Square Life Round World

I'm navigating through this round world while living a square life, and it fits exactly as it should.

runDisney Releases 2016 Race Schedule

runDisney released its 2016 race schedule, complete with registration dates yesterday. A few things to note are the races which have been the subjects of many rumors lately. 

 

The Wine and Dine Half Marathon Weekend is returning, thus squelching all rumors that 2015 is the last year. Almost certainly it will feature a new course due to the impending extensive construction at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. One of the highlights of this race, the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights, is in its last year, however, so it will be interesting to see what changes the organizers have in store.  

 Notably absent for the second year is the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10 Miler Weekend. Rumors continue that this will return at some point in the future as another half marathon weekend, possibly with a challenge. It makes sense, right? 13.1 miles for a 13-story drop.  

 Currently, my only runDisney race plans for 2016 include Princess Half Marathon Weekend. Some friends and I have a huge girls weekend planned around that. After all, runDisney races are perfect for that. 

What are your runDisney race plans for next year?

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St. Jude Walk/Run to End Childhood Cancer

September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. All month long, you may have seen people changing their profile pictures on social media to #ShowYourGold or even superheroes.  

Showing my gold


On September 19 and 26, St. Jude Walk/Run to End Childhood Cancer events happened all over the country to coincide with Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. I participated in the Memphis event, and it was unlike any 5k I’ve ever done. 

First of all, it was a walk/run, with an emphasis on walk. This made it perfect for beginners and even people who aren’t active at all. There was none of the “fast people in the front, slow people in the back” business. It was not about racing. It was all about everyone coming together for one reason and one reason only: to raise awareness for childhood cancer. 

There were also so many people participating in teams and staying together as a team. Many teams had matching shirts made for the event. All that unification was a really cool thing to see. 

There was so much gold, too! Gold signs, flags, pom poms, headbands, shoelaces and even socks were everywhere! My floor made gold and black tutus to sell as a fundraiser so those were all over the course as well. I even wore a tutu for the first time. 

Traffic was crazy getting to the event so I knew the turnout was going to be huge.  

Stuck in traffic but I couldn’t wait to get there!


Despite allowing myself what I thought was more than enough time, I got there just in time for a photo with my immediate work team before heading to the start. 

My work team

I also got a quick Periscope broadcast in (@myglasssneaker). 

 

Ready to Walk/Run

The weather was great. It was a mild, overcast day, although more humid than I expected. I absolutely love downtown Memphis courses. 

I love running by the famous M bridge.

The scenery is gorgeous, although I always forget how hilly it is.  

Does this look like a hill? Because, it definitely is one.

 

The Pyramid, which is now home to Bass Pro. Except, the hospital and finish line is in the opposite direction. Shouldn’t we be heading the other way?

 

Finally, we are heading back toward the hospital!

   

The finish is in sight.

As a chronic back-of-the-packer, I really enjoyed being with the pack for the entire course. Once I was done, I stuck around for a few minutes at the finish line to cheer people on. I also did another quick Periscope broadcast from the finish line. 

It was a great day, and I’m sure it will be even bigger next year. Did you participate in an event in your area? 

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Packing For runDisney: Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10 Miler

Welcome, y’all, to my stop on the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10 Miler Virtual Blog Hop!

It’s getting closer!!!  I’m talking about the runDisney Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10 Miler!

Tower of Terror 10 Miler

Tower of Terror 10 Miler

It’s only 2 and a half weeks away.  How did that happen?  That means it’s time to start packing, which is the inspiration for my part of the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10 Miler Virtual Blog Hop.

American Tourister

American Tourister

The thing about a racecation is there are so many different elements to packing.  First, you are packing for a vacation.  Next, you are packing for a race.  Third, if it’s a runDisney race, you also might want to give some thought about the gEAR bag (see what they did there?).

I’m sure you’ve taken many, many vacations and don’t really need any help with regular vacation packing.  So, I’ll skip right to race packing.  I have some rules about this.

