Tuesday, October 29, 2013

runDisney Shakes Things Up…

Back at the beginning of the month, runDisney tweeted, asking what people thought about taking the meet up’s on the road.
rD tweet 1 Of course, living in Atlanta I would LOVE for them to make a stop here!  It may not be the Magic Kingdom, but knowing runDisney, they would make it an experience to remember.

Fast forward to today…out of nowhere the tweets hinting at a runDisney meet up on the road starting coming through and, of course, created a buzz.
rD tweet 2 Where would their first stop be??  Lots of speculation was going on.  Then – an hour later -
rD tweet 3Ahhh!!!  No way!!!  WE were the first stop!  My BRF (Best Running Friend) Brandi and I had plans to get into the Disneyland half meet up together…she made it and I didn’t, so this was a second chance for us!  We eagerly got our emails ready and waited for the blog post.  At 11 a.m., the Disney Parks blog began to crash!  We were panicked!  After about 20 minutes of refreshing, it finally came back up with the blog announcing the meet up!
rD tweet 6We weren’t sure if the protocol would be the same as it had been for past runDisney meet ups, but after a quick skim through the post for more information, I sent my email out within the first minute of it being posted. 

For those that don’t know what I’m talking about…runDisney hosts social media meet ups before their big races.  These are very coveted and highly sought after, and it’s a very exciting (and anxious) day of stalking the Disney Parks blog and runDisney’s Twitter, and after sending the email…waiting.

After about 30 minutes, the capacity message appeared and the waiting began.
rD tweet 7Brandi and I were so anxious! (As were many of our other local runDisney fans).  We heard nothing for hours…finally it was time for me to leave work.  As I got home and let Guinness out, Brandi sends me this text -
rD tweet 9  At first I thought she was asking me, so I went to the Disney Parks Blog to look at the list -
rD tweet 8SQUEE!!!  I made it into my first meet up!  I saw many familiar faces on the list…some of whom I’ve met and others who I’m looking forward to meeting.  We don’t have much information except that it starts at 6 a.m. on Saturday, November 16th and we’ll be running in Turner Field!  My birthday is November 12th and I can’t think of a better way to end my birthday week. 
rD tweet 5Being that this is a social media meet up, I will be posting to Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram on this day, so if you’re up super early be sure to follow #OnTheRoadToDisney.  And you know there will be a blog post recapping this awesome experience.  I’m so excited to be participating in my second inaugural runDisney event this year!

It may not be the same as running through Cinderella’s Castle, but I know with runDisney and my running friends with me, it’s gonna be an amazing time.

Have you gotten into a runDisney meet up before?  Will I be meeting/seeing you in a few weeks?

Until next time,

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Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Disneyland Half Marathon recap

Sorry the blog has been quiet!  I have a couple more recaps to write up and I’m working on figuring out what to do during my off season.  But for now…I give you my Disneyland half recap!

As I told you before I left for Disneyland, I was dressing up as Hula Lilo from “Lilo and Stitch”.DDD 142When I woke up Sunday morning, I felt very “off” but I couldn’t put my finger on it.  I got ready and headed to the pre-start area to meet up with Brandi.  I also met up with a Twitter friend, Meredith, before the race in the corral.
jen meredith I found Brandi and we snapped a picture before the race started.
brandi pic 23

Finally it was our turn to go!

DDD 147We actually ran past my hotel, and then circled into the back of DCA near the Tower of Terror.  We ended up running into Jen, Lena, and Kim near the World of Color!
brandi pic 24brandi pic 25   brandi pic 26 brandi pic 27

We kept plugging along and then we ended up in Disneyland!  Brandi’s mom was waiting for us on Main Street so we stopped for hugs and a photo op -
DDD 194 It was nice to have lots of space to run down Main Street USA…much different than running at WDW.
DDD 195Too soon, we exited the parks and were on the streets of Anaheim.  It was nice to have Brandi there with me to chat with and encourage me along.

