Friday, March 31, 2017

April 2017 runDisney Calendar

Here's all the important dates happening this month in the runDisney world:

Tuesday, April 11: Virtual Race Series Registration Opens

Thursday April 20-Sunday April 23: Star Wars: Dark Side Weekend

Thursday, April 27: Annual Passholder Early Registration for Princess Half Marathon Weekend

Be in the lookout for the 2018 Star Wars Light Side registration as well! It's been postponed, but I wouldn't be too surprised if it happens around the Dark Side weekend. We will definitely keep you posted on social media and here on the blog!

Anyone getting tempted by the running shorts virtual races? (Or are you like me and somewhat regretting not doing last year's because the medals were SO cute?)

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Week In Review: 3/26/17

Gotta keep myself accountable. Here's my week in review:

Sunday: Taught HIIT (it was my 'rest day' so I kept it light)
Monday: Insanity Max 30
Tuesday: Insanity Max 30 & short family run
Wednesday: Insanity Max 30 & Taught BodyPump and Trigger Point
Thursday: Insanity Max 30 & Taught BodyPump
Friday: Unintentional rest day-ish (was having technical difficulties in my home gym--got my heart rate up, but it wasn't the greatest)
Saturday: FIRST LONG RUN!!!!! (4 miles)

I'm actually feeling really good getting back outside and running. I wish I had more time to build a base before jumping into training, and I wish I had more time to do a better progression on the long run. This is where I am, though, and it feels great just to have a focus again. I know that I won't be breaking any PRs during the Tink half, but I feel like if I focus and train properly I can get through it successfully. I missed one planned run due to helping out at work and teaching an extra class. No worries, though. I got this!

My focus for this next week is going to be recovery. I need to stretch more, roll more, and get my recovery nutrition working for me.

How did your week go? Any big successes?

Saturday, March 25, 2017

So You Want to runDisney--Part 1: Choosing your race

Updated April, 2020

Welcome to our series, "So You Want to runDisney!"  We have pooled all our resources to give you a one-stop shop of everything you need to know to get to your first (or second, or third, or...well, you get the point) runDisney race.  Yes, yes, this also applies to other races as well, but some of the information will be specific to running at Disney (we are "Disney Runs in the Family," after all).

As runDisney continues to gain popularity, getting into a race can be just as challenging as actually running the race.  Okay, maybe not, but it does take some planning and knowledge.  For example, the 2013 and 2014 Dumbo Double Dares sold out in less than an hour, and the most recent 2020 Wine and Dine was a bucket of stress on registration day. We don't want to add to the hysteria, but we do want to be honest.  Especially if you don't have much flexibility in racing, we want to be sure you get into the race you want, but I digress.  Before registration, you need to decide which race (or races) you are going to run!

2013 Dumbo Double Dare
First disclaimer: just like every great company, runDisney sometimes makes changes to the race schedule to add, improve, etc.  Some races, such as the marathon, have been happening for over 25 years, so it's highly likely it will remain. Since we first published this series many races have been added: Superheros, Star Wars, and Paris--Ooo la la--and even a virtual race series! I think the rumor mill has slowed now that these have been added, but no one knows for sure. As an aside, it's never guaranteed that a race will stay the same or even be there next year, so as long as your budget and health are in line, just jump in!

Right now, you have quite a few races to choose from.  So what's first? In my opinion you have to decide on the distance.  runDisney currently has 5k, 10k, half marathon and full marathon distances, plus additional weekend challenges.  There are many factors that play a role in deciding on a distance, so here are just a few questions to ask yourself:

How much time can I put into training?
     Typical training for anything over a 10k requires at least 3-4 months of a training schedule.  Even a 5k and 10k take time, especially if you are starting from the ground up. Take a peek at the race dates--do you have commitments that would prevent you from training properly?  You can guarantee that things will come up and you'll adjust, but if the thought of training through the busy holiday season sounds like torture, the January races are probably not the best bet.  Don't forget about weather, too!  We've now been on both ends: training in Las Vegas summers for the Disneyland Half and training for Tink in the snow. Definitely doable, but you should know what challenges lie ahead. Google search some training plans to get an idea of what you're really getting into.  My favorites are Higdon and Galloway.  I'm starting to look at Hansons as well. 

