Fall/Winter Race Schedule 2016

Hey friends! As you probably know, I live in the south where it is currently in triple digits weather wise. Running is more like swimming, and I lose about 4 pounds every time I go for a run. Unfortunately I gain it all back later that day, but I digress. It seems odd to start planning for fall races when it’s so dang hot! But, I have to start training to be ready for said races, so I came up with a plan that I can hopefully (loosely) stick to doing. The problem is, I don’t want to give up boot camp, but I can’t run 5 days a week and do boot camp, so I am planning to run 3 days a week.

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I know it will be difficult to get faster this way, but at this point in my life I would much rather be strong than fast, so we will see what happens. This is a very tentative schedule. The only thing I am actually registered for is the runDisney Princess half in February, but I plan on signing up for some others very soon! I’m going to start with a couple 5k’s because it’s still dreadfully hot here in September. Our half season doesn’t start until October, and sometimes that is even a little early, but hopefully it will cool off earlier this year!

September 17th: Run, Rock and Roll 5k (Mississippi)

October 1st: A Day in the Country 5k (Mississippi)

October 16th: Mandeville Half (Louisiana)

February 5th: RnR New Orleans half marathon (Louisiana) (Use code LOOKINGGLASS16 for $15 off registration)

February 26th: runDisney Princess half marathon (Orlando)

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My plan is to do one easy run, one long run, and one tempo run each week, plus 4 days of boot camp. I will probably run Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday. We do legs on Tuesday at boot camp, so Wednesday will probably be my easy run day because I usually can’t walk well after leg day. I’m excited to get going again but nervous about how it will all fit together. I don’t want to get burnt out. Again. It happens, but fingers crossed I can make it all work!

QOTD: What is on your fall racing calendar? Have you started training yet?

5 Things Friday XIX

It’s here again! Happy Friday my friends. I hope you all have an amazing weekend. Here are five things for you, and I will see you all on Monday!

1.) eBook pre sale: My eBook pre sale started on my birthday, Wednesday, and the official launch is next Wednesday! I have been so encouraged by everyone who has bought books so far, and I hope you will consider checking it out, too. You can get a free sample chapter here.

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2.) 31 is fun: as I mentioned above, Wednesday I turned 31. A huge thanks for all the comments, messages, texts, and phone calls. I felt like a very special girl. Turning 31 was way less scary than turning 30, by the way!

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3.) Princess again: Speaking of birthdays, I have an amazing and generous friend. Because of her, I will yet again be running the runDisney Princess half marathon! Now, to come up with costumes. Who will I see at the race? (As of 7/14 there are still spots!)

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4.) Run virtually: I am a big lover of the Rock ‘N Roll marathon series. I was super stoked to see that they are now offering a virtual series! You can choose from the 3 races, or do them all and get an extra medal. More bling? Of course! (PS: Don’t forget you can use my code LOOKINGGLASS15 at checkout to save $15 on most races. This includes Vegas (limited spots) and even New Orleans 2017! Woo hoo! So be sure to sign up for an actual race, and then sign up for the virtual run series!

5.) I’m boring: I’m boring and I have no 5th thing today. So instead come up with your own thing and tell me what you want me to know in the comments. Brag, ask a questions, tell a story, go for it!

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Summer, runDisney, and Outdoor Play

Hey friends! I hope you are all having a good week. We have officially ended our two whole weeks of spring and moved into summer. Man it’s been warm and humid this week! As the owner of a frozen yogurt shop I can’t really complain about the heat because…job security, but it’s not good for running outside! I am sitting outside in the shade under a fan writing this post, and I am still sweating. I understand those of you up north may be green with envy reading this, and while I would hate your winters, I would totally take your summers!

