31 December, 2012

Training Recap

First, I hope everyone has a safe and happy New Years Eve tonight.  Looking forward to an amazing 2013!

*** Don't forget to enter my Raw Threads Cindy Tank Top Giveaway!  You have until the ball drops at midnight EST tonight!  (December 31st, 2012)   *** 

So I'm going to try making this a weekly update again now that things have quieted down!  First a quick recap of the past few weeks and then onto last week's workouts!


Hmm...I know this is a running blog and all but... my running has been horrible lately.  I'm definitely worried for Goofy but I know I'll be able to finish, just most likely not in the time I want!

Daniel and I ran an awesome 8 miles in NYC three weeks ago along the river and it was beautiful running under the Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Williamsburg Bridges.

Then two weekends ago I dragged my friend out with me to run 16.  It was awesome having company and someone to talk to if we felt like it.  And I'm happy to report I actually felt pretty good the entire 16!  The last mile or so my knees got sore but I wasn't wearing my IT Band strap so I think that had something to do with it.  I also never got a chance to ice my knees so by the end of the night, I was definitely sore and slightly hobbling around a bit.  Ouch!

16 miles in the books!


Yeah...this section is a lot longer than the running one.  I'm still absolutely in love with CrossFit and completely addicted.

As for improvements?  I can officially do strict pull-ups!!!  I NEVER thought I'd see the day when I could.  The box/gym has open time on Sundays where members can just go and work on things that they want to improve.  After a few straight weeks of going and working on pull-ups, one day it just worked!  I was SO excited pretty sure I did a happy dance by the pull-up bars.  I also learned how to kip so I need to work on doing more in a row.

Kipping!  (And no, not me)

PR'd on my front squats (150#) and back squats (200#) and it's crazy to see the improvements.  The front squats I have issues with since I broke my collarbone in college and my stupid collarbone is lopsided.  All of the weight from the bar rests on the higher end of my collarbone and it just HURTS!  The instructors and I have been trying to figure out the best position to rest the bar so it doesn't bother me as much.

Front Squats (Photo from womenofcrossfit..is that Juli from PaleOMG?)

Weekly Update:

And now back to our regularly scheduled weekly training updates!  

Monday, December 24th:  CrossFit

"The 12 Days of CrossFit"

To be done just like the song. Start at the first day, then go to the 2nd day but then do the 1st day again. Then 3rd, 2nd, 1st..... 4th, 3rd, 2nd, 1st... etc.
1 rope climb 
2 deadlifts 135/95 - I used 85# 
3 glute ham developers’s 
4 hang squat cleans 135/95 - I used 85# 
5 strict pull-ups 
6 front squats 135/95 - I used 85# 
7 handstand push-ups 
8 overhead walking lunges 45/25 - I used 25# 
9 burpees 
10 thrusters 135/95 - I used 65# 
11 kettle bell swings, 2 pood 
12 sit-ups 45/25

I only got through the 10th day. 30min cap. Holy hard!!! Tried doing the thrusters at 85# but by the time I got to them I was completely shot. My hands were all ripped up from rope climbs, ouch! Def fun though!

Tuesday, December 25th:  Rest Day

Wednesday, December 26th:  CrossFit

- 5 rounds of Cindy: 
    - 5 pullups 
    - 10 pushups 
    - 15 squats

- Backsquats: 5-5-3-3-3-1-1-1-1-1 

135# - 135# - 155# - 175# - 175# - 185# (PR!) - 185# - 190# - 195# - 200#

My last PR was 180# but I knew I could have gone heavier that day. 200# was a little iffy but I'm still considering it a success. Was told I didn't go past parallel when I squatted and I was def a little wobbly.  Technically it was a no rep but I got down and I stood back up.  Success in my eyes.  Will just work harder next time!

Thursday, December 27th:  CrossFit

- sprints
- wrestling spins

20 min AMRAP:
- 5 Chest to bar Pull-ups
- 10 Wall ball shots, 14# ball
- 15 Kettlebell swings, 1 pood (35#)

WOAH... this sucked a lot more than I thought it would. Got through 7 full rounds and was glad when that clocked beeped after 20 mins! I kipped every single one of the pullups... woot!

Friday, December 28th:  CrossFit

- Pose Running... I still can't get it!

WOD: 3 rounds for time:
- Run 200 meters
- 7 Dumbell Push presses - Tried using 35# dumbells but it was HEAVY and I was so unbalanced. So I dropped down to 25# :(
- 14 Ring rows - with feet on 24" box... so practically horizontal

Total: 8:36

Post WOD:
Planking, 2 rounds
- 1 min of V-planks
- 2 min regular planks

Saturday, December 29th:  Rest Day

Sunday, December 30th:  CrossFit Open Gym

My next  goal after figuring out kipping and pull-ups is deadlifts.  Your deadlifts are supposed to be the heaviest weight you can lift.  Unfortunately I can back squat more than I deadlift, crazy!  I went to open gym the week prior to work on them and I think I've started to figure it out.  I was keeping my feet too far apart and one of the instructors quickly noticed and fixed it.  Now I just have to get used to the new stance and work on slowly adding weight.  Working on my lower back muscles won't hurt either.

Decided to do deadlifts again since I didn't really use much weight the week prior.  I was determined to work on my form, as well as see if I can increase my weight with the new form.

135# x 5 warmup, 145# x 3 warmup

155# - 160# - 165# - 170# - 175# - 180# - 185# - 190# - 195# (failed)

Holy crap...a 15# PR!  My last PR was 175#!!!  After I finished I realized I should have gone up by more than 5# increments each time but I honestly had no idea where my max was going to be so I didn't want to burn out so quickly.  Totally thrilled!  So now my back squat and deadlifts are only 5# apart, but still need work.

And thanks to one of the girls for snapping this at 185#

Still think my back looks a little hunched over....

29 December, 2012

Disney Running 101 Part 2: The Packing List

Reposting the Disney Running 101 Packing List while we all get ready for marathon weekend in less than 2 weeks!  Let me know if I should add anything else to the list!  

For all of my Disney Running 101 posts, click here!  


Originally the next post in my Disney Running 101 series was going to be about what to do the week prior to the race. Then I realized that many of you are probably like me and have a slight (ok...major?) case of OCD when it comes to planning.

Add to that the stress and nerves during the single digit countdown to race day, especially if it's your first race, travel time to get down to Disney (or any destination that you're racing in), etc ... and I figured it would be best to post the packing list first so the planning can start BEFORE there's a week left! It gives you time to pick up some last minute items and not run around like a crazy person three hours before your flight or drive. The goal is the least amount of stress possible!

This is going to be a LONG list and is just a guideline. Only you know yourself best so if you're positive you won't need some of these things, feel free to ignore them. Just trying to cover all bases for everyone. I'll try to give my reasoning for some things if they're slightly 'off the wall.'

First off, plan for all types of weather as conditions can change rapidly. Who would have thought that during Marathon Weekend in 2010 it would be 25 degrees and sleeting/snowing/raining for the half marathon and 23 degrees for the full?!  Did I mention that it was in Florida!?!  It's better to pack slightly extra rather than having to scurry around a new city looking for clothing and/or accessories at the last minute.  Try to keep an eye on the weather forecast before heading down there and adjust accordingly.  

I can't stress this enough... If you're traveling to the race by air, PLEASE make sure that at LEAST your running shoes are packed in carry-on luggage or you wear them on the plane! In case your bag is lost or delayed by the airline, you will have the "essential" items with you.  I'd also suggest trying to bring your race clothes in your carry-on luggage as well.  At least anything that has direct skin contact while you run. God forbid your bag is 'misplaced', you don't want to find out around Mile 8 that the new running shirt you were forced to buy at the expo causes serious chafing!  Outer clothing you can purchase at the expo at least.  After everything going on with the airlines lately, I wouldn't trust that they can get ANYTHING there on time.  

So here we go!

  • Sneakers - Obvious, right?  You'd be surprised how many people actually forget them!
  • Running Socks
  • Running Shirts (Long and Short Sleeve) 
  • Running Shorts/Tights 
  • Running Undies
  • Sports Bra
  • Compression Shirts/Pants/Shorts/Sleeves
  • Any Knee Brace or Stability Item Needed
  • Sweat Bands/Hair Bands
  • Hat/Visor
  • Rain Jacket 
  • Throw Away Clothes - anything you don't mind parting with, many people go to Goodwill and stock up on cheap sweatshirts, sweatpants, etc
  • Gloves (for cold mornings, you can toss them mid-race)
  • Warm Hat/Ear Warmers (again, can toss these mid-race if needed)
  • Warm Clothes to Put on at the Race Finish

Other Running Gear:
  • Body Glide, Skin Lube, Vaseline, Nip Guards - If it can chafe or bleed...it will!
  • Hydration Belt (if you plan on using one) & Bottles
  • Running Belt  (if you plan on using one)
  • Garmin Watch & Charger
  • Foot Powder
  • Shoe Laces
  • Road ID
  • Pacing Chart 
  • iPod, Earphones, & Charger
  • Any Paperwork Required for race check-in - including proof of time of a 10k or more if you want to try to move up in corrals
  • Race Number if it was mailed to your prior to the race (Disney does not mail them out)
  • Timing Chip if it was mailed to your prior to the race (Disney does not mail them out)
  • Towel - or 'borrow' a hand towel from the hotel
  • KT-Tape or other medical tape if you need it 
  • Pain Relievers (for a few hours AFTER the race)
  • Safety Pins - usually included in race packet but you never know
  • Analgesic Cremes (e.g., Bengay, Icy Hot, Myoflex, etc.)
  • Toilet Paper - Thousands of runners, few hundred port-a-potties...they might run out!  I steal some from the hotel if I travel to a race
  • Travel Size Deodorant (for your race bag...we all will stink but this might help some) 
  • Garbage Bags (to sit on while you're waiting or wear if it's raining at the start)
  • Sun-Visor
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunblock 
  • Face Wipes/Baby Wipes
  • Chap Stick

Food Items:
  • Gel Energy Supplements & Other Race Fuel
  • Snack/Breakfast Race Items (e.g., Bagels, Muffins, Fruit, etc. that aren't readily available race day)
  • Sports Drinks - I only like Gatorade so I'm forced to bring it down to Disney since they only have Powerade.  Make sure it's in your checked luggage!
  • Salt Packets (if you used them in training) 
  • Electrolyte Tablets
  • Recovery Drink - I drink HoneyMilk and am bringing down a few bottles for the race

  • Travel Itinerary
  • Prescription Medications 
  • Band-Aids 
  • ALL Chargers for electronic equipment
  • Camera 
  • Ziplock Bags 
  • Tissues 
  • Thin Draw-String Backpack - It's easy during back check, if the bags used for bag check are clear, you can throw your stuff in the draw-string backpack first and THEN into the bag check bag.  Then when you finish the race and pick up your bag, just tell them the color of the backpack and it'll be much easier for them to find!  (Thanks Dan for adding this to my list!)

There it is! Whew! :) 

Again, NOT every runner needs all these things but use it as a guide while you're packing so that you don't forget anything.  

Can anyone think of anything else I possibly missed? 

Happy Running! It's taper time!

28 December, 2012

Adventures in Paleo Cooking, Part 4

I have so many Paleo recipes that I want to tell you guys about so I'll break them into 2 posts for now.  I've been doing a lot of cooking since the last time I posted recipes and happy to report that a lot of them have been really good!

*** Don't forget to enter my Raw Threads Cindy Tank Top Giveaway!  You have until the ball drops on December 31st!   *** 

Blueberry Banana Brownies (Civilized Caveman Cooking)
- These were delicious!  The banana and blueberries gave these a great flavor, but you don't even need the blueberries.  Will def be making these again.

Photo from Civilized Caveman Cooking

Cranberry Ginger Cookies (Civilized Caveman Cooking)
- These tasted great too.  Slightly burned the bottoms though so I felt bad bringing them to my work party.  Need to attempt these again and watch how long I keep them in there!

I didn't take a pic of the burnt bottoms :) 

Creamy Roasted Red Pepper Pasta & London Broil (PaleOMG)
- Fairly easy to make and tasted just like cream sauce.  Next time I'll add crushed red pepper flakes to the sauce for an extra kick.  Just used 3 large zucchini and no other squash.

I need pretty new plates so I can take better food pics!

Italian Meatloaf (PaleOMG)
- Really good!  I also had to add oregano into the meatloaf and the sauce b/c that's what a good Italian/Greek girl does.  It can't be called Italian without it, IMO.

Pic from PaleOMG

Lemon Cucumber Noodles w/Cumin (Civilized Caveman Cooking)
- So easy and refreshing!  Finally bought a julienne peeler and it works wonders, I love it.  Have also used curry powder instead of cumin and it was delicious.

Pic from Civilized Caveman Cooking

Oven Roasted Tomatoes (NomNom Paleo)
- Aaaaaamazing and quite possibly the easiest thing to make ever!  Used grape tomatoes instead and only sprinkled with salt, pepper, basil, and olive oil.    More addicting than chips.  Nomnomnom!  I now buy a full carton of grape tomatoes each trip and JUST make this with them.  Bad part is I eat the whole container in one sitting.

Pic from NomNomPaleo

Enjoy!  More recipes to come in a few days!  

27 December, 2012

Raw Threads Cindy Shirt Giveaway!

So I know I've talked about them on the blog before but every single time I go to a race expo, I always make a bee-line for the Raw Threads booth.  They sell the best, softest, most comfortable running shirts and gear I've found.  Plus the designs are ridiculously cute!

All of their tech tees are printed on Bamboo Athletic Wear, an organic cotton that's naturally moisture wicking, cooling, and breathable.  I never chafe wearing them on a run so don't get worried when you hear "cotton"! And did I mention that they're the softest running shirts EVER?

Here's me showing off my bling, wearing a Raw Threads 'Race You to the Castle' shirt back in 2011 after my first full marathon... I now have about 5 others in my collection!

The designs on their shirts span a wide variety of categories and types of races.  Disney races are covered with the villains, princess, tinkerbell, and castle shirts.  They also have Goofy themed shirts, which are practically impossible to find anywhere else.  Race specific themed shirts for Boston, Chicago, and a few other big races are also available.

Just some of their new items!

Just in time for the new year (and WDW Marathon Weekend!), one lucky reader will get a chance to win one of Raw Threads newest princess tank top, The Cindy!  Perfect way to kick off your New Years resolutions about working out, right?  I love how it's subtly Disney themed but don't scream it.  The pumpkin coach on the back is adorable!

It's really easy to enter!  You can enter multiple times but you MUST leave a comment for each different type entry.  

1.  Leave a comment letting me know which is your favorite shirt from the entire Raw Threads collection.

2.  Follow Raw Threads on Facebook and Eat, Sleep, Run Disney on Facebook...and leave a comment telling me you did.  

3.  Tweet the following (and comment letting me know you did):  "I want to win a @raw_threads Cindy tank from @disrunner at http://www.eatsleeprundisney.com/2012/12/RawThreadsGiveaway.html" 

The contest runs until 11:59pm Monday, December 31st, 2012 and the winner will be announced on New Years Day.  So you know.... in between partying and watching the ball drop, you still have time to enter!  Random.org will be used to select a winner.  

Good luck! 

26 December, 2012

Lots of runDisney News Updates!

While I've been MIA for a little bit, runDisney has been churning out a ton of news and information for runners for the next two upcoming races.  Lets see if I can manage to touch on all of the highlights....

WDW Marathon Weekend - Sold Out! 

Since this race weekend is less than a month away (OMG!), there's a ton of info...
  • Corral Placements: There's been grumblings that the Goofy corrals are wrong for some people but the majority of runners seem to be placed in the correct corral.  

  • WDW Marathon Course Tour with Bart Yasso

Tinkerbell Half Marathon - Sold Out!

19 December, 2012

runDisney Announces Disneyland 10k!

Looks like everyone's request for more Disneyland races has been answered!  And this time it's a new distance that runDisney hasn't dabbled in before.

The Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend is now going to include a 10k, along with the regular half marathon and 5k races.  As always, Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend is the weekend of Aug 30th - Sept 1st, 2013!

Unlike the un-timed Family Fun Run 5k's, the new 10k will be a timed event and runners will be able to run through Disneyland, California Adventure, and the streets of Anaheim.  And if you're looking for an extra challenge?  Run both the half marathon AND the 10k and qualify for the Dumbo Double Dare, which includes a special finisher medal and participant shirt.  There are limited spots available though for the Dumbo Double Dare so make sure to register as soon as it opens!

“The 10K distance is the third most popular distance for runners next to the 5K and half marathon, so this race weekend will have it all,” said Manager, runDisney Events Kathleen Duran.  “We are excited to continue to add different distance races so runners at every level can experience a runDisney event and run through Disney theme parks.”

Registration opens for all of the races on January 22, 2013.  Last year's half marathon sold out in a little over a month so don't hesitate too long after the 22nd!

* Edited to add registration prices:

Disneyland® Half Marathon
$175 by February 19, 2013
$190 between February 20 and April 16, 2013
$205 on or after April 17, 2013

Disneyland® 10K
$95 by February 19, 2013
$110 between February 20 and April 16, 2013
$125 on or after April 17, 2013

Dumbo Double Dare
$280 by February 19, 2013
$300 between February 20 and April 16, 2013
$320 on or after April 17, 2013

Disneyland® Family Fun Run 5K
$65 per participant

runDisney Kids Races
$20 per child

So who's going to Disneyland with me!??!  I keep saying I might not go every year but I don't think I can pass up doing the Dumbo Double Dare!  It sounds awesome!

** Information provided by runDisney

18 December, 2012

Race Recap: Wine & Dine Half Marathon

In between stuffing our faces at the Food & Wine Festival (where we yet again were able to taste something from EACH of the 29 booths!), we had a half marathon to run!

Since the race was on Saturday night, we took our time getting ready in the morning and then headed over to Animal Kingdom for a late brunch at Tusker House.  First we had to go make friends though at the Affection Section petting zoo.  Meet Maverick, named after Tom Cruise's character in Top Gun.  Of course, since it's my favorite movie ever, I had to get a pic with him.  And don't make fun of me too much for that confession!  

Maverick and I...Goose wasn't friendly

So a little secret for all breakfast/lunch buffet options around the World?  If you make a really late breakfast, say 10:45 or 11am, you'll have a chance to eat both breakfast AND lunch when they switch over the menus around 11:30. To say we all stuffed ourselves silly was an understatement!  I wasn't hungry for the entire rest of the day!

I got comments on this shirt all day!  Had to represent Jersey after Hurricane Sandy! 

After a few attractions at Animal Kingdom, we called it a day and headed back to the room around 2:30.  I crashed out pretty quickly and had a fabulous nap.  Our room started waking up around 5:30 or 6 and we all slowly started getting ready for the race.  

Headed out to the race buses around 7:30 (I think) and the line wasn't too bad.  At Wide World of Sports, we caught up with a few friends, relaxed, and grabbed a photo with Mickey!  The line for Mickey was absolutely insane but there was nothing else to do so my friends waited in line and we greedily jumped in their photo.  

pic stolen from Bri

After the pic we headed over to the porta potties and waited in yet another crazy long line but when ya gotta go, ya gotta go.  Plus I didn't want to stop mid-race so we sucked it up and waited.  By the time we finished, the runner waiting area was practically a ghost town but we still made it to the race start in time!  

Now, when packing for this trip, I had JUST gotten power back from the Nor'easter 10 mins prior (at 1am) so my brain was obviously not functioning correctly when it came to picking running attire for the Florida weather.  I brought shorts and tanks but it was actually chilly at the start of the race!  I remember staring at my 'throw away' clothes pile that I keep for race mornings and somehow convinced myself that I won't need any throw aways.  Well?  I was cold!  So I did what any other crazy person would do, I picked up a random sweatshirt off the ground and put it on.  :)  Kinda grosses me out thinking about it but, whatever.  I was finally warm!

