She can fly!

When I signed up for the Disney Tinkerbell Half Marathon weekend months and months ago, I had big plans.  The Tinkerbell Half was my first Disney race with Meri and Vic so it holds a special place in my heart.  I had been promising my daughter a Disney race for awhile so back when I was feeling super motivated, I signed myself up for all three of the Tink races and signed up my girl for the 5k.  I had high hopes of training and PR’s and what not, but you know how it goes.  Sometimes you accidentally get pregnant.

Luckily, I was able to get a refund for the half and 10k, which, by the way, I thought was super understanding of the peeps at RunDisney.  We decided to go ahead and run the 5k together.  I thought a Disney race would be perfect for Sophie.  Disney races are super family friendly.  There’s always runners of all athletic abilities and all ages.  Sophie’s a very active 11 year old, she plays soccer and runs a lot at practice so I had no doubt she could do this race.  I was more worried about being able to keep up with her!

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She was so excited to have a bib with her name on it. 

We stayed the night close to the park before the race so we could make the 5 am start time and so we could pick up our bibs and hit the expo the night before.  We didn’t plan costumes, mostly because I couldn’t think of anything pregnant friendly that wouldn’t be suffocating. Also, the more pregnant I get the less motivation I have to do stuff.  So when we got to the expo, Sophie found a Tink tee from Raw Threads that she just loved.  Obviously, a girl can’t run her first Disney race without some kind of sparkle, so Sophie got a sparkle skirt and some fairy wings to go with her shirt.  Because that’s how we roll!

The race started right on Main Street, which I haven’t ever experienced in a Disney race before.  There aren’t Corral placements for the 5k, it’s first come, first Corral, and we ended up in Corral C.  Sophie couldn’t contain her excitement.  She whooped and hollered when the MC’s roused the crowd.  She danced and cheered for her favorite songs.  And she was mesmerized when Tinkerbell flew around Sleeping Beauty’s castle.

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Not bad for a last minute costume!

As our Corral moved toward the start line, Sophie was ready to run.  We planned to meet at the finish if we got separated.  I told her about pictures with characters and so she decided she would stop and get pictures and maybe I’d be able to catch up to her.  However, when we finally started, she took off!  I didn’t even get one picture of her running.  There weren’t many characters out for the 5k, so that plan blew.  The whole race I expected to see her walking or at a bathroom or something, but nope, that girl left me in her pixie dust and never looked back.

 

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Our only picture together!

 

I walked my way to the finish and looked for Sophie.  She was no where to be found.  I began to slightly freak out, trying to ignore every worse case scenario that popped into my head.  I decided to check the post-race area before I panicked, and that’s exactly where I found her.  Shoe-less and fresh out of snacks, she flagged me down with a wild wave.  She finished in 38 minutes. It took me at least an hour, so she just hung out for twenty some minutes.  I had no idea she was so responsible and independent!  We headed back to the hotel with our medals proudly displayed.  She wore that medal later that day when we visited the park until she left it in the seat pocket on Big Thunder Railroad.  Luckily, a cast member found it for her and she promptly stowed it in my bag for the rest of the day.

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Best medal ever! 

 

To be honest, I would have skipped the race if it weren’t for Sophie, but I’m so glad we did this.  She made it magical and I love that I get to share this part of my life with her now.  So many changes are happening in her life this year.  She’s getting a new sibling, she’s going to middle school, we’re moving (again!!!), but I hope these races are something we can share for as long as we’re able.  She even wants to do a Ragnar!  Like she said, this can be the start of a family tradition.  She already has costume plans for next year.  That’s my girl!

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runDisney 2016 Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend Recap

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Last year, after I finished the inaugural Disney Star Wars Half Marathon, I was walking back to the hotel room surrounded by the clanking of medals from Rebel Challenge finishers.  I glanced down at my beautiful, yet lonely, half marathon medal and I vowed that in 2016, I would have all the Star Wars medals.  When the time came to register for these races, I gave all my money to runDisney. I registered for the Rebel Challenge and then signed up for the 5K too.  Because if there’s one race series that I’m going all in on, it’s this one. After all, Star Wars is kind of my thing.

