My View From a Long Run

Good evening! !

After reading Megan over at Elbow Glitter blog post about Scenes from a long run, I thought I’d share with you where I have been doing my long runs.  Since I live on the Canadian Prairies, long runs outside are tough to do in the middle of the winter.  Compounding the situation, is the fact that I live in a small rural community with no trails or sidewalks that are cleared.  So basically, I either run down the street filled with snow and ice, or I am on the treadmill.  After doing 4, 5, & 6 miles, I realized long runs on the treadmill were NOT for me!  I began looking for other solutions and found an indoor running track in the city about 2 hours from me.  Not ideal, but far better than the treadmill for me!

Every two weeks, I wake up at 5:45 to drive to the gym/indoor track.  The best part of this situation, is I began meeting a friend of mine there.  I run the track while she swims in the indoor pool.  After, we go for lunch and catch up.  I don’t have a running buddy, so it’s so nice to find someone to meet for these long runs.  The accountability of meeting someone at the gym is huge!  Most mornings, I would rather hit the snooze button, but  knowing that Lori is expecting me gets me going.

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In the bathroom at the gym, all ready for 11 miles

Just got this shirt from Raw Threads.  I love their work-out shirts and got this one on the Boxing Day sale.  It says “Princess in Training” and then “19.3” on the back.  🙂

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View from one end of the track.

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View from the other end

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View of the pool

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This week, I completed 11.5 miles on the indoor track.  It seems tedious, but I actually kind of enjoy it.  This week gave me the confidence that I can and will finish the Glass Slipper Challenge.  If I can do 11.5 miles on an indoor track, then I can do 13.1 miles at Walt Disney World!

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Where Am I Today?

Where am I at today?  Am I ready for the Glass Slipper Challenge?  In short….yes.  I have followed Jeff Galloway’s training plan from the runDisney site.  I have missed some long runs in November and December, but have got the last three in and have plans in place for the last two.  I sometimes miss one of the mid-week runs, but am getting *most* of them in .  I know it’s not perfect, and not exactly where I want to be, BUT….I decided I need to not stress about what I can’t change.  I have been mostly on track.  🙂

When did I know I could complete the distance?  Two weeks ago I ran 10.75 miles around an indoor track.  (100 laps to be exact).  It was that day that I knew I could cover 13.1 miles.  If I could run for almost 2 hours and 20 minutes around an indoor track that I could definitely cover the last approximately 3 miles at Walt Disney World.  The crowds, the on course entertainment, etc will carry me through!!  And, I plan to hit 11.5 miles and 12.5 miles in my last two long runs.

If I’m being honest, I am a little worried about my time.  I think I can maintain between a 13 and 14 minute mile (probably closer to 14).  I didn’t submit a race time though so will be most likely starting in the last coral.  It makes me a little nervous that the sweepers might be close to me if I have to stop for bathroom breaks, stretching, etc.  Also, I haven’t trained on any hills and trained recently only on the treadmill and indoor track.  I’m nervous, but trying to keep a positive attitude.  I can do this.  I will do this.  I’ve got this!!

Neverland Family Fun Run 5k

 

The night before the 5k was my brother’s 30th birthday, so I didn’t get to bed quite as early as planned.  I woke up at 4:55 am (five minutes before my alarm was set to go off) and had butterflies in my stomach I was so excited.  I was also exhausted.  For one brief second, I considered shutting my alarm off and going back to sleep.  I knew this wouldn’t be a true run for me as I hadn’t trained but instantly threw the thought out of my head and got up.  I quickly dressed, took a selfie (no, I am not posting that selfie.  I do not take good selfies.  It was bad, really bad) and headed out the door.  We were staying at one of the Good Neighbor Hotels across the street from Disneyland so I was about a five minute walk to the Disneyland main entrance.

One of the things I loved about the Neverland Family Fun Run (by one, I mean one of the thousand things I loved!!) was the course.  The 5k race started on Main Street U.S.A. in Disneyland Park.  Aahhhh, it was amazing!  It really, really was.  I got to the start line in decent time and ended up being in what would be considered the B corral.  I was pretty much right in front of the castle.

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This is the map from the 2013 5k, but it’s the same course so you get the idea!

Soon, the double-decker bus lit up and race announcers, Carissa and Rudy came out.  There was a whole story to go with the race, but I can’t remember exactly what it was.  Comment if you know, but I think it was that the Darling children (or maybe other children but the pirates thought they were the Darling children) were kidnapped by Captain Hook.  Carissa and Rudy were dressed up and kept the story up until the race started.

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Race announcers, Rudy & Carissa

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The castle lit up and the deejay playing music before the race start. I was directly behind the deejay. 🙂

Then the fireworks started.  I kid you not, fireworks.  (OK, if you’re reading this, you probably know something about the Disney races and already know that there were fireworks, but I thought it was amazing).  To top it off, Tinkerbell was flying around the castle (as in a real person on a wire) while the fireworks were going off.  I hadn’t started running yet, but I already knew I was VERY glad I got out of bed this morning!.

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Fireworks before the race starts

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Fireworks

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The starting line right beside Pixie Hollow (to the right of the castle)

And we were off!  I can’t remember exactly where we went anymore, but I know we went past It’s A Small World all lit up (which was beautiful!) and there was a character stop not far in (Pirates, I think). I didn’t stop and kept going.  Soon, we crossed over into the backstage.  These were some of the parts that I loved the most.  As a huge Disney fan, getting to see backstage is worth the entry fee all on it’s own.  There were floats set up as we ran by.  I really didn’t get any good pictures because they all turned out blurry.

You’re probably wondering now if I ran the whole 5k?  Absolutely not.  I wouldn’t have ran the whole 5k even if I had been training…I’m more of a Galloway approach kind-of gal (run/walk).  Basically how this race went, I ran for as long as I could and when I got tired, I pulled to the right side and walked for a bit.  I found there were all types on the course: speedy runners, walkers, families, all different speeds, etc.

Another one of the thousand things I loved about this experience was the attention to detail.  There were Neverland 5k logos projected onto the sides of buildings and marquees changed to congratulate the runners.  Disney cast members and custodial staff were out all over the course cheering on the runners.

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Custodial staff cheering on the runners. This picture doesn’t show it, but they also had signs.

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5k logo projected onto a building backstage

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The lost boys on the Rivers of America. This had something to do with the story line and they had microphones and were talking to the runners as we went past.

Eventually we left Disneyland Park and crossed through the plaza and entered into the Disney’s California Adventures through a backstage area by the Tower of Terror.  It was right around the time we entered DCA that my body started feeling warmed up and I really enjoyed the running.

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Carthay Circle

Lightning McQueen and Mater were out in Cars Land for pictures and I waited in line for a little bit and then ended up jumping out of line and kept running.  Shortly after that, there were pirates and I did snap a quick picture with them (but I’m not sure where it is???)

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Running through Carsland

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Carsland

Once we entered Paradise Pier, Peter Pan & Wendy were out for pictures (I didn’t stop).  Something else I haven’t mentioned yet is the music.  It was incredible running through the parks hearing the Disney themed music in the background the whole time.

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Paradise Pier

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See the smile? There’s no reason this out-of-shape girl should be smiling so much near the end of 5k….that’s what Disney does to me!

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More smiling….

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Carissa & Rudy at the finish

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Close up of the medals

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“Official” Race Photo

And there you have it.  My first runDisney race experience.  I am sitting here with another huge, silly grin across my face just thinking about the race and anticipating the next time I get to do this.  Hope you enjoyed my recap and I hope you get the chance to experience this 5k.  It was awesome!  My hope is to come back again some day with my daughter.  🙂

Neverland Family Fun 5k Race Expo

This January, I finished my first-ever 5k. (Notice the use of the word “finish”.)  That would be because I don’t feel like I can say “ran” or “raced”.  I signed up to run the 5k and then let life get in the way of my training. I ran once between October 15th and January 17th (the day of the race).  I was completely unprepared, but knew that it was a fun run and that I could walk the whole thing if I wanted.  My family was visiting Disneyland anyways so I was so excited to visit my first runDisney event.  My three children also ran in the Kid’s Races and are total runDisney addicts as well now!  I thought I’d recap my experience with you (mainly because I love hearing about your Disney races!)

My Run Disney experience began on Thursday when I went to the Race Expo to pick up our race bibs.  The details are all a little fuzzy now, so these posts might be a little picture heavy and not very detailed.  I *think* that packet pick-up was in the Disneyland Hotel underground parkade (I know they were at the Disneyland Hotel but I think it was the parkade).  We were directed to a side entrance and as we walked up, saw the Tinkerbell Half Marathon mat and welcome signs.

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I went at about 2:30 on Thursday and there were no line-ups for packet pick-up.  I breezed through and headed upstairs to the expo to grab our t-shirts and browse.

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When I walked into the expo area, it’s a little hard to explain how I felt.  It was overwhelming and inspiring to see so many race vendors and runner’s in one area.  I looked through the booths (with a big, silly grin plastered on my face) and eventually bought a headband and tank top from Raw Threads to wear the next day.  After 15 minutes at the Expo I KNEW I had to come back another year to compete in more events.  The atmosphere was infectious and I think if there had been sign-ups for the 10k available there, I would have signed up on the spot.

Even though there were hundreds of people at the expo, I was shocked that I recognized people from the blogging world.  I saw Amy from Pumpkin to Princess at the Sparkle Skirts booth, but she was very busy so I didn’t say hello.  While at the Raw Threads booth, I actually waited in line behind Heather at Through Heather’s Looking Glass.  I felt like I was in the presence of a celebrity….I’m afraid she may have thought I was strange.  I kept stealing glances at her, trying to work up the courage to say hello.  I’m not usually a shy person, but I was so nervous to talk to her….Heather is pretty much my blogging hero!  Through Heather’s Looking Glass was the first runDisney blog I started reading (it was actually Running With Sass at the time) and I have literally read every post since I found it.  Anyways, as you’ll read later on, it wasn’t the only time I saw her that weekend.  I wish I had worked up the nerve to say hello but I guess it’s for the next runDisney event I run into her at.  🙂

I can’t remember exactly how long I spent at the expo, but it was long enough to wet my palate and I knew I would be back some day.

I’ll be back tomorrow to recap the 5k for you!

Welcome

Welcome! Pull up a stump…welcome to my small space in the Blogiverse. I hope you enjoy your visit!

I’m a thirty-something living in a small-town on the Canadian Prairies.  I have three beautiful children who keep me on my toes and am married to a great man who makes me smile every day.  Life is good.  As great as my life is, the last few years I have struggled to hold onto my own identity as I’m a busy being a Mom to young children, wife, community member, volunteer, etc.

When I was younger, I was extremely active.  Through high school, I played and excelled at most sports.  Somewhere along the line though, I quit.  The more kids I had, it seemed harder to go for daily walks or take time for myself.  As life got busier, my fitness slacked.  I tend to take up running for anywhere between 3 – 6 months of the year and then something always happens to derail me.  (What kind-of things you wonder…well, I’m the biggest klutz in the world, so twice…yes TWICE I have stubbed and broken a toe….last year I got sick and missed 10 days and just never picked it back up again…one year my hubby was busy with work and I just couldn’t get the time to get out…you get the idea, good reasons to miss a few weeks, not quit altogether.)  I’ve realized that the times when I feel the happiest and most relaxed are also those months of the year when I am running.  This time around, I want to continue my running and not let “life” knock me off the tracks.  So, I decided I needed something to inspire me, something to keep me motivated.

Here’s where Disney comes in.  Several years ago, I discovered the world of Run Disney.  Ever since, running a Disney half marathon has been on my non-existent bucket list (by non-existent, I mean if I had a bucket list, this would be on it).  In fact, Run Disney is what gets me out running year after year.  Enter our family’s winter vacation this year….we are planning to go to Orlando.  Which means I’m back off the couch running down gravel roads on my way to the 2015 Disney Princes Half Marathon.

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the things you did.”     Mark Twain