November 30, 2012

The Annual Christmas Letter - Runner Style

Sending Christmas cards is a tradition in many households and ours is no exception.  Because we moved around for job transfers, and keeping in touch became difficult, we started sending the annual Christmas letter with our card.  Many of our relatives and friends reciprocate with a letter which is always fun to read and catch up on their year.
Who does not love a Disney Christmas card?

Tom has taken over the task of writing our letter and I wanted to share a couple paragraphs from our letter this year.

"Pam's running has become a full blown obsession! She has run in several road races (mostly half marathons).  Most of the events seem to occur at one of the Walt Disney theme parks.  Pam has become loosely linked with a mob of women similarly afflicted with the Disney running disease.  Her primary accomplice is Christine.  Together, they publish a blog (  They both completed 2 half marathons at Disney World together this past year.  (Pam also ran a third) and they also ran the Virginia Beach Rock & Roll Relay together.  I remain surprised that they don't run in races closer to home.  Pam insists that they are sold out.  She says that the Disney races have an "open" registration process and they magically seem to get accepted.  I am still trying to get to the bottom of that one.

When it comes to running, I have remained primarily a bystander.  I did get to attend the Rock & Roll event in Virginia Beach as a spectator and chief cheerleader.  I am not allowed on the Disney road trips.  Girls just want to have fun!  On Thanksgiving Day we all ran in a Toys for Tots event for the second year in a row.  I am still sore from the experience and "let me be clear" this will not be habit forming for me.  I have remained pretty active in my choice of sports....."

Do you send a Christmas letter?  Any funnies about running in your Christmas cheer?


November 28, 2012

Christmas Craft: Easy Mickey Chair Covers

I found Santa chair covers at the Dollar Tree and thought of a cute craft that can easily be made by even those who are averse to craft projects.  How about a Mickey Santa seat cover for your children and/or you? There are just a few items needed to complete this project so follow along and you can make these too!
The finished product!
 Materials Needed:
*  Santa hat chair covers
*  Black felt
*  Circle template (I used an 8 inch Tupperware top)
*  Sheet of paper
*  Thread
*  Glue gun
*  Cardboard
This is the chair cover I found at the Dollar Tree
1:  Trace a circle from your template onto the paper and cut out
2:  Pin the circle to your black felt and cut four pieces (these will be the ears)
3:  Carefully iron the chair cover and the ears.  Check the chair cover care instructions first!
4:  Trace the circle on the cardboard and cut two pieces slightly smaller than the felt
5:  Pin the felt to the chair cover and either sew (better option) or hot glue to the cover
6:  Hot glue the back of the felt to the cardboard
7:  Glue an additional piece of felt to the back of the cardboard
8:  Optional: Add a name to the white felt band on the hat

Do you have any special holiday crafts that you enjoy making? Please share!


November 27, 2012

Training Tuesday: Favorite Fuels

We get a lot of questions about our favorite fuels for training runs and races.  We are both very diligent about testing various fuel options during our training and using those fueling strategies for race days.  No one wants a surprise on race day whether it be an upset stomach or late-race hunger, so I'd like to encourage all of you to try different fuels during your training and figure out what works best for you.

I am a big fan of the "gummy" fuel options like Gu chomps and Clif Shot Blocks.  They can be a little more expensive than the gels, but they are easy for me to get down and also taste like gummy bears, which is added enticement for me!  My favorites are the Shot Blocks - my local Target even has these on their nutrition aisle.  My favorite flavors are strawberry, mountain berry, tropical punch and citrus.  They're about $2 per package and have 6 bloks per package.  I can usually eat 2 during one of my one minute walk breaks (I do the 4:1 run:walk Galloway method).  I also like these because I don't need a lot of water to wash them down.

I also like the Jelly Belly sport beans for before a run.  I have a pre-race ritual where I eat a bag of the watermelon flavor beans while I'm waiting in my coral.  They have a bit of caffeine which is a nice pep at the race start. 