Finally! After all these years…

Finally! After all these years…

The 5K was on Friday morning and I expected the race to be a lot less crowded than previous Disney races.  I’m not sure why, maybe because it was on a weekday at 5:30 in the morning.  Really, I should know by now that Disney races break all the rules.  This race was packed with all kinds of runners!  Especially families.  I was really disappointed I hadn’t signed up my daughter.  I also can’t tell you how excited I was to see so many little girls in their Rey costumes kicking ass in a race whose theme has been marketed as a mainly male franchise.

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Start Line Selfie!

I know this is a big shocker, but I didn’t train as much as I would have liked for these races. I wasn’t too worried about the 5K, but I knew I had those other two, more lengthy races to run in the next few days with Jenn.   I thought of this race as kind of the warm-up.  The course stayed in the two parks and it was exactly what running around Disneyland with a bunch of kids would be like.  I can’t tell you how many times I had dodge tiny Jedi.  I couldn’t stop thinking how amazing this race would be for a kid: getting to dress up like a Jedi and run, literally run, around Disneyland.  It was great to watch these kids finish with their parents and friends.  I can’t wait to force my kids to do it with me next year.

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10K Banner

With the 5K was out of the way, I couldn’t wait to meet up with Jenn to get ready for the first race of our Rebel Challenge.  We eagerly prepared our costumes for Jenn’s first ever trip through Disneyland.  That’s right, my friends, Jenn was a Disneyland virgin! That would explain the virgin alarm…

Perfect costume is perfect!

Perfect costume is perfect!

We weren’t quite sure about choosing a parody costume for this race.  We are both lifelong Star Wars fans; she’s the first person I texted my theories to after watching The Force Awakens!  But we’re also both fans of laughing and when Jenn suggested we dress as the Spaceballs duo of Dot Matrix and Princess Vespa, I just couldn’t get as enthusiastic about anything else.  We weren’t sure if anyone would appreciate the laugh as much as we did, but, man, were we pleasantly surprised.

10K Collage

Jenn’s Dot Matrix was just perfect and all race long we were reminded of our favorite quotes as fellow Spaceballs fans shouted them at us as we passed.  My favorites?  “She doesn’t look druish!” and “How many more dunes?” Unfortunately, we didn’t get to reenact our favorite parasol scene.  We didn’t want to risk it with the new costume rules. Because I will definitely use that parasol for something else someday.

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The 10K was great fun.  Jenn and I talked Star Wars theories while we ran and we cared not about spoiler alerts, because um, we’re running Star Wars!  We were stopped many times to have our picture taken with other Spaceballs fans.  The cherry on top was meeting Dark Helmet at the finish!  What are the odds?  Also, a DeLorean in the parking lot!  Win, win!

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We hit the park after freshening up. I was so excited to show Jenn around one of my favorite places.  We made lightsabers after Star Tours and rode the wildest ride in the wilderness.  And we shopped, oh, did we shop!  Mickey ears for everyone!

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When I walked to the expo and saw this, the fangirl in me GEEKED OUT.

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Because a long time ago in a decade that has long since passed, I fell in love with this franchise at the age of 4.  So this smile? It’s totally genuine.

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And so is this smile, as I wait with the funnest chick in SoCal, Cam, at the start. Cam’s Chewbacca dress and duct tape bandoleer were a big hit! We strive for adorable, after all.

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The energy was great at the start, and even though this was my first runDisney experience, I assume they always go big. It was easy to forget we were up so early.

All too soon, we were at Sleeping Beauty’s Castle. The weather was perfect for running, and the pace of the runners was faster than at the 10k. Cam’s costume was getting lots of love on the course, and we even got a compliment from a fashion teacher on our outfits. The seamstress in me was thrilled!

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The World of Color is pretty even in the early morning. The weather was perfect for a race, and so was the company! <3 you, Cam!

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Cam answered the many Wookie calls thrown her way with a throaty GRRRRR as we took our time but were mindful of the balloon ladies. After putting in fourteen miles the day before at the 10k and walking the park, both Cam and I had some tired legs and feet. No matter, though, we were having TONS of fun!

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I had to dance for Mer. It’s what I do.

There were lots of cheer squads and marching bands from the local high schools out on the course cheering us on. They were so excited to be out there dancing, playing, and high-fiving us, it was great!

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The course support was fantastic during the last 5 miles, too, with some astounding cosplayers cheering us from the sidelines. Seriously, folks, check out these costumes.

