It is going to be a super fun morning! I absolutely cannot wait for the first race of the weekend and 3.1 magical miles ahead of us tomorrow!
With the official theme of the 2017 Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend being Pixar, Momma K and I decided that we should keep with the theme. When the themes of the individual races were announced, we honestly weren't overly excited about the Incredibles theme for the 5K. Since our buddy Brendan wasn't super excited about it either and Jennifer said "we are NOT running looking like Jane Fonda", we opted to do a different Pixar movie for our costumes for the 5K. Without further wait, I present our 2017 Disneyland 5K costumes...
I know, I know, Toy Story is the theme for the half marathon this weekend. Well, Toy Story is what Brendan wanted our theme to be, so that is what we did. I will be rocking the Mr. Potato Head in the Toy Story Mania ensemble while Momma K is running as Woody. We will be joined by Jennifer as Buzz Lightyear and Brendan as one of the aliens.
It is going to be a super fun morning! I absolutely cannot wait for the first race of the weekend and 3.1 magical miles ahead of us tomorrow!
Today is the day - Momma K and I are DISNEYLAND BOUND! Well, first, I must get through my day at work before hopping on my flight this evening.
It seems like just yesterday we were all in a mad scramble to get registered for the Disneyland 1/2 Marathon weekend. Our bags are packed, costumes are ready, waivers are printed, and boarding passes are in hand!
WE ARE GOING TO DISNEYLAND!
We have a very busy, but fun-filled, few days coming up from expo on Thursday, meet ups, 22.4 miles to run and of course fun in the parks! With that said, Funner Runner will be on a brief blog hiatus so I can take full advantage of my mini-vacation (but be sure to follow along on Twitter and Instagram). However, there will be costume reveals via Funner Runner over the weekend. As I have done previously, I will release each of our costumes the night before the race. Thursday night we will share our 5K, Friday night will be the 10K, and Saturday night will be the 1/2 Marathon. I can't wait to show everyone what we have been working on the past few weeks!
Please be sure to follow along in our fun!
You can also follow the Disneyland 1/2 Marathon weekend with the hashtags
SEE YA REAL SOON!
Looking to fill up your 2017 race calendar? How about saving some cash when registering? Here are a few of my favorite races coming up in 2017 along with some sweet discount codes to help you make your race budget go a little further.
Craft Classic 1/2 Marathon and 5K - Various Dates/Location
Rock 'n' Roll Race Series - Various Dates and Locations
ZOOMA Women's Race Series - Various Dates/Locations
2017 is bound to be EPIC! I mean, we write our own stories each day, so fill each day and each page of your book with greatness. Dream big. Work hard. Make it happen!
In less than 72 hours from now, thousands of runners will be flocking to the Disneyland Hotel for the start of the Disneyland Half Marathon weekend expo.
It is no secret that I love going to race expos. Race expos can tend to be a little overwhelming for runners, especially if it is your first large race. Remember, race weeks should be fun so here are a few tips to help make your expo experience a little more magical.
1. If race merchandise is important to you - go the first day if possible.
As with any expo, merchandise is limited and runDisney is no exception. Thousands of runners eager to purchase official race merchandise and other limited edition merchandise (Dooney & Bourke purses, runDisney New Balance shoes, etc). In addition to runners, there are unfortunately people looking to purchase limited edition merchandise to resell at a high premium.
Lines tend to start forming early for entry to the expo, so remember that the early bird gets the worm. If you cannot get to the expo first thing, don't worry, there will still be merchandise left however sizes and styles will become limited as time goes on. If you have a friend going to the expo earlier than you, you can perhaps have them pick up the things you just have to have. I highly recommend going to the race merchandise area as soon as possible though if you wish to get any - remember you bib will not go anywhere.
2. Have your waiver and ID ready.
Make sure you print up your waiver before you leave for the weekend. While you can print up a copy of your waiver at the expo, doing so can waste precious expo time. Your ID is vital in packet pick-up - a lot of major races require a photo ID in order to pick up your bib. (NOTE: runDisney does not allows participants to pick up a bib on someone's behalf). I personally also wait and pickup my bib and shirt LAST. I always enjoy shopping at the expo, and some items might have limited availability, so I shop first and then get my bib. My bib isn't going anywhere, so I might as well get that last.
3. Set a budget.
Yes, you might be on vacation, but that is not an excuse to overspend. While it is tempting to buy all the merchandise, it can get expensive...QUICKLY! Look at merchandise previews (if available) and see what items you would use the most. My typical splurge is a race jacket - I wear them all the time in the winter and usually have one at my desk for when the office is cool.
4. Pinpoint exhibitors that you want to visit.
runDisney posts the official event guide on the race website a few weeks before race weekend. I always make sure to print out the map of the expo with the vendor list. I first go through and mark the vendors that I am already familiar with and want to check out their booth for new product and/or expo specials. Make sure you keep an eye on your favorite vendors' social media outlets for potential expo specials and/or giveaways.
Next, I do some research on other vendors that I am not familiar with and mark them on the expo map if they have a product I might be interested in (remember, NO NEW GEAR/FUEL ON RACE DAY THOUGH!). While I still walk through the entire expo, having a plan of attack helps me make sure that I see all the vendors I want.
5. Bring snacks and drinks
You will likely spend a little bit of time browsing the expo, so make sure you bring a light snack and your water bottle. You are here to run a race, so you want to make sure you are staying hydrated even while at the expo.
6. Use discounts!
There are different ways to save a few dollars at the expo, you just need to know how. In the official merchandise area, you can save on your purchase a few ways. If you are a AP, DVC, or Disney Visa member you can save on your official merchandise purchase (ask your cashier for specific details).
Did you know that you can pre-purchase Disney giftcards at some wholesale discount stores (such as Costco) at a discount? Disney giftcards can be used as payment at the official merchandise area at the expo as well as throughout the Disneyland resort on food, merchandise, etc. While these discounts might not be huge, every bit helps.
7. Take advantage of freebies.
There will be a lot of freebies at the expo - promotional items as well as photo opportunities. Make sure to take advantage of the free photos for sure! These are a great commemorative keepsake to remember your race weekend with.
8. HAVE FUN!
We are all here to have fun. Don't let the little things ruin your time. Yes, it is upsetting if you don't get the shirt you want because your size is sold out already, the line to check out is long, or it is crowded. We all want to continue our vacation adventures by going to the parks, hanging out the pool with our families, etc....be patient and BE KIND. Remember, have a MAGICAL time!
Question of the Day: What vendor(s) are you most excited to check out at the expo?
As if packing for a vacation isn't stressful enough, packing for a race-cation is even more overwhelming at times. Earlier this week, I shared a part of my racecation/Disneyland Half Marathon packing list (in case you missed it, here is a link). As I start to pack for Disneyland Half Marathon weekend, I wanted to share a few tips that may make your packing a little less stressful.
1. Always, always, always carry your race gear with you on the plane!
DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT put your race clothes, shoes, and other gear in your checked bag. Sure, you may have never had a bag get lost by the airline, but do you really want the first time to have your shoes in it when traveling for a race? I didn't think so. If you are traveling for a longer period of time that will require a checked bag, I recommend checking the stuff that can easily be replaced like clothes for the vacation part of your trip and putting the critical items in a carry-on bag.
2. Make sure you have your shoes.
Yes, it sounds silly, but I have had friends go on a run the night before leaving for their trip and left their shoes at home or in a gym locker. My worst nightmare for sure. I was introduced to the Klitch Footwear Clip a few years ago and I love it. The Klitch is is shoe holder that can clip onto the outside of your gym/running bag, suitcase, etc. It is perfect for traveling and I always use mine on race-cations.
If running multiple races, I recommended laying out and packing your race stuff by race. For Disneyland Half Marathon weekend, I am running 3 races so I pack for each race separately. I layout my shirts, shorts, skirts, socks, etc for each race and then use drawstring bags to travel with. This makes hotel life a lot easier as everything I need for the 5K on Friday is already together, so I just grab my bag and I am ready to rock!
Question of the Day: What are your favorite "racecation" packing tips?
A little more than a week from now, thousands of runners will be ready to take to the pavement of the Disneyland Resort and the streets of Anaheim for the Disneyland 1/2 Marathon! It seems like just yesterday we were registering for the Disneyland races - where has time gone? I am beyond excited to spend the weekend with some amazing running friends from all over the country for some Disneyland fun!
The 1/2 Marathon starts with two miles outside of the parks before heading into Disney California Adventure. After a nice loop around the park, you cross over to Disneyland. There is absolutely nothing like the magical feeling of running down Main Street with your friends by your side. After exiting Disneyland shortly before the mile 4 marker, you make your way through Anaheim. Don't worry, the entertainment doesn't leave when you exit the parks. You will be greeted with various bands, cheerleaders, antique cars, and more as you make your way through Anaheim. One of my favorite parts is definitely running through Angels Stadium and hearing the roar of spectators cheering for you as you enter and make your way around the warning track.
Even though about 3/4 of the race isn't actually in the Disneyland Resort, this isn't your typical half marathon. You have to experience it to understand. Here is a look back at a few of my favorite memories from the 2013 Disneyland Half Marathon.
2014 was Momma K's first Disneyland 1/2 Marathon! We absolutely had a blast spending 19.3 miles together making wonderful memories.
2015 was an extra special year with it being the 10th Anniversary of the Disneyland Half plus a little pre-birthday celebration for Momma K's 60th birthday! We ran strong with our friends Coach Jeff and Becky and ended up getting Momma K a new PR along the way
The Disneyland 1/2 Marathon in 2016 brought a little extra challenge for me. I hurt my knee at about mile 3 of the 10K the day before when someone abruptly stopped in front of me to take a picture. I honestly didn't know if I would be able to make it through the entire race, but I was sure going to try my best to safely do so. Spoiler: I did it! BOOOOM!
The Disneyland 1/2 Marathon will be my final race of the weekend after completing the 5K on Friday and 10K on Saturday. Obviously, I am crazy excited to head to the west coast for another 22.4 mile weekend of fun with friends. Is it Wednesday yet? I am ready to go NOW! Ok, maybe not now, because I am nowhere near done packing...
Question of the Day: What are you most excited for during the Disneyland Half Marathon weekend?
***DISCLAIMER: I was provided the product below in exchange for my honest review. No other compensation was exchanged for my review. All thoughts are strictly my own.
One of the things that I learned from my first marathon was the importance of taking care of my feet. After suffering from blisters the size of quarters basically covering the entire balls of my feet and heels. It was gross! Ever since then, I have taken very good care of my feet especially with coating them with Body Glide Foot to create a barrier between my feet and my socks to reduce the friction (friction is a bad word for athletes).
My Body Glide Foot stick is great for my long runs - I usually apply it to my feet when I am running 10K or longer or if it is raining or extra humid outside. While the Body Glide Foot is great on my heels and the balls of my feet, it isn't exactly the easiest to use in tough to reach spots like my toes. This is exactly why I was super excited for the chance to try out Body Glide Skin Glide.
The goal of Body Glide's products are to create a rich, anti-chafing barrier that resists rubbing and in turn prevents chafing, blisters and raw skin. When I got my Skin Glide in the mail, I checked out the product a little more including general information about the product and how to apply optimally.
Before checking out Body Glide's Skin Glide, I had only used their traditional products in a solid stick form, so the cream form was something new for me. I tried out Skin Glide on a shorter training run then the big test was at my recent half marathon...NOTHING NEW on race day!
In the past few years I have sworn by petroleum jelly to coat my feet for long runs. Yes, it works, but it is rather gooey and messing to be honest. Skin Glide is a cream rather than an ointment which was the first noticeable difference that I saw. When I rubbed in the Skin Glide to my foot, it rubbed in very nicely versus sticky like petroleum jelly. The Skin Glide applied very nicely and smoothly and coated my feet, including between my toes, liberally and evenly. The absolute best part of applying Skin Glide to my feet is that because it gets completely rubbed in, I didn't make a mess with excess ointment getting all over my socks when I put them on! WIN!
Application was easy, mess free, and quick! Wasting time pre-run or pre-race on trying to get messy petroleum jelly applied to my feet? Who has time for that?!?! Yes, Skin Glide retails for $9.99, which is more than petroleum jelly products, but the benefits of it are well worth it. Plus with it being a cream, a little dab goes a long way - the amount pictured above actually covered both of my feet.
