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Monday, September 9, 2013

DisneyLand Half Marathon

At the 2013 DisneyLand half marathon we had 17,500 runners, a near-record setting female winner, Dumbo Double Dares, and 6 lucky couples got engaged!
Rocking my Sparkle Athletic skirt
Rudy and I started announcing around 4:45 am.  The races at Disneyland are great, because everything is so close.  We can walk right from our hotel to the start line.  Our start line show for the half was a memorable one for sure.
We started by interviewing two coast-to-coast runners from Orlando, Matt and Alyssa.  Matt is a member of Team Track Shack, so I was in on what was about to happen next...

Rudy asked him to demonstrate the stretches he does before the race and he stretched all the way down...to one knee.  Alyssa was shaking as she said yes...and the crowd went wild!  Congrats to Matt and Alyssa!
We also did celebrity interviews at the start line.  Joey Fatone from N'Sync, Sean Austin, actor from Lord of the Rings and Rudy, and Allison Sweeney host of The Biggest Loser all joined Rudy and I on stage.  Sean and Joey were doing the Dumbo Double Dare and Allison was running in her first RunDisney event.  They all told the runners the same thing, "HYDRATE!"  Okay, remember that friends!
Why does it look like I'm about to hit Joey in the face?
At 5:30am Rudy sent the runners off and then we said "go" 6 more times as there were 7 waves of runners and 8 minutes between each wave.  Rudy left after wave "D" and I brought out the rest of the excited runners.
Over at the finish line our winner was a back-to-back winner Jimmy Grabow. The female winner, Stephanie Dinius, did it in a near record time of 1:15:47.  The record is held by Rachel Booth (the back to back Princess Half winner) at 1:15:10.  The oldest runner was named Flor, she's 81, and did the Dumbo Double Dare.  The RunDisney nutritionist (and my new boss!) Tara Gidus blazed to a 1:36:59 finish and took home 3rd in her age group.
Sean Astin finished just over 2 hours and had enough energy left for selfies with the announcers!
Mom did great as well.  She had her 2nd best half marathon performance and finished in 2:35.  I'm so proud of Mom!  She ran the 10k the day before and finished in a great time earning her 3 medals for the weekend. (How awesome is Mom's Mickey skirt? She made it herself!)
After Mom finished I had my "announcer's breakfast" of Belvita crackers and Justin's PB.  It's fast and keeps me full.  It takes a lot of energy to talk for 7 hours!
Check our random notes, water, and coffee.
Shout out to our amazing sign language interpreter - Ty Blake Holden.
The finish line was an exciting place.  We had 5 more engagements!  Five!  The happiest most romantic place on Earth!  It wasn't all work at the finish line.  I somehow found time to try to take the reins at RunDisneyTV from Dennis Marsico.  Have you guys been watching the RunDisney recaps?  Dennis, Mark and the RDTV team have been doing a great job!
I nabbed a selfie with Ali Vincent the first female winner of The Biggest Loser and Lori from my Marathonfest running group. Aren't they both gorgeous?
If you're looking for a fast, flat RunDisney course then this is your race!  Congrats to all the finishers and I will see you all at Tower of Terror.
Thank you Bill for taking this pic!
Who is a celebrity that you met before?

Love and selfie mouse ears,
Carissa & Kyle

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Peroneal Tendonitis Recovery Plan

Yup, I am suffering from peroneal tendonitis.  Not an uncommon ailment among distance runners as it is an overuse injury.  While I followed my training plan and slowly increased my mileage, here I am still injured (I also had a severe ankle sprain 2 years ago, which contributed to the weakness).  I am, however, optimistic about a quick recovery and I'm here to share my plan with you today.
I just wanna run!
Two Saturdays ago I did a 18 mile training run and it went wonderful!  After the run I took an ice bath and rode in the car to Sarasota. When I stepped out of the car I felt pain on the outside of my right foot and it has been lingering there ever since.

I skipped my long run this week and did three shorter 2-3 mile runs.  When my foot still hurt when I got home from Disneyland I decided to see a doctor.  I wanted to be proactive about seeking care, because I am still 3 months from my marathon.  If I need to rest, then this is the time to do it and I should still be able to rock the Space Coast Marathon on December 1.

Can I still run on my foot right now?  Yes.  
Does it hurt? Yes.  
Could I grit through? Yes.  

But my goal in resting and healing now is so that it doesn't get worse and prevent me from running at all.

