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?

Racing Around the World in Eighty Days

My absolute two favorite passions are running and traveling. What better way to see the world than while on the run! My theory is if you are going to go the distance and complete such a feat as running 26.2 miles, why would you want to run in your hometown when you can find an amazing locale half way around the world? While I might not be racing around the world in 80 days I have created a bucket list of races that I would love to participate in. Do airlines even offer tickets around the world? Anyway that is beside the point! Here is my top ten!

Top 10

  1. Niagara Falls Marathon…(October 27, 2013 Buffalo, New York, USA to Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada.) An International race of two countries celebrating the camaraderie of running.  
  2. Athens Marathon…(November 10, 2013 Athens, Greece) Run a race following in the footsteps of Phidippides, the runner who started this madness!
  3. The Great Wall Marathon…(May 17, 2014 Tianjin, China) The Great Wall of China speaks for itself.
  4. Le Marathon des Chateaux du Medoc…(September 7, 2013 Bordeaux, France) Runners run through 59 vineyards in the fabled villages of the Medoc region.
  5. Virgin Money London Marathon…(April 13, 2014 London, England London) is Calling me to lace up my running sneakers!
  6. The Australian Outback Marathon…(July 27, 2013 Northern Australia) I can only imagine how much fun is would be to run in the down under!
  7. Airtricity Dublin Marathon…(October 20, 2013 Dublin, Ireland) Who could resist a race known as the “Friendly Marathon”
  8. The Big Five Marathon…(June 21, 2014 Limpopo Province, South Africa) Running in the savannah…
  9. Polar Circle Marathon…(October 19, 2013 Greenland) I might need to pack a few extra layers for this race!
  10. TCS Amsterdam Marathon…(October 20, 2013 Amsterdam, Holland) The city of Amsterdam will always hold a very special place in my heart.

QOTD: What is missing from this list? Have you participated in any of these races? What is on your running wish list?

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?

 

I’m Still Here…

First let me apologize for going AWOL these past few weeks. The past few weeks I have been going through something much too deep and it’s incredibly painful. It’s beyond hard to put into words and I’m not even sure that I want to really rehash all the ups and downs that I have been experiencing.

The little blog and running hiatus of mine has opened my eyes and I’ve decided to blow the whistle on myself! All of a sudden, it’s obvious that I’m not performing as well as I should be. It is time to put the legendary Capricorn self-discipline to work. I need to change my work methods, budget my money more carefully, and diversify my activities. All sorts of solutions are available to me, I have the whole world at my fingertips!

Today we are exactly six months into the year, and I’m not going to lie: I’ve spent the past couple of weeks feeling kind of down about where I am with my running, life and fitness lately. This has not been the year that I would have wished and expected it be. In a lot of ways, it feels like I am drowning on dry land. Not a great feeling I must admit and definitely not a productive and positive way to view life. I need to stop directing all of my negative energy on why I am at this standstill in my life and instead I need to start prioritizing my life, regrouping, and most importantly remembering all the reasons why I love running. The sun on my face, the wind in my hair, discovering new routes, to name a few. Running has taught me so many valuable lessons that I need be applying towards my daily life.

 So True

(Source)

All of this negative energy does is bring me down, rob me of my energy, and make me feel like it’s not even worth trying anymore. Besides it’s blatantly not true. No, I haven’t done as much training for my upcoming Dumbo Double Dare as I would have liked, but I have exactly two months to get my act in gear and start training. I have enough time to train, right?! After all this is not my first rodeo! I look forward to this fun-filled Labor Day weekend every year and I am not going to allow the road blocks of life to slow me down!

No, I may not be even remotely close where I want to be in my life, which brings me back to the title of this post; I’m still here. I will need to accept and be proud of my  where I am in my life and fight like hell to make a better life for myself. As the expression goes, if you don’t like what you see in the mirror, change it. And that is exactly what I am going to do. Besides, if I keep consistent and diligent with all of endeavors including with my workouts, everything will fall into place and I will begin to not only be the person that I want to be, but also be the runner that I envision myself to be.

While we might be half through the year, I fully intended to make the rest of 2013 count. I am going to wake up every morning with optimism that today is a new day. I am going to take full advantage of the promise that each new day holds. I’m eager to get out and hit the pavement again. Am I going to run a new personal record? Unlikely. Can I run a good, solid 13.1 miles to the best of my race-day ability? Absolutely! Who knows, I might even surprise myself a little with the results, if I put the work in.

