I cannot believe it's already 2019! Another year has flown by, but I'm super excited about what's to come.
In less than two months I'll be headed back to Walt Disney World for the Princess Half Marathon Weekend! I'll be running with thousands of princesses through the castle and around Epcot for an enchanting 22.4 miles. PLUS, it's my birthday weekend!! :)
So since the runDisney Marathon Weekend and Princess races are almost upon us, I wanted to reach out to my followers on Instagram and answer any runDisney questions they may have!
Question #1: Is there a special training plan when you are participating in more than one race? And how important is nutrition during the training?
Yes! runDisney offers runners the chance to take on multiple miles (meaning more than one race) during each event weekend. I have only ever run the Fairy Tale Challenge, which is the Enchanted 10k and Princess Half Marathon back to back in the same weekend. Every runDisney event hosts a unique challenge, and some are quite difficult. The biggest challenge is during Marathon Weekend where runners have the option to participate in the Dopey Challenge - a 5k, 10k, Half Marathon, and Full Marathon on consecutive days. runDisney provides FREE training programs for all of it's races and challenges on it's website www.rundisney.com. I have trained using Jeff Galloway's programs for every runDisney race with huge success. No matter what race or challenge you decide on, following a training program focused on the mileage you'll be running is key!!
Part II: Nutrition plays a huge factor during your training! I'm still learning what works best for my body, but following a nutrition plan and/or speaking with a nutritionist can make a world of difference. This year I've trained smarter by following a plan that works best for me, and so far I've been seeing amazing results. My running time has improved, my joints are less inflamed, AND I'm less bloated! Hydration is also super important. (Future blog posts will cover this topic more in depth.)
Question #2: What is the biggest struggle when doing a runDisney run?
The biggest struggle for me personally, was getting the proper amount of rest. I typically spend every day in the Disney parks after completing each race, therefore not allowing much time off of my feet. I would recommend taking breaks throughout the day to relax and also staying out of the sun as much as possible. It can also be hard to stay hydrated all day, so you'll need to really pay attention to your body. The actual run itself is so magical, and so much fun if you train properly. Also, don't skimp on the training. ;)
Question #3: How do you get to the race?
If you're staying at a hotel or resort that's located on Disney property, Disney will provide all your transportation needs to and from each and every race! Buses tend to arrive at each resort around 3:30 AM, and lines form rather quickly. Resorts with monorails provide transportation for the half and full marathons only. Buses are easy to locate after the races, and generally pick up groups of runners every 15-20 minutes. If you're staying off Disney property, it's best to drive and park super early, or I've heard Uber is also a viable option! The earlier you can arrive to the race, the better! Disney traffic can be nightmarish.
Question #4: What do you eat during the half marathon to keep you from your blood sugar, hunger, and energy from crashing?!
The morning of the race, I eat a bagel with peanut butter and a whole banana. (I'm no stranger to eating before endurance events.) I also make sure to drink at least one full bottle of water on the bus on the way to the race. During the race, I stop at every water and Powerade station. I believe last year Disney provided "energy jelly beans" along the course, but I packed Gatorade Energy Chews in my Flipbelt. I have also tried GU energy gels, but I prefer the taste and texture of the Gatorade Chews! After the race, I load up on Mickey Waffles. ;)
Question #5: How long should someone (new to running) prepare in advance for a race? How much should they be running as "practice"?
On the runDisney website, Jeff Galloway has training programs for Beginning Runners and Experienced Runners. Typically his 5k Training Program is 13 weeks with increased mileage every other week. I find running 3x a week to be very beneficial, with my long runs always falling on the weekends. I also highly recommend cross-training and allowing for rest days as needed.
Question #6: Do you prefer wearing pants or shorts during the race?
I prefer to run in capri leggings, but I also love 7/8 leggings. Shorts can sometimes ride up and create chafing, so just be cautious of that! I find it best to train in any outfit you think you might wear during the race. Test runs are always a must! I also usually pack a plan B outfit if the weather decides to be unpredictable.
Question #7: Is it worth the price?!
Unfortunately...YES. Disney races are known to be more expensive than most, but it's still a no brainer for me. I love being at Disney World. I love how easy everything is to get to. I love the magic, excitement, and spirit of the runners. I also love the weather and the race course. When it comes down to it...Disney does it best. The price for registration does not include your park tickets, but Disney does provide unbeatable service, constant transportation, and lots of freebies as far as food and drinks for the runners. They do such a great job putting the whole thing together, and the race merchandise is perfect for any Disney lover. AND THE BLING THO.
Question #8: What do you bring with you while you run?
I always carry my phone (fully charged), ear buds, extra hair ties, and energy chews. Depending on the length of the run, I'll also bring my flipbelt. For the runDisney races, you might also want to bring your magic band, chapstick, and any fun costume accessories. :)
Question #9: How do you recover from the race and still have time to explore Disney?
Honestly, I don't give myself mush downtime at all. I typically take it slow getting to the Disney parks around mid-morning/afternoon. I always shower, stretch, and sometimes ice and foam roll once I get back to my hotel room if time allows. Try to fit in as much as you can while you're there, but I definitely suggest wearing comfortable clothing and putting your feet up when you can. Early bedtimes are always a good idea as well. The races end early in the morning, so you'll have plenty of time to explore the parks...just make sure you're not overdoing it!
Question #10: What are your top 5 songs to get you pumped during running?
For runDisney races I always jam out to my "Run Like It's Midnight" Playlist on Spotify! There's no way I can pick just 5 songs, so my next post will cover all the beats you'll want on your running playlist! Obviously, expect to hear plenty of pop, throwbacks, and Disney classics. :)
Question #11: What are some of your favorite things to do during a runDisney weekend?