And lastly, I will say a little bit about gels.  Yes, I use them and an apt description about my preference for them is that I tolerate them.  They're a necessary evil of running/endurance sports.  I have learned that berry and citrus-y flavors are my favorites.  I received a sample of the Gu Jet Blackberry flavor which was great!  If you follow us on facebook, you've probably noticed Pam's obsession with the peppermint stick flavor (a seasonal flavor).  For me, anything dessert-like makes me gag cringe as I generally like my gelatinous fuels to taste like Gatorade.

What are your favorite training and race-day fuels?


November 26, 2012

Christmas Gift Guide for Runners

Ok, close your eyes.  Pretend that you're sitting in the studio audience of the Oprah Winfrey show.  You're  sitting in the audience for a taping and all of a sudden you learn that it's the Favorite Things episode!  Okay, now that you're excited about some free stuff, the pretend game is over.  We're sharing our favorite things as a great gift guide for your favorite runner! 

Details: 1. The Runners Guide to WDW by  Krista Albrecht and Megan Biller; 2. Zensah Compression Socks; 3. Running skirts available at Sparkle Skirts (made in USA!) or Team Sparkle; 4. Available at your local running/sports store; 5. Runner's World subscription or Women's Running subscription; 6. Available at your local running/sports store; 7. runDisney products, Brooks women's shirts, Brooks men's shirts, Saucony women's shirts, Saucony men's shirts; 8. iTunes gift cards available at Apple and many local retailers; 9.  Road ID has a special right now.  Use the following code: pcSanta1220 until 11/27/12 and receive 20% off your order.  Also free shipping for orders over $40 until 12/15/12.; 10. Triggerpoint Foam Roller.

Have fun shopping and let us know what you like to give or receive as a runner.  Happy holidays!

WRD ladies

P.S. The winner of our Larabar giveaway is commentor 10, Elena.  Congrats, Elena!  We'll be in touch via email!

November 25, 2012

Toys for Tots 8k Turkey Trot Race Recap!

On Thanksgiving, our family participated in the annual Toys for Tots Turkey Trot in Newport News, VA.  This is a fun family oriented race that includes a 1 mile race for kids, a 5k, and an 8k race.  This was our second year to run this particular Thanksgiving Day race. Like last year, it was loads of fun with great on course support and  Salvation Army volunteers providing hot chocolate and snacks before and after the race. 

We chose the 8k because it is a new distance for all of us, and of course that meant we all got a PR!   The weather was perfect for running with the temperature hovering around 50 degrees and sunny skies.  Much of the race is on the Noland Trail at the Mariners Museum.  The trail is adjacent to the James River, making for a beautifully scenic course.  Our race started at 9:45am after the 5k and kids race.  This worked out perfectly for us to do advance preparations for our big Thanksgiving feast.
Pre Race...note the Wine and Dine shirt!
The Marines were out in force and I think the first two male finishers are part of the corps.  Our trio was not with the early finishers, but we all ran our best and were very pleased with the results.  As mentioned earlier, we all had a PR due to the new distance.

Tom and Christine, glad to be finished!
Pam loves her Mickey Marathon sweatshirt and her new race medal!

Pam placed first in her age group and Tom placed third in his!  Our family represented very well on the medal platform hehe!  

November 24, 2012

Black Friday Recap and Disney Snow Globe Disappointment!

Christine and I love Black Friday.  For many years we have ventured out for bargains and more importantly the annual JC Penney giveaway, the Disney snow globe.  We both have a collection, and because we lived in England for 5 years, my collection has gaps. Christine has the collection minus one year.  Here is an assortment of my favorites:

We love these little decorations and JC Penney is always the first store that we enter on Friday morning.....until this year.  Much to our disappointment the little snow globe was not featured in their Thanksgiving Day newspaper advertisement. We still had a great day of shopping and managed to find presents for many on our holiday gift list.  Our best purchases were at Bath and Body Works, New York and Co, Target and Bed Bath Beyond.  I hope you all stayed safe and enjoyed some fun holiday shopping too!


November 23, 2012

Black Friday Runner Style!

