February 28, 2013

Expo Fun at the Princess Half Marathon

Christine and I went straight to the Expo after the Friday morning meetup at Epcot.  We were stunned at the huge crowd that greeted us as we entered the Coronado Springs Conference Center where the Expo was held. 
Entrance to the Coronado Springs Convention Center

Our first order of business was to check out the runDisney official merchandise booth.  It was packed wall to wall with people, and we tried to stay together and take in all of the neat merchandise and figure out what we wanted to purchase.
Believe it or not these were lines to get to the register in the next room!

You can see that merchandise was selling quickly as the wire racks were getting picked over!
 Our list included the Vinylmation medal to go on our runDisney Mickey from January. We found those quickly with the race pins.

Royal Family 5k pin, Vinylmation medal for Princess Half and Princess Half Marathon pin
Next were the lovely jackets and shirts that we always like to purchase! Christine chose the black cotton hoodie and I picked the tech jacket in a pretty sea green.  "I Did It" shirts are a must for us at the Disney races and we also purchased one for Pam's sister Alison who could not attend the Expo.  All of us loved the shirt this year made in a lovely medium pink cotton! The tech shirts for training were very pretty and I got two of those!  My shopping was getting out of control!
Maybe I got a little carried away, but I love my Expo loot! A new Bondiband too!
We finished our shopping with 13.1 magnets and Christine chose a plastic tumbler with straw for proper hydration at work! 

Our next stop at the Expo was the New Balance booth where Christine was fitted for a pair of the New Balance Disney shoes that she won during the meetup earlier that morning. While the booth was packed with shoppers, she spotted Josh from the meetup and in less than five minutes she was trying on both the Minnie and Mickey shoes.  She ended up choosing the Mickey model (a little wider) and Josh even showed her how to tie the laces specifically for her running gait.  Sweet!
New Balance shoes and certificate!
Christine had pre-ordered a Team Sparkle skirt for the 5k so we made a stop at their booth.  Kelly was outfitted in her best Cinderella costume and we said hi while we headed to their register.  Picking up Christine's skirt was very fast and easy and we were off for our last stop to get our race packets.

At the runDisney expos, bib and packet pick-up are in separate locations and were on opposite sides of the convention center.  First stop was picking up bibs for both the half and 5k.  Christine was so excited to be in Corral A for the first time!  The line to pick up shirts was quite long and we made a few friends in line that took our minds off the wait. 
Nice Bib!
Overall, we enjoyed the Expo experience, but the ESPN venue suits these princesses far better.  The crowds made the runDisney official merchandise booth chaotic, and unfortunately, the space was small.

We look forward to the Dumbo Dare Expo at the Disneyland Hotel in August...more fun speakers, merchandise and of course the race packet pickup!


February 27, 2013

Princess Half Marathon Meet-up Recap

We had the wonderful opportunity to attend the Princess Half Marathon Meet-up on Friday morning.  We were asked to be at the Epcot gates by 6:30 AM for check-in and the event started promptly at 7:00.  Our fellow Pacebook and Team #runDisney buddy Stephanie graciously offered to pick us up at Port Orleans.  It was so fun meeting she (and another Stephanie!) in person at last.
Waiting to head to the meet-up
Once we got to Epcot, we signed waivers and were given a runDisney black tech shirt to wear.  Christine was really excited to wear this shirt (given that she was a wait list attendee at Wine and Dine, she got a random shirt size, which unfortunately was XL and doesn't quite fit).  We changed into our shirts quickly and passed off our bags to be retrieved at breakfast.  Soon we were meeting lots of other princesses and seeing some other friends from past meet ups.  And before we knew it, it was time to begin.
Good morning, Epcot!
Tony Morreale (sports PR Manager) kicked off the morning by introducing and thanking many members of the runDisney team who made this event possible.  The event included star studded attendees including Jeff Galloway (Olympian and runDisney training consultant), Tara Gidus (Disney's Diet Diva), Ali Vincent (the first female winner of the Biggest Loser), Sean Astin (from Goonies, Rudy and LOTR), Rachel Booth (reigning champion of the 2012 Princess...and now 2013!) and Sarah Bowen Shea and Dimity McDowell (co-authors of Another Mother Runner).  Amazing, right?!
The group of 50 attendees (photo courtesy of runDisney)
Tony Morreale introducing the day's events

