Connect the Dots Ginger | Becky Allen: Races
Showing posts with label Races. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Races. Show all posts

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

RunDisney Virtual Race Short Challenge

Well, we did it. Remember when I was working really, really hard to get a nightly walk in for our family. Well, the reason why, because we were trying to earn our RunDisney Virtual Race Medals! I had a goal in mind, I wanted my boys to do it with me as much as possible! I wanted my boys to get their energy out before bed but I also wanted them to be excited about walking. And when these medals arrived last week and I told them that they also EARNED the medals along with me, they were overjoyed! So EXCITED!

So...we didn't do 3.1 miles in 1 day 3 times. (We did the whole challenge of 3 5k's races) We broke it up into 7 days. (I had to do a day by myself!) Doing about 1 mile a day. But we did it! So it was doable for us. And it was before it got SO SUPER HOT here. So perfect timing. Was it comfortable walking weather for a pregnant momma in the middle of her second trimester? NO it was still hot, but it wasn't unbearable 95+ degree weather like it was for most of July!

So the virtual short races were from May 15-June 30. allowing 2 weeks to complete each leg of the challenge. RunDisney said on their blog: that you complete from whatever course you choose – through your neighborhood, on the treadmill, etc. No rules and really what this is encouraging is people to get up and MOVE! EXERCISE! And have some fun. And as a reward you get these AMAZING AND SUPER CUTE MEDALS! I love that I have a whole set of new real metal medals to add to my collection, and I EARNED THESE! It might not have been as difficult as earning my Princess Half Marathon medal but, hey, getting out in the heat with your family, encouraging a healthy lifestyle of walking together as a family was worth it! I am pretty sure that RunDisney will continue doing these virtual races. Do you think you would participate in any of them? 

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

New runDisney Race Costume Guidelines

Hey all you princesses! I wish I was joining you this year at the runDisney Princess Half Marathon again, but I'm not. I will be enjoying watching all of your photos and reminiscing on the amazing time that I had running in the race in 2014 at 29 weeks pregnant. As you are making the final preparations for your trip YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE NEW COSTUME GUIDELINES!

RunDisney is getting more "strict" about costumes, because they have to. People are getting more and more creative and some things they are doing are just becoming a safety hazard for the runner themselves or those around them. Check them out!

NEW runDisney Race Costume Guidelines

  • Costumes must be family-friendly and may not be obstructive, offensive, objectionable or violent.
  • Guests who dress like Characters may not pose for pictures or sign autographs for other Guests.
  • Costumes may not contain any weapons that resemble or could easily be mistaken for an actual weapon.
  • Costumes may not contain sharp objects, pointed objects or materials that may accidentally strike another Guest.
  • For runDisney participants ages 13 and under:
  • Costumes and some masks may be worn, as long the mask does not cover the entire face and eyes are visible.
  • For runDisney participants ages 14 and older:
  • Layered costumes, that could conceal prohibited items, are not permitted (e.g. Jedi robes).
  • Costume props, including those that surround the entire body (e.g. Death Star, UP House) are not permitted.
  • Costumes may not reach or drag on the ground. (e.g. full-length Princess dresses)
  • Capes may be worn if the length does not go below the waist.
  • Themed T-shirts, blouses, sweatshirts, and hats are acceptable.
  • Acceptable accessories include: transparent wings, plastic light sabers, toy swords, and tutus. Headwear may be worn as long as it does not cover the face.
  • Guests may not wear masks of any kind.

Please note that while costumed attire may be worn during runDisney events, Guests 14 and older are not permitted to wear costumed attire in the theme parks. As a result, Guests may need to change their attire prior to visiting the parks after participating in a runDisney race.

Guests who do not adhere to these guidelines may be refused entry into, and/or removed from, a race or any race related event/activity unless his or her costume can be modified to meet the above standards.


Make sure as you prepare your costume that you adhere to these rules. At the WDW Marathon Weekend in January, there were check points monitoring costumes. And to be honest, I saw women wearing full length tulle skirts which made no sense to me at all! Look at what you are making and does it create a small bubble of space around you. I wouldn't do anything more than 12 inches out from my body. (avg tulle skirts are 9-12 inches long, which do give you that personal space bubble when running in very large crowds.) I hope everyone is having fun putting the final touches on their costumes. And I can not wait to see what they look like! 

Want to read more about my Princess Half Marathon Experience? Check out the whole series here: 
Princess Half Marathon: The Race

Want more daily motivation and inspiration? Click here get free advice, support and encouragement + a free copy of my Clean Eating guide to help you get started on your health and fitness journey! 

Monday, July 13, 2015

Disney Princess Half Marathon Registration

The Disney Princess Half Marathon registration opens to everyone TOMORROW! Have you decided yet if you are going to be doing it or not? I sadly won't be doing it in 2016, as we have a couple of family events to attend next year that we are saving up to be able to attend but man, if I had unlimited funds, I WOULD BE DOING THE RACE! No questions asked. It is really that awesome.

Yes I was 29 weeks pregnant when I ran mine. Yes it was hotter than hades on a nice balmy day, and yes, my body hated me for the rest of the day, but it was TOTALLY worth it. The experience of running in my first Disney race, which is something that I had wanted to do for years! but the experience of it all. All the women coming together. To be healthy, to try something that seems impossible to so many. We did it! I DID IT! And I will never ever forget my experience of it. All 13.1 miles. (I may have zoned out for a mile or 2 in the beginning but still!) I remember the whole experience.

Put this on your race todo list if you can't do it in 2016. You want to!

Check out my tips for the half marathon!

Half Marathon Race Recap

The 1/2 Marathon race: What to expect

The Expo

The Costumes

Race Morning

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Womans 4 Miler Training Program

It's that time of year, the sweltering heat, High HUMIDITY, and the time for hundreds of women to gather together with the same goal of taking care of their bodies. The Charlottesville, VA Woman's 4 Miler Training Program begins THIS Saturday!

Most of the women who participate haven't had to walk or run a mile since high school. Many haven't participated in this type of a group. But we bond together. Grow and learn together. And make a common goal to participate in the Woman's 4 miler race.

If you are local to central VA and can join us EARLY on Saturday mornings we would love to have you. No running experience needed. And if you want to join us for the race, well it is on my Wedding Anniversary this year, SEPTEMBER 5! And new this year there is a virtual race option! Check it out on the website (click on registration for the race to view website) Help support the Breast Cancer Center at UVA hospital and join us at the race. Registration for the race is Saturday morning June 27 at 5am! It will fill up quickly so make sure you are up early and register as soon as you can! Limited registration!

Reminder: Packet pick up is today, tomorrow at ACAC from 11-1 (I will be there!) and 5-7. And also early Saturday morning ~6:30. Program begins 7am at the UVA track! See you on the track!

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

4 The Wounded 5k

Now that I have had time to decompress over this weekend and pull myself back together a little bit I feel like I can fully write about what happened.

If you are following me on Facebook you probably already know some of what happened. But here is the whole story.

I have not run at all since before the 1o miler in March. I just didn't have it in me at all. I couldn't do it. I didn't want to do it. I was however, super excited for my 5k race at the beginning of June. It was the 2nd anniversary to my very first race ever! And I wanted to beat my time and I wanted to prove that I am still strong. The morning of the race I was feeling fine. I got the the location and I was feeling great. Super relaxed and just had fun people watching. I found my friend Jen and we were going to run down the hills and walk up the hills. Oh and she is 8 months pregnant. This course is all downhill for the first .5 miles, then you turn and have to come back up the hill for a good .75 miles. Then there is a turn off for a trail run or keep going up the hill for another .5 miles. Then down hill for the last little bit of it.

I knew the course and my goal was to make it to the bottom of the hill without stopping. I could do that. Well I did most of it walking just the last little bit. I was breathing too hard and I knew I had a hard hill coming up. So Jen kept going and that was the last of her silver skirt I saw! SHE KICKED MY BUTT at 8 months pregnant. So I started walking up the hill. The sun and humidity was beating down on me. I was feeling a little icky and by the time I got up the the area where the start/finish line was I was debating on not finishing. I was done. I didn't want to do anymore. But I kept going. Walking up that hill. The hill that never ended.

Jen said that the trail run was awesome and shaded and not that bad and you miss a big hill doing it. So I decided to do it. I needed the shade anyways. I was so pretty. And very muddy and slick. I just kept on walking. It was all down hill and took us around a little lake But before I knew it my trail walk was turning into a nature hike. What goes down must come up. Little ups and downs, then big ups and no downs. I haven't hiked in forever and my body hated me! I knew I was coming close to the end of the trail when I just had to keep going up and up and up. By the end of the trail hike I was breathing super hard and taking little stops to catch my breath. What was wrong with me? I have been working out everyday.

I cam up on the end of the trail and back to the asphalt that was hotter than I remember. I stopped to talk to my coach from the 10 miler and told him what happened and then I lost it. I had to go off to the side. I just couldn't catch my breath. I couldn't breath, started getting light headed and all panicky. Here I was on a 5k and I was having a mental breakdown and panic attack.

Mentally I didn't prepare myself for the race or what it would mean to me. It was my first race since the 10 miler, where that night is when I had my miscarriage. This is actually a big thing for me to overcome. I actually admitted out loud to a volunteer that I didn't think I could do it. But after a minute or two I pulled myself together and said I was going to finish. So one step, after another step and I just kept going. Not stopping. And before I knew it I could see the finish line. I ran it in with Jen, who finished like 15 min before I did. And right as I crossed ran into a friend from the 10 miler training program asking how my pregnancy was going. YEAH that SUCKED! Told her what happened and she felt awful. I said my  "see ya later," and kept going. I ran into some other friends from the Woman's 4 miler training program and I cried it out with them a little. But I finished the race.