How far is reasonable based on my current fitness/running level?
     I'll be honest, my first race was a marathon.  Would I recommend that?  NO!  But it can be done with proper training (and being 25 and in pretty good shape already).  If you have never laced up running shoes, though, do that before deciding.  Get in a few miles and decide if this is something you really want to do.  I have people tell me all the time how much they hate running.  Yes, it's shocking to me too, but it might not be your thing.

Do I favor one Disney park (Disneyland races are currently on hiatus)?
     If your heart is set on either Disneyland or Walt Disney World, that already limits some races.  Hey, that might be a great place to start...

Our first runDisney race
What is my budget (race and run-cation)?
     Running at Disney is EXPENSIVE.  There is just no other way to slice it!  I wish it was cheaper, and it used to be, but with sell-outs happening at warp speed, there is no motivation for price decreases.  For reference, my first Disneyland Half Marathon was $95 in 2010.  For 2021, the WDW Marathon Weekend 5k is $89. Don't forget to factor in travel expenses like hotel, airfare, and, of course, spending money.  

Dopey was all about running!
Am I traveling to Disney to run, or am I running during a vacation?
     Huh?  So let's break this down.  Running at Disney is awesome, but it is very different than seeing Disney on vacation.  Will you die if you travel to WDW and don't see Fantasmic and the Magic Kingdom Fireworks?  Do you expect to be in a greasy, sugary food-coma everyday?  You just plopped down a ton of money (see previous question), so it's important to adjust your expectations.  Races start early--like, really, really, really early!  When I did Dopey, we only got a few hours in the parks each day, and there was no way I was staying up to watch a show.  In fact, we were back in the room by dinnertime before the half and full.  If you are not willing to compromise your vacation to run, the Dopey Challenge may not be for you.  You can absolutely still run and have a great vacation, but consider this when deciding on which race to run. 

So, now that you've thought through all these questions, here's the current list of runDisney races to choose from:

January: WDW--5k, 10k, Half, Full, Goofy (half + full), Dopey (all the races); Castaway Cay 5k Challenge on a special sailing of the Dream
February: WDW--(Princess) 5k, 10k, Half, Fairy Tale Challenge (10+half)
Spring: Virtual Star Wars Half Marathon
April: WDW--(Star Wars Dark Side) 5k, 10k, Half, Dark Side Challenge (10+half)
May: Disneyland Paris--(Princess)
Summer: Virtual Shorts
September: Disneyland Paris--5k, 10k, Half, Challenges (10+half or 5+10+half)
November: WDW (Wine & Dine)--5k, 10k, Half, Two Course Challenge (10+half)

Disneyland races are on hiatus for now, but we are all hopeful they will come back soon! There were 4 race weekends, all consisting of a 5k, 10k, and Half Marathons.

My first Coast to Coast
With Disneyland races on hiatus, this also means the Coast to Coast Challenge isn't happening. With some positive thoughts for the future, I figured it would be best to leave this info here :)
Also, don't forget about the coveted Coast to Coast medal!  If you complete a half or full marathon in both WDW and Disneyland in the same calendar year, you receive a special Partners statue medal.  It's beautiful, by the way, just to tempt you a little more.  It is (gulp) at no extra cost to you! There is also the PINK Coast to Coast celebrating the ladies! If you run Princess and Tink half marathons, the pink one is yours. The Kessel Challenge special Coast to Coast is reserved for those who complete both Star Wars half marathons. Finally, if you are lucky enough to travel from France to the U.S. you can earn your Castle to Chateau. That one is definitely up there on my list of favorite medals!!!


Caution: Running at Disney is addictive.  Others may get addicted too. 

Lastly, let's not forget about the kids!!! Every race weekend also has an opportunity for the kids to get in on the action (even as young as 6 months). Our boys have both done the diaper dash, and Robby has tackled the 100m dash 4 times. It is so much fun! I will say, we definitely prefer Disneyland over WDW for the kids races, but they are still very much worth it to get your kids involved in the race weekends. It really speaks to us, because after all, Disney Runs in OUR Family!!!
Diaper Dash 2016

Stay tuned for Part 2:  Registration :)

Friday, March 24, 2017

Half Marathon Training Plan for Tink

Well, since I bit the bullet and registered for Tink, I guess I should start training, right? I have some personal motivation for doing this race, but really let's be honest: it's all about the bling! I knew when they released those pretty medals I needed to add them to my collection.

