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My 5th Princess Half Marathon đź‘‘ | 2017 Race Recap

Holy princess tiara 👑 – it is hard to believe that Juli and I’s just finished our 5th Princess Half Marathon. Truly an amazingly fun race that we both share so many memories at! I have to mention, we both realize we are so blessed to continue running this amazing race and are truly shocked that this year marked our fifth time crossing the finish line! Now onto the recap!

PHM Race Recap Header

This year Juli and I shared a DVC studio at Animal Kingdom Lodge Jambo House. I have to say we both loved the hotel and it was great for race weekend. The buses worked so efficiently and we never encounter long lines. For our carb load meal we decided to check out Art Smith’s Homecomin’ at Disney Springs. Needless to say everyone at the table fell in love with this restaurant and we will be returning. Except we might lay off the hot sauce next time 🌶️

The night before the race we both a had a hard time getting to sleep the night before and talked in the dark for about an hour before we both finally fell asleep. My least favorite part of all runDisney races is the ridiculously early start times… The alarm went off at 3:20am (gross) and we quickly got ready to be way finders and navigate our way through 13.1 magical miles. I was way finder Moana and Juli was chief Moana… can you tell we both really liked this movie.

Moana and Pirates

We were promptly in line for the bus right before 4am and go on quickly. I won’t be the only one to say the traffic was awful this year. We usually have more time at the start area to relax and take pictures but due to the traffic we pretty much had to drop our bags at gear check, made our way to the portos and make the long march to the corrals. Of course this traffic led to a 10 min late start for the race… I wasn’t bothered by it.

I was in corral H, one up from last year! Juli was in her speedy D corral. They did change the way the corrals split this year which I think led to longer porto lines, but eventually we made our way to our appropriate corral. After the 10 min delay the national anthem was sung, fireworks went off, and the elites were out!

Finally it was my corrals time to start and I was off. This year I stopped for, what might be a personal record, 11 character stops. But I have to say the winner was Gaston. The line was long, but not ridiculous when I ran up on him at his Tavern in Fantasyland. I jumped in line and it moved so slow… I was a little upset and considered bailing out of the line to run on but Juli texted me to stay put. Gaston full on flirted with EVERY SINGLE PRINCESS. When it was my turn I popped up next to him in my usual “look how cute I am while running” pose and he full on pulled me into him… I was shocked, laughing, crazy in love and now am in love with this picture. In my opinion Gaston won the Princess Half.

Gaston at Princess Half Marathon 2017

I caught up with Juli and some friends in the Cinderella line after a quick castle pic stop. I ran my usual :45/:30 intervals throughout the entire race. We took a few extra walk breaks where the course crowding was impossible, around the half way point and on places where the road really slopes. I have to say the one thing about this course is with my ankle injuries the places where the course literally leans puts a lot of pressure on the outside of my right ankle.

I ran into so many friends on the course like Julian and finally found/met Erin! We had an amazing time and totally ran this as a party race – our time should prove this. Proud to say this might be my slowest half marathon time ever 3:58:18… Who else loves a party race!?!

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What can I say – we love the Princess Half Marathon! Per our tradition we got some champs at the finish line!

Infinity Gauntlet Challenge 2016 Race Recap

If you follow me on social media you might have been a little surprised to see me run 19.3 miles during the runDisney’s Super Hero Half Marathon Weekend. Well a last minute opportunity popped up for me to go out and run… not one race but two – so I dove right in and said sure why not!

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My mom was already in town to see Hedwig and the Angry Inch at the Pantages so we rallied and booked probably the last available hotel room in Anaheim for our weekend at Disneyland. See I can totally be spontaneous – (put that on my dating profile).

After the craziness of working 15 days straight I got to escape work a little early on the Friday before the race. We picked up Juli form downtown LA and made out way down to Anaheim pretty early on Friday. Per our usual routine we headed straight to the Expo. We got our bibs and then walked around some. This expo was a little lack luster compared to the Disneyland Half expo (which restored my faith in expos). We did stop for our race expo drink – it’s totally tradition now!
The themed drink for this race weekend was the Dr. Strange’s Elixir with Red Ruby Absolute Vodka, sweet & sour, blue curacao and Sprite.

We had a quick dinner at Tangaroa Terrace before going to our respective hotels and getting ready for the Dr Strange 10K. I have to recommend Tangeroa if you ever find yourself at Disneyland needed to carbload and short on time – we got an amazing meal that was quick and cost efficient.

Dr. Strange 10K

jessica-jones avengers half

Since this race was pretty much as short notice as it gets I didn’t have a lot of time to put together a race costume… but I wanted to have some fun. I completely adore the Netflix original Jessica Jones and as a Marvel babe I decided to dress as the most kick ass lady round. I found some “jeggings” from Target that weren’t completely see though and a scarf from H&M. I had a water bottle in a paper sack to look like a beer but sadly I don’t think people quite got it.

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I really enjoyed the 10K – it seemed like it was the same course as Disneyland which made you run 2 miles before any character photos… great for those who run. It did seem like the runDisney team might of made some timing errors because I was in line to get my photo with Dr Strange, well above the required 16min mile pace and they told us the balloon ladies would be there in 6 minutes… so I had to bale out of that line and run on to the finish. Not a big deal though by any means but I was more ahead of pace than that, even with stopping for characters!

For the 10K I ran my usual 45 secs run to 30 secs walk and did not take any fuel during this race. I did carry a pack of Sports Beans but felt fine and did not need to use them.

Festival of Holidays

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After a shower and quick trip to Target (because I only packed one pair of socks) we went to California Adventure to have lunch at the Festival of Holidays booths. Its like a mini Food and Wine Festival celebrating the different foods of the Holiday season. My favorites were the Nosh and Nibbles and Abuelita’s Kitchen! This strangely reflects my life – white, blonde, protestant girl with an affinity for matzo ball soup and tamales.

After killing time celebrating all things Christmas in DCA we met up for our super early dinner reservation at Wine Country Trattoria – our favorite place to carb load. With the sun going down early we were all ready to turn in pretty early.

Avengers Half Marathon

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It was an early morning for the half… I woke up at 3:45am to get to the shuttle and the start. I am not going to lie I was a bit nervous about running the half. I have been training for Light Side (in January) not a challenge in November…but my mother reminded me that I have run halfs on way less training. So I decided that I would just go with and see how I felt. For this race I decided to not worry about a costume and just rocked my new 501st SoCal Garrison tank and my favorite red Sparkle Athletic skirt with Mudbuster shorts underneath.

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It actually went surprisingly well! I started with my usual 45:30 intervals and figured I would adjust as needed. The only adjustments I did were in between character stops I just started running on whatever interval I was on. Once we got out of the parks I felt surprisingly strong. After we got out of Angels stadium I knew this was going well. Mile 9 and 10 came so quickly that I knew I was finishing this challenge strong.

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Mile 11 came time for some Hamilton and a cruz to the finish! Any one else rocking “My Shot” in their playlist?

Like I said we were done before I knew it! I was surprised and pleased with my performance… guess my training has paid off and I am even more pumped for Star Wars in January!

Post Race Brunch

During the Expo we saw that Steakhouse 55 was having extended brunch hours for race weekend. Since we did not have a lot of planning time we did not make dining reservations but were able to snag a table here. Can I say (although maybe I shouldn’t) this is the best kept secret at Disneyland!?!

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Seriously and amazing brunch at an excellent price. They had some specials since it was a race weekend and we enjoyed mimosas to celebrate. I will be a repeat customer and highly recommend this for the next time you need a post race brunch option.

After a few castle pics and watching the Christmas parade we called it a day and headed back to LA but this was an amazing and EPIC Super Hero Half Weekend! Next up Star Wars!!

 

DISNEYLAND 10K RACE RECAP – 2016

Wow – I had apparently missed runDisney and racing because I had the best time running the Disneyland 10K. This year I just ran the 10k because I normally end up leaving the country for work a few days later… which I am today (Tuesday.) So I was very happy with my decision to only run the 10K to make sure to soak up the Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend, but still have time to get my life in order before I leave!

My mom had come into town for the race, but also because this weekend marks the end of Disneyland’s 60th Anniversary Diamond Celebration – where we had to say goodbye to Paint the Night and our beloved Disneyland Forever Fireworks.

I got off work around 3pm on Friday, grabbed my mom and we were off to Disneyland. We drove directly to the Expo, where we had plenty of time to get my bib and walk around! Juli (who was there the night before for 5K bib pick up) met us at the Expo and we got our celebratory and new tradition race expo cocktail. This time it was a Rum Runner…

Rum Runner

I have to say we really enjoyed the expo this year. Have to applaud Disney for brining back the ABC screening room and we loved the Emmy set up they had. Cigna is such a great partner and they also helped bring their “A Game” to this expo. Cigna had sponsored an airbrush tattoo station, custom race signs, and overall their presence really elevated the expo. We stopped by to say hi to the girls at Sparkle Athletic and Juli and I picked up some new matching skirts! We did a drive by of the official race merchandise booth but didn’t purchase anything…

EMMY

I carb-loaded at Tortilla Joe’s, went an renewed my Annual Pass, then was checked into the Marriott Suites and in bed by 10:30pm – all my gear prepped for the morning!