QOTD: I’m not too sure who is out there reading this, but I would love to hear from you. Please comment below and share why you love to run and the hurdles that you have faced in your own running routines and how you over came them.

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!!

Boston Marathon…Madness

Todays event’s have left me at a loss of words and has changed the running world forever. Sadly the explosions today have shattered the euphoria of the Boston Marathon. As a runner and one who aspires to such greatness as being qualified for such an event, I am taking this personal. This is sacred ground, we are a tight knit community. We stand shoulder to shoulder in crowded corrals, grab each other’s hands as we cross the finish line, and give each other sweaty hugs celebrating our accomplishments. The runners today could have been anyone of us. They are one of us. These runners are the people that we pass on the road as we wave and smile to as we pass each other in the early morning. As runners it is though we speak a secret language we understand how hard it is mentally and physically to train for a race, yet we are loving, encouraging, and supportive of each other’s aspirations as an athlete and runner regardless of ability. As a runner we might be competitive, but we are not nor ever will be a mean spirited group of people. Today’s events are simply heartbreaking.

Boston

The Boston Marathon is the event of year. This is the Super Bowl and World Series all tied into one where the best of the best wake before the sun rises, laces up and heads to the start line. It is an honor to participate in The Boston Marathon and runners bask in the glory of knowing that they are one of the elite. The best of the best. As a runner, I believe that these are the runners that we all should look up to as we have a lot to learn from them.

Boston Praying

I personally know serval runners, spectators, and volunteers that were all at The Boston Marathon and I am so happy that are all safe and accounted for.

I am united for Boston. Tomorrow, wear a race shirt. Let’s unite as a community and family of runners. If you can’t wear a race shirt, please wear blue and yellow! We are runners and we will not be moved! Stand up!

Please keep runners, spectators, and volunteers in your thoughts today.

❤❤❤❤❤❤If you ran today, wore your race shirt, or wore blue and yellow to honor Boston please email them to me. I would love to put a blog post together of #unitedrunners showing our support!  13GoingonCrazy@gmail.com

Tinker Bell Half Marathon 2013 Race Recap Part 2

I left off part one of Tinker Bell Half Marathon with me at the finish line celebrating my most recent accomplishment. After the fun and excitement of the race was over, it was time to celebrate with medals! Somehow Mickey knew that I was disappointed that I did not get to take my picture with him at the finish line. He was waiting for me in the hotel lobby of Paradise Pier where I was grabbing a quick gluten free bagel and lox before I took an ice bath and a shower. After refueling and my shower, I was ready to hit the parks!Mickey and I

One of the many reasons I love RunDisney races, the celebrating goes beyond just the finish line and into the rest of the day and night. Sometimes even day’s depending on how long you are staying at Disney. My celebrating always tends to last a little longer when I run races in Walt Disney World.

While in Walt Disney World the previous weekend I discovered how much fun it was to run around the park looking for characters so I could take pictures with them and my medals. I decided that I wanted to start off my celebrating doing the same as the previous weekend. The first and most logical place to start with pictures is in the hub in front of the Partners Statue in front of the castle.

I wonder what Goofy is thinking!

I wonder what Goofy is thinking!

Under normal circumstances I would not have brought all of my medals to Disneyland, but considering that I just completed Goofy the weekend prior and I completed my Coast to Coast Challenge with Tinker Bell I had a lot of medals to show off!Castle and medals

This is as close I could get to taking a picture with Walt Disney! I think that he would have been proud of all of the runners accomplishing their dreams that day. After taking a lot of pictures in front of the castle and around the hub I decided that it was time to head over to Pixie Hollow. Being that I had just completed the Tinker Bell Half Marathon I had to pay my respects to Tinker Bell and say hello. Tinker Bell and Periwinkle

To my surprise when I arrived at Pixie Hollow I not only was able to visit with Tinker Bell, but I was also able to show Periwinkle my medals as well. Until recently I did not know that Tinker Bell and Periwinkle were twin sisters! They both informed me that my medals were created from the most special form of pixie dust! After meeting with Tinker Bell I headed to  Mickey’s house in Toontown as he was the last character that I wanted to visit with.

Mickey and I

In a blink of an eye the day was over and as I headed out of the park still on fire from this two week whirlwind, I walked out of the gates grinning from mouse ear to mouse ear, as I was beyond elated and I knew I could not wait for Labor Day’s Dumbo Double Dare!

