Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Tower of Terror 10-Miler Preview

It's almost time to take on the Tower of Terror 10-miler!  I know many of you are heading to Walt Disney World this week to tackle this villain-themed race.  Gotta say it: I'm jealous!!!!  This is one of the races that none of us have participated in.  Ironically enough, my training schedule has a 10 mile run this weekend.  Ugh!  Why isn't there a spot for me in this race?!?!?!?  It would have been perfect!!!!

We didn't want to leave you hanging, though, just because we won't be there, so we scoured the web to find all of the important details to make sure you have the best race experience. 


Expo
The Expo is where you will need to head first to pick up your race bib, your race swag, and spend all your money (oh...or is that just me?).  From past reviews, this expo is pretty small, but I bet I could still find ways to spend lots of cash!
Here's a preview of some of the merchandise:  http://disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog/2014/09/picture-if-you-will-merchandise-for-the-twilight-zone-tower-of-terror-10-miler-weekend/
Did I mention I was jealous yet?  That is the BEST runDisney jacket I've seen yet (and I love me some jackets)! 
The expo is open from 10-7 on Friday and 8:30-3 on Saturday at ESPN Wide World of Sports.  If you are staying at a host hotel on property, buses will transport you to the expo.  Otherwise, a short cab ride is an easy way to get there if you don't have a car.  Remember, there is no packet pickup at the race start.

Happy Haunted 5k
This is Disney's version of a trail run.  Weather reports are looking like this may be a muddy one, so I'd suggest you pack a pair of old shoes just in case.  The run starts at 7:30, but you will want to be in your corrals by 7:15.  Buses will start loading at the hotels at 5:30.

Kids Races
Immediately following the 5k, the kids races will be off!  Families, you need to be on the buses by 8:30; the races start at 9:15

ToT 10-Miler
This is what everyone's here for (and what I wish someone would give me a bib for)!  The race starts at 10, but you'll want to be in your corrals by 9:30.  Buses start at 7:15.  Being that this is a night race, even with the "gloomy" theme, everyone is pretty lively and excited at the start.  There will be some food trucks, but I personally wouldn't chance it.  Be sure to hydrate early; it's always hot for this one.

Disney Villains Hollywood Bash
This is the party just for you, runners!  Celebrate your achievement with your friends and family with exclusive access to the park.  Don't forget to bring money for snacks--seriously--is the ONLY thing I do in Disney is spend money???  The party goes on until 3:30 am, so I dare you to stay through the whole thing!

In all seriousness, though, we wish all the runners the best of luck!  Have so much fun, make lots of memories, and soak it all in.  Rumor is that this is THE BEST runDisney themed race.   Expect the unexpected.

Are you running ToT?  Would you like to write a guest blog post about your experience?  We'd love to feature you here and hear all about the race!  Comment below or contact us at disneyrunsinthefamily@gmail.com

Monday, September 29, 2014

Recommit to Rehab

I plan a lot of my blogging when I'm out running.  Makes sense, right?  This IS, after all, a blog grounded in running.  Sunday, I headed out for a 9 mile run, and thought I should try to push my run intervals a little and run for 1:30 and walk for 1 minute.  It did not quite go as planned.  I have a race in two weeks and I'm feeling a little beat down.
 
 
What I'm realizing quickly is I have not done my part in rehabbing my knee after surgery.  Especially since I've been back to teaching classes at the gym, I have slacked on my knee exercises.  It's tough, because since my doctor refused to give me therapy, I'm doing it all on my own.  I have great advice from medial professionals I really trust.  So this week, my plan is to recommit to getting this knee stronger.  (Didn't I promise this before???).
 
If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Here's my plan:
 
Leg Press--both legs & right leg only
Lateral step up & over the BOSU
Squats on the BOSU
Single leg step ups on a platform
Balance with resistance--4 ways
Clockwork lunges (5 ways)
Lots of stretching!!!
 
What am I missing?  I know some of you out there have had knee problems.  What exercise got you back the strongest?

Thursday, September 25, 2014

So You Want to Run Disney--Part 9: Celebrating Your Achievement

If you’ve never been to a runDisney event, you’ve never experienced my favorite part: celebrating your achievement!  In part 9 of this series, we are talking celebrations!  Of course it’s fun to run and all, but one of the many reasons I love to run at Disney is the celebration that follows.  You can celebrate way past the snack box and finish line photos.  In fact, in Disney, you can celebrate for days!

