Princess Weekend at DisneyWorld

What a fun weekend! There were definitely a lot of women at this race, and also a lot of great costumes. My personal favorites were the Prince Charming holding his Cinderella’s sparkly running shoe on a little red velvet pillow, and the “extra” dwarves. I don’t even remember their names, but we make up our own characters in my house too, so I got a big kick out of their cute costumes. My other favorite: the guy with the shirt that said “why are all these princess chasing me?”

I finally got a decent picture (okay, a little toothy) in front of the Geosphere. This photo opportunity is always at the end of the race when we’re sweaty and tired, and I have a terrible habit of running with my head back. My turtle pose. I worked extra hard for this photo and it was exhausting! Oh, d-dear.

I LOVED running through all the countries in EPCOT during the 10k. But… note to self: sometimes they close the A corral early. And then you have to sweetly ask to move all the way through the B corral to try to get into the A corral, and you receive many ugly looks.

(Another note to self: it’s gonna be hot in April. And bright. Wear cool clothing. And sunglasses.)

During the halfie, the Magic Kingdom castle was lit in pink and it truly made the morning magical.

We had a great time, and as always, all of the events were managed well, there were tons of helpful cast members, and the green army man kept me going!

EPCOT was making preparations for the Flower & Garden Festival, so we had a little preview of some of the topiaries. Can’t wait to be there next month!

Hollywood Studios had some areas open that were previously blocked, and we were glad to see the life-sized poster of Star Wars Land. We’re training for the Star Wars Dark Side Weekend – one of our FAVORITE runDisney events!


WDW Marathon Weekend

Yep, January can be cold, even in Florida. (February too, of course, but it was warm for the Princess weekend, just 6 weeks after the freezing temps for the January runs! More on that in my next post :))

It looked like everybody had to rethink their costumes. Thank goodness Disney gathers all the items we discard as we run and donates them.

It was so cold that before the race started, we all huddled together in little groups for warmth. People were wearing the blankets you get at the end of races (some people taped one on each leg and used another around their torso or shoulders), bathrobes, hats, gloves, scarves, ear muffs… you name it, we were wearing it to try to stay warm. It was crazy! Once we started running, there was no way I was throwing away my jacket. Still too cold!

On the morning of the 10k, there was a huge empty tent, and we all stood inside like cattle. The next day, the tent had merch in it and we had to “shop” in order to stay inside. “I like this jacket! Look at that hat! Ooooooooh, whaddya think about this shirt? Cute, right?!?” I did actually buy something.

We really enjoyed the 10k route. Running through EPCOT in the dark with the light of the torches is one of my very favorite parts of any runDisney race. We also ran through Animal Kingdom and Pandora in the dark and it was so beautiful! And seeing the Mickey hot air balloon against the beautiful morning sky was lovely!

The walk to the half marathon corrals seemed to add an additional mile (really, it was a long walk), but the entire weekend was well planned and ran efficiently.

Personally, I’d like to have nutrition earlier than mile 8 – for me, that’s too late. So I bring a gel or sport beans with me.

One of my favorite parts of this run is the green army man at the top of the hill (yes, for a gal from sea level, an overpass is a hill, and this one comes after a loooong, slow, uneven climb up the ramp) who encourages us to keep moving! He’s funny and gives me a boost at just the right time.

This was our first time to run during the marathon weekend. We may be inclined to run the full marathon someday, but we’re not ready yet. Doesn’t matter – we LOVE our runDisney weekends!

Why do I run… more thoughts

I have enjoyed participating in a local 10k series, but noticed something recently. I saw some of the same people at these runs and developed a strange need to beat an individual in my category. Here’s what happened: I no longer enjoyed the race and pushed myself too hard. The injury I sustained lasted for 3 months. What an idiot! So why do I run?

I don’t do it for the competition (even though I am competitive)… I prefer running by myself, after all. Absolutely love my wide open running trail with clouds, sun, cows, birds, and other critters as my mostly companions.

No, I run to feel strong in my body, to feel in control of my life, and to use up some of my excess energy.

To my competition: I apologize. You probably didn’t even notice me, but inside my head, I was a jerk.

I’m scaling back on the local runs. I might complete them virtually by myself or with my sister or husband. We like to run together when our schedules permit. And we will continue to plan for awesome destination runs such as runDisney events, the San Francisco Marathon, a Santa Hustle, or other races. We have some fun ideas. And that’s what I want to focus on. My love of running!

This is my goal: I will run, and will appreciate any distance, any pace.

California date weekend

img_0138My whole family fell in love with the San Diego area on our trip in July, so my husband and I returned at the end of October!

img_0143The San Diego Zoo was a highlight for us on both trips, but on this visit, we took to time to relax, sit on beaches, and watch surfers and seals.

We thoroughly enjoyed La Jolla and walking along the Coast Boulevard. Gotta admit, the seal might be my spirit animal: they seemed to enjoy napping in the sun and then waking up to yell at each other. We took the scenic route back to Carlsbad and loved all the funky little towns along the coast.