Thanks to all those who asked questions! I hope you find my answers helpful and encouraging! Let me know in the comments if you'd like to see another post like this again. Good luck to all those running soon!
Hi, everyone! It's been a minute...but I'm back!
As of yesterday, runDisney announced that guests will now be able to register for all runDisney races via their Disney accounts. Disney is hoping this will eliminate crazy wait times for registration while allowing their guests to register multiple participants at a time. *Drops active.com account like a poison apple*
Thanks to this update, us princess runners are forced to wait until August to register for the 2019 Princess Half Marathon. No big deal, but now my google calendar begs to be updated. If you're interested in learning more about registration updates, visit rundisney.com for more info!
In keeping with the runDisney theme, my post this week will focus on ten tips for running a successful runDisney race! I had so much fun writing this up, so I'll definitely be doing another "runDisney tips" blog in the future! I appreciate all thoughtful comments, and please remember that these are my own opinions when it comes to running Disney. As always, thanks for following along, and I hope you enjoy! (These tips are in no particular order.)
1. Be prepared
I had to start here because A. Scar said it best, and B. this is hugely important when it comes to running a race of any magnitude! A lot of my tips are about being prepared, but I figured I'd start with this general tip.
Races of all shapes and sizes have their high points and low points. It is important to know what you're getting into before signing up (yes, runDisney races are quite pricey and not easily refundable). You'll want to prepare your BODY first and foremost, however, you'll also need to prepare for weather, terrain, transportation, crowds, hotel rates, park passes, accessible food and drink, and so much more. I could write an entire post about preparing for a runDisney race, but I'll keep it short and sweet.
The best way to prepare for a runDisney race, is to take advantage of their FREE online training program. I have followed Jeff Galloway's training schedule both times I ran the Princess Half Marathon, aside from using his walk-run method. It requires only 3 weekly training days, and progressive longer runs on the weekends. Bottom line, you will need to prepare your body for a lot of mileage. Not only are you running a race, but you're at Walt Disney World walking, jumping, waiting in lines, and basically standing on your feet ALL DAY. These are the things you need to take into account, and plan out your days leading up to the race accordingly. (I'm thinking this may need to be an entirely separate post...stay tuned!)
2. Keep your diet familiar
This may sound silly to some, but knowing how your body handles heat, humidity, long days, short nights, fried foods, spicy foods, alcohol, and all that jazz... is MAJORLY important. Disney can run even the most excited toddler into the ground, so it is extremely important to know just how much your body can handle.
One of the biggest challenges for me when I stay at Disney, is creating a Disney diet. You'll want to try and recreate meals that you would eat while at home (if that's what works for you while you're training), or at least know what can potentially upset your stomach. For instance, if you're usually dairy free during training or year round, I wouldn't advise hitting up all the ice cream spots at the Disney parks (even though that's hella tempting.) Luckily for me, I was constantly using carbohydrates as fuel for my long runs during training. When it came time to eat on the morning of each race, I would eat a banana and a bagel. I would also down an entire bottle of water, because I knew my body would need it. This was around 3 AM in the morning, and even though my body wasn't adjusted to getting up and running that early, I needed that food to get me through each race. It's worth it to wake up a tad earlier to properly fuel your body. You'll learn during training what your body likes and dislikes during runs, so it's important to take that knowledge and transfer it to your race day. If you're not typically eating BLAZE pizza followed by a trip to Sprinkles Cupcakes before a 10 mile training run...then why on earth would you see how that turns out right before a huge race? Just saying.
Disney offers fridges in their hotel rooms, and even runDisney goodie bags to it's guests! When I stayed at Pop Century Resort in 2016, my friend and I were able to pick up FREE bags of bagels, fruit, peanut butter, and water from our hotel cafeteria. If you're on a budget, diet plan, or have certain food allergies, Disney goes above and beyond to make sure it's guests are happy and taken care of. Guests can bring food into the parks, and even make their own food in the hotel. It's very easy to make a sandwich at your resort if you'd rather save your money for cute merch. ;) Disney also now offers mobile dining pickup so you can avoid long lines at quick service restaurants. You should also never hesitate to ask a cast member for any assistance while dining on or off property. Every employee is so friendly and especially helpful to those running the races. Make sure to wear your medals during the day for royal applause and congratulatory high-fives.
3. Drink all the water
This may be my most important tip for you. If your hydration is lacking, you can suffer from dizziness, fatigue, and fainting. It's also not uncommon to suffer from mild headaches, confusion, and loss of appetite. Even the slightest bit of body water loss can impair cognitive function, which in turn can affect your performance during any athletic event.
I made sure to have water with me at all times of the day, everyday. This was especially important while at Disney, because my body wasn't adjusted to the heat and humidity. For every 10 to 20 minutes of exercise, you should be drinking 8-10 ounces of water. While at Disney, I ran three races over the course of three days AND I walked all day long in sunny 80 degree weather. My body craved water, and I knew the difference between hunger and thirst. The last thing I wanted was to have my body cramp up and give out on me during my race days. I luckily never suffered any cramping, dehydration, or mental disruption. Your body and mind need water to survive and thrive properly. I would advise even the most hydrated individual to keep a large pack of waters in the hotel room at all times.
Disney also allows you to bring a water bottle in the park (as long as it's not glass), and any snacks you may need due to budgetary and/or food allergies/restrictions. Their counter service restaurants also offer free water for park goers. When I went to Magic Kingdom in mid August, the Starbucks on Main Street was passing out trays of free ice cold water to its guests. Disney never wants its guests unhappy, but it's up to you to keep your hydration in check. Cold Water and Powerade are conveniently provided along each race course. Make sure to grab a cup each time you pass a hydration station, and kindly move off to the side to drink so that walkers and runners may go about their race. :)
4. Leave the glass slippers at home
I know it's crucial to snap that perfect castle selfie, but it's also very crucial to wear comfortable clothing! I know when I'm running, or walking around Disney, one of my main concerns is keeping my feet from hurting. This tip also applies to outfits, because you need to wear something that's comfy, and won't cause irritation. I made the mistake of wearing thong sandals to Disney one year, and not only did they break, but I had ZERO support.
