This is pretty much the story of my life these days. Between my mother getting upset with me running half-marathons and marathons, (angrily, she says, “Just stick to the 13.1 ones!”) and friends and family not quite understanding why any human being would put themselves through such torture and punishment for a “stupid medal”. Or, “I can’t even run half a block, and you’re running, what? 26 point, what?” Whatever your goals in life are, don’t let anyone steal away your desire to complete them, for no goal is too big or impossible to aim for. If it makes you happy, and God knows I love the way running makes me feel, then do it. Don’t run with just your legs, run with your heart.
First of all, my apologies for this very late post. I got back from California very late on Tuesday, rested a bit on Wednesday and was back to work Thursday and the entire weekend. I was drained!
Saturday night, my running friends and I gathered at Naples Restaurant in Downtown Disney for our carb-loading pre-race dinner. Dinner was nothing special to be honest, but having dinner with everyone who shares the same passion for Disney and running is just priceless.
I got back to the hotel and rested, watched a little TV and set every single alarm clock there was in that room, as I’m always afraid I’ll sleep right through. Needless to say, despite setting up alarms, I woke up almost every hour. I hate when I do that!
Met my running buddy at the hotel lobby at 4:15 and we headed for the corrals. It was a good mile walk and the corrals were jam-packed!!! I was in Corral D, and luckily I got there early enough, because the corrals were filled to capacity, D runners were being moved to E. We were told by a runDisney volunteer to hop over the fence, but even then it just felt claustrophobic.
It was little after 6:00 AM when we crossed the start line. The group paired up in two’s and I headed out with Miss Vanellope for our 13.1 mile run.
First photo stop: Disney California Adventure Park. (Also when I realized I forgot to turn on my Garmin!)
In Disneyland, since the parks are right next to each other, your first 4 miles are through the parks and then you’re out on the road. Very different from Disney World but didn’t make it boring though.
Running through DCA’s Cars Land.
I love when you turn the corner and there it is, in all its glory, Sleeping Beauty’s Castle.
Once we exited the parks, we were on the road. The sun was coming up and it was quickly getting really hot and bright out. It seemed that every turn we made was East, which didn’t help at all. The spectators were phenomenal as usual. There were dancers doing a traditional Mexican dance around mile 5 and alongside the road were gorgeous classic cars, I mean, gorgeous! Cheerleaders were performing, yelling our names as we ran across.
The sun was beaming and I started to feel sick. I felt horrible pain on my right side, along with feeling nauseous and having stomach cramps. I felt like I hydrated well during the previous days but Anaheim was hot; when I arrived Thursday, the temp was 101. Awful, just awful.
Around mile 7, there were tents set up by spectators and they were giving out pretzels, candy, oranges and they had huge buckets of cold water, which they were dipping in sponges and wringing them over the runners who wanted to cool off. What a blessing those people were!!!
I nibbed on a few pretzels and an orange slice and tried to run, but every time I would start running my stomach would feel worse. At this point, we’re doing 1:1 run/walk intervals. I couldn’t take the pain anymore.
Mile 8 and we’re running through the back of the Honda Center . We ran through sand as we ran through the back parking lot of the center and into the Santa Ana River Trail, which had a killer hill I’m sure I yelled at.
Once we got through, we were right at mile 9 and into Angel Stadium. I was in pain and pushing through.
I was feeling sick still and so I told Vanellope and Amanda that if they didn’t mind I’d be running ahead since I wanted to get it over with and get back to the hotel.
Once I finished, I was given the Disneyland Half medal, then proceeded to a tent where I received my 2013 Coast to Coast medal. Let me tell you that the C2C medal is so worth it. It’s gorgeous and it’s so heavy, and of course, there’s nothing like running in both coasts, through both castles in one year.
I’m skipping Wine and Dine this year since I’ll be home running the Philadelphia Marathon, but most likely will run it next fall (it’s an anniversary year too, so perhaps a new medal?) 🙂
I grabbed my medals, took some pictures and sat on the hot asphalt for a while, ingesting it all in: the pain, the pleasure, the relief of being done and the satisfaction that my body and my mind got me through.
