September 30, 2012

Tower of Terror 10 Miler Race recap from Allie

We heard from Allie this morning via email, and she, her mom and husband loved the rundisney Tower of Terror inaugural race.  Unfortunately, the weather was hot and humid, but the atmosphere was festive for this special race.  She mentioned the on course entertainment was very good and the race itself  well organized.  Her only disappointment was that the villains along the route had terribly long lines for photos so they did not wait.  Allie promised a detailed race recap upon her return to Virginia later this week.  In the are a few photos.

All decked out as Siamese cats with tails to match!

Start line for corral A

Mile 8 the Alice theme

Allie and hubby with their medals.....beautiful!

Stayed tuned for Allie's full race recap!


September 28, 2012

Tower of Terror Expo Report from Allie!

Our running friend Allie Willits just sent us her report from the Expo.  She and her mom arrived at the Expo just after noon and it was already very crowded.  

Allie and her mom at the welcome sign!

Already busy....just after 12:30pm
They found some great deals from the vendors including:

*  Autism Flashing Bangle Bracelets
*  Nike Compression Capris at half price
*  Champion sports bras at 60% off retail price
*  aviator sunglasses at 80% off retail price
*  Nike tech shirts at 50% off retail price
*  Champion tech tops at 60% off retail

Allie's favorite purchase.... a bedazzled Tower of Terror 10 miler shirt in a tech material, and she thinks it may glow in the!

And finally, the race tech shirt for all the racers, and it glows in the dark!
Thanks Allie, it is fun living the TOT vicariously through you and your mom.....have a great race tomorrow night!

A New Sweat Pink Ambassador!

On Tuesday, there was a wonderful surprise in my inbox from Fit Approach..  Yours truly was selected as a Sweat Pink Ambassador!

Of course I was delighted and immediately logged onto their website to view all the pertinent information for being a good representative of Fit Approach.  The focus of this group is promoting a healthy lifestyle by playing hard and sweating hard.  Since I am a self proclaimed fitness nut, hopefully I will inspire others, including older women like myself to achieve their fitness goals.

Wearing pink is something I do often when I exercise, since it makes me feel more girly.  Here is a race day outfit from the Rock and Roll half marathon relay in Virginia Beach, designed by Christine.

Wearing pink before a hike in the Scottish Highlands in August!

The mailman is on my radar now since I am eagerly waiting for my Sweat Pink tank top from Fit Approach..  Stay tuned for more SPA fun in the coming weeks.


September 26, 2012

Tower of Terror Racer....Allie Willits

A few weeks ago, we asked to get some guest bloggers for the Disney Tower of Terror 10 mile race.  Luckily, we had quite a few responses - woo!  One of our lovely guest bloggers is already down in Disney and sending us some great feedback - thanks Allie!!

Allie and her family are already in Orlando, getting psyched to run the inaugural rundisney Tower Of Terror 10 mile race on Saturday night. She and her family checked into Bonnet Creek Resort for 5 nights and will be at the Yacht Club for 3 nights over the weekend for race convenience.  Last night, they had a wonderful dinner at Raglan Road followed by some time perusing Downtown Disney.  Today started with a trip to the Magic Kingdom with her toddler and family and tonight they are trying out Chefs de France in Epcot for the first time.  We are hoping she will report back on her experience there.  The menu there looks fabulous and of course our resident francophile Christine is quite jealous!

In Allie's email, she stated that her nonstop flight on Southwest Airlines was perfect, always a great way to start your vacation.   As a savvy runner, Allie including the following race day essentials in her carry on bag:  race day outfit, Gu, shoes, handheld water bottle and calf sleeves, and an extra set of clothing for a last training run prior to race day.

The other thing Allie included in her email was a photo of the logo on the shirts she and her Mom will be wearing for the race.  How cute is this?!?  They will both be dressed as Siamese cats, adorned with cat ears and tails!  More to follow as Allie and her mom get ready for race day.  Thank you Allie for sharing your experience at the race with us!!


