Monday, September 30, 2013

Training recap week of 9/22 (Dopey Week 3)

Week 3 has come and gone and it was a solid week of training.  I got all my runs in and was pleased with both my times and how I felt during them.  This week featured another back to back run, including my longest run since Montreal last September.  Since I am marathon training again, I expect I'll be commenting on that a lot.

I do have to say that I was exhausted all day Sunday post 14 miles.  And I am still a little tired today.  I think as training goes on, it's going to become very important for me to get enough sleep during the week and recovery on the weekend.

Scheduled: Off
Actual: Off

Scheduled: 3 miles easy pace (10:44 - 11:44)
Actual: 3.06 miles, 33:48, 11:02 pace

Scheduled: 5 mile tempo run (9:44)
Actual: 5 miles tempo, 6 miles total
Paces: 9:40, 9:32, 9:43, 9:36, 9:46

Scheduled: 3 miles easy pace (10:44 - 11:44)
Actual: 3.1 miles, 32:57, 10:37 pace

Scheduled: Rest 
Actual: Rest

Scheduled: 4 miles long run pace (10:29)
Actual: 4.11 miles, 42:06, 10:14 pace

Scheduled: 14 miles long run pace (10:29)
Actual: 14 miles, 2:18:39, 9:54 pace

Both my long runs were a little faster then they should have been.  I am using training paces for a 4:15 finishing time which is probably fast for Dopey, but is slower then my current speed so I think this is going to be happening a lot.  

Total miles: 30.28
Total September miles: 91.21

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Staying motivated

Any runner goes through the struggle to stay motivated when training.  I struggled with this over this past winter and early spring before getting into my groove.  I had a really solid summer of training, which resulting in hitting my goal half marathon time at the Philly Half Marathon.

As Dopey training progresses, I really want to make sure I stay motivated.  It's been going well so far, but as it goes on it is going to get harder.  It'll be darker out and weather will get in the way so I'll be doing more miles then I'd like on a treadmill.  I have never trained for a marathon in the middle of winter.  A spring marathon?  Yes.  A true winter marathon?  No.

So I've come up with a little system to stay motivated.  Bribery.  Seriously.  I have seen this on a couple of other blogs (Kim did it while training for Dumbo) and it sounds like a winner to me.

I am going to give myself $1 for every mile I run.  I am going to use an empty Disney Coffee can as my "piggy" bank (although I will be depositing it every now and then.  Let's be real, there is no need to keep that much cash in my apartment).  And then when I get to Dopey in January, the money saved will be my spending money for the expo.  I think this will be a good motivation for me as the training progresses.

Any other suggestions on how to stay motivated?

PS - Did everyone watch this epic (and yes it deserves that description) lip sync contest on Jimmy Fallon this week?  Amazing.  I love me some Joseph Gordon-Levitt.  If you need convincing, check out this link.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Cancer s_cks

Let's just get this out in the open - cancer sucks.  There is no easy way to put it.  It just does.  

Some of you might know that I have been a long time participant in Team in Training (TNT).  I ran my first 4 marathons with them and have been volunteering as a pace leader for the last 3 seasons.   I lost both my grandmother and a good friend from college (only 6 days after my first marathon) and last week I was reminded just how much cancer sucks.  My cousin-in-law (who I am very close to) lost her father last week and it just sucks.  

I think my other cousin Meghan put it best:

1. Cancer sucks
2. We're too young to start losing our parents
3. I wish you could give someone a hug through the phone

All 3 points are right on the money.  

And yes, cancer sucks, so let's do what we can to get rid of it.  While I am not fundraising for TNT this season, my good friends Abby and Anna are doing a virtual race for TNT.  It's called Banana's Splits Virtual Race.  

It's easy to join - registration is only $25 and you can run any distance you want!  Abby has even created bibs to wear (if you'd like) and the medals are so cute.  I'm already registered and can't wait to get my medal in the mail.  

If you'd like to join us, please visit the race page here for more information and the link to register.  

If you can't do the race, but would still like to donate, no worries!  You can do so by visiting Anna's fundraising page here.

Who's going to be joining us and help us beat cancer?

