31 December, 2011

runDisney Announces Tower of Terror 10-Miler & Wine and Dine Date Change

So by now this is definitely old news for a lot of people, but in case you missed some of the details, I'll post it here.

A week or so ago, runDisney kept hinting that they're going to give runners a 'Christmas gift', and teased the announcement with a few short videos.  The videos caused crazy rumors to swarm around the Disney sites and running forums. 

First video...

Second video...

Third video...

And the official announcement...

So yup!  The Tower of Terror race is back!!  But instead of being a 13k, it is now a 10-Miler.  I think it's a fabulous addition to the runDisney races, and should be a great time for all that are running.

What:  Tower of Terror 10-Miler
When: September 29th, 2012
Where:  Walt Disney World
Registration:  Opens February 14th, 2012

After the race, Hollywood Studios will be open until 3am for a post-race party.  

However... then I noticed the date!  September 29th was SUPPOSED to be the date for the Wine & Dine Half Marathon.  Uhoh.... after quickly browsing the announcement, I noticed they mentioned that the new dates for Wine & Dine will be November 10, 2012.  Hmm....
I was happy with the new date in November for the sole reason that it's hopefully much cooler in November.  The weather in September is slightly unpredictable.   

Thennnnnn...I started thinking about the new November date even more and doing a little research.  That weekend in November is what everyone at Disney calls 'Jersey Week'.  All NJ schools are closed due to a teachers convention so many many many NJ families descend on Disney World that week so their children don't have to take a full week off from school.  I remember doing it for a few years when I was in elementary school too.  Crowds aren't insane...but they are slightly elevated.  

Not to mention that weekend is also Veterans Day, which means a long weekend for many people, which will bring in crowds to the parks....

Plus?  It's the very last weekend of the Food & Wine festival.  Which means that runners that come for the long weekend can't necessarily enjoy the food or the wine prior to the race due to nutrition concerns for the race.  And since the festival ends that Sunday, you can't enjoy the kiosks the Monday after the race like the majority of runners do.  

OH! And now Wine & Dine is no longer on my birthday weekend, which makes me sad.  :(  

So yeah... I'm slightly torn about the new dates.  Why couldn't they have just left Wine & Dine where it was, especially since they announced the original dates previously....and just put the Tower of Terror run in November, closer to Halloween to make it more festive??  People have been complaining on their FB site that they've already booked hotel and flights and now runDisney is ruining their vacation.  I don't blame people for being pissed off! 

There's been rumors that runDisney is attempting to phase out Wine & Dine, which would be a horrible decision if you ask me!  I'm not sure how much truth there is behind that though since Wine & Dine has been very popular the past two years and the improvements from the inaugural year were amazing.  

I won't be doing the Tower of Terror run for awhile since Wine & Dine is so close, not to mention the January races are only a few months after.  But I'd love to hear what people think!  

Will you be running the new race?  Stick to the old ones?  

16 December, 2011

Tinker Bell Race Program is Online!

After seeing the info for the Expedition Everest Challenge, I browsed through the other races and saw that the Tinker Bell Race Program is out!

Click here to go to the race program!

I'm definitely jealous of everyone running the inaugural race!  Can't wait to hear all about the run when it's over!  

15 December, 2011

Disney Running 101 Part 1: 4 to 3 Weeks Prior to Race Day

** I decided to repost all of my Disney Running 101 Posts leading up to January Marathon Weekend.  I have a few more readers since last year so I figured it'd be a nice refresher! Where info has changed, I've attempted to update it with current information! **

One month before race day!  By now you should be nearing the end of your hectic training schedule, getting in one or two last long runs, and beginning your taper period.

During your last few long runs, make sure to finalize what food, hydration, clothing, and gear you want to race with.  Don't try running the race in anything new that you haven't tested out yet!  You don't want to find out that the cute new shirt you bought to wear irritates your neck starting at mile 4.  It's a LONG way to the finish line!  

As for tapering, my taper period starts 3 weeks prior to race day but I know some runners who only use a 2 week taper. The 'official' explanation for tapering is that by resting the body it can recover from the shock of weeks and months of hard training and thus stand the best chance for a peak race performance.

