2017 Training Stats

Miles Completed = 29.01
(Run/Walked = 29.01, Biked = 0.0, Elliptical = 0.0)

Countdowns!

Friday, February 27, 2009

2008 Minnie Marathon Weekend - Day 4

Monday, May 5, 2008

Did I mention how bad my sunburn is? Oh, and that Mulan and Mushu were out at the 15K in Hollywood Studios?

Anyway, after a 20+ hour day yesterday the 6am alarm went unheard or turned off - not sure which. I was just too tired to get up and get going. I slept in 'til 8am then just hung out until 8:30am.

I got up made some decaf coffee and had some trail mix for breakfast. I got up, got dressed and stuffed my suitcase.

I was out the door by 9:15am and headed to the lobby. I had one of the valet attendants get me a cab and I was on my way to Pop Century - the journey cost $17 including tip. I didn't think this was too bad. I headed to check in and my luck was with me and I was given a room that was already ready. Room 2169 - 50' building 2, 1st floor. I am right by the bowling pin pool. I was a bit worried about noise but I think it will be okay.

A quick email check was in order since I wasn't able to log in at the Animal Kingdom Lodge. My dogs and birds are being good so far - YEAH! I took care of a little work then headed to the bus stop for Hollywood Studios. Wow - the line for the bus is huge!

Here comes a bus - no, make that two buses for us. I get on the second bus and it's standing room only. That's okay though, I'm thinking Hollywood Studios is going to be packed since it's evening extra magic hours tonight.

I got to the park a little after 11am. Bag check was quick and easy and I'm in the park. There does seem to be a lot of people here and I bet lines will be long. I decide to head straight for Tower of Terror - it says 30 minute wait and it took 30 minutes to get through the line and ride the ride. I was in the back far left if you were looking in the car. It was a great ride!

Next, I head over to Rock N Roller Coaster. The sign shows a 50 minute wait time, but it only took 30 minutes to go through the line and ride the ride. I'm in the very back row all by myself. Another great ride!

One of my favorites is The Great Movie Ride (though I think it could use some updating). The wait here is only about 10 minutes. I'm in the front row. We had a great driver and as usual I really enjoy soaking it all in.

The cool thing about today is that I'm noticing details in the queues and rides that I've never taken the time to look at or have just overlooked because I'm always in a hurry.

It's now after 1pm and I'm starving. I headed over to Sci-Fi Dine In to see if there are any openings. There are - yes! I only had to wait about 5 minutes to be seated. Okay, I'm not on my diet now...I had an Oreo Milkshake - one of my favorites here. Then I tried the baby back ribs with fries. It was a wonderful meal. A lot of people give this restaurant a hard time, but I've always had great service and a good meal with atmosphere. I do avoid desserts here as I've never had one I liked. Still, I'm completely satisfied and it was another good meal.

I headed over to Star Tours. It was so cold in this ride today - I was actually shivering. I really hope the rumors about an update are going to come true. While I enjoy this ride, it's so overdue to be updated.

Muppet Vision 3D is next. I have rarely even had to wait here, but today I actually had to line up outside of the building in the sun no less. I still really like this show, but I'm sorry to say that most of the 3D isn't very good to me. It's still a fun show to see.

I decided to wait for the Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular and while it could use some updating I still like this show too. It was fun and I'm glad I waited to see it.

The Magic of Disney Animation was next on my list. I don't do this every time I am here, but I really love Mushu so I like to catch it now and again. I love doing the drawing session and today we did Eeyore. I've never drawn him and I still haven't...They can try but I cannot draw to save my life.

Back to Tower of Terror. The sign showed 20 minute wait and it was no more than 10 and I'm a single rider so I get on even faster. Top row, dead center! On one side I have a little girl that's never ridden before, on the other side another little girl that's never ridden before. We take our ride and on one side the little girl wants to do it again, and on the other side the little girl does not want to do it again. Both of these girls are so cute and handled the ride equally well considering the outcome.

I bought a pen (yes, the kind you write with) and headed back to R-N-R. Single rider line has me in a limo with no wait! I enjoy the ride again.

Okay, now it's time to do some shopping. Spent more money than I should have - again, what else is new!

It's 7:15pm and I decide to head out. I waited about 10 minutes for the bus and I'm on my way back to Pop Century. I stopped by the lobby concierge to see if I could get a morning ADR for Concourse Steakhouse - I'll take a cab over to the Contemporary. From there I'll head to the Animal Kingdom where I have an ADR for Yak & Yeti for an early dinner.

The day has come to an end, but I'm ready for another great day tomorrow.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

2008 Minnie Marathon Weekend - Day 3

Sunday, May 4, 2008

The alarm clock rang at 4am this morning. I was out of bed by 4:05am. I took a quick shower and got dressed for the big race by 4:30am.

I had to head down to the hospitality suite to check in with Anthony Travel and get my package gift. The gift was rather nice - a stuffed princess Minnie Mouse, visor and towel. It was a quick stop, but they had a lovely continental breakfast setup and there were people coming in and out and chatting. I met a nice lady that has done 15 Disney endurance events - I appreciated her experience, but she was a bit of running snob. What do I mean? She was one of those people that felt that if you couldn't run fast enough then you shouldn't be running. The races are too open now and allow everyone to race. I bit my tongue since I was one of those people that wouldn't have made it with stricter timing requirements. I shrugged it off since I was just super excited to run my first race over 5 miles and at Disney no less!

I headed back to my room to drop off my stuff and grab my water and then it was out to the bus stop. There were a few people milling around and I started a conversation with a lovely woman (Judy) and her Mom. Very nice people, supportive, excited and interested in sharing stories.

The bus arrived at about 5:15am and we were on our way by 5:20am. We made it to Animal Kingdom at 5:45am. I am so glad I didn't try to drive - the line of cars and buses was crazy! I've never seen so many people at a race. Wow!

I headed straight to the porta-potty line and waited my turn. Once that business was taken care of I headed for the chutes. They had the chutes labeled with pace ranges and I found the 11 - 13 minute chute and took my place in the crowd.

I didn't do a lot of stretching this morning, just tried to keep my body loose. About 15 minutes to race time. I am anxious and there are people everywhere. There is a DJ and speakers just talking about random things. It's high energy and you can feel the people getting anxious and excited.

The countdown begins - 10 a firework, 9 a firework, 8 a firework, each number and then a firework up until one when we got two fireworks! And we're off.

It is super humid this morning and the sweat begins immediately. I start a chant that I will repeat to myself over and over again during this race. "I can do it, I can do it, I can really, really do it!" Sing this to the tune of "We Can Do It" from Cinderella. It's my motto and I think it really helps me.

Before we even get out of the Animal Kingdom parking lot (which is super long by the way) a man loudly complains of the humidity and says he doesn't have that in Illinois. I had to reply - Try Phoenix! I mean really, he thinks he doesn't deal with humidity - I come from the land of "It's a dry heat!"

I'm a little stiff in the beginning and I have to find a rhythm, but before long I'm feeling good. There are people and volunteers everywhere and I love the way they are cheering us on.

I reach mile 3, 4, 5 and pretty soon we're headed in to Hollywood Studios. This part of the run is super fun - the cast and volunteers are great and having so much fun. They cheer, they chant, they tease, they tell jokes - it's great! It helps me keep going as I start to feel a bit tired.

Six miles, seven miles...I'm running next to a woman that must be twice my age - it humbles me and makes me proud of her at the same time. She looks at me and says - we're almost there! I really like her, she's got spunk.

We continue on around the Boardwalk and the Yacht and Beach Club and then we're headed in Epcot through the International Gateway. Two miles to go and I'm still running - no walking breaks so far.

Every time I want to walk I just repeat my mantra and it keeps me going. I'm almost around World Showcase now and I'm headed in to Future World. Now I'm almost to Spaceship Earth. My Garmin just told me I'm done but I have to keep going.

I'm out of Epcot and I pick up the pace as much as I can and I run it to the finish line! I feel incredibly spent, but I feel incredible.

I think I finished in about 1 hr 44 mins. It's slower than I wanted, but I ran the whole thing - I didn't even walk when I drank my water.

I'm so proud of everything that I've accomplished. I just can't believe I came here and I did this!

My chip was removed, I grabbed water and Powerade and then I stood in line to get my picture taken with my finisher's medal.

I have to say I'm soaking wet with sweat as I board the bus. Yuck, but it's also great! A sense of accomplishment that I'll never forget. You really can do anything if you put your mind to it.

I sat on the bus and sent a couple of text messages. Then Judy and her Mom boarded the bus and then everyone on the bus started talking. It was nice to discuss the race with others. We came from all over the US - California, Arizona, Florida, etc...It's so cool that running can bring so many people together.

I was back in my room by 8:30am. I had to eat some peanut butter and crackers and some snack mix washed it all down with Powerade and water and was feeling pretty good. I took a nice shower and soaked in the tub for a bit and just relaxed a bit.

At about 10:30am I got dressed to go to Typhoon Lagoon. I headed out to the bus and was on my way by 11am - right on schedule (oh wait, I don't really have a schedule this trip). I entered Typhoon Lagoon rented a towel and a locker and headed straight to the lazy river. I think I must have spent over an hour just floating round and round the river. It was warm and lovely and I could really feel my joints relax.

I headed to the wave pool and caught 8 - 10 waves. Basically, I just let them carry me away. I have to say the water wasn't overly warm though. Since I was already a little chilled, I headed over to Shark Reef. I got a snorkel and headed in. It was okay, there didn't seem to be many fish though.

I just had to do it. I had to go try Crush N Gusher. I tried two coasters and they were a lot of fun. I really enjoyed them - it is kind of strange though and make sure you keep your tush up.

After all that fun I decided it was time to head back to the hotel and change then head out to Downtown Disney. It was about 3pm when I got on the bus back to the Animal Kingdom Lodge. When I got back to the resort I ran in to the Chi Runners and we had a nice chat about the race. Apparently, I am all ready for the half marathon at Disneyland since I ran the whole way today - oh, I hope so.

I changed my clothes and headed down to Mara to get some food - I was completely starving. Shrimp, fries, cheesecake and water - YUM! It was very good and I was stuffed.

At 5:30pm I headed back down to the but to head for Downtown Disney. I shopped a bit to much - as usual. I still have no idea how I'm getting all this stuff home. Darn airlines and their silly luggage allowances.

I was back on the bus to the resort at 8pm and back in my room by 8:30pm. I couldn't get my Internet to connect, but I didn't want to waste my time on it so I put it aside. I headed down to Zawadi to grab more water and a snack.

It's been a wonderful day and I'm happy and tired. This has been a great race weekend and I'm so glad I did it.

I'm off to Pop Century tomorrow and to a park - I just don't know which park...It'll be a surprise for sure!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

A Week To Go...

I cannot believe it is only one week before I leave for the Princess Half Marathon! Of course, I did realize that I'll have to leave my house at 3:30am on Thursday to make it to the airport on time. Who booked that flight? Well, I did want to get there as early as I could.

So, over the last couple of days I've developed a killer cold. I was hoping it was just allergies, but no I'm feeling it good today. Time to go get some medicine and get over this so I can run my best for my second half marathon.

Okay, so I would love, love, love to break 2 hours and 30 minutes this time. Now, reality check time...I am still running on a leg with a stress fracture and now I have this silly cold. Revised goal - to run as far as my legs will carry me and then walk really fast the rest of the time :)!

In reality, I've learned to run for the love of running and not to be so concerned with my times that I break down my body. I really just want to finish happy and healthy without being swept - that will be magical for me.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

2008 Minnie Marathon Weekend - Day 2

Saturday, May 3, 2008

The alarm (wake-up call) came at 5am this morning and I was up and at 'em right away. I took a nice shower and got dressed for the 5K.

I left the room at 5:45am and headed down to the bus. I don't think I mentioned it in my first post, but I had booked a package with Anthony Travel and transportation to/from the events was included. I boarded the bus and sat there nervously as I still had to do my packet pickup.

The bus left the Animal Kingdom Lodge at about 6:10am and it was a quick trip over to the Epcot parking lot. I got off the bus and headed straight for packet pickup. First you had to go to a board and find your bib number (290) and then you signed your waiver. Then you headed over to pickup your packet. It included a nice bag, t-shirt and some literature. Next up the booth to get your timing chip.

I attached the chip to my shoe and did the bag drop for the rest of my stuff. Then I started towards the starting line. There are a ton of people here - it's amazing! The atmosphere is just so happy and exciting.

I found the 9 - 11 minute starting chute and found a place to stretch a little and wait.

The race started at 7am with Minnie counting us down - and we're off! For the amount of people running it was slow starting, but we were at least running albeit slowly. The pack started thinning out pretty quickly and running was pretty easy. I kept a nice, uncomfortable pace - faster than I intended to go. At mile 2.5 I had to take a little walking break. Then I kicked it back in and finished at a full run. The clock time was about 30:30 so it'll be interesting to see my official time.

The course was a lot of fun. Running around World Showcase was a lot of fun, but I really enjoyed seeing some of the backstage areas. I loved the cast members out on the course cheering us all on! That is really special.

After the race I had my picture taken with my finisher's medal, drank a bottle of water and stretched out after picking up my bag.

I headed back to the bus, sent a few text messages to family and friends and then boarded the bus to sit down.

The winner of the race finished in 18:36 - now, to me that's impressive. Want to hear the really impressive part - she is four months pregnant. She is amazing and she sat across from me on the ride back to the hotel. I can only dream of running that fast!

I was back at the hotel by 8:30am or so. I headed to my room to take a shower and lounge around until 10:15am. I got ready and headed out to the but to go to the Expo. On the bus there were two other people - the same two that were on Magical Express from the airport. We started chatting - they are from CA and she's run over 50 marathons and is a Chi Runner. Turns out she was presenting at the Expo. I was going to catch her presentation for sure.

I headed over to packet pickup, found my bib number (390), signed my waiver, got my pins and timing chip and then my goody bag and shirt. The shirts are really nice, but I got a large and it looks tiny (turns out it is).

I wandered around the Expo for a while, then went over to catch some presentations. I was there for the end of the 5K winner's presentation. She was just as amazing as a presenter as she was as a runner. The next presentation was about different stretches that can help strengthen the runner's core - it was okay. Then it was time to hear about Chi Running. I'm intrigued and want to know more - it's a different way of running for sure.

I checked out the vendors and booths and then decided to head out. I had never been to Wide World of Sports before this so I did a little shopping to get a pin. I notice a long line of people waiting for something - then I remembered the Disney Channel Games and Concert were happening tonight. Wow - looks like there will be plenty of people on hand!

I head out to wait for the bus. Turns out I don't have to wait to long and the Chi Runners are back too. We boarded the bus and had another nice chat on the way back to the resort. We parted ways and I headed back to my room.

It was a quick stop and then I headed down to Zawadi to some more shopping. There's too many fun things to buy here. I took my purchases back up to my room and then headed down to The Mara to grab some food. Guess who I ran into - the Chi Runners! I grabbed a burger, fries and some fruit.

It was time for a nice nap. I wanted to be rested for the race tomorrow. Rested and relaxed, I woke up and had some peanut butter so I could get a little more protein and some graham crackers for carbs.

Time to get my gear ready for tomorrow's race. Everything is out and ready to go. The alarms are set for 4am and as soon as I finish writing this I need to try to get some more sleep.

I'm nervous and excited, but I know that I can do this. I've been training hard and it's all going to pay off tomorrow!

NOTE:My scanner has gone to sleep permanently - I will post pictures as soon as I get a new scanner!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Have You Ever....

Gone running and gotten so lost you would never have made it home? Well, neither had I until today.

I headed out for an 11 mile run this morning. I was having a nice run, got in to a nice rhythm and headed out to go where I hadn't run before. I took some canal paths and ran to our local Riparian Preserve - which I had never seen before. I saw bunnies, cows, horses, other runners, walkers, bikers, birds and I was having a wonderful time.

I hit the 5.5 mile mark and turned around. I thought I was on the same path I took out - that was the plan any way - an out and back run. Then about 8 miles in I hit a road I didn't cross before. That's odd.

I kept going and hit another road - had to make a decision - left or right. Left - wrong answer. I got to the next road I recognized - another decision - left or right. Left - wrong answer. By the time I got to mile 10 I realized I was really far away from where I wanted to be.

I kept chugging along and just after 10.25 miles I was a bit worried that I wouldn't be able to walk home. I hit the next road I recognized and I realized I was too far to go home. I had to walk.

At mile 10.8 I stopped at a Circle K and called my niece - "HELP, can you come pick me up?" Where are you - I told her the cross roads. How did you get out there? I got lost. We'll be there soon.

So, I had to be rescued. If I would have tried to walk home it would have been at least 8 more miles and I knew my poor legs would never make it that much further.

It was still fun to run where I hadn't been before and at least I almost finished my 11 miles. Live and learn - don't get so in to your run that you lose track of where you are :)!

Friday, February 20, 2009

2008 Minnie Marathon Weekend - Day 1

Friday, May 2, 2008

Today started way to early when the alarm went off at 3am. I was up and ready to go by 3:20am - good thing too, the Super Shuttle guy was at the door at 3:25am and it was off to the airport. No traffic and nothing interesting on the ride and I was at the airport quickly.

The airport was like a ghost town - there was no one there. Southwest check in counters didn't even have any employees there. It was just before 4am. At about 4:15am the kiosks were opened and I easily checked my bag. Off to security and there's no line - it's 4:40am and I'm sitting at the gate. I check some work stuff and then settle in to read.

I cannot believe I'm traveling to go run in races...That is something I never would have said even a year ago. It's just crazy to me.

I'm on the plane to St. Louis and we're almost there and the plane is starting to descend. I can only see clouds below the plane right now.

This last year has been such a journey. Who would have ever guessed that I would be paying money to go to Walt Disney World to run? Certainly not me.

The last few weeks have been rough, but my diet has suffered, but even with that I've kept running. I'm up to 10 mile long runs now and I'll be racing in a 15K (9.3 miles) this weekend. It's still so strange to me as I'm not athletic, nor have I ever been athletic. I tend to wonder how different my life might have been if I would have started running at a younger age. It's strange that it has taken me 34 years to finally take care of myself and realize that I can do anything if I just try. In fact, when I get back I think I'll start biking and swimming so that I can try a Tri - just a sprint one, nothing fancy. I'm hoping that will keep me motivated for the Half Marathon in August and give me something on the horizon to keep me going. I've got to get my eating back under control as I've been a menace with the food lately.

Back to my year long journey...I've lost weight, started running, started renovating my house and am still at the same job over five years later. Let's not forget that I have many loved ones that I miss daily. All in all it's been a heck of a ride and I hope I can keep it up.

The plane is in a holding pattern to land - soon I hope. I'm ready to be on the second leg of the trip to Orlando. It's going to be a busy day. Oh, we're holding for Airforce One - the president is leaving.

Now, I'm in St Louis and we're 10 minutes early. All in all a pretty uneventful flight. Hopefully, the next segment will be the same.

The St Louis airport is not where I want to be, but it is where I'm stuck. Our First Officer was supposed to be here from Chicago but his flight was grounded due to weather so we can't leave. It's been over an hour and we still have no idea when we're going to be leaving. It's 12:30pm and we should have been leaving. No luck yet. This is going to make tonight a little tough.

We're back on the plane and still waiting for our First Officer. The motto of the day has been "In 10 to 15 minutes" as that's what we've been told for the past couple of hours. I'm pretty sure I won't be making it to packet pickup today. That means I'll have to do late packet pickup in the morning and then go to the expo tomorrow. Not ideal, but it'll have to work.

Finally, we're descending in to Orlando. It'll be 5:05pm when we land. I assume I won't make it to Animal Kingdom Lodge until after 6pm so I'll just take my time checking in. Man, this not planning is rough on my nerves.

I'm supposed to do the Illuminations dessert party tonight, but right now I'm super tired and I'll have to decide when I get in whether or not I want to be out til after 10pm when I have a 5K in the morning.

It's 5:45pm and I'm on the Magical Express. I've never done the Magical Express before, but I have to say it was pretty easy. I got my suitcase from baggage check and headed straight down to line up for the bus. I was on the bus in just a couple of minutes. I have to wait for the bus to fill up and that takes about 20 minutes or so. First stop Pop Century, second stop Coronado Springs, third stop Animal Kingdom Lodge - yeah, that's me. At this rate I doubt I'll make it to the dessert party. Oh well, I need to hydrate and get my feet up.

6:15pm we're at Pop Century, 6:25pm we're at Coronado Springs. 6:35pm Animal Kingdom Lodge.

Check in was quick and easy and I was in my room a little before 7pm. My room is up the stairs from Zawadi Marketplace. I have a non-existent view, but the room is nice. The room feels a little small, but I think it's because of all the dark colors. I wouldn't stay here again without getting a savannah view as it's not good looking at construction (soon to be the new DVC rooms). There is a small balcony that looks out on a strange walkway/roof area. I can see some animal shaped things off in the distance - maybe I'll be able to see them in the light. I love the sticker on the patio door that says "Cameras in use close drapes for privacy" - it's just too funny. I'm thinking that some security folks have had some great shows!

I decided to skip Epcot and the Illuminations dessert party because I am hungry and tired. I headed down to Mara to get some dinner. Nothing fancy burger, fries, cookie, water. It was good and it filled me up.

Despite the President making us circle, the First Officer being grounded and then having to circle for the President and the really long day I am super glad to have made it to Orlando.

It's almost 9pm and I'm still waiting for my luggage. A drawback of Magical Express obviously and I'm hoping it shows up soon. I plan on going down to Zawadi to get some more water and as I reach for the door, my luggage shows up! I tipped the bellhop and headed out for water.

Back in the room water and snacks in hand. I set out my race clothes for the morning and sat down to watch part of the Incredibles. Soon I'll have to sleep because 5am is going to come early.

Tomorrow the Go Red for Women 5K!!!!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

14 Days to Princess Half Marathon

I cannot believe the Princess Half Marathon is only two weeks away! I've been a bit sick this week, but other than that I feel pretty ready to run this Half Marathon.

Here's what I'm planning for this short, but monumental trip:
Thursday, March 5th
Fly in to Orlando
Check in to Polynesian (so excited, I haven't stayed there since 2000)
Evening at Magic Kingdom

Friday, March 6th
Expo/Packet Pickup
Afternoon/Evening at Epcot

Saturday, March 7th
Royal Family 5K
Animal Kingdom (leave early to rest)

Sunday, March 8th
Princess Half Marathon
Blizzard Beach (maybe a few laps in the lazy river)
Hollywood Studios - Happily Ever After Party

Monday, March 9th
Fly home - already wish I could stay longer

I'm very excited to run through the castle and through Epcot. The view is sure to be so much better than my normal runs.

I hope to see some of you at the race, it's sure to be fabulous.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Mousefest 2009 Hiatus

Announced yesterday, Mousefest 2009 is on hiatus.

What does this mean to you?

There will be no official Mousefest 2009 activities in Walt Disney World or on the Disney Cruise Line this December.

I haven't had a chance to attend a Mousefest, but I know a lot of people are going to be very sad about this.

Do you think people will take it upon themselves to create their own meets? Are you still going to go to WDW in December anyway?

Let me know your thoughts on this.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY!

Hi everyone. I just wanted to take a moment to say Happy Valentine's Day!

I hope everyone has a chance to spend some time with a loved one this weekend and just enjoy the company. Let the rest of life pass you by for a few hours at least!

HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Princess Half Marathon Updates

On your mark...set....print! That's right - if you're going to be doing the WDW Princess Half Marathon or 5K you can now print your race waivers. You can go to http://disneyworldsports.disney.go.com/dwws/en_US/events/eventDetail/detail?name=PrincessHalfMarathonDetailPage&pid=pip-2 and click the link to download your waivers or http://www.trackshack.com/disneysports/prwaiver/verify.php and enter your last name and birth date to verify your registration and print your personalized race waiver.