P.S. Quick footnote - Christine met Allie and her Mom at the Elizabeth River Run 10k.  She noticed that Allie and her Mom had on shirts mentioning the Princess half and they were instant running friends!  Allie also ran the Rock 'n Roll Half Marathon in Virginia Beach.  She's a Disney travel agent with Off to Neverland Travel and she has been phenomenally helpful in getting us tons of info for planning our Wine and Dine trip.

September 25, 2012

It's that time...

You know what that means!  The first round of registration prices for the Princess Half Marathon are about to expire.  You can still register at the lowest rate of $140 by September 25th.  After that, the registration price increases to $155.  The race is currently at about 60% capacity.  Typically it fills up quickly around the price changes, so make sure you sign up soon so you can get the discount rate and secure your spot! 

Whether you like Belle, Aurora, Rapunzel, Cinderella, or Ariel, we know this is a race that makes everyone revel in their inner Princess!


September 24, 2012

Disney Chase Visa Card....lots of benefits to cardholders!

We normally would not blog about a credit card.  However, the Chase Disney Visa card has many benefits for those that go to Walt Disney World or Disneyland.  I was targeted for the card approximately 14 months ago, when my first trip to Disneyland was planned so I could run the DL half.  The trip goal was to receive the coveted coast to coast medal.  What was surprising was that my sister (who would be traveling with me to California) was also targeted for the card, exactly two weeks before me.  When she told me about the card offer I immediately called Chase to apply.  However, it was set up like the elusive Disney resort pins.  You had to receive a written offer that was delivered by snail mail.  When I found the offer in my mailbox I signed the forms and returned it a day later.  A month later, I received my $200 gift card just for making one purchase of any size on the Chase Disney Visa.

The Gift Card Everyone Loves To Receive!

Fast forward and I will tell you about all the wonderful benefits from the card.  There is no annual fee for the basic card and you earn Disney reward points for every purchase.  When you are preparing for your next trip to Disney World or Disneyland, you can go online or call Chase and request a gift card for the amount you have earned listed on your latest billing statement.   You also can do this at Guest Services WDW or DL.

Some of my favorite benefits:
*  10% discount off your purchase of $75 or more at the rundisney booth at the race expos.
*  Character Meet 'n' Greet for card members only in a private spot in one of the theme parks.
*  10% discount off your purchase of $50 or more at the Disney store or online store.
*  Special events such as the upcoming Special Chase lounge at the International Food and Wine Festival at Epcot.  (we will post about this since we will be able to attend!)

Overall this card definitely is a benefit to us while we are actively running many Disney races each year.  I am not promoting the card, or the cause of debt, but thought it was worthwhile to let people know this is available.


Disclaimer:  We received no compensation for this post, and the offer for a gift card varies from $50-$200. Check with Chase directly if you are interested.

September 21, 2012

PF Chang's....a great race sponsor!

At the Rock and Roll race in Virginia Beach, PF Chang's shared a spot as a race sponsor.  They had a great booth at the Expo as well as their "Chinese dragon" running in the race.  The Expo booth was really cute with not only the dragon, but several employees giving out fortune cookies to Expo attendees.  They had race slogans on them which made the little treats fun.  Mine was: "It's not the will to win, but the will to prepare to win that makes a difference."  I loved this one, because I am obsessive about running, schedules and checklists!  So I have taped my little slogan to my laptop so I can see it whenever I spend time on the computer!

Back to PF Chang's.....they were so generous at the Expo with gift cards (Christine and I each received one for $10), free lunch bowl for Christine and a free appetizer for Pam.  We also were delighted to "beat the dragon" in the race, which entitled us each to receive another coupon for free lettuce wraps, our favorite appetizer on the menu!
Race day dragon! (photo courtesy of PF Chang's)

Christine and Tom enjoying the free lettuce wraps!


Disclaimer:  We received no compensation for this post.

September 19, 2012

Anatomy of a Race Outfit

While most of the Disney runners are quite familiar with the running skirt phenomenon, the rest of the running world is a little less informed.  We received so many questions about our outfits from the Rock 'n Roll half marathon relay, that we figured we would share all the details.

