Wednesday, April 27, 2016

RunDisney's Princess 5K Recap

On February 19, I was up before the sun to kick off runDisney's Princess Half Marathon weekend with the Princess 5K.  While runDisney races have exceptionally early wake-up calls, they also have exceptional race excitement.  There's nothing like stumbling to the buses knowing that you're surrounded by others who are just as Disney crazy as you! 

I wasn't planning on running the 5K on this trip, but once my cousin signed up, I knew I would be there anyway to cheer her on, so I thought I might as well join in on the fun.  For this race, I was dressed up like Ariel from The Little Mermaid in the "Kiss the Girl" scene and Ann was Rapunzel.
(We were dressed in our princess-y best)

(A great start to Princess Weekend)

We were about to grab coffee from the concession stand when we noticed that the characters had come out.  We immediately hopped in line to take our picture with Sebastian!

Before long, it was time to say goodbye to each other and head to our corrals.  Luckily, I was in "A" corral for this race, so I was able to get up close to the start line.

(I love that Ariel was the focus princess for this race!)

Before long, it was time for the race to begin.  My foot and knee were bothering me a few days before the races, so I had no idea what kind of pace I would be running, so I decided to run whatever was comfortable for me and to stop for characters if I felt so inclined.  I was able to stop for lots of character pictures!
(Please ignore the crazy eyes, it was super early in the morning!)
(Vacation Genie was at all 3 races)

I ended up making great time with minimal knee time.  Even though the race wasn't timed, I was still pleased with my time, even with the character stops!  My family who came to cheer us on told me that I finished in the top 10 women!
(My mom and I while we waited for Ann)

Ann did great as well, and now she has the runDisney bug too!  

After the race, we were off to Disney's Hollywood Studios for the day!
(Some bling to wear around the park)

Monday, March 7, 2016

RunDisney's Princess Half Marathon Weekend Recap -Part 1: The Arrival and the Expo

On Thursday, with all my bags packed and ready to go I sat watching the clock waiting for 11:30AM to roll around so I could head to the airport and begin vacation! My aunt and cousins arrived on Wednesday night and were heading to the expo that afternoon.  I was worried they would get caught in the melee I kept hearing about on Facebook.  I heard lots of horror stories about long lines and mobs of people slamming the runDisney official merchandise booths.

I had worries of my own...  was I going to be able to make it to the expo on time?!  My flight landed at 5:00PM and I need to meet up with my mom in the airport, make our way on the magical express to Port Orleans: French Quarter, get an expo bus, and pick up our packets and shirts all before the expo closed at 8:00PM.

Luckily, both of our flights landed half an hour early and we were quickly able to catch a magical express bus!
(On our way to Port Orleans)

Once we got off the bus, we didn't even check into the hotel.  We just headed to where the expo buses were picking up people.  One of my favorite perks of the Magical Express is that you don't have to worry about your checked luggage.  We hadn't even waited five minutes and we were on our way to the expo.  We had a plan: divide and conquer and meet at the official merchandise booth.

I had to pick up my 5K bib and shirt as well as all the stuff that comes with the Glass Slipper Challenge.  This was my first challenge weekend so I was pleasantly surprised that all your Glass Slipper shirts come in one bag together.  I thought that was super awesome customer service.  I was also pleasantly surprised to find that the lines at the expo were almost non-existent and most of the official merchandise was still in stock.  I was able to score the glass slipper challenge "I Did It!" shirt, the "Powered by Disney Magic" Princess Half Marathon shirt, the 10K "I Did It!" shirt for my mom, a glass slipper challenge sweaty band and the coffee travel mug!
(My new favorite coffee mug)

After the expo, we headed back to French Quarter and finally checked into our room.  I had faxed over the room request and had participated in online check-in so I was pleasantly surprised to find we were super close to the food court and the bus stop!
(Also that Mousekeeping had been there)

We headed to the food court and met up with my aunt and cousins and I finally got to try the beignets that are on the Disney food crawl.  They were amazing!!!!

Finally, it was off to bed.  We had an early wake up call for the Princess 5K in the morning!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

My thoughts on the runDisney Registration Madness

After the intense registration process that was Wine and Dine last week, I've taken a week to process and think about it.  Particularly, the reaction on Facebook, Twitter and other forms of social media regarding the event.

First, let me say that I was one of the lucky ones.  Not only was I able to secure registration for runDisney's Wine and Dine Half Marathon for the third year in a row, my mom, my dad, and I were all able to get registrations for the Jingle Jungle 5k (the first time running this event for all of us!).  We were all working on separate computers and entered the queue right at noon.  Each one of us had to wait anywhere from 7-12 minutes to complete our registrations.  My mom got through for the 5K first, then I got into the half.  I quickly also registered for the 5K and finally my dad got into the 5K as well.  It took us all about 15 minutes to all complete our registration processes.  I was flabbergasted when the registration filled up in a little over half an hour.  I thought my insistence that we all register at noon was my own special brand of runDisney crazy.  Nope!

The start line of the Wine and Dine Half Marathon last year

Having participated in runDisney the past couple of years, it definitely is true that "every mile is magic." One of the most special aspects of runDisney is all of the other participants.  runDisney events are possibly the most beginner friendly races I have ever seen.  runDisney is often the motivation for people to take up running and feel that sense of accomplishment crossing the finish line.  Last year, I had to line up in my corral by myself.  I was immediately making new friends and talking to other runners.  It is just an awesome experience.