Dan, Danielle, and I were all in Corral B and had talked about running together until someone decided to burst ahead or fall back.  When our race started, Dan immediately took off ahead of us (which he does every race and it's now an ongoing joke) but Danielle and I stuck together until after Animal Kingdom!

I knew I didn't want to try to PR this race (night races are never my best races!) and I wanted to take it easy enough so that I could enjoy the afterparty as much as possible.  

The first few miles went pretty quickly and effortlessly.  Mainly on highways so I kept looking forward to the characters and entertainment along the course.  Right before Animal Kingdom we saw the elite runners run by in the opposite direction so we had to scream and cheer for Anton, who was on his way to winning his 3rd straight Wine & Dine!  

Animal Kingdom was awesome to run through, like always, and it's awesome seeing that park at night!  My camera took the WORST photos in the parks so I refuse to post them.  This is the only one that came out semi-decent in AK.  Those huge tusks that they've been using since the first time they had the race!

Right out of Animal Kingdom is when I lost Danielle.  I knew she was ahead of me but I couldn't muster up the energy to sprint ahead to catch up.  She thought I was ahead of her so she sped up even more.  Considering she finished well ahead of me, I think we would have lost each other at some point later down the road anyways!

Back on the highway, I just chugged along.  There were a few characters along the way and bands but I didn't stop for any.  The green army man was also in his normal spot on the way to Hollywood Studios barking out orders, which always makes me laugh.  He's awesome!

Hitting Hollywood Studios, I knew the race was almost over.  I was feeling pretty good but running at a much slower pace than I had planned or even considered.  Really wasn't bummed about it at all though and just wanted to enjoy the atmosphere.  When passing Toy Story, I decided to quickly jump into the restrooms over there and take a quick pit stop.  The stop (and relief!) allowed me to finally pick up the pace a little bit after that.

I had to definitely stop though when I turned the corner at Streets of America and saw the Osbourne Lights.  They are stunning every time I see them, and this is the first Wine & Dine that they were 100% complete!  All the prior years, they were only half lit since it was so early in the season.  It seriously takes your breath away.  

At some point towards the end of Hollywood Studios, or just after, I ran into my friend Marc.  It was great to see a familiar face so we ran the remainder of the race with each other and chatted the whole way.  Helped get those last 2 miles out of the way quickly!

The finish line was set up pretty cool this year, with a whole laser show going on above our heads and everything.  I SWORE I took a photo or two of the finish but it's not on my camera at all.  Camera fail.  :(  Marc and I totally misjudged where the finish line was so we started sprinting WAY too early and both of us konked out and had to slow down before the real finish line.

After crossing the finish line, Marc and I tried to make our way through the runners area as quickly as possible.  Grabbed some water and the snack box that they were giving out, plus tried to decide on which alcohol I wanted!  They had basic beer (think Bud or Bud Light), Skinnygirl margaritas, and sangria in a drinkable pouch.  Thought the margarita might be refreshing so I grabbed one.  Umm... it was vile, but then again...I usually don't like other skinnygirl items so not sure what I was thinking.  Tossed that after one sip and decided to save my alcohol consumption for something I actually pay for.

We accidentally ran into the rest of the group by the changing areas so I rushed into the changing tent and put on dry clothes as fast as possible.  We trekked towards Epcot's main entrance and it was slight chaos because security was checking bags, but not efficiently.  People finally just started walking around them and bypassed the line.

Love the cranberry bog guys!

For the first time after a half marathon, I was STARVING!  I wanted to eat and drink everything in sight.  Probably because I didn't push and kill myself running but that was totally fine with me.  I grabbed some food at the Greece kiosk and plopped ourselves down on the ground to wait for the rest of the gang.  After meeting up with more of the gang, we meandered (and hobbled) over to the England Pavilion to get a celebratory drink, and some cheese.

I look scared but I swear I'm excited for my Strongbow! 

