponsor, has some great recipes for easy, nutritious, on the go breakfasts. Of course, you don't have to only have these in the morning, but for my busy mornings, these both work perfectly! Peanut butter, yes please! Pumpkin, you bet! And yes, even I, the most unskilled cook ever, can make these.

Overnight Oats

I used PB2 and almond milk in this recipe. I find the powder is much easier to use when mixing and I'm not a huge fan of dairy (or should I say, my belly isn't a huge fan).

Pumpkin Cranberry Granola Bites

These were perfect for my early mornings! I don't like to eat a full breakfast before teaching at 5 a.m., so these are simple and work great to have a little something in my stomach. Gotta love the pumpkin love!

Thanks Cigna for always looking out for the runners!

Friday, December 28, 2018

Flashback Friday: Marathon Weekend Before Kids!

It's Friday. Marathon Weekend is right around the corner. Of course, that has me thinking of past races. I've been to the WDW Marathon Weekend 4 times, and they were all awesome in their own way. I got my very first coast to coast after running the Marathon and the Disneyland Half. I remember feeling like crap in that race, but thinking, "This is my only chance to get a coast to coast" and pushing to the finish. That statement is comical now! I was a runDisney neophyte! I've since run Goofy twice (first did the unofficial Dopey before it was a thing) and the inaugural Dopey Challenge. I have to admit, these longer races meant a lot of sacrifice in training, and I can't imagine doing that with 2 littles at home. For now, I'm happy to be returning to "only" run the half marathon in 2019, two boys in tow. Here's a look back at some of my favorite races at Marathon Weekend! Enjoy!

In 2013, I completed the unofficial Dopey--the full, half and 5k. Of course, I had to return when they made it official the following year. Disney Runs in the Family didn't even exist! I actually had an unknown blog: Just Keep Swimming. I regretfully deleted those posts! It journaled my work toward my first Goofy Challenge.

2012 was my first Disney marathon. It was my second marathon ever. Here's a fun fact: my first road race EVER was a marathon! Yep, it was on my bucket list as a one a done, so I trained and ran the Vegas marathon (long before it was a Rock and Roll). I didn't run a race again for 5 years!

Who will I be seeing at this year's Marathon Weekend? What are you running?

Friday, December 14, 2018

The final (one month) countdown...

We are a month out from the 2019 Marathon Weekend! Luckily I'm NOT running the marathon, because my training has been less than ideal. Okay, my training has been non-existent! We've had winter colds running rampant through our house, busy holiday season stuff, and Bill has been working a lot (which means no time for mommy to go run without the kids). It's been rough you guys! As I sit and type that, all I can think is, "Not as rough as this race is going to be!" Ugh! So here we go again, another untrained, mediocre race to be run. This was not my plan, and I'm super frustrated with myself. Again.

I have a month, and I have built up to 7 miles. It's not terrible, but it's definitely not great. I plan to continue to build mileage this month with the hopes of at least getting to 10. If I can get to 10, I'd feel like I have a little bit of training and won't die on the course. I'm only going to focus on speed training. Goodbye hills. Also going to try and get some shorter runs for conditioning in. Let's get real, I threw out the plan long ago.

On a much happier note, the trip is paid, fast passes are booked, dining is reserved, and all of our outfits have been planned. Matching family shirts galore! I still need to finalize my plans for our costumes (I have them planned in my head, but I'm waiting on a good sale, hopefully closer to Christmas). If we didn't have a California Christmas trip before then, I'd probably already be packing. This trip will definitely be more of a vacation with a run, not a run-cation!

So, my wonderful running friends, how is YOUR training going? Anyone want to shout out their successes? I need some encouraging stories!

Friday, November 9, 2018

Progress Post: October, 2018

It's been a hot minute since I started an actual training plan for the WDW Half Marathon, so I figured it's time to take stock in how it's going. Spoiler alert: I'm not getting all the runs in!

My goal for October was 3 runs per week, just focusing on nailing intervals and figuring out a plan for the half (time goals, interval times, etc). I averaged 2 runs per week, so not terrible, but when running so infrequently, definitely didn't feel great. It's getting cold in NY, I was sick, the boys were sick, and it's just stinkin' HARD to get out and run with 2 kids in tow most days.