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

2 on Tuesday

The first day of fall was this past Sunday and I don't know about where you are, but it is here and it has come on strong.  We didn't creep into Fall, we got pushed off the cliff.  I am not complaining (a lot), but I'd rather it happened slower.  Winter follows fall after all.  

Fall brings about my favorite thing - Pumpkin.  And anything with pumpkin in it.  These Pumpkin Spice k-cups are the best.  It's a subtle pumpkin flavor, not too strong but you can still taste it.  It's only available for a limited time and I have already begun to hoard boxes of it.  It's that good!

Fall also means that Reese's Peanut Butter Pumpkins are back!  I don't know about you, but I think the Reese's shaped like seasonal items (trees, eggs, etc) are so much better than the regular Reese's cups.  Anyone else think so?

Unfortunately, fall also brings busy season at work, so if posts are a little less frequent (I am going to do my best to continue to post regularly), that's why.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Training recap week of 9/16 (Dopey Week 2)

While this week I got all my runs it, it had its own challenges.  After months of solid long runs, I was not feeling it this weekend.  My legs felt heavy and it was so humid I felt like it was smothering me.  Not good.  Happy to get these crappy runs out of the way now so the longer ones go better

Scheduled: Off
Actual: Off

Scheduled: 3 miles easy pace (10:44 - 11:44)
Actual: 3.04 miles, 32:14, 10:32 pace

Scheduled: 5 mile easy run (10:44 - 11:44)
Actual: 5.2 miles, 55:53, 10:45 pace

Scheduled: 3 miles easy pace (10:44 - 11:44)
Actual: 3.01 miles, 32:16, 10:44 pace

Scheduled: Rest 
Actual: Rest

Scheduled: 7 miles long run pace (10:29)
Actual: 7 miles, 1:13:31, 10:30 pace

This run definitely was not my best.  Everything was hurting, but I finished!

Scheduled: Cross training
Actual: 1 hour walk

Total miles: 18.24
Total September miles: 60.94

Up next week is the Providence Half Marathon!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Book Club Friday: The Impossible Lives of Greta Wells

It's been a while since I linked up with Book Club Friday.  I wish I could say I had been reading a ton during that time, but I have to admit I just haven't felt like it lately.  I could not get motivated.  It took me way longer then I'd like to admit to finish this book.  But I did!  Hopefully my motivation is back now.

Anyway this week I am sharing my works book club selection - The Impossible Lives of Greta Wells by Andrew Sean Greer.

From Barnes and Noble: 
1985. After the death of her beloved twin brother, Felix, and the breakup with her longtime lover, Nathan, Greta Wells embarks on a radical psychiatric treatment to alleviate her suffocating depression. But the treatment has unexpected effects, and Greta finds herself transported to the lives she might have had if she'd been born in different eras.
During the course of her treatment, Greta cycles between her own time and alternate lives in 1918, where she is a bohemian adulteress, and 1941, which transforms her into a devoted mother and wife. Separated by time and social mores, Greta's three lives are remarkably similar, fraught with familiar tensions and difficult choices. Each reality has its own losses, its own rewards, and each extracts a different price. And the modern Greta learns that her alternate selves are unpredictable, driven by their own desires and needs.

My review:
Despite how long it took me to finish this book, I did enjoy it.  I liked the concept and that it was different from other books.  I enjoyed seeing each Greta's lives and how our Greta (the 1985 one) handled each world.  I kinda wish I could see what myself is like in different time periods.

The ending was a little unexpected too (at least I thought so) which I liked.  I hate when books are predictable!  I don't want to spoil it here, but if you've read it let me know.  We should discuss!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Race Recap: RnR Philadelphia Half Marathon

Rock 'n' Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon
September 15, 2013

State: Repeat
Lifetime: #37

This past weekend, Abby, Pam and I took a road trip to Philly to run the Rock n Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon.  This weekend was also our friend Megan's daughters first birthday party in Philly and it worked perfectly for us to run the half.

We headed to Philly early Saturday morning (not without some stops on the way) and headed straight to the birthday party.  It was a great afternoon filled with delicious food (Megan had an awesome Hawaiian food truck cater!) and time with friends.

