May 31, 2013

Glass Slipper Challenge and Princess Half Marathon Weekend 2014

Yesterday runDisney announced the prices for the Princess Half Marathon weekend of races which include the new Glass Slipper Challenge.  The excitement was huge after the announcement for this race challenge and it will be interesting to see how quickly this event will sell out.  Registration is scheduled to open sometime in early June, so keep your eyes and ears open if you are interested in registering for the race weekend.  If you follow our blog, you know that the Princess Half Marathon in 2011 was our first big race and first runDisney race.
At the finish line...Princess Half Marathon 2012
Here is the pricing for the Princess Half weekend:

Entry Fees and Deadlines
Disney Princess Half Marathon
  • $160 by August 20, 2013
  • $175 between August 21 and November 19, 2013
  • $190 on or after November 20, 2013

Disney Enchanted 10K
  • $95 by August 20, 2013
  • $110 between August 21 and November 19, 2013
  • $125 on or after November 20, 2013

Glass Slipper Challenge
  • $270 by August 20, 2013
  • $290 between August 21 and November 19, 2013
  • $310 on or after November 20, 2013

Cinderella Royal Family 5K
  • $60 per participant

runDisneyKids Races
  • $15 per Kids Dash participant
  • $30 per One Mile Run participant

Pasta in the Park Party Tickets
  • $52 for Adults (ages 10 and up)
  • $28 for Children (ages 3 – 9)
  • Children Under 3 are free

ChEAR Squad
  • Bronze – No Charge
  • Silver – $39 per package
  • Gold – $65 per package
  • Platinum - $115 per package

Race Retreat
  • $120 per participant

We are now tempted by another inaugural event, but need to consider if we can add this event to our race calendars.  Are you already waiting to register for the Glass Slipper Challenge?

May 30, 2013

This Saturday I'm running for the dream!


I can hardly believe I am running another half marathon on Saturday.  I'm really looking forward to this race for a few reasons:
- Trying another local event (my third local half marathon this year).
- Dave McGillivray, the Boston Marathon race director, is also the race director for this event - BIG TIME!
- The course winds through historic Colonial Williamsburg.
- Seeing some local running buddies.
- Nice perks like Busch Gardens and Colonial Williamsburg tickets - SCORE!
- QR code on each bib for instant and personalized results after the race.  I love seeing races employ new technologies.


May 29, 2013

New Jams - 004

I have one last race coming up this weekend and I am in desperate need of overhauling my workout playlist.  So once again, I'm sharing a few of my recent jams and hoping you'll share some too!  See how this works?  Everybody wins heh!

1. Pursuit of Happiness by Kid Cudi: This one comes on one of my Pandora stations from time to time and every single time, I crank it up and jam.  I finally downloaded it last night.

2. Get Lucky by Daft Punk featuring Pharrell Williams: Like everyone else on earth, I'm loving this jam.  It's not quite the fast beat I usually go for, but it's still making it in the rotation.

3. Take You Higher  by Goodwill and Hook N Sling: This is another one that I found through Pandora...and again, I jam every time.  There's a radio edit and a club mix...I like both.

4. Castles in the Sky by Ian Van Dahl: This is an oldie from my college days.  It reminds me of frat parties and spring break.  Yea...  Crazy techno beat is a good pump up for speed work or when I need it in a race.

5. Gotta Get Through This by Daniel Bettingfield: Another oldie, but I like to tell myself "I just gotta get through this mile"

Please leave a comment with some of your favorite jams - I will be forever grateful!

May 28, 2013

Training Tuesday: Yoga Class

For the past two weeks, I have been attending a new yoga class at the gym.  It is a perfect workout after 45 minutes or more of cardio.  The main focus of this class is flexibility, balance and relaxing your body.  All of these things are perfect for me, since I do not spend enough time on any of them on a day to day basis.

Our instructor Laine switches things up a bit from class to class, but the basic program does not change much. There are plenty of downward facing dogs, pigeon stretches and dolphin poses. Since I am a girl who dislikes change, this works great for me.  What is most amazing to me, and anyone who knows me, is that I nearly fall asleep at the end of class every time!  Being a type A personality, I am constantly moving and on the go.  Yoga has become a great addition to my workout routine and hopefully the class will stay just the way it is!
I always am a "back of the room" participant! 