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Steampunk Madam Boba Fett & Darth Maul

Steampunk Stormtrooper

Steampunk Stormtrooper

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The balloon ladies snuck up on us. All of the sudden, there they were. There was some confusion about the pace they were keeping versus what our GPS watches were saying our pace was. We had to put a wiggle in it to get the race done. I sprinted at the end, beyond excited to get my hands on those gorgeous medals!

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We made it! And we’re so happy it’s done! Because OUCH.

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And look how prettttty!

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And then we ordered pizza. and drank beer. And then for dinner, I ate this amazing shrimp po-boy. Because recovery, yo.

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The next race with this girl can’t come soon enough. You’re the best Cam, the best Disney tour guide, the wittiest running partner, and a good friend. Thanks for everything. Until next time, Princess Vespa! <3

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And maybe by then, my sister’s envy of my medals will lure her to the Dark Side. We’re taking on the Kessel Run in 2018.#jointhescootalliance.

What was your first runDisney race? What’s your favorite part of runDisney events? Are you wondering what the heck steampunk is? Tell us about it in the comments!

Costume Tutorial: Running Skirt with Pocket Waistband

Ever since I started running, I’ve sort of become obsessed with running clothes. The sewist in me wants to understand their construction, function, and style, and then I make them for myself with my own twists. I always have to carry a lot of crap with me on the course. My car key, phone, earbuds, license, cash, and most annoyingly, my stupid, goofy-shaped inhaler that fits into no running waist belt I’ve found yet. I needed something custom made for all my stuff.

Then there’s the costume races where you are making your outfit top to bottom and need to hold a hotel key and extra pixie dust in your Tinkerbell tutu. The struggles are so real, especially as I begin to plan my costumes for the Rebel Challenge. I mean, where/how am I going to attach my lightsaber to my adorable outfit? I know the solution is to craft my own running skirt with a waistband pocket built into it. I practiced this idea with the Flintstones costumes I made for Meri and I, and now I’m sharing the technique with all of you.

YES. MY. FRIENDS. Are you excited? Please say yes because I am SO STOKED to show you this easy pattern. This will take you one afternoon. No joke. Heck, you can even skip adding the skirt and you’ll have a pocket belt that you can wear with anything.

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Now, if you’ve sewn before, don’t let the word zipper send you screaming from your computer right now. If you’ve never sewn in your life, don’t let the word zipper send you screaming from your computer right now. This is simple stuff, friends, and if you have to do a zipper, this is the kind of easy zipper install you want to do. Trust. The trick is basting and using an invisible zipper foot, and I’ll get to that in a sec.

What to Expect: After you’re done with this project, you will have a running skirt with a 4 inch pocket that goes all the way around the waist for maximum storage. I have not yet mastered building in a sport panty, but I will master that for a future tutorial, promise!

Here is what you need for this project:

  • Stretchy Athletic fabric of your choice. Follow the yardage guidelines on your skirt pattern, and add 1/3 of a yard for the waistband.
  • Color Coordinating thread
  • Color Coordinating Invisible Zipper, minimum of 7-9 inches long (you can shorten a zipper very easily if you can’t find one the right length in the right color. Youtube how to, yo!)
  • Skirt Pattern
  • Stretch Sewing Machine needles, these are ball point needles made for sewing stretchy fabrics
  • Invisible Zipper Foot
  • Standard Presser Foot
  • Zig-Zag Presser Foot
  • Straight Pins
  • Tape Measure

Tools that make any sewing job easier: Cutting mat, rotary cutter, large plastic ruler, fabric marking pen or tailor’s chalk

**These instructions include ½ inch seam allowances.

And here we go!!

Step 1: Read these instructions all the way through at least once before beginning.

Step 2: Measure your waist in inches. Take that number, divide it in half, then add 2 inches. This is your width measurement for cutting your fabric.

Step 3: Fold the fabric lengthwise right sides facing together, so that the selvage ends meet. Cut two pieces, 9* inches x the width measurement you got in step 1.

(*Note: This 4 inch waistband will accommodate an iPhone 5. If you have a larger phone or need a wider waistband, simply increase the number from 9 inches to whatever you need. Just remember that there is one inch built into this pattern for 1/2 inch seam allowances. Example, if you want a 5 inch waistband, 5 x 2 = 10 inches plus 1 for seam allowance, therefore, you would cut your two pieces 11 inches x the width measurement from step 1.)

Step 4: Set one of the two pieces you just cut aside. Lay the remaining piece flat and measure 2 ½ inches from the bottom edge. Mark this line with your fabric pen or chalk. Cut all the way across lengthwise.

Step 3

Step 5: Position your zipper in the center top edge of the smaller section. Baste the zipper in place with the right side of the zipper facing the right side of the fabric.

Step 4Step 6: Next, you’ll need to use an invisible zipper foot. You can usually find universal versions of the invisible zipper foot at stores like Joann Fabrics or Hancock Fabrics. Notice the two grooves in the bottom center of the foot.Zipper footYou’ll also notice the hole in the center, that is for needle to pass through.

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Position your work under the foot so that the zipper fits into the groove on the left. Make sure the zipper is open, and stitch using a straight stitch.

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And when you’re done it should look something like this!

That wasn't so bad, right?

That wasn’t so bad, right?

Step 7: Close zipper, remove basting stitches, and repeat Steps 4 and 5 the other side. Make sure to line up your pieces along the zipper edge and the short sides.

Step 6-1

Step 6-2

Basting ( big, chunky temporary stitches) is the secret to professional looking zippers. Take the time for this step!

Step 8: Repeat step 5, stitching until the zipper’s pull gets in the way and you can’t stitch any further.  When you’re done it will look like this:Step 7Don’t worry about the gaps on each end, we’re going to fix that next.

Step 9: Matching right sides of fabric together, pin from each end of the zipper to the edge of the fabric, being sure to match up the edges, too.Step 8-1

This is the trickiest part of this project; first, change your press foot back to a standard foot and stitch from where your zipper ends to the edge, thereby completing the seam and joining the two pieces of fabric all the way across. It may be a little bumpy and jagged around the ends of the zipper, but that’s okay. It will still work just fine!

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Mine was far from perfect but it’s all good.

When you’re done, it should something look like this when you look at it from the right side.

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CONGRATULATIONS! You’ve completed the hardest part of this project! You fricken ROCK! We are seriously SO CLOSE to being done!

Step 10: Remember that other piece of fabric that you cut and I told you to set it aside? Well bust that puppy out and let’s do this! Line it up with the zippered piece right sides together, and pin it along the short sides.

Step 9-1

step 9-2Change your foot to a zig-zag foot and adjust the settings on your machine as appropriate. Zig-zag stitch the pinned sides.

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Step 11: Turn the waistband right side out and try it on! Woot woot! If it’s too loose, now is the time to take it in. Simply turn it inside out again and stitch the side seams in a little further from the edges. Repeat that process until the band fits over your hips but also fits your waist. Because you’ve been using a zig-zag stitch where needed, the skirt will stretch. Once you have it fitted, trim off any excess seams/fabric on the inside and turn it right side out.

Step 10-1

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Pocket Belt Option: If you want to make a pocket belt instead of a running skirt, then this is is your last step. Tuck the two touching raw edges to the inside of the band, making a seam. Essentially, you’re making a tube. Once you tuck the edges and pin in place all the way around the bottom edge of the band, top stitch using a zig-zag stitch.  When you’re done, you should have a fabric tube, like a bicycle tire, with a zipper. (Oh my goodness, I hope that makes sense).

Step 12: Using a skirt pattern, cut the front and back skirt pieces following the layout instructions that come with the pattern. Pin the front and back of the skirt together, right sides facing each other. Using a straight stitch, stitch the two sides together.

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Step 13: For a pleated skirt look, baste along top edge of skirt. Gather the skirt fabric until it is the same circumference as your waistband, making sure the pleats are evenly distributed all the way around the skirt.

If you want an a-line style skirt, use an a-line skirt pattern or simply skip the gathering step above and adjust the skirt until its waist is the same size as your waistband.

Step 14: Pin the raw edge of the waistband to the raw edge of the skirt with the right sides together. Make sure to match the side seams of the skirt with the side seams of the waistband.

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Step 15: Using a zig-zag stitch, attach the skirt to the waistband.

Step 14

Step 16: Shorten the skirt to desired length and trim off excess. Athletic fabric typically doesn’t fray and won’t need hemming, but if your fabric is fraying you’ll need to hem your skirt. To do that, fold the raw edge to the inside of the skirt 1/4 to 1/2 inch all the way around, and then another 1/4 to 1/2 inch all the way around. Pin in place as you go. Then, top-stitch using a straight stitch.

