Posts Tagged by carsland
|February 11, 2015||Posted by Running at Disney under Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend|
When Kelly first reached out to me about covering the Star Wars Half Marathon, I was so excited to read her experience. Not only is she a great writer, but she also has a fondness for the word RAD…super cool! Here’s Kelly’s experience at the Inaugural Star Wars Half Marathon last month with some wonderful lessons learned along the way…including the not so fun side of wearing a tutu during a half marathon. 🙂
What do Mickey Mouse, a Storm Trooper, and missing toenails have in common? They represent my experience at Disney’s Star Wars Half Marathon!
A little about me: I used to hate running. A recently as two years ago I said, “We are alotted a finite amount of run in our lives and I’m saving up all my run in case I’m ever chased by a dog.” But then my friend, Tracy, bewitched me and convinced me to run a 5K – she even said she’d come down and run it with me. During that first, momentus run, I experienced the thrill of completing something I didn’t think was possible, the strain of muscles that I didn’t even know I had, and the magic that exists at the finish line. I caught the running bug and haven’t looked back.
“The pace is strong with this one.”
The Star Wars Half Marathon would be my third half marathon so I had high hopes for it. I had a time goal, expectations, and I’d trained thoroughly. Also, I was helping my friend, Nathan, running his very first half marathon. Nathan hadn’t trained well and even bought his running gear at the expo where we picked up our packets! The day before the race we discussed our anxieties about the race the next day. We had different expectations, but were both competing against ourselves. I wanted not only to perform well for myself, but also to be a source of encouragment for my friend. I’ve gone from non-runner, to running-mentor in two years which never ceases to amaze me.
“May the course be with you.”
Starting my day at 4 am in Downtown Disney and winding through both Disneyland and California Adventure was magical. The first four miles of the course were on Disney property, surrounded by characters and carousels. It’s easy to run when you’re distracted by the excitement of the parks. My absolute favorite moment was rounding the corner in Cars Land and seeing the sunrise over the red rocks. I felt like Forrest Gump seeing the desert surnise. The woman running next to me was convinced that it was a painted backdrop and not the sky’s natural beauty. I had to stop and take a picture!
Keeping pace and excitement became a little more difficult the latter nine miles when we wound through the streets of Anaheim. Even thought it wasn’t as magical as in the parks, we still had plenty of ambiance. We ran past half a dozen local high school bands, all playing the Imperial March for encouragement as well as a plethora of Star Wars fans. There were a dozen Storm Troopers and several Chewbaccas holding signs and cheering us along. I am pretty sure these were just fans to showed up and wanted to be a part of the innagural race. Some gave out refreshments; some held up signs filled with Star Wars puns; all made me smile.
At mile twelve I knew I had a chance to set a personal record. Even though I was spent, and chilled, I knew I couldn’t forgive myself if I slacked pace now. So I pushed, counting down the minutes and the miles until I saw the magical finish line. I’ve tried to explain the magic of the finish line to non-runners and they just don’t get it. My eyes tear up at every race when I hit that last point one miles. I am amazed at the hours and months (and money!) that went into this moment and I want to savor it. I have never purchased a race photo since I am either crying unbecomingly in them or looking down to stop my watch and see my time. Even though I’ve never gotten flattering photo evidence of my finish, I remember each one and look forward to the next magical finish line that I get to cross.
13.1 miles. Check!
That is the short story of my running experience, but I don’t run just for times or medals or dry fit shirts. I run to learn about my limits, my stamina, and myself. Running has been an incredibly powerful object lesson in life. Believing in myself, striving for more, pushing through when times are hard, and running with the encouragment of others — I’ve learned a lot through my running days. Those lessons are the things that make me keep running. So what did this race teach me?
- It’s hard to use a porta potty whilst wearing a tutu. (I’ll spare you the details and let your imagination run with this one.)
- Something goes wrong in every race. Whether its running out of Gu, or toileting urgency, or untied shoelaces, or poor weather, or dead iPod batteries – I’ve experience (and gotten through) them all. I’ve learned that I’m not as dependant upon outside sources of motivation as I thought. I have to believe in my training and focus on my drive to succeed instead of the imperfection of my surroundings. I can choose to focus on the problems in life or on the progress. I want to be thankful for the mile just completed and look forward to the next one in running and in life.
- Stay the Course! I do math constantly while running. I calculate my pace and time each mile. I trained to run intervals because my knees can’t handle constant running. As I was doing math around the 5K mark, I realized I’d somehow lost 4 minutes and was behind my planned pace. I had moments where I was frustrated with myself and I wanted to push through, skipping my walking interval and just run. But I knew that I hadn’t trained for that. If I tried that plan, I’d run the risk that I’d exhaust myself and end up slower overall. So I kept to my plan and my training and stayed the course to run with endurance the race set out before me. And it worked! I set a personal record on this race! The same is true in life! Sometimes things don’t go according to plan and I lose four minutes in my world. Don’t panic. Recalculate. And stay the course. It will be okay!
- It is important to celebrate! The hardest race I ever competed in felt lonely the entire time because I didn’t have the opportunity to celebrate. The Star Wars Half was a completely different experience because it was swaddled in celebrations. Even when I crossed the finish line at this race and fist pumped for my own PR, I knew I wasn’t done. I was going to wait for Nathan and cheer him through the finish line. I tear up every time I watch people cross the finish line. I get especially choked up watching people who, if I just glanced at them, would not think they could complete a half marathon, but they prove me wrong every time – and I love it! I love to high-five and clap for these people who are only competing with themselves and disproving their, “I can’t do it” lies! I saw this same wide-eyed, emotional, “I can’t believe I just did that!” look in Nathan’s eyes. He wasn’t ready. Hadn’t trained much at all. But he kept moving forward for 13.1 miles. He learned first hand the magic that exists at finish lines. He found me, tears in his eyes, and we hugged and hobbled to celebrate our achievements at the Happiest Place on Earth, Disneyland! Celebrating is important in life. I can’t be so focused on the next race or the next achievement that I forget to stop and be thankful for what just happened. I need to celebrate my life and share the joy with others. Running has taught me all these lessons and more and when I glance at my rack of race medals glinting in my room I am reminded of each race, each experience, and each lesson. I am thankful for the ability to run and look forward to more races and more lessons in the coming days.
A Few Thank Yous
I loved my weekend preparing for, running, and celebrating the Star Wars Half Marathon. But I couldn’t have done this alone! I’d like to thank my friend, Tracy, for making me my celebratory “Princess Kelly” t-shirt and for getting me running in the first place. My family, friends and coworkers for cheering me on from afar and creepily tracking my progress by my bib number. And I’d like to thank the academy. It’s an honor just to be nominated. Stay RAD!
I’m Kelly and I’m a word addict. My favorite word is twitterpated, followed closely by kerfuffle. I feel healthiest when processing life on paper- it’s how I think best. Here’s some more pertinent facts: I love to MacGyver my way through life and nothing is ever broken that I can’t fix. My friend, Tracy, bewitched me into running by first 5K and I caught the running bug and haven’t been the same since. I’m a Disney enthusiast and can still feel the magic at each park. In my spare time, I work full time as an Occupational Therapist helping children and babies grow, heal, and develop after neurological impairments. I was once introduced by a friend as, “This is Kelly. She’s way rad!” The person misheard and thought my name was Kelly Wayrad. It’s a sentiment I strive to live up to daily! Thanks for reading my real thoughts on virtual paper at www.Ithinkonpaper.com
Follow Kelly on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest!
|August 3, 2014||Posted by Running at Disney under RAD Recaps|
So as I’ve been going through my photos from California this week, I realized I took over 1,000 photos. I think I have a problem 🙂 I have a few posts coming up in the next few weeks exploring my new love of Disneyland. Yes, that’s right I officially fell in love with Disneyland this trip…a VERY different experience from Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend last year.
In the meantime, enjoy this full ride through of Radiator Springs Racers from our trip!
runDisney also revealed the medals for this year’s Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend. I love the spinner design of the Wine & Dine Half medal, but I’m really not a fan of the ribbon. What do you think?
Also this week Julia stopped by to share her transformation story and I shared some photos from our trip to the CrossFit Games. Check it out!
Hope you’ve had a great week and that you make this one RAD!!
|April 13, 2014||Posted by Running at Disney under RAD Recaps|
I’m entering my last week of work and I am full of anxiety and excitement! There are so many mixed emotions but I finally feel charged for the first time in a long time, yet there is still a lot of work to do. I’m ready…I think! 🙂
Something I can say I’m very excited about is the new medal that was revealed today for this year’s Wine & Dine Half Marathon! I absolutely love the design and the fact that it’s a spinner makes it even better! This will be my next runDisney race (so far away!) and I’m really looking forward to celebrating the 5th anniversary of the race and getting some new bling!
If you’re wondering why I’m not running any races until November, well it’s because I signed up for the Disney Fit Challenge in September. I’ll be in the scaled division and giving it my all! I’m really excited to try something different and kick up my training. This weekend I attended a weightlifting clinic where we focused on snatches and clean & jerks. I’ve always loved clean & jerks, but snatches are tough. It was great to get more practice in and learn a ton of tips on how to improve form and strength. I really love lifting heavy things!
Also this week, Reebok came out with some fun superhero inspired versions of their CrossFit Nano 3.0. Even if you don’t do CrossFit, these are a great all around cross-training shoe. They are actually my favorites just for walking around the Disney parks!
And keeping with the culinary theme, I took a trip out to Disney California Adventure and reminisced on one of my favorite breakfast’s of all time at Flo’s V8 Cafe. However I am now seriously bummed because someone commented they are no longer serving breakfast there…I am devastated 🙁
Since the next few weeks (months actually!) are going to be rather hectic for me, I’m still looking for guest contributors to RAD. Whether it’s a story idea or a monthly column idea, I want to hear from you! Email me at email@example.com if you are interested!
Hope you have a great week!
|April 12, 2014||Posted by Running at Disney under Disneyland Restaurants|
Mmmmm breakfast…one of my favorite meals of the day! I particularly love when you can find different and unusual breakfast options. So when I first saw the menu at Flo’s V8 Cafe, I knew I had to have breakfast there when I went out to the west coast for the Disneyland Half Marathon!
Nestled in the back of Carsland and overlooking the amazing Radiator Springs Racers, Flo’s V8 Cafe is like stepping back in time. Back to the neon and nostalgia of the 1950s…it’s SO FUN!
I went in knowing what I was going to order. Ever since the restaurant opened in June 2012, I knew what I was going to order…Chicken Tamale Breakfast please! This is a chicken tamale with scrambled eggs, salsa verde and pico de gallo. Right up my alley! The only problem with that dish is that I can’t eat eggs..sigh.
Oh well that was no problem! They took the eggs out and let me substitute for a side. WIN! Obviously I went with the amazing hash browns for my side…I mean, how could you not get that for your side?!?
As I was waiting my special order, I noticed the fun beers they had on tap for the later crowd. Now I don’t like IPAs, but the Racer 5 IPA looks intriguing enough for me to try!
We waited a few extra minutes and got our meals…oh man!
The chicken tamale (sans eggs) with a side of potatoes was beyond amazing! Honestly, I still dream about this dish…
B went with the more traditional breakfast of eggs, bacon, hash browns and a biscuit. Oh man was that biscuit good!!
We grabbed a booth overlooking Radiator Springs Racers and went to town on this meal!
I have to say, even without the eggs, this is a meal I crave to this day! That salsa verde is SO GOOD!! Wait…did I already say that?! 😉
As a Walt Disney World regular, I can’t help but be sad that this is not an option over here. That “California cuisine” needs to make it’s way east because it’s amazing!!
Have you eaten at Flo’s V8 Cafe for breakfast? What is your favorite Disney breakfast?
|September 26, 2013||Posted by Running at Disney under Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend, Race Recaps, runDisney Races|
For the 3rd day in a row, I was up before the sun. Oh the things we do to run at Disney. I ran through the same morning routine as the morning before for the Disneyland 10K, jumped on the bus and walked through Downtown Disney in the dark to the start line. It’s oddly peacefully at that hour…
I happened to look to my right as I was walking towards the Disneyland Hotel and saw a very empty starting line…oh the calm before the storm.
I met up with Amanda at what was becoming our “usual spot” at the Sorcerer’s Hat. We were both a bit tired, but excited to take on the 2nd have of the Dumbo Double Dare Challenge despite the warm temps. You know it’s hot out when she shows up to run in a tank top…
We met up with Ashley who we ran with the day before and all headed to the corrals. We had such a blast during the 10K that we all wanted to run together again! Even though we were all tired we were determined to have a “PR IN FUN” for this race, which became our motto along the way. The road to the corrals was a bit different this morning as these long chutes were put up leading to different corral areas. It kind of felt like a cow being led to slaughter…odd.
But thankfully we made it to the other side unscathed and headed into our corral with time to spare. Look we even ran into our friend James!
An interesting thing about Disneyland races vs. Disney World races are the lack of fireworks. In the World, each corral goes off with their own fireworks which adds to the excitement. But in Disneyland, they can’t do that because we are technically in a residential area and there are noise restrictions. Booooo. But I was excited to see some super quiet fireworks during the National Anthem. How do they get them so quiet???
It was our turn to be counted down and we were off…well, slowly…
Before I knew it we were about to enter Disneyland just after mile 1. This is also where the mile 12 marker which we came across at around the 41 minute mark. Here is where we saw an amazing site….the lead wheelchair competitor came zooming through. Unbelievable! I got the chills seeing this and couldn’t get my camera out fast enough. It just goes to show that you can do anything with determination and drive. On days where I’m doubting myself, you better believe I will be referring back to that moment.
Unlike the 10K, the half marathon enters the park in Paradise Pier and loops around into Carsland, so you get a completely different perspective from the morning before.
I of course stopped for a bathroom break while I had the real facilities available and told Amanda and Ashley I would catch up. Little did I know they were speed demons that morning! I was able to catch up with them right on Main Street USA, but I had to run WAY faster than my usual half marathon pace to get there. But I’m glad I did so we could take our picture in front of the castle!
I also met up with my favorite green army men in Toontown where I promptly dropped and gave them 20…nah, more like 2 🙂 Definitely my favorite photo op!
And before we even reached mile 4, we were out of the parks. It was kind of a bummer that there was such a short time spent in the parks, especially since the majority of the 10K was spent in there. We headed out onto the streets of Anaheim and we greeted by an enthusiastic group of cheerleaders…the first of many! These girls were awesome.
With the sun comes the heat and we were starting to feel it. We found any shade we could on the course and wove across the road to try and stay cool. Thankfully it wasn’t as oppressive as the day before, but with more than half the race to go I knew I had to try and stay cool where I could.
The entertainment on this race was much different from the other Disney races because there weren’t any characters outside of the parks. Instead there were TONS of local entertainment! This was pretty cool…check out these amazing dancers!
And an awesome group of signs and spectators…
Somewhere around mile 6, RAD reader Hanna came up and said hi and we talked for a bit as we ran. We also ran into Colin (@ParadisePeer) who went flying past us in an awesome Dumbo costume! I seriously LOVE chatting with you guys on the course…it’s probably the next best thing after cats!
Next came the classic cars! This was SUPER cool and was just like the cars on the WDW Speedway during the WDW Marathon, but better! There had to be at least 300 cars along the course all with their owners cheering us on. They must have had to get there at by 5am at the latest to be set and ready for the runners…so RAD!
One of my favorite spectators!
Apparently the wake up call was too early for this woman, but at least she had the Disney spirit!
After the cars, we came upon the Honda Center where the Anaheim
Mighty Ducks play. Being a huge hockey fan (Go Rangers!), this was an unexpected surprise. Plus there’s that whole Disney angle to the team 🙂
The course turned down the Santa Ana Trail, which was actually a dirt trail that created quite the dust storm with all the runners. Some volunteers were even sporting bandanas around they face to not breathe in all the dust. Not fun while trying to run.
I’m assuming the trail used to run along the Santa Ana River that now seemed to be completely dried up. Nonetheless, it was quite beautiful despite the dust.
We were coming up on mile 9 and off in the distance we could see Angel Stadium. I had heard that this was one of the highlights of the race and it also meant we were in the home stretch. What I didn’t expect was the crowd…wow.
In the parking lot there was a HUGE gathering of Boy Scouts. I can’t even begin to tell you how cool it was to see all those kids out there screaming and jumping for us.
And there was this lady…wha??
Then we entered the stadium and the stands were FULL of spectators, once again putting the trip around the Champion Stadium at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex to shame. Not only were the spectators amazing but the stadium was beautiful and we got to see ourselves on the Jumbotron!
Back on the road, we were making our way back to the Disneyland Resort. I have to say that this stretch of the course was pretty boring, but we were met with more cheerleaders and even a color guard team to liven things up a bit.
I was feeling pretty good considering that I had run the day before and it was unusually hot out. My legs felt fine and I had a ton of energy. The only issue I was really dealing with was chafing from the excessive amount of sweating that was going on. TMI? The girls and I were keeping our spirits up by reminding ourselves that we were having a PR IN FUN and actually managed to keep laughing through these long 2+ miles.
As we got back to the parks right at mile 12, I witnessed a wonderful family reunion where a runner was beyond excited to see her parents and grandparents. There were hugs all around and they were clearly so proud. This made me smile from ear to ear 🙂
The road to the finish line took us through a backstage area of Disney California Adventure where we were able to see some of the disabled ride vehicles…I always love that stuff. Who knew those rafts were so deep??
Seeing the Paradise Pier Hotel was an incredibly welcoming sight. We were almost there…just under a mile to go and I was about to complete my first back to back race challenge! As I’m writing this, I still find it a bit unbelievable that I even attempted this, let alone finished it.
And then I saw this guy…dressed as Darth Goofy! Kudos on the costume but DAMN he must have been HOT! He had gloves on and all…insane.
We turned the corner towards the Disneyland Hotel and there was another HUGE crowd there to greet us. The home stretch is so exciting…you can’t help but pick up the pace and really give it your all for that last half mile or so.
I found my own personal cheerleader Cindy (read all about her awesomeness in my 10K recap!) and of course had to get another photo…
And there she was…the finish line! I grabbed Amanda’s hand and we finished together like we have every race we’ve run together since my first half marathon a year and a half ago. So emotional and I wouldn’t want to do experience all of this with anyone else.
Again, not our fastest race by any means (3:25:31), but we did manage to get that PR IN FUN! Running with friends is so different that running for time. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again and again, this is what makes Disney races so special and I will NEVER be ashamed to be a slow runner here. We crossed that finish line and we crossed it with a smile on our faces 🙂
B was in the family reunion area waiting for me and I couldn’t wait to see him. It’s always great to see his smiling face after my races. Amanda had to leave to catch her flight so I gave her a sweaty hug and headed to the photo area to get a few pics. I had B bring all my medals so I could do this…
WEAR ALL THE MEDALS!! While I was waiting to take my photo, I ran into a woman who I met on the plane out there…crazy! She had run Goofy earlier in the year and was also waiting to take her photo with all of her medals!
And the fun didn’t stop there… After a shower and a quick nap, B and I headed to Downtown Disney for lunch at Uva. Ever since my first half marathon when I had Fish & Chips as my post race meal, that is something I now crave after most races. Unfortunately it was really hot, so it wasn’t as enjoyable as I would’ve liked, but a nice cold beer definitely helped 🙂
After lunch, we jumped on the Monorail and headed into Disneyland. I LOVE that you can take the monorail from Downtown Disney into Tomorrowland and the ride is so fun how it winds through the trees and above all the attractions! What would be nicer is if it had air conditioning, but like many things in Disneyland it doesn’t. HOT!!!
I was hoping to get in some of my must do attractions like the Matterhorn and Roger Rabbit’s Cartoon Spin, but the combination of long lines and heat prevented that from happening. But I DID have more fun with my medals!! 🙂
The day (and the trip) ended with an incredible dinner at the Chef’s Counter at Napa Rose. Expect a full review of this meal soon!
What a crazy few days. The Inaugural Dumbo Double Dare Challenge was a lot of fun and something I would definitely do again. However, traveling out to California is VERY expensive and I don’t think it is something I will be able to do every year unfortunately. Living on the East Coast it is much easier (and economical) for me to go to WDW even multiple times per year.
I also prefer the races in WDW. Maybe it’s because I’m more familiar with the roads there and I know exactly where I am at all times. Or maybe it’s because they feel more “Disney” to me. Running through Anaheim was nice, but I could do that in any local race. There wasn’t much about it (except for the 2 miles through the parks) that made it feel like a Disney race. I love seeing characters throughout the whole course and it’s definitely something I missed here. I’m not sure what my future for Disneyland races holds, but I do know I would love to go back…just maybe not next year.
Do you want to run a race in Disneyland? Have you done so already? What is your favorite part?