Packing for the runDisney Dopey Challenge

A few years ago, I wrote a post about packing for runDisney’s marathon weekend. I even included a fun video to help be your guide, and I thought packing for TWO races (Goofy) would be the most I would ever pack for. Check out that link if you want a super extensive packing list! But today we are talking about the runDisney Dopey Challenge.

packing for rundisney Dopey Challenge

Fast forward to 2014 when I ran the inaugural Dopey Challenge. I felt pretty prepared going in but learned a few tricks that may help you pack and be prepared for 48.6 miles. When running the runDisney Dopey Challenge, remember you will need FOUR of most things. This can get quite confusing when you may also need park clothes, nice clothes for dinners, etc. Here are my best tips for packing for the runDisney Dopey Challenge itself.

1.) Ziploc Bags:  You will need four sports bras, four pairs of socks, four outfits, etc., and it can get confusing as to which you want to wear for what race. To minimize confusion (and a messy suitcase) pack the items you need for each race in a ziplock bag or two, and label the bag with a sharpie. Be flexible. The year I ran one race ended up being way hotter than another, so I ended up switching up what days I wore what costume because one was cooler than the other.

2.) Carry on your shoes: If you are flying, be sure to carry on or wear your running shoes. Most other items are replaceable, but you don’t want to run (especially four races!) in new shoes if your bags get lost! I also carried on my costumes, but feel I would have been ok had I not had them now that I have done the challenge.

3.) Extra running shoes: I brought three pairs and rotated them out for the races. This helped me not get blisters badly on the early days, which would have made the full miserable on day 4. Also, in case one pair gets soaking wet, muddy, etc. you will want to have a backup pair for the other races, or for going to the parks.

4.) Lots of fuel: I take fuel/GU every 4ish miles, so between my husband and I we consumed a lot! (They also sell GU etc. at the expo but don’t try anything new for the race!) Also, keep in mind your hydration. I think runDisney does a great job of providing liquids on course so I have never brought my own water bottles, but you do you if that’s what you are used to doing!

5.) Recovery aids: In between each race there are certain things you can do to minimize stiffness and aches for the next race. I brought my traveling stick/foam roller, ibuprofen (do not take ibuprofen before a race, take Tylenol if you must!) compression socks and pants, and Biofreeze. You can also bring extra Ziploc bags for ice at your hotel or just take an ice bath.

6.) Gear for multiple weather scenarios: It’s Florida in January. You literally never know what it will be. I have run in 17 degrees and snow flurries, and ran an 85-degree marathon, all the same weekend in January a few years apart! Bring throw away gear just in case, as well as rain gear (related: tips for running in the rain.) and make sure you have layers especially if you have certain costumes you are wearing. Don’t plan a costume that only looks good with long pants in case it’s hot, and vise versa, don’t only plan one with tank tops or you may freeze! have options just in case.

I hope everyone has a wonderful race experience in January at the runDisney Dopey Challenge!

For information on runDisney events, registration, and dates be sure to check out runDisney.com

ESPN WWOS Media FAM Day 3 Part 1

Disclosure: I was invited to a 3-night media event by Walt Disney World, however, all opinions are my own.

In case you missed day one and two, go back and read those first!

Day three of the media event was the “big day” where we were busy all day long at Disney’s ESPN Wide World of Sports complex. I went into a lot of details of the events, etc on this post, but I will add in a few more as I talk about this day.

We began the day bright and early at the complex. Thankfully they had breakfast and coffee for us. It was cool to see some of the healthy food options you can purchase for your sports team. In my box was an avocado bagel, apple, orange juice, and yogurt. It hit the spot and is definitely something I would be happy for my child to eat as opposed to sugary on the go cereals or pop tarts.

After breakfast, we toured the entire complex, which took a while but was so much fun! (This place is huge, so we did some touring via golf cart.) After seeing the new arena and all the courts it has, we got to hang out with Goofy and Nick Anderson of Orlando Magic fame. He was so nice and spent a ton of time talking to us (check out my Instagram TV channel to see some of what he said.