   Here are the details on the key items for our outfits:

September 17, 2012

Pay it forward

Happy Monday!!  Hope y'all had a great weekend!  I had a super duper 8 mile training run on Saturday morning and got to spend some great time with friends.  And I capped the weekend off with some football and this amazing Chicken Taco Chili that I found on Pinterest.  Try it!  Super easy and delish.  I'm thinking leftovers may get wrapped up in a tortilla - yum! 

I also did my obligatory chores, cleaning being one of them.  I rearranged some of my knick knacks in my bedroom and decided to dump out my "runDisney savings jar".  In a past post, we mentioned some of the ways we save for the fabulous runDisney expos.  I have a mason jar on my dresser where I 'pay it forward' so that each time I workout, I dump some money in there. 

Sometimes it's a penny and sometimes a ten dollar bill.  I don't necessarily correspond mileage to the amount deposited, just how I'm feeling.  I did a quick count and I have $80 saved for the Wine and Dine expo - yahoo!!!!  This will make that trip less stressful, knowing that I have a little spending money already set aside. 

How do you save for the expos?


September 15, 2012

Be Our Guest Restaurant

One of the things that you don't really know about me is how much I love food.  I shared a few recipes in last Sunday's post for football season, but that was just scratching the surface for my love of all things food - recipes, grocery stores, cooking magazines, Williams-Sonoma, cookbooks, restaurants, bake ware, Le Creuset, etc. etc. etc.  I think you get the idea!

One of the things that I decidedly don't love about Disney is the historical (see, I get that they're improving) lack of good, diverse food selections.  Now I'm not asking for a rack of lamb with fresh mint jam here people.  How about a sandwich with some cool veggies or some fun sauces?  Maybe a gourmet flat bread pizza?  You see, I'm working with you here.  I know you have to feed a bunch of people in a short amount of time.  I realize this is a theme park geared toward children.  But unless you wanted to spend every meal in a resort restaurant or at EPCOT, you were in trouble if you were looking for something semi-gourmet...or healthy!

I'll share another of my secrets with you before I get into the meat of this post...I love Paris.  Seriously, love it.  Sometimes when I'm frustrated about life, I look at flights to CDG.  You know, for the weekend.  Yes, I realize that's completely ridiculous and impractical...I don't actually buy a plane ticket, silly!
My dear friend and I in the city of lights.  Hey Rick Steves, we love you too!
My most favorite thing about Paris is the food.  The markets, the bistros, the wine stores...the PATISSERIES!  Je  l'adore!
Stunning produce from the South of France in the Bastille Markets
Miles (ok, not really) of cookies at a bakery in Montmartre
So based on the fact that you now know that I 1) love food and 2) love Paris, you can imagine my gleeful squeals when I heard that MK was opening a French-influenced restaurant as part of the Fantasyland expansion.  I've spent a fair bit of time perusing the Be Our Guest restaurant menus and reading all the hype, including the latest news about serving alcohol at MK.  A few details immediately piqued my interest - 3 dining areas that all exhibit key elements of Beauty and the Beast; all meals are served on china (swoon!); and French-inspired food with wine pairings!

Let's talk about what I would pick off their menu for my ideal meal...this sounds like fun!
Lunch: French Onion Soup; Croque Monsieur OR Braised Pork in Coq au Vin style; Triple Chocolate Cupcake
Dinner: Cured Meats and Sausages; Pan-seared Salmon on Leek Fondue; Chocolate Cream Puff
Maybe a little Veuve Cliquot to top off a celebratory meal?  I might be salivating now...

And now for all of the nitnoid details...
* Location: Magic Kingdom, Fantasyland
* Dining Format: Lunch is quick and casual, while dinner is table service
* Price: $15-$35.99
* Dining Plan: Accepted - quick-service for lunch and table service for dinner
* Reservations: Call 407-WDW-DINE or online here.

We are all ready to hit Be Our Guest during marathon weekend.  Are you heading there?  What menu items are getting you excited?

P.S. That gorgeous brunette in the photo with me in Paris is Jamie.  She likes running (we ran a 5k together, remember?)  I know deep down she desperately wants to run a half marathon but she's not confident enough to pull the trigger.  I think the 5th anniversary Princess Half Marathon is the perfect race for her, don't you?  How about some peer pressure here to nudge her along?!

