February 27, 2015

Princess Enchanted 10K 2015: Race Recap

The morning of the Princess Enchanted 10K started like all runDisney events - early!  I made plans to ride the bus from Port Orleans Riverside to the race with Mindy and we met up at 3:30. Side note - I was SO excited to finally meet Mindy (dressed as Olaf) after years of chatting via blogs and social media...and not to mention, it was nice to have a bus buddy since Mom wasn't running the 10K. It was a chilly morning so we were more bundled up than originally planned.

 We arrived in the EPCOT parking lot around 4:00 so we had a long wait ahead. Nearly immediately, we ran into Dani (dressed as Maleficent) and were chatting nonstop! Soon enough, we spotted Karen in her darling Anna outfit. I was trying to catch up with Lisa pre-race since we hadn't seen in each other in ages so I parted ways with Mindy and Dani to check my bag and find Lisa. I hadn't seen Lisa in ages and it was great to catch up with her. We initially talked about running the 10k together, with both of us hoping to PR but given she had been sick for a few weeks, we scrapped that idea.
Maleficent aka Dani, Olaf aka Mindy, and me
Soon enough it was time to head to our corrals where there were several volunteers checking bibs and corral letters. You definitely weren't getting through without a bib...or going to an earlier corral! We enjoyed the entertainment from the runDisney race announcers and briefly chatted about race goals. I mentioned I was hoping to PR and ideally would run under 50 minutes.
Starting line
Soon enough, the national anthem played and we both noted that we weren't in the race, mentally speaking. Who would have guessed the girl standing in front of me turned out to be Amanda, a runner I met in Napa last year. It was fun to see her after running into her after ToT last fall. Lisa and I gave each other a good luck hug and then were off!

The first 2 miles ticked off surprisingly easy and I was surprised to be holding the pace right around 8:00-8:05. I saw the white rabbit at the first hair pin turn up the on ramp around mile 2 and the TV screen with Disney cartoons and music around mile 2. Just before mile 3, we entered backstage at EPCOT with some characters on stilts and then it was time to run around World Showcase. I think I was grinning ear to ear. I saw Jiminy Cricket in Germany (?) and Marie in France before we exited out the International Gateway. I knew there were hills ahead and just under 3 miles to go so I told myself not to burn out. I was holding 8:00-ish pace and still feeling strong.

Along the boardwalk, I saw Donald dressed as baseball player and was dying to stop since I love Donald and baseball but I pressed on. Soon enough, we traversed the steep, but quick hill past the Swan and then were making our way past the Yacht and Beach Club resorts. I was starting to tire so I focused on the crowd at this point. I smiled and enjoyed their signs. I passed royal Minnie as we exited backstage and then quickly returned to the park to loop by The Seas and then Spaceship Earth. We passed Goofy dressed in space garb near Innovations (I think).
Pretty view of Spaceship Earth
The final mile was very windy so it was hard to zone out and just run hard. I was tired so I simply focused on passing the person in front of me. Being that I have a VERY strong competitive streak, this plan worked perfectly. I was able to ignore the pace on my Garmin and fatigue in my legs and just focus on a single person ahead of me. And next I was running into the finish line stretch where I saw the race clock tick from 49 to 50. I didn't have a kick at the end to get under 50 but I still ran a big PR with my final time at 50:10. I found Lisa in the finisher's chute. Despite being sick, she ran a really strong race! We shared celebratory hugs and a picture before she headed out to enjoy park time with her family.

I enjoyed a few photos with the princesses and was able to see Lacey and Meranda before I headed back to the resort. Mom and I had plans to head to Animal Kingdom and I was eager for a hot shower.

Snow White was stunning in person!

Tiana was jamming a bit before we snapped this photo!

Lacey and Meranda looked festive in princess pink!
Overall, I really enjoyed this race. The cool weather made for perfect PR conditions and running through the parks never gets old. And while I didn't stop for character photos, I loved seeing them on course.

Race Details
Final time: 50:10
Placement: 26/1565 in age group; 181/10989 overall
Course support: Excellent as always. Water stops were great and volunteers were fantastic.
Crowding: Started in corral A and experienced no crowding issues.
Characters on course: White Rabbit, stilt walkers, Jiminy Cricket, Marie, Baseball Donald, Royal Minnie, Space Goofy

Did you run the Princess Enchanted 10k? What was the highlight for you?

