Thursday, January 30, 2014

Full Body Bruiser Workout

I think it's time to revisit an old friend - THROWDOWN THURSDAY!

Remember those killer tough workouts that we challenged you to complete each week?

This week I'm bringing you an at-home full body workout that doesn't require anything, but some will power.

I actually did this workout when I was in California for the Tinker Bell Half Marathon.  My friend Merle from Sweatybands joined me in the gym (Have you ever met her at a RunDisney expo?) and we had a fun time sweating through this workout.  At first it didn't seem too hard, but it got to me by the end.  Those burpees are a trick there in the middle!
We finished the workout with abs and 10 sets of 30 second sprints on the treadmill.  It was a great workout and a wonderful way to kickoff a RunDisney weekend.
Good luck!
What types of workouts would you like to see on Throwdown Thursday?
Do you workout when you travel?

Love and sweaty friends,
Carissa & Kyle

Monday, January 27, 2014

2014 Tinker Bell Half Marathon Recap

My Mom is awesome and two weeks ago she rocked the Tinker Bell Half Marathon.  I asked her to share her experience on the blog, so today you'll be getting Mom's story of the Tink Half.  She's a serious track athlete (National Masters Champion to be exact), but not a serious distance runner.  She loves Disney and the Galloway run-walk-run method.  I hope you enjoy Mom's race recap.  Way to go Mom!
Tinker Bell Half Marathon from Carissa’s Mom:

There is nothing like running a Run Disney Race.  If you are a runner, a RunDisney Half Marathon should be on your to do list!  I have been lucky to be able to run several Disney races including this weekend’s Tinker Bell Half Marathon.  The course, the fun, the energy, the entertainment, the announcers … OMG … you have to run one!

Many of you may know from Carissa’s blog that distance running is not really my thing … Masters Track and field; multi events; is my happy place running.  I run distances to challenge myself and for Carissa as it is her happy place running.

I started running half Marathons after cheering on the Inaugural Tinker Bell Half Marathon.  I never believed distance running was in me.  After cheering on all of the Inaugural Tinker Bell Half Marathon finishers, I started to feel the itch to run a Disney race.  I did not believe I could do it.  Carissa encouraged me to try.  This Momma will not let her baby down so last year I ran my first Disney half marathon. 

One of my favorite parts of a RunDisney weekend is the Expo.  All of the vendors are great and there is the Speaker series.  I have attended most every speaker’s presentation at least once.  You can learn so much from them.  Since I’m a newbie distance runner, I had lots to learn to be able to successfully run a half marathon.  From Tara Gidus I learned about nutrition.  From the RunDisney staff I learned about race day preparations.  From Jeff Galloway I learned the run-walk-run theory.  Without that run walk training, there would be no half marathons for me.  Every race and every Expo you learn and grow.
So I have to go back to the week before Tinker Bell to talk a little about my mindset …. 

Warming up for an indoor track meet, I injured my hamstring and groin.  Carissa said I did not have to run Tink, but there was no way I was backing out.  Secretly, I was worried I could not do it … but I refused to listen to the doubts.  I am soooo glad I ran it because it was my best race ever!  Not that I set my best time.  It was the best race ever because all of the learning came together …. Because I FOUND MY PERFECT RUN WALK RATIO !!!    Because I listened to ALL that I learned from Carissa and the speakers.  Thank you, Thank you … Thank you!

Race Day: Sunday January 19, 2014 and the Tinker Bell Half Marathon

Yes I was nervous about my injury from the weekend before.  It was not really bothering me but it was still “there”.  I think it was more mental than physical at this point.  As I dressed for the race I pulled on my thigh support and my shin supports, swallowed an Advi,l and walked out the door of Disney’s Grand Californian to the race start.  The corrals were literally right out the door of our hotel. Loving that!

The start of a Disney half marathon is epic.  Your announcers Carissa and Rudy are entertaining and inspirational.  I would say that even if Carissa were not my daughter!  There is the National Anthem with fireworks and then Rudy says, “ GO!”
I admit it – before this race I had not been listening to all of the race training that I received.  I always ran the whole first mile and EVERY STEP INSIDE OF THE DISNEY PARKS. Even though I knew the key was to start slow and start walk breaks right away.   So with my injury and more encouragement from Carissa, I started walk breaks in the first mile AND in the parks. They said take breaks all the way.  They said run negative splits.  They said I would finish stronger if I did.  So … hard headed sprinter me finally listened.  I think that injury indirectly made me a better distance runner.

The race starts; I finally took a walk break in the first mile.

Porta potty line … not for me this time … the doubts told me my leg would gave out and this would be my worst race ever.. I planned to stop in the parks.  There was a 3 to 4 minute error.  Did I mention that I have a goal to run a sub-230 half marathon?
Stop in backstage Disney to re-rig my iPod?  Sure …. Doubts told me this would not be my day.  This was another 2 to 3 minutes added to my time.