This was the most difficult race mentally I have ever done. The half marathon, I knew that I just had to keep walking. I had no desire to stop because if I stopped I wouldn't be able to start up again. I never once admitted that I didn't want to finish because I HAD TO FINISH! That race was all physical. This race was all mental. And it wiped me out for the whole weekend. I got into a huge funk and it has been so hard to get out of.

But after yoga and a HARD workout last night I am doing so much better. I just needed to get my focus back. The race was an obvious trigger for me and I still have some PTSD issues to work through. But now I know what to expect and I can prep for it better next time.

I will say I am proud of myself for finishing because I really didn't want to. I wanted to give up, but I know I am stronger than I think. And sometimes I just need to push myself more than I ever want to realize just how strong I really am.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Till We Meet Again

Tonight I said a physical goodbye to a very, very good friend of mine! She is moving to UT for the military and such is a military life. Where friends come and go. But let me tell you about this wonderful lady. She changed my life. She is the one I met at my very first race ever! I was petrified. I didn't know what the heck to do. Or what to expect. All I knew is that I was going to walk it and that I needed to go to the back of the pack and be with the walkers. Honestly I was looking around for all the people my size because I figured they would be the slower ones. (sorry but true)

I happened to stand in the vicinity of lots of strollers. I had left Mason with a friend to meet me at the finish line so I was child free. But I was just kind of observing the people around me. I kind of listened in on the conversation in front of me and heard one of the ladies mention military. It was a race honoring the 4 The Wounded Warrior Project but she knew military stuff. So I pipped up and said HI! The lady not holding the stroller introduced herself to me and I told her it was my very first race and how scared I was. She mentioned that her friend had left her jogging stroller at home and they had to walk it and invited me to walk it with them.
Janet and I at the 4th of July 5k

We began talking and I learned that she was an officer with the Air Force and a SMART one at that! I told her about my miscarriage a few weeks prior and how I wanted to get back into running. She then talked up the Woman's 4 miler training program. And when I mean talk, she talked about it a lot! And insisted on me doing it and that it would be awesome and exactly what I needed. And the whole 3.1 miles that is what she talked about. By the end of the race I told her that I would look into it and would probably do it. She said that she would see me there on the first day. And we have been friends since. I did see her there and she always made a point to remember me, and talk to me. We ran the same race the next month and was cheering me at the finish line. She cheered for me at the finish line of the 4 miler. And I asked her to be one of my safety runners when I did my first 10k at 10 weeks pregnant. She has been here for me whenever I needed her. We have become great friends over the last 2 years. She also got me into coaching for Beachbody and I am so thankful she did because I am making a difference in other people's lives like she did for me. She changed my life. I am so sad to see her go but it happens. I am so thankful for Facebook and other modern conveniences we have to allow me to never lose touch with her because she truly is an amazing person.
Me, Jen and Janet, my safety runners to make sure I was ok for my first 10k at 10 weeks pregnant.

Moral of the story: You never know who might become your next greatest friend. When you go somewhere, to an event, church, reading time at the library, even the grocery store. Just say hi to someone. Introduce yourself to someone. Make an effort to get to know someone and listen to what they have to say. Be interested. It might be scary but sometimes you can walk away with a great friend who you will always remember and always want to keep in touch with. God places people in our lives for a reason. Don't deny yourself that next great friend.

Janet, I love you, and will miss getting to hang out with you this summer in training and for fun movie nights like last night! Can't wait till we can hang out again! Safe travels and Thank You for all of your service for our country. You are amazing!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Just Roll With It

This pregnancy has been HARD! I have suffered from massive migraines, morning sickness, motion sickness while on exercise machines and just overall exhaustion. No wonder, I am making a baby, nursing another baby and trying to train for my 10 miler which is only 10 days away.

Sadly today, I was told that one of those things has to go.

I had some spontaneous spotting today. I was doing nothing. Just relaxing, as I had just told Matt. Needless to say it ended up with me going to my doc 2 days earlier than my regularly scheduled appointment for the week. I was freaking out. A crying mess. I can't go through another miscarriage. Is all I kept saying in my mind.

Thankfully my doc's office got me in right away. I didn't even have to sit out in the waiting room. I was sent right back. Doc did an exam. Noticed the bleeding. Then he said that my uterus is growing and has already popped out of my pelvis (I'm just shy of 12 weeks and that happens at 12 weeks).

Next came the doppler. We needed to hear the heart beat. Doc was listening. I reminded him about my tilted backwards uterus. So he did some pushing on my belly and then we heard this thump. Thump, thump. Like his hand knocking the doppler, but it wasn't. He said, "I think that is the baby kicking." Then a few more thumps. "Yep, that's the baby. Now where is your heartbeat little feisty baby!" Then within just a few seconds he found the solid strong heartbeat.

Doc said that I had a ruptured blood vessel and that since we heard the baby's heartbeat, and it was kicking that everything is fine. HOWEVER, I am on a modified bed rest. UGH! First thing I asked, making sure that the baby was fine, then I asked, "so no 10 miler this year." NOPE. And guess what. I am a little sad about it because I have been training my butt off for that run and have already run most of the course but for the safety of the baby and for me, it is just going to have to give.

10 days away from my big race I have been planning and prepping for since, what? Last summer. Is now not happening. I will be volunteering though. Helping out in anyway I can. Here is the thing, there are other 10 milers. I know I can do it now and I am kind of strangely excited to run the race, next year, or when it is right for me. But for now. Time to take it easy. Take care of my baby growing inside me and enjoy the fact that my baby is fine.

I am excited though, because in 9 days, I will get to see this feisty little one again with my next ultrasound. I will keep you all posted and can't wait to share the pictures then!

Thanks for reading along and following along in this crazy adventure of my life!

Monday, March 9, 2015

Spring Race Season IS HERE!

It's time to lace up your running shoes! IT IS RACE SEASON! I don't know about you but my Facebook feed and Twitter are exploding with more and more of my friends participating in a spring race this season! I LOVE IT! What a great goal for everyone to have.

Let me tell you that if you want to start running or maybe change your lifestyle to be more active, participating in a local race is the WAY TO START! I know that the thought of running in a 5k is scary and it just might not be you. But what I have seen is that more and more races are walk friendly or a slower run/walk pace friendly. Race coordinators are noticing that walkers are taking the race circuit by storm now! AND GUESS WHAT? It doesn't matter if you walk a race or run it. The mileage is still the same for everyone. If a race is not walking friendly the race page will say, "run only" or it will give a time limit for the race or pace per mile required. A walking pace per mile is a 15 min per mile and slower.

Don't let the time limits hinder you from registering either because some of the races will say that roads are closed for X amount of time and you may continue, but you must move to the sidewalk and obey traffic signals. 

Why look into a local race? So you don't have to travel very far and hopefully the cost will be a little less than a "bigger" race. There are tons of St. Patricks Day race themes right now. But because the weather is AMAZING in most of the country this is the race season. Go ahead and try.

Need to find a race in your neck of the woods? Go here! Runners World Race Finder

Friday, February 27, 2015

Love Rox 10k Race Recap- Richmond, VA

My FEBRUARY 2015 Race is DONE! This past Sunday I participated in the Love Rox 10k. There was a 5k and 1/2 marathon option too, but the 10k is what I needed for my training books and I just really like doing a 10k distance. It's not too short or too long!
~Our drive over, we got slammed with snow the day before!~

Saturday was packet pickup and we were snowed in and couldn't get out to Richmond to pick up our "packet". So I sent them a couple of email request for us to pick it up early Sunday morning, which was an option to do but they had said only with permission was it allowed. I received my confirmation emails at about 8pm, 5 hours after the expo closed.

We left our house at 6:15am on Sunday morning and made our way slowly to Richmond. Everything was still pretty icy so we were taking it nice and easy. We arrived at 8am and I ran inside the building to get my packet while Matt and the boys stayed in the van. I was so glad that we didn't drive all the way to Richmond the day before anyways to get our packet because it was just the bib and a shirt and that was it. They had a couple of vendors there but not much so if I did this race next year, I would automatically ask for Sunday pickup. It's an hour and a half to get there.
~Collin all bundled up for the cold! Cute little wave!~

Now it was just time to wait for my race to start which wasn't until 10. The 5k began at 9am. I ran back out and had Matt and the boys come in the convention center where it was nice and warm and there was a HUGE lobby where Mason was asking daddy to "race" him. Super cute. (Next time I do a Disney race, Mason will be doing the kids races!)
~Pre race fun~

When it was time for me to go out, I realized I forgot my earbuds in the van. Matt ran back really fast and got them for me, MY HERO!

The race started a good 10 minutes late. But what was really neat, I looked to my right and Mason and my boys were waving at me through one of the windows. It was super cute when Mason realized that I was outside and he kept pointing to Matt saying, "Mommy's outside!"

I was in the 3rd wave to begin. And then I was off. I was told by another person that the first mile was downhill. I was excited about that and I know better than to just go, but I am not going to lie, that downhill was pretty fun and I did a 12 min mile for the first mile. BAD BECKY! However, that first fast mile was probably my saving grace for the pace for the rest of the race. As we go to the low point of the course, along the James River things got icy and slick pretty quick. This is where I did a lot of walking. Being pregnant I did not want to risk slipping and falling. NOPE. So safety is the key. I actually really enjoyed taking in the sites of the old buildings and of the frozen James River. It was so pretty.

