5 Fall Races in the Southeast

I am in the middle of my fall half marathon training plan, and I have heard many others say that they are beginning to ramp up their mileage as well. For us here in the south, half marathon and marathon season is VERY short. It won’t really start cooling down here until October, and most distances races are over by March, so we have to cram in as many races as we can.

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Training in cooler weather! Yes!

I am honestly still undecided about my race season and thought many of you may be as well, so I decided to compile several fall races you may want to check out if you live or plan on running in the southeast. Some I have run myself, and some just look like a lot of fun! Hopefully some of you can give input on the ones that I haven’t run that look fun!

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1.) Gulf Coast half Mandeville, Louisiana: This is a fun, flat half marathon in my hometown! Just a short drive to New Orleans, you can run a race and still visit the city without expensive city hotel prices. This course is beautiful and goes through old Mandeville and along the beautiful lakefront. October is a great time to race in Louisiana, too! I haven’t signed up yet, but really hoping to run this one with Bobby this year! I had just had Emma Kate last year so I missed it.

2.) Rock n Roll Savannah: As a member of the Rock ‘n Blog team, I am partial to Rock n Roll races, and while I haven’t run this one, it’s on my bucket list and I have heard nothing but wonderful things about this gorgeous course in such a historic city. It sounds like a great November weekend racecation to me! (enter code LOOKINGGLASS15 for $15 off registration!)

3.) runDisney Wine and Dine half and 5k: This race is sold out for this year, but listen to me, SIGN UP AS SOON AS YOU CAN for 2016! It’s SO MUCH FUN. It’s a nighttime race, in the happiest place on earth! Plus, it has an amazing after party in EPCOT celebrating the race and the food and wine festival. This race is typically held the second week in November.

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4.) Space Coast marathon and half: This is another one I have heard nothing but good things about. This is Florida’s oldest marathon, and is run along a beautiful waterfront course on Florida’s east coast. The entire event revolves around the space theme, which is pretty awesome. Race is November 29th!

5.) Thunder Road marathon, half, and 5k: This race weekend is in Charlotte, North Carolina. There is a whole weekend of fun with a marathon, half, and 5k option. This is a fun weekend in mid November and celebrates stock car racing. Plenty of family friendly fun and music, this weekend is for the everyone. I have also heard the course is very scenic!

QOTD: Any favorite fall races in the south?

Weekly Training Recap 2015: Week 3

Now that I have at least four races I am training for, I think it will be helpful for me to go back to posting my weekly workouts here on the blog. It will help me hold myself accountable as I go forward. I have added a lot of distance since having Emma Kate, but my times are not where I thought they would be almost four months postpartum, so I need some accountability! I get in a trap of getting the miles in but they are “junk miles” a lot of times.

Races planned:

RnR New Orleans

rnDisney Princess Half Marathon

LA marathon

Crescent City Classic 10k

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This is what I did last week:

Sunday: Off

Monday: 3 mile treadmill run

Tuesday: 4 mile treadmill run

Wednesday: Off

Thursday: 4 miles on the treadmill

Friday: 35 minutes stationary bike, arm weights

Saturday: 7 mile taper run, Rock ‘n Roll New Orleans half marathon is next Sunday!

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This next week will be toned down quite a bit since my race is on Sunday, but after that I have to get going again for my next three races!

QOTD: What is the next race on your calendar?

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 Race Comparisons

I have been asked by several people which runDisney race is my favorite. This is SUCH a hard question to answer because I love them all for different reasons.

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In this post, I will attempt to break down things I love and don’t love so much about each race in an attempt to help you figure out which race you want to sign up for! The races I will be comparing are:

Marathon weekend

Princess weekend

Disneyland weekend

Tower of Terror weekend

Wine and Dine weekend

*I have not participated in Tinkerbell or the Expedition Everest 5k, so those will be left out. I am running Tink in January and will give my thoughts at that time.

Marathon Weekend:

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I have participated in marathon weekend 3 times. In 2010 I ran the half, in 2011 I ran the full, and in 2013 I ran Goofy’s challenge. runDisney races hold a special place in my heart since they were my first half and full marathon, and marathon weekend in particular was my first runDisney race.

