runDisney’s Wine and Dine Half Expo

 

You may have already read the recap I wrote about the Wine and Dine half marathon, but today i want to talk a little bit about the expo. I LOVE runDisney race expos. Not only have I worked them as a vendor, but hey, I love to shop for running gear!

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We took the bus from our host resort, the Boardwalk Inn, and made it to the Wide World of Sports Complex.

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It was a gorgeous day, and excitement was in the air! We followed the signs telling us to go pick up our packet first before heading into the actual expo. There were plenty of workers and volunteers ready to answer any questions!

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We had our printed out race waivers and ID’s, and headed to our packet pickup booth based on our coral numbers. We stood in line then handed over our info in exchange for our packets, and Bobby got his coast to coast bracelet. Them we walked over to another building where we would pick up our shirts and then do some shopping.

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We walked to the back and easily picked up our shirts then headed to the front to get our official race merchandise. When we went to the expo for the Disneyland half they were sold out of Coast to Coast dri fit shirts and I wanted to make sure we got some, which we did (I got the last one in my size!) We then decided to do some shopping, and I bumped into my pal Carissa who does race announcing for runDisney.

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We chatted for a few minutes before she had to get back to work. I visited some of my other friends who were working booths at the expo, we did a little shopping, and then headed out. As much as I would have loved to stay longer, we had lunch reservations at the Magic Kingdom. We passed the stage where speakers such as Jeff Galloway give presentations all during the day.

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We passed an area where you can sign up for runner tracking on our way out as well.

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Everything was very well organized and there were plenty of signs and I never felt confused or lost. It did get crowded, but hey, it’s a Disney expo it’s going to be crowded. We still had a great time and I can’t wait for marathon weekend when I can go to another one!

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QOTD: What aspects of a race expo make them great for you? Good vendors? Organization? Something else?

runDisney Wine and Dine Half Marathon 2012

 

Happy Monday! It’s finally here, so sorry for the delay! my runDisney Wine and Dine half marathon race recap! The whole weekend was amazing, but not going to lie, this wasn’t my best race. I have mentioned here and there that I have been having some health problems, and these problems decided to show up loud and clear race day afternoon, and didn’t subside until mile ten of the race, only to start again right after I crossed the finish line. Let me back up and then recap the race!

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The day of the race we slept in and then walked to EPCOT for some lunch. We snagged a reservation at Via Napoli, and continued our pre race pizza tradition.

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We decided to walk back to the resort and try to take a nap, since the race didn’t start until 10:00 pm and we knew we would be tired. We made it back to the room and soon after I started having really (really!) bad stomach cramps! I took some tylenol, and took a 1.5 hour nap…only to be woken up again by the cramps that were still there. I felt shaky, feverish, and was seriously considering my ability to run tis race. We hung out in the room resting and slowly getting ready for the race.

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The pain would come and go, but mostly stuck with me to varying degrees. I took more tylenol, and we walked to the bus at 7:40, to be greeted with a line that stretched from the convention center at the Boardwalk to the lobby. Crap. We stood in line for over 45 minutes, and then were on our way to the start.

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We had the worst bus driver, kept jerking the bus stop go, stop go, going up on the curb, etc. This was making me nauseated and not helping my stomach. I was so thankful to get off the bus!

The start already had a ton of people milling about, resting, dancing, and standing in the bathroom lines. We went over to bag drop and stood in line to drop them off, and then headed over to stand in yet another line. We stood in the bathroom line for about 20 minutes and then headed to the corrals as they were announcing over the microphone for everyone to do so.

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Sorry for the blurry photos. Between not feeling well and it being dark I didn’t focus too much on them.

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We headed to corral B and realized we still had thirty minutes until the start. We sat down to save our legs, but soon had to keep scooting up in the corral to fit more people so the sitting didn’t last long.

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Megan was texting me and found us in the crowd and we chatted for a few minutes until the start. I told her about my stomach issues and that I was making a GI doctor appointment for when I got back home!

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Then, the race began, and corral A took off, and we moved up to the start.