If you're running Disney, you'll need to almost only wear athletic shoes your entire stay. The only time I strayed from this was during a photoshoot where I changed into slip-on converse shoes. If you know a certain bra irritates your shoulders, or a pair of shorts rubs you the wrong way, for goodness sakes LEAVE THEM AT HOME. Honestly all you really need to wear in the parks are sneakers, running shorts, maybe a hat, and definitely a Zip-A-Dee Tee. Shameless #ad
While running, you'll most definitely want to dress up in costume! Your costume should be off-the-charts adorable but also super comfortable! Princess ball gowns and Chewbacca costumes may sound tempting, but I wouldn't advise wearing them. Stay the course and stick with your basic cottons, spandex, and polyesters for a smooth run. The beauty of a runDisney race is that mostly everyone is in some sort of Disney-inspired garb. This makes for some great race photos and plenty of fun memories. If you forget to bring an outfit, there are plenty of options at the runDisney expo.
To sum up, pack for comfort and bring multiple socks, sports bars, underwear, and all the running necessities. Train in the shoes you plan to run in, and test out as much of your costume as you can in the weeks leading up to the race. You can't go wrong wearing an outfit you're used to, but you also want to join in on the fun that's runDisney...dawning a decked out character costume! Just make sure you plan accordingly. ;)
5. Cross Train
When training for a runDisney race, it is very important to schedule your runs, but it's also very important to train in other areas of fitness. What you decide to do, should lead to the question of "how will this serve me"?
Cross-training is huge because it has shown to improve your cardio, muscle strength, and flexibility, as well as reduce injuries and increase overall performance. The only thing to be cautious of is how much training you're doing, and to ensure you're taking at least one day off to rest or actively recover.
Exercises such as swimming, yoga, interval runs, and strength training ALL demand different stresses on the body that will increase your structural fitness. During my training from October - February, I lifted weights, I did yoga, I foam rolled, I walked, I biked, and I ran. Was it easy to always fit a routine in? No. Did every training day go as planned? No. Training for anything is about listening to your body, and knowing what you need to do as an athlete to make your body physically capable for the main event. I found that integrating all of these methods of exercise benefitted me greatly because they challenged my body on all different levels. One of my favorite sayings is "nothing great comes from comfort zones". I learned to step out of what I'm used to and to give my body the opportunity to adjust to change. The results were amazing. Not only did I successfully complete a 5k, 10k, and Half marathon in three days, but I also finished those races without any pain. Ultimately, THAT right there is what made me the proudest.
I will tell you that it is easy to fall into the routine of running. I actually really enjoy it, because that's when I can let go of any stress. I get lost in my music and podcasts, and just go. While sticking to only running would've gotten me across the finish line, it was the addition of all the other fitness components that gave me the edge I didn't have during my first half marathon. If you're signing up just to run, then by all means RUN. If you're signing up because you want to push yourself, then get uncomfortable and challenge the way you train. This can be done for any runDisney race. The benefits of cross-training are immense if done properly. (I'm sure this will turn into a separate post as well! What do you think??)
6. Get yourself a ChEAR squad
Disney is great because they allow spectators to line up along the highways, resorts, finish line, and even Main Street USA. They also have runner tracking, so emails and text messages can be sent to spectators during the race. I'm so thankful some of my family members were there to cheer me on. I can't even express the amount of love that came from some of my closest friends and family, to mere acquaintances and strangers at Disney World. Trust me when I say that everyone at a runDisney race is rooting for you. Volunteers line up and down the course singing, dancing, waving, and cheering you on. Honestly, the moment when you enter Main Street is nothing short of magical. There's almost never a dry eye in the house.
Spectators really commit by getting to their chEAR spots early enough to see their favorite runner. If your family or friends are determined to see you run, then they have to make sure they give themselves plenty of time and know your ETA.
If you're running Disney alone, never fear. You'll meet so many fun and eclectic people throughout your stay at Disney. Hundreds of thousands of runners participate in runDisney races every year. No where else will you meet so many happy people to be awake at 4 AM standing in costume, eagerly awaiting a long distance run. I met up with old friends, I made new friends, and I had so many friends texting me cheering me on from home. No matter what your circumstance, a ChEAR squad is key.
7. Enter a Proof of Time
If you're a seasoned runner and know you'd like to aim for finishing under a specific time, you'll want to really consider entering a Proof of Time. You can do this by signing up for a race that's almost equivalent to the runDisney race you'll be participating in. It must be an officially timed race, and you must submit this time before a certain date. Since runDisney has updated their registration process, I'm sure there will be new policies regarding proof of time as well.
My first Princess Half was challenging because my friend and I started in one of the last corrals having not submitted a proof of time. This year I ran my first 10k in November, and submitted my time to runDisney. They then placed me in Corral A/C based on the time I entered and approximately how long it would take me to complete a half marathon.
If you plan on running with a friend, but his or her time has them placed in a slower corral, you can move back to them but they cannot move forward to your corral. This will obviously be up to you, but the further back you go, the more you will have to dodge and weave your way through the non-runners. If you're walking with a group, always make sure to stay to the side and walk one in front of the other. Large groups tend to bottleneck during certain miles spent on the narrow highway. As always, be courteous and aware of all those surrounding you.
I definitely found that entering a proof of time was very helpful. It also holds you accountable to sign up for another race and see what your pace will be like for the big day.
8. Stay on Disney Property
I can't stress this one enough. Every time I do Disney, I do it the "Disney way". By booking your trip through Disney, you can basically leave all worries behind. The only downside to staying at Disney, is the cost. Staying on Disney property can range anywhere from $100 a night to $800+ a night. If you're able to book a hotel room right after you register for your race, your chances of getting the room you want at the hotel you want will be much more likely. I waited too close to race weekend my last visit, and I almost had to pay upwards of $650 for one night alone on property. Generally, the hotels that go quickly are the value and moderate resorts. Disney's Art of Animation and Pop Century are close to the Disney's Wide World of Sports, where guests can quickly get to the runDisney health and fitness expo. Deluxe resorts are the priciest, but they do offer more in terms of transportation and dining.
Staying on Disney property is the ultimate game changer, because Disney has free transportation to all the race events for its guests staying at a Disney resort. I know some people who stayed off property and had to drive in and deal with parking, or use an uber. For me, I like to keep my race day anxiety at a minimum, so I find that using all that Disney has to offer one of the many advantages to running a successful Disney race. Disney organizes everything so well, and wants it's runners to feel like royalty. Treat yo'self. ;)
9. Link your Magic Band
Magic Bands are still somewhat new on the scene, but highly effective for a fun stay at Disney. When booking your trip, you automatically receive a magic band, personalized with your name on it if you're staying on Disney property (another perk.) Magic bands allow you to link a credit card that can be used for making purchases, unlocking your room, entering all the Disney parks, checking in for FastPass, and connecting Disney photopass to your account. You get to choose your color band, but they also have special edition colors in the Disney parks.
I wore mine everywhere, because I literally always needed it! It grants you access to almost everything Disney. After the race, there are vendors, character photo ops, and plenty more that require money or photopass access. Definitely keep your band close, and your bib number showing! Photopass will also link pictures to your account through the number and code on your bib. Remember, medal pics or it didn't happen.
10. HAVE FUN
The main reason I run Disney is because of the atmosphere. How can you not be happy while at the happiest place on earth?! I soaked up every moment, and was able to do so much within the short amount of time I was there. Try to be present, try to be patient, and try to be kind. runDisney races are host to some of the most magical memories, merchandise, and people. Don't take yourself too seriously, and if you're trying for a certain time, then train hard and follow an amazing nutrition plan and fitness routine! You'll see all types of runners and walkers, and that's the beauty of it all. More than anything, have a fun stay and make so many magical memories. I'd run EVERY single Disney race if my little legs and bank account would allow it! ;)
This concludes my ten tips for running Disney! I promise to do more posts like this in the future. :)
Hi, everyone! I wanted to share a fun and quick post today about what I bring to a weekend at Disney. This past trip was focused around my runDisney races, but I also had to make sure my makeup and outfits were on point during a photoshoot for my small business Zip-A-Dee Tees! All shops will be listed, so you can shop to your heart's content. As always, thank you for reading...and I hope you have a magical day!
1. My runDisney Princess Outfits!
As crazy as it sounds, your outfit for race day can make or break your run AND your photos! (If you don't post a pic at Disney, were you actually even there?) My inner costume nerd treated this weekend like a 2nd Halloween and I put.in.work. Finding the right outfit can be challenging, but that's why we have Etsy and many months leading up to the grand event. You'll want to make sure your outfit is comfortable, easy to move in, and free of any masks or long cape-ware. I have seen multiple runners wear wigs, floor length dresses, and hold various props for photo ops throughout the runDisney race courses. The craziest move I thought of making was to dye a stripe of my hair white to represent Anna from Frozen, but I quickly let that one go (see what I did there).
The first race was the Princess 5k which happened to fall on the day I turned 29! Since Rapunzel's story takes place on her birthday, I figured I'd represent the bubbly lost princess and go with a pink and purple theme! One of the more famous quotes from the movie Tangled is "BEST DAY EVER", so I found this amazing tank top from loopyhoot on Etsy! All of their Disney-inspired shirts are super cute and I got this one for free doing a shop swap! (When small business owners swap items at an even price.) This item is listed for $22 on Etsy.
My purple race skirt absolutely blew my mind! I ordered two skirts from Dottie For Running on Etsy, and her craftsmanship did NOT disappoint! Samantha (the owner) has a professional background in fashion and began running when her grandmother, nicknamed Dot, was battling cancer. I can't say enough good things about her shop and all her amazing designs. I received so many compliments and they were actually so easy to run in! I believe Samantha now has her own shop at www.dottieforrunning.com and you can find this skirt plus plenty of others for $69.
The Enchanted 10k was the next race where I dressed up as Snow Queen, Elsa. This outfit was interesting because I knew I wanted to wear a mesh long sleeve shirt but I didn't know what the weather situation would be when running this race. It turned out to be a humid morning, but despite having my braid turn into a giant knot, I had a blast in this outfit!
Here's the Elsa outfit breakdown (purchased over time, don't jude me):
Mesh Long Sleeve Leotard: Dancewear Solutions -- $39.95
Blue Elsa Inspired Skirt: Rock City Skirts -- $32.75
White Leggings: Athleta White Eclipse 7/8 Tights -- $89
White Sports Bra: Lululemon Energy Bra -- $52
Running Shoes: Brooks Glycerin 15 Road Running Shoes -- $150
I also purchased snowflake decals at Michael's and glued them onto my sleeves and up near my neckline. That's about as crafty as I got. By no means does your outfit need to match, but I luckily had all the components to create an amazing runDisney Elsa costume! And a huge thank you to Carrie for braiding my hair before we went to sleep. ;) I definitely wouldn't advise long sleeve outfits during the Half Marathon, unless you can take the shirt off and have a tank underneath. Disney donates any clothes tossed on the side of the road, so wear the zip-up if you're feeling a bit frozen in the beginning. :)
My Princess Half Marathon running costume was Belle! I initially wanted to wear her blue outfit, but I saw this perfect golden skirt and had to have it. Unfortunately, there weren't many athletic yellow tops to match the skirt, so I went with white instead and had my friend sew the gold ruffles on my tank!