After the party we headed to the expo (after checking in to the hotel).  The expo was pretty small.  After getting our numbers and race shirts, we headed to the merchandise.  They had some really cute race tanks, but they were all sold out of my size.  I guess that is what happens when you show up 1 hour before the expo closes.

The Brooks area (they are the main sponsor) was themed 'Run Happy Island'.  They were doing a thing were if you got 3 stamps from their different booths you could get a nice 'Run Happy Island' insulated bag for free.  I have to give Abby credit for this one as I didn't want to do it initially but she convinced me.  I was glad I did 'cuz the bag is really cute!

Stamp #2: Abby, Pam and I getting ready (photo courtesy of Abby)
After getting our bags and checking out some of the booths (it seemed like a small expo to me) and then headed back to the hotel to get settled and have some dinner.  Even though the race wasn't until 8am, we headed to bed early for a solid night of sleep!

Sunday morning came and I had my usual oatmeal for breakfast.  I had laid out my clothing the night before so getting dressed was easy.  Our hotel was about a 20 minute walk from the start which gave us a nice warmup.  It was little chilly when we first started walking, but I warmed up quickly.

After wishing Abby and Pam good luck, I headed to my corral.  Let me tell you, the corrals were insane.  It was very packed but I managed to make it in.  They were sending the corrals off in waves, but I couldn't figure out how.  I think in sets of 3 maybe?  Who knows but fortunately I only had to wait about 10 minutes to start.

My legs had been heavy all week so I didn't think this would go well.  I figured I would run how I felt. I tried to conserve in the beginning because I didn't want to die in the end.  After the first couple of miles, I was really settling in.  The first 7 miles just flew by, I could not believe how quickly they went!

I was feeling really strong so I decided to pick it up a bit.  The miles kept going quickly and the pace was steady.  Once I hit mile 10 I upped the pace again.  This was a little more difficult but not so hard that I couldn't maintain it for ever.  Mile 11 I gave it a little more and mile 12 I decided to just leave it all on the course.  I pushed myself and got another sub 8 minute mile for the last mile.  It still amazes me how far my speed has come!

As I crossed finished line, I was spent.  I knew I had left it all out there.  It felt good.  But more importantly, I had hit the time goal I had set earlier in the summer - my final time was a 1:55:04.  So proud and so excited to have reached a goal that I had set.  Now time to focus 100% on Dopey!

Official: 13.1 mi, 1:55:09, 8:47 pace
Garmin: 13.24 mi, 1:55:04, 8:40 pace


Wednesday, September 18, 2013

50 States Update

It's been a while since I did an update on my 50 States Challenge.  I've added 3 more states to the roster - Connecticut, Kentucky and Oregon.  These are numbers 14, 15 and 16.  Making my way through!

Up first is the Hartford Half Marathon on October 14th.  This one was a pretty easy one for me to decide on as I have family in Hartford I can stay with.  Thanks Uncle Joe and Aunt Toni!  This one will be state number 4 in 2013.  I've done the math and I need to do 4-5 states a year to achieve my goal by 2023.  We might try and get Delaware in this year (there is a race in December) but it will depend on schedules.

Moving on to 2014, we've got Kentucky.  We found the Run the Bluegrass half at the Flying Pigs expo and it sounded awesome.  It's small (has a max of 5,000 people) and looked beautiful.  Each year the race is themed after a different race horse and the medal is redone accordingly.

Also in 2014, we are all going to do the Eugene Half Marathon in Oregon.  I figure if you are going to a race in Oregon, you've got to do one in Eugene, home of Prefontaine.  It's still like 10 months away but I am already looking forward to the weekend!

Excited to check some more states of the list!  Any races in your home state I should add to my list?

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

2 on Tuesday

Did anyone else watch the premiere of Sleepy Hollow last night on Fox?  I won't spoil it for those of you who haven't, but holy cow.  I like me some weird and unusual (RIP Lost and Fringe) and this one did not disappoint.  I have no idea where they are going with it, but I definitely enjoyed it.  I will have to say I won't be watching it right before going to bed again.  I felt like I needed to look at some cuddly puppies before I could fall asleep.