February 26, 2015

Princess half marathon 2015, Pam's version

Sunday morning, as I waited in the starting corral, my thoughts were on two things.  I wanted an age group award and a new PR in the half marathon distance. My last PR in the half marathon was in October of 2013 at the Bay State Half Marathon and it was my only time to run the distance in under two hours.  After a super early wake up alarm and a quick departure from our hotel, we arrived at the starting area of the race with alot of time to spare.

Pre race with my sis, Christine with our friend Megan (bottom right)

Relaxing before a race is not my strong suit.  I get very anxious and on Sunday morning I may have made at least 8 trips to the porta potty before entering corral B around 5:00 am.  Having Christine to keep me company in the corral was helpful and we were entertained by Rudy and Carissa, the runDisney announcers who exude energy and excitement.  Finally after the surprise announcement of the new runDisney Paris race in September 2016, the national anthem was played and we were off two minutes after corral A.

Christine was running with me and we started out with our first mile at 9:12, exactly as planned which was slightly slower than goal race pace. We gradually descended our pace over the next few miles and quickly  we were approaching the entrance sign for the Magic Kingdom and the announcement cautioning runners about the speed bump ahead.  This part of the half marathon course is so exciting because you know you will be in the park shortly and running through the castle is always one of my favorites.

After racing the 10k the day before and achieving a PR, Christine had tired legs.  She told me several times, prior to mile 4 that she wanted me to go ahead.  Finally as we departed Magic Kingdom and after slowing down further to a 9:14 and then 9:21 mile 5 and 6, I went ahead to try to finish under two hours.  A little side note here..... I was not abandoning my best running pal. We had made these plans prior to the race after her very hard 10k Saturday morning.

The next landmark on the course was the  DJ just past Magic Kingdom who announced we were halfway, I looked at my Garmin to see a time of 1:00.42.  This was slow and I picked up the tempo and completed the next few miles at a faster pace.  At mile 9, my butt needed kicking and who should appear but my sister who started in the corral behind me!  I was so relieved to see her and we both decided it was time to show the race course who was boss.  At this point, I knew I needed to make up approximately a minute in four miles to meet my goal.  Alison kept me company and we ticked away those miles at under 9 minute mile pace until mile 12 with the last highway ramp.  I really struggled on this one and my tempo showed.  Finally as we ran into Epcot, we shifted gears and ran an 8:38 pace for the last mile followed by the .2 at 7:22 minute pace. My PR wish came true by 5 seconds and another half marathon under two hours!  And Alison, she finished in a cool 1:57.41 at 65 years young!
Three happy finishers
My race stats:
841/20182 runners
679/18459 female runners
4/275 60-64 age group
Not a race stat but yes, I earned another age group award at a Disney race! I can't wait for it to arrive in my mailbox!

My goals were met and now it is time to finish my training cycle for Boston!  Do you set goals for every race?

February 25, 2015

Returning to Reality

Coming back home from Disney is never fun. In fact, it's made even worse when you leave Florida shorts weather and return to cold and snow. Both Mom and I made it home (miraculously) last night and found snow in our respective locations. In Virginia, they're forecasting another 5-7 inches tonight. Is it summer yet? In any case, I digress. We're getting back into the swing today and figured we would share a few photos from our trip before we get our race recaps put together.

Goofing off at the expo! After this picture was taken, I jokingly tried to trip Mom.
The photographer didn't capture our shenanigans...
My favorite in AK! 
My 4th Princess Half Marathon in the books
Princess runners at the Hall of Champions
 What was your favorite part of Princess Half Marathon weekend?

February 22, 2015

Hallelujah runDisney announces Disneyland PARIS race!!!!

At long last runDisney has answered our prayers - a half marathon in Disneyland Paris!  I practically squealed and jumped up and down when they announced the news, my francophile heart beating at record pace!  And now for the details...September 23-26 2016 Woohoo!

We are certainly adding this race to our calendars and will be eagerly awaiting the day that we can combine Paris, Disney and running into an amazing trifecta!