As we crossed our first bridge I started to run a little and walk a little. I tried to time myself with the lamp posts, and this became my pattern for the rest of the run. I chatted with another redhead on the way she has longer legs than me and her stride for walking was bigger so she passed me around mile 3, and I actually ended up tailing her until the very end where I finally passed her.

Next came the slow assent back up to the next bridge, where we had to stop traffic to run around a HUGE puddle. Again I was running 2 lamp posts and walking 1 at this point. And then the assent from the bridge back up to the downtown area.

The end of the race, my body was done. I was tired but could still go. I finally caught up to the red head and then passed her. Looked down at my watch and we had just passed the 6.2 mile mark and the finish line was NO WHERE TO BE SEEN! They had told us that the 10k people would have to run an a few extra yards to the finish, but my Garmin clocked the finish at 6.5 miles. UGH! So my official finish time was slower than I wanted and I can't use my time for the next Disney race. BUMMER! I was aiming for 1 hour 30 min finish time. I did the 10k in 1:32:32 but finished the race in 1:36:25. Mile 3 and beyond I was able to have positive splits so I am actually surprised and happy with that! Oh and per my Garmin I did the fastest 5k to date: 45:24!

My splits: 
Mile 1: 12:52
Mile 2: 14:53
Mile 3: 15:55
Mile 4: 15:28
Mile 5: 15:18
Mile 6: 14:45
Mile 6.5: 14:53

Avg. pace: 14:51 - 9 weeks pregnant

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Disney Princess 1/2 Marathon Tips For New Runners: 1/2 Marathon Race

It's race morning and you area all ready to go. You have survived the 2 mile walk to get to the start line and the MC's are counting you down to your corral starting the race. Biggest thing to keep in mind, regardless of corral, is to STAY IN FRONT OF THE BALLOON LADIES!
~Quick picture opportunity on the bridge~

~One of the coolest things about the Disney races is that there is great entertainment on the course. Lots of picture opportunities. You can decide how often you want to take pictures, whether it is at ever mile marker or at ever character, or every other character, or just a couple. But the biggest thing to keep in mind is that there is a running clock. I was in corral M and at about mile 8 I started passing people that had corral C on their bibs. These people have been stopping for lots of pictures along the way, which is pretty cool that they can. But there is still a time limit to end the race and the balloon ladies are that time limit. As long as you stay in front of them you are golden!

~Know that if you are in a back corral, like j-n, and if you had been training at keeping a 15 min mile pace, you might not be able to take as many photo opportunities as you want. The lines, like the port-a-poties get pretty long. So line up at your own risk. I didn't have time to wait for one line for a photo with any characters. I knew after my first potty stop that I was going to be pushing the time limit because the lines for the bathrooms were 8 minutes, at LEAST! This is something that people who are in the faster corrals don't really have to experience. Also, there will be bottleneck areas where you are going to be walking to get through the narrow areas. Like waiting to "run" through the castle, nope I walked. Oh and "running down Main street" nope had to walk that one too. Actually K and I ran up on the sidewalk to bypass everyone walking down main street. There was just so many people. I got really bummed about that but I was thankful for the rest.
~Picture opportunity but also tons of people WALKING!~

~Secret bathroom that might not be that busy: Every one knows about the Tomorrowland bathroom that is the first "real" bathroom that you get to use. And the mens bathroom gets taken over by female too by the way, but there is another, actually a few more. But they are off the course just a little bit and you might not be allowed, or they might not be open. But if you need to go and can't wait in the line, you can try these other places. I have read from other bloggers that they did use the bathrooms by It's A Small World and there was NO LINE AT ALL! I circled them on the map below. One of the circles, the farthest off to the left is over a green space. That is just under Rapunzel's tower and there are bathrooms over there. Again, some of these restrooms might not be open. So go at your own risk! (pun intended!)

~One thing to know that if you are in the back of the pack. Still look around you. Enjoy the view, the experience and just have fun. And more than anything, JUST KEEP GOING! I knew that if I stopped I might not be able to keep going and that scared me. I wanted to finish. I had to finish no matter what. I earned my medal with every ounce of my being. I tried and did pretty well, for a pregnant lady. But you can do this! Just remember to have fun! Talk to other races around you. Encourage them. Help give them more motivation to finish that race!