He even gave me some pointers on my follow through (I haven’t touched a basketball in about 10 years yall) and it was so great to be on the court again.

We sadly left the arena after hanging out with Nick and Goofy, and made our way over to the VISA Center where we learned about the on the spot tee shirt printing services that are offered. It’s so cool that you can get your name, number, team name, and much more printed on a shirt. We even got our own shirts!

Next we got to see the real live working studio where sports reporting is done. It was so much fun to sit behind the desk and pretend like I was important haha! What’s cool is that they can change the colors of the studio (like the yellow and blue in the below photo) depending on what they are covering. How cool!

Next, we headed into the production studio which was SO COOL. I wrote more about it on the link I posted at the top of this page so won’t go into a ton of detail, but it’s so cool how much video footage these guys have on all the events that go on at the complex. It seems so intricate and detailed.

After learning all about the production side, we hopped on some golf carts and headed out to the soccer fields to catch some of the tournament action. I loved seeing people everywhere anad so many games going on at once.
Next, we headed back inside to take a look at the game day photo options. You can get your picture taken holding your favorite sporting equipment and have it put on balls, blankets, Christmas ornaments, and more. You can even hire a photographer to take action shots of your child during their game so you can just focus on cheering. I love this option!

We all had our pictures taken and happened to be put on the cover of ESPN magazine. 🙂 It was soon time for lunch, and we had a delicious spread and ate while listening to more wonderful cast members talking about the complex and then my favorite…runDisney!

At the end of the day we were surprised with an amazing gift…a race entry into the runDisney Walt Disney World marathon weekend! I was of course super pumped because I was not planning on signing up for any of the races. It was so generous of them, and I can’t wait for you all to follow along in my journey on race weekend.

This post is getting long so I’m going to break this day up into two posts, so stay tuned for more!

6 Tips for Running the runDisney Wine and Dine Half Marathon

The runDisney Wine and Dine half marathon weekend is definitely a favorite of mine because I love to eat, and naturally love EPCOT’s Food and Wine Festival. This is also a great time of year to visit Walt Disney World as it’s starting to slowly cool off, and Christmas decorations are starting to go up!

rundisney wine and dine half marathon tips

Since this race has switched to a daytime race, I decided to update my tips post so that it makes more sense for the current race weekend situation. Here are my best tips for running the Wine and Dine half marathon.

rundisney wine and dine half marathon tips

1.) Hydrate in advance: Don’t wait until the night before to decide to start drinking water. The race will be HUMID and you will sweat a lot. Carry a water bottle with you days in advance, at the expo, to the parks, etc. Also hydrate on the course. There are plenty of water stops. I take one cup of Powerade and one cup of water at each stop starting with the second one. (I typically run through the first one).

rundisney wine and dine half marathon tips

2.) Prepare for before and after the race: If you are checking a bag, make sure you don’t put any valuables inside as runDisney is not responsible for anything stolen. If I’m driving I put my car key in my bag as well as a phone external battery and charger and a jacket because I always get cold quickly after a race. If you are meeting someone at the finish line, make sure you have a plan as to where you are meeting because cell service may be spotty with all the people in one small area.

rundisney wine and dine half marathon tips

3.) Watch your footing: runDisney does a great job of lighting up the roads, there are still some dark spots early in the morning and I have seen people trip and fall on the reflectors in the middle of the road! Also, running through Animal Kingdom will be tight, and has some uneven pavement so pay extra attention running through that park.

rundisney wine and dine half marathon tips

4.) Watch your food intake: Do not eat any news foods the day of or before the race. I know the unique foods at the Food and Wine festival are tempting, but save it for after the race and at the after party! As far as on course calories, there will be either sport beans or gels, so make sure your stomach can handle it, or bring your own fuel.

