Wednesday, March 30, 2016

RunDisney Princess Half Marathon Recap

Happy Wednesday Disney Fans!

We've (finally) made it to the recap of the Princess Half Marathon. I won't lie, I have been struggling to write this post. The fact is,... I don't really want to re-live it. (Yes, it was that bad) but... My Princess Half weekend posts would be incomplete if I didn't talk about the biggest race of the weekend, so bear with me - I had a pretty rough run. 

Before I went to sleep I decided to set 2 alarms, I just had a feeling I wasn't going to wake up. I was absolutely exhausted from the previous two days and a little nervous about missing the race. It's a good thing I set two alarms because in my sleep I turned off the first one and almost missed the second one. 

Actually it wasn't the alarm that woke me up, it was our friend who was staying with us getting settled onto the bed in the living room that woke me up. 

I got up and zoomed around getting ready as fast as possible, and fast walked over to the bus. I was the last person on the first bus before they headed over to Epcot.  Once on the bus I texted my sister to let her know I was on my way! 

She responded that she would be leaving soon, so I got in line right away to meet some princesses. After I had met two different princesses, I got a text that she had locked her shoes in her room and didn't have  key! 

Sooooo, I just kept hanging around with the Princesses waiting for her to arrive. 

When she arrived, I was almost next in line to Meet Mulan (again) so we snapped a quick picture and then had to head over to the corrals because they had already done "last call" announcements! 

As we walked my sister commented on how long the walk was! It's nothing like the 10k where you start right in the parking lot. 

As soon as our corral left we started our run/walk intervals of 1:30 / 45. The course was really crowded, and a lot of people were trying to run in large groups so we did quite a bit of weaving.  Between mile 1 - 5 we cheered as the elite runners ran by us.  It's kind of a blur as to the entertainment on the course, so I'm going to link you to Mindy's blog - she stopped for all the characters with her friend Jenny! 

When I started the race I was feeling a little dehydrated so I had a slight cramp, but I pressed on. 

Once we made it into The Magic Kingdom I remember there being a TON of characters, and large crowds of people. We took a bathroom break just before mile 6 and kept on running. We did take a couple of selfies by the castle. 

Everything was going FABULOUS until mile 8. At Mile 8 I just wanted to cry... My cramp had gotten more severe and now my knees started hurting. 

WHAT?  My Knees??? 

I've never had a problem with my knees, so I was pretty discouraged. My sister kept dragging me along and then, (finally) we made it back to Epcot. 

I wish I remembered more about the last part of the course but all I remember was being in tears all the way through Epcot, and then feeling like my knees were going to shatter. 

I saw Donald Duck and decided to grab a selfie with him before the finish - he is my daughters favorite! 

We finished the race, I grabbed ice for both knees right away and headed back to my hotel. I didn't stop for pictures, I didn't look for people, I just went to my bus. In fact, I lost my sister in the crowd and just texted her from the bus - it was that bad. 

After some food and a shower I was feeling better, but my knees were still in pain and I still had that pesky side cramp. 

Our time was 2:57:08 

I was in a lot of pain but was still super proud of breaking 3 hours for the half. 

Question of the day: who is your favorite disney Prince? 

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Run Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend - 10K Recap

Happy Wednesday friends!!

We are still working our way through my Princess half weekend recaps and today I am so excited to actually talk about the running.

I was pretty excited about the 10K mostly because we my sisters and I had pretty epic costumes, and it was the first RunDisney race for both of them! (See about our costumes here)

My husband arrived to Disney around 9:30 on Friday night and took over baby holding duty. The girls and I arrived on Thursday so I could be there for packet pick up and the kids races on Friday. As a result, our girls were missing Daddy and were both quite clingy.

Once both girls were sound asleep, I finally got my chance to go to sleep. I continued to wake up every hour until 1:00 a.m.. At 1:00 a.m., my husband was looking around the kitchen area, because the poor guy was starving. He didn't eat dinner, he opted to just drive straight from work to Disney and only had a cup of coffee and a granola bar.

So, at 1:00 I just got up with him.

I took my sweet time getting my hair fixed, and putting on make-up, putting my wings on just trying to get my nerves in check. I have run several races, many of them at Disney - why do I still get super nervous EVERY time?
I was on the first bus over to the race, and quickly got in line to meet some princesses!  Since we were dressed as the Three Good Fairies, I knew we needed to get a picture with Aurora!
After our picture we headed over to our corral and waited for our turn to start.  When we finally got going my younger sister TOOK OFF! She was SO excited that she just went. I'm more of a slow and steady, run-walk-run type of girl so I just stuck to the interval we'd agreed on (2/1) and let them go their own thing.

