runDisney Running Down Memory Lane

With runDisney’s Inaugural Star Wars Weekend coming up this weekend I thought that it would be fun to take a look back and see where it all began for me as a runDisney runner.

2009 Disneyland HalfRunning the 2009 Disneyland Half Marathon might have been my second half marathon, but this is where I fell in love with funning. Crossing the finish line I knew that I would be returning the following year. Where the madness began and the start of my LOVE with runDisney events began!

Princess 2010Little did I realize that past September that I would be continuing my journey as a runner in less than six months later in Walt Disney World March 7, 2010! Running through the Magic Kingdom and EPCOT with friends and family was an amazing journey made even more magical by the runDisney team!

RunDisney Disneyland 2010My one year love affair with runDisney and my Runnniversary was celebrated at the 2010 Disneyland Half Marathon. Despite having a double ear infection and a 100 degree temperature I not only crossed the finish line with a smile on my face, but I also earned my first Coast to Coast medal!

2011 Disneyland HalfThe 2011 Disneyland Half Marathon was the beginning of  13 Going on Crazy. This race was celebrated with my family, which made the start of 13 Going on Crazy even more special.

Tinker Bell Half 2012

What better way to kick off my 29th birthday and the 5th race of 13 Going on Crazy than to run in RunDisney’s 2012 Inaugural Tinker Bell Half Marathon. Notice the tutu? This was just the start of the running costume madness! Now I can’t imagine running in a runDisney race without running in costume! Ah, to be young again! :0

Disneyland 2012

The 2012 Disneyland Half Marathon was the culmination of 13 Going on Crazy and it was definitely a weekend worth celebrating. Memories and friendship were made that weekend that I know will last a lifetime. Crossing the 13th finish line in 13 months was an exhilarating experience, which taught me the value and lesson of setting your goals high! Regardless of how many finish lines I cross I always feel as though I could move mountains. This time I however felt that I could move not only the Matterhorn, but continents as well.

Donald Duck's Half Marathon 2013

Along with my ever growing runDisney costume collection, my goals seemed to be getting bigger and bigger. After completing 13 Going on Crazy I fondly say that I went from “CRAZY” to “GOOFY”! When I first read about runDisney’s 2013 20th Anniversary Marathon and Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge, I simply thought that was beyond insane! From seeing the gorgeous medal and all of the social media hype, I went from thinking that it was a goal out of reach, to something that was accomplishable. That same January I turned the BIG 30 and celebrated in a really big way! I completed not only my first full marathon, but my first Goofy Race and a Half Challenge. Running in the Walt Disney World Half Marathon on Saturday and the Walt Disney World Full Marathon on Sunday is not easy. It’s takes dedication,  a lot of hard work, and perseverance.  Training might not have been smooth sailing, but I just kept repeating to myself Walt Disney’s profound words of wisdom, “If you can dream it, you can do it.”

First Full Marathon

If running 39.3 miles in one weekend was not goofy even enough, I sprinkled a little pixie dust on myself, flew back to Los Angeles and prepared myself to run in the 2nd Tinker Bell Half Marathon that following weekend. Wanting to keep my Perfect Pixie status I simply could not  resist participating in another runDisney event. What made participating in this race even sweeter was that I would be earning my second Coast to Coast runDisney medal! Notice the costume, it just keeps getting better and better.

Tinker Bell Half

Flash forward to September 2013 where I was very lucky to have been able to participate in the Inaugural Dumbo Double Dare Challenge, DDD. While I had to wait almost ten month’s to this race it was well worth the wait! The DDD was the first challenge in the runDisney race series, consisting of 19.3 miles, a 10k and a half marathon during two consecutive days. I was so excited that they decided to have it coincide with my favorite race weekend, Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend. Training for an event such as this is very similar to the Goofy Race and a Half Challenge, so I was well prepared! Another element of fun for this race was that I did not just have one race to come up with a costume for, but two!!! I decided to up my game once again and this time I ran as Alice from Alice in Wonderland and Snow White.

Train Station Dumbo 2013

Since participating in the Inaugural Dumbo Double Dare race runDisney has released serval more challenges and new races, which is pure delight and joy for this runDisney Junkie! During the Dumbo Double Dare Challenge 2014 I earned my twentieth runDisney medal!