rundisney wine and dine half marathon tips

5.) Read the official race program: Be sure you know the course, where the aid stations are, and what time to get on a bus. Be sure you get to the race in enough time to go to the bathroom and check your bag. A good reason to know the course: real bathrooms! You will be running through the parks, so I always try to take a bathroom break if needed in a “real” bathroom. There is also a map showing you the set up of the pre race area and where to go to get in your corral. If you are in corral A in particular, they close it off early and start moving them up around 5:00. I have missed my corral before and had to weave through a lot of people to get up to A because they had already moved to the starting line. Not a fun experience!

rundisney wine and dine half marathon tips

6.) Enjoy the after party! If you registered for the half marathon, you get automatic entry into the party at EPCOT on Sunday night. It starts at 10:00, and be mindful if you get there early that they shut everything down from 9-10 to clear out the park so you won’t be able to get food or ride anything during this time. Take lots of pictures, enjoy the food booths and a park with less people in it. Congrats on a great race!

To get excited about the race, be sure to check out my past two Wine and Dine race recaps from 2011 and 2012! Be sure to follow me on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

QOTD: Will you be running this weekend? Do you have any tips to add?

Looking for more info on runDisney races? be sure to check out their website for more information!

runDisney Star Wars Half Marathon Race Recap 2018

When I ran last year’s runDisney Star Wars half marathon, I had no idea I would be running again this year. Thanks to the generosity of Raw Threads, I was able to do the challenge and I had a blast! I ran both races by myself and just had fun (and yes my lack of training was disturbing) but it didn’t matter, I was in my happy place.

runDisney Star Wars Half Marathon Race Recap

My alarm went off at 3:15, and I had no idea if it was raining or not. (Before I went to bed it was looking like it was going to be a soggy run.) I got dressed and headed out to my car, and there was no rain! I drove the easy drive over to EPCOT, and sat in my car and ate breakfast before walking over to the buses. I again went to the bathroom here as opposed to at the Magic Kingdom (DO THIS. Lines were INSANE at MK parking!) I got on a bus around 4:35, and made it to the start of the race and into my corral at 5:05. I really liked not having to wait so long in the corral, and didn’t mind driving to EPCOT at all. It was all pretty relaxed!

runDisney Star Wars Half Marathon Race Recap

Soon corral C was moving up, and I got a shout out from race announcer Rudy before the fireworks went off and we started the race. I try not to do a ton of “thinking” at the start of a half marathon because I can easily psych myself out. Mile one hits and you think “crap I have to do this 12 more times!” The first several miles were boring and dark (and smelly, running by one of the plants) with a few characters scattered about. I stopped for one, this little guy.

runDisney Star Wars Half Marathon Race Recap

Soon  we headed into Animal Kingdom. I had a cut on one of my toes from the day before, and my band aid came off around this time and was in my sock driving me crazy. So when we got to Pandora I took my shoe and sock off, stopped to do an Instagram story, and also went to the bathroom (no rushing for me haha!)

runDisney Star Wars Half Marathon Race Recap

I enjoy running through Animal Kingdom I think because I have run through it the fewest number of times. Something I really liked about this race that I now remember from last year are the abundance of character opposites. So. Many. Characters. As we were leaving Animal Kingdom, there were literally about 10 different photo oops, so I just got in line and started taking selfies (not posting them all because there were so many!)

runDisney Star Wars Half Marathon Race Recap

As I was standing in line, I spotted someone familiar right in front of me. Dave! Back in the day Dave and I ran Wine and Dine half together. Maybe 2011, 2012? I Hadn’t seen him in years so it was great to catch up for a minute!runDisney Star Wars Half Marathon Race Recap

 

This one was kinda creepy but fun! About this time it started sprinkling on us but thankfully never turned into a full blown rain.