Since we are talking about TV, let's discuss that my favorite issue of Entertainment Weekly came out last week.  I like all the issues (the HIMYM issue was particularly great), but this is always my favorite.  I am a bit of a TV nerd and I love reading on all the new shows coming and what I can expect from my returning faves.  There seem to be a lot of good shows coming out this fall, I hope my DVR is ready!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Training recap week of 9/9 (Week 1 Dopey)

Well... here we go!  I honestly cannot believe training has already started.  Eek!  It's really happening!

Week 1 and I already skipped a workout.  In my defense, it was definitely a wise decision.  I came home, changed quickly but by the time I got outside it was pitch black and there was thunder and lightning.  Not the safest conditions to be running in.  Yes, I want to get my runs in but safety first.  It was the right decision (by the time I got back to my apartment is was pouring and it storms for close to 45 minutes).

This week was a mix of good and bad.  My runs during the week felt crappy.  My legs just felt heavy and paces that should have been easy felt tough.  But that all went away for a great Philly Half.  I probably pushed it a little too much though 'cuz I am hurting today!


Scheduled: Off
Actual: Off

Scheduled: 3 miles easy pace (10:44 - 11:44)
Actual: 3.01 miles, 32:17, 10:44 pace

Scheduled: 5 mile tempo run (9:44)
Actual: 5 miles tempo, 6 miles total
Paces: 9:44, 9:43, 9:48, 10:59, 10:17

This run did not go great.  My legs felt so heavy during this.

Scheduled: 3 miles easy pace (10:44 - 11:44)
Actual: Off

Skipped due to the thunderstorm going on outside.  Safety first!

Scheduled: Rest 
Actual: Rest

Scheduled: 3 miles easy pace (10:44 - 11:44)
Actual: 1.62 miles, 17:20, 10:42 pace

I was having some stomach issues (let's leave it at that, shall we?) so I cut this run short

Scheduled: Rock n Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon (13.1 miles)
Actual: 13.24 miles, 1:55:04, 8:42 pace

Despite how my legs felt during the week, this Sunday I felt great.  I'll be back with a full recap, but all my speed work this summer really came together.  I probably should not have raced this given the fact my training should be focused on Dopey, but I did anyways.  It felt really great to get that 1:55.  Luckily there are all easy runs on the schedule this week!

Total miles: 23.86 
Total September miles: 42.70

Friday, September 13, 2013

Race Recap: Disneyland Half Marathon

Don't forget to read my recaps of the expo and the Inaugural Disneyland 10K!

I'm back today with my recap of the Disneyland Half Marathon, part 2 of the Dumbo Double Dare Challenge!

Disneyland Half Marathon
September 1, 2013

State: repeat
Lifetime: #36

Sunday was another early morning (even earlier then the day before).  Despite having gone to bed early, this one was not as easy as Saturday.  The alarm went off just before 4 am.  Similar to Saturday, I made breakfast (oatmeal again and a banana as well) and got dressed.

As with the 10K, I had laid my clothing out and everything was ready to go (I was Snow White this time).  After breakfast was done and we were ready, we headed to the start area.  It was a little more chaotic this time around as this race was bigger.

I didn't get to see Abby before the race and Pam and I parted ways shortly after we got to the start area.  Despite having done 35 (now 36) halves before, I still get nervous before them and like to do my own thing.  I had my last pre-race snack - a pack of PowerBar Gel Blasts (the cola flavor is my favorite).  I can't eat the gummies when I run but they are the perfect fuel for me before a race.

I headed to the corral which was packed.  I could barely get in.  Fortunately I only had to be there for about 10 minutes before the race started.  I honestly can't remember how the race kicked off.  I remember the National Anthem being sung but that was about it.  Before I knew it people were moving and we were off.

It had been hot on Saturday during the 10K and all day afterward the race.  I knew Sunday would be brutal as well.  As soon as I realized how hot it would be, I adjusted my race plan.  I didn't want to overdo it - just finish and feel strong (not drained).  Once I decided that, I decided to run with my phone (in other words, lots of pics to follow!).

The start was similar to the 10K, but we headed to California Adventure quicker.  By the time we went into DCA, I was already dripping.  I kept reminding myself to take it easy.  The first 2 miles my 9:45 felt like I was sprinting.  We went into DCA a different way this time and ran around Paradise Pier first.  Since it was still dark out, we got to see the World of Color lights in full glory this time.