Dumbo

QOTD: What is your favorite part about celebrating in Disney?

 

2013 Walt Disney World Marathon Race Recap

For the second day in a row my alarm woke me up at 3:00 am. SERIOUSLY! This was supposed to be a vacation, oh wait this was a racecation! And today it was Sunday and I was running double the distance that I ran the previous day. By the end of this day I will have completed 39.3 miles and not only be the proud owner of a 20th anniversary marathon medal, but also a Goofy Medal. Because, let’s face it any sane person who signs up to run 39.3 miles in a two day period is down right Goofy!

Blurry Eyed and Ready for the RacePerhaps my blurry eyed look indicates that I was running  as the wrong character, but I was ready to go! I must admit that there was not as much spring in my step this morning. Though I was still able to get ready in a hurry I was nervous. I thought that I might cry, as I wondered what did I get myself into. I took a few deep breathes and kept telling myself that I was ready for this day. After making sure my mouse ears were in place, taking a few pictures, and grabbing my banana I was out the door. I was again meeting my friend outside the race retreat tent so we already had a plan in place.

Freezing at the Start

My friend and I had time to say our hellos, goodbyes, and good lucks to our PBRC friends. Before I knew it we were headed to our corrals to get ready for the national anthem and wait for our for the gun or in Disney style… FIREWORKS to go off! And like that in a blink of any eye I was running my first full marathon!

Start Line Photo

My friend and I decided early on that we wanted to go our own pace so we said our goodbyes and good lucks and started running.   By mile 3 I hit a wall…Kind of crazy considering I still had 23.2 miles to go. I mean who hits a wall that early in a race? In my head I knew that I could make it to Animal Kingdom, that was the half way point, but beyond that all bets were off. Being that this was a new challenge I was simply psyching myself out.  By the time that I reached The Magic Kingdom and saw the beautiful icicles on the castle I knew that I had made to make a CHOICE… GO BIG OR GO HOME!

The moment

Once I came to that realization I simply just kept running! Sometimes when you are in the thick of it, is difficult to remember that half of running is mental and you need to find the confidence you need to succeed.in the moment

Once I made the CHOICE the rest of the morning was a running blur. I didn’t stop for any character pictures or that many photo opportunities. I don’t recommend it but, I even ran through quite a few water stations. It was unseasonably hot and humid, not a very good choice, but that’s I how completed my first full marathon. I just kept pushing on. Next time I must remember to take my Camelbak as this will allow me to keep going. Throughout my training and early in the race I kept repeating the famous Walt Disney quote, “If you can dream it, you can do it.” With this mantra running around my brain I was ecstatic when I saw all the signs with quotes. Despite the sheer determination and focus I decided that a mini break was in order and I stopped for a picture.

Dream Pics from RaceBeyond my family and friends who were along the course to cheer me on and thanks to good old AT&T they kept me connected. Every time I felt a jolt from my Spibelt I knew that I was getting a supportive text message from my loved ones. You know who you are and this truly helped me keep going. Thank you.

My least favorite part of the course, besides running past the water treatment plant, which oddly did not smell that horrible, was running around ESPN Wide World Of Sports Complex. Being who I am I did not like the narrow entrance into the area and it also did not make me feel comfortable that there was a scrimmage game going on. Mind you the game was for our entertainment value.

Before I knew I was out of ESPN zone and I knew that the 20th mile spectacular was right around corner and I was getting really excited. As I approached the 20th mile spectacular I knew that I had this! I was capable of accomplishing what only hours earlier I thought was the impossible. It was all happening, I was on my way. In the distance I was able to see the really cool puppets that they use for the pre-show in World of Color in California Adventure. There was also a stage with the classic Disney characters and a banner with the 20th Anniversary logo and medal that was soon to be proudly around my neck. Being that this was my first Disney marathon every mile marker and character celebrations were spectacular in my eyes. Previous Disney marathoners were expecting something new and unique and I heard they were disappointed, in my eyes it was truly amazing.

20th Mile

After passing the 20th mile mark I knew that I was in the home stretch. Hollywood Studios was the 3rd to last park that I would be running through. I had already received a text from my mom letting me know where I should look for her, with her cow bells and clappers. Mind you she was standing on the corner of Hollywood and Vine. Being so in the moment it took a few seconds to realize that she meant in Hollywood Studios.