 

runDisney Star Wars Half Marathon Race Recap

 

After spending about ten minutes taking photos, I decided to move on because I knew the longer I was on my feet the more it was going to hurt!runDisney Star Wars Half Marathon Race Recap

 

I was then back out on the road, headed towards Hollywood Studios. These couple of miles were pretty boring, but I took some sport beans, some Twizzlers from a stranger, and lots of Powerade to combat the humidity and trudged on. I made the turn into Hollywood Studios, took more photos with characters (not posting them all, again there are so many!) and knew I was getting “close” and at least the rest of the race would have interesting things to look at. runDisney Star Wars Half Marathon Race Recap

 

runDisney Star Wars Half Marathon Race Recap

Almost as soon as I came in, I was out of the park and on the Boardwalk. Thankfully I had stayed enough ahead of the masses that it wasn’t bottle necked yet. I did stop for this fun photo around that time though.

runDisney Star Wars Half Marathon Race Recap

By this time I was ready for it to be over and said I wasn’t stopping anymore (I ended up stopping for two more pictures!) I mean I couldn’t resist this guy.

Now I was in EPCOT and int he home stretch. I enjoy this part of the course because we go all the way around World Showcase like at the end of the full marathon.

runDisney Star Wars Half Marathon Race Recap

I stopped one last time in front of the EPCOT ball for a quick picture and then came on home. Actually, there was one more stop right before the final turn. I just couldn’t run by when there were no lines haha! I videoed the finish for Instagram as I ran through, and I finished around 2:45. I got my half medal and challenge medal, and headed to the car. No photo taking this time, I wanted to get off my feet and out of my soaking wet clothes.

runDisney Star Wars Half Marathon Race Recap

Yes it was humid, yes it was hard being untrained, but I had so much fun and am so glad I decided to run. runDisney will always hold a special place in my heart, and I don’t see myself turning down any of those races anytime soon!

Star Wars 10k Race Recap 2018

Thanks to my friends at Raw Threads, I was able to run the Star Wars Dark Side Challenge this year. First up, my recap of the 10k race.

Since I was staying off property, I woke up at 3:15 then drove my car to EPCOT and hopped on a bus to the Magic Kingdom parking lot. It was super easy and not stressful at all, plus I got to sleep later than normal so I was fine with it. I got in B corral at 5:00, just as they were moving A to the starting line and preparing B to move in behind them.

I had no goals for the race really. I was very under trained, but thought I would try to run hard and just “see what happened.” I knew I was going to stop for photos the next day during the half so I didn’t really worry with it for the 10k. I tried to get as close to the front of the corral as I could, and just took off when the fireworks blasted above my head. It was dark. Really dark. I couldn’t see my Garmin so I just ran by feel. The first three miles are really boring because you just run straight down World Drive in the dark. I would glance at my Garmin every now and then when we went under a light and I was consistently running in the 9:00’s but I don’t know what I was running when I wasn’t looking in the light so I just wasn’t really sure what my overall time was going to end up being.

It was super humid and it started to get to me about halfway through, as did my lack of training. However I only stopped one time and it was to take a GU and drink some powerade. We finally made it to Hollywood Studios and things got more fun since there was a lot more to look at.

I made it across to the Boardwalk, and there were several people out cheering. I got into EPCOT, and that last mile was tough for me. I wasn’t looking at my Garmin (still dark) and honestly I didn’t want to know. I was pushing pretty hard, not I’m going to throw up hard but I was giving it a good try. I crossed the finish line in straight up 59 minutes, about 30 seconds slower than my PR. Of course I wanted to PR but was proud of my effort and how close I got!

After I got my medal I stood in a couple of character photo lines since I was by myself and didn’t really have anything else to do. Plus I knew the lines would be a lot longer the next day.