This time I got to see the Green Army men (from Toy Story) at the Pier.  Line was still short and since I wasn't planning on racing, I stopped for a photo.

We next headed to Cars Land.  This time we ran towards the mountains and it was a much better view! I liked running this way better.  I stopped again for photo with the firetruck from Cars, but the line for Lightning and Mater was pretty long so I skipped it.

From there we headed into Hollywood Land where this time I did get my photo with the Monsters U gang.  Definitely one of my favorites from the race!

After a quick circle around the fountain, we headed down Buena Vista Street and across to Disneyland.    Right at the front of Main Street was the Genie, Aladdin and Jasmine.  Loved that Aladdin was in his Prince Ali gear.  Couldn't miss that.

After a quick photo with Mary Poppins and Bert (and some carousel horses), we headed into Frontierland and around the carousel.  Captain Hook and Smee were going for a ride!  They gave me a nice reason to laugh in the heat.

Next we ran through the Castle (never disappoints) and got a photo with Aurora and Prince Phillip.

Next we headed through Tomorrowland where I got my favorite photo of the race.  Gotta have fun with it!

Next it was past the Matterhorn and it's a small world (again) and into Toon Town.  This was like Princess row and I had to stop - especially for my "Twin-cess" (Cinderella's word not mine I swear!).

These past 2 miles with all the photo stops were not good paces.  I knew all the characters would be in the park so I was okay with stopping and my paces being slow.  Plus with the heat, I knew this would not be my day to push it.

Mile 4 marked the switch from park miles to Anaheim miles.  While they couldn't bring characters onto the course, they did fill it with bands, dancers, cheerleaders and 2 miles of classic cars!  They were great ways to break up the course.

Once we got out of Disneyland, I kept telling myself to run how I was feeling.  So after the first mile, imagine my surprise when I saw my watch say 8:45 for that mile.  If you guessed shocked, you'd be right.  But I just kept telling myself to run how I felt (I had a similar mantra for the Montreal Full) and we'd see where the paces went.

And they stayed pretty consistent.  The next mile was slightly slower (8:55), but then they picked up again.  I seemed to be hovering around the 8:30 pace.  I could not believe it.  And I felt really strong.  It was a nice pickup.

After the 2 miles of classic cars (which I really enjoyed, but I know others did not), we hit a dirt trail.  I didn't realize this was coming.  I didn't mind the dirt, but it was a little narrow and the trail got a bit tight.  At the end of the trail we hit mile nine and were making our way to Angels Stadium.

This was one of the parts I was most looking forward to and it did not disappoint.  Heading into Angels stadium all we could here was screaming and cheering.  I felt like I was making my major league debut.  I debated stopping for a picture, but was feeling really in the groove and did not want break it.

From Angels Stadium we headed back towards Disneyland.  My pace continue to hover around the 8:30 average and I still felt good.  I took a second gu to make sure I had enough energy for a final push.

Coming in the home stretch we ran into the backside of DCA - same exact portion as that morning (I was having deja vu).  The course only overlapped for a little bit and we were heading for the finish.  I picked it up a bit because I wanted to have a strong finish.  Mile 13 was a 7:58, so I would call that a strong finish.  Unlike Flying Pig where my sub-8 pace was gravity assisted, this was flat.  It was all me, which helped end the race on a high note.

I finished the race with a 2:10.  As I said in my training recap from that week, my time does not showcase my effort.  I think taking the first couple of miles easy helped and really warmed me up for some fast miles afterwards.  I still can't believe my paces the last 9 miles.  Looks like all that speed work helped!

After the finish line, I collected my Disneyland Half medal, my Dumbo Double Dare medal and my Coast to Coast.  I had been dreaming of these medals for so long and they were finally mine.  It felt as great as I hoped it would be.

Overall, I really liked this race.  I know some people didn't, but for me, it was a great mix of park/characters and open road to really cruise.  I enjoyed the challenge of the two races (which is good since I've got two more to do at Dopey) and the courses.  I liked the Tink course better, but I still liked this one.  I'll definitely be back for another Dumbo Double Dare next year!

