Friday, August 30, 2013

Disneyland Bound!

Bon Voyage! 

I'll try my best to post on the blog while I'm at Disneyland, but be sure to follow me on twitter as well (@kimberriva) for *hopefully* more consistent updates. :) 

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Running Tip Jar: The Final Count

Thank you to Lena at The Beginners Runner for passing along this great idea! A running tip jar is a great way to motivate and reward you for getting those training miles in. For every mile I ran, I put a dollar in the jar. It's not a ton at a time (so you won't break the bank), but it does add up at the end. I started my jar at about 14 weeks before the Disneyland Half Marathon and it's time to open it and count it out!
(There are 20s in there, but I didn't run 20 miles in one shot. At different points, I had to swap out the singles- kinda hard to explain to people why you want 50 bucks in ones on a regular basis without getting the side eye.)

My final count came out to $207!
Can't wait for the expo!!! :) 

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Disneyland Half Marathon Official Merchandise!

Here's the link to the official Disney Parks Blog post previewing the official merchandise that will be available at the expo. Anyone catch the brief mention of Dooney & Bourke? :) 

I'm be looking for the runner Mickey Vinylmation and his mini medals as well as a headband (leaning towards the blue one) and tumbler. 

What's on your shopping list? Anything catch your eye? 

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Training Tuesday

Today is my last day of work before vacation! Yay! I am so ready for a break and to be able to just relax, at least mentally. Physically I hear there's going to be some running. ;) 
I've been busying packing and preparing for our trip. Our park tickets finally arrived, so I have one less thing to worry about. Now it's just picking up some last minute items (can't forget the sunscreen) and making sure it all fits in my bag. We're going with just carry-ons, at least that's the plan.

Weekly Recap
Tues: rest
Wed: 2 miles
Thurs: rest
Fri: 1.5 miles
Sat: rest
Sun: 10 miles
Mon: rest

If I thought I was a wimp when it comes to running up hills, I am an absolute sucker when it comes to the heat. And for this California coastal girl, my "hot" is probably what you would call a chilly evening. This Sunday I did my last long run before Disneyland. We started running at ~8:30am (normally 7am) on a clear sunny morning with the temps 68-70. Yup, that's heat training for me. And boy did that sun kick my butt. 
Truthfully, I have not been taking very good care of myself. I'm terrible at remembering to drink water, so I was definitely dehydrated. Not to mention that glass of wine the night before... After training in overcast 60 degree temps, I am apparently very sensitive to the sun- my first Disneyland half I got dizzy towards the end of the race and had to sit down for a while for fear of heat stroke. On Sunday, I didn't want to push myself, so I did a nice leisurely 10 miles. My plan, although very late in the game, is to run maybe a mile every day after work, just to get used to the heat. Fingers crossed that it's enough. 
These past few months, I've been so caught up in my training and trying to improve my pace, that I've kind of lost sight of why I'm running. For me, it's that feeling you get when you cross the finish line. That overwhelming sense of joy and happiness, and that ear-to-ear grin plastered across your face. I'm sure some of you are grinning right now just thinking about it. ;) So I really need to keep that in the forefront of my mind. Enjoy the race, take in the Disney magic, and just go with it. 

How was your week? How do you prepare for races that have very different weather than you're used to? Do you ever lose sight of why you're putting in all these training miles?

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Costume Reveal for Disneyland 10k!

I am super excited about our costumes for the Inaugural Disneyland 10k! Since registering for Dumbo back in January, Dearest and I have gone over numerous costume ideas. We finally decided upon R2D2 and C3PO a few months ago and I'm happy to say that I've finished making the costume(s). I really only "made" Dearest's costume (took a regular tech shirt and gave it the C3PO details) cause I ended buying all my R2D2 components. But hey, I think they came together pretty well!

If you see us, please say hi! :) 

Friday, August 23, 2013

Foodie Friday: Spicy Pork Goulash w/ Creamy Lemon Rice

When Dearest first showed this recipe to me, all I could think was "what is Goulash?!" 
Thank you, Wikipedia!

We're always looking for new recipes and it sounded tasty, so we gave it a shot. And I am SO thankful we did. It is delicious! Definitely has a good kick to it and the flavors are bold and go together so well. Without further ado, here's the recipe. :)

Spicy Pork Goulash with Creamy Lemon Rice

1 1/2 lbs stewing pork (I use boneless country style spare ribs) 
1/3 cup flour
2 red onions
1 small bunch of parsley
1 tsp paprika
1 tbsp dried oregano
1 pinch of cayenne 
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 16oz jar of roasted red peppers
1 14 oz can of diced tomatoes
2 cups chicken broth
2 fresh red chiles
2/3 cup sour cream

1 1/2 cups basmati rice
1 lemon
1 tbsp butter

*You will need a large pot with a lid that can be put into the oven. A dutch oven works wonderfully, but I just use a stainless steel soup pot with it's lid.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Dice the pork into 1-1.5" cubes. Season the cubes with salt and pepper, then toss in the flour making sure that all sides are covered. Shake the cubes to get off excess flour. 

Heat a pan over med to med-high heat. Add canola or olive oil. When the oil is hot, fry the pork until all sides are golden brown. You can do this in batches.

Pick the parsley leaves off the stalks and set aside. Chop the stalks. Slice the onions into thin slivers. 
When the meat is brown, add the onions and parsley stalks, along with the paprika, oregano and cayenne.

Prepare your roasted red peppers: drain the peppers, but save the juice. Dice the peppers into 1" chunks. (Your parsley stalks should already be in the pot, but I had a mis-hap the first time I made this.)

When the onions are soft and begin to become translucent, add the peppers, their juice, the red wine vinegar, diced tomatoes and chicken broth. 

Bring to a boil, then cover and cook in the oven for 1 hr and 45 minutes. 

When there's about 30 minutes left on the goulash, start preparing the rice. Bring some water to a boil while you zest and juice the lemon. In a non-stick pot, melt the butter. Add the basmati rice and cook for ~2 minutes. Add the lemon zest and juice along with 1 1/3 cups boiling water. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook on low for 20 minutes or until the rice is cooked. 

Chop the parsley leaves. Seed and finely chop the fresh chiles. When the timer is up on the goulash, pull it out of the oven. If it's too watery, feel free to simmer it on the stove uncovered to boil off some of the liquid. Stir the parsley and chilies into the goulash. 

Serve the goulash over the rice and top with a small dollop of sour cream. Enjoy! :)

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Training Tuesday

Only 10 more days until I'll be in Disneyland! :) As the trip gets closer, I'm starting to set aside things to pack and more importantly, thinking about what I want souvenirs I want to get. 
My number one must-have is the Mickey runner Vinylmation and a mini medal. 
This mini medal was specially made for the D23 fun run participants.

I'll be on the look out for these Planes inspired antenna toppers. I'm hoping to add one to my antenna topper collection as well as get one for my dad, who used to be a pilot. 

When you visit the parks, do you go in with specific souvenirs you are looking for? 

Weekly Recap
Tues: rest
Wed: 2 miles
Thurs: rest
Fri: 2 miles
Sat: rest
Sun: 6.2 miles
Mon: rest

I'd like to say I was moving into taper time for the upcoming Dumbo Double Dare, but I think it's more lazy time. I've been cutting back on my mileage during the week so I can be at my best for my long run on Sunday, but this week my 13.1 mile long run just wasn't happening. I don't know if it was exhaustion from working 6 days straight or if I just wasn't feeling the run. I still got in a 10k, so it wasn't a completely wasted run. I'm on the fence about next Sunday- it'll be a week before the Disneyland half, so I don't want to over do it, but I still want to get in at least 12 miles. Choices, choices... 

How is your training going? Do you use a taper method before the big race? 

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Clif Bar Pace Team

* I was in no way compensated for this post, these opinions are purely my own. 

You've probably seen the Clif booth at the expo and the fuel passed out around mile 9 on the half marathon course, but did you also know that they have a pace team? 

If you're aiming for a certain time and want a friendly "guide" to pace you, the pace team is great. The pacers are spread out in the different corrals and in past years have held a stick with a small bunch of balloons taped to it along with the finish time they are pacing to. (Yes, these are non-scary balloon people. It's okay to be behind them.) 

I contacted the Clif Bar Pace Team to see where the pace folks will be in this year's race:

1:40  Corral A 
1:50  Corral A
2:00  Corral B
2:15  Corral C
2:30  Corral D
2:45  Corral D
3:00  Corral F

Pacing with them only works if you start with them OR... behind them. Which leads me to why I love these pace guys so much and how I achieved a 23 min PR. 

For the half marathon last year, I started in corral D towards the back. I knew the 2:30 pace guy was somewhere at the front of my corral, but I couldn't get to him. I made it my goal to catch up with him- and if I stayed with him until the end, I would meet my 2:30 goal with a little buffer as well.

And that's what I did. I was blazing through the beginning of the course, Dearest was even telling me I was going to burn out. Maybe it was the adrenaline or maybe I was so focused on finding the pace guy and his balloons on a stick, but it seemed so easy! We caught up with him right before mile 9 along the Santa Ana River Trail... and then passed him! 
I really have no idea what I'm doing with my hands... Lol. 

I would use the pace guy as a guide- if I saw him catching up to me, I knew I had to run faster. Anyway, this year I'll be taking the same approach- hopefully with the 2:15 pace guy!

You can sign up to run with the Clif Pace team via their website and I think you can also sign up at the expo. If you see them on the course, you can run with them as well. 

