Are you Ready for ME, Rebel Alliance?

Round up the Rebel Alliance, Wookiees, and Imperial Fleet, pullout your light sabers, ear bun your hair here I come! I’m on my way to the Disneyland expo to pick-up my bib and enter the Galactic Empire know as runDisney’s Inaugural Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend!

Star Wars Guide

QOTD: May the course be with you and I wish you the best of luck! Which race distances will you participating in?

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?

Running Down Memory Lane…2014

While 2014 was not always sunshines and rainbows, I am very thankful for both the good and bad days. For all of the experiences, trials and tribulations, and days that literally took my breath away, make me appreciate and savor every moment. Everyone thinks that there will be time. Turns out there’s just roads. Long and paved filled with potholes. So what are you waiting for?

Here are my top moment’s from 2104:

Birthday!

Most Magical Inaugural Race: There is a very soft spot in my heart for inaugural races especially if it is a runDisney event which then gives me the opportunity to strive to become a Legacy Runner. I am entering my 4th year as a Perfect Pixie for the Tinker Bell Half Marathon and my 3rd year as a Perfectly Dumbo for Dumbo Double Dare Challenge. Lucky for me I live in California and I was able to participate in the Inaugural Avenger’s Half Marathon weekend. November is typically an excellent time of year to run a race in California. Avenger’s weekend despite the beautiful temperature, it was awfully windy, but all in all I have to say it was a magical run. I simply loved that it was a different course than the Disneyland Half Marathon and Tinker Bell Half Marathon. Running this race made me realize how given time everything falls into place. For the first in a very long time, I felt my stride coming back, my pace returning, and I was starting to get my groove back. My heart and soul that blistery windy weekend was finally all taped up and glued back together! Needless to say it was a Thor-ific weekend!

Thorific!

Proudest Moment: In light of the previous months, it was honestly a miracle that I was not only on the road to good health, but I was able to participate in the 2014 Dumbo Double Dare Challenge during the Disneyland Half Marathon weekend.  That weekend I earned my 20th runDisney medal. Since 2009 I have run over of 188.9 miles between Walt Disney World and Disneyland. That is seriously A LOT of miles!

Figment DDD 2014

Most Inspiring Race Weekend: Participating in the 2014 Napa to Sonoma Valley Wine Country Half Marathon with the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation was an amazing experience. I have personally never been in a situation where I was with so many people who have had so many similar experiences as I have had. Very few people my age have walked in my running sneakers or at least so I thought. I always knew that I was not alone and not the only one, but to actually see and hang out with people in my situation, who like me DON’T give up was an eye opener.  For those that know me, know that this weekend almost did not happen for me. While I am not going to mention names, you know who you are ;-), without my running partner who grabbed my hand to cross the finish or my friends who kept checking in on me via text along the course, or my running coach who stayed with my running friend and I for the last few miles this race weekend would not have been possible and for that I am forever thankful.

Napa!

Coolest New Race Distance: I have always felt that if you are going to run a 15k you might as well run at least a half marathon, otherwise what is the point. Well let me tell you, if it is the right race series or event a 15k could be a perfect alternative to running a half marathon. While planning a special weekend the idea to run in the Hot Chocolate 15k Scottsdale was thrown into the festivities of fun. I have never participated in an event hosted by the Hot Chocolate racing series and they did an amazing job! Being the holiday season I thought that it was only fitting to run as a candy cane and my running partner in crime very sweetly agreed to go as Buddy the Elf. WOW!! How lucky was I to have someone go along with my crazy scheme to run a race in a costume, especially in yellow tights!! This was a wonderful way to end the 2014 race season. If you have ever thought about participating in a Hot Chocolate race I suggest that you give it a try in 2015!

Hot Coco

As I reflect on the enormous lessons and the gratitude that I have for 2014 I can’t help, but reflect on how far I have come. Often times we lose sight of that and get stuck in the moment. Everything in life happens for a reason and while I thought that I would never bounce back or be the runner that I once was I am slowly, very slowly, might I add, but surely not only am I becoming the runner that I once was, but even better.

