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!


Star Wars – The Light Side Half Marathon (and by light, I mean cheap)

Here’s my belated review of our January runDisney Star Wars – The Light Side weekend in California.

We registered late and weren’t able to participate in the Rebel Challenge, so my sister and I focused on the half marathon, and my hubby came along for just one night and ran the 10k. This was his first runDisney experience, so we gave him all of our best tips.

We decided to make this a shorter and more cost-conscious runDisney experience, and we did a pretty good job! We only registered for one race, so that brought the cost down. Also, we didn’t really shop. We picked up our packets at the Expo and headed straight to the parks.

We usually go to WDW in Florida, so our favorite things in California are Hyperspace Mountain and lobster nachos at Cove Bar. We also tried something new – appetizers and drinks at Carthay Circle Lounge. Delicious food, but not filling. We followed it up later by going to our other favorite restaurant, Wine Country Trattoria. Such beautiful, outdoor seating and great food.

Again, the best part of the Disneyland events is the close proximity of EVERYTHING! We stayed at an inexpensive hotel right across the street from the park entrance, Park Vue Inn, and it was a good little spot (especially for the price). Their free hot breakfast was simple but yummy.

My husband said the 10k was great – he really enjoyed seeing the runners in costume, running through the parks, and spotting Star Wars rebels. It was pretty cool in the morning for both runs, so we took throw-away jackets. We really needed those mylar blankets at the end (thank you, runDisney)!

Quick comparison between 2 runDisney event weekends:

  • The route for the Disneyland Half Marathon in September had too many bottlenecks and part of the race was on a narrow path next to an empty cement ravine (not very pleasant, and a little scary), BUT it did have tons of supporters, from dance groups to classic cars to scouts, AND we ran through Angel Stadium (but it was very crowded).
  • The route for the Light Side Half Marathon in January wound through pretty little neighborhoods and, of course, through the parks with plenty of cast members, marching bands, and cosplay folks cheering us on. We love it when the rides are running and music is playing in the parks – so festive! There were also plenty of Star Wars characters urging us to “move along.”

Cost review: we saved money by staying at a cheaper hotel with free breakfast, registering for one race, staying fewer nights, needing fewer tickets to the parks, and not shopping. But… we love running, we love a challenge, and we love Disney World, so we’ll be there next month to run the Dark Side Challenge.

Can’t wait to earn the Kessel Run medal in SIX WEEKS!

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!