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The beginning was a big blur. I was hoping running would actually make my stomach feel better, but boy was I wrong. From that first jolting step, I realized it was going to be a long race. Every step shook my abdomen and made it cramp even worse. I was leaning/bent over in pain trying to run, it wasn’t pleasant.

Keeping it real, I was angry. Why was this happening to me? and why today? On this night when I wanted to have so much fun? Miles 1-3 were miserable, and there were some tears shed. I felt bad because I wanted this to be special for Bobby because it was his coast to coast race, and I was ruining it. We were pushing the pace because I wanted to see what I could do, but by mile three I knew there was no way I was going to be able to “race” this race. We took a couple walk breaks which was easier on my stomach, and made it to Animal Kingdom.

Bobby had to make a bathroom stop, and I welcomed the break.

At this point we started seeing characters and just decided to see how many characters we could stop and take photos with, and hopefully the breaks standing in line would help my stomach.

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Animal Kingdom was really cool to run though but also difficult because it was very dark and crowded, and the ground was uneven so I found myself watching the ground a lot to make sure I didn’t fall.

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We came out of Animal Kingdom, and I saw a medical tent. I took two more tylenol, and we kept going, and taking photos with characters.

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We kept running out on the road, I loved how many water stops and volunteers there were along the course. I never had to stop or wait at a table to get water and they did a great job of clearing the trash off the roads quickly so the runners didn’t trip or slip.

Sometime a little bit before we made it to Hollywood studios, the pain in my stomach started letting up a bit. It still hurt but not nearly as intense and I was so excited! I was finally able to enjoy the race more, really look around, and soak it all in. In Hollywood studios we saw several characters, I love how long we get to run in this park during the race. The first one we saw this this guy. I haven’t seen the movie yet but still had to have a photo!

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We wound through the studios and found some more friends.

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Bobby had to stop for another bathroom break, and then we found one of Bobby’s favorites! It had a long line (as did Woody) but this one was a must.

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We ran some more and then hit my absolute favorite part of the race, the Osborne Spectacle of Dancing Lights! Bobby asked if we could use this time as a walk break so we could stop and take photos, so of course we did.

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This was an emotional part of the race for me. I started thinking about all the issues, illness, and injuries I have had that have hampered my running in one way or another, including the disappointment of that night. I may not be where I want to be, but at that moment, I felt so blessed to be in my favorite place, running through these beautiful Christmas lights, with the physical ability to run. I got a little teary eyed as I said a quick prayer of thanks.

We made it to the front of Hollywood Studios and headed out on the Boardwalk. At this point, my pain was completely gone and I had a huge smile on my face. I was suddenly having a great time and was so thankful to be feeling good. So, we did what any normal person would do right? We started running fast! It was crowded on the skinny boardwalk path so we had to do a lot of weaving, but we were booking it! We made it around to EPOCT and it was interesting to see us winding around a different route. I loved the amount of spectators there were cheering in EPCOT, it was the extra boost I needed to finish strong, which is what I wanted to do. We kept sprinting and passing huge clumps of people.

We could hear the finish, and turned the last corner and it was in sight! I pushed hard and grabbed Bobby’s hand as we crossed the finish line of yet another runDisney race together. We got our medals, and then headed to the Coast to Coast booth where Bobby got his second medal! I am so proud of him.

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We got our snacks and bags then headed towards EPCOT to change. I stood in line to change clothes and when I came out, my stomach pain had returned. Ug! Thankful i was able to finish the race pain free, but seriously?!? We made it into the World showcase and we both got a snack and after I ate it, I started feeling even worse. I was so angry because I had been looking forward to enjoying the post race party for a long time, but I could barely stand. I told Bobby to stay and use up our gift cards and that I was walking back to the room. It was so frustrating for me to have to do but I think it was the right decision. Bobby texted me to make sure I made it back, I showered, and collapsed into bed.

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Here are my thoughts on the race in a nutshell:

-I really LOVE the idea of this race. It’s at night, it’s different, it’s fun, and who doesn’t like the food and wine festival?

