Posts Tagged by packing

Mission to Marathon: Packing for a RunCation

I can’t believe the time is almost here for Hannah to take on the Goofy Race and a Half Challenge!!  It seems like just yesterday when she wrote her first Mission to Marathon post on putting her training plan together for this race weekend.  Boy time sure does fly!  Well as she is continuing to taper, she is getting ready to leave for Walt Disney World and she is here with some great packing tips for a RunCation!

Best of luck Hannah and we can’t wait to see you get all that runDisney bling in a few short weeks!


Holy Moly, can you believe its December! And, halfway through at that!? Time is flying…I would know. I turned 30 on the 5th and it just came and went and wow…I can’t believe I’m in my 30s now! But enough about me, here’s some info on how to get yourself all packed up and read for your Disney RunCation! This post is highly focused on those flying into their destination, but modify as you will for those driving/train-riding/etc.

[Side note that I’m still in my temporary living arrangements so I wasn’t able to dig out the suitcases (in storage) or do a big full Disney packing photo montage. Sorry!]

First things first…

BEFORE you pack anything, check the weather and then check it again, and again, and possibly plan for weather different than what you’re anticipating…Florida is notorious for drastic weather changes.

Your Race Day gear is the MOST important thing you’ll pack. I strongly recommend laying out the clothes, socks, shoes, underwear, etc that you will need for the actual race before you do anything else!


Pack your race day gear into your carry-on luggage. You do not want this getting lost.

Next up I add in my cover-wear (my throw-away clothes).


And finally I add in all my race “extras.” Things like my sunglasses, my running belt, compression socks (for after the race), gels, etc…



You can use your discretion with what is “essential” for race day to determine what needs to go in your carry-on. The rest can go in checked luggage.

Here’s all my race stuff laid out, ready to be packed!


Once your race day gear is packed, you will have a better idea of how much room you’ll have for other stuff and how much luggage you’ll need.

When I pack for Disney I tend to know ahead of time what park I will be visiting. I then plan my clothing accordingly. I will typically pack one black pair of shoes and one blue pair of shoes and then make sure all of my clothing matches one of the two pairs of shoes. For each day I lay my clothes out like this:


Once I get my whole trip laid out I will pack it all into my luggage.

This trip will be a bit interesting as we are flying with a new airline and are limited with both carry-on and checked luggage (ugh, don’t these new airline luggage rules stink?!). Between the hubs and I we are planning for one carry-on, one checked bag, and two personal items. Make sure to check your airline for their restrictions and guidelines before you start packing.

I hope this helps you out and allows you some relief from the packing stress!

Things to remember about packing for a running vacation (because we all know I can’t resist a list):

1 – No NEW is good NEW… pack the stuff that’s tried and true for you. This is not the time to find out that the cute new top chaffs like no other.

2 – Extra shoes if you’re running multiple races. You do not want to be starting out a marathon with soggy shoes because it rained the day before.

3 – Check out the expo and race info online before you go to see if they’ll have the gels/fuel you like. If not, pack some from home!

4 – Don’t freak out if you forget something. While its not ideal to wear new shoes for a race, it can be done. Don’t let missing something in your packing add additional stress where its not needed.

5 – HAVE FUN. If you’re running a Disney race, then you will definitely have a good time. But don’t let PR’s or PB’s, or PD’s, or anything else get in the way of enjoying your race. 99% of us are not running for a place in these races, so just remember to have fun with it!


Here is my January 2014 Run Training Plan:


28 – Week Jan 5: Tuesday and Thursday 45 mins; Saturday 13.1; Sunday 26.2

        Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday – long stretches

29 – Week Jan 12: Tuesday and Thursday 45 mins; Saturday 3 miles

29 Alternate: Walk Disney Parks!

        Stretch, Stretch, Stretch and then stretch again. 🙂

30 – Week Jan 19: Tuesday and Thursday 45 mins; Saturday 3 miles

31 – Week Jan 26: Tuesday and Thursday 45 mins; Saturday 3 miles

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, where she blogs about her everyday goals and challenges.

A Plan to Be Perfectly Dopey!