What exactly is peroneal tendonitis?

The peroneal tendon runs from the outside of the ankle from just behind the fibula.
According to FootCareMD online, the injury would be better called tendinosis, because there is an enlargement and thickening along with swelling of the tendon. This is related to overuse or a repetitive activity that irritates and inflames the tendon over long periods of time.

My injury was diagnosed by Dr. Lewis in Winter Park.  He was recommended by Track Shack and he works with lots of athletes and runners including the last 2 years winners of the Walt Disney World Marathon - Adriano Bastos and Fredison Costa.  He took x-rays to rule out a stress fracture then diagnosed the condition by locating the pain in my foot.

I am very, very glad that I went early to the doctor.  As I said above, I have full faith that I will be able to happily run my marathon.  Peroneal tendinosis can eventually lead to a tearing of the tendon, which may require surgery, so addressing the condition early is best.

Knowing what's wrong feels like such a weight off me, instead of waking up in the morning and just hoping the pain will be gone.  I've reduced my mileage already for 10 days, so hopefully within 3-4 weeks I can begin running regularly again.  The good news is that I can still run now...just less.

Here's a look at my recovery plan.  Please note that this is not medical advice, but what was recommended for me.  My best advice for your pain is to see your doctor.  In addition to this, Dr. Lewis also gave me new insoles for my Asics Nimbus 14's.
The hardest part is going to be matching the intensity of running with other forms of cardio.  Dr. Lewis says that many athletes split the time between the bike and elliptical and that's what I plan to do. For example, this week my training plan has 12 miles.  I'll run 3-4 miles (1/4 of 12) and then finish the remaining 80 minutes of cardio between the elliptical and bike.  I'm already bored thinking about it. :/

Dr. Lewis also recommended cross training, which I am doing currently.
New shoe insert
I'd be lying if I said that I wasn't frustrated and saddened by this injury.  Not only was my training going great, but I was having so much fun.  However I know that I need to be smart to prevent further injury and I WILL cross that finish line on December 1.

Have you ever had foot problems?
What was your worst running/lifting injury?
How do you not get super bored on the elliptical?

Love and angry tendons,
Carissa & Kyle


Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Wonderland 10k and Dumbo Double Dare

The DisneyLand Half Marathon weekend was the first RunDisney weekend to expand to a 10k and add a new 2-day challenge.  Saturday morning the family fun run 5k and the Wonderland 10k took off at Disneyland. Among the 10k runners were 5,000+ who were doing the Dumbo Double Dare, which was the 10k on Saturday and the half marathon on Sunday.
As one of the announcers for the RunDisney series, I was up at 2:30am on Saturday to head to costuming to get all prepped for the big event.  Each year Disney costumers work their magic on Rudy and I to get us into the theme of the 5k run.  I have been a fairy, a pirate, and an auto mechanic, but this costume was by far the funniest.  Say hello to...TweedleDee!
Thankfully it was predetermined that Rudy would be "dum" and I would be "dee".  Good choice.
Before the race started I had a quick breakfast of Belvita crackers and Justin's peanut butter.  For a travel breakfast it had about 400 calories and a good blend of carbohydrates for energy and fat and protein for staying power.
We started our "start line show" for the 5k 4:30 with our usual banter, bad jokes, and a fun appearance by the White Rabbit.  We also had a trumpet playing of the National Anthem and a large part of the crowd sang along.  I thought that was pretty awesome.
Hey you guys....
At 5:30 the 5k started and with two waves of starts, all the runners and walkers were on their way by 5:45.
By 6am, we were ready to do it all over again as the 10k runners starting pouring into the corrals.  This time the Mad Hatter and Alice in Wonderland joined us on stage for the fun. At 6:15 the 10k was started.
Thank you to all my twitter and blog friends who said "hi" as they jogged by and shared pics on Twitter and Instagram.  It's so fun to see you all and I love the pics.  This one was taken by Meghann at Meals and Miles.
There were about 4 waves for the 10k and after we wished the final runners good luck, we literally dashed over to the finish line to cheer in the winner.  The winner was Ken Nwadike who is a race director in California.  For the half marathon he raced in a stellar Michael Jackson costume.  He's pretty much awesome.
My Mom was also taking on the Dumbo Double Dare.  She claims they "dared" her and she had to.  This was Mom's first time doing 2 races on back-to-back days.  She met up with Heather from Heather's Looking Glass in Tomorrowland.
Mom finished her first 10k in 1:07.  Her first mile was in the 9's...mom is still learning the art of the negative split, but she loved the course and had a blast.
Many other runners said they loved the 10k course, because it spent a lot of time in the parks.  The race finished through Downtown Disney too, where there was a lot of crowd support. Here's a look at the course map.
Rudy and I were not the only Tweedles out there for the race.  I found a Tweedle Twin - Kelly from Team Sparkle and According to Kelly.  She looks adorable.  I look like a teenage boy.
Overall the response for the 10k was very positive.  Not only was this race a good way to add a new RunDisney challenge, but it's a good transition point from a 5k to 10k to the half marathon for new runners. I have run one 10k in my life and I did it in 1:03:15 in 2007.
With my awesome co-announcer - Rudy!
After the race I had the quickest of quick showers, shed my beanie, and headed to the expo for day 2.  I think an entire expo post is necessary, but I will say that after announcing for 5 hours and working the expo for 4 I went to the gym.  I may have been motivated by my new Raw Threads shirt, but it felt good to sweat.
Did you run the Wonderland 10k this weekend?  What did you think?
Would you be TweedleDee or TweedleDum?