YOU ARE DONE! HIIIIIIGH FIVE, YOU! You now have a cute, functional running skirt that you made YOURSELF. I’m so proud of you!

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Now, I want to see YOUR skirts. So go forth, dust off your sewing machine or rescue one at your local Goodwill, and send me your pics! I’m excited to see what you guys come up with! Share your pics on our Facebook page or tweet me at @Scootadoot or @jenniferspen

I’ve never written out my patterns before. If I’ve utterly confused you, I’m sorry, and I want to fix it! Please email me your questions at Scootadoot@gmail.com with the subject “Skirt Tut” and I will respond to you as soon as I’m able.

**This design did come out of my head, and any resemblances to patterns currently for sale in the market place is coincidental. No copyright infringements were intended.

Star Wars Half Marathon picture pages

A week back from Anaheim, I am again itching for SoCal’s summerlike weather, delicious food treats and fabulous friends.

I ran the inaugural Star Wars Half Marathon at Disneyland last week and – to my surprise – ran like I was being chased by imperial fighters. Swift feet and a fast course took me to a new PR at 1:55. The weather was perfect and I was thrilled. Here’s my race recap on my work blog.

The weekend was about so much more than running, as I went to Anaheim to spend a few days with friends. We laughed, we ate (everything) and had an incredible time.

So here’s a virtual photo album of my trip:

SW3The course was strong with this one. My medal at the finish line of the half marathon. I wore it at the park Sunday night and someone actually offered to buy it from me. I declined, but curiosity has me wondering how much the fan would’ve offered.

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We went to the Wookiee Welcome Party in Tomorrowland Thursday night. The event featured amazing desserts (like these-I ate them all and then some), drinks and a meet-and-greet with many Star Wars characters.

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CHARACTERS!

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We also rode a few popular rides – sans any lines. Plus this was my first time on Disneyland’s Space Mountain. I went on a few rides for the first time on this trip – the Paradise Pier coaster, DCA Tower of Terror and Mickey’s Fun Wheel all included. I still haven’t recovered from that last one.

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Heather and I spent much of Friday in and around the parks thanks to extra magic hours.

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4 1/4 friends! We met up with Laurie, Anya and their handsome little guy Finley!

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Of course we got Minnie ears. Pluto dug them.

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I spent a few hours working at the PRO Compression booth at the expo. Loved chatting with so many runners!

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Saturday brought the Star Wars 10K and I watched the winner cross the finish line! Way to go Jacob!

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Imperial motivators

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Spent some time with these lovelies – Dani and Linzie

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I stopped for a few pics mid-run and this one with Boba Fett was one of my faves! I’ve got my awesome Sparkle Athletic skirt and tank on, with an Oiselle base layer and PRO socks.

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A stunning sunrise stopped me mid-stride on the streets of Anaheim.

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After our run, we went out to celebrate at Club 33.

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This pic of Cam says it all! We had a blast together all weekend long!

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The gang’s all here – from left Cam, Heather, me, Jillian and Mike. Happy racing everyone!

Cam and Heather both ran the half – and Cam PRed! Click here for her recap.

Did you attend the Star Wars half weekend? What was your favorite part of the course? What did you like best about the weekend? What would you change? Tell me in the comments!

The More You Know

Since I’ve started this journey to find my fit self, I’ve learned many many things.  As a novice, I made mistakes.  I’ve carb-loaded with beer and macaroni and cheese.  I’ve ran a race in brand new shoes.  I’ve overestimated the length of my running shorts and skimped on the glide.  After running this weekend’s Disney Star Wars Half Marathon at Disneyland, I realized I’ve learned a few things.  I also realized, many things left to learn I have (Yep, I just Yoda’d you).

Channeling my inner Yoda (who sounds a lot like Meri).

Channeling my inner Yoda (who sounds a lot like Meri).

I can’t say I was feeling particularly confident.  You all know how serious I am about training (please note sarcasm) and I’ve been nursing a sore ankle since last February.  I’m beginning to think I’ve damaged it beyond repair because I’ve been waiting and waiting for it to get back to normal but it seems I’m stuck between 60-80%.  Also, once again, I’m having problems with my feet and shoes.  I’ve had a long lasting love affair with my Skora’s, but after last weekend’s Citrus Heritage 5K here in Riverside, I fear the sneaks have fallen out of favor. With only a week until the half, I was in no position to break in a new pair of shoes so I toughed it out at Star Wars.  Because that is my jam, yo.  As a toy collecting, merchandise wearing, video game playing fan, if anyone should participate in an Inaugural Star Wars themed race, it should be me.

Just a taste of my collection.

Just a taste of my collection.

Despite this business, Meri persuaded me to make a plan.  Plan you must, she said, like my own personal Jedi mentor.  So I decided to do intervals.  I mean, really do it.  Like actually stop when my phone tells me to.  And I went to bed early.  And I didn’t drink beer the night before and I got up early and ate a great, healthy snack and I wore comfortable clothes, including a pair of bright green compression socks courtesy of my chick and Star Wars roomie, Vic.  I biofreezed, KT taped, AND compressed my ankle.  And guess what?  I PR’d.  That’s right.  I never thought I cared about this until I actually beat myself.  Yes, it’s true, I love beating myself.  And now I feel like a whole new runner.  The more you know…

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I think I’m going to stick with this planning thing.  I bought new shoes today.  I know, I know, AGAIN?  But I went and had my feet evaluated because during that race yesterday, all I could think about was how if my feet would stop throbbing, this race would be amazing.  The race was amazing, the course was fantastic, the costumes divine, but my feet effing sucked.  So Brooks, you’ve worn me down, waited me out, and here I am, putting my poor flat feet into your big, ugly soles.  I also got orthotic inserts to try out and if they make a difference, I’m seriously considering having some customized ones made.  Something has to be done or I won’t be able to run much longer.  And we all know that CANNOT happen.  I can barely stand the fact I didn’t do the Rebel Challenge this weekend.  Every time I heard the clanging of medals yesterday, I was overcome with medal envy.  Imagine if I could never again feel that sweet victory ribbon heavy with determination hang around my neck.  No.  Race I must.  And so wear ugly shoes, I must.

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They’re not so bad, right? And I can cute them up with socks, right? RIGHT???

Serendipitous WDW Marathon Cheering

Brooke and I weren’t planning on going to any of the parks on Sunday. However, I sort of had Disney non-visit remorse on this short trip (I know, I know) and since Brooke has an annual pass, I suggested an Epcot visit.

We were about halfway there when I said, “Hey, wait a minute. Doesn’t the marathon go through Epcot?” (You know, because we live in a bubble and didn’t think about it prior!) After a brief glance at the course map we realized that it did, indeed! Not only that but it was at the very end of the marathon, miles 25 and 26.

SCORE!

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Brooke and I are VERY big into the rah-rah! I mean, if we had the supplies in the car, we would have whipped up some signs on the spot. But since we didn’t we had to rely on our big mouths.

No problem-o!

We knew quite a few people running the full marathon. Naturally, we were tracking exactly zero of them.

But everyone is a friend in Disney, right? Knowing that everyone deserves a good cheer, we decided to just cheer for everyone and hoped that maybe we’d stumble across pals!

I’ve got to say, the way that Disney handle crowds while the park is open is very impressive. They had a couple of different routes so when they routed runners one direction, the park goers would wait. Then they would change the runners directions slightly so that the crowds could cross. It works very well (as long as you wait at the crosswalk and don’t dart out in front of runners).

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It started raining a little after we arrived but it wasn’t as cold as it had been the past few days. We made our way over to Mexico, cheering as we walked.

Figuring margaritas were in order for cheering, we grabbed yummy beverages. Some of the runners had the same idea. Because, why the heck not? (This nearly made me say, “Hey, we should run the marathon so that we can drink at the end.”) (Nearly. Then I realized I could just do that anytime in Epcot and NOT run a marathon.)

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This awesome guy was drinking around the world! He’d already gotten an Orange Slush and beer and was rounding it out with a margarita.

We hung out around the Mexico pavilion for awhile, cheers-ing and cheering the runners!

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We made sure not to say that they were almost there or that the finish was just around the corner. Instead we emphasized how much they all rocked and were looking good and strong!

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Of course, while we were there we made our way to Norway! We needed to give a Scoot a Doot shout out to our favorite statue of Grete Waitz!

Around this time, we started wondering if we would be able to track down Kristen and Suzanne. We did a little social media stalking (I feel only slightly weird saying that; after all, we were looking at people’s skirts yesterday to find them!) and knew we were looking for peach colored shirts and that Suzanne was wearing a cool superhero skirt. We continued to walk and cheer until…

I don’t even know HOW to describe the noise we made when we all saw each other. I really don’t. I mean, we were excited when we found each other during the half the day prior. But this? This was a whole other level!

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We offered them our drinks and they took sips before they were once again on their way! Oh my word, it was seriously awesome.

I’d been texting with our friend, Meredith, and told her we’d be by Morocco. It was her first marathon and my hope was to see her to cheer her on at some point because we’d missed each other the rest of the weekend!

Brooke and I grabbed some yummy food and sat down outside to eat when I heard Meredith yelling my name. We were falling down on the cheering job!

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Mer and I had met each other at the 2013 Wine and Dine meetup and it was especially awesome to see her again, right where we had first met. She was running for Team Noah and she ROCKED it!

We sat and ate while watching more running streaming through the World Showcase. We saw awesome costumes, people who looked like they were hurting (but they were persevering!), and family members cheering on their people. It was all wonderful!

balloonladies

After awhile, we saw the balloon ladies come and go. For those not familiar with the term, the balloon ladies are the very last people to start a race and they keep an exact 16 minute mile pace so people know how fast or slow they are going. The goal is to be in front of the balloon ladies to keep an accurate pace and avoid being swept.

I’m not sure what mile you have to get to in order to be “safe” but I know that we spent a good amount of time right near the balloon ladies in Disneyland and it seemed like mile 10 was the key mile there.

Brooke and I continued to walk along the course while the runners became more sparse. Finally, the last runners made their way through the course while we were in France.

marathonend

What wound up as spontaneous cheering for the marathoners was a great treat for us! As runners, it was wonderful to be out there, supporting our tribe.

spaceshipearth

You’re all out of this world and we give you two thumbs up! Way to rock!

2015 Walt Disney World half marathon recap

Fun fact: I’ve never run a Disney race twice.

disneymedals

I kicked it off in 2012, tackling Princess as my first half marathon and doing the 5k for funsies the day prior (and friends thought I was nuts). From there it’s been a whirlwind of the Castaway 5k, Tink, Wine and Dine, Disneyland 10k and half (again, with the nuts comments – they obviously don’t know many who have done Goofy/Dopey), and most recently the Walt Disney World half this past weekend.

Anyone who has run a Florida runDisney race knows about the dreaded early wake up time.

Anyone who has not run a Florida runDisney race but wants to… you may want to set your alarms now for 2:45am and practice that along with training. Because yes, that’s what time you get up for these races.

The struggle is real.

Extra, extra, read all about it. It's COLD outside.

Extra, extra, read all about it. It’s COLD outside.

Brooke and I decided that we would be Newsies. We also decided that we would wear cute little tanks and running skirts. And then Mother Nature decided that she was going to throw a curveball at all of northern Florida and make it fairly chilly. Warmth took precedence over cuteness.

Sleep nearly took precedence over the race, if I’m being quite honest. Have I mentioned how early it was?

We stayed at the All Star Movie Resort, which made our travel to the start very simple; buses are scheduled non-stop starting at 3am. We didn’t check bags so we gathered our SPIbelts, food (wheat flats, almond butter, and bananas), and braced ourselves for the cold weather.

cold

Donning our pajama pants and Brooke’s husband’s sweatshirts we found ourselves at the start village. Our dear friend, Ashley, was doing her first half marathon and our plan was to find her before the race. Attempts to track down Kristen and Suzanne were made, as I knew they were starting in our corral but to no avail.

The walk from the start village to the corrals is about a mile or so and while I found it daunting during the Princess half (remember, that was my first half ever), this wasn’t bad at all. The flow of traffic was smooth and we were able to get to the corrals with no issues. Our walk consisted of us geeking out over Universal’s Harry Potter world and books in general.

These are my people!

ashleystart

Ash, Brooke, and me

Soon we had to split off and go to our separate corrals, so we gave hugs and high fives to Ash and her friends before heading to corral J.

Thanks to social media, Brooke and I knew which skirts Kristen and Suzanne were wearing so we spent a good long while walking around the corral, peering at people’s legs. Yes, indeed. Sadly, we didn’t find them (but hey, it was a way to pass the time).

The earlier corrals began to cross the start line and we both shimmied out of our pajama pants, tossing them into the collection boxes. We listened to the announcers banter and watched the fireworks at the start of each corral.

Before long, it was our turn!

startline

Our plan for this race was to HAVE FUN and I would say we succeeded! We thanked volunteers left and right. We ran when we felt like it. We walked when we felt like it (or when the course narrowed and there wasn’t much of an option). We cheered for other runners.

magickingdom

We pulled to the side and took selfies.

spacemountain

This course is the exact same as Princess so we knew what to expect. But honestly, my feelings toward this race couldn’t have been more different. My first half, it was all about getting through it. This? This was just about having fun and spending time with my friend. I didn’t hurt. I didn’t push any limits. I just had fun with Brooke.

The park is always crowded, as you can see in this video. There are people cheering and there’s not much room to navigate if you want to go faster than the people in front of you. What’s a courteous runner to do? Just roll with it. Soak it up, enjoy the moment, and smile.

It was "snowing" as we ran into the castle.

It was “snowing” as we ran into the castle.

If you’re a middle to the back of the pack runner, realize that you probably won’t get that awesome running shot of you coming out of the castle. I know for me, it was slightly disappointing when I first ran a Disney race. However, there are photographers stationed right in front of the castle if you want to stop and grab pictures with the castle in the background.

Brooke was hoping that this train would bring us to Diagon Alley. It does not. Sadly.

Brooke was hoping that this train would bring us to Diagon Alley. It does not. Sadly.

Miles 7-11 are what I like to call “the boring miles.” You exit Magic Kingdom and it’s lackluster. I feel like Disney could do something MORE in these miles to make it less tedious. I said that 2 years ago during Princess and I’m saying it again.

That’s not to say that the boring miles only pertain to runDisney, it’s really true of any half marathon. They are just sort of ho-hum, are we done yet? miles. For the record, the answer is no. You’re not even close to being done.

Which is why when you run into Kristen and Suzanne, whom you’ve been looking for the entire time, you basically lose your ever-loving mind and make loud squealing noises!

They spotted my hair and hat and we spotted their SKIRTS. How cute are they?

They spotted my hair and hat and we spotted their SKIRTS. How cute are they?

We hung out with them for about a half mile (I’m guessing – my watch was set on kilometers so I wasn’t exactly knowledgeable of anything in the distance department) before I pulled to the side because I had something in my shoe. It was so wonderful to see them and it definitely made those “boring miles” way more exciting!

Since the race is mostly on access roads, it’s hard for spectators to get out to the more remote areas. That’s why I totally have to give kudos to this guy! This was mile 10, just before going up the access ramp.

disneysigns

Brooke and I kept chugging along although we were straight up speed walking at this point with the hopes of finishing up faster. Right outside of Epcot there were people cheering and it was wonderful to hear my name being called. Only LATER did I realize it was Bonnie! OH MY GOODNESS, I love that girl!

EPCOT

When you hit Epcot, you hear the same thing over and over. “The finish is just around the corner.” But we knew the course and we knew that it was NOT. You have to wind your way through Epcot a little before that corner finally comes. However, this is how you know the corner is really the actual corner and not a fictional one.

That’s right! There’s a gospel choir! You can hear Brooke WOOing them, like a good Woo Girl should.

Then, and only then, can you expect to see the finish line around the corner.

finish

This is the moment that you’ve been waiting for for 13.1 miles. You take it in. The crowds cheering. The people in front of you holding hands. The far off sound of medals clanking.

The sound of Brooke as she exclaims, “WAIT! Is that Minnie Mouse?”

Well worth it!

Why, yes. Yes, it is.

The finish was wonderful. Filled with great medals and snacks because runger is a real thing. Oh, and banana phones.

bananaphone

W stayed at the finish area, snacking and stretching, so we could meet up with Ashley after she finished her very first half marathon. Mark my words, next time we are running TOGETHER.

Different races have meant different things in my life. Some are for PRs, others are for fun with friends. This one, and this weekend in general, was therapeutic. It was good for the soul and exactly what I needed.

theafter

Do different races hold different meanings in your life? When is your next race? Anyone entering the Broad Street 10 Miler Lottery? The next 5k I’m registered for is the Adrenaline Run 5k. After that it’s the Atlantic City April Fools Half. Will I see you at either of those?