The 10k seemed to fly by. Honestly, it was so much fun. I think it might be my favorite race distance to run at Disney.

After the race we stretched and headed back to our rooms to take a nap and then head out to Magic Kingdom (More on that in another post).

Question of the day: What is your favorite race distance?

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Princess Half Marathon Kids Races

Happy Wednesday my friends!

I'm (slowly) making my way through the Princess Half Marathon weekend with all of you. Today I wanted to share some pictures and highlights from the Kids Races.

The theme for the whole weekend was The Little Mermaid, and the kids races medals were absolutely adorable (and if I could find where my kids hid it, I would have taken a picture).

This time the kids races had a huge area for the kids to play before or after their races. The area included:

  • Color your own crown
  • obstacle course 
  • music 
As done in previous kids races, they start with the 1-3 year olds and do all the "dashes" and then once all of the age groups have gone (just before the "Mickey Mile) they do the diaper dashes.  Since our group had two in the 1-3 age group and one in the 0-1 group we were out there pretty much all morning.  We packed lunches and while we waited for our turn enjoyed a pic-nic and played around in the field. It was such a beautiful day! 

I've mentioned this before, and I'll say it again. The kids races are SO.MUCH.FUN. for your toddlers! (3 reasons to love Kids Races). 

The next opportunity to sign up for kids races (or RunDisney races) is Tuesday, March 29th at noon. This will be for the Wine and Dine weekend in November. We aren't running the W&D this year, but are considering registering our girls for the kids races. (Stay tuned to RunDisney for information)

Question of the day: Do your kids love the same activities as you? 

Friday, March 11, 2016

Tips from Jeff Galloway - Fast and Fun - Its a state of mind

Good morning friends, I've received another set of tips from Jeff Galloway to share with all of you!  This time it's all about speed! Who wants tips on how to improve your speed without increasing your risk of injury? 

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FAST AND FUN—It’s a state of mind 

Why is running faster a good thing?  Short and fast segments not only help you run faster in races.  If you run a few faster segments each week you can improve your running efficiency while receiving a better attitude boost.

How long should you be running before you add some faster running in? After 2-3 months of regular running some short accelerations can be added with minimal risk of aches and pains. 

Is it possible that running fast can actually be fun?  Yes.  The secret is be creative and limit the length of the fast segment at first. 

How often should you run fast? Playful speed can be done once or twice a week.

Four Faster, Fun Workouts
1. Speed play that you can do on your own. ACCELERATE AND GLIDE.  After an easy 10 minute warmup of slow running, pick up the pace for 10 steps, then coast off the momentum for 10-20 steps.  Don't be obsessed about the number of steps as this is just a guideline.  Don't sprint--be playful.  Gradually pick up the pace, and then glide back down to a jog.  Repeat 2-3 times on your first attempt, and take a one minute walk break.  Each week you could increase the number of accelerations as you wish, with a recommended walk break of 1-2 minutes between each.

2. Speed play you can do with one friend—CHASE game.  After an easy 5 minute jog together, one person takes the lead.  As the leader changes the pace (speeding up, then slowing down, speeding up) the follower tries to stay close but not pass.  After 3-5 minutes, take a 1-2 minute walk break and repeat with the other runner leading.  Repeat as many times as desired.

3. Speed play you can do with two friends—SURPRISE game. Following the same format as game 1, the follower tries to surprise the leader by passing gently but quickly.  While there should be no sprinting, it is OK to run fast for 10-30 steps to pass.

4. A speed play workout you can do with three or more friends—INDIAN RUNNING.  The group is running single file for a minute or two at an easy pace.  Then, the last runner, passes all of the other runners and takes the lead for a minute or two.  The current leader sets the pace, and takes a walk break.  When the running resumes, the last runner starts to move to the front.  Each runner gets to take the lead at least once in this game.

_ _ _

I'm excited to try some of these tips on my next run! 

Question of the day: What pace are you working towards? I'm working on getting to an 11 min mile pace for distance. Right now I'm at about 12:30; so I have some work to do! 

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Guest Post: My First RunDisney Expo

Happy Wednesday Friends! 

I have a little secret... I never actually went to the expo for Princess half. Yep... I skipped it.  My race packet and shirts were all in the same room as the Kids Races packets and since there had been tales of chaos over in the actual expo, I opted to keep my girls out of that mess. Honestly, there wasn't anything I absolutely needed to purchase so it was the best decision. I am sad I missed it, but my sisters and niece went on Thursday evening. They seemed to have a great time, so I asked my little sister to share about her first ever RunDisney Expo and Packet pick up experience! 

