Thursday, January 10, 2013

Race Packing List and Tips

Ok ladies, I’ve got the Princess Half on my mind today so I thought I’d cobble together some lists (from various running websites) to help us all prepare for the upcoming race. Can you believe it’s only 6 weeks away? SIX WEEKS!!! If you’ve run a half before, you can probably skip this but if you haven’t then maybe these tips/lists will be helpful for you. I’m sending this out to you all early so that if there’s anything on that huge long packing list that you don’t have and think you might want, you can buy it and start training with it now.

Oh gosh, this is long, here we go….

The week before the run:
·         It’s time to start tapering. Do no more than 40% of your peak mileage. Begin to store up your energy both physically as well as mentally.
·         Make sure you take the time to relax during the last days before your race. It is important that stress is reduced, the proper foods are eaten and the right amount of sleep is gotten.
·         Eat carbohydrates during the last three days. Foods like pasta, breads, fruits and low fat treats have the energy that you need. Your body will store that energy for your race. Eat the same amount too. Eating too much won’t help you out. As long as you are eating the right foods, you’ll be well equipped.
·         If you’re running in a costume, be sure to get at least one training run in with it. You don’t want a wardrobe malfunction on race day!

Day of Race Tips: If you don’t have someone meeting you at the finish line, Disney has a bag check so you can pack things that you need in your race bag and you’ll have it available after the race.
·         Start your day with a good, carbohydrate rich breakfast. Eat it two to three hours before start time. Eat the food and run in the gear that you trained in – don’t introduce anything new to your body on race day!
·         Have a pre-run breakfast routine? Don’t break it. Just bring your food with you. I tend to do oatmeal but some people like bagels or other starches. Eat two to three hours before the race starts. Since Disney makes you wait in the corals starting at 3am and the race doesn’t start until 6am, you might want to bring your breakfast to the coral and eat it there.
·         Warm up. Only do light warm ups and stretches. The best marathon tip here is to not bring up your core body temperature and don’t start using your stored energy. A little jog or even just a light walk is all you need.
·         Relaxing is also important. Enjoy the scenery, take in what’s around you and don’t worry about your race.
·         Grab up those sports drinks offered along the way. They refuel your carbohydrate levels and will keep you going.
·         Your heading to the end. Here are two marathon tips. First, go hard late. Once you hit the halfway mark, you can start to push. Don’t be overly aggressive though, save that hard run for late in the race. And, talk to yourself about the simple fact that you are almost there.
·         Dry socks and shirts can make the Finish-Line/Post-Race experience much more enjoyable.

Stuff to Pack

Clothing: My recommendation is that you pack everything that you think you might need and then the night before the race you can decide which of these items are actually essential and which are not. For instance, the rain jacket… if there’s no chance of rain that morning you wouldn’t bring it with you, right? But if you don’t have it with you and the forecast changes to rain, you’d probably regret not packing it. =) The one thing that I will say is that the last time I ran this race it was 35 degrees on the morning of the race and there was frost on the ground. IN ORLANDO FLORIDA THERE WAS FROST ON THE GROUND. It was the coldest winter in their history and I wasn’t prepared for it at all. I will not be making that mistake twice.

·         Sneakers
·         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/garbage bag
·         Throw Away Clothes – Disney races start early and they have you standing in the corals for ages. You will freeze your butt off (yes even in Florida) if you don’t have something warm to wear from 3am to 6am. These can be anything you don't mind parting with; many people go to Goodwill and stock up on cheap sweatshirts, sweatpants, etc. Disney donates throw away items to shelters after the race.
·         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

Running Gear
·         Body Glide, Skin Lube, Vaseline, Nip Guards - If it can chafe or will!
·         Hydration Belt (if you plan on using one) & Bottles – so I am not going to wear a hydration belt for this race. Disney has plenty of water/drink stations and I don’t want to carry a belt. If you’re used to wearing one though, go for it.
·         Running Belt  (if you plan on using one)
·         Garmin Watch & Charger
·         Foot Powder
·         Shoe Laces
·         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.)
·         Travel Size Deodorant (for your race bag...we all will stink but this might help some)
·         Emergency Blankets (to sit on while you're waiting or wear if it's raining at the start)
·         Sunglasses
·         Sunblock
·         Face Wipes/Baby Wipes
·         Chap Stick