2013 Coast to Coast
First, let’s get one major point out of the way—wear your medals around the parks!  I promise, everyone will be doing it!  Yes, even If you “only” ran the 5k—that’s still an accomplishment to be celebrated, so do it!  Other runners will recognize and congratulate you, cast members will chat you up (and at least one or two will vow to run too someday), and you will at least have a perfect excuse for your slow, calculated walk and why you can’t get out of Space Mountain.  Speaking of Space Mountain, I like to tuck my medal into my shirt for some thrill rides.  I like to use my medals for perfectly posed ride pics too (hello Tower of Terror!).  You’ll also want those medals for when you see the race-characters around the parks.  If you’re running a challenge or just got your Coast to Coast, bring all the medals with you and stash them in a backpack when you’re not wearing them.  Keep them handy for the perfect photo opp!  Also, Coast to Coast runners—why not bring your other medals too? It’s a great picture to have all the bling that got you that special medal.

Along with wearing your medals, there are plenty of other ways to celebrate your achievement.  Of course, just being at the Disney parks is a celebration, so I get as many vacation days in after the race as I can.  To be honest, it’s been so long since I’ve visited Disney WITHOUT running, I’m not sure I remember what that’s like! 

Dinner at Narcooses
A favorite way to celebrate is an elaborate meal. Why—well I love to eat, and eating a large meal after a race is your right!  We will usually plan ahead and make a reservation for dinner the evening of the final race.  We have done lunch before, but personally it’s too soon after running for me to have a large meal.  In Disneyland, Carthay Circle and Blue Bayou are our favorites.  Walt Disney World offers many more options, but we usually stick to a place just a touch fancier.  Some great suggestions are Fulton’s Crab House, Yachtsman’s Steakhouse, Brown Derby, Narcooses, and though we’ve never been, I bet Be Our Guest is amazing. 

Cheers! (After Wine & Dine)
Recently at the WDW races, runDisney has sponsored “cool down parties” where runners unite for a night of celebrating.  This night includes discounts at restaurants and shops, as well as a final shot to purchase merchandise.  Some runDisney races include after-parties as part of your race fee.  Wine & Dine, Tower of Terror, and (at this time) Expedition Everest all have awesome parties.  And don’t worry—everyone else is stinky and sweaty too!  Just have a great time!

Don’t underestimate a stroll downtown, a stop at a pub or wine bar, or even a spa treatment to reward yourself for a job well done!  Disney has so much to offer, and this is a great time to try something special!  Congratulations on your achievement—now celebrate!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Why I DietBet

Last month I hosted my first DietBet.  I needed it to help motivate myself to get back on track with my fitness and nutrition goals.  It was 100% motivated by my own needs, but it was pretty awesome that my friends and family joined in too.  Our current pot is $2000 and there is a little over a week to go.  The group has already lost 244 pounds.  I'm right on track and can't wait to see how much I win! 

Don't Be Scared of the Scale--Halloween ...

I'm in no way done, so I've already set up my next DietBet!  I'm no dummy... this one ends right before Halloween, which will be the start of my next Disneyland trip.  I can't wait to be able to celebrate (and indulge, just a little...).  Figured the other people in the bet would also want a little indulgence on that day.  I'm sure people are curious, so here's why I'm using DietBet:
  • I am highly motivated by challenges and MONEY!
  • I wanted to help other people, but I don't want to worry about keeping track of money and weight and fairness and etc... (the people at DietBet take care of all of that).
  • As long as you lose the 4%, you get at least your money back (DietBet forfeits their cut of the pot is everyone wins).
  • It a social way to diet--I log in daily to help motivate others and get some motivation myself.
  • I, as the host, get to set the bet.  I keep it low ($25) so the price doesn't deter anyone who wants to join in.
I'd love for some of my blogger friends to join in too, so consider this your official invite!  You have a little over a week to get in on the fun and invite all your friends and family to join in too.  It really is more fun with friends.  I hope you join us!  Here's the link:  https://www.dietbetter.com/games/50550

Monday, September 22, 2014

Long Run & Race Update

Sunday is my long run day.  I wanted to be sure to get back to some serious running.  My race calendar is full and it's not going to get easier without putting in the work.  To be honest, I haven't been feeling that great since the Disneyland Half.  That race was a huge pick-me-up, but the runner's high didn't follow me home.  It's still pretty painful to run and the speed is non-existent.  Last weekend, I was so busy and gave up after just 4 miles. 
 