Which is why it's so sad to hear all the negative things people have to say on social media.  Yes. The registration process was STRESSFUL.  Yes, it's awful to only have some family members get in.  Yes, it's awful to be shut out entirely.  I also recognize that I'm writing from the place of all of us getting into our desired races.  HOWEVER...

runDisney is supposed to be fun.  It is not a place to complain about others.  So what if people walk the races.  So what if people run the whole way.  I've seen so much complaining from front of the packers about back of the packers and the same from the other way around.  First of all, we should be encouraging everyone to get fit and healthy, and if runDisney is the thing that does it, that's fantastic!  Second, I really feel if you are running a Disney race for time, you're missing out on the fun.  I worked very hard last year for a good proof of time to end up in Corral A, just for the sake of better pictures (foiled of course by Splash 'n' Dash).  Finally, I've heard people complain about people that get swept.  ANYTHING can happen during the training for a race or during the race itself.  You have to respect the distance.  How about we show a little compassion and a little kindness to others? Just some food for thought.

Here's some FUN pictures from the past couple of years (last year's recap will be up soon...or at least before this year's Wine and Dine) :)

 My dad and I during the Animal Kingdom portion of Wine and Dine in 2013

Hanging out with Buzz & Woody in the Studios (and happy to get out of the rain) at Splash N Dash 2014

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Wine and Dine 2015 -And Here We Go Again!

It's official.  Lots of stress later, and some yelling at the computer, but I'm IN for Wine and Dine 2015.  For the first time ever, I'm also running the Jingle Jungle 5k with my parents!

Yup, mom and dad are also in!  Both races sold out in about 35 minutes, which is the fastest I've ever seen.  I remember 2 years ago, my dad and I registered at the end of April for Wine and Dine.  I don't think we'll ever see those days again.

233 days isn't too soon to start planning right?

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

A New Love for the 'Mill

I have never really been a fan of treadmill running.  Part of the joy of running is being outside and taking in my surroundings and actually, you know, going places.  I never much understood the point of running in place for miles.  I've always been a winter warrior, running outside in all temperatures and weather.  I've run in 100 degree summers and run during the polar vortex last year, when I had icicles form on my eyelashes. 

While, I still prefer to run outside for all the reasons I just mentioned, I am discovering a new found love of the treadmill.  I recently joined a gym and for the first time in ages, I have access to a treadmill for the coldest and snowiest of days (and in Rochester, that can be pretty cold and snowy).  I can't believe the difference that it makes.  I find myself enjoying my runs inside on the treadmill.  It's not hard to enjoy not running in below zero temperatures.

What changed?  I think it's the ability to have extreme control over my workout.  If I want to run hills, I can.  If I want to run reverse splits I can.  If I want to listen to music and watch the food network on mute while I run, I can. It's making for a nice change.

While I think I will always prefer the pure joy of a 10 miler outside, I'm no longer as anti-mill as I have been.  ...Not falling on the ice is also a nice bonus :)

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Splash N Dash Racecation at Walt Disney World -Day 1 (Animal Kingdom)

Let me start by saying I have total race envy right now of everyone who got to complete the Dopey Challenge at WDW Marathon Weekend (or any of the races really) or the Rebel Challenge at Disneyland.  Both of those challenges are on my runDisney bucket list.  Seriously though, congratulations to all those who completed them.

In order to make me feel less FOMO about not being at the events these past two weekends, it's finally time for some more Splash N Dash Recap.  I left off after the expo.

After the Expo, Andrew and I returned to our room at Saratoga Springs and dropped off our race stuff.  I also had to grab my Donald Mickey ears for our afternoon in Disney's Animal Kingdom.  I definitely wish I had more pictures for this one.

Since we had to wait forever for a bus back to Saratoga (seriously, every other hotel had 2 buses show up before ours did), I had to push back our Fastpass+ for Kilamanjaro Safaris.  Fortunately, I was able to do so and before long we were off on our first attraction in Disney World.

Confession: I have never been a huge fan of the safari.  I love animals, but I don't often get to spot them.  This time however, one of the giraffes must have known it was half marathon weekend because he was running all over the place!  This picture is him stopping for a snack:
We were starving after our safari ended, but our Expedition Everest window was about to open.  We headed over to Asia and rode Everest.  Disco Yeti was actually working!  I don't think I've ever been on the ride when the audio anamatronic was working but it is truly wonderful.  The stand by wait was only 10 minutes at that time, so we obviously rode again.

We finally had time to stop to eat before our next Fastpass+ at Dinosaur (but really, Countdown to Extinction).  Andrew got his lunch at Flame Tree BBQ, however they don't have any vegetarian options on the menu, so I was out of luck.  Luckily, I was able to get a quick-service veggie burger not too far away.  It was spicy, but pretty tasty.

After lunch, we still had about fifteen minutes before our Fastpass+ window opened.  Who do we see walking by, but Safari Donald.  Donald is both mine and Andrew's favorite character so we obviously had to stop for a picture:
Donald Duck is #1! (He was also a big fan of my ears)

After riding Dinosaur, which is actually one of my favorite attractions, we had one final stop to make... I had to meet Dug!

I absolutely LOVE Up. And I wore my "Adventure is out there shirt for this occasion!

I really enjoy Animal Kingdom...but it was time to park hop to Epcot!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

NYC Marathon Lottery

I know everyone is buzzing with the excitement of runDisney's marathon weekend this past weekend and Star Wars this upcoming weekend!  I've been following everyone's blogs and Instagrams and Facebook updates with jealousy!  The Dopey Challenge has been number 1 on my running bucket list from the moment it was announced.

However, number 2 on that running bucket list is the NYC marathon.  My dad, uncle, and cousin have all completed the NYC marathon and I want to join in the family tradition!  The lottery to get in opened at noon today and I signed up immediately.  Now it's wait and see!  March 3 cannot get here soon enough.

Fingers crossed for all who wish to get in!

Interested?  Here's the link to the website: