Tuesday, February 25, 2014

#smashthehalf runDisney News!

photo via #smashthehalf Facebook page

This #smashthehalf teaser popped up over the Princess Half weekend. Lots of speculator over an Avengers themed race weekend.

The official announcement came at 8:35am PST- there will be an Avengers themed race weekend at Disneyland in November!

So many costume options!

Will you be participating in this new event?

Training Tuesday

It's been a crazy couple of months, but I'm finally getting back into the rhythm of life. It's been nice to return to my routines and to be able to give my blog some attention.

This past week I went for my first run since the Tinker Bell half. Over a month of not running a single mile! 

Weekly Recap
Tuesday: 1.5 miles
Wednesday: push ups/sit ups
Thursday: 3 miles
Friday: push ups/sit ups
Saturday: push ups/sit ups
Sunday: 12 miles
Monday: rest

I certainly did not plan to run 12 miles on Sunday. I met up with a friend and planned to run 6 miles, maybe 8. We are training for the same local half marathon that's in 7 weeks, so I suggested I we run out to where the actual race course goes... but it would end up being at least 11 miles. She was up for it, so off we went. Surprisingly, it wasn't bad! I was able to keep a decent pace with her, but I was super sore the day after, in a good way.

Upcoming Races

My next half marathon is mid-April in about 6 weeks. It's my local race which takes place along the same path I regularly train on. I feel knowing the course well gives me a little home field advantage to help me achieve a PR. I know I have a lot of work to do before I'm at my optimal racing pace, but I think I can do it! 

Wine & Dine early registration opens tomorrow for annual pass holders and I am SO excited! This will be my first WDW race and my first WDW visit! :) I'm thinking of only going to the parks for a couple days because I want to go back for marathon weekend in January. I'm trying to convince the hubby to go for it. Two short trips are the same as one long trip, right? 

I've done the Disneyland half over Labor Day for the past 3 years in a row. I've always said it was my annual race, since it was also my first race. Sadly, this year I will not be running. Due to the uncertainty of my husband's work schedule we just couldn't commit. 

What's next on your race schedule?

Sunday, February 23, 2014

To all the Princess Half Runners!

To all the Princess half and 10k and Glass Slipper Challenge runners- I'll be cheering you on from home! A big shout out to Karen at Losing the Glass Slippers who is running her first half and first runDisney race. You're in my thoughts! :) 

I can't wait to read all the recaps and see all the photos. The Princess half is definitely on my bucket list!

Friday, February 21, 2014

Foodie Friday: Easy Tomato Cream Tortellini

I love pasta, especially when it comes in the form of ravioli or tortellini in some sort of cream sauce. All that running means I have to replenish those calories somehow, right? ;) This is a quick and easy tortellini dish in a creamy tomato sauce with spinach. Perfect for a busy weekday night.

Easy Tomato Cream Tortellini

one 16oz bag of Barilla Tortellini (in the refrigerated section)
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 cups fresh spinach, chopped
one 14 oz can diced tomatoes
1 1/2 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp onion powder
3 tbsp flour
3/4 cup whole mile
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup parmesan, grated
salt & pepper

Boil a pot of water and begin to cook your tortellini according to the package.

Heat oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant being careful not to burn it.

Add the diced tomatoes, spinach, dried basil, and onion powder. Season with salt and pepper. Cook over medium heat until the mixture begins to bubble.

In a bowl, combine milk and cream. Whisk in the flour. Add to the bubbly spinach and tomato mix.

Bring to a low boil, reduce the heat, and simmer until the sauce thickens. Add the parmesan after ~5 minutes. Stir to melt and combine it.

When the sauce is to the consistency of your liking, add the tortellini and stir until incorporated.

Serve and enjoy!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Tinker Bell 10k : Race Recap

The Tinker Bell 10k holds a special place in my heart. This was the first runDisney race, actually first race, that I've ever run alone. I was super nervous about running by myself... but I really enjoyed it! No worries about keeping a certain pace and I could hop to the side to take a picture without having to keep track of my running buddy. Without further ado, here's my recap!

Tinker Bell 10k Race Recap

The Tinker Bell 10k started early on Saturday morning. I made my way over to the start line from my hotel on Harbor Blvd. I had to cross the esplanade (between the two parks) and go through Downtown Disney, but it was really easy and straight forward. 

Once at the end of Downtown Disney, I took a left and headed to the corrals. 

I didn't go into the runner pre-race area and just headed to my corral instead.

The area where the pre-race area feeds into the corrals was right between corrals D and E. I turned to the left and headed towards corral A. It was a long walk, but I was so excited- this was also my first time being in corral A! 

A pre-race photo. I figured I had to be Tink at some point during the weekend! I started towards the end of corral A. 

While waiting for the race to begin, I happened to meet Tracy (@ATurtlesPace) and her daughter, Dawnley (@Hipster_Runner). Tracy was so kind and gave me a #run3rd bracelet. Congrats to both on the race! :)

The race start and soon we were into Toon Town in Disneyland.

