runDisney Dopey Challenge Tips

As a Dopey finisher, I wanted to impart some wisdom from my personal experience last year that may help you get through the four races as best as possible. Here are my best runDisney dopey challenge tips:

Dopey challenge tips

1.) Sleep: I know it can be so tempting to close down the parks and stay up late watching fireworks, but trust me on this one. By the 3rd and 4th day the early wake up calls were REALLY getting to me. I was IN bed at 8:00 every night. I didn’t always fall asleep right away but I made it my goal to have the lights out by then. The week or two before Dopey I went to bed early every night and woke up earlier than normal to prepare myself for the races.

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2.) Hydrate: Last years races were HOT and HUMID. In an effort to not be dehydrated, I drank at least one Gatorade every day and guzzled water non stop. Remember, you CAN bring water into the parks, as long as it isn’t in a glass container.

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3.) Stretch/ice/foam roll: I left room in my suitcase for my foam roller and ziploc bags for ice. I foam rolled every day, and got ice from the hotel for sore spots. I also stretched in my hotel room. I knew if I wanted to stay as injury free as possible these things were a must.

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4.) Relax: This was the toughest one for me. I was really excited about being in Walt Disney World and wanted to go go go. Luckily we made the smart decision to hit EPCOT after the 5k for a couple of hours, then took a nap and hung out at the resort the rest of the evening. After the 10k the next day, we went to Hollywood Studios for about two hours then took another nap, and after the half marathon we didn’t go to any parks, just rested and relaxed. It was tough the first two days as I wanted to go go go, but I was so tired after the half, I was glad I took it easy in the afternoons.

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5.) Stay informed: Make sure you read the official race program you will get at the expo to check times for buses, race start, and information for spectators. Keep an eye on the runDisney Twitter account and Facebook page for emergency information should it occur about different procedures due to inclement weather, etc.

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6.) Stay organized: I put each costume in a giant ziploc bag, and had a separate carry on bag for all of them in case my luggage got lost. I also carried on my running shoes. Every night before the race I would lay out my entire outfit, plus breakfast, fuel, etc. so all I had to do was change the next morning and not rummage through my suitcase looking for things!

My husband and I chose to not take character photos during the 5k as lines were super long, but we still ran at an easy pace. We followed the same guidelines for the 10k, but did stop for pictures during the half and full marathons.

Make sure you check out my packing list vlog before you go, and don’t forget to have lots of fun and take plenty of pictures, it is an amazing experience! If you have any questions about my approach to Dopey, feel free to leave them in the comments. Finally, you can read my closing thoughts on Dopey in a post I wrote after coming back from the race weekend.

RELATED: Sign up for my FREE My Disney Experience and Magic Bands E-Course!

QOTD: What are you most looking forward to about marathon weekend? Do you have more dopey challenge tips?

Design Your Own runDisney Race

Hey guys! I know a lot of folks are heading out to Disneyland today to run the runDisney inaugural Avengers half marathon this weekend. I am super jealous and hope you have a great time. Check out this post I wrote for Fitfluential on tips for running a Disneyland race.

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Disneyland marathon weekend 2013

I can’t wait to read everyone’s race recaps on the event! I really REALLY wish I was running Star Wars in January, but I completely missed registration by time I had made up my mind. There is always next year! Bobby loves Star Wars so I think we would have a blast. There are just too many races and not enough time off of work.

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Still can’t believe I was pregnant during Dopey!

Being in the thick of runDisney race season and not being there is tough. They are my favorite races and while it is fun to read everyone else’s experiences, it’s nothing like being there yourself. So that got me thinking. If you could plan a runDisney race complete with theme, course, what would the medal look like, runner’s perks, etc.? I would love to see your ideas of “the perfect runDisney race”. You can be as vague or as detailed as you would like! If I get some good ones I would love to feature them on my blog, and who knows, maybe runDisney will be listening!