We happen to love Black Friday.  We've headed out in search of great deals with family members for many years.  But, I will promise you this - you will not find us inhabiting a tent for days on end or forgoing our Thanksgiving day to shop.  We believe in spending time with family and friends on Thursday and shopping on Friday.  If you want to avoid the folks that have been camping out front of Sams Club and Best Buy for days or just feel like chilling out in your pj's, we have put together a list of some of the best online running deals for you.

  • Running Shoes: Free gifts plus extra 10% off using promo code GIVE.
  • Running Skirts: Pink Friday sale includes 25% off gift cards and great skirt sales (starts Friday)
  • Map My Fitness: 25% off all products using promo code BLACKFRIDAY
  • Sweat Pink Store: Pink Friday sale 25% off all products using promo code pinkfriday
  • Brightroom: 25% off all orders (perfect for Wine and Dine and any turkey trots) with Promo code CYBERSALE2012 through midnight on Nov 28th
  • FuelBelt: 30% off entire order using promo code Thanks30

If you choose to venture out, have fun and remember, be safe and be nice to your fellow shoppers!

Happy Shopping!
We Run Disney

November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

Today, we want to express our appreciation for you - our faithful, supportive readers!  We have been so blessed with a wonderfully supportive and friendly group who love running and Disney as much as we do.  When we were at Wine and Dine, we talked about how fantastic the virtual running community has been.  It has been a fantastic network with which to share triumphs, challenges and laughs.  And let's be honest...our friends are thankful for you too so they don't have to hear us yap about running as much!  Thank you for reading what we have to say, sharing your thoughts and supporting us.  We can't wait to share many more running and Disney adventures with you!

We'll be kicking off the holiday with the Toys for Tots 8k...a new distance for both of us.  And you know what that means - instant PRs!  And in our family's tradition, we'll enjoy the Macy's Thanksgiving parade, watch some football and complete our Garfield Thanksgiving puzzle.  And of course, there's the meal.  Our menu includes baked turkey, sausage and apple stuffing, balsamic and bacon green beans, twice baked sweet potatoes and a black bottom pumpkin pie.  Good thing we're running in the morning, huh?!

We wish you a joyful holiday with family and friends!

November 21, 2012

The highs and lows of Goofy Training!

I wrote my first Goofy Training update in October, before the huge mileage weeks started.  Fast forward one month and I am starting to have some nerves about race weekend.  It is not easy going out for incredibly long runs in the neighborhood by myself.  And there are days like yesterday when I felt like Homer during his debut marathon.
We have 50 days until WDW Marathon weekend and the Goofy Challenge.  When I first registered for this race, I had no clue how I would  actually accomplish this race feat.  But if I told you that slightly over 2 years  ago my weekly mileage was zero you would think I was even more clueless.  As soon as the registration button was clicked on my computer, and the confirmation was received, the research began.  My plan is the Galloway Program for Experienced Runners and at week 21, I am still on target with the time goals and plan.  The hardest weeks are the ones that include back to back days that have high mileage.  Next week I will be running 10 miles one day and 23 the next. The worst part of that is the lack of fireworks to start the runs and medals upon completion. So far I am highly encouraged by my progress and hopefully I can stay injury free.   I hope to be putting a 39.3 sticker on my car in January. 
Who else is going?  I would love to hear how others are coping with the training!


November 20, 2012

Wine and Dine Half Marathon Lessons

This post will sound a lot like a child's "what I learned on my summer vacation" essay.  It's basically the same thing, but focused on the recent Wine and Dine Half Marathon.  This was a big race for me, notwithstanding an 8 minute PR!

1. I can run a race, totally solo, and be completely fine!  After my traumatic first half marathon experience, I've always been a little nervous about running a longer race solo.  When Mom and I were separated, I went into a panic for nearly an entire mile.  I was worried about where she was, if she was ok, and how we could have lost each other in an instant...and that we were lost for the subsequent 7 miles!  I ran unaccompanied 7 miles, which is a long time.  Sure, it wasn't as fun as running with someone, but I enjoyed myself and stayed in my own head (some advice from one of great speakers at the runDisney meetup). 