I had been hinting at it on social media but this year I ran as Marie from Aristocats! I woke up a bit earlier than usual to make sure I could get me makeup (which included a pink nose and whiskers) on point! For my Marie I had a white running shirt, white Sparkle Athletic skirt, my favorite pink Pro Compression socks, a tail that was sold at Disneyland, cat ears I got from Amazon, and a oversized pink bow from Disney World. Overall it was a pretty easy costume to do and I got so many compliments on the course…

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Speaking of the course I enjoyed it! My only gripe was their was no restroom (porto included) until we hit Cars Land/ Bug Land at around mile 2.5. I am not one of those people that is usually in need of a restroom early in the race – but I know those people are out there. I did like that all the street running was front loaded… I felt like the character stops had shorter and faster lines since you had to run first in order to get there. I got every picture I wanted with very little lines. I skipped 2 character photos which still had short lines. I was in corral C – so not fully the back of pack, but compared to the Star Wars 10K these lines were greatly improved.

Marie Running

I loved seeing some random characters out on the course… so many are now strict to the theme. I did think we needed some official photographers for castle photos but a helpful cast member snapped one for me!

Before I knew it I was running through Downtown Disney and to the finish line. Some runner technicals of this race – I ran a :45/:30 run-walk-run ratio and clocked a 10:50 first mile (very fast for me). I took one packet of Sports Beans around mile 3. I finished the race with a smile on my face and some new bling to match!

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After the race it was showers and Cove Bar followed by the biggest We Run Social Meet Up I had ever been too. So happy to meet so many new people and catch up with old friends! I just love the We Run Social community!

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After that my mom and I finished up the day with the new Frozen show at the Hyperion, some dinner, and a final viewing of the Paint the Night parade and Disneyland Forever Fireworks… I was awake for over 15 hours and killed it! Such a great weekend and race I will not forget!

Putting Together a Running Costume

Hey Everyone! So if you have followed my blog or instagram for a while, you know that I love runDisney and getting the opportunity to have some fun running… in costume! I have been Elsa, Cinderella, a tribe of Ewoks, Pocahontas, and a Stormtrooper (to name a few) over the years and have loved every second of it. Prepping my running costume is just as fun as running the race and helps build up excitement for the race weekend itself.

Putting Together a Running Costume

With the Disneyland Half on the horizon I thought I would share an (updated) version of how I make a running costume. I have gotten so much better at making these and have seen many people make some ill-advised choices for running attire over the years, but with this guide you will be up and running with some added character in time for your next race!

GET INSPIRED
After 4+ years of runDisney races I say, when it comes to choosing your costume inspiration, go with what you want. There will always be multiples of everything so have fun with it. I usually try and stick to the overarching race theme especially with Star Wars Half Weekends, Princess Half, and the Avengers Half… but with the upcoming Disneyland Half Weekend – well anything is possible.

runDisney Costume Colors

Pick your character inspiration and breakdown the key items that identify them and their color palette. For an Ewok this would be brown colors and their hood with ears. For Elsa it would be blue colors, sparkles and her cape. Mickey, of course, has his signature ears.

START WITH YOUR BASE
The biggest mistake I see in costume runners is not starting with the correct base. The way a costume breaks down, in my mind, is essentially you are wearing embellished athletic gear. Since you have your color palette decided, look through your running clothes or shop for some that would fit your character. I like to the have a top, bottom and socks to bring my color palette to life.

runDisney Costume Running Base

Sparkle Athletic skirts have been a go-to for mine because they have so many colors and patterns (plus I look super cute in them). But I have also used tutus from the Halloween store. I also love Pro Compression socks for their ridiculous amount of color options and just for making amazing compression socks.

GET CRAFTY
Embellishing your athletic/running gear is what starts to bring your character to life! My Elsa costume started as a white running top. I found a child’s Elsa costume (on sale!) and took my seam ripper to it. I salvaged the cape and sewed it on the back of my running shirt and the skirt material became the sweetheart top similar to Elsa’s signature blue dress. Juliana just did a tutorial on how to make a Chewbacca bandolier on her site.

runDisney Costume Get Crafty

Not crafty? Search the web! My Stormtrooper look was a crop top from Poprageous over a black long sleeve running top. I created my belt with some sparkle fabric and craft foam all held together with a hot glue gun. Juliana used a kids bike safety vest (found at Target) to really bring home her Darth Vader costume. Sometimes you just have to think outside the box!

TOP IF OFF
Copying a hairstyle or adding a color coordinated headband or visor always helps bring the look together. I always have a headband to keep my hair out of my face and use it to tie the look together. For Elsa and Pocahontas I rocked a braid similar to the characters. For the Ewok tribe it was all about the hoods! And if you know my last one featured here… well you officially win at life. But a simple cowl and goggles brought my Mara Jade look together.

runDisney Costumes

Easy accessories can really make the costumes. Crowns from the Disney Store or a mock braid like Juliana made (out of yarn) are lightweight, unobtrusive and really identify your character. Halloween costumes head wear, like Amidala’s headdress are great way to have extra fun, but we usually reserve these for the 5ks! Make sure to follow the runDisney costume guidelines and not cover your face.

Have any questions on putting together your own running costume? Let me know in the comments and I will be sure to come back to you! Cannot wait to reveal what we will be wearing for the Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend!