And some yummy cheeeeese

We stayed in England for a little bit and tried to catch up with more friends.  Then we finally decided to make a move towards France.  Luckily from the corner of my eye, I saw Remy!  Danielle was giddy (she LOVES Remy) so we all ran over to get some photos with the rodents.  

I'm proud to say that we actually stayed until 4am and closed out the party.  Last year was brutal to stay up until 3am but for some reason most of us felt pretty good this time around!  We just took our time and meandered...and ate.  I know there were a few other items I ate at the party but my photo motivation was a little weak at that hour.

Even though it's never my best race in terms of running, this is still one of my all time favorite race weekends. When you mix a great race with some great food, great friends, and a great afterparty?  Success!  I know I was hesitant when I heard that runDisney bumped the weekend from late September to early November but I think it was a good move.  The brutal heat in September is absolutely crazy and now we can enjoy the cooler temps.  The only thing I can complain about?  Since it was the last weekend of the festival, many of the booths with the unique beers had run out and weren't getting any more in stock.  This made the Beers and Ears runners a little sad.

runDisney continues to improve the race weekend every year so I don't have any words of wisdom or complaints in that department.  I know some people mentioned that they wished there were more characters along the course but that's a common complaint for every race weekend.  Pretty sure runDisney doesn't have a whole lot of say in that department, unfortunately.

Definitely looking forward to running Wine & Dine for the 4th straight year in 2013!

11 December, 2012

runDisney Wine & Dine MeetUp & TweetUp

After a crazy past few weeks, I finally had some time to sit down and write a few recaps from Wine & Dine weekend!  I feel like I'm forever apologizing for posting things so late but unfortunately blogging gets bumped when MBA classes and work start getting crazy.

So back to Wine & Dine weekend, ok?

One by one, Danielle, Dan, Pat, and I all flew down a day or two prior to the start of the festivities.  Throughout the day on Thursday we all started to catch up with each other and our group finally became complete when Danielle met us at Epcot in the evening!  Stupid Hurricane Sandy and the lovely Nor'easter totally threw off all of our travel plans (except for Pat, he was lucky enough to be north enough from the storm that it didn't effect him at all) so after a bunch of cancelled flights, dashes to multiple airports, and few prayers, we were all FINALLY in Disney!  Only half of us had power back home but we all tried not to think about the chaos still going on back there.  

Friday morning, the alarm started going off WAY too early for the runDisney meetup.  I was lucky enough to be invited as media to cover the event and Dan and Danielle had quick fingers and were 2 of the 30 attendees selected when runDisney announced the event on the Disney Parks Blog.  (More on that process later in the post!)

We arrived at the main entrance of Epcot at 6:30am and caught up with a few other familiar faces in the crowd.  The runDisney Cast Members introduced themselves and explained how the rest of the morning was going to unfold.  For this meetup, they were going to break the attendees into two separate groups:  Those that wanted to do 30 second run/walk/run intervals with Jeff Galloway and then those that wanted to strictly run with 2-time (now 3-time!) Wine & Dine winner, Anton Van Zyl.  There was a HUGE group that wanted to run with Jeff and since I had already had a chance to experience it, I decided to choose the other option and run with Anton.  

Photo courtesy of runDisney

The run was a ton of fun and definitely got my heart pumping.  Pretty sure Anton could have walked backwards with us and he still would have been faster!  We ran around World Showcase and then ended our run at the Germany Pavilion.  While we were waiting for the Galloway group to meet us, we had a few minutes to talk to Anton and hear about his most recent Ironman Kona experience. I was seriously in awe!

As the sun rises over Spaceship Earth
Running towards World Showcase
Probably by favorite running photo of me ever!  Courtesy of runDisney

Photo courtesy of runDisney

When everyone was back together, we made our way into Biergarten in the Germany Pavilion and were welcomed with a light continental breakfast of coffee, juice, fruit, muffins, and pastries.  

Bob Hitchcock and Faron Kelly from runDisney opened up the meetup with a little introduction of themselves as well as the runDisney brand.  runDisney was celebrating its 2 year anniversary during Wine & Dine and it's crazy to see how it's already evolved so drastically!  