We passed by a crowd support tent, where they had a cooler full of ice water and people with sponges cooling runners off.  They also had candy and orange slices…which tasted AWESOME!
brandi pic 29brandi pic 30 

There was a decent bit of entertainment along the course, including cheerleaders, marching bands, and probably my most favorite group – the Polynesian dancers!  They loved my Lilo outfit :)
brandi pic 31brandi pic 34 
Soon after, we came up on the Honda Center, home of the Anaheim Ducks!  Since we have dubbed ourselves Team Duck after running the Peachtree, we had to get a picture in front of the sign!
brandi pic 36brandi pic 37 
After running by the Honda Center, we made our way onto the Santa Ana trail and headed for Angel Stadium!
 DDD 148 DDD 149 DDD 150
While on a stop at the medical tent for some Biofreeze, Brandi snagged this shot :)
brandi pic 39 There were Boy Scouts lining the course before we ran into the stadium.  They had such great energy and it got us pumped up and ready to run through the stadium!  I also saw a girl with a hilarious sign and costume :)
brandi pic 40brandi pic 41 
Running through the stadium was one of the coolest things I’ve ever done!  When am I ever going to have a stadium 1/8 full of people cheering for me??

Here’s a couple of my favorite pictures of our jaunt around the warning track -

DDD 200 DDD 198

DDD 163After we left the stadium, we were greeted by a group of cheerleaders.  Then, we saw Nicole from Cookies on the Run and HAD to stop and say hi!  She posted on Twitter that she would be along the course.  It was so nice to meet her! (You guys should follow her and her husband, Brian, as well!)
brandi pic 44  Brandi and I did a lot of walking past mile 10, just chatting about what we were going to do after the race and other nonsense.
brandi pic 43Finally we entered back onto Disney property at mile 12, and saw the infamous Peggy Sue!  She is at just about all of the runDisney races with her trademark sign “Hello complete stranger I’m proud of you, too!”  We stopped for a photo op and she gave us some Starburst…what a nice treat!  Thanks Peggy Sue!
DDD 247 Getting back onto Disney property put a little pep in our step.  As we rounded the corner and passed the Sorcerer’s Hat at the Disneyland Resort, we ran into Lena, Jen, and Kim again! 
DDD 209 DDD 208
We had to high five Minnie before crossing the finish, too!
DDD 205DDD 207 
And then we finished!  I PRed my runDisney time by 8 minutes :P  It was awesome to get that awesome medal around my neck -
brandi pic 46brandi pic 47
Then “the girls” had to get a group picture after we all received our half marathon medal -
DDD 196These are some amazing ladies and I am so lucky to call them my friends!  After the picture, we made our way over to the “Dumbo Double Dare” tent to get our challenge medal, THEN we got our Coast to Coast medal! 
DDD 204DDD 201 
Brandi and I carried our 10k medal from the day before and our Princess half medal in our SPIbelt so that we could get some pictures with ALL of the medals :)
DDD 156We found Brandi’s mom and headed our separate ways to shower with plans to meet back up at Disneyland for a post-race lunch!

Overall I REALLY enjoyed this race!  I do wish we could spend more time on property but, at the same time, I understand that’s not possible for the half.  The crowd support along the course was fantastic, and my BRF Brandi made the race even more fun and memorable.  I may be back to do it again next year, but we’ll see what happens between now and then.

Be sure to check out the blogs of “The Girls”!

Kim - Kim Runs Disney and Beyond
Jen - Travel Girl on the Run
Brandi -Girl on the Run
Lena -The Beginners Runner

Have you run the Disneyland half marathon before?  What’s your favorite part of the course?

I’m off to be a supportive wife this weekend and cheer the hubby and his paintball team on at a paintball tournament outside of Orlando.  I hope to get back in the groove of blogging next week.

Until next time,

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Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Women’s Running Series Nashville Half Marathon Recap

This past weekend I traveled to Nashville for a girls weekend…and to run the Women’s Running Series Nashville half marathon!

We arrived Friday afternoon, checked into our hotel, and headed down to the Expotique.

