Thursday, September 17, 2015

Runner's High and Runner's Lows

Two weeks ago, I ran in my first RunDisney event, an event that I had been looking forward to for months.  When it was over, I had my runner's high for a few days.  It's the best feeling that can't be explained.  If you run, you know exactly what I'm talking about.  And then it happened-- my post race blues.  

I stared at my running shoes and found so many excuses not to put them on-- it was too hot, I was tired, I had laundry to do, I should take my dogs for a walk, I should clean...... These were things I normally avoided so I could run.  And now here I was doing these things so I didn't "have to run."  This lasted for a few days until I finally made myself put the shoes on and go for a run.  (And getting some new running gear definitely helped-- who doesn't love new gear?!)

And I ran.  It wasn't pretty.  It wasn't fast.  It wasn't far.  But still, I ran.  And then I ran again the next day and again the day after.  Finally, I found my "Run Happy" pace again.  Once again, I'm looking at my shoes and wondering when I can put them on to run.  Fortunately, my next month is full of races-- just as the post-race blues will be ready to set-in, I'll be off to another run.  But this wasn't the first time I had the post-races blues and I definitely know it won't be the last.  Until then, I'll just keep on running.

Do you get post-race blues?  What do you do to help get back into your running groove? 

Until next time, happy running!

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Aloha Run Recap

When I started my running journey, the Aloha Run was the first official run that I participated in.  This morning, I ran it for the third time.  Although not my favorite race, it is certainly a special race for me because it's my race anniversary.  

What Worked

- It's San Diego and it's beautiful.  Taking place in Mission Bay, it is a pretty course. 

Mission Bay, San Diego
- It's fun to see everyone dressed in their Aloha Spirit, from grass skirts, to traditional dance attire, every runner's outfit tells a story.

- The one course entertainment is better than most.  There are several Hawaiian bands and dance groups on the course.  And because it's an out and back course, you get to experience them twice!

- The "expo" area with booths and entertainment is good for this small race.  They have more to offer than most larger races.  

- The volunteers were amazing!  From the water stations to cheering us on, I appreciate all that they do.

 - The bling.  The medal for this race is fun-- and her hula skirt moves.

Aloha Run Medal, 2015
What Didn't Work

- The course is way too narrow for an out and back route.  You have runners in both directions on one sidewalk, with very minimal course control. This caused quite a bit of runner congestion at several areas on the course.  There were several times I felt "stuck" and definitely felt like it slowed me down.

- The weather, which I know isn't a controllable factor of the race organizers.  But I'm wondering if it would be possible to start this race a little earlier (7:00am instead of 7:30am)  The last two years were extremely hot, and although this year was a little better (the humidity level helped with that), a 30 minute change in the start time could definitely make a difference.  

Overall this is still a fun race and I will continue to participate in it.  It reminds me of how far I've come in my running journey and how far I still want to go.  It's also a great reminder of why I started running.  Sometimes it's fun to go back to where it all started and that's what this race is for me.

Aloha and Happy Running!

Disneyland Half Marathon Recap

After running the Disneyland 10K, I was ready for the Half Marathon event on Sunday! It was another early wake-up call, with the race starting at 5:30am.  The pre-race festivities were so much fun-- there was almost a fight between good and evil!  Thank goodness all the characters realized they need to work together! 
Classic Minnie
With Carlee (@carleeemcdot) before the Half
Pre-Race Fun!
After the pre-race show, I headed over to my corral and waited for the race to begin.  Disney doesn't do anything small and this morning's National Anthem was awesome and included fireworks!  And then we were off and running.

The Half Marathon starts in the parks-- once again we started in California Adventure.  Seeing the World of Color without all the crowds was awesome! After we made our way through California Adventure, we went into Disneyland.  It was fun to see more "behind the scenes" action and the course support was awesome.  RunDisney also did an awesome job with hydration stations and crowd control at the stations.  A big THANK YOU to all the volunteers who helped make the race possible for the runners.  

After running through the parks, we ran through the streets of Anaheim.  I loved the course entertainment here, from the classic car show to the dance groups out there cheering us one.  At mile 9, we entered Angels stadium and this was another highlight of the race-- how often do you get to run on a MLB field and have the Girls Scouts & Boys Scouts cheering you on?!   After a couple more miles, me made our way back to Disneyland, ending the race near the Disneyland hotel.  The finish line area was super efficient and I was impressed with how smoothly everything went here.  
Disneyland Half Marathon Medal

Dumbo Double Dare Medal

After collecting my bling and hydration, I went back to my hotel to shower and head back to the parks for a few more hours of fun.  I had a great weekend with RunDisney and can't wait for my next adventure in November with the Gauntlet Challenge.  Now I just need costume ideas........

Happy Running.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Disneyland 10K Recap

After months of anticipation, the moment had finally arrived for me to run my first RunDisney event.  And it arrived with an early wake-up call!  To make sure the runners are out of the park before they open, the races start at 5:30am.  I arrived to the pre-race area around 4:30am and had a great time people watching-- I definitely got some ideas for some costumes for future races.  I was running with Team Lemon, supporting Alex's Lemonade Stand, for this event so I was wearing my team shirt.  I paired it with an awesome Sparkle Athletic Skirt and my favorite ProCompression socks.  

"The Gibbler" Socks are my favorite!
When it was time, I found my way to my corral.  As I mentioned in yesterday's post, I was excited to see an ASL interpreter for all the start line festivities.  I was impressed with the prompt race start-- it's frustrating when you plan hydration, bathroom breaks & such around a start time and the race starts late.  5:30am came the runners were off!  (After a very odd rendition of the National Anthem-- still trying to decide how I feel about that!)

The Start Line Post-Race-- I forgot to take a pre-race picture.

The first two miles of the course are outside of the parks.  After mile 2, we entered California Adventure, making our way into Cars Land, one of my favorite areas of the park.  As a huge Disneyland and California Adventure fan, I was a little emotional when we entered the parks.  I was so excited and happy that I may have gotten a little teary eyed. We ventured through California Adventure and made our way into Disneyland. 
One of my favorite spots in California Adventure

Once we hit Disneyland, we ran through various parts of the park and behind the scenes. One of my favorite things was seeing all the action behind the action.  I also loved all the race support from the staff at the parks and the ChEAR Squads. At mile 5 we were running through the castle. That was as awesome as I'd imagined it would be!  I didn't stop at any of the character stops during this run-- I'm not a big fan of the villains and there wasn't anyone out that I "just had to get a picture with."  

After running through Disneyland, we made our way to the finish in Downtown Disney.  The crowd support was great-- I love people who will get up early to support the runners.  As with everything else about the race, the organization at the finish line was on point.  Once we finished, we could either make our way through a corral to get official finisher pictures taken or make our way through the other corral, skipping the picture crowd.  Although I went the picture route, I think it's great that they have this option.  I also loved that our post-race snacks were in an easy-to-take box. 

The Bling!
I had a great time at the Disneyland 10K and it was followed up by a fun time at the We Run Social meet-up in Downtown Disney.  For a great recap on that, check-out Carlee's blog at   After the meet-up, I was off to get some sleep before the Disneyland Half Marathon. Recap on that magic coming soon!

Happy Running!

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Disneyland Half Marathon Expo Recap

When the morning arrived for me to drive up to the Disneyland Half Marathon, I was beyond excited.  I had been waiting to run a RunDisney event since I started running and this weekend did not disappoint!  My first stop of the weekend-- the Health and Fitness Expo.

I arrived in Anaheim shortly after 8:00am and used my Annual Pass to explore the parks a bit before heading towards the Disneyland Hotel, where the Expo was located.  Once I arrived at the hotel, I had to decide what to do-- I had heard stories about the wait for the official RunDisney merchandise, so I decided to wait in line there first.  After about an hour wait, they let us in a little earlier than the official expo start time.  I picked up a few items-- I loved it all and definitely could have spent a fortune here.  I could understand why people lined up for this merchandise.  Once I was done shopping to official merchandise, I headed down to Packet Pick-Up.

Walkway to Packet Pick-Up

Packet Pick-Up was located away from the expo, under the hotel.  The lines were relatively short and everything was so organized.  Once I had my bib, I headed over to the photo area for the Dumbo Double Dare participants.  I had pre-ordered a race pin and it wasn't where it was supposed to be-- a quick trip to merchandise solutions took care of it.  I was impressed with the efficiency of the area.  Now it was back up to the expo to get my race shirts and see what other goodies I could find.  

Race shirt pick-up was super easy-- I loved how the shirts were bagged together for those of us who were doing the Dumbo Double Dare.  I've done other multi-race challenges and you usually have to go to multiple spots to get the race shirts.  Once again, the organization was on point.  

My expo goodies!
I spent some time wandering all the booths-- there were some awesome products out there.  I picked up a few of my favorite socks and headbands.  Once I was done here, it was time to head back to the parks and get some more fun in.  But not before I took some pictures with a few of my friends!

And now it's time to get personal-- I am hard-of-hearing and wear hearing aids.  In most race and expo situations, the large groups of people and excess noise make it hard for me to know what is going on or being said, especially if there are presenters using speaking/microphone systems and such.  Because of this, I rarely pay attention to who might be presenting because I know I will "miss" most of it anyway.  I have run in several races, including some bigger/popular ones and at the RunDisney event, I experienced something I have never experienced before-- they had an ASL interpreter!!!  I can't even describe how awesome this was for me-- this might be my favorite thing about the weekend and everything else was really awesome, so that's saying a lot.  For the first time in my racing experiences, I didn't feel like I was missing out on anything.  I could truly enjoy the entire race experience.  The interpreters (who were awesome by the way!) weren't only at the expo, but also at the pre-race festivities and start line.  To be able to experience the expo and race in the same way that everyone else was was truly an experience for me that I won't forget.  

Coming soon-- my recap on the Disneyland 10K and Half Marathon.  
Until next time, happy running!

Ultra Runner Crate

A few weeks ago, I went on Instagram to see if anyone I knew has tried the Ultra Runner Crate subscription box.  I was intrigued at the idea...