March 29, 2012

Why Disney Races?

Disney races are generally a lot more expensive than other races.  And that's just the entry fee.  For most, they require travel and a "vacation budget" why are we so obsessed?  Here's a quick interview with your favorite Disney runners to give you the skinny.

The cost - is it really worth it?
Christine: I'm obsessed with Disney World.  And I generally I consider the Disney dollar to be like the Euro...generally doesn't go as far as the real, American dollar.  I save my pennies so I can enjoy my trips there and figure out how to get good flights as generally you can get a good bargain to go to Orlando.
Pam: No question races are expensive, but the overall experience of the vacation makes it worthwhile.

What makes Disney races special?
C: It's Disney.  Where else can you run through an amusement park.  The aura is just incredible and the adrenaline/excitement is palpable from start to finish.  
P: The spectacular Expo with fabulous vendors and running specialist speakers, race course entertainment and of course the medals at the end of the race.
C: Ooh yea the medals.  They're amazing!!

Why keep coming back?
C: I've found running long distance races to be a touch addicting.  And it helps that my Mom is hooked and keeps roping me back into more races....I swore after 2011 Princess Half, I would never run again!  Plus the courses are different and each race has a different "feel."
P: Because it is such fun and a wonderful way to vacation and enjoy running with Christine...and to get more prizes!

March 27, 2012

Wine and Dine Half Marathon Information

Those of you who have never run a Disney race are in for a treat if you sign up for the Wine and Dine Half Marathon!  This race brings together the International Food and Wine Festival held each year at Epcot with the magic of a Disney race.  If you have children, there are kids races for them, as well as a 5K race for those not wanting to train for the half marathon.  The entry fees for these races are as follows:
Half marathon: $155 until May 22;  $170 from May 23- July 17:  $170;  $185 after July 18
Disney Family Fun 5K: $50 per participant
Kids races:  $10 per kid dash, $25 per 1 mile participant
Be sure to sign up early to avoid the price increase!

Sign up for these races is available online at the Rundisney website.  If you are planning to run the half marathon, it is best to provide a proof of time, to assure you are in the appropriate race corral.  For first time half marathon runners, I would highly suggest you run a 10K ahead of time to give you proof.  As first timers last year, Christine and I ran a 10K on Thanksgiving and were so happy to get Corral B for placement in the 2011 Princess Half Marathon.  It definitely gives you extra time to finish the race if you want to stop for character photos.  Note, that you must maintain a 16 minute mile pace throughout the race.

The schedule for the weekend looks like this:
November 9, 2012: Expo with race packet pickup
November 10, 2012 : 5K race at 7:00am; Kids races at 10:00am; Half marathon at 10:00pm
Finish Line After Party: 10:30pm- 3:00am

The following hotels are host resorts for the race.  They will provide special buses to take you to the Expo and to the start of the race and back to your hotel post race. It is very convenient to stay at a host resort and we are already booked for ours! 
Disney's All Star Movies, Music and Sports Resorts
Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort
Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge
Disney's Beach Club Resort
Disney's Boardwalk Inn

You can get special rates if you call the following number:  1-407-WDW-IRUN.  You can also get a good break on tickets for the Disney theme parks.

 Last but not least, you will receive a beautiful commemorative medal for your accomplishment!


Princess Half Marathon Mile-by-Mile (7-Finish)

Here's the second half of the mile-by-mile recap from the 2012 Princess Half Marathon.  You can read about miles 0-6 here.

Mile 7
Christine: Knees are aching.  Can I do this?  The highway is boring.  Just.Keep.Running, Christine.  Go girl.
Pam: Happy with tempo, making sure we are not too fast and can finish strong. 

Mile 8
C: Ok, past the knee pain.  Another water stop.  Next stop, Cliff shot stop.  I have energy.  Only 5 miles left.  Smiling, I feel good. 
P:  Trying to stay focused on course and tempo...checking my watch a lot now.

Mile 9
C: I can see the Cliff shot.  Hmm let's find the fruity flavors.  Aha, citrus - yum!  Gimme.  Ack, don't step on the shots - it's like Frogger!  Walking one last half mile and then it's go time.  I have energy.  A PR is a possibility, do it Christine.
P:  Second GU after feeling a bit weak....trying to enjoy our last 5 minutes of walking before our push to the finish.

Mile 10
C: Water stop.  Cliff shot.  Go, baby, go!  Army man on the on ramp - no chance that I'm delusional this year.  Another hill, another chance to pass the competition.  See ya, suckers! 
P:  Excited that the tempo has picked up.  I ask Christine if she knows how fast we are going (around 9 minute mile pace or faster).

