Category Archives: Disney Special Events

Sunday Training Synopsis

Training is in full force here…finally!  With three half marathons on the calendar this fall, and possibly a fourth, being half marathon ready is more more than necessary.  Thankfully hanging that runDisney training plan on my fridge seems to be incredibly motivating for me.  Checking off each run is rewarding…kind of like little kids and sticker rewards charts.  Maybe I should get some stickers?   But I digress…

I am currently training for the following:

9/11 – Harrisburg Half Marathon

9/24 – Diva Half Marathon DC

11/5&6 – Lumiere’s Two Course Challenge (Wine & Dine 10K and Half Marathon)

I’m running Harrisburg with my hubby and Diva and Wine & Dine with my bestie Jan!  (I’m not sure if I’m more excited about running the half marathons, or having a girls weekend away????)

I started the week off with a 4 mile run on Monday.  Since I missed the “long” run over the weekend I just started my week off with it.  After all, it’s “only” four miles.  Seriously though it was the longest I’d run in a while!  LOL!

On Thursday I had the worst run of the week, and the shortest.  The humidity was horrendous!  So even early in the morning running was miserable.  It felt like Florida out there!


Then Saturday I did my long run of the week and ran a 10K.  I explored a beautiful trail, where I learned I need bug spray when I run there!  But I had a great run.  I felt strong, which was encouraging after such inconsistent training since I know I have to start amping my mileage up in preparation for the September halves.  The weather was decided more cooperative and I saw a better pace per mile than on Thursday’s humid run.

 All in all I was very pleased with my training this week.  After our move and all the changes our family has gone through this past month it’s nice to get back into my running routine.  I am in a decidedly better mood on the days that I run so I’m sure my family appreciates that!  Here’s to another week of training and meeting goals!  I can’t wait for my next race and the upcoming racecations with my BRF!

On the training plan for this week are 30-45 minute maintenance runs on Tuesday and Thursday and 8 miles on Saturday.  For daily updates, don’t forget to follow me on Instagram!  What’s on your training plan this week?

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What Is Going On with Princess Half Marathon?

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You guys, I wasn’t even going to bring up Princess Half Marathon weekend.  Because I’m mourning not signing up.  The choice to be a Star Wars Princess and wield a lightsaber instead of a crown was not an easy one, but I want that Kessel Run medal!  With so many other races on my schedule, and our recent transition out of the military, I know I need to make some wise choices here!  But seriously, Princess Half Marathon and the Glass Slipper Challenge have not sold out yet!  I repeat, Princess Half Marathon weekend has NOT sold out!

Not only is this super tempting, because this race weekend is what got me out the door running, but it’s also super weird.  The past two years when I registered for Princess it sold out super quick.  So what is going on that Disney races aren’t selling out as fast?  (As a random fact you can still register for the Disneyland Half in September, Avengers weekend in November and a few events for Marathon weekend and Light Side weekend in January.)

So why isn’t next year’s Princess Half Marathon selling out as fast as it did in past years?  Are people really that upset that it’s not a Snow White theme as they expected?  I don’t think so, although I guess there could be some people who are die hard Snow fans who would have registered had the theme been different.  Instead I think the issue is two fold.  First, I think it’s price.  I love Disney.  Adore Disney.  Am probably a little obsessed with Disney.  However, Disney races are expensive.  The challenge costs $320 before taxes and Active fees which is a pretty hefty sum to fork over.  The half marathon itself is $185 before taxes and fees.  Add in your Disney resort stay, park tickets, food or the dining plan and possibly airfare and you’re looking at a pretty expensive race weekend!

I’ve also seen a lot of comments of those focusing on local races or other destination races so they can check off the bucket list and save money.  Additionally others are saving up for anniversary years of races at Disney, where they normally offer special bling.

What do you think?  Did you sign up for Princess Half Marathon this past Tuesday?  Are you flirting with the idea?  Why do you think runners might be skipping Disney races?

Oops, I Did It Again…A Wine & Dine Half Marathon Story

So a little while ago I wrote a little blog about the changes to the Wine and Dine Half Marathon weekend.  In that post I sadly admitted I was going to be an adult and make the tough decision not to register for Wine & Dine.  It was a very sad realization in the face of a lot of changes our family will be going through as we end our military life.


On a packet pickup run turned date night my husband and I were talking about races and I mentioned how sad I was not to be able to do the Wine & Dine weekend with the Cupcakes.  (The Cupcakes are my online running group that was formed leading up to Princess Half Marathon 2015….we are fueld by cupcakes, cocktails & pixie dust!)   I said, I would love to run with them as it should be a big group effort again for Wine & Dine, plus I was really tempted by the innaugural challenge and being legacy for something if possible.  And my husband, the sweet, wonderful man that he is, looked at me and said, then register.  We’ll figure it out.

The Cupcakes


Once I picked my jaw up off the floor I asked if he was serious.  Then I asked again a few days before AP registration.  Then I wrote AP registration on the calendar hanging in the kitchen for all to see.  And still that sweet husband of mine didn’t say no or advise me otherwise.  Instead he wished me good luck.

I was a nervous wreck yesterday all morning.  The closer it got to registration time, the more the butterflies took up residence in my stomach!  I had some issues with the AP site and was able to get through on an incognito window of Google Chrome so I just refreshed the daylights out of the AP page on the runDisney site. About 10 minutes till noon the links on the page for each race turned blue.  And that is when I went in the zone watching the clock and refreshing at the same time.  Right around noon I clicked and the active page loaded.  (Before noon when you clicked the links the Active page was not active.)  And by 12:03 I had my confirmation email for Lumiere’s Two Course Challenge in my email!


Holy Pajamas!  (Sorry I just watched Shag, the movie, at girls night Monday!)  I was registered, not only for another challenge (which I wasn’t sure I wanted to do after Glass Slipper) but also for Wine & Dine weekend!  Now my BRF Jan just needs to register next week and we’ll be good to go! So, I guess you could say I followed my heart the opposite way of adult responsibilies.  For now I’m riding on the high of race registration success and I’ll deal with the adult responsibilities later!  Who else is planning on registering for Wine & Dine weekend,  or was lucky enough to register yesterday?

Character Pop Up Meet n Greet at Epcot

After the 5K Jan and I headed to Epcot, where much to our surprise as we headed into World Showcase we stumbled upon a pop up character meet n greet.  I’ve heard of these happening, but have never been lucky enough to stumble upon one myself!  Most often these meet n greets are used to train cast members, and they often take place prior to race weekends or when a college program starts up.

As soon as I saw the gate between Canada and the UK open I ran over to see who we could meet!  The characters in attendance at this meet n greet were:

  • Mickey
  • Donald
  • Pinnochio
  • Baloo

  

  • Stitch

  

  • Penguin from Mary Poppins

  

  • Launchpad

  

  • Rafiki

  
This was a super fun way to kick off our day in Epcot.  We arrived between 11-11:30 so World Showcase was pretty empty.  We had been headed to lunch at Tangeriene Cafe, and almost took the boat but it wasn’t running yet.  Thank God for that since we got to experience this fun character pop up!

After we met the characters we wanted to we headed to lunch at Tangeriene Cafe in Morocco as planned.  (A few of them we chose not to meet and the meet n greet was over fairly early so we didn’t get the chance to meet everyone.)  Tangeriene Cafe is seriously my favorite quick service restaurant!  I try to eat there every trip!  The lamb is phenomenal!  

After lunch we wandered World Showcase.  I got a grapefruit beer in Germany which is always so refreshing!  

Jan and I split an Anna’s birthday cupcake in Norway and found a fun photo opportunity (there was a PhotoPass photographer) with the Anna & Elsa topiaries.   If you’re going for the Flower and Garden festival this is a great photo spot, especially if you have a little princess in tow!

 

We then met up with my friend Erin, grabbed some Starbucks and relaxed for a bit and put our feet up.  Then we headed to the character spot at Epcot to see Mickey and friends.  We followed this up with a ride on Test Track and Spaceship Earth before heading to dinner at O’hana.

 
This was a fun day, but we may have overdone it on the walking!  Either way we were in bed early after taking a cab back to Riverside from the Polynesian.  (We opted for a cab after walking from the Ticket & Transportation center to O’hana due to a down monorail.  We just didn’t want to mess with the monorail or waiting for a bus back to Riverside at Magic Kingdom.)  Time to rest up for the 10K!

Princess 5K Race Recap


After a busy day, and too much money spent, at the expo on Thursday we were excited for the first race of three for our Princess Half Marathon weekend, the Princess 5K!