-The post race party is such a good idea, a great way to celebrate and also to close out the food and wine festival

-The volunteers were amazing and plentiful, as were the water stops. Amazing course support.

-The finish line was great, although crowded. It was very difficult to get out of the family reunion area and into EPCOT because spectators were crowding the gate where the runners come out, waiting for their family members I guess.

The “could have been better”:

-Standing in line at the Boardwalk in the cold for over 45 minutes for a bus was not cool. We even got there in plenty of time, 7:40, when they said to be at the bus stop by 8:00. I’m not sure if there weren’t enough busses, or if just people who weren’t actually staying there were trying to get on the busses or what, but this needs to be fixed.

Overall, I loved this race and would love to do it again in a heartbeat, and especially have another chance since I didn’t get to fully enjoy this one. runDisney really knows how to put on a race and a party, and if there were any glitches I didn’t really see them! Thanks runDisney for putting on another great event for everyone to enjoy. If you have any questions about the race I would be happy to answer them for you.

QOTD: Ever been sick on race day and run anyway??

runDisney Wine and Dine Meet Up/Tweet Up 2012

 

Good morning! I wrote this post out last night, because I am probably asleep right now after being out so late for the Wine and Dine half marathon! (recap to come soon!)

But lets back up to Friday and the amazing runDisney meet up I was so lucky enough to be able to attend. My alarm went off at five am which would normally make me groan, but not this morning! I made it to EPCOT for the Wine and Dine half meet up/tweet up and was ready for some fun.

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We were welcomed to EPCOT and the meet up, and then the running began! There were two running groups, one was the run/walk group led by the awesome Jeff Galloway, and the other was a straight run group led by Bob of runDisney and the reigning Wine and Dine Champion, Anton Van Zyl, who I got to run with, way cool.

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We finished a near two mile run around Epcot, which was absolutely beautiful at sunrise, and then cheered on the group who ran with Jeff Galloway as they came in.

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After everyone was together, we walked into the Germany Pavilion for breakfast and a presentation. As usual, runDisney gave amazing information and also a great element of fun! We were given coffee, juice, and muffins before we sat down.

Anton talked to us about race day, keeping with a plan, but also having fun. he has completed four ironman races, including the Kona race in Hawaii this year!

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Jeff, the man who needs no introduction, also gave some words of wisdom and encouragement for the runners, and told s to come out to the expo to hear him speak more about running your best race.

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The amazing Tara who is a nutritionist for the Orlando Magic and now is working with runDisney gave some great nutrition tips. Running a night race is so different than what most people are used to, so proper fueling and nutrition the day of is so crucial.

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Speaking of nutrition, we were treated to an awesome dish by Chef Steff and we even got to take home the recipe, sweet!

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Then, another “chef” made a grand appearance, and was greeted by a roaring round of applause!

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We were then thanked for coming, and were given a one day Disney park ticket to enjoy the Food and Wine Festival, as well as a $10 Food and Wine gift card so we could “eat around the world” and a runDisney water bottle, so generous of them!

Don’t worry, I tweeted through the whole event, as did everyone else! (check out #WineDineHalfMeetUp to see!)

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#Team RunDisney also took a quick photo.

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We were then led outside where we got to take individual photos with Jeff Galloway and Chef Mickey.

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We then, of course, had to take a group shot!

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A huge thank you to runDisney for being so gracious in allowing this group of runners into EPCOT before the park opens to learn more about the sport and have some fun, too! I truly enjoyed myself, made some new friends, reconnected with the old, and got pumped for the Wine and Dine half marathon! Thanks runDisney!

*There is still time to sign up for the 5th anniversary runDisney Princess half marathon in February 2013! Don’t miss out on the fun!

**Thank you to runDisney for providing some of the images for this blog post.

QOTD: Have you ever met an Olympian like Jeff Galloway? Who is ready to runDisney?

Disney’s Wine and Dine Weekend

 

It’s here! It’s here! runDisney Wine and Dine is upon us! I will be attending a meet up/tweet up this morning with Jeff Galloway and some other awesome people, then heading to the expo! I can’t wait to share all the excitement of race weekend with you. Bobby and I went for a 2 mile shake out run yesterday, since we haven’t run in well…a week…so we will see what happens at the race with no training + eating Disney food for a week! All I know is it will be a blast.