I committed to getting back out there for an 8 miler this past Sunday, and I did it!  It was hard, it hurt, and my mind was not loving it, but I did it!  You know those race shirts from runDisney?  They should make those for training.  "I Did It--running in my boring neighborhood all alone". My average speed was about 13:45/mile, and I did a 1/1 run/walk ratio.  I'm not sure I could do more than that, but I guess it's an improvement from the race.  There you have it!  8 miles. Done.
I deserved a good recovery!
One of the reasons I finally got back on the road is I caved and signed up for another race: The National Nurse's Half Marathon on October 11th.  It's a local race, beautiful course, and my friends are teaching a special Zumba class at the finish line.  Of course, I could have just done the Zumba class, but hey, when I'm presented with a coupon code, I just can't resist!  Silly me thought I'd be faster, but it will be a great training run for Wine & Dine. 
 
 
Anyone out there ever hear of this race? Anyone gonna be there?  What's next on your race calendar?

Friday, September 19, 2014

Friday Five: Five Things I Love About Running Disney

This week, our hosts gave us the prompt of "Five things you love about ______."  It seemed like a no-brainer to make it about running Disney.  After all, isn't that the basis of this whole blog thing!  I'm linking up again with the ladies from Eat Pray Run DC, You Signed Up For What, & Mar On The Run
Be sure to check out the other great blogs on the linkup!

1.  The bling.  Yep, had to make that #1!  Being a Disney nut, this is one piece of Disney memorabilia that has to be earned.  I love how they change them up, do special editions for anniversaries, and really do it big.  It helps that it's completely socially acceptable to wear your bling in the parks for days after you race.

My latest bling

2.  Travel.   I love race-cations and I love visiting Disney parks.  Put your hands together and go runDisney!


3.  Beginner friendly races.  I love helping people achieve fitness goals, especially running goals.  That is why I do what I do for work, as well as put this blog together for fun!  Disney makes it okay to walk.  They make it okay to run slowly.  They also make it okay to have buckets of fun while you run.  I think these are all perfect for beginners (and hey, us who have a bunch of races under our belts don't mind it either). 

Mom's first race!
4.  Things to look at.  Let's face it, 13.1 miles or 26.2 miles is a long time to be on the road.  It's nice to get lost in the scenery.  Disney has TONS of scenery to look at.  Some you've seen a million times, but some of those back lot areas are rarely seen by the public.  Not to mention all the people in great costumes!  It really makes the time fly!

Main St never loses magic!
5.  The organization.  We always talk about the fun, but runDisney also has organization down to a science (with a few slip ups here and there).  They start races on time, packet pickup is well organized, and most important to me, the course is organized.  I never have to carry water or Powerade because I know they've got it covered.  I also rarely bring gels because I happen to like Clif Shots and use what is provided on course.  This is golden as every runner knows!

Always a fun expo!

What did I miss?  What other organizations do you love running with?  Please share!  I'm always looking for new races!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

I Took a "Walk in Walt's Disneyland Footsteps"



I arrived in CA on Wednesday for the Disneyland Half weekend.    The rest of the family wasn’t coming in until Thursday evening, so I had made plans for my solo days.
  
Wednesday was my travel day so by the time I got there, I was tired.  My room wasn’t ready so I walked around Downtown Disney (by walk around, I mean eat and shop!)   I returned to the hotel with several treasures, of course my favorites being the 2 new Alex and Ani bangles added to my collection.

My plan for Thursday morning was to take a tour.  After taking the “Keys to the Kingdom” tour at WDW, I decided I wanted to do something similar at DL.  30 days out, I secured my reservation to “Walk in Walt’s Disneyland Footsteps”.  I received a 20% discount by using my Disney Visa.  Annual passholders also get a discount.   You also must have entry into Disneyland as this is not included in the tour. I recommend getting your reservations as soon as your date is available, as I understand this tour fills up quickly, especially in busy park times.  