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STAR WARS DARK SIDE HALF 2016 – RACE RECAP

Hello there my brunchers – I just got back from a short trip to Walt Disney World to run the inaugural Star Wars Dark Side Half Marathon. So naturally another race another recap! This will be a long one since it was an inaugural year, so bear with me…

HEADER

I got into Orlando at 5am on Thursday morning after a red-eye flight on Wednesday night. We should go ahead and rename this trip the early morning trip. On Thursday we started our day at Universal Studios (which I will write more about in another post), then went to the Expo on Thursday afternoon.

After checking into All Star Sports we made our way over the World Wide of Sports via the race weekend transportation to check out the expo and for bib pick up. Picking up our bibs was very simple and quick and so was the expo transportation. Juli and Chris forgot they pre-ordered a commemorative jacket so we had to go pick those up. In the pre-order area there was a second official merchandise booth, so we looked around for a bit but decided to head to the Josten center for the main expo. We ended up purchasing the official jackets and Sweaty Bands for the Dark Side Half. I find the longer you run these races the less official merchandise you need. We also picked up some Good Sense (which we always get) and KT Tape, before heading to Epcot to check out Flower and Garden festival.

On Saturday we had a very early (2:50pm) “dinner” reservation at Mama Melrose in Disney Studio’s to carb load. We decided to eat so early since we had to go to bed even earlier than we normally do. This race was starting at 5am for the earliest runDisney start time ever. We also knew that the walk to the corrals would be a long walk so we had to add more time that what we would normally do (similar to Princess). Just before 6pm we were back at our hotel. I picked up a runners box from the dining hall which had a bagel, peanut butter, banana, granola bar and water. This was a great box to have for the morning!

RUNNER BOX

Then we were back to the room to prep for race day. I had decided to not wear a costume and rep the 501st again with our Imperial Ground Pounder shirt, red Sparkle Athletic skirt, and red Pro-Compression socks. I also wore my Sparkle Skirt Mudbuster Shorts under my sparkle skirt and the new C9 at Target sports bra line that I got to try thanks to Influenster. We rolled, taped up, and hydrated more while watching Dear John – perks of an all girl room. Sometime before 9pm we fell asleep…

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We woke up at a miserable 2:45am and got ready for the race. We always lay everything out and pack our gear bags the night before. I was sure to have my Garmin Vivoactive and Gym Boss Timer, and totally forgot my sunglasses. By 3:15am we were out the door and headed to the busses. We saw our line was non-existence that we were planning for so we popped into the dinning hall and toasted our bagels and got some Powerade to take with us. I have to say the All Star Sports dinning hall was much more runner friendly than when I stay at the Grand Floridian (but I will take Grand Flo any day).

We got to the race start pretty quickly and went to meet up with the costume group Juli was running with, the Princess Slave Leia mash ups. After a a few pics we made our way to the corrals and with a quick prayer Juli and I separated to our corrals. Juli was in C and I was in H. Naturally, H was were the corrals split for entry – so I had to walk all the way down to the L corral entry to walk back up to H (which is were Juli came in).

The race started at 5am and crossed the start line a little over 30 minutes later. We ran a small bit through the back lot before we entered Epcot’s World Showcase. The bathroom lines were a bit crazy here but I ran onto American Pavillon (where they have 2 restrooms) and waited for only about 3 mins to use the restroom. We kept running through World Showcase with no character stops. We exited out to the Boardwalk where the bottle neck everyone will talk about happened. It didn’t bother me too much – I have come to accept a few bottle necks in a runDisney race. I took a deep breathe and made it through. I did pass the character opps with R2D2 and Chewy because the lines were so long and well I have a lot of photos with them, but wish they were in the actual park… I like to soak up the magic.

DARK SIDE HALF RUNNING

The next park we were running through was Studios. Kylo Ren was on a stage with a few first order troopers for a quick photo opp. I snapped a selfie and moved on. This was my first time running through Studios and I felt like we were there for such a short time. The 501st were positioned at various places and once again were the highlight of the race for so many runners. They brought out the most characters and had accessible photo stops for everyone. Way to go guys. Oh and I had run into some friends from the 501st boards that live in Florida and got a hug from a First Order Stormtrooper I know – which made me look super cool (at least in my mind).

501st FIRST ORDER

After leaving Studios we headed out for a long run down Osceola Parkway. This was long, hot and frankly boring. I stopped for the Vader’s Chair picture just to break it up. They had one screen playing a scene from Star Wars but that was it for entertainment. The Princess Half had a lot more road running entertainment. After that long stretch we entered Animal Kingdom, which was another running first for me. I stopped to take a picture with the Tree of Life to commemorate. We kept running on and I stopped for my kind of entertainment watching the monkeys. I could have stayed but after about a minute and a half I decided I needed to move on. Those monkeys are seriously my kryptonite at Animal Kingdom.
TREE OF LIFE

After we left Animal Kingdom we were back on Osceola Parkway to start heading into the finish. They had a few photo opps that we had in California at Light Side (the Wampa Cave and the Trash Compactor) but no characters for another long stretch. We turned onto the the trail (#TRAILRUNNER) to make it back to World of Sports. The speeder bikes I took at picture with at Light Side were on the trail but I was over it. Once we were in World of Sports I knew we were pretty much done. I ran onto the finish. We did have a lot of crowd support at the finish which was nice. I finished with a smile on my face and decent runDisney time – 3:16:24.