Mile 11
C: Crank up the music louder.  Pass everyone around you.  Go faster.  Go go go!  A PR is on the horizon, just keep moving!  Don't lose Mom.  Lengthen your stride.  It's there - you got this.
P: Having an absolute blast passing tons of runners....adrenaline has kicked in for sure

Mile 12
C: OMG, MY LEGS ARE ON FIRE!  ACK!  Epcot, here you are!  Need a break.  Focus on the topiaries.  Look around.  Focus on anything but your legs.  Hey girl who looks spent, keep it up, finish line around the corner!
P:  Still feeling strong as we continue to run at a fast pace.

Mile 13
C: There it is.  The finish line.  I can see it.  The gospel choir is here - yes!  I love them.  I even got a shout out from the girl in front when I gave her a fist pump and yelled for them.  Almost there - I can taste my PR!
P:  So excited that Christine is still strong and will finish with a smile instead of in the medical tent!

C: I DID IT!  I finished!  Hug mama.  I'm happy, healthy and with my mama!  Proud of this.  Proud of me.  Ok, now go find a medal and get some ice for knees and then some Powerade...just not the red kind.
P: So happy we beat our time from last year and loved being with my dear daughter....AND it is medal time!!

Looking Back..
C: Looking back on my finish line experience, I am so proud.  I signed up for this race a mere 14 days in advance and crossed that line happy and healthy, a huge personal milestone.

March 26, 2012

We're on Facebook!

Check out WeRunDisney on Facebook @WeRunDisney (go figure, right?!)! 

Princess Half Marathon Mile-by-Mile (0-6)

For those that haven't done a half marathon or the Disney Princess Half Marathon, there's a lot that goes through your head.  I have often thought that running long distance is 80% mental and 20% physical.  You have to be mentally tough to finish.  So, here's a mile-by-mile recap of the thoughts running through our heads from both perspectives...

Start - the starting line is a short walk outside Epcot park
Christine: Excitement, adrenaline.  Don't let this be like last year.  Let's go already!
Pam:  So happy Christine has joined me for another Princess race! A little worried about her health after last year's scare.

Mile 1
C: Yes!  This is awesome!  I feel great right now!  I love Disney!  I love my life!  I love running!
P:  Enjoyed the fireworks start and felt good running nice easy tempo.

Mile 2
C: Ok, still feeling great.  Saw a girl go down on the course- poor thing. 
P:  Love the new mile markers.  Also sadness for the girl down in the middle of the road

Mile 3
Mugging for the camera after we ran out of the castle
C: Yes, we're getting close to the Richard Petty driving experience...there are hot guys in racing suits woo!  I'm running on air - I could do this all day....wait, isn't that what I thought last year when I barely finished?!  Get that thought out of your head!
P:  Running going well for both us, this is fun!

Mile 4
C: Hit the Magic Kingdom gates with overwhelming excitement.  Get ready to run 2+ish miles...part of my race plan to run through the parks.  I love this part!
P:  Filled with absolute delight with a big smile as we pass through the gates.

Mile 5
C: Ear to ear grins/overwhelming emotion as we run down Main Street in Magic Kingdom.  I was running on air.  Again, another "I love running" thought. 
P: Nearly cry as I see the crowds cheering on Main Street.  I love these races so much!

Mile 6
C: Oh boy, here comes the tough part...a 6 mile stretch until we hit Epcot.  I feel pretty good.
P: Eat a GU for power and replenishment and then try to focus on my music during this long stretch of highway.

Stay tuned for miles 7 to the finish line!

March 25, 2012

Motivation found

I found my motivation to get back into running today.  I find that I always need a little time away from the pavement/treadmill after a race.  I can't explain why, but the mental and physical break is something I crave.  I hit the gym this morning in the midst of an icky, rainy morning.  It was a good treadmill morning.  I got back into the walk-run routine and had a great 3 mile run.  No knee pain and I felt comfortable.  In other words, I didn't have to "muscle it", which for me, is a key sign of a good run.  Here's a breakdown of my walk/run breakdown.

