Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Running with runDisney

     Most of you that are reading this blog are familiar with runDisney. Running events held at the west coast and east coast locations of Disney are quickly becoming a favorite habit and an ultimate dream! I have run two events here on the east coast – Wine & Dine Half 2011 and Expedition Everest 2012 – and I am definitely dreaming of running the west coast events, Disney Land Half & Tinkerbell Half!
     But have you ever dreamed of just going out for a run WITH the runDisney folks? You know, to pick their brains about the ins and outs of their amazing creation or maybe if you’re very lucky, get the scoop on something new? Well, Erin over at For the Love of Disney Running,  had this dream and she shared it with me. I immediately took to the dream because I would love to be a part of runDisney. To work in a place that is all about running AND all about Disney?!?  That would be the ultimate dream come true! Now those of you that have had the privilege of participating in a runDisney meet-up at one of the races, well, you have already somewhat lived this dream. I haven’t been a part of a meet-up…Yet!
Our meeting spot at the pool, Port Orleans French Quarter
      So we asked, and asked and finally they answered! YES! They would meet us for a run! So at 6am on a Tuesday morning in July, we met up with Bob Hitchcock from runDisney by the pool at Port Orleans French Quarter. Bob is the Public Relations Manager/Content Producer for runDisney. And a really nice guy! Especially considering he met with us to run and chat so early in the morning! It was nice to have the personalized attention, instead of fighting the crowd for it!
Bob & Erin
      We had the running route (always ask the consierge! They should be able to provide you with a map.), so we were ready to go! The route is basically an out and back between the two resorts. You could make it longer by running out to the parking area but we kept it along the Sassagoula riverfront! 
Scenes from the run on the Port Orleans Riverside side

WAY ahead of me! Wait!!!
      I was the photog for the event, so I let Erin & Bob lead. Not to mention they were running pretty fast! Not my usual pace for an easy run and definitely no Galloway walk breaks on this run! 
I love the Old South feel of this resort!

Perfect path for running...
      We ran two miles and walked back to the pool area chatting, asked a Cast Member to take our pics and then Bob had to go. He did have to get to work at runDisney after all!
A rather shaky picture of Erin, Bob & me
     I considered this my speed work for the week!
And this was MY pace - not theirs!
      It was fun and really awesome to make that connection! I made sure he knew I had NEVER been to a pre-race meet-up before too! Hoping my name will stand out when the emails start pouring in for the next one! :-)
Port Orleans French Quarter
      Sadly, we were unable to glean any new leads on anything in the world of runDisney, but it was still one of the best runs ever!
     Who would you like to run with from the Disney family?

Monday, September 10, 2012

I needed a ReBoot!

Sometimes my life doesn't go as flowingly perfect as I'd like it to.
My week to reboot...

     Sometimes you just have one of those weeks – where everything seems to happen at once and they’re NOT positives!  I had one of those weeks last week! I knew I was going to have to get my act together and get back on track – FAST!
     I knew this tough week was coming, so in anticipation I had sent a request to Rebootizer for a sample of their product. Test it against anticipated life stresses and see how it does. They agreed and I started my REBOOT along with the new month on September 1st. The regime is for 6 days. I had my last Rebootizer drink on Thursday night. Six day detox via Rebootizer complete. The results?
     I’d have to say it definitely did something! I stayed consistent with ALL of my early morning (4:30 am) workouts. I felt progressively stronger and more awake each morning, ready to start my day. It was not as hard to get up each day – shocker!! I would have to say that is my biggest challenge, getting up every morning so early – even when I’m in bed by 8pm! But during this Rebootizer week it was easier. I wished that the energy lasted ALL day long because by the time I get home from work in the afternoon, I’m tired!
     The drink is really easy to use and store. It would be great to travel with as well. Compact and lightweight, everything you need in one pouch. Just squeeze and shake!The powdered antioxidants are separated from the purified water. So when you squeeze the pouch the seal breaks and the two can mix! It was very cool!
     I think I am definitely hooked and am looking forward to using these again in the future!
     Thanks Rebootizer for sharing with me! Maybe I'll be able to get a sample set to give away or a discount code! I'll keep you posted!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Disney RunFest 2012