I love lists, so why not sum up the month in 5 highs and 5 lows?

1. Didn't get all of the weekday runs in
2. Got sick mid-month so all of my workouts suffered
3. My nutrition stunk, so no weight loss
4. Halloween candy. See number 3.
5. 6 miles feels like a really long run.

1. I did all of the long runs as planned (even if they didn't get done on the weekend)
2. I figured out my intervals. A 90/30 seems to be a sweet spot.
3. People at the gym are noticing an overall weight loss.
4. I did some neighborhood running, which added in intensity with hills and curves.
5. A 2:30 half seems like an attainable goal. I may even be able to squeak out a 2:15 if I really push these next 2 months.

November means a switch in focus to hill training and really extending that long run. It also means the holiday season is here, and it'll be non-stop busy until our trip in January. I plan to take advantage of every nice day and every opportunity to run without kids. While I love the extra training pushing a double stroller provides, it's definitely harder to accomplish things like hills and 8-milers when you have little ones with you.

How is your training going? Any highs and lows? I'd love to hear them here, on IG or on our FB page!

Monday, October 15, 2018

My Training Plan for the 2019 WDW Half

Whoa! 2019! That was weird to type! It's true, the 2019 Marathon Weekend training has begun. This year, we are heading down to the world for Marathon Weekend with the real purpose being a vacation. We're doing all the things: meal plan, staying on property, fast passes galore. We even are using a Disney Vacation Planner to help us coordinate our party of 11! Disney Runs in the Family has really grown!

Even though we are mostly focused on vacation, we still are there for the races, so training is a must. In fact, in some ways, training is even more important this time. There's no down time after the races, no super early nights (because we're doing all the things), and our main focus is to see as much as possible. After all, this is our California family's very first time to the world!

With that said, I'm also coming back from a big hiatus from running. Yes, I trotted a bit when I was pregnant with Ryan, but truth be told I was not training for anything! Even before he was born, I wasn't doing a great job at training for races. It's been a LONG time since I was chasing after the 2-hour half! My goal for January is to run a faster race than I have been doing (so definitely under 2:30), but also to not kill my legs since we have a lot of vacationing to do after the race
. I also have to scoot along quickly because Robby has his race at 10:30 that morning. Thanks to Mom/Babci for getting both boys to the race on her own (and hey, if you see her getting on and off the buses with 2 kids, give her a hand!).

I am not only coming back from a running break, but I am also dealing with a few injuries. My knee has some cartilage damage that flairs up from time to time and I have a foot pain that is constant when running. Don't worry, I'll be working with doctors to find relief and to make sure nothing is getting worse, however both injuries are not "rest and they get better" type things. I have to run with proper form and continue to work on strength to compensate.

In running, since I am starting over again and working through injuries, I plan to use the run-walk-run method that is wildly popular for runDisney events thanks to their partnership with Jeff Galloway. His running method has been very successful for me at these mid-range goal races. After listening to him speak and reading a few of his books and publications, I am working with either a 2 minute run/30 second walk or a 90 second run/30 second walk cycle. I will play around with those in October and see which works best.

I have made my own training plan using a 3-day-per-week rotation of running. Again, with the injuries I don't want to run too much. I teach 5 classes per week at the gym, minimum, and often will be doing a 6th or even 7th. Since I teach BodyPump twice a week, that will be the base of my strength training. I plan to add in some therapeutic strengthening for my knee and I definitely need to work on core strength. Two babies in just about 2 years has done a number on those muscles!

Each month I gave myself a main focus. Again, time is precious around here and I feel like if I try to do too much I'm setting myself up for failure. October, my goal is to get my intervals set and work on a strong base. I worked backwards for the long run, and will spend the final month getting in distances of 10+ miles.

I'm tracking my progress using a printed paper calendar. Fancy, I know, but if it ain't know the drill. I will write my successes and know that at the end of this training cycle, if I can look back and see more wins than losses, I'll be happy!

Stay tuned for progress posts! I can't wait to see all my runDisney friends in January! I think this is actually the longest I've gone without running at Disney! I need some bling STAT!