Do you attend yoga class?  Do you mind change?

May 27, 2013

Elizabeth River Run 10k 2013 Recap

You probably already read that I ran the Elizabeth River Run 10k on Saturday with several goals in mind.  I am happy to report that I had a fantastic race and exceeded my own expectations for the day. 
It was a beautiful day, albeit chilly!
I had several friends racing and planned to meet up with them at about 7:30 on race morning at the Ntelos Wireless Pavilion, which was where the starting line was located.  It was a VERY chilly morning and I noticed many people in long pants and long sleeves.  I immediately was glad that I had tossed in a sweatshirt that I wore to walk to packet pick-up.  I was easily able to find the line for my last name (they were in alphabetical groups) and got my bib and shirt.  This race provides a nice tech shirt and I was excited to see that they had a nod to the Boston Marathon on the back of the shirt (some cool news coverage about the Boston connection with some of the local runners here).  I walked back to the car to leave my stuff and hung out for a few minutes, keeping warm until I headed to meet my friends. 
Allie and I - we met at this race in 2012!

It was quite chilly and I bounced around to try to keep warm and was easily able to find my buddies.  We snapped some photos, complaining of the weather and noting this was supposed to be summer.  
More friends - Heather, Stephen and I
A few minutes later, it was time to walk to the start, which was luckily protected from the wind off the water by a few large buildings.  I made my way to the front-ish part of the pack, about 1/3 of the way back from the starting line.  A moment later, the gun went off and the runners were moving.  As usual, there was a bit of a bottleneck crossing the starting line, but that eased up quickly. 

We headed down Crawford Parkway and made a few turns to head toward the Waterfront.  And then we wove through Olde Towne, passing gorgeous homes and running down quaint streets.  I even saw a colleague out for a morning job (not part of the race) and waved hello.  At this point, I noticed that my shoe felt loose and noticed the lace was coming untied.  I was annoyed I had neglected to double knot the laces and chalked it up to a rookie mistake, pulling over to the side to quickly re-tie them. 

My first few miles were under 9 minute pace and my goal was 9 minute even pace for the first 3 miles.  I was feeling great and was settling into a comfortable rhythm.  We made the turn into the Naval Medical Center (miles 3-5) and I knew this part had the potential to be challenging since it wound along the water and the wind was strong.  The loop around mile 4.5ish was brutal - it felt like a strong headwind the entire time and I could feel myself getting a bit tired.  I tried to focus on just getting back to the main part of the course, which was more protected and gun it home. 
Approaching the finish line
I saw the mile 5 marker and knew it was time to get moving.  I could tell from my pace that I was on track to easily meet my goal of 54-55 and could beat that.  It was no longer a matter of if I would PR, but by how much.  I started flagging people to pass as extra motivation to push hard to the finish and slowly started picking off other runners.  And then the finish line was in sight - hooray!  I focused on my stride and then crossed the line noticing I finished in 52 minutes and some change - WOOHOO!!  This was a 10 minute PR for me, improving my time from the October Wicked 10k and a 14 minute improvement over last year's race.  I was ecstatic, to say the least! 
You can see the race clock in the background, just over 53 minutes
I high fived friends at the finish, many hitting PRs...probably due to the cool temps and flat course.  We enjoyed pizza and beer at the finish.  This race was fantastic and a great way to start the holiday weekend.
Happy runner!
More race thoughts...
Overall experience A-: The course was great and additional water stops were helpful this year.  I would love a women's cut tech shirt, but that's not a deal breaker.
Race Organization A: The packet pick-up was easy and the pre-race emails were helpful.  No complaints.
Value A: A nice tech shirt and a fast, flat course for $30.  Can't beat it!
Final Time: 52.53
Division Place: 11/77 (!!)
Pace: 8:47


May 26, 2013

Weekly Roundup: May 26th

It's the unofficial start of summer - hooray!  I love Memorial Day weekend.  Given that I live in a beach town, summer is an amazing time of year in this area.  There is always tons to do - local festivals, concerts, art shows, etc.  I just love it.  The weekend has been great so far and I'm looking forward to spending an afternoon down at the beach today with some fabulous friends.  And there should be more fun with the holiday on Monday.