Want to track a runner in the race? Check out this link and follow the directions.

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I am staying at the beautiful Boardwalk Inn, and we had gorgeous weather yesterday here in Disney World. Walking to EPCOT is so nice from this resort, especially during the amazing Food and Wine Festival. We hit up the festival this afternoon before taking a nice long nap. All I have to say is Boardwalk beds are super comfy.

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Last night Bobby and I went out for a nice Dinner at Citricos at the Grand Floridian before the madness of Wine and Dine begins. It was fabulous as always and we really enjoyed ourselves. We will definitely be back again.

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I can’t wait to run this race with nearly 14,000 of my closest friends, so stay tuned to hear more about how my weekend is going. You can follow me on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook on the right sidebar of my blog, just click on the icon. I am posting tons of photos! Also, search the hashtag #WineDineHalf to see race posts and #WineDineHalfMeetUp to follow the meet up this morning on Twitter! I will be sure to do a full recap of the meet up and of course the race, so stay tuned! I can’t wait to share the fun with you, who is ready to runDisney?!?

QOTD: Is Wine and Dine on your bucket list?

Run Like a Princess

 

It has finally been revealed! The new 5th anniversary runDisney Princess half marathon medal is bbbeeaauutttiifffuuulll!

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(Photo from Facebook Disney page)

For those new to runDisney, they tend to bling out anniversary medals, and this coming year will be the 5th year of the Princess half. (You can check out my race recap from last year and of the Royal Family 5k) It includes 5 pink jewels and some awesome sparkle. I must have it!

But wait, there was more good news released by runDisney yesterday, a sweepstakes involving the Princess half, presented by Lady Foot Locker. All you have to do is go to RunLikeAPrincess.com for your chance to win instantly some cool runDisney prizes like gear, or even free race entries or pasta party and race retreat tickets!

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After last year’s Disney Princess half marathon

But, the grand prize (and I mean GRAND PRIZE) is amazing. If you win, you and three friends can have THIS:

  • Race entry into Disney’s Princess Half Marathon, Disney Royal Family 5K, or runDisney Kids’ Races
  • Pasta in the Park Party at Epcot at the Princess Half Marathon Weekend
  • Platinum level ChEAR Squad/Race Retreat at the Princess Half Marathon
  • Meet & Greet with Olympian and runDisney Training Consultant Jeff Galloway
  • Round trip airfare
  • $800 worth of Disney Dining Gift Cards
  • 3-Day Magic Your Way Theme Park Ticket
  • 2-Night stay at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge
  • And the ultimate royal retreat the evening after the race… one night in the Cinderella Castle Suite at Magic Kingdom Park

Spend the night in Cinderella castle in the CASTLE SUITE?!?! Amazing, amazing prize, well done runDisney and Lady Foot Locker! The best news is you can enter every day until the sweepstakes is over in November, so you have plenty of opportunities to instantly win or win the grand prize! I know it’s tempting to see if you win an entry into the race, but be careful it’s filling up quickly so make sure you register! Then go to RunLikeAPrincess.com and enter to win great prizes!

QOTD: If you were told you got to stay in the Cinderella Castle Suite, what would be the first thing you did when you got in the suite?

Tower of Terror Ten Miler

 

More than 10,000 runners dropped in for scary good nighttime race themed around iconic haunted hotel! Yes, I’m talking about the runDisney Tower of Terror ten miler!

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Juan Morales of Huntington Beach, Calif., won the inaugural Tower of terror race in a time of 58:00. The female winner,  Kimberly Mueller of San Diego, finished with a time of 1:04:50. Speedy!

This nighttime race course wound through ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, then through Hollywood Studios, and towards the Tower of Terror ride itself. Temps were hot and humid, but that didn’t seem to stop the fun!

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Finishers received a commemorative medal, fashioned after the attraction itself, and then partied the night away at the Disney Villains Hollywood Bash post-race party with family and friends. There was live music, character meets, as well as access to rides like The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, Star Tours and Toy Story Mania.