Photo courtesy of runDisney

Jeff Galloway was our first speaker and I always learn something new every time I hear him speak.  He gave a few tips about how to prepare for such a unique race such as Wine & Dine.  Since it's a night race, preparing your body to run 13.1 miles is a little different than a regular morning race.  Eating correctly and at the right time is key.  Have a large mid-morning breakfast and try not to overeat past noon.  Where was Jeff to tell me this 2 years ago when I did the exact opposite and had a miserable race?  :)  And even though it's the Food & Wine festival, try to stay away from alcohol until after the race and drink 6 glasses of water and/or electrolytes during the day. 

Photo courtesy of runDisney

Next to talk to us was Anton Van Zyl.  Even being an elite runner, Anton stressed that we all needed to go out and just enjoy the race!  He told us not to over think our running and just to go have fun but don't don't let your mind wander too much.  Jokingly, Anton mentioned that he wished Mickey was at Ironman Kona, which I totally agree.  As for nutrition?  He likes Coke at the end of a long distance race (I've actually heard this from a few other elite athletes too), definitely caffeine for focus at around mile 18 or 20, and potato chips for an Ironman!   There were some fun questions from the attendees, the one that got the biggest laugh was if he stops for pictures with characters. Answer? He DOES!  Even though he wins by minutes, we saw photos of him on the course with Goofy.  How CRAZY is that?! Oh, and Donald is his favorite character (thank Dan for that question!).  

Photo courtesy of runDisney

Nutitionist Tara Gidus, the Diet Diva, was up next to speak.  She's the newest member of the runDisney team and added a wealth of information about how to prepare and eat for a night race.  She also admitted she's not a 100% perfect eater but no one is ever perfect so there's no need to stress and worry.  It will only make you crazy!  Tara stressed that you should definitely eat within an hour of waking up, even if it's a small snack to get your body going.  Also, don't overcompensate while training or you'll just end up gaining weight!

Photo courtesy of runDisney

Photo courtesy of runDisney

Chef Steff joined Tara to give us a cooking lesson on how to make a nutritious spaghetti pie when preparing for races.  It was a twist on a recipe that his grandmother used to make and I loved every single bite!  It had a nice subtle kick from the red pepper flakes and a nice salty tang from the asiago cheese.  I was hoping someone wouldn't want their sample so I can steal theirs too, but no such luck for me.  I think this also would have been delicious with a little grilled chicken thrown in for some extra protein.  YUM!  (And yes, I know it's not Paleo but I still have yet to find restraint when on vacation, ha!  Plus I had to report about the spaghetti pie to my faithful readers, right?)

Photo courtesy of runDisney

Photo courtesy of runDisney

Can you tell most of us are bloggers?  haha!  Photo courtesy of runDisney

The yummy spaghetti pie
For anyone that wants the recipe, I figured it would just be easier to take a photo of the recipe card instead of possibly messing it up by typing it out!

And of course, a runDisney meetup would never be complete unless the Mouse himself showed up to say hello!  After everyone finished their samples, we headed outside for a few group photos.  I loved that Mickey was in his Chef's coat and he stayed and took photos with all of the attendees.  We also headed over to the Norway Pavilion to take a group photo with the Grete Waitz statue.  Every time I'm in the pavilion I always try to go 'say hi' to Grete so it was nice that we all went as a group!

Photo courtesy of runDisney

Photo courtesy of runDisney

Photo courtesy of runDisney

Thank you again to runDisney for allowing me to cover the event.  I love sharing the meetups with everyone and share all of the information we learn!  

For anyone that wants to attend a future meetup, they usually have them a day prior to the big races every weekend (Friday morning if the race is on Saturday).  Keep an eye out about a week prior to race weekend on the Disney Parks Blog, the runDisney Twitter account, and the runDisney Facebook page for an announcement when signups will be available.  The announcement will officially be made on the Disney Parks Blog and the first 30-50 (depending on the individual meetup) people to email back their information will be selected.  You seriously need some quick fingers so keep refreshing that blog page!