~Know that there are 3 hills just before you enter Epcot. They are on/off ramps around mile 10. You will be tired but just keep moving. Eat some candy to give you more energy at this point so you can keep going. See my motto here, just keep going.
~Standing room only to get through the castle. No running for us!~

~Once inside Epcot you are in the clear of the Balloon ladies. So your goal is to get to Epcot and just keep moving! That is all you have to do. You are almost done and you are golden! Sad thing is after the Magic Kingdom, at mile 6 you have a long stretch of just road in front of you. This is the hard stretch but just make it to Epcot! That is your goal. AND Keep going! only 1.1 miles left to go!
~Just .1 miles to go!~

~Look around you as you cross that finish line. Give Mickey or whatever character is on the side a HUGE HIGH FIVE just before you cross. Thank the voleenter for your medal and make sure to get doused in glitter before you leave! Also take a picture of you and your medal. You earned it. Smile in the picture. Cry if you have to but get that picture. (I totally regret not getting my picture. I just wanted my husband and I forgot.) But this is all about my tips for you, and when I do this race again you better believe I will be getting a picture of my medal all pink faced and huge smile! There is a background that has Princess 1/2 marathon written all over it too if you want to do it in front of that for further proof you finished.

~There is an engraver tent that you can have your name, time and date engraved on the back of your medal. Pack some money in your fuel belt or hide it in your checked bag if you have to, or have someone meet you there with money but you have that option to get your medal engraved!
~Finish Line!~

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Disney Princess 1/2 Marathon Tips for New Runners: Race Morning

If you have stumbled upon my blog about the Run Disney Princess Half Marathon looking for tips, I am sure that you have probably read at other places that EARLY TO BED, EARLY TO RISE!

When you get to your hotel, on WDW or off site, check with your hotel, if there is transportation provided and what time the transportation is offered for race morning. It doesn't matter if you drive there or take transpiration provided for you, you will be leaving VERY EARLY IN THE MORNING! K and I set 2 alarms to go off to make sure we woke up for a lovely 2:45 am! She set the ring tone to Eye of the Tiger. We were staying at the Shades of Green resort on the WDW park. (Shades of Green is the military hotel that is on the resort for only military guests and their families! It is AWESOME! If military check it out!) It is located across the street from the Polynesian resort, and we actually ran right past it during the 1/2 marathon! We figured that we would walk to the Polynesian and then catch the buses there but thankfully Shades had their own buses. You are going to want to be to the busses pretty early, because they fill up quickly and you don't want to be running to the start of the race then run the 1/2. No fun! We were on our bus by 3:45 or so am!
(1st long walk!)

Know that where the busses drop you off, is a LONG WALK! A very long walk. It feels like forever just to get to the waiting area. Not the corral staging area just the pre-marathon waiting area. There was a band/DJ playing music. Lots of people were having fun. I was in search of food, cause I was still hungry and found a banana from one of the tents (a race volunteer took pity on me and passed me one.) And a bathroom. K made me drink tons of water when I woke up, when we got on the bus and on our way to the waiting area. I already had to go. NOT GOOD!

There were tons of bathrooms to choose from so we went. I learned that morning how hard it was going to be going to the bathroom with my tutu and big pregnant belly! EEK! We then found a place to sit and rest by the gates that would open to take us to the coral staging area. I was on the hunt trying to find other bloggers I followed, never found them but I looked! I wanted to even go up in the coral area that I knew she would be but I didn't want to be that stalkerish! We walked the next mile or so to the staging are and K and I found my corral, 1 down from hers and sat down near the front. We talked about our running strategy and she had me munch on more food and drink MORE water. I decided that I needed to go to the bathroom again and went on search to the hundreds more port-a-potties there. I got back in the coral and the first corral was off. And we waited our turn. This was it! I was about to embark on my first 1/2 marathon. 29 weeks pregnant.
(Waiting in the corrals!) 

Bring water and food to munch on while you wait. Use the port-a-poties by the corrals before the race starts, because the line at the mile 1 port-a-poties is LONG! The line at all the port-a-potties is long, except for mile 13. I didn't have to wait for that one!

Also, it can be a little chilly until the race starts. Head to Goodwill and find a hoodie to toss to the side after the first mile or 2 when you warm up. Disney takes all the toss clothing and donates them so it is for a good cause!
(Everyone behind us)

Make sure you rest and sit down, so bring a towel or something to sit on, again a toss clothing if you are worried about sitting on the ground! When you get there it will feel like a bunch of hurry up and wait, and it is but it's ok. Just rest as much as possible. Get off your feet and sit down!

From where the busses drop you off to the corrals is seriously about 2 miles. So just know that. You are awesome! Who else do you know that walks 2 miles before a half marathon just to start the half marathon!
(Ready, Set...)

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Disney Princess 1/2 Marathon Tips For New Runners: The Expo

Oh the EXPO! We hit the expo on Saturday afternoon last year. A TON of the Disney merchandise was already gone by then.

The Official Even Guide is up right now ( I love that they are taking this Frozen theme into it so much! I am sure that you will be seeing lots of Anna and Elsa's and Olaf's too as you run!). Take some time to look through it. Figure out speakers to go and watch. Familiarize yourself with the booths at the expo. One HUGE TIP! Know your budget before you go in there. Only allow yourself to spend $X amount of dollars so that you don't go crazy when you are in there. THERE IS A TON OF CUTE STUFF and you are going to want to get it all!