Mentally in my head I knew the break down of the remaining few miles, Hollywood Studios, the Boardwalk, then EPCOT, and then the finish line. The course map has been taped to refrigerator since it became available over the summer, so I had it pretty well memorized. Hollywood Studios not only provided enough distractions, but they also provided candy! Which I tossed to my mom as I ran past her not even stopping for a picture. If it was not for the very kind lady warning me to stop and tie my shoe I would not have taken this adorable picture right outside the studios. Thank you again for being concerned for my safety, I think that a few miles earlier I simply tucked it into my shoe.

Outside Hollywood Studios

After I made sure my shoe was securely tied I knew that I needed to motor if I really wanted to GO BIG OR GO HOME! I had less than 35 minutes before I hit the six hour mark. I was determined to make it in under 6 hours. All that was remaining at this point was the pathway that lead people to the Boardwalk, the Beach and Yacht Club and finally  the last few miles in EPCOT.

Heading into EPCOT for me was when I felt the most confident. This was where all the months of hard work and training really went into effect. This was IT. I was so close to being a first time marathoner. I started around World Showcase and with the adrenaline pounding in my veins I just kept pushing. Running over the last bridge connecting London to Paris my legs barely noticed how steep the bridge really was. My heart was thumping and I was focused on finishing strong. I absolutely loved running through the countries and being cheered on by the spectators. As I approached the Mexico Pavilion and saw Spaceship Earth I knew that it was only a matter of minutes before I reached the 26th mile marker. As I approached Spaceship Earth I was getting chocked up as I recall the story my parents have shared with me  that being I decided that EPCOT was the perfect place to take my first steps as a one year old. Now 29 years later I feel like I have gone from walking to soaring!

I think that the sheer energy of the gospel choir and the roaring crowd could have carried me to the finish line. This was when I realized that this was my moment, I wanted to remember everything, to soak it all in. With sweat on my brow and achievement in my heart, I crossed the finis line at 5 hours and 55 minutes. It’s hard to believe that I ever doubted myself or my dreams, but to reiterate the wisdom of Walt Disney, “If you can dream it, you can do it.” As they put both my first full marathon and Goofy medal around my neck I was asking race officials how I can sign up for next year. Thank you Goofy for this amazing once in a lifetime experience and I can’t wait for 2014!

I Did it!!

 QOTD: Are you a marathoner? How do you push yourself to reach your goals? What mental mind games to you play?

2013 Walt Disney World Half Marathon Race Recap

On Saturday I was woken up by The Lumineers singing Ho Hey, maybe not the most appropriate song at 3:00 am, but it was race day and I was running runDisney’s half marathon! The first part of Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge, the The Florida Project as I like to call it! I quickly jumped out of bed as I was beyond excited to get ready for the race. Being that this was Donald’s race, my friend and I decided to run dressed as Donald Duck!

Donald Duck!!

I knew that I needed to shake a tail and get to the lobby quickly as I was meeting my friends dad, who was running his first half marathon. My friend purchased the race retreat so she was meeting us outside the retreat tent. Despite not being hungry, being that it was the middle of the night, I forced myself to eat a banana. In my left coast brain it was really 1:00 am, definitely not the time to be running nor functioning like a sane person, but this was The Florida Project after all and I was going Goofy! I had heard the rumors that the lines to get on the buses we huge. Thankfully there was not a line and my friends dad and I hopped right on. I have no idea why there was no line. The Beach Club and Boardwalk had a line at least a mile long! It was very nice of the hotel to also provide bottled water, power aide, bananas, and bagels.

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Luckily it was very easy to find my friend and we started taking pictures together almost immediately. I’m not too sure what happened with this picture, I actually kind of like it. I think that our light up tutus had something to do with it coming out funky. We even had time to take a picture with our running group Pacebook Running Club, where Bri and I first met. Notice how even at 3:30 in the morning Bri and I can’t stop talking! (Look for the two ducks on the left!)

PBRC

After saying our hellos, goodbyes, and good lucks to our PBRC friends we headed to the corrals. I had forgoten about the cattle herding that happens along the narrow road leading to the corrals. I kinda felt like a cow being sent to slaughter though I was dressed as a duck!