2. I can pace myself.  I've also worried about my ability to maintain a pace for a long distance.  I can be a little erratic on long training runs, but really, I have no reason to worry except for my own innate hesitation.  My pace was within a tenth of a second for miles 4-10 of the race.  Pretty consistent, eh?!  I had hoped to start descending around mile 6 or 7, but I didn't have any gas in my tank.

3. My Mom is a SPEED DEMON!  After our unfortunate separation, for 6 long miles, she pushed herself to find me before we finished.  She ran about an 8:30mmm pace for much of it....just to catch me!!  Luckily she spotted me as we were trucking through the behind the scenes area in Hollywood Studios and we were able to revel in the Osbourne Spectacle of Dancing Lights together.  And then, she turned on the gas again for me to help me push it to the finish.  She's AMAZING!

Mother-Daughter love...awww

4. I need to work on my endurance.  After running 10 very consistent miles, I had trouble turning on the gas at the end.  That tells me that I was appropriately pushing myself through the entire race, but I didn't have the 'get up and go' that I wanted to have at the end...even with the anticipation of the typically awesome run Disney finish experience!

5. I feel a little 'barfy' when I push myself and have some trouble feeling normal after a tough race.  It was good that we spent time changing clothes, taking photos, sipping PowerAde and riding Soarin' before we finally made it to the Food and Wine booths.  By that time, I was feeling ready to eat some real food and enjoy an adult beverage! ;-)
Very sweaty, but overjoyed with my 8 min PR!!

What have you learned about yourself in an adverse race moment?

November 19, 2012

Larabar Review and Giveaway!

Stacy at Larabar was kind enough to send a small box of Larabars for sampling and review.  What makes Larabar special is the ingredients - no more than 9 in each bar and these include simply unsweetened fruits, nuts and spices.  The flavors sent to us were:  Chocolate Chip Brownie, Peanut Butter Cookie, Peanut Butter Chocolate, and Peanut Butter and Jelly.

Larabar samples we received
Christine and I decided it would be fun to have us both test the bars so here are the results of our not so scientific test!  Her favorite was the peanut butter and jelly and my favorite was the chocolate chip brownie.  Christine also likes the apple pie (green wrapper) flavor that she's grabbed at her local Trader Joe's for a great snack to leave in her desk at work.  

Now for the fun part.  Stacy offered one of our lucky readers a sample pack of 16 Larabars.  What a great box of treats for someone to enjoy, which will be mailed directly to you from Larabar.

Larabar Sample Pack - YUM!!

Here is the way you enter the giveaway, from now until 8pm Eastern on Sunday, November 25th:  
1. Follow our blog (via the "Our Running buddies" icon from Google Friend Connect in the left sidebar) and then head on over to Larabar's web page and tell us which flavor you'd like to try.  Please leave us a comment on this post with a valid email address.
2. For an additional entry, tweet about the giveaway, leaving us your twitter handle in your comment.
3. For an additional entry, post about it on Facebook, leaving us your Facebook name.
4. For an additional entry, blog about it and leave us the link to your blog. 

We will select a winner using  Good luck readers and thank you Larabar for sharing your great snacks with us and our readers!!

November 18, 2012

Healthy Meals (002): Balsamic and Herb Glazed Chicken and Squash

Here's one of my latest kitchen creations, which was adapted from a recipe from Self magazine.  I modified it a bit based on the ingredients I had available and my personal preferences.

Balsamic and Herb Glazed Chicken and Squash
Serve with green salad with Balsamic Vinegar dressing and Chardonnay
  • 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts, trimmed of excess fat
  • 2 Tbsp Rosemary
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 12 oz package of frozen, diced butternut squash
  • 2 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp apricot jam (I ended up using strawberry because I didn't have apricot)
  • 2 Tbsp dijon mustard (I like mustard!)
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Prepare 9x13 pan by spraying with cooking spray.
2. Toss squash in oil and spread in bottom of pan.
3. Season chicken with salt, pepper and Rosemary.  Place in pan with squash.
4. Place pan in oven to cook for 15 minutes.  Meanwhile, mix jam, mustard, vinegar and garlic powder together.  After 15 minutes, remove pan and flip chicken, spooning jam mixture over chicken to cover.  Cook 20-25 minutes longer or until chicken is no longer pink or 165 degrees. 