Sunday, May 19th
Pam:  Health Prom 5k in London
Christine: 30 min stationary bike (11 mi), Abs, Stretching

Monday, May 20th
Pam: Rest day
Christine: 4 mile treadmill run, stretching, rolling

Tuesday, May 21st
Pam: Rest day
Christine: Rest day

Wednesday, May 22nd
Pam: 4 miles walking around Paris....ooh la la!
Christine: 3.8 mi run

Thursday, May 23rd
Pam: 6 miles walking around Paris
Christine: 35 min elliptical, leg weights, stretching

Friday, May 24th
Pam: 2 miles walking
Christine: Yoga

Saturday, May 25th
Pam: Rest day
Christine: Elizabeth River Run 10k

What are you most excited about this summer?

May 25, 2013

A do-over from last year: ERR 10k

For those of you that have been reading for a while, you may remember my less-than-fabulous race in the Elizabeth River Run 10k last year.  I was under-trained, overly-ambitious and hot.  
This year, I plan to redeem myself in this fabulous local race.  It's been running for years (started in 1979) and is a very popular local event.  It's a great course that winds along the Elizabeth River through Olde Towne Portsmouth .  As far as I'm concerned, it's a fabulous way to kick off Memorial Day weekend

Here's my approach for this year's event:
* Run with lots o' friends!  Last year, I knew no one but I made friends with the fabulous mother-daughter duo Allie and Sunshine!  This year, I'll be running with some buddies and colleagues. 
* Celebrate one year friend-iversary with Allie woohoo! 
* Enjoy the course
* Crush it and PR!  It's been a while since I've raced a 10k so I am overdue for a PR. 
* Sparkle...I'll be rocking my favorite pink Team Sparkle skirt.  Sparkle=speed...duh!

Hope you all have a fabulous Memorial Day weekend and enjoy some BBQs and long runs!  Are you racing over the holiday weekend?

May 24, 2013

Five Favorite Things Friday, Paris Edition!

As you will know if you read our blog, Paris is one of our favorite destinations.  There are so many exceptional places to see and of course don't get us started on all the tasty food and wine to be consumed.  We feel a day in Paris is not complete unless there is a stop at a local cafe for a pastry, flaky croissant or perhaps a mille feuille.  While there are many favorites things, we have chosen five to highlight!

1.  Eiffel Tower:  The iconic symbol of Paris and to view it at night with the twinkly lights is a sight to behold.  I could watch that every night, kind of like the fireworks at Magic Kingdom!
We Run Disney loves Paris!
2. Montmartre:  This is a lovely village on the northern side of the city that includes the Sacre Coeur basilica and a quaint little area where artists work and sell their finished paintings, prints etc.  You can spend a day here strolling around visiting the local shops and restaurants and visiting some sites such as the Moulin Rouge! 
Sacre Coeur
3. Louvre Museum and Musee d'Orsay:  Paris has many wonderful museums and these tow are favorites of ours.  At the Louvre this world famous museum includes the Mona Lisa painting by DaVinci, Venus de Milo sculpture by Alexandros and of course the pyramid by I.M. Pei.  The Musee d'Orsay is located inside a renovated old railway station which makes it very unique.  The building itself is worth a visit, let alone the impressive collections of artwork inside.  There is a large collection of impressionist paintings by Monet, Renoir, Van Gogh and Cezanne.

4. Champs Elysees and Arc de Triomphe  No trip to Paris would be complete without a stroll down this boulevard where you can see many shops, cafes, and restaurants.   It is a beautiful tree lined street with loads of shops, hotels, cafes and of course the Arc de Triomphe which is a prevalent landmark at one end.  It is fun to stop for a coffee and croissant and people watch at one of the outdoor tables!

5. Pastries:  We love to eat and Paris offers many options for your gastronomic pleasure. Many morning and afternoon stops include a cup of tea or an espresso and a freshly baked croissant or pastry treat! One of our favorite restaurants is Chez Andre, located just off the Champs Elysses.  They offer the biggest creme brulee I have ever seen! And just in case you're wondering, anything to eat tastes better in France!