September 14, 2012

Starkist Tuna...I love Charlie the float!

At the Virginia Beach Rock and Roll Expo several weeks ago, there were many booths of vendors that caught our attention.  We posted here about all the companies that were featured, but I could not resist a follow up on the Starkist tuna booth.  First of all, they had someone dressed as Charlie the tuna and many children enjoyed having their photos taken with him/her!  They also had a table with many fun giveaways including tee shirts, pens, pool floats and envelopes of tasty Starkist tuna.  Expo attendees got to spin a wheel to try to win any of the prizes!  Of course I stepped right up to try my luck and received a pool float.  With a beach trip on the horizon, I was thrilled with my gift.  Fast forward a couple weeks and here I am with my new toy:

Backtrack a couple weeks back to the race day, and low and behold, there was the Starkist tuna group set up at a table on the boardwalk in Virginia Beach right after the finish line.  Of course, I could not resist another spin and this time I got a tee shirt!

 The Starkist tuna people were so generous with their tuna envelopes as well.  For me, two or three lunches a week are tuna sandwiches so I was a happy racer.  Thanks Starkist!

Disclaimer:  We were not compensated in any way for this post.  We only wanted to thank Starkist for their generosity....


September 12, 2012

The funk

My coat closet houses other things besides my coats - sneakers and a few pairs of flip flops, gym bag, beach bag, workout accessories and a rack with scarves, hats, mittens, sunglasses, umbrellas and the like depending upon the season.  Given that my gym bag and running sneakers get a lot of wear these days, the closet starts to get a little funky smell every once in a while.  I leave the door open to air it out, but sometimes it doesn't quite cut it. 

My newest trick is one of the cheap air fresheners (like Renuzit) in a back corner on a shelf or in the back corner of the closet.  There are coupons for these in the Sunday papers pretty frequently, which is always a nice little treat. 
I don't like scents that are too overbearing or fruity - just something to absorb all the smells that seem to haunt that closet. 


September 11, 2012

Training Tuesday: Virtual Support

One of the things that I love about blogging and the online running community is the endless support and encouragement.  There are plenty of folks to answer questions, celebrate your successes and offer encouragement after a crummy race or training run.  Since I don't have a consistent training buddy, I find the online community a great resource for me.  Even my Mom and I are essentially virtual training buddies since we live 4 hours apart. 

Given my love for the virtual running community, I figured I would share some of my fav online resources:
1. Sunday night runner chats on twitter at 8pm Eastern every other week.  Just follow the hash tag #runchat.  TONS of runners asking and answering questions - great resource!

2. Facebook - there are TONS of running and runDisney groups on facebook. Here are my favs - Disney Princess Half Marathon Group, Disney's Marathon Weekend Group, and the runDisney page.

3. Training Plan resources.  I talked about my favorite online resources in a past post - lots of Galloway and Higdons info on the web.

4. Disboards WISH (We're Inspired to Stay Healthy)- Another great online resource, if you prefer the message board format, for more motivation and tips. 

5. Websites - Jeff Galloway, Runner's World, and Shape are my favorites for nutrition, training tips and cross-training ideas.


September 10, 2012

Looking for a Tower of Terror 10 mile Racer!

The bling!
For those of you lucky enough to be running the Tower of Terror 10 mile race in just a few weeks, the excitement must be building.   The medal you will receive for this night race is fabulous....we saw it just last weekend at the Rock and Roll race Expo in Virginia Beach.  The original TOT race was a 13k, and last held in 2009.  It is great that Disney decided to bring this race back and we do hope to run this in the future.
Running through the streets of Hollywood Studios

The fabulous finish line and of course Hollywood Studios is hosting the Disney Villains Hollywood Bash that starts at 10:30pm and will finish at 4:00am.

The runDisney site provides all of the details about the race, but we would like to get the scoop from a race participant.  We are not entered in this year's race and we would love to have a guest blogger for an Expo and race recap.  If you would like to participate, please contact us in the comment section below this post.

Thanks, WRD

September 9, 2012

Are you ready for some football?!