Ali Vincent - super friendly and fun with the crowd!
Check out who's in the background on the far right...tweeting away! (photo courtesy of runDisney)
Bob Hitchcock and 2012 (and now 2013) Princess Half Marathon Champion

The crowd was divided into two groups for the run.  The first group, led by Rachel Booth, would be a straight run at about a 9 minute mile pace.  The second group, led by Jeff Galloway, would be a 30:30 run:walk.  Given that we'd run with Jeff before, we decided to take on the straight run.  We had a blast!  It was a smaller group, so it was nice to get some time to chat with some of the big wigs.
Getting started on our run! Check out cutie pie, Kelly, dressed as Cinderella!
Kelly and Dimity  
Beautiful morning in Epcot
 We looped up into the World Showcase from Spaceship Earth.  Along the way, we passed Snow White in Germany and then happened upon a fun surprise in France - the Fairy Godmother!
Seen on our run...a pretty princess

NBD...just hanging with Sean!!!  I inquired about his outfit for the half...he ended up in a tiara.
Next, we were headed out toward the International Gateway to the Boardwalk resort area.  I enjoyed chatting with Sean Astin.  He is amazingly friendly and down to earth.  We enjoyed hearing about his Disneyland race experiences.  We had a small hitch as we started heading toward the Boardwalk area-the gates into the area weren't open yet so we had to wait for security to come open them.
Uh oh!  The gates weren't open to head into the Boardwalk resort area
We all joked with Bob about an obstacle course run for the meet-up.  As we ran past the Boarwalk, Yacht Club and Beach Club resorts, we chatted with Sarah and Dimity, sharing our favorite races, what we love about running and the greatness of runDisney.  It was very cool to hear about how they got started and how they find sanity in running.

We looped back through the International Gateway, finishing the World Showcase loop and ended at the Germany pavilion.  We headed inside the Biergarten in Germany for some breakfast.  There was a great spread with bagels, breads, pastries and fruit.  Plus more than enough coffee, OJ and water to keep us hydrated and sufficiently caffeinated for the speakers!  Faron Kelley kicked off the event and shared some really cool stats about runDisney and women's running in general.

Faron Kelley kicking off the speaker portion of the event
Jeff Galloway and Tara Gidus
After Tara and Jeff gave quick tips on training and nutrition, Rachel Booth spoke to the crowd and talked about how she's lowered her mileage and isn't putting as much pressure on herself.  Next up was Ali Vincent and she was fabulous!  She shared very candid thoughts on running, weight and self esteem.  She then asked the crowd about who had lost weight...the last ladies with their hands raised (7 in total, who had lost more than 75 pounds each) were given a hot pink "Live Big" gym towel.  There were 3 ladies at our breakfast table that received them - totally amazing!
Our friend Jodi won a towel!
Next up was April Holmes, three time Paralympian.  She lost her leg in a train accident and as she was recovering, decided she wanted to get back into competition.  She's won many gold medals and broken her own world records multiple times.  She was funny and inspiring, even sharing that she has so many gold medals, she can't find them all!

After April, we heard from Josh from New Balance and he launched into some trivia questions to win free runDisney New Balance sneakers.  And unless you've been living under a rock, you know these are highly coveted.  After a few softball questions, he launched into some harder questions.  He asked about the location of their world headquarters and my hand shot in the air.  Pick me, pick me, I silently said to myself.  He pointed at me and I emphatically shouted "Boston" and he confirmed my response.  I was handed an envelope with a voucher to pick up the shoes at the expo.  So exciting!!
Winning my New Balance sneaks!
And lastly, several members of the newly opened Grand Floridian Spa, Senses, were on hand to share at home massage techniques, specific for runners.  They raffled off some plush robes and a massage appointment to some lucky runners.  And at last the morning came to a close with a special guest...Minnie Mouse in her most beautiful royal princess dress!