Aside from the boring first couple of miles, I definitely enjoyed the back half of this course. There were a lot of characters out for photo opportunities and it’s a must for any Star Wars fan!

runDisney Star Wars Dark Side Challenge + a New Trailer

Happy Monday everyone! I am back from a crazy week of traveling just in time to share something exciting. (yes there MAY be an entire LARGE bookshelf of Star Wars books in my house, and I MAY be running the runDisney Star Wars dark side challenge in two weeks…so there’s lots of Star Wars love going on in my family!) Photo below from last year’s race:

Ok so I may or may not be slightly under trained…my longest run is 7 miles but I’m hoping to get in ten this weekend, but anyhow, I have something even more exciting than the race to share with you!

I wanted to show you the new trailer for Solo: A Star Wars Story, which opens in theaters everywhere on May 25th!

star wars

 

 

Check this out:

“Board the Millennium Falcon and journey to a galaxy far, far away in SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY, an all-new adventure with the most beloved scoundrel in the galaxy. Through a series of daring escapades deep within a dark and dangerous criminal underworld, Han Solo befriends his mighty future copilot Chewbacca and meets the notorious gambler Lando Calrissian, in a journey that will set the course of one of the Star Wars saga’s most unlikely heroes….The film stars Alden Ehrenreich, Woody Harrelson, Emilia Clarke, Donald Glover, Thandie Newton, Phoebe Waller-Bridge and Paul Bettany.”

Woody Harrelson? Emilia Clarke? (My Game of Thrones heart can’t take it, yall!) I am pumped for this one.

star wars

Watch the official trailer below and tell me what you think. What is your favorite part? What are you most excited about in this movie?

PS: My husband claims if he can get a full Chewy outfit he will run in it with me in the race. Bless his little Star Wars loving heart. Enjoy!

Visit the official SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY site: http://www.starwars.com/films/solo

5 Reasons to Stay at Hilton Bonnet Creek for a runDisney Weekend

Disclosure: I was provided with a 2 night stay as a guest of Hilton, however all opinions are my own.

It’s no secret I am obsessed with runDisney race weekends. When I first starting running these races, I always stayed at certain resorts, and then I heard about Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek. I was blown away by all the perks given to runners during their special race weekends! Of course there are room discounts, but above and beyond that, there is so, so much more. Here are my five top reasons for staying at Hilton Bonnet Creek for a runDisney weekend:

Hilton Bonnet Creek Orlando is a great place to stay for a runDisney race weekend!

1.) Runner’s Concierge: Oh yes my friends. They have a staff member at a desk in the lobby at certain hours ready and willing to help you. From maps of the resort, to times the bus will arrive to where to carb load for dinner, it’s a one stop shop for all things race related. It’s also where you sign up for the bus, get your special runner’s gift, and even sign up for a giveaway to win a free stay at the hotel!

5 Reasons to Stay at Hilton Bonnet Creek for a runDisney Weekend

2.) Bus transportation for full and half marathons: Knowing I can just walk outside and hop on a bus is a huge plus. At some of the Disney owned resorts, I have waited for up to twenty minutes outside in the cold in a long line for a bus to come, but not so at Hilton Bonnet Creek! I waited inside while munching on my FREE BREAKFAST and then we all got on the bus, space for everyone. Woo hoo!

5 Reasons to Stay at Hilton Bonnet Creek for a runDisney Weekend

3.) Cheer squad and breakfast: I mentioned this above, but yes, when you roll out of bed at 3:00 you can head right downstairs where you will find an amazingly energetic cheerleading squad of employees, and also your free breakfast set up inside right next to where the bus picks you up. It’s a seamless process, and it’s super fun to see the posters and pom poms and smiling faces so early in the morning.

5 Reasons to Stay at Hilton Bonnet Creek for a runDisney Weekend

4.) Spacious rooms and amazing views: The rooms at this hotel are very nice with plenty of space for everyone. Lots of power outlets, full length mirror, big bathroom, and breathtaking views from both sides of the resort. Super comfy queen beds and fluffy pillows are every runners dream the night before a race, and Hilton Bonnet Creek does not disappoint.