Love and down the rabbit hole,
Carissa & Kyle

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Sunday, September 1, 2013

DisneyLand Half Marathon Twitter Meet Up 2013

This year's DisneyLand Half Marathon weekend kicked off bright and early on Friday morning.  We had a 3am rehearsal and then I boogied over to the Sorcerer's Hat to join in on the "tweet up".

In all honesty, I know the pre-race tweet-ups are super serious stuff and runners really love scoring an invite to them, but I'm not 100% sure on how the invites work.  I know the Disney Parks Blog goes lives with a post about the Tweet Up and then it's a mad dash to be one of the first 40 or so to email and secure your spot. It fills up in minutes!  The RunDisney fans have even shut down the Disney Parks blog, because they were so actively refreshing waiting for the post to go live.  Lucky for me, I work for RunDisney and am grateful for Bob for allowing me to take a look at all the action.

Before the event I bumped into some of my RunDisney friends in the lobby of the Grand California.
Heather, Ali Vincent winner of the Biggest Loser, and Meghann of Meals and Miles
We met up with the rest of the group at the Sorcerer's Hat and more photo taking continued.  I did ask Joey ALL about the VMA's and he said it was VERY hard to keep the secret.  He's such a nice guy.
I also got to hang out with our RunDisney nutritionist Tara Gidus (who is the best!) and Orlando's own Jon and Betsy Hughes from Track Shack. Tara let me borrow the polka dot Sparkle Athletic skirt that I'm wearing.
Tara and actor Sean Astin
The tweet up started with a running clinic from New Balance.  Some of their tips for "good form running" included:

  • Maintaining good posture, 
  • Running with your arms "hip to nip" aka don't cross your body 
  • Leaning forward as you run
  • Increasing your cadence to 180 BPM  (I def want to find a way to work on increasing my cadence)

I also finally got to meet Monica from Run Eat Repeat.  I love reading her blog and she was sweet and wonderful to meet in person.
Monica and Meghann
After the running clinic it was actually time to run.  The group split into a run/walk group with Jeff Galloway and a continual run group.  I took off with the continuous run group and had a great time chatting with Sean Astin, Heather, Meghann, Jennifer, and Monica.
I'm in the back next to Sean.  Look for gold dots!
Two Minnies!
This was the first time I was able to run though the parks of Disneyland and it's always something magical.  So magical that I took this blurry castle photo!  It was my first time running through a Disney castle.  I would like to do that every morning.
We made a quick stop in FantasyLand to meet with Alice in Wonderland and some brave runners rode the tea cups.
We also got to run through CarsLand at Disney's California Adventure.  What a stunning park.
After the 2.25 mile run we had a continental breakfast and the runners settled in to hear some talks from our RunDisney experts and VIP's.  I, however, had to boogie to my hotel room to shower before the expo opened.
I'm grateful that I had a chance to attend the tweet up.  For other recaps check out:
- Run Eat Repeat
- Meals and Miles
- Through Heather's Looking Glass
I travel home to Orlando on Monday and hope to keep sharing my blog recaps from a great weekend.

Have you ever been to a RunDisney Tweet Up?
Have you tried to get in?

Love and magical miles,
Carissa & Kyle