  • Make lists!  Sure, when you are running at home you probably have it down to an art.  You have your stash of gels, you know exactly where your favorite socks are, you have your headphones and GPS watch right by your keys, and you grab water from the fridge on your way out.  However, when you are hundreds or thousands of miles from home, it won’t be that easy.  Make lists of what running gear you need to pack and also what you need to carry with you to the race itself.  Trust me, if you don’t have the exact gel you’ve trained with, it will wreak havoc on your mental state.

    Make sure you have everything you need for your runcation.

    Make sure you have everything you need for your runcation.

  • Bring more than you think you will need.  This applies to socks, undies, gels, tape, even shoes if you have multiple pair you rotate through.  Why?  It’s happened to all of us!  You put those tried and true socks on and something just doesn’t feel right.  When you are at home, you can simply grab another pair.  You pull out your favorite gel and, for some reason, you just aren’t feeling that flavor.  At home, you grab another.  Away from home that’s only possible if you brought extra.
  • Pack all your running gear in your carry on. This is very important!  Do not tempt fate by putting your trusted running gear in your checked luggage.  Yes, you can even pack your gels in your carry on.  Call me crazy but I also don’t trust the resort baggage handlers with my running gear.  It stays with me at all times until I get to my room.

Once you get settled into your accommodations, there is one more bag you might want to think about packing:  your gEAR bag.  At the expo, a runDisney gEAR bag will be part of your packet.  How big is the bag?  I get asked that a lot.  I measured it just for you!  It’s 17.5 inches by 24 inches.

runDisney gEAR bag

runDisney gEAR bag

You will also get a sticker with a number on it to stick on the bag.  Pro tip: the number on your sticker should match that of your bib.  Check it closely before leaving the expo.  If it does not match, head straight to runner relations.

This is where you'll stick your sticker that should match your bib number.

This is where you’ll stick your sticker that should match your bib number.

Why do you want to pack a gEAR bag? If you are like me, there may be things you will want as soon as you finish.  For me, it’s wipes, a Luna bar, and flip-flops.  Bandages and deodorant are also smart additions.  I usually pack a change of clothes, too.  This is especially true of the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10 Miler because runners get access to the Villains Bash after party at Hollywood Studios.

There are a few things to know about gEAR check for this particular race.  First of all, where you check your bag will not be where you pick it up.  You will check your bag in the parking lot of Hollywood Studios when you arrive for the start of the race.  Just follow the signs.  It will be well-marked.  While you are making your way through the 10 mile course, your bag will magically be transported to the theater where the Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular is held.  Bag pick up will be on the stage.  Here’s where it gets, um, interesting for this race.  You will finish the race in the backstage area behind the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror.  From there, you will be ushered back into the park by way of the walkways around the theater where Beauty and the Beast is performed.  If you know anything at all about this park, you know these two areas are nowhere near each other. This means you will have to walk a ways across the park to get your bag.  You will also have to tackle a few stairs in the theater when you pick up your bag.  It’s really not that horrible.  I mean, you just ran 10 miles.  Surely you can walk across a theme park and take on a few stairs, right?  It is something to be aware of, though.  If you have family waiting for you at the party, an alternative is to just give your things to a family member and bypass gEAR check altogether.  I’ve done this in the past for this race, and I plan to do it again this year, too.

If you do check a bag, here is where double checking your sticker comes into play.  The volunteers working bag pick up will match your bag to your bib number.  Make sure you are still wearing your bib when you go to get your bag.  If the numbers don’t match, the volunteers will not be able to give your bag to you.

What if you lose your sticker before checking your bag?  Or what if you forget your bag altogether?  Not to worry!  Volunteers working gEAR check will have extra bags and blank tags if the Villains decide to show up early to the party and throw a wrench in your plans.

You know the drill.  An ounce of prevention yields a pound of care, and it’s really true when packing for runDisney.  Have a great race!  Say “hi” if you see me on the course!

The start of something EPIC!  Any guesses?

The start of something EPIC! Any guesses?

Thanks for hopping on over to my blog.  For the other posts in this virtual blog hop, click the Mickey runner below.

Virtual Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend Blog Hop Directory

Follow @myglasssneaker on Twitter.

