Thursday, June 25, 2015

Paris? Oui!

Love these emails!
It's becoming more and more real!  We are really getting our passports and heading to Paris to run at Disneyland in 2016!  Today, the first real details were released...and there are a TON of them.  This will be different than other runDisney events, so I was sure to spend time pouring over the website to be sure we are in the know.  Here's a quick summary of some really important info that's different from some other weekends.

First and foremost, if you are serious about heading to Paris, be sure you bookmark the page and read up on it yourself.  It is a different country, and you don't want to be stuck not having followed a rule or two.  Here's the link:

Distance & Expo It's official: a 5k and a Half is what us adults have to look forward to.  According to the site, kids races will start at the 100m.  Ummm...where's the diaper dash?  I'm still hopeful, but this may mean that Baby S is going to have to sit this race weekend out :(  The expo looks to start on Thursday afternoon--not what I had expected!  Usually the expo only opens the day before the first event, but it looks like we'll get a little more time.  To be honest, this will just force us to get there early, which can only help with the time change adjustment.

Castle to Chateau Challenge: YEP!  We get a challenge medal if you run Paris plus a half or full in the states!  Since we'll be coming from Dumbo, this new C2C will be ours!

Requirements:  If you are an avid runDisney runner, some of this is the same, but there are some really important differences.  First, for the half you must be 18 or older.  I already have heard the groans of families who had their hearts set on their teens running.  The 5k has a 5+ age restriction, no strollers (sorry Baby S).  One big difference is that all half marathon runners must provide medial clearance.  This is a France requirement--don't even think for a second you'll get away without one.  It's a little fuzzy (due to either typos or ???) whether you need to submit this ahead of time, but it was very clear that it must be submitted at packet pickup.  Most of the other stuff is the same standard Disney rules: 16 min/mile pace, have to pickup packets in person, bag check, blah blah blah.

Registration: Here's where things get interesting--it looks as if most bibs will be sold as part of a package.  No details yet, but get ready for October 6, 2015 when all the info is released.  There will be individual bibs available, but with the verbiage, those will be very limited and it kind of all seems like a pain.  I wish they would release some of this info earlier than the registration date, but we are starting to research hotels and dates to be ready.  We are lucky that we have been there before and know a little about the parks.  This will definitely come in handy!

Kick-off Parties: Again, not a ton of info, but it looks like there will be two parties: one Friday, one Saturday.  No word if these will be additional costs (though it sound like they are), but hey, when in Paris...isn't that how that phrase goes?

That's all for now!  Did you find anything I missed?  See you in Paris!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Tuesdays on the Run: Tips to Survive a Challenge

Challenge accepted!  This week I'm linking up with the ladies from My No Guilt Life, Run the Great Wide Somewhere, and MCM Mama Runs to talk about those crazy back to back (to back to back) challenges.  I love these challenges, and Disney does them the BEST!  Okay, I don't have much to compare it to, but I can't imagine a better race series than Disney!

Here are my top 10 tips for taking on a challenge:

1. Train! I get on my high-horse here, and it should go without saying, but you need to train for races.  I know these can be "fun runs" but trust me, it's more fun when you have a great race and you're not dying of pain.

2. Train how you plan to run the races.  When I did the inaugural Dopey, I modified different training plans and actually did my runs with the same pace and intervals that I ran on race day when I did my weekends of running back to back.  When it came time for race day, there were no surprises!

3. Set individual goals for each race.  Some you might run slow and take pictures.  Some you might race.  The most important thing, though, is that you look at your individual ability and set your goal based on your training...and stick to it!

4. Don't be afraid to PR!  You'll hear plenty of people who will tell you a challenge is not the time to run your best race.  I say, do it (especially if you followed tip 1 & 2).  I PR-ed my marathon at Dopey, after running a 5k, a 10k, and a half.  I had a plan, I stuck to it, and I left it all on the course.  Oh...and I shaved 26 minutes off my best marathon time!  Seriously the BEST running moment of my life!

5. Have a recovery plan.  I've talked a lot about Dopey, but my first challenge was the "unofficial" Dopey where I ran the 5k, half, & full.  I had to figure out a lot about my body and recovery while prepping for that race--what to eat, what to drink, ice baths, compression gear, all that stuff!  I'm still fine-tuning, but I have a pretty solid routine.  This is another part of training, so play around with what works for you.

6. Focus on hydration pre, during, and post race.  Dehydration is the enemy, so throughout your training, figure out what works for you.  Remember, you are hydrating for the final race, so be sure it's on your mind.

7. Don't sit around.  Yes, rest is an important part of recovery, but you also need to keep those muscles loose.  Personally, I hit the parks between races (well..and before and after and any chance I get).  I don't go crazy and I make sure I'm not hopping from one end to the other, but strolling through Disney keeps my muscles moving.  I highly suggest you leave your FitBit off, can really psych you out knowing you did an extra 7 miles the day before a marathon!