This is a great fall meal - it captures many of my favorite flavors and is very simple.  It's also great as leftovers!


November 17, 2012

Race Day Countdown

WRD at last year's Thanksgiving Day Race
Like many, we're eagerly awaiting our next big run Disney race, which will be marathon weekend.  Pam is tackling the Goofy Challenge and Christine is running Donald.  I noticed from some Facebook posts the other day that the race is about 60 days away - eek!  I started quickly counting the weeks on my hand and figured out that I need to keep my mileage reasonably high coming out of Wine and Dine to make sure I'm ready for another half marathon.

So here's a quick rundown of our upcoming races...
* Thanksgiving Day Toys for Tots 8k: 5 days
Santa Clause Shuffle 5k: 28 days (Christine is volunteering as a Girls on the Run Running Buddy)
Donald Half Marathon: 56 days
WDW Marathon / Goofy Challenge Completion: 57 days
Princess Half Marathon: 99 days

As you can see, our race calendar is pretty full for the next few months.  The good news is that we'll get some great exercise during the holiday season, assuming we stick to our training plans of course.  With any luck, we'll stay within our desired race weights through all of the festivities.

Are you planning to run any races during the holidays?


November 15, 2012

Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party Recap

We had a great few days in Walt Disney World enjoying the parks before and after the Wine and Dine Half Marathon.  On Friday, we were able to get tickets to Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party in Magic Kingdom.  So we figured we would share a quick photo tour of our afternoon...
Pam and her dear friend Kymberlee at the park entrance

We Run Disney on Main Street in our nifty Team #runDisney shirts (we, sadly, missed the Dole Whip meetup)

A glimpse into the new Be Our Guest restaurant in New Fantasyland

Pam and her Mickey Santa popcorn bucket...she may or may not have a mouth full of popcorn...

The castle was GORGEOUS!
We definitely enjoyed the party.  The castle lighting ceremony was really cute with Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Donald, Cinderella and Prince Charming.  We loved seeing many of the characters in their winter/holiday attire.  For example, we saw the Hundred Acre Wood friends and they had on festive scarves, hats and mittens.  There were cute refreshment stations that were set up with hot cocoa and cookies...the perfect carb loading for before the race! 


November 14, 2012

Wine and Dine Half Marathon Recap

Saturday we awoke excited and nervous for our first night race - Disney's Wine and Dine Half Marathon. With loads of time before the race, we reviewed all the race materials, organized our clothes and fuel, and pinned on our bibs.  Of course we also spent time trying to sleep (Christine got an A for this, and Pam flunked with a D!). We hydrated and ate small meals (omelet, turkey sandwich, and bananas) as recommended by Jeff Galloway at the runDisney meet up on Friday.  We watched television and played cards and tried to stay busy!

At 6:00 pm, we dressed in our race outfits and got our bags ready to take on the bus. We each brought a bag to check that held a change of clothing, cell phone and our gift cards for the Food and Wine after party.
Ready to go!
At this point, we were anxious and ready to get on the bus.  We chatted with the gals in our group as everyone finished getting ready and at around 7:15ish, we headed to the bus stop.  We snapped a quick photo and then hopped on a bus a few, short minutes later.  
At the bus stop at Caribbean Beach Resort
We arrived at ESPN with about 2 hours until the race would start. As at all Disney races, there was a lively DJ and photo ops with Mickey and Minnie (lines were too long for us).  The nice thing about ESPN WWOS was there was plenty of space to spread out on a nice large grassy area.  We settled in with our group of 6 and enjoyed the music and people/costume watching!  Soon enough it was time to head to our corral and we made a less than quick porta potty stop and proceeded to corral B.  Before long, the announcer called for the A corral start and shortly after B was called to approach the start.  With the usual, but always wonderful firework sendoff we were finally running our first night race!
Photo courtesy of runDisney
The start was very crowded and we worked to get past what seemed to be slow runners for corral B.  Our goal was to be under 10:30 for the first few miles, and that did not happen for mile one.  We picked up our pace at mile 2 with the crowd thinning just a bit and then by mile 3 we hit our stride and were carrying out our race plan.  