What are you favorite spots in the City of Lights?

May 23, 2013

A Surprise Race Without Music

As many of you know, I ran the Goofy Challenge in January at Walt Disney World.  Despite being super organized and obsessed over my gear and race day outfit, I made a huge mistake.  My ipod shuffle was not charged.  Despite putting it on the charger the day before, I also left it overnight in the on position.  Somehow, I did not check the settings properly and I ended up in my starting corral with a shuffle that had no charge.  That's right, it could not even play one song.  Thankfully, this dilemma was not evident until just a couple minutes before my corral was going to start.  In fact, I had maybe two or three minutes to get anxious, and then get over it.  Waiting for the race to start with Christine and several other running friends made the time go quickly and also keep me from losing my cool.  A half marathon with no music sounded terrible.  But I handled it and stuffed the ipod and headphones inside my Sparkle Skirts pocket and started running.
These pockets could hold a picnic for 2, but I just had my gels and the  shuffle
One thing about Disney races is the on course entertainment and volunteers who cheer, and provide water are plentiful.  There are also many things to look at including the costumes of other runners, the mileage markers, the parks you run through and of course the character stops along the way.  All of these things were a great deal of help considering I am attached to my music when I run.  It is probably not the ideal way to run, but it works for me.
Excited and ready to run in Corral B....smiles before I realized the Ipod was not charged!
Finishing this race about five and a half minutes faster than my plan was probably due in small part to the lack of music.  Also, I was running the half by myself since Christine was going for a PR, which she achieved!  Once the race was complete, I hurried back to the hotel room to put my ipod on the charger!  I must have checked it at least three or four times so that I would be sure to have music for the Mickey Marathon! And it was a "Happily Every After" story because I did have my music the next day!


May 22, 2013

Dumbo Double Dare.....100 day Countdown!

Are you as excited as we are? Dumbo Double Dare, we can't wait! This will be our next Disney trip and running adventure.  Since this is an inaugural race it should be special and we are looking forward to our first runDisney 10k!  Our flights are booked and our hotel reservation has been made.  We are planning our race costumes now! Are you going to California for this race?  
Christine at 8 years old....loving Dumbo then and always!

May 21, 2013

Training Tuesday...Porta Potties

This would be considered a taboo subject by most people.   When you are a runner, bathroom stops can be very important, especially if you are on a long run, or away from your home.  I recently went back to the track after a long hiatus of running my speed workouts on a treadmill.

4 months since my last visit
As it turns out, I hydrated a bit too much while Tom was still in bed and paid for it once I got into my training session at the track.  After a good warm up and then two sets of 800 meters with 90 second breaks I knew I could not make it through the whole set without stopping for a bathroom break.  At this university track near me, there are four little gems, aka porta potties right at the entrance to the field area. I have avoided these each and every time I have worked out here....until now!

First, I  debated going into the wooded area that surrounds one side of the track, but realized there could be poison ivy, snakes or worse. Now I had to make the inevitable walk to the the porta potties and get it over with!  I held my nose and opened the door preparing for the worst.  The unit was clean and even had a good supply of hand sanitizer and toilet paper.  Score!  I did what I needed to do and quickly got back to my sprints.  Are you ever surprised by things during a run? Have you ever been stuck using a bathroom or porta potties in an unlikely place?


May 19, 2013

Weekly Roundup: May 19th

We had a good week.  We finally started getting some warmer and sunny weather in VA which was a great pick me up.  It's been a cold and rainy spring and I have been desperate for some better weather.  I've been battling some knee pain, that I believe is the result of a pretty painful bruise on my left knee, just below the knee cap.  I've started using KT Tape to help with my IT band trouble as well as knee issues and have had pretty good luck.  I'm going to rework the knee taping, but IT band seems to be doing just fine.  With two races on the horizon (a 10k next weekend and a half the following weekend), I need to focus on staying healthy and relatively pain free.

And now for our workouts this week...