Heading to the corrals

Before we knew it the fireworks went off and the beginning of our racing adventure had begun. It was pretty crowed at the start and the miles flew by for us as we did not stop chatting. Wanting to save ourselves for Goofy we decided to take it slow and decided that a run and walk rotation was our best bet. We were going to enjoy each and every mile. With that being our goal we knew that lots and lots of pictures were to be taken. Before we knew we were well on our way to the Magic Kingdom!On our way to MKGTogether we made a few more turns and in the distance I could see Main Street and the beautifully decorated castle. The sight of the castle and having the opportunity to run down Main Street makes all of the miles and hard work worth it. I love seeing the street of Main Street flooded with screaming fans looking for runners. Despite being simply lifted by this energy I tried to take it slow and simply live in the moment.

Middle of Main Street USA

As we were turning off Main Street we decided to stop for more pictures. I simply love this picture!

Castle stop

Our running journey routed us into Tomorrowland where we were greeted by Buzz Lightyear! To infinity and beyond!

Buzz Lighyear

We continued running through Tomorrowland and into Fantasyland. Some of the lines for character photos were SO LONG, that we decided to keep running. One such charecter we did not mind waiting in line for, while we were waiting trumpeters played on the castle balcony!

Donald Duck

After meeting with Donald we turned towards the castle and ran through it. Another reason why running through the Magic Kingdom is my favorite part of the course.

CastleWe continued running through Magic Kingdom and took one last picture before we were on the road to the Grand Floridian.

All aboard!

Who could resist the opportunity to take a picture with Mary Poppins and Bert!

Mary PoppinsAfter we said our goodbyes to Mary Poppins and Bert we knew that we were well on way to completing the first part of Goofy! We were headed towards Epcot! With less than 5 miles left I simply could not wait to see Spaceship Earth and be able to run through World Showcase and Future World.

Into Epcot

As we approached the finish line, all I felt was pure joy. We did it! I had made through a third of the Goofy challenge without injuries and a smile on my face. I truly love this sport and am grateful that I am healthy and strong enough to participate! As another medal was placed around my neck by the amazing volunteers, all I could think about was I did it, race number 20 was in the books!

Team Donald

QOTD: What is your favorite part about the course? If you did not participate in this race what would you like to see along the course?

WDW Marathon Weekend 2013…Expo

It has been almost a week and a half since I completed the Walt Disney World Goofy Race and a Half Challenge. I am simply having a difficult time wrapping my brain around completing such a feat. I have been dreaming of RunDisney’s Goofy Race and a Half Challenge since March of 2012, when Bob Hitchcock described what was in store for the 20th Mickey Marathon! After a lot of thought, consideration, and debate I finally had the courage to sign up, at times I even questioned if I was Goofy.

Traveling across country, at least west to east is an all day activity, despite the expo not opening until Thursday which is why I left Los Angeles on Wednesday. I love traveling to Walt Disney World as soon you land you are swept up by Disney transportation, AKA Magical Express, and within a blink of an eye you are in the Disney Bubble.

Loading my mom's scooter on the Magical Express!

Loading my mom’s scooter on the Magical Express!

I  arrived with just enough time to make it to The Brown Derby for a dinner. I must admit that it was quite ironic that I left “real” ‘Hollywood to visit Walt Disney’s creation and envision of old Hollywood. Despite the park closing early I am very happy that I was able to see the beautiful Christmas lights as it was the last night that they were up.

IMG_1502

Being that it was so late in the day the park was closed by the time dinner finished. Knowing full well that the following day was the expo, I gladly returned to my hotel and mapped out my expo game plan.

Thursday could not come fast enough. The day had finally arrived and I was able to pick up my bib. Being in the Disney bubble that I was in picking up my bib was easy. All I did was climb aboard the race weekend transportation bus!

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I enjoy going to expos almost as much as I love the actual races. I was totally stoked when I was even able to shop for my friend, the voice behind The Great Shakeup, who was in the air while I was shopping for her!

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When I arrived my first stop was the KT Tape booth knowing full well how important it was to be properly taped for both races. The next stop was the Disney official merchandise. Way too many cute options! Needless to say I was all set with new running tops and even a new RunDisney jacket!

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The next stop was to visit the New Balance booth where I was lucky enough to score a pair of the new official running shoe of runDisney.  Mickey and Minnie themed runDisney shoes of course! My mom literally flipped over these shoes as she not once, but twice got flipped off the bench as she tried them on!

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As usual runDisney hosted an amazing expo and I had a great time seeing friends, shopping, picking up my bib, and official merchandise!

QOTD: What is your favorite part about going to a race expo?