Disneyland Day 4

*Virtual runners! Don’t forget to post a photo from your run on ZOOMA’s Facebook page, or write a blog post about it and comment with the link here. Also I would love to know you participated so shoot me an e mail at runningwithsass@gmail.com!

We spent the day after the half marathon, Monday, relaxing by the pool. Tuesday, we were ready to hit the parks again and we got up early to head to the extra hour that resort guests staying on property get in the mornings. We were determined to ride Radiator Springs racers, and so our plan was to get in right when it opened and head straight back to cars land….like everyone else in line! We grabbed breakfast in the concierge lounge and then headed to the park gates.

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We got to the gates with about ten minutes to spare, and as soon as the gates opened, we made it through and power walked to the back, and STILL had a 30 minute wait time for Radiator Springs Racers! Oh well, better than two hours right? As we were going in I managed to drop my camera. I was so angry at myself. It still works, but the zoom is a little rough and I have to turn the lens kind of hard.

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We went through the line pretty quickly, and finally up onto the platform area/last area you wait in the couple of minutes before you get on the ride….and it broke down. ug! Well….what do you do? Some people left, but we had already waited thirty minutes. I had to go to the bathroom, so we came up with a plan. I would go to the bathroom and then go get in line for fastpasses. (Even though the park opens an hour early fastpasses don’t start until the park actually opens to everyone.) Then I would get us Radiator Springs fastpasses for later then go back, and hopefully it would be working again, and we could ride twice!

Well it worked like a charm! I had to wait in the fastpass line about ten minutes, but by time I got back the ride came up after about five more minutes. Finally! I was so stoked for this one.

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The whole area is so well done, I was very impressed. I know Disney spent a ton of money on the whole Cars Land area, but it came out amazingly well, and this ride did not disappoint.  It had a kind of test track feel but was SO much cooler!

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So the ride starts out leisurely going along, enjoying the beautiful scenery.

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Then you pass by the gorgeous waterfall before going “inside”

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You go through the town which looks so, so cool, and then get geared up for the big race. Another vehicle pulls up next to you, and then the race begins, and you immediately head outside.

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You go around banked turns, over bumpy hill/drops, and it is so much FUN! Then the is another dip right before you cross the finish line!

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We took the following photo of another car after we had gotten off the ride.

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Totally worth the wait, and I was so glad we had fastpasses so we could do it again!

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We had time to kill before we could come back and ride, so we decided to check out some more attractions.

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We hit up Monster’s Inc which was really cute!

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We wandered around a bit and decided to stop for some lunch.

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After lunch we rode Soarin’, The Little Mermaid, and a couple of other things before heading back to Radiator Springs Racers, where we got to sit in the front.

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We went back to the hotel for a rest, and then headed back to the parks (this time Disneyland) for the evening. We loved the convenient hotel entrance from California Adventure, such a short stroll to the room!

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It had cooled off a little, for which we were thankful.

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We headed to Toowntown for a look around, and it is MUCH more well done than the WDW version was. I absolutely loved it there, everything was adorable.

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We checked out the home of the big cheese, and Minnie’s cottage, too.

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As we were leaving, the parade happened to be going by and I caught a glimpse of Mickey!

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We wandered around a bit more, riding Big Thunder and Pirates again, until it was time for our fastpasses at Grizzly River back at California Adventure. We purposefully waited until right before the park closed, so in case we got wet (even with our ponchos) we could just walk back to the room and it wouldn’t matter because it would be bedtime anyway. Well, things didn’t exactly turn out as planned.

We got on the raft, and started climbing up to the top of the mountain….and got stuck. We were stuck about ten minutes, and got to know the others in our raft really well. SmileWe finally started going again, and made it through most of the ride, and then we got to the best part, the big drop, and were stopped. There were two other rafts stopped in front of us (we were all being held back from the drop by gates that open and close to let the rafts go down) and then a boat came up behind us. Well, we sat…and we sat… and we sat. Before we knew it, it had been 45 minutes and we were still sitting there! Finally, someone came and told us they were working on it, and then they let the first raft go down. YAY! We were going to get to finish the ride! Not so fast. Another fifteen minutes go by…the park has been long closed by now mind you we can’t see or hear anything, rushing water all around and “mountains”. Again, someone came out and told us the ride was broken worse than they have ever seen and they were going to have to DRAIN THE WHOLE THING and get us out of the rafts and walk down the inside of the mountain and it would take a few minutes to drain….which it did. They waited until it was completely dry and had to bring in a ladder to help us climb out of the rafts! The below photo is of the dry riverbed outside our raft.

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Standing on dry ground where there is usually rushing water!

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Helping other people off the rafts

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Granted, I was annoyed I had been sitting in a raft over an hour AND I didn’t even get to go down the best part, but what can you do? Well, the woman next to us was with her probably 13 year old daughter. she started griping and complaining and saying Disney better give her a giftcard and fastpasses and all this other stuff. She said she was going to tell them they made her miss dinner and they needed to comp her even though it was a lie. I was SO ANGRY she was talking about lying right in front of her daughter. What kind of role model is that?!? So as we were getting out, they gave us all fastpasses for the next day and the lady starts in saying she wants a Disney gift card because she missed her dinner reservations because we were stuck on the raft. I was so shocked. Some people shouldn’t be allowed to have kids. We *thought* about telling the Cast Member’s she was lying but I left it alone.

The below photo is what the inside of the mountain looks like!

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After all that hoop la, we walked back into the hotel (which was luckily just outside the entrance to the ride!) and went to bed. It had been quite a day!

On my next Disneyland post, I tell about our last day, and riding Toy Story Mania five times in a row.

QOTD: Have you ever been stuck on a ride somewhere?