I spent the rest of the night in my hotel room, sick and sitting in an ice bath for a while. If there are any lessons to be learned is this: Follow a proven training plan, hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!!!, never try anything new on race day (Not shoes, not fuel, not outfit, not anything!), but most of all, just go and have fun. Disney races are meant to be fun. While you want to go out and set a personal record or personal best, running through Disney is meant to be a fun and exciting experience. Running through castles, taking pictures with the characters, running in costumes, whether that be a villain or princess or anything that you want to run as, just enjoy it. All I can say is that during this race I learned so much – what I need to do and what I shouldn’t do. Best of all, I had a great time running with my friends and finishing.
Love and Pixie Dust,
Hi there guys, this past week has been nothing short of amazing! After doing much stalking on the Disney Parks Blog and on Twitter, I was selected to be a part of the Disneyland Half Marathon Meet Up.
It is a chance to meet up with the people behind the scenes who make this magic happen – Faron Kelley, Director of Marketing at runDisney; former Olympic runner Jeff Galloway; actor Sean Astin; Joey Fatone from ‘N Sync; first female winner of The Biggest Loser, Ali Vincent; Diet Diva Tara Gidus, and last year’s winner (and owner of the fabulous Running Skirts), Cindy Lynch.
When I received the email from runDisney that my name was chosen, I cried. Cried from excitement that I would be taking part of the opportunity of a lifetime 🙂
So, now on to the fun stuff!
We were scheduled to meet in front of Mickey’s Sorcerer Hat in front of the Disneyland Hotel no later than 5:30 AM. Upon arrival, we were given a waiver to sign and were handed a runDisney tote bag containing lots of goodies: a runDisney blue tech tee, a one-day Disneyland Park hopper, full-sized H2O products, pins from ABC’s new hit show Once Upon a Time in Wonderland, and so much more.
I was fortunate that two of my friends from my online running group were chosen as well and we planned to dress alike. We approached Sean Astin and took some photos with him. Let me tell you that I was not one bit nervous talking to him! He is so down-to-Earth. He asked where I was from and said, “Philadelphia”. Sean was in Philadelphia in the late 90’s filming Kimberly and mentioned how much he loves the city, rich in history and definitely one of his favorite cities. He also gave me advice on motivation and preparing to run my first marathon.
We then walked over to Downtown Disney and met in front of ESPN Zone, where White Rabbit showed up late (as usual!) That’s Miss Ali Vincent on the right in the pink sparkle athletic skirt!
After that, we were on our way! We separated into two groups: a run/walk group led by Jeff Galloway, and a running group (Sean Astin, Tara Gidus and Cindy Lynch ran in that group). I chose to run/walk with Jeff Galloway, Ali Vincent and Joey Fatone.
Running through Main Street, Disneyland.
Sleeping Beauty’s Castle up close!
Jeff Galloway used his interval timer, the Gymboss, and we ran a 30/30 interval. Once we reached Mad Tea Party ride (the spinning tea cups), our group separated into two: one group would ride the tea cups, while the other took pics with Alice in Wonderland and then switch. I have severe motion sickness, therefore I didn’t ride the tea cups 🙁
We paused here for about 20-25 minutes, which allowed some of us for brief chatting/taking pics with Joey Fatone. He was so nice!!
Once again, we were on our way, this time through Disney California Adventure Park and into Cars Land. Disney did a fabulous job creating Cars Land, my favorite part of DCA.
We’ve reached the end of our run! We were greeted by the Mad Hatter.
Food and drinks were at the finish line for us in the very “Drink Me” bar.
We sat down and waited for many surprises that would soon follow.
Love & Pixie Dust,
I’m sure most runners have a list of races they’d love to tackle at some point in their lifetime. Currently, I’m on a running break (I’m nursing a hip injury) and I’m daydreaming about my bucket list races.