So what are your thoughts?

February 19, 2015

Princess Half Marathon over the years!

This weekend will mark the 5th anniversary of our first Princess half Marathon.  The one that was supposed to be our first and last half marathon.  Obviously you know what has happened since then.....  Taking a look back at all those races and looking forward to this weekend brings a big smile to our faces.  Princess weekend is a time for women to celebrate running, being fit and having fun. Whether you are running the Royal Family 5k or the Enchanted 10k, Princess Half Marathon, Glass Slipper Challenge or every race, it will be a fantastic time of running cameraderie.

Our first year, Christine and I were total novices, having not a clue how to approach the race other than to run 13.1 miles and not die.  It was a hot and humid day, and the two things I remember most are ditching our Walmart $5 tutus in Magic Kingdom and the finish line.

After hanging up her running shoes after the 2011 Princess Half, Christine picked them back up two weeks prior to the 2012 Princess Half race and was actually able to register 15 days before the race.  We ran the race and enjoyed every minute and that began our adventure with blogging and more runDisney races.

In 2013, we not only signed up for Princess Half, but also the Royal Family 5k, our first runDisney 5k!  And we also had quick fingers and managed to get into the runDisney meetup, something they offered for a few years the day before the races.  We dressed in costume for the races and enjoyed wearing our Minnie skirts to the meetup!

2014 was the year that Christine opted out of Princess but my sister Alison joined me for race weekend.  I signed up for the Inaugural Glass Slipper Challenge and she opted for the half marathon. We had hot and humid race days, but had a blast! And I must insert a note of pride for my big sister as she took 2nd place in her AG.  She has placed at every Princess race she has run!

This year, Christine is running the Glass Slipper Challenge while Alison and I have chosen the half marathon.  Despite this being our fifth year to run Princess weekend, it never gets old.  We have so much fun meeting up with so many runners we have met over the years and perhaps that is what draws us back each year in February.

One of my favorite Princess posts is this video Christine made from the Royal Family 5k. And now I need to start packing since I leave in less than 24 hours.  Yes, the super planner has not packed yet but I have my trusty packing list to refer to!

What is your favorite memory of the Princess Half Marathon?

February 18, 2015

How I felt before my FIRST Princess Half

The other day I decided it would be fun to find some insight into how I was feeling before my very first half marathon in 2011. I found a short blog post from a previous blog (don't worry, it's not on running so I'm not holding out on you...) and figured it would be fun to share. Whether you're preparing for your first half marathon or your ninety-ninth, there's always a level of unknown and excitement in the race prep.
I'll be in the same corral this time too!
From February 3, 2011:
The final countdown...until we run our half marathon in Disney World! 

I'm nervous and excited and jittery...and let's be honest here friends, I will be relieved when it's over.  While training for a half isn't a huge time commitment, it's something.  I've been diligent about my training runs and have dedicated a few hours every weekend to pounding the pavement.  I'm excited to share this "milestone" with my Mom and Aunt.  I've got my sneaks, fav running duds and my ipod shuffle all ready and then Mickey, you better get ready cause I'm coming for a smooch!

Celebrating our first marathon
I remember the enthusiasm and excitement I felt as I was about to tackle a major fitness athletic milestone. And how am I feeling this year? At this point, I would say about the same but slightly less prepared. My electronics aren't organized and I'm still sorting through race outfits.

Interested in reading about our other Princess race experiences?
2012 Princess Half Marathon Race Recap
2013 Princess Half Marathon Race Recap
2014 Enchanted 10k Race Recap
2014 Princess Half Marathon Race Recap

What advice would you give to someone tackling their first half marathon?

February 17, 2015

Race lotteries, love them or hate them?

Many of the larger races have lotteries as the method of entry for mere mortal runners such as ourselves.  Unless you are elite, you will be entering for the privilege of running  Marine Corps Marathon, New York City Marathon, Chicago Marathon and many more races via their lottery system. There are others such as the runDisney races,  the Beach 2 Beacon 10k and Falmouth Road Race, where quick fingers are the answer to getting into that race you are eager to run.