Sunday, May 12
Pam:  Track speed work, 3x800, 3x400 total 4.75 miles
Christine: 9.9 mi

Monday, May 13
Pam:  Sculpt class, 35 minutes stationary bike, TRX class
Christine:  Boot camp

Tuesday, May 14
Pam:  Ran 3.5 miles 31 minutes, walked/carried 9 holes golf
Christine: 25 min stationary bike, 30 min elliptical, leg weights, abs

Wednesday, May 15
Pam: 30 minutes stationary bike, walked/carried 9 holes golf
Christine: Rest

Thursday, May 16
Pam: 6.1 miles, stretching, rolling
Christine: Speed work - 1 mi warm up, 2x1600 (90 RI), 1x800 (90 RI), 1 mi cool down (4.3 mi total)

Friday, May 17
Pam:  Rest
Christine: Rest

Saturday, May 18
Pam:  2 3/4 mile run, walked 4 miles
Christine: 12.4 mi

How was your week?  Are you ready for summer?

May 18, 2013

It's A Bird, It's A Plane, It's Super Minnie!

That's right, I am dressing up as Super Minnie for the Superhero 5k race in London, England on May 19th at Regents Park.  Because this is a superhero run and costumes are provided, I decided it would be more fun to bring my own and dress as my favorite mouse!

Minnie can be a super hero too, especially with a fancy cape with her own logo.  So without further ado, I present my costume/racing outfit for my first international race!
Brooks Ravennas spray painted and bows added!
Back of cape

Minnie is running for the charity Health Prom
Sparkle Skirt and accessories
So what do you think?  Ever thought about tailoring a Disney character to suit a race theme?

May 17, 2013

Five Favorite Things Friday, London Edition!

We arrived in London this morning and since we have visited many times due to a job assignment in England, I thought it would be fun to share a list of favorite things. Since this is a running blog, mainly about Disney, I also wanted to mention that on Sunday morning I will be running a race in Regents Park dressed up as a Disney superhero.  Stay tuned for a full recap and photos!

London at sunset with Big Ben and Westminster Abbey in the distance!

1.  The Tower of London...This is one of the best historic sights to see in the city. It is.a mysterious place that includes not only the Crown Jewels, but also the place where two young princes mysteriously died.  The ravens are another interesting facet of the place, all in all a great spot to tour and enjoy.

2.  Harrod's Department Store  You do not need to shop here to enjoy your visit.  Harrod's has many floors of delightful things to peruse and many restaurants where you can enjoy either a cup of tea and scones, or lunch, or champagne or get the picture.  My favorite place to peruse is the pet department.  I will be visiting there to find a little toy to bring home to Lulu!  Christine is a huge fan of Paris, so her gift will be coming from a special shop on the Champs Elysee!

3.  Wimbledon  This blog may be about running, but I am also a huge tennis fan.  Back in the early 1990's, I played alot of competitive tennis while living in Texas.  While tennis is not part of my exercise routine at the moment, there is nothing better than visiting Wimbledon and seeing a match or two.

Brits dress up for tennis!

4.  Buckingham Palace   The shiny golden gates and beefeaters who guard the palace give this place such a regal air.  It is always fun to see the changing of the guard and if you go during summer hours, you can get tickets for a tour of the building (be aware though, only certain parts are open to the public)

Typical gray skies in the background!

5.  Babylon  There are roof top gardens on Kensington High Street at a place called Babylon.  This is an amazing restaurant that has fabulous views and a wonderful atmosphere for a special meal.  We will be dining here for a late lunch after my race on Sunday!

Have you been to London?  What is your favorite thing to do or see?

May 16, 2013

Girls on the Run Spring 5k Recap

A few months ago a colleague asked if I would be interested in being a running buddy for the spring Girls on the Run South Hampton Roads 5k.  I immediately told her I was in.  I had participated in the fall race and had a blast with the girls and vowed that I would be back.  My colleague asked that I come out to the school for a practice before the race to meet my buddy, H.  So last Friday I was able to get out there when the girls ran their practice 5k.  I learned that H is one of the fastest girls in the school, clocking a 7:15 mile in her physical education...whoa!  She's 9!  Pretty impressive.