At the mile 3 water stop, I was just a bit ahead of Christine, drank my water and proceeded through the area thinking she was right behind me.  Wrong.  We became separated and I thought she was still behind so I waited at the large curve in Animal Kingdom that was well lit for about one minute.  We didn't have a plan for how to handle a separation and didn't have phones so we had no way to communicate.  Now I was getting concerned that either she stopped altogether or I had just missed her and she was up ahead.  Finally, I heard from another runner that she was way ahead of me and I immediately started picking up the pace to try to catch her. 

From Christine's perspective, she felt pretty confident that I was behind her so she trudged along and stopped at least 3 times to tell volunteers or cast members to look for a similarly dressed lady and tell her that she was running ahead.  At mile 6, she resigned that she was running the race alone and tried to get back on track, mentally speaking.
Action shot in Animal Kingdom (Dino Land)
Miles 6-9 went by very quickly for both of us.  There were some neat floats and lights from the Main Street Electrical Parade that were nice distractions along the route towards Hollywood Studios.  I had to hit a pretty quick pace to make up time, as she was running about 10:15mm for this stretch (which I obviously didn't know at the time).

Miraculously, we were reunited at mile 10 in Hollywood Studios when I finally was able to run down Christine.  We exchanged an awkward hug while running and some triumphant tears and smiles.  We took a quick walk break because I was exhausted from running so hard for the past 4 miles.  Christine needed some help gunning to the finish so I was her pace car for the last 3 miles.

Running through the Osbourne lights was a spectacle like no other.  It was an amazing experience and just the lift we needed to get to the finish.
Very blurry, but this is sort of what it felt like from the running point of view, although in the method of full disclosure, this photo is from the next night since we didn't do mid-race photos.
Once we exited Hollywood Studios, we turned for the Boardwalk, which was a welcome distraction until we made it into EPCOT.  We passed tons of cheering spectators and loads of great signs.
On the Boardwalk
Then we hit the back entrance of EPCOT, looped through part of the World Showcase, past Spaceship Earth and out the side toward the finish.  Once we turned a corner, there was fog and this amazing laser show which was a nice, momentary distraction.  Christine eagerly spied the finish line and we turned on the gas, crossing hand in hand! 

Happy with a new PR and finishing together!
Christine was thrilled with an 8min+ PR, but was feeling a little woozy so we took it easy at the finish, grabbing some Powerade and moving slowly towards the changing tents.  We noticed a handsome gentleman in his military uniform holding a giant bouquet of red roses.  We later learned that he surprised his wife at the finish.  I am so incredibly grateful that Disney helped arrange such a magical homecoming for them. These are the kind of things keep me going back. 
Showing off our bling in EPCOT!
After changing, we headed into EPCOT to enjoy the "runner's night out", aka the after party.  We obviously headed to my favorite ride - Soarin' and were pleasantly surprised to walk right onto the front row.  With gift cards in hand, we headed into the World Showcase and snagged a beef empanada and red wine (Cabernet) in Argentina.  Then we meandered to Mexico to meet up with the rest of our group and ordered tacos (shrimp for Pam and beef for Christine) and a strawberry lime margarita.  We did the boat ride in Mexico, went on Soarin' one last time and headed for the buses back to Caribbean Beach.  It was 3:50AM at this point and we were definitely fading!!

We'll have some more details on the rest of our trip and the logistics of the weekend in future posts.


November 13, 2012

RunDisney meetup with Jeff Galloway!