If you would like FREE help planing your next Disney vacation, contact heather@travelwiththemagic.com for a free quote.

Disneyland Day 1 Part 2

 

I left off my last Disneyland recap with lunch at Carnation Cafe which I highly recommend.

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You may be wondering why I only ate a bowl of soup for lunch, but don’t worry it was all a part of my master plan. I wanted to save room for dessert…not just any dessert, a Dole whip!

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It was good, but I must admit not as good as WDW. You see, I prefer to get vanilla ice cream in the pineapple juice. Here, all they had was pineapple ice cream with pineapple juice. It was a bit too much for me, but still tasty. We decided not to overdue it with the race the next day, so we decided to head over to the runDisney expo because I needed to get my coast to coast bracelet and then go rest. I took some shot of the Disneyland Hotel as we walked through to the expo.

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Pool and monorail slide

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After the expo we headed back through Downtown Disney to the Grand Californian

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I took a couple of photos of the lobby on our way up. This one is actually of the walkway to our room up on our floor.

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We took a quick nap (I love vacation naps. It was awesome) and decided to explore the hotel a bit before dinner.

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Napa Rose, where we would be eating our last night.

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Some of the food you could get at White Water Snacks, the quick service food place.

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Loved the fireplace in the lobby.

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Outside in the middle of the hotel where the monorail runs through.

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I had booked us an early (5:30) dinner at ESPN Zone for two reasons. 1.) They had pasta on the menu 2.) LSU was playing that night. We walked in and it was chaos.

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I wasn’t thinking about it being opening weekend for college football. They were telling people without reservations they didn’t know how long it would be.

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We walk up, conformation number in hand, which they can’t find. WHAT? They asked if I made my reservations through Disney (yes) and I am not sure what difference that made, but they said they would put us at the top of the list.

Fifteen minutes later, no table. Girl at the front assures us we are next. Fifteen minutes later….no table. Bobby goes up again and is assured the same thing. Major fail. We finally get a table, and get to watch the game. I went to the bathroom, and got a huge laugh when I looked up and saw this above my stall. Wow.

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After eating sub-par fettuccine alfredo, we headed back out into Downtown Disney to get dessert.

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We first were going to go into the candy store after I saw these amazing candy apples.

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But then Bobby spotted a Hagen Dazs and I got a caramel ice cream shake which was like drinking little drops of heaven. Amazing.

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We sat outside and ate, people watching and enjoying the nice weather before heading back into the hotel (I LOVED how close everything was!)

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I was actually in bed around 8:45, which made me happy since we had to get up at 3:50 for the half marathon the next morning. I thought I would have trouble sleeping but the jet lag and the day really caught up with me and I was out!

QOTD: Favorite pre race meal? For me it’s pasts or pizza. If you don’t run, what is your favorite thing to eat on vacation?

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?

Number 13

 

We did it! Half marathon number 13 for me, and I got my coast to coast medal. The Disneyland half marathon was a success!

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Don’t worry, there will be much more to tell about the race including a full recap, but we only have a few days in Disneyland and I want to enjoy them, but also be sure I do a good job with my recap, so it will come when I get back home. Smile Don’t worry, I took plenty of pictures to go along with it!

Be sure to check out my Disneyland expo recap posts one and two.

Did you hear? my friend Cindy from Running Skirts WON the half marathon for the women! Her awesome sister Christy came in 10th, I am so proud of both of them, what an accomplishment!

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Cindy on the left, Christy on the right. Great ladies, and super speedy!

Don’t forget to enter my Giveaway!

QOTD: have you ever placed in a race?

runDisney Surprises

 

If you are a runDisney fan, you probably already heard about the new(ish) runDisney Twitter account. But, what you may not know is runDisney now has it’s very own YouTube channel. Sweet! Be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss out on the fun. So what got all this started? You might remember my post about the Great Medal Caper, and me saying something about unlocking fun runDisney surprises along the way. Well, the next level was unlocked and the surprise was a runDisney YouTube channel, fun!

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They have a bunch of different “sections” on the channel such as travel tips, Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend, and Disneyland half marathon weekend to name a few. I was scrolling through today, and there is actually a section for “runDisney fan videos” and what do you know, a familiar face!

After going through some of the videos, I picked out a couple favorites to show you. First of all, the recap of last year’s Disneyland half marathon got me really excited/anxious/nervous for this year’s race. It’s going to be amazing!

Next, I found this video, the course reveal for the 20th anniversary Walt Disney World marathon weekend. Disney loves to celebrate anniversary years, and I can’t wait to run this special course as part of Goofy’s race and a half challenge, and of course get my special 20th anniversary medal. Of course, I would be lying if I didn’t also say I am way nervous to run Goofy!

While the Disneyland half marathon in California is sold out for this year, you can still register for Disney’s marathon weekend races!

  • Full marathon– 81% Full
  • Half Marathon – 70% Full
  • Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge – 88% Full

Also, those of you participating in the Tinkerbell half marathon in California in January, have you seen the new logo design for this year, it’s so cute!

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I just love the green color. One of these years I WILL make it out there in January to run this race, it’s certainly on my bucket list!

One more thing…I may or may not have done this:

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I wasn’t going to, I REALLY wasn’t. It’s hard to justify two trips so close together, so I was just going to run the Rock n Roll New Orleans full which is on the same day. Them, my mom informs me she really wants to run Princess again, and offered to pay for my race registration and we are going to share a room! Obviously, I am not going to turn that down, so…yeah….I will be back for the anniversary medal!!!

QOTD: What is your favorite color for a race shirt? Short of long sleeves? Tech fabric or no?

*Today is the last day to enter my giveaway!