The day was finally here and I was excited!  I walked over to Disneyland and arrived about 9:00 am at the meeting place right next to City Hall.   While you’re waiting for the other tour guests, you get your name tag and have to pick your lunch choice for later on in the tour.  You get quick instructions on using the headsets they supply so you can clearly hear your tour guide above the park “sounds”.   Then, you’re on your way to learning about Disneyland, Walt and his Dream.


We stopped at many points along the way listening to stories about Walt and the history of Disneyland.  It was interesting to hear about how the opening day of Disneyland didn’t go off as smoothly as planned.  Our guide’s narrative was enhanced by clips of Walt himself! 



The Matterhorn was
one of the first "E" ticket rides



Check out Walt's anniversary gift to
Lillian - the petrified tree that sits in
Frontierland.


















After visiting the VIP Corporate Lounges at the NY
World's Fair ('64-'65), Walt wanted to introduce something
similar in DL. The new entrance takes you to the newly
renovated Club 33. The old door, though no longer the
entrance, will remain.












We bypassed lines and rode Peter Pan’s Flight, the Disneyland Railroad and enjoyed Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln, listening to more fun facts along the way.  (And checked out the Hidden Mickey on Big Ben in Peter Pan's Flight!)



The time went really fast as we absorbed all the familiar and new information we were receiving.   Then, the time came.   Half the tour went off to lunch and the other half, which I was part of, headed with the guide to the side of the Fire House, up the stairs and into Walt’s apartment.   What a feeling seeing the room that the Disney family spent many happy times in.   The space was very small being only around 500 square feet.   The bathroom was very indicative of the era, with the exception of the multi-jetted shower which was ahead of it’s time.    We were allowed a photo opp where our guide our picture (we were not allowed to take any photos ourselves).    

Walt and Lillian's Apartment
above the Fire House
Looks like a lot of runners
wanted to take this tour!


















I could have listened to the stories here for another 3 hours.  But, alas our time was done.

We headed to The Jolly Holiday Bakery CafĂ© where lunch was waiting for us.  At this time, we got a very special pin which I fell in love with immediately.  We sat and chatted for a while and then it was time to go.  


The pin opens like a book and has a replica of a
DL placque and a quote from Walt

This was a tour that was definitely worth taking, not only for the chance to see Walt’s apartment, but to take in all the history and love that went into Disneyland.

Have you experienced a Disney tour?  Would you do it again?   This was my second tour and I definitely would opt for another.  It's a really interesting thing to do, especially for the frequent visitor looking for something different.







Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Live Your Passion

After yesterday's pity party (thanks everyone for letting me whine), I wanted to give the flip side of being injured.  A while back, I wrote a "why me" post.  (You can read the whole post HERE)  It was a little less whiny and more of trying to make sense in that "things happen for a reason" thinking.  I was struggling with two dichotomous theories: was this a message to stay with my stable life, or was the message that I truly love fitness and running and I have an intense passion for helping others love it too.

Well, now that I'm back to running (slowly) and back to teaching classes (with modifications), I can start to zero in on the fact that this has made my passion very clear.  I have a passion for fitness and I would love to make a career of that in the future.


So... this past weekend I took my first step, and I did it for two reasons: first, I need to help myself and second, with all the knowledge I have, I need to help others.  I decided to become an Independent Team Beachbody Coach.  If you aren't sure what that is, I basically help people reach health and fitness goals by coaching them through a variety of programs.  I know you've heard of programs like Insanity and P90X, right?  I'm so excited to get started with my own program and to see where this all takes me.  Interested?  You can check out my page:

http://www.beachbodycoach.com/alysonstater

I am definitely ready to get started and live my passion.  Have you ever considered a major career change?  Was it scary?  Did it work?  AM I CRAZY?  :). 

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Why Getting Back is Harder than Getting There

It's been a little over 8 weeks since my knee surgery.  I was on cloud 9 when I finished the Disneyland Half Marathon 2 weeks ago, but then a cold limited my workouts for a week and I'm still slowly coming back.  This past Sunday I went for my long run.  It was hard.  Really hard.  Again.  I cried.  Okay, I cried twice.  But it wasn't tears of pain, instead to was tears of mourning the loss of what was. 

2:04 Half Marathon
I know that health, fitness, and running are not one-way streets.  We all have times where we soar, and we have other times where we falter.  I know that for sure: my first half marathon in 2010 was my PR for over 3 years!  I chased and chased that time, but could never beat it.  I finally did in 2013 and that was the start of one of the healthiest times of my life.
That's a PR smile!