My thoughts about this surfaced about a month ago when there was all kinds of chatter or Facebook and Twitter about the TCS NYC Marathon lottery.  The website provides many details on how to gain entry, but most of all, it is clearly stated that you only obtain an entry if your number is picked. Unfortunately, the odds are slim because this marathon is so popular.

There are several caveats to the lottery process including the time qualifying option and having participated in a 9 + 1 option of their NYRR events.  While I love the time qualifying option since it gave me my spot for TCS NYC this year, it also helped that I could be sitting at my computer waiting for the exact moment when I could fill in the registration form and hit the send button. These registrations are taken on a first come, first serve basis and I had my confirmation into the race within 2 business days!

While perhaps there is no real way to make lotteries fair for everyone, I do think that giving people who have never run the race before a better chance would be a nice gesture.  But from an administrative standpoint, this could turn into a nightmare.  At the end of the day, race directors do their best to have what they consider to be a fair entry process.  Another option that is usually available is running for charity.  Fundraising for an organization that you are passionate about is a win for the charity and a win for you by giving you a spot in your coveted race.  While neither Christine nor I have run a race for charity, we have certainly contributed for those runners that have made that choice.

Overall, I think a lottery system is the only fair way for every runner to get a change to register for their dream race.  While some of us are luckier than others, hopefully over the course of a few years, most runners get to experience at least one race on their bucket list.

Have you ever entered a race lottery?  What do you think is the fair way to gain entry into the most popular races?

February 16, 2015

Princesses, Get your Tiaras Ready!

I really cannot believe it's Princess Half Marathon race week! If you've been reading this blog, you'll know this is our favorite race weekend since it was our first half marathon 5 years ago. Given that we have 9 Princess Half Marathon race weekends under our belts, we like to think ourselves, not as experts but knowledgeable connoisseurs, of this race weekend. So we're sharing a few last minute tips and some reminders to help make your Princess Half Marathon weekend the best it can be!

Logistics and paperwork: Print your race waiver; download the event guide to your tablet or e-reader to read on the plane; print the coupon for the free bookmark from Lasting Commemoratives from the igiftbag; and organize your travel information such as flight info, hotel confirmations and park pass information. Once you get your race waiver, you can determine your corral placement - see below. Since people seem to panic about corrals, we're adding a fun spin and naming them all!

And now for the official runDisney corral details...

Outfits: The weekend weather outlook looks warms so double check that your race day outfit (or costume) will work in the warmer (and probably sticky) weather. In all of our years at Princess, I can't remember a race morning that wasn't warm and sticky. I think 2012 ended up being a cool day after the race but it was sticky during the race.

Prepare like a Champion: Last week, we mentioned that we've partnered with Champion for this race weekend. You've worked hard for this race weekend, make sure you prepare in these last few days so you are on your A-game. Focus on nutrition, hydration, and don't overdo your training the last week. And stay positive! Princesses are champions, too and don't forget it! 
Last week, we asked what makes you a champion
and here's what you told us!
What are you most looking forward to during Princess Half Marathon weekend?

February 15, 2015

Weekly Roundup: February 15th

I hope you all had a wonderful Valentine's Day celebrating the love in your life. I've always loved this cheesy holiday that so often seems to focus on the size and quality of a flower arrangement, the amount of chocolates on our desks at work, or the over-the-top gestures. I prefer to savor the little things - homemade cards, a thoughtful gesture, sharing some homemade treats with friends and family. That's the holiday I love!

And even with that being said, I feel like I was spoiled rotten this weekend. On Friday morning, I found a note from Adam tucked into my laptop instructing me to be ready for a night out at 6:00.  I came home from work to find a speakeasy set up in the kitchen complete with a menu of old-fashioned cocktails. After trying out a Stork Club (which is apparently a famous prohibition cocktail), we headed to one of our favorite restaurants, Vintage Tavern for some delicious southern-inspired fare. On Saturday, we enjoyed some leisure time and a trail walk with Paddy since yesterday was the only day all weekend that was supposed to get above freezing (brr). And we shared dinner responsibilities and cooked some fun tapas and followed it up with a dessert spread of red velvet truffles, chocolate dipped strawberries and funfetti dip. Let's just say I need to focus on salads this week!