FINISH LINE

I got my Half medal and my Kessel Runner Medal for running both the Light Side Half in California and the Dark Side. I waited at the finish area to see more of my Ground Pounder friends and 2 that got engaged at the finish! Seriously the cutest thing ever!

Overall, this was not my favorite runDisney race and I much prefer the energy of light side. Most runners were not in costume which was very unique to a runDisney race. The roads had a lot of slanting which was hard on my twitchy right ankle and a lot of it just felt like a quiet road race. It was definitely lacking the energy you are accustomed to with runDisney races. On a positive note using the Disney photo pass system worked really well!! I mean I look super cute! But lets be real how could I pass up the chance at the Inagural Kessel Runner Medal!

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Did you run the Dark Side Half? What were your thoughts?

PRINCESS HALF MARATHON RECAP – 2016

Hello brunch babes – some of you may know but I have been gone for nearly three weeks traveling through Berlin, France then onto Orlando Florida to run my 4th Princess Half Marathon! It was a little bit stressful flying from Germany to Orlando for a race but sometimes you do what you have to do! So without further adieu… let us pull up your chair and Bad Wolf Bruch kindly presents your 2016 Princess Half Marathon Race Recap!

PRINCESS HALF HEADER

PRE-RACE

So like I said I was in Germany and France for two weeks before my race-cation so I had to do some logistics. Berlin is freezing this time of year and Florida is nice and warm! I packed all my Florida clothes, including my race outift, up in and box and mailed them to my mom to bring to Florida with me. All my winter clothes and my running shoes made the trip to Germany. So basically I had to be fully packed for both trips far in advance. This actually led to outfit planning and looking cuter!

On Friday I flew from Frankfurt to Orlando landing at 6pm east coast time. My jet lag was not too bad – I made myself stay up the entire flight and watch movies. Once I landed it was on to the Magical Express then to my DVC Home Resort The Grand Floridian to meet my mom, cousin Juli, and god mother aka Momma 2.

Once at the hotel we went to Magic Kingdom to add my annual pass to my magic band… this took an hour. My original plan was to go to the park for a bit but we ended up on the boat to Polynesian to get a snack and a margarita. I managed to stay up until 10:30pm!

SATURDAY – EXPO

One of the good things of jet lag was I was ready to rock in the mornings. We went to the Expo first thing on Saturday morning while Juli was running the first part of the Glass Slipper Challenge. I love the Princess Expo. It is big with all pixie dust and girl power a girl could need. I got my bib, race shirt and picked up a new Sparkle Athletic skirt. I was not overly impressed with the official merchandise for this race and was so happy I got my epic race jacket last year that I love so much!

My mommas (real mom and god mom) saw the Glitter and Go princess makeover station and before I was out of the expo I had been paid for and they were waiting for me. I was a little hesitant but ended up loving it. They did a simple hair twist, glittered me up and gave me a light up crown. I ended up keeping the twist in for the race!

Princess Half Glitter and Go

WE RUN SOCIAL

After our amazing time at the Star Wars Light Side Meet Up, Juli and I knew we wanted to go to the Princess Half #WeRunSocial Meet Up – as always, this was a highlight of my week. I got to meet so many amazing runners and online friends. The great ladies of Sparkle Athletic were so kind and generous made this an epic We Run Social giveaway meet up… Thank you!

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Oh and the ProCompression game was on point as always!! I love all the colors ProCompression offers! I am so thankful for #WeRunSocial this community helps make running fun, friendly and I get to meet a lot of badass runners who are super cool and don’t care that I am slower than them… runners are runners!

PROCOMPRESSION

RACE DAY

Sunday morning came and for once it was not so early for me! I had decided to be Elsa for the Princess Half because she is pretty much my spirit animal. Juli ran as Rapunzel – so we sort of matched as being “new” princesses. These we probably our most time intensive running costumes yet – yes those are darts on a running shirt that I freaking sewed. I wish I would have gotten a better picture but the back has a cape as well!

Jules and Mal PHM Start

Juli and I got on the monorail and arrived at the Epcot start quickly. Juli was in a higher corral than me so after a quick prayer we separated (for a bit) to wait for the race to start.

I actually thought the corse crowding (that Princess is known for) was not as bad this year. I did my usual 30:30 (30 seconds running / 30 seconds walking) and was keeping my solid 13:30 pace.

PRINCESS HALF RUNNING

The highlight of the race was when Elsa saw me and said that I brought my ice powers – that girl knows us blondes stick together!

