Well Hello, again

I realize it’s been some time since I posted a blog.  Last we met, I was whining commenting about not being able to run and show-and-telling my battle bruises.  I am happy to report, I have spent most of June and July reporting to physio therapy.  My arm is almost back to full extension.  I’d say I’m about 80% there in terms of recovery.

I was also given the go ahead to run in early July from my doctor, so I’ve been back at chasing pavement.  No trails for this girl though. (for now). 🙂

It’s funny how much I missed running when I knew that I couldn’t.  It’s different than just not running because I don’t feel like it.  Because I couldn’t, or at least shouldn’t, I missed it everyday.  It just reinforces to me, how much I can take for granted what I can do as a person; because I am fortunate enough to be healthy and fit.  It reminds me to take advantage of these gifts, and push forward with my running goals.

Speaking of which, I had lofty goals this summer.  Prior to my running accident, I was concentrating on my speed.  I had started to pick up the pace back in May, and then the accident occurred, so I’ve had to re-adjust my running goals this summer.  July has been spent getting my cardio back so that I can concentrate on my training for a handful of races I have coming up in the late summer, early fall.  The first race is on August 16th called the Midsummer’s Night Run.  I’ve run this race in the past, and it’s a really great time.  It was originally going to be my ‘A’ race, to test out my speed progress over the summer, however, now it will just be a fun run.

I’m looking forward to this race, as well as two other half marathons in September.  I may also register for another half in October, although, I haven’t yet decided where that race will be .

I know I’ve mentioned I will be running in the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend in January 2015, however, I haven’t yet mentioned that we have also signed up for the Disneyland Star Wars Weekend the following weekend in January.  So excited for this race!

All things considered, I’m glad to be back.

Happy Running.

When exactly does the marathon start?

I must admit, I keep my eyes open when it comes Run Disney information.  As well, I read multiple Facebook pages devoted to the events to keep informed on people’s opinions and travel plans.

As much as I benefit from others’ insights in terms of helpful tips, some of it has started to wear me down and here’s why….

Annual Pass and DVC members have the benefit to register a week early for races.  I am not one of them. *sigh*

People are reserving Disney World and local Disneyland hotels prior to registering for a race 9-10 months out.  Despite the fact that Run Disney offers special packages for participants after registration begins.  I’ve read multiple people have already booked their hotel and flight for the Wine and Dine in November, and registration doesn’t open until March 4, 2014.

Registration for Run Disney events go online at their designated day and time and some sell out within an hour.

Sure, I have plans for 2015.  I am hoping to register for a Dopey Challenge repeat, as well as other Disney events.  Have I started to plan for it?  In my mind I have.

Given the current environment which seems madder than a Mad Hatter, I’m starting to write down budgets, research hotels, figure out accommodation plans and search out current prices for airline tickets.  This is all for 2015.  I haven’t even thought about this year’s vacation.  But then again, I don’t have any more Disney races planned.

I almost feel like Mr. Rabbit.  I’m late!

Do I need a plan of attack?  I think I do.

I’m starting to feel like I’m at one of those crazy bridal gown sales where all the brides stand at the front of the store, in anticipation; waiting for the guard to let them attack run and stock pile the multiple racks of gowns, looking for a deal on a wedding dress.  With no guarantees that by the time I get in, I’ll find my perfect dress.  Or any dress for that matter. This to me, is true TERROR!

I’ve started to realize, the marathon doesn’t start at the time of the race.  The marathon starts months in advance during the registration process.  It compels me to take a vacation day off work, so that I am sitting at my home computer, waiting for hunting season to begin.  aka April 22nd at 12pm EST.

Must channel my inner Merida.  With my bow cocked mouse in hand, I’ll shoot click off rounds of information and hope that the URLs click seamlessly without hesitation.  Who knows what craziness could unfold when thousands of people are registering on a site at the same time.  I hope I hit a bullseye!

In the spirit of the Olympics, registration is almost a qualifying event.  You can’t go to the big event unless you train-and I’m not even referring to actual running itself.  Check your equipment.  Internet working ok?-not the right time to forget paying a bill.  Ensure you’ve trained on the race course, AKA: know how to navigate on active.com.  Wait for the gun to go off-12pm EST/9am PST.  READY!  SET!  GO!

If you qualify, you make the podium.  We all get medals for finishing a Run Disney race.

Ahh…Countdown begins.  65 days to GO TIME!

KEEP CALM AND PLAN YOUR REGISTRATION!

Time to go running to burn off the anxiety. 😉

Any one else having sleepless nights over registration?  How early are you booking your travel plans?

7 Races in 11 days – The Finish and the Tinker Bell Half Marathon

This was it. The 7th and last race of our 11 day race schedule. The Dopey Challenge was complete. The 5K and 10K Tinker Bell races were complete. It was time to finish the Tinker Bell Half Marathon and congratulate ourselves on our test of endurance. (oh, and to ice our tired muscles, and rest our weary heads)

2014 Tinker Bell Half Marathon Course Map

2014 Tinker Bell Half Marathon Course Map

We were ready. More than ready. We found our sleepy selves in Corral B. Kari went as Peter Pan, and I had on my Tinker Bell wings. I liked these wings as they were meant for kids. Not too big so they didn’t flop around. Powered by pixie dust, (as my Bondi band said so) I was ready to go! tink half pre race sign

Pre Race in B corral

Pre Race in B corral

We started the race on Disneyland Drive, with a short portion on Ball Road to Harbor Blvd. Before we knew it, we entered California Adventure.

Miles 2-3 in California Adventure

Miles 2-3 in California Adventure

It was pretty dark so we didn’t stop for too many photo breaks. Most of which were repetitive from previous days, so we kept running towards Disneyland’s Main Street. Along the way, we came across a few familiar faces.

Tinker Bell, Pirates and Smee, Oh My!

Tinker Bell, Pirates and Smee, Oh My!

We ran down Main Street and stopped briefly for a picture outside the castle. Unlike the previous day, the castle lights were on which was pretty awesome.

Disneyland's Main Street and Sleeping Beauty's Castle

Disneyland’s Main Street and Sleeping Beauty’s Castle

It wasn’t too long before we ran through the castle and then ran into a few Lost Boys.

The Lost Boys at the Ferry Go Round

The Lost Boys at the Ferry Go Round

Now, this guy was pretty close by, so I’m sure he kept a watchful eye on those crazy kids.

Darth Vader, Stormtroopers and a Running R2-D2

Darth Vader, Stormtroopers and a Running R2-D2

Our next stop was at It’s a Small World. Again, this is one of my favourite sights in all of Disneyland, so I had to stop and take a couple of pictures.

Just outside It's a Small World

Just outside It’s a Small World

It's a Small World

It’s a Small World

We finished up running through Disneyland from mile 4 to 5 going through Fantasyland, Frontierland and I think a bit of New Orleans Square. Before we left we found these characters.

dl tink half character

Our next stop was Downtown Disney. Downtown Disney is where the infamous Red Hat Ladies cheer on the runners. I have no idea how this began at the Disneyland races, but their group sure seems to grow in numbers year after year. Any runner who passes by them was sure to have gotten a jolt of energy.

Red Hat Ladies

Red Hat Ladies

After mile marker six, the course changes, and we find ourselves running on the quiet (and not so quiet) streets of Anaheim. Some would say it’s the boring part of the course, however, I quite enjoy it. A part of it is residential housing, so it can be quiet, but on the more busier streets, there are numerous marching bands and cheer squads to get our energy pumped. I like a good marching band, and these groups are really fantastic. If you happen to be using video as you go by, most will give an extra special loud cheer. They are a very energetic bunch.

Here are some of the sights of Anaheim.

Shhh...Running down residential streets of Anaheim

Shhh…Running down residential streets of Anaheim

Cheering Squads and Marching Bands

Cheering Squads and Marching Bands

The time really flew by in the second half. Before I knew it, we were coming up to the finish. I was really pleased with our times given all the stopping we did along the way for pictures. As well, this was our 7th race in the last 11 days. One would think our times would be much longer, however, next to the 10K the day before, our time on the half was second best. Who knew? Our chip time was 2:36:35 and my place overall was 3412/11490. Not my best time, but a decent time for a Disney race.

Tinker Bell Half Marathon Finish Line

Tinker Bell Half Marathon Finish Line

Of course, before we left the finish line, we had to pick up this little guy…

2014 Coast to Coast Medal

2014 Coast to Coast Medal

It was indeed….

facebook_cover2

On a side note – This was the last time the Tinker Bell race weekend was to be held in January as it’s moving to Mother’s Day weekend for May 2015. I suppose this enables other runners who have opted for the Walt Disney World marathon weekend in January to perhaps consider Tinker Bell in future race plans. In it’s 3rd year, I’ve really seen it grow and become a popular race amongst the Run Disney family. I can only see it gain in popularity and it’s a great addition to the Disneyland run schedule.

Until we meet again Run Disney, Happy Running.

Tinker Bell 10K Race Recap

The inaugural Tinker Bell 10K started at 6am on Saturday January 18th. 15 minutes later than the 5K the day before. You know what that meant; 15 more minutes of sleep time. My inner Sleeping Beauty was really enjoying these later corral times. We were excited to experience the inaugural 10k for the Tinker Bell race weekend.  The only down side is that Run Disney didn’t market this as a challenge as they did with the Princess Glass Slipper Challenge (running 10K & half).  Oh bother!  We were happy to be a part of it. Perhaps in the future Run Disney will do something similar?

We left for the corrals around 5am. The short walk to Disneyland Drive to the start of the race was enough to shake out our legs. Upon arrival, we saw a path leading to the runner stage area with several tents, port-o-potties, race information and lots of volunteers. We continued on the road as we aimed to find ourselves in A corral.

On our way to the start of the 10K Tinker Bell race

On our way to the start of the 10K Tinker Bell race

Biding our time before the race.

Race Selfie

Race Selfie

As with the WDW Marathon weekend and two other Tinker Bell races, I didn’t have a costume for this race. I decided to wear blue. Blue compressions socks, blue Sparkle Skirt, Blue tech shirt. I topped it off with a Blue Bondi Band that had the words “Just Livin the Dream” printed on it. I slowly came to realize I must have been channeling my inner Sully. That played out delightfully later on during the race. (read on for my most favourite pic of the day)

In our corral above, there was a big screen indicating we had arrived at the correct place.

Big Screen - We knew where we were, whew!

Big Screen – We knew where we were, whew!

Once the race began, we found ourselves running on Disneyland Drive towards the backstage, then onwards around It’s a Small World, Mickey’s Toontown, Critter Country, Frontierland and then around Fantasyland.

It's a Small World

It’s a Small World

Mile 1 - Only 5 more to go!

Mile 1 – Only 5 more to go!

Outside The Golden Horse Shoe in Frontierland

Outside The Golden Horseshoe in Frontierland

Front of Sleeping Beauty’s Castle, and onwards down Main Street.

Sleeping Beauty Castle

Sleeping Beauty Castle

Running Down Main Street towards California Adventure

Running Down Main Street towards California Adventure

We entered California Adventure at the main entrance and continued our journey to Condor Flats, and Grizzly Peak areas. Soon we arrived at mile marker 3 as we were coming towards Paradise Pier. A perfect time to stop and take a few photos.

Paradise Pier at California Adventure

Paradise Pier at California Adventure

Soon after we were deep into Cars Land passing by the Cozy Cone Motel and Flo’s V8 Cafe.  Unfortunately, this is where I was almost taken out by an overly revved up Car runner, who decided to suddenly cross in front of me.  I got lucky and I shifted into first gear before I ran into him.  Whew!

Cars Land

Cars Land

The last part of California Adventure was through Hollywood Land and then outside, onto Harbor Blvd for the last two miles of the course.  I can’t remember if I saw Mike and Sully first or the Tower of Terror first.  In any case, both of them were within short distances of eachother.

The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror

The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror

I think I fit in here!

I think I fit in here!

Soon enough, we found ourselves outside of California Adventure at mile 4. We had two more miles along Harbor Blvd, Disney Way and Katella Ave, to arrive at the finish.

Before we got to the end, I saw this sign…

Hmm...Maybe if I was still a pirate?

Hmm…Maybe if I was still a pirate?

Onwards to the end…

Tinker Bell 10K race complete

Tinker Bell 10K race complete

I have to say, I really enjoyed this course. We snapped tons of photos along the way and we took our time to really enjoy the sights. We still managed to get a decent time of somewhere around 1:13 for the race. Not super fast, but given the stopping, we were much happier with this time over the WDW Minnie 10K which had tons of traffic.

Next on the Tinker Bell Race weekend coverage – The Tinker Bell Half Marathon and race wrap up!

Until then, Happy Running.

Never Land 5k -Tinker Bell Race Weekend

Friday January 17th kicked off our 3 day running spree at Disneyland.  We were super happy we got to sleep in.  Sleeping in meant we didn’t have to wake up until 4am.  This was a luxury to us in comparison to Walt Disney World.  The Never Land 5k was to start at 5:45am so we made our way out our hotel door at 5am.  It was a short walk across the street towards Main Street inside Disneyland.  Participants made their way to corrals during this time.  Although Disney does ask participants to corral themselves according to their pace, most don’t and upon arrival, seed themselves in the next available corral. When we arrived, we were able to place ourselves in C however we soon found ourselves stumbling to run once we began our race.

Pirates "Argh"

Pirates “Argh”

Start of Never Land 5k

Start of Never Land 5k

I always enjoy the start of the race as they play the Disney theme song and Tinker Bell flys out of no where (or Never Land if you prefer).  She is suspended on wires and zooms around the castle. Remember when you used to watch The Wonderful World of Disney on TV and Tinker Bell would come out and fly around the castle? It was kind of like that! Cool eh?

Once we were off, we made our way through Disneyland. It was still pretty dark. Disney had some props out and we took a few pics of them as well as Toon Town.

Disneyland in the dark!

Disneyland in the dark!

One of the fun photo ops was at It’s a Small World. It’s one of my most favourite visuals at Disneyland. Bright lights, big city? Nope, it’s just a small world after all.
image

Once we made our way through Disneyland, we soon entered California Adventure.

Smee!

Smee!

We made ourselves around Hollywood Land, Cars Land, Pacific Wharf and Paradise Pier. The Mickey ferris wheel and lights is always a wonderful sight.

Soon we found the end of our 5k adventure. We received our medal and picked up our snack box and drinks. Before we left, we were sure to take a few celebratory pics over looking the water.

Never Land 5k complete!

Never Land 5k complete!

All in a days work right? Really it was only around 7am. It was time to shower and change for our big day. We returned to the expo and then spent the rest of the afternoon at California Adventure.

Next up on our Tinker Bell running trio – Tinker Bell 10K.

2014 Tinker Bell Expo and a Little Birthday Fun

We were still on a high from achieving Dopey status at Walt Disney World.  We arrived back in Toronto late on Monday night (actually, early Tuesday morning by the time we got home).  I went straight to bed as I had to go to work Tuesday.  By Wednesday night, we were packed and ready to travel to California for the Tinker Bell running weekend at Disneyland.  I tried to get some sleep over the two days being back, but in all honesty, it was tough.  Between work, unpacking and packing, and getting things organized around the house, I maybe was managing about 5 hours of sleep per night.  I actually was looking forward to the long flight to California; to attempt to sleep.

Our flight on Thursday morning was delayed for a good hour and a half. We knew we’d have little time to waste upon arrival.  Coincidently, it was also my birthday, so I was a little excited to get the party started down in Disneyland. We had plans to spend a little time there after the expo.  We picked up our car at LAX and drove to the hotel.  We made good time and checked into our hotel (thank you HOV lane) before walking towards Downtown Disney, onwards to the Disney Hotel.

Due to the crowds at the expo, we decided to pick up our race kits only, and check out the Run Disney merchandise section before making a very brief look at the other vendors. We had plans to come back and really explore the expo the following day after the 5K and this worked out really well as we got there prior to opening, and was able to check in for a New Balance appointment for the limited edition Run Disney shoes.  As it turned out, we actually came back a third time on Saturday to see Margaret Kerry speak at the expo. The original Tinker Bell.

For interest of sharing my expo experience in it’s entirety, I’ll be grouping our expo sights in this one post.

Race kit pickup was pretty flawless.  We entered the lower exhibit hall of the Disneyland hotel.  The line for the 5k was pretty big, but the 10K and half marathon pickup windows had little wait. The biggest wait was for the Park Hopper pass we purchased with GET Travel. All things considered, it wasn’t too lengthy.  We were out of the pick up area in about 20 minutes.  We then, went into the hall and picked up our race shirts and quickly browsed the vendors.  It really was a mad house in terms of people, so with a brief look at Sparkle Skirts (the line was huge to pay), and a few other places, we left it for the day as we knew coming back first thing on Friday was a better option.

Tinker Bell Race Shirts.  Packet pick up and exhibit hall.

Tinker Bell Race Shirts. Packet pick up and exhibit hall.

Once we got to the upper exhibit hall, we made our way to the long line that awaited us for the Run Disney merchandise.  Disney organized a line outside the hall that moved pretty briskly, but upon entering the line, I was at first taken aback as I thought it would take forever to get inside.  I heard from others that this was due in part to last year’s Disneyland half marathon weekend, which apparently had crazy crowds and long line ups to cash out.  Once inside the merchandise area, it was easy to get around the aisles.  Disneyland employees did a great job at not over packing the area with people and the cash out process was swift and easy.

Line up for the Run Disney Tinker Bell Merchandise area outside of the hall

Line up for the Run Disney Tinker Bell Merchandise area outside of the hall

I will say, on the Thursday when we arrived, there was a lot of merchandise to be bought to commemorate the Tinker Bell weekend. Unfortunately, those that didn’t arrive until Friday or Saturday missed out on a lot to be had as the expo sold out on many of the items. When we went back on Saturday and took a brief look at the shelves, many of the items were gone, only to have the shelves replaced with non commemorative Tinker Bell mugs and Mickey stuffed toys. The demand for “I Did It” shirts, mugs, wine glasses, shirts and jackets was great. I took a few pictures of some of the items on Thursday, only to see them gone the following days. I didn’t purchase much here, however, I do have a habit of buying a hat during these expos, however, I wasn’t too happy with the design for this years Tinker Bell as it was just a plain white hat with grey lettering which I thought was a bit dull. I opted to buy a Run Disney hat instead and a 5K and 10K pin.

I Did It shirts, tees, wine glasses, mugs all were in great demand at the expo

I Did It shirts, tees, wine glasses, mugs all were in great demand at the expo

After we left the expo on Thursday, we made a quick stop at our hotel, and dropped off our expo gear.  Then we crossed the street so I could enjoy a few hours on my birthday at Disneyland.  We ended up at Carnation Cafe for dinner.  Enjoyed the deep fried pickles (definitely recommend) and one of Walt’s favourites.  At dessert time, a few of the cast members came by and sang a birthday song, and I was given a Mickey cupcake.

43rd birthday at Disneyland

43rd birthday at Disneyland

On Friday, we arrived just prior to the 10am open of the expo, but the doors were already open. I went directly to Sparkle Skirts and picked up a few skirts I had previously had my eye on via the website. We had about a half hour before the crowds starting coming in, so it was great being able to get what we wanted without waiting too long and to be able to browse effortlessly. While I was doing that, my spouse was drooling at the 620 Garmin that was at another vendor. I came by shortly after and started my drool on the 220. After that, I spent some time at Bondi Bands and bought a couple I had seen at Disney World the week before.

We lingered around and visited many vendors to see what they were selling.  I bought a pair of CEP calf compression sleeves.  As well, I splurged and got the 220 Garmin on Saturday.  It was time for a new Garmin and it was also a fantastic deal in comparison to  Canadian prices.  I love the fact that I can also use it as a watch.

220 Garmin and Tink 5K and 10K pins

220 Garmin and Tink 5K and 10K pins

I also got these….Oh yeah!

2014 New Balance Goofy Shoes!

2014 New Balance Goofy Shoes!

When we went back on Saturday to see Margaret Kerry, I was so glad I did. She spoke at the speaker series in the exhibit hall, and she was fantastic. She told us about her experience working at Disney and how fond she was of Marc Davis (creator of Bambi, Tinker Bell, and Cruella De Vil) who directed Margaret during her movement sessions.  She shared her audition process for Tinker Bell.  As someone who has dabbled in improv and sketch, I really got a kick out of it as she mimed her movements as she proceeded to tell her story.  In true Tink fashion, it was obvious that Tinker Bell was Margaret Kerry.  At a time when the majority of crew were male, she said she felt safe and protected on set with Marc Davis, or Mr. Davis, as I’m sure he was called back then. In fact, she said that one day on set, a member of the crew said something about Margaret, and that crew member was swiftly told to leave the set and to not return. She also met Walt Disney himself. She seemed very fond of her experience on Peter Pan. She went on to do other acting projects, and found her niche in voice work. After the speaker series, I was standing off to the side of the stage, and she walked by. By luck, I was able to say “Thank you” and told her how much I enjoyed her talk. She graciously stopped to talk for a moment. I wish I said more but I tend to forget to seize the moment sometimes and just be polite and brief (it’s the Canadian in me) and left it at that….then she was whisked away by her handler for some photo ops. It’s not great, but I took a quick picture of her as she walked toward us.

Margaret Kerry - Tinker Bell

Margaret Kerry – Tinker Bell

Next up – The Never Land 5K

Happy Running!