Met Princess Minnie during packet pick up. 
Hello! My name is Dana and I am Erin's younger sister.The Enchanted 10k was my first Disney race and my sister asked me to talk a little about my experience with the exposition and packet pick up!

I arrived in Orlando early Thursday afternoon with our other sister Ruth, so we could settle into our hotel rooms, pick up our packets and visit the exposition. The plan worked out for us because we didn't have to rush to the Kids Races on Friday. Ruth kept Junebug (1.5 years)  in the carrier for most of our trip to the expo, so we wouldn't have to worry about her running around.

Packet Pick-up: Quick and easy! In the downstairs hallway, there were computers and printers for people to print their own waiver. We printed our waivers ahead of time, so we skipped past that crowd. The main room was full of booths and each was clearly marked with the bib numbers that could be picked up there. Bib numbers are printed on the waivers and we were able to go straight to our assigned booths. 

After I picked up my packet, I found Ruth at the front of her line and she had already picked up Junebug's packet. Since she was running the Glass Slipper challenge, she had to take a quick picture with her bib. 

There were 2 spots for character pictures, but no characters were out at this time.  We did get to do a Snow White themed photo opportunity! In honor of Snow White being released there was a green screen and 4 or 5 Snow White backgrounds to choose from. They printed out the photos for you AND they emailed you a digital copy! There were also free buttons on the table! 

Exposition: We had to go to another building for the Expo and this one was much more crowded! As soon as I looked down on the crowd I was ready to leave. 

I had to get over it for 3 reasons: 
  1. My shirt was on the far side of the room. Ruth and Junebug's shirts were in the bag with their bibs because Ruth was a challenger and Junebug is a kid. 5k and 10k racers had to get shirts at the expo. Since there was nothing to do except pick up a shirt, that corner of the room was not crowded. If you needed a different size shirt, you had the opportunity to exchange it.
  2.  My sisters ordered from Rawthreads and Ruth needed to pick-up their shirts. 
  3. Ruth still had not purchased a running belt for herself and was also considering buying compression socks. 

By the time 1 and 2 were done I had made my peace with the crowd and started to enjoy the event. I was surprised by the amount of free stuff given away. We picked up a lot of samples throughout the expo and we took pictures at the GoodSense booth. GoodSense had a green screen and we could choose our 1 of 3 backgrounds and they emailed us a digital copy of our photo. They also had a prize wheel to spin and I won a sample pack. Junebug won a high five and looked so cute holding up her hand for her high five, she was also given a cowbell. Although it didn't look too busy when I peeked in,  I never made it into the area where the "I did it" shirts were sold; but that's okay because I really liked the 10k shirt that RunDisney provided with my registration.

_ _ _

Dana rocked her first RunDisney race and is *thinking* about doing another one next year after she accomplishes some swimming goals! 

Anyway, if you enjoyed hearing from Dana you can check out her FB page. She shares a lot of motivational posts and healthy recipes.  

For more about the Princess weekend, check back on the next couple of Wednesdays or here (10K costume) and here (half marathon costume). 

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Disney Princess Half Marathon Outfit Reveal!

Happy Wednesday Friends!

Last Wednesday I revealed our costume for the 10K. It was a LOT of fun to fun in costume, and receive compliments on our totally awesome costumes - BUT, I was pretty excited to NOT be running with wings for the Princess Half.

Last June my sister and I decided we would be the Eels from the Little Mermaid, Yes... JUNE (before we knew the theme!). So, when it was 3 weeks before the race and the only thing we had was a green visor an no outfit inspiration for these Eel costumes, we turned to Raw Threads.

We decided to purchase the 'I'm with the Villains" wear our green visors and a black Sparkle Athletic skirt. We decided to put a yellow eye on the visor to be more inspired by the eels and last minute I traced a little mermaid onto each eye.

Overall I was very happy with our costumes, because they were SUPER comfy, easy to run in and I felt we looked adorable!

DIY Little Mermaid Eye

  1. Pull up a picture of the mermaid on your phone
  2. Put the yellow paper onto your phone
  3. trace the mermaid 
  4. cut into a circle
Costume Pieces
  • Sparkle Athletic visor 
  • Sparkle Athletic Skirt
  • Compression Shorts
  • Raw Threads Villains shirt 
  • Pro Compression Socks 
Question of the day: Who is your favorite Disney Villain?

The Florida Everglades for Kids!

*this post contains affiliate links* As a family with three young children, we are always looking to create meaningful experiences for...