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...


Thursday, September 26, 2013

Do you have to be competitive to be a runner?

A few days ago, the Wall Street Journal posted an article titled “The Slowest Generation.”  It’s a scathing report about how my generation is not competitive enough when we run races, that we are basically running one long, slow parade.  This article really touched a nerve with me.  Here are my thoughts…

They start the article picking on the Color Run.  While I am not a fan of the color run (I hate how messy it is!), I think the author is way off in his assumption that just because it’s not timed, it’s not a really sporting event.  The way I see it, if someone is up and moving that is a good thing.  If they are running or walking a 5k, it’s much better sitting on the coach.  I don’t care if it takes them two hours to complete the 5k; they are still doing something healthy for themselves.  Why knock that? 

Next, the author compared the Tough Mudder events with the Spartan race serious, making the Spartans seem more serious and valuable to do because they timed.  Why does an event being timed make it more worthwhile? 

The article them discusses how American’s are becoming less competitive in the world distance running. 
This is a topic I admittedly know very little about.  As much as I love to run, I do not follow professional runners.  I bet the author would not like that either…

We cannot all be competitive distance runners, that is just a simply fact.  We all do not have bodies that are not built to be competitive runners.  We all do not have the desire to be competitive runners.  I am admittedly one of the people the author is writing about.  I don’t even know my time on the last half marathon I ran—I simply don’t care.  I do races for the fun, for the experience, for the time with friends.  I am more worried about my cute race day outfit than I am about my goal time.  Yes, I train for every event I do, but my finish time does not dictate how I feel about myself or the events I do.  To me, the bottom line is that more and more people are getting out there and crossing the start line.  This news could not be better in my book!  Here in America, we are facing a growing obesity crisis.  It is out of control.  The obesity crisis costs us billions of dollars each year in health care costs, lost production etc. If running through clouds of colored corn starch gets people moving, that is an awesome thing!
What do you think of this article?  I would love to hear your opinions!

A dream is a wish…


Wednesday, September 18, 2013

A Secret Film Illegally Shot in Disney World

In the past week or so I have been seeing things on Twitter about some mysterious guerrilla film that was secretly filmed at Walt Disney World.  This immediately got my interest--people typically can't sneeze at Disney without them know it.  You are always being watched there.  This fact does not bother me, but its a simply fact.  How did these people shot a film without being detected?

I followed a link and watched the trailer.  Wow!  This is a dark film.  After reading the comments, I got a better sense of how it was done.  The film makers used typical consumer video cameras, like every other family in the parks.  They kept scripts only on their phones--they did not bring paper scripts into the parks.  Something I found very interesting is the film was shot in black and white.  I wonder why?  These guys did a great job at not getting caught.

Would I see the film?  Sure!  I am always up for anything Disney related, no matter what it is.  My favorite episode of "Full House" as a kid was the one where they went to Disneyland.  I watch all the documentaries about how the park was made, how its run ect.  As you know, I am a sucker for all things Disney!  If I can yell out--"look its Space Mountain", I'm in!  I don't think I will go out of my way to see it though.  I think I will just wait for it to hit Netflix.

What do you think of this movie?  Will you go see it?

A dream is a wish...


Sunday, September 15, 2013

Why do you runDisney?

Mr. runDisney TV  #saveDennis
There has been a lot of rumors swirling around social medal over the past 72 hours about some shake ups at runDisney.  The rumors have been about budget cuts, job cuts, reorganizations, personal issues ect.  I have read the opinions of so many runDisney enthusiasts upset about the shake ups, saying that some of the things we have grown to love about runDisney will be "no more".   While these are parts of runDisney I will very much miss, I got to thinking--what made me do my first runDisney event?  What got me to become a huge fan of runDisney?

