Saturday, December 28, 2013

Bestowed Box

Ever heard of Bestowed Box?  It's a monthly subscription box of healthy food.  I love mine!  It gives me lots of fun foods to try with little commitment. 

This month's box!  Yum--Dark Chocolate Chili Kind Bars! 
Each month Bestowed will send you box full of nutritional products.  Past boxes have included fun snacks like Zico Coconut water (my fav!) Kind Bars, Salba Chia, Quest Bars, and lots of other lesser known products like nut butters, pure dark chocolate bars, and various other snacks.  I am always on the look out for new and exciting products to enhance my runs and general nutrition.  Still to this day, after countless races, I do not have my race nutrition down.  Trying out the new products is so much fun! When my Bestowed Box come each month, its like a special little gift! 

The boxes cost $19 per month, including shipping.  This can be a great value if you add up the prices of all various items you get to try out, plus shipping.  I know that I can walk down the nutrition aisle of my local grocery store and spend alot more than that on a month's supply of nutritional products.

Looking for a gift idea or a great way to start your New Year off right?  Consider joining Bestowed! 

A dream is a wish...


Monday, November 11, 2013

2013 Virtual Turkey Trot!

Why do you run?  I run to save lives! 

I wanted to take time out of all my fun runDisney banter to tell you about a project I am working on.  As you know, I have been training with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training.  I will run the Nike Women's Half Marathon on October 19th, 2014 in honor of my Aunt Linda who was recently diagnosed with cancer.  I will be running for a reason much more important than the personal challenge of completing a Half Marathon.  I am running to save lives!  (and so can you...)

As a member of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Team In Training program, I have pledged to train on the behalf of all the affected children and their families to help raise money for leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin's disease and myeloma research and patient assistance programs.  During my training, I have gotten close to a few families with sick children.  I am very sad to report that my sweet angel Kaitlyn has lost her battle.  I am very happy to report that Emily is still fighting leukemia--and winning!  She is the first child to get an experimental treat that involves giving her body new T-cells.  The treatment is working for Emily and she is now cancer free!  She just celebrated her one and a half year cancer free anniversary.  
As you may or may not know, leukemia is the #1 disease killer of children and the leading fatal malignant disease of men and women under the age of 35.  Although the cause of leukemia remains unknown, recently developed treatments and steady advances in research bring us closer to a cure every day.  These research advances were only achieved as a result of contributions made by companies, foundations and individuals like you.
My goal is to raise $2000 by the end of 2013. If you would like to help, please consider registering for my 2013 Virtual Turkey Trot!  For the race, anytime until the end of November--run, walk, skip or crawl your chosen distance—BLING included!  As a thank you for registering, I will send you this beautiful finisher medal.  To register, just make a donation of $20 or more using the button below.  Want to run with a group?  I offer group discounts!  Click the Paypal to see what they are (if you need 6 or more--email me and we can work something out).  I will be doing this event with my kids on Thanksgiving morning. I am organizing this race a little different.  Once I get 25 people registered, I will order the medals.  If I do not have the 25  registered by November 20th, I will refund your money through Paypal.  This will ensure that most participants have their medals by Thanksgiving!  Please consider registering and helping me reach my goal.  With the generosity of people like you, there is every reason to believe that a cure for blood-related cancer, and all cancers is in sight!
A dream is a wish…

Number Registered

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Nike Women's Marathon San Francisco 2013

The Nike Women's Marathon / Half Marathon is one of the hardest races in the country to gain entry into.  So many people want to be part of the event, Nike has to set up a lottery system for entry.  Only about 1 in 5 who seek entry actually get into the event--unless you are part of Team in Training!  If you commit to raise money to fight cancer, you are guaranteed entry into this most sought after event.  That is how I got in!  In total, there was about 3,000 Team in Training participants in the race, raising over $13 million dollars to fight cancer. Nothing like a sea of purple running to fight cancer! 

I met my team bright and early in the hotel lobby.  Since our hotel was right at the race start, we got to sleep in a little because we could walk to the start.  I was a little said and lonely that morning because I was the only "Yorkie" from the Central Pennsylvania Team at Nike this year.  Most of my local teammates choose to do the Chicago Marathon this year instead of Nike.  Crazy!  We gathered for a team photo and wished each other luck!  

It was still dark when the race officially started!  Nike had a great DJ to get the crowd going.  We even got a firework sendoff!  It took me about 26 minutes to cross the start line.  Those minutes waiting to cross the start are always so anxious for me. The first two miles were on the city streets of San Francisco, through the Financial District, heading toward the Embarkadero.  The view of the San Francisco Bay was amazing, although it became very evident that the word of the day, like last year, was quickly becoming fog.  It was so foggy that morning, that we could only see about a quarter mile out. I could not even see the water while running through Fisherman's Wharf or Pier 39.  As we ran through the Presidio, all of the runner were eagerly awaiting a glimpse of the famed Golden Gate Bridge.  Unforgettably, this was a marvel we would not be blessed to see that day. This was also the coldest half marathon I have ever done.  It was about 50 degrees, and very damp.  It never rained but the air was very wet.  I was cold for the entire event.  Some teammates tried to talk me out of wearing my long sleeved top.  I was so glad I wore it!  My hands stayed icy the enter race.  Brrrr! 

The course was tough, but simply amazing.  That word does not do it justice, but is a true description.  The first really tough hill was around mile 5.5-6.5.  It felt never ending!  This is where the best bridge view should have been, but due to the fog the bridge was never visible. After the top of this crazy hill, was about a mile of winding down hill, along the San Francisco Bay--not that I could see it due to the fog.  At the bottom of the hill, we ran through a very cute San Francisco neighborhood that contained what I was told was Robin William's house.  Lots of the runners were whispering about it on the course. We made a sharp turn around mile 8 to greet the steepest hill yet. 

Once we got to the top of this hill, we turned a corner and there it was--the most beautiful and breath taking view of the race.  I got my first glimpse of the Pacific Ocean!  The view looked like it came out of a book.  The waves were crashing against the cliffs.  The seagulls were flying around.  Pure magic!   I have always had a love / fascination with the ocean--especially the Pacific Ocean.  When I got to the bottom of the hill, I could see race village--but I was only on mile 10.   After another breathtaking mile along the coast, we made a turn into Golden Gate Park to run our last two miles. By this time, I could see runners who already had finished the race carrying their finisher bags, wearing their finisher shirts and holding their little blue boxes.  It was tough to not look at the bright yellow shirt in the bags, but I was determined I was not going to look at their necks!  I did not want to see the Tiffany necklace until I was looking at the one I had earned myself.  

The final mile went pretty fast. By this time in the course, spectators had lined up and were cheering the runners on.  As I got closer and could see the finish line, I ran faster!  I once again could see the Pacific Ocean.  My mind was on getting my blue box from a hot firemen in a tux.  I crossed the finish line strong and chose the guy I wanted to give me my little blue box.  After I got my box, there were volunteers giving out reusable water bottles sponsored by Whole foods.  I got my finisher shirt and then my finisher bag--full of snacks and a nice note from Tiffany's.  

This year, I planned to spend more time at the finish line party.  First, I stopped by and washed my face at the Neutorgena face wash station.  Neutorgena really outdid themselves for race participants this year.  They really pampered us at the expo, then they had a Neutrogena station at mile 5 with face wash clothes and sunscreen.  Then at the finish line--they had huge bins with lots of Neutrogena products for runners to check out and take what ever they wanted.  I got lip sticks, facial moisturizer, sunscreen and lots of other fun stuff. After the fun at Neutrogena, picked up my bag from bag check, then went to the Team in Training tent.  After a stop for a sandwich and some food in the Team tent, I walked out on the beach.  I took in my last few glimpses of the Pacific Ocean.  After a quick stop in the Whole Foods tent for a snack, I rode the bus back to the hotel.  

I was so excited to open my Tiffany necklace this year--but I made myself wait until I got back to my room.  I wanted to take my time, open the box slowly--to take it all in.  I slowly untied the ribbon and opened the box.  I pulled out the tiny blue bag.  There is was--my new Tiffany necklace.  Its a triangle shape, with an X to stand for a 10 because this was the tenth year of the Nike Women's Marathon in San Francisco.  