In random order:
1) Nike Women’s Half Marathon in DC or the full marathon in San Francisco
How exciting would it be to run this race in two of my favorite cities along with thousands of inspiring women for either a 13.1 or a 26.2-mile journey, only to be greeted at the finish line by sexy firemen holding a custom-made Tiffany necklace! Need I say more?!?
2) Big Sur Marathon
For the most beautiful scenery, enough said.
Source: Big Sur International Marathon
3) Divas Half Marathon in San Juan
I really, really wish I could do this race this year, but it’ll have to wait until 2014. Running a race in my home of Puerto Rico is simply a dream. I can NOT wait!!! The beach, the opportunity to go home and see my Dad and my family. I want to cry just thinking about it.
Source: Divas Half Marathon & 5K Series
4) Walt Disney World Marathon
Disney races are fun, fun, fun!!!! You get to run in costume (optional, of course!) around your favorite Disney parks and take pictures with your favorite characters. Disney races are meant to be fun, in my opinion, and not a race where you’re aiming for a PR. Just enjoy it.
I want my first marathon to be at WDW, but it’ll have to wait until 2015 since I’ll be doing Tinkerbell and Princess Half next year 🙂
Source: Run Disney
5) Last, and certainly not least, Boston Marathon.
Source: Boston Athletic Association
I’ll probably qualify when I’m 80, but I can at least die knowing I ran this marathon.
Question: Do you have races on your wishlist?
This evening, I did a run/walk hybrid. I ran a 5K, then walked the rest to complete 5 miles. Increasing speed lengthened my stride, so I need to work on that and get back to yoga, which helped recovery tremendously!
In other news, I’m sure you’ve heard by now about the runDisney Princess Half Marathon weekend Glass Slipper Challenge.
This challenge entails running the Enchanted 10K on Saturday, and the Princess Half Marathon on Sunday. The Royal Family 5K will still be available.
For those lucky enough to want to go Coast-to-Coast in 2014, a special pink C2C medal will be offered to runners participating and finishing Tinkerbell Half Marathon in January at Disneyland and Princess Half Marathon in February at Disney World.
I love pink, glitter and bling and coveting this gorgeous inaugural medal.
Isn’t it pretty?
Registration for the Princess Half Marathon weekend races opens up June 11th with a limited availability of registrations for Tinkerbell. Those unable to secure a spot for both races at the time registration for Princess opens can register for Tink July 9th.
Time to start saving, planning costumes and more!! I hope I can do both next year!!
See you at the finish line,
Today I started training my Mom for her first 5K. She is very passionate about autism and wants to run for autism speaks. For her, I downloaded the 5K app from Jeff Galloway, former Olympian and runDisney trainer. His method works by taking walk breaks as needed, ensuring that you’ll finish strong.
I got her on the road, wearing my half marathon tech shirt and all, Pandora on the iPhone, Nike Run app on and ready to go. She followed the program warming up with a walk for 3 minutes, then alternating running one minute, walking one minute for a total of 20 minutes. I am training for a run next weekend so I ran and kept coming back to her, making sure she was okay.
We did five miles. Woohoo!!!
Came home and drank lots of water, had some polenta and Swiss chard for dinner and a kind soul dropped off some cherry water ice from Rita’s to top this lovely day off.
Now for my run…I walked the first 5-10 minutes with Mom, gave her the instructions and then took off on my own. I ran my first mile at a 9:59 mm pace, at times getting as fast as a 8:45 mm for about 1/4 mile or so. Mile 2 and I started taking a bit of walk breaks for about 30 seconds or so (didn’t pack water or Nuun) to catch my breath and continued on. I passed some hills and I spoke to them, told them I wasn’t afraid of them and I ran up those hills. After about mile 4, my hips were hurting and I walked the rest of the way home.