Anyway, who signed up for runDisney marathon weekend on Tuesday? I totally forgot about sign up until a friend reminded me. I have been asked a few times if I was running, and while the original plan was yes, it has changed to a no…or a well, I’m not sure. Trust me, I would love to run the half, it’s an anniversary year for the race, AND it falls on my 10 year wedding anniversary weekend! (January 6). The plan has always been to run it, but there are a few things up in the air for us this winter so I would hate to have to register and then defer. A huge CONRATS to those of you that are running though! You will have so much fun, and I can’t wait to hear your stories. (You can go here for more info on signing up).

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I have been reading a lot of blog posts about outdoor play with your kids. Now that it’s plenty warm enough, I want to come up with some fun summer activities for Emma Kate. We have a baby pool and a splash pad, but what else? I’m going to attempt (haha) to make homemade sidewalk paint, and I want to get her a water table, but yall, I think we have established over the years that I am just not a crafty or creative person. Who has tips and ideas for me that are cheap or free?

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(When I say cheap or free, I mean…this is what we did on Sunday.)

Lastly, a huge thanks to those of you that continue to sign up for my free goal setting printables and my free how to start a blog e-course. I had a lot of fun working on them, and am in the process of working on some more fun things! I have loved getting the e-mail feedback from you, and hope that you are learning/getting something out of it. I so wish I had someone to walk me through the basics when I was starting out, so I don’t want you to make the same mistakes I did, plus, sometimes everyone just needs a little kick in the butt to get started on something, am I right? (You can sign up for my free e-course here).

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Have a great day my friends!

QOTD: Favorite outside activities with your kids? Are you running marathon weekend?

Disney Days at Princess Half Weekend

I’ve already recapped the runDisney expo as well as the 10k and half marathon, but not what Jen and I did on the other days we were in Walt Disney World.

Jen picked me up from the airport Friday and we went to the expo before checking into Hilton Bonnet Creek.

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Check out the gorgeous view from our room.

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We ate dinner at the hotel, and called it an early night.

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The next day was the 10k, and after the race we went to Celebration and had Chick-fil-A biscuits, and then headed back to the resort to shower and change before going BACK to EPCOT. We headed straight for Via Napoli, craving some pizza for lunch.

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It was a gorgeous day and we were able to sit outside and enjoy the atmosphere. We may or may not have eaten that entire thing, plus we both had appetizers.

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Wasn’t I just here?

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We walked around world showcase and went to Test Track, the Nemo ride, and Spaceship earth.

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But not before getting some much needed caffeine. We were both delirious! I forgot which direction Spaceship Earth was when we came out of Starbucks. That’s when you KNOW I’m tired!

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Can’t you tell we need sleep?

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We went back to the resort and sat outside by the pool and had dinner at a restaurant called Beech. The temperature was perfect, and the food was really good.

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The day had been very peaceful and relaxing, and we only had one race to go!

The next day we ran the half marathon, then came back to the room, packed up and loaded up the car. Then we headed downstairs to our amazing pool cabana, compliments of the resort, so sweet!

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These cabanas can be rented for a full day for $300 and include lounge chairs, a sofa, television, refrigerator with snacks and drinks, a safe, and a button to press to call over a server if you need food and drinks.

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We spent all afternoon napping, eating, and relaxing at the pool. It was glorious, and an amazing special treat after all the running we had just done!

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By late afternoon it was sadly time to go, so we drove over to our home for the next two nights, Port Orleans Riverside. We got SUPER lucky and have a room in a building very close to the food court. However, that night we had dinner plans at California Grill! Let’s just say I’m so glad I packed my flats, my feet were hurtin’!

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After dinner we were craving something sweet so we walked to the food court and I got a Mickey ice cream sandwich. It hit the spot!

The next morning we ate breakfast in the food court before driving over to the Magic Kingdom. I HAD to get a Mickey Waffle, of course.

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it was more crowded than I expected for a Monday, but there was nothing we “had” to do so it was ok.

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First stop, Starbucks!

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We rode Haunted Mansion, Buzz Lightyear, Big Thunder Mountain, the people mover, and I think that’s pretty much it! We had lunch at Cosmic Ray’s, and then just walked around a bit.