5 Reasons to Stay at Hilton Bonnet Creek for a runDisney Weekend

 

5.) Post race recovery: As a runner, I know that post race recovery is a super important part to staying healthy physically and mentally. That’s why Hilton Bonnet Creek offers late 2:00 pm checkout to runners, so you can take your time, shower, nap, or lay by the pool before you head out on your next adventure. (Or do all of the above!) They have an amazing pool with zero entry, a lazy river, and a water slide. There’s also poolside drink and food service available as well as private cabanas (extra charge). I love this pool and the lush tropical atmosphere, especially after a race. It’s a great place for a nap!

5 Reasons to Stay at Hilton Bonnet Creek for a runDisney Weekend

 

 

runDisney Enchanted 10k Race Recap 2018

At the end of February, I participated in my SEVENTH runDisney Princess half marathon weekend by running the Enchanted 10k. It was my first time “just” running the 10k, and it was nice to only have to wake up super early one morning! I did miss the beautiful bling of the half marathon and the challenge, but it was a nice break to just worry about one race, and I had a blast!

runDisney Enchanted 10k Race Recap 2018. My race at Walt Disney World through EPCOT and the Boardwalk as part of the Princess half marathon weekend.

By pure randomness, I ended up running with my friend Jen (the other Jen unfortunately couldn’t make it) and it was her very first runDisney race! It was fun to show her the ropes and see how much she enjoyed it.

I woke up at 2:45 with plans to catch the 4:00 bus from Caribbean Beach resort. Normally I would sleep until 3:15, but I bought a last minute Moana costume on Amazon a few days before I left and had never tried to “fix it” for running and so I knew it may take awhile to figure out the best way. (Note I do NOT recommend

 

this strategy, especially for a half or full marathon!) I knew I would be fine for 6 miles even if it was uncomfortable.)

 

As predicted, it did take some time (and a LOT of safety pins) to get my costume situated, and I was out the door at five minutes to 4:00 and was met at the bus stop with a super long line. The problem was, I was in the Jamaica section which was the last pick up, so by time the buses got to us they were full. Finally they sent and empty bus straight to our stop and we were able to get on about 4:10 or so.

I was texting Jen and saw we were both in A corral via her Instagram photo. She had been injured, but we decided to run together until she started to hurt then her plan was to hang back and walk while I went on ahead. Worked for me! I finally found her and then some other friends and blog readers chatted with us and then it was go time!

We realized a little too late that they had already closed off and moved corral A up to the front, and we were bummed we had missed it. So we got in B, and saw they will still letting people into A if they could get to the front, and that’s a big “if”. B was packed full of people but we gave it a shot and said excuse me about 100 times and I can’t believe it but we made it up to the tape and they let us in our corral! We were in the third and final wave of corral A but that was totally fine I was just excited we made it up there.

Soon it was time for our wave to take off. My plan was to run a comfortably hard pace (so maybe about 75-80%?) and get ahead of some of the picture taking crowd, and then maybe have some short lines in EPCOT because of it. Honestly, the first three miles are pretty boring anyway, so Jen and I just chatted and passed the lines as we made our way to EPCOT. We had plenty of running room and there were only a handful of people around us which was nice. We got into EPCOT and stopped for the first time (for water) strike that—I stopped at mile 2 to rip off and throw away my grass skirt #CostumeIssues. It was driving me crazy. Seriously people, do as I say not as I do.

Anyway, we took a picture by the mile 3 sign just before we made it into a back entrance to the park and stopped for these guys becasue there was no one waiting.

We grabbed water, I took an Insta story video, and we carried on around the World Showcase. I love how the torches are lit during this race! We came to a character stop, Pinocchio, and saw there were three people in line. I asked Jen if she wanted to stop, which she did, so the fun began!

I also taught Jen about finding the green tents to get photopass pictures.

We took off again, and soon saw another character stop, this time for Genie! Again, maybe 3-4 people in line in front of us so it went super fast.

Making our way around, we stopped in France for Marie.