Do you pace yourself, follow a pace guide, or just go at your own pace? 

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Disneyland Half: Final runDisney Email

With just 15 days to go, the final runDisney email about the Disneyland half popped up in my inbox. Fun way to brighten up my Monday. :) As promised, I posted the email here, just in case you didn't get it.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

And the Winner is....

Thank you to everyone who participated in my first giveaway

The winner of this cute set of bags is...

Lauren (at Lauren's Glass Slipper!)

Lauren, I'll be contacting you via email for more information! :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Training Tuesday

Don't forget, today is the last day to enter my giveaway! :)

I'm super excited that the weeks are just flying by! Only 12 days of work left before vacation! :) Our costumes for the 10k are pretty much done, I just need to add a couple finishing touches. This weekend, I watched a few recaps on youtube of other peoples' half experiences (yes, I'm a dork) and saw two very familiar people- me and my husband! Lol.

We're at 14:36 running from right to left. Hubby is wearing the navy blue DL half shirt and I'm wearing a bright blue shirt (you can see my braid flopping around). 

Weekly Recap
Tues: rest
Wed: 2 miles
Thurs: rest
Fri: 1.2 miles
Sat: rest
Sun: 13.1 miles in 2:12-ish... 
Mon: rest
(daily: push ups and sit ups)

I decided to take it easy during the week. My knee has been bothering me for a couple weeks now, but it hasn't been anything major. I know it's just from running too much. I also knew I had my longest training run on Sunday, so I wanted to save my knee for the 13.1 miles. Turns out that was a good plan! We ran later in the morning (8am) in hopes that we'd get in some heat training, but it was overcast and foggy the entire time. Perfect running weather! But bad for training for Disneyland... Oh well...

A local triathlon was taking place and it was fun to see all the runners. There's something to be said about the mob mentality that comes from being with other runners. It's like the adrenaline is contagious! Even though they were booking it down the path. Haha. I started to get tired around mile 9 and my pace slowed until about mile 12 when Dearest kept telling me we'd make it in under 2:15 if I just kept running. We had to run past the car twice in that last half mile- oh the humanity! I ran until my phone said 13.2 miles, since I've had instances when I didn't run quite far enough to get the last tenth of a mile to register. Not that it mattered, since this is what I saw when I pulled up my run... 

WTH Strava?!!! My best half time and it doesn't even show up???? :(

I'm so bummed that I don't have an actual time for my half, but at least my pace is there. 10:02 min/mile? Woohoo! My goal for the Disneyland half is to stay under a 10 min/mile, so I'm very pleased with this run. :)

My body definitely felt the 13 miles.

My feet and toes hurt (do your toes ever hurt?) and I started to chafe (something new), but I'm pretty sure that was due to my poor running form at the end. Good news is my knee seems to be okay! Here's to hoping I can maintain this pace and stay injury free until the Disneyland half.

How was your week? Has your Garmin/running app, etc ever not recorded your run? 

Friday, August 9, 2013


Welcome to my first giveaway!

As I mentioned yesterday in my Disneyland Half Packing List post, I would be hosting my first giveaway. Since we were on the topic of packing lists, I thought it would be appropriate to give away something travel related: a set of cosmetic/travel bags. 

These bags are great for keeping all your little items organized, like camera/phone chargers, make up, and accessories. They're perfect for trips or just on a day-to-day basis. They are all handmade with love by me. :)

I've never done a giveaway or used Rafflecopter before, so please forgive me if anything goes awry. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Disneyland Half: Packing List & Tips

As part of my race/vacation preparation, I compile a packing list. I start months in advance and add to it as I remember things. Why such a detailed list? Let me tell you a funny story...

Our first runDisney trip, my husband forgot his fuel belt. Thank goodness for the expo! Our second race we were traveling separately and I was leaving a few days before him. As a precaution, I took all of his running gear with me, so he wouldn't have to remember as much (and if I forgot something, he could grab it). Pretty sure the TSA guy gave me the side eye when he saw I had men's size 12 shoes in my bag. Haha. Anyway, a good list *should* help me not forget anything, right?

With 3 weeks before I need to have my bags packed and ready, I've already started packing and putting things aside for the trip. 

For runDisney trips, my list is broken down into 4 main parts: running stuff, regular clothes, toiletries, and Disney/misc items. I'll just share the running and Disney portions of my list as I'm sure you can handle the rest. :) 

Running Clothes
- shoes
- tops (tank top & short sleeve, just in case)
- bottoms
- socks
- sports bras
- arm sleeves
- running costumes and accessories
- compression sleeves/tights/socks for recovery
- cheap blanket/sweatshirt for before the race, but to toss after it starts

* If you are participating in the Dumbo Double Dare, don't forget to pack two of everything! Shoes, too, if you can. You never know what might happen on your first leg of the challenge (puddles, water station mishaps, Grizzly River Run, etc).