During taper, do NOT overdo it! Give your body the rest it deserves after logging all those crazy miles! No need to suffer an injury this close to the race. After all the hard work you put into the training, it's not worth the risk of hurting yourself. There are no workouts the week prior to the race that will enhance your preparedness. Do something light to keep yourself sane but nothing crazy. An important rule of thumb is "Less is Best", particularly if you are feeling either physically or mentally tired and/or your leg muscles are fatigued/achy, etc.

Since you are running less, pay closer attention to your diet. Increasing protein a little in the beginning of your taper should help your muscles repair and recover. It’s normal to gain a few pounds as your muscles stockpile the glycogen they will need during the race. You're also not running as much, hence not burning as many calories. But gaining more than five pounds will make you feel heavy and sluggish. Eat a few less calories than usual and stick to well-balanced meals.

Also, remember to stay hydrated! Since you're not running as much, you probably won't want to drink as much either.


In terms of Disney, you should start to make your final decisions on the three additional ticketed events that Disney is hosting this year for runners and their guests.

* Depending on the race weekend, Disney may or may not offer all 3 of these.  I will try to keep this updated when I get more info *

A few days before the races (usually Thursdays but that can change), there's a 'Pasta in the Park Party' from roughly 6:30pm - 9:30pm. According to the runDisney site...Kick off the Walt Disney World® Marathon Weekend by joining us for a Pasta in the Park Party at Epcot®! This event is a great way to relax and be entertained before your big race. The party includes a buffet pasta dinner with self seating, a live DJ and Disney Characters eager to meet you. Following dinner at the World ShowPlace Pavilion, you and your family will be escorted to Worldview Plaza to watch IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth, a mesmerizing fireworks, laser and water show put to music.

I believe the price for 2012 is $47.50 for adults, $28.35 for children.  Is it worth it?  I'm not so sure but that's up to you to decide.  I personally have never done the pasta party.  We normally arriving late on Thursday night so always an option for us.  I've heard mixed reviews about the event and some say the food is only 'acceptable' and not worth the $48.  In the past, my friends and I had a great meal at Tutto Italia, Mama Melrose, and Le Cellier for cheaper per person and loved it.  Many of my other friends just hang out at Pop Century and have a much cheaper pasta dinner in the food court. 

Here's a recap of the party from 2010 so you can decide yourself.  It does look fun but hanging out in the park without the party seems just as fun? :) (Video courtesy of ESPN Wide World of Sports)

The second event for the weekend is the Race Retreat before and after each race for the runners.  I wrote a whole blog post about this earlier but here's a blurb...

From Disney's site... "Are you looking for a way to put a little more magic into your Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend? Experience the race as a VIP with a Race Retreat Package. The Race Retreat features a temperature controlled tent with patio seating at the finish line where you'll have private restrooms and bag check, access to live results, a full brunch, massage and character appearances."

They also posted a flyer from 2012 with more details, which you can read here. Bagels, fresh fruit, hot/cold drinks, private bag check, private rest rooms, changing area, character greets, massages (for a $10 fee), and a few other things.  All for the 'low' price of $105 for marathon runners ($85 for half marathon runners and $175 for Goofy)!! (Prices listed were for 2011, I can't seem to find 2012 prices)

Like I said in my earlier post, I probably would have done this if my BFF and I were running the same races.  Paying for the retreat for 2 days though is steep and what are the chances of it being so frigidly cold again like it was in 2010?  Instead I'll spend the time hanging out with my Running of the Ears crew as well as anyone else I stumble upon in the corrals and family areas. 

And the last ticketed event to discuss with your family and friends coming to cheer you on is the ChEAR Squad.  ChEAR Squad members will get inside information and tips about race weekend and, depending on the package you buy, reserved viewing locations on the course.  There are 4 packages you can choose from with prices ranging from $0 (yes..free) all the way up to $145 (for Platinum Goofy viewing).  Each package contains different perks ranging from just emails to a t-shirt, cooler, cheering clappers to a private area at the finish line, free food, etc.