I stretched, I rolled with the massage stick, got a foot massage and now some ibuprofen. I’m starting to think it’s my running form that’s keeping me from running pain-free. Three pairs of expensive running shoes and no difference whatsoever.
Time to rest; good night!
In random order:
The Chemical Brothers – Galvanize (featuring Q-tip)
Usher – More (RedOne Jimmy Joker Remix); Yeah; Scream
Flo Rida – Low (featuring T-Pain); Good Feeling
Don Omar – Danza Kuduro (featuring Lucenzo)
Pitbull – Don’t Stop the Party; Shake Senora; Echa Pa’lla
Eminem – ‘Till I Collapse (featuring D12)
Foo Fighters – Walk; Everlong
Daddy Yankee – Lovumba; Ven Conmigo
Calvin Harris – Feel so Close; Let’s Go; Sweet Nothing (featuring Florence Welch)
Britney Spears – Scream & Shout (featuring will.i.am)
Kevin Rudolf – Let it Rock
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis – Thrift Shop (featuring Wanz)
Outkast – Hey Ya!
Onyx – Slam (had to throw in some old school stuff!)
Naughty by Nature – Hip Hop Hooray
Cypress Hill – I Ain’t Goin’ Out Like That
Montell Jordan – This Is How We Do It
MC Hammer – You Can’t Touch This (Don’t Judge, haha!)
Janelle Monae – Tightrope (Featuring Big Boi)
Biz Markie – Let me clear my throat (Old School Remix)
Enur – Calabria (featuring Natasja)
Survivor – Eye of the Tiger (How could I not? 🙂
Crystal Method – Magic Carpet Ride
Republica – Ready to Go
Skrillex – Bangarang
Chris Brown – Turn up the music
David Guetta – Sweat (featuring Snoop Dogg)
Christina Aguilera – Fighter
Alex Clare – Too Close
David Guetta ft. Nicki Minaj & Flo Rida – Where the Girls at?
On Sunday, February 24th, I took part in the most amazing, most challenging thing I’ve ever had the courage to do: run a half marathon. I say this because I’ve never considered myself a runner.
In middle school I ran track, and I was fast. Once I entered high school I didn’t participate in sports and I quickly fell out of love with running. As I got older, I attempted running again but found it frustrating. I couldn’t run half a kilometer to save my life! This changed last May when I spent a week in Walt Disney World and picked up a Women’s Running magazine at the airport, that’s when I saw an ad for runDisney runs. I was sold! Anything to go back to Disney? Yep.
On Saturday, I carbo loaded at lunch, a meal of spaghetti with marinara sauce and bread at Pizzafari in Disney’s Animal Kingdom. I drank more water than I normally drink in a few days. I was feeling both excited and nervous. I kept telling myself, “You can do this!” I wanted to prove myself wrong, but to prove to others-who very much talked behind my back, saying, “She can’t do this.”- that in fact, I could do it.
Laid all my clothes out the night before and set alarm clocks on my iPhone at 15-minute intervals: 2:00, 2:15, 2:30. I wanted to be at the bus stop by 3 am since I had a race retreat and wanted to sit and relax before heading to the corrals.
The bus at the Art of Animation resort was already there and there were no lines. The ride was about 20 minutes with traffic into Epcot. The parking lot had lots of tents: ice tents, medical tents, bag check-in and the race retreat tent. I walked in and helped myself to some pre-race treats. They offered bagels with peanut butter, jam/jelly, muffins and coffee/tea. It was also nice to have a private port-a-potty!
I left around 4:15 and walked outside once the announcement was made that runners needed to make their way to the corrals. A volunteer checked my bib and told me to follow the crowds and the corrals would be there in about 20 minutes. Talk about a nice warmup!
The weather was cool but not cold, and once at the corrals, I placed my sweater on the fence. There were cardboard bins for clothing but I saw runners throwing trash in there!!
A volunteer checked bibs to ensure that you were entering the correct corral, however, I saw people climbing the fence and getting into earlier corrals, which really annoyed me. The corrals were crowded and it was difficult to get back if you needed to use the potty, so I can see how some people used that to their advantage to climb into earlier corrals.