I am happy to report that Skin Glide kept my feet completely protected during my half marathon. It was a HOT race for sure since we started at 7pm which was 90+ degrees (plus sun and humidity) so my feet were definitely sweating hard for those 13.1 miles. As a bonus, my feet felt super soft when I took of my shoes and socks after the race! It was like a mini-pedicure while I ran...haha!
While I used the Skin Glide on my feet, there are certainly other places that it can be applied when you take part in your activities (or even day to day life). Think of all those places you tend to chafe or have irritations - yep, put some Skin Glide on it.
A HUGE thank you to the team at Body Glide for the opportunity to check out Skin Glide. This is definitely a great new product to add to my race bag! As my mileage increases this fall, this will be much appreciated by my feet.
Atlanta Track Club hosts a variety of pretty awesome events each year. Each other their races offer their own unique qualities to them - theme, location, distance, etc, but one thing is guaranteed you will have a great time. I first ran this race in 2015 and knew right away that this would be added to my 2017 race calendar. It is a very well organized race, great course, and supported our Atlanta Police Officers and Crime Stoppers, so it made for a pretty awesome Saturday morning.
The race started and finished at Pemberton Place (near Georgia Aquarium and World of Coca-Cola). Since this is a big attraction area of downtown Atlanta, parking was plentiful which is awesome (minimal parking fee) and there is a large park area was a great space for pre and post race events, award ceremonies, and the kids races. We got to Pemberton Place nice and "dark and early" but we had plenty of time to get parked, eat breakfast, and head out to the race area.
Thanks to the wonderful Atlanta Track Club volunteers, check-in was super easy and quick. I cannot thank these volunteers enough - not only did they get everyone taken care of quickly, they did so with smiles on their faces (even at 6am). Volunteers ROCK!
After getting our bibs, we used the restrooms (both indoor facilities and port-o-potties were available) and hung out with a few of our friends while we waited to head over to the start. Atlanta Track Club and the Atlanta Police Department had a special surprise for us today while we waited to start: a APD helicopter landing!
The start line was a short 2 minute walk away from Pemberton Place. There were 6 start corrals that you self-seeded yourself in based on your projected pace. The waves started 2 minutes apart which helped reduce crowding on the narrow parts of the course. The course is a little narrow (not too narrow though) with some pothole infested streets in the first mile, so being spread out a bit is very welcomed.
When you run races downtown, you typically find yourself on some pretty tricky hills, but not today! Huge kudos to Atlanta Track Club for finding a way to run the course that it was fairly flat and forgiving (especially by Atlanta standards). Most of the first half of the course is a very gradual downhill which is so nice! Don't get too comfortable though because as you head up Techwood and Luckie Street in the final mile, you get a few uphill stretches.
Since I ran this race the past two years, I knew what to expect on the race course. I really took advantage of the first half of the course and ran a pretty strong first 2.3 miles - actually on my "fall 5K PR goal" pace. As I took on the hill on Luckie Street, my hips started to tighten and with a half marathon in less than 11 hours, I knew that I needed to be smart. I ended up finishing just shy of my PR and beat last year's time by over a minute!
After finishing, I grabbed some water and met up with a few friends and Papa J while we waited for Momma K to finish. While waiting, we got to cheer for a group from the Atlanta Police Academy as they crossed the finish line together.
Before we left, we went and cheered for the kids' 50 meter dash. I absolutely love cheering for our junior runners. As I stand there cheering them on, I don't know what is more touching - watching the looks on the kids faces or the parents' pride watching their little ones run.
What an awesome morning of running and time with friends! A huge thank you to Atlanta Track Club, volunteers, and of course Atlanta Police Department for making this morning possible. If you live in the Atlanta area, I highly recommend checking out Atlanta Track Club. From races to training groups to social events and even kid programs, there is something for everyone.
Are you interested in joining in on the fun of future Atlanta Track Club events? There are a number of races happening in the upcoming weeks around metro-Atlanta.
September 30th - Mercedes-Benz Stadium 5K/Walk Like MADD
October 22nd - PNC Atlanta 10 Miler & 5K
Interested in becoming a member of the Atlanta Track Club? Learn more about member benefits and become a member here.
