Are you a runDisney fan and blogger?

Are you a runDisney fan? Do you have a blog? Do you just like to read blogs? Then read more!

For those of you not stalking me on Twitter, I have just started a list of runDisney runner blogs on its very own page.

runDisney Blogs

The link is also up in my header, so you can always find it. Fill out the form or leave a comment if you want to be added! I can’t wait to read all the new blogs!

My favorite race(s)

When brainstorming for post ideas, Jenny suggested I write about my favorite race.

Good idea, I thought!  Writing about my favorite race.  What a novel idea for a running blog!  I’m going to do it!

And then I realized just how challenging this would be.  I honestly don’t know what my favorite race might be.  So let’s go down the list.

Clearly, runDisney is at the top of this list.  I love all things Disney.  I love Walt Disney World, and though I’ve only been three times (all for races), I love Disneyland as well.  And it was Disney racing that brought me to true distance running in the first place.  I saw videos for the Princess Half Marathon and I wanted to do it.  Of course, I then got sick and missed Princess that year, but managed to still make a Disney race my first half with the Disneyland Half.

It’s a tough call to make, but I think top of the list right now has to go to Disney’s Tinker Bell Half Marathon.  Here’s a link to my recap of the inaugural race.  I’m a WDW nut, so I’m surprised a Disneyland race makes the top of my list, but it does.  Why do I have such fond memories of this race?  Well, it was a runDisney event, so it was well organized and had great entertainment along the course.  Anaheim has awesome weather for running (most of the time).  Disneyland is smaller than WDW, so rather than boarding busses super early to get to the start, we all just walked from our hotel, which meant getting more sleep.  And I genuinely loved the course.  My favorite type of race course is the kind that goes through neighborhoods where people come out on their front porches to cheer (or sometimes stare in bewilderment at the costumed people running past their house).   I loved running through Downtown Disney.  I loved the crowd support (the Red Hat Ladies, the school bands and dance teams, etc.).  It was just a really fun race.

I’m not even going to try to rank the rest, so here are some of my other favorites.  And since I already professed the runDisney love (seriously, just run some of their races), I’m going to branch out.

Another race I loved was the Myrtle Beach Mini.  I don’t seem to have recapped that race (whoops).  Myrtle Beach in late October isn’t the prettiest weather for beachgoing, but it’s great race weather.  The race is point-to-point and the course was absolutely awesome.  Gorgeous scenery, a fast and flat course, and a finish right along the beach.  The medal is pretty great too – GIANT surfboard that can be used as a bottle opener and it even has a magnet on the back to stick it to your fridge.  There is music and fun and it’s just a very party atmosphere.  Definitely fun.

Along the same lines is the Shamrock Half Marathon in Virginia Beach.  I did actually recap that one.  I love St. Patrick’s Day, so this race clearly calls my name.   Cool weather, fast and flat course, finishing on the beach with a giant party.  The spectators were amazing for this race.  There were people all along the course cheering and offering beer to the runners.  I was aiming for a PR when I ran this race, so I did not partake, but I can see doing so in the future.  The finish line party was also excellent.

And to keep this short, I will end with a slightly shorter race, the Army Ten Miler.  Here’s my recap from 2010.  This race is an emotional roller coaster.  There are many people who run in memory of fallen soldiers.  You see a lot of signs and photos.  You also see a lot of soldiers running in their gear and you see Wounded Warriors.   There are also groups of spouses who run “with” their deployed spouse (the race does satellite runs at Army bases all over the world).  It is an inspiring race to be a part of.  The course runs through DC and I wouldn’t call it challenging, but for the slower runner, making the cutoff can be tough because it’s based on clock time, not on how long it took you to get to that point.  If you get a slow start through the corrals, you may have to push.  But it is so worth it.


Marathon Training

As you might have noticed, I’m in the middle (well, more the beginning) of marathon training.

Two years ago, I would have thought this was crazy.  I still kind of think it’s crazy, to be honest, but I hope it’s worth it.

A few people have asked me about my training plan.  I’m doing a bit of a hybrid plan, I suppose.  I am a Galloway convert, meaning that I always do a run/walk (or as Galloway says, run/walk/run) pattern.  I feel so much better after every race.  I vary my intervals (meaning how much I run versus how much I walk), but for the most part, for long runs, I’ve been running 1 minute and walking 1 minute.  For shorter runs, I tend to run 2 minutes and walk 1.  My half marathon PR was done at a run 1:30 and walk 1, so these intervals clearly haven’t hurt my time.

But for the marathon, I’m doing 1:1.

I’m not following Galloway’s training plan, however.  This is twofold.  First off, I’m a slightly more experienced runner and I know my body.  His mid-week runs are done by time.  I’m slow, and I know I need more distance than I will get in his proscribed times.  Besides, I was running more than that before starting official marathon training.  Also, I have no desire to do any longer than a 20 mile training run in the leadup to the marathon.  A lot of people like having the longer distance under their belt.  But for half marathon training, I never do more than 10, so I’m following that rule for the full marathon.

Please note – I’m not saying his plan is bad.  There are a lot of great training plans out there and different plans work for different people.

Instead, I’m following Hal Higdon’s novice 1 training program with a few tweaks.  I had to shift around the weeks due to my personal calendar – already scheduled races and travel, including the Christmas holidays.  I didn’t want to be forced to do my twenty mile run around my hometown if I didn’t have to.  I’m fairly certain I would have to circle the town twice to make that work.  So I wanted to have that under my belt before I left Maryland.  I also shifted the schedule so my weekday runs are Tues/Thurs/Fri and my long run is on Sunday.    Some weeks I may shift the Tuesday run to Wednesday, depending on how late I am at choir practice the Monday before.

Flexibility is the key to any good training schedule.  I’ve padded my schedule so if something happens, like getting sick or not being able to pull out a long run for some reason, I can work around it.  I have room for rescheduled workouts.

It’s scary to look at it all on one page. But I can do this.

runDisney News Release – Carey, Marini, Hoover, Astin, Zohn and Morasca Join Celebrity-Filled 20th Anniversary Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend

Carey, Marini, Hoover, Astin, Zohn and Morasca Join Celebrity-Filled 20th Anniversary Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend

Hollywood personalities are latest celebrities to join star-packed marathon weekend; The Biggest Loser host Alison Sweeney and ESPN radio personality Colin Cowherd already in the field; uniquely-designed commemorative race medal for every finisher

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (Aug. 16, 2012) – Several additional celebrities are joining in the fun of the 20th anniversary Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend presented by Cigna.

Comedian and The Price Is Right host Drew Carey, actor Gilles Marini (Sex in the City: The Movie, Switched at Birth and Dancing with the Stars), Access Hollywood co-host Kit Hoover, reality TV stars Ethan Zohn and Jenna Morasca (Survivor, The Amazing Race and Everyday Health) and actor Sean Astin (The Goonies, The Lord of the Rings and Rudy) are participating in the historic runDisney race weekend, Jan. 10-13.

Zohn , Morasca, Marini and Hoover are running the 13.1-mile half marathon at Disney, while Carey and Astin are taking on the 26.2-mile marathon. They join celebrities Alison Sweeney (The Biggest Loser) and Colin Cowherd (ESPN radio personality) who already signed up for the half marathon.

For many of these celebrities, competing in a runDisney event will be a familiar experience. This will be the second runDisney race for Carey, who ran in the 2011 Disneyland Half Marathon. Likewise, Zohn and Morasca both ran in the Walt Disney World Half Marathon earlier this year and the Princess Half Marathon last year. And Astin ran in the inaugural Tinker Bell Half Marathon at Disneyland Resort earlier this year. This will be the first runDisney event for Hoover, an avid runner, and Cowherd and Marini, who are both first-time half marathon runners.


In all, nearly 50,000 runners are expected to compete in various events throughout the weekend with the 26.2-mile marathon field comprised of roughly 55 percent women – the first time ever that women have outnumbered men in the Disney Marathon field.