Other Running Items
- running waivers (you can print them at the expo, but that means less time for shopping) 
- fuel belts
- Garmin or other pacing device & charger
- sports bra iphone holder (for me)
- iphone arm band (for my husband)
- ear buds
- safety pins (just in case your race packet doesn't have them/they get lost)
- travel kleenex (never know about those port-o-potties...)- hair ties/bobby pins
- sunscreen & Chapstick
- deodorant
- sunglasses/hat/visor
- Motrin/aspirin 
- band aids for blisters
- KT Tape/brace/stability item, if you need it
- foam roller/tennis ball, etc for stretching
- Road ID
- pace chart
- proof-of-time from a more recent race if you want to change corrals (this will not apply to any 2014 races as proof of time requirements have changed)

- breakfast items (raisin English muffins, peanut butter & bananas)
- race fuel (I use Clif Shot Bloks)
- hydration drinks (Gatorade, Powerade, Nuun, etc)
- recovery food for post race

Misc & Disney Items 
- travel documents (flight/hotel confirmations, park tickets, gift cards, etc)
- Disney Visa (if you have one)
- chargers (phone & camera)
- camera
Disneyland Shirt Tote Bag (for the expo)
- Ear hats/other Disney attire you like to wear at the parks

Packing Tips:

When I fly, I try to get away with taking just a carry on bag. It can be a pain when you have to go through security, but if you've got everything organized and ready to go (like your bag of 3oz or smaller liquid items packed in an easily accessible place), it can be a breeze.

I'll be packing all of my stuff into my new Vera Bradley bag. Can't wait to take it on its inaugural trip to Disneyland. :) 
-In the event that TSA feels the need to search my bag, I'd prefer that my "unmentionables" weren't being manhandled and tossed about. I have a little fabric pouch, but you can keep them all together in a Ziploc bag.

-When packing your running clothes, lay our your entire outfit (including fuel belts!), just like you would the night before race day, to ensure you have everything. 

-Since I'm going the "carry-on only" route, my running shoes will be in my bag, too. You can keep them off your clean clothes with a shopping or grocery bag. I have another zippered pouch (can you tell I got bored one day?).

-If you are flying, pack your essential running gear in your carry-on. It may be a pain to lug around, but you will be thanking your lucky stars if your luggage gets lost. Don't want to break in brand new shoes/clothes on race day. :)

If you made it this far, here's a special SURPRISE for you! I'm hosting my first giveaway on my blog tomorrow. Be sure to stop by to check it out! :) 

Did I miss anything from my list? Let me know in the comments! :)   

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Training Tuesday

Another Tuesday already?! I feel like time is flying by! Only 24 days until I'm in Disneyland! Woohoo! While I don't have cats, I feel like Dearest does this to me every morning. But it's better than sleeping through my alarm.

I made good progress on our costumes for Dumbo this weekend as well. I'm about half way done with Dearest's part and I'm waiting on one thing for me to arrive. Apparently finding a white skirt is not as easy as I thought it would be. Who would have thought?! 

Weekly Recap
Tues: rest
Wed: 2 mile 
Thurs: 1 mile
Fri: 1 mile
Sat: rest
Sun: 12.3 miles
Mon: rest

This week's training wasn't all that great. I was still sore from Sunday's 12 mile run, so I took it easy the rest of the week. I went over 12 miles again this week, but had a better pace. I was able to get down to a 10:40 min/mile (last week was 11:05min/mile), but I want to get it down to 10:00-10:15. I know I say this all the time, but I really really need to get better about stretching. Within the first couple miles, my legs started cramping up and put a damper on the rest of my run. My goal for the rest of the month is to stretch everyday. 

I was looking at my calendar today and I realized I only have one more long run before I start tapering for Dumbo! I'm planning to do 12-13 miles on Sunday, then 10 miles the next, and finally 7-8 the week before the half marathon. I can't believe it's so close! :) 

How was your week? How do you work towards your pace/time goals?

Friday, August 2, 2013

T-4 Weeks to Disneyland!

In just 4 short weeks I will be on a plane to Disneyland! It's been about a year since I've been to Disneyland; the last time I was there was for last year's half marathon. For a Disney addict like me, a year is a long time! I'm usually lucky enough to squeeze a couple trips a year out of Dearest. He's such a good sport! 

I'm quickly running out of time to get in my long runs. I have a 12-13 miler scheduled for this weekend and I'm hoping for a much better pace than last week. 

With less than a month before I leave, I'm starting to make last minute purchases and gather things I want to take on my trip. 

Disney shirt from Old Navy

I also bought my park hopper ticket, which I'll upgrade to an annual pass. So cute! :)

Stay tuned next week for my post on my runDisney packing list. I can be a freak about packing, so be sure to let me know if I missed anything!