Belle Outfit Breakdown:
White Tank Top: Lululemon Cool Racerback Tank -- $42
Guest of a Guest Princess Running Skirt: Dottie For Running -- $69
Black Cropped Leggings: TJMaxx -- $22
The gold ruffle fabric and rose pin were all under $10 and found at Michael's and Hobby Lobby. Shoutout to Juliann for being a fabric genius and for completing the top half of my costume! A few words of wisdom: find friends who are equally as excited about Princess outfits as you are, and have amazing crafting skills when you need it most. :)
2. Beauty Must-Haves
Whether I'm running a race or not, these are just some beauty products I can't live without. I used many of the items listed below during The Princess Half Marathon weekend. I promise this won't be a terribly long list!
First and foremost, these are the items I get asked about regularly, and they're the ones I truly believe work. I wore most of these during my princess runs (yes, I wore makeup), and I also wore some during a photoshoot. I typically don't wear a lot of these on a day-to-day basis (besides the FRE products), so I know they will last me a long time. Here we go:
FRE Skincare has honestly blown my mind since I started using it this past November. Their unique 3-step routine has banished my terrible breakouts and I've had glowing skin like never before. I absolutely love that with every skin care set sold, they plant an Argan tree to help replenish the endangered Argan forest and support women who harvest Argan oil in Morocco. I've had the best experience becoming one of their brand ambassadors, and for the next 24 hours you can use my discount code TIUDEVONH and take 25% off your 1st 123FRE set. They are a brand I love, and will continue to use religiously. www.freskincare.com/products/skicare-set
If you're heading to Florida in January, I highly recommend getting your "glow" on! I went ahead and treated myself to a spray tan before Disney, but I typically use these guys if I'm headed out of town for a few days or have a special event I'm attending.
Clarins and St. Tropez are not your average bronzer contenders. If you want to see a quick color change that isn't streaky and isn't orange, then you need to try these! Clarins is a product you put on after a shower, and while it does go on a little sticky, it blends evenly and only smells a tiny bit. I've never noticed it on my sheets or clothing, plus it goes on and gives you that instant glow. St. Tropez is mousse is best used with a tanning mitt (sold separately), for a tan that lasts. I usually wear it for two hours before showering and the tan usually fades after a few days. It's easy to use, and you can see where the tan is applied to your skin. I highly recommend this one, I always receive compliments when I use it.
Tarte is a favorite beauty brand of mine, and finding their waterproof body bronzer was like hitting the jackpot. This one I use on a daily basis to give my complexion a nice glow, and it's fun to sweep along your jawline, collarbone and shoulders if you're headed for a night out. The picture doesn't do it justice, but this bronzer is huge and well worth the $.
My favorite beauty items that I normally don't carry with me unless I have an event I'm going to are the Naked 2 Palette by Urban Decay and the Contour Kit by Anastasia Beverly Hills. These two are the dream team of my makeup drawer. I am all about the warm copper tones, neutrals, and shimmery mattes that come in this eyeshadow palette. I've been using it for years and I've barely scratched the surface of it's obvious potential. I've never been a good makeup artist, so this amazing palette actually intimidates me. Thankfully Youtube tutorials are a thing and I've come a long way with using this amazing palette.
Anastasia Beverly Hills products give me life (and eyebrows), but this contour kit takes the cake. I'm not a fan of the cream contour kits because they typically cake to my skin, but this one goes on fast, smooth, and I don't feel like a clown when I'm wearing it. I may have swiped some contouring on before my races, because A. no one looks their best at 3 AM, and B. your girl is a damn princess.
Bare Minerals has been my skin's saving grace. Their complexion rescue gel goes on smoother than smooth and gives my face instant hydration. I tend to have very dry skin in the winter months, but this little tube gives me a bronze tint with a dewy finish. I have quite a few of their other beauty products that I am also in love with, but this one hits a home run every time. I wear this almost daily, because I prefer light coverage that doesn't take hours to apply. Do yourself a favor and buy this one if nothing else. Actually, buy them all, and thank me later.
Well that concludes a blog post I thought was going to be short and sweet! I hope I convinced all of you to dress up in tutus when you run, and to contour like Kimmy K if you want those race photo ops to be your friend. ;) Let me know if you purchase any of my faves that I listed, and I can't wait to blog more soon!
Welcome back to my blog full of fantasy, fun, and fitness! Today I thought I'd share with you how I pack for a runDisney race event. As most of you know, I'll be running in the 10th Anniversary Princess Half Marathon next weekend! I'll also be completing the Fairy Tale Challenge, which is a 10k on Saturday followed by the Half Marathon on Sunday. I'm obviously so excited that I started preparing early. Read on for a full list of items you should pack for your upcoming Disney trip/race. :)
I whipped up a document of the most necessary items, and which bag to put them in! The full list is below!
I pride myself as a planner, especially when it comes to Disney and fitness. I like to know what I'm doing, where I'm suppose to be, and I always always ALWAYS want to make the most out of my time!
Quite a few of the items I have listed in my carry on bag can be checked, but I find it calming to know that if the airline were to lose my checked bag, I could still manage to run a race even without my tiara.