Here are my top things that I wanted, and got and other things to check out and do while at the EXPO:

1) The "I DID IT" Shirt! I had to have it. Yes I got a shirt with the race, but I love the idea of the I DID IT shirt. Because I earned that shirt and my gorgeous medal! Like I said above, most of the Disney Merch. was sold out. There were a couple of people at a table with the shirts they had left and they were handing out cards to go to a specific site AFTER the race to be able to order your shirt. BUT you had to do it right after the race, and they only had so many. So you better believe that after I got back to our hotel and before I got in the tub to soak I ordered my shirt. I got the Tech shirt and I LOVE IT! I wear it all the time. The back of it has the race route on it and it is great! It did take me about 2 months (no kidding on that) to get the shirt delivered to my house but when I got it I was doing a happy little dance and I seriously wear it all the time. ( I like the Glass Slipper Challenge merchandise so much this year!)

2) Mini Medal pin. This I ordered when I registered for the race. Yes, I have a lanyard with pins I have collected on it. They are special pins that you can only get if you have done them. Like I have one for the Disney Cruise Mexico, and for the Keys to the Kingdom tour, our Segway tour. So now I have my little princess half marathon pin on there! They had plenty left and Glass slipper pins left too so get those. Also, they make really cute Christmas Ornaments. They are small enough for the tree that you can hang your collection. (Maybe get 2 sets of pins.)

3) KT Tape. If you haven't gotten taped yet, but you have a lingering pain it might be a good idea to stop by the KT booth and get taped up professionally. As a back up though bring your own tape with you. By Saturday they were all out of tape and they said if I had my own they would tape me so, bring a roll with you but have them tape you up! I had my belly taped up for the race, prior to even leaving home so I was already covered with tape.

4) Get something specific for you that you are going to look back on for your experience. There are lots of booths with motivational items in them. I went with the shoe charms. My BFF and I got Sole Sisters. I also now want to get a 13.1 because I have done it. But there were lots of shirts that we saw that we really liked.

5) Try out the different flavors of GU. Gu will have a booth set up with samples. These are the same samples that will be available to you at mile 9. Know before you go. Technically if you haven't tried Gu before running the 1/2, like on your training run, then it might not be a good idea but you might need that pick me up, (that being said, if you haven't tried Gu or another energy picker-uper you still have to try it out before the race!) There are so many flavors from vanilla to mocha flavor to caffeine free. I went with Raspberry and Lime which were both caffeine free since I was so pregnant.

6) I wish I had a chance to listen to the speakers. My friend Elizabeth just did the Star Wars 1/2 at Disneyland last month and got to listen to Jeff Galloway and LOVED IT! She ended up getting his walk/run timer and used it to help her complete her first 1/2 marathon!

7) Take lots and lots of pictures. Even at the expo! It is ok, just do it! You will want to remember everything and the weekend is going to be a whirlwind of craziness and you will forget. So make sure you take PICTURES!

Want more daily motivation and inspiration? Click here get free advice, support and encouragement + a free copy of my Clean Eating guide to help you get started on your health and fitness journey! 

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Disney Princess 1/2 Marathon Tips for New Runners: Costumes

The RunDisney 10k & Princess Half Marathon is in less than 2 weeks! Sadly, I won't be participating in this wonderful race this year but I did it last year and thought it would be fun to share some tips and tricks I learned about the race to any new participant this year! So I am going to do a series of posts over the next few days about RunDisney and the Princess Half Marathon!
(Brave inspired costume. Tutu by Race Junkie. Nike Shirt with custom vinyl by Be Bold.) 

A must do is to DRESS UP! Wearing a running costume is all the rage at RunDisney events! You don't have to but most everyone running will be wearing a costume of some sort! And generally they are Disney themed but seriously you can wear whatever you want to wear!

Trust me it is so much fun to run in costume and to see what everyone else is wearing to run in. Need inspiration? Check out my Pinterest page for some ideas.

Angie, from a Facebook group we are part of, gave me permission to post her picture with her AWESOME costume! She got the skirt from Run Princess Run, the top was homemade. Leg warmers are from Run Alice Run and the cape is from her daughter's costume (way to repurpose Angie!)

Outfit: Styles of costumes are important to think about. Tutu's are great to run in, however the length of the tutu does matter. Last year, I ran in a tutu. It was made by RaceJunkie (I am pretty sure it is past the cutoff point to order a tutu from her at this point.) If you decide to make one, there are lots of tutorials online, between now and the race make sure the Tutu is 9-12 inches in length. RaceJunkie does them 9 inches preferred, but I will say that it barely covers my big butt. The 12 inch tutu might be too long and can get caught in between your  thighs as you run and can cause a TON or chaffing! So shorter might be better in this case. Last year I saw someone wearing an ankle length tutu. Talk about annoying and painful! Oh, and be creative. You don't have to dress up like a main character. I have seen a Chip, from Beauty and the Beast, costume from this year. There is even talk about someone dressing up as a balloon lady, balloon and all. That will get everyone around her to run a little faster!