Walk 1 minute, Run 4 minutes- 5 minutes
Walk 1 minute, Run 4 minutes - 10 minutes
Walk 1 minute, Run 9 minutes - 20 minutes
Walk 1 minute, Run 5 minutes - 26 minutes
Walk 1 minute, Run 4 minutes - 31 minutes --> 3 miles


March 24, 2012

Training for a half marathon

There are many different training programs for a half marathon.  I have read lots of them online, and when I was coerced by my daughter into running my first half (Disney Princess 2011, I followed an online program that required five days per week devoted to running/walking.  This worked fine for my first half, but to become stronger and faster I needed to find something else.  So, after questioning several runners on the "Disboards" WISH (we are inspired to stay healthy) website, I decided to purchase by first running book, "Run Less, Run Faster" written by Bill Pierce, Scott Muir and Ray Moss.  I studied the book in detail and started their 10 week program for my second half marathon (Disneyland 2011).  This program required three types of running workouts per week and for me, proved to be much harder than my prior program.  The alternating days included cross training of bicycling or swimming for a minimum of 45 minutes.  Finally after 10 weeks of grueling training, I ran my second half marathon at Disneyland.  The results were amazing....I dropped 19:43 minutes!  The hard work definitely paid off and I would recommend this program to any runner.  My next half will be the Wine and Dine Half in November at Epcot, and my serious training will start again in August.  In the meantime, running a few days each week will keep me focused on the long term goal and keep me in running shape.


March 20, 2012

Training Tuesday

My motivation to work out has been zilch this week.  The weather has been fabulous and I've been indulging in some outdoor activities after work instead of running or even getting to the gym.  The other night, I raked the back yard and cleaned up the back beds.  All in all, it was about an hour and a half of work. 

I used a trusty online calculator to determine the calories I burned and learned that this was a fabulous workout - approximately 364 calories and good oblique work.  How do I know?  Because I could feel 'em the next day!


March 17, 2012

Gear - running shorts

In the Princess half in 2012, I switched from capris to shorts...spandex, shorts that is.  I knew I would be more comfortable, temperature-wise, in shorts, but didn't want to risk chafing.  So I searched the ether and my local sports stores and found the Adidas Supernova shorts at Zappos.  I'm a HUGE Zappos fan and recently became a member of their VIP program, which is ah-ma-zing!  You get free overnight shipping and their return policy is inspiring. 

Ok, back to the shorts...they're super comfy and fit great.  The waistband is a hair tight on me, but that's probably a nice little nod to the fact that I should probably be eating more salad and fewer cookies!  They have a zippered pocket on the side that I was able to fit 2 Gu pouches for race-day fuel.  All in all, they were a great option for me and the price was right - $30ish.


March 13, 2012

We're registered!

Mom and I are registered for the Wine and Dine half marathon on Saturday, November 10th.  The race is a a night race and goes through 3 Disney parks - Hollywood Studios, Animal Kingdom and Epcot.  I love the parks and they're definitely the highlight of the race for me.  So to have a race that has 3 parks is a bonanza.  The Princess half marathon is only 2 parks, which quite frankly, is still super fun! 

Mom is a great recruiter and has roped in at least 2 of our group from the Princess half and I'm actively recruting some of my college girlfriends.  I think this is the perfect race to have a big crew.

If you're interested in the race, you can get more info on the ESPN website.


March 12, 2012

The anticipation begins

Registration for Disney's Wine and Dine Half Marathon in November 2012 opens tomorrow.  It's a night-time race that coincides with the Food and Wine Festival in Epcot.  We've never been and we can't wait to sign up!  More on that race as we get prepared!

Link to Race Information.


March 5, 2012

Run Disney Race Medals

Anyone that knows me has figured out that I am very motivated by prizes.  I will do nearly anything to earn a nice prize or medal.  So, after being talked into running 18 months ago, my current motivation is to earn all the runDisney half marathon and longer running medals.  So far, I have collected 5, including the much coveted Coast To Coast medal earned by running a half marathon at Disneyland and Disney World in the same calendar year. 

Next year, I hope to earn another Coast to Coast as well as the famous Goofy medal, earned by running the Donald Half Marathon on Saturday and the Mickey Marathon on Sunday of the same weekend.  Crazy sounding, most definitely, but you earn three gorgeous medals by completing this feat.  My family thinks I am nuts and perhaps I am.  But hopefully in early January of 2013, I can proudly post a photo with the awesome bling I will work hard to earn.


March 1, 2012

Fueling for Race Day

It has taken me four half marathons to figure out how to be properly fueled and hydrated for race day, I generally eat well, but during race week I pay special attention to my diet. Lots of lean protein and plenty of healthy whole wheat carbohydrates are the bulk of my food intake this week. I consume plenty of fluids, mainly Gatorade, juices and water. While fruits and vegetables are normally an important part of my daily diet, I stop eating all but bananas two days prior to the race. A nervous stomach on race day has caused me to skip those foods until the run is over.

 The morning of my long races, or a long training run I eat an English muffin with peanut butter, a banana and have Gu to supplement as needed. Above all else, be sure to try out all foods, energy drinks and gels prior to race day. Surprises on race day are not nice to your stomach.