Running is a journey where you keep rediscovering yourself and finding your inner strength. Running especially with runDisney has proven that anything is possible and as Walt Disney say’s, “It’s kind of fun to do the impossible.” The calm in the air and feeling in my heart as I run down Main Street towards the castle is a feeling that never gets old. It is exhilarating each and every time.

I tip my mouse ears and raise my runDisney water bottle to future runDisney events. Here’s to the Inaugural Star Wars Rebel Challenge, Glass Slipper Challenge, Expedition Everest Challenge, Dumbo Double Dare, and Avenger’s Half Marathon Weekend, it is going to be an AMAZING 2015 runDisney race calendar!

QOTD: Which runDisney race is your favorite? If you have not participated in a runDisney race, which race would you select for your first RunDisney race?

Dressing up for Race Day

I think that it is fair to say that running in a costume has become quite addicting and might I add an obsession. What started out as small enhancements in my running entire for race day has turned into full blown costumes that I plan sometimes months and months in advance. With runDisney’s Dumbo Double Dare right around the corner I thought that it would be fun to take a look back as a I evolved into a runner with a full blown addiction to running in costume.

Remember  my Minnie Mouse Ears that I wore at the 2009, 2010, and 2011 Disneyland Half Marathons and even my first my first Princess Race in 2010?

2009 Disneyland Finsh Line2009 Disneyland Half Marathon

2010 Princess2010 Princess Half Marathon

2010 Disneyland Still Just the Ears!2010 Disneyland Half Marathon

I never in my wildest dreams would have ever thought that I would have ever gone beyond the simple little clip on Minnie Mouse Ears. My race day routine was simple back then, I would always purchase the official race day shirt to wear during the race and clip on my ears and hit the start line! In 2011 everything change when I received a Lululemon tutu for my birthday from my mom.  Still wearing the official race day shirt I donned my new tutu from Lululemon and participated in the 2012 Tinker Bell Half Marathon.

2012 Tinker Bell

After the Tinker Bell Half Marathon 2012 I quickly learned how much fun it was get dressed up for race day and knew that I could never go back to just my simple clip on Minnie ears.

Labor Day 2012 was when I debuted in full costume though simple and easy I have to say that I love running as Minnie Mouse. Who would have thought that a red and white polka dot skirt, black tank, and Minnie Mouse ears would so easily get you in the spirit of race day?

2012 Disneyland Half

My absolute favorite race day costume was during the 2013 Goofy Race and Half Challenge where I dressed up as Donald Duck for the half marathon! It’s going to be hard to top Donald, but I am definitely going to try and come up with something just as cute for the Dumbo Double Dare!

2013 WDW Half Marathon

Email a picture of yourself in a costume to 13goingoncrazy @ gmail.com to be featured in an upcoming cutest race day pictures!

QOTD: Do you like to run in costume? What was your favorite costume that you ran in during a race?

 

2014 Walt Disney World Marathon & Princess Weekends

Each and every year I look forward to the fun filled race weekends in Walt Disney World and Disneyland. (You can read about all of my runDisney adventures here!) runDisney has SO many inaugural races in-store for runners in 2014, I don’t know about you, but I am BEYOND excited!! From the newest races, the Dopey Challenge and Glass Slipper Challenge, to the classic Walt Disney Half and Full Marathon and Princess Half Marathon these are weekends where memories are made and last a lifetime. Which is why I am so happy to offer all of 13 Going on Crazy’s friends and followers, this AMAZING offer from Mousekeplanner.

Room Blocks

 

QOTD: Which races will you be participating in 2014? Not signed up, which race is on your radar for 2015? Hope to see you in Disney!!

RunDisney Training Tales

As a child I took my first steps in Walt Disney World, so it is very fitting that I love running especially with RunDisney. The half marathon…13.1 grueling miles. The first time I even considered attempting this unthinkable challenge I had recently graduated college and was living in a new city. Looking back now, I suppose I had no idea what I was getting myself in to.

Let me just put this out there…I was not a runner, and sort of still don’t consider myself a “runner,” but I did the training and signed up to run in the Disneyland Half Marathon. That was my first experience with the half marathon. One of my Minnie ears was backwards, and my shorts were really short, but this was my encounter with love at first sight.