Pros: Big crowds equal lots of friends, runners and excitement! Several distance options are available for every level (5k, 10k, half, full, goofy and dopey). This weekend seems to be talked about and advertised most/made a big deal. The weather is usually mild in January, although there have been some very warm and very cold runs. It’s also a great time of year to visit Disney. Other than the weekend itself, there are lower crowds, and good weather for park-going. Also, it’s in value season so you can get a cheaper price for rooms on property. It’s also something to look forward to after Christmas, and for southerners, it’s nice to train for a race in October/November/December in cooler weather.  Of course there is great bling.

Cons: It is such a big race, the weekend itself is very crowded at the parks and the expo. Some people would rather run the smaller races with less corrals and hoopla. Also, Northerners may not want to run long runs in November/December in the freezing cold to prepare for this one.

Princess Weekend:

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I have participated in Princess weekend twice. In 2012 I ran the 5k and the half, and in 2013 I did the same.

Pros: For us women folk, this is a super fun race to do with your mom, daughter, or a group of girlfriends. Bling and tiaras everywhere, and lots of people dressing up as princesses! There is a “girls just wanna have fun” excitement about this race that just makes me smile. The medal is always adorable, and this race seems to be a less pressure sort of race, and I am not even sure how else to explain it. This time of year usually has great weather as well for running and park hopping. Lots of good ‘ole girly-girl fun with this race, a great weekend for first timers.

Cons: This race is during peak season pricing, so hotels are more expensive. If you are a guy, you may want to sit this one out unless you like all the attention. Smile Depending on where you live, training in the cold may not be so fun.

Disneyland Weekend:

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I have done this one twice as well. In 2012 I did the half, and in 2013 I participated in the Dumbo Double Dare challenge.

Pros: I think my favorite thing about this race is the proximity to the starting line. If you stay on property, you can walk to the race which is a huge plus and allows you to sleep in a few extra minutes in the morning. For southerners that bathe in humidity nine months out of the year, the less humid temps are a welcome change. This race also takes place over Labor day weekend, so you may not have to use as much vacation time. This weekend also has a 5k, 10k, and half…so again, options for people wanting to run all distances.

Cons: For someone from the other side of the country like me, it is expensive to pay for the race, hotel, park tickets, and flights to California. It can also be very warm out and makes the race and park going not quite as enjoyable. For southerners, it’s not fun at all to train for this August race in June and July outside in the heat.

Tower of Terror Weekend:

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I participated in Tower weekend this year, 2013

Pros: This race takes place at night so it’s not as hot as if it were to take place these same dates during the day. It has a 5k and a ten miler, so is a good option for those who have done a 10k but are not quite ready to jump to a half marathon. This race has the coolest medal, it’s definitely a favorite (glow in the dark with moving elevator…way cool). Since it is a night race, no waking up at 2:45 in the morning to catch a bus to the start. If you stay at a Boardwalk area hotel, you can walk to the start and back to your room from the finish. This is a smaller weekend so the race itself and the expo are not as crowded There is a finish line party in Hollywood Studios right after the race, too so you can party until 4:00 am!

Cons: If you don’t like staying up late, the 10:00 pm start time may be too much for you. It is a warmer time of year, so going to the parks during the day will be quite hot most of the time. If you are looking to run a half marathon and not a 10 miler, this race is obviously not for you. This race also does not run through the Magic Kingdom, but does run though the sports complex and Hollywood Studios.

Wine and Dine weekend:

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I have participated three times. In 2011 I ran the 5k and the half, in 2012 and 2013 I ran just the half.

Pros: If you like food and wine, this is the race for you. Not only can you enjoy the Food and Wine Festival while you are in town, but there is a special after party at EPCOT for all the runners after the race where you can partake in foods from around the world. This race starts at the Wide World of Sports Complex, so no super long walk to the corrals like the morning races. It also has a 10:00 start, so again, no waking up really early to go run. The course is really fun and goes through three parks for the half marathon.  I also love running through the Osborne spectacle of lights, it’s amazing. There is also a Christmas themed 5k held at Animal Kingdom. The time of year is a little on the warm side but since the race is at night it’s not so bad. Christmas decorations start going up at the parks around this time, and you may also be able to catch resort decorations and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party.