If you haven't registered but would like to participate - hurry! The half marathon is 95% full as of now. Don't miss your chance to participate in an inaugural race at Walt Disney World. This half marathon includes a run through the castle in the Magic Kingdom.

There will be a time change on the night before the half marathon so please adjust your alarms accordingly. The race now starts at 7:00am and you don't want to be late.

Bibs, chips and goody bags can be picked up at the Expo at the Wide World of Sports Josten Center. The Expo will be held from Friday, March 6th from 12:00-7:00pm and Saturday, March 7th from 10:00am-5:00pm. There's sure to be some great vendors and sessions as well - visit this link to see the list of vendors and speakers - http://adisneyworldsports.disney.go.com/media/dwws_v0222/en_US/media/amateurSports/PDF/Endurance/DisneysFitForAPrincessExpoExhibitorSpeakerList.pdf.

Feel like a princess? Look like one too - Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique will be available at the Expo to provide limited packages. There are two packages available - visit this link for more information - http://disneyworldsports.disney.go.com/dwws/en_US/events/eventDetail/detail?name=PrincessHalfMarathonDetailPage&pid=pip-0-3.

Don't forget to track your runners. Tracking can now be setup at http://live.activeresult.com/msg/MSG-signup.tcl?event_id=50. Track splits or finishing times of all the people you know in the race. Send updates to yourself so you can relive the race later and prove your times!

Are you planning on attending the Happily Ever After Party at Hollywood Studios? If so, I'll see you there. The following attractions will be open: Beauty and the Beast, Toy Story Mania, Rock-n-Roller Coaster, Tower of Terror, Little Mermaid, Fantasmic! at 11:00pm. In addition there will be princesses available for meet and greets and stations with chocolate, jewels and goodies. If you have a ticket to the party you can enter the park at 4pm to enjoy the park before the party starts at 7pm. There will also be a gift waiting for you when you leave. The party ends at 12am.

There are a few other things you can purchase to make your experience special: The Race Retreat, the Royal Feast dining experience, and Chear squad packages for spectators.

Remember - this race is supporting the Make A Wish Foundation. You might want to donate a little more to this fabulous organization.

I hope everyone has been training hard and is ready for a fabulous and fantastical race. See you there!


Saturday, February 7, 2009

What Happened After My First Half Marathon

So, what happens after you run your first half marathon? For me, it wasn't what I anticipated or what I thought I would do...

I got home and felt like I needed to rest my body. The half marathon took it's toll on my knees and hips and I didn't think I should rush back in to training. I took September and really used it to rest and relax. I did complete a few short training runs, but I wasn't serious about training or maintaining my fitness level.

I had been dieting so long before the races I had completed and depriving myself of the things I loved and I think I hit every fast food restaurant there was during the first couple of weeks after I got home from the race. I gained weight - I knew I was gaining weight and yet it didn't stop me from over indulging.

There were a couple of walks and a couple of run/walks in September and moving in to October. I had a 5K run on October 11th and then a 5K walk/run on October 12th. The 11th went okay - I had to run/walk the 5K, but I was starting to get my running form back. Then came October 12th and I was tired, but off a group of us went to do the Komen Race for the Cure 5K run. We did the run/walk routine again and I noticed that as I ran my right shin was a bit sore.

After that race I went back to my office to do some Halloween decorating and I sat on my knees and leaned back so I was resting on my shins and my right shin was so sore that I couldn't stay in that position. That's odd...

I did 5K's through October, but towards the end of the month I had to skip a race. In the beginning of November my leg is getting worse. I figured it was just shin splints, but it's not getting better and doesn't go away when I warm up. Finally, I head to the Orthopedic Surgeon. I've done the research and I'm pretty sure it's a stress fracture.

I have x-rays taken and of course nothing really shows up because stress fractures don't show up on x-rays until they've healed. The Dr. diagnoses me with a stress reaction in my right shin. No running for a month - bike and elliptical only. I try to stick to this plan, but I know I need to train for the Princess Half Marathon. I cut way down on the running but probably not enough - my leg is still bad in December.

I got very down and depressed and started eating bad and skipping runs, walks, Pilates, everything. Finally, the scale showed a number I never wanted to see again. Time to get serious.

So, it's January and I start training seriously again. My leg is still bad, but I've learned to run through it. I've promised myself that I will not run for a whole month after this half marathon - I just have to make it through the half marathon without it getting worse.

I will make it and then I will heal up. I have a lot of running goals coming up and I need this leg to get better so that I can do it!

The moral of the story - don't take too long to rest after you finish your first half marathon. If you do take time off, make sure you start back up slowly and re-build your distance and speed.

How am I going to avoid this after my second half marathon next month? I will be walking an 8K the weekend I get back from Florida and I will continue my gym workouts. I will replace my weekly runs with walks (I have dogs that need exercise too) for a month. Depending how I feel I will probably go back to the Orthopedic Dr. to have it evaluated again just to make sure I haven't done damage that needs to be corrected medically. I'm sure I'll be fine this time!

2008 Disneyland Half Marathon Trip Report Summary

Are you familiar with Passporter? If not, I suggest you check out http://www.passporter.com/ - it's a guide book, trip report helper and organizer all in one. I have been using it since 2000 and I use it on all my trips - not just to Disney.

Rather than bore you with my airport and plane ride home, I thought you might enjoy a day by day summary (from Passporter pockets) and I'll post some pictures of Disneyland and California Adventure.

Memories of My Room
The first impression of my room was...It's okay.
The best thing was...having a room at the very end of the building.
The worst thing was...being on the freeway side as it is a bit noisy and takes getting used to.
The amenities were...okay, nothing overly special.
I tried...sleeping...and the result was...not easy to do the first couple of nights.
The view was...really bad, unless you like looking at the freeway.
Best feature...walking distance to Disneyland and California Adventure.
Worst feature...the freeway noise.

