Saturday, May 31, 2014

30 Day Fitness Challenges Giveaway

Back in February, we discovered 30 Day Fitness Challenges online and decided to try the Ab - Squat challenge.   It was a great program to follow and definitely a challenge.

The awesome people at 30 Day Fitness Challenges generously supplied us with their iPhone/iPad app. Besides giving us a code so we can try it, they supplied us with a few we can give away!

I frequently travel both for work and pleasure, so having this app available on my phone was very appealing. After downloading it and navigating around, I was even more impressed.    There are various challenges you can choose from targeting arms, core, legs and strength.

I decided to start with the 30 Day Ab Challenge.   It consists of 4 different exercises.  The best part of this is that it not only tells you step by step how to do the specific exercise, but there is a video clip to see the proper form.  They couldn't make it easier!  My favorite - the plank timer - it is set to the number of seconds you need to do for that day's challenge.  You simply get into plank position and tap it to start.

So, on Day 10, I'm loving this.   A reminder pops up on my phone to tell me it's time to do the day's challenge.   I'm a list person and love "completing" each exercise.   Again, the plank timer is my favorite. And, I'm starting to feel challenged.  If you enjoy feeling challenged in a structured way, check this app out on iTunes ( 30 Day Fitness Challenges)!

Here is your chance to get this great App.  Disney Runs in the Family is giving away a code to 5 people to get this app for free.  You can/enter through 6/5.

So, like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, enter our giveaway below (through Rafflecopter) and Good Luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer:   All opinions are ours alone.   Disney Runs in the Family was not compensated for this post other than getting the free app for review.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

11 Days and I'm Melting Down...

Well, it's 11 days post-fall, and this morning, I lost it.  Full on, sobbing in the car, sobbing at work, lost it.  Why?  Well, my initial "fell, got bruised, drat!" has turned into "fell and really, seriously hurt myself".  (By the way, if you are totally lost, read about my fall during my last long run HERE).

Since my last update, I've returned to the doctor and got a lovely diagnosis of partial tear/sprain of my MCL (medial collateral ligament) in my right knee.  No MRI (yet), and orders to rest and start physical therapy at home (got a list of prescribed exercises).  I started on those last night, and shockingly I was in excruciating pain!  Again, not sure why I would think anything different, but I honestly didn't think much of this fall.  I really thought once I was "pain free" I'd be back running quickly.  I hardly slept at all, and now I can't walk up the stairs.
My "I hate this" look

Fast forward to this morning.  I left my cell phone upstairs and started up the first few steps to grab it before heading to work.  Ouch.  It hurt.  Bad.  Really, really bad.  Stabbing in the back of my knee, bad.  Oh my gosh something is really wrong bad.  Let the pity party begin.  Okay, not as simple as a pity party; more like a full-on meltdown!  I'm super frustrated with the doctor telling me to "wait and see" before getting an MRI or seeing a specialist.  I'm super frustrated with myself for being so careless on my run and tripping.  I'm super frustrated at the very real possibility that I will need to take time off and really have to fix a serious injury.

I have a full race calendar planning for fall/winter, not to mention a second job at the gym which I've been absent from for two weeks.  My spirit is a little broken; my heart is hurting.  I'm feeling so defeated.  My running schedule proudly posted on the fridge, held up by my Mickey parts magnets, under my Dopey Challenge decals, mocks me everyday.  (okay, maybe this is my pity party)

Now, don't get me wrong...I know it could be WAY worse.  I know this is a blip in time and in the grand scheme of life, this is really nothing.  But today, on day 11, I'm melting down.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Star Wars Weekend Finally Announced

Have you been glued to Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram this morning?  If not, then boy do I have news for you!  runDisney started all sorts of teasers for the inaugural Star Wars race.  It started simply on Facebook with confirmation that a Star Wars race would be coming; a great Darth Vader short video clip.  (Yep, hooked us all in)

Then it continued on Twitter, where official dates were announced: January 15-18 2015

Finally, they took out the mystery of the location with a pic on Instagram, with Sleeping Beauty Castle in the background.

Well played, runDisney, well played. We are now all buzzing about this race, and no doubt this will be a huge, fast sellout! 

Update:  It's up on the website.  Check out for all the details.  Registration opens June 10th...and there's a 10k/Half challenge!  I'm warming up my credit card as we speak!

Friday, May 23, 2014

A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes...

Yes, we've all been dreaming and wishing for a Disneyland Paris Half Marathon for years.  We've heard rumors.  We've begged during meet-ups.  We've started online petitions.  Clearly runDisney knows that a Paris race would have us all plunking down the plastic and singing their praises.  But yesterday afternoon, the first "real" clue was released on Instagram and it instantly exploded on social media.
We've been teased so many times, we are skeptical, but this is the first "physical" proof we've had.  So...what do you think?  Is it real?  Should I finally get my name changed on my passport?  Are we all headed to Paris next year?  Only time will tell...

If you keep on believing, the dream that you wish will come true...

Belle's Castle, 2010

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Disney Dining Review: Dining with an Imagineer

One of the reasons we love running Disney is because of the many ways we can celebrate our achievements.  Many times that includes eating some fabulous food.  In 2013, we were fortunate enough to have the opportunity to dine with an Imagineer during a special Disney dining experience: Dining with an Imagineer. 

First, it should be said that this is a very difficult reservation to get!  You need to be ready to make the reservation 180 days prior to your desired date.  I would also recommend having a back-up date. The reservation is limited to 10 people total.  We planned it as a celebration for the Monday of the 2013 WDW Marathon weekend and chose lunch at the Brown Derby. 

We arrived at the Brown Derby early and were given our official name-tags.  Once our entire party was there (3 small parties--it feels very exclusive!), we were escorted to a back room where we were given personalized menus.  The menu is limited for this experience, but you get all the signature Brown Derby options (including the Cobb Salad & Grapefruit Cake).  Soon after being seated, our Imagineer arrived. 

Part of the current project
It was a very casual meal, and our Imagineer told us all about his experiences working at Disney World.  He talked about projects, gave hints for some future projects, and answered all our Disney-Geek questions.  My favorite was his current project: the interactive queue for Thunder Mountain Railroad, which we were able to see a little of on that trip.  Since then, every time we visit that ride, we feel like true Disney insiders. 

At the end of the lunch, you are given a personally signed plate (ours have a top-shelf in the living room place in our home), a personalized menu, recipe cards for the classic Brown Derby dishes, and memories of an experience only a few will ever have. 

So, what's my final verdict?  First, I personally was getting very, very sick during this meal (it was followed the next day by a trip to the urgent card, antibiotics, fever, and my first "Disney sickness" experience, not at all related to this meal... just got really unlucky).  For that reason, I know I didn't enjoy this as much as I could have, so I'm dying to go back!  So... now to the real final verdict.  Would I do it again?  Absolutely!  Not every time, but I would guess that each time you go it's a different experience.  Would I recommend it to others?  Depends.  What?!?!?  "I thought you loved it" (I can hear your thoughts).  First, it's expensive.  That alone I know will be tough to some travelers, and I truly believe that you need to prioritize what you want to do to fit your budget.  Second, it's a long experience, so if you're there for a limited time or are concerned about getting to all the thrill coasters, this may not be at the top of your list.  Third, and probably most importantly, this is a true Disney Geek experience.  It is not for the casual Disney fan; I just think it would be lost on someone who is not somewhat obsessed with Disney and the intricacies that go into each and every part of the parks.  But then again... if you're not obsessed, you're probably not going to even know about this!  And with that thought... you're probably not even reading this blog, so for all of you, definitely put this on your Disney To-Do List before it goes away. 

A favorite Disney souvenir

Monday, May 19, 2014

Trip & Fall

I was trying to come up with a creative name for this post...I didn't.  It is what it is, much like my Sunday run was.  So, here's the story of my trip & fall.

I was on my 8 mile run on Sunday, two loops through my neighborhood.  There is a ton of construction going on around me, and around mile 4 I carelessly caught my toe on a metal grate (truth be told, I wasn't paying attention).  Scramble, scramble, wailing arms, wailing legs, try to catch my balance...but no, I fell.  Hard.  Into the gutter.  I quickly got up, scanned around me to make sure no one saw me (how embarrassing...), and assessed my injuries.  My hands hurt from breaking my fall.  My elbow/forearm is pretty gross with gravel.  My knees hurts, but my pants didn't even rip, so I'm sure that's fine.  I honestly had that moment of "Maybe I can finish my run" but wisely decided against it.  I walked the quarter-mile home.

I'm usually a pretty tough chick, so I didn't think much of it.  Sure, I'd have some bumps and bruises, but my pants didn't even rip.  I even considered finishing my run later that afternoon at the gym.  I went home and my hubby helped clean up the road rash.  I pulled up my pants and saw my knees were a little bruised and swollen.  Keeping with my tough chick self, I laughed it off, took some selfies, and headed to the shower to make sure all the asphalt and tar was out of my cuts.  P.S.--OUCH!  That shower HURT!  I went about many of the standard Sunday routine: shopping, out to lunch, etc.  About 1:00 I waived the white flag.  My left hand was killing me.  I could barely walk.  My elbow stung. We headed home (I was so happy my hubby was actually home today) and I rested, sort of.  It hurt every time I moved.  Let the panic set in...