WRSN 1One of the girls, Angela, was running her first half marathon so we were all very excited for her!  Angela and I picked up our bibs and race shirt, then headed into the expo to look around.  I got to try Zipfizz for the first time, and I really liked it!  Will have to get some for my runs as well as everyday consumption.  There weren’t a ton of vendors as it was a pretty small expo, but that’s okay…less money to spend!

We went back up to the room to get situated, and I laid out my race outfit for the next day -


I got my iron on transfer from Rhonda at be.bold – she has some cute stuff and can do custom orders as well!  Check her out :)

Angela and I wanted pasta for dinner, so we decided on the Old Spaghetti Factory.  There were so many events taking place in Nashville so there were a TON of people!  We called for a reservation, but they weren’t accepting any, so we walked down when they opened to make sure we didn’t have to wait forever for a table!

Dinner was fun…good food with great friends!


That last drink was a Cotton Candy Limeade!  I LOVE cotton candy so I had to try it…super sweet but it was so good.  AND the straw changed colors :P

After dinner I walked back to the hotel as I was meeting up with a friend who moved to Nashville awhile back – we hadn’t seen each other since before I got married!  We sat in the lobby and chatted for 3 hours.  It was as if no time had passed :)  Don’t you love friendships like that?  We parted ways at around 10 so I could head to bed…it was an early morning for me!

The alarm went off at 4:45, and Angela and I dragged ourselves out of bed and got ready.  We woke up the other girls so they snapped some pictures of us before we headed downstairs.

WRSN 7We sat in the lobby for awhile so Angela could eat her breakfast, and just as we were about to head out, I heard my name – it was a friend from Twitter, Kristen!

WRSN 19We walked to the starting line and found our corrals, then stretched for awhile.  About 10 minutes before the race was to start, Angela and I hugged, told each other good luck, and headed into our respective corrals.


I called my parents before the race to chat with them, and shortly after the National Anthem was sung and we were off!


I was using 1:1 run/walk intervals and did well with them…but I soon realized that Nashville is HILLY!!  Even more than Atlanta!  I didn’t take many pictures while I was running as I was really trying to get a PR, but I managed to snag this one -

WRSN 13That would make most women move faster!

At around mile 8, I got a horrible side cramp, which I’ve NEVER gotten before during a run!  I had to take a few minutes to walk and stretch it out.  From there my race went downhill (if only the course had done the same…then I may have PRed)  I was just focusing on finishing at that point.  Mile 8 was the longest.mile.ever.  I thought it would never end.

Jessica and Lori were waiting for us at the finish line.  Angela finished in 3:08!!  I was so incredibly proud of her.  My finish time was 3:20.  Definitely not my best, but with the way I felt I was happy to be done.

WRSN 14  WRSN 15 WRSN 16

Once we were finished, we headed back to the hotel room to shower.  Most of my body was in pain, so I sent the girls out for lunch and stayed in the room.  Lame?  Maybe…but my body needed to rest and not walk along the crowded streets of Nashville.  Plus…the UGA/LSU game was coming on at 2:30, and I HAD to watch that!

WRSN 17 After the game, the girls went back out into Nashville and I stayed in…again.  I went downstairs to the hotel restaurant for dinner, and I hit a wall and needed to go to bed.  I was asleep by 10:00!

A couple of things I saw along the course – 2 girls that were running the 5k who missed the 5k/half marathon split.  It reminded me of the woman who just recently did this during a half marathon and went on to win the marathon!  Also…at around mile 4-5, I saw a girl running in a FINISHER’S SHIRT!!!  I have no clue if she was new to running or not, but most seasoned runners know that wearing your finisher’s shirt before you finish the race is a no-no!

All in all, I thought the race was well organized.  The course was definitely not a “flatter, faster” course like they promised, but whatcha gonna do?  Oh…and the race shirts ran super small…guess I won’t be wearing this one for awhile.

WRSN 20What’s the hilliest race you’ve ever run?

I promise to get the rest of my Disneyland trip up soon!!

Until next time,

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