I PR-ed my half, I trained my butt off for the 2014 Dopey Challenge, and I ended up PR-ing my marathon during that 4-day challenge.  Oh...and not just a PR...crushed my previous marathon PR by 25 minutes!  I maintained a good base through the spring, and then I fell on May 18th...you all know this story by now.  So now here I am, 20 pounds heavier (well, probably about 16 since I started my DietBet), and giving up on the goal to break 2:00 in a half marathon this year.  No, I'm not giving up completely, but just putting things on hold.

Back to Sunday and my tear-filled run.  I was barely keeping a 14 min/mile pace, and that seemed impossible.  Going faster seemed impossible.  Sub-2 hours seemed impossible.  All I could think about was where I was headed and how quickly that all slipped away.  I got to thinking about how defeated I felt trying to get back to where I was.  Even though it took me 3 years, I never felt so defeated aiming for that half PR.  I was disappointed during some races, that's for sure, but I was never so down on myself.  I felt like I was chasing something, but I was at least taking some steps to get there.  I never felt like my body was letting me down.  There were times I could have trained more.  There were regrets about race day choices.  I never cried, though.  Now, trying to get back, I cry.  Somehow, getting back is harder than getting there. 

The site of the fall.  And I get to pass it almost daily :(
I'm sure there are plenty of people who disagree.  I know there are plenty of people who'd like to tell me to put on my big girl panties and suck it up.  Today, though, it's hard, and I'm going to whine just a little more...

Monday, September 15, 2014

Race Report: 2014 Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend--Disneyland Half

We are finally here, the Disneyland Half Marathon!  This race will always have a special place in my heart; it was the first runDisney event I ran five years ago, and we've run this race every year since.  We've seen some changes and a lot of growth over the years, but nevertheless, no diminishing of magic!

We woke up bright and early a little after 3:00 am. This was the third early morning, and surprisingly enough, it wasn't too bad since we made a point to be in bed very early the night before.  We got our costumes on and ate our typical breakfast: PB&J sandwich and some water.  I also drink an energy drink (I'm not a huge fan of coffee) and bring a banana to the starting line.  Soon enough, we were headed to the ART bus to the starting line.

We met up with our family at the bus again and headed to the start.  It's almost comical how systematic we are on this race morning.  We know exactly which bathrooms to use, what the order of tasks are, and exactly where to go.  It's somewhat comforting to have that knowledge and really put my mind at ease on this difficult morning.  Chris and Katie left early for their corrals, and Bill walked with me.  I had to stop again for the bathroom (it was really just nerves).  I was starting in corral B, so I said goodbye and headed off on my own.

Blogger disclaimer: Sorry for the lack of pictures.  I was really worried about finishing this race, so I didn't stop.  I had only one focus--cross the finish line!

Duuude...Sorry I'm slow!
It was almost time to start, and the announcers told us A & B would be let off together.  Seriously???  C'mon runDisney!  Just give me an A corral placement already!!!  I lined up at the very end, knowing I'd be the slowest in the crowd.  I did try to be a considerate runner--I started last, stayed to the right (even taking wide turns when needed), and had a warning sign on my back. I had my run/walk/run timer set to 30 second run/1 minute walk.  I tried trotting a little yesterday, which didn't feel terrible, so why not?  I started to trot.

I was going SO slow, the crowd thinned out quickly at the first mile.  Soon it was just me and a few others running down Katella.  I couldn't help but wonder what they were doing back there.  Were they injured too? Did they not train enough?  I was so focused on one foot in front of another, no time to really figure it out.

Just before mile 2 where you enter the back road to California Adventure, the speedy corral C folks started passing me.  Once we were up to mile 2, I was in the thick of corral C.  I got a few "way to go"s and a couple "you got this" cheers.  Once we were into California Adventure, I was at the back of the corral C runners and some corral Ds were there too.  That was the last time I was really alone in the race.

The sites and sounds of DCA and Disneyland definitely kept me preoccupied for the next few miles.  You spend 2-4.5 in the parks.  All those special moments are there and was comfortable keeping my 30 sec/1 min pace.  Then you hit the streets of Anaheim.  I've said it before and I'll say it again, the community support at this race is awesome!  Personally, I don't mind the endless miles of streets because there always seems to be something fun to look at. 