Then it was time to exit the park and run around the Boardwalk, which I really enjoy. There were plenty of spectators along the route which was fun. Of course we had to stop for Goofy by ESPN club. He probably had the longest line with about 8 people ahead of us.

Soon we were running back into EPCOT, and the race was almost over. Jen saw Pluto basically hiding off to the side and we snagged a quick picture with him before running towards Spaceship Earth.

It was really humid and it was starting to get to me, but we were almost done!

I was surprised that my quad nor knee were bothering me, but definitely not complaining about that. We grabbed one more quick picture with Figment in a nod at the upcoming Flower and Garden Festival, and then we were in the home stretch.

I loved that I got so many photopass pictures, and there are even more I’m not posting. Sssoooo many.

So we saw the finish line in our sights, and threw our hands up, with a finish time of 1:13, which I will gladly take with all the stops we made! Also i haven’t run more than three miles since Wine and Dine in November (oops). I Honestly had a blast at this race and it didn’t feel like work or not fun, which is honestly one of the reasons I haven’t raced as much lately, so i was glad to find some joy in this one! I mean, can’t you see it on my face?

Loved loved loved this race, and am so glad I ended up not having to run it alone. Thanks so much runDisney for a fabulous time!Enchanted 10k Race Recap 2018

 

Wine and Dine Half Marathon 2017

This was my first time running the Wine and Dine Half in the daytime, and my first time participating in the two course challenge. Being tired and having my leg hurting me from the 10k the day before I was not feeling optimistic, but had no goals other than to have fun, and that’s what I did!

Keep in mind I was very under trained, I had run a 10k a few weeks prior and did a 9 mile run/walk (more walk than run) training run on a very hot day, but that was the extent of my training.

I was running solo again, and knew the first few miles would be dark and kind of boring, but I was ok with it. After my coral was set to go, I just got into a good rhythm and stuck with it. My leg started bothering me right from the start, but I pushed through, and am glad I did, because I ended up having a good race! I didn’t take any photos on the course because it was so. humid. My entire body was covered in sweat most of the race (and in the beginning before I was too sweaty, it was too dark!) and my fingers wouldn’t unlock my phone, but thankfully I got a ton of great photopass shots! (great as in I’m smiling and still running, not as in I look cute, because I don’t. I look like a sweaty mess.)

Running through Animal Kingdom was really fun because we were the first race to run through Pandora. I was kind of bummed that there were no photographers taking running shots of people in Pandora, just one if you wanted to stop and take a photo. Oh well, moving on.

So my quad and knee were really tight and hurt, but then honestly they just kind of went numb and were just a dull pain from mile 7 or so on. The only walk breaks I took were from stopping at water stops for about ten seconds each, and I stopped at every single one. Check out the photo below. The bottom left of my shirt is the color it’s “supposed” to be.

Running through Hollywood Studios was also fun because they had up their Christmas decorations. Once I got into this park I knew I would make it to the finish because the rest of the scenery was at least interesting after getting off the main roads.

I exited Hollywood Studios and headed towards the Boardwalk. OH! A total runner #fail I forgot to mention was fuel. Typically, runDisney races have GU packets which is what I take when I train anyway. However, this race handed out sport beans, which totally threw me off. Make sure to read all the info so you know what to expect. Do as I say, not as I do.

So I kept plugging along and realized I was keeping a pretty good clip despite my under trained status and the awful weather. I decided to keep pushing and see what I could do without absolutely killing myself. After all, I did want to end with a smile on my face and continue to enjoy the run.

Wwweeeeee!

I made it into EPCOT and knew I was in the home stretch. I was not anticipating turning RIGHT into EPCOT and going all the way around World Showcase (again, runner fail. I’m sure the map was in the runner guide). My GPS is always off so I thought we would be turning left and going around the “short side” so that kind of knocked the wind out of my sails, but I knew we were still close.

I love running around the World Showcase, lots of room, pretty scenery, and it also means you are almost done!