Ok, back to the race...I arrived at Town Point Park in Norfolk to a sea of pink, which was fabulous.  Knowing the girls would be rocking their pink GOTR shirts, I decided on my pink Team Sparkle skirt and a purple top, to appease my eight year old self.
This race was much more organized than the last one, partly due to the fact that the park provides loads of open space and easy navigation between areas.  I found the packet pick-up area and got my bib (loved the flowers) and t-shirt.  I headed over to find my school and found the girls giggling, doing cartwheels and marveling over their freshly spray-painted hair.  (Goody is one of the sponsors so they have a booth where the girls can get their hair sprayed and whatnot.)

 I found H and met her Dad and Grandfather who had come out to spectate.  Her Dad informed me that "she's really focused this morning and she really wants to run for time."  Ok, time to get my own game face on!  Soon enough, a local hospital led the group in some stretches and we headed to the starting line.  It was a little tough staying together since pretty much everyone was in the pink t-shirts but we were able to get back together with most of the group for starting line chatter.
Before we knew it, the race was starting.  I told H to go in front of me in the beginning, knowing we would be doing a lot of weaving.  Luckily she stayed pretty close and I was easily able to see her.  The first part of the race took us down Waterside Drive past the Spirit of Norfolk and towards Harbor Park where our AAA baseball team, The Tides, play.  At this point, I was mostly focused on not losing H and trying to chat with her a bit.  We spotted her friend K and caught up with she and her dad for a while.  We hit mile 1 in about 9:30 and passed the first water stop where I grabbed a cup for H.  We walked a bit so we could both get a quick drink and then made the turn back into downtown.
Loved their shirts!

For the next stretch of the race, we were running on a path right on the water and the winds were really strong.  There were lots of spectators during this stretch which I can only assume was a mental boost for Hannah.  And when the crowd wasn't cheering as loudly as I'd like, I started yelling "go Girls on the Run" and that seemed to get them going hehe!  I even saw the coach from the last school I ran with so I gave her a high five as we turned towards Nauticus.  I could tell H was getting a little tired so I focused more on keeping our pace steady and encouraged her to focus on easy breathing.
After running past Nauticus (the Naval history museum) and the Wisconsin battleship, we went through the Pagoda Garden which was beautiful!  I think it was in here that Hannah twisted her ankle, as the ground was a bit unsteady.  She was a total trooper and kept going after a bit of a walk break!  Out of the garden we turned onto Boush street to head toward the finish line.  We saw H's Dad and Grandfather cheering for us and crossed the finish line in 30:42 - very speedy!
The finisher chute was well-equipped with water, bananas and bagels.  As soon as we got through, we headed back to the area for our school where H was excited to congratulate her friends.  They had a medal ceremony and each girl seemed pretty pleased with their medal.  As I was leaving, I was able to find the school I worked with last December and chatted briefly with the coach about the team.  The girls did amazing and I saw one of my former running buddies.  Awesome, simply awesome.

All in all it was a great day and I had a blast, as always!  If you have an opportunity to get involved in this organization, do it.  I promise it will be time well spent.


May 15, 2013

Tales from the Gym

If you follow me on my personal account on Twitter (@imperfectcak), you've probably noticed I often have some commentary on my gym trips.  Mostly this is about interesting outfits or strange behavior.  In these cases, I use the hashtag #gymetiquette.  With all of my training and my renewed focus on strength training, I've been a bit of a gym rat.  I figured I would share with you some of the best things I've seen/witnessed.

1. Pizza crust in trash, not the trash can by the trainers station, the one in the weight room area.  What the heck?!

2. Wearing a sports bra on the outside of your top.  What support does that provide exactly?

3. Jorts.  One word: chafing. Ouch!

4. Skinny jeans.  How can you move in those things?

5. Sandals. Seriously?

6. Listening to music on iphone...boombox style.  Thanks for sharing with the rest of us, but I'd prefer my own workout mix, thankyouverymuch.

7. A man wearing very tight white/silver basketball shorts.  It wasn't pretty.

8. A family sitting Indian style in a circle in the free weight/stretching area (taking up the entire space)....not doing ANYTHING!

What grinds your gears at the gym?


May 14, 2013

Expedition Everest Recap from Guest Blogger Kim

We were lucky enough to have Kim share her experiences with us from Expedition Everest - thank you, Kim!!!