·         Gel Energy Supplements & Other Race Fuel – Disney has some of this on the course but it’s always nice to have your own.
·         Snack/Breakfast Race Items (e.g., Bagels, Muffins, Fruit, etc. that aren't readily available race day)
·         Sports Drinks
·         Salt Packets (if you used them in training)
·         Electrolyte Tablets
·         Recovery Drink

·         Prescription Medications
·         Band-Aids – Blister band-aids are the best thing in the world.  
·         ALL Chargers for electronic equipment – I’m also bringing a way to charge my iPhone after the race. During the last race, my phone was basically dead when I crossed the finish line. I was trying to connect with my family to see where they were but my phone cut out and then it was just a mess. So I’ll be putting a quick charge pack in my race bag and leaving it at the bag check for sure.
·         Camera
·         Ziploc Bags
·         Tissues
·         Thin Draw-String Backpack to use at the bag check. I feel like Disney might even give these to you when you check in at the Expo, but I can’t remember.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012


So... I skipped my lunch run because it was raining, I thought I'd wait to see if the rain went away. It did not. Just got back from my afternoon run and I'm sooooo freakin' drenched. But I feel good, and that's what matters right?

Things I love about running in the rain:

  • I don't realize that I'm sweating.
  • The cool breeze feels nice on my face.
  • Dodging puddles adds excitement to running... like an obstacle course.
  • The trail is virtually empty!!! Nobody to run next to me whilst quietly judging my running skills. 
Things that I don't love about running in the rain:
  • Soggy feet.

That's all, just the soggy feet. Not a fan. 

So I wore my princess hat today for this run (from 2010). I think it made me a better runner. Just sayin'.


So just a little (or a lot) more information for everyone to help you plan for February.

Park Tickets
Everyone participating in the Race weekend gets discounts on park tickets, I called today and they're actually pretty substantial (35% off normal prices) . I'd recommend getting park hopper tickets, they're only about $20 more and it means that you can start your day in one park, and end it in another. This is especially nice if you say wanted to spend all day at the magic kingdom and then go to France (in Epcot) for dinner. =) 

3 Day Park Hopper - $190.64
4 Day Park Hopper - $226.85
Every day over 4 days, you just add $8. So a 5 day Park Hopper is $234.85. 6 days add $8, etc. etc.

To get this special rate on park tickets, you need to call 407-939-4686. Tell them that you're running the Princess Half and you need tickets. Buy them through the booking agent and pick them up at Will Call. It's preferred over mailing because things still do get lost int he mail. Will call is free and easy.

For those of you needing hotels, there's a winter special running right now if you want to stay at a Walt Disney Resort. Personally, I love staying at Disney resorts, it adds to the whole Disney experience. Plus for race weekend, it makes it a little easier on race day because there's transportation to the corrals. When I did this race in 2010, waking up at 2am and heading over to the bus at 3am was great because the bus dropped you RIGHT where you needed to be. It took some of the stress out of the morning. These are the hotels at the resort where you can be sure to get transportation on race day.

You can save up to 35% off your room if you book by December 31st using the winter special. This is a better deal than the one you get through RunDisney. The RunDisney rates are package deals that give you a savings on your park tickets but NO SAVINGS on hotel rooms. So it's better to book your rooms and tickets separately.

I'm thinking of staying at the Caribbean Beach Resort. (Ironic? yes!) The normal cost of this resort is $750 for the weekend (3 nights), if you bookbefore 12/31 using this offer it's only $518. I'll probably book my hotel the first week of November. If anyone wants to share a room with me, let me know. I'm not opposed to saving money and splitting the cost of a hotel. =) Check out the deal here
Inline image 1

Character Dining
Sunday night Carrie and I were thinking we'd do a Character Dinner at Akershus Royal Banquet Hall (in Epcot) to celebrate our big race. The Characters in Akershus are the princesses so it's kind of fitting. Character Dining has to be paid for and booked in advance. So if you want to join in on this, let me know. I'm pretty sure we're not the only princesses that will have this idea so tell me soon if you want to do this.

I'm wearing one. Are you? =) More on this later.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Anniversary Year!

Just found out that the 2013 run is the 5th Anniversary for the Princess race. Woot woot!!! Disney always does things bigger and better on anniversary years which gives us yet another thing to look forward to. 