We were up at 3:30am on Friday for the Princess 5K as we had to be on a bus by 4:45am!  Those early wake-up calls are never easy, and they were only going to get worse as the week went on.  We quickly got dressed in our race outfits.  These were our “backup plan” outfits, as we had originally hoped our custom Ariel Sparkle Skirts would be done in time, but no luck!  (As a matter of fact, we’re still waiting on them!)  Instead we wore our Jeff Galloway sparkle skirts and a shirt I made to match.

Before we even arrived for the Princess weekend we had decided that we would take the 5K easy.  Stop for lots of pictures.  Enjoy every minute.  We knew we had to save our legs a bit so we would mostly be walking the 5K.


The morning was cold and we were rocking the trash bags to stay warm as we waited for the race to start.  (I always pack a few in my suitcase for race weekends just in case!)  Thanks to our Sparkle Skirts when we arived at the starting area we went through the no bag check line quickly and made our way back towards the pre-race party.  We ended up getting in line for a photo with Sebastian.  (We missed that Ariel and Eric were a photo op too unfortunately, but Sebastian was fun!)  Some friends met up with us when they arrived and joined us in line.  We went straight to our corrals after our picture with Sebastian.


We were set to start in C and decided we would do a few intervals to get out of the way of people and the crowds of the corral and then we would take our time.  The first mile backstage went by pretty quicly.  We stopped for a shot or two of Epcot, pictures with Chip and Dale, Daisy and Donald and Genie in his vacation outfit all during mile 2/World Showcase.  We felt like we were moseying.  It was nice and relaxed!


The monorail was stopped on the tracks which made for a fun photo op for Jan and I and then we stopped for a photo with the Festival of Fantasy characters from the Mermaid section of the parade by Finding Nemo.


 Next thing you know we were heading to mile 3 and the finish!   We got our ADORABLE medals, and some handy mylar blankets to warm up, which would be very useful the next morning too!  (Tip: always save the blanket you get at the end of one race for the next days race.)   The Princess 5K was so fun!  It was nice to stop for tons of pictures with the characters and not be worried about our time.  I’d say I’m glad we took it easy, but with a day in the parks following the 5K I’m not sure it really helped!  The most important thing though is that the race was fun and we were ready for the next one!

 

New Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend Coming to Walt Disney World

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RunDisney finally revealed the updated Wine & Dine Half Marathon weekend yesterday!  Rumors have been running since some changes were spotted on Active.com and the runDisney site, and most of the speculation appears to have panned out.   We wanted to go over the changes and offer our thoughts on them after completing last years Wine & Dine Half Marathon.

Here’s what the Wine & Dine Half Marathon weekend will now consist of:

  • The race expo will begin on Thursday, November 3rd
  • Mickey’s Holiday 5K will be run Friday morning at Animal Kingdom park
  • Kids races will take place both Friday and Saturday
  • The Disney Wine & Dine 10K, presented by Remy from Ratatouille, will take place on Saturday morning.
  • The Wine & Dine half marathon will take place Sunday morning
  • The after race party will take place Sunday evening leaving plenty of time to rest and recover
  • New challenge, Lumiere’s Two Course Challenge, for those who run both the 10K and half marathon!
  • Early registration for Annual Passholders and DVC members will take place March 22nd at noon
  • Regular registration will take place March 29th at noon

Once runDisney revealed these changes my husband and I were discussing them and had conflicting points of view.  With the absense of the Osbourne Lights I’m looking forward to the changes.  I much prefer morning runs so the new schedule will suite my running style better.  After running Glass Slipper Challenge I would be happy to shower, nap/rest/put my feet up and then attend an after part after being refreshed.

On the flip side, my husband prefers the night runs.  He thinks it’s weird to have an after party that evening versus right after the race.  In his opinion it detracts from the experience.  He’s also bummed that it’s the end of night races at Disney.

Would we still run Wine & Dine?  I definitely would!  A challenge!!!!  I would love to sign up for the challenge, however, unless I win the lottery in the next two weeks that likely won’t happen since we have a few other trips planned for the later half of next year including a big trip to my home town of La La Land.   However, should a generous donor want to sponsor me to run this race I would sign up for Lumiere’s Two Course Challenge in a heartbeat!

What about you?  Do you plan to sign up for any races during 2016’s Wine & Dine Half Marathon weekend?