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The weekend also included a 5k fun run as well as kids races prior to the ten mile event. There was also a health and fitness expo at the Wide World of Sports complex.

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I hate that I had to miss this fun event, and I hope to get to run it next year! The bling is awesome, and it looks like so much fun. Plus, costumes? Hello! Love it! Congrats to everyone who ran, and I hope you had an amazing time! You can check our the results on the runDisney page.

QOTD: Have you ever run a night race? or a race in costume? Tell me about it!

Don’t forget to enter my giveaway! 

September Look Back: Wine and Dine Half

 

Did you know it’s less than three months until Christmas? Don’t panic! We still have to get through Halloween and Thanksgiving, but I just wanted to throw that in there. It’s my favorite. I started thinking about last Christmas, which got me thinking about the past in general and what I was doing last year. If you have been reading RWS for awhile you know every now and then I like to look back and see what I was doing a year ago. I think it’s so important to look back and reflect, it’s the best way to learn from experience, and be thankful for all the blessings we have!

So, end of September 2011, I had just gotten back from my Disney vacation, and was heading BACK to Disney to work the runDisney Wine and Dine half marathon expo for Running Skirts and run the 5k and the half marathon. I had a really bad head cold, and it is probably the most exhausted I have been in my entire life, but also so much fun!

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We set up the expo Thursday, worked all day Friday, then Saturday morning I was up at 4:45 for the 5k. After the 5k it was time for a quick shower and then back to the expo to work all day, then take down the booth, and pack all the skirts up. I had time to grab a quick bite for dinner, and then it was time to head to the busses for the race. I almost fell asleep on the bus on the way to the race and wondered what the HECK I was doing out here, by myself, trying to do all this. I ended up having a blast running and at the after party, and finally fell into bed after being awake for over 24 hours, running 2 races and working for 3 days while sick. It was crazy looking back on it.

I can’t wait to run Wine and Dine this year with Bobby and watch him get his coast to coast medal!

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I went on to run another half marathon the next weekend, and then another one after that (which led to a stress fracture). Such a whirlwind, exhausting, but awesome race weekend in Disney World! As I look back, I realize I grew up a lot during that time. It was my first time being in charge of the booth at an expo, my first time flying to Disney and staying there by myself, I even walked around the parks by myself. It was a lot more fun being solo in Disney than I thought it would be, and I also have some great memories to look back on.

QOTD: What is something fun you were doing this time last year?

Disneyland Day 2 Part 1

 

*Today is the last day for early registration for the runDisney Princess half marathon! Hurry and save, it’s already 60% full! 

I left off my last Disneyland post with dinner and dessert before hitting the hay the night before the half marathon. Since I have already posted my race recap, I will skip to after we walked back to the room and showered. It was time to hit Disney’s California Adventure!  Of course, we wore our medals proudly.

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We immediately headed to Cars Land so I could take some pictures.

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It was so weird having just run through here that morning, when it was dark and quiet. Definitely not quiet now! Radiator Springs Racers was temporarily shut down, and so we headed over to Toy Story Mania.

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I found it quite odd that they don’t have fastpasses for this ride. It is Bobby’s favorite though, so we stood in the 35 minute standby line (which was closer to 50 minutes) and waited in the heat. We had a blast on the ride though, and talked to a lot of people in line about runDisney who were asking about the race and my coast to coast medal.

At the end of the ride you have to go up some stairs to get out and my legs were not happy about that. I did like this cute little display though

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We pretty much walked onto the Little Mermaid ride which I thought was really well done. (Photo is of Ariel’s Grotto restaurant not the Ariel ride)

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We both realized how hungry we were and headed to Taste Pilot’s for lunch. it was crowded, but luckily a table opened up just as were were looking for one.