At 5:30, fireworks went off and off went the wheelchair participants, and every 7 minutes after that, a corral was off and running. I was placed in H, which took off at 6:24 AM.
Miles 1-2 seem to pass by quickly and soon I was looking for that 5K mark. I signed myself for runner tracking and about 5 secs after passing the mark, I received a text message. I passed Captain Jack Sparrow and the ship on my left, the villains on my right, but the lines were too long to stop and have a picture taken. As much as I wanted to stop, I couldn’t, I was worried about being in the last corral and being swept. I just had to run.
The field was crowded and there were a lot of walkers. There were walkers to my left, to my right, runners on the left and right, and runners bobbing and weaving through crowds just to get through. A one point, I ran about 1/4 mile on the grass and it hurt my hips, badly. I just couldn’t get by!
The crowd seemed to spread out once we were about to enter Magic Kingdom and it was exciting to see that I made it that far. Made a left turn around Space Mountain and on my left, I saw a band playing drums and it made me smile.
Once entering Magic Kingdom, there were crowds on both sides of the ropes, cheering people on, clapping, holding signs, and I was pumped. Running through Main Street USA and seeing the castle up ahead, and the field became congested. At that point, I couldn’t run anymore, I had to walk, slow. The lines were long and I really wanted a pic with Mickey and Minnie, but again, I worried about timing. Once walking through the crowded Cinderella Castle, photographers were set up to take pictures in front of the castle. I waited about 3 minutes and I was well on my way.
Half Way mark!! Alicia Keys’, “Girl on Fire” played on loud speakers.
I HAD to stop and have my picture taken with Lilo and Stitch….I just love Stitch 🙂 I felt like such a kid when I saw Stitch, I’m like, “Stiiiiiitch!!!!!” 🙂
10k mark and my body felt like I hadn’t even run that far! I stopped at every water/Powerade station and had a cup of each. I have issues with dehydration and that was the last thing I needed to worry about.
Mile 10 and I was really starting feeling the heat. The humidity was getting to me and I kept looking for the next water station. My legs felt tired, but it never crossed my mind to slow down and quit when I was so close. On I-4 and the exit sign for Epcot when I noticed it was a hill leading to an overpass. Well, that hill was killer. I ran/walked up that hill and regained strength to get me through the last 2 miles.
Spectators once again cheered on and when I saw the choir on my right, I wanted to cry. I was out of breath, choking on my tears. Seeing that choir meant the end was just around the corner. I couldn’t slow down! I remember saying I my head, “I want this soooo bad!”
Turned a corner and there it was, the finish line. I ran faster from excitement, there were spectators in bleachers cheering on, and arms held high, I crossed that finish line, with a smile on my face and tears in my eyes. A lady approached me with a medal, took my pic and walked off feeling like I was walking on clouds. Days later, it all still feels surreal. I did it!!!
I’d like to thank runDisney for giving people an opportunity to make their dreams reality. So many runs are not walker-friendly and it was nice to see runners of all ages and backgrounds get off the couch and attempt a half-marathon.
Thank you to the volunteers who provided us with water, Powerade and fuel to finish this run. The volunteers who cheered us on from the sidelines, you have no idea how much your encouragement helped, at times when my mind wanted to quit.
Thank you to my Mom, who believed in me when no one else in my family did. I love you!
Last but not least, to the Princess Posse. You are all amazing and I could not have done it without you.
I realize this is starting to sound like I won an Academy Award, ha!! (Sorry)
I’m already looking forward to next year’s Princess Half, but first, I’m off to California for Disneyland Half Marathon.
See you at the finish line!
This year, the Fit for a Princess Expo was held at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort instead of its usual place, ESPN’s Wide World of Sports due to the Atlanta Braves Spring Training.
