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?

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***

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?

Zero to Running…Getting my Groove Back

Doubting your abilities and feeling as if your training is way off is very common among runners, especially those coming back from injury and or illness. I would like to believe that it is even common amongst those who have not been sidelined due to health issues. Being a runner who always wants to improve their pace and stamina it makes it even more difficult to come back, both physically and mentally. Personally speaking for me, I am filled with doubt and lacking of believing in my abilities. I worry about missing my runs, losing my fitness stamina, and the most outlandish of all is that I simply will not be able to run again.

april-10k-clinic

While these doubts are unwarranted they are real, which is where establishing a new game plan comes into play.

Yesterday I completed my first run in a while with my friends from Team Challenge and needless to say I am absolutely encouraged and motivated to lace up on Tuesday to go for my second run. Lesson learned, it is not the end of the world take a few days or even weeks off from running and YES it is just like riding a bicycle you never forget how to put one foot in front of the other. Be sure to follow me along my journey and I will be sure to keep you updated on my progress! I have quite a few races this fall and I want to be ready!!

QOTD: How do you get your groove back?

YOLO…Disneyland

Life is all about taking chances. Throwing your hat in the ring and following it down the rabbit hole. The moment is now, not yesterday and definitely not tomorrow. As Nike says, “Just do it.” Embrace yourself to have the confidence and the YOLO spirit to take every moment in stride with a smile on your face and to always hold your head up high. While it has always been known and in the back of my mind, I have learned way too much recently just how important and short life truly is. With my streak of carpe diem I have had one incredible week!

Mae West

(Source)

This week I have been presented with two awesome opportunities the first being able to participate in a special meet-up hosted by Disney Parks Blog to attend a special sneak preview of what’s planned for Disneyland’s 60th Anniversary celebration on July 17.

Disney Blog

 

QOTD: Were you selected to attend this event? Any exciting and unexpected news this week?

 

 

National Running Day 2014

National Running Day is a day celebrate and recognize the importance of running. It does not matter if you are fast or slow as long as you lace up your running shoes and get out the door, YOU are a runner! We all run for various reason and I am positive that those reasons are all amazing. I have been known to say that I run because I cannot fly, my iPod has even been engraved with that statement. Truth be told  though I strongly feel that running not only keeps my healthy, but is a fantastic outlet to channel my thoughts, redirect energy, and to clear my mind.

Running Day 2014

Due to health reasons I have not run nearly as much as I would have liked in the past few months, while I am a bit nervous that I might have regressed a bit I am not too concerned as I have decide that the best way to get back out on the pavement is to use a new training plan. I am very excited that I will be running a half marathon with the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation July 20th at the Napa Sonoma Half Marathon. I believe that this new plan will give me the confidence and guidance that I greatly need.

Be sure to follow me along me as I journey down the road to the Napa Sonoma Half Marathon!

 

runDisney Perfect Pixie

Get ready to discover your inner pixie! The 2014 Tinker Bell 10k and Half Marathon is closer than the second star to the right and straight on till morning! I absolutely love runDisney and simply can’t get enough of runDisney events. There is a secret, okay well maybe not so secret club in the runDisney community called “Legacy Runners”.
Legacy Runner
Each runDisney events honors participants who have participated in every race for that specific event since its inauguration. Due to logistics and when I started participating in runDisney events there are not too many runDisney events where I can be considered a “Legacy Runner” despite running the event for numerous years. Luckily for me I was able to jump on the “Legacy Runner” bandwagon with the Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend and the Dumbo Double Dare Weekend, both in Disneyland. If you had not guessed already I live on the West Coast, which makes participating in Disney races the easiest to travel to and more affordable.

 

Tinker Bell and Periwinkle

 

What is in it for a “Legacy Runner” one might wonder. Well in addition to the personal sense of accomplishment, aka Runner’s High!, runners receive special recognition throughout the race weekend. This includes your name in the official race guide for that specific event, your name is announced when you cross the finish line, special race bibs, coral placement, and you receive a special lanyard for your medal. If all of this was not enough some events have even given out sashes with statements that include, “Perfect Princess” or “Perfectly Goofy”! The fifth anniversary of the Princess Half Marathon also gave “Perfect Princesses” tiaras as well! Runners who completed 20 years of running the Walt Disney World Marathon received all of those cool extras, as well as a commemorative ring as well! I don’t know about you, but I am beyond excited to see what runDisney has up their running sleeves of those “Perfect Pixies” in 2016!!

 

Take a look back a my journey to becoming a Perfect Pixie! If this does not get you excited and ready to soar through Disneyland, a fun activity after the race is to visit Tinker Bell and her fairy friends at Pixie Hollow in Disneyland with all of your medals from race weekend!

 

2013 Tinker Bell Race Recap Part One and Part Two
2012 Tinker Bell Race Recap
2012 Tinker Bell Expo Recap
QOTD: Are you a runDisney “Legacy Runner”? If yes, in which event? Are you also a Perfect Pixie?

 

Virtual Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend Blog Hop Directory

This post is a part of the Virtual Blog Hop! Check out more posts to get you prepared for Tinker Bell Weekend in Disneyland!!!