Perfectly Dopey, a phrase I will never say about myself and I’m perfectly ok with that.  But for those people, like Sparkly Runner Sarah, who inspire to be Perfectly Dopey, I applaud you.  Sarah had a great race weekend and like so many others, she makes this challenge seem downright appealing!  Check out some of her great tips on packing and rest for 4 days of Disney racing…


Last month, I had the privilege to become one of just 7,000 people to participate in the inaugural Walt Disney World Dopey Challenge. This endurance event consists of four days of back-to-back racing: 5k, 10k, half marathon, and full marathon. That equals 48.6 miles over four days. To tackle this challenge, you must be pretty “Dopey!” This event was life-changing. I enjoyed every minute of each race and I hope to be “Perfectly Dopey” and compete in this event in future years.

medals after full

My boyfriend Matthew and I had agreed to do this challenge in April 2013. Even though I’d never done a full marathon before, I knew that Dopey was the way I’d want to complete my first marathon. I knew how amazing it would be to be part of this inaugural event so we signed up the first day registration was open. Matthew has completed the Goofy Challenge three times so he had an idea of what we were getting ourselves into.

We knew that this event would require a great deal of training- both physically and mentally. We’d be getting up at 2 am every day for four days. We’d be sacrificing time in the parks to rest our legs. We’d be running in hotter and more humid temperatures than we were used to. And, for me, we’d be running double the most distance I’d ever run in my life. This required an awesome training plan.

I am a Jeff Galloway girl- I have followed his method of run/walk for the last three years and have followed his half marathon training plans to great success. If you aren’t familiar with his method, it’s really simple; you run and then walk at timed intervals. I usually run 1:1 meaning that I run for one minute and walk for one minute. However, for the Dopey Challenge, I knew that I’d need to slow down and increase my walking intervals. I downloaded Galloway’s Dopey Challenge training plan from the runDisney website into my calendar and started training on July 2, 2013.

Luckily, Galloway’s training plans are incredibly easy to follow and usually don’t require more than four days a week of running. For Dopey, the plan slowly built up the weekly mileage on a three-week rotation. For two weeks, we would run 30-45 minutes two times a week and a 6-7 mile run on the weekend. Then on the third week, we would run or walk 3-4 days in a row, with the mileage slowly building. For example, our last long run week (two weeks before Dopey), we ran 3/5/12/24 on back to back days. And actually, the 3, 5, and 12 miles were all walked! This plan required almost half of your weekly miles to be walked. It helped to strengthen different muscles and build our endurance. I would highly recommend his plan for anyone looking to complete the Dopey Challenge or any other distance race.

last long training run

When we arrived in Walt Disney World last week, we felt prepared. Packing for back-to-back races can be a challenge; especially if you are flying to the event and can’t bring everything you might possibly need. To help keep myself organized, I packed every race outfit in a different Ziploc bag- shorts, socks, shirt, sports bra, and anything else I’d need for that ensemble. I like to run in costume at Disney so there were some extra accessories packed into each bag 🙂


Sarah’s Note: LOVE this idea of organizing everything before traveling.  It’s sure to make race mornings MUCH easier to manage!  Great tip!


I also packed very little non-racing clothes. For a six day trip, we’d be running on four of those days. And, with all runDisney races, you get a race shirt. With Dopey, you actually received six shirts; one for each race and then a Goofy Challenge and a Dopey Challenge shirt. Knowing that I’d be getting six shirts, I packed as lightly as possible.

Expo purchases

Our plan for the week was to rest as much as possible. This meant no parks until our last day- Monday. It was so hard to know that we’d be staying in Walt Disney World for six whole days and only going to the park on one of those days. We were in bed every night at 6 pm. I think we really did this part well. Every morning I felt well-rested and energized for the race ahead of me. I got about seven hours of sleep each night- more than I get on a regular night!

The morning of each race, we’d get up around 2 am, get ready, pack a breakfast, and head out to the first bus we could get on. By being early, we were able to eliminate one area of stress and be guaranteed to be in our corrals well before the start of the race. We would then eat our breakfast (usually a bagel and/or clif bar, fruit, water) while waiting in the corral.

Full starting line copy

After each race, we went back to the hotel and relaxed at the pool. I did a lot of stretching and soaking my feet in ice so they would be ready for the next race. When doing a challenge like this, the more downtime you have, the better you will feel for the next race.

Our strategy for the first three races was the same- take it easy and walk as much as possible. For us, this meant using a 1:2 interval, running for one minute and walking for two minutes. This plan worked beautifully. We averaged even splits throughout each race and crossed the finish line feeling like we still had some energy. However, Matthew started to get a cold on the morning of the half marathon. He felt terrible for both the half and the full- body aches, coughing, runny nose, etc. Luckily, his training was able to carry him through the races and both he and I had very little muscle soreness after the marathon.

5k finish

10k finish

half finish

After we’d finished the 5k, 10k, and half marathon, we knew we were just 26.2 miles away from completing our goal of logging 48.6 miles in four days. Our strategy for the full marathon was simple- finish upright and smiling. We took it easy and kept the same intervals we’d used for the first three races. I felt fantastic the entire race- running through all four parks in one day was just amazing. It felt like we’d barely been running when I saw the 20 mile marker and when we were running the last lap around World Showcase, I couldn’t believe I was about to finish my first marathon. Crossing that finish line was absolutely one of the best moments of my life. We got our medals, collected our runDisney food box, and reunited with our family. Later that evening we celebrated with dinner at Raglan Road in Downtown Disney. Beer has never tasted so good 🙂

Full finish

Overall, the Dopey Challenge was a phenomenal experience. Where else can you run four races through four Disney parks and earn six gorgeous medals in just four short days? Add to that the thrill of running with thousands of like-minded Disney fans and you’ve got all the reasons you need to consider it for 2015. With proper training, a good race-week strategy, and a little Disney magic, running 48.6 miles in four days can seem like the best time of your life.


Even though she’s run over 50 races, Sarah still considers herself a newbie to the running world. What started as a way to lose weight in January 2010 has quickly become a lifestyle. Sarah lives with her 7-time marathoner boyfriend in central Pennsylvania but considers Walt Disney World to be her second home. While she’s not blogging at, she loves making new friends- find her on Twitter and Instagram!!

Packing for Race Weekends


I’ve been asked by a few people who are getting ready for Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend what I pack for big race events.  It has taken quite a few races to get that nailed down, but I think after having traveled for 8 different race weekends I finally have a pretty solid packing list.  SO I wanted to share it with you to help you a long to way if you are struggling with what to bring.

Race Gear

Now this is subjective for everyone, but here is what I bring when running multiple races in a weekend:

  • 032 SA_SE2 Pairs Running Shorts –I stick with my favorite Bermuda Shorts from Moving Comfort
  • 1 Pair of Capris – Also from Moving Comfort and better for shorter runs where I won’t be so hot
  • 3 Running Tanks – I will only run in moisture wicking tanks tops, so I go with my favorite 3 at the moment
  • 3 Sports Bras – I currently have different bras for different distances, so I go with what I think I’ll need
  • 3 Pairs of Sport Underwear – If you haven’t noticed, I love ALL moisture wicking materials, even for my underwear!  These are a must have!  No one like soggy undies…
  • 4 Headbands – I can’t run long distances without my Bondi Bands.  They are thick enough to hold all of my wispy hairs back and they are also moisture wicking which is a super bonus for me!
  • Hair Ties – A given for anyone with longer hair…
  • 3 Wristbands – I LOVE this thick wristbands from Under Armour that helps to wipe away my sweat during a race!!  I won’t do any type of exercise without one.
  • Fuel Belts – For half marathons or longer, I run with 2 fuel belts (strange, I know).  I love my Amphipod for it’s large water bottles and storage pocket for all my fuel. I also like the iFitness belt to hold my phone and race bib so I don’t have to pin it to my shirt.
  • GuChocolate Outrage has always been my go to fuel.  I always bring enough with me for all the races because you never know what will be available at the expo or on the course.
  • iPod Shuffle & Headphones – I need some sort of music to keep me going, but always keep the volume low!
  • Garmin – Even though I’ve been using my Polar RC3 GPS lately to watch my heart rate, I’m much more comfortable with my Garmin Forerunner 405 for races.
  • KT Tape – I often suffer from posterior shin splints, so I always bring my KT Tape to avoid any issues during the race.
  • Body Glide – I always apply generous amounts of Body Glide in any areas that I think might chafe…under my sports bra, along my waist, my inner thighs…it’s a MUST!
  • Sunscreen – This is definitely needed for morning races.  You may be starting off in the dark, but that sun rises quickly!

Things for the Feet

I need to bring a variety of shoes during a race weekend.  Yes, there are my running shoes but there are a few other items that are a necessity to keep my feet happy!

  • Running-Shoes-AsicsRunning Shoes – I always wear my running shoes on the plane whenever I travel for a race.  Who knows what could happen to your luggage while traveling and the last thing you want is for your shoes to get lost.  You can always buy new clothes at the expo, but shoes are a different story.
  • Park Touring Shoes – For Disney races, I always bring a separate pair of shoes to tour the parks.  My Reebok CrossFit Nano 2.0s are my favorites for just walking around.
  • Flip Flops – These are a necessity for after the race.  I usually check a pair of flip flops at bag check so I can take my sneakers off right after the race.
  • Socks – Good running socks are key and I love my Balega Enduro No Shows. And for walking around, my go to socks are the Reebok CrossFit No Shows.
  • Blister Care – Blisters are a runners worst enemy!  Before each race, I cover my feet in Dr. Scholl’s BlisterDefense to help prevent any issues during the race.  I also bring blister bandages with me incase any do form.
  • Foot Wheel – This little gadget is great for soothing tired feet and hardly takes up any room in your luggage.

Post Race Necessities

Recovery is very important while traveling, especially if you plan on touring Disney parks post race or if you are jumping on a plane shortly after.  You want to be comfortable!  Here’s what I bring with me to make sure my tired legs recover as quickly as possible:

  • SleevesCompression Gear – I swear by my compression gear post race.  I basically live in my Zoot compression sleeves and Aspaeris Pivot Shorts.  It’s like a nice hug for your legs 🙂
  • Comfy Post Race Outfit – I typically sport a maxi dress after my races so I can wear all my compression gear underneath with ease!
  • The Stick – Great for rolling out tight muscles.
  • Stretch Strap – Helps to get some deep stretches and really helps with my tight hips.
  • BioFreeze – This usually isn’t needed, but I bring it just in case!
  • Tylenol/Motrin – Self explanatory…

That pretty much covers all my race needs.  It’s a lot to pack and bring with you, but I always like to have all my bases covered.  Hope this was helpful as you get ready to race!

Do you have any race weekend necessities that I left out?

Princess Packing Chaos

It’s no secret that packing for race weekends stresses me out.  Why?  Well I like to have all the comforts of home while I’m away, so I always tend to over pack and then end up having to cut things out, which turns a simple task into a multi-day event.  Yes, I know this is crazy, but it is my process.

I use the guest room as my “staging area” and it currently looks like this…

Notice the extremely detailed list??

Notice the extremely detailed list??

Organized chaos!

Organized chaos!

My running gear isn’t even included in this mess, so I think I’m already over extending myself!  I was looking back at my packing list from last year’s Princess Half and my gear has definitely expanded.  I now have post-race clothes to change into (I HATE being in sweaty clothes once you cool down!), a stretch strap, the Stick, KT Tape, blister band-aids, ankle braces (just in case!), Voltaren Gel, Body Glide, and I’m sure a few other things I’m forgetting.  I think my list expands after every race because there is something “I wish I had” at the last race.

So I have 2 more days to finish this craziness and try to keep my bag under 50 lbs.  This is a challenge considering my bag for Wine & Dine came in at 49.7 lbs!

Just made it for Wine & Dine!

Just made it for Wine & Dine!

Do you stress over packing or am I just crazy?  (This is definitely a possibility…B would probably confirm that.)  What are your MUST HAVES for race weekends in Walt Disney World?