I don't know if it is because I am a total pre-planner or the excitement of heading to Disneyland (or both), but it is time for me to start packing for Disneyland 1/2 Marathon weekend. I have a few busy few days leading up to leaving for California, so I am starting to layout and organize some of my stuff for Disneyland. I am a list person for sure, especially when packing. Here is a list of some of the most important things to pack for your race-cation.
Race information (expo times, expo layout, etc)
Shoes (multiple pairs for multiple races)
Throw away clothes or garbage bag (great for cold/wet weather)
Sparkly Soul Headbands
Handheld bottle/Hydration belt
Bib holder/Race Belt
iPod (and charger)
Garmin/watch (and charger)
Pre-race food (banana, power bar, etc)
Fuel - Gu, chews, etc
KT Tape (make sure to precut your strips or have scissors)
Foam Roller/The Stick
Travel first aid kit
Gallon bags for icepacks
Plastic bag for dirty race clothes (or use gear check bag)
Bathing Suit (if doing pool time)
Cell phone charger
Portable cellphone charger
Toiletries (shampoo, conditioner, body wash, razor, etc)
Yes, race-cation packing can be stressful. Just make your list and check it twice. Remember that a lot of what you might need can be purchased at your destination in a worst case scenario
Question of the Day: What items are on your packing list that I might have missed?
Sometimes you have races that you have circled on your calendar for months in advance. This was me with Vinings Down Hill 5K. I really enjoyed this race in three previous years - it was very well organized, great atmosphere, and I PR'ed this race the first two two years that I ran it. When I registered for the Vinings Down Hill 5K a few months ago, I had my heart set on attempting to PR this race.
After accepting how crazy hot and humid it has been lately, I decided to re-evaluate my goals right now. I have been carrying a faster pace for the first two miles but with a 8am start time, I knew that it was not going to be pretty come mile 3. A few weeks ago I decided to commit myself to an actual training plan for my 5K goals. This is my first training plan EVER that I am following and things are going great a few weeks into it. With my goal race coming up this fall, I knew I had would change exactly what that goal was for this year's Vinings Down Hill.
I got there bright an early to make sure I had plenty of time to get parked and settled before the race. Fortunately, my friends are also early-birds so we were able to meet up and chat before the race
We got lined up about 5 minutes before the 8:00am race start. I won't lie, there was a part of me that was feeling kind of bummed thinking about what I really wanted to have this race be for me today. I had a little mental pep-talk with myself and reminded myself that today's race was about me and just remembering that I got this.
With about 1500 runners starting at once (and starting downhill), the congestion was tough in the first 1/3 of a mile. The first 1/2 mile or so is a generous downhill and I wanted to take advantage of that start. While my first mile was not what I planned, I quickly adapted and continued trucking.
While the race is named Vinings Downhill 5K, don't let that fool you. Yes it is a point-to-point race, however you still encounter a number of long yet fairly gradual uphill portions. You have to quickly switch gears from running downhill to going uphill. Those not familiar with the course are surprised when they start the uphill portions.
The humidity was getting the best of my breathing at mile two and I started to feel a bit frustrated but I channeled that energy into my run. I was so proud of myself, I remained positive and just enjoyed the run today. I didn't worry about pace or splits - it was just about the run. As I crossed the finish line I saw that I finished about 45 seconds slower than my PR and I was totally fine with that.
As I mentioned earlier, this is a point-to-point race. The post race area is about a mile from the finish line (and another .5 mile from the parking deck). Participants have the option of riding the bus to the post race area or walking/running. I will take the bus, please. The buses were awesome and were loading a new bus just as the previous bus was filled and leaving so the wait was super minimal.
As we got off of the bus at Jubilee, we were greeted with freeze pops! With temps past 80 by the time we finished, it was greatly appreciated to have freeze pops on hand for us!
For this being a local race with about 1,500 participants, this post race area is AWESOME! There are some great vendors, awesome refreshments, music, fun, and more.
As you can already guess, I highly recommend this race. Don't be fooled by "downhill" in the name and prepare for the humidity/heat and you will have a great time! In case you are wondering, yes, I already have this race on my 2018 list.
I love to run and most importantly I love to have FUN while I run....I am the "Funner Runner"
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