Wednesday, May 18, 2016

PhotoPass versus Marathon Photo

So I gotta say, I'm a total fan of the PhotoPass system for runDisney race photos. I never buy race photos because, without fail, I look terrible every picture.

Thank you, cheapo Wet'n'Wild lip stick for remaining painted on my face for an entire race.


I'm not really sure why I insisted on doing my Tinkerbell Half recap before downloading the official pictures. It is a mystery. I make bad choices. Often.

Look! I'm winning!


I knew before the race that runDisney was making the switch, but I had never done PhotoPass at either resort before, so I wasn't entirely sure how it worked. Turns out, it is not rocket science but it's a bit confusing at first and you have to seek out the information on the runDisney page to figure out how you link your race photos.

Official Disneyland app for iPhone


Basically, PhotoPass is a service where park photographers take your picture in front of the castle or with characters, etc, and they give you a card so that you can access your pictures. You download the app, they scan a card or the bar code on your app and voila! You can can pay for your pictures and download everything for that day.


You can look up the race codes on the runDisney website for each race. You plug in the codes with your number and link them to your photo pass account.


I didn't really investigate the process until I was at the airport on my way home. I wish I had done my homework ahead of time, because for a flat rate of about $40, you can download all of your pictures for one day.


On the day of the half marathon, we took a bunch of pictures with characters in the parks with our medals on. We just used cell phones, but if I had realized how it all worked, we could have had them scan the bar code and gotten a bunch of professional pictures in addition to the race photos for a very reasonable price.

Not the most flattering picture of me but I couldn't resist Caption Jack in it.


So now I know for next time. Also, if you take a photo after the finish, there a nice race banner at the bottom. I think that's really cool. And in general, I feel like my pictures over all were just better than other race photos in the past. Maybe PhotoPass cast members get trained on taking decent action shots.

A little sass for Goth Tink


All in all, I totally approve of this change and I will better take advantage of the process for the WDW Marathon in January.


Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Tinkerbell Half Marathon

I didn't take very many pictures during the Tinkerbell Half Marathon, sadly. I was focused on one thing: a PR. Spoiler alert: No PR for Jaime.

I ran as Goth Tink because I'm way too cool to be regular Tink. Also, black is more slenderizing than lime green.


I really hate when I actually try at something and it doesn't go my way. I can be really bad about training, especially back when I was racing a lot. If you're doing half marathons every two or three months, you're basically semi trained all of the time. Even if you're not super focused on it, you're still getting some regular long runs in. That really hasn't been the case for me for the last couple of years, so I was determined not to show up at Tink untrained.

Adrienne as Tinker Belle and Abby as Fairy Poppins. They're more creative than me.


I decided to focus on a PR at Tinkerbell back in January when I signed up to run 1000 miles in 2016. I have to say, I was definitely trained for the distance but I knew that I was only on the cusp of PR territory. It was possible to PR, but I couldn't give any time away taking pictures, etc.


The only pictures I took were snap shots as I was running a long. No character stops for me!

I won't bore you with the mile by mile recount since I don't have super cute character pictures. Basically, the short version is this: I ran at a pace that was about 30 seconds too fast per mile for 10 miles. I was on track to PR until mile 10 when I got a horrible stitch in my side. I still kept pushing until mile 11 when I started seeing spots. I walked for a bit, trying running again, but I was done. I had pushed a little too hard for two hours and by the time I was at 11.5 miles, I knew I was going to have to walk for awhile to get my heart rate back to normal. I ended up walking until the last mile.

Seeing spots is definitely not something I'm used to. I knew it was stupid to keep trying to push myself.

California Adventure


I had to take a picture of this shirt because it is awesome. #truth

I was a bit sad for a while because, like I said, I actually trained for months for this race. However, since I had hardly run for most of 2015, I was starting from scratch in January. I did build my base back up and if I had had another month or so to train, I'm sure I could have pulled off a PR.

I always get a picture of the mile 10 marker.