But now that Valentine's Day is over, it's time to think Princess!! I didn't have quite the running week that I'd anticipated. A few late nights at work interfered with my workout schedule and unfortunately, I wasn't able to plan ahead meaning my workouts for derailed a bit. I'm planning to go for my last long run of the training cycle today and it's hard to believe we'll be racing this time next week!

Sunday, February 8th
Pam: 2 mile walk
Christine: 10.5 miles at 9:25

Monday, February 9th
Pam: elliptical 30 minutes and Interval Class
Christine: 30 min yoga

Tuesday, February 10th
Pam: 6.2 miles at 8:52 pace
Christine: Rest day

Wednesday, February 11th
Pam: 40 minute walk
Christine: 2.5 mile progression on TM (1 mi at 9:00, .5 mi at 8:00, .5 mi at 7:35, .5 mi at 7:03), 15 min cool down on elliptical, abs, stretching

Thursday, February 12th
Pam: WOL workout, 5 miles total, 1.5 miles warmup cool down, 3.5 miles speedwork,
Christine: deck of cards workout

Friday, February 13th
Pam: Rest day
Christine: Rest day

Saturday, February 14th
Pam: 10 mile long run at 9:57 pace
Christine: 5 mile trail walk

February 13, 2015

#runnerlove, 5 favorite things

The topic for the Friday linkup with the girls of DC this week is love.  Courtney, Mar and Cynthia seem to always find the perfect topic based on the holidays! Valentine's Day is tomorrow (in case you forgot) so let's have some fun with what I love for running right now!

1.  Ravenna shoes by Brooks.  These have been my go to running shoes since the first time I was fitted properly for footwear at a running store.  I love these shoes and these 3 new pair that I bought at the end of 2014 should help me through my two big races this year, the Boston Marathon and NYC Marathon.

2.  Thorlo experia socks  I have been wearing these socks for over three years and I never get blisters and they keep my feet happy.  Recommending them to anyone who runs is easy when you absolutely love them like I do!

3. Bondiband Headbands  These are perfect headbands for female and male runners and are made in some great solid colors and patterns to match every outfit.  Obviously I like the pink family.....

4. GU energy gels  Easy on my tummy and with some great new flavors, GU gels are my go to choice for nutrition while running. My favorite new to me flavor is chocolate peanut butter, and yes, it tastes like a Reese's cup.

5.  Kind Bars  These bars have been around for a while, but it took me way to long to finally try one.  They contain only 5 grams of sugar and the list of ingredients is easy to pronounce and words that you would know!  The bars are Non GMO and Gluten free and also very tasty.  They are available at Sam's Club too at a great price!

Happy Valentine's Day everyone! Now it's your turn. What are some of your favorite running items right now?

February 12, 2015

Advice from Adam, Part 2

So at last, here it is, the second installment of "Advice from Adam. If you missed the first one, check it out here. You're in for some laughs. 

While supporting Christine on a long run I came up with a list of ways to support your significant other on a long run.  Being that I define a long run as anything to the end of the block, I figured I would share some of my wisdom gained over supporting my special someone over the course of many miles. 

1. Motorpace: Make sure the car is full of gas because the only thing you're going to be working out is your right foot.  If your car has a nickname better yet (Snow Rabbit here) because the two of you are going to be working the ponies (horsepower). You know their route so follow at a respectful distance as your significant other does their long run.  Be sure to download some inspirational and motivational music too, I recommend any of the Rocky Movie soundtracks.   Extra points if you obnoxiously blast music out your trusty steed’s windows. 

2. Biking: So your going to get a bit of exercise too.  Throw some water bottles on the bike, I recommend one with water and one with a hydration drink like Nuun or Gatorade and take off for some much needed exercise with your significant other.  You have to work off those post race beers you consumed for your sweetie some way right?

3. Build your own water stop-  You know your significant others route so why not surprise them with an unexpected water stop?  Open up the trunk of the car or if you're lucky enough to have a truck or SUV pop open the tailgate, play some music and have a few beverage choices (water or H2O). 

4. Pre-positioned Yoga Mats and Ice Packs- You know your significant other is going to be gone for a while and super sore/tired when they get back so help out and pre-position a Yoga Mat, Foam Roller and cold drink by the door.  Your Significant Other will want to stretch (I get sore walking to end of the block for the paper so imagine 12 miles) so while they stretch prepare some ice packs (double bagged plastic grocery bags work the best, trust me). 