Nike Women's Marathon was an amazing event!  It was the most breathtaking course I have ever run.  There is not one boring second of this race.  There was always something beautiful to look at. The course was for sure my favorite I have ever done (don't tell the runDisney people.)  The support on the course was also spectacular.  I had 3,000 teammates/ new family members cheering me on on the course.  There was hundreds of TNT coaches on the course.  I could not go half a mile without seeing one of our green shirted coaches cheering on all of the runners.  The NWM in San Francisco is going to be a yearly event for me.  I can't wait to do it again next year!

A dream is a wish...


Sunday, November 3, 2013

Some Running Inspiration That Keeps Me Going...

Before every Team in Training event, the TNT staff through an inspiration dinner for participants.  It is their way of saying thank you for all the hard work we have done fundraising, but its also an a send off for us--a reminder WHY we did all that hard work.  The inspiration dinner for the Nike Women's Marathon a few weeks ago was no different--except they had a few extra specials surprise in store for us. 

The dinner started out just like every other TNT inspiration dinner.  The staff, coaches, survivors and family members gathered to cheer us on as we entered the convention center.  There were about 3,000 TNT participants, and countless supporters.  All of the cheering honestly makes me uncomfortable.  I always feel like I am NOT the one who deserves to be cheered for.  The food was your typical pasta, salad, meatballs and veggies.  The amazing John Bingham was our motivational speaker--like at every other TNT inspiration dinner I had been too.  Besides all the typical--this dinner had some amazing surprises in store!  

Team In Training was founded by Bruce Cleland in 1988
 in honor of his three year old daughter, Georgia--a leukemia survivor .   He wanted to do something for other families--to find a cure!  He had the "crazy" idea to run a marathon while getting sponsors to donate for each mile he ran.  Bruce created a team to train for a marathon in New York City . His team raised $322,000 and helped Team In Training grow into what it is today.  TNT Participants at the Nike Women's Marathon received the honor of meeting Bruce and Georgia at our inspirations dinner!  It was so amazing to hear them speak--the people who started it all! 

We also got to hear from another amazing family--The Family of "Team Mickey".  Mickey is now a sixteen year old girl with Downs Syndrome. When she was a toddler, she was diagnosed with Leukemia.  Hearing her mom tell her story brought me to tears.  I know how it feels to spend months and months in the hospital--how scary it is to fear for your child's life. After fighting the disease for years, Mickey in now in remission!  Her mom joined TNT a few years ago.  Mickey crossed the finish line with her mom at her mom's first half marathon.  Mickey vowed then to do a half marathon with her mom as part of TNT when she was 16. That race would be the 2013 Nike Women's Half Marathon!  Hearing Mickey and her mom tell their story was so heart warming.  It reminded me of the power of a mother's love, the power of a family.  It also made me miss my kiddos a bit.  Team Mickey is what Team in Training is all about!  Finding a cure, giving back, helping families have more time together.  

The Team in Training inspiration dinners are always very powerful to me, but this one was different.  It was all about parents fighting for their kids!  They were speaking my language....  This inspiration dinner really put me in the spirit to conquer the hills of San Francisco.  

A dream is a wish...


Wednesday, October 30, 2013

I'm a Hot Chocolate Blogger!


I have recently found out that I was selected to be a blogger for the Hot Chocolate race series!  I am so excited about this! Hot Chocolate races are springing up all over the county.  The basic idea behind the Hot Chocolate race series is for runners to run their choice of either a 5k or a 15k, followed by a crazy cool after
party with all things chocolate.  Think hot chocolate, chocolate fondue, and so much more.  Now, that is worth a good run if you ask me!  What is a better combination than running and chocolate?  I can't think of one!

Hot Chocolate races are also know for having the best goodie bags!  Runners receive a warm hoodie as their goodie bag--in either women or men specific sizes.

I will be an ambassador locally for the Philly race, but I have a special discount code to share with
everyone doing a Hot Chocolate race in the US.  My code is PumpkingtoMUG.  This will get you a free travel mug when you use the code at registration.

To celebrate my partnership with the Hot Chocolate race series, I am doing a little giveaway of Hot Chocolate brand goodies!  I have a "will run for chocolate" shirt in a unisex size large, a Hot Chocolate head band, a luggage tag, a sticker and a little mascot figurine.  Good luck!!!

Keep a look out in the future--I will be giving away a free race entry soon!!!

A dream is a wish...


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, October 27, 2013

My Walk Across the Golden Gate Bridge

Last week while I was in San Francisco for the Nike Women's Marathon, I got to do something I have wanted to do since I was a child--I walked across the Golden Gate Bridge!  The international orange bridge is such an American icon, it felt surreal to actually be there, to be walking across.

The weather that day was chilly, but it was actually clear enough to see for miles from the bridge.  This can be a rare occurrence in San Francisco, as both Nike Women's Half Marathons I have done it was to foggy to see the bridge, even though we ran just feet away from it.  My runDisney friend, Denise, meet me at the race expo and she drove us to the bridge.  We parked at Presidio and walked to the Golden Gate Bridge welcome center.  Then we were bridge bound!

Marin County side.  I love the shadow on the water! 

The Golden Gate bridge was completed in 1937, just at the end of the Great Depression.  It is 1.7 miles long and is about 240 feet about the San Francisco Bay.  The Golden Gate bridge is a famous world wide, both for her majesty and
beauty.  People come from all over the world to see it.  The Golden Gate Bridge was the longest suspension bridge in the world for many years.

The views from the bridge were breathtaking!  Just a few steps in, you can see the city of San Francisco on the right.   The first thing I noticed was how loud and windy it was up there!  Several lanes of traffic were zipping by in both directions.  The wind was so strong!  I was glad I had my hair in tight french braids and that I had my Team in Training hoodie with me.  The two main tower of the bridge looked like they went up and up for forever.  One thing that really surprised me about bridge itself was just how wide the main cables are.  Those things must be 5-6 feet wide! I reach my hand up and touched one.  I could not keep my hands off of that amazing, international orange piece of Pennsylvania steel.

Denise and I reached the Marin County side of the bridge and turn around.  That is when the best views
could be seen.  We could watch San Francisco the whole walk back.  At each of the two bridge towers are observations areas.  We stopped for a while and took some pictures.  I could see Alcatraz, the port of San Francisco, and the hilly San Francisco skyline.  The view its self was worth the flight to San Francisco.

Photo borrowed from Wikipedia
One very strange thing I saw on the bridge were signs and telephones with hopes of persuading people to not jump--suicide by bridge.   I chuckled at the silliness and then shrugged it off.  I thought--this is California after all, they have all kinds of crazy warnings for stuff, right? I had not thought about those signs until I started to right this post and review my pictures from the trip.  Those signs had me so intrigued, so I did a little goggling and discovered that the Gold Gate Bridge is the number one suicide location in the world!  Sadly, the bridge sees up to fifty suicides per year. Wow, I had no idea when I was there!  That is why the little signs were posted every few feet.  It's a sad, unintended effect of a bridge so romanticized by the world.

My trip to the Golden Gate Bridge was an amazing experience!  I am so glad I finally got to do it.  Our trip to the bridge came to an end at the Golden Gate Bridge visitors center.  For $1, guests can buy an official "I walked the bridge" postcard.  The postcards are numbered and stamped with the date.  I think its the perfect keepsake for such an amazing experience!

A dream is a wish...


Saturday, October 26, 2013

My Visit to the Disney Family Museum

Photo from
Last week while in San Francisco for the Nike Women's Marathon, I had the amazing privileged of visiting the Disney Family Museum.  My runDisney buddy, Heather, is a volunteer at the museum and she was
gracious enough to give me the insider tour.  The Disney Family Museum is located in the beautiful and historic Presidio section of San Francisco.  The Presidio is a former Army base turned into a center of culture and living under the shadow of the famous Golden Gate Bridge.  The Disney Family Museum was opened in October 2009 as a place to tell the story of Walt Disney--his life history, his family, his legacy.

Heather was waiting for me when I got to the museum.  The first thing that captivated me in the lobby was the Academy Award Disney won for Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.  It was so cute--one big Academy Award with seven tiny Academy Awards.  We entered the Museum to learn about Walt's birth, his early years and his time in the military.  The next room was all about his beginnings as an artist, still working in the Midwest.  Next, museum goers enter a "train" (really an elevator) and arrive in Hollywood!

Hollywood is where the Disney magic begins!  Visitors get to see the invention of Oswald, and then Mickey. We saw the opening of Disney' first studio.  This is where Walt met Lillian, his eventual wife.  The museum winds to show Disney's venture into full length feature films, and then live action films.  They have one of only three of the multi plane camera in existence, a technology invented by Walt Disney.  The museum does not sugar coat anything.  They go into the effects of the World War on the studios, and the artist strikes.

The next part of the Disney Family Museum goes into the concept and idea of Disneyland!  They have the exact bench from Griffith Park in Los Angeles that Walt was sitting on when he thought up the original idea for Disneyland, while he was watching his girls play on the merry go round.  There are beginning mock ups of the park, concept art and lots of models.  After Disneyland was opened, Walt set his sights on a bigger, better park--Disney World in Florida.

The last part of the museum, and the saddest is the part that goes into Walt's death.  Visitors get to see concepts and venture that the company was working
on, but scraped after Walt's death.  For me, the most touching exhibits at the museum are the simple, every day items the Walt Disney owned and used every day of his life. The museum has his pocket watch, his glasses, pictures his girls drew for him when they were children.  These things humanize him.  Even though he was a man of amazing vision and success, deep down he was a family man, a regular guy.  

The Disney Family Museum was nothing like I expected. I was expecting a "One Man's Dream" video presentation at Hollywood Studios in Walt Disney World type of thing, but with props.  It was so much more that that.  Through this museum experience visitors get to know the Disney family as people.  On the walls are photos of the family--at home, on holidays, on vacation, at work.  Walt's personality comes alive there. The Disney Family Museum is all about the man Walt Disney was, not just the extraordinary things he did.

If you ever get a chance, go visit the Disney Family Museum!  It was an amazing experience.

A dream is wish...


Thursday, October 24, 2013

Nike Women's Marathon Expo San Francisco 2013

This past weekend, I had the privileged of participating in the Nike Women's Half Marathon with my Team in Training team (Go Team Central Pennsylvania!).  Since I did this race last year, I knew the "Expotique" as they call it would be different from any other race expo out there--but in a very cool way! 

When we landed in San Francisco, first thing we did was check  in to our hotel.  Just a short walk from the hotel was the expo!  When I first arrived at the expo, I went right up to the packet pickup table and got my packet. The first thing I noticed there was no shirt in my packet. This was because at the NWM, only finishers get a shirt.  I love this idea! In this years goody bag was some snack samples, a Neutorgena lip gloss, a Paul Mitchell dry shampoo, a Luna Bar and some flyers--packaged in clear plastic bag with the NWM logo on it. Nike+ members got a few extras--we got some shoe laces and a set of Tiffany blue stick on nail polish strips with the race logo printed on it. 

After I got my packet, I went into the Expotique.  It did not look like a normal race expo.  The Expotique was in a huge, white tent set up in Union Square of San Francisco. Runners entered the Expotique on a Tiffany blue carpet.  As we walked in, our names flashed across a board, with an inspirational message special for each runner.  The music was high, as was the energy level. There was nothing for sale at this expo.  Most of what was going on was free! To get NWM themed merchandise, you had to go to Niketown across the street.  This expo was like a party for runners. 

Since this was a women focused event, they had lots of girly pampering and fun available.  Saturday morning, I had an open two hour window in my schedule.  I met my friend Jennie for breakfast, but then my team was meeting two hours later to go over a few last minute race day details.  I decided to spend that time at the expo having some fun. My plan was to be at the expo right at 8 am when it opened to avoid the crowds.  My plan worked--we had no wait for the things we wanted to do.  First, Jennie and I want to the Neutorgena lounge.   They were doing free make overs!   My consultant was so helpful and I love the job she did on my face.  After the makeover, we had our picture taken and got lots of little goodies to take home.  I got a little black draw string bag of lip gloss, moisturizer, and sunblock, plus a full size mascara and pore refining face wash.  How cool is that!

After getting my makeup done, I stopped by the Paul Mitchell booth.  They had cosmetology students doing hair styling. I got two really pretty french braids done in my hair. My hope was that it would stay in for the race.  After that Jennie and I got some silly photo booth pictures done, complete with fake mustaches, at the Team in Training booth.  Thanks so much to the organizers of NWM and the respective brands for doing this for participants. 

This was by far the best, most fun race expo I had ever been to.  It was all about having fun and letting go.  It was about relaxing and celebrating. This is just part of what makes the Nike Women's Marathon series my favorite events of the year.  

A dream is a wish...


Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Baltimore Running Festival

This past Saturday, I participated in the Baltimore Running Festival.  I ran in the marathon relay with some of my Princess running friends.  This race is special to me because Baltimore is like home to me, its the first place I remember living.  The day started crazy and very stressful, but it turned out great!

Let me preface this next paragraph by saying I am the worlds worst driver.  I left my house about 5 am.  I headed south and hit Baltimore by 6 am.  I made my way to Oriole Park at Camden Yards--the place were runners could park for free.  I missed the one turn into the parking lot and there I was--back on I-95!  I got off at the next exit and them found my way back to Camden Yards.  After lots of traffic, I finally got into the lot--just to be the third car turned away due to a full lot.  I followed the two cars in
front of me--right onto the course and under the start line.  Ugg!  The police were yelling at us, but they were nice and gave me directions to another lot to park in.  After a few turns--there I was--at the full Camden Yards lot again!  By this time, I had been in my car circling the city for an hour.  I had to be on the bus to my relay point in just 30 short minutes!  I followed the cars in front of me and finally found a open stop at Raven's Stadium.  My relay team meet me at my relay bus with my bib.  I made it with seconds to spare--seriously--seconds!

Thankfully, my day turned around after that.  I met some really fun ladies on the relay bus.  We were running leg two, so we had about an hour to wait before our first leg partner got to us.  We met our first leg running partners at mile 5, between Johns Hopkins University and the Baltimore Zoo.  The relay exchange point was like a party!  First to pass was the lead wheel chair athlete.  Since I am a back of the pack runner, I have never seen the wheel chairs before.  Baltimore is such a hilly city.  I give those guys so much credit.  After a few minutes the lead runner passed.  The crowd cheered!  It was amazing.  We cheered and cheered as the runners passed.  Soon it was my turn to run.

My leg started straight up hill!  It was a tough start.  I tried to walk the ups, run the down.  My leg went from the zoo, past Hopkins University toward the famous Baltimore Inner Harbor.  Then we ran through South Baltimore, around the Under Armour Headquarters and back to the Inner Harbor for the hand off to our leg three partner.  In total, I ran 7.5 miles.

Right before my hand off, the half marathon started. I really love how the Baltimore Running Festival staggered the events.  The full marathon and the marathon relay started at 8 am.  The 5k started at 9 am, using the start line and finish line of the full marathon, but the course was shortened, of course.  Then the half marathon started at 9:45 am, at mile 13.1 of the full marathon. All races were destined for the same place--Camden Yards!

After my hand off, I headed to race village.  The festivities were in full swing!  There was live music, vendors with food and lots of games from companies like Geico and Chick Fila.  I entered the runners only area to meet up with my teammates.  I got my relay medal and then went for some food!  One thing the Baltimore Running Festival does better than any other is feed their runners well!  I have never been to a running event with better food.  First off, Chick Fila was walking around the finish area giving runners their amazing sandwiches.  What is better after a long run than a Chick Fila sandwich?  Baltimore is famous for their seafood, in Baltimore there is no more famous seafood restaurant than Phillips.  Phillips was in the runners only area with their famous Maryland crab soup.  There was also Utz potato chips, Power Bars, Dole fruit cups, apples, bananas and lots of other yummy food.  What a perfect way to wait for my leg four teammate to cross the finish.

Along with feeding runners after the race, the Baltimore Running Festival knows how to feed runners on the course too!  In my opinion, they did not have enough water stations.  I guess I am spoiled by runDisney, with a stop at each mile.  The Baltimore Running Festival had water stops about every two miles--but most stops had food too.  Along the course was Dunkin Donuts, Utz potato chips, bananas, oranges, Power Bars, Power Bar gels and various candy.  For fluids, they had Gatorade and water.  I did not take any of the food along the course because I did not need it, but if I ever did a full marathon this would be perfect.  One thing I still do not have down is during race fueling.  This course would make it super easy because I would not have to carry fuel with me.

The winner of this years race has a really heartwarming story.  Runners were buzzing about it all day.  The winner is a local teacher and track coach.  My forth leg teammate reported seeing his students cheer home on as he passed mile 20.  He was the first local winner of the race.  The Baltimore Running Festival is an event I would highly recommend to anyone.  One thing I wish they would improve--the half marathon
runners really get cheated out of beauty of Baltimore.  The half runs through the bad neighborhoods of the city.  The first half of the marathon course is amazing, but the second half (also most of the half marathon) is through some not so great areas of Baltimore.  Other than that, the Baltimore Running Festival was an amazing experience I can't wait to do again.

A dream is a wish...


Monday, September 30, 2013

Across the Bay--Chesapeake Bay Bridge Run

I am so excited to announce that I will be an ambassador for the brand new Chesapeake Bay Bridge Run 10k to be held on November 9, 2014! This race will sell out FAST!  Registration does not open up to the general public until 11/9, but I can get YOU in early.  You can preregister with me before its open to the general public.  Here is how:
  • Use this link.   
  • You will need a password to register.  It is: BRIDGEREP
  • If you would like to save $10 (who wouldn't!) use code ABBAMYS
That's it!  I hope to see everyone at the race.  Its sure to be a good, fast race.  Its a mostly flat course with breathtaking views--perfect for a PR!   I can't wait to RUN on water. 

Please comment below after you register so I can keep track of my group!

A dream is a wish...


Sunday, September 29, 2013

Dumbo Double Dare 2013

This year was the first runDisney Dumbo Double Dare!  It was held at the Disneyland Resort--the first official runDisney challenge held on the west coast.  As soon as it was announced, I knew I had to be part of it.  I am such a fan of Disneyland and runDisney, how could I not?

The Dumbo Double Dare is a two part runDisney challenge.  It consists of the Disneyland 10k on Saturday morning, followed the Disneyland Half Marathon on Sunday morning.  I like to consider it a mini version of the of the Goofy Challenge held in Walt Disney World.  (Goofy is a half marathon one day, followed by a full marathon the next day.)  The DDD sold out in a matter of hours, but I knew getting into the race would be the easy part.  I had done ten half marathon before the DDD, but a back to back race like this one was a whole different animal.

Luckily for us runDisney lovers, Jeff Galloway put together a great training plan.  Most weeks, you walk a
long walk on Saturday, and then do a long run on Sunday.  I found the training plan to work very well.  Besides to follow the training plan and all other tips that go with running a half marathon, I have a few tips that are specific to the DDD:

  • Get lots of rest Thursday night.  If you are like most runners, you will not sleep well the night before the races. 
  • Take Friday easy.  Go to the expo and then relax at the pool.  Your body needs the rest. 
  • Carb load Friday and Saturday.  Your body needs to build up and then rebuild up those glycogen stores. 
  • Start hydrating on Thursday (or before), and then never stop!  Carry a water bottle with you and keep filling it up.  Doing two back to back races makes it even more important that you are hydrated.
  • Don't push yourself to hard the at the first race.  You have an even longer race to do tomorrow. 
  • After the first race, again, take it easy.  I know, there are two Disney theme parks waiting for you--how can you take it easy?  How about a compromise--just a few hours in the parks and then you take it easy? 
  • Eat a bland, well balanced diet on Friday and Saturday--nothing that will upset the tummy before your big races.  
  • ENJOY YOURSELF!  You are in Disneyland! 
Do you have any other tips I should add to this list?  

A dream is a wish...


Friday, September 27, 2013

Brand New runDisney Medals Revealed!

A few weeks ago at the Disneyland Half Marathon expo, I have a chance to review the brand new runDisney medals for Wine and Dine weekend, as well as the brand new medals for runDisney Marathon weekend!  The new medals are all very cool.  I have to say, I was more a fan of the old Wine and Dine medal than the new one--I miss the symbol of Epcot, Spaceship Earth on the medal.  But, I really like how the medal has Mickey on it.  None of my many runDisney medals has Mickey on it. The Marathon weekend medals are exciting to see--especially for the brand new event--the Dopey Challenge.  I love the brand new pink coast to coast medal--earned for doing both the Tinkerbell Half Marathon in Disneyland and the Princess Half Marathon in Walt Disney World.
2013 Wine and Dine medal

2014 Goofy Challenge medal 
2014 Marathon weekend 5k medal

2014 runDisney Marathon medal

runDisney 2014 Half Marathon medal

runDisney marathon weekend 10k medal

Dopey Challenge Medal! 

Pink runDisney Coast to Coast Medal! 

All of the medals on display. 
What do you think of the new medals?  Which ones will you be earning?  

A dream is a wish...