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Tap N Run 4k Memphis

Yesterday I did the Tap N Run 4k Memphis, which was a beer run. It sounded like a good idea at first. Beer before noon can’t be all that bad, right? Except for the event wasn’t in the morning. It was at 2 pm in the afternoon. It still didn’t sound too bad. After all, October afternoons are pretty nice. Yeah! Turns out it was almost 90 degrees with 80-something percent humidity, and what appeared to be an overcast day turned into full sun by 2 pm. It was HOT! It was still fun, though.

Tap N Run 4k Course Map

Tap N Run 4k Course Map

Basically, you drink your way through the race. You get a small beer to toast the start, about 6 ounces.

The Volunbeers are getting the cups of beer ready for the start.

The Volunbeers are getting the cups of beer ready for the start.

Then, you get another small beer at each of 2 water, uh, beer stops, called Beer Chugs.

Beer Chugs were in place of water stops.  Water was available, too, though.

Beer Chugs were in place of water stops. Water was available, too, though.

Then, after the finish, you get a full-sized can of beer. The beer was surprisingly refreshing on the hot day. The first beer at the start was Schlafly Ale. The first Beer Chug had an orange beer, which was delicious! It was so refreshing! I wish I knew what it was so I can buy it. I asked but the volunteers (called Volunbeers) didn’t know. The second Beer Chug had Pabst Blue Ribbon, and at the end, you got your choice of Miller Light or Coors Light.

The costumes were nuts!

So many fun costumes in the crowd!

So many fun costumes in the crowd!

I saw many groups dressed in all the Mario characters.

Funny!

Funny!

Monsters U was well represented, and I saw Thing One and Thing Two. Because it started and ended on Beale Street downtown, there were many tourists spectating. One tourist asked what was going on, and someone responded that it was just a typical afternoon in downtown Memphis. It was funny!

Everyone got a finisher’s medal, too, which doubles as a bottle opener. Always useful!

The medal doubles as a bottle opener!

The medal doubles as a bottle opener!

One of my favorite things about this run is that since it wasn’t timed, I took some pics that I wouldn’t normally take time to snap, like the finish line!

Fed Ex Forum, home of the Memphis Grizzlies NBA team

Fed Ex Forum, home of the Memphis Grizzlies NBA team

New Daisy Theater

New Daisy Theater

Old Daisy Theater

Old Daisy Theater

Finish Line

Finish Line

Have you ever done a beer run?

Follow me on Twitter @myglasssneaker.

Like my Facebook page http://facebook.com/myglasssneaker.

I’m a charity athlete raising money for St. Jude. To make a donation, click here.

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Back on Track–Wrap Up

Ok so I didn’t blog every single day about how my week went.  It was starting to get a bit redundant so I thought I’d just summarize it.

I give myself a B on hydration.  Most days I did well with it, but a couple of days I definitely could have used more water.  I did have some cramping issues last night after my run yesterday, and that’s never happened before.  I remembered that I did not have my electrolyte beverage before or after the run, so I’m going to say that’s what it was.

I give myself a B for nutrition as well.  Again, most days I did well.  There were a few hiccups along the way, mostly caused by changes in my normal routine.  When I had a normal day, nutrition was a breeze.  If I had something special to do, it was a challenge. 

I give myself a C on fitness.  I only worked out 3 of the 6 days I had planned.  However, I was able to finish my long run yesterday of 4.5 miles.  That’s the longest I’ve run at any given time since the Princess Half Marathon so I’ll call that a win. 

My weight loss for the week was 2 pounds.  Here’s where only weighing myself once a week would have been the better idea.  At one point during the week I was down 4 pounds so I was a bit disappointed in only 2.  Had I not weighed myself, I wouldn’t have seen the 4 pound loss, and I’d be totally happy with 2.

So over all, I do feel closer to being back on track than I was a week ago, and that’s a good thing.  I have one more week before my official fall race schedule training begins, and I plan to make the most of it.

Follow me on Twitter @myglasssneaker.

I am raising money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital as a charity athlete.  Please visit my fund-raising page to make a donation here.