As we were leaving, we were each handed a swag bag with some fabulous gear - a one day Park Hopper pass, Florida Celebration Hospital water bottle, Luna fiber bar and H2O Plus Sea Salt Body Butter and Facial Cleansing towels.  We snapped a photo with Rapunzel and headed out for the Expo.

It was an incredible morning and we had to pinch ourselves multiple times to make sure I wasn't dreaming.  Thank you for making this possible, runDisney - we are unbelievably grateful to have been able to take part in this incredible morning!


February 26, 2013

Training Tuesday: Gym Bag

While we're heading home from a fantastic Princess Half weekend, we figured we would get back to posting another installment of our Training Tuesday series.  I've started hitting the gym on my way home from work again partly due to working at a new client site and trying to attend some earlier evening classes.  I'm lucky as my home, gym and workplace are relatively close together, no more than a 15-20 minute drive between any of the three.  And while they're all close, it's not terribly efficient to bounce between them during the hours of heavy evening traffic. 

My gym has a Tabata class on Thursdays at 5:10.  The first time I attended, I didn't plan ahead very well and went home to change first.  I literally sprinted through my house to let the dog out, change into workout gear, and grab my bag.  I think I was out of the house in about 90 seconds and I jumped in my car (sneakers not tied) to bolt to class.  I was dead set on making this class and pulled into the parking lot on two wheels (ok, not quite...) and ran up the stairs (two at a time) to the group exercise room only to sneak in through the door just as it slammed shut behind me.  I was already out of breath when the class started.  Never again, I told myself.

Fast forward to the next week - I brought my workout clothes in my gym bag so I could go straight to the gym after work.  But I forgot a few things and wasn't terribly organized in terms of my gym apparel and "stuff."  Again, I told myself I wouldn't make the same mistake twice, so I've tried to remedy the situation.

I found an old, unused make-up bag in my bathroom cabinet and filled it with all of my essentials for the gym:
- Small stick of deodorant
- Several hair ties, bobbypins and clips
- Headband
- Shampoo and conditioner (small or trial size bottles)
- Trial size body wash
- Chapstick

Additionally, I've included a few more things in my gym bag in a gallon-sized Ziploc bag for those just in case days:
- Socks (not my best pair, but they'll do in an emergency)
- Clean underwear
Sports bra (not my best one, but will do in an emergency)


February 25, 2013

We Did It!

We successfully completed the Princess Half Marathon yesterday, which was Pam's seventh half marathon and Christine's fifth. It wasn't our best race time but wasn't the worst either. The heat and humidity made for very tough race conditions for these East Coasters accustomed to training in cold weather this winter. Full recap will come this week. For now, here's a shot of us with our medals. We're looking forward to a Mickey waffle this morning and spending the day at Epcot. Have a great week!

February 24, 2013

Weekly Roundup - Feb 24th

This was a strange week for both of us with the Princess Half today!  Christine didn't cut back mileage very much coming in to this race and Pam was getting back in the groove of exercising back in NC.  We're so happy to be down in Disney and even more excited to be at the starting line for our third Princess Half Marathon this morning.

Sunday, Feb 17th
Christine: 30 minutes yoga, foam rolling
Pam: Gym time - 15 minutes eliptical, 30 minutes weight machines/free weights, stretching, Bosu ball

Monday, Feb 18th
Christine: 35 minutes stationary bike, stretching
Pam: Run 4.5 miles outside

Tuesday, Feb 19th
Christine: 3mi treadmill run (28 min)
Pam:  Bike 25 minutes, weights and machines 20 minutes, stretching, Bosu ball

Wednesday, Feb 20th
Christine: Rest
Pam: Run 3 miles tempo run

Thursday, Feb 21st
Christine: Rest (Travel to WDW)
Pam:  Rest (Travel to WDW)

Friday, Feb 22nd
Christine:  Meetup running 2.8 mi
Pam:  Meetup running 2.8 mi

Saturday, Feb 23rd
Christine:  Royal family 5k
Pam: Royal Family 5k

February 22, 2013

Princess Half Race Weekend Update

Our race weekend is off to a great start. We had the opportunity to attend the always fabulous runDisney meet up (aka tweet up) yesterday morning. We met so many fabulous princesses with whom we've emailed, tweeted, facebooked and blogged-that was awesome. We'll have plenty more to share in our full recap. For now, we'll leave you with a few photos...