5. Make Breakfast/Lunch or a Big Snack- Your significant other just ran, and ran further than you’ve ever imagined running in your life, let alone all at once, so they are going to be hungry.  Think I haven’t seen food in a full year hungry or the feeling you get for Thanksgiving (I’m still festively plum) so prepare a meal for them.  I personally go for breakfast anytime of the day,  I mean who can pass up an opportunity to eat bacon?  If you're out of great ideas or breakfast isn’t your idea you can find some good recipes at Run Stretch Go.

Are you in a relationship with a runner? If so, how do you avoid running at all costs?

February 11, 2015

Run Walk Run and some tips from Jeff Galloway!

What a surprise last week when we discovered we had been chosen as part of the Jeff Galloway blogger program.  While neither of us remember applying for the program, we certainly are grateful for the opportunity.  Our first set of tips arrived shortly after the email telling us we were part of the program and oh how these brought back memories.  Using the run-walk-run Galloway method was the way I ran my first marathon and second and third. Finishing the Goofy Challenge in 2013 with a huge smile and a hug with Mickey was wonderful!  Next was Dopey Challenge and that was an unbelievable weekend shared with Christine and in a way Jeff Galloway as we PR'd during the marathon using a 4/1 run walk as Jeff recommends!

The Jeff Galloway run walk run method has allowed many ordinary athletes like myself to become runners with such a simple thing as walk breaks!  Starting out and tackling a half or full marathon without any stops would be daunting for most of us.  But using Jeff's tried and true method of running for a certain time and then walking for another set time can give you the best chance of completing your race. Here are few tips from Jeff to share with you.

* If you have a Run Walk Run strategy that is right for you on that day, it's possible to feel good after every run-even a marathon.

* You can't run a long run too slowly or with too many walk breaks.  You'll get the same endurance based upon the distance covered.

* Research shows that as as runners get faster, their stride length shortens.  A quicker cadence is the mechanical key to faster running.

Everyone can run if they try run walk and you can earn PR's just like runners who never take a break. While I won't be running the Boston Marathon with the run walk method because of course crowding, it certainly was the way I achieved my qualifying time.  You can read more on my experience with Run Walk Run  here and here. Who else is a fan of run walk?

February 10, 2015

Training for the Boston Marathon while on vacation!

The Boston Marathon was less than 12 weeks away when I left for my recent vacation.   Skipping my scheduled workouts was not an option. While secretly I wanted to just stuff my face and spend time floating in the pool or ocean, my conscience would not allow me to do this.  I kept to my plan and ran over 45 miles during my 12 days away from home and my favorite training buddies!  Here are some tips to keep on track while cruising or on vacation!

* Schedule your workouts:  Vacations are a time to relax, enjoy some new activities and have fun.  Sometimes training can get smack in the middle of this.  By planning out my schedule before leaving home, it was much easier to adhere to it.  I knew which days I would be married to the treadmill and the gym!  For me, the key to any workout is having it written in my planner and the option of not completing it is diminished.

* Great support  Tell your traveling companion ahead of time about your workouts.  When you calculate how many hours I spent on the treadmill while on vacation, it adds up to quite a lot. While I am not going to do the math, it is quite obvious that Tom was on his own while I ran on the treadmill, worked out on the elliptical machine or stationary bike. Trying to sneak out of our cabin before sunrise helped, but there were a couple days with long runs that I was gone several hours.  He was extremely supportive, knowing that my gym visits were necessary. Enjoying early morning walks on the deck and a cup of coffee while watching the beautiful blue Caribbean Sea helped pass the time for him!

* Bring all the gear including gels  Not knowing what would be available on our ship, I included a water bottle, tube of Nuun Hydration and some GU gels in my luggage.  What a surprise when I found bottled water, Vitamin Water and Gatorade in the gym refrigerator.  I took advantage of the Gatorade option quite a few times during my trips to the gym.  Clearly this was a bonus, but having all you need packed in your luggage will make your workouts much easier.