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It was starting to get pretty warm and more crowded, so we went to the candy store then said farewell and took the monorail to the Polynesian for an afternoon treat.

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We again enjoyed sitting outside eating our treats (notice a theme of all the JUNK FOOD I ate on this trip?!?) and I was happy to get my Dole whip float.

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We got back to the resort and changed clothes before hopping a boat to Disney Springs. We had dinner at Earl of Sandwich, and for dessert, you guessed it…more ice cream!

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We hit up some of the shops, then decided to take the boat back to the resort. When we were about to head back, I realized New Orleans was going to be having severe weather when I was flying into the airport the next day…as in the schools were closing and they were telling people to stay home! I searched several weather sites, talked to my parents about what the local news was saying, and called Southwest trying to change my flight to an earlier one to beat the weather. They said there was no severe weather (HAHA) and it would be $175 for the new flight. Guess I was taking my chances with the weather, but I was super nervous. (you can see what happened here.)

The next morning was sad. Jen left around 6:30 and I had an hour to wait until the saddest bus ever came to pick me up. I was also super nervous about my flight with the weather. I did not want to be stuck in the Orlando airport all day or be on a flight that couldn’t land, I just wanted to snap my fingers and be home. I sat outside on a rocking chair trying to soak up every last bit of “Disney” that I could before I had to go back to reality. Always such a sad day.

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It was definitely a whirlwind trip but it was also a lot of fun, and I am glad we were able to make it happen last minute. I sadly have zero Disney trips on my calendar right now “officially”, but am hoping to take Emma Kate in the late fall. I just can’t with the heat haha.

QOTD: What “must do” rides are your favorite in WDW?

runDisney Wine and Dine Half Marathon Weekend Changes

A lot of people have been wondering why runDisney has been waiting so long to announce prices and more registration information for this fall’s runDisney Wine and Dine half marathon weekend. You may have even seen over the past few days that some people found an active link that mentioned a 10k as well as the expo dates shifting over. It turns out, there is good reason for the delay, as there are some significant changes coming to this years race weekend. Read below to get the scoop:

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Addition of a 10K: runDisney runners have been begging for this to happen, and it finally is! The 10k will be run on Saturday morning.

Addition of a challenge: Following along historically, runDisney has also added a challenge for those that complete the 10k as well as the half marathon. Looks like tradition remains intact as you can now earn a challenge medal for 2016. The name of the challenge will be “Lumiere’s Two Course Challenge”. Adorable!

Time change of the half marathon: This one is probably the biggest shocker of them all. The half marathon will NOT be run at night as in previous years, but instead will be held on Sunday morning. This is not the fault of runDisney, but with all of the construction going on at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, this was the only way to make it happen.

Time change for the after party: Because the half marathon is being run on Sunday morning, the after party will not be held until Sunday night (8:00 pm-1:00 am). Frankly, I am happy about this, because let’s be honest. Hobbling around EPCOT all sweaty in the freezing cold, while you are half asleep is not always a ton of fun. This way, everyone will be able to go back to their hotel, shower, nap, and then come back later to party refreshed and ready for some fun. Works for me!

Course Change: Again, due to the construction at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, the course has been altered to avoid the park all together. I am actually interested and excited to see a different course!

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Don’t forget those of you with an annual pass can register a week early on March 22 at noon EST, and everyone else can register the following week (29th). Be sure to check out runDisney.com for more information.

Entry Fees

Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon

  • $190

Lumiere’s Two Course Challenge

  • $330

Disney Wine & Dine 10K

  • $120

Mickey’s Holiday 5K

  • $70

runDisney Kids’ Races presented by GoGo squeeZ® Applesauce on the Go

  • $20

runDisney 1-Mile Run

  • $30

Post Race Party Tickets

  • $79

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QOTD: What are your thoughts on these changes?

runDisney Princess Half Recap 2016

A couple of weeks ago, I participated in the runDisney Glass Slipper Challenge, and the second part of that challenge was to run the Princess Half.