Official: 13.1 mi, 2:10:03, 9:55 pace
Garmin: 13.3 mi, 2:10:02, 9:47 pace


Did you run the Disneyland Half or Dumbo Double Dare?  Let me know how it went for you!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Race Recap: Disneyland 10K

We are having another heatwave here in NYC - it was over 90 yesterday!  I am dying for fall to start already (although winter follows fall and we all know how I feel about that!).

Yesterday, I recapped the expo and today I am back with a recap of Inaugural Disneyland 10K.  Let's get right to it.

The morning started bright and early with the alarm going off at 4:30.  Even though it was insanely early, I wasn't even tired since we had gone to bed at 8:30 the night before (bless you jetlag!).

I made my pre-race breakfast of oatmeal (brought from home) using hot water from the coffee maker (I just run a cycle without the coffee).  I am such a nerd - I even brought my own measuring cup so I would put the right amount of water in.  I ate it while I got dressed.  I had laid all my clothing out the night before so it was nice and easy.

Pam accidentally pinned her number on upside down
After finishing breakfast and getting dressed (I was going as Minnie for the 10K), we headed down to the race.  We stayed at the Disneyland Hotel so the start/finish area was only a 5 minute walk away.  Such a nice change from the Florida races where you have to get on a bus hours before the race!

We hung out briefly in the pre-start area where we say Abby rocking her Mad Hatter outfit!  Such a cute outfit for the 10K since it was themed the Wonderland 10K!

Photo courtesy of Pam
It was about this time they started to announce to head to the corrals.  I said my goodbye's to Pam and Abby and started to make my way to the A corral.  I have no idea why they started announcing to head to the corrals as they were not open.  We just got penned in another area waiting.  I hear it's because there were still 5Ker's starting, but still wasn't ideal.  After about 10 minutes, we were able to get into the corrals.

Once there the announcers started to get going to prepare for the start.  Since the 5K and 10K started only 45 minutes about and we were delayed getting into the corrals, there was only about 10 minutes before Corral A was supposed to start.

Alice and the Mad Hatter help kick things off!
While waiting in the corral's, I got my siting of Joey Fatone to complement my siting in January.  This one wasn't as good, but I am still counting it!

He's in the green shirt with stripped arm warmers taking a selfie
After the National Anthem, they sent us off "through the rabbit hole!" (via a video screen).  Since it didn't start until 6:15am it was already light out.  I have to say, it was weird starting a Disney race in the light.

The course started by heading towards the Anaheim Good Neighbor hotels and past California Adventure.  We hit mile 2 right before heading into DCA.

Since I knew I had a half still to run the second day, I was trying to take it easy, but I definitely went out to fast at the beginning.  It's all that adrenaline of starting in a group of people!  I knew there would be lots of opps for photo's in the parks and I figured waiting in the character lines would force my pace slower.  I was running with my phone purposely for this reason (sorry now for all the photo's!).

We heading into DCA through past the backside of Radiator Springs Racers and into Cars Land.  Cars Land was not open when I was there for Tink in 2012 so this was my first look at it.  Let me just say, I was excited to come back for real!  I stopped for several photo opps while in Cars Land.

With the firetruck from Cars
Lightning McQueen and Mator!
After Cars Land we headed to Paradise Pier.

They left the World of Color lights on and everything looked so pretty!

In Paradise Pier they had Woody and Jessie by Midway Mania.  They didn't have a long line so had to get a shot!

After my photo opp with Woody and Jessie, we made the full loop of Paradise Pier and headed towards Grizzly Peak and then into Hollywood Land.  They did have the gang from Monsters U there, but the line was like 20 people long and I just didn't want to wait.

We then moved through a back exit and into the back of DCA.  We took a service road under a little tunnel and back up (the only "hills" for the whole 10K) and into Disneyland.  We headed in through the main gates and down Main Street.  I could not get over how empty Main Street was - I am used to World races where it's packed with cheering people.  I was also surprised they had an actual water stop inside the park (right as you hit Main Street).  I know they don't do that in World (so they don't have to clean up the cups before the park opens).