If you want Facebook updates about the Princess Race, follow the 2013 race event here:

Also, I highly suggest following Run Disney on Facebook:

So in an effort to stay motivated and have something to look forward to every month, I put together a little reward chart for myself. I need help filling in the blanks. Anyone have any ideas? I was thinking about spacing out the registration but this being an anniversary year, I think registering early is a better idea. It's amazing how fast 13,000 spaces can fill up. Also, the race retreat and pasta in the park only takes a limited number of people so you need to register early. 

Can you believe registration opens in 4 months??? Crazy, right?

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Thinking About Race Times

Below is a list of the top 10 finishers for the 2012 race. A woman from Louisiana (Rachel Booth, age 31) won with a chip time of 1:18:11!!!! She ran 13.1 miles in just over an hour!! How freaking crazy is that? Interestingly enough, the last person to cross the finish line was a woman from Georgia (Samantha Begley, age 27) who's chip time was 4:20:54.

If I'm walking really slowly, sometimes it can take me nearly an hour to get to work. Well 45 minutes, but it's only 2.5 miles and it takes me forever! If I was as fast as Rachel Booth, I'd get to work in like 11.5 minutes (which is incidentally is what it takes me if I'm riding my bike at a slow pace, it takes between 6 and 11 minutes). To run 13.1 miles in 1:18:11, she's running under 6 minute miles (5:58.09160305343511 to be precise). 

Samantha Begley on the other hand, probably was a walker - you find a lot of walkers on the race course. She was taking over 19 minutes per mile (19:54.96183206106866). 

Disney says that in order to stay on the course, you need to be run/walking 16 minute miles. This just isn't the case. You need to be close to 16 minute miles - if they need to open the park and they can't close the course because you're taking 30 minutes to run a mile then you will probably get swept off but for the most part, Disney assumes a lot of people are going to run/walk slower than 16 minute miles. In fact, they have so many photo moments with characters along the way - if you're walking the race at a 16 minute mile pace, I'm not sure any of the walkers would be allowed to finish.

Anyway, I'm thinking about race times because we have a year of training and I of course want an improvement over my last time. I did not train long enough last time and even though I finished the race, my chip time was 3:17:31 which is about a 15 minute mile (15:04.885496183206101). My first 4 miles were strong and then I started dragging, dragging, dragging.  I want the 2013 race to be different. I kind of want to shave my time to 11 minute miles. Which would put me finishing in 2.5 hours. Despite the fact that this is 47 minutes faster than my 2010 time, I think I can do it. I'm going to train better, longer, and smarter. Plus, for my age group it puts me in like the 43 percentile - which is still incredibly slow. It would be a personal best for me but on a national level it's still pretty slow. =)

Race times just give me something to think about as I'm out there on the soccer pitch running in circles. Today I felt much slower than normal but this early in training, time isn't really the point, is it? The point is getting out there and doing something. And I've got that covered.

2012 Top Ten Female Finishers
It's interesting to note their ages, I love especially seeing how women in their 60s are finishing this race in less than 2 hours. I find that incredible!!

My 2010 Results

By the way, if you don't feel like doing the math equation to figure out your average minutes per mile. This site has a nice cheat:

Monday, February 27, 2012

Remembering 13.1 Miles and looking forward to 13.1 more...

Yesterday was the 2012 Disney Princess Half Marathon. When I was browsing through all of the pictures on Facebook, I couldn’t help but wish I could be there. It brought back memories of the 2010 race and I got this giddy feeling in my stomach that only comes from the fondest of memories. Disney races are just so much fun and you can tell in the pictures that people are having a FANTASTC time. After a short time browsing the pictures, I felt pumped to hit the pavement with Sarah. 

Once I started running, I realized that I still have a ways to go before I get to run 13.1 miles again. Yesterday’s run felt good, I can feel myself getting stronger and my endurance is getting better but I’m glad that I still have a year of training left before the next Disney half.

More than anything I’m looking forward to finishing this Peace Corps stint and getting back to Seattle so I can do my long runs without feeling like I’m suffocating and getting heat exhaustion all at the same time. It’s still cool enough this time of year but I can feel the heat coming and I worry about my ability to keep with the running and biking in the warmer weather. My runs will be even more important in August/September as I prepare to leave home. But August and September also happen to be the WORST time of year here. 

I shan't be discouraged, I'll just need to stay focused and think of cold places. =)

2012 Racers

Monday, February 13, 2012

2013 Race Dates are Released!!!!

The Disney Princess 2013 race dates were released today!!!
Save the Date!!!!!