This is where, I have to say, the running community put my on their backs and carried me to the finish.  I am not exagerating when I say I think I had at least 500 people stop, say "Hi", tell me to keep going, tell me I was an inspiration (really...me?  I take that very seriously and I get teary-eyed even writing that here).  I kept going.  It was seriously a miracle.  It was like for these few hours my pain was secondary to my happiness.

We Did It!
Before long, I could see the Honda Center and Anaheim Stadium.  Is it just me or was that stadium louder and more packed this year than ever before?  It was the perfect pick-me-up and it meant that I was almost to the finish.  I keep up my pace, and even noticed I might get into the 2 hour range.  After the stadium, it was almost a blur to the finish, but I paced it perfectly and finish in 3 hours and 47 seconds.  Just 48 seconds out from a 2 hour-something finish.  Poetic to say the least--I needed to let the time go!  Who cares how long it takes?  It's about finishing what you start!  

In Disney races, you might say I'm usually a "front of the pack" runner--no, not super speedy in any way, but I'm usually in the first few corrals and finish in the top 25% percentage.  This year, though, I spent my hours with the middle of the pack, even into the back of the pack. It was AWESOME!  I definitely no longer fear being in the last corral or having my time messed up.  The people I ran alongside pushed me past what I thought was even possible.  It was fun, and everyone was positive and encouraging.  Truly a magic race experience.

So there you have it! The 2014 Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend!  It was our 5th time running this event, and no doubt it will NOT be our last.  Were you there?  How was your race?

In case you missed it, check out the reports of the Expo Disneyland 5k & Disneyland 10k

My C2C Bling! Dopey + Dumbo!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Friday Five: 5 Blogs I Love!

I'm linking up again with the ladies from Eat Pray Run DC, You Signed Up For What, & Mar On The Run.  This weeks topic is blogs you love to read.  Well, obviously the three hosts are on my list, so be sure to check them out!  So, I guess it's really 8 blogs I love...here are 5 more:

1. Maker, Mother, Marathon Runner
          http://makermothermarathonrunner.com/
     If you ever lack some inspiration, head over to Kimberly's blog!  She is truly the coolest chick--and pretty bad-ass if you ask me.  Dopey Challenge while going through chemo--yep, like I said, pure inspiration!  This past Dumbo Double Dare weekend, my mom was on the same Disneyland tour with her, and to boot, she's a sweet, genuine person. 

2. We Run Disney
          http://www.werundisney.com/
     If you love running, especially running Disney, you have to follow Pam & Christine.  Okay...confession time...I actually spent about 2 miles of the marathon this year walk/run/walking by them.  I am such a dork, and didn't say "Hi" because I didn't want to be a creeper!  Seriously...these two look like they would be so much fun to run with and I love their bond as mother-daughter.  Next race, I'm saying "Hi" for sure!

3. My No Guilt Life
          http://noguiltlife.com/
     Patty keeps it real on My No Guilt Life.  She covers all things fitness, running, diet, and general fun.  I love how honest she is, and she's pretty darn funny too!  She keeps you guessing on what's coming up next, and sometimes I go there just to smile.

4.  Healthy Disney Family
          http://healthydisneyfamily.com/
     Denise has lost over 100 pounds and is currently training for her first Dopey Challenge.  I love keeping up with her training and she's always offering great tips, recipes, and the honest truth about weight loss (and maintaining a healthy lifestyle).  She is also super active on Pinterest and I re-pin her all the time!

5.  I Heart Organizing
          http://iheartorganizing.blogspot.com/
     Huh?  Okay, well let me explain. Even though this is a running/fitness blog, I like to read other things too!  I stumbled upon this when looking up ways to organize my fitness clothes and I was hooked.  There are some really great ideas on here, and if nothing else, I can dream about a house that is this put together and organized.  If you're crafty or even just looking for some design ideas, check this one out!

So there you have it!  5 blogs that are on my follow list.  I can't wait to find some new blogs to add!  What's your favorite (okay, okay...your favorite OTHER THAN Disney Runs in the Family...lol...j/k!)?

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

What's On Your DVR?

Did you catch last night's episode of Extreme Weight Loss?  Spoiler alert: it featured this year's WDW Half Marathon. 

