29 September, 2010

I'm running with Jeff Galloway!

A few days ago the Official Disney Blog posted a quick blurb saying that on 9/28 they were going to make an announcement for a 'one-of-a-kind opportunity' for a few of the runners at Wine & Dine.  I didn't think anything of it at all and went about my day. I mean, no offense to Disney, but their 'HUGE' announcement about the Making Memories campaign and having your photos on the castle was kind of a letdown for some of us.

Fast forward to yesterday, 9/28, the day of the announcement.  I was keeping an eye out on twitter as well as ROTE (RunningoftheEars.com).  A little before 11, I go and check the Disney blog and the announcement had been posted....

"Meet-Up and Warm Up for the Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon with Running Guru Jeff Galloway"

Hmm...this could be interesting! I quickly skim over the blog post and it explains that they will be selecting 20 people to join Jeff Galloway, runDisney’s official training consultant and marathon guru, for a meet/greet and training run.  Friday before the big half marathon, Jeff will offer tips and training secrets to the qualified runners and then lead them on a special 3-mile run through one of the theme parks.

Problem was? They don't list a time that this event will take place on Friday.  I take my chances, realize it was a first come first served RSVP, see the clock ticking so quickly send over my reply email saying I'm interested.  What are the chances that I get picked anyway? It was already around 11:14am and I'm sure there were a ton of people hounding the blog to see the announcement.  Surely a lot more than 20 people have already replied, right??? 

The blog post said that if selected, you will receive an email around 2pm that same day.   So I shrug, wish for the best, and continue with my work day.  Again, realizing there's no way I would get picked! 

2pm rolls around and.... I see the red blinking light on my Blackberry start flashing.  Huh?!  Must be some stupid spam mail again or a dumb forward from one of my friends.  Open up my mailbox on my phone and staring at me is the beginning of the email subject line "Congrats! You've been selected to me---".... there's NO way.  Really?! No way!!!  

I quickly open up the email and sure enough, I was selected!!!  I was skimming the email so quickly and getting so excited, I honestly have NO idea what I read the first few times.  All I knew was that I got picked!!! But then one thing caught my eye.... "this Friday at 6:45am at Epcot...." Uhoh... Houston? We have a problem.... 


BIG problem!  The meet and run was scheduled for Friday at 6:45am.  My dilemma?  My flight doesn't land until 9:30am.  Big problem, HUUUGE problem.  The wheels quickly start turning in my head (as they seldom do) and I tried to figure out a solution.  How hard will it be to change my flight? How expensive would it be actually?!!  And omg...do you REALLY think there will be any hotel rooms left over on Disney property, only 2 days before I want to arrive?!

Before rushing into anything....I quickly went over to ROTE and told them my news.  I was selected!! But, before anyone congratulates me, we have issues with my flight, blah, blah, blah.  Jumped over to JetBlue's site and see that there are 3 seats available on the flight I would need Thursday night.  However, it wouldn't allow me to switch flights online.  Pick up the phone and start calling as I multi-task and go to Disney's site and look for rooms using my Annual Passholder rate.   To my surprise, there are a few rooms still available at the All Stars!  Put the rooms aside and talk to the reservation agent on the phone.  Change fee wasn't HORRIBLE, but the flight did go up in price.  After an original price quote that almost made me choke, the agent put me back on hold and then came back with a MUCH nicer number.  I don't know what she did but it was in my price range so I told her to go ahead and change the flight!

That hurdle down I took a deep breath and went back over to ROTE and saw that Tricia was selected as well!  She also had asked me if I had any hotel plans for Thursday night since I had to switch my itinerary around.  Quickly email her explaining that I found rooms using the AP rate but haven't booked anything yet.  She writes back offering to book and split the cost of the room.  Everything is falling into place and I still can't believe how fast everything was happening!  A quick call to Tricia after work and the plans are officially made! We'll be at All Star Sports for the night, which works out perfectly for both of us.

In all seriousness, I still can't believe I was selected.  I honestly RSVP'd for the heck of it not expecting ANY response.  When that email came in at 2pm I definitely stared at my phone dumbfounded.

Oh, and did I mention that it was my 30th bday on Monday?  And this whole Wine & Dine trip was a bday gift to myself to celebrate the big 3-0?!  This Jeff Galloway news it totally icing on the cake and will make this trip just that much more memorable!  Now just cross your fingers and hope this tropical storm that the northeast is supposed to get Thursday night just magically disappears and that I can get to Orlando some time before 6:45am on Friday.  Even if I need a taxi to drive me directly to Epcot, I will be there!