Finally, by 6:00, I thought I should be responsible and head off to the urgent care.  Luckily there was no wait and the doctor was quick.  X-ray of the thumb, and good news, nothing broken.  Just a gnarly sprain.  My hubby quickly asked how long I needed to keep the brace on.  Funny doctor...she thought he was asking for the "longest" time (she answered no more than 2-3 weeks).  Silly, silly...he was asking because he knew I'd have it ripped off me that night.  We compromised with a week in the splint.  My knees were super swollen.  The doctor said my two favorite words (insert sarcasm)--"It's either meniscus or tendon."  Yipee.  I got bandaged up, cleaned up, and sent on my way with some ibuprofen and orders to return when the swelling goes down for an MRI referral.  So there is the verdict so far.  Oh yeah... I almost forgot the best part.  Each person who I encountered telling me "Oh wow!  I bet this hurts today, but just wait; it's really going to hurt tomorrow!". Thanks receptionist, nurse, doctor, and x-ray tech. 

A little ice/elevation at work
Well, I initially thought I felt great when I woke up today.  That was, until I stood up.  I went to work, all bandaged and broken.  My knee just kept swelling and swelling.  At this point, outlook is not so good.  I'm planning on returning to urgent care for the MRI referral sooner rather than later.  I'm already calculating the timing of surgery and/or therapy in relation to the Disneyland Half Marathon weekend.  I'm trying to stay positive, hoping for the best, but preparing for the worst. 

Have you ever tripped while running?  Any words of advice?  I hope to have good news soon!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

A NEW runDisney Challenge!

My Twitter and Facebook feeds are FULL of announcements and reactions to this latest news: runDisney just announced a NEW challenge added onto the already full Marathon weekend.  A runDisney cruise, complete with a 5k on Castaway Cay (and of course, a challenge medal to be had for those who run any race during Marathon Weekend).

Do the math: that is 8...yes EIGHT medals for those who are Dopey enough to not only run the 4 races during Marathon Weekend, but also the extra 5k on the cruise.  Oh, AND Dopey enough to plunk down major cash!  The 5k itself is $40, but don't forget, you also have to pay for the cruise.  Not saying I wouldn't love to do it all, but I just don't think this is the time.  Sorry runDisney, you have finally priced me out of a race.  You tried before, with the huge Dopey price tag and the rapidly increasing race fees, but this finally pushed me over the edge!  Oh...and I think my employer might agree that taking that much time from work is not quite desirable either.  Someday...

For those of you who are still curious, here is the official announcement on the runDisney site:

So, will you be going?  What are your thoughts? 

Sunday, May 11, 2014

I Joined a (virtual) Running Team

I'm generally a quiet, loner kind of runner.  I rarely even run with my own family, let alone strangers.  I'm always over-booked and over-worked, so joining a team to run in my area seemed daunting.  I didn't want to add another "to-do" to my already long list.

I also regularly listen to podcasts on my runs, especially long runs.  One of my favs--The Mickey Miles Podcast--announced the formation of a virtual running team.  I perked up a little, and thought, "Hey, it's for a good cause and who knows...I might actually get something out of it (not that I even knew what I was looking for...)."  I had been interested in running for a charity for a while, and thought the very low minimum fundraising requirement for this team was the perfect way to get started. 

There are tons of different options for fundraising, but the Mickey Milers Running Team chose to not include any travel or race fees (which honestly, I love, because I can tell everyone that their money IS actually going to the charity...not to pay my way to a race and I can include my many Disney races in my fundraising efforts).  All the money donated is going to Give Kids the World Village.  The required amount was $50, so I plunked down the first $50 donation to kick off my fundraising.  I wanted to see what I could do when it comes to fundraising, so I set a lofty goal: $2326.00--one dollar for each mile between my home and the front door of Give Kids the World Village.  Today, I'm 17% of the way to my goal (thanks to friends and family who have already donated!). 

So, I love the idea of fundraising and doing some good while putting in the miles.  That was an easy advantage to joining the team, but I've found a few more.  First, I have a relatively small online community to ask questions to and share my experiences with.  My million-dollar question was "how do I get under 2:00 in a half marathon" and honestly I've already received great advice and confidence.  Second, two weeks ago a weight-loss challenge was started, and it came at the perfect time for me!  This week's weigh-in won't be great, but last week I lost 4 pounds.  Just the kick in the butt I needed to lose the extra few pounds I've put on since the new year. 