Error corrected: From the speaker series I figured out that I was not taking in enough calories during my long runs.  But my belt only holds so much … solutions … don’t laugh … I stowed sports beans in my bra!!!  It worked like a charm and no chaffing!

RunDisney constantly changes the race courses.  This course was  fun!  We ran through the Disneyland and California Adventure more than ever before.  Was it 5 or 6 miles?  Time flew right by.  I took walk breaks in the park …a first … and I ran the new run walk pace that I was trying both backstage and on the streets of Anaheim.. I run 2 minutes and then I walk 30 seconds… repeat for 13.1 miles.

The miles flew by.  I felt like a million! 
The streets of Anaheim were loaded with pep bands, cheerleaders and Red Hat Ladies cheering you on!  WOW  soooo fun!  I ran through each group high fiving every extended hand …. Note: high fiving every hand in a race is exhausting … and invigorating…. And I wouldn’t miss it for the world!  The miles flew by and like Pavlov’s dog I adhered to the beeps of my Garman telling me when to walk and when to run.

Feeling great!  Smiling as I run!  I am lucky to be able to run in the happiest place on Earth!
OOOOOHHHH mile eight is coming.  Mile eight is my nemesis. In previous halfs, that is where the wrong socks I chose to run in began their reign of pain one race.  Another race that is where to GU that I tried for the first time in a race once attacked my stomach. Mile eight is where it usually gets hard for me somehow….  NOT THIS RACE!!!  I feel like a million.  None of my body parts are really complaining.  I am not sweaty; I am not tired; I am singing at mile eight!  Bless my run walk ratio!  The miles fly by!  I am having so much fun! 
Mile eleven; I did not even begin to tire until well after mile eleven!!!  EUREKA!!!  This is it… I had the race of my life.

The finish line comes into view and I hear Carissa say, “Here is my MOM!”  I run these races to challenge myself and to run across the finish line with Carissa.  She is announcing all the way!  I am grinning like a fool. 

Actually I could not stop grinning … and grinning …. For about 5 minutes after my finish.  I got my medal, water, Mylar, and post race nutrition form Disney … and was still grinning.
This was the race of my life.  It was wonderful!
I crossed the finish in 2:36:22.
Mom made her skirt and arm sleeves!
I worked my way to the Cheer Zone to enjoy the finish line fun, dance, and cheer in all the runners finishing until the last runner crossed the finish line. 

Like Tinker Bell herself I flew through this race.  I found my happy place in distance running! 

Thank you Mom for sharing your race story.  Here's to more happy miles and a sub 2:30 in 2014!

Love and Mom's fairy wings, 
Carissa & Kyle

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

A Day in the Life of a Disney Marathon Announcer

Congrats to the over 50,000 athletes who rocked Disney's Marathon weekend!  For those of you who don't know I am one of the announcers for the RunDisney race series, so I have the pleasure of taking in part of all the weekend's festivities from the race starts to the expo and kids races.
You might not believe this, but this was my TENTH YEAR announcing the Disney marathon!

I already blogged about the expo fun...and my 10k PR....and then I didn't blog about anything else....bad, bad blogger!  We headed right to Anaheim for the Tinker Bell Half Marathon, so by the time I slept, caught up on my "real" job, and packed again there was no blogging.  Sorry about that.  You can always keep up with me via Instagram where I post a lot of RunDisney related photos.
Since a race announcer's life can be quite a whirlwind on a race weekend I thought I would post a "day in the life" type post to share my photos and insight on the weekend. This particular day is the marathon morning, but pictures are from both the half and the full.

1:15 am - Wake up, yes wake up!  Do not pass go, get dressed, pack makeup to do after rehearsal, and sleepily walk to VIP lounge to fill coffee mug.

1:45 am - Lobby call for announcers

2:30 am - Script read through at start line

3:00 am - Start line rehearsal and check audio levels. Get photobombed by John, who has also been doing the marathon for 10 years.
3:30am - Eat breakfast and put on makeup.  Lace shoes.
4:30 am - Startline show begins
4:50 am - Conduct start line interviews with celebs and runners.  For the half I interviewed Chris and Heidi Powell from ABC's Extreme Home Makeover. We also talked with RunDisney training consultant and Olympian Jeff Galloway and the director of the Boston Marathon Dave McGillvary.
5:30 am - Fireworks go BOOM and the race is underway!
6:10 am - Creigh and I are driven to the start line to track the lead athletes and prepare for wheelchair finishers, while John and Rudy send waves D- P off into the race.
6:30 am - Breakfast in the VIP area.  Protein and carbs are a must at this point for lasting energy, so I make sure to get eggs and fruit before the first finishers.  And coffee #2 for the day.
6:35 am - Take a selfie with Goofy's back while waiting for finishers.
6:45 am/ 7:52 am - First finishers (depending on race day). On Sunday Fredison Costa won his 3rd Disney marathon and represented Brazil. He was so, so excited to win, because that meant that next year his family can come to the race.
9:01 am - Celebrate sister-in-law (Kelsey) coming across the finish in a Boston qualifying time of 3:31!
8:30 am/ 9:30 am - Awards ceremony for the top overall athletes