After a weekend of reading Disney Land Half Marathon tweets, seeing pictures and wishing I was there, I am definitely getting excited about my upcoming runDisney races here on the east coast! Only three more weeks until I am back “home” at Disney for the first ever Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler! This weekend will be even more special than my previous two runDisney races.
A year ago, I ran my first Disney race and my first half marathon. I figured for such a big accomplishment what better place to celebrate than Disney AND during my favorite time of year at Disney, the Food and Wine Fest!! I was just starting to discover the runDisney following, but truly had no idea until after the race when the blog recaps started popping up and I was finding more and more people to follow on Twitter who ran & loved runDisney as much as me!
This year when I go down to Orlando for the ToT 10 Miler, I have so many people I am looking forward to meeting in real life and spending time getting to know. We have meet-ups planned and group pictures and celebrations galore! I can barely stand the wait! It will also be a time to catch up with my other runDisney friends I met this summer when we planned a random “Hey let’s all meet at Walt Disney World and go for a run!” trip! Yep, we really did that! Five complete strangers, with no other ties than Twitter & Facebook and a love of Disney & running. What could be better!
For the complete “where did that idea come from?” you need to read Erin’s post at For the Love of Disney Running. She’s the one who started it all with a comment on Twitter. And I immediately jumped on it! Now there are people out there who would say “What? You met up with people you didn’t know? That’s dangerous!” or something silly like that. All I have to say is, if no one ever took a risk and did something different we’d probably still be living in caves!
So I drove the two hours south to meet my new friends! Erin and I were sharing a room at Port Orleans French Quarter – one of my favorite places to stay at Disney – so I met up with her there. Then we went and walked around Downtown Disney until it was time to meet the others at the Contemporary Resort. Of course, when it was time to leave DTD, it was pouring rain! Nothing better for bonding than running thru the rain together and getting soaked!
We met Rachel from Runner’s Tales at The Wave restaurant in the Contemporary for dinner. I call this the Seasons 52 of Disney. They change their menu four times a year and focus on local, fresh and healthy meals. We did not want to eat anything heavy as we were planning to run after dinner so we all ordered soups and salads.  The food was great and just the perfect amount to fuel us thru our run.
Check out the "mini" grilled cheese! It was SO small!!!
After dinner we changed into our running clothes and waited for the rest of the group to arrive. 
Ready to Run!
We spoke with the concierge about running routes from the Contemporary around Bay Lake, but there is no path that goes all the way around! So we were going to have to make do. Soon, Jen and Kristen joined us and we were off! We headed down the footpath to the Magic Kingdom, dodging tourists the whole way! I would love to know what they were all thinking! Five girls running to and from the Magic Kingdom!
Running the walkway from the Contemporary to the Magic Kingdom
 We stopped for pictures, asking random tourists and Cast Members. We had to document all this!
At the gates of the Magic Kingdom!
Then it was back towards the Contemporary. Now here’s where it gets a little dicey! There is a sidewalk in front of the resort but it eventually runs out. Which leaves us running on the road. Running with BIG HUGE Disney buses coming towards us! Now I am sure the drivers of those buses thought we were crazy! Which we were – crazy about running around the Seven Seas Lagoon any way we could!
Running down the road with Disney buses! Yikes!!!
 Eventually we were able to turn off of that road and head to the Transportation and Ticket Center, again dodging tourists!
There go those crazy runner girls! @TTC
 We headed towards the Polynesian and stopped for a few more photos before heading up what we called “the secret path” only because it was a little more twisty and tree lined!
It's about TIME we ran this route! So fun!
 The Polynesian is a lovely resort and was really fun to run through. We stopped for more pictures of course, attempting to capture the beauty of this resort and the very cool volcano by the pool!
Inside the Polynesian Resort
We ran down the beach connecting the Polynesian to the Grand Floridian and stopped for some silly pictures at the Wedding Chapel.
Not much of a Cinderella...
We stepped in to the Grand Floridian for a bathroom break and to cool off. Gotta love Florida Summer nights! It has been a long time since I have been inside the Grand Floridian. It is truly magnificent! I’d have to say this would be my dream resort to stay at! Maybe one day…
Inside Disney's Grand Floridian Resort - ahhh! Love it!!!
We ran thru the pool area and out to the boat docks. This is where we decided that Rachel, an engineer, needed to assist Disney in creating a running path all the way around the Lagoon. We saw exactly where the bridge should go and everything. Now we just need to get her working for the mouse!
Just across there...if we could just get a drawbridge! Then we could circle the lagoon...
Grand Floridian boat docks
Darkness was falling quickly as we headed back through  the Grand Floridian and Polynesian to the Transportation and Ticket Center. Since it was dark, we thought that a monorail ride back to the Contemporary would be wiser than dodging Disney buses on the road! So we hopped on. I kept my Garmin going just for fun! It was amazing the pace we hit! Something like 4 minute miles! If only…
Picking up the pace by riding the monorail...
We changed back into dry normal clothes and took our cars to the Polynesian. Some of the group had to leave. You know, work the next day and all that! Erin, Jen & I grabbed a spot on the beach at the Polynesian to watch the Magic Kingdom fireworks. I never knew that they played the music and speaking parts over the loud speakers at the resorts! It was better than being in the park! Less crowds, the beach, and an easy exit after!
Fireworks at Magic Kingdom as seen from the beach at the Polynesian
We hit the cafĂ© at the Polynesian for some after run refreshment. I really wanted something more but the restaurants and bars were all closed! It didn’t seem THAT late! So I ended up with chocolate milk and water – exciting, huh? I think Erin made the best choice!
Mine vs. Hers
We eventually said goodbye to Jen and headed back to Port Orleans. We had an early morning run planned for the next day! A VERY special run…
Have you ever wanted to just go for a run at Disney? You can! And if you need a buddy, I’m sure one of us crazy runDisney folks will drive over or fly down to meet ya!!