I skipped the first few pictures and caught up to Juli in Magic Kingdom – we stuck together from Fantasyland through the Prince photo at around 9.5 miles. We stopped for so many pictures… almost all of them – but hey that is what the Princess Half is for in my opinion.

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Juli finished just conveniently ahead of me with just enough time to grab some champagne and meet me at gear check… if you ask me I think I timed this one just right! We toasted our Moet in the parking lot then headed back to the room for a quick shower before breakfast at Kona Kafe.

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Princess Half is always an amazing race for me… not time wise but I love the sense of girl power and accomplishment that comes with the weekend. Seeing so many runner tackle their first half is so inspiring and reminds me of why I started running! Its not about the medals or the photos – its about knowing your body can do amazing things and being there for each other! Until the next one friends!

PHM 16 Time copy

STAR WARS HALF MARATHON WEEKEND RECAP – The Half Marathon

Alright my brunching babes – welcome to the first #NERDGIRLSONTHERUN link up!

We finally made it to the half marathon – the main event, the battle of Yanvin, my walk through the cave of Degobah… just kidding it wasn’t bad at all.

HALF HEADER

Seeing as how I was conquering the half I set my alarm a little bit earlier than the previous days –  a whole 10 minutes earlier. My alarm went off at 3:40am and today it was just me getting up at dark:thirty. As always, my gear was packed and clothes were laid out. I even slept in my compression socks and shorts. I was downstairs and ready to get on the bus by 4:00am – but this made no difference in the end as the bus made more hotel stops for the half than it had for the 5K and 10K. I knew I had plenty of time and I am not the person who needs to get there an hour early anyway. I fueled with my usual Gatorade (for sugar and electrolytes) and these new Granola bites that worked really well for me.

I was in corral C for the half so knew I was pretty well situated in the middle of all the runners. We stood in the corrals for what seemed like forever and (sorry TMI) I knew I was going to have to pee. Typically the first porto’s have crazy long lines, but I saw at the 10K the day before that the barrier was broken down for a set right across the start line and headed to those. Done and done – no line – moving along.

Star Wars Half RunningI ran a strict :30 to :30 pace and was holding strong at 14 minute miles. Again this course got a bit crowded at points, especially near the hydration stations. I stopped for a quick castle pick, as always, and kept making my way through the course. I took my time to enjoy running through the parks since Disneyland races are front loaded to make sure I could re-focus myself when I hit the streets of Anaheim.

I got so much love from people for wearing my 501st shirt and in true Mallory fashion, a matching sparkle skirt and hair bow! People from other garrisons stopped me to say hi, and our fellow teammates could easily cheer each other on. Oh and I some how missed the Speeder Bike stop in the 10K – obviously I had to stop for this photo opp.

SPEEDER BIKE

Once we left the parks, I quickly re-focused and got down to run. I am probably one of the few people who do not mind down and back courses, which this race features. I like being able to see the fast guys coming back down.

I knew my 501st and Rebel Legion friends were at mile 8 and I just kept pushing myself to get to them. I was at mile 8 and was thinking where are they… Finally around mile 9 I saw all my fellow 501st members, as well as the Rebel Legion and Mandalorian Mercs. A HUGE THANK YOU for coming out and cheering for us on – you truly make this event!
All cosplayers

High fives and selfies with my Star Wars crew gave me some much needed energy (oh and that gel helped too) and I picked up the pace. In the middle haul of the course I ran into some friends and met the nicest lady who I spent a mile chatting DVC with – the hard stretch between 9 to 11 flew by. Mymom was camped out around mile 11 with some Red Vines and the sign I made for our Ground Pounders. I pulled over to chat with her then kept going. Some of my fellow Ground Pounders stopped to snap a pic with the sign!
501st signBefore I knew it Downtown Disney was in my sights and I was coming in for the finish! The mix I was running too perfectly timed my entrance to the with the Star Wars score. At mile marker 13 I stopped to snap a pic and put away my phone and headphone… I like my finish line picture to look nice – ran on for .1 more miles to an amazing finish.

3:13:10 was my timed chip finish which I am pretty proud of! Last year I finished in 3:23 with no character stops so I will take those 10 minutes I shaved off and smile. I am slowly getting back to where I was time wise and will keep pushing on to improve.

Screen Shot 2016-01-26 at 10.29.59 PM

Overall, this race weekend gave a huge boost of confidence as a runner. I tackled 22.4 miles over three days, with improved times, and I felt great afterwards (which is a very important sign).

We finished the rest of the day at the parks where we actually got to ride a lot of rides and took a bunch of pictures. We had an amazing meet up with our friends in the Stormtrooper Crew.

MEDALS SWRC16

We ended the weekend with a great dinner with Napa Rose and said our goodbyes. Juli and I will be running the Princess Half Marathon in February, but we would not see Chris until we take on the force again with the Dark Side race in April at Disney World.