So, to give you an idea of what I mean, here is one that I came up off the top of my head for an example:

Theme: Pixar Half Marathon weekend

Races: kids races, 5k, 10k, half marathon

Course: I’m not sure how this would flesh out distance wise, but it would end inside of Hollywood studios near the Toy Story Mania ride with an after party in Hollywood studios. Maybe if we ran through EPCOT and the boardwalk and then Hollywood studios we wouldn’t be on the road much and therefore could start the race later in the day (like 7:00) Or maybe it would be a night race?  Of course, there would be tons of Pixar characters on the race course!

Medal: Each race would have a different Pixar theme. My favorites are Nemo, Monsters Inc., Toy Story, a Bug’s Life, and Cars. I’m sure we could come up with some really cool designs based on some of those movies.

-Runner’s would be given 3 fastpasses to rides or shows dealing with PIXAR for the weekend. (Bug’s life, toy Story, Monster’s Inc. laugh floor, Buzz lightyear space ranger spin, Living seas with nemo, Nemo musical).

-Maybe a fun scavenger hunt where if you get character photos with X number of Pixar characters during the race (or race weekend, in the parks?) you get a special commemorative item.

-The expo would have a costume contest where you show off your Pixar race costume at a certain time and can win prizes.

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-runDisney and New Balance could partner to make Pixar character running shoes.

QOTD: OK so those are my ideas to get you started. Feel free to comment with your ideas or send them to me via email: heatherslookingglass@gmail.com. I can’t wait to read and feature your ideas!

Rock ‘n Roll NOLA Announcement and Giveaway

Hello friends! Can you believe that we are less than three months away from the Rock ‘n Roll New Orleans marathon and half marathon weekend? I am just getting back into running after having my baby, but can’t wait to rock through 13.1 miles in my hometown.

I have a fun announcement for you today and a giveaway opportunity. First of all, one of the bands for the after party was announced, the KONGOS! (<—-Check out the link to learn more about them.) They will be part one of the Finish Line Festival lineup. Yall, trust me when I say New Orleans knows how to throw a party, and finish line festivities at races are no exception!

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Don’t forget that live music will be performed throughout the race course. Think of them as mini concerts, and as much as you will want to stop and listen, don’t forget to keep running. Smile

***Also guys, don’t forget to use code LOOKINGGLASS at registration checkout for $10 off the half or full marathon, or LOOKINGGLASS10k for $5 off the 10k distance).

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Ok, so who wants to win a Rock ‘n Roll New Orleans t-shirt? These shirts are gender specific and super soft! All you have to do is register for one of the New Orleans races using my code (LOOKINGGLASS or LOOKINGGLASS10K), and email me at heatherslookingglass@gmail.com telling me that you did so, so that we can look you up to confirm. The first 5 people who do this starting today (past registrations don’t count) will get a FREE t-shirt. You know you have been on the fence about registering, and who doesn’t love free stuff? The men’s shirt is royal blue and the women’s is navy blue, they both have the same design on them. Check out Bobby modeling the men’s version:

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QOTD: If you could have any band perform at the end of a race for you, who would it be?

Rock ‘N’ Roll New Orleans 10k Announced!

it’s official! The Rock ‘N’ Roll New Orleans marathon and half marathon will have a fun new addition in 2015: the 10k distance! Not quite ready to tackle the half? You can still participate in the race weekend with the all new 10k.

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Here is a picture of the race course:

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***Enter code LOOKINGGLASS10k at checkout for $5 off 10k registration. ***

Also in other news, the marathon course will be undergoing some changes from last year as well. Here is the new course map:

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If you are familiar with the area, you may find the below turn by turn changes beneficial!

  • Turn left onto Carrolton, out-back to Canal (access lanes on the outside of Carrolton)
  • Marconi one way to Robert E. Lee (allowing southbound travel on Marconi)
  • East on Robert E. Lee (in eastbound lanes, leaving westbound lanes open for travel) to St. Bernard (St. Bernard will be used out-and back to Lakeshore Dr.)
  • Out and back on Lakeshore Drive to get necessary distance (past UNO/Elysian Fields, similar to the turnaround location last year)
  • From St. Bernard, we will return to City Park on the east side of the park using Wisner to Harrison Dr.
  • West into the Park on Harrison Dr. to the round-a-bout and south on Diagonal Dr. (whole road once inside the park)
  • From Diagonal, left on Magnolia by the Bark Park and Left on Zachary Taylor Dr. to Golf Dr.
  • South where Golf Dr. turns into Henry Thomas Dr. and around to Roosevelt Mall and the Finish.