One other big reason, though, is I want to run a faster race to use for proof of time. Of course to do that it would be helpful to train properly. No use crying over spilled milk, right? So here we go, diving into my training plan to get ready for Tink in 7 weeks!

I'm working backwards, aiming for a 10 mile long run on May 6th. I'll be doing my long runs on Saturdays since I teach a HIIT class on Sunday mornings. I'm hoping the weather starts to cooperate a little more. We've had a few nice days after the blizzard last week, so if this keeps up life will be good!

Short runs are important too, so my goal is a Tuesday/Thursday short run. I'll run outside if I can or at the gym if I have to. Luckily Robby adores going to the nursery at the gym, because I'm going to have to rely on that if Bill is on the road. Our town just isn't very conducive to running on the road with a toddler in a stroller.

My schedule is going to be tight. I'm hoping that muscle memory is strong and my body just knows what to do when I lace up those shoes. Guess I won't know, though, until I get out on the road for my first long run this weekend. Wish me luck! I'm going to need it!

Thursday, March 23, 2017

A Mother's Day Gift

A few weeks ago my mind just couldn't stop thinking about registering for Tink. A few messages later and here I am buying a bib from my friend Patty at My No Guilt Life. Leave it to another Disney nut to tell you everything you need to hear to make running this race a good idea (okay, not that it honestly took much).

Here we are, a few months from Mother's Day, and I can officially announce that I'll be toeing the line with my fellow moms for the Tinkerbell Half Marathon! I'm super excited to get back on the road and train hard to run faster than I have in a few years. I know, I know, no PRs at Disney races, but I'd really like to get some under 2:30 times again. Between knee surgery and pregnancy, I haven't had a great race in a LONG time. Now that I'm getting back to being fit, I also want to get back to running.

Photo credit: Disney Parks Blog

Time to start planning my training. I'm thinking I'm going to stick with the run/walk/run plan since I've been having some knee pain and I'm just starting out again. I've run great races using intervals, so why not stick with what's been successful before. 

I know my main challenge is going to be running with Robby. He's older now and I have no idea how he'll do running in a stroller. Add to that me working two out of the house jobs and running my online fitness business and the time is ticking away. Maybe a magic running fairy will drop off a treadmill to my house.

I've been really focused on nutrition and fitness, so I'm hoping it pays off on race weekend. Now, I gotta go! It's time to run!

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Starting Over, Yet Again...

Did you ever see that episode of Sex and the City where Charlotte buys the self help book "Starting Over, Yet Again"? That's all I could think of yesterday!

Why? It was Monday and I was SO tempted to hit the reset button because my first week on Insanity Max 30 was far less than perfect. I was sick, we had a massive blizzard in New York (which means wine and junk food was consumed), and I just felt like I didn't give it my all. So, I did what I always do: I convinced myself that I would just start over on Monday.

Wait for it...but then I didn't do that!!! I'm realizing the "I'll start over (insert time line)" mindset has been holding me back. Too often I wait for life to be perfect before diving into something to reach my goals. No one is perfect. Life isn't perfect. Who would want it to be? That would be pretty boring! I know other people struggle with this as well. We wait for the stars to align before we jump in, but all we are doing is wasting opportunity. It's time for me to look at each day as a new opportunity to do something good for myself.

So yesterday, I started week 2 of Insanity Max 30. I'm up every morning sweating it out and loving it. I just keep remembering Shaun T saying how he wanted to do a 5k after completing this program himself because he felt he could get back to running a 17 minute race (insert the OMG face here, right?!?!?). If that isn't motivation for a bigger goal, I don't know what is!

Hmmm...I know someone who has a 5k on the calendar in May. No, it's not officially timed, but I have a Garmin so why not shoot to run a fast race. Maybe a fast, short distance is the perfect thing to get me back into the running game. Stay tuned! You never know what might happen!

Friday, March 17, 2017

Flashback Friday: The Disneyland Paris "Soiree Inaugurale"

As runners are making plans for the Disneyland Paris Semi Marathon in September, I can't believe it's  been almost 6 months since we enjoyed our Paris trip.  

Wanting to experience everything, we did attend the Inaugural Party. There were so many social media posts expressing mixed feelings about the event, but we enjoyed it. All things weren't perfect. We too, had frozen pasta that had to be reheated. But, overall, I think DLP did a good job.