I love football season.  I probably haven't effectively disclosed my love for all things fall - pumpkins, roasted foods, Thanksgiving, my favorite holiday (aka my bday, which yes, Mom, I know it isn't a real holiday...minor technicality!), apples, crisp weather, sweaters, etc.  So in honor the first Sunday of NFL games, I thought I would share two of my favorite recipes for football season.  One super easy in your crock pot, the other a little more fiesta-ish and the last, a yummy dip!

Game Day Chicken Tostada
  • Boneless chicken breasts, cut into strips
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 1 Tbsp cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 C lettuce, chopped into thin strips
  • 1/2 can black beans
  • 2-3 Tbsp sour cream, light variety
  • Sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • Tostada shells
1. In a gallon-sized Ziploc bag, mix chicken, juice of 1/2 lime, paprika, chili powder, salt and pepper.  Let marinate in the fridge for about 30 minutes.
2. Grill chicken strips about 3 minutes, or until cooked through.
3. Meanwhile, mix tomato, cilantro and onion with remaining lime juice and salt, to taste.
4. Work 1/2 black beans in food processor.  In medium bowl, add pureed beans, whole beans, sour cream and salt to taste.
5. Toast tostada shells, according to package directions.
6. Make thin layer of bean mixture as base on tostada shell.  Top with chicken, cheese, pico de gallo, avocado and lettuce.

Christine's Chicken Barbecue
  • 2-3 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 2 C water (decrease amount for thicker sauce)
  • 1 C ketchup
  • 4 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 4 Tbsp cider vinegar
  • 4 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Tbsp dried onion flakes
  • 1 Tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp Tabasco sauce
  • 1 tsp Cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp salt
1. Put all ingredients in crock pot.  If you really want to make this simple, use a slow cooker liner before adding all the ingredients to reduce clean up time.
2. Cook on high for 2-3 hours or low 4-6 hrs or until chicken is cooked through.
3. Take out pieces of chicken and shred/pull/dice with knife and fork. Replace all meat into crock pot with sauce and simmer until ready to serve.

Lighter Spinach Dip
  • 1 packet Knorr's dry vegetable soup mix
  • 10 oz. package of frozen, chopped spinach, thawed and drained
  • 8 oz. water chestnuts, chopped in rough dice
  • 8 oz. light sour cream
  • 8 oz. low fat (2%) plain Greek yogurt
  • 8 oz. nonfat plain Greek yogurt
1. Mix all ingredients and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.
2. Serve with crackers, pita chips, pretzel chips or veggie sticks.

September 7, 2012

New Duds for WDW marathon weekend, available at the Disney store!

I recently posted about the new Disney marathon weekend clothing available at the Disney Store online.  There was a wonderful discount of 25% off the merchandise, plus free shipping if purchase was over $75.  Who doesn't spend over that amount at the Disney store?  
Here is the Mickey Marathon sweatshirt.  It runs large because the sizes are unisex, but it will be very comfy for our beach trip next week when the evening weather is supposed to be chilly.

Here is the Goofy tech shirt that I could not resist.....isn't it cute?  I love the blue color and will enjoy wearing this while I train for the races in January.


September 6, 2012

Training Thursday.....missed Tuesday!

Today I went for my first run post Rock and Roll Half Marathon Relay in Virginia Beach.  At 7:00 am, it was not too hot so off I went in my new racerback tank from the Expo! I treated both Christine and myself to this top since she had designed and purchased our tops for race day from One More Mile.  The clothing for the R & R Expo and race was supplied by Brooks and the quality and choice was fantastic.  We had fun choosing our shirts out of many available choices.

Okay, back to my run.....I planned to run for only 45 minutes and hoped to just go easy since I still am getting over the injury to my piraformis muscle.  I am lucky that the muscle is not aggravated by running.  I ended up running just over 4 3/4 miles and kept a pace of 9:50.  This is not a quick pace, but plenty hard for me today. While not thrilled, it is still keeping me on track for the Goofy Challenge in January!