My First Race

I have completed 20 half marathons plus one full marathon so far…some running the entire thing, some walking the entire thing, and some doing both and with each passing race I grow to love it even more. You sit down at your computer and sign up and pay for this race. You analyze the course, study your training plans, and mark up your calendar with the new training schedule. Most of all you make a commitment to yourself and no matter how you cross that finish line, for me I always say, “I don’t care if I walk it, run it, crawl it, I am the 1% of the population that completed such a fete.’…For me, keeping that commitment to myself is so gratifying.

The moment that I crossed my first RunDisney finish line in Disneyland 2009 I knew that these events were always going to hold a special place in my heart. Quickly I became well a little obsessed with RunDisney events and I am now at the point where I only have eyes for RunDisney events. At this point in time I am already committed to participating in five RunDisney events all within the year and I am beyond excited! With nine RunDisney events and two Coast to Coast Medals under my running belt all I can say is bring it on!

First FUll & GOOFY

I can’t begin to tell you how excited I am that I am so lucky to running yet another RunDisney race and I have kept that commitment to myself. Let me leave you with one more thought…140 MORE DAYS till DUMBO DOUBLE DARE, 211 MORE DAYS till WINE AND DINE and 272 MORE DAYS TILL MARATHON WEEKEND 2014!!!

QOTD: Which RunDisney event is your favorite? If you have never participated in a RunDisney event which do you want to be your first?

Fears…

Overcoming our fears is like ripping off a band-aid, eventually you just got to do it. The thought of running beyond 13 miles consumed me with this over whelming fear, anxiety, and unneeded stress. With everyone’s support and encouragement I laced up my running shoes tonight and ran 15 miles! Yes you read that right! I ran 15 miles tonight!! Woo hoo!! I am on running cloud nine! Perhaps everyone is right it’s mind over matter. I am definitely having some knee pain, but I think that I narrowed that down to simply going too fast. For now I am foam rolling, KT taping my knee, and icing, hopefully that will fix the situation. I am very lucky to have a very close friend who is going to be running Goofy with me and she is very supportive, which is a tremendous help. I have switched my Goofy schedule to my friends schedule and hoping that alleviates some of my training anxiety as well. Until tonight, I was afraid and nervous to go beyond 13 miles. For me 13 miles is safe something accomplishable and obtainable. Tonight,I finally ran beyond the scary 13 miles and made it to 15 miles. Guess what? I learned that 15 miles is not so scary after all. I am still in shock that I did it. I took my Disneyland medal with me tonight on my long run to help me think of the “bigger” picture and at mile 14 my friend texted me a picture of both the Goofy and Marathon medal, which was just the push that I needed to finish that last mile! I’m sure next year at this time, I will be training for my second Goofy and all of my fears will have disappeared. Thank you again to everyone for all of the love, support, and encouragement it means so much to me. So why do we allow fears to consume us, because it feels so good when we rise above.

I survived!

QOTD: How do you overcome your running fears?

 

Motivation Monday

It’s Monday and one of my favorite days of the week as I am refreshed, recharged, and ready to take on a new week, the last week of October 2012. This week I am proudly wearing the scarlet letter “P“, because my attitude this week is PERSEVERANCE, PERSEVERANCE, PERSEVERANCE! According to Thomas Edison, “many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” As many of you already know I am presently knee deep in war against my head and my heart. I signed up for 2013 Goofy and I am simply having the hardest time wrapping my brain around running 39.3 in  a two day period plus all of the walking around Walt Disney World.  I can’t get past running 13.1 miles and I think that is because for me 13 miles is a safe number. It is obtainable and accomplishable. Reflecting back on the day that I signed up for the race I know that I wanted this and felt that I could achieve such a goal, why would I have signed up if I didn’t think it was possible? I even purchased the commemorative Goofy necklace and pin, without knowing what it looks like! For now I am going to keep fighting for this goal and try to get past 13 miles.

QOTD: How have you rebooted yourself to accomplish a goal when you thought that it was too far of a reach?

Week 17 Marathon Training Recap

This was difficult week in terms of training. Perhaps my body was waiving the white flag. I am still having difficulties balancing my head and my heart in regards to being able to accomplish Goofy 2013. I need to do some deep soul searching and figure out how to get my head back in the game. I am not going to surrender just yet and hoping that this week proves to be a better week in terms of my training.

I am blessed to be able to run in such a beautiful spot!

Here is how I did this week….

Monday: rest

Tuesday: ran 2 miles

Wednesday: rest

Thursday: ran 2 miles at the Bluffs in Santa Monica

Friday:  rest

Saturday: ran 2 miles

Sunday: rest

QOTD: How do you deal with changing your race goals and expectations?

WTF…Race Day Tips & Tricks

So you have logged the miles, put in the sweat, and are ready for race day or so you think. Here are tips and tricks to help you not wake up on race morning thinking #WTF did I get myself into.

  1. Double Check Logistics…Reconfirm your race plans a week ahead of time. If you are staying at a hotel confirm your hotel reservations, race registrations, and any travel arrangements. If there is a race waiver print it ahead of time.
  2. Have a Cheer Plan…Family and friends always help me get to the finish line. With my family they always stand on the same side of the street so I know which side of the street to gazing on as I run past agreed upon cheer locations. My family regardless of the race always stands on the left side of the street. Even if it is not an agreed upon location I always continue to look to my left in hopes that they surprise me.

    Always looking to my left!

  3. Meeting Place…Designate a spot to meet up with friends and family after the race. Be sure to give them a time frame for when they should expect to see you cross the finish line.

    Meeting Place Established!

  4. Don’t Overdress…It will most likely be cool at the start of the race, but wearing more clothes than needed could also slow you down. To stay warm at the start line bring an old beach towel that you are willing to part with and throw on the ground as you warm up. This also make a blanket to stretch on at the starting line.
  5. Create a Flat Racer…The night before the race layout all race day gear. This includes putting your chip on your shoe and your bib on your shirt.

    Flat Melissa is Ready to Race!!

  6. Race Fuel…The night before also layout your race day fuel. For me it is a Bio-K Plus probiotic drink which I drink before I leave for the race. Then a banana before the race, which I typically eat as I am walking to the start line. And a GoGo squeeZ that I eat around mile 9. For those with a less sensitive stomach there are GU gels or chomps, Cliff Shot Bloks, sports beans. I recommend doing taste tests  prior to race day to determine which you like and don’t like as many of them take an acquired taste. 
  7. Start Slow…Remember that you competition is you and you alone. Save your energy for later in the race when you might need it.
  8. Mileage Jitters…If you are feeling overwhelmed by the distance that you have to run to avoid hitting the wall break the miles. For example if you have 9 more miles break it down into 3 stretches of 3 miles each. Which in the end will give you the attitude that I can do this!
  9. Be Teach Ready…At the start line make sure that your watch has located the satellites. Do not however it start until you cross the starting line. This will help you keep track of your pace and time without having to do the math whenever you see time clocks along the course.  
  10. Line Up Early…You don’t want to be rushing to start line. It is usually a lot of fun to get there early and get in the game.
  11. Stay Hydrated…Along the course there will be designated water stops. Be sure to stop and hydrate. I like to walk through these stops and recompose myself. Remember sip don’t swig and crush the cup. To avoid choking pinch the top of the cup together to make a spout.
  12. Reflection…Think of your most successful training run and use it as a guide for race day success.
  13. Have Fun…It’s not just crossing the finish line, but enjoy the journey in getting to the finish line.
QOTD: Do you have tips or tricks for first time racers? Are you a first time racer, if so what is the best tip that someone gave to you for race day?

 

What the Friday… Training Tips & Tricks

When I was training for my first half  I spent many mornings thinking WTF. Did I seriously commit myself to running 13.1 miles or in my newest situation the whopping 26.2 miles? It’s as though I woke up one morning and decided to run a marathon. There is the misconception that people think that all you need to do is slip on athletic shoes and the pavement is waiting for you. That is not the case and if you want to be a successful runner you need to make the investment in yourself. Here are my tips and tricks for training for your first half or full marathon…drum roll please.

