2017 Training Stats

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


Wednesday, November 30, 2011

November 2011 Wrap Up

Weight Watch: +4.2 pounds
No, I am not at all happy with that number.  I know that I did this to myself.  I know how to do it right and yet I still stumble on this area all the time.  I will continue to work on this and try to do so much better.

Mileage Watch:
Run/Walk: 114.67 miles
Bike: 30.00 miles
Elliptical: 1.08 miles
Total Miles: 145.75 miles

I am pretty okay with the numbers for November.  They aren't as high as I should have had, but I made some great progress this month.  My knee is feeling better (finally).  The last week saw me down with allergies and a migraine, but I did what I could.  I also had a super successful Dopey Challenge dress rehearsal and I couldn't be happier about that.

Goal Review
I completed the Women's Half Marathon in November.  I was hoping to get under three hours, but knew that might be a problem with the knee issues I was having.  I did manage to come in at three hours so at least it wasn't too bad and the legs held up okay.  It also gave me a chance to test my new fueling strategy of Lifesavers during a race and that worked really well for me.  This race kept me going with my one race per month goal for the year and my fourth half for the year.

I still managed to stay well over the 80-100 run/walk miles per month goal!  Of course I would have loved to have more miles to report for November, but I still feel great about the miles I got and the progress I made overall. 

December 2011
My next half marathon is on the 4th - the Runner's Den/Fiesta Bowl Half Marathon. This is a new
race for me and I have no idea what to expect in terms of number of participants, the course or anything else.  Not setting any lofty goals because I don't want to end up injured and unable to train for the Dopey.  Just going to treat this as another great long run and we'll see what happens.

I have my new shoes to start breaking in for the January races.  I feel like I have just enough time to get some good miles in on them so I'm hoping they'll be okay.  Same brand/line as I always wear, but it's the newest model so there's a chance they won't be to my liking...At least my current shoes will suffice if I have to as both pairs have about 100 miles left to go on each before they are no good to run in.

I almost think that I'm self sabotaging my weight loss, but I don't know why I am doing on it.  I'm working on figuring out what is going on to cause me to do stupid things.  It's just my tough area and something that I've always struggled with so it'll keep being a work in progress and hopefully at some point things will all click again.

Thanksgiving is over and now we look forward to Christmas.  I hope everyone stays safe and healthy and continues to push toward all the goals you have!

Countdown to 2012 WDW Marathon Weekend #35

#35 - Animal Kingdom's Flame Tree Barbeque

From the Walt Disney World website:
Make a meal of smoked barbecue ribs, chicken or pork sandwiches. Dine in one of the tropical outdoor pavilions overlooking Discovery River.

This location has quick-service menu items or products that, upon request, may accommodate Guests' common food allergy or intolerance requirements.

Why am I looking forward to Flame Tree Barbeque?
This simple counter service location serves up some good old fashioned barbeque fare.  They have a great pulled pork or for something a little lighter they have a great smoked turkey sandwich.  Of course, there are classics like 1/2 slab of St. Louis Ribs or 1/2 a chicken as well.

It's not an extensive menu, but the food they serve is plentiful and quite tasty.  You can check out a sample menu here.

There is ample seating and the seating is sort of secluded and peaceful.  You can have a seat in the shade of the trees or maybe find a nice table closer to the river.  It really is a nice place to sit, enjoy your meal and get away from it all.

Next time you're hungry at the Animal Kingdom, give Flame Tree Barbeque a try, I don't think you'll be disappointed!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Countdown to 2012 WDW Marathon Weekend #36

#36 - Disney's Hollywood Studios Muppet Vision 3-D

From the Walt Disney World website:
Muppet*Vision 3D is a hilarious 3D film experience featuring most of your favorite Muppets at Disney's Hollywood Studios theme park.

It's time to play the music! It's time to light the lights! It's time to meet the Muppets—in 3D tonight!

Step right up and proceed past a bevy of wooden crates and show props into the warehouse of the Muppet Theater, where some of your favorite Muppet characters—including Rizzo, Gonzo and Fozzie Bear—interact with you via television monitors during a fun-filled 12-minute pre-show extravaganza. Then, make your way into the 584-seat theater—designed to look just like the one from the classic television series—and receive your special 3D glasses for the main show.

As the lights fade and the 17-minute 3D movie begins, stare in amazement as you suddenly find yourself in the center of the action. Reach out and almost touch Kermit, Miss Piggy and the gang—seemingly right in front of you—as you take off on a wacky, behind-the-scenes tour of Muppet Labs. And meet Waldo C. Graphic, the world's first computer-generated Muppet, as he wreaks havoc on everybody in his path, including Sam the Eagle, during his patriotic grand finale.

Muppet*Vision 3D features Audio-Animatronics characters that literally bring the house down around you. Wave hello to the in-theater Muppets—including Statler & Waldorf and the Swedish Chef—and hum along to the various musical numbers and songs. And don't be surprised if you find yourself "blown away" by the show's wonder-filled ending!

©The Muppets Studio, LLC
Why am I looking forward to Muppet Vision 3-D?
I love the Muppets, I grew up watching the Muppets, quoting the Muppets and just thoroughly enjoying everything about them.  It's so great to have an attraction with our favorite Muppet characters!

This is one attraction where I will tell you that you really can't miss the pre-show.  If you have to wait for the next show, that's a good thing.  There are a ton of great Muppet laughs during the pre-show and it's truly an entertaining wait. 

Take some time to explore the waiting area as well.  There are a ton of fun props and quirky labels to look at and discover.  This stuff is sure to make you smile!

This is a 3-D movie so don't forget to pick up your glasses as you enter the pre-show area.  Before you know it, you'll be allowed in the theater.  There aren't really any bad seats in the theater, but if you manage it, try to get about half way back and as close to the center as you can - it does afford the very best views.

Statler and Waldorf are there to heckle the audience and movie and what would the show be without them? The orchestra is made up of penguins and take a little time to watch them as they are quite cute.

The length of the movie is pretty standard and there are a few good 3-D effects to enjoy.  There are also a couple of effects that are done in the theater that makes it fun for everyone.  Be sure to look up, and behind you at the end of the show.

Honestly, the one part of the movie I don't really love is Waldo C. Graphic - I find him a little annoying at times and not quite in the spirit of the Muppets.  I do understand why they put him in the show and I don't dislike him so much that it detracts from the attraction, but I would have loved to see more classic Muppets and less Waldo...That being said, don't let it discourage you from seeing this movie as it really is fun and entertaining and you will get to see some of your favorite Muppets. 

There are also quite a few quotable lines in this movie, see which ones you find yourself using regularly!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Weekly Review: Nov 21 - 27

Goals for workouts this year:
1. 80-100 miles run/walk per month
2. One day of Pilates per week
3. One day of Strength Training per week
4. One day of Bike or Elliptical per week
5. One Incline Workout on the Treadmill per week

Here's this week's recap
Notes: I was feeling fine, but didn't want to workout.

Notes: Just didn't feel like working out again today.

Notes: No excuses, just didn't want to get moving again today.

AM Workout:  Treadmill walk 6.2mi @ 13:38 per mi
Notes: I was supposed to go do my first 10K race, but I just didn't feel like dealing with people and craziness this morning.  Got my 10K in on the treadmill instead. 

Notes: Starting to feel like I'm getting a cold or the flu, just not feeling well at all.

Notes: Still feeling sick today, no workout.  Really cruddy workout week.

Notes: Still feeling rather sick and not able to workout again today.

Weekly Numbers:
Weight Watch: -5.0 pounds

Run/Walk Miles: 6.2
Bike Miles: 0.0
Elliptical Miles: 0.0

Pilates: MISSED 
Strength: MISSED
Incline: MISSED

Monthly Numbers
Run/Walk Miles: 105.57
Bike Miles: 30.0
Elliptical Miles: 1.08

Goofy's Weekly Training Challenge Results
No medal this week.  It was all I could do to get in the 10K I did.  Started feeling a bit sick Thanksgiving evening and that lasted through the weekend.  That's okay though, sometimes you have to do what you have to do.

Food was not great this week.  Not just because of Thanksgiving, but just in general.  This is still my hardest area to control..

We're nearing the end of November and I'll try to end it strong.  How are you doing?

Countdown to 2012 WDW Marathon Weekend #37

#37 - Magic Kingdom's Peter Pan's Flight

From the Walt Disney World website:
Fly over London in a pirate galleon to far-off Never Land on Peter Pan's Flight, located in Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom theme park.

Take a seat in an aerial galleon, get doused with pixie dust by Tinker Bell and sail out of the Darling children's home and into the glittery lights of moonlit London! You'll soar over the famous sights of Big Ben, London Bridge and more. You can even see the tiny headlights of automobiles twinkling far below.

As music from Disney's classic 1953 film Peter Pan swells, you descend to wondrous Never Land Island. Soon, you'll be sweeping past the Lost Boys camp, Mermaid Lagoon and Skull Rock. Watch as Peter Pan valiantly faces off against Captain Hook aboard the captain's grand pirate ship to save Wendy and her brothers.

It's a whimsical journey that you'll want to never end!

Why am I looking forward to Peter Pan's Flight?
This is one of my all time favorite rides.  I suppose that's a little odd considering that Peter Pan is not my favorite movie, don't get me wrong I do like it, but there are others that I like more.

This is a continuous loading ride, the conveyor belt doesn't stop so you step on and then board your very own pirate ship and take to the sky for a fantastical flight.

This is a classic dark ride that takes you through the story of the Darling children and their adventures with Peter Pan.  You'll see many different scenes including flying to Neverland, capture by Hook, Mermaid Lagoon, and more.

One of my absolutely favorite parts of the ride is flying over London.  It's just a really cool scene and it always makes me smile.

It's probably good to note that this ride almost always has a long line.  It's a very popular attraction, but you can take advantage of FastPass to help cut down on the wait time.  This is also a great attraction to visit during fireworks shows and parades as the line is often shorter during these times.

Hop on board and beware of ticking crocodiles!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Countdown to 2012 WDW Marathon Weekend #38

#38 - Epcot's Sunshine Season Food Fair

From the Walt Disney World website:
From Asian noodle bowls to made-to-order sandwiches served on artisan breads, choices are plentiful at this collection of restaurants that offer quick service.

This location has quick-service menu items or products that, upon request, may accommodate Guests' common food allergy or intolerance requirements.

Why am I looking forward to Sunshine Season Food Fair?
Located in the Land Pavilion at Epcot, Sunshine Seasons is a great option when you're just not sure what you want or you have a group of people that all want different things.

The seating area at Sunshine Seasons is quite large and broken up in sections that each represent a different season.  Just because there is a lot of seating doesn't mean that it's always easy to find a place to sit though. This is a popular area and at times gets quite busy.

Lets talk about the food options.  You can get quick pre-made options like salads and desserts, there are quite a few different things to choose from.  If you're looking for a hot meal you can choose from Chinese dishes, salmon, rotisserie chicken, pork and other things.  There are also deli style sandwiches and specialty salads.  Check out a sample menu here.

I always find this to be a great location to stop and take a break and have something to eat.  Some days I just don't know what I want and this is one place that gives me the most choices in one location and the food is really quite good.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Countdown to 2012 WDW Marathon Weekend #39

#39 - Animal Kingdom's Kilimanjaro Safaris

From the Walt Disney World website:
Kilimanjaro Safaris, an attraction for Guests of all ages, provides the chance to see African animals including giraffes, black rhinos and lions, as they roam the 100-acre savanna in the Africa area of Disney's Animal Kingdom theme park.

The Kilimanjaro Safaris tour begins in the Harambe Wildlife Reserve, across the river from Discovery Island. Climb aboard a rugged open-sided safari vehicle for an exciting expedition through the wildlife preserve. The ride can be a bit bumpy as it crosses rickety bridges, rocky hills and rivers—but you're rewarded with spectacular animal sightings.

Since animals have minds of their own, no two Kilimanjaro Safari experiences are the same. You may even catch a glimpse of one of the many baby animals that were recently born at Disney's Animal Kingdom theme park.

Perhaps you'll see one of these species:
•Black rhino
•White rhino
The attraction concludes when your tour guide receives word that poachers have taken a baby elephant from its mother. Your truck takes off on a chase to help save the infant animal from harm.

You never know what amazing animals you'll see on Kilimanjaro Safaris. Keep your eyes open and your camera ready!

Why am I looking forward to Kilimanjaro Safaris?
What's not to like about seeing all these beautiful animals out on the wildlife preserve?  Okay, maybe you're not in to animals and that's okay too.

For me, I love animals and I love that I'm not sure what I'm going to see each time I board a safari vehicle.  The weather can play a big part in where the animals are and how easy they are to see.  A lot of times right after a nice rain is a great time to ride as the animals enjoy the rain and cooler temperatures.
2007 Black Rhinos
First thing in the morning can also be a great time to ride.  The animals are still out and about going to their favorite locations or munching away on treats.  The attraction was designed so that the animals are visible, but they do have places they can hide if they don't want to be seen.
Of course, there is a storyline to the ride as well.  Your vehicle will encounter a poachers' camp and a baby elephant has been separated from its mom.  You'll help reunite the two elephants and save the day.  The storyline is not the draw for me and just serves as background.

Your guide can play a large part in your enjoyment.  If you get a great guide, they'll be able to spot hidden animals and be a wealth of knowledge about them and it can really make the ride even more fantastic.  The guide's enthusiasm helps make things even more exciting.
It's important to note that this ride can be very rough and bumpy in spots.  There's some side to side jerkiness as well.  Just be prepared to hold on to your belongings or put them in the pouches available.

There are a ton of photo opportunities on this ride, so keep a tight hold on your camera and have it ready to point and shoot.  The ride vehicle only stops if there is a back up or an animal crosses in front of it and is blocking the path.  Sometimes, it's nice to just ride the ride without looking through a viewfinder too!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Countdown to 2012 WDW Marathon Weekend #40

#40 - Disney's Health and Fitness Expo
From the Walt Disney World Marathon website:
Disney's Health & Fitness Expo held at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex will prepare you for everything happening during race weekend. The Expo will host seminars on training, racing, and nutrition featuring speakers and panelists from the world of running. While picking up your official race number and packet, check out the newest Official Walt Disney World® Marathon Weekend Merchandise, as well as the latest in apparel and fitness equipment.

Speaker Series
Disney's Health & Fitness Expo features celebrity runner appearances and seminars on training, racing, and nutrition. Each seminar will last approximately 45 minutes and will include Q&A and autograph sessions. TV and Radio Commentator Creigh Kelley will host.

Packet Pick-Up
All runners must attend the Disney Health & Fitness Expo for Race Number and Packet Pick-Up. Please visit our Event Details page for more information.

Official Race Merchandise
Make sure you stop by the Official Walt Disney World® Marathon Weekend Merchandise shop at the Expo to purchase your race apparel and other commemorative items.
Why am I looking forward to Disney's Health and Fitness Expo?
Start at the HP Field House
One of my favorite things about Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend is the expo.  It makes the whole thing real.  As soon as I get the expo, the excitement picks up for me.  I love the energy, the crowds, the volunteers and all the fun things to see.

The first thing I do when I arrive at the expo is get my bibs.  This is usually when my nerves start to kick in a bit.  Once I have bibs and see my numbers and my name on them I know that I have races to run and all my training is done.  If you've ordered commemorative items (Mickey hats, pins, etc...) you will receive them when you get your bib(s).

After getting my bibs I always stop to check that my timing tags are working.  They have a station set up that allows you to walk over a timing mat to make sure the correct information shows up.  This is always a good thing to do - there are times when the timing tag does not work correctly and it's better to know now so that you can get it corrected and get an official chip time for the race(s).

There are scheduled speakers throughout the expo and these take place here at the HP Field House as well.  I highly recommend catching some of the speakers if you have time.  Jeff Galloway has great sessions where he goes over his run/walk/run method, fueling, mental aspects of the race and allows plenty of time for questions and answers.  John "The Penguin" Bingham also has a couple of sessions and is another great speaker.  There are a lot of sessions and there may be a few you'd like to catch, check the official program for more information about sessions (the program can be found here).

This is also the place to pick up Race Retreat, Chear Squad, Pasta in the Park, or other miscellaneous tickets.  There is usually an official Disney merchandise area set up here as well.  Depending on when you get to the expo, this area may be way more crowded than the other area over I'll cover next.

Next we head to the Milk House
Once you have your bibs, commemorative items, and tickets, you'll need to head next door to the Milk House.

The first thing I do when I get to the Milk House is head in for Goody Bag/T-Shirt pickup.  They make this process very easy.  Each event has a separate location and those locations are split up by t-shirt size.  You'll need to pick up the size shirt that you indicated on your registration, but if you need to change the size you can stop by information and ask if there is any availability and they'll give you a slip of paper.  To change sizes you have to head back to the HP Field House and there's a station specifically for shirt size changes - this is available on a first come, first served basis and they often run out of some sizes, but it's still worth a try.

The shirt pickup includes your good bag too so you don't have to make another stop for those.

Now you are free to wander the expo.  All the vendors will be setup here.  You will find another large official Disney merchandise area here.  It is usually crowded, but I highly recommend if you want to pick up any items do it now.  You'd be surprised at how quickly the items sell out.  Some things you can expect to find are:  commemorative pins, vinylmations, finisher's shirts, head bands, key chains, wine glasses, jackets and lots of official runDisney gear.  It's probably a good thing to note that this merchandise is not cheap, but there are some great commemorative items that will help you remember and celebrate your accomplishments.  The clothing is pretty much all Champion and it's important to note that the women's Champion items can run a bit small and they tend to only go to XL - it's great if you're average sized, but if you're like me and tend to run bigger, you might want to consider looking at the men's options instead.

There are quite a few good deals to be had at the vendors in the expo.  I recommend at least walking around and seeing what samples are available and if there are any good deals on your favorite brands.  One thing I often get a good deal on at the expo is Body Glide - they often have quite substantial discounts during the expo and it's a good time to stock up.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving


I hope every one has a safe, happy, healthy, fun-filled holiday. 

Remember to take a few minutes to give thanks for the things in your life.

Countdown to 2012 WDW Marathon Weekend #41

#41 - Epcot's Maelstrom

From the Walt Disney World website:
Maelstrom is a family-friendly adventure on a troll-tormented Viking ship from modern-day to historic Norway in the World Showcase area at Epcot theme park.

Come aboard for a stormy voyage through a Norwegian fjord, a troll-infested swamp and on to the North Sea via a thrilling backward plummet.

After departing a contemporary village, you'll be water-blasted to the past through a unique aquatic landscape. You never know what's around the next bend—you might even encounter polar bears and pirates!

Once you've dodged the trickster trolls and other obstacles, disembark in the safety of a calm harbor. Then watch a glorious 5-minute film that captures the remarkable beauty of Norway today.

Exploring Norway's heritage isn't going to be smooth sailing, so buck up like a Viking would!

Why am I looking forward to Maelstrom?
You just have to experience the spirit of Norway!

Look for the hidden Mickey in the mural as you prepare to board your Viking ship and head in to dangerous waters.

You will journey through the history of Norway, see polar bears, oil rigs and more.  There's a thrilling waterfall (okay, maybe it's not that thrilling) and beware of trolls!

Once you've made it safely back to port.  Stick around for a few minutes until you're allowed in to the theater.  Don't rush through the theater, take a seat and watch the film.  It's only a few minutes long and it is a charming little film - I won't judge if you skip it on your second ride through!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

runDisney Race Updates

2012 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend
January 5 - 8, 2012

View the 2012 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend Program here

Disney's Health and Fitness Expo
ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex
Thursday, January 5, 2012
10:00am - 7:00pm
Friday, January 5, 2012
9:00am - 7:00pm
Saturday, January 6, 2012
10:00am - 5:00pm

Pasta in the Park Party
Thursday, January 5, 2012

Disney's Family Fiesta 5K featuring the Three Caballeros - 90% Full
Friday, January 6, 2012
View the Disney's Family Fiesta 5K course map here

Disney's Kids' Races - 86% Full
ESPN Wide World of Sports Track and Field Complex
Friday, January 6, 2012 All Friday kids' dash races are full
Saturday, January 7, 2012

Mickey Mile
ESPN Wide World of Sports Track and Field Complex
Friday, January 6, 2012  Still available
Check out the Mickey Mile course here

Walt Disney World Half Marathon - 94% Full
Saturday, January 7, 2012
View 2012 Walt Disney World Half Marathon Half course map here

Walt Disney World Marathon - 93% Full
Walt Disney World Marathon Relay - 81% Full
Sunday, January 8, 2012
View 2012 Walt Disney World Full Marathon course map here
View 2012 Walt Disney World Full Marathon Relay course map here

Goofy's Race and Half Challenge - 94% Full

2012 Tinker Bell Half Marathon
January 27 - 29, 2012

Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend Expo
Disneyland Hotel Exhibit Hall
Friday, January 27, 2012
10:00am - 7:00pm
Saturday, January 28, 2012
10:00am - 5:00pm

Never Land Family Fun Run 5K - 71% Full
Disneyland Resort
Friday, January 27, 2012

Disney Kids' Races - Sold Out
Disney California Adventure Park
Saturday, January 28, 2012

Tinker Bell Half Marathon - Sold Out
Tinker Bell Half Marathon - 2 person teams - Sold Out
Disneyland Resort and the city of Anaheim
Sunday, January 29, 2012
View 2012 Tinker Bell Half Marathon course map here
There may still be availability through charity running groups

2012 Princess Half Marathon
February 24-26, 2012

Disney's Fit for a Princess Expo
ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex
Friday, February 24, 2012
9:00am - 7:00pm
Saturday, February 25, 2012
9:00am - 6:00pm

Royal Family 5K - No Percentages
Saturday, February 25, 2012
View 2012 Royal Family 5K course here

Royal Family Kids' Races - 65% Full
ESPN Wide World of Sports Track and Field Complex
Saturday, February 25, 2012
View 2012 Royal Family 1 Mile Run course here

Princess Half Marathon - 69% Full
Princess Half Marathon 2 Person Team - 67% Full
Sunday, February 26, 2012

2012 Disneyland Half Marathon
August 31 - September 2, 2012

Registration opens January 18, 2012.

Disneyland Half Marathon
Disneyland Family Fun Run 5K
Disneyland Kids' Races

2012 Wine and Dine Half Marathon
September 29 - 30, 2012

Check back soon for updates.

Wine and Dine Half Marathon
Wine and Dine Half Martathon Relay
Disney Halloween 5K
Disney Kids' Races

Countdown to 2012 WDW Marathon Weekend #42

#42 - Disney's Hollywood Studios' Star Tours

From the Walt Disney World website:
Star Tours is back with new destinations, new characters and new adventures—now presented in brilliant digital 3-D! Board a Starspeeder 1000 for a thrilling journey through George Lucas' Star Wars universe. A galaxy of trouble awaits, but don't worry, the Force will be with you, always!

Different Adventures
You never know where the Force might take you. Many different Star Tours adventures await you—including multiple storylines and locations. Riding once is not enough!

New Destinations
Glide among the trees with Wookiees on Kashyyyk, kick up some desert sand in a podrace on Tatooine, dive into the lakes of Naboo, weave through the bustling city-planet of Coruscant, blast through the blizzards of Hoth or even help attack the heavily defended Death Star!

Star Wars Characters
Fly with some of your favorite Star Wars characters! C-3PO is aboard as your new pilot. Plus, you might encounter some of your other favorite characters, including:
•Darth Vader
•Jedi Master Yoda
•Admiral Ackbar
•Princess Leia

You'll also meet brand-new Star Wars characters, like Star Tours Pilot Ace (AC-38), Spokesbot Aly San San and the lethal new Imperial Skytroopers!

Your Flight
Star Tours uses state-of-the-art technology—including a flight-motion simulator vehicle, digital 3D video, Audio Animatronics characters and in-cockpit special effects—to transport you to a "galaxy far, far away." There's nothing else like it on Earth . . . or any other planet!

Star Tours Postcards and Passports
Send greetings across the Corellian sector with the Star Tours E-Postcards! Just choose a destination—like Tatooine, Hoth or Naboo—upload a customizable photo, and create an animated personalized postcard that you can post to your Facebook wall.

Want to show the galaxy your travel savvy? Construct a Star Tours Passport! Choose a theme—Podracer, Queen, Rebel Pilot or Jedi—upload a customizable photo, and enter your information. You can then either post the passport to your Facebook wall or print it out and make your own.

More Star Wars Fun
Star Wars fans should also make sure to check out the Star Wars: Jedi Training Academy show and Star Wars Weekends event at Disney's Hollywood Studios theme park.

Star Tours® is a registered trademark of Disney/Lucasfilm, Ltd.
©Disney/ Lucasfilm, Ltd.

Why am I looking forward to Star Tours?
Multiple destinations - need I say more?  I'm so excited that the new Star Tours takes us to more than one destination and that you don't know which one you'll be visiting.  This helps to make the ride unique and fresh every time you ride it.  This was a really smart decision by the Imagineers when redesigning this ride!

While this isn't a huge draw for me, the new 3D element also adds a lot of draw for people.  It does add more depth to the film and overall is a nice addition.

A new pilot provides some fun new dialog and surprises along the way as well.

As with most Disney ride queues, take some time to explore and listen to the different things going on around you in the queue.  There are some nods to some former parts of this attraction and you may be surprised by some of the things you'll see and hear!

Be careful - if you're the rebel spy you may be caught!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Countdown to 2012 WDW Marathon Weekend #43

#43 - Animal Kingdom's It's Tough to be a Bug

From the Walt Disney World website:
It's Tough to be a Bug! is an an 8-minute, 3D movie and multimedia show, fun for big kids, teens and adults, performed in an air-conditioned movie theater embedded in the enormous root structure of The Tree of Life in Disney's Animal Kingdom theme park.

It's Tough to be a Bug! is hosted by Flik, everybody's favorite ant, and his grasshopper friend, Hopper, from the Disney·Pixar film A Bug's Life. The supporting cast consists of cute and creepy crawlers like spiders, termites, beetles, weevils and butterflies.

These amazing and amusing insects and arachnids invite the audience to be honorary bugs. Through 3D "Bug-Eye" glasses, get a fascinating and hilarious look into the animal kingdom that just might change your perspective enough to think: "It's Tough to be a Bug! Insects should be our friends."

But Hopper reveals humans as bugs' biggest enemy, and suddenly it's a swarm of activity. Hornets go in for the sting and everyone's a-buzz, reacting to the startling, surprising (and possibly frightening for little grubs, er, little ones) in-theater special effects. Finally, Flik cues the finale and the show metamorphoses into its sweet spectacular finish. Gotta take it from an ant: from cocoon to curtain call, It's Tough to be a Bug!

Why am I looking forward to It's Tough to be a Bug?
This is a 3D attraction that can be completely frightening and scary to some guests - and not just children.  It's an attraction about bugs, need I say more.  Not only is it about bugs, but there is dark, smells, water and angry bugs.  It can be creepy for sure.

The attraction does attempt to be light hearted for the most part and it does those parts very well.  We get to meet some extraordinary members of the bug family, starting with Flik our host.  We get to learn about some of the good things bugs can do for us and it makes you feel okay about bugs.

Things turn a little dark, scary and even a little painful when Hopper shows us and shows us all the ways that we hurt bugs.  He then turns the fly swatter on us and here's where little ones start to scream and I can't blame them at all.  There are spiders, stinging bees and other effects that truly are meant to frighten.

The show turns light hearted again as we wrap up the show and Hopper gets what's coming to him.  Thank goodness for the ending otherwise everyone would leave creeped out with very negative feelings towards bugs.

Yes, the show can be intense, so why do I like it?  First of all, you get to walk through the queue and study all the amazing animals in the Tree of Life.  There are plenty of opportunities to take amazing photos of the tree and its sculptures.  I think the Tree of Life is truly one amazing work of art and I'm glad that this attraction affords the ability to see it up close and personal.

Once you get inside the Tree of Life there are some amazing show posters hung up with all the famous bug shows.  Take a few minutes to stroll around to the different posters and see what the bugs have been producing.

Background music also plays a pretty big part of the queue for this attraction.  While a lot of people probably don't pay too much attention to this aspect, try to listen to the music and see what you hear.  I'll give you a couple of hints - flight of the bumble bees makes an appearance and other classics like Beauty and Bees can also be heard all performed by bugs of course!

If you haven't seen this one, give it a shot.  Be aware that some things may scare you or you're little ones and you'll be just fine.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Countdown to 2012 WDW Marathon Weekend #44

#44 - Magic Kingdom's Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover

From the Walt Disney World website:
Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover takes Guests of all ages for an elevated tour of Tomorrowland in Magic Kingdom theme park.

Relax and enjoy a leisurely 10-minute journey above the Tomorrowland area aboard this pollution-free mass transit system. Each car seats 4 Guests with 2 riding forward and 2 riding backward.

The tour introduces you to Tomorrowland attractions and includes a view of early architectural models of Epcot theme park and Space Mountain, as well as a peek inside the actual Space Mountain attraction.

The Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover station is located in the center of Rockettower Plaza beneath the Astro Orbiter attraction.

Why am I looking forward to the Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover?
What's not to like about the PeopleMover (yeah, I still call it this or just the TTA)?  A ride that doesn't stop, it is a continually loading ride. 

You board ride vehicles that face two forward and two backward.  The ride takes you on an elevated track around tomorrowland.  You'll get to see Space Mountain, Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin, the exterior of Stitch's Great Escape and Monster's Inc Laugh Floor, and other attractions.

This ride is a great place to relax and enjoy a nice breeze on a hot day.  If the weather is a bit cooler, it can be a bit of a chilly ride.  To me, it's worth it no matter what - other than the spiel it's a relatively quiet place to get away, enjoy the sights of Tomorrowland, take some photos of the rides and just chill. 

I highly suggest riding in both the day and night because the views are quite different.  In the daylight you'll get a great view of the area.  In the night the view changes and you are greeted with neon lights and beautiful colors.  It's a completely different experience and it'll give your tired feet a rest in the night after walking around all day!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Weekly Review: Nov 14 - 20

Goals for workouts this year:
1. 80-100 miles run/walk per month
2. One day of Pilates per week
3. One day of Strength Training per week
4. One day of Bike or Elliptical per week
5. One Incline Workout on the Treadmill per week

Here's this week's recap
Notes: I have no real excuse, I just didn't feel like working out tonight.  I know, I know, now's not the time for this.

PM Workout: Treadmill walk 5mi @ 14:11 per mi
Notes: Walked a 15 min mi, 14:47 min mi, 4:17 min mi, 13:57 min mi, and a 13:38 min mi.  Was a bit sore in the beginning which is was causing the progression workout, and the longer I walked the better I felt.

PM Workout:  Treadmill walk 2.25mi @ 14:34 per mi
Notes: I wasn't feeling like working out, but at least I got a couple of miles in.  Better than nothing I suppose. I did some jogs in there, but I felt sort and slow tonight.

Notes: I've been feeling some stress about work and decided to take a break today.  Wondering how to find a job that relates to running as that's where my head has been the last couple of years. 

PM Workout:  Treadmill run/walk 3.12mi @ 13:04 per mi
Notes: It would have been easy to blow this off, but I had a goal for the weekend.  It was a great start to the weekend and it kept it slow and easy tonight.

AM Workout:  Treadmill run/walk 13.12mi @ 13:37 per mi
Notes: Okay, another half marathon done and on the treadmill.  I know, I know - I need to get outside, but it just didn't happen.  I am not as fast as I'd like but I kept it at 2hr 58mins so at least I was under 3hrs.  Not really any pain at all at the end, which is absolutely amazing.

AM Workout:  Treadmill run/walk and outside - 23mi treadmill and 3.3mi outside with the dogs @ 13:40 per mi
Notes: A good way to end the Dopey Challenge.  5hrs and 59mins and a full marathon completed.  Okay, the bad part - I wanted to quit from mile 16 on.  I was mentally exhausted more than physically.  The good part - I really felt pretty good for the whole thing.  I ended up being hardly sore at all.  I did the first 23 miles on the treadmill and then I took the dogs outside to finish up.  Not to bad all around.

Weekly Numbers:
Weight Watch: +3.4 pounds

Run/Walk Miles: 49.79
Bike Miles: 0.0
Elliptical Miles: 0.0

Pilates: MISSED 
Strength: MISSED
Incline: MISSED

Monthly Numbers
Run/Walk Miles: 99.37
Bike Miles: 30.0
Elliptical Miles: 1.08

Goofy's Weekly Training Challenge Results
Woohoo - a gold medal for this week.  How did I end up with a gold medal?  Well, I managed to get another Dopey Challenge dress rehearsal under my belt.  I wanted to see where I was in terms of readiness and now I know - I feel so much more confident than last year.

I think some comparisons are in order:
December 2010 Dopey Challenge Dress Rehearsal
5K - 3.41mi @ 16:05 per mi
Half - 13.34mi @ 17:13 per mi
Full - 26.38mi @ 17:17 per mi

January 2011 Dopey Challenge - the REAL DEAL
5K - 3.2mi @ 14:34 per mi
Half - 13.34mi @ 14:44 per mi
Full -26.22mi @ 15:21 per mi

July 2011 Dopey Challenge Dress Rehearsal
5K - 3.12mi @ 12:45 per mi
Half - 13.13mi @ 13:40 per mi
Full - 26.5mi @ 14:21 per mi

November 2011 Dopey Challenge Dress Rehearsal
5K - 3.12mi @ 13:04 per mi
Half - 13.12mi @ 13:37 per mi
Full - 26.30mi @ 13:40 per mi

I think those are some telling numbers for sure.  I finally feel like I'm getting some confidence back.  I slowed the 5K - on purpose, I didn't want to use up the tank on the 5K that's just a fun run.  Then I bumped up the half marathon pretty well and the good part is that I didn't hurt after I was done - I did still walk a good portion, but I also did some running which is not something I did in January.  The full is the amazing one to me - I really improved here, I cut 43 minutes off the time from January and was just under six hours.  I'm very happy with these results and the best part is that yes, I feel like I've done the miles, but I don't hurt so bad that I want to cry!  Sweet improvement.

Okay, the food part has sucked again this week.  I've done really good the last few days with the dress rehearsal, but the rest of the week was me over eating and not doing well.  I know that I struggle with this part and I try to work on it even if I am not good all the time.

I signed up for a 10K on Thanksgiving day.  This will be a guaranteed PR for me as I've yet to complete a 10K race.  I'm looking forward to it - hopefully I'll be able to walk by Thursday!

While last week was about recharging, this week was all about challenging.  What did you do this week to really challenge yourself?

Countdown to 2012 WDW Marathon Weekend #45

#45 - The Polynesian's Kona Cafe

From the Walt Disney World website:
The Kona Café infuses a bit of Asian zest into traditional American breakfast, lunch and dinner fare in Disney's Polynesian Resort. Indulge in the scrumptious cinnamon and banana-stuffed Tonga Toast or choose from a variety of more savory breakfast options like a variety of egg dishes and pineapple macadamia nut pancakes.

At midday, satisfy your hunger with an Island chicken sandwich and housemade sweet potato chips, shrimp and scallops, or other tasty entrees. Dine in the evening on delicacies such as a selection of fresh fish, slow-roasted prime rib or coconut almond chicken.

As you enjoy the relaxed atmosphere of this Polynesian restaurant, feast your eyes across the onstage open pastry kitchen that prepares divine desserts. Kona Café offers authentic Kona coffee as a perfect pairing to these pastries, or as a rich addition to any meal.

Why am I looking forward to the Kona Cafe?
The Kona Cafe is a fabulous restaurant for breakfast, lunch or dinner.  The menu offers quite a range of American cuisine with Asian influences for lunch and dinner.  Breakfast is full of great filling choices.  To top it all off, the restaurant is located at the Polynesian in the Great Ceremonial Hall!

I have eaten breakfast here and I have to say I certainly didn't leave hungry.  In fact, I ended up full most of the day.  A lot of people rave about the Tonga Toast - banana stuffed french toast rolled in cinnamon sugar and served with strawberry compote.  I have had this dish and it's huge and certainly not good for you in any way - although it is pretty darn tasty!  Check out the breakfast menu here.

While I haven't enjoyed lunch here, the menu has a lot of great options as well and I could easily find quite a few options to satisfy me.  Check out the lunch menu here.

Dinner at the Kona Cafe is wonderful.  Again, the dishes are quite large and there are quite a few options to satisfy pretty much anyone.  For starters the Sticky Wings are great - they are glazed wings with mustard drizzle, messy and wonderful and a huge plate to share.  I've had a couple different dinner entrees, but my favorite is the Teriyaki-style New York Strip - it's a nice steak cooked to order with a teriyaki glaze.  Check out the dinner menu here.

Of course, there is always dessert - if you can manage to eat another bite after all those lovely appetizers and entrees!  If you're so inclined, you can check out the dessert menu here.

The restaurant can get a bit loud when fully packed, but the overall ambiance is pretty nice.  There's usually a large chocolate sculpture on display - take a look if you get a chance as it's usually pretty detailed and impressive.  It's a great place to unwind with a group of family and/or friends and just have a nice meal.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Thanksgiving Goodness?

With Thanksgiving fast approaching here in the U.S. I thought it might be a good idea to share a few ideas on how to manage your diet and/or exercise during turkey day weekend.

Stick to your goals:  You know you have goals, you know you've been working hard on them.  Yes, it's a holiday and yes, it's okay to indulge in moderation.  Just don't forget where you want to be and how to get there.

Don't skip your workouts:  Training has been going well, you've made progress, you're on track for your next goal race or min goal.  Just because it's a holiday weekend doesn't mean that you shouldn't workout.  Many times there are family pressures, lingering work stress or other factors that can cause you to derail your plans, but remember working out can be you time, it can help you stay centered and calm.  You might have to get up early to workout, but try to get some activity in.  If you can't or don't want to do it alone, recruit the whole family and take a nice long walk before or after dinner.

Try to avoid grazing:  Thanksgiving often means snacking all day.  Make a plan to help you avoid grazing - yes, the amount of food that you consume each time you graze may be small, but those calories add up if you keep going back every time you walk by the food.

Drink your water:  Remember that water serves many purposes.  One, it can keep you hydrated which is always important.  Two, it can help you feel fuller.  A lot of times we eat, but we're really thirsty.  Try drinking water and see if that helps the food craving pass.

Indulge smartly:  We all have our favorites.  Don't deny yourself or you may end up over indulging on the forbidden food item.  Instead, try to limit the amount of the food you take.  Fill your plate with good for you foods and leave just a small amount of room for your favorites.  As you eat, save your favorite for last when you're fuller so that you can enjoy the smaller portion without feeling like you could eat more and more of it.

Beware of hidden fat:  Yes, those veggies are good for you, but wait, are they?  While veggies are good, they may not be prepared in the healthiest manner.  Were those beans sauteed in butter?  Are those mashed potatoes full of heavy cream and butter?  Be mindful of how things are prepared and if you're unsure what's in them ask.

Avoid the skin:  I know - how can you tell me to avoid the crispy, yummy turkey skin when it's just begging you to eat it?  Well, turkey skin is really just a whole lot of fat.  If you have trouble avoiding crispy skin there's a few things you can do.  Cook the turkey covered the whole time, when the turkey is done the skin isn't crispy and can be removed and won't be so appetizing.  Cook the turkey breast down, this will keep the skin uncrispy and provide moist and delicious white meat.  Do whatever it takes to avoid those extra fat calories.

Be realistic:  Are you trying to lose weight?  Now isn't the time to beat yourself up for no loss.  Instead, focus on maintaining your weight so that you don't go crazy at your next weigh in and there's not a loss posted.  This will help you enjoy your weekend without the added stress of trying to shed pounds.  This doesn't give you license to eat everything in sight, but with careful moderation you can have fun and maintain the losses you've already made.