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My friend Jen and I wanted to wear matching costumes again (last year we were the evil stepsisters), and since neither of us are crafty or creative, we enlisted her mom to create our adorable hats for the race.

On Sunday morning, we got up and had breakfast at our hotel, Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek. We were cheered on by cheerleaders who even waited on us to go outside to our car after the buses had left so they could give us a proper sendoff. It was so sweet!

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I am a dork and didn’t think to start taking pictures until after the race had started. It was kind of an eventful start too! We got stuck in some serious traffic and were lucky enough to get to park on the far end of the last row of the parking lot at EPCOT. We booked it to the family reunion area and then to the start line, and literally walked into our corral about one minute before we started moving! It worked out great but we couldn’t have timed it better if we had tried!

Our plan was to just have fun, nothing fancy. Oh, and we wanted to beat last years time of 3:00:00. Last year Jen had been in the hospital the day before and I was just coming back after having Emma Kate, so we took it SUPER slow. This year we wanted to have fun but still actually do some running.

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We made it through the Magic Kingdom gates and I apparently had way too much water and coffee before the race because I had to find a bathroom. They had the ones at the TTC ROPED OFF and I knew I wouldn’t make it to the ones in the Magic Kingdom. I stopped off at some portable ones around mile 4.5, and felt SO much better. We made it to the Magic Kingdom and Jen needed to go and we both wanted to wash our hands, so we planned to stop again, but not before getting a castle shot!

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We made it to Tomorrowland and just as I have done in pervious years, we went into the men’s room (along with a ton of other women) and were promptly shooed out by a cast member. The men didn’t care and said it was our race and that we should get to use their bathroom, but the cast member was having none of it. So, we made it through the other side of the castle and stopped in Frontierland. I took a picture with my favorite cowboy while I waited for Jen.

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We had made it to mile 6, and my hip started to slightly hurt. At this point, I was wishing the race was a 10k like the day before!

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We went out the back way of the Magic Kingdom and there was a gust of wind and it got COLD! it was crazy how we weren’t cold before. I call that the magic of Disney. I swear they control the weather. Anyway, we made it to the halfway mark and to the Grand Floridian where we snapped a picture with Bert and the penguins.

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At this point we started taking walk breaks every few minutes because my hip was getting worse. I stopped and got some Tylenol at a med tent, too. We took some gels at the stop around mile nine, and were soon going around the overpass curve of death (to my IT band and hip), where the solider told us to MOVE MOVE MOVE towards EPCOT. Ah, what a beautiful site. I also started getting really warm about mile 11 and I felt bad for the people in the later corrals that would be running when the sun was up higher.

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We made it into the park and I loved that the coach was here this year!

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We looped around towards world showcase and towards the finish line. I Now have a love/hate relationship with this section of EPCOT thanks to runDisney races.

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We passed the gospel choir, and headed towards the finish line. I am happy to say we stomped our goal and finish in 2:33, which isn’t too shabby for several stops for characters and bathrooms and med tents!

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We got so many compliments on our costumes, they are definitely one of my favorites I have worn. We collected our two new medals before heading back to the hotel.

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Another successful runDisney race, and I am so happy that we both were able to get our Glass Slipper medals this year with no illnesses or mishaps! The volunteers were great, the weather was great, and the spectators were encouraging, and a good time was had by all. Thanks runDisney!

QOTD Have you ever dressed up for a race?

runDisney Enchanted 10K 2016

The first part of the runDisney Glass Slipper Challenge is completing the Enchanted 10k on Saturday morning.

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The alarm went off at 3:00, and we grabbed coffee and food, got dressed and drove to the race start. We were shocked at how little traffic there was, and made it there in plenty of time. Since you don’t have to walk a mile to your corral, we hung out, met up with some friends, etc. Jen was racing this one alone, so we said our goodbyes and I wished her luck as she headed towards her corral.