I can’t wait to read what my fellow #NERDGIRLSONTHERUN have to say and share my next running adventures with you!
Be sure to join our #NERDGIRLSONTHERUN link up!


STAR WARS HALF – Best Post Race Cocktails

STAR WARS HALF Best Post Race Cocktails

Cheers Brunchers and welcome to my post for the Virtual Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend Blog Hop. For my new readers here at Bad Wolf Brunch we know cocktails and we know Disneyland so if you are looking for the best place to cheers your accomplishments… you have come to the right place.

A little more info about me. This Star Wars Half race will “mark” my 5 year running anniversary. My first half was the inaugural Tinkerbell Half. Check out more of my runDisney posts here. This year I am taking part in the Rebel Challenge and earning my Kessel Runner medal when I take on the Dark Side in April.

Now onto the good stuff – where to find your post race cocktails.
First off – there is no alcohol served inside Disneyland (unless you scored a reservation at Club 33), but California Adventure, Downtown Disney, and the Disneyland hotels will supply tons of places to toast your accomplishment.

Lets start in California Adventure.

DCA Post Race Cocktails

Cove Bar
Cove Bar has become a favorite of mine as well as many others in Disney’s California Adventure (DCA), so much so that they recently expanded it! I consider this to be the local waterhole for passholders. You have to try the Lobster Nachos if you are looking for a snack, but of course, Cove Bar is known for their drinks.
The award for most instagram worthy drink goes to the Fun Wheel cocktail (below), but to get even more adventurous try ordering off the secret menu… my favorite is the Black Pearl.

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Pro Tip: Get here early to avoid the long line! Cove Bar opens at 11am.

Carthay Lounge
The Carthay Circle Restaurant and Lounge is a centerpiece of DCA. I love the old world feel and the classic cocktails that are served up the way Walt would want them. I recommend the Sparkling Mare for a lighter drink and the Carthay Manhattan if you want something on the stronger side.

Alfresco Tasting Terrace

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The Alfresco Tasting Terrace is actually so amazing I considered keeping this gem all to myself. I love this tiny escape from park where you feel like you have been transported to the California Wine Country. Located above Wine Country Trattoria you can grab excellent glasses of wine, Disney family wine flights, and an amazing charcuterie board. You can likely find me here drinking a glass of chardonnay. If the terrace is full grab a glass at the Mendocino Bar right below it.

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Mad Tea Party
If you are looking for a party to celebrate your race, well Mad Tea Party is the place and with the 60th Anniversary in swing the Mad Tea Party band is ready to celebrate. They offer drinks here from the bar, but in all honesty the new menu for the 60th drinks are not the best. They are very sweet but still festive if that is what you are going for. But hey a beer is a beer.

Downtown Disney 

Post Half Cocktails Downtown Disney

Tortilla Joes
Amazing margaritas, fresh made guacamole, and a separate bar from the restaurant makes Tortilla Joes an automatic go-to for my runDisney crew.

Ralph Brennans Jazz Kitchen 
Ralph Brennans is my favorite brunch in the Downtown Disney area. Its got soul and an amazing Bloody Mary. This is a great place to make an ADR (advanced dining reservation) for your post race meal.

Uva Bar
The central location of Uva bar in the middle of Downtown Disney makes this an easy spot to gather and toast. It offers a full bar and lots of seating. The bar is fully outside so be mindful of the weather.

Hotels

Post Half Cocktails Hotels

Trader Sams
You cannot think of drinking and Disneyland without thinking of Trader Sams. This tiki bar is almost a theme park in it’s own right. Cozy up to the bar and order yourself an Uh Oa and you will see what I mean. You cannot help but feel festive and full of Disney magic at this bar. But like many of the popular places mentioned this place will fill up so try to go during non-peak times.

Hearthtone Lounge
This place is one of the lesser known locations for getting a quick cocktail of glass of wine and perfect if you are short on time. Located in the back of the Grand Californian Hotel lobby I have yet to experience a wait here. It carries the standard Disney bar and wine list but gets the job done when you want a quick fix.

Napa Rose Lounge
Another one of my favorites and secret hide aways… The Napa Rose lounge is a wine lovers dream where the wine list is extensive and the servers (and sommeliers) are extremely knowledgeable. You can also eat from the full menu in the lounge if you did not score an ADR for Napa Rose. This is the height of luxury for the Disneyland resort, so if you are in the mood for the finer things in life, this would be your spot. Napa Rose and it’s lounge open at 5pm.

I am so excited for the Star Wars Half marathon and hope you are as well. If you want to learn more about all the amazing Star Wars happenings going on during the Seasons of the Force be sure and check out my very extensive post here – you will be sure to feel the force and learn some insider tips. Until then – train hard my padawan friends and let me know in the comments what you are most excited for and where you will be toasting your celebrations!