To read more about the ChEAR Squad packages from 2011, check out Disney's link here. The 2012 ChEAR Squad instructions are here.  Again, can't find prices for some reason this year. 

The ChEAR Squad sounds like a decent idea if your friend and fam don't want to wake up early and deal with all of the chaos of going from park to park to chase you down! I personally don't know anyone that has done it though so I can't comment on if it's worth it or not.  Has anyone done it before?

Anyone going to participate in any of the three ticketed events?  Thoughts? 


So there you have it...Part 1 of my Disney Running 101!  What did you think?  Helpful?  Anything I left out that people should know about 4-3 weeks prior to the big day? 

Expedition Everest Challenge Now Open for Registration

With all the news coming out for Marathon Weekend in January, it's hard to keep up with the other runDisney news!

The other day, runDisney announced that registration is now open for their Expedition Everest Challenge May 5th, 2012.  Sounds like a fun race!

The details:
Expedition Everest Challenge, a race adventure with some bite, is coming Saturday, May 5, 2012 to Disney's Animal Kingdom® Theme Park.

Just after sunset, individuals and teams of two will brave the mysteries of a thrilling 5K trek held in the shadows of the Forbidden Mountain. Teams will have to overcome treacherous obstacles lying in their path and scavenge for clues along their journey to be able to solve the mystery of the mountain in the end. But beware of the Yeti, the abominable snowman that guards the Forbidden Mountain! Escape from the clutches of the Yeti and celebrate conquering this Everest Challenge with an exclusive after-hours party at Disney's Animal Kingdom® Theme Park.

If you have what it takes to conquer this challenge, then find a teammate and join the trek! The challenge and the party will double your fun! If no one will brave this adventure with you, then sign up for the solo trek.

It's a night time race that starts at 9:30pm, which is pretty cool because Animal Kingdom is gorgeous at night!  The post race party also sounds fun since most of their big ticket rides will be open (Attractions open for this party include Kali River Rapids Attraction, DINOSAUR, Dinoland U.S.A. Area, and the Expedition Everest Attraction).

As for registration fees, I honestly don't think they're horrendous if you register early!  Yes, it's a 5k but you also get the obstacle course thrown in, the post race party, and a pretty amazing medal.  I saw the medal when I was at Marine Corps and it's sweet!

Here's a photo of the 2008 medal, but this years is very similar.

Entry Fees and Deadlines
Individual Registration
  • $89 between December 13 – February 26, 2012
  • $99 between February 27 – April 15, 2012
  • $109 between April 16 – May 5, 2012
Individual Registration Plus 1– Day Theme Park Ticket*
  • $129 between December 13 – February 26, 2012
  • $139 between February 27 – April 15, 2012
  • $149 between April 16 – May 5, 2012
Team Registration
  • $175 between December 13 – February 26, 2012
  • $190 between February 27 – April 15, 2012
  • $205 between April 16 – May 5, 2012
Team Registration Plus 1– Day Theme Park Ticket*
  • $249 between December 13 – February 26, 2012
  • $269 between February 27 – April 15, 2012
  • $289 between April 16 – May 5, 2012

For all of the official runDisney information, head over to their website to check it out! 

I would LOVE to do this race one day but I first need to figure out when Wine & Dine is and how much money I'll be throwing at Disney between that trip and the Goofy trip in January!  :)

Who's registering?

12 December, 2011

25 Days Until the Madness Starts!

Yup, I just counted.  25 days until the 5k on January 6th!

Luckily this week was also a pretty good training week.  It was also the last official full week of school and all my projects have been presented and turned in.  Just one more class tonight and I'm FREEEEE!!!!!  (At least until next semester)

Yet again I didn't get in much running during the week but the weekend runs went really well.  So here goes...

12/5, Monday:
Was still a little sore after my 16 miler the day before so just woke up and did a nice arm workout at the gym.  It was definitely the harder of the two upper body workouts that my trainer gave me so it was a slight struggle.  Rode the bike for a few minutes to try getting some of the lactic acid out of the legs.  It felt good!

12/6, Tuesday:
Rest day since I had to go to a friend's house for their son's bday

12/7, Wednesday:
Holy HARD workout! Went to the gym with the intention of doing my leg workout and then running at least a mile. The workout was so hard I threw in the towel after I was done with it and didn't get on the treadmill.

Mostly it was all exercises on step boxes...8" and 10" plus a few with both combined.  I felt it in my legs for DAYS!  But it felt good!

12/8, Thursday:
Another rest day since it was my group presentation for class!

12/9, Friday:
Attempted my Ab Workout today and it was pretty hard as well.  Sensing a trend with these workouts?!

12/10, Saturday:
Had a good 8 Mile run!  Started out at 38 degrees but I soon warmed up realizing I probably wore too many layers!  Headed out with a friend who is training for his first half down at Disney with his son. It was nice to have someone to talk to and pass the time away. Definitely faster then I was planning to run but I felt good so we kept it up.  Kept up a 10:08 pace throughout....

12/11, Sunday:
Another back to back run....Met up with Pat in Fort Tryon Park in NYC to head out for our 18 mile run. Neither of us had been that far up in the city so it was a nice change of pace.  The park was beautiful and there was a pretty cool museum up there (The Cloisters) so we checked that out when our run was complete.

George Washington Bridge at Mile 2 on the way southbound

Decided we'd just go out an enjoy the run and not stress about time. Stuck to the West Side Highway and only got down to the Intrepid before having to turn around.  Next time we'll have to start around the Intrepid so we make it to the Brooklyn Bridge!

The Intrepid Musum at Mile 9-ish
Felt good the whole entire run...could have been b/c I OD'd on nutrition.  Took a Gu, 2 Gu Roctanes, and a Honey Stinger Waffle, plus my Gatorade and Nuun.

The Little Red Lighthouse hiding under the George Washington Bridge (Mile 16 on the way north)

Did roughly a 1 min walk at each mile. We did slow down and take a few pics along the way...couldn't help it! It was a beautiful (but COLD!) day!  When we were done we wandered The Cloisters Museum a bit, then proceeded to stuff our faces all around the East Village.

The Cloisters
I swear it was amazing, better than it looks!

X'ian Famous Foods for their Spicy Cumin Lamb Noodles, Belgian Room for lots and lots of good beer...and a hilarious bartender, and then finally Banh Mi Zon for yummy Vietnamese Sandwiches. I think we thoroughly re-carbed up....plus some!

08 December, 2011

Marathon Weekend Changes From Previous Years

Spent a little time going through all of the details in the final race instructions for all of the races.  From what I can tell, not TOO much has changed.  The main changes are with the Goofy Race, bib numbers, and obviously the marathon relay since it's brand new this year.  


There's only one bib that you have to use for both races, which also means one B-Tag.  This should be interesting to see what happens.  Unless they're giving us heavy duty bibs, I have a feeling that some bibs might not survive both days.  From a computer/database geek point of view, it's possible that this makes things a whole lot easier for runDisney on the technology side of things.  Since there's only one B-Tag, it should help keep track of all the Goofy runners much better.

Goofy runners also don't have to check in after the half marathon like in the past.  Now you just wait until you complete the full and go to the Goofy tent, where they'll verify you ran both races in the allotted time, and hand you your medal! :)

Bib Numbers:

From what we can tell so far, here's the tentative bib breakdown:

Full #s start at 0
Goofy #s start at 20,000
Half #s start at 30,000
Relay #s start at 70,000

It should be interesting to see how the corrals are broken down.  I'm 99% sure that they won't have the relay runners and Goofy runners start in the back of the pack so we'll all be mixed in based on expected finish time.  Might be harder to enforce people entering the correct corrals but I'll be hoping for the best!

Marathon Relay:

Bibs for relay runners are not the same for both runners like they've been for the Wine & Dine Relay.  Now the bibs are one number off from each other.  So if the first runner of the team has bib #1234 the second team member is #1235.

By 4:00 a.m.
Relay teams must be on Monorails or Buses to Epcot
Relay team not staying at host resorts must be parked at Epcot
By 4:45 a.m.
Relay Runners need to SWAP gear bags with bag check stickers prior to taking shuttle to the Relay Exchange.  Check the bags in the respective Bag Check.  (This part was confusing)
By 5:00 a.m.
Relay Runner #1 must be in corral at Epcot
By 5:00 a.m. to 7:00 a.m.
Monorails and buses are available from Epcot to the Relay Exchange
By 7:00 a.m.
Relay #2 must take shuttle to Relay Exchange

Relay Runner #1:
If you would like to retrieve your belongings at Magic Kingdom Park after completing the first leg of the race, you must give your clear plastic goody bag, with your bag sticker affixed to the front of the bag, to Relay Runner #2. Relay Runner #2 will check your bag at the Bag Check tent at Magic Kingdom Park. Relay Runner #1 bags must be claimed before 10:00 a.m. on Sunday. Unclaimed Relay Runner #1 bags will be delivered from Magic Kingdom Park to the Information tent at Epcot. Any bags unclaimed by 2:00 p.m. on Sunday will be transferred to Epcot Guest Relations, located to the right of the main park entrance. Please visit during park hours to claim lost items.

Relay Runner #2:
If you would like to retrieve your belongings at Epcot® after completing the second leg of the race, you must give your clear plastic goody bag, with your bag sticker affixed to the front of the bag, to Relay Runner #1. Relay Runner #1 will check your bag at the Bag Check tent at Epcot. Relay Runner #2 bags must be claimed before 2:00 p.m. on Sunday. Any unclaimed bags will be transferred to Epcot Guest Relations, located to the right of the main park entrance. Please visit during park hours to claim lost items.

I think those were the main changes!  If I notice anything else, I'll post again! 

07 December, 2011

Race Waviers/Bibs and Final Instructions Posted for Disney's Marathon Weekend!

It's all getting to real now, right?

Here's all the info that runDisney just posted.  I didn't have a chance to go through all the details but wanted to at least give you guys the links!

All Races:  Link to download and print your waiver, which includes your bib number

Full Marathon Final Race Instructions
Marathon Relay Final Race Instructions
Half Marathon Final Race Instructions
Goofy Race & A Half Final Race Instructions
Family Fiesta 5k Final Race Instructions

Who's freaking out JUST a little bit?  Yeah..me! :)

Running for a Cause

So I've finally started putting my running to good use!  When I originally started running I always knew I wanted to fund-raise to some capacity for a worthy charity, but due to time constraints, life constraints, and just being overall busy, I didn't think that I'd be able to put as much effort into it as I wanted. 

While I still don't have a huge amount of time, I figured I need to just step up and do it!  After talking to a few friends, we decided to join the WDW Radio Running Team.  It's a running team started by Lou Mongello, owner of WDW Radio and it's podcast.

The Team raises money to benefit the Make-A-Wish foundation to help grant the wishes of children with life threatening illnesses that want to visit Walt Disney World.  I figured there was no better charity to raise money for while I'm training for all these Disney races! 

There are many fundraisers for medical research, which is definitely in need of funding, but that money may not help a family suffering today. Through the work of wish-granting organizations, we are helping a child and their family now by giving them time away from the grim reality of hospitals and doctors, and a chance to smile and feel better, even if only for a little while. The happy memories the family creates, however, will last a lifetime.

A little more about the WDW Radio Running Team can be found here.

And if anyone wants to donate, the link for that is here.  Mention EatSleepRunDisney.com or me (Jenn L!) in the comments if you do!

If you see any of these shirts while on the race courses, be sure to say hello!!!

05 December, 2011

New Prices for Disneyland Half Marathon 2012

There's been quite the buzz online about the new pricing for the Disneyland Half Marathon in 2012.  It went up...a lot!

$150 by February 26, 2012
$165 between February 27 and April 15,2012
$180 on or after April 16, 2012

Last year it was:
$125 by February 6, 2011
$145 after February 6, 2011

The late fee last year isn't even as much as the starting price this year, not to mention that just a few years ago it was $90! 

It's a hard price to swallow, especially considering that both half marathons held at Disneyland aren't run completely on Disney property.  Most of the race is held in the streets of Anaheim.  And while there is some fun crowd support, it's not 100% Disney like in Florida. 

$25 increase might not sound like much, but the prices continue to go up yet many runners are complaining that their money is getting them less.  Less characters on the course, less food at the finish, etc.

I guess good thing for me, I wasn't really planning on running Disneyland in 2012 at all.  I'll be waiting a few years to run it again, unless Disney comes up with a medal or something to run every single race in one calendar year.  Then I'll make the exception.  :)

What do you guys think?  What is too much for a half marathon?  What do you factor in when deciding to fork over that kind of money? 

It Was a Good Week for Training...

I started to write this post last night when I got in bed but I think I was passed out before 3 words were jotted down.

This past week I hit every major workout/running goal that I had planned.  I missed a few regular workouts and a cut a short run even shorter but I'm completely OK with it.  It feels like I'm actually back in the groove of training and even though there's only 32 days left until the races start, I feel pretty good with where I'm at.

11/28, Monday:
After having talked to my gym owner the previous week about getting a new workout routine, I got to the gym but the workout wasn't ready yet so I went through a quick circuit that he put together for me. Felt pretty good!

11/29, Tuesday: 
Went to the gym and my new workout was ready! It's split into 3 days per week. However, there's 2 complete different workouts depending on the week. So Week 1 I'll do Workout A and Week 2 I'll do Workout B, then back to Workout A on Week 3. Slightly confusing at first but it'll definitely keep me into it.
First upper body day today...Did 2 sets and then jumped on the treadmill for a boring hot mile. It was too stuffy in the gym and I just wasn't feeling it.

11/30, Wednesday:
Forced myself to run 3 full miles on the treadmill in the morning :) Found the trick I forgot about since college... cover the treadmill screen with your towel so you can't see the seconds slowly tick by.

12/1, Thursday:
Rest Day...I had class :(

12/2, Friday:
Skipped my leg workout for the week since I planned on doing some serious running over the weekend and just did my ab workout in the morning.

12/3, Saturday:
Yes, I'm actually going to say that I felt great during a run! Was running completely late and was crazy pissed off when I first got to the park (long story). Started my run and started to relax. Wanted to get in 10 but due to being late, only was able to squeeze in 6.  Semi-negative splits for the first time in a LONG time too.
Miles: 10:19, 10:32 (dunno what happened there), 10:00, 10:07, 9:53, 9:53

Wore the Brooks Pure Cadence and they felt great. I could definitely feel the feet and ankles trying to adjust and they were a little tight, but no pain and I still love these sneakers. :)  I'll review them after I get a few more miles in them!

12/4, Sunday:
First back to back run of this whole Goofy/Dopey training. After doing 6 the day before, I went out for 16 today. Wasn't sure how I'd feel but I'm happy to say, I felt good!!  It was freezing at the start...36 degrees. Started to warm up right away though. Ended up at 60 degrees by the time I finished. Felt good the whole entire time, slightly tired the last 5 miles but nothing horrific. Ran the first 3 miles because I honestly forgot to walk. Started walking at 4 and then continued to walk 1 minute every mile.

At mile 4 had the new Peanut Butter Gu. Hmm...it's good. But I was expecting more peanut butter taste. It's more sweet than I would have liked.

Mile 8 I had a Vanilla Honey Stinger Waffle and OMG they're amazing! Next time I might cut it up and have them throughout the run.  It looks like a squished ice cream waffle cone, with a denser texture.  SO good.

Mile 12 I had a Chocolate Raspberry Gu Roctane. It was also decent, slightly medicine tasting though. But with it's 2x caffeine, I think it definitely gave me some energy at the end!

Feet, arches, and ankles are definitely sore but nothing too horrific. Definitely not in the mood to run again though.  I also didn't wear my CW-X tights because umm... they kinda ripped after my 6 miler so a new pair should be here today. :)


On to other news, there's some runDisney news that should come out today or tomorrow.  Waivers look like they're getting ready to be posted, and the new pricing for the Disneyland half was released.  I'll post about those hopefully tomorrow and Wednesday though!