All in all, I loved this race and I hope to do it again next year. The weather was fantastic for my entire stay with overcast, chilly weather. There was none of the rude dramatics I've experienced at Princess weekend, from my expo experience (which was shockingly civilized and not at all like a Hunger Games experience) to the races. So as far as girly Disney races go, I think I'll stick with Tink.

I actually got some good official pictures from Photopass but I haven't downloaded them, yet. I'll do a separate post on my thoughts about that later, but in short- they did a good job. Who else ran Tink?


Friday, May 13, 2016

Tinkerbell Half Marathon Expo

Last week, I spent five days with some awesome people in Disneyland for the Tinkerbell Half Marathon. I don't usually recap expos anymore, but Tinkerbell's expo was the best runDisney expo I have experienced for awhile.

I was the first of our trio of awesome to arrive in Anaheim, so I quickly checked into our room, took a weirdly angled selfie for no good reason, put on my iPod, and began the trek across the universe to a land far, far away (a.k.a. The Disneyland Hotel) to participate in the Tinkerbell Half Marathon Expo Hunger Games.

Narcissistic Selfie.

I have to say, I'm really disappointed in the lack of bloodshed at the expo. I was totally ready to represent my district in mortal combat if tiaras and glitter started flying.

Actual picture of me.

But it was so civilized. Can you believe it? I mean, wasn't there an actual fist fight or something at the Princess Half Marathon expo? When I was at the Wine & Dine expo, it was a shit show.

Front doors to the ESPN building at W&D


I arrived at the expo at about noon, so it had already been open for awhile. It was still packed, of course, but the CMs at Disneyland have gotten their shit together since the Inaugural Dumbo Double Dare weekend, when all shit broke loose and small children were devoured by merchandise crazed people.

Dumbo Double Dare 2013

When I first walked into the hotel, the merch line seemed incredibly short. I felt a wave of euphoria pass over me as I thought, now I can BUY ALL THE THINGS AND NOT HAVE TO WAIT!!! But no. That was not the case. I was directed to go down to the lower level of the parking structure where the end of the line was.

The Disney Dungeon


So yeah. There was a huge line down there. But. It totally didn't suck. It was calm and quiet and organized. No one got punched in the kidneys or stabbed with a shiv.

Wait, what? We can behave like civilized beasts?! Who knew? I'm across the way in another huge group of people.

This is where I think Disneyland won the expo war. Each taped off line had probably 30-40 people in it. Rather than have a really long line creeping along and wrecking your back for the rest of the weekend, they just moved the groups upstairs by section.


I seriously suck at selfies.

The benefit to this format was that we could sit down and be off of our feet. I was in line for probably an hour, listening to my iPod, and I wasn't in a horrible, cranky mood when we were moved upstairs. That constant creeping along makes me insane. I was perfectly happy to sit down until it was our group's turn to move upstairs.

Finally, it was our turn to head up, and there was another line to get into the merch booth, but it was relatively short.

Once we were finally in the booth, I was expecting a scene similar to one from the Walking Dead, with carnage and weapons.



But again, it was like a normal shopping experience. They were already out of wine glasses, but everything else seemed to be in decent supply.


I bought more than I probably should have. I didn't take pictures of my loot, but I got the jacket, a half marathon tech shirt, a pin and a mug. Here's a picture that Abby took of me wearing the jacket after I got picked "randomly" for the hundredth time for extra security screening to get into the parks.

The other parts of the expo were fine, too. We had some fun photo opportunities.
Me, Abby and Adrienne
Pandora had a booth where they printed pictures with wings

And, of course, the area for the race itself. The lighting is always terrible here.


Adrienne, Abby and Moi


I also took a couple of photos of the WDW Marathon Medal from this year for motivation for 2017. Eeeek!



Crazy hair don't care.


All in all, I actually enjoyed my time at the expo for this race. I didn't feel all ragey and murdery. I did spend more than I planned, but since I have backed way off on my racing, I have a renewed compulsion to buy everything in sight.


Did anyone else have a pleasant experience at the Tink expo or did I just get super lucky with my timing?