We were lucky enough to be selected to attend the runDisney Wine and Dine Half Meetup on Friday morning as a kick-off to the race weekend. Our day started bright and early for us as we waited for Krissy, at Schiawase Life to pick us up at the Old Port Royale building at Caribbean Beach to go to Epcot for the runDisney Wine and Dine Half meetup. 
 Krissy was so gracious to help us with transportation and also helped another Team #runDisney buddy as well - Linzie Starr.  It was SO fun to meet everyone in person.  Our instructions were to meet at the entrance to Epcot at 7:00AM and we were ready to go! 
Christine is ready and eager to go!
Upon arrival at the gates, the atmosphere was full of excitement as we were checked in and given a runDisney shirt to wear for the run around Epcot (1.7 miles total). 
We had this baby all to ourselves!!
It was so fun to meet other bloggers Megan Biller and Krista Albrecht, at Runners Guide to WDW  and Sarah at RAD who we had connected with online, and now we were face to face enjoying a beautiful cool morning getting ready to run through Epcot!  We were soon given the choice of running with Anton Van Zyl, winner of the Wine and Dine Half Marathon or Jeff Galloway who would use his run walk run method.  We chose to go with Jeff and take it easy!
Food and Wine decor - we were pumped for the after party Saturday night!
It was incredibly serene to run through the park when it was empty.  We loved taking in everything around us without crowds with which to contend.  

The group in action
Disney doesn't miss a beat and they had professional photographers on hand to snap our photos as we ran through the park. And of course, we got to meet our main man, Mickey, in his track suit!  Pretty cute, huh?! 
Our group with runner Mickey! (photo courtesy of runDisney)
Following the run, we moved to the Biergarten restaurant at the German pavilion for a post run breakfast and informational session.  The speakers included Jeff Galloway, Tara Gidus (the new runDisney nutritionist), Anton Van Zyl (now 3 time Wine and Dine Half marathon winner) and Chef Steff.

Jeff Galloway and his audience (photo courtesy of runDisney)

Each spent about ten minutes sharing thoughts about various topics including: the run walk run training method, race strategy, race nutrition and how to prepare for a night race. This was very helpful since we had never raced at night!  We followed Jeff's suggestions the following day which were to eat a good breakfast, followed by small meals and fluids every couple hours.  Race winner Anton shared several fun facts, including his favorite Disney character (Donald) and that he likes to get photos with characters during his Disney races!  He also just completed the Kona Ironman Triathalon....his favorite fuel during that race was potato chips (go figure!).  Tara had the audience laughing when she confessed that she had been known to go through the drive through at McDonald's to purchase Happy Meals for her children! Obviously she shared some helpful nutrition tips as well.
Tara, Chef Mickey and Chef Steff (photo courtesy of runDisney)
Finally, Chef Steff demonstrated  how to prepare spaghetti pie, one of his recipes.  Boosted with loads of healthy ingredients, it is a great dish for runners. We also tasted this dish and both Christine and I thought it would be easy and fun to make at home. Here is my dinner for tonight.... and yes, I made the Spaghetti Pie!
Spaghetti Pie, ready for the oven.

Recipe courtesy of Chef Steff 
As if the run through Epcot and the information session and breakfast weren't enough, runDisney generously treated all of us to a stainless logo water bottle, a $10 gift card to enjoy food/beverages at the Food and Wine festival, AND a one day Disney park ticket.  A very sincere thank you to runDisney for their generosity - we had a blast!
Could not resist a photo with Jeff Galloway
And last but not least, we got to meet Chef Mickey!
For more info on the meetup, check out the Twitter tag #WineDineHalfMeetUp.  Lots of the attendees posted amazing photos and information.

November 10, 2012

Ready for Wine and Dine Race Day!

We are having a relaxing day getting ready for the Wine and Dine half marathon. yesterday we enjoyed an amazing meet-up with the runDisney team including Jeff Galloway and newest team member and nutritionist, Tara Gidus. We spent the evening in Magic Kingdom at Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party. We have more details and photos to share when we get home. For now, our gear is organized and we are ready to rock tonight!!