It got me thinking--how much fitness motivation is on my DVR?  I personally love Extreme Weight Loss.  I just think Heidi Powell is the coolest chick ever!  Then of course, there's the Biggest Loser, the one that started it all.  I also love watching So You Think You Can Dance.  In some way, that motivates me to keep pushing.  When you see those dancers doing the most amazing routines, it's just awesome! 

Hoping to see myself on the runDisney segment!

I'm not a really big TV watcher and I absolutely HATE movies (I just don't have the attention span).  I'm anything but a couch potato, but every once in a while, I love my weekends full of clearing out the DVR.  So... I want to know...

Do you have any shows that inspire you?  Are you a big TV watcher? 

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Race Report: 2014 Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend--Disneyland 10k

On Saturday, August 30, 2014, the second Disneyland 10k was off and running!  This was the first part of the Dumbo Double Dare.  Since this was the first time I was out for any distance since surgery, we planed to keep this one slow.
2 Olafs!

 Full OLAF!
We left our hotel a little before 4 am and took the ART bus to the Disneyland area.  Our family met us at the bus stop; they were staying right across the street.  The weather was much better than last year and we were quite optimistic about the morning.  My mom was cheering, so we said goodbye early and she gave me these words of wisdom-- "I hope you make it". LOL... thanks mom!  I just couldn't let her live that down. 

The four of us headed for the starting corrals.  My hubby and I were planning to "run" together (actually walk and save our legs for the half marathon), so we lined up together at the back of corral B.  runDisney went all out on the Elvis/Stitch theme right from the start.  It was fun, but not really my thing.  Confession time: I only first saw Lilo & Stitch a few months ago.  We were off about 8-10 minutes after corral A, and we started out walking. 

Starting line
I look nervous! (I was...)














The first mile + are outside the parks.  I give it to the spectators, they were kind trying to cheer us on (we were really straggling), and I seriously lost it.  Crying, whining, ready to go back to the hotel and just give up.  It was humbling to be walking while everyone flies by. My hubby really had to talk me off a ledge just to get me to keep moving forward. 

Somewhere between mile 1 & 2 (I think)...or maybe right after mile 2...hmmmm, maybe I should have stopped pouting and payed more attention.  Anyway, somewhere around there we entered California Adventure. Once we were in the parks, my mood definitely improved.  We were walking at a good pace--somewhere around a 15:30 min/mile.  Since we started in corral B, we knew we had plenty of time to finish, so my worries were gone. 

DCA has tons to look at, and we arrived just around dawn, letting the glow of Cars Land capture our attention.  There is something so different about running through the parks.  There's just a little more magic than when its crowded with people everywhere.  DCA pulls out all the stops, running World of Color, running rides, and giving runners plenty to look at.  The course was also themed out with plenty of Elvis.  Might have been pretty novel for some, but for this Vegas girl, an Elvis sighting is almost a daily occurrence.


After a run through Cars Land, through Tower of Terror, around Paradise Pier, and out through the front of the park, we were off to Disneyland.  The crowd really perked up and gave us a good push into the next park.  Right around the corner and we were on to one of the highlights: running down Main Street USA!  For those who have never done it, I promise you, it's one of the most magical moments of ANY Disney race.  No matter how many times you do it, it's still super special. 


Through Tomorrowland, then Fantasyland, then through the castle--another huge highlight! Over and over again, no matter how many times, it's always magical!  Then through the rest of the park, and it definitely makes the miles fly by.  You also get a few steps "behind the scenes" which is always fun.  Okay, not always--the trash area and animals can get pretty smelly, but it's still pretty impressive, especially when you think about how many thousands of people never get this perspective.

We love funny pics!
You are around mile 5 when you finally exit the parks, but then you just swing into Downtown Disney.  The crowds are raring to go and cheer, and you are still surrounded by Disney!  Seriously, if you are looking to run at Disney and want a race full of magic, the 10k is the way to go! 

These two Dole Whips were a hit!
A few twists and turns and you're at the finish line.  Oh, the sweet, sweet finish line!  I immediately collected my bling and headed straight for the ice!  I wasn't going to jeopardize my half the next day by being stupid.  I even opted for 2 bags :)  We got our snack box, our water and PowerAde, and were off to meet up with the rest of the family.  My mom was already waiting and Chris & Katie weren't far behind.