  1. Stay Hydrated…Water is your new best friend. Are you drinking at least 2 liter bottles of water a day? If not, bottoms up!  Start this habit early and be sure to drink at least 2 bottles a day, I prefer SMART Water because it has added electrolytes. 
  2. Hydration while Running… If you are running more than 5 miles be sure to carry water with you. Since I don’t like carrying anything and I mean anything, I like to run with the Camelbak Hydration Pack. I’m hands free and able to focus on my form rather than holding a bottle of water. 
  3. Nutrition while Running…My other rule of thumb is if I am running more than 9 miles I carry some type of nutrition with me. I like to carry Apple Sauce, yes you read that correctly Apple Sauce. GoGo squeeZ is the one of the best apple sauces to take with you on the run. They are in a re-sealable pouch and does not require a spoon. For those with a less sensitive stomach there are GU gels or chomps, Cliff Shot Bloks, sports beans. I recommend doing taste tests to determine which you like and don’t like as many of them take an acquired taste. 
  4. Take Care of your Feet…It is very important to get properly fitted running shoes and insoles. You only have 1 set of feet and 1 set of knees being they are not replaceable it should be your utmost priority to hit up your local running store and have them fit you properly. Yes you might get sticker shock when the sales person shows you shoes the are $100 plus, but this is the best investment that you will make. Please take remember to always take of your feet.
  5. Invest in Sport Socks…Cotton socks are a huge no no when running. You should never run in cotton under any circumstance. This too could be costly, but it is important to invest in several pairs of socks that are made of materials that “wick” away moisture. This will keep your feet dry and happy. I wash my socks in a lingerie bag so they don’t travel to the land of lost and never found!
  6. Dress Appropriately…Just like your socks and shoes, it is very important to have clothing that “wicks” away moisture. This too is worth the investment, even if you buy just a few outfits. Remember to line dry your moisture wicking clothing as drying over time removes the moisture wicking properties.
  7. Find a Plan…Find a training schedule that works for YOU. There are so many training plans, you need to find a plan that works for your schedule, fitness level, and ability. If you miss a training run, don’t stress too much and don’t try to cram them into a 3 consecutive day period. Just move forward with the plan and keep running!
  8. Stretching…Before and after each and every run it is very important to stretch and foam roll. Warming up and cooling down is key to injury prevention.
  9. Get Support…Accountability is key to successful training and racing. How you stay accountable is up to you. I decided to create this blog that you are reading! There were times during my training where honestly I was ready to hang up my running shoes, but this blog and having everyones support kept me running. Share with your friends and family that you are training for an upcoming race. They will most likely be very impressed by the goals that you have set.
  10. Buddy Up…Going along with getting support, it is just as important to find someone who is going through the same running trails and tribulations. The give and take of motivation and inspiration will help both you and your buddy to achieve your goals. This person could be as close as your next door neighbor or a friend in Boston. Checking in with your running buddy keeps you accountable and on track towards your goals. This also makes a great reunion if your running buddy lives across the country!
  11. Set Mini Goals…Yes, you already set a huge goal for yourself by signing up for the race, but also set smaller measurable goals during your training. It could be as simple as improving your pace.
  12. Rewards…With these mini goals incentive is always a motivator to slip on my running shoes. I like to pay myself a dollar per mile. Find little ways to motivate yourself and to be your own cheerleader. It will help you on days when you are having a difficult time getting out the door. 
  13. Selecting a Race…When selecting your first race, you need to carefully select a race that will keep your mind occupied and feet moving forward. It is really hard to keep those feet moving forward if you are bored along the course. Do your homework and read race reviews. Course entertainment is key to completing a race happy and successfully. In my personal experience I have found that RunDisney is great for both first time runners and experienced runners. It is Disney and they have perfected one of the best race day experiences. 
QOTD: Do you have tips or tricks for first time racers? Are you a first time racer, if so what is the best tip that someone gave to you?

Disneyland Half Marathon Expo 2012

Throughout the course of a year there are some weekends that you look forward to more than others. In my case Labor Day is always one of my favorite weekends as I always participate in the Disneyland Half Marathon!! I can’t believe that the last race of 13 Going on Crazy is finally!! The weekend is off to a great start as I was able  to go to the expo today and I had an amazing day!! Check back for more pictures and a race recap!!

 Getting ready to pick up my bib with new friends, fellow runblogger Briana, voice behind The Great Shake Up, and my biggest cheerleader, my mom!

We even took some time out to chat with Jeff Galloway about 13 Going on Crazy, The Great Shake up, and our running goals!

Race bib, new running tee, and Disneyland Half Marathon Booklet!

Nothing is more fun than in running in as a character in a Disneyland event, which is why I was so excited to be able to find the cutest and coolest running skirt!! Pictures to come after the race!! I don’t want to ruin the surprise!!

QOTD: Do you enjoy going to race expos? What is your favorite race expo?