As you can see, lots of exciting stuff happening as we get closer to the main event. I am so excited for the 10k addition, it means more of my running friends will be joining in! The 10k is a great middle distance if you know you can run a 5k but aren’t ready for a half marathon. You can do it! Go sign up!

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QOTD: Do you like the 10k distance?

Emma Kate’s birth story, part II will be up tomorrow or Thursday!

Rock ‘n’ Roll New Orleans Here I Come!

I mentioned awhile back that I would be running the Rock ‘n’ Roll New Orleans half marathon, but I finally got my rear in gear and officially registered!

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Bobby is registered too, so we will both be running the half in January. I am admittedly a little nervous as it will be my first half after having baby M, and since I haven’t really run since sometime in the second trimester, I will literally be starting from scratch. But that’s ok! I’m going to CELEBRATE being able to run again and have already started brainstorming costume ideas. Oh yes my friends. I WILL be running in a costume. It’s all about fun at Rock ‘n’ Roll New Orleans!

Voting has ended on the finisher’s medals for this race, but the design will be announced on the 18th! I will be posting pictures on Instagram as soon as I get my hands on a photo so be sure you are following me.

Another thing of note: There will be a price increase on September 19th, so hurry and register NOW! Be sure to use code LOOKINGGLASS at checkout for $10 off registration.

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Be sure to follow along with Rock ‘n’ Roll New Orleans race info and news by using #RnRNOLA, and following @RunRocknRoll on Instagram and Twitter.

QOTD: Are you running any Rock ‘n’ Roll races next year? Which ones? Have you run any in the past?

Race News

Good morning! Still no internet so I am blogging from my phone, which is super fun…not. Anyway, just a little news on two of my favorite races!

1.) the RunDisney Tinkerbell half marathon registration opens today at noon eastern! This will sell out fast, especially the new pixie dust challenge, so I highly recommend registering right at noon. The weekend takes place over Mother’s Day weekend, May 7-10 2015. I really enjoyed running the 2014 race and wish I was doing this one!
Visit RunDisney.com for registration details.

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2.) Rock n Roll New Orleans is giving YOU a chance to design the 2015 medal! How cool is that? I will be running this one so I can’t wait to see the chosen design.
Here’s the scoop of what must appear on the medal:

-The name of the event (Rock ‘n’ Roll New Orleans Marathon & Half Marathon) and the event date (January 25, 2015) must be included
The medal design
-must be New Orleans themed
-Designs may be submitted in any format (written description, drawing, graphic design, etc.)
-All designs most by submitted by midnight on 8/25/2014 in order to be entered
-Winner will be announced September 19th *subject to change

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QOTD: If you could design a medal what would it look like?

Rock ‘n’ Roll New Orleans Changes

Hey guys! Guess what? I will be helping spread the word about Rock ‘n’ Roll New Orleans marathon and 1/2 marathon that will be coming to Louisiana again January 25, 2015. I am so stoked about this race for a lot of reasons. It is my favorite local race, I have run it three times and have lots of good memories, AND, it will most likely be my FIRST HALF MARATHON AFTER BABY! Such a scary thought that I will have a child when I run this race. I am hoping that by signing up for something it will be a good motivator right out of the gate to get my rear in gear post delivery and back into running shape. I can’t wait to document my progress starting in October!

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One of the great things about this race series is that they not only ask for feedback from participants, but they actually make changes and improvements based on the responses. Us runners love when races listen to us! Check out some things that will be different next year for the New Orleans race:

· Enhanced finish line festival – local food and unlimited beer

· More on course entertainment

· More porta potties!

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All good things! Want to run this race? Enter code LOOKINGGLASS at check out for $10 the half or full marathon. Be sure to share the excitement on Twitter with the hashtag #RnRNOLA. Registration is OPEN so don’t wait for prices to go up!

I would love to see you at the race, it’s a really fun one. Super fast and flat course, with great local flare. Looking for a new PR? This is it!

