The Next Step for Outrunning the Monorail

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What do these characters have in common?

“Around here, however, we don’t look backwards for very long. We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things, because we’re curious…and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.”

In 2012, Outrunning the Monorail was launched as a way for me to document my adventures in applying to the Walt Disney World Mom’s Panel (now known as the Disney Parks Moms Panel). It was my second year of working toward becoming the runDisney Specialist, and though that journey is one that is still ongoing, the connections, support and fun that I’ve had between this blog and the accompanying Facebook page pushed me to work toward another goal…coaching!

So, in 2013, I worked to obtain my RRCA Coaching Certification and earlier this year, I launched Outrunning the Monorail Online Coaching. With a growing roster of runners, I could not be more excited about helping others achieve their goals, whether runDisney or not…though let’s be honest here, runDisney is where it all began, so it only makes sense that it is still a big part of what I do!

With all this said – it is my pleasure to announce a SPECIAL new offering from Outrunning the Monorail: 2015 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend Coaching Packages! From 10K to Dopey, I’ve got you covered! Details have been posted on the site, and registration will officially kick off on April 1, 2014 (no joke) 😉

Deciding to hire a coach is definitely a personal decision, but with Outrunning the Monorail, I aim to bring a personalized experience that allow participants to remove the “guess work” and doubt from their training cycle and really focus on training, and goal-setting.

WDWmarathonwkndI do also understand that every dollar counts; especially when planning a runDisney racecation. That is why I am launching the packages this early – you see, all my training plans do not officially kick off until September 9, 2014, which allows for an 18-week training cycle – however – the earlier you register, the earlier I can help you plan your “base.”

But, wait…that’s not all!

I couldn’t resist a little “sales pitch” add on, but I *am* celebrating a big birthday this year…30! Yes! In one month, I will officially bid adieu to my 20’s, and I want to celebrate with you – so if you register anytime during the month of April, use promotional code: BIRTHDAYBONUS to take 10 percent off all WDW Marathon Weekend packages! Yes! I repeat, from April 1-30, the packages will be discounted as follows:

  • Minnie 10K: $100 –> $90
  • Donald 13.1: $125 –> $112.50
  • Mickey 26.2: $150 –> $135
  • Goofy 39.3 $175 –> $157.50
  • Dopey 48.6: $175 –> $157.50

As always, leave your questions or comments here, or email me outrunmonorail at gmail dot com if you have any other questions that are not answered here. I am excited to help YOU reach your 2015 WDW Marathon Weekend goals!

Why I Will Not be Running the Dopey Challenge.

I don’t know about all of you, but following Social Media on all the #WDWMarathon Weekend events has been a positively INCREDIBLE experience! Between virtual cheering and taking part in the #Minnie10K race on Friday, I definitely am motivated by so many wonderful stories, experiences and amazing photos of the thousands of runners who took on challenges beyond their imaginations.

My amazing pals, C and P from We Run Disney.

My amazing pals, C and P from We Run Disney.

Whether triumphs were in the form of a 5K race, or the whole enchilada – 48.6 miles of magic in the Dopey Challenge, simply putting in the training and dedication to get safely to the finish line is something to admire in itself. I cannot express how incredibly proud I am of friends – new and old – that put their mind and bodies to the ultimate test(s) this weekend, and as inspired as I feel right now, I can definitively state this, just as I did when I first heard of the challenge last year, “I will not be running the Dopey Challenge.” And, I really mean it.

This list, that has been bouncing around my head for the last few weeks, is in no way a criticism or argument against the reasons people chose to (and will choose again to) run this thrilling challenge, but simply, my personal thoughts.

So, here goes…

1. I love running.

Okay, this one sounds weird, right? But hear me out: I love running so much, and I love training – but I do NOT want to get that nagging feeling of “having” to go out on a training run, or bringing upon that dreaded burnout on myself. As my disclaimer said, this is just me. Tons of people can, and did endure training with fantastic results – that was proven today. I just know myself enough to know that I simply don’t want to lose my love for the sport, even temporarily.

2. It’s too expensive.

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This one doesn’t require too much explanation…but yeah. These were the prices for 2014, and as they always do, they will rise. No one ever said running was a cheap sport, but $500? That’s a whole lotta dough. And I could run at least 5 full marathons with that.