Weather was beautiful, as usual, and we went for a long run, but I wasn’t careful enough about running downhill. I abused some muscles that don’t normally get a workout. Note to self: don’t be stupid.


I think we’re becoming addicted to southern California!

Running in Disneyland!


My sister and I spent 4 glorious days in Cali for the Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend in September. We ran in Florida in the Fall last year (Wine & Dine is one of our favorite events), but this year decided to try an event on the West coast. It didn’t disappoint.

Some thoughts and thank you notes:

-the route for the 10k was perfect; we spent a lot of time in the parks and cast members really supported us – thank you!

-LOVED the fact that the parks had the rides running with music blaring as we ran through – this little touch really brought the Disney magic

-for the Half Marathon, we spent time in the parks again, and also a lot of time on streets

-LOVED the cars that lined the streets; they went on and on and on – thanks for coming out!

-LOVED the dancing groups and cheerleaders and scouts who lined the route and cheered us on – thanks for sharing your time and talents!

-running through Angel Stadium is crowded but very special

-the Dumbo Double Dare is a great challenge and we adore our shirts and medals


A few more highlights:

-in Florida, there are race photographers available BEFORE the races start, and let’s face it, that’s when we look our best – we’d like to see that feature in Cali

-please provide snacks before mile 9 or 10 (it’s my own fault; note to self: put a gel in your rooSport for longer runs!)

-one of the best things about visiting Disneyland is the close proximity of the parks, hotels, packet pickup, race start/finish – being able to walk everywhere is great, and we enjoyed hopping back and forth between the 2 parks (park hack: you can get FPs in one park and go over to the other park to get another set)

-lobster nachos and craft beer at Cove Bar

-pasta and wine at Il Trattoria (don’t miss the tasting terrace upstairs)

-Grand Californian for so many reasons (the fireplace, the park entrance, the beautiful accommodations)


To wrap it up, we love runDisney. Combining a few of our favorite things (Disney parks, running, dressing up, beer and wine and good food) makes this a special sister retreat for us, and we’re making plans to see you real soon!

Patronus virtual run

PatronusA while back I wrote this entry about The Wizarding World of Harry Potter and forgot to post it. It’s a tiny bit dated, but here ’tis.

I ran 9 & 3/4 k (about 6.04 mi) for the Hogwarts Running Club (with virtual runs, you choose the distance, time, and location for your run).

Since I love Harry Potter and running, I really enjoy following this running club on twitter and participating in some of their virtual runs. They choose hilarious themes and their medals and t-shirts are great.

I’m also a big fan of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal in Orlando ~ it is magical! The buildings are crooked and covered in snow, the rides are great, and they’ve incorporated tons of theming. House banners and cobbled roads and Hagrid’s hut and toys and food… I could go on and on.

My family’s favorites are the Forbidden Castle ride (single rider line), eating in the Three Broomsticks, and drinking butter beer.

My home’s Halloween decorations include a black cat candle holder which I bought on opening day in the Wizarding World. We were there when it opened! I don’t want to think about how long we stood in line. But we were there!Patronus bib 3

I’ve started reading the books again, to immerse myself in the stories, the language, the experiences of the characters. Jo Rowling, hats off to you for creating an entire world for us. It’s a place that many of us wish we could call home.

California preview

We wanted to visit a nice place with cooler temps, relax a bit, and explore something new to us, and we gratefully used hotel and airline points to make it happen.

After driving around for a while unsuccessfully looking for parking near some crowded beaches, we decided to look around a cozy little neighborhood. Every once in a while, we’d see a local in swimwear walking by, no shoes, maybe carrying a surfboard. Hmmmm, where could they be headed? So yes, we stalked them. Parked easily and tracked those innocent folks to a hidden pathway which led to some steep stairs down to a beautiful beach! This little gem was covered in smooth rocks that tinkled as they came into shore. I think my husband told me one time about this strange effect, but I couldn’t imagine it at the time. It’s quite lovely.

Carlsbad beach 6

One of the highlights of the trip was waking up my teens the next day with the words, would you be interested in going to Disneyland today? It was a complete surprise to them, and their reactions were so charming. We loved our day in the park, and I was even able to scope out my digs for the next runDisney event, the Dumbo Double Dare. I love this part of DL California Adventures which represents national parks, always high on my list of favorite places to visit and explore. I’ll never forget seeing the Grand Canyon as a kid and hiking in cave dwellings at Mesa Verde.

Grand Cali 7:16

Next stop was the immense and lush San Diego Zoo. It’s incredible! I highly recommend taking the bus tour to get an overview of the zoo and to learn some great information. I fell in love with an animal I’d never before seen, a Gerenuk (which means “giraffe neck”). The tram ride is also a good way to get a bird’s-eye view and rest for a bit.


We wanted to spend so much more time enjoying the climate and the lovely surroundings. We will return!

Disneyland 7:16