To view the original blog post by Disney, including list of selected runners, click on this link.

26 September, 2010

Race recap: Warrior Dash 2010 (Northeast)


So this past weekend, myself and 2 crazy friends, Courtney & Steve, ran in the 2010 Warrior Dash up in Windham, NY.  Such a crazy and hilarious day! What's the Warrior Dash, you ask?  According to their site:  Warrior Dash is the ultimate event for thrill-seeking athletes. This running series is held on some of the nation's most demanding and unique terrain. Participants will conquer extreme obstacles and celebrate their feat with music, beer, warrior helmets and muddy shorts.

Beer, Warrior Helmets, and Mud?  Sign me up! 

Our race time was scheduled for 3:30pm.  The whole race started at 9am-ish, and there was a new wave every half hour until around 5pm.  About 500 people in each wave...do the math...that's a LOT of muddy people!  We got up there around 1:30 and the place was already CHAOS!

We quickly picked up our race packets, our awesome fuzzy warrior helmets and t-shits.  Changed into our grubby clothes and checked our bags at bag check.
 
Since we were STARVING we headed over to the main area to grab some food.  Even more chaos!  First, everyone kept telling us we had to have tickets to buy food and beer.  So we head over there and buy tickets.  Then we realize the line for food is easily an hour long.  Hmmm... this isn't looking good.  Steve and I stumble on a Caribbean food stand selling jerk chicken and curry chicken.  Plus it had no line.  Grabbed some of the food, which was actually pretty decent, and found a seat to quickly eat.  Alex & Courtney stayed on the long line for burgers.  They didn't get back until 20 mins before we had to race!!  In the meantime, we kept people watching and commenting on all the muddy runners, the awesome costumes wandering around, and the waves kicking off every 30 minutes...

Courtney decided last minute to join us in the run.  She originally registered but then didn't feel great the whole week leading up to the race.  After seeing all the mud and fun, she quickly decided to do it and just take her time going through.










The three of us said bye to Alex and headed to the start line about 3:15.  The mood was great, everyone laughing and joking, not knowing what to expect.  Then at 3:30 the gun went off, fire cannons blew, and we were off!

Now did I mention that Windham is actually a ski mountain?  And the start and finish line were at the bottom of the mountain by the lodge?  But the race course went up the ski mountain and then back down.  Yeah...we were NOT fans of the trek up that mountain! It's SO much easier coming down on a snowboard!  There were girls crying because it was so hard! Luckily there were no tears shed from the 3 of us and we just kept trudging along, granted at a nice brisk walk and not a run.

On the way up we encountered our first few obstacles, the Knee High Hell - aka - the tires.  Got through that pretty easily and then ran into the Warrior Wall - 4 or 5 slightly higher than waist high walls that you had to climb over.  The Tunnels of Terror were next and other than scuffing up my knees pretty bad, it wasn't horrible. 

After all that fun we stumbled upon the frigid muddy lake or according to them, the Slithering Swamp.  Not gonna lie...after hiking up that mountain, the water felt fabulous.  It was FREEZING!!


After wading the length of the swamp, we crawled out and kept on trucking.  I will say the view from that part of the mountain was beautiful.

After trudging through some more mud and fun obstacles in the woods, the rope wall was next.  Fairly easy but still entertaining trying to get over!

A little longer and a few more obstacles, we finally get to moment we've all been waiting for! The slip n' slide, fire and mud pit! :)











Just a warning... lol



First up? The slip n' slide... 



Then? The fire pit!!!  (Thanks to Alex for the photos lol)
And the mud pit...
And we did it! We're done!




After congratulating each other and grabbing a few beers, we headed into the lodge to dry off and change into some warm dry clothes! There was also a place you can toss your gross sneakers and a company will clean and donate them to a good cause....



All in all it was a fabulous day!! We all had a great time, the only thing we would change is that we'd get there earlier to enjoy all of the festivities. They already posted the dates for next year and we're all ready to sign up! Bring on 2011!!! Warriors!!! :)

20 September, 2010

Race Program for Wine & Dine Weekend posted!

Disney finally posted the Race Program for the whole Wine & Dine Weekend...


Here's the link to the site:
Wine & Dine Weekend Race Program

Finish Line Party Info and Waivers have finally arrived!

Daniel was nice enough to email me the brochure for the Finish Line Party after the Wine & Dine Half Marathon...here it is!

Click on each photo to enlarge it...