November 7, 2012

Wine and Dine race outfits: Sneak Peek

We won't reveal our entire race outfits until race day, but here's a quick peek at the custom shirts that we had printed by One More Mile.
I can't say enough good things about their services and the interface for custom-designs. It's easy, fast and most importantly, very affordable!  Until race day, I leave you to ponder the rest of our outfits...

Don't miss our other Wine and Dine prep posts...packing list and race day activities.


November 6, 2012

Nathan Shadow Pak Review

With the excitement of running with Jeff Galloway and others at the Wine and Dine meet up on Friday morning, an equipment purchase was necessary.  As one of the lucky few chosen to participate,  I want to make sure to capture all the fun with photos!  Bringing my phone seemed like the obvious choice since I have never run with anything but a small I-pod Shuffle.  Today I stopped in at my local running store, Trysports and Francis helped me choose a belt that she thought would work.  I selected the Nathan Shadow Pak, which is pictured below.

As soon as I returned from the store, I decided to go for a run and Tom joined me. This provided the perfect opportunity to not only test my new waist pack, but to try taking photos while on the run!   After strapping on the belt and adjusting the size, I was set to go.

As someone who never wants anything extra around her waist, I was sceptical that I would be happy with my purchase. About 6 months ago, I tried Christine's hydration belt with 2 bottles and hated it.  It bounced all over the place and it lasted around my middle for less than 10 minutes.  So you can only imagine my surprise that I actually forgot I was wearing the belt with a phone tucked inside.  It never moved, staying secure but not confining and is perhaps what I will wear for the Goofy Challenge in January.  I love my new belt and highly recommend this if you are looking for a small pouch for camera, keys, phone etc.

Disclaimer:  We received no compensation for the information provided in this post.

November 5, 2012

New Jams - 002

I always add a few new songs to my play list before each race to keep my music interesting and entertaining.  I'm getting super pumped for the Wine and Dine half marathon this Saturday.  Hard to believe it's less than a week away - OW OW!  So without further adieu my newest jams...

1. 3's and 7's by Queens of the Stone Age...this brings me back to my Guitar Hero playing days.  Ahhh good times.

2. Die Young by Ke$sha...yes, she's trashy but love the upbeat-ness of her music.

3. Strange Attractor by Animal Kingdom

4. Where the Kids Are by Blondfire...I dance in my car to this song so it's bound to get me amped for racing!

5. Don't You Worry Child by Swedish House my head I sing "Don't your worry, don't worry child, I've got a PR for you..."

Any other suggestions for my Wine and Dine play list???


November 3, 2012

Wine and Dine Race Day Activities

Since Wine and Dine is an evening race, we've been thinking a lot about how best to schedule the day of the race (10pm start time!).  We don't plan to go to a park that day and generally will be hanging out at our hotel, Caribbean Beach, to stay off our legs.  I hope we'll be able to sleep in a bit to help get us prepared for our late night fun.  I've been brainstorming of some activities that will keep us busy and (hopefully) keeping our minds from obsessing or worrying about the race.  So here are my ideas...

1: Hang out at the pool.  Caribbean beach has an amazing pirate-themed pool area with a few slides and plenty of space for lounging.  I wouldn't spend a ton of time out in the sun, but a little Vitamin D and some playtime might be a fun activity to calm our nerves.

2: Puzzle time in the room.  On one of my recent trips to WDW, I found a cute puzzle with the parks and lots of characters.  We did a lot of puzzles growing up so every now and again, I like to set one up at the house for some mindless entertainment.  I'm planning to bring it in a Ziploc bag for easier transportation in my suitcase. 
3: Movie Time.  There are 5 of us in total running the Wine and Dine, so a movie "slumber party" may be fun.  It's really a shame they won't set up the outdoor movie screen for us in the afternoon... :)

4: Reading Time.  I already uploaded a few new books to my kindle to help distract me from race day jitters.  I also bought the November Southern Living...come to mama, yummy southern Thanksgiving fare!
So tell us, dear readers, how do you keep busy the day of a night race?  We would love some more ideas!