My name is Kim and I am from Long Island, New York.  In September I decided that I wanted to run a 5K and made the one at the Disney World Marathon Weekend my goal.  I got hooked after that and signed up to run in the Expedition Everest Challenge in May.  I am now signed up for the Wine and Dine 1/2 Marathon and the 2014 Marathon Weekend 5K, 10K and 1/2 marathon – all at Disney.  I’m sure I will do some other runs in between as well.  I am honored to be a guest blogger on my experiences at the 2013 Expedition Everest Challenge.
Kim conquered the Yeti!!!
On Friday, I went over to ESPN Wide World of Sports to pick up my registration packet and go through the exhibition area.  Registration was as smooth as I would expect for a Disney event.  You picked up your packet and then got your t-shirt.  The exhibition area seemed small to me, but I only had Marathon Weekend to compare it to where the exhibition area was huge.  runDisney had a store with shirts for Expedition Everest Challenge and some “in training” gear.  Otherwise, I would say there were no more than 10 exhibitors.

Saturday morning, they held the Family Edition and Kids Races associated with the event at ESPN Wide World of Sports.  The Challenge itself was held at night at Animal Kingdom.  As with any Disney event, they held to the theme.  Buses started running from the resorts at 7:30pm and you were dropped off at “base camp.”  You had the opportunity to sign a poster and take pictures with the Yeti and at other base camp items.  The challenge kicked off at 10pm with the first wave of runners going and another wave going every 7 minutes.  Once you started, you ran the 5K race with three obstacles spread throughout the course that took you through Animal Kingdom.  The first obstacle was to jump over bales of hay.  The second obstacle was a tire run and the final obstacle was to crawl under netting.  You could choose not to do the obstacles if you wanted to and there were plenty of volunteers to ensure safety.  

At the end of the 5K, you were handed your first clue for the scavenger hunt.  The scavenger hunt took you back into the park and sent you to specified locations.  At each location, you had to tell the volunteer the answer to the clue, which had to do with a direction and then they would give you the next clue.  The volunteers were great, showing you how to get the answer if you were unable to solve it yourself.  Once you had the 4th clue, you needed to use the clue cards to solve the final clue, which was one of the symbols on your race bib.  This was probably the most difficult part.  Again, the volunteers were willing to help get you started on solving the final clue.  Once you knew the final clue, you could go on to the finish line and point to the correct symbol in order to be given your medal – a cool compass.  As in any Disney race, you could stop along the way to get pictures with some characters as well.  Unlike my race in January, when I did not stop for pictures, I stopped at every opportunity this time around.  Throughout the entire race course, there were volunteers and cast members cheering you one and encouraging you.
Safari Donald!
Once you completed the race, you were able to go back into Animal Kingdom for a post race party.  The party was based in Dino-land.  There were open rides throughout the park, a DJ and photo opportunities with characters.  There was food and beverages available for purchase.  Everyone was having a good time at the party and enjoying the camaraderie of their fellow racers and friends.

The Expedition Everest Challenge was a great race!  Besides the 5K, we probably did another 2 miles in order to complete the scavenger hunt.  I enjoyed doing the race but not sure that this is a race that I would repeat.

Did you run EE?  What did you think?

May 13, 2013

My Dad, My Inspiration

We all have people in our lives who have provided us with inspiration.   My father was a true gem at inspiring everyone he met. Today would have been his 92nd birthday, and it seemed the perfect time for this post. While growing up, he encouraged us to try many things.  However, there was a house rule once you started something, you had to finish out that season, year or whatever was deemed an appropriate completion.  We were not quitters....nor were we ever allowed to quit anything.  As time went by, we entered college, some of my siblings got married and a few of us had children.  There was never a prouder moment than Dad holding his first grandchild, Christine when she was a tiny baby.  He was excited about the prospect of watching her grow and play at many different sporting activities.  He loved team sports and was captain of the baseball team at Yale University and several years after college he was the golf club champion at his local club, not once, but twice!
Club Champion 1947
When Christine and I took up running several years ago, Dad was supportive but could not understand why we would want to do that.  However, he overcame that first instinct and always asked about our races and was very supportive of this new found love of ours.