Also, if you're looking to print your waiver for any of the races, click on this link and enter your information:

16 September, 2010

To get you in the mood for the Wine & Dine half...

Was browsing Youtube and found this video from AllEarsNet, just a really quick 30 second video promo about the Wine & Dine half...
 


Teeny tiny bit of news about the Finish Line Party....

The party goes until 3am in Epcot for all runners (admission is free for runners) and their family/friends (I believe tickets are around $30-$40).  Rumor has it that the whole World Showcase will be open, including all of the Food & Wine festival kiosks....EXCEPT the United Kingdom Pavilion and the Ireland kiosk.  Not sure why just those 2 will be closed but I'm guessing the runDisney team will be doing something in that area.

If you're coming to cheer on a runner, make sure to buy your ticket!

14 September, 2010

The 2011 Marathon Vinylmations

A friend of mine sent me a link to VinylNation.net and told me that they posted a photo of the new Vinylmations for the 2011 Marathon weekend.

Honestly? I think they're pretty darn ugly, especially since last years were so cute!

2011 Vinylmations:


2010 Vinylmations

(the 1/2 marathon):

(the full marathon:)


What do you guys think?

13 September, 2010

Training for 9/6-9/12....17 Week to Go!

Wow, 17 weeks!?! I think every week when I see that number decrease, I'm going to freak out just a tad bit more.

So this was a decent week for training.  Got out there 3 times this week, which was my goal!

Here's all the fun techie data:


9/7: 3 miles out and back in town at Garmin Connect

Woke up too late to drive to the park so I figured I could just run from my house.  I now remember why I'm not a fan of that whole idea.  Not only is my house at the top of a gradual hill, so that every run has to end in an uphill battle.... the stupid street lights are a hassle! I easily lost a good 30 seconds in each mile because I had to wait for the light to change for me to cross.  Add to that half asleep drivers and it wasn't the most fun run.  

9/9: 3 mile loop in the park at Garmin Connect

The 3 miles on the 9th were rough.  I swore I was pretty speedy and had a great pace.  When the watch beeped at the first mile, I looked and couldn't believe my eyes! It said I ran the mile a whole minute and a half SLOWER than I normally do.  Really!? I tried to pick up the pace for the second mile but was pretty unsuccessful.  By the end of the 2nd mile I gave up trying to speed up and just kept chugging along.

Not every run will be a great run.  I found that out the hard way last year in my training.  Just have to suck it up and realize that at least the miles are in the books and there's always the next run.  :)

9/12: 10 miles in the park at Garmin Connect

I FINALLY got in a 10 mile run.  I've been meaning to do this for weeks but something always came up.  So of course I wake up and it looks like it's going to POUR outside.  I knew I had to get it done though so I quickly got dressed, had some oatmeal, and headed to the park.  I set out to run around an 11-12 minute pace the whole time.  Slow and steady on these long runs! I felt great the whole time, sipping on some water/Gatorade mix and just chugging along listening to the tunes.  The first 3 miles were my slowest but they usually are for the long runs.  It takes me a while to get in the groove.  By mile 8 I still felt great so I let myself pick up the pace a bit and ended my last mile in about 10mins.  Luckily the rain held out and it only started drizzling when I had 1.5 miles to go.  The mist actually felt good!

After a quick trip home and shower, I headed out to my friends house for a football party.  I did feel a dehydration headache creeping up but I popped a few Advil, drank a few bottles of water, ate some tailgating food, and was good to go in about an hour.  The next day (today) I still feel good....no sore muscles, yay!

So there's only 3 more weeks until Wine & Dine! 14 days until I turn 30...yikes!

I talked to the owner of my gym who is a crazy crazy ultra marathoner (53 mile mountain trail runs, etc) and asked him to help me look over my training schedule for the marathon.  He said what I'm doing now is decent but he's still going to help me out by creating a nice workout routine for me.  Should have that by tomorrow so I'll let you guys know how it goes. :)

Eat, Sleep, Run Disney

06 September, 2010

Preparing my stomach for the 2010 Food & Wine Festival

I know I've mentioned this before but one of the main reasons I registered for the Wine & Dine Half Marathon was to get down to Disney again for the Food & Wine festival.  Thanks to AJ at The Disney Food Blog, I've been keeping up with all the news and updates about the fest.  When the marketplace booths and offerings were posted, I immediately started scouring over the information and started to plan my route (my demise?) around the kiosks.

Thought it would be fun to post the list of foods I want to try, and see how many I can actually make it through while only at the festival for less than 3 days.  I don't eat seafood (just don't like the taste), so that does narrow down my selection slightly.  Desserts I don't NEED to try, unless it's something spectacular.  Why fill my stomach up with dessert when there's SO MANY other things to try?! Also, I probably won't be sampling too much alcohol the first half of my trip since the race is Saturday night.  Drinking will only start after the race is over, and that doesn't leave me much time!

So hope your stomachs are ready....let's start! 

* I left out all of the seafood options in the lists, as well as 99% of all the alcohol offerings just to keep the list short and sweet.  For a complete menu list, please check out The Disney Food Blog.

** Also if anyone wants to offer to help me attempt to eat around the world Oct 1-3, drop me a comment. :)  It always helps to share some dishes...keeps the cost down and saves some room in the stomach!

2010 Food & Wine Festival Marketplaces

Argentina
  • Roasted Corn and Cheese Empanada *love empanadas in any shape or form*
  • Grilled Beef Skewer with Chimichurri Sauce and Boniato Purée *enjoy a good chimichurri*
Australia
  • Grilled Lamb Chop with Roasted Potato Salad and Red Wine Reduction *must try, had the chop last year and they were very good*
  • Lamington (sponge cake dipped in chocolate) *not too appealing for me but we'll see*
Belgium
  • Freshly Baked Waffles with Berry Compote and Whipped Cream *must try*
  • Godiva Chocolate Iced Coffee *coffee is my addiction, and they're throwing Godiva in it?!*
Brazil
  • Grilled Pork Skewer with Farofa *have heard of farofa but haven't tried yet, here's my chance!*
Canada
  • Canadian Cheddar Cheese Soup *obviously must have*
  • Chicken Chipotle Sausage with Sweet Corn Polenta *should go great with the soup*
  • Nanaimo Bar *eh, will take it or leave it*
Charcuterie & Cheese
  • Cheese Fondue with Croutons and Roasted Potatoes *cant't go wrong with fondue*
  • Applewood Smoked Beef, Duck; and Ham *this might go well with the fondue..*
Chile
  • Pastel de Choclo (Beef and Corn Pie) *sounds delicious!*
China
  • Pork Pot Stickers *hopefully not typical pot stickers*
  • Xinjiang Barbecue Chicken Stick *sounds good to me*
  • Happy Lychee *love lychee fruit so will need to have one*
Desserts & Champagne *will probably skip this whole booth*
  • Strawberry Angel Verrine
  • Pear Streusel Pudding Cake
  • Dark Chocolate Sensation
France
  • Braised Short Ribs in Cabernet with Mashed Potatoes *LOVE short ribs, must try*
  • Crème Brulée au Chocolate au Lait *one dessert I will have to try, love creme brulee*
Germany
  • Spätzle Gratin with Ham and Cheese *miss good spatzle from Munich, will have to try*
  • Nürnberger Sausage in a Pretzel Roll *not a necessity, but sounds good*
  • Apfel Strudel featuring Werther’s Original Karamell Sauce *another dessert I love*
Greece *the true test of the festival....this Greek girl will be the judge*
  • Greek Salad with Pita Bread *can't mess up salad with feta, can you?*
  • Spanakopita *was decent last year, even approved by my crazy Greek mother*
  • Chicken Souvlaki with Tzatziki *VERY picky about my tzatziki...I'll be a strict judge*
  • Baklava *was also given the approval from crazy Greek mom, I've never been a huge fan*
Hops & Barley
  • Pecan Bread Pudding *was amazing last year at the New Orleans kiosk*
Ireland
  • Kerrygold® Cheese Selection *cheese is my downfall*
  • Warm Chocolate Lava Cake with Baileys Irish Cream Ganache *my other downfall*
  • Guinness Draught *I'm a Guinness girl...I'll be stopping here a lot after the race...*
Italy *I can take or leave this whole kiosk... offerings just look plan and meh*
  • Polpettine Toscane with a Rosemary Breadstick
  • Baked Cheese Ravioli, Creamy Bolognese Sauce, Melted Mozzarella
  • Cannolo Al Cioccolato *not a fan of chocolate cannolis*
Japan
  • Wafu Ribettes *the only offering I'll eat here so I'll be trying it*
Mexico
  • Tamal de Pollo *tamales are my favorite Mexican food*
  • Taco de Chilorio *haven't tried chilorio so sign me up*
  • Esquites (Pan-Fried Corn and Spices)
  • Churro *another dessert highlight for me!*
Morocco
  • Beef in a Pita Pocket *would rather have the falafel*
  • Falafel Pita Pocket *tried last year, was very dry and ehhh*
  • Baklava *might have to do a Greece vs. Morocco test*
New Zealand
  • Lamb Slider with Tomato Chutney *must try, will compare to Australia*
Poland
  • Kielbasa and Potato Pierogies with Caramelized Onions and Sour Cream *who doesn't love pierogies?*
  • Golabki (Pork Stuffed Cabbage) *not a huge cabbage fan so might have to split this with someone*
Puerto Rico
  • Asopao de Pollo (Chicken Soup with Rice) *other than the cheddar soup in Canada, I don't know about a lot of soup on a hot day*
  • Medianoche Sandwich *I believe it's like a Cuban sandwich, which I love*
Singapore
  • Coconut-Braised, Beef Rendang with Jasmine Rice *love almost everything cooked in coconut*
South Africa
  • Flavors of Africa (Salad, Bread, and Spreads) *since I can't eat at Jiko this trip...*
  • Seared Beef Tenderloin with Sweet Potato Purèe and Mango Barbecue Sauce *sounds delicious*
South Korea
  • Lettuce Wraps with Roast Pork and Kimchi Slaw *not a huge fan of kimchi but will try both!*
  • Barbecue Short Rib with Steamed Rice and Cucumber Kimchi
Spain
  • Serrano Ham, Chorizo, Manchego, Olives, and Tomato Bread *if I'm in the mood for an antipasto like snack*
  • Spanish Almond Cake *could take it or leave it*
United States
  • Bison Chili with Wild Mushrooms, Cabernet, and Pepper Jack Cheese *not a big mushroom fan but love bison, so this is a must try*
  • Heirloom Tomatoes with Oregon Blue Cheese, Red Onions, and Basil *despise blue cheese so this is a pass*

And there you have it! My FEAST that I want to attempt throughout the weekend.  Sadly though if I try everything on the menu I'll gain 40 pounds, and burn a serious hole in my wallet.  So again, if anyone wants to join me for the weekend, let me know!

Thanks to AJ's The Disney Food Blog for the list of marketplace offerings and other Food & Wine information!

T-minus 3 Weeks for W&D....T-minus 18 for WDW Full!

Happy Labor Day!  Just pulled out a calendar and realized time is ticking for this training.  Yikes!

I'll try to at least come over here once a week and post my weekly training information.  Then every once in awhile I'll post some random musings.

This week was a dud in terms of gym/training.  I was able to get to the gym Monday, like I mentioned earlier, but that's about it.  Quick 3 mile run Thursday morning, which felt like I was breathing underwater due to the humidity....and then a decent 6 mile run yesterday (Sunday).

I tried to use a modified version of the Jeff Galloway running method yesterday for the 6 miler.   You run for a certain time, then walk briskly for a short period of time.  It's supposed to save your energy, save your legs, without really effecting your overall pace time.  I did 10:1 running:walking splits and it felt ok.  I think I just have to get used to it.  My running was definitely faster than my normal long run pace, and throwing the walking in only brought down the time a little bit.  My overall time was about right in the middle of all my other 6-mile runs that I've completed over the past year or so. 

I have to try to head to the bookstore and pick up Galloway's book to get more pointers.  I think I was completing the runs at too quick of a pace, and know I can never maintain that for 26.2 miles.   

Does anyone else use this method? What do you like about it? Hate about it? Any tweaking suggestions?

Here's all the data from the runs this week:

9/2: 3 mile loop at Garmin Connect - Details

9/5: 6 miles, 10:1 Galloway at Garmin Connect - Details

Hoping for a better training week this week!

01 September, 2010

Slacking this week :( but reservation news too!

I was doing so well last week! But this week has been down the drain already...

Monday started off well...gym in the AM for some cardio (eliptical and UBE) and then back again in the PM for a serious arm workout.

Tuesday I planned on running in the AM but the night before I got sucked into Army Wives on my DVR and couldn't wake up to my alarm.  (I know...horrible excuse but I love the show and was behind in watching!) Dentist in the PM so no gym at all.

Wednesday, more of the same.  The night before met a friend for a drink at Applebee's and didnt get to bed until midnight.  Alarm again didnt wake me up.  Plus grad school starts tonight so I'll be busy allll night! *sigh*

There's always tomorrow, right? :)

As for my Disney reservations... I was able to get the Annual Pass discount on my room for October. It saves me about $30 from the Disney Sports price, but that's like 3 or 4 snacks around the world at Food & Wine so I went for it. :)