8. Get enough sleep!  These are EARLY race mornings and tempting park nights.  Yes, you will miss the fireworks and Fantasmic, but remember what you are ultimately there for!  I typically head back to my room around dinnertime.  Even if I can't sleep, I lay in bed, watch TV, and just relax before the next race.

9. Know before you go--about food!  We all know that fueling properly is important, but it's even more important for challenges.  Have a plan of where to go for good carbs.  Some of my favorites are Mickey pretzels when strolling around, pizza at Downtown Disney, Mama Melrose and the pasta meals at the resort quick service restaurants.  Also, I pack and bring my own breakfast for race morning.  I don't leave that to chance!

10. Make it fun! Dress up, run with friends, meet new people, just have a blast!  These races are seriously so much fun!  Why else would we all do it???

Hope this helps you in your next challenge!  We'll see you at Dumbo Double Dare!

Don't forget to check out some of the other bloggers sharing some of their favorite tips too!

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Disney Runs in the Family is Growing!

I've been a little quiet lately--on the blog, on FB, on IG, on Twitter.  Maybe it's because I'm the world's worst liar.  Maybe it's because I can barely lift my head off a pillow when I'm at home.  And maybe, just maybe, it's all of the above for a very good reason: Our family is growing by two ears!

Photo by Disney (THANKS for a great picture!)
I wanted a place to share the story, because it's pretty funny and so appropriate for me and Bill.  Why?...well, we found out at Disneyland, of course!  It was Monday, April 27th and we took an impromptu Disney trip for a special Annual Passholder Event.  We arrived on Sunday evening and on the walk back to the hotel, stopped at CVS to pick up a pregnancy test.  Honestly, I didn't expect anything, but since we'd been trying, I wanted to be sure before riding Space Mountain and hitting up Trader Sams!  I woke up early (as I always do), and took the test.  I was stunned when after three minutes there was a faint line.  I shoved Bill in bed telling him to "Wake up--I need you to look at this!  You can go back to sleep after you look!"  See...hilarious!  Like he'd actually go back to sleep after seeing the test!

The geeky two we are jumped right onto Google; me on my laptop, him on his iPad.  Our conclusion was to go back to CVS and get a digital test.  We threw on some clothes and headed out--it must have only been a few minutes past 6 am at this point.  Grabbed a digital test, headed to the hotel, three more minutes, and "YES" appeared.  We were really, truly, 100% pregnant!  We weren't quite ready to share the news, so it was going to take some finessing, since we were meeting up with Chris and Katie at the park.

Oddly enough, Katie's first conversation was about the weird dream she had the night before--I was pregnant and had to move back a corral for the Tinkerbell Half.  Whoa.  She should be a psychic.  For the record, I didn't move corrals, but yep, Tink Half was baby's first half marathon!  This secret was going to be HARD to keep!  We waited a few weeks to tell family and close friends, but now, it's officially out there.

On Tuesday, before going home, we were able to snap a few pictures to help announce the big news.  Of course, we also bought Baby Stater his (or her) first Mickey Mouse.  A special thanks to the photographer at Disneyland.  Isn't it the most perfect picture?  We snapped a few more for ourselves.

I'm so excited for this new adventure, and I'm sure it will be quite the adventure!  We have a long way to go before January 4, 2016, but I'm sure it will fly by.  Diaper Dash here we come!

First visit!

Friday, June 19, 2015

It's time to get serious!

I'm not really sure where the time went, but it's definitely time to get serious about training for the Dumbo Double Dare!  I've only run a few times since Tink, and I definitely need to get my running conditioning back up to speed.  I guess that's an occupational hazard of being a fitness/running coach: you spend so much time helping others achieve their fitness goals, yours sometimes go out the window!

Today, I finally sat down with a calendar, a pencil and some fun markers and spent time designing my own training plan to get me through Dumbo.  My first task was to set my A, B, & C goals.  I always like to have 3 goals for every race.  I also thought through my strategy for race days.  Our family has a super fun group costume planned, so I knew the 4 of us would be running the 10k together (it just won't make sense if one of us runs off).  We all decided that the 10k would be our "take it easy and just enjoy" race so we can save ourselves for the half the next day.  I know most people use this strategy, but I've had weekends where I've raced the 10k and took the half easy.

I started working backwards from race day to be sure I got in enough long runs to get me to the finish line.  I also had to account for all of my "other" workouts--the classes I teach at the gym as well as the weight training I keep up with, especially for my knees.  When you add all of that, my schedule left 3-4 days per week that I can fit in running.  Oh...and of course one day of absolute rest per week is essential!

Now all that's left to do is lace up the shoes and GO!  That, of course, is the hard part, since it's 9 million degrees here and all I want to do is sit in front of a fan with some ice cream!  Keep me in line people!  There are races to be run!

Have you started training for your fall races yet? 