The party was at Walt Disney Studios.  We walked around a bit to see what was open and what was going on.

This looks like Mom's 5k costume!
This water feels really hard!

One of the character stops just happened to be a favorite of Robby's, so of course we had to stop.  Yes, there was a little wait in the character lines, but it was worth it.  They did not rush you through and really interacted with everyone.

Robby was so happy to get to say hello to Sully!
 But cried when we had to say goodbye.
Sully heard him and came over to calm him.

Robby asked Sully to join us for the rest of the night,
 but he had to stay to greet his other fans!

Time to stop for some food.  Since we were near the one of two restaurants open, we stopped at the "Restaurant en Coulisses" to see what they had.   It was cafeteria type offerings, but was enough to fill our bellies. (Later in the evening we stopped at the other restaurant, Disney Blockbuster Cafe, but they were just about wiped out.  I read later on social media, people were "stocking up" for the next day.)

We continued on to enjoy some of the open rides.  One of our "musts" was Ratatouille: A Recipe for Adventure since that ride does not exist in the states.  It was great to jump on with no lines.  As we exited, we stopped to check out the "Sculpteur sur Fruits & Legumes" in front of Chez Remy.

Bill even got a monogrammed "apple to go"!

Robby and I hung out together while
Aly and Bill enjoyed a couple of rides.   
After all, why else would you bring a
Fairy Grandmother on a vacation?

The Tower of Terror was one of the rides open for the party with no line.

Robby just chillin' 
waiting for Mom and Dad.

Just before leaving, we saw Donald and Goofy
 and decided to say hello.

There's no doubt Robby's favorite part of the party was the characters!

I know I had a good time, and judging by the smiles on these faces,
 everyone else did too
If you're wondering "should I sign up for the opening party?" on your trip to the race in Paris this year, it's definitely a personal choice.  This year food is not included and the price came down a lot (I saw $58. vs last year's $94.).  I'd do it again.   Are you heading to Paris in September?

Monday, March 6, 2017

Week In Review: 3/5/17

It's time to get accountable! If you follow me personally on social media, you know that I had a big smack in the face a few weeks back. I just haven't been keeping up with anything in life, from workouts to eating to even blogging, and that isn't working for me. I need to get back to being healthy and doing the things I love. Yes, writing and sharing with all of you is included in that!

I originally started blogging WAY back (I had a different blog 'Just Keep Swimming') when I took on my first Goofy Challenge. It was a way for me to document and track my progress. It kept me accountable. Fast forward to my first Dopey Challenge and Disney Runs in the Family was created. I wanted a space to share not only my running, but my whole family's journey in running, fitness and Disney. I thought we could help some people along the way with our experiences during runDisney events. We love them, we do a ton of them, and let's face it, they can be overwhelming if you don't know anything about them.

But I digress.

Just as I'm doing in my diet and exercise, I wanted to get back to basics with the blog. Time to get back to my weekly wrap-ups. Maybe you'll get some training ideas. Maybe you'll get some motivation. Or maybe it'll just be for little old me to stay accountable. Regardless, expect some weeks in review posts coming at you!

So--here we go! This is what my workout week looked like:

Sunday: Taught HIIT
Monday: Total Body Cardio Fix (a.m.), Bootcamp Class (p.m.)
Tuesday: Upper Body Fix
Wednesday: Lower Body Fix (a.m.), Taught BodyPump Express & Trigger Point (p.m.)
Thursday: Pilates Fix (a.m.), Taught BodyPump (mid-morning)
Friday: Cardio Fix
Saturday: Dirty 30 running? Nope! I'm actually working through the basic 21 Day Fix program first. Then training will start for Tinkerbell weekend. I knew I needed to get into some good, solid habits, and running just isn't possible for that with a baby, no treadmill at home, a husband who travels, and cold NY weather. It's coming, I promise!

My nutrition wasn't too bad either. I've been following the 21 Day Fix meal plan, but the beginning of the week added a few extra treats from Robby's baptism. That's all good, though, because life is about living and I was not going to deprive myself at his party. I didn't go overboard. Oh, and I passed off all the leftover treats to the students at work.

Hope you had a successful week too! I'm planning on another great week ahead!