My First Day
The weather today was...partly cloudy and not to hot.
The best thing today was...the Expo.
The worst thing today was...being super tired.
The funniest thing today was...experiencing the Expo and seeing the different runners - elite, everyday, walkers from all walks of life.
Today I tried...visualization and chi running techniques...and the result was...a relaxing and interesting couple of sessions.
The most magical moment today was...realizing that I can do the half marathon.

My Second Day
The weather today was...cool and overcast.
The best thing today was...running the 5K.
The worst thing today was...the wait at McDonald's to get food to eat.
The funniest thing today was...a little boy running his heart out in the 5K and the way everyone was cheering for him.
Today I tried...the Disneyland Family Fun Run 5K...and the result was...a fabulous and fun race.

The most magical moment today was...running the whole 5K and feeling really good after.

My Third Day
The weather today was...cool and cloudy.
The best thing today was...finishing my first half marathon.
The worst thing today was...the pain in my left knee and right hip after the race.
The funniest thing today was...just witnessing all the people at the race and the cheers, the jeers, the runner's comments, etc..
Today I tried...my first half marathon...and the result was...a fabulous race that left me in agonizing pain at the end.
The most magical moment today was...crossing the finish line and high fiving Mickey's hand.


My Fourth Day
The weather today was...beautiful and cloudy in the morning an hot and sunny in the afternoon.
The best thing today was...getting on a lot of the attractions even though there were a lot of people.
The worst thing today was...my sore knee.
The funniest thing today was...listening to a dad try to convince kids that they had to get out of the subs to meet Ariel.

Today I tried...Nemo's Submarine Voyage...and the result was...a fun and entertaining ride.
The most magical moment today was...still riding the high of finishing the half marathon.

My Fifth Day
The weather today was...sunny, hot and humid.
The best thing today was...Toy Story Mania.
The worst thing today was...the heat and humidity.
The funniest thing today was...the cast member at Soarin' telling men not to try to use the center strap on the seat.
Today I tried...Toy Story Mania...and the result was...a fabulous, interactive, addictive ride.
The most magical moment today was...walking on almost every ride!


My Sixth Day
The weather today was...sunny, humid and hot.
The best thing today was...no lines for anything.
The worst thing today was...the heat and Toy Story being down in the afternoon.
The funniest thing today was...a guy next to me on Tower of Terror that grabbed my leg on the first drop because it caught him off guard.

Today I tried...to break 200,000 on Toy Story Mania...and the result was...disappointing that I couldn't do it, but still fun trying.
The most magical moment today was...meeting nice people in the Soarin' and Tower of Terror lines!

My Seventh Day
The weather today was...so hot and sunny.
The best thing today was...walking on everything in Disneyland.
The worst thing today was...being really hot and tired.
The funniest thing today was...a comment by a guest about 2000 Leagues Under the Sea and how they were testing it out for other parks.
Today I tried...parking hopping...and the result was...fun and let me get an extra two rides on Toy Story Mania.
The most magical moment today was...relaxing and enjoying my last day!


My Magical Moments
My most memorable day was...Sunday, August 31st...because...I finished my first half marathon and while it was certainly difficult, it was also exhilarating and made me very happy and proud.
My most memorable place was...Disney's California Adventure...because...I had so much fun on the rides there and I think I've become a zero g junky from Tower of Terror and California Screamin'.
My most memorable attraction was...Toy Story Mania...because...this is a fabulous, interactive, innovative attraction and while I don't want every ride to be interactive, if they continue to add excellent technology like this I'll be very happy.
My most memorable activity was...the half marathon (of course)...because...there were so many people and it was challenging and full of inspiration and fun at the same time.
My most memorable meal was...I'm sorry to say there weren't any...because...I was on a budget and there just wasn't a lot of choices for me this trip.
My most magic moment of all was...crossing the finish line at the half marathon...because...I did. Even though I gained weight beforehand, I didn't train enough, and I wasn't confident that I would finish....I DID IT!

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I love the castle and I like to try to get different perspectives

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Even if you don't want to ride in the swinging cars - it's still very pretty to look at

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Waterfalls are so peaceful and this one with Grizzly River Run behind it makes me smile

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So interactive and fun to watch - it's Mr. Potato Head!

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See Monster's Inc. in the background?

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Hollywood Tower Hotel - looks a mess and provides a scream every time!

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A classic Mickey in plain view

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California dreamin'

Thursday, February 5, 2009

It's a Small World Changes at Disneyland

Have you seen the news about the changes to It's a Small World at Disneyland? It's re-opening today with some new characters and music added.

Here's a link to an article on MSNBC.com: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/29019618/

There are now going to be forty or so characters from Disney movies inserted in to the classic ride. In addition, there will be music from the movies mixed in to the classic It's a Small World song.

I'm not sure exactly how I feel about this. The original ride worked on by Mary Blair and Walt Disney was a true classic that hasn't changed since it's inception. Should Disney have changed this beloved ride?

On one hand, the ride is older and may not be as relevant to children today. By adding in favorite Disney characters children will have something they can relate to.

On the other hand, this is classic Disney. A ride that was introduced by Walt Disney. Die hard Disney fans are not going to like changes to this beautiful ride.

I will hold judgement until I can see it for myself (next year). As a child, I was never been the biggest fan of It's a Small World. My brother and I loved to make fun of it, mostly because my Mom loved it. Now that I've grown up and have an appreciation for all things Disney I have to visit the ride every time I'm in a park.

If you take the time to appreciate the ride and the simple message it sends you might be pleasantly surprised.

Anyone that gets a chance to see the new additions in Disneyland, please let me know what you think?

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Disneyland 2008 1/2 Marathon Trip - Day 7

Thursday, September 4, 2008

I must be getting old or sick or maybe both. The cell phone rang at 8:15am and I had no desire to get up. I pulled out the laptop to do some work and at 9:45am I checked in for my flight home tomorrow - the one thing I dislike about Southwest is the groupings. At least when you have a reserved seat it doesn't matter as much when you get on the plane - unless you have to put your carry on in the overhead bins.

I was out the door by 10:00am and I walked over and went straight in to Disneyland. The goal for today was Peter Pan - well, that was quick there was only a ten minute wait. Fantasyland was calling to me so I rode Pinocchio, Snow White, and Alice all without any waits.