Cons: What is a pro is also a con for some…starting a race at 10:00 pm is tough stuff! This race does not run through the Magic Kingdom which is always a favorite of mine, but very few cons for this race.

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As you can see, there are not many “cons” to each race, and they mainly have to do with factors like weather and hotel pricing. All of the runDisney races are amazing and you are sure to have a blast!

So, what is my favorite? This is HARD yall! Ok, let’s do this. Favorite night race: Wine and Dine. Favorite day race: Princess. That’s as close to a single favorite as I can give you, they are all so awesome.

Things to keep in mind: Many of the races sell out the day registration opens. Follow @runDisney on Twitter and check out the rundisney.com website so you can stay up to date on information like registration and capacities.

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if you need help with anything runDisney related or just need help planning your vacation in general, I would love to assist you! Email me at heather@travelwiththemagic.com anytime.

QOTD: What is your favorite runDisney race, or which would you like to run?

Bucket List Races: A Guest Post

 

Hey guys! Lesley from A Runners Shenanigans is guest posting for me today, telling you about two of her bucket list races. Maybe they will inspire you to come up with a few of your own! Be sure to check out her blog and show some love!

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Blog: http://arunnershenanigans.blogspot.com/

I try not to get too ahead of myself since I’m training for only my second half marathon, but there are so many races to choose from. When I have time to spare at work, more likely than not I’m reading stuff on Runner’s World or following links on the DIS Boards, or Googling races around the country, and there are races that catch my attention. I found two races that I think would be very fun to do, and are in different parts of the country: The Amica Half Marathon in Newport, Rhode Island, and the RnR half in Savannah, Georgia.

Newport is near my old stomping grounds. I lived in Boston for 12 years, but I was not running what I am now. The area is south of Providence, and is mostly famous for the summer mansions of New York’s rich and famous during the Gilded Age, like the Vanderbilts and the Astors. Part of the course does go by the mansions, as well as downtown Newport, the country club, and along the ocean itself. This year it was raining at the start, so that is one element I would not be able to control.

The second race, Savannah, has been on my radar since last year when I heard about the inaugural event. I’ve wanted to go to Savannah ever since I learned it was Charleston’s “sister city”, and I loved Charleston when I visited in 2001. There are so many places in Savannah I want to see, my ideal trip would be to travel a couple days in advance of the race, then stay a couple more days after the race. I figure the day before the race won’t have much activity just due to having to rest and save energy, so a couple days post-race would be nice. I also have some friends who just moved to Savannah this past summer, and it would be really nice to visit.

So far I haven’t decided on any races for next year, but both of these races are in the Fall, so who knows. I might change my mind and decide to register for one of them J My goal for the early part of next year is not only to recover from White Rock, but also let some nagging injuries heal before I get back to it.

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QOTD: What is your bucket list race?

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! 

Fall Brings…

 

Fall brings lots of excited things folks.  It is one of my favorite times of year. Living in the south, I wait and wait with great anticipation for fall so we can see something other than heat and humidity. Here is a short list of things I look forward to that fall brings.

Fall brings…

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Cooler weather. Well into October, we will have temps in the upper 80’s. But to us, this is “cooler weather.” I have worn shorts and a t-shirt on Thanksgiving day before. I only speak the truth, and this one makes me sad. Even though it is still quite warm, the humidity has subsided a bit and made running a little more bearable!

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Pumpkin everything. I love pumpkins. Pumpkin pie, pumpkin muffins (check out my recipe) pumpkin scented candles, and pumpkins on front porches. My yankee candle has been burning in the kitchen and it makes me happy.

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Races. While a lot of the country is winding down their race season, we are gearing up for ours! We don’t generally have many races other than 5k’s from May-September. It’s  just too dang hot. Most of my races fall between October and February, unless it’s a destination race.

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Boots and sweaters. I love tall boots! They are so fun and sassy and I can’t wait to pull mine out! Granted, I don’t own a ton of sweaters, but they will hopefully be able to come out sometime in November. Sad times I know.

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Football. Geaux LSU Tigers and WHO DAT Saints. I spend all day Saturday and Sunday watching football if at all possible. ‘Nuff said.

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QOTD: What is your favorite thing that fall brings?