Trial and Error: Do a Test Run in your costume! So important! You will learn if there is chaffing before you have to deal with it for 13.1 miles. You will learn if your costume can hold up to running. You will learn the annoyances of it too. I had a large pregnant belly to help keep the tutu riding low on my hips, but when I ran in a tutu at 17 weeks pregnant my tutu kept riding up a big and I just ended up pulling it up above my belly button so I wouldn't have to deal with it.
(My BFF K. tutu and shirt from RaceJunkie)

Hair& Makeup: If you put spray color in your hair to temporally change the color of your hair while running. TRY IT OUT BEFORE the race day. Go do a sweaty workout or a nice long run that gets your head all sweaty to see how much the spray dye will drip into your eyes or if it will drip down your head. Also don't forget if you run in makeup try to wear waterproof mascara and eyeliner.

Motivational Quotes: Have sayings on your shirt, front and back. It was fun to read all the motivational sayings on the shirts. Seeing what was on the back and also trying to read the front. My friend who ran with me kept telling me how many people I was passing and I was 29 weeks pregnant. And others would come up from behind and say, how amazing it was that I was running at 29 weeks pregnant. My front of my shirt was my motivation to me and the back was a reminder that a very pregnant lady was in front of them.

Shoes: New Balance released a new series of shoes and they will be for sale at the Expo. Buy a pair if you want, but DO NOT RUN 13.1 MILES IN THEM THE NEXT DAY! Huge rule of thumb is to not do something new that you have already tested out. I saw so many people on the course wearing their new beautiful New Balance Cinderella shoes, some even with the satin as the laces. I saw bloody heels and hobbling going on from some of the ladies. You have been training for the last couple of months for this in your running shoes, stick with it for race day. And wear the awesome new shoes around the parks. Don't mess with running mojo on the day of the race!

Friday, January 16, 2015

Retiring My Running Shoes

Well, it looks like that time has come upon me. Time to retire my running shoes for a fresh, and spotless new pair. Over the last month I have been dealing with shin splints. I spoke with one of the captains of my training program about it and she suggested that I replace my running shoes with those that have more support. I was thinking that my shoes didn't have that much mileage on them to warrant that. I had heard that running shoes need to be replaced every 600 miles and surely I have not run that many miles.

Yesterday I picked  up my shoes to put them on to go to the gym and I noticed the underside of my left shoes was, different. There is like NO tread at the ball of the foot. I remember that it used to grip so much better. And it felt a little soft. I will say since I am back into running regularly my shin splints have gone away for the most part, as I thought they would, now to get the knot gone completely, but that still doesn't explain the pain in my left foot around the outer arch that I would get after runs.

Now I know. My shoes don't have enough support on them. They are worn out and I am now in the market to get new running shoes. And running shoes are not cheap! So time to save up the bones and head on down to my running shoes store and get fitted with a new pair. But why my shoes? Why did they wear down so quickly? Here are some thoughts I have on why mine wore down.

~I checked my mileage and I have done a total of 360 miles on these shoes with walking and running. I do not wear these shoes as my everyday shoes. I have been very good about that. I have been very diligent about logging all my runs or walks for training purposes and I am glad that I did but that number still seemed low to me. I have heard people replace their shoes at 300 miles, and some at 2,000 miles.

~I am not 120 lbs. When I run there is a lot more pounds of pressure applied to my shoes than say someone who weighs 120, or even 160 lbs. It does make a difference. So my tread literally got worn down faster because of my weight.

~Feet changes. I purchased these shoes in June 2013 just before I started training for my first 4 miler race. My old shoes weren't cutting it. Well I got pregnant with Collin in August 2014. I continued to run and train while pregnant. And during pregnancy my feet great little and the arch changed thanks in part to the hormone relaxin. Then after I had Collin and got back in my running shoes, my feet have shrunk and my arches lifted back up for the most part. So my feet have been changing during the whole time I have had these shoes.

~Stride changes. Also with being pregnant I have had to alter my stride to accommodate my changing body. Hence why the tread on my left foot is more worn down. Even now, since I still have excess fat between my legs from being pregnant (yes when pregnant you will get fat on your thighs, hips and butt, even the skinniest person will!) I have had to alter my stride again to accommodate my new body. Man, it is hard making babies!

I really have enjoyed my Brooks Adrenaline GTS 13. They have served me quite well. I have trained for and completed many races in these shoes. Time to save them for a mud race or foam fest where they can get totally trashed and be ok with it! Now to look for new shoes. What are your favorite running shoes? 
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