Space Mountain and Buzz Lightyear were next and both were walk ons. Then Star Tours and back on Buzz again without waiting.

I headed over to go on Big Thunder, but the ride was down and they were evacuating people from it. That's never a good sign. Instead I went over and rode Pirates which was so quiet that I walked back out and back in because there was no one in the queue line at all.

I did Winnie the Pooh next - another walk on. I find the bees buzzing at the end of the ride a bit disturbing and I still like bouncing with Tigger at Walt Disney World better.

Splash Mountain was a five minute wait and I didn't even get very wet for a change. Although the put me in the back of the log with a big group and it was a little odd as they didn't get why they had a tag along with them - oh well, Disney newbies what are you going to do?

I thought Indiana Jones would be fun, but it was down. The Tiki Room was up and running so I headed over there instead. Have you ever noticed that the birds here don't breath the way they do in WDW - just something I found interesting.

Of course I was at the Tiki Room so I had to have a Dole Whip Float and Casey's was right up the way so a Chili Dog for lunch hit the spot. Again, the hot dogs are good, but I'm not sure what everyone is raving about. Maybe we just have too many good hot dog places in AZ?

Yeah, Indiana Jones is back up so I hopped in a 10 minute line. Still a great ride. They should incorporate a few more of the better effects from this ride in to Dinosaur in Animal Kingdom.

I knew I wanted to do some shopping, but I thought I'd do a quick check on the time board first. The park was so slow that they actually shutdown Space Mountain for the first part of the afternoon and said it would be back up later. I've never seen that before.

I did my shopping at Disneyland and said my goodbyes until next time and headed over to California Adventure.

Toy Story Mania was calling to me (big surprise) and I hopped in the single rider line. My first ride was 164800. Then I hopped in the stand by line and this time I ended up with 152400. Both rides I ended up beating my ride partner so I was happy. I did have a bottle of water between the rides as I was pretty parched.

It was after 4:00pm so I decided I'd do some more shopping at California Adventure and then I headed out of the park.

That was it - I was done with the parks for this trip. It always makes me a little sad, but I always look forward to coming back to see what is new.

Back to McDonald's for dinner - funny thing is, I never eat McDonald's at home. I guess it was just because it was convenient that I had it so often. I was very sick of it by the end of the trip though. For me the food options at California are just not as good as Florida, especially if you are trying to do it on a budget.

I headed back to the hotel to eat my dinner. I checked my email and at 7:45pm I was very thirsty so I headed down to the store to grab some more water.

I finished packing, took a shower and decided it was time for bed since Super Shuttle was scheduled to pick me up at 5:50am.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Disneyland 2008 1/2 Marathon Trip - Day 6

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

The cell phone alarm range at 8:15am, but I was already awake. I took a nice shower and got ready to head out for the day. I left the hotel at about 9:20am and headed out to walk to the park. I got in line and we were all let in California Adventure at about 9:35am.

So, what do I do first? Head straight to Burr-Bank Cones for my caramel mocha frappe and a cookie (chocolate chip today, even though I asked for white chocolate chip). I sat in the shade and enjoyed my totally bad for me breakfast until after rope drop at 10:00am.

Then I headed to Toy Story - no single rider line yet, but it only took about 10 minutes to wander through the queue. My first ride was 157000 - same as my highest score yesterday.

I went and walked on California Screamin'. Then back over to Toy Story - 173000 this time, my highest score yet!

Tower of Terror and Monsters Inc were both with no wait. Next up was Soarin' where I met a lovely older couple that got to California Adventure and Disneyland twice a week! Now that's how I want to spend my retirement.

I know, I'm addicted. I headed back over to Toy Story Mania. This time in line I met a local Mom and her daughter who came just to ride Toy Story. They were both very nice and I was able to give them some pointers on things to aim for. This ride was 166700 - I seem to keep hovering in the same range.

It is time for lunch and I need to rest my arm. I headed over to Pacific Wharf Cafe where I ordered a Shrimp Louie - it was a little odd as it was a salad that came in a bread bowl and an orange soda and a bottle of water.

Yep, I headed back over to Toy Story Mania - 157300 this time. I'm telling you if you like gaming and having interactive rides this one is super addictive.

Soarin' was a walk on again and so was Tower of Terror. I was going to Monster's Inc. again but it was closed. I figured I'd just go do Toy Story Mania again - nope, it's down too. I just stuck around and watched Mr Potato Head. I watched him remove his ear and put it back on - pretty cool! It's pretty amazing how he interacts with the crowd as well.

After about 1/2 and hour or so I went on California Screamin' again - another walk on. Then back to Tower of Terror where I met a Mom and daughter from Everett, WA (that's where I grew up). We had a great discussion and they were very friendly and nice.

The park was full of nice people and I so enjoy meeting new people at the parks. It's just fun and something that you can't do everywhere you travel.

Back to check on Toy Story and it's still down. So, I take one last ride on California Screamin'. I really do like that coaster, it's so smooth and fast.

I'm starting to get tired so I decided to do some shopping. Bought a few souvenirs and headed out of the park. I was still in a bit of a shopping mood so I headed over to Downtown Disney.

First stop, World of Disney - another addiction of mine. Why is it that every time I go in there I just can't live without so many things. I was going to make this a cheap trip - well, not so much after that stop!

I'm weighed down with shopping bags now and it's time to head back to the hotel. I was really tired and my legs were sore from all the walking and I needed some food. I dropped my bags off in my room and ended up buying more junk from the little store at the hotel for dinner. Yikes, my diet has been so bad this trip.

I ate some dinner, checked my work email, did some work, checked my personal e-mail - guess what, the pictures are up from the half marathon! I actually had quite a few great pictures this time, I'll end up buying quite a few from this one.

I packed up my clothes and the stuff I bought and hopefully won't go over the weight limit on my checked bag - fat chance of being that lucky I'm sure. Now it's time for some TV and reading and then it's bed time.

I'll check in for my flight at 9:45am in the morning and then I'll have a good last day at Disneyland. It's been a really nice trip and I think I just might be ready to think about training for the next half marathon ;)!