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One thing I will say that drove me crazy would be the people wanting your table and eyeing it up before you are done. We were half way through our meal and a lady came up and asked if when we were done if she could have our table…uh…sure…ok…we kept eating for another ten minutes as people looked at us hurrying us up. We then had someone else come and ask the same thing and we had to tell them our table was already “taken”. So then, we were finally done and ready to go, and some other lady dives toward our table as the woman who had been hovering for ten minutes sits down. The diving lady’s husband starts fussing because they had wanted our table, it was INSANE. Definitely wasn’t a very “Disney”moment and left a bad taste in my mouth.

Before lunch we had gotten fastpasses for Grizzy River Run, so we headed over there next. We knew we would get wet so we planned it as our last thing to do before heading to our room. So glad I planned it that way!

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We only had to wait a couple of minutes before boarding our raft and plummeting down the drop….and getting soaking wet. Luckily, the entrance to our hotel is ride by the ride so we didn’t have to go far in our squishy shoes to get back to the room. A nap was definitely in order before heading back out to the parks that night.

I will continue day two with my next Disneyland post, so stay tuned.

QOTD: After a race do you take a nap or try to stay moving so you don’t get stiff?

Disneyland Half Marathon Race Recap

 

Back many months ago when my husband gave me the very surprising green light to register us for the Disneyland half marathon, it seemed so far away. Then, it somehow managed to sneak up on me, and at a very inopportune time. If you have been following my blog for awhile you know I have been plagued with injuries (3 major ones) and one of those three managed to pop up the second week of July, a short seven weeks before the Disneyland half. I was in a walking boot for weeks, went to the doctor for x-rays and got a cortisone shot which sidelined me for another week. I had one double digit run before the half and honestly wasn’t expecting much out of this race as far as feeling good or times are concerned. Luckily, I was pleasantly surprised! Read on!

My alarm went off at 3:50 Sunday morning, and I jumped out of bed. Normally I am groggy and tired, but I think my body was still on central time and thought it was 5:50 so it wasn’t as hard to wake up.

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Don’t I look wide awake? Ha! This race continues my amazing streak of my inability to put my bib on straight. Fail.

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One of the nice things about staying at an onsite hotel for the Disneyland half was the proximity to the start and finish line. We didn’t leave our room until 5:00 and didn’t have to get on a bus or stand out in the elements for hours. The walk was short and it was “cool’ outside but not cold. We walked around the family reunion area for a minute, and everyone else was heading to the corrals so the bathroom lines were short.

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I had been texting Crystal since I left my room, and for some reason my texts were not going through half the time and I was worried I wouldn’t be able to see her, but finally my text went through and we spotted each other near the corrals. (If you will remember I stayed with Crystal last summer when I went to California for work)

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After chatting for a second but then realizing race time was approaching, we said goodbye and followed the signs and headed to Corral B, which was totally full, so we just chilled on the outside until Corral A moved up and we were able to fill in at the very back of the corral.

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We were only in our corral about five minutes when the race started. The amazing Carissa did any awesome job of announcing during the race, and I was SO excited to get THREE shout outs before the race over the mic and one as I was crossing the finish. Thanks Carissa! I got several tweets from pople who said they heard “Heather from Running With Sass” shouted out over the loud speakers. Way cool.

I was a bit bummed there were no fireworks as the race started, but was still excited to get going!

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I see the start wwwaayyyy up there. Bobby and I tried to take a photo but he hates the flash and this is what happened five times. No lie.

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So I turned the flash off and this is as bright as I could get it.

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It was quickly time for the brave corral B!

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The beginning of the race is always mentally tough for me. I think about how far I have to go, and how we JUST started. I was worried about my foot and my endurance having only run about 4-5 times in a total of seven weeks before the race. We were very conservative at the start just to be safe. Before I knew it, we were in Disney’s California Adventure park. There was a sign that said “mile two” and had an arrow pointing right, and “mile 12” with an arrow pointing left. I remember thinking “I can’t wait until I pass this sign again and am on the mile 12 side!” At the time, it seemed like forever away.

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I quickly realized taking photos while running in the dark was making them blurry, so I had to stop running every time I wanted to take a picture (time sucks number one) but I wasn’t worried, my goal was to finish upright and with a smile on my face. Bobby had to go to the bathroom, so we stopped and I decided to walk on up ahead a bit and I saw Paradise Pier and the World of Color fountains were on! It was beautiful, the photos don’t do it justice. We stood in line for a photo that a sweet cast member took for us.