QOTD: What are you most looking forward to in 2015?

January 2015 Goals

Happy New Year! I sincerely hope that this year brings more laughter, happiness and more joy.  Being the Disneyaholic that I am I can’t think of a better way to ring in the New Year and celebrate my birthday than at Disneyland!

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It has been awhile since I set monthly goals and to be honest with you I feel that it honestly keeps me focused, on track, and grounded. Let’s take a look at my January Goals, while some of these goals are not new per say, but I am adding a few new ones, here it goes…

1.) Finish the Inaugural Star Wars Rebel Challenge plus 5k in the upright position: Goals and objectives change. This is self explanatory. May the force be with me! Less than two weeks!

2.) Pile on the Miles: I intend on running a minimum of 40 miles this month, which sounds like a lot of miles, but the quick observer and mental mathlete will notice is that it is a realistic goal. At least ten miles a week for four weeks equals 40 miles. :)

3.) Stretch: I need work on this. I am going to make it a priority to stretch at least 3 times a week. And foam rolling would be added benefit too!

4.) Yoga: This going to be an ongoing goal throughout 2015 and I think that it will blend nicely with my goal to stretch and run 40 miles this month.

Here’s is to an AMAZING 2015, let’s start the year out right, and make every day count!

QOTD: What are your goals for January?

Wordless Walt Disney Wednesday

While I can’t recall EVER eating popcorn I do have the proof and with this proof I thought it would be fun to take a look at the various popcorn carts in Disneyland! Did you know that each cart has a miniature figure that rotates a cylinder of popcorn. The miniature figure’s appearance and costume on each cart is directly themed to the land which the cart is located. How cool is that?!

My Popcorn Proof

My proof! Don’t I look cute and like I am enjoying myself…Can you guess where I am!

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QOTD: Do you have a favorite Disneyland or Walt Disney World snack? What is it and where you find it!

Through the Looking Glass…runDisney Dumbo Double Dare Race Weekend Expo Recap

Within the past year I have learned that in terms of racing my favourite and newest distance is the 10k, well actually 19.3 miles is the preferred race distance. To accomplish 19.3 miles however you need to run both a 10k and a half marathon and you can’t have one without the other so I am honestly loving the 10k! This distance is the newest race craze created by the amazing team at runDisney a little over a year for Disneyland’s Inaugural Dumbo Double Dare. They have now added on this race challenge distance to several other race weekends. I was getting very comfortable with running 13.1 miles and they could not have introduced this distance at a better time. In true runDisney fashion to sweeten the deal for running both races and participating in the challenge you earn three medals! YES friends THREE medals!! That is a whole lot of runDisney bling. For this diehard, obsessed runDisney running gal it is all the more reason to sign-up! Back to back days of having the opportunity to run through the happiest place on earth and three medals I simply could not ask for more!

I LOVE RUNDISNEY

I participated in the 2013 Inaugural Dumbo Double Dare, you can read about my journey here and here, and had fallen head over running shoes in love with the challenge that I have been looking forward to the 2014 Dumbo Double Dare ever since.

Seriously in love, heart stopping, LOVE!

I clearly remember at the close of the weekend last year that I was already looking forward to 2014. It is a fun filled weekend what’s not to look forward to and besides when things got beyond difficult during the year I had this as a bench mark, something to look forward to, my silver lining. This past year went by in a blink of an eye and yes I went through WAY TOO many hurdles to get to the 2014 Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend, but I MADE IT!  I MADE IT!!

I knew that the 2014 Dumbo Double Dare Challenge was going to be extra special, even though they are all special in my heart, this was the race weekend where I would be earning my 20th runDisney medal. Since 2009 I have run a total of 188.9 miles between Walt Disney World and Disneyland. In Disneyland alone I ran 136.5 miles and Walt Disney World I ran 52.4 miles. That is A LOT of running!! While running the 2013 Goofy Race and a Half Challenge during the marathon portion of the challenge I saw this sign.WDW Miles

While I did not run 7 full marathons in Walt Disney World I did achieve and surpass that distance of 167 lane-miles of paved Walt Disney World roads! I wonder the total mileage of lane roads in Disneyland.