After awards - Continue to cheer in finishers at the finish line.  On Saturday I left after awards to get to the kids races.
12:30 pm - Receive a funnel cake from one very awesome Disney runner.
12:31 - Eat funnel cake while wearing a snuggle.
12:40 pm - Try to make a more balanced snack.
2:30 pm - Celebrate the final finisher.  Sleep.
Congrats to all runners!  If you have never done a RunDisney event and you want to, then mark your calendar for next Tuesday, January 28.  The registration for the Disneyland Half marathon and the Dumbo Double Dare opens that day.  Warning - the event sold out in 36 hours last year.
Did you run the Disney marathon? How'd you do?
What was your favorite race?
Ever worn a tutu to work?

Love and long days,
Carissa & Kyle

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Inaugural Walt Disney World 10k 2014

Guess what guys?  I got to run a Disney race!  Woohoooo!!

As one of the announcers for the RunDisney race series, actually running a race isn't often a possibility.  We are usually tasked with working the expo, kids races, and start and finish of all races.  However because of the demanding schedule of the marathon weekend I was given the morning what did I do?  Get up at 3am and run cuz baby I'm a runner!

10,000 runners took on the Inaugural Walt Disney World 10k which started and finished in the parking lot in front of Epcot.  I drove over from the hotel with Tara Gidus, our RunDisney nutritionist, and Kelly and Carrie from Team Sparkle.  We got there without any traffic and had plenty of time for pre-race pics.
We also chatted with Ali Vincent (the first female winner of The Biggest Loser) who was running the Dopey Challenge.  She is amazing!  Her joy and happy spirit never fade and she always, always has time to talk with fans who are on their own weight loss journey.
Before the race I did a quick interview on stage.  I have no idea what I actually said, but I hope it was interesting. :)
For the race I wasn't sure how to pace myself.  The only 10k that I've ever run was in 2007 and I ran a 1:03:43 (10:15 average pace) and I definitely wanted to beat that time.  I didn't know how fast my body could go out.  I've been doing some (next training session I'll do more FYI) tempo runs, but I usually warm up for a slow 1.25 before picking up the pace and I knew I wouldn't properly warm up for this race.  I didn't want to start fast and embarrassingly die at mile 4.  My pre-race goal was an 8:45 pace.  I wrote down the split times on the pad in my hotel and mentally visualized the goal.

The morning was warm and humid.  What's new in Orlando?  I started and tried to keep around a 9-minute mile pace for the first mile.  This mile took us out through the parking lot of Epcot, up an overpass, and onto the freeway.  There was a character stop with Peter Pan and Wendy and a water stop full of wonderful volunteers.  I didn't stop or try to take photos.  Forgive me, but I wanted to run!  I think mile 2 was also on the freeway and there was a jumbo TV screen playing a music video, which I LOVED!  I think it gave me a half mile of distraction!
I started the race running with Kelly and Carrie of Sparkle Athletics.  I know that both are these girls are faster than me, but the pace was right so I kept up.  Kelly stopped before mile 3 to use the bathroom and Carrie and I kept on.  I told Carrie that I wanted to keep up this pace and finish sub-9, but I was afraid I'd mentally bonk out.  We crossed the 5k mark around 27:50, which is well off of 8:45 pace.

After the 5k mark we entered Epcot backstage and ran under test track and onto World Showcase by China.  Carrie was trying to talk to me and keep me moving.  She's never actually been into Epcot, so I "tried' to talk to her about the countries, but I didn't have much energy to talk.  At this point I made the decision to not look at my Garmin pace and just run and at pace that was "uncomfortable" but not impossible.  Around France the song "Let It Go" from Frozen came on and I was motivated to keep it up!

We left Epcot and ran the loop around Disney's Boardwalk.  I have run this loop before, so I knew what to expect and that there was one bridge.  I just kept telling myself to believe that I could keep going.  Somewhere on Boardwalk we passed mile 4 around 35:00.  I knew that was on pace and I wanted an 8:45 pace and a sub-55 finish! It was hot, but I was NOT going to quit.  After Boardwalk we re-entered Epcot for the final 0.5.  In retrospect I could have pushed a little harder in this part...come on girl!

