October 31, 2012

Wine & Dine Prep: Packing List

Now is the fun time, the time to panic time, the time to be excited and nervous time.  Packing sometimes makes me crazy, especially when it comes to packing for a race.  I usually start the process long before it is necessary.  Because we fly to the Disney races, it is imperative that our race day outfit is with us on the plane and not in checked luggage.  Too many experiences with lost luggage has made me paranoid to check luggage unless it is absolutely necessary.  (When living in England, the courier who returned lost luggage knew our house and told us that when returning our bags one evening!)  Here is what I will be toting in my carry on bag next week to the Wine and Dine Half Marathon weekend:
Already laid out ready to pack!

*  socks
*  sneakers
*  sports bra and undies
*  race day shirt and skirt
*  headband and gloves
*  rain poncho
*  throwaway clothing for cold weather
*  safety pins (for bib, supplied at Expo but I like to have spares)
*  Garmin watch and charger
*  Ipod and charger
*  Road ID
*  race waiver downloaded from runDisney page (Available here)
*  Gu for race day
*  peanut butter and English muffins
*  travel documents, photo ID, credit cards, money
*  sunglasses
*  IPad
*  camera
*  toiletries

My larger tote bag (which has to be gate checked from my local airport) will have the following items:

*  underwear and socks for 4 days
*  swimsuit
*  pajamas (Disney themed of course!)
*  set of running clothes (for easy run after flight on Thursday)
*  4 short sleeve shirts
*  pr. shorts
*  pr. pants
*  pr. capri pants
*  windbreaker jacket
*  sweatshirt (perfect for after the race for party time!)
*  sneakers
*  hat
*  drawstring backpack to use at theme parks
*  flip flops

My other partner in crime is bringing some fun games and activities to help keep us entertained while we wait for our race on Saturday night - stay tuned for some fun ideas later this week.


October 29, 2012

Wine and Dine: Final Preparations

In less than two weeks, we'll be hopping on planes for the Wine and Dine Half Marathon in Walt Disney World.  We'll be sharing our final race day preparations with you.  Here's a quick round-up of all of the resources that run Disney has shared to date. 
Final Schedule of Events
  • Expo at ESPN Wide World of Sports: Friday 10am-7pm and Saturday 9am to 4pm
  • Mickey's Jingle Jungle 5k: Saturday at 7am in Animal Kingdom
  • Kid's Races: Saturday at 10am at ESPN Wide World of Sports Track and Field Complex
  • Wine and Dine Half Marathon: Saturday at 10pm at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex
  • Finish Line Party in EPCOT following the Wine and Dine Half: Starts Saturday at 10pm and concludes Sunday morning at 4am
Other Resources
You can also read more of our Wine and Dine posts here.


October 28, 2012

Race Recap: Wicked 10k

We were up bright and early on Saturday morning to head to Virginia Beach for the Blue Moon Wicked 10k.  Because of the approaching hurricane, there were some last minute logistics changes- they moved the post-race party from the beach to the convention center so we were left with the local city lots for parking. We easily found a spot in a big church parking lot.
Our Minnie Mouse racing outfits, complete with yellow shoes with bows
It was definitely breezy and much cooler so we grabbed our jackets and walked up to the starting line at the convention center. We needed to get a wristband for Jamie (for post-race festivities) and while the line was long, it moved quickly.

Then we were off for a quick port-a-potty stop and headed to corral 5.

Lots of great costumes...in the background, Superman and a referee

As we waited at the start, we had fun seeing all of the costumes. People were so creative!! We saw a hamster in a wheel; family of the Grinch, elf and Cindy Lou Who; lobster in a pot with a chef; and lots of princesses and Minnies.

And then it was our turn to start. I always feel lots of excitement as I step over the starting line mats.  The first mile was tough- the crowd was very slow moving so we did lots of weaving. I think this was the first year they did corral placements and there was no proof of time required so I have a sneaking suspicion that there was some exaggeration on some finish times. Once the crowd thinned out, we turned for the inlet and were able to get more on track, pace-wise.

The wind was overwhelming at about mile 3. I looked at mom and said that I thought a PR was off the map for me. The conditions weren't great so I was exerting a lot of energy and still wasn't hitting the pace I wanted. When we turned onto the Boardwalk and headed toward the finish, I really tried to dig deep. Luckily, the wind was at our back so it wasn't a constant fight to move forward. Mom was a  great pacer for me which helped and slowly but surely we surged to the finish and a PR was within reach. As I crossed the line, I quickly looked at my watch to see 1:02 and change, which was about a minute faster than my previous PR. Yay! We moved through the chute to get our medals and grabbed water, power bars and bananas.

We walked down the Boardwalk a little way past the finish line to wait for Jamie.  As we were waiting, we happened to meet another great blogger, Darlena from Run Find Your Happy Pace, also dressed as Minnie. It was so fun to meet her! Not less than 10 seconds later, we saw Jamie and gave celebratory hugs. This was the first time she had ever received a finishers medal which was exciting!! 

We walked up to the post-race party at the convention center and met another blogger and run Disney fanatic, Krissy Murphy. So fun!! We loved meeting people with whom we've corresponded on the interwebs. We enjoyed our beers and chili bread bowl and seeing more costumes. 

Pam, Krissy, Christine and Jamie - thanks for the cute photo Krissy!!
This was a great race with amazing swag. With our entry (and finish), we received a long-sleeved tech shirt, tumbler (like a Tervis), awesome medal and a tote bag. 

The race was very well organized and we were really impressed with how they managed the upcoming storm and communicated the race-day changes.  I would totally do it again.  Thanks J&A racing!!


October 26, 2012

Blue Moon Wicked 10k Virginia Beach!

We are very excited to be running the Blue Moon Wicked 10k in Virginia Beach on Saturday.  With this being a rather last minute decision, we have scrambled to put together costumes, but in true We Run Disney fashion, we will both be decked out as one of our favorite characters.  Matching, decorated shoes are part of the outfit too (can you say spray paint?!)!

This race is managed by J and A racing.  We have heard so many good things about their races that it seemed a perfect time to give one a try.  And Christine has heard rave reviews from her friends and coworkers that have run this race in past years.  Part of the draw is the awesome swag that each participant will receive.  Here is the photo of the shirt (long-sleeved tech shirt), tumbler and race medal.....looks great doesn't it?

We are delighted to have Christine's friend Jamie joining us from the DC area, as an even more last minute decision. No PR's are expected, but hopefully a very fun race!

photos courtesy of Blue Moon Wicked 10k Facebook  page


October 25, 2012


Thanks to all of our lovely running buddies for entering our giveaway!  We are excited to share some of our favorite treats with you.  And without further delay, the winners please....

Our 1st winner is #11 Erised (jcarriere@verizon.net)

Our 2nd winner is #20 Andi Solero

Our 3rd winner is #46 is Ctasy (hicks21498@gmail.com)

And finally the last winner is #9 Rachel

Winners - Please email us at werundisney@gmail.com to provide us your contact information and we 
will get your prizes to you shortly.  Congrats!!!

Note we used random.org to select a random number from 1-47

October 24, 2012

Women's Races....many to choose from!

As a female runner, I appreciate all the women's races available to us. There are many including the Divas Half marathon series, ZOOMA womens race series, Lady Speed Stick SeriesDisney's Princess Half marathon and Tinkerbell Half marathon, and 26.2 with Donna marathon. Although some of these races also allow men to participate, the emphasis is on the women runners and the atmosphere on race day and at the Expo is fantastic. Next year, I plan to try one of the Diva races ( Myrtle Beach, anyone else coming?) and also a ZOOMA race. My first half marathon was the Disney Princess in 2011.The fifth anniversary of this race will take place in 2013 and we are all signed up to participate.  Below are the medals we are hope to add to our collection.  Please tell us if you have a a favorite women's race.

(photos courtesy of rundisney and run like a diva)

October 23, 2012

Fall in New England and Disney Store Outlet Grand Opening!

I had the good fortune to travel to Massachusetts this past weekend to visit my parents and sister.  My trip started bright and early Friday morning as I boarded an airplane bound for Charlotte, NC connecting to a flight to Boston.  With a delayed departure in Charlotte due to fog, I landed in Boston ready to meet up with parents after an MBTA ride out of the city.  The fall foliage was in full bloom and some trees were so brilliant in color the leaves looked to be on fire.  After a nice lunch at our favorite seafood spot, Captain Marden's in Wellesley, MA, we spent the afternoon running a few errands.  My mother walks 3 miles every day, and needed a safety vest so we visited a local sporting goods store.
Mom in her new purchase!
Saturday morning, my sister, mom and I had a shopping date to go to the Wrenthan outlets.  There was a definite plan to this, since the Disney Store Outlet was having a grand opening that day!  We got there before 10:00am to find a huge line with several CM's handing out gifts (Mickey ears) and several asking trivia questions to keep the customers entertained while they waited their turn to enter the store.

My sis, me and my Mom sporting our new ears!

We decided to do some other shopping and then stop back at the Disney Store when it was less crowded.  Finally, around 11:45, we got into the store and had a nice look around.  They had loads of children's clothing, Halloween costumes and many fun items including cups, plates, ornaments etc.  As a nice touch, a CM thanked you for visiting the store and handed out really cute stickers as you departed.

Sunday started with an early visit to the gym and speedwork on the treadmill.  Shortly afterward, Mom and I left for a walk around Lake Waban, adjacent to Wellesley College. The weather was glorious and loads of people were on the path enjoying a perfect fall day. We saw numerous geese, swans, ducks and of course all the beautiful trees with their rich fall colors.

The weekend went too fast and I am now back home planning my runs and cross training for the week.  We depart for WDW and  the Wine and Dine half marathon weekend in just 18 days!


October 22, 2012

Girls on the Run! From Guest Blogger Michelle

I recently applied to be a Girls on the Run coach and hopefully will start in the spring of 2013 at a local elementary school here in North Carolina.  While researching the program, Michelle replied to a question I asked and offered to tell us her story of GOTR and coaching at her daughter's school.  Please read through and leave comments.  It would be wonderful to hear from other coaches and their experience, too.  

"Hi Ladies, Here is my GOTR story. I had heard of Girls on the Run but dismissed it in my mind because my oldest daughter (now 11) wasn't really an avid runner at the time and the Girls on the Run teams I knew about met in neighboring towns right after school so it wasn't convenient for my daughter to attend given the distance we'd have to drive right after school twice a week.

Drawing courtesy of GOTR
In May 2011, a friend approached me and asked me if I would like to walk the Girls on the Run 5K with her. Her daughter, in 4th grade at the time, had participated with a Girls on the Run team and she wanted to show her daughter support. Plus, at the time, my friend was active in Weight Watchers and WW was offering a 5K charm for any member who walked a 5K the same weekend the Girls on the Run 5K was to be held. I was just starting to run/walk and train for a 5K, so I told her I'd join her. I really wanted to see what Girls on the Run was about so I could possibly start a team at my daughter's school. My daughter was about to enter 5th grade and was starting to enjoy running and other physical activities.

Our area Girls on the Run is Girls on the Run of Southeast Michigan. Our 5K is held on the campus of Eastern Michigan University. For my first GOTR 5K, which I walked with my friend, we started and ended in the football stadium at EMU. I wasn't sure what to expect. It ended up being one of the hottest muggiest days of the season. I was fully expecting a bunch of hot, whining girls who didn't want to run. What I actually experienced was just the opposite. As the girls took the field to wait for the start of the race, the stadium filled with girls cheering, singing and chanting about Girl Power, running and being the best you, you can be. The enthusiasm was overwhelming and nearly brought me to tears.

I knew this program HAD to come to my daughter's school. In May 2011 I vowed that by May 2012 the girls at my daughter's school WOULD be participating in the Girls on the Run 5K. I signed on as a site liaison and a coach.

Looking at me you would not automatically think "Oh, she's a runner". But, the more I learned about Girls on the Run, the more I realized it is WAY more than a running program. Yes, the girls run and play physical games at each meeting and they are ultimately preparing for a 5K, but it is so much MORE than that. To be coached by someone who doesn't automatically look like a runner, I thought might mean more to the girls who wanted to participate, but didn't see themselves as "runners".

When I went for my coach's training, we watched a video of founder, Molly Barker. She explained how she was not always a happy girl who always fit in. She often found herself shoving herself into the "girl box" or forcing herself to be something she wasn't just to please those around her. Her misery lead her down a difficult path, one of drinking and other unhealthy habits she is not proud of. But, once she decided to look inside herself and to be the best she could be, she was able to develop and launch her vision for the first Girls on the Run team. She wanted a place girls could feel safe to be themselves and free from put downs, self esteem issues and other negativity.

Girls on the Run is a 10-12 week program which meets twice a week. During the lessons, girls are asked to talk about their feelings, their perceptions of themselves and their perceptions of the world. They tackle tough subjects such as bullying, self esteem, choosing friends, and how the media often portrays women and the definition of "beautiful". They learn a lot about themselves and how to relate to others so that when they are faced with a bully or a not so kind friend in real life, they have an arsenal of tools from which to draw and deal with the situation.

Girls on the Run gave me confidence as I began my journey to become a runner. It also gave the girls confidence to be themselves when often the world tells you not to. Our first team had 16 girls in grades 3-5. At our first meeting we introduced the girls to some traditional Girls on the Run silliness in the form of cheers and spirit awards. The 3rd grade girls jumped right in, getting silly and loving it. The 5th grade girls rolled their eyes and looked at each other for permission to be goofy. By the end of our 10 weeks together, if not for their differences in height, you could not tell the 3rd graders from the 5th graders. They were truly a team who supported each other and loved being silly together.

I know it made a difference in the girls' lives because one of my sweet girls came up to me near the end of our season and said, "Coach Michelle, I just want you to know because of Girls on the Run and all I've learned here, I've become more sure of myself and more confident. I've learned so much and I loved Girls on the Run."
She is the same girl who when we were talking about bullying and how to deal with bullies said, "I don't get it. Half the time, the bully is someone you're not even friends with and you don't even talk to. Why do they think they need to get in my business and make fun of the things I'm doing?" It was awesome to hear her grasp the concept and for them to all realize bullies have issues with themselves that have nothing to do with their victims. They realized they can be strong and stand up to bullies whether the bullies are targeting them or others.
The running part is great and it's fabulous to see the girls finish a 5K with smiles on their faces, but the things they learn along the way are even more incredible.

 Thanks for the opportunity to talk about Girls on the Run. It really is an awesome program."

Thank you Michelle - great feedback!  We can't wait to support this wonderful program.

P.S. Don't forget about the GIVEAWAY!

October 20, 2012

Happy Wedding Day to my Running Buddy

Mom and I are pretty good about posting running-related topics on the blog and every once in a while, I feel like deviating.  Today is one of those days.  One of my dearest friends (and real life running buddy) is getting married today.  To say that I'm happy for her is a huge understatement.  The day that Heather called me (it was 6:45AM!!) to share the joyous news that she was engaged, was one of my happiest days in recent memory.  I cried when she called and smiled all day like a lovesick school girl.  I adore her soon-to-be husband.  He is her perfect match.  They make each other better and work together as a great team. 

Their home is warm, inviting and usually brimming with some amazing homemade food and treats!  Stephen is a whiz on the grill and smoker and Heather is always working on some new canning endeavor.  When I was working on a proposal at work (read: insane hours and barely sleeping, let alone grooming or feeding myself), Heather invited me over for dinner on Saturday after I'd been at the office for 10 hours (ick).  I was basically a zombie and my sweet friends didn't really care or mind.  After they had stuffed me full of smoked brisket, potato salad and veggies and was getting ready to head home, Heather packed up some amazing homemade meals so that I had lunch...and if you must know, it was split pea soup (which is AMAZING by the way) and a vegetable pesto lasagna.  If that's not the definition of kindness, I don't know what is.
Unfortunately Heather and I have always been off a beat when it comes to running.  She ran a few half marathons and ran routinely just before I caught the running bug.  And she was having hip trouble and just not feeling it when I picked it up...luckily she's just started getting back into it.  I'm hopeful that we'll soon be racing together and sharing long runs on the weekend. 

Hezzie and Steve-o, I am unbelievably happy for you two!  Thank you for including me in your special day - I know it will be filled with laughs and love, aka simply perfect.  Now, let's get our act together and sign up for a half together!! :)


October 19, 2012

Top Ten Reasons Why We Run!

Happy Friday to all of our running buddies!  We thought it would be fun to make up a Dave Letterman type list of the top ten reasons why we run.  Okay okay, maybe we're not the next late night hosts, but we had fun making this list!  Please add your top reason in the comment section below...we'd love to hear your additions.

10.  Eating GU is more fun than eating real food.

9.    Wearing a fluorescent vest around the neighborhood makes a fab fashion statement.

8.    Black toenails help you save money on nail polish.

7.    Ice Baths are way better than a hot shower.

6.    Rolling my legs over a foam bar is part of my evening entertainment.

5.    Sleeping in on the weekend is way over-rated.

4.    I prefer Gatorade or Powerade over wine or beer. (HA! Yea right...)

3.    Carbo loading means that pizza, cupcakes and bread are integral parts of our diet.

2.    Blisters are a girl's best friend.

and, drum roll please....

the number 1 reason we run....

So we can race at Disney World or Disneyland multiple times per year!

Don't forget to enter the giveaway

October 18, 2012

Giveaway Time! Accessorize Your Run!

We are super excited that we have some awesome goodies to share with our readers.  With Pam's recent nomination as a Sweat Pink Ambassador, she received tons of hot pink shoelaces to help share and spread the Sweat Pink love!  Bondiband was generous and offered us three different headbands to share.  These headbands are wonderful, they do not slip, keep hair and headphones in place and have many stylish colors and patterns to choose from to complete your running wardrobe. (A little confession here, my collection is in the double digits!) Trysports (Pam's favorite local sports store) provided the Yankz, a shoelace system that keeps you from ever needing to tie your running shoes again.  There are a few other treats that will be in your envelope if you are one of the winners.  Good luck!

There are prizes for four lucky readers, so be sure to enter according to the rules listed below.

1. To enter, you must "follow" the blog and leave us a comment with a valid email address.
2. For an additional entry, "like" us on Facebook and leave us another comment with your facebook name and a valid email address.
3. For an additional entry, retweet the link to the giveaway and leave us a comment with your twitter name and a valid email address.
4. For an additional entry, blog about the giveaway and leave us a comment with your blog link and a valid email address.
5. For an additional entry, post about it on facebook and leave us a comment with your facebook name and valid email address.
6. For all entries, please leave one comment per entry (note, that each person can have 5 total entries).
7. We'll use a random number generator to pick the winner and we'll contact you via email.
8. All entries must be received by 8pm EST on October 24th.  We will announce the winner on the site and we will email you.

Good luck, runners and thanks for your support!

October 17, 2012

Wine & Dine Update: Corral Numbers

Have you seen that the Wine and Dine waivers are available via this link?  Did you get your bib number?  Here are our numbers: Pam is 1245 (she's a speed demon!) and Christine is 3755.  I'm hoping to be in corral B so I have ample time at the post-race party!  Can you see where my priorities are?! 

We started a fun thread on our facebook page to share bib numbers and corrals.  Maybe some of us will be together and can share a pre-race high five or hug!

UPDATE: Corral assignments are available here.

Only 3 1/2 weeks left - get excited runners (and winers hehe)!!!!

Stay tuned for a very exciting post soon - you don't want to miss this one!


October 16, 2012

Training Tuesday.....Goofy Challenge Update!

When I started Jeff Galloway's Goofy training program 15 weeks ago, it seemed like such a long time until January.  All of sudden it is October and in less than three months, WDW Marathon weekend will be here.  Halfway through seemed like a great time to recap my training and assess what I have done and also need to do to be well prepared for two consecutive days of racing.

The training plan has several specific goals, but the main one is to finish standing in an upright position.  I like that.  As an older runner, it is a huge challenge to complete two big races in two days.  By focusing on one week of training at a time, it helps to keep the rising mileage and long run distances in perspective.  Tomorrow I have a walk/run session of 7 miles and Thursday a long run of 17 miles.  This will be a big mental boost to accomplish back to back days this week.

Looking back at my training for the past 15 weeks, the running schedule went well, except for one week when I suffered from a piriformis muscle problem.  It is amazing how an injury changes your actions.  Stretching and strength training is now an integral part of my workout routine and the results are showing.  I do feel stronger and that makes my runs easier.

I also love wearing my Goofy shirt, purchased at the Disney Store online because it puts me in the spirit of the event....I can't wait until January and all the serious bling!

Are you training for the Goofy Challenge?  If so, please leave comments about your progress.


October 15, 2012

Healthy Meals (001): Mexican Flatbread Pizza

As you all know, I'm a bit of a foodie.  I like learning about new recipes and specifically, healthy ones.  I'll share one of my latest concoctions (yes, I used that word deliberately).  I hadn't spent much time planning my meals this week, so each evening was an adventure in the kitchen as I tried to pull something together. 

Mexican Flatbread Pizza
  • 3-4 ounces of chicken
  • 1/8 C black beans, mostly drained, but not rinsed
  • Assorted vegetables - I used diced tomatoes and red onion, but you can also include others
  • 1/2 avocado, diced
  • 1/4 tsp southwest seasoning
  • 1-2 Tbsp sour cream (I used fat free)
  • 1 whole wheat flatbread
1. Mix chicken, black beans and seasoning together in bowl.  Heat for 1-2 minutes in microwave, until heated through.
2. Toast flatbread on low until crispy.
3. Top with chicken mixture, veggies, avocado and sour cream.
4. Dig in!

Notes: This meal is high in protein and has plenty of monounsaturated fats from avocado, known to be a heart healthy food. 


October 13, 2012

Runner's Pop Quiz

Running Bun posted this pop quiz and I thought it would be fun to see other runners answers to these questions.  So we challenge you to do this too and please put a link in the comment section to your post so we can check out your answers!

1. Fuel: Shot Bloks, GU, Energy Chews, Candy or Other?
Pam:  I like GU and Sports Beans
Christine: My favorite is Clif blocks in strawberry or berry. I also like GU as well, but I'm REALLY picky about flavors.
2. Race Length: 5k, 10k, 1/2 Marathon, Marathon, Ultra or Other?
Pam:  Favorite is the 1/2 marathon
Christine: half marathon
3. Workout Bottoms: Skirts, Running Shorts, Capris, Pants or Other?
Pam:  Skirts are my new favorite for summer, capris most of the rest of the year
Christine: Generally a skirt or some sort of compression tights/capris/shorts
4. Sports Drink: Gatorade, Powerade, Cytomax, you stick to water when you run or Other?
Pam:  Gatorade and water
Christine: samesies - Gatorade/Powerade (just not the fruit punch kind...) or water
5. Running Temperatures: HEAT or COLD?
Pam:  Cold, even though I live in a warm climate!
Christine: In-between :)
6. Running Shoe Brands: Saucony, Mizuno, Nike, Brooks, Asics or Other?
Pam:  Brooks Ravenna 3's
Christine: New Balance without a doubt
7. Pre-race meal: Oatmeal, Bagel, Banana, Eggs, Cereal or Other?
Pam:  Banana, English muffin with peanut butter and a GU (favorite is lemon lime)
Christine: Same except for I go with sport beans instead of GU
8. Rest Days: 1x per week, 2x per week, never ever ever or Other?
Pam:  Usually 1x per week
Christine: 2x per week - 5 workouts is generally challenging with a demanding job
9. Music: Have to have it or go without it?
Pam:  must have music!
Christine: Must have it for a true training run. For an around the block, just-enjoy-life-run, without.
10. #1 reason for running: stress-relief, endorphins, you love to race, so you can eat all the cupcakes you want, weight-loss, love running for social reasons or other?
Pam:  so I can race at Disney World and Disneyland!
Christine: All of the above!

We hope you join us in this fun little quiz! :)

Wine & Dine Fueling Tips

I've been thinking a lot about how best to prepare for our first night race in a few short weeks.  I love seeing all of the tips that come from the runDisney crew...they generally have pretty high caliber running coaches with deep experience.  You may have missed one of the recent runDisney blog posts and videos with Bart Yasso, the chief running officer from Runner's World magazine. He did a social media Q&A and one of the key questions was about fueling for the Wine and Wine half marathon.  You can watch the full video below (the Wine and Dine question is the first one).

He specifically recommends against a big meal on race day since that will sit in your stomach and instead, recommends a lot of small meals or snacks to fuel your body throughout the day.  I'm thinking this will likely include things like:

  • A banana
  • Peanut butter/bread combo - english muffin or bagel
  • A simple turkey sandwich
  • Maybe light pasta
  • My traditional bag of sport beans walking to my corral
If you've ever done a night race, we would love to hear your feedback on how you fueled throughout the day.  


October 12, 2012

New jams - 001

I am always on the lookout for great tunes to add to my playlist for my workouts.  I love seeing what others listen to.  I've recently heard others recommend podcasts, which I look forward to trying soon.  For now, here are my top 5 jams on my workout playlist.

1. Forever by Chris Brown...yes I know he is a pretty terrible human being but I LOVE this song, especially The Office rendition of the wedding scene...quite possibly my favorite TV show wedding EVER...I mean Mindy Kaling is awesome.  I think she should be my BFF in real life.  And how can you not laugh at Oscar...whoa I digress!

2. Is it any wonder by Keane

3. Cool by Gwen Stefani

4. Papi by Jennifer Lopez...two words - super ladies

5. Young Blood by Naked and Famous

What are your current jams?

Happy Friday!!!


October 11, 2012

Race Day Volunteer!

Volunteers can make or break a race.  They are needed for many different tasks from distributing race packets and bibs, serving water and gels on the course and directing runners to the appropriate corrals, start line, etc.  Smaller communities probably struggle the most to get people willing to get up early on Saturday or Sunday morning to help out at races.

My city has quite a few local races and since I am now training for the Goofy Challenge  and do not want to run any 5k races for a while, it seemed the perfect time to jump in and help.   The Run for the Tata's chaser race in Wilmington, NC on October 6th was my first time to volunteer at a race.  The weather was perfect and there was a large crowd ready to get their running groove on.  When I arrived at the race site, I found the volunteer coordinator and was given my on course assignment.  My location would be just past mile one opposite the entrance to the  Hilton Garden Inn Mayfaire.  Keeping people running in the correct direction was my job, but I also tried to encourage the runners with clapping and cheering.  It was nice to see so many people running for the support of the pink ribbon project which helps local women who are coping with cancer.

My uniform for the day, a safety vest in a lovely orange color:

This lady was pleased to pose with her darling baby!

The only runner that I saw in a Team Sparkle skirt/costume!  

It was really fun helping out at the race and I encourage everyone to volunteer if they have the opportunity.  Do you volunteer at local races?

October 9, 2012

Training Tuesday: Treadmill Tips

Every once in a while I find myself gearing up for a long run on the treadmill.  I certainly am not a treadmill hater like many runners, but I don't love going to the gym for a 90-120 minute run.  I found myself there this weekend when it was pouring rain and thundering.  Not to mention it was about 50 degrees.  Ugh - not interested.  So I trudged to the gym, a little reluctantly. 

I have to pay more attention when I hit the gym for long runs to make sure I'm prepared.  I always go with:
- 2 water bottles, one with Gatorade and one with water
- Some sort of fuel - gel or blocks or beans
- Towel
- Good tunes...after all, there isn't anything to look at unless there's a hunky guy on the machine in front of you or there are TVs on the treadmill or at the gym

Since most treadmills have a max time of 60 minutes, I inevitably will have to restart it to hit the mileage I want.  I generally try to find a natural break in my time and miles.  For example, on Sunday, I took a quick break to refill my water bottle after I hit the 5 mile mark and also hit a walk break in my 4:1 run:walk.  I also sometimes grab a scrap of paper and pencil from the gym to track the stats from the first segment.  What are your best treadmill tips?


October 8, 2012

A Crazy Dream

Long runs give me a lot of time with my brain to think about lots of different things.  I took my long run to my YMCA treadmill on Sunday due to heavy rains and thunder.  I've been thinking about my races in 2013 lately.  As you know I'm registered for the Donald Half Marathon in January and the 5th Anniversary Princess Half Marathon in February, which brings to my crazy dream...could I run a half marathon every month in 2013?  I'm already set up to start the year that way.  It would be tiring and expensive, but also kind of awesome, right?!  I did a little more research for local races to see if this is remotely feasible.  I mean, do I really want to run 12 half marathons?!  Let's see...

Already Registered: Donald Half Marathon, Orlando, FL

Already Registered: Disney's Princess Half Marathon, Orlando, FL
Dream Race: Rock 'n Roll Half Marathon Nice, France...gush!!

Local Race: Shamrock Half Marathon, Virginia Beach, VA
Dream Race: Hapalua Half Marathon, Honolulu, HI or Rock 'n Roll USA Half Marathon, Washington DC

Local Race: Dismal Swamp Stomp Half Marathon, Chesapeake, VA
Dream Race: Kentucky Derby Mini Marathon, Lexington, KY or Rock 'n Roll Half Marathon Nashville, Nashville, TN

Local Race: Run for the Dream Half Marathon, Williamsburg, VA
Dream Race: Divas Half Marathon San Francisco Bay, San Francisco, CA

Local Race: N/A
Dream Race: Rock 'n Roll Half Marathon San Diego, San Diego, CA or ZOOMA Annapolis, MD or Virginia Wine Country Half Marathon, Purcelville, VA

Local Race: N/A
Dream Race: Mountain Madness Half Marathon, Steamboat Springs, CO or Napa to Sonoma Wine Country Half Marathon, Napa, CA

Local Race: N/A
Dream Race: Blueberry Cove Half Marathon, Tenants Cove, ME

Local Race: Rock 'n Roll Half Marathon, Virginia Beach, VA
Dream Race: Disneyland Half Marathon, Anaheim, CA...C2C!!

Local Race: Crawlin' Crab Half Marathon, Hampton, VA
Dream Race: Boston Athletic Association Half Marathon, Boston, MA

Local Race: Virginia Running Festival Half Marathon, Newport News, VA or Norfolk Freedom Half Marathon, Norfolk, VA
Dream Race: Disney's Wine and Dine Half Marathon, Orlando, FL

Local Race: N/A
Dream Race:  The Palm Beaches Marathon Festival, Palm Beach, FL

To even seriously contemplate this idea probably makes me certifiable.  I would have to focus on staying healthy and well, winning the lottery!  I could help defray the cost by mixing local races with a few out of town and hopefully some where I could drive or stay with friends.  What do you think?  Would you do it?  Know someone who has?


October 6, 2012

Safety while running....cars, trucks and dogs oh my!

I am a chicken....in fact a BIG chicken.  When I was a kid I was scared of the dark.  Every night the closet light was turned on before I could get in bed.  So it should come as no surprise that my early morning (in the dark) runs can frighten me with certain sounds and movements.  Being prepared is my running motto, so safety equipment is always the first thing I put out for my next morning run.  Here are some of the items I use to make myself feel a little less like a "fraidy" cat when I step out the door.

Halt!     This is a dog repellent that is used by mail carriers and others who encounter dogs on a regular basis.

Road ID       Always leave your house with some kind of identification.  I like the rubber bracelets by a company called Road ID, although there are many other suppliers of this type of merchandise.  Check them out and find one that will work for you and use it every time you run or exercise outside.

Safety Light    For runs in the dark, I attach a small light made by Saucony, that hooks on to a piece of clothing.  This light was included with a pullover top I bought last year.  It has a flashing light as well as a single light.

Nathan Reflective Running Vest: This definitely is a fashion statement, and most likely the fashion police would have me arrested in this less than attractive item of clothing.  However, I never worry that a vehicle will not see me when I am sporting this neon yellow beauty!  Don't you think it adds a bit of pizzaz to my running attire?

Here I am decked out in my gear...(note that I only wear one earbud while running in the dark.)

Enjoy your early morning and evening runs, but be sure to use caution so you stay safe.


Disclaimer:  We received no compensation, goods or services from the companies whose products were mentioned in this post.

October 4, 2012

Final Comments from Allie on the Tower of Terror 10 miler!

Allie finally returned to her home in Virginia and sent a wonderful email with a race recap.  She took a video at the start line and I am including the link....Carly Rae Jepsen at her finest and lots of people dancing and swaying.  Please take a look...it is really cute!

Here are Allie's comments, consolidated to include the highs and lows of running a night race at Disney.
"I learned quite a bit about myself and about running long races at Walt Disney World during our 8 day trip to the Walt Disney World Resort for the Tower of Terror 10 mile race! First of all - for all future races - I will be sure to schedule the race at the beginning of our trip like I did for the Princess Half last February! 

My mom (Sunshine), my Hubby (Josh) and I all ran the race - so we went to the expo on Friday about 12:30pm and left my 2 year old Fiona with Pop (my Dad). You can find Allie's Expo report here.  
From Monday until Saturday afternoon we hit Downtown Disney, Epcot (numerous times), Hollywood Studios and the Magic Kingdom - along with lots of swimming, dancing and eating/drinking - the start of the Food and Wine Festival at Epcot! Every night we were so beat - we were in bed by 9:30pm! This ALL caught up with me Saturday night for the race! I really thought I could power through and play hard and still be able to run hard! Next night race - I will nap instead of going to Epcot and dancing to Off Kilter (my all time Favorite!) the day of the race! 

So 8pm comes and we're all dressed and ready to make the 1 mile walk from the Yacht Club to Hollywood Studios - we decided to walk instead of taking a bus. We met up with one of my fellow Magic Makers (aka Travel Agents) at Off to Neverland Travel, Tara in the lobby of the Yacht Club - took a few pictures and walked over. 

We got to the start area and the music was pumping- lots of people were dressed up - but not nearly as many as I expected. We were all in Corral A so we headed there and waited about an hour before it was time to head to the actual start line. It was really nice because in each Corral they had port o potties (much shorter lines!) and plenty of water - and room to sit down.  

Before I knew it the fireworks went off and we began! Josh took off (he's about an 8 mm) and mom and I had a goal to stay at around a 1045/11 mm pace steady for the whole race. So we stayed together at the beginning. There were water stops about every mile with plenty of water and Powerade. There were a handful of characters and displays along the way - I remember seeing a DJ and a Volkswagon bus, the grave diggers, some big dragon like things on stilts, Stitch, the hyenas from Lion King and there were a handful of spectators along the way.

At about mile 5 or 6 we turned onto a narrow gravel road (not fun) the gravel was loose and it wasn't easy to run on - there were some interesting props and lighting to make it look spooky which was exciting!  Next we arrived at the ESPN Wild World of Sports where we ran around the track. There were spectators in the stadium with some pretty funny signs like "worst parade ever" and "hurry up and finish so we can start drinking" along with some sweet kids holding "go Mommy" signs! They had us up on the Jumbo Tron too as we ran by. 

At mile 7 I got a side stitch (about the time I saw Stitch  the character) that took my breath away! I couldn't catch my breath so I stopped to walk and sent Mom ahead. I was pretty frustrated because on my last training run I maintained a 10:30 pace. I went with plan B and ran/walked about a 3/1 for miles 7-9 and finally by mile 9 my side stitch was gone. The last mile of the race is through Hollywood Studios so I picked up my pace to have a good finish. They had a DJ and I heard him say something like "you can do it cat!" as I ran past.  I kept a 9:30 pace for the last mile and for the last 1/4 mile (according to my Garmin my fastest time was a 6.15mm). 

 I was so happy to have finished right under the Tower of Terror ride!  I got my Medal and they handed me a bottle of water, a bottle of Powerade, box of snacks and a banana.  I then found Mom -and discovered that she finished about 3 mins before me.  We posed for a quick finisher photo and went off in search of the bag check  - which was far away at the Indiana Jones Pavilion which included lots of steps up and down. We grabbed our bags so we could get changed into our dry clothes.  Our Boa tails were pretty sad looking at this point - imagine a Persian Cat soaking wet!  After getting changed and meeting up with Josh, we wandered around in search of a cold adult beverage! Josh and I had beer and mom chose a margarita.  We tried to see some of the villains - but the lines were really crazy long and we didn't want to spend 30-40 minutes in line standing still. So we went to ride the Tower of Terror and looked around in the shops for a while before we headed back to our hotel. We hopped on a bus back to the Yacht Club, showered and finally hit the sack about 3:45am!  Lucky me, little Fiona woke up at 6:30am! 

All in all it was fun - but I learned that I need a few nights of good 8+ hours solid of sleep before a long race, to rest my legs in between training runs and to properly fuel my body the days before a race! Therefore I'll be changing my reservations for the Donald Half in January to arrive the day before the race and we'll enjoy the Theme Parks after we run 13.1 miles!"

Thanks Allie for your photos and reports.  Hearty congratulations to you, Josh and age group winner Sunshine for completing the inaugural race!!

October 2, 2012

Training Tuesday...Mousercise and Birthday Cake!

Another year has passed and it is time to celebrate Christine's birthday! Many years ago, Christine had a "Mousercise" birthday party at our home.  I thought it would be fun to share some party photos!

Here is the birthday girl ready to get her dance moves going!

The record cover from the party music

Sadly I do not have photos of the cake...but there was an adorable Minnie Mousercise cake that matched the plates and napkins!

Today I will be going to visit Christine to help her celebrate her birthday and although I would love to be bringing the cake seen below, I found some tasty cupcakes that should be a good alternative after a lovely dinner at one of her favorite restaurants.

Happy Birthday to a wonderful daughter, running buddy, crafting pal, and rundisney travel companion.  Have a fabulous day!