So up until this point I had stopped for zero characters and the only time I walked was for water stops. As I approached this little guy, he had NO ONE in line and I felt bad for him so I jumped in, took a picture and kept going. What a cute little guy. He just needed a friend.

I passed Spaceship Earth and headed “back stage” the old familiar way I have run so many times before. I made the last corner and heard cheering and decided to give everything I had left, which turned out to be a lot! I sprinted to the end and crossed the finish line.

I did it! Another runDisney race in the books. I got my half medal, my challenge medal, and then had to document with a photo since no one was there to take one for me. I was back at the hotel, showered and in bed for a nap before most people were headed into the parks for the day, and I had a great feeling of accomplishment.

I was reminded I am so much stronger than I think, and after all these years of running, even when I don’t actually train, my body knows what to do. I ended up finishing the half in 2:17, which is just a few minutes off my PR, and that’s with running a hard 10k the day before. My mile pace was actually FASTER at the half than the 10k! It just goes to show you every day and every race is different, and this one was fun. I’m so glad I was able to run and have such a fun runDisney weekend.

 

runDisney Wine and Dine 10K Recap 2017

At the beginning of November, I had the opportunity to run the runDisney Two Course Challenge, made up of the Wine and Dine 10K and half marathon. I registered last minute and was under trained, so I just had fun with it, and fun was definitely had!

I didn’t take many photos during the race since it was dark when I started and dark when I finished, but I did take some video, which is at the end of this post. I will give a brief recap though.

I woke up at 3:00 and met my friend Amanda to go to the bus at 3:45 (last bus is at 4:00 and we were at the back of the resort). We were on a bus within five minutes, and got to the start with TONS of time to kill. (Side note: notice how straight and thin my hair looks here? Remember this for later).

This is one thing I dislike, that you are forced to arrive so early if you use Disney transportation. It was a few minutes after 4:00 when we arrived and the race didn’t start until 5:30. We hung out at the start and just chatted, went to the bathroom, etc. and then said our goodbyes and headed into our respective corals. I got as close to the front as I could and sat down. This is where I stayed for about 40 minutes waiting for the race. I didn’t want to play on my phone too much as I didn’t want the battery to die, so it was honestly pretty boring, heh. Finally they started moving the corals up, and then the race started. I was in coral B, so thankfully didn’t have to wait too long.




I started running and immediately remembered something about runDisney races, you get zero time to warm up since you are sitting in a corral for so long, then you take off on cold muscles. By the time I realized it was happening, my leg that has been bugging me tightened up like crazy and I knew I was in for a long weekend. It wasn’t bad, but I could “feel” it if that makes sense. My quad tightened then it worked its way down to my knee by mile three and was hurting a little.

Honestly, the first 3 miles were really boring until we got into Hollywood Studios. I only saw I think one character in the park, and the line was super long so I passed. We then headed across the way to the Boardwalk It was so humid the decking was slippery so I had to be careful.

I saw the line for tourist Genie, and it was long but not SUPER long, so I hopped in line because, why not? I don’t know if I have ever taken a picture with him. (Notice how wavy my hair is now!)

It was nice to take a little breather in the super thick humidity, and then I moved on to EPCOT.

I saw these guys in Canada (do you think they wold be upset if they knew I never saw their movie?)

I then knew I was in the homestretch. It was so weird running here in the dark, it’s usually daylight by time I get to this point, and think I have only run in the dark here the year I did Dopey.

I made it that final familiar stretch I have run so many times, and crossed the finish line somewhere around 1:04. Not bad for all my stopping!

wine and dine 10k

I was smiling when I finished, which is all I cared about. I was so thankful to have the opportunity to run so last minute, and in my favorite place. It’s often during races I am reminded how truly blessed I am.

wine and dine 10k

Now on to the half marathon recap! But first, in case you missed it, here’s my expo recap, and don’t forget to check out my video below: