Posts Tagged by run walk

A Magical First 5K

When you start the journey of running your first race, it can be a nerve wracking experience full of doubt and insecurity.  But once you start training and eventually finish that race, it is amazing to see what you can do when you put your mind to something.  Randy is here today to tell us about his wife’s journey to her first race, the Happy Haunted 5k Trail Run, and how he supported her along the way.  There is nothing like a great support system!

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“The road of life twists and turns and no two directions are ever the same. Yet our lessons come from the journey, not the destination.”

– Don Williams Jr.

For a runner this quote rings true. We devote endless hours preparing ourselves for an event that in comparison to our training takes only a fraction of time to complete. During that preparation we find out a lot about ourselves. One of the most profound revelations is that we are capable of so much more that we may have ever though we might have been.

My wife ran her first 5K race at the Happy Haunted 5K Trail Run, but it wasn’t that destination where she learned that she could be a runner, it was the journey to that race where she learned that lesson.

After many years of telling me that she couldn’t run let alone be a runner my wife surprised me when I jokingly asked her if she wanted to run the 5K race the morning that I would be running The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler and she said yes. Not wanting to give her the opportunity to change her mind I quickly signed us both up to run the 5K as well as signed myself up for the 10 miler.

Although I tried I could not convince my wife to attempt a straight out run on the 5K. Instead we would train for her to do a run/walk for the race. I developed a 3 month training plan for her so that she would never feel like she was going too far or too fast too soon. We did the training runs together and I liked seeing her change from someone who only a few month earlier would say that she could never run to someone who was running and starting to realize that she could do more than she had thought she could. There were even days when she would want to go a little faster or a little further on our training runs. It was nice to see a side of her where new things where possible.   Even though she was going to do a run/walk, she was definitely a ‘runner’.

2014-Happy-Haunted-5k-Trail-Run-2

Finally the weekend of the run was upon us. The weather forecast called for rain for the entire time we were to be at Walt Disney World and my wife was depressed about the forecast. I tried to calm her nerves by telling her not to worry about it and that she should only worry about running her own race. We ended up getting our “Disney Magic” because the only rain we saw besides a little drizzle when we arrived the Wednesday prior to the race were some small rain showers the morning of the race.

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By the time we went to our corrals the rain had stopped. The whole forecasted week of rain amounted to only a couple of hours of rain.

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In the corral, I could tell my wife was getting nervous. I just kept reminding her that all she had to do was ‘run her race’. Meaning forget about everything else just do what you came to do. We also had the opportunity to meet so many great people over the days leading up to the race. Many of those people were running the 5K also and my wife was surprised how many of those runners were also doing the run/walk method for the 5K. Finally our corral was called up to the starting line and our race started. As we went along the course she was pleasantly surprised by how pleasant everyone was to each other, and she really liked seeing some of the characters our on the trail also.

When we crossed the finish line she looked at me and smiled and said “I can wear my shirt now”. This was a reference to a little quirk I have about wearing a shirt for a race prior to my running and completing the race. I happily told her “yes you can because now you have earned it”.

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We stayed around the ESPN Sports Complex for a couple of hours just cheering the runners on, meeting some of the other runners and taking pictures. Most importantly I could tell that my wife was beaming with personal pride for having accomplished something that only a few short months prior she had thought was impossible for her to ever do.

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On The Road To Disney Parks: runDisney Visits Atlanta!

I’ve been a HUGE fan of the Be Our Guest Podcast for at least 4 years now.  Not only is the show a great way to fill that Disney void between trips, but the community is like nothing else!  Everyone is beyond friendly and supportive, and there are a bunch of runners in the community as well!  So when I saw that one of the hosts of the show, Rikki Niblett, was lucky enough to get into the first runDisney Meet Up on the road in Atlanta, I reached out to her to see if she’d cover the event for RAD.  I’m so glad she agreed because she wrote up this awesome recap of the event.  This got me so excited for future runDisney events around the country!  Take it away Rikki!

I am not a runner.  I don’t pretend to be.  Running has never been something that I’ve been interested in.  Matter of fact, I’ve always said that I don’t run unless someone is chasing me.  At Disney races, I’ve always been a member of the chEAR squad. I love to support the real runners, but that’s as far as I like to take things.  (Heck, I even married a runner and while he was out doing “fun” runs around the neighborhood, I would sit at home happily on the couch with my iPad in my hands and the TV on.)

So, I bet you’re asking yourself…how did this non-runner get signed up to attend the first stop in the runDisney On The Road To Disney Parks Atlanta meet up?

For that story, we have to go back two years ago, back to 2011.  You see, a friend of mine’s daughter was supposed to run the (then) Disney Halloween 5K, which was tied to the Wine and Dine Half Marathon.  With no training, what-so-ever, I said I would run it, did so, and thus started my running relationship with runDisney.

2011 Race

I hadn’t done a race since then, at least until this past July.  My best friends are all runDisney participants, so when we were all onboard the Disney Dream, they wanted to run the Castaway Cay 5k.  I begrudgingly got up early to go run around the island.  Run…heck…I walked it…came in last, but I still got my medal!  So, here’s this non-runner that’s now two runDisney events.

Castaway Cay 5k

Which brings me to a couple of weeks ago.  My one bestie told me that she’d seen that Disney was going to bring their first ever On The Road To Disney Parks events to my city, Atlanta!  I decided to stalk the website with every intention of just signing up my husband.  Once we sent his email off to be entered to be chosen for the event, I thought about it and decided…you know…it’s only two miles…I’d just done three a couple of months ago…I should sign up too.  So, I did.

A few hours later, the list of names was announced and we were both on it.  Which is when panic mode set it.  Um…I was going to have to do this two mile fun run.

So, I logged onto my Pinterest account where I’d recently and ironically saved information on the Couch To 5k method.  I better start “practicing,” as I like to call it.  So, out I went, every day for practice runs.  I went from someone who could barely run 2 minutes to being able to get in 7 full minutes of running right before the event took place!  I’d officially run a little over a mile in my neighborhood during my practices and…I was kind of liking it.  I was ready for the event!

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The On the Road To Disney Parks event took place on Saturday, November 16.  My husband and I got super up early and drove down to Turner Field, where the Atlanta Braves play.  Check in started at 6:15 am and as soon as we walked in, we could see the large runDisney logo emblazoned on the video screen.  We checked in, got our shirts with the awesome logo on the back and waited, snapping pictures and meeting up with friends, both new and old.

Logo

The event started off with an introduction from Michael Cain, who represented the ESPN Wide World of Sports.  Then we learned about Good Form Running from Brian with New Balance.  After that, Mickey Mouse came out to help cheer us on as it was now time to run!

Mickey's Here to ChEAR!

Mickey’s Here to ChEAR!

They split us up into two groups.  Group one was full of the runners, where as group two would be going out with Mr. Jeff Galloway himself to try out the 20/20 running method.  (Running for 20 seconds/walking for 20 seconds.)  I of course, chose the Galloway method, since I certainly couldn’t run the whole time.  Group two would also feature the 2008/2012 British Olympian Barbara Parker! (Who I kind of ran with for a few minutes during the event…how cool?  I can now say that I’ve run with an Olympian!)

Running With Jeff Galloway ©Disney

Running with Jeff Galloway!

I will admit, personally, this fun run was really hard for me.  It could be because of a couple of reasons.  One was that I’d never trained like that, so it was difficult for me to get a handle on it.  The second reason why I had a hard time doing the 20/20 method is because the majority of the runners participating in the event were also doing this method.  This meant that there was quite a large crowd all running together and by the time the front runners were starting running, we were just starting to walk…it was incredibly difficult to keep the correct pace.  I’m not knocking the method.  I’m sure it’s a wonderful one to use.  But for me, a new runner, it was incredibly difficult to get the hang of.  (Maybe I need to go outside and practice with it around my neighborhood to get the real sense of how it’s supposed to work.)

Despite how hard the running ended up being for me, I had an absolute blast!  It was kind of a chilly and foggy morning, but none of that mattered once we got on the road!  We started by running through the streets of Atlanta, going through a portion of the area that was used in the 1996 Olympics and past the Olympic Rings (with an Olympian!  Crazy!).  We then made it to the Capitol building, running all around it, then circling back to Turner Field.

capitol

running through rings

Once we made it into Braves country, we started to run inside the stadium, through the back tunnels.  This was fun!  Then, we turned a corner and saw the light, literally, as we could see our path lead us to the field.  Once we got on the field, we started taking photos in the dugout (I’m a diehard St. Louis Cardinals fan, so I made a joke about the Braves postseason run…though can’t say we’re the champions either…) and then we got to meet up with Miss Minnie Mouse herself.

in the dugout

with Minnie

We ran the rest of the way, around the warning track and made our way back to the main entryway for the park.  Here, runDisney had a fantastic breakfast for us that featured yogurt, cereal, a spinach and egg quiche, coffee, fruit, and water.

Once settled in, the guest speakers series started.  First off, Tammy Jacobson, marketing area manager for runDisney talked about a new hashtag that will be introduced called #WhyIRunDisney.  People will be encouraged to submit their own stories of why they run Disney and they may just want to share your story.

Jeff Galloway then discussed his run/walk method and gave encouragement that truly anyone can run in the big races.  Diet Diva Tara, runDisney’s nutritionist, got on stage to discuss proper nutrition and the importance of fueling up for runners.  She talked about how gaining wait while training can happen if you over indulge because you know you ran.

Diet Diva Tara

Diet Diva Tara

After that was the part that most of the crowd was excited for…the representatives from New Balance.  While they didn’t show the actual shoe, they did give us a sneak peek at which Disney character would be featured on the heel.  (Sorcerer Mickey will be on the men’s version, and pretty in pink Minnie will be on the women’s option.)  The shoes will be the same model, but an updated version of the 360.  Also announced was that there would be a kids shoe that would correspond with the adult version.

2014 Men's Shoe Design

2014 Men’s Shoe Design

2014 Women's Shoe Design

2014 Women’s Shoe Design

Olympian Barbara Parker then got up and spoke about what it’s like to train for the Olympics and she also announced that she was pregnant during the race that day.  She shared a few tips on how to properly run while expecting.

Barbara Parker & New Balance

Olympian Barbara Parker & New Balance

Finally, from Runner’s World, Warren Greene discussed that they are bringing back their challenge to the 2015 runDisney events.

Warren Greene from Runner's World

Warren Greene from Runner’s World

We all then got to take photos with Mickey and Minnie together!  Once it was over, we received some awesome swag bags, with a water bottle, Cliff and Luna bars, a gift card for Puma, and more.

With Mickey and Minnie

It was a truly awesome event that I am so, so glad I got to participate in.  If one of the One The Road To Disney Parks events comes near you, I strongly suggest you try to sign up!  They did a phenomenal job.

Personally, I believe I am living proof of what runDisney’s mantra is.  That anyone can run.  While I still wouldn’t call myself a runner, I have to say, I am excited to get out and go running now.  I can’t say that I’ll be doing the next Disney race I can sign up for, but I can say that I’m ready to get more active, a Disney race may be in the cards though.  You never know.  As for right now, I think I’m going to head for a run.  Thanks runDisney!  You officially worked your magic on me!

Thanks so much Rikki for this great recap!  I love to hear when someone else gets inspired to get out there and get fit from a runDisney event…that’s what it’s all about!

Where do you want to see the next On The Road To Disney Parks event ?

runDisney 2013 Wine & Dine Meet Up!

My running buddy Jim DeMarco was one of the lucky few who got into the very first runDisney Meet Up to be held at night over Disney’s Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend.  He was awesome enough to recap the whole event for RAD and it looks like it was a blast!  Take it away Jim…  

Well, it was my third Wine and Dine Half Marathon weekend, and I was extremely excited (and nervous) as the time got closer.   The week before the race though, something great happened…I was one of only 125 people lucky enough to be chosen for the runDisney Wine & Dine Meet Up!!!   This was my second meet up (first one was in Disneyland in August), but this was also the first nighttime meet up!

The meet up took place the Thursday before the race.   Check in was in front of Epcot at 7:00 pm, where we received a great maroon runDisney shirt, as well as a Fast Pass for Test Track!  Something to do until we had to reconvene at 8:45 pm!   What was at 8:45 pm you may ask?   Exclusive priority viewing for Illuminations!!!!   I haven’t seen Illuminations in years, and boy, did I miss it!  All 125 of us got to mingle for a few minutes before 9:00 pm and the main show took place!

01 W&D MeetUp

After Illuminations ended and cleared out, we all marched over to the American Garden Pavilion to have some vegan chicken skewers, cookies and vegan wine (who knew there was vegan wine?  Not me!!!).

After we all got to nosh on some food, we sat down for the main presentation.   Darrell Fry, Sports Media Director at Walt Disney World, acted as MC to introduce the main guests!

02 W&D MeetUp

First up was Jeff Galloway and Diet Diva Tara Gidus (Fitness Consultant for runDisney).   They offered some great tips for fitness, and how to have the best run possible!

03 W&D MeetUp

After Jeff and Tara, we were treated to a presentation by two of the chefs and a wine connoisseur for Epcot’s Food & Wine Festival!   They talked about their favorite foods and wines, and even guided us on what vegan wine actually was!

04 W&D MeetUp

Then came my favorite part – the New Balance folks took the stage to talk about the 2014 runDisney running shoes!   While we didn’t get to actually see the sneakers, we did get to see a video, which showcased new running shoe inserts coming in 2014.  The inserts will commemorate the races of those special weekends!   Even the box that the shoes will come in has been redesigned for 2014, featuring Mickey on the cover!!!  (Get a sneak peak of the new shoe designs here!)

05 W&D MeetUp

After the New Balance presentation, we got to have pictures taken with the BIG CHEESE!!!   (here’s one of me and the head honcho!).

06 W&D MeetUp

Now it was officially time to do some running!   We were split into two groups, straight running and the other group was Run/Walk (Jeff Galloway method).   We did one and ½ loops around World Showcase and then headed to the big fountain in Future World for a group photo (BIG GROUP!!!)

07 W&D MeetUp

Well, the clock was about to strike midnight…and what does one do during the Wine & Dine half weekend at midnight?  Have a champagne toast!

08 W&D MeetUp

Overall, it was a great meet up, got to meet some great people and see old friends, and spark the flame for the weekend!    runDisney meet ups are amazing!  If you ever have the lucky opportunity to attend one, get pumped for some fun and surprises!!!    Cheers!

Dumbo Double Dare Challenge Training Plan

OK that’s it…I’m putting it out there.  I’ve finally put together a training plan for the Dumbo Double Dare Challenge that is fast approaching.  How did this event get to be only 3 months away?!?  I need to hold myself accountable and here’s how I’m going to do it!

DDD In Training_2

I use a the run/walk method when running my races and it has proven to be very successful so far.  Depending on the weather and how I’m feeling, I try to keep either a 3/1 or 2/1 minute run/walk ratio.  I’ve found that I’ve actually been able to increase my speed with shorter run intervals because I can run faster in that time.

Me & Jeff Galloway

Me & Jeff Galloway

Jeff Galloway is the official run/walk guru and he is also the training consultant for runDisney.  Though years of experience, Jeff has shown that this method greatly reduces the risk of injury to the body by allowing recovery time during your runs.  I can definitely attest to that!  Since I started using a steady run/walk pace instead of running until fatigued, I haven’t had a major injury (knock on wood!).  When I first started running, it seemed like I was getting injured all the time but that is now few and far between…well, if you don’t count my ongoing battle with shin splints.

So when I started thinking about a training plan for the Dumbo Double Dare Challenge (10K & Half Marathon over 2 days), I obviously consulted one of Jeff’s plan.  If you are training for a runDisney race, make sure to visit their training page where Jeff has devised numerous plans for each race weekend!  You can download the training plans and also import them directly to your calender…pretty cool!

Since I want to incorporate CrossFit into my training, I made my own spreadsheet to fit that in 3 days a week along with a few other events I have coming up.  So here is what my final plan looks like:

DDD Training PlanI actually think it’s pretty manageable!  The hardest days are going to be Tuesdays and Thursdays when I double up a morning run and CrossFit in the evening.  My plan is to do a strict run on Tuesdays and do hill sprints on Thursdays so I can break up the monotony.  Call me crazy, but I surprisingly really enjoy hill sprints!

Overall, I think the key to this is going to be getting a good amount of rest (minimum 7 hours sleep per night) and trying to improve the fuel I put in my body.  Recovery is just as important in training, so I really need to focus on that.  I’m so ready to get that killer PR for the Disneyland Half Marathon!!

So what do you think?  Do you have a plan for the Dumbo Double Dare Challenge or any of the other runDisney races?

Disclaimer: This plan was created for myself and I am not a running or fitness expert.