We took a bunch of pictures (the Dole Whips were a HUGE hit), and we were headed for the showers!  Overall, the race was a little warm and humid, but not nearly as bad as last year.  I really do love this course, and I know we will all be back again next year to conquer the 10k...and the Dumbo Double Dare!

Yep...Disney DOES Run in the Family!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Race Report: 2014 Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend--Disneyland 5k

It was Friday, August 29, 2014, the morning of the Disneyland 5k and I awoke extra early. I was excited to run my first "solo (without my daughter pushing me)" race along with 5,999 other runners.  My alarm was set for 3:30 am, but I was wide awake by 3:10 (still on East Coast time).

I donned my modified Lilo outfit, had a quick bagel thin and peanut butter, and was ready to go. Chris and Katie (coincidently) were staying at the same hotel and graciously offered to meet me around 4:15 to walk me to the race (our extended West Coast family is really awesome!)  They left to meet Aly and Bill and I set off for Corral A. (As I waited for the start, I rec'd a text telling me where the 4 of them would be chEARing.)



Time passed quickly and you could feel the excitement in the air.  Carissa and Rudy kept the crowd going, along with Lilo and Stitch.  Then a surfer came out and led a "surfer themed" warmup.  The next thing you knew, it was time to go with a burst of confetti!

This was my first race at Disneyland. When we entered California Adventure just before mile 1, I found myself slowing down and "looking" It was the first time I saw Cars Land and because of my love of Disney, I was kind of distracted.   Then, I remembered why I was there!  


Course on RunKeeper
My RunKeeper app was set to a walk/run pace and I surprised myself by maintaining this through almost the entire race.  The miles went by quickly.  I'm sure this was because most of the miles were in the park which was really fun.  It was way more humid than I thought it was going to be so I took advantage of both water stops.  


As I was passing under the monorail near the spot where my family was supposed to be, I spotted them holding up a sign and cheering me on. I think that gave me the final push I needed to finish strong.

I received my medal from one of the many wonderful volunteers (Thank you, volunteers!) and went to the tents to meet my family. 


My regret:  I didn't take any pictures on the course!  I was so concerned about "getting it done", I never stopped.

My accomplishment:  I PR'd my 5K!    After looking at my stats, I know I will do fine in my first 10K in May.   Tinkerbell here I come!

Friday, September 5, 2014

Race Report: 2014 Disneyland Half Marathon--The Expo

My runner's high is fading, which means it's time to start the race recaps!  This year, there were 5 of us at the races, so we've got them all covered.  But...I'm getting ahead of myself!  Before you run, you must SHOP, so let's first explore the expo.

Speaker Series
If you hadn't previously heard, the 2013 expo was a HUGE disaster!  I won't get into the negativity, but I have to give MAJOR kudos to runDisney for a job well done this year.  They really listened to the feedback and made so many improvements.  My credit card didn't like it as much, though, because with all the improvements, I was able to buy way more stuff!

 
We attended the expo after the 5k race.  We got in a little after it opened at 9, but our family got in even earlier.  They opened the expo about 30 minutes early!  Immediately I noticed a huge difference from the year before!

Pins!

We started the expo with New Balance, who's new virtual queue worked perfectly!  We were in group 1 (which allowed us to get shoes first). I showed my confirmation text, got in a very short line, and was helped within minutes.  I walked away with two new pairs of runDisney shoes.  That was the start of my shopping downfall!

Next we headed to get our bibs.  They were still downstairs, but there were no lines and I was easily able to pick up my bib, coast to coast wristband, and pre-ordered pins.  Then there was a short walk up the ramp to get into the expo right where you pick up your shirts.  No lines.  Really cute shirts.  My hubby was even able to easily exchange his size.  Seriously people--a complete 180 from last year!

I had a list, so I got what I needed (some Bondi Bands, a new Sparkle Athletic skirt, etc) then finally headed to the official merchandise booth.  Now, I was pretty optimistic here, but I never expected to be able to buy so much!  We ended up with our hands full of jackets, t-shirts, headbands, even a Minnie running skort!  Yep, they got LOTS of my money.  And checkout--no line there either! 
Just SOME of what we bought!
Before long we were on our way with our arms full of runDisney goodies!  Straight to the parks we went!  In and out of the expo in less than 2 hours.  Thank you runDisney for making it all seamless!!!