Don’t forget to register for my virtual race, the Magic Carpet Run, to benefit St. Jude.  For details and to register, click here.

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2013 Disney Princess Half Marathon Race Report Part 1–The Pre-Race

I have a lot to talk about from the days leading up to the race itself. At the same time, the half was the main event, and the whole reason I was there in the first place. So, I thought I’d just jump right in and cover the race first.

My alarm was set for 2 am on February 24, 2013, which was 1 am to my body. I went to bed around 9 the night before. Five hours are good, right? I’m not really sure I actually slept any and finally got up at 1:55. I had everything laid out the night before so I hit the shower (yeah, I know! Why shower when I’m about to become a sweaty mess?), got ready and out the door I went. Carriages, I mean busses, were supposed to start running at 3 am and I wanted to be on the first bus. As I was walking around the front of the resort to the bus stop, I saw a bus drive off. I looked at my watch and saw that it was 5 minutes early and I started to panic a little. Then I was relieved to see 3 more lined up ready to take all of us eager Princesses to our ball, I mean race.

Upon arriving, if I wasn’t already awake, I sure was then because the energy was electric! Princesses, and the few princes, were cheering and yelling. There was a stage with a DJ, bright festive lights, and just an all around fun party atmosphere. I even caught a glimpse of the finish line from afar. That really gave me butterflies. I wanted to run around and see everything all at once but I had to reign myself in to keep from spending all my energy before the race even began. I did stop for a few pre-race photos before heading to my highly anticipated Race Retreat.

Me in front of the Princess Jasmine backdrop to match my costume!  They had one for each princess lining the path as we entered the staging area.

Me in front of the Princess Jasmine backdrop to match my costume! They had one for each princess lining the path as we entered the staging area.

The entrance to the Race Retreat

The entrance to the Race Retreat

I’ll have more on this amenity at a later date but for anyone who is wondering if it’s worth the pricey tag, yes! For me it definitely was. I grabbed a banana, bagel, peanut butter and coffee and found a place to sit. It was wonderful to just be able to relax and soak everything in while staying off my feet. I ran into a few fellow Princess Posse members in the retreat, which was bonus!

I found Liz as soon as I walked into the Race Retreat!

I found Liz as soon as I walked into the Race Retreat!

I found Aimee in the Race Retreat porta potty line!

I found Aimee in the Race Retreat porta potty line!

Before I knew it, an announcement was made for corrals A, B, and C to make their way to the start. I realized I should go ahead and use the private potties at the retreat so I would be ready when D was called, which happened right as I was finishing up. I left my cozy retreat and began the long journey to the starting line, which was about a mile. I did make 2 additional potty stops on the way. The last thing I wanted was to get into my corral and need one.

There were so many people that the walk to the start definitely was slow. I finally got to the starting line area, and whoa! 23,000 princesses equate to a whole lot of tutus and tiaras! There were 8 corrals, A-H, and best I could tell, they had A-D lined up directly in front of the start and E-H in another row off to the side. Because I was in D I have no idea how they got E-H moved over. I wasn’t even in place yet and the National Anthem began. Once the race started, things really got moving. I was surprised by how quickly they moved everyone through. The Fairy Godmother was there to see us off. Each corral got their own fireworks to start, and since I was in corral D, I had already seen the wheelchair start as well as A, B, and C. I was so excited I just could not wait to be on my way. I got a little teary because this was by far the most exciting and dynamic start to a race I had ever experienced. Again, I had to reign myself in because I knew I needed to save as much energy as possible. Almost before I even realized it, the announcer was counting us down and the sky was ablaze with our fireworks.

runDisney's pic of the fireworks, courtesy of runDisney

runDisney’s pic of the fireworks, courtesy of runDisney

My pic of the fireworks at the start.  I never claimed to be a good photographer.

My pic of the fireworks at the start. I never claimed to be a good photographer.

My Princess experience had finally begun!

Up next, the race itself! Did I have/take time for character photos? Did I hold up well in the heat and humidity? Did I finish? Also, who was the person I was most excited and surprised to run into on the course?

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