It was with great fondness that I ran the Quintiles/Wrightsville Beach Half Marathon in March, with Dad on my mind and in my heart. You see, this race took place one week before he passed away.  He was always a true champion as not only an athlete but as a wonderful person.  I've opened up with some private thoughts today, with the hope that you will treasure every moment you have with your loved ones.


May 12, 2013

Moms are cool

I was recently talking to a friend about how moms are great.  Not in a cliche kinda way but we were casually discussing the really generous, kind things our moms had done for us at one time or another.  And in contrast to that conversation, I was chatting with Mom yesterday and ribbing her about missing a big dance recital of mine.  And while I always give her a hard time about that, I never thank her for all the moments she was there....the day-long swim meets, first days of school, school awards assemblies, Nutcracker performances, t-ball games (loudly cheering...sometimes with an eyebrow raise from the umpire), knee surgery, front row at college graduation, and fixing up my first home.  The list really is endless. 

Enjoying a cocktail on the observation deck on the last night of our Caribbean cruise
She was there loyally rooting for me in moments of achievement and success and gently comforting me in moments of defeat.  Like the title of this post, moms are cool, especially mine. 

Happy Mother’s Day to the best cheerleader, shopping enthusiast, Christmas cookie-making, and blogger/running buddy!  Love you!


Weekly Roundup: May 12th

Our biggest news of the week happened Thursday night when Christine surprised me and registered for the Wine and Dine Half Marathon and Jingle Jungle 5k!  This means I have a running buddy for the half marathon....yay!  We can't wait to line up at 10:00 pm for a super fun night run through the parks and especially DHS for the Osborne Family Lights display.

Starting Line 2012

Due to a great MRI report last week, I was able to run more mileage this week than in about a month.  It was great to get in a long run of nine miles that felt easy at ten minute mile pace.  Our weather finally turned to summer and my warm weather running clothes were finally put to use.  I even finished my long run with a dip in the pool, but considering our cool spring, it was like a large ice bath!  Christine had a busy week that included another chance to run with one of the girls in the Girls On the Run program at a local 5k.  Her little girl at age 9 was fast and they completed the course in 30 minutes, second best of her entire school!  Way to go Hannah!

Sunday, May 5th
Pam: Rest day
Christine: Rest and LOTS of foam rolling and stretching

Monday, May 6th
Pam: Speedwork 6 X 400 descending 4.20 miles total, Core and Restore class
Christine: 30 min elliptical, leg weights, stretching

Tuesday, May 7th
Pam:  30 minutes stationary bike, yoga class, walked 9 holes golf
Christine: 3.4 mile run (fast)

Wednesday, May 8th
Pam: Ran 4.2 miles (tempo run), Core and Restore class
Christine: Rest

Thursday, May 9th
Pam: 30 minutes eliptical, yoga class, walked nine holes golf
Christine: 5 mile easy run, abs, stretching

Friday, May 10th
Pam: 9 mile run
Christine: Rest

Saturday, May 11th
Pam: Rest Day
Christine: Girls on the Run 5k

How was your week?  Did you get in lots of exercise?

May 9, 2013

Days Gone By At Walt Disney World!

I received an email  from my sister yesterday with a link to this article:  She asked me how many of these rides I could remember enjoying at the Florida WDW theme parks.  It is a fun journey back down memory lane and I had a blast watching the videos and hearing the music from the attractions.   Our family loved River Country and a day at this fun water park was always included in our trips to Florida.  Our very first visit to the water park was in 1984 when Christine was a tiny girl.  We managed to get her to have a nap on a chaise lounge under a tree so we could spend a full day there!  On our second visit she was busy on all the rides as shown below!

Riding the big slide at Whoop 'n Holler Hollow!

The other big slide had inner tubes which made it extra fun....riding with Pam's sister Alison!

We also included a trip to Discovery Island on several of our trips.  They had nature paths and Disney CM's gave demonstrations with some of the wildlife!

Don't mind the 80's outfits!

What attractions do you wish would return to the parks or the world at Disney? Do you remember any of those in the article of defunct Disney attractions?

May 8, 2013

Revealed: Disneyland Half Medals!!

What do you think?!  I LOVE DUMBO!!!!!  And Alice?!  YIPPEE!! Can't wait to have these hanging around my neck plus the beloved Coast to Coast medal!!