Posts Tagged by #FitFluential

Yoga for Runners: Holiday Gift Guide

Hard to believe that it is already December and it is time to kick the holiday shopping into high gear!  Danielle is here with some great gift suggestions to help incorporate yoga and stretching into your running routine or for the yogi in your life.

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Hello Running at Disney readers!

This month, as we head into the holiday season, I thought instead of sharing a yoga pose or recovery tips, I’d suggest some Yoga for Runner’s gifts!

These items are great for both runners who are just beginning to incorporate some yoga into their routine and those who have a regular yoga practice but are looking to really target those running muscles that need a little extra attention!

Yoga Gift Collage

Yoga for Beginners Kit

This beginner kit comes with everything you need to get your yoga practice started – a yoga mat, block, strap & DVD all for less than $30!

Yoga for Athletes Books

Sage Rountree’s The Athlete’s Guide to Yoga and The Runner’s Guide to Yoga are my go-to’s both for my own yoga practice and when I’m putting together classes. I especially recommend The Athlete’s Pocket Guide to Yoga, a small book full of short yoga sequences specifically designed to target the muscles athletes and runner’s use the most – it would make a great stocking stuffer!

Foam Roller

If you or a runner you know doesn’t own a foal roller yet then this is the perfect gift! I really like my TriggerPoint GRID Foam Roller, but there are plenty of options out there!

Yoga Classes – Online or In Person

What better way to start off your yoga practice than with some classes! I personally love in-person classes where I get the benefit of the teacher making sure I’m doing the pose correctly, but online classes and videos are also a great! For in person classes a gift certificate to a local studio would make a great gift, or you can try out online classes on a site like YogaVibes which actually has a whole series of Yoga for Athletes classes!

Happy Holiday & Namaste!

Danielle 

P.S. – If you haven’t already done so, please stop by and check out the 2014 Runner’s Holiday Gift Guide on my blog, it includes discount codes & giveaways for some of my favorite products!

You can find Danielle at LiveRunGrow.com or on Twitter at @dnardi710.

Sticking Together for the Wine & Dine Half Marathon

Talk of rain began in the days leading up to Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend. There is always afternoon rain in Orlando as the 4:00 pm thunderstorms roll through, so I didn’t think much of it at first. However once race week rolled around, the sense of dread started to set in. It was looking more and more like the rain was going to arrive late Saturday night and on through Sunday morning. This was not just a passing storm…

Fun fact…I have never ran in the rain before. Maybe through a few sprinkles on a training run, but for no longer than 3 miles or so. Another fun fact…I hate having wet shoes. This is one of the reasons I’ve never done a Warrior Dash, Spartan Race or similar mud-themed race. Wet shoes = blisters and an unpleasant time.  Wait…are those really FUN facts?? Sigh…

So I arrived on Thursday before the race and enjoyed all things Food & Wine and even went to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party for the first time.  I was having a blast…life was grand!!  Then I woke up Saturday morning to grey skies and a not so promising weather forecast.  I can’t say I was thrilled about the race at this point, but I was just going to make the best of it. I knew that I had a bunch of friends that were going to be in corral H with me so my new goal was to get through it with as many laughs along the way as possible.

My running buddy Amanda and I decided that since the rain was imminent our best bet would be to leave her car at Epcot so we could make a quick exit after the race incase we were soaked. We were able to park close enough to the finish line (or so we thought) that I left my gEAR bag in the car instead of schlepping it all the way to the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex to check it. So we boarded the buses to the starting line and our journey began…

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Since we hit quite a bit of traffic on the way over, we didn’t have much time to check out all the pre-race festivities, but I did notice that they made some nice additions this year. There were quite a few concessions available including a beer cart for the spectators. I actually found that to be a cruel joke because I had to run 13.1 miles to get my beer, but here was a cart right at the start line!

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There were also quite a few picnic tables set up which was a nice alternative to sitting in the damp grass.

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However our friends Kevin and Carrie decided to sit in the grass because they were sporting the trendy look of the day…trash bag chic.

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After a quick stop at the sea of porta potties and some hugs and well wishes from friends, it was time to head into the corrals.

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Photo Credit: Amanda Tinney

It was great to see that even with the threat of rain, the spirit of many of the runners was still going strong. There were tons of great costumes around and many were themed around the theme of the race, food and wine! Here is my favorite…she’s a Dole Whip!!

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The sprinkles started around 15 minutes before the start of the race so out came the ponchos and ziplock bags.  Earlier that day we took a trip to Walgreens to stock up cheap ponchos.  Well worth the trip off property to grab them for $1.49 instead of spending almost $10 for a Disney poncho.  You won’t feel bad tossing it if you need to either.

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Hey did you know that you can use your iPhone through a ziplock bag??  It was a HUGE revelation among the group…minds were blown.

Since we were in corral H, we didn’t actual get going until about 30 minutes after the start of the race.  The rain was turning into more than just a sprinkle at this point and the winds were picking up so we were all anxious to get going.  This is the first runDisney race that I didn’t get photos or video of the start line because of the rain, but I was happy to see that each corral was still getting a spectacular fireworks show! Once we got going I couldn’t help but laugh at how loud this race was due to the noise from all the ponchos and garbage bags moving around 🙂  I ditched my poncho after the first mile as it was making me quite warm, but this was something I would come to regret later.

There were 6 of us who decided we were going to stay together and run through the suck…remember the goal was laughter!  I had run this race with my friend Jim back in 2012 so I was happy he was in my corral again this year.  Unfortunately he was dealing with an injury and by mile 2 he encouraged us to just keep going after much protest.  Marc and Tiffany pulled ahead at some point and we lost them for a while, so Amanda, Charles and I trudged along to Animal Kingdom and we were actually making decent time when we hit the 5K mark.

By the time we got there, the rain was coming down hard.  The uneven terrain of the park was a bit treacherous and the paths were crowded due to all the construction going on.  This is also where I stepped in my first puddle…wet shoes, my favorite!  Blech.  When we left the park and made our way around the parking lot, all that was going through my head was “I’m COLD!”  Being soaking wet in the dark when it’s 58 and windy is not fun.  Here’s where I really regretting ditching that poncho.  I was hitting a low point and seriously considered stopping…but I just kept moving.

As we got close to Disney’s Hollywood Studios, the rain began to taper and I could feel my motivation coming back a bit.  We were more than halfway done and the best part of the course was coming up.  I couldn’t help but smile when I turned the corner to see one of my favorite sites, the Hollywood Tower Hotel!

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It seemed safe to take out my phone now and I was happy to get back to my usual habit of snapping tons of photos along the course.

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Just before we reached the Streets of America, I got a text from Tiffany asking where we were and to my surprise her and Marc were just ahead of us enjoying the Osborne lights!!  We were so happy to be reunited that we just had to dance it out and Marc got it on video 🙂

We all actually spend a good amount of time here and soaked it all in.  It seemed that a lot of other people were doing the same thing and enjoying the break in the rain.  I’m not a huge Christmas fan, but you can’t help but smile and be happy when surrounded by all of this.

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We were all feeling pretty beat up from being cold and wet so we just banded together to finish the race.  Oh what a welcome sight Spaceship Earth was….just beyond that was the finish line!

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This had been a mental and physical challenge from the moment we crossed that finish line, but it would’ve been much more difficult if we didn’t all stick together.  It was a great feeling to have this support team by my side and I think everyone felt the same way.  We all knew that we were going to cross that finish line together and we did it hand in hand 🙂

After the race I grabbed up a mylar blanket that the voluntEARs (BIG thanks to the voluntEARs the stuck it out in the rain for us!!) were oh so thankfully handing out and we made our way through the maze to get out. I also grabbed my free beer and we high tailed it to the car.  I was a bit disappointed to not go in and enjoy the Finish Line Party, but I was so wet, cold and tired that all I could think about was a hot shower and my comfy bed at the Waldorf.

This was my worst race time by A LOT and there were many times that I was cursing myself for doing it, but looking back now, I actually had a great time.  I have made so many wonderful friends and have great memories from my journeys running at Disney…this was just another one of those times.  I’m lucky enough to be able to complete these races and share these stories…there nothing bad about that.  Even with all the rain, the Wine & Dine Half Marathon is still one of my favorite races and I hope to continue doing it for years to come.  I mean, who doesn’t like free beer after a race?! Cheers!

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Mission to Marathon: Crunch Time and Taper

I think that Hannah and I are sharing the same feeling of craziness in that our lives seem to be getting more hectic by the minute!  However she is at crunch time for her marathon training on top of everything else, so I give her a lot more credit for keeping things together!  Today she is back with some great tips (and fun photos) for getting through the final push of training and onto the all important taper.  

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Part of me can’t believe a month has passed since I wrote my last post for RAD and another part of me can’t believe October was just a month ago. Does anyone else feel that tossed around and pulled in many different directions? We have had a crazy month and it shows by my constant yawning and deep urge to hibernate. The good news is that since it’s November, we FINALLY get to talk about crunch time and taper time for the Walt Disney World 2015 Marathon Weekend! Woohoo! We are in the home stretch!

In keeping with my compulsive list-making self I’ve compiled yet another two for you! First is about crunch time (those last few weeks of long training runs) and the second is about tapering and why it is important (reasons to repeat to yourself over and over when you get that “I just need to do another 20 miler” urge to give yourself a confidence boost). Oscar Bean offered to help demonstrate some of the Crunch time tips and provide motivation for resting during taper…

Without further ado…

CRUNCH TIME

  1. Seize the day … or the hour.

Seize

Now is the time to make sure you are getting your long runs in. These are the Saturday and Sunday runs on the RunDisney site. But while you’re at it, make sure you’re getting your weeknight runs in too. If you can’t get a full 45 mins, but can do a mile or two, that’s great. More time on your feet will help in the long run.

  1. Don’t overdo it.

Overdo

While its important to get your training runs in, don’t feel ike you have to suddenly up the game and add in extra runs. Trust the plan. Also don’t try to increase your overall weekly mileage or speed up your time too quickly. Take it easy. Remember avoiding injury is the most important thing at this point.

  1. Stretch and stretch often.

Stretch

Formal stretching is important. Where you take time to roll out on the foam roller, take a yoga class, or just stretch at home, its essential to get you to race day and beyond. BUT, I personally recommend taking little opportunities throughout the day to stretch. I love stretching my calves in the shower in the morning with the hot water on my tight muscles (I have plantar fasciitis and have difficulty walking in the morning sometimes). I also stretch at work…calf stretches at my desk, touch my toes each time I get up to go to the bathroom, and make sure I am stretching out my back, shoulders and wrists throughout the day (office work can take a toll and your arms are more important to running than you may think).

  1. Keep yourself motivated.

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Whatever it is that motivates you, now is the time to keep up with it. I love reading blogs from other marathoners and flipping through quotes on quoteland.com or Pinterest.

  1. Test stuff out.

Test

Now is the time to test out the new stuff. New gear, wear in new shoes, try new fuel, etc. You still have time to recover if something doesn’t work, but its close enough that the clothes and fuel will react the same (similar weather, etc).

TAPER TIME!

Tapering typically occurs 3-4 weeks before a marathon and 2-3 weeks before a half marathon. These are three reasons why tapering is important and why you shouldn’t ignore the sanctity of the taper.

MAXIMUM POTENTIAL: Tapering allows your body as much rest as possible before race day. A rested body will allow for maximum potential on race day.

PRESERVE CAPABILITIES: Tapering allows your body to rest without losing your aerobic capabilities (proper tapering that is…)

RELAX: Rest surpasses mileage as the most important part of your training. Enjoy it! If you’re a race addict, then this is probably one of the only times you’ll be able to run decreased mileage (b/c you’ll turn around after your marathon and start training for another one). If you’re not a race addict, then you’ve probably been dying to get some family time/couch time/extra work/holiday shopping/etc done…now is the time!

Rest

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Here is my December 2014 Run Training Plan!

23 – Week Dec 1: Tuesday and Thursday 1 hour; Saturday 6 miles

24 – Week Dec 8: Tuesday and Thursday 1 hour; Saturday 7 miles

25 – Week Dec 15: Tuesday and Thursday 45 mins; Saturday 12 miles; Sunday 26 miles

**BEGIN TAPER**

26 – Week Dec 22: Tuesday and Thursday 1 hour; Saturday 6 miles

Monday, Wednesday, Friday – Long Stretches

27 – Week Dec 29: Tuesday and Thursday 1 hour; Saturday 7 miles

Monday, Wednesday, Friday – Long Stretches

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Hannah is an attorney from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. She started running in 2011 while preparing for the Bar Exam as a means of helping her focus on her studying. Hannah completed her first half marathon in October 2011 at the Nike Women’s Marathon in San Francisco. In 2013 she completed 13 running events including 5 half marathons, 2 10ks, 3 5ks and 3 fun races (2 color runs and a zombie run).  She enjoys setting goals and crossing things off of her “bucket list.” Follow Hannah at www.workorrun.com, where she blogs about her everyday goals and challenges.

The Kindness of the Running Community

The Wine & Dine Half Marathon Expo was, um, crowded. This was the first, and probably last, time I will show up at a race expo first thing in the morning. I arrived early because I wanted to get it out of the way so I could go enjoy my day in Walt Disney World and also to grab a pair of the Disney New Balance sneakers. It’s a good thing I did because the line was already super long 30 minutes before the Expo opened!

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After grabbing the shoes, it seemed like the best time to head over to the official runDisney merchandise booth. Certain items have been known to sell out quickly so it made sense to just go there first. It was a bit chaotic, but manageable. I grabbed the few things I wanted (pins, vinylmation and a water bottle) and got in line to check out.

The morning started off chilly but quickly warmed up. Plus with all the bodies in the Expo, I was quite warm in my tech hoodie. So I tied it around my purse…something I’ve done countless times. Well sometime between paying for my runDisney merch (a remember seeing it in line!) and walking to the Expo exit, my hoodie feel off. In a panic, I retraced my steps to find it but no luck. This all happened within about 2 minutes…no hoodie!

I was super bummed because 1. it is my favorite running hoodie and 2. I was planning on wearing it for the cold, rainy race the next night. I headed up to the Services Center at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex and filled out a lost item card, but had little hope that it would be returned.

What do you know? The next morning I received a call from Sharon at ESPN saying she thought she found it. Oh My! Well low and behold, when I arrived, there it was. Sharon seemed just as excited as I was to reunite me with my hoodie and she truly made my day…and race!

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I’ve always thought that the running community is made up of special people. There is something kind and supportive within all of us. Probably because we have all endured the humbling experience that is running. This experience just proved that point!

So thank you kind person who found my hoodie and took it to lost and found.  Because of you I was able to run a warmer (sadly not drier) Wine & Dine Half Marathon!

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Do you feel the same way about the running community?  Have you ever lost one of your favorite pieces of running gear?

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Anaheim Antics: Race Between Races – A 5k Between the Halves

John has been training for months for this weekend’s Avengers Half Marathon (best of luck!!!) and he has been using many local races as part of his training plan.  This most recent race he ran with a former Disneyland Ambassador who shared the story of her running journey and what it’s like to run as a Disney cast member.  What a fun perspective!

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For some of you, running half marathons and full marathons are standard operating procedure, and your calendar consists of such a race every 2 months, or more. Then there are the rest of us: The marathon (half or full) is an annual or semiannual goal. What to do between those major races?   Thankfully, there are numerous smaller races to keep one in proper form. Personally, with my first half marathon (the Avengers) being around the corner, I enjoy the myriad of smaller races my local community has to offer. One of those races is the annual Chapman University 5k, which takes place through the streets of Old Towne Orange, CA, a mere ten minutes east of the Disneyland Resort.

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Many past and present Disney Cast Members run this race, so it’s often a reunion and fellowship opportunity. One of those is former Disneyland Ambassador Jolie Hales, whom I got to know shortly after I joined the Disney family. Jolie is a Chapman University alum, graduating with a master’s degree in film directing. I asked Jolie to share her thoughts with us on the running experience.

When Jolie was selected as a Disney Ambassador for 2011-2012, her teammate Rene signed them up for the Disneyland Half Marathon. “I had never had a desire to run more than a mile in my life for any reason whatsoever”, Jolie joked. Of that first Half Marathon experience, Jolie recalled, “It was so much fun! And I beat Rene, bahaha! I was hooked … I’m soooo grateful to Disney for turning me into a runner — I totally owe them for the huge change in my lifestyle”. Fast forward to the 2014 Chapman University 5k.

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The Chapman 5k is a fun, flat, straightforward course, which both the novice and seasoned runner will enjoy. Readers might recognize Chapman University from the films “Crimson Tide”, “Accepted”, or “Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle”.   Parking for this year was remarkably easy thanks to an underground parking structure on the north side of the Chapman Campus. Runners staged near the west gate, and after some words of encouragement by the Mayor of Orange and singing of the National Anthem, the runners were off! Says Jolie of the Chapman 5k, “This is my third year running the Chapman 5K, and I plan to run it every year, if I can. This year’s race was the best out of the three.”

Like Jolie, this was not my first Chapman 5k. I first ran last year, when the race was held during fierce Sana Ana wind conditions. “(The winds) definitely increased the challenge!” said Jolie of last year’s race, “When the wind was pushing with me, it was great! But when I was running against it, I felt like I was climbing a mountain.” Thankfully, this year’s race was met with mild weather and no winds whatsoever.

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The first leg of the race was the hardest, thanks to a hard left turn onto South Glassell Avenue just seconds after the starting line. This part of the run was a serious pinch point, making it hard to pass runners in front of you. But it was very brief, and the rest of the course was ample. The course continued down Glassell and around the beautiful Orange Plaza, established in 1888. The course then meandered through the local residential neighborhood, dotted with early 20th century Victorian and Craftsman style homes.

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Many residents cheered us on from their porches and lawns. Other scenery included the stunning gothic brick St. John’s Lutheran Church, the modern Mediterranean revival Orange Public Library, and the locally renowned Watson’s Drug Store and Soda Fountain (a MUST VISIT if you’re ever in town). The final leg proved to be the most fun. It was a long, straight shot up the course to the Chapman Campus, where the finish line was clearly visible from hundreds of yards back. That gave me motivation to pour on every ounce of speed. The Chapman University band and cheerleaders greeted the finishers warmly, and there were plenty of Disney voluntEARs to award the finisher medals.

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One great thing about being a Cast Member is running into other past and present Cast Members at races such as these. “At local races in Southern California, it’s pretty common to run into Cast Members, and I love it!” Jolie said. “The Chapman 5K is especially filled with cast members — both runners and as VoluntEARS at the finish line — it’s like a reunion each time!”.   Indeed. Running into Cast Members like Jolie is a real treat. If you ever see her at a running event, be sure to say hi.

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Would you like to hear more about Jolie’s running experiences? Don’t worry! Jolie shared with me a wealth of running knowledge, which will be included in future editions of Anaheim Antics. So stay tuned!

RADically yours,

John

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John grew up in the Orange County area of California, always living in the shadow of the Disneyland Resort.  Known as the consummate storyteller to his friends, he has had an admiration of Disney since childhood, and is most interested in the Company’s history and heritage.  His favorite memory to date is setting foot in Walt’s apartment over the Main Street Firehouse.  John lives by what he calls the three F’s: faith, fun, and fitness.   Being healthy isn’t about adding years to your life; it’s about adding life to your years.  Nothing sums that up more than making Disney races a goal in every fitness plan.

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