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Want some insight on what the race is like? You can read my race recaps below:

Rock ‘n’ Roll Mardi Gras 2010

Rock ‘n’ Roll Mardi Gras 2011 Part 1 and Part 2

Rock ‘n’ Roll new Orleans 2012

QOTD: Are you running this race next year? Any other Rock ‘n’ roll races?

runDisney Star Wars Registration Day

Back at the end of May, a new Stars Wars themed runDisney race was announced. Well, registration day has arrived! Today at noon eastern time, anyone can register for the race weekend which will include kids races, a 5k, 10k, half marathon and the rebel challenge. The races will take place January 15-18 2015 at the Disneyland resort in California.

January is a great time to visit Disneyland. The weather was great when I was there this year for Tinkerbell. I didn’t feel that it was excessively crowded, and the weather for the actual race was perfect.

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Fair warning…..this race is going to sell out FAST, yall. I highly highly encourage you to be online and ready to register a couple minutes before noon eastern on runDisney.com. I want everyone who wants to run to have the opportunity! Good luck to everyone registering, and may the force be with you!

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***Other notable registration dates:

Princess half marathon on sale July 15, 2014

Tinkerbell half marathon on sale August 12, 2014

QOTD: Are you registering for this race?

Fitness and Running Event Registration Details

 

Happy Friday friends! Spring has officially sprung in the south, I did some work outside yesterday because it was just too darn pretty. The dogs really enjoyed being outside too. We took a nice long walk down by the lake. Lots of new smells apparently.

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There are a lot of exciting things happening, and lots of fun events coming up to sign up for! I just wanted to highlight a few for you to mull over for the weekend. Who is registering?

-Registration for the Disney Fit Challenge is now open! Go HERE for details on how to register. Remember dates are September 26-28, 2014 for ages 18+ to participate.

-Registration for the runDisney Avengers half marathon opens Tuesday, March 25th at noon EST. You can register at runDisney.com at that time. I would do so ASAP, I have a feeling this will sell out in just a couple hours.

-For those that love the Rock n’ Roll running series (me! me!) Be sure to check out info on the 5k virtual/ and fun run for the Vegas rock ‘n roll stop! Go HERE for info on how you can participate even if you can’t be in Vegas. There will be hosted fun runs in select cities AND a virtual run you can participate in. Way cool.

Official event hashtag: #LVKickoffNight

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QOTD: Will you be registering for any of these events?

Princess Half Marathon 2014 Race Recap

I know this recap is late in coming, but I really wanted to wait until after the pregnancy announcement to write it, but so much of this recap has to do with the pregnancy an dhow I was feeling I knew leaving out those details would not be fair, so, here it is, my runDisney Princess half race recap!

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I woke up at 2:45, and not going to lie…I started to cry. I was so exhausted already, and the thought of running a half marathon, by myself, feeling like crap, was not very appealing. Then I thought about my glass slipper medal and pink coast to coast medal, and knew I would regret not running. I forced myself up and out the door while my parents and husband slept soundly. I reminded myself this was the LAST time I had to get up this early for a long time to run, and headed for the buses all by my lonesome.

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I love my Aurora tutu Lesley made for me!

I had to wait about 15 minutes to get on a bus, there were a ton of people in line at 3:35. I am sure I looked angry or upset because I just stood there staring at the ground not looking at anyone, munching on a bag of dry cereal to keep food on my stomach for as long as I could to help with the nausea. I was just SO not feeling this race. I sat next to a nice lady on the bus and we chatted for a bit, then we arrived at EPCOT and I walked to the family reunion area. I spotted my name on the Glass Slipper Challenge wall before heading to the team runDisney meet up (which I have no photo from, sorry guys!)

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Karen was stuck in traffic on a bus, so I waited about 30 minutes for her in the family reunion area. Again, I just stood there, staring blankly, feeling awful. I feel bad about it now, but honestly at the time I didn’t care, I just wanted to go to bed. I was mad I forgot to take Zofran, and just wanted to fast forward to three hours from that point. I had to pee, but was afraid I would miss Karen, so after we said a quick hello, I took off at a jog toward the corrals because the bathroom lines are usually shorter there. Well, they were not! I got nervous I was going to miss the start, but thankfully was able to run and jumped into my corral right as the National Anthem was playing.