A Little More Personal Half Marathon Information

I wanted to comment on a couple of things that I didn't do a very good job explaining:

I do carry my own water on my long runs at home, but I don't like to carry it during races because the placement of water stops on the course actually makes me drink at much better intervals. If I carry it myself I tend to not drink it.

I never drink anything but water while running. The reason - I have sensitive stomach that does not tolerate sports drinks while running. I'm fine to drink them after the race, but during it is a bad thing. If you've ever been stuck on a long run with no restrooms in sight and something didn't sit well with your stomach you'll understand this :)!

I didn't mention this, but I did have a pack of Sports Beans with me. I consumed them around mile 8 and they did provide me with a good boost of energy. I have to be very careful with eating anything while I run as it just doesn't settle well with my stomach. I am experimenting with a few gels for the next half marathon, but I've yet to find one I can handle.

I also didn't mention this in my post, but I did stretch after I was done. I always stretch after I run and I just didn't mention it in the post (sorry I missed that part). I have a pretty good set of total body stretches that include standard runner's stretches as well as some Pilates inspired stretches that really loosen up the muscles and joints.

Recovery drinks are a matter of personal taste and opinion. I have tried many and I do use one occasionally at home, but I've found that as long as I get a good mix of carbs and protein within the first half hour after running that my recovery is the same as if I use a recovery drink. It also costs a lot less ;).

As for joints I am a Glucosamine/Chondroitin/MSM believer. I've been taking it for about a year and it has done wonders for my running. I rarely have hip problems any more and it does actually help my knees as well.

My biggest problem for this race was the fact that I really only trained for about three weeks...and that training was spotty at best. I got very complacent after the 15K in May and it was a mistake that I don't intend to repeat. During my short training period I also cut back on my speed and then when I got to the race I had this ridiculous goal in my head and I pushed way too hard.

Now that I've been through a half marathon I am really looking forward to the Princess half in March as I now know what I won't do to myself. While training has still been less than I would have liked, I feel 100% more ready for this race than I did the last. I'm sure that will make for a much better overall race experience!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Disneyland 2008 1/2 Marathon Trip - Day 5

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

The cell phone alarm went off at 8:15am and the wake up call came at 8:30am. I got up took a shower and just took my time getting ready to go this morning. I finally headed out the door at about 9:20am.

It was the same walk I've taken everyday so far - not too far, not too difficult and a good way to get the blood circulating in the morning. My knee is feeling much better today - still sore with certain movements and hills, but overall much better.

I headed straight to California Adventure and entered the park. My first stop was the bakery - are you sensing another trend here? No, the word diet doesn't exist for me when I'm at Disney. I had a cookie (white chocolate chip) and a Mocha Frappe with Caramel - so good! I grabbed a table and sat and enjoyed a wonderful morning while waiting for rope drop.

I headed straight for Toy Story Midway Mania and joined the line with everyone else. The line went all the way up the hill into Paradise Pier. Guess what - the ride is down. Now, do I wait or do I go ride something else? I decided to wait since this ride was my single goal for the day. It was down almost half an hour but then it started back up and the line was a constant walk.

This has to be the best interactive ride I've ever been on! I got 120,400 points my first time through. Here's a testament to how much I liked the ride - my scores for the day included: 120400, 150400, 120600, 134700, 157000. I thought I only rode four times today, but I wrote down my scores each time so I wouldn't forget them and apparently it was five times.

The first time on the ride I stood in the normal queue, but Mr. Potato Head is not barking, in fact his area is all covered up. I wonder if it was the ride that was down or if it was just Mr. Potato Head that wasn't working. Interesting - hopefully he's barking later.

Next I did the Sun Wheel which was a walk on. I'm sure some of you aren't surprised by this, but I actually enjoy the ride and yes I do sit in the swinging car. I got the biggest kick out of the barf bags the first time I went on the ride.

I walked on Mulholland Madness next. It's an okay ride, but I'm not a huge fan of the wild mouse style coasters - a little to jerky for my taste.

Soarin' was a walk on for the single rider line. Love the single rider line and Soarin' is one of my absolute favorite rides and I love the queue in California Adventure so much more than Epcot. It just has a more authentic hangar type feel to it.

I had to head over to Monster's Inc. It was a walk on. This is such a cute ride. It does feel like you're riding through the movie. Just a lot of color and fun.

Tower of Terror was next on the list and again another walk on. I hated this ride until they put in the hand holds on each side of the seats - although now it doesn't bother me at all even if I don't hold on.

Everyone raves about Award Wieners so I decided that a chili dog would be good for lunch at about 1:00pm. It was an okay chili dog. I would have been much happier to have chili cheese fries instead of potato chips, but it still filled me up and that's the important part.

I went over to the Animation Academy next and today was Minnie Mouse. Of course they say that anyone can learn to draw, but I tell you I have very little drawing talent so we'll call it a doodle instead of a drawing.

I thought I'd take a trip on California Screamin', but it was down so I headed over to Toy Story Mania and hopped in the single rider line. Then the coaster was back up and running so I took quick trip using single rider line. Such a great roller coaster. It's so smooth and the take off is fabulous. Then it was back to Toy Story Mania single rider line twice.

My arms are tired and I'm thirsty so I grabbed a bottle of water and a bench in the shade. I took another plunge on Tower of Terror then back over to Toy Story Mania. Soarin' single rider line was a walk on again so I did soar once again.

It was about time for dinner, but what do I want today. I headed back to the bakery to buy a sandwich and a muffin for later. Then I headed out of the park for the walk back to the hotel.

A stop at the store to grab more water and some chips to go with my sandwich and I was back in the room by 5:30pm. Ah, much better that was a pretty good dinner.

I made some phone calls home, checked my work e-mail and took care of some things and now I'm writing in my journal.

I think I'll watch some TV before bed. I did a lot of walking today as you can probably tell by my ride order and it was very sunny today and I'm a little bit sun burnt. I think tomorrow may be a park hopping day or a bit of a rest day. I'm not going to make any plans and just see how it goes.

It's been a great trip so far and I'm really enjoying having some me time.

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