New Glass Slipper Challenge Revealed!

It’s no secret that I love runDisney races. Back in February, I completed my first half marathon by running the Disney Princess Half Marathon. Earlier this month, I signed up for ANOTHER half marathon at Walt Disney World’s Marathon Weekend. This race weekend was recently revamped with the addition of the Dumbo 10k and the Dopey Challenge on top of the other FOUR races/challenges that go on during that weekend. How cool, right? I mean, imagine walking around with six medals clanking together!?! You might feel like this guy:

michael_phelps

Just today, it was announced that the 2014 Disney Princess weekend will be getting a little facelift. There now will be a chance to earn TWO MORE shiny, beautiful metals in ONE WEEKEND! Are you as excited as I am?

Added to the lineup are the Enchanted 10K and the Glass Slipper Challenge. For the Glass Slipper Challenge, you sign up for both the Enchanted 10K on Saturday AND the Princess Half Marathon on Sunday. There also will be an additional day added to the Expo (yay! This year was too crazy…). The race weekend for 2014 is February 20-23.

Photo Credit:Run Disney

Photo Credit: runDisney

As if that wasn’t big enough, for those who participate in the Coast-to-Coast Challenge by completing the 2014 Tinker bell Half Marathon and the 2014 Princess Half Marathon will receive an oh-so-girly pink Coast-to-Coast metal.

princessc2c

With my upcoming nuptials being the focus of my funds, I might have to miss out on this inaugural challenge, but let it be known: Glass Slipper Challenge, I’m coming for you!

Can I count you in?

Running Down a Dream

Is there something that you have always wanted to do, but seem to come up with a million excuses not to? Today is the day to change your way of thinking. Take 5 minutes out of your day and figure out how to get it done. You may be asking, “Where is this coming from?”.  Well, this past weekend, I crossed off one of those “In my dreams” items, I completed a half marathon. And not only did I complete it, I ran the entire thing without stopping in 2 hours and 9 minutes.

IMG_20130228_124535

About four years ago, I causally mentioned to someone that it was my goal to complete a half marathon. Their response was less than encouraging. They shot a doubting look my way and said “A half marathon? Are you kidding me? Do you know how far that is?” (No, Mom, this wasn’t you).

Although this was not the response I expected, I understand where they were coming from. Growing up, I was by no means athletic. I have tried just about every sport and was somewhere between horrible and laughable in each and every one. In high school, I accepted the fact that I would never be going to the Olympics and joined the girly girls on the Pom Pon squad. I finally was able to put 15 years of dance class to good use.

I started running during college, when I was too cheap to buy a gym membership. At first, I would run a mile or two. As the years passed, I worked my way to three miles, which I have been comfortably running for about three years. Then this year, Danny and I decided to run the Disney Tower of Terror Ten Miler, so the long distance training began. After completing that race, I was determined to run the additional 3.1 miles and signed up for the Disney Princess Half Marathon.

Now, Back to that naysayer… At the moment that those discouraging words left her mouth, two things happened. First, I was overcome with doubt. Maybe she was right, 13.1 miles is a heck of a long way to run. Maybe I wasn’t strong enough and I would be left as roadkill on the course. But then, my determination kicked those thoughts to the side. I decided then and there that I would do whatever it takes to run that marathon. I was going to prove to myself and to any doubters that I COULD.

I promise I’ll break the race down more in another post, but let’s just say it was amazing. I teared up at three times during the race. During the first mile, I realized that my dream was coming true, I was running a half marathon (and qualified for the fastest corral!). At the fifth mile, the tears were there again when I saw a sign that said “It’s hard to beat someone who never gives up”. It was like someone put that sign there for me! Then, about five minutes after I crossed the finish line and was able to breathe without seeing the light at the end of the tunnel,  I realized how proud I was of myself.

hardbeat

If there is one thing you take from this post, let it be this: There will always be someone or something that tries to get in the way of your dreams.  It was Walt Disney who said it best when he said “If you can dream it, you can do it”.

IMG_20130228_124459

Go Get It.

Ready to Run

As I have mentioned a few times, my boyfriend Danny and I are participating in the upcoming Disney race, the Tower of Terror 10-Miler. How upcoming, you may ask?  I’ll be there in 10 DAYS!

Image

We have been training for this race since April and just completed our last long run yesterday. The weekend before last, we ran nine miles at the gym. It took me about 77 minutes (8:35 pace) while Danny finished a few minutes before me. During this run, the sickest blister formed on my left big toe while my right pinky toenail cut into my other toe. It was a painful run BUT we were both so proud to have completed it.

When we went to the gym yesterday, we both fully intended to run 9 miles, as we did the week before. On Saturday, I had my gym ritual of back to back gym classes of Body Pump followed by Zumba. During Zumba, while Shakira was blaring over the speaker, our instructor had us do a straight minute of side high kicks. As a former Pom Pon girl extraordinaire, I took this opportunity to show that this 26 year old still can kick as high as those highschoolers. Turns out, I can kick that high, but my muscles require a little warning. My inner thigh muscles went into instant shock and my left muscle became strained. Ouch!

So yesterday, about half way through my run, my body reminded me of those kicks from the previous day. I turned to Danny on the treadmill next to me, mouthed that I felt like I was dying while I slid my finger over my throat. We both finished running 65 minutes (our treadmills have a 60 minute limit with a 5 minute “cool down” that we bump back up to a running pace) and decided that we were done for the day. All training schedules say that you should avoid long runs every weekend and instead do every other weekend, so we were okay with cutting our run a mile and a half short. When I got home, I kicked off my awesome kick to find ANOTHER blister. This bad boy was bigger than the week before and could not be ignored.

Image

This weekend, I also made our logos that we will wear for our Incredibles costumes. I found the image online that I used as my template and made it the size that I wanted. By using fabric and craft fuse, I created the logos that will be tacked on to our running shirts. I’m very happy with the way they turned out.  In the picture below, you can see some of the chalk that I used to trace the pattern with. It will be cleaned up, I promise!

Image

Pumped Up Kicks

I’m starting to get “poop my pants” excited/ nervous for my upcoming race. I can’t believe it is almost a month away! This month has been on fast-forward ever since the beginning. As I posted before, my boyfriend Danny and I were looking for an apartment. It seems like as soon as that whole debacle was taken care of, we were boarding a plane to spend 10 days in Michigan with our family and friends. We got back to Florida on Sunday and have started to pack up our apartment. So what does all this mean for my running? Not good things!

It all started out just fine and dandy. On the first Saturday I was back in Michigan, I woke up early to run on my treadmill for an easy 5k. My next run was not until Monday, when Danny and I were up north at my cottage in Gaylord, MI. We both were stoked that we finally could run outside in comfortable temperatures. It was the perfect temp for running too, right around 65 degrees.  We fully intended on running nine miles on this run, but that was unfortunately cut short due to a rock in the shoe. If anyone has ever experienced this, it feels like a huge boulder must be rattling around your shoe and causes unbelievable pain. When you finally are able to shake out your shoe, this tiny, innocent, little pebble tumbles out. Come on!

Anyhoo, we made it just over seven miles. I was slightly disappointed that I wasn’t able to run the nine miles but thoroughly enjoyed running outside.  The best part of this was that I felt like I could have run a lot farther. Progress is being made. So that is all fine and dandy except that was the last time I ran until today. Whoops!

I was super excited for my run today as my new running shoes were making their grand debut! I wanted to buy a shoe that was made for runners and known for their comfort, unlike some other well-known companies (cough **Nike***cough). I looked into ASICS, New Balance, and Reebox Real Flex. As soon as I slipped my New Balance 750s on, I knew they were my glass slippers. They felt so comfortable from the get-go. After a successful run this morning, I can happily say that the shoes require little to no break in time and are amazingly comfortable. I haven’t tried them on a long run as of yet, but will let you know once I try.

Until then, check out my awesome kicks!

ImageImage

Pushing My Limits

This weekend I achieved a huge accomplishment: I ran seven miles. On top of that, I ran seven miles in 59 minutes and 4 seconds.  Not only is that the farthest distance I have ever ran, it is the fastest pace I have ever been able to maintain for my long runs. I’m extremely proud of myself and my running mate/ boyfriend, Danny. When Danny and I first signed up for the Tower of Terror 10 Miler, he mentioned his goal was to complete the 10 miles in 1:30:00 or under. With a nervous laugh, I agreed that was an excellent goal. I did not think it would be possible, that is, not until now.

 I have been training at a 9:00 minute pace for my long runs, which would put me right at 1:30:00. I figured that once you throw in a few uphill expressway ramps with the heat and darkness, my pace will be a little slower than running on a flat treadmill. Now that I have reduced my pace by a whopping 16 seconds, I feel extremely confident that this goal is possible. Plus I only have a measly three miles to go in my training!

I’m a little frustrated with my mindset during my run.  I knew it wouldn’t be easy from the moment I hit “start”… my gym had removed Bravo from the TV channels on the treadmill. Without the mindless bickering of whatever Housewives, I was left with my iPod to entertain me for the next hour. I have yet to make a workout mix, so I spent a lot of time fast forwarding through Christmas carols and Jack Johnson.

After I finally hit a good patch of music, I began thinking about the time. “I must be at least a half hour in. I’ll run for five more minutes so it will more than a half hour in”. After about three minutes, I removed my towel from the timer it was hiding. I was at 24 minutes. Shoot. Nothing a little rounding couldn’t fix! From then on, I became obsessed with the time. I wasn’t tired, I was just impatient (story of my life!).  I tried distracting myself by counting the number of white cars passing by. That lasted a solid 30 seconds. I took my glasses off so that I wasn’t able to sneak a peek at Danny’s treadmill timer. They were back on 10 minutes later so I could turn and look at the wall clock. Come on Danielle! You are better than that!

I know this is something that I have to change. If I am going to keep running these long distances, I have to find my “zen zone”.  I’ll figure out something that will put a rock garden in my head. Maybe I’ll try a book on tape or something. Any suggestions?

On another note, as a direct result of my run, I have turned into an eighty year-old woman. My knees and ankles are swollen and my back is killing me. This will be a “take it easy” week for sure!

The Great Debate

Holy Crap. Last time I posted about my upcoming race, the Tower of Terror 10 miler, there were 98 days to go. How on earth are there now only 79 days to go? Wasn’t that post from like, last week?!?! No?? EEKS! Time to get my butt in gear.

In terms of running, I think I am right on track (or running circles around it, hehe). I have made it past the six mile mark, and have been drastically improving my time on my short runs. This next weekend, I will be attempting to run seven miles. Thanks to my shiny new ipod, I’ll be able to be-bop along to my jams for the run. The part of the race I am really starting to worry about is what my costume will be!

There are so many creative costumes out there, especially for Disney races. I really would like to find a costume that is as original as a possible and still functional to run in.  Pinterest and the blog for Team Sparkle have some amazing ideas that are so inspiring. For example, Karen over at Chariots of Ire made this adorable costume of Russell from the movie Up. So freakin’ creative and adorable!

Image

After hours spent googling “Disney Race Costume” and stalking many many runner’s blogs, I had my choices down to three.  Up until late last night, I was deciding between Snow White, Tinkerbelle, and Elastigirl. (Thank you to According to Kelly for the inspiration and the photos below!)

Image

I was talking about this with Danny and when I mentioned Elastigirl, he said “Oh and I could be Mr. Incredible!”. Cha-Ching, SOLD!  The Incredibles, along with Wedding Singer and Shawshank Redemption, is one of those movies that I will drop everything to watch if it is on TV, regardless of what point the movie is at. Sad part about this, I own all these movies but I can’t seem to help myself! I am overjoyed that I will not only be able to run as a character from one of my favorite movies, but I will also have a partner in crime…er…. to fight crime.

Now, do you think Edna will be available to make my costume?

10 Miles of Terror

Confession: I am a huge Disney fan. This is a relatively recent obsession that I have developed thanks to my wonderful boyfriend. Danny is a Disney FANATIC. He has always been fascinated by the history and heritage of the Disney brand. His few free moments of the day are spent checking varies Disney blogs about updates on the parks and the latest Disney news. In turn, my days are spent trying to find little bits of trivia that he might not know (So far, I’ve come up with two things… in four and a half years….).
Danny was an intern for three summers during college, two of which we were dating. I was able to visit him a few times while he was there. It is so fun to walk around with someone who knows the stories behind the concepts and trivia about the parks. As a result, my love for Disney has now gone beyond the “I can watch The Little Mermaid three times on repeat” phase into a passion for the Disney brand.

Danny and I decided to combine our love to for Disney with running and recently participated in our first Disney race. We ran the Tangled 5K back in February and had an excellent experience. Not knowing what to expect, I showed up with a polka dotted red ribbon in my hair, very Minnie-esque. Little did I know, people were wearing FULL-ON costumes for the race. It was a lot of fun to see what everyone was wearing. As for the race itself, I was in awe of how well operated it was. It was a great event to be a part of and made me want MORE! As soon as Danny I came home from the race, we registered for the Tower of Terror 10 Miler.

10 miles. It may be a small world, but 10 miles seems like a really long distance, especially since the longest I have ever run is 5 miles. I have been comfortably running 3 miles at least twice a week for the last two years. I have been pushing myself (with the huge help of my boyfriend) to run either farther or faster for the last month and a half. I think KNOW I can run the 10 miles, it is just a matter of making myself do it! If this were any “normal” race, I wouldn’t be half as excited.

Every day I will log on to the runDisney site to read the race details for the hundredth time. I am so pumped to see a rare look at Backstage Disney and also, to run in costume! Ever since the Tangled 5K, the gears have been turning as to what I should wear for the upcoming race. I have a few different ideas that I am toying with. One thing I know for sure, the Minnie Mouse ribbon is not going to cut it! Now if I can only convince Danny to run in costume….

98 Days to Go!!!!