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We got back to running, and soon turned into Cars Land. This part of the race was neat for us because we had yet to visit this park, so it was literally my first time here. All the neon lights were lit up and it looked really cool.

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some of these may be out of order, if they are, I apologize!

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So we left California Adventure Park and were quickly ushered into Disneyland! Before I knew it, we were on Main Street. While it was super fun and cool to run towards the castle, I didn’t have the same feeling as I do running down Main Street in WDW. There were hardly any people on the street cheering. I am used to tons and tons of fans lining the street screaming all the way down the street and it wasn’t the case here. Slightly bummed.

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We turned right into Tomorrowland and wrapped around into Fantasyland

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Hi Bobby!

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We passed the Matterhorn

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The carousal (which Peter Pam and Wendy were riding!)

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We then saw these guys and jumped in line for a picture

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Back of the castle before we ran though. Before heading to ToonTown, we saw this lovely lady:

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Going through the parks flew by, and after a bathroom break for me in Disneyland, we were out on the road. Crap. I looked at my Garmin at some point, and realized we were somewhere around mile 4. So we were out of the “fun part” but still had about nine miles to go. Not only that, but the sun was rising and we were running RIGHT into it. I was so glad we remembered to grab our sunglasses before we left the hotel!

To Disney’s credit, they did try to entertain us along the way with dancers

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bands, cheerleaders,

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and lot of antique cars. (Loved the mountains in the back on this one!)

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We settled into a groove, and the my foot started to slightly irritate me. Crap. I tried not to think about it, and was so happy when we soon saw a medical tent. I downed two tylenol (I had already taken two before I left the hotel room) and went for a little cup of biofreeze and the lady behind the table yells “DON’T EAT IT!!” It scared the crap out of me, and I told her I wasn’t, that I was going to put it on my IT bands, and she said they had just had a guy come through thinking it was GU and tried to swallow it! I die.

We were sure to take water and sports drink at every stop, even if just a couple sips. I took three and a half GU’s during the race, and actually felt like for the first time I fueled myself really really well. We made a turn onto a path with a large canal/ditch to our left, and there was some dirt next to the path. I decided to run on the dirt and it helped my foot some.

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I saw the sign for Angels stadium in the distance (in the photo above) and knew we were close. Honestly, I really didn’t care much about running in the stadium, the only good thing about it in my mind was that it may be a distraction from the boredom of road running. I was WAY wrong. This ended up being my favorite part of the race. Keep reading!

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As we approached the stadium, there were boy and girl scouts lining the road outside, reading the names on our bibs and yelling for us. There is just something about someone cheering your actual name that gives a boost!

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As we got closer, I heard a deafening roar coming from the stadium. That couldn’t be PEOPLE cheering could it? Oh but it was! We rounded the corner and saw a ton of people up in the stands cheering, screaming, on their feet jumping up and down. More boy/girl scouts giving us high fives, yelling our names. It was awesome. Check out this video Bobby took, but it really doesn’t do it justice.

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I left the stadium feeling rejuvenated and ready to finish strong. A couple miles later, I looked at my watch to do some math for the first time and realized we were doing SO much better than I anticipated! Two bathroom stops, character and photo stops, and we were only a few minutes off my PR. SERIOUSLY?!? We kept trucking, I was feeling pretty good about myself, and then I knew we were getting close when I saw California Adventure way in the distance.

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Soon enough, we were passing that mile 2/mile 12 sign, on the mile 12 side! This made me grin, and I knew I could make it another mile. We picked up the pace and I felt really good. It was hard, but a good hard. I could hear the cheers from the finish line, and knew we were close. I tried to soak it all in, I was about to finish my 13th half, and get my coast to coast medal. I felt so grateful that I was even able to be out there running, and I had a huge smile on my face.

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I saw mile thirteen and definitely enjoyed the moment of the last tenth of a mile into the finish. I started saying “coast to coast, coast to coast, coast to coast” out loud which Bobby thought was pretty humorous.