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Ramblings on Recent RunDisney Trends

Yesterday, as I was giving a presentation for work, I was bombarded with FB messages and texts from friends getting nervous and needing reassurance to register for Star Wars weekend.  I already knew I'd be skipping out on this weekend this year, but I also knew it was a hugely popular race last year and really lived up to the hype.  You can read about all of the fun I had at Star Wars weekend HERE and HERE.

Last year was a quick sell-out (under an hour and closer to the half hour mark) and the expo left no merchandise to be had the day after it opened.  All the signs of a wildly popular runDisney race...otherwise known as the new normal these days when it comes to runDisney!

Then flip back to Avengers.  I skipped out on this race last year, but when the opportunity presented itself at Tink, I was right there giving over my credit card at the runDisney booth (see you in November!).

Through FB and Twitter, it was clear that Star Wars wasn't an instant sell-out.  And STILL has spots available.  What's going on???  Here are some thoughts:

They've priced out the market on the half marathon.  Let's face crazy, loyal runDisney fans want to do the challenge and will pay whatever price.  But take away the challenge and I'm starting to think the price has reached the tipping point where people aren't biting.  Just to give some perspective, in 2010 I ran my first runDisney race (the Disneyland Half) and is was $95!!!!  And I only registered about 3 months prior to race day!!!  Yes...this is a TRUE STORY!!!  That's an over 100% price increase in 6 years.  It's a little much...Today's half marathon-er wants to run lots of races--so it goes back to price.  Disneyland is a locals park, and locals have tons of options for other fun races.  I can run 3 races for the price of Disney.

Speaking of the crazy group called half marathoners, I think there is the factor of it's too much of a "fun run" for some.  If I'm putting in 13.1 miles, I don't know that I always want it to be considered just a fun run.  It's a lot of work, and I like to race against myself sometimes.  I've always said that you can totally PR at a Disney race, but I think that is getting less and less likely.

Finally, with the addition of the 10k distance, runDisney is attracting a different runner.  A more casual, beginner runner (before you send the hate mail...there's NOTHING wrong with that!).  I think the 10k is giving people a great option to run a timed race with a "real" medal without having to jump to the half marathon distance.  Disney has always been beginner and walker friendly.  I think this distance is the perfect marriage for that.  Maybe the future of runDisney is a larger field for the 10k races?

Is this the end of the crazy registration days?  I wouldn't count on it, but I can't wait to see what the next year of runDisney brings.  For me, I loved being able to casually register for both Goofy and Avengers this past year at expos.  So much less stress!  But don't fret...when Dumbo registration day happens next year I'll be sweating it out at 8:55 just like everyone else.  A girl's gotta have a legacy race, right?

Monday, June 15, 2015

Race Report: 2015 Tinkerbell Half Marathon

On Sunday, May 10th, I headed out to finish the last leg of the Pixie Dust Challenge: The Tink Half!  In case you missed it, you can read about the expo HERE and the 10k HERE

Honestly, I didn't feel super prepared for this race.  I hadn't run much since Princess other than a few long runs here and there.  I knew I'd finish, but I also knew I wasn't going to be flying.  I think my favorite part was my costume--my mom constructed the PERFECT Wendy costume!  I loved it!!!

We definitely got spoiled staying at the Disneyland hotel.  I was able to sleep in and basically roll out of bed onto the start line!  This morning, I lined up with corral A (hey...when you get the chance you go into the corral, even if you know it's going to be a slow race).  I didn't get to watch too much of the pre-race fanfare since I was only there a few minutes before the start.

Right after 5:30 we were off and running.  The first 4+ miles were in and around Disneyland/DCA.  This race has a LOT of miles in the park!  Probably the most out of the DL races I've run.  I can see why this course is a favorite amongst many runners.  I didn't stop for pictures--I just ran this one.  I did, however, stop for a potty break in the park--one of the great advantages of running through Disney--real, working bathrooms!

Once we left Disney, we were on the oh-so-familiar streets of Anaheim.  This course was a bit nicer than the Disneyland Half in my opinion, but the front-runner is still Star Wars when it comes to time outside of the park.  Official results to follow after I run Avengers this November!

This race did really heat up once we were on the streets too--a common concern of those who had run this race in it's original spot on the calendar ( used to be in January).  My costume was light, but even it started to feel heavy by the end of the race.  Two and a half hours later, I crossed the finish line.  I gathered up my medals...all three of them...and headed to get snacks.  I have to say with all of the pampering that went on at Princess, I was looking forward to similar treatment at Tink, and I was a little disappointed.

After snacking, it was back to the hotel to shower and get ready to explore Disneyland!  Of course, I made a HUGE mistake and forgot my Princess medals at home, so no cute pink coast to coast photo from this race.  I was sure, though, to get plenty of pics with my bling from this weekend, and there was plenty of it!  I don't know that a repeat performance of this race is in my future.  Maybe if it included friends and a girls weekend, but I won't be running to register any time soon.

Anyone else do Tink?  What are your thoughts on the new dates?