I love all the details, even in the backstage areas.

My first ever character photo during a race!!! So cool!

More Disneyland sunrise photos. When else can you experience this?

Chip & Dale! Sadly I don't know who is who.

Buzz! This one was for my hubby who's favorite character is Buzz. :)

No race is complete without a castle photo.

Heading down Main Street on our way to CA Adventure!

Running past The Little Mermaid ride in California Adventure.

Something to note- fellow racers are awesome! Every time I went to take a selfie, I had at least one other runner ask if they could take the picture for me. It was a mutual thing, everyone was helping each other out. So great!

Paradise Pier!

We exited the Disney property around mile 4 at Harbor Blvd and Disney Way. I've stayed at almost all the hotels on Harbor, so the course was very familiar to me- I think it helped to pass the time.

I also took the time to place a quick phone call to my husband! He was off on an adventure of his own (apartment hunting in Texas) and hearing his encouragement kept me going. :)

On Disney Way with about a mile to go!

The finisher's chute funnels into the Simba parking lot.

Finish line!!!

Tinker Bell 10k complete! 

I really enjoyed this race. The 10k distance was perfect and could even be my race distance of choice if I wasn't already hooked on half marathons. Most of the race was through the parks and the last couple miles were still on familiar roads. I truly took it easy and just went at my own pace with no time goals in mind. 

If you're a new runner considering a runDisney event, the Tinker Bell 10k is perfect for you. The distance is great- not too long, but still a challenge- and the course is so fun. Lots of photo ops and great theming. 

The next Tinker Bell 10k will be over Mother's Day in 2015!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Neverland 5k : Race Recap

The Neverland 5k is the 5k race during Disneyland's Tinker Bell Half Marathon weekend. The race weekend took place in January this year, but it's moving to Mother's Day weekend in 2015. My initial plan was to run the half marathon and earn my Tink wings, but I also decided to do the 5k with a friend. Then the Tinker Bell 10k was announced, I got a little excited (granted, it's Disney, how can you not?), and I registered for the 10k as well. The weekend for me was all about having fun. The race weekend is a women's focused event and I also spent it as a girls' weekend with my friends. I'll have recaps of the three races (5k, 10k and half) as well as a trip recap about my weekend at Disneyland.

Neverland 5k Recap

The Neverland 5k started at 5:45am on Friday morning. I've done a few runDisney races before, so I'm pretty used to the early wake up call.

Race shirt was blue cotton with a cute screen printed logo.

The race started in front of the Castle inside Disneyland. In order to get into the park, we needed to show our race bibs. Main Street was lit up and set a fun mood for the early morning.

In usual fashion, the National Anthem was played. I've heard the National Anthem many times either at races, sporting events, graduations, etc, but this was by far the most moving time I'd ever heard it. It was played beautifully by a single trumpet with no vocals, but as the song played on, people started singing. It was soft at first, almost like a whisper from the front of the crowd, but by the end practically everyone was singing. I get chills just thinking about it. If you were at the 5k, what did you think?

My friend and I dressed as hipster Disney Princesses!

We planned to walk the 5k, so we dressed for the early morning weather.

Getting closer to the start line. The corrals aren't by time for the 5k, but they do send people off in waves with separation between the groups.

I admit I was a bit surprised by the start line balloon arch. I guess I expected something massive like the 10k and half start lines. The balloons are supposed to be like clouds as we fly to Neverland?

We made our past the Castle and in front of It's a Small World. The holiday lights are SO beautiful!

After Small World, we headed back stage. There were parade floats out for photo ops.

Giant Christmas trees!

We headed through a tunnel in the backstage areas and came out near Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.

The Lost Boys were hanging out on the Rivers of America.

Some of my favorite parts of runDisney races are getting to see the parks at sunrise. This picture really doesn't do it justice.

On the side of a building in a backstage area of Disneyland.

The course went backstage again and we entered California Adventure through Hollywood Studios.

We snaked around ran down Route 66 away from the mountain range. If you haven't seen Cars Land in person yet, you really need to check it out! The detail is spot on and it's beautiful when all the neon lights are on.

After Cars Land, it was onto Paradise Bay! The World of Color lights were turned on, a rare sight during the day.

Another gorgeous sunrise!

There weren't a ton of character photo ops, but they did have Peter and Wendy out. The line for them was looooonnnnggg, mostly because we were towards the end of the runners.

Yay! Finish line! 

Standard snack box you receive after the race along with water and Powerade.

I'm not sure of my actual finish time, but I believe it was around 48 minutes. I realized after that I had never done an official 5k race before, so technically this is still a PR? ;) I really enjoyed the Neverland 5k. I would do it again, especially if I had friends who only wanted to do a 5k. Hopefully when I have kids, they'll want to run this as well.