September 5, 2012

Medal Display Ideas

I've been thinking a lot lately about medal displays.  While I love my Princess medals hanging in my closet so that I can see them everyday, I don't have the space to add more medals to this rack.  And with my newest race prize under my belt from the Rock 'n Roll half marathon relay, I've been wondering what to do with the medals.  I also cleaned out my desk recently and found all of my race bibs.  It got me thinking about how to organize my race gear.  While I've always gravitated towards the hangers from Running On the Wall on etsy, I wanted to look into some other ideas as well.

1. Running medals holder from Running on the Wall
2. Wire stand
3. Race medals hung from eye hooks in frame from Pinterest
4. DIY idea with medals hung from wooden letters
5. Race Medals and Bibs idea from Pinterest
6. Runner Girl medal holder from Allied Medal Displays

How do you display your medals and other race paraphernalia?


**Disclaimer - I was not compensated by any of the vendors mentioned in this post. 

September 3, 2012

Rock 'n Roll VB Expo - Part 2

As promised in our first post on the Rock 'n Roll Half Marathon Expo (and our swag), we wanted to share our favorite booth from the expo...duh, of course it was runDisney.  Although come to think of it, Starkist tuna was a close second - they gave away awesome stuff!  Ok, back to Disney.  As soon as we spied the booth in the center of the expo floor tucked away between other booths, we made a beeline for it. 

Pam at the booth with her new tote bag!

Both of us were eager to see all of the new medals in person and sadly we weren't able to get a photo of all of them because they attracted lots of people.  But we did get to ogle our medals that we'll achieve in January at Marathon weekend.
The Donald medal

Pam was uber excited to get her hands on the trifecta of medals from Goofy's Challenge.  And while we loved the photos of the 20th Anniversary Mickey Marathon medal, the photos just don't to it justice.  It really is incredible in person!!
The trifecta!  Goofy, Mickey and Donald!

We chatted with the lovely cast members at the booth for a while and pried our newest BFF cast member, Karen, for info on the 5th anniversary Princess medal.  She had seen it, but was fuzzy on all of the details.  She felt confident that the ribbon was pink.  If anyone at runDisney is listening, please, please, please let lots of pink be involved in the medal!! 

Wine and Dine is right around the corner!!
Disney is certainly smart to bring their medals to the races.  We saw lots of people interested in them.


September 2, 2012

Rock 'n Roll Half Marathon Relay!

Another race is in the books! 

We had a fun morning rockin' and rollin' at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront for the Rock and Roll Half Marathon Relay.  It was a warm, sticky morning so we knew it wouldn't be optimal conditions.  Christine lead off with the first leg, which was 7.9 miles.  She started in corral 10 (out of 22) and held a 10mm pace, which was one of her goals.  She finished in about 1:24, we think...she was too relieved to be done and immediately went searching for water to stop her watch! 

At mile 7.9, the baton (a drumstick) was literally exchanged and Pam was off to finish up the race for the final 5.3 miles.  We didn't realize there was a loop back to the main road after the relay exchange at about mile 10, so Christine was able to jog with Pam and hand off a water bottle.  Pam finished up in 49 minutes, and due to some timing issues, we're still a little unsure of an accurate, finish time for both legs...somewhere between 2:11 and 2:14. 

Christine o n the beach post-race...very sweaty!
After the race, we reunited on the beach and enjoyed some great live bands, our free beer and some other awesome finisher snacks - bananas, fruit, Marathon bars, Popsicles, Slurpees, etc.  Two of Christine's dear friends came out to join us and celebrate our race day, which was an amazing treat.  And we are especially appreciative of Christine's Dad/Pam's husband, Tom, acting as our chauffeur, bag carrier, cheerleader and never tiring supporter.  It was really fun to have someone on the course cheering for you!
Pam and Tom on the bus from the North End of the Virginia
Beach Oceanfront to the starting line
We've received lots of questions about our outfits so we'll give you the rundown of our duds in another post.  We're tired and it's time for us to rest our legs on the couch for the afternoon!  Thanks for all of your well wishes for our race - definitely a success!

xo, WRD

September 1, 2012

Ready to rock!

Tomorrow morning we'll be off bright and early to head to Virginia Beach for the Rock 'n Roll Half Marathon Relay.  We are super excited and wanted to give you a quick peek at our outfits. 

We're representing runDisney with some Minnie Mouse pride!