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I was going to be pacing my friend Darrell, who had never run a 10k before. I have never been a pacer for anyone, and I had SO much fun. He said his goal was to not stop, be conservative in the beginning, but not leave anything left in the tank at the end. Got it.

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We ended up in our corral for about 45 minutes before we got going, and it was cold. When it was finally our turn, we made our way up to the starting line. Finally time to get going, and hopefully get warm when our blood got flowing!

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Very early on we saw Anna and Elsa and it was snowing! Disney magic is pretty cool, right?

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We talked and talked and miles one, two, and three flew by and I finally warmed up. Darrell couldn’t believe we were already halfway done when we crossed the 5k timing mat. We were keeping a steady pace, faster than he thought he could maintain, but still conservative enough that we could chat.

As it got lighter outside, we made our way to the bask stage area of EPCOT, and were about to get to my favorite part of the course.

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I love that they light the flames on the torches for the race, it’s such a nice touch. The sun was just coming up, and the lagoon looked beautiful. When we got halfway around, I told Darrell to keep running and that I would catch up, and that I had to take a selfie with Spaceship Earth.

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We made it around to the other side, and I snapped a shot of the water and sky before turning towards the boardwalk.

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That’s when I noticed the crazy long character photo line! Guys, this isn’t even the whole line. I couldn’t back up enough to get it all in the photo!

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We went up the small hill towards the boardwalk and had another pretty lake to run around! We hit mile four and then five, and only had just over a mile to go!

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When we got back into EPCOT with just over a half mile left, I told Darrell it was time to pick up the pace, that now is the time to give it all you had because we were ALMOST DONE! We pick up the pace and made the final turn towards the finish line.

I have run so many races now that I sometimes forget what it feels like to cross the line after completing a distance for the first time, especially at a place like Walt Disney World. Darrell’s runners high was contagious, and I told him it was time to start training for a half marathon…and I would of course pace him.

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I SO enjoyed pacing and encouraging my running partner along the way, and hope that I have the opportunity to do it again sometime. We finished in 1:17, and Darrell definitely could have run faster in my opinion! Next time maybe?

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Jen had a great race as well and said she had a lot of fun. Big win for all!

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The only downsides to the race for me were people holding hands 3-4 people across blocking the course, people lying about proof of time and being in the wrong corral, (the gun went off and people started walking right out of the gate, and we were not in the last corral), and having to wait in the corrals for so long to start. I understand why they do it, to spread people out, but it’s still pretty boring (and cold!)

One race down, one to go to complete the Glass Slipper Challenge. In 24 hours I would have two shiny new medals to add to my collection.

QOTD: Have you ever paced someone? Did you enjoy it?

runDisney Princess Expo 2016

After some last minute finagling, I was so excited to be attending the runDisney Princess half marathon weekend to run the Glass Slipper Challenge! I love the Princess expo and was ready to get excited for the race weekend ahead.

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I arrived on Friday at lunch, and my buddy Jen picked me up at the airport. She drove down from South Carolina, and it was SO NICE having a car the whole trip! We took zero busses!

Anyway, after grabbing lunch at Chick-fil-A in Celebration (priorities) we headed to the expo. The first thing I said (several times) was that I could NOT get over the amazing weather! It was sunny and in the low 70’s, and was supposed to be gorgeous all weekend. (Spoiler: it was!)

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The first thing we did was head over to pick up our bibs and shirts before going into the expo. I had heard horror stories of the insanity from the day before, so I was a little nervous. There were a couple of items I would have liked to have, but nothing I NEEDED (it’s just stuff, people) so we were just planning to go with the flow.