A PR at a runDisney Race!

As many of you know, the runDisney races are our favorites.  We make a detailed plan of everything for these events, from costumes, to restaurant reservations and most important, our race plan.  From our very first race at Walt Disney World (Princess Half 2011) we have run these races in true running fashion without character stops.  Whoa....who runs a Disney race and does not stop for all those wonderful Disney princesses, villains and assorted characters who line the race course?  That would be us.  If you have followed our blog, you know that Christine had a major medical issue at the finish of that race.  We have often spoken about how it was fortuitous that we did not make any stops along the course as she may not have actually been able to cross the finish line with added time on the course. Who knows what might have happened since she spent nearly an hour in the medical tent post race with high fever and dangerously low blood pressure.  Our lovely post race photo has Christine in the shirt that the medical staff gave her, not her cute running shirt.
Princess Half 2011: Christine, Alison and Pam
We'll be reunited for another fun family race event this year!!
After the race, Christine took a break from running and Pam discovered the Coast to Coast medal and Disneyland Half! A trip to California was planned and race registration was complete for Alison and Pam.  The race day was perfect and Pam achieved a PR of 20 minutes (2:07 and change) and received the coveted Coast to Coast medal!
Disneyland Half 2011
By now Pam had the runDisney running disease and signed up for the Chip and Dale relay with a neighbor's daughter as her running partner.  The weather conditions were perfect and a 3+ minute PR was achieved (2:03.47)!  Christine was a wonderful cheerleader, but still had not resumed her running. However, she was tempted by a redo of the Princess Half and signed up just two weeks before the race in 2012. With just minimal training, but great fortitude, she finished with Pam in a time that was a three minute improvement from the 2011 race - whoa!  At last year's Wine and Dine, we had a race plan for Pam to pace Christine to a PR (her goal time was 2:15).  We started out with a plan, but with hardly three miles into the course, we were separated at a water stop.  Pam finally caught Christine at mile 10 and yes, a nice PR of 8+ minutes was achieved by Christine (2:17 and change).
Happy Girls and a new PR!
Each runDisney race gives us an opportunity to improve our running, with fast flat courses, other than the few on-ramps with the green army men!  Not stopping for character photos does not lessen our enjoyment of the race.  Actually, we have a great time talking about the characters and the displays along the course and they are great distractions.  It is fun to wear the race medals afterwards to the parks and there are plenty of characters to join you for photos. We are looking forward to racing this weekend, and our 5k is a planned easy jog with loads of character photos (fingers crossed for short lines!).  Sunday, we will be running and enjoying the course.  Christine and I will discuss race strategy once we are in Florida!  You really can have it all at a runDisney event - a PR and have the most fun race ever.

Do you run for a PR at the Disney races or do you prefer to run for fun, taking lots of photos?


February 21, 2013

Getting psyched for the 2013 Princess Race Weekend

Ladies, are you ready?!  Ready to run the most princessy race on the planet?!  We are so pumped and we're still hundreds of miles from Flo-rida.  We are both flying down to Orlando today (Pam in the morning and Christine in the evening) and are so excited to get this weekend started.

The 2011 Princess Half Marathon was our very first half marathon and we plan to keep running this race as long as our schedule (and bodies) allows.  This year, Pam's sister and Christine's Auntie/Godmother will also be joining us (just like in 2011) and it will be a great girls weekend.
Finish line at 2012 Princess Half
And if you're the last minute type, here are some posts to get you all prepped and ready to go, both logistically and mentally!