Keep it lean:  Go for lean turkey and lots of veggies (sans butter).  Fill your plate with good lean protein and steamed veggies.  This will help fill you up and keep you full and not blow your entire plan.  Just remember to enjoy what you're eating.

Slow down:  Not only physically and mentally, but in your eating as well.  Chew your food slowly, set your silverware down between bites, sip water between bites.  All these things will help you slow down and enjoy your meal and the company you're in.  It will also help you recognize when you're full - when you eat to fast you consume way more food than you really need and that's when you have to unbutton your pants to be able to breathe.

Go Non-Traditional:  There's no denying that most of us love our traditional Thanksgiving meal.  We have our favorites that we've enjoyed since childhood and they bring back happy memories.  What if you did Thanksgiving at another time of year instead - you can still enjoy all your favorites, but cook half as much as you would with company.  During Thanksgiving, be creative and find something different to start a new Thanksgiving tradition.  Find something more healthy and enjoy it.

No matter what, enjoy the time you spend with family and friends.  Use the time to de-stress and recharge your energy levels and mental strength.  Don't neglect your body, keep it active and happy too.  Remember that each good choice will lead you to another!

Countdown to 2012 WDW Marathon Weekend #46

#46 -  Epcot's Journey Into Imagination with Figment
From the Walt Disney World website:
Tag along with your favorite feisty dragon in Journey Into Imagination With Figment, an attraction that's fun for little ones in the Imagination! Pavilion in the Future World area of Epcot theme park.

Journey Into Imagination With Figment begins with an invitation by Chairman Dr. Nigel Channing to attend an open house event at his prestigious Imagination Institute.

Inside his precious sensory labs, Dr. Channing sets out to prove how the 5 senses—sound, sight, smell, touch and taste—capture and control the imagination. But much to Dr. Channing's chagrin, the playful purple dragon Figment has joined the tour, too.

Full of mischief and music, Figment derails Dr. Channing's sound experiment, screws around with the sight chart and causes quite a stink in the Smell Lab.

Taking over the tour, Figment leads you to his whimsical upside-down house where, from this topsy-turvy perspective, he proves that imagination works best when set free.

After your Journey Into Imagination With Figment, take your imagination and let it loose at the ImageWorks. Conduct an orchestra, experiment with lights and video, make dragons sing, check out the live show Digital Imaging which features the world's largest digital camera, and explore the interactive stations at "the creative playground of the future."

Why am I looking forward to Journey Into Imagination with Figment?
I know, I know - the ride just isn't the same, it's not near as fun and yes, I miss Dream Finder too.  Regardless of all that, I still have to visit my favorite little purple Figment!

One great thing - even during busy times you probably won't have to wait for this one.  The queue rarely gets longer than a few minutes.  I'm not sure I can remember the last time I had to wait, I'm pretty sure it was back with the original version of the attraction.

The ride takes you on a journey of the senses and some of the effects are a bit frightening to little kids.  There's one point where it's dark and a very loud train noise with wind comes toward you - I've seen more than one kid cry at this point.  One other thing that is not so scary, but a little awful is the smell portion of the ride - that's all I'll say on that one.

Figment is the big draw on this ride, and sadly it's not the best portrayal of our little friend.  He's a little more rude and mischievous and a little less lovable than he was originally, but at least he has a presence back in the ride.

I still enjoy the ride.  I like to come in here when I need a break from the crowds and many times you can have a ride vehicle to yourself.  There are still a couple of great effects in the ride and the best part for me is the end where you get to see a whole bunch of Figments doing different activities.

Give the ride a chance and try to enjoy it for what it is now instead of what it used to be!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Countdown to 2012 WDW Marathon Weekend #47

#47 - Animal Kingdom's Festival of the Lion King

From the Walt Disney World website:
Festival of the Lion King brings the familiar characters of the Disney animated classic film The Lion King from the movie screen to an action-packed stage at Disney's Animal Kingdom theme park. This scheduled 30-minute big-as-Broadway live show combines the pageantry of a parade with a tribal celebration.

Through music featured in the film, high-energy dances, and even fire juggling, Disney Characters Timon, Simba, Pumbaa, Rafiki, Zazu, Mufasa and more team up with a traveling band of "African tribal performers" to tell the tale of a lion cub who can't wait to be king.

Festival of the Lion King is performed in an air-conditioned theater-in-the-round with stadium seating. Take a seat and be prepared to be dazzled by the puppetry, pageantry, colorful costumes, spectacular singing and gymnastics—keep a look out for the balletic birds and acrobatic monkeys!

Act Like an Animal at Festival of the Lion King
During the Festival of the Lion King show, you're encouraged to be part of the action. Each of the 4 sections around the stage takes turns acting like a giraffe, a warthog, a lion or an elephant. Did you know giraffes make the same sound as sheep: bleeet! Get caught up in the fun—play and sing along with the life-sized critters and Disney Characters as they interact with the audience.

Hakuna matata, no worries, if you don't know the words to the songs sung during Festival of the Lion King, your animal guide will teach you your part in the great "Circle of Life."

Why am I looking forward to Festival of the Lion King?
This is a spectacular interactive Broadway style show.  The theater is split in to sections and each section represents an animal - this brings about some entertaining responses as the show starts and the sections mimic their animal's sound.
When the music and singing starts you'll understand why I say it's a Broadway style show.  These performers are amazing and so talented.  Their voices are astounding and bring out the goosebumps on your arms.  I have seen the Lion King touring show a couple of times and each time there has been one or two cast members that actually started at Festival of the Lion King - yes, they are that good!
There is more than singing though.  One of my favorite acts has to be the tumble monkeys.  These are no ordinary monkeys, these are acrobatic comedic tumbling monkeys.  This act alone is worth waiting to see the show.
The costumes are fun, bright and eye catching.  There are four large floats that are brought out and each float has one of the animals for the theater sections.  The performers get the audience involved and kids can participate in the show.

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