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So far so good, it was not busy at all. We even walked right up to where you take the adorable instagram photos with no line. I will say, I was a bit bummed by the Instagram pics this year. I LVOED the one where the prince is in it from last year..or maybe it was two years ago. Anyway, I was looking forward to seeing what tricks runDisney had up their sleeve and sadly the background was boring and our photographer was not great so the pic did not come out well at all. Oh well! Not that I’m complaining about a free pic, but they raised the bar with awesome ones in the past and this one was just “eh”. Anyone else agree?

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Moving on, it was down the red carpet into the expo!

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Princess fun!

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we decided to head to the official merchandise first then come back and look at the other booths/chat with friends etc.

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Get excited people, race weekend!

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I was a little bummed that the Glass Slipper wine glasses and tervis tumblers were sold out (if anyone sees them at an outlet let me know!) and that there were no cute baby clothes like in years past, but again it’s just stuff, so I got my “I did it shirt” and a regular runDisney wine glass and called it a day.

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I got to see several friends! Michelle from Running Skirts, and Bobbi and Megan at Raw Threads among others.

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We wandered around but I didn’t buy anything else, and after awhile we decided to go check into our hotel and grab an early dinner. We had the 10k the next day, and it was time to get off of our feet. Overall it was a good expo experience for me, and was great to see some friends again and get excited about the race.

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QOTD: Favorite thing about race expos? Do you ever buy anything?

Princess Here I Come

It’s here! It’s here! I leave for Louisiana TODAY, and fly out to Orlando from New Orleans first thing Friday morning. My loose plans involve the expo Friday afternoon, 10K Saturday morning, EPCOT Saturday afternoon, the half marathon Sunday morning, relaxing at the pool Sunday afternoon, and the Magic Kingdom on Monday before leaving Tuesday morning. I’m so excited but know that it is going to go by so fast, it always does!

Last year, Bobby came with me on this trip and we stayed for a week at Port Orleans Riverside. This year, it is a girls only trip, and shorter. Also this year I am participating in the Glass Slipper Challenge for the second time!

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Jen and I will be staying at the Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek for part of our stay before we move to a Disney hotel. I can’t wait to share more about Bonnet Creek itself when I get home from the trip! It’s a gorgeous resort, right in the middle of Disney.

Yesterday, I posted a printable packing list the for race, so check it out if you missed it. Also, I TENTATIVELY plan to be hanging out in front of the merchandise area at 4:30/4:45 before the half marathon on Sunday if anyone wants to say hello. Stay in touch via Twitter/Facebook/Instagram, because I will post updates there if something changes. Note the big red dot below:

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You can read some of my old race recaps here. You can also read LAST year’s half marathon recap here.

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A couple of fun story lines…

More than 37,000 runners from 26 countries are participating this weekend, including more than 16,500 in the half marathon. Also, Miss America 2016 Betty Cantrell will be on hand to sing the National Anthem on Sunday morning before the race!

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Safe travels to everyone going to Disney, hopefully I will see some of you very soon!

QOTD: What is your favorite costume you have seen at a race?

runDisney Princess Half Marathon Packing List

It’s almost time! The runDisney Princess Half Marathon is upon us! Since I planned this trip so last minute, it feels like it was snuck up on me so, so quickly. After only running the half marathon last year, I am so excited to be doing the Glass Slipper Challenge again.

runDisney Princess packing list printable

I started thinking yesterday that there are a lot of things to remember to pack for the race itself, so I started making a list, and realized I wanted to share it with all of you, too. I started typing it out, but then decided it would be fun to make it a printable so you can print it off, and check off the boxes as you go. I also left a section for notes where you can add things I did not put on the list that may be specific to you, so have fun and good luck! I hope to see some of you in Walt Disney World over the weekend! I arrive Friday and will be at the expo that afternoon, and am staying in WDW until Tuesday morning. The weather is looking promising, it’s sure to be a great time!

Click on the words or photo below to go straight to the printable.

runDisney Princess Half Marathon Packing List Printable:

runDisney Princess half marathon packing list

I hope my Princess half marathon packing list has helped you!

QOTD: What would you add to this packing list? Will you be at Princess?