WDW Marathon 2015: Deciding to Sign-up

Good Morning!

This post will kick off my Walt Disney World Marathon Series. I will try to put up a post a week with this series starting this week and running through the end of January.

I will be running a separate monthly series over at “Running at Disney” that will focus on different aspects of the race. But, if you want a total picture, please feel free to check that out as well. I’ll add a link on workorrun.com when my Running At Disney post goes up (once a month).


But back to THIS series…

If you remember back to January, my husband and I attempted to run the WDW Marathon 2014. Our families make the trek down to Florida with us and were there to cheer us on. Well, my husband finished (absolutely no training) and I ended up pulling out of the race at mile 16.5. I am SO tired of talking about that so I’ll move along quickly…




I absolutely HATE leaving things unfinished and that is definitely what this felt like to me.

So, although we vowed to run “another marathon” I talked to my husband and explained why I felt like I needed to head back to Disney. He was really on the fence about whether he wanted to run again, but ultimately decided to go after it with me.

I, in a moment of insanity, signed up for the Goofy Race and a Half Challenge. So, not only will I be making an attempt at a marathon, but I’ll be doing a half marathon the day before as well! I know…CRAZY!

That’s my story for signing up. The biggest decision maker for me was, frankly, the cost of running disney. If you remember back to this post, I went through the RunDisney Races available at the time and priced out their cost (ouch!). Since Sept 2012, I have been to Disney four times (Disney World 3 times — 2 with the hubs, 1 with my mom; Disneyland 1 time). That’s a lot of dough to put out! And, although we live fairly cheaply, we do like to enjoy ourselves on vacation and not have to worry about wanting that dessert or picking up a specialty drink. I’ll talk more about that later, but wanted to touch on how much finances played a role in my decision. Fortunately, or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it, registration was a week before I got some bad news about changes at my job. So…finances are even tighter for us right now. I’m choosing to have faith that things will work out and I’ll be in a better place in a short time so that we can plan an AWESOME trip!

The other big factor for me was the training. I SUCK at keeping up with training. I am working really hard this time around to get a routine in place before the training officially begins (July 2014). Hopefully it will work this time around! I’m also telling LOTS of people and hoping that weekly posting here will help keep me on track. I am considering working with a trainer again, but my trainer is moving out of state so I’ll need to find someone new to work with (I have someone in mind who promises to keep me on track and get me into the right shape to finish).


Enough about me…How do you decide to sign up for a race? How do you decide what race to sign up for?

Here are some pointers from my experiences…

1 – Can you keep up with training? Whether you are running your first 5k or an Ultra, you need to train. I know, I know…totally hypocritical of me to say this. But, I speak from experience when I say that the races I trained for, I felt the best after and enjoyed the most! Look at training plans and figure out if you really have time to train right now, or if you should wait until your schedule allows you to train better.


2 – Can you afford this race? Like I said above, Disney is expensive — probably one of the more expensive races to run. But, other races can cost a pretty penny if you are traveling, etc. Make sure its in your budget BEFORE you sign up.


3 – Can you stay under the race pace? A lot of races that are 10k or longer have a race cut-off time. Make sure you look at this time before you sign up for the race. RunDisney is great because their cut-off time is 16 minutes per mile and they seem quite lenient for the half marathons with not cutting people after a certain point in the race. Other races, however, are not so generous. I run Hershey, PA races a lot and they often have a 14 minute mile cut off and WILL pull you or redirect you if you are over the time limit.


4 – Is it a fun run or a serious race? For people just starting out, I strongly recommend looking at the fun runs, or at least at non-serious runs. If you sign up for a race where everyone is shooting for a PR (Personal record) under an 8 minute mile and you are just starting out, you will be so unhappy and probably get a lot of ugly looks (yeah, i know…we should all be supporting each other for just getting out there, but not everyone shares that mantra). For your first race, look for one that is a little more relaxed. I love Disney races because they support everyone and really, truly, promote just getting out there. But, there are lots of other races that do this as well. Looking to just do a 5k? Your options are endless!


5 – Do you have a support system? You can totally go out and run a race without help from friends and family, even when they are negative about your goals. However, it will be much easier if you have a support system. It will also be easier if you have someone at the race cheering you on. Remember above when I mentioned our families came down to cheer us on? Yeah, that was AWESOME! To know they were there helped me get as far as I did. And, when I had to slunk off the sag wagon and push through a crowd….I can’t even express how much relief it was to find my dad standing there to give me a big hug and tell me he was proud of me. Support is awesome. I include this as a factor because if you are considering a race that requires travel, you might not be able to have someone come along with you. But, if you find something more local, you might be able to convince a friend or family member to show up and meet you at the finish line! Even better…find someone to run the race with you! I’ve run a few races with my husband, a bunch with my sister in law, a few with team in training and a few more with other friends or family. I love pulling out my turkey trot shirt from last year and remembering those 3.1 miles with my friend, Erin. So much fun! Even if we/I was slow…


6 – Do you really want to do it? Seriously! Do YOU want to do it? If you don’t, then don’t let someone pressure you or don’t feel like you have to. A race is not the only way to show you are awesome. If you aren’t into the whole crowd thing, if you aren’t ready for the challenge, then just don’t do it. Simple. If someone is asking, say maybe next time. Or, just be honest that you aren’t interested. I will say two things on this… 1) If its your first race and its nerves keeping you from doing it, don’t let that stop you. Give it a try. 2)If it is a local race and a friend is asking, offer to show up and support them if you are able to. Remember #5 up there…be someone else’s support!


Welp, that’s all I have. If there are other things YOU consider, share them in the comments! I’d love to know how other people make their decision.


Truth be told…I’m a sucker for the bling…






I am SOO excited to announce that I will OFFICIALLY be running the 2015 Disney World Marathon. AND, I get to run it with my husband again!


I cannot contain my excitement that we not only have another Disney trip planned (I thought I’d be at least a few years before we both headed back down), but that I get to go back and face the thing that I was unable to complete last year.


Oh, and here’s a little secret cherry on top…I signed up for Goofy! what?! Yup… Think I might’ve been a little goofy with the registration site issues yesterday that I just did it on a whim! I had been thinking about it, but wasn’t going to, and then its the 10th anniversary so…yeah.


Who’s gonna be there with us?!

Running Disney v. Non-Disney

I’ve done a lot of events over the past 2.5 years. A lot…probably more than I should have, but that’s a story for another day.

This post is about Disney events versus Non-Disney events. I’m only going to be talking about events that are 10k or longer since that is all I have run with Disney. I have a lot to say about 5ks and fun runs, but again…story for another day.


I thought I’d break it down into categories to compare: Pre-race day/weekend, Expo, Race Start, Race Course, Race Finish, Post-Race, and Price/Value.

The races:

2011 Nike Women’s Marathon San Francisco (Half)

2012 Disney Tower of Terror 10-miler

2013 Disney Princess Half Marathon

2013 Hershey 10k

2013 Nike Women’s Half Marathon D.C.

2013 Disneyland 10k

2013 Disneyland Half Marathon

2013 Hershey Half Marathon

2013 Philadelphia Marathon Weekend (Half)

2014 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend (Full)



Pre-Race Day/Weekend:

I ran my two Nike half marathons and the Hershey 10k through Team in Training so they took care of registration. I did receive some pre-race email information, but it was limited. I am not sure if non-TNT runners receive more info or not, but there isn’t much to talk about with those.

I find that registration for any race is relatively easy. I am not a big fan of how quickly the Disney races have been selling out lately. I think a lot of this has to do with their allowance for early registration for special groups. Perhaps they should consider a lottery system for future races? I know a lot of other races have converted to lottery picks — which is why I’m not running the Nike DC half this year.

I don’t feel there is much difference in pre-race emails from disney to non-disney. I am FOREVER edgy for more information and information sooner.

I do feel like Non-Disney races tend to have essential information posted a bit earlier — course map, expo info, etc. I get very frustrated with not-knowing this important info until 3-4 weeks before the race like Disney has been doing lately.

Best Pre-Race Day: It’s a tie…




Disney definitely does an expo well. There are usually lots of vendors, great signage and lots of fun little extras. I was seriously disappointed with the two Nike expos I’ve been to. There were not a lot of outside vendors and very few “freebies.” I love a good sample freebie … (maybe that’s why I love Costco so much??).

Disney seems to be working out the kinks as their participant numbers continue to grow. They take runner feedback seriously and adjust as necessary. This is a huge plus. Many of the other expos have either been very limited (Hershey is only 2500 runners) or just look like mass chaos.

Overall, I kind of loathe the expo. I like that many runs have been putting the necessary stuff at an easily accessible area so you can avoid the huge crowds and nonsense if you want. I really wish they would find larger venues and spread things out a little, but I know there’s a cost/value factor on the organizers part that must be considered.

Winner: Disney by a landslide



Race Start

I love race starts. Disney gets points for the fireworks, but they are long and repetitive if you’re not in one of the front corrals. And, if you run more than one Disney race.

The Philly marathon/Half was an awesome start. Granted my wave’s start song was not the most empowering, but they changed it up each time which helped those of us in the back deal with the long (and I do mean looooong) wait to the start. I also liked giving the Mayor a high-five as I crossed the start line!

Nike does an awesome job with the start line. The music rocks and everyone is so hyped up.

I am giving a huge plus to the later start time most Non-Disney races have. A 230 wake-up call so the parks can get cleared…yeah that sucks.

I feel like Hershey shouldn’t even be considered. With only a small number of runners everyone starts at the same time. Its a little chaotic and very informal, but kind of nice (homey).

Winner: This one goes Non-Disney. The later start time and variety at other race starts is what pushes it over.



Race Course

Seriously? Is this even a question? Who can beat running through Disney parks? And with Disney characters and they have TONS of support along the course (food, drinks, cheer crowds, entertainment).

I was disappointed with the Disneyland Half course, but it wasn’t nearly as bad as mile 11 of the Philly Half when I was dragging beyond all belief and there was NO ONE along that mile to cheer you on. Disney always makes sure their runners are not out there alone and that counts for a lot when you’re not an elite runner.
As a side … we are looking at running a marathon in November that has water/food every 2 miles for the first 20 miles and then every mile after that. I like the consistency of knowing how often the water stops are. Disney’s are a little random and that can be difficult if you train a certain way. Especially since the course maps come out so late so you can’t even train according to the course map (you can refer back to the year before, but that doesn’t guarantee it will be the same on race day).

Also — because you run on Disney property, they are able to add additional stops or support along the course at the last minute. Several of the last Disney races I’ve done have seemed to add water stops because of high temperatures. That kind of control is really nice and an added bonus for beginner runners who aren’t as adaptable to changes in temperatures or water intake.

A downside for Disney is that they keep throwing in the darn loop around the bases. I HATE this. you kick up dirt and dust into the heels of your shoes or on the backs of your legs and it just cakes because of the sweat you’ve got dripping off of you at that point. I HATE it. Would love to see this come out of the races, but I know many people enjoy it.

Winner: Disney



Race Finish:

Nothing beats the finish line at a race.

A few of the non-disney races have had confusing finish lines or finisher shoots that go on seemingly forever.

Disney doesn’t have this one in the bag though. I wish ice was available sooner at each race or was in the same spot or something. Also, I feel like I get turned around and confused as I’m going through the shoot to get out. I was really disappointed at the Marathon in January because there was a large wall blocking much of the shoot. So as a spectator I ended up missing my husband come through.

I feel like I don’t feel like I’ve finished until I am back to my family or see my family and Disney races make this difficult. Philly was probably the best for meeting up with people and one of the best for spectators to watch at the finish line.

Winner: Tie


Finisher Area/Family Reunion Area:

I really give Disney credit for setting up tents with the alphabet to help families find each other. I also recently learned that there are public cell phones to use to get in touch with family members. I can’t comment on if other races have these cell phones since I usually run with mine in my spibelt.

I feel like it was easier for family to see and find runners at non-disney races. There are tons of bottle-neck issues at the Disney races and I saw very few signs or posted maps to help guide family members. It is also crazy-crowded at disney races. Oh, and as a note…Disney can be difficult for runners to get around to see various parts of the race — one disadvantage of having the race almost entirely on property.

Winner: Non-Disney



Disney races just keep getting more and more expensive!  It is very frustrating and a definite deterrent for runners. There is the added value of the additional course support and entertainment, but the cost is prohibitive for those on a limited budget.

That’s not to say other races are cheap. There are some very affordable races, but if you’re doing a 10k, half, or full, you can expect to have put put out some dough.

Winner: Tie — Disney’s added value is so great, but the entry price at other races is better.



Disney – II

Non-Disney – II

Tie – III


Overall: Here’s my lame total…its a tie.

Here’s why…

I LOVE running Disney because I love Disney. So the value for the price is totally worth it to me. If you LOVE running and that’s really you’re motivation, you will probably be happier at a non-disney event. Especially if you’re fast. Do not expect to run disney and not encounter walkers or walk/runners. Disney is for “fun” runners which is what I love.


Other thoughts:

You should research a race before you register for it. Look at some information from people who have run it before to gain an understanding of the atmosphere/attitude of the race. You’ll want to know a few things: how often are there fluids on the course, is there any food/fuel on the course, what food/water is on the course, how are the spectators, how is transportation to/from the finish line, look at the course map and look for elevation and where elevation occurs, blingity bling bling (Nike takes the cake with their Tiffany necklace, but I do love my disney medals!), and location (travel/non-travel).


Best wishes if you decide to take on ANY race. I’m always around for tips/pointers/feedback. Lord knows I’ve done pretty much everything wrong that I could possibly do wrong.


See ya real soon!



Marathon Trip pt. 3 — after the marathon

So the Marathon was over. I had made my choice to drop out and it was time to just enjoy ourselves!

After a few hours rest, we headed off to Downtown Disney with my parents and DH’s dad. We had a nice snack/dinner at Wolfgang Puck Express. I had some delicious mac and cheese — totally hit the spot.

Monday was our only Animal Kingdom day.

We spent the morning with my parents – Tusker House for breakfast/brunch and then hit up a few rides.


If you are going to eat in Animal Kingdom, I love the tip of hitting up the buffet at Tusker House close to 11a (our reservation was 1045). We got to catch the tail end of breakfast and then munch on lunch! We also had TONS of character interaction.

For the afternoon we hung with DH’s family. Our niece absolutely loved the petting zoo area at Rafiki’s planet watch.  I highly recommend checking this out if you have young children who are tired of being in the stroller. It is considerably less crowded so they are able to run around a little.

For dinner we hung at Fort Wilderness and had the buffet.


Tuesday was supposed to be our day at Universal, but we skipped that. We had an extra day in the Disney parks because we didn’t do Epcot on Sunday. DH’s sister and our niece headed back home and DH’s parent’s took a rest day. So we spent the day with myparents at  Epcot.

I got pictures with some of the characters and had some video saying happy birthday to our friend’s daughter as part of her bday gift.



Wednesday was one of my favorite days. In the morning we went to Downtown Disney so I could see if the running store had a brace or compression sleeve for my knee (it was still bugging me). DH and my mom rode Characters in Flight while my dad and I shopped. My mom was thrilled! Then we hit up my favorite park again — Hollywood Studios with both my parents and DH’s. It was so fun to spend the day with everyone. We drug DH’s parents around and wore them out quite a bit. BUT! My highlight was getting my dad to ride not only Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, but also Tower of Terror (my favorite ride ever). We also stayed and caught Fantasmic! I am so glad we were able to share that with my dad and with DH’s parents (my mom and DH and I had seen this on prior trips).


Can’t go too far without a reminder of our love pup, Oscar Winkerbean!

Thursday was relaxing day. My parents headed out after breakfast and we took our time getting to Magic Kingdom. DH’s parents were planning to do another day in Animal Kingdom, but decided to join us in the afternoon. After a little curfluffle, I convinced everyone we needed to ride some rides! DH’s parents had a rough time on Sat when they were in MK so I wanted to be sure they had a better experience here.


In case you were wondering … this is what Buzz looks like when they stop the ride near the end. They actually put the side rails up while the ride is stopped and then lowered them to start it again. This normally is a black tunnel with lots of stars floating around.

Our ride photo is hilarious…





Did I mention it was COLD?! So cold … hence the heavy fleece jackets we’re wearing.

Friday was DH’s parent’s last day. So we went to Epcot since DH’s mom had been raving for months about how much she loved Epcot (mind you she hadn’t been to disney in 20?? years.).Image

We had an awesome lunch at spice road table where sampled pretty much the entire menu. The food was sooo good! Something didn’t agree with me in the end, but the food was delicious!

DH’s mom and I got oyster pearls at Japan and we rode a few  more rides before calling it a day.


For dinner, DH and I did Boatright’s at our resort. So good! I wish I was feeling better and could’ve eaten more!




Saturday was our last full day and we were a bit “Disney’d” out for this trip. We took it easy and headed to MK around lunchtime for a few hours, then to Downtown Disney for a few hours and finally back to MK for dinner at … yup … Be our Guest!!


A perfect ending to our trip!

We had a wonderful time. Survived the marathon and a “big family vacation.” But, we were ready to get home to our booga-boy, Oscar.


See ya next time!





Disneyland/LA Recap

I’m going to keep this relatively brief!


DH and I went to Disneyland/LA from 8/30-9/7. Wow…what a long trip. It was the first time we had left our pup where one of us wasn’t home. He spend the week with my parents which means I spent the week a nervous “mommy” away from my furbaby. He did just fine and my parents are great at taking care of him, but I just worry.


Anyway, onto the trip itself.


Back when I booked things we were supposed to leave at 6am (EST Time) on Friday 8/30 out of our home airport. Then we would arrive at LAX at 1010am (PST Time). About a week before the trip I got an email that said our arrival time was bumped back. womp womp…

Cut to the day of and we got stuck at our layover b/c of a plane issue. They couldn’t decide what to do for the longest time. Then they put us on the plan. Ultimately we were routed to a second layover and switched plans before heading to LAX. We arrived shortly after 2p (womp womp… again). THEN! it took forever for baggage and our shuttle never stopped for us. We ended up getting to Disneyland somewhere around 4/430p. We met up with our friend V and headed to the expo for packet pick up.


I am seriously disappointed at the expo. It was so packed and poorly organized. They definitely need to look at the official merchandise and figure out a better way to do it. Also…I REALLY wanted the disney sneakers from new balance, but with our delayed arrival and running the 10k on Sat, there was no way I was going to get them. I ended up with a sweatshirt (lime green) and a 13.1 magnet for my car. That’s it…

Oh well (BTW – Disney re-released some of the “I Did It” shirts and I was able to snag them online — they should be arriving today!).

Check out my sweet coast to coast wristband!! My registration wasn’t marked for C2C and I about went into a panic. After a long wait in a second line all was sorted out!! For the weekend, you picked up your C2C band at the expo and your DDD (Dumbo Double Dare) after finishing the 10k.



We at dinner at Storyteller’s Cafe (yum) then headed to bed to rest up for the next day!


Saturday morning was bright and early for the 10K. Here’s my before and after!ImageImage


After was a the Plaza Inn for Minnie and Friend’s breakfast. I loved Captain Hook!

Sometimes I get bummed b/c characters kind of brush off adult-only tables. But the Captain was ready to play an interact with us!

Our plan was originally to run, shower, then hit the park, but timing was off a little. We ran, washed our faces and then headed to breakfast. We had the brilliant idea to hit up Splash Mountain after breakfast (wet ride) and a few others before heading back to shower. Then we came back to the park and hung out.

We lulled around Disneyland Park and taking it easy. We were able to get in some good rides (Mr. Toad’s!). But just took it easy.

This is where I say that I’m pretty sure I got sick from the whole Chobani recall. I just felt “off” starting Fri evening. Sat it hit a head and we were about to get in line for Space Mountain when I about doubled over with stomach cramps. And just felt hot and clammy. DH and V road while I rested up a little. But wow…


Sunday morning! Another early morning for us.

Here’s our before and after for the Half Marathon.



The Half was HOT to say the least. It was ridiculous. The sun just glared down on you the ENTIRE race. Insane…  I was glad DH was there to run with me (his first half marathon!! woohoo!). He kept me going. Around mile 11 I finally accepted his advices to stop being modest and take off my darn shirt. Wow…what a difference! All in all, I was slower than my last half, but not too terribly. I had to stop several times to catch my breath (at the time I thought it was the heat, but now I am wondering if it was the yogurt…).

We showered then headed to Cafe Orleans where I proceeded to drop a glass of coke all over the table, myself and the floor (call me butter fingers). I still felt off all day, but we walked over to Disney California Adventure and rode some rides!

Dinner was at La Brea Bakery — bring one of these to WDW Disney!!! So good!

Monday we hung out in the parks with V until around lunchtime (Tortilla Joe’s!) before we parted ways. We actually met up after dinner (DH and I at Disneyland Hotel) and rode the Matterhorn Bobsleds. DH and I road the Jungle Cruise at night and then called it a night!

Tuesday was another park day and Wed we headed to LA.

Wed night was caught a taping of the new show “Dads.” where I was Seth Green up close on a bathroom trip!!!

Thursday we went the The Price is Right but sadly didn’t get called to “Come on down” If you watch 12/19 you can catch us in the audience, front and center!

Friday we didn’t have plans. However, b/c of the delay the prior Friday we had another day left on our Disney park tickets. We decided to see the La Brea Tar pits in the morning and then head to Disneyland to use up the last day on the ticket. On the way home we stopped at In-n-Out burger (my boss said its a must-do!) for dinner. 

Then Saturday we headed home to our furbaby who we missed dearly!


All-in-all a good trip!






Races 9 & 10 and planning for the next steps

Last weekend I completed two of my 13 races for 2013.


This was my first attempt at back to back racing and I have to say…I’m not a fan. I don’t know that I’ll be doing another set like this. Perhaps if I can commit to training a little better it would be easier (okay so it definitely would), but my beef came mostly with the whole…wasting precious Disney time “prepping,” “refueling,” “resting,” and “recovering” from two races. I like to hit the parks hard and this just wasn’t possible!


Onto the races! I will post some full recaps of the races as well as our entire trip, but just to fill you in, here’s what I finished!


First up was the Disneyland 10k. (before and after)ImageImage


And! The Disneyland Half Marathon (which means I completed the Disney Dumbo Double Dare challenge AND The Disney Coast to Coast Challenge):



Anywho…now that those two are done there are only 3 races left for my 2013 self challenge!

In October I will run the Hershey Half Marathon and in November I have the Philly Half Marathon (part of the Philadelphia Marathon weekend).  I still need to choose my final race. I am considering the Marine Corps Marathon 10k at the end of October, but I haven’t fully decided yet!


I am not really “training” for the next few races for the year. Instead I am full-force training for January 2014 for the WDW Marathon — my first every Marathon. I really want to finish strong so training and eating right is going to be super important over the next four months.

Here’s my plan:


Wk 1 – MWF – rest, TR – 3.1 miles, S – TRX, U – 6.2

Wk 2 – MF – rest, TR – 3.1 miles, WS – TRX, U – 8

Wk 3 – MF – rest, TR – 3.1 miles, WS – TRX,  U- 10

Wk 4 – MF – rest, TR – 3.1 miles, W – TRX, S-TRX?, U – 5

After wk 4, everything it tentative and hinges on the class schedule at my gym.

Wk 5 – MR – 3.1 miles, TU- rest, WS- TRX?, F – 12

Wk 6 – MF – Rest, TR – 6.2, WS – TRX, U- 13.1 @ Hershey Half Marathon

Wk 7 – MF – Strength/rest, TR – 6.2, WS – TRX, U – 6.2

Wk 8 – MF – Rest, TR – 6.2, WS – TRX, U – 16

Wk 9 – MF – Strength/rest, TR-6.2, WS – TRX, U – 6.2

Wk 10 – MF – Rest, TR – 6.2, WS – TRX, U-13.1 @ Philly Half Marathon

Wk 11 – MF – Rest, TR – 6.2, WS – TRX, U – 18

Wk 12 – MF – strength/rest, TR – 6.2, WS – TRX, U – 10

Wk 13 – MF – rest, TR – 6.2, WS – TRX, U – 20

Wk 14 – MF – strength/rest, TR – 6.2, WS – TRX, U – 10

Wk 15 – MF – Rest, TR- 6.2, WS- TRX, U – 22

Wk 16 – MF – strength/rest, TR-6.2, WS- TRX, U – 12

Wk 17 – MF – rest, TR-6.2, WS- TRX, U – 12

Wk 18 – MFS – rest, TR-6.2, W-TRX – 26.2 @ WDW Marathon!

Wk 19 – MTWRFSU – rest :o)



See ya real soon with some more recaps and updates and whatnot!




Race Day Essentials

I’m kind of a minimalist when it comes to running. I don’t have a ton of tech and I’m not big on gear. I like it simple. However, I like quality items.


I thought I’d share my race day essentials. These are the items I’ll be packing in my carry-on luggage next week when we depart for California. We are attempting to pack entirely in carry-on luggage, but know that’s going to be difficult. I’ll be running two races (10k and half) for the Dumbo Double Dare so I will need two running outfits and am going to bring two pairs of sneakers — which take up room!


Anyway, onto my list!


1. Running shoes — I feel strongly that you should go and get fitted for running shoes. Everyone needs something different and its helpful to have someone who know what they are doing show you what should fit, then let you test out a bunch and find the sweet spot for what works for you. Even as a beginner, getting fitted is important. If you invest in NOTHING else, get good shoes.


My current shoe of choice is the Mizuno Wave Inspire 9.

Mizuno Women's Wave Inspire 9

I used to wear (and still wear my old ones while I phase them out) the Asics 2100 series. However, Asics made some adjustments to this shoe in their new version. I still like it, but the Mizuno Wave Inspire just felt lighter and fit a little better.



2. A good sports bra — again, for me (a female) this is essential. A sports bra, can make or break a run. Good support and good fit will help you get through the long runs. I personally really like the TaTaTamer II from Lululemon. While I definitely empathize with those who have issues with lululemon and their sizing limits, the bottom line is, this is the best sports bra I have found. Until I find something equally good or better, I’m going to keep buying it.  If you are smaller chested, a sports bra probably isn’t a big of a deal – just get something that won’t move around or rub. For the bigger chested (I’m on the bigger side at a 32D) good support is also important. I like the TaTaTAmer because it offers good support, adjustable straps and also has a clasp closer (easy off after the race — none of that crazy yoga move crap to get off a sweaty bra).

Ta Ta Tamer II


3. Good socks. Seriously, go buy yourself some non-cotton socks. I rock Under Armour Nylon/Acrylic socks in neon colors. That’s just how I roll… They also come in White if you’re boring like that. Don’t even try to wear cotton socks. You WILL get blisters. Bad ones…ask my Sister in Law.