Virtual Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend Blog Hop Directory


Race Recap – Avengers 10K 2015

Good morning brunchers! Well I just rounded out my last runDisney race of 2015 with the inaugural Avengers 10K. I decided to skip the half marathon this time around because my work schedule was a bit crazy and I did not want to over schedule myself… running takes time. I was so happy with my decision and the 10k was the perfect amount to end my runDisney year and kick out my current racing season. Ok on to the good stuff…

AVENGERS TITLE HEAD

Since work had been so crazy I was able to leave early on Friday after lunch to head down to the expo. I stopped and picked up my cousin Jules of 4 Well Rules and we were on our way. We made it down to Anaheim rather quickly and went straight to the Expo. Bibs and tech tees in hand we headed straight to get some Sparkle Athletic for our upcoming races. Devin (our real life best friend and running best friend) met up with us at the Expo and we headed straight for the latest expo addition… the race themed cocktail.

RUN DISNEY CUP

We are suckers for a themed drink! We had dinner at Tangaroa Terrace at the Disneyland Hotel then headed to the hotel to get everything laid out for the next morning. Its always fun having a runner slumber party with your friends. We were all asleep by 9pm and then the fireworks woke us up… But we all got back to sleep.

EXPO

I decided to run as Ms. Marvel for the 10K and wore the We Love Fine Ms Marvel tank with a black sparkle skirt. Boom – awesome costume!


FLAT MAL

On Saturday our wake up call was 4:00am, which is actually pretty late for how early runDisney races start but our hotel was close to the start line. We made our way to the corrals and did notice a little extra security. Jules and Devin were in Corral A and I was in Corral C – those fast kids. Corral C was cool (haha get it C for cool) and after about 15 mins we were off.

I ran a 30:30 Galloway method and decided to have fun this race. I made a total rookie move and had to pee at the first porta potty (notorious long lines) but oh well sometimes you just have to go. After that I felt great! We ran by the convention center and I had so many fond memories of Star Wars Celebration, D23 and Wondercon and then we were in the parks. I skipped the first photo opp with Thor and ran ahead to Black Widow. Jules was texting me where the character were so I could run over my 30 seconds when I wascoming up on one. BTW Black Widow looked me up and down and then said “Hi Thor” well #fail Natasha.

BLACK WIDOW
I also skipped the Hawk Eye photo opp because I knew I wanted a picture with Captain America. So I ran on ahead and found Cap… and waited about 25 mins. I was in line with the lovely ladies from Run All the Races Kimberly and Gail who are costume pros! My only note on the course was that these were the only characters out… would have loved to seen some Disney or Pixar character opps as well.

RUN ALL THE RACESGot my picture with Cap and hustled my butt to the finish line. My cousin ordered my breakfast and it was delivered right after I sat down… just like magic! The rest of the day was great. We chilled at Cove Bar, dined at Carthay, and cried on Hyperspace Mountain (more coming on this next week)!

MEDALS

All in all the Avengers assembled and we were #nerdgirlsontherun (more coming on this too)!
So excited for the rest of my running season which includes a Color Run, Turkey Trot and 2016 runDisney gloriousness!

RACE RECAP – Princess Half Marathon – 2015

Oh my goodness!! Another runDisney Princess Half Marathon in the books and I must say – they just keep getting better and better!

This year I ran again with my cousin Juliana and we stayed at the Villas at the Grand Floridian.
We had a 3am wake up call to get ready for the race. Staying at the Villas we had our kitchenette to make breakfast before the race. We were out the door by 3:45am and took the monorail to Epcot.
It’s good to note that if you are staying at a monorail hotel you will need to plan more time to get to the race!

We got to the start area and did some quick preparations for the race, dropped our bags at gear check, and made our way to the corrals. We only had about 10 mins in the corrals before the start. I was in corral I so I started exactly at 6am. With a little magic and pixie dust I was off!

I went with the 30:30 run walk run ratio that Jeff Galloway had suggested at Star Wars Half. I decided to run through the first groups of characters. Pirates, Heroes and Villains always have really long line and are normally still out when you swing back around (plus better lighting).

Before I knew it we were in the Magic Kingdom and I was running through Cinderella’s castle! I decided to run as Pocahontas this year. Come run the hidden pine trails of the forest with me!

I saw my mom and god-mother just outside the castle and continued on. The weather was wonderful and I was feeling good. I was keeping 14 minute miles and decided – yup we are going to do some pictures! I had to take a photo with tourist Genie… always reminds me of my dad!

The heroes and princes were still out when I came back around so I decided to keep the tradition alive and grab a pick! John Smith was only a bit flirty…

 

From there it was a quick few miles to the finish. I always love the gospel choir right before we end. I need a little Jesus on a Sunday morning to get me to the finish line. I wish we had this is California as well. I made it through and finished strong!

After the race it was time to celebrate. We all met up and had brunch at 1900 Park Fare in the Grand Floridian to celebrate. Juliana completed the Glass Slipper Challenge and I got my Coast to Coast medals. Brunch was great and my Princess Half was even better!!