The celebrity participants are just some of the new features of the Disney Marathon. Among the other new features are:

  • A specially-designed 20th anniversary Mickey Mouse commemorative finisher’s medal with two spinning elements and engraved with two famous quotes from Walt Disney himself
  • Enhanced entertainment at Mile 20 to celebrate the 20th anniversary
  • New course routes through the Walt Disney World Speedway and the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex
  • A new post-race party at Downtown Disney

The Disney Marathon Weekend presented by Cigna will again feature Kids’ Races throughout the weekend, including the Mickey Mile, as well as a Family Fun Run 5K on Friday, the Half Marathon on Saturday and the Marathon on Sunday.  There is also Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge which involves running the half marathon and the full marathon – a total of 39.3 miles.  The Health and Fitness Expo runs throughout the weekend at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex and features the latest in running technology and fashion, as well as renowned running experts such as Jeff Galloway, the official training consultant for runDisney.

Runners can register for the race and get more information at


About runDisney

runDisney is a series of events providing runners unique opportunities to run various distances through Disney theme parks.  Race participants earn Disney-themed medals, experience legendary Disney entertainment and guest service and ultimately celebrate their accomplishments with a Disney vacation.  The original event in the series, the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend presented by Cigna, takes place in January followed by the Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend in February, The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler in September and the Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend in November.  Disneyland hosts the Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend in January and the Disneyland Half Marathon in September during Labor Day Weekend.  More than 100,000 running enthusiasts participate in runDisney events each year. For more information, visit and follow us on Facebook (runDisney) and Twitter @DisneySports.

You Can Do This!

As I have posted before, I like looking at the search terms people use to find my site.

And it looks like there are a lot of people signed up for upcoming races who are worried about finishing.

“Is there shame in the sag wagon for Tinkerbell”

“What if I don’t finish the race”

Don’t think like that!  YOU WILL FINISH!  You can do this!  Think positive.

First off, if you’re the person running Tinker Bell, that race is in January.  You have plenty of time to train!  Get out there and get running.  It’s a half marathon, so find a half marathon plan that has you run at least one long run of ten miles (or more – but ten is plenty).  Will you do all the training runs?  Probably not.  I don’t know that I know anyone who has set up a training plan and stuck to every single run.  Life happens!  Get in the long runs and believe in yourself and you will be fine.

The key here is to do your best.  Is there shame in ending up on the sag wagon (meaning that you’ve fallen behind pace and been picked up and transported to the finish).  Absolutely not.  It’s sad, and I know I would be bawling if it happened to me.  But it happens.  Even the best laid plans sometimes fall apart.  People get injured during races.  People get sick before the race.  These things happen.  And there is no shame.

Now, I’ve talked about the idea of taking a medal even though you don’t finish the whole race.  To summarize – I don’t like it.  Yes, you trained.  Yes, you paid the money.  But it’s a finisher’s medal.  If it weren’t, the race organizers would hand it out at packet pickup.  But that is your choice.  Personally, I would want something good to come out of my bad experience so if it were a runDisney race, I would take the medal and then sell it on eBay (there are Disney collectors out there who don’t care that it was a race – they want everything Disney) and then I would donate the money to a charity.

But you know what?  You’re not going to have to worry about that.  You’re going to earn that medal.  You’re going to cross the finish line.

The fear of not being able to finish is familiar to a lot of runners.  During my first half marathon, the 2010 Disneyland Half Marathon, I wasn’t convinced that I could do it until I hit mile ten and realized that I had well over an hour to finish within the 3:30 time limit.  At that moment, I teared up.  I knew that I could run 3.1 miles in an hour.  I could walk 3.1 miles in an hour.  I was going to finish.

And that first finish… it’s a beautiful moment.  It’s an amazing sense of accomplishment, and if you’ve never experienced it, I am so excited for you to finally have that feeling.

I admit it.  I am terrified of my first marathon coming up in January.  I’m crazy excited, but I’m scared.  I’ve never run more than 14 miles.  But I have a training plan and I’m going to stick to it as best I can.  I’m scared something will happen and I won’t get the (beautiful) medal.  But I have to stay confident.  Sure, I’ll have moments of doubt.   But I know I will have a moment during the race where I realize I will finish and I know that I will cry when I cross the finish line.  I can’t wait.

You’ve got this and you can do it.  We can do it.