Princess Half Marathon Expo Recap

 

photo credit due to a fellow Princess…

I’m sure you’ve likely heard tales of the craziness of a runDisney race expo.  Some may be enhanced or fabricated, but I am here to tell you that many are true!  Merchandise sells out quickly.  People are not always magical.  There will be non runners there buying merchandise.  All those things happen, but don’t let that detract from your experience or ruin it, because a runDisney race expo is also a lot of fun!

Grab this photo op at the expo so you dont have to on race morning!

We arrived on Wednesday afternoon so that we could be at the race expo Princess Half Marathon weekend when it opened bright and early Thursday  morning at 10am.  Thanks to the personal experience of my running buddy at Wine & Dine and the runDsiney grapevine we knew that they would likely open the expo about a half hour early at 9:30.  However, race weekend transportation had the first buses scheduled to depart resorts at 9:30.  We didn’t think that would cut it so we used Uber and Jennifer, our driver, quickly got us to the race expo around 8:30.  After walking up to the Jostens center, and a quick discussion with a misinformed cast member about how we were going to get merchandise before our packets, we were in line around 8:40.  And we clearly weren’t the only ones with that idea, as there was a decent line in front of us.


As expected they began letting guests into the Jostens center around 9:30.  We hightailed it to the back where the official race merchandise was located.  It was a total madhouse!  We had seen the blog preview by Stephen of the Disney Parks Blog and had a list of what we wanted, but once inside the craziness got to us.  We grabbed the “Run Princess Run” racerback tanks, and while looking for the right size for my running buddy someone tried to grab a shirt out of my hand!  What????  That was not very magical!  All in all though we were able to quickly grab the items we needed without too much trouble, get in line and check out.  I forgot one item, but it wasn’t worth going back through the madness for me to get.

When we walked out of the official merchandise booth Jeff Galloway was standing right there at his booth!  I am so appreciative to Galloway for providing me with the tools to be a successful runner, when I couldn’t run a mile in high school, that I had to stop since the line was short to say hi and take a picture!


Then we walked by the KT booth and the line was relatively short to be taped so we got in line.  I had them tape both of my knees as they had been bothering me after my long runs, especially  my left one.  It reallly helped.  They were really only sore going up and down stairs after the half.

We had some time to go until my appointment with New Balance to get shoes so we stopped by a few other booths we wanted to check out.  I picked up the “Red Hair, Don’t Care” shirt I’d ordered from Raw Threads and had shipped to the expo.  (Super convenient!)  Then we went by the Sparkle Skirts booth where we both picked up the new Fairytale skirt.  We were a little on the fence on it, however we kept seeing people wearing it over the weekend and decided that we now really love it!  I also picked up a mermaid headband at Sparkly Soul.

Once most of our browsing was done we went to the New Balance booth and got in a very long line. (I’ll write a review of the queue process and our experience at the booth soon.) I tried on a few sizes of the Ariel shoes, stuck with my regular running shoe size, and checked out wtih complimentary sea shells to go on the shoes!  These shoes are so cute!  I absolutely love them!

We still had to get our bibs and shirts, as well as pick up our preorer items so we headed over to the Field House.  Once there we went and picked up our pre-order items.  I got my crossbody Princess Dooney which was bigger than I expected.  The size was perfect for the parks though as it held a bottle of water and everything else I needed.  Then we picked up our 5K bibs.  After that, we picked up our GSC bibs, took our challenge photos and then went to get our GSC shirts.

Once we picked these items up we still had to go back to the Jostens Center to pick up our 5K shirts.  (This was poor planning in my opinion and they should have been in the same building as the bibs.)  However the line to get into the Jostens center at this point, probably around 11:30ish was horribly long, and we were tired and hungry, so we went into the ESPN Wide World of Sports Grill for a quick lunch.  When we got out the line had subsided and we walked right up to the Josten’s center entrance where we took a picture with the royal footmen before going back in to the Josten’s Center for our shirts.


Once our shirts were in hand we took a deep breath, gathered up our packages and headed back to the buses.  We found the bus to Port Orleans Riverside and got on.  We were afraid we need to cut ourselves off from any more shopping!   Our goal was to rest up a bit before heading to Magic Kingdom for FastPasses and dinner.

All the merch!

All in all we had a positive experience at the Princess Half Marathon Expo.  We got all the items of official race merchandise we had wanted and survived the madness that the official booth was.  Despite one bad experience we found most other runners to be polite, friendly and courteous.  We just recommend arriving early, getting merchandise first and having a plan of attack for any runDisney expo.