* Everything you need for race weekend: the 411 and corral info

2012 Princess Half Marathon Recap and play by play of miles 0-6 and miles 7-finish

Our celebration of family, health and happiness

Watching race videos on YouTube is one of our favorite ways to get ready for the races.  Here are two of our favorites on the Princess Half that will help get you ready for what you will see and experience along the course route.

2012 Princess Half Marathon recap video from runDisney

Running along the course in the 2012 Princess Half 

February 20, 2013

Princess Half Marathon Costume Inspiration

First things first...the winners of our H2O Plus giveaway...entries 152 and 128.  Krissy and Kimberley, please email us at werundisney@gmail.com to claim your prize!

Ever since I was a little kid, I've longed for uniqueness in most things I did - Halloween costumes, prom dresses, and first-day-of-school outfits.  My approach to race day costumes isn't much different.  I've always loved the princesses, but haven't ever looked to them for costume inspiration.  Since the day that we decided that our 2013 Princess Half Marathon would be a 'just for fun' race, we have been talking about our costumes.  I've bounced back and forth between a few ideas but settled on a character with relative ease.  So without further ado, I present to you my inspiration board for my 2013 Princess Half Marathon race outfit/costume.

Are you dressing in costume for the Princess?  What is your favorite race costume/outfit?


February 19, 2013

Training Tuesday: Working out on vacation

Training while away from home is a challenge for most of us.  I recently spent nearly three weeks in Africa on a long planned safari vacation.  The first week, it was relatively easy to keep up with exercise, since a run was possible at our first location and trekking with gorillas in Rwanda provided a lot of physical activity.
Big Daddy!  One of many Silverback Gorillas in Rwanda
On the the main safari things got a bit more interesting!  Our various accommodations included tented camps, individual units and small hotels.  These properties were not fenced, so wild creatures could be on the property at any given time.  In fact, a female leopard decided that the storage facility at one property was the perfect spot to give birth to her cubs!  Needless to say, I was not running at all during this time period.  Improvising became the name of the game and here is a list of the activities that I managed to do:

*  Abdominal work
*  Stretch cords for upper body
*  Burpees (boy do I hate these)
*  Leg work
*  Stretching
*  Planks
*  Short sprints in our room (we had nice clear space around the bed!)
*  Swimming laps

Managing to keep up with a minimal amount of daily activity is sure to keep you feeling better on vacation and make it easier to get back to your normal routine once you return home.

How do you workout during your vacations or when you're away from home?

February 18, 2013

Disney Royal 5k a first for We Run Disney!

The girls of We Run Disney have participated in many Disney races, including the Wine and Dine Half Marathon, Disney Princess Half Marathon and WDW (aka Donald) Half Marathon to name a few.  We have always stuck to the longer distances while running at the most magical place on earth.  When we decided to run the Princess Half Marathon this year, the idea of running the Royal Family 5k became a topic of discussion.  Finally we pushed the register button and yes, we are very eager to try our first short race by runDisney.  Our plan is to take a very easy pace and enjoy all the character photo opportunities along the race course.
Royal Family 5k race course through EPCOT
The course route looks really fun, with the majority of it running through Epcot.  Of course we have decided to wear costumes, although they are not nearly as elaborate as what we have planned for the Princess Half.   Pam is wearing her "Mouse About Town" skirt by Sparkle Skirts and Christine will be sporting a pink Team Sparkle skirt that she'll be picking up at the Expo...talk about last minute planning!  Here is a sneak peak of Pam's attire:

Both of us will bring our phones for photos and hopefully we will run into some of our favorite Disney characters along the way.  If you see us out on the course, say hi!  Stay tuned for a race recap of our first 5k race at Disney!

February 17, 2013

Weekly Roundup - Feb 17

This was a difficult week of exercise for Pam, while Christine had a great long run as well as difficult Tabatha class and additional gym work.  While on vacation in Africa, our lodges were without fences, so with wild animals around, there was no opportunity for running.  The option was to use anything around while in our room, so I improvised and got in a few minor workouts! Our adventure ended on Wednesday with a last game drive at the Ngorongoro Crater.  This sleeping female lion was the last wildlife we encountered on our amazing vacation.