4. Shorts, pants, capris — your bottoms of choice. I used to run only in shorts. Then I bought a pair of Under Armour Heat Gear capris and have been running mostly in those for races. They wick away moisture and heat (they are also good for my TRX/personal training). They also suck everything in so nothing’s jiggling around while you’re trying to focus on running. For my upcoming races I’ll be rocking some shorts for the 10k and a pair of capris for the half. Get what works for you. Heck, if you’re just starting out wear sweatpants, no one’s gonna care. After a while you will understand the benefits of clothes made for the sport, but if you’re just getting out there are on a budget, wear whatever you have. I have a friend who recently started running and had been wearing yoga pants — no problem. For her first race though, I convinced her to go get a pair of capris to run in as they will be much more comfortable!

5. Underwear — speaking of bottoms, eh hem…the underwear part is really up to you. I personally can’t do the whole commando thing, but I know a lot of people do. I used to just run in normal cotton underwear, but I recently invested in some nylon briefs for my upcoming races. We’ll see if they make a difference…

6. Shirt — again, this is up to you and will depend on the weather. I am not a big fan of tanks, but I know a lot of people prefer them. For me, I like a looser fitted tee. I don’t want to worry about something moving around (like a tight tee or tank might do). Sometimes I will layer a tank over a tee or a jacket or long-sleeve. It just depends. But yeah… I really lean towards a looser fitted tee. I’ve been wearing Under Armour heat gear for my races. I tend to get overheated and these help out with that. Even if its cool outside, I’ll layer something over them.

7. A reliable hairband and a headband. Hair is always in a ponytail or braid. There’s this chick who runs near my work and leaves her hair down and it just looks so awkward and uncomfortable.  Ponytail…trust me.  I use goody hairbands that have a rubberized effect so they stay in place. Then I add a headband to keep fly-aways out of my face. I used to use goody brand, but bit the bullet and got myself some Sparkly Soul headbands for the upcoming races. I’ve been wearing them around the house and working out to make sure they won’t give me a headache. So far I’m loving them. They stay in place great but I barely feel them on my head!

8. Sunglasses. If you’re going to run during the day, I am a big proponent of eye protection. The sunlight can damage your eyes. My mom has issues with pressure in her eyes and has been instructed to wear sunglasses whenever she is outside. I have concerns that I will have issues when I am older so I try to wear sunglasses as much as possible. I have a pair of Tifosi sunglasses with yellow-tinted lenses. I personally don’t like black lenses and always lean towards a brown lense. These are along those lines, but they will darken if the sun is brighter. They are also polarized so the glare is minimal. Your sunglasses should fit snug so they block sun from both the front and side and won’t bounce around. Try some different ones on and try leaning over to make sure they won’t fall off your face.

9. Bodyglide or anti-chafe. I didn’t use to use this stuff at all. However, I’ve been using it to rub between my toes, on my heels and under a few areas of my bra to make sure there isn’t any unnecessary rubbing during the race. Johnson and Johnson also make an anti-blister stick that I find works very well.

10. Gels, goos, hydration, etc. I never used to use this stuff either. However, after our ten-miler last year when I got dehydrated mid-run, I started carrying it. I like Clif Shot blocks. I also try to drink whatever sports drink they have on course or  drink the water only and bring extra shot blocks or another fuel that I like. I am still testing around and feeling stuff out. You need to figure out what you like and then try running or exercising to make sure you won’t have GI issues. Luckily I haven’t had many GI issues while running…they hit me before and after the race, but hold steady when I’m actually out on the course.

11. Plastic baggie — to put your cell phone, camera, key, etc in and keep them sweat free.

12. Belt – wear a spi belt with a kanga pouch to keep my cell phone, key, money, id and fuel in. I don’t wear it for shorter runs, but for a 10k or longer I’ll def have the spi belt on. For my half I’ve been wearing both.  I DO NOT Carry water or drink with me for a race.

13. Flip flops — I pack flip flops in my checked bag or in the car to change into post-run.

14. Post-run snacks — again either in the checked bag or in the car I will keep some water bottles and/or some snacks just in case what they’re handing out stinks. I have been finishing my races either with a growling stomach right away or within 15-20 minutes I’m starving.

15. Camera — umm pre and post-race photos are a must. To prove I was there.


That’s it. This is my list for half marathons. For shorter runs I take much less.


What’s on your race essentials list??





7/13 Done!!

I finished my 7th event for my 13 in 13 challenge.


This was the Philly Color Run!



Somehow this race got lost in my calendar. I kept forgetting about it and was focusing so much on races 9 & 10 at Disneyland. Race #8 also kept creeping its way overtop #7 as that is a two-parter “Run For Your Lives” 5k and we’ll be doing a Zombie shift in the afternoon.


Anyway…color run (see it just isn’t popping out in my mind).

Early last week I realized I hadn’t booked a hotel room yet and DH wouldn’t be able to come down with me because of our puppy. I sent an email to friends and family to see if anyone wanted to join for a last minute trip to the City of Brotherly Love. No real takers,  but my mom happened to be going to a work conference on Sunday in King of Prussia, PA so she offered to come down a day early and hang out. I ended up booking a room at the same hotel as her conference and when we arrived we set it up so that she could just stay in that room rather than transferring.

On Sat 7/13 we woke up and took our puppy to the vet to learn how to properly clean his ears. His left ear had been a bit dirty looking and we were concerned about an infection. Turns out he had a yeast infection so we got meds for that, got meds for the belly rash he has had on and off for awhile now, and also were advised to start feeding him a bit more as he seemed a little on the skinny side.


We jetted home and my parents met us at our house. We switched all the bags (my mom overpacked for her conference) to my car and mom and I were on our way.

We drove straight to the IKEA Conshohocken where we grabbed lunch right away before doing some shopping. I was planning to head to REI also, but wasn’t in the mood so we just went to the hotel where we checked in and dropped off our bags. Next was Sports Authority in KOP for packet pick-up and then onto my favorite — King of Prussia Mall.

We did quite a bit of shopping (hit 10,000 steps on my new fitbit for the first time!) and then had dinner at Rock Bottom Restaurant and Brewery before heading back to the hotel to rest up. By shopping I mean walking around and looking. I ended up not buying anything on Saturday except for a few odds and ends at IKEA.

I had set the alarm for 430am for Sunday to be sure I had time to get to the race by 630 before the road closures begin. As usual before an event, I barely slept. We arrived at the Mann Music Center/Please touch museum right around 6a. Mom and I walked around and explored a bit before the race start. I kept trying to get through to Disney to make my Advance Dining Reservations for January (Sunday was my 180 mark for our trip’s arrival! That means today is 181 days until our marathon – eek!).

Finally people started lining up around 645. I got in the starting shoot early and worked my way up front to be in the second wave of runners.

We were let out shortly after 7a and right into a yellow color splash! This is where I realized you should definitely bring a bandana and sunglasses to the race. It wasn’t so hard to hold you breath to run through, but there is no way you can close your eyes!

There was a big lull of nothingness for awhile before we hit the remaining colors (apparently there is an aboretum or something nearby that they had to avoid having color near). The second color was pink/red and I got hit with a squirt bottle on my right arm. B/c of the color and my sweat I couldn’t tell if I was bleeding for if it was paint (turns out it was paint, but I have a nice bruise). Finally it was blue then orange back-to-back before crossing the finish line. My mom was right at the finish line and caught a photo of me waving. Unfortunately, she’s at the conference until tomorrow or Wed so I don’t have access to it.

She told me there was a stand giving out Popsicles so we headed there next. That was so good. Seriously, they should hand these out at every race. And, for long races, every few miles along the course.


I ended up not having a ton of color on me at the end. Other runners must have stopped and asked to be hit dead on. I ran through the color stations slowly and you can see how that worked out. I was a bit surprised b/c I felt like i was COVERED.


We sat down on a bench and I booked my ADRs. The poor cast member must have thought I was insane… Then headed back to the hotel so I could shower.


Overall, I enjoyed it. I think I would enjoy it more if I had friends or family members running with me, but it was still nice to see what its like!


Update (since its been awhile…):

I failed miserably at the Runner’s World Streaking Challenge. I just keep putting it off and procrastinating. Last week I gave it a go and started doing some running on my injured foot. I ended up feeling better in a basic insert rather than the one from the podiatrist. My foot has been a little tender (more stiff I guess), but I’ve been working on stretching and rolling it with the gaiam spikey ball I bought a few weeks back.

DH and I are really feeling the pudge lately and trying to decide how to fix it. We both want to get in shape, but having hit our tipping point with life changes. Our age (28 and 29) are catching up to us and our metabolism isn’t as strong as they used to be. So…yeah. Running will help. Eating better will help. Sleeping better will help. But, you have to actually do those things. ::sigh::


See you in a few weeks when we are transformed into ZOMBIES!


Read, Set, Go!

A few days ago DH and I decided to sign up to run our first marathon! Woohoo!!

We will be running (or rather, finishing) the Walt Disney World Marathon 2014 in January.

We definitely have a long way to go! I will be using this page to blog about our training and preparation for the marathon and some other races that we are completing this year. For 2013 I challenged myself to complete 13 events in 2013. I am currently 3 events in so I’ll take some time to back-track and post about those events, and some other events that DH and I have done. I’ll also post some everyday stuff as it arises (food, shopping, etc).

Since this is our first marathon, we would love to hear feedback as well as how any training you are doing is going!

See ya real soon!