I'm also looking forward to meeting some of the team during upcoming race weekends.  I hope to run with my new friends and I really look forward to reaching my fundraising goal!  If you are hesitant to join a running team, I highly suggest you start with a virtual option.  It seems like the perfect compromise for me and has been a great way to get started. 

Check out my fundraising page HERE!  I'd love your support in raising money for Give Kids the World.  And... since they are my running team "buddies" now, check out the Mickey Miles Podcast.  You can find them on i-Tunes :) or at their site

Monday, May 5, 2014

What's wrong with me?!?!?!

It's Monday, otherwise known as the day after long-run Sunday.  All I can think is WHAT'S WRONG WITH ME? 

Let me explain.  For the past three years, my "race season" has ended with a marathon in January.  Not only a marathon, but the Goofy Challenge in 2013 and Dopey Challenge in 2014.  That's a whole lot of miles, and in turn, a whole lot of training that goes into completing these races.  I have gone into each of these marathons+ well-trained with high weekly mileage and long runs in the area of 20+ miles on Sundays.  Normal people would not want to just throw away all that training.  Normal people would cut back a little, but maintain a substantial base so that the months leading up to those big races did not go to waste.  Normal people would use training for the Dopey as a springboard for future PRs.  But not me.  I'm not normal.  There is something wrong with me...

Since January, I've laced up my sneakers a few times.  I've run around the neighborhood a few Sundays.  I even ran on the treadmill a few times.  I followed no program.  I logged not one run (in fact, my Dopey training plan is still hanging on my fridge).  And yesterday, now that I'm "officially" in training for the 2014 Dumbo Double Dare, I strapped on my Garmin, laced up my shoes, and headed out for a quick 8 miles.  It hurt.  I was tired.  My pace slowed at the end.  All I could think was "What's wrong with me?"  I did it again.  Every year I say I won't waste this huge base I built up.  I will maintain a base of 10-14 miles.  I will work on speed so I can run fast this fall.  Yet again, for the third year in a row, I have failed and I'm starting from (relatively) scratch. 

So there you have it.  There must be something wrong with me.  And now I need to pay the piper!  Am I alone?  Anyone else out there experience post-race ruts?  Or beyond post-race ruts?  What are your tips?  And really...what IS wrong with me? 

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Where it All Began...

"To tell the truth, more things of importance happened to me in Marceline than have happened to me since or are likely to in the future."
-Walt Disney

If you have spent much time in any of the Disney Parks, you've probably heard about the little town of Marceline, Missouri. This is the boyhood hometown of Walt Disney, and home to the downtown area that was the inspiration for Disney's Main Street U.S.A.
It was on a trip to Missouri this month that I came across Marceline. Realizing I had a little spare time, I decided to take a side trip to check it out and snap a few pictures. Walking down this turn-of-the-century 'Main Street' (which is actually named Kansas Ave), I could definitely see the similarities to Main Street U.S.A. Note that I am using the terms 'inspiration' and 'similarities'. If you are expecting an exact replica, you will be sorely disappointed. 
As I continued to drive around, I discovered that one block to the east of the 'Main Street' area was the Walt Disney Hometown Museum, located in the town's former train station. A suitable choice, given Walt's fondness for trains. Unfortunately, the museum closed at four, so I was unable to go inside.
Continuing on to the north end of town, I came across an unassuming sign along Broadway Street, which informed me that I had reached "Walt's Dreaming Tree and Farm". After a little bit of searching online, I learned that this was Walt's childhood home (and is currently owned by a former Mouseketeer, appropriately enough). Signs leading up to the tree told stories about how Walt and his sister Ruth would spend hours playing under this tree, drawing, and dreaming about their futures. In fact, every time Walt would return to Marceline, he always set aside time to sit underneath the tree and continue to dream. The tree was struck by lightning several years ago, unfortunately, and is dying, so seeds were taken from the original tree and water and soil were brought in from Disney World to plant "Son of Dreaming Tree" next to the original. Very cool. After spending some time checking out both trees, I continued up the path, and came upon the Disney family farm (a replica), where guests are encouraged to stroll around the grounds and enjoy the tranquility or read a little more about the Disney family. You can even go inside the farm and write a message to Walt on the wall. 
All in all, it was a great little side trip and I'm glad I took some time to go check it out. So what are your thoughts? Do you see the resemblance to Main Street U.S.A.?