Sunday, Feb 10th
Christine: 30 minutes stationary bike, arm weights, stretching
Pam:  treadmill run 5 miles

Monday, Feb 11th
Christine: Rest
Pam:  plank, legwork, 75 burpees, running intervals, stretch cords

Tuesday, Feb 12th
Christine: Rest
Pam:  legwork, stretching

Wednesday, Feb 13th
Christine: 2.5 mi treadmill run, 15 min elliptical, stretching
Pam:  legwork, stretching, plank

Thursday, Feb 14th
Christine: Tabata class
Pam:  rest

Friday, Feb 15th
Christine: 30 min stationary bike, upper body weights
Pam:  walk 2 miles

Saturday, Feb 16th
Christine: outdoor run 10.07 miles
Pam: run 4.5 miles

Don't forget to enter our giveaway for some awesome H2O products here.

February 16, 2013

Preparing for Race Day

Your first race can be daunting for a gazillion different reasons.  As you know, our first big race (half marathon) was the 2011 Princess Half Marathon.  We made all of the rookie mistakes - wearing new duds on race day, new food on race day, etc.  And while we made it through the race (mostly) successfully, we wanted to impart a little wisdom for first timers and those getting ready for a race who may need a gentle reminder!

1. Nothing new.  Simple - don't do anything on race day that you haven't done in your training.  That means no new food, no new gear, no new strategies, etc.  If you did run:walk in training, do it in the race.  If you fueled with a bagel and cream cheese in training, do it before the race.  You don't want to try something new only to learn that it chafes, upsets your stomach or throws you off your A-game.

2. Rest up.  It's probably obvious, but spend time a week or two before the race getting to bed early.  Your body will thank you come race day.

3. Eat well.  Just like getting enough rest, you need to fuel correctly, and not just on race day.  I focus on quality fuel - carbohydrates and lean protein.  I slowly reduce fruit and vegetable intake as race day gets closer. 

4. Have a race plan.  Regardless of whether its your first or four hundredth half marathon, you need a race plan.  Everyone has a ballpark estimate of their pace.  Stick to that pace.  Don't let the hype of race day make you sprint the first 2 miles. 

5. Hydrate.  And then hydrate some more.  Get good at carrying a water bottle.  Take note that caffeine and alcohol dehydrate you so try to avoid those until after your post-race celebration.

6. Have a mantra.  I see lots of blogs and websites talking about a mantra.  This may be a few words you routinely think during training or something that has meaning to you.  To be honest, I don't have one specific mantra.  I have been known to yell at myself and say things like "you got this" or "let's do this."  Whatever gets you going, use it on race day.
7. Trust your training.  You trained for a long time to prepare for this race.  Own that.  You traded runs for sleeping in, time with girlfriends, time on the couch...you got this!

Above all else, have fun on your day!

Don't forget to enter our giveaway of some awesome H2O Plus products!

Happy weekend,

February 15, 2013

Friday Finds: Spring Running Gear

This is the time of year when I start craving warm weather.  I look longingly at my yard for anything with life.  Heck, I'll take weeds!  So this week, I decided to start shopping for spring running gear, even though I need absolutely nothing.  I love spring and summer fashion because of all the bright colors and found some running duds that looked like just what I need to get out of the winter "greys".

Details (clockwise from top left): Nike Dri-FIT striped tank at $50; Lululemon Cool Racerback tank at $42; Old Navy striped bubble tank at $17; Adidas Powerluxe Houndstooth tank at $50; Athleta Warrior Sport Skirt at $54; Under Armour Escape Printed Shorts at $30

How do you shake off the winter blues?

P.S. Don't forget to check out our giveaway!

February 14, 2013

What will you celebrate?

First of all, Happy Valentine's Day!  I hope you enjoy some yummy treats today!

We like to think of Disney races as a celebration.  The race atmosphere is very upbeat, energetic and supportive.  Basically, it's like a fast moving parade around the WDW property.  We came up with some fabulous things we're celebrating, mostly our family.

What will you celebrate at the 2013 Princess Half Marathon weekend?