Thanks to runDisney, I had the opportunity to attend a Meetup with Jeff Galloway (and other fabulous guests) the day before the Tinker Bell Half Marathon.
The morning started early – we met near the Disneyland hotel at 6:15 (not bad for someone still on East Coast time). We were all given runDisney shirts to wear and set off on a 2 mile run through Disneyland. Running in Disneyland and California Adventure at that hour was amazing. I ran with my friend Carrie from ROTE and my new blogger friend Mallory. Mallory took some amazing photos – I don’t know how she was able to tweet and run as well as she did! We were told to be ready to run at a 12:00 pace. I’m more of a 12:50 kind of girl, but I thought I could handle it for 2 miles. We were running a 40 second run/20 second walk pattern, and well, I just couldn’t keep up. We weren’t too far behind, but my heartrate kept skyrocketing, so I had to slow up a bit. Mallory and Carrie stuck with me though, and we had a lot of fun. We finished the run and I was shocked to see that we actually stuck to around an 11:30 pace!
We then headed into the Art of Animation theater for a few presentations. It was fantastic.
We listened to runDisney’s Bob Hitchcock talk about runDisney and social media. Bob’s a great guy and he definitely organized an amazing event.
Then he introduced Robin Trowbridge, who discussed all of the entertainment and special touches that go into a Disney race, such as having Tinker Bell fly during the 5K and having characters out on the course. Someone asked what happens when Snow White needs a break – does another Snow White come out? We were all appalled. Of course there is only one Snow White!
We also heard from Lori, the runDisney member of the Disney Mom’s Panel. What a sweetheart.
Megyn Price was the “celebrity runner” for this race, and trained up for this as her first half. She got to wear Bib #1! She was awesome to listen to. She was so normal and down to earth and, like every new runner, was terrified that she wouldn’t finish her first race. (Spoiler alert – she did!) She talked about how she had never been an athlete and how she wanted to do this to show her daughter how strong women can be. It was fun when the tables sort of turned and instead of asking questions, people started reassuring her that she would be just fine.
And of course, the man himself, Jeff Galloway. This was a great Q&A session – plenty of time to ask questions, anything from how to figure out run/walk intervals to the best way to start. And he has a great rule – one that I follow myself: No puking. I know many people who throw up after a hard run. No run is worth that to me. Jeff had great tips about listening to your body and doing what’s right for you.
At the end of the event, Minnie came out in her cute running outfit and posed for pictures!
Then we were treated to a wonderful surprise – we were invited to tour the Disneyland Dream Suite! The Dream Suite is in New Orleans Square, by Pirates of the Caribbean. It’s in a space that was originally intended for the Disney family, but it wasn’t built until 2007. The space is amazing and is based off of the original plans for the apartment. There were many sweet touches to the space. We weren’t allowed to take photos, but I found a great online walk-through here.
What an amazing event. And this was only a small part of the weekend, as the next day was the main event – the Inaugural Tinker Bell Half Marathon!