Official time - 10k (6.2 miles) 54:33 - 8:46 average pace.
I'm thrilled with the race.  I wish the time were a bit faster, but what I'm proud of is what I mentally accomplished.  I didn't stop moving and I kept going when it wasn't comfortable.  I don't think I would have been able to do this without Carrie.  Thank you girl!
I'm typing this post en route to California for the Tink Half weekend, so I can't look up my splits, but I think it went something like this - 8:49, 9:04, 8:49, 8:40, 8:40, 8:20.  I know it was a negative split, which is always a good thing.
After running this race I can see why RunDisney events are so popular!  You simply can't beat running through the parks.  It's a truly magical experience.
Congrats to all the runners who raced this weekend at Disney!

What is your favorite park to run in?
Ladies have you ever run in a Sparkle skirt or any skirt?

Love and PR's,
Carissa & Kyle

Thursday, January 9, 2014

2014 RunDisney Marathon Weekend Expo

Hi friends!  We are only 2 days into the 2014 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend expo, but I've already had so much fun and am exhausted!
BUT...I wanted to share some of the fun with you!  I'll be sharing on Instagram and Twitter all weekend long too.
Day 1 of the Expo was when all the Dopey runners came to pick up their packets.
Stole this fun shot from @SeeSharpRun (Linzie) on Instagram
I got to run into a lot of my RunDisney friends.  It was like the first day of school!
Hi Heather!
Day 2 was more expo fun and the start of the kids races and Mickey Mile.  1 day of kids done....2 to go.

We did have a few rain showers today, which were a bummer, but it takes more than some "liquid sunshine" to slow this RD announcer down!

I also got the new New Balance RunDisney shoes for 2014.  I'm sure you've seen them all over social media and New Balance really did an amazing job.  There are 2 styles for men and women.  The men have a Goofy and Sorcrer Mickey design to choose from.  For the ladies there's the Cinderella pair that I got and a super cute pink polka dot Minnie.  I'm not sure how many shoes are left, but to get a pair your best bet is to go to Champion Stadium and Wide World of Sports and sign up in the virtual que.  Then they will text you when it's your turn to shop.
Friday am will be the inaugural WDW 10k and guess what!?!?!  I get to run!
This is NOT my bib.  Not an elite!
I'm a little nervous, because I've never really run a 10k.  I'd like to go "fast" but I don't know what that means for me since I'm focused on marathon training.  Usually I get faster about 4 miles in, but for a 10k that's about 3/4 done.  I'm thinking I'll just see what the morning brings me.  I'll start around a 9:15 pace and shoot for negative splits.
After the 10k it's off to the expo and kids races.  If you're around I hope you will say "hi" and I hope you have a magical race weekend! :)
RunDisney Sweatybands
Are you a RunDisney fan?  
Running this weekend?
How do you pace a 10k?

Love and tutus,
Carissa & Kyle

Monday, January 6, 2014

Race Packing Guide

Are you a little Dopey sometimes?

Does running 48.6 miles in 4 days sound Dopey to you?  

Don't laugh, because thousands of excited and nervous (don't lie y'all are nervous) runners are descending on Orlando today to begin their journey to conquering Disney's Dopey Challenge.  4 days - 5k - 10k - Half Marathon - Full Marathon - 6 medals and one very sore Monday.  
Inspired by that craziness, I decided to share my helpful running packing list.  Packing for a marathon is hard.  Packing for a marathon when nervous is harder.  Use the checklist to make sure you have all your P's & Q's for the Dopey Challenge or even if you're "just running the marathon".
Let's not forget to talk food prep.  If you're packing for Disney go to your pantry right now and pack food! 

Pack food that is non-perishable and that you’ve eaten before a run previously. (I have a whole post on calculating pre/post race needs you can check out here). 

I like whole-wheat bagels with PB, Clif bars, or Kashi cereal using an aseptic almond milk.  Tortillas also travel well and don’t take up a lot of space, and oatmeal can be made in a hotel coffee pot.

In terms of medicines like Advil or decongestants, I would be sure to pack them along with any prescription medications. However don’t take the medicine before the race.  Certain medicines will affect your sodium levels and can increase your heart rate.

Finally, lay out all your clothes the night before. Double check that it’s all there and ready to go. Charge any iPods or Garmins and visualize your success.  See in your mind yourself having a great race and you will be “mentally packed” to compete!
Remember to have fun!  Nobody can predict what happens on race day…good or bad.  But you only have 1 chance!  Remember all your training and the work you put in.  THIS IS YOUR DAY! Come rain or shine make sure you cross that line proud of yourself!

Good luck Disney friends!  See you soon!

Have you ever forgotten anything for a race?
What's your pre-race ritual?

Love and preparation,

Carissa & Kyle

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