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Coral A took off shortly after, and we began to move up until it was time for Corral C.

 

We ran under the sign and into darkness…and fog. Yall, it was super humid and so foggy I could barely see! It was a gross feeling, and sadly one I am all to familiar with living here in the deep south.

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The first few miles were uneventful. It felt like it took me forever to warm up and get into a groove. I didn’t have a plan per say, I just walked when I felt like I needed to, and took a GU every 3-4 miles. I stopped at every aide station for PowerAde and water as well. I made it to the Magic Kingdom sign, and I pepped up a little knowing my favorite part would be coming up soon.

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I came to the TTC where I was going to stop at the bathroom, but the line was out the door so I waited. I did get to see these drummers which I love!

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Also this guy always gets me going to conquer the hill right after him.

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Soon I was in the Magic Kingdom and turning onto Main Street, and here is my sad attempt at a picture while running.

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A sweet volunteer took this for me!

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I made it into Tomorrowland, and score, no bathroom line! Right after was the White Rabbit with one person in line. I hadn’t really planned on stopping for character photos since I just wanted to be DONE, but I couldn’t pass up such a non-existent line.

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I wove through the castle and into Frontierland, and this guy only had three people in line. I figured I could use a breather so why not?

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Quick as a flash, I was outside of the park and I got a little down. I knew the next few miles would be pretty boring comparatively, and they were definitely the hardest for me. I made it to the Grand Floridian, and saw these guys. They had about 8 people in line, but I have never stopped for a photo with them, and so again, I figured why not. They were funny!

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Shortly after I walked right up to this photo, not a sole in line. Poor Lilo and Stitch!

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I passed the Clif shot station and got my all time favorite vanilla (tastes like cake icing!) which gave me a little boost. So did this lady!

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It was so hard to get a shot of this banner because it wasn’t anchored down and kept flowing in the wind.

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Still see the yucky fog? I was drenched and my tutu kept knotting up because it was so wet and humid!

I eventually made it to the mile ten marker, which made me happy for two reasons. 1.) I was dressed as Aurora and 2.) It meant I only had a 5k left to go!

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I circled around the overpass hill of death, and knew I would make it. It wouldn’t be pretty but I could do it. I knew Bobby was waiting for me at the finish and I started texting him giving updates. I had no idea how I would be feeling after the race and wanted him there to ride back with me in case I was really sick.

It seemed like miles ten and eleven took FOREVER, but I finally made it into EPCOT! The home stretch! My nausea was getting worse because my stomach was empty, but I picked up my pace as best I could so I could finish strong.

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I texted Bobby to find out where he was (just past the 13 mile sign) and I kept looking, and finally spotted him! I know I am smiling here, but it’s just because I was almost DONE!!! I crossed the finish in 2:45, definitely not great for me, but I was just so proud that I stuck it out feeling so poorly. Some of the sweetest finish lines aren’t always the ones that end in PR’s folks. There are more challenges to a race sometimes than just time, and I am darn proud of this one!

I collected all three of my medals, and found Bobby. (my poor tutu!)

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LOVE my medals!

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We hopped on the bus quickly, I had to get some food in me asap, I was getting more sick by the minute. I broke into my food box and ate a Luna bar which helped some. We got off at the Swan because it was quicker to get off and walk than be the last stop on the slow (and stuffy and un-air-conditioned!) bus. We got to the bridge to go over to the Boardwalk, and there were my mom and dad waiting to surprise me! They had walked over from the hotel to see me and walk back with us.

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It was definitely a very rough runDisney race, and my first runDisney half to run by myself. I missed the encouragement and company of a running mate for sure. Please note none of my issues with this race had ANYTHING to do with runDisney. They put on a great race as usual and on my end I didn’t notice any major problems. This will always be a favorite of mine and I hope to run it next year post baby!

QOTD: Have you ever been really proud of a race even if it wasn’t your best time on the clock? What made it special?