To kick-off the 2014 Dumbo Double Dare a proper visit to the expo is in order. I feel that a race experience is not complete without an outstanding expo. Disneyland Half Marathon lives up to the hype and the expo they host will never disappoint. I think that each seasoned runner has a method to going to the expo. The method to madness is no different. I always pick-up my bib as I feel that will always be there as official race merchandise might not be.

This year was no exception I headed directly to the official race merchandise booth as soon as I arrived at the expo and started shopping! A few of my favourite booths aside from runDisney’s was SkirtSport’s where I purchased the most adorable compression stockings, KT Tape is a must stop for as I like to be professionally taped, being a running who has chronic joint pain due to Crohn’s disease KT Tape always saves the day, and Sweaty Bands which I always love stopping and seeing the latest hair accessories.What runDisney is all about

Once I feel that I have explored enough of the expo I had down and pick-up my race package. Since runDisney discourages attending the expo in my preferred order I need to revisit the expo area to pick-up my official race day tees.  Kudo’s to runDisney as this was the first year that they have a women’s cut race day tee in addition to the standard unisex tee that they typically provide to all runners. When I signed up for the race last January I selected women’s cut and since then I was eager to try out the new women’s cut. They did a fabulous job and I am loving the fit!Shirts

Living in Southern California and being uber close to Disneyland I rarely stay at one of the Disneyland Resort Hotels unless it is a special occasion or race weekend. Being that it was both Labor Day Weekend and the Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend that meant one thing; that I will be staying at Disneyland’s Grand California Resort and Spa! I always enjoying staying at the Disneyland Resort for an extended weekend, it is not only a car free weekend, but I am able to really take my time and enjoy everything that the Disneyland Resort has to offer.

***Stay tuned for the second half of my Through the Looking Glass…runDisney Dumbo Double Dare Race Weekend Recap! Next up the 10K***

Race Day Tips and Tricks

With #runDisney’s second Dumbo Double Dare right around the corner I thought that it would help so many runners, including myself if I go through my archives and pull out my Race Day Tip’s and Tricks.

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 what 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 gaze 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.

    See I’m looking to the 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.

    Celebrating with the worlds best cheerleader!

    Celebrating with the worlds best cheerleader!

  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 great blanket to stretch on at the starting line. Don’t worry most races donate discarded items to local charities!
  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.
  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?

Are you Ready for ME, Dumbo? Four Day’s till #Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend

In less than fours days I will be at the Disney Half Marathon 2014 Expo picking up my bib for the Second Dumbo Double Dare!! Could Thursday get here any sooner?

Picking up my bib at the Expo!

Picking up my bib at the Expo!

Here is my top 5 Disneyland Dumbo Double Dare Wish List…

  1. Have an amazing time celebrating crossing the finish line and completing 19.3 miles and earning 3 MEDALS!! I’m on my way to being PERFECTLY DUMBO!
  2. DumboNot have any GI issues during the race. This is a constant wish and theme for majority of my races!
  3. Cross the finish line not only with a smile on my face, but under the 3 hour mark for the half marathon and 1:25 minutes for the 10k.

    Celebrating with my three medals. I DID IT!

    Celebrating with my three medals. I DID IT!

  4. I am optimistic that the more elusive characters will be along the course. I would love to see Constance Hatchaway and Lillian Gracey aka The Tightrope Walker both from The Haunted Mansion. They were both along the course at the Inaugural Tinker Bell 10k while the line was long they were worth the wait!My favorite ladies!
  5. Celebrate this amazing weekend with a gluten-free & dairy-free cake made by Chef Chris at Storytellers. Since there are not too many desserts that are both gluten and dairy free in Disneyland I rarely have dessert unless it is my birthday. This wish is on Disneyland! A dream is a wish and a girl can dream right?Birthday Cake 

QOTD: If you’re running Disneyland next weekend, what are your goals?