I typically wear my bulkiest items during the flight, because that just leaves me more space for items in my checked bag. On the plane ride I will wear my running shoes (the ones I wear on race days), a sports bra, a t-shirt under a sweatshirt, leggings, GPS watch, and glasses. I also like to bring my most important beauty products in a small cosmetic bag inside my carry on bag. Sometimes I'll bring a protein bar to snack on, but I always make sure to drink a bottle of water before and during the flight. It's important to stay hydrated at all times.
My checked bag almost always houses my costumes/outfits. I know some people don't risk losing their race day wardrobe, but I've been to Disney enough times to know that there is no shortage of outfits there. At the Expo, there are vendors that sell literally all of the items I listed above. If you're looking to not spend a fortune, then come prepared and shop at your local Target or Bed Bath and Beyond for the essentials.
The things I typically pick up at the Expo are limited edition runDisney items and energy gels, (because I like to test out any new flavors). It is very important to make sure you have your ID, wallet, and magic band with you at all times. Having your race waiver printed will save you time at the Expo when receiving your bib. I also always wear a few hair ties on my wrist, and make sure to wear makeup with SPF in it just in case I forget to apply sunscreen right away. runDisney will give you plastic drawstring bags to use on race day for items you may want to leave in the tents while you run. While these are great, I also advise bringing some of your own drawstring bags or plastic baggies for food, wet clothing, and shoes.
The day you arrive at Disney will be exciting and chaotic. The best way to alleviate any stress and confusion is to plan ahead and keep the essentials with you at all times. Packing an extra tank top or wristlet in your carry on is also helpful if your room isn't ready once you arrive on Disney property. Most hotels can hold your baggage for you, but you'll want to make sure you have everything you need in your carry on if you decide to go to the parks, out to eat, or head to the expo. Also remember that there are lots of unique photo ops around each Disney Resort, as well as character meet and greets at the expo. You may want to pack those Mickey Ears in your carry on...just in case. ;)
Well, that's it for now, folks! I hope my packing list helped! My next blog post will go further in depth on some of my favorite products to use during Disney races and days in the Disney parks!
Hi all! I can't believe it's been almost a month since I last posted! January has been a busy month for me, and I definitely miss writing my thoughts out. Today's post was promised to you wayyy back in the first week of January. I came up with the idea to rank rides in each park by giving them either a "walk", "jog" or "sprint" review! Scroll down to learn more. :)
Rides that receive a "Walk" review are less popular in my opinion, and aren't typically worth the wait. Rides that receive a "Jog" review are moderately popular and are bearable to stand in line for but aren't really Fastpass worthy. Rides that receive "Sprint" reviews are ones that are worth the wait and even better if you can grab a Fastpass for them!
I'll be doing similar style posts on rides from all four Disney World theme parks in the future. Let me know in the comments which park you'd love my reviews on next! Now lets get into it!
It's Tough To Be a Bug! - Review Ranking: WALK
As much as I enjoy this ride for the adorable singing bugs and the fact that it's built underneath the Tree of Life, I just can't give it more than a WALK review. The wait time is usually never more than a half hour, and it really is a nice ride to just sit and cool off on. I wouldn't recommend it to thrill seekers or anyone above the age of 13 (unless you're with family/children). It is unique in the fact that the 3-D show also offers animatronics and plenty of other fun surprises to it's guests. I love "A Bug's Life", and I'm so happy they gave it a special show, but if you're more interested in popular thrill rides, then I would say to sit this one out.
DINOSAUR - Review Ranking: JOG
Dinosaur is probably one of my top 20 favorite rides at Disney. (I won't say top ten because that's a potential blog post and I don't want to give anything away!) I mainly love this ride because of the vehicle, (a time rover that does a good job at making it feel like you're actually trying to escape from a scary Carnotaurus). Even though the ending is always happy and we locate the desired Iguanodon, this ride gets a "Jog" review because it's not a Disney "must" for me. I took my boyfriend on it for the first time this past August, and he loved it for it's unpredictable twists and turns. If you're looking to try a ride in DinoLand U.S.A. then I definitely think Dinosaur is your best bet, but if you're crunched for time, then I would opt for something more memorable and more heavily Disney themed.
Expedition Everest - Review Ranking: SPRINT
I didn't want to give anything away, but this ride is most definitely in my top ten must-do Disney attractions! I've gotten lucky enough to wait in line for under a half hour, but this ride is usually very popular and can vary greatly on wait times depending on the time of day. If you can score a Fastpass, AND have the stand-by line be under 30 minutes, then you may even be able to get on the ride twice in under an hour! If you love the ride enough, definitely try to ride it more than once. The rollercoaster features a Yeti who protects the Forbidden Mountain and tries to scare away it's curious travelers. Not only is the ride amazing, but the queue is heavily themed and features many artifacts and a huge Yeti footprint. As far as aesthetics and thrill rides go, Expedition Everest takes the cake. It's listed as the most expensive roller coaster in the world, so you might as well take advantage of witnessing the incredible Yeti... plus the views from the top of the mountain can't be beat!
And that concludes my first edition of Walk. Jog. Sprint! I hope you enjoyed my reviews, and if you have any suggestions or comments, please let me know below! I love to hear from other Disney park-goers! Everyone has a unique perspective on all the rides Disney has to offer. :)
Hi, everyone! Thank you so much for all the visits on my website and the kind comments on my first blog post! I'm so happy to be able to live out my passions, and share them with you all!
Today's post will encompass a little thing called the runDisney Health and Fitness Expo! During each runDisney event, the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex opens their headquarters (located in Walt Disney World) to invite runners to shop the latest fitness merchandise, high tech gadgets, and nutritional products. It is mandatory for all runners participating in a runDisney event to pick up their official race number and packet during the days leading up to each race. This was honestly one of my favorite parts about race weekend, because the enormous complex was brimming with excitement.
When I signed up for my first runDisney event, I never expected the huge turnout like there was on race day weekend. I had signed up for the Princess Half Marathon in February of 2016 never having run a half marathon or trained for any sort of running event of this magnitude. Before I attended the Expo, I first went to my hotel (located on Disney property) to check-in. Normally, Disney will allow guests to check-in prior to the time stated, but if your room is not yet available, they can keep your luggage tucked away safely for you. This comes in handy if you're eager to get to one of the Disney parks and don't wish to tote your bags around. You can also download the Disney World app, sign in, and request a special check-in time if you booked your stay through one of the Disney resorts. (The perks of being a Disnerd)
Once we checked in, my friend Jackie and I jumped in her car and took off to the RunDisney Expo. The Expo runs for three days (Thursday - Saturday) and is open at different times depending on the day. Make sure to always check the runDisney website for details, and set an alarm on your phone (it opens fairly early in the morning). Typically, runners who sign up for the 5k and Kids Races will want to be at the expo on Thursday or Friday morning. You can expect heavy traffic at the Expo all day on Thursday. The 10k and Half Marathon are run on Saturday and Sunday, which means those runners have the luxury of choosing Thursday, Friday or Saturday (if you're a half marathoner).
Jackie and I got to the Expo on Saturday at around 1 PM. I was nervous because I had heard that a lot of the vendors were selling out of their products, and I had my eye on the popular Disney New Balance shoes. As it turned out, a lot of the official runDisney merchandise was restocked each day of the expo!
If you're looking to avoid heavy crowds, try going to the Expo on Saturday if you can. I remember the parking lot being very full when we pulled in, but a lot of people were heading out at that point. The best part about going late, was that we didn't have to wait in line for our bibs! Wait time for Packet-Pick Up can sometimes take up to one or two hours! Once you enter the complex, there are signs everywhere about where to go and what to do. Jackie and I made our way to the first building where you receive your bib, a race packet, and official runDisney merch. If you wait until the last remaining hours like we did, this will be the fastest line you'll have to wait in, guaranteed.
After picking up the necessities, we then headed to the main building where all the fun and commotion was. Disney releases their official race program a few weeks prior to each race, so my advice would be to highlight the vendors and speakers you wish to visit by order of importance. You really won't want to waste time, and if you have a special item you want, definitely make it a priority to get to that booth first. Also, make sure you factor Expo shopping into your Disney budget, because the place is a treasure trove of fitness goodies.
Walking out onto the landing of so many well known vendors was like heaven for me! We immeditaley started down the stairs and stopped at one of the first booths, which was "Raw Threads". This company makes amazing runDisney shirts that highlight every princess and her style. I really liked Ariel's "Leg Day" tank, but I already had my race day shirt picked out prior to visiting the Expo. (Runners, if you don't have an outfit by race weekend, Disney has you covered...you can find every kind of race outfit at the Expo! Bring cash.)
Jackie was able to snag this amazing Belle-inspired tee to wear on race day! Along with "Raw Threads", there were so many other fun booths to visit. We stopped by exhibitors that sold snacks, sunscreen, sweatbands, ear buds, deodorant, running skirts, and more! I could definitely see how a large crowd would make any visit to the Expo less enjoyable, but for the most part we had a great time and got everything we needed/wanted. All the vendors and employees made purchasing any item quick and relatively easy. I was able to try on and purchase my runDisney New Balance shoes in the size AND design I wanted amid the chaos! (Plan to size up for New Balance sneakers, and plan to spend at least $100 per pair.)
Another really cool part of the Expo, were all the photo ops! One thing I definitely wasn't expecting, was the chance to meet Jeff Galloway near the runDisney booth! Jeff is an American Olympian and life-time runner who provides the training plans for every runDisney race. I stuck to his training plan like glue, and I came out of race day barely sore and feeling GREAT. (Jeff's website ww.JeffGalloway.com is super valuable and his training methods produce great results.) One of the best takeaways I learned from Jeff, was the ability to factor in a Magic Mile during my training. A Magic Mile is completed about every two weeks of training and is a one mile timed trial. His formula states that if you run a measured mile at a challenging pace, you can then use that time to predict your outcome during further distances. His website even hosts a Magic Mile calculator, and directions on how to pace yourself through every type of race. Thanks for the signed bib, Jeff!
Once we had done all our shopping and grabbed a handful of snacks, we decided it was only appropriate to do a pre-race pic with our runDisney shirts and bibs! Cheesing hard as per usual.
I couldn't think of a more exciting way to spend the afternoon. We probably spent a couple hours wandering the sports complex before deciding to head back to the hotel for a bit. This was our first half marathon, so we decided to spend the rest of the day leisurely shopping at Disney Springs. If you're planning to visit a runDisney expo AND visit a Disney park in the same day, you will want to make sure to plan accordingly...(get to the expo early and make feasible Fastpass and dining reservations). If anything I've learned over the years of going to Walt Disney World, it's that you plan for a lot but actually get to do very little. Make the most of your time by utilizing Walt Disney World transportation, the Disney Parks App, and FastPass plans according to your purchased tickets. It's all relatively simple if you remain calm and don't actually run anywhere until race day. ;) Oh, and definitely wear comfy shoes...ALWAYS. :P
Oh M goodness...the holidays are officially here! It's the season for festive music, cozy sweaters, and long distance training runs (I'm looking at you, Princess Half-marathoners!)
If you have yet to finish your Christmas shopping and need gift ideas for the runner in your life, then look no further! I listed below TEN amazing stocking stuffers/Christmas presents for any endurance athlete!
*All items have links to shop!
NUMBER ONE: S'WELL BOTTLE
I LOVE my S'well bottle because it's stainless steel and keeps my water cold for 24 hours!! The smooth and sleek design is so pretty and 100% condensation free. S'well bottles come in a variety of stylish colors, limited edition designs, and stone-like textures. The newest S'well bottles even come covered in Swarovski crystals... #fancy. Plus, it's the perfect fit for any Christmas stocking.
Price range: $25 - $45, unless you're buying a bottle with crystals on it.
NUMBER TWO & THREE: XTEND BCAAs &
These two little beauties really come in handy for when I have to log a lot of miles. Scivation XTEND BCAAs helps to replenish electrolytes lost while running for extended periods of time. BCAAs (branch chain amino acids) play an important role in muscle and energy production during exercise, and help to reduce muscle soreness. This product comes in a powder form and is very easy to pour into your shaker bottle. Not only is it beneficial for athletes, but it tastes good too! The Blue Raspberry is my favorite flavor but I also like Watermelon and Pineapple. All flavors are sugar free.
Magnum Nutraceuticals Rocket Science is a clinically proven exercise intensifier. I usually take two of these pills prior to a long distance run, and I've seen an amazing difference in my stamina and focus. This product is perfect for anyone who wants to break through endurance plateaus and have unlimited energy. All Magnum products are 100% pharmaceutical grade. You'll be wanting to go to infinity and beyond, trust me.
BCAA's - $20 - $40
Rocket Science - $29.99
NUMBER FOUR & FIVE: TONE IT UP PERFECT FIT PROTEIN & BOOTY BANDS
I have been a Tone It Up girl for years now, and I've been using their Perfect Fit Protein consistently for a longggg time. The TIU protein is plant-based and comes in recyclable tubs, as well as small on-the-go packages. The vanilla is my favorite flavor, and I use this protein powder a lot for baking mini muffins and making yummy smoothies. The texture, smell, and taste cannot be beat! TIU also has amazing and affordable workout gear! The "Booty Bands" are my favorite, because they are easy to bring on vacation, and they are perfect to use before a run to warm up those glutes! I use these bands to improve my hip strength, and they are my go-to whenever I deal with IT Band Syndrome (which is very common among runners). These bands come in three different resistance levels.
Protein - $49
Booty Bands - $12
NUMBER SIX: BEATS BY DRE, POWER BEATS WIRELESS
Let me just say that prior to using these small pieces of ear candy, I didn't realize what I was missing out on. I wish I had a nickel for every time I used to have to detangle my sad little non-bluetooth earbuds, however, all of that has now changed. Beats by Dre Power Beats Wireless earphones help me focus better on my workout and the sound quality is top notch, y'all. I no longer have to struggle with keeping my phone in my hand at all times. Running has become a lot less of a hassle, because I can move more freely and the buds stay snug in my ears at all times. These earphones are water and sweat resistant, which means they are perfect for any outdoor running. I got them from my boyfriend last year as a Christmas gift, and they're definitely one of my top "must haves".
$159 *Special Holiday Offer
NUMBER SEVEN: GRAPHIC SWEATSHIRT
Every girl needs a good graphic sweatshirt, and I find that the best ones are usually fitness related. My current go-to is Shop Private Party "I Sleigh All Day". This sweatshirt is festive, soft, and speaks nothing but the truth. We all know Beyonce wasn't built in a day, but you'll definitely be feeling like you woke up like this. Crew neck sweatshirts are fun to run in because you don't have to bother with the annoyance of a hood, but I also love to lounge in them. Check out Private Party for plenty of other fun items.
NUMBER EIGHT: TRIGGER POINT MASSAGE BALL
I first came across the TP massage ball after ordering a Trigger Point foam roller. Trigger Point has so many quality products that help any athlete relieve minor aches and pains. I usually use the TP massage ball for targeted muscle relief on my calf muscles and glutes. Often times after a run I'll feel knot begin to build up, and that's when I rely on this little ball to help release any tightness in a particular area. I would highly recommend this item for anyone who is active and plans on staying active. It's the perfect fit for any stocking! The TP foam roller receives honorable mention!
NUMBER NINE: HOT HANDS HAND WARMERS
I never thought such a simple item could mean so much! These palm sized Hot Hands hand warmers are perfect for any runner who endures the colder weather to stay in shape. I personally love to run outside, but sometimes it becomes hard when the temperature begins to drop. I received about a dozen of these as a gift a couple years back, and they have kept me warm throughout multiple outdoor runs. If you're in need of a quick and creative idea, look no further! These really do come in "handy".
$4.50 - $50 (depending on where you purchase them and the quantity)
NUMBER TEN: NEW BALANCE RUNNING SHOES
I purchased my first pair of New Balance sneakers at the Run Disney Expo before the 2016 Princess Half Marathon. Each year Disney announces the characters/themes on the designs of the New Balance shoes prior to the race events. Runners usually make a mad dash for the design they want once they arrive on Disney property. I knew I had to have these "Little Mermaid" themed sneakers the moment I saw them! Aside from the aesthetics, I was really hoping they would deliver in comfort and durability. Overall, New Balance definitely lives up to the hype. They keep coming out with new and improved running shoes that are flexible and supportive for any foot-type. I've been dying to try their new Fresh Foam series, but until then, my Run Disney Vazee series shoes will work swimmingly. < See what I did there. ;) If the runner in your life needs new kicks, have them try out a pair of New Balance shoes. They fit like a glove, but definitely size up!
$79.99 - $159.99
...And that concludes my Top Ten Holiday Gifts for Runners! I hope you like my suggestions, and if you end up buying one of the items I listed, please leave a comment below! I'd also love to hear about any other items that could've made this list! It was definitely hard to narrow down, so maybe next year I'll have to do a Top Twenty!
Happy Holidays, folks!