A note on the water stations.  On a normal day, 3 would be fine for a 10K - if they included Powerade.  The stations were 100% water and it was too hot for no electrolytes.  It was just insane out.  I could have used some Powerade at this point.

At the end of Main Street I had to stop for a photo with the Castle and Mickey and Walt in the background.  This is definitely one of my favorite photo's from the race.

From Main Street we headed into Tomorrowland and past the Matterhorn, it's a small world and a backstage area before heading into Toon Town.  These ladies were holding court here.

Next up was Fantasyland which the gang from Alice in Wonderland were to be found.  I had to stop for a photo since this was their race.  Fortunately there was not a huge line when I was there, but I know people in other corrals experienced a long one.


Running through the Castle is always one of my favorite things and did not disappoint!  We headed into Frontierland next and I got a shot with Western Chip n Dale.

At this point, we were already at mile 5.5 - it had flown by!  We headed out of Disneyland and through Downtown Disney towards the finish.  I saw some of the Sparkle Athletic ladies who gave me a nice cheer (thanks ladies!).  Feeling great, I pushed on to the finish and crossed with a big smile on my face.  I was officially half way to my Dumbo medal!

Just after crossing the finish line and getting my medal, I spotted Sean Astin and couldn't resist taking a picture.  He was super nice and indulged me in a sweaty pic. Thanks Sean for being a good sport!

After that I headed to get my Dumbo bracelet (now I had 2, C2C and Dumbo) and made my way through the finishers chute, picking up some water, getting my finishers photo and post race box of food.  This box was different then the one in Florida.  Not sure which one I liked better.  I am leaning towards Florida as I know I didn't eat everything in the boxes (I usually do).

Since the hotel was right there, it was short walk back to our room.  I stretch, drank my recovery drink and showered for a partial day in the park!  We spent the morning at Disneyland doing some of the bigger rides (Matterhorn, Space Mountain, etc).  We then came back and spend some time at the pool and napping.

We concluded our day at Naples in Downtown Disney where we filled up on pasta and were in bed by 9pm.  Had an early wake-up call the next morning!

Overall, I really enjoyed this race.  The course was well designed and I loved that most of it took place in the parks and there were lots of characters on the course.  They have some things to fix with the start (if they are going to continue to do the 5 and 10Ks on the same day, they will have to separate them more), but overall I had a blast at this race!  First runDisney 10K in the books - glad I got to be apart of the inaugural one.

Disneyland 10K Medal and Pin
Up tomorrow, my recap of the Disneyland Half Marathon!

Official results: 6.2 mi, 1:01:34, 9:55 pace
Garmin results: 6.28 mi, 1:01:35, 9:48 pace


Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Dumbo Double Dare: Expo

Before I get going on my review of the Dumbo Double Dare/Disneyland Half Marathon expo, I just wanted to make a quick mention of today's date.  As a New Yorker, it's one I'll never forgot and a day to remember.  I posted my memories of where I was on this day in 2001 in last years Two for Tuesday on this date.  

Back to regularly scheduled programming...


Heading into the expo!
If you have read any other blogs, you probably heard what a disaster the expo was.  And let me tell you, in all my years of runDisney (almost 6 now), this was by far the worst.

Pam, Abby and I arrived Friday morning after a long flight from NYC (and very early) and we were already hearing reports of long lines waiting to get into the expo (it was about 9:30am).  And on the bus to the hotel we heard other people on the bus talking about hearing how crowded it was.

We were staying at the Disneyland Hotel, which also was hosting the expo.  We checked in and settled into our room before tackling the expo.  We were kinda hoping it would die down a little before we got there.

We went to get our bibs first and despite hearing there were lines to even get bibs, we were able to walk right up.  I got my bib, pins and necklace.  I also got my bracelet for Coast to Coast (yay!).

Following picking up our numbers, we headed to the expo.  This is were it got insane.  There was a line to even get into the expo.  Fortunately, it was moving quickly and once we got inside, we headed straight to the official merchandise.  This is where we saw the long line to pay.  We still looked around and I was going to get my wine glass and a Dumbo Double Dare sweaty band.  There was no Dumbo tech jackets and the "I Did It" shirts were already gone (as were all the other shirts).  I also could not find any Dumbo pins.