* Embrace the gym  When in unfamiliar territory, safety is a big concern, so I generally use a treadmill instead of running outside.  There have been certain vacation spots where I have felt comfortable running, but Caribbean Islands did not seem like a good choice given the heat and humidity. So, I tried to get excited about the gym and plan a workout that would not be too painful.

*Give yourself a break If you must miss a workout because you indulged a little too much one day, relax.  Keeping up with most of your workouts is the goal, not to deny yourself the pleasure of a long planned vacation!   Oh and yes, I did stuff my face quite a few times including bacon every morning, a milkshake every day with 4 scoops of ice cream and a ton of other stuff that is normally off limits during my marathon training cycles.

Here's another post on getting your training done on vacation.

Do you have any tips for training while on vacation?  Please share!

February 9, 2015

Princesses can be Champions too!

We are so excited to announce that we've partnered with Champion as part of our preparation for the upcoming Princess Half Marathon. Champion has been the official apparel provider of the Princess Half for as long as we've been running it and they're all about encouraging everyday athletes to push to be their best so this was a natural fit. 

Our first half marathon was at the 2011 Princess Half Marathon where our love affair with running (and specifically, runDisney) began. The irony of this whole experience is that we've never really been princess-y girls. We love Disney and the magic of running through its parks, but the princess connection has never really been there for us. So you probably think it's ironic that the Princess Half was our first. The real appeal to me was that it was a women's focused race in Disney. A race where women supported each other, and gave each other high fives and hugs at the finish line. The magic wasn't that many were dressed as Aurora, Belle, or Jasmine, but that we were all champions. Champions for having the courage to register for the race. Champions for having the tenacity to train through the chilly (and often snowy) winter months. Champions for boldly crossing a finish line, whether it was your first or one hundredth. It was then that I learned princesses of all speeds, shapes, and sizes were champions too. 
Mom and Auntie Allie proving princesses can be
champions after last year's Princess half marathon!
On Friday, Mom and I each received an incredible box full of gear for training and race day. I am overwhelmed by Champion's generosity and of course, we're both really excited to try out our new duds. A flurry of text messages, photos, and phone calls was exchanged Friday evening as we ooh'ed and ahh'ed over our new running gear. We both tried out some of the capris this weekend and our initial reviews are very positive! We'll be sharing more feedback in another post on the product specifics. 

But for now...tell us, what makes you a champion?

Disclaimer: As part of our partnership with Champion, we were provided running gear, but received no additional compensation. As always, our opinions are our own and we're excited to talk about what it means to be a Princess Champion! 

February 8, 2015

Weekly Roundup: February 8th and a giveaway!

Two weeks from today we will be running the Princess Half Marathon.  This is the race where it all started for the girls of We Run Disney and we are looking forward to Christine's 4th time, and Pam's 5th time running the race.  Alison, the speedy aunt of Christine and sister of Pam is also joining the fun for her 4th Princess Half Marathon, having placed in her age group every time.  Of course the pressure is on to keep this streak alive!   While we endure winter training, we also realize how lucky we are compared to those including Alison who live in New England.  The amount of snowfall they have received over the last couple weeks has been huge with another storm expected Monday.  Runners training in cold temperatures with snowy road conditions get huge kudos for getting it done.

The race that started us running!
This has been a good week of running for both of us, although I was really sore yesterday after my 16 mile run.  Luckily, I had little Lulu to snuggle while i was glued to the sofa for a few hours!

Here is a peak at our workouts this week.

Sunday, February 1st
Pam: 12 mile run on treadmill, at 10:00 pace
Christine: 10 miles at 9:15 pace

Monday, February 2nd
Pam: rest day
Christine: deck of cards workout

Tuesday,February 3rd
Pam: 5.25 miles at 8:58 pace
Christine: 3.5 mile progression run, abs, stretching

Wednesday, February 4th
Pam: 30 minutes elliptical, sit ups, weights
Christine: rest day

Thursday, February 5th
Pam: WOL group workout  5 miles average pace 8:55
Christine: 2.5 miles treadmill (knee pain) 3 miles elliptical, stretching, abs

Friday, February 6th
Pam:rest day
Christine: rest day

Saturday, February 7th
Pam: 16 miles at 9:52 pace
Christine: 5.1 miles at 9:10 pace

Now for the giveaway! Just in time for the Princess Half Marathon weekend, Megan and Krista offered us the opportunity to giveaway a copy of their book, Magical Miles, the Runner's Guide to Walt Disney World.. Many of you have run prior runDisney races who read our blog, but having a copy of this book to refer to for tips and ideas regarding your stay and race day are invaluable.  Please take a look at our review of the first edition here.  With a trip around the corner for us, my book is already out and ready for me to review as I prepare to leave for the most magical race destination.

