Saturday, August 24, 2013

Love Me Some Disneyland

I know my blogger friends will understand the love for Disney parks, even if my other friends don't. Now that I run Disney races, I'm rarely at Disneyland or Disney World unless there is a race going on, but it's always fun. Races just make it that much better.

Anyway, like all of the other people in the blogosphere, I'm getting super hyped for Dumbo Double Dare. I'm not really sure why there is such extreme excitement over this race more so than the other runDisney events, but I'm just as stoked as everyone else.

Since there's two days of racing and the expo, my trip is 5 days long. The great thing about giving yourself that kind of time is that you don't have to rush to do everything. It also gives you a chance to check out some stuff that you might otherwise bypass in favor of the faster "adult" rides, such as Indiana Jones, Space Mountain and Radiator Springs Racers.

I know several people have written posts about their Disneyland favorites and must do's, but there's several lesser known attractions that are pretty cool, too. And there's definitely a few that I'd like to check out.

The first one is Monsters, Inc. Mike & Sully To The Rescue. I love this ride. It's so cute and if you go at night, there's rarely a line. I didn't even discover it until a couple of years ago. It's hidden in DCA in the back in Hollywoodland. It's a kids ride, but really cute. The details are really cool, as well.


If you want a good laugh and want to experience some very vintage Disneyland, hop on the Disneyland Railroad. It's loops the park beginning and ending at Main Street, USA, with stops at Mickey's Toontown, Tomorrowland and New Orleans Square. I really recommend riding the whole loop at some point, not because this is the greatest ride ever, but because some of the scenery is so out dated, it's funny. You'll see what I mean if you check it out.


Another ride I love that masquerades as a kiddy ride is Goofy's Sky School in DCA. It looks like a little kid coaster, but it's pretty fun. It's certainly a lot more fun than Gadget's Go Coaster in Toontown.

Another ride that is easy to skip is the Storybook Land Canal Boats in Magic Kingdom. Sometimes there's a long line, so I don't always ride it, but if you happen to walk by and the line is short, give it a try. You ride through different miniature towns from old Disney movies. It's pretty cute.


I think I want to check out the Pirate's Lair on Tom Sawyer Island this year. I haven't gone to Tom Sawyer Island since probably the 90's. Back then, it was just Tom Sawyer Island. I think it might be fun to do something I haven't done in a long time.

And if you're dying to have a Dole Whip, I'll tell you where to find it. You need to go to Magic Kingdom and visit the juice bar right outside of The Enchanted Tiki Room. I don't know if I would recommend actually going into the Enchanted Tiki Room, but that's where you'll find the magical Dole Whip.


And of course, don't miss any of the main attractions, like Indiana Jones (I think this is probably my favorite ride of all time).


I'm so ready to go, I could leave right now! By this time next week, we'll have our 10K medals around our necks. See you there!

Oh, and if there are any other hidden gems you think I should check out, let me know!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Sunrise Saturday

Being as how I just recently remembered that I am a runner and a blogger, I deemed it necessary to actually do a Saturday long run. I know, right? Shocking. Plus, I will be at a horse show next weekend and even though I will easily be walking a ton of miles, I know I most likely won't get any running in.

My alarm went off at 4:15 this morning. It was surprisingly...not terrible, temperature-wise, outside. It was about 80 degrees and still dark, but there have been times when I've gotten up at 4 and it was already over 90.

I headed out to meet my friends, Lara and April, at Reach 11 Sports Complex. There's a wide desert trail that looks like it's in the middle of nowhere...until you run under the freeway. Anyway, they are zippier than I am, so I let them take off ahead of me.

Yes, I know. Terrible quality. But I wasn't awake, yet.

The good thing about starting so early (aside from the cooler temps) is getting to watch gorgeous Arizona sunrises. Seriously, Arizona has the most amazing sunrises and sunsets.

Usually, I lose some of the color in pictures,
so just imagine how bright this was in person.

And here's my Instagram version.

I won't lie. This run felt tough. It's not surprising since my training has been somewhat sporadic. The weird thing is that I had a really hard time keeping myself at a slower pace, which sounds awesome, but I ended up walking more than I wanted to. I'm not sure which is better: to run faster and walk more or to keep it slow and steady. Someone once told me that the only way to get faster is to run faster (duh) so I'm hoping it'll work out in the end. Also, dropping a few more pounds couldn't hurt, either. Damn happy hours...

At some point in my run, I got passed by a pack of high school cross country runners. I often see them out running on Saturdays and honestly, they make me feel so old! I admire that they get up so early on the weekends and they are so young.

And WOW, are they fast. Those kids can run.

At this point, I was getting burnt out, sore and bored. I was about 6 or 7 miles into my run and all alone. So, of course, I did what any serious athlete would do: I took a picture of myself! I can not take a good photo of myself to save my life, so I will distract you with colorful stars.

Nerd alert!

By the time I was 9 miles in, my hips had stiffened considerably. I need to break out the Stick and get to work. Stretching would help, too. Need to hit up Master Google for some stretching ideas...

When I was finally close to my car at about 10.5 miles, I could smell breakfast. I was starving and all I could think of was getting some food. The Gu and Sport Beans just weren't cutting it at this point. My stomach was literally growling when I got to my car and I could not figure out where that amazing smell was coming from. Seriously, there's nothing quite like the aroma of cooking bacon.

And then I saw it.

A food truck. In the desert. Shit just got real.

All I wanted to do was scramble over and stuff my face full of eggs and bacon. Honestly, I had burned enough calories (over 1000) to justify a couple of eggs and a few pieces of bacon, but you want to know what stopped me?

The teenage track team that also happened to be stretching in the parking lot. I simply was not going to drag my aching chubby ass over to the food truck in front of those teenagers and their short shorts. Just couldn't do it.

In all of the times I've run at this particular trail over the last few years, I have never seen a food truck waiting for hungry runners. Well played, food truck. (Except for me. I'll shovel food into my face in private, thankyouverymuch.) It would have been way funnier if I wasn't so incredibly hungry.

Oh, and I just discovered that I have Showtime on Dish Network. I've been paying for a premium movie channel for a year and a half and had no idea. Genius at work, folks. Watch out.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Twenty One Days Until Dumbo Double Dare

Holy cow, I can't believe there's only 3 weeks until I leave for Dumbo Double Dare! It seemed like an event waaaaaay off in the future and now suddenly it's almost here!

I wish I could say I've been a rock star in my training, but that would be a lie. I spent two weekends in a row on vacation drinking beaucoup vino, one of which was in Las Vegas.

There's champagne in those coffee cups. Great way to smuggle booze into a restaurant.

Anyhoo, I dragged my sorry ass back onto the wagon and ran the mountain on Tuesday night. It was not pretty.

I'm pretty sure I was sweating out booze. Regardless, I did a very sweaty 5.5 miles. When I was done, I was feeling pretty good about it, though.

The sunset was gorgeous.

I planned on doing it again last night. I got dressed, filled up my camelbak, got in my car and...dead battery. C'est la vie, right?

I'm planning on doing a pretty long run tomorrow- at least 10 miles. I'm away at a horse show next weekend so I need to cram in as many training runs as possible before heading off to my favorite of all Disney race weekends.

I also need to get my costumes figured out, too. I haven't quite decided how much effort I want to put in. We'll see how that shakes out.

Who else is super stoked about Disneyland Half Weekend? Woot!