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I grabbed Bobby’s hand as Carissa announced me once again over the speakers, and we crossed the finish line together, arms in the air in triumph. We ended up at 2:26, I was in shock! We stopped for at least ten minutes between photos and bathroom stops, and I wasn’t running my guts out for sure. To be 11 minutes slower than my PR after five weeks of no running and one double digit training run is pretty awesome in my book. Way better than anticipated at this point, and I couldn’t be more proud of this race. I truly enjoyed myself and finished strong and happy.

All I wanted was my coast to coast medal, so I got my Disneyland medal, found the coast to coast line, and got my coveted bling.

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After we walked through the finishers area I ran into Cindy and Christy, which is when I found out Cindy WON the women’s race in 1:24! Christy did amazing as well getting 10th for the women.

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We headed over to the VIP/ChEAR squad tent for some rest and refreshments

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view of finish from ChEAR aquad area

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We caught up with Jeff Galloway in the tent and he remembered me from the photos we took with him at the Grand Floridian during the Princess half. We chatted for a few minutes and I introduced him to Bobby

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I also caught up with Jenn again who ran a great race!

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Thanks Mickey!

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We walked back to the hotel room and showered and headed to the parks. Hearing my medals clink around my neck was such a beautiful sound, and I was so proud.

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Overall, I really enjoyed this race and would do it again in a heartbeat. The proximity of hotel to race was awesome, the weather was awesome, I hardly sweat until the end (and VERY low humidity!), and running through the parks was a lot of fun. I did miss the fanfare of Main street in WDW, but there were other great parts that made up for it. The organization was great just like all runDisney races, and I would love to get to run Tinkerbell someday! If you are on the fence about this race next year, consider this your push (nicely) to the other side.

Want more info on runDisney or going on any Disney vacation? e mail me at heather@travelwiththemagic.com

QOTD: Ever done much better in a race than expected?

We’re Not in SoCal Anymore: Weekly Recap

 

I can’t believe the Disneyland half marathon was a week ago! (Don’t worry my recap including videos and photos will be up tomorrow). We so enjoyed our time in California, and one of the best things was the weather. It was interesting, because I checked the weather before we left, and weather.com said it would be 90 most of the week. This greatly concerned me because I know what 90 feels like here on the gulf coast, and I can now say with certainty….SoCal 90 is WAY better than our 90! There was very low humidity so I didn’t feel like I was swimming, and while I certainly felt hot in the parks, I wasn’t pouring sweat or feeling like death. I barely sweat during the race. It was awesome.

We were even able to eat lunch outside on two occasions. LUNCH! As in the middle of the day. This is unheard of this time of year in the south. Also, the lack of bugs was noted. No mosquitos, flies, or gnats while we were there. We got home to love bugs literally attacking out house.

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I tell no lies.

I did however had a good surprise when I got home, a box from Chobani was at my door step. Heck, yes. This morning for breakfast I was so excited I didn’t know what to eat! I settled on apple cinnamon, highly recommended.

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Yesterday, Bobby and I went for our first post race run. We left at 9:45 to do three miles, and I underestimated how difficult three could be in the heat/sun/humidity. I quickly reminded Bobby (we are NOT in SoCal anymore! This sucks!) It is the closest I have come to passing out from the heat in awhile (nausea, headache, etc). TOTALLY my fault, I should have paid attention to the weather and gotten out there sooner. It was quite the rude awakening after a wonderful week in California.

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My face stayed this red for about two hours. Embarrassing.

Ok, so on to the recap:

Sunday: Disneyland half marathon (don’t forget to come back tomorrow for a recap!)

Monday: rest

Tuesday: walked the parks all day

Wednesday: walked the parks all day

Thursday: rest/travel

Friday: strength training (Best Body Bootcamp)

Saturday: 3 mile run

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total miles run: 16

total miles walked: A LOT in the parks!

strength work: one day

Meh. Back to it this week.

QOTD: How long do you take off/to rest after a race? If you don’t run, how many days a week do you rest from any kind of fitness?