I went to get in line and by the time I found the end, I realized the line was probably at least 1.5 hours long.  And I decided to not get anything.  As much as I wanted a wine glass, they only had ones that said Disneyland Half on it, not Dumbo Double Dare and I really did not want to wait so long for the headband.  I was able to stop by the next day and they had pins for Dumbo, so I was able to get that.  But I basically didn't get anything I'd hoped for at the expo.

But - fortunately, the Disney Parks store just started selling Dumbo 'I Did it' shirts (tech ones) and teal Dumbo cotton shirts that say "I run for peanuts" on the back.  When I first heard that, I thought that they must have had more they didn't put on the floor.  But then when I looked further, I saw it said delivery would be in 6-8 weeks, so I am thinking they are making these new based on the debacle that was the expo.  Of course, I ordered both!

After escaping from the merchandise section, we went and pick up our shirts.  I don't hate the design of them, but I am so over the unisex shirts!  Let's be real, that basically means Men's.  Even a small is huge on me and they are just not flattering.  We picked sizes in women's for Marathon weekend, so it seems like women's shirts are coming for Marathon weekend, but all events should have the option for women's.

It was so crowded we couldn't do a ton of walking around, but we did make a stop at the Raw Threads booth were I picked up a red 'Fly' tank with 19.3 on the back and a Rapunzel tank.  I'm planning on wearing the Rapunzel for one of the Princess events (don't know which).

Following that, we made a quick stop to Sparkle Athletic where I picked up a couple more skirts in needed colors (got lots of costume ideas coming up!).

Once we finished there we headed out of the expo.  It was just too crowded to really hang around anymore, which kills me because you know how much I love expos!  I wanted a picture with the Dumbo car they had on site, but on Friday the line was really long.  When we went back on Saturday, there was no line and I was able to get my photo.

I love Disney races, but this expo left something to be desired.  It's not unfixable though, so here are my suggestions to runDisney on how to fix it.

1. Move it to some where bigger.  I am sure they use the Disneyland Hotel convention rooms because they don't have to pay for them, but they have outgrown the space.  Not sure if there is more rooms in the DL convention center, but they definitely need to find a bigger space for it next year.

2. Get women's shirts in addition to mens/unisex.  This race is not cheap - I find it ridiculous that they do not make women's shirts, only unisex.  As I said, it looks like this is coming, but it kills me it has not happened yet.  Women are the bigger percentage of the race (something runDisney promotes), so get with the program.

3.  Order more official merchandise.  I am sure they order limited amounts because they do not want to get stuck with extras, but it is insane that everything was sold out 3 hours after the expo opened.  Everyone should deserve to get items, not just those who get there super early.

4.  Have more stuff for all the events!  They promoted the Dumbo Double Dare so much, but they barely had any merchandise.  If this happens at Dopey I am going to be pissed (runDisney - please have Dopey tech jackets!).

5.  On that note, limit what people can buy.  I didn't really notice it here, but at Princess there were people buying 5-10 of each item.  That's not fair for the other people still waiting to shop.  Limit it to 2-3 of each item per person to give everyone a chance to get what they want.

6.  One idea might be to have people pre-order the official merchandise and then they can pick it up at the expo.  I'm not sure how feasible this is, but then people would get what they want.

7.  More registers.  Apparently the 1.5 hour line to check out was because they only had 6 registers open.

I'm sure putting on these expo's and races are tough, so I am not judging - these are just some suggestions on how to make it better!  The expo at Tink 2012 was seamless so I know it's possible.

Coming up next - my recap of the Disneyland 10K!


Tuesday, September 10, 2013

2 on Tuesday

No words can describe how happy I was when I came home from Disneyland and found this copy of EW in my mailbox.  I love HIMYM and was so glad to see they made the cover!  It had a full preview of the upcoming (final) season as well as a review of all the past seasons.  I am sad this is going to be the last season, but I still can't wait for it to come back.

Sorry guys (men), you might want to skip this one.  I had been having trouble finding my sports bra lately and a little research online informed me that Moving Comfort had discontinued it!  I am pretty picky about my sports bra's and love this one.  So I did the only rational thing - I went online and bought six.  I figure that should last me a while.  I might even go and order some more if I can find them.