For me, it was just being at Walt Disney World on a random race weekend.  I did not know runDisney even existed until I was on a trip at WDW during the first week of January several years back.  They were setting up for marathon weekend.  As the week went on, more and more runners ascended on WDW and the excited began to mount.  I loved it!  The thought of running through the castle was the only thing that could ever get me to start running.  My favorite moment of every Disney vacation is the first glimpse of the castle in Magic Kingdom.  I started to think of--oh cool would it be to actually be part of a runDisney event?  I decided that the next year, I would be one of those runners!

What got you first interested in doing a runDisney event?  Where you a Disney fan first and then became a fan of runDisney or where you a runner first who decided to try out a runDisney event?  Do the "celebrities"  at the events make you want to be a part of it?  What about what you read in social media and in blogs?  The celebrities play absolutely no role for me in doing a runDisney event. Now I love being part of runDisney social media, but it had nothing to do with me becoming a Disney runners and it has nothing to do with me coming back for future events.  I am not saying that I have all the answers or all the facts--this is just one runners opinion.  If marketing costs was the issue, maybe cutting the cost of the celebs could be an answer.  It can't be cheap to cover all their costs.  Even though its not why I do the events, certain personalities of race weekend that were cut will be missed! Race morning just won't be the same.

That was my "why".  What is yours?  Why did you sign up for you first runDisney event?

A dream is a wish...


Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Disneyland Half Marathon 2013

By race morning, I was already exhausted!  With the first part of the Dumbo Double Dare, the 10k, the day before, a day of flying cross country and two days taking in the parks--I was one tired runner!  Good thing the Disneyland Half is a west coast race--it felt like I got to sleep in a little, but a 4 am wake up call is still a 4 am wake up call no matter the time zone.  At the last minute, I decided to dress as Rapunzel--check out this Raw Threads top.  A few days before the race, I donated 12 inches of my hair to Locks of Love.  With this awesome shirt, I got my hair back!  So many people recognized me on the course from my new, shorter 'do.

Staying at a Disney resort made getting to the start a piece of cake!  We rolled out of our room at 5 am for a 5:30 does not get easier than that.  I got to my corral and meet up with some Endurance Sports Connection. This group is such a hoot!  It is easy to pick them out in a crowd--they run with pig balloons. They are always elaborately dressed up and a bunch of fun to hang out with.  This race's costumes--Dumbo and company of course.  The time till the start and until my corral's turn to start went fast with good company.  My corral (D) got our Ready, Set, Go!  Complete with fireworks just for us!
friends at the

The first mile of the race was out and around the back of Disney's California Adventure park.  After about 1.5 miles, we were in the park!  By this time, the sun was coming up.  We entered the park at the end of the Paradise Pier section, right where they show World of Color!  They had the World of Color music playing--I loved it!  Next, we ran through Cars Land, and then Hollywood Land.  Then it was on to Disneyland!  Running up Main Street and toward the castle is always my favorite part of a runDisney event.  It takes my breath away every time.  A big highlight of the Disneyland Half Marathon this year for me was running with Jeff Galloway!  I just happen to see him at the top of Main Street, as we were turning toward Adventureland.  I was so excited to see him!  He is such a personable, and I feel like he made running possible for so many--me included.  I chit chatted with him for a bit.  How cool is that--I ran with an Olympian!

While I was running with Jeff, I also ran into my friend Jackie.  We do lots of local events together, so it was great to see her.  We ended up running the rest of the race together.  We ran through the castle, and of course got some awesome castle pics.  Then it was on past the Matterhorn, then Small World, some "back stage" areas, then out of the park.  In my opinion, this is the down side of the Disneyland races--the first few miles in the parks are amazing, but then there is lots of miles outside of the parks, in Anaheim.

This weekend in Disneyland, it was ridiculously hot and humid!  I have read reports that by 9 am race day it was from 90-94 degrees, 70-80% humidity.  I, like many others, was not prepared for this weather--at all!  Even the water on the course was warm.  It was hot, sticky and miserable.  The sun shined down on us blindingly as we were running toward it.  The conditions were out of anyone's control, the conditions were brutal.

After 5 miles through the streets of Anaheim, we approached mile 9 and could see Angel's Stadium.  This was a fun part of the race--the crowd was amazing!  You feel like a rock star running through a stadium full of fans cheering for you.  After the stadium, we hit mile 10!  I started looking for signs of Disneyland--the Tower of Terror and the Matterhorn.  After about a mile, I could finally see the Matterhorn--I knew I was almost there.  As we got closer and closer to the finish, the crowd started to get thicker.  As we ran again behind California Adventure park, there was a high school marching band paying for us.  It brought me back to my high school days as a cheerleader and gave me a second wind!  I really need that.  After a few more minutes, I saw the mile 13 sign.  Jackie and I started to sprint to the finish!  After a high five from Mickey, I crossed the finish line!

Jackie and I got our Disneyland Half Marathon medal, then our Dumbo Double Dare medal.  The thing I was most thankful for at the finish was a nice cold towel.  After getting some water, Gatorade and some snacks, I headed back to my room for a nice cool shower!  My race clothes were so sweaty, I looked like I
just jumped into the pool.  Like all runDisney events--the Disneyland Half Marathon was a fun race that I was happy to be part of!  I can't wait to runDisney again in January at the Tinkerbell Half Marathon!

Have you done a runDisney event?  Which one was
your favorite?

A dream is a wish...


Sunday, September 8, 2013

Disneyland 10k

Instead of just a 5k and a Half Marathon for race weekend in Disneyland, runDisney added a new race--a 10k, and a new challenge--the Dumbo Double Dare!  When I first heard about this brand new challenge, I know I had to be a part of it!   The 10k was Saturday morning and then the half was Sunday morning.  Both were great races.  Today, I will tell you about the Disneyland 10k!

Like all runDisney events, this race started early--at 6:15 am.  It was still dark, but the sun had started rise over the Horizon.  I am always a tad nervous on race morning, but I can usually keep it in check until the first runners start.  I am a mid to back of the pack running, so I usually have a good 20ish minutes before the race officially starts and before I cross the starting line.  Of course, the announcers keep it fun--they play up beat songs, they tell silly jokes--its a fun way to pass the time.

Finally it was my turn to start!  In runDisney style, each corral gets a rock star send off with fireworks.  We were off and running!  First we ran the Disney hotels, then toward the Anaheim convention center.  I liked that this course was different than both the Disneyland Half Marathon course and the Tinkerbell Half course.  By the time we ran around the convention center and entered Disney's California Adventure, we were hitting mile two.  By now, the sun had risen and I got a glimpse of CA park.  The Paradise Pier area of the park is my favorite, so I was excited to run through it.  They were playing the "World of Color" song, so I sang along as I ran.  (World of Color is an amazing night time light/water show in CA park!)  Another fun thing for me in the California Adventure was the Monsters University characters/parade floats.  My kids love this movie, so I was so excited to see the characters.

After running in California Adventure, we race across to Disneyland!  That first glimpse of the castle always takes me breath away.  No matter how many times I do a runDisney event or how many times I enter the park gates, its always a special experience to me to see the castle.  One fun thing about a runDisney race is all the time you spend in the "back stage" areas.  For a Disney geek like me, its so cool to see all the behind the scenes stuff!  We got to see extra ride vehicles, parade floats, Christmas decorations in storage and the animals of Disney--so cool, typical park visitors never get to see thing kind of stuff.  After some time in the back stage around came mile five and the big event, the reason people do runDisney events--the run through the castle!  This time, I turned my iPhone around so you could run through the castle with me.  Check out my video.

After the castle run, runners made their way through New Orleans Square, then out of the park and through Down Town Disney to the finish.  Down Town Disney was lined with people cheering the running on.  I could see other runners who had finished wearing their medals.  I could not wait to get mine!  I ran into one of my running friends about a half mile from the finish line.  We decided to sprint to the finish together!  After high fiveing Mickey, I crossed the finish for the first ever runDisney 10k!

I got my medal, water and snacks and started to walk back to my hotel.  I saw another running friend alone the way who was cheering on the last of the finishers.  I decided to stay with her to cheer on the rest of the runners.  After a few minutes, I could see these little golf carts--the sweepers.  I was so happy for the people just in front of them, but sad for the
people on the golf carts.  After that is was off to the shower for me, then to Disneyland to meet my friends for a character breakfast!  Next up, the Disneyland Half Marathon!

A dream is a wish...


Thursday, September 5, 2013

Disneyland Half Marathon Expo

My friend Michele and I waiting in line
This past weekend I had the opportunity to run the inaugural runDisney Dumbo Double Dare!  Like many attendees, I traveled to California on Thursday, so I could attend the Disneyland Half Marathon expo on Friday--the first day it opened.

I got to the expo around 8:30 am where I meet some friends.  The expo did not open until 10 am, but with the time difference I could not sleep past 6:30 am.  After some breakfast, we decided to just wait in the already long time to get into the expo.  Why was the line so long already?  In the past, runDisney official merchandise has gone very, very quickly at the expos.  If you want something, you better get there early!  With this being the inaugural Dumbo Double Dare, merchandise for it was in even higher demand.  My plan of attack was this:  Know what I want, grab it and get in the check out line!  It worked.  I got what I wanted and waited less than 5 minutes to pay.  If I would have gotten into the line five minutes later, I would have waited over and hour--yes!  Over an hour to pay.

Limited Edition pins! 
After hitting the official merch area, I made a quick circle around the expo and hit the vendors I wanted to
see.  My first stop--the runDisney booth!  I had to see all the new medals that were released.  The brand new medal for the runDisney Wine and Dine half and well as the all new medals the marathon weekend events were debuted that morning.  I had to see them first hand.  What do you think of them?  

My favorite vendor at the expo was the Disney Wedding display.  They had the pumpkin coach!  One day, someday I will have a vowel renewal at Walt Disney World.  I rounded the corner from the runDisney booth and there it was.  I had to do a double take, it took my breath away.  I just stood there and stared for a few seconds.  It was so cool to see in person, it was cool to see so close up.
Some of the new medals! 

After a few more vendor stops, it was time to pick up my packet--which meant more time in line.  I spent about 45 minutes in the pack pickup line.  It was starting to get hot and runner were getting grumpy!  After getting my pack, I had to get into another 45 minute line just to get out of the packet area and into the expo/shirt pickup
area.  After about two hours--I was so ready to get out of there!

I went back to the expo on Saturday around noon to exchange my shirts.  The shirts this year were cut really big, so I need to size down.  I was really worried about a crazy line and I almost did not
bother.  When I got there Saturday, I was happily surprised to find everything orderly with no crazy busy lines.  I exchanged my shirts with no problems and even made another trip around an uncrowded expo.

This was by far the craziest, most crowded runDisney expo I have ever been to!  I have a few idea why... First, people are so scared they will miss out on the official merchandise, so stocking more of it would be very helpful.  Also, having the 5k, 10k and the first leg of the DDD the same day created the problem of so many runners being required to hit
the expo on Friday.  It seams this problem will take care of it's self because in the foreseeable future, runDisney has the 5k on Friday morning instead of both the 5k and 10k on Saturday morning.  The expos will be opening the day before the 5k, so a three day expo should cut down on the crowd too.  

Besides the crazy hot, crazy long lines, I enjoyed the Disneyland Half Marathon expo.  I love the sunrises like the new medals and the pumpkin coach, and old favorites like meeting Jeff Galloway at the runDisney booth.  Did you go the the Disneyland Half Marathon Expo?  What where the highlights for you?

A dream is a wish...


Pro Compression Socks Giveaway Winner!

And the winner is:  Kim Frey!  Kim--email me your mailing address and you shoe size.

Thank you so much to everyone who entered!  I have some really awesome giveaways coming up this month...stay tuned!

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