Buses arranged for picking up guests at the Disney resorts, leaving approximately every 20-25 minutes. I went Friday morning. Once there, there were stations where you could access your waiver, print it, sign it, and head to the various booths where you could pick up your bib. If you had a 10K or above time to submit, this is where you would hand that in and get your corral placement changed. I didn’t have a time, therefore I stayed where I was placed, in the back, H.
The expo felt crammed. The distance between the vendors and the bib booths was enormous, and it would have been nice to have had those spaces spread out. It was difficult getting to the vendor booths, and even more difficult figuring out where the lines started.
I got in line to pick up the race bag, which contained some goodies: a purple 5th anniversary Princess Half Marathon tech shirt, a pink mesh backpack, a temporary tattoo and other goodies, all in a clear runDisney bag which you would use as your race check in bag at the half. The line wrapped around the building but it moved fairly quickly. It was frustrating at first but the volunteers did a wonderful job and I was in and out of that line in about 20 minutes. While standing in line, actor Sean Astin walked past. I was too shy to say hi, although everyone says how nice he is and is very receptive to taking pics with fans. Next run I’ll chill out for sure.
There were lots of vendors and I picked up some Nuun tablets and a Cinderella shirt from Raw Threads. I could have bought the entire stock of Raw Threads merchandise, seriously! I was coveting the runDisney New Balance Minnie Mouse sneakers, and by the time I got to the booth, all that was left were sizes below 8. I’m an 8.5, go figure! I picked up the Princess New Balance sneakers and I’m glad I did. They are fabulous!!! The staff at New Balance even threw in some tiara-printed laces and a tiara that lit up. All is good!!!
I worked a few hours at the Sparkle Skirts booth with Leah Powell (genius creator of Sparkle Skirts) and a few other princesses. I earned the highly-coveted Merida sparkle tech skirt, for my next race! So exciting!!
The runDisney merchandise booth could not be touched, it was just insane in there!!! I returned on Saturday to see that the crowds thinned out a lot more, and I was able to pick up my “I did it!” shirt at the runDisney booth. No jackets or green 5th anniversary tech shirts left. I’m mad at myself for not getting the pins either, what was I thinking?!? 🙁
Towards the back, a stage was set up and they had several people speak. I stood and watched Jeff Galloway, Olympic runner, speak about training and running techniques; nutritionist Tara Gidus, and Ali Vincent, first female winner of NBC’s The Biggest Loser. It was inspiring to hear them talk about what makes you a winner, and having the courage to start a race makes you a winner. It’s not easy, but it’s good to know you’re not alone. All speakers were available to take questions, and they were nice to allow princesses and princes alike to photograph with them.
Aside from the fact that it was just so crowded, the Fit for a Princess Expo was a wonderful opportunity to meet people, get some advice for this race and future races, and if you forgot your race gear or wanted to change it, everything you needed was right there, from KT Tape to Yurbuds to Sparkle Skirts and all kinds of running shoes. It met my expectations, and can not wait until next year. Hopefully runDisney will accommodate the crowd better.
Until next time, see you at the finish line,
This afternoon, by means of the “back door” we were able to see our run waivers and our bib number. I have been rather upset by this, not just because my number is so high, but because I’m likely to be placed with walkers, when I am planning on running it. I’m not slow but not fast either. I can run a 10-11 minute-mile most days and some, a 12-minute mile, depending on the day.
So I’ve done my crying and my ranting, debated canceling my trip altogether, but I’m staying put. It just means I have to veer to the left and run like hell to give myself some cushion to stop for potty breaks and pictures and to avoid getting swept. My goal is to finish, not go to set a PR, I’ll leave that for another race.
I had an okay run this afternoon, on the dreadmill: 6.9 miles in 1:23, a 12-minute mile average pace. Not only was I angry (because I was on the dreadmill when I found out bib numbers) but I felt exhausted, dehydrated and just plain unmotivated. I hope to sleep this feeling off, rest, and hope for a better run on Wednesday, and an even better half marathon. I can do this!!!