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.
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,
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!