If you are interested in a copy for yourself, please be sure to enter the giveaway by leaving a blog post comment on why you would like to win and if you are signed up for a runDisney race at WDW. Please note that this contest is only open to continental US residents. The authors of the book will choose the winner based on your creative comments! Have fun and good luck.
Please note that Vinylmation Mickey is not included in the giveaway.

February 6, 2015

Fitness Snapshots from my week

The lovely ladies of DC, Mar, Cynthia and Courtney have a fun topic this week, especially since I was on vacation in the Caribbean the last couple weeks, I decided to share some photos of my workouts while away.

We started our trip at the Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables, Florida.  This hotel has an enormous pool, in fact, I believe it is reputed to be the biggest pool in the US.  This was a fun way to get in a little exercise and enjoy the sunshine.

After boarding our cruise ship, one of the first things I did was check out the gym.  It was fully equipped with cardio equipment and weight machines.  There was also a room where classes took place and you could stretch.  I spent alot of time on the treadmill during the trip and actually ran a total of 45 miles.  With the Boston Marathon less than 11 weeks away, there was no way I could skip running!

A beautiful view helped!
The pool on the ship was another place I spent some time.  Mostly I stretched while in the pool or did some easy lap swimming since it was not very crowded.

Loved the ship pool!

I finally got to try stand up paddle boarding while in Nassau, Bahamas.  We had an absolute blast with 4 other passengers from our ship.  Karen, one of the girls in the group lives on Maui and was extra helpful with the rest of us who had never tried it before.  Tom and I succeeded in getting up on our first try and neither of us fell off.  I think it was beginner's luck!

Last of all, walking on the beach!  On the island of St. Lucia, we decided to take a taxi to a nearby beach and spend the morning soaking up the sun and taking a nice walk on the beach.  We also took a few dips in the ocean!

After returning home, I am getting back to my normal schedule and enjoying being outside for my runs.  What was your favorite workout of the week?  Try anything new?

February 5, 2015

Project Repat....It's here

Disclosure: I was given a discount for my Project Repat blanket. There was no compensation for this post and the opinions stated here are my own.

Last month, I posted about my excitement after ordering a blanket from Project Repat here. The process for ordering your tee shirt blanket is super easy, that is, if you don't have trouble choosing the shirts to include in your blanket.

The first step is choosing the size blanket you wish them to make, and then picking out your shirts.  While most race shirts are now made of tech material, my collection was a combination that included both cotton and tech fabric shirts.  This is not a problem, and put together, you really don't notice the difference in materials.

The cutting process is easy after watching the short video on the website.  Using a 12 1/2 by 12 1/2 inch template that I had in my quilting supplies was also useful to make sure I was happy with the size.  Be forewarned though.  It is hard cutting those shirts when you have memories flowing from all the race experiences each shirt represents!

The final step is optional, but I chose to decide where each shirt should be placed on the blanket.  With 30 shirts included, this took me a while before I was satisfied.  After taking a photo with my phone, I printed the photo to include in the box of shirts that were ready to be mailed.

Be sure to insure the package when you mail those precious shirts to Project Repat.  As soon as they receive your box, an email will arrive verifying receipt.  Then the waiting begins and I am pretty sure in less than 10 maybe 12 days, my blanket was on it's way to my mailbox.  When I opened the package yesterday I was super excited with the finished project, and so was my little pup.  We now have an awesome blanket for cuddling at night during the winter months!  Be sure to check out the Project Repat website and consider one of these blankets for your old race shirts.  It is a great way to memorialize them in a useful item.

Where's Lulu?

Do you wear your old race shirts or do you have a huge collection gathering dust in your closet?