While our expenses have been cut significantly by moving to Florida (and it’s a drive up to Orlando instead of a flight) there are lots of extra costs to consider, and frankly, the value isn’t there for me.

3. I love sleeping.

Disney advises runners to board the busses for the 5:30 AM start of the longer distance races (10K, 13.1 and 26.2) no later than 4 AM. I can handle that – to a certain extent. I returned home from the 10K on Friday, and felt soo sleepy from my restless night of just ONE non-full night of sleep. So, there’s that.

4. There are so many races yet to run.

Cheesin' at the Minnie 10K.

Cheesin’ at the Minnie 10K.

Here in Florida, the race season is SHORT. And, there are SO many races I want to run, not only on the same weekend of WDW Marathon, but the weekends flanking it – so it’s hard to justify repeating the same race over and over again, with increasing costs.

Don’t get me wrong, I would never trade my 13.1 or 26.2 experiences at WDW, but frankly, it’s the same course. Over and over. Princess, too! Until Disney mixes up the course a bit (I am sure it can be done, somehow) I feel that (again, for me) running 4 races in a row will feel more like deja vu, or really, sleepwalking, given my reason #3 😉

5. I love running.

No, this is not a repeat – just a declaration I will repeat – hopefully – until I die. I love running; the sport of it, the camaraderie and energy – everything. I realize that with my new foray into online coaching, there is a good chance that I will be coaching runners interested in taking on Dopey, or similar challenges – and for that, I am excited to share my advice and experience, however, I know my own limits. Accomplishing 48.6 miles over the span of four days is an amazing accomplishment – one that I am so incredibly proud of my friends for, and will encourage others to pursue, but it is not anything I want to do. And personally, I don’t think you should ever do anything YOU don’t have your heart in.

All this being said (or written), I can state this: I am interested in the 2015 Goofy Challenge. Wait…what? Yeah, it might sound weird, especially since that’s just 9.3 miles more, but that’s also two wake up calls more (reference #3) but yeah. That’s my story and I am sticking to it!

Did you run Dopey 2014? Is it in your future runDisney plans? 

2014: Are YOU ready to run?

Good morning everyone! If you’re one of the tens of thousands of runners about to participate in the 2014 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend, can you believe all the fun begins in JUST three days?

Posing with Daisy after the 2013 WDW Marathon.

Posing with Daisy after the 2013 WDW Marathon.

While my race weekend will consist of running the 10K, then making a quick turnaround back home, I am so very excited for everyone running every event – from the Family 5K, to those brave contenders of the Inaugural Dopey Challenge, which consists of running every event (5K, 10K, 13.1 and 26.2).

If you’re looking for last minute information and race instructions, be sure to check out the official race program. Everything, from transportation notes, to spectator viewpoints and even future race dates are within those 36 pages, so be sure to check it out – and pick up a paper copy as soon as you check into your Walt Disney World Resort Hotel as a keepsake!

Not running any of this week’s upcoming events, but hungry for your chance at an upcoming runDisney event? Whether you are a beginner, or a more novice runner looking to challenge your standing PR, or take on a multi-race challenge, Outrunning the Monorail has you covered with a new feature coming this Spring 2014, with ONLINE COACHING! Details will be posted soon, but if you are interested, or have questions, please feel free to comment here…I can’t wait to share the excitement, and accomplishment of completing a runDisney race with you.

Will I be seeing you at a runDisney race this year? Shout it out!

Guest Post: #WineDineHalfMeetup 2013 Recap!

Wow! It’s been almost an entire week since I’ve returned home from the magic that was the 2013 Wine and Dine Half Marathon Weekend! There were so many fun events, people to meet up with, and of course, you cannot go wrong with the hosting location 🙂

Today, I am pleased to share a recap of the FIRST nighttime meetup: the 2013 #WineDineHalfMeetup, brought to you by my friend, Meredith! I was so excited when she agreed to share her recap, and even more happy that I actually got to meet her in person this past weekend 😀

So without further ado…here…we…go!

Part of every RunDisney Half Marathon (or Marathon) weekend, is the meetup.  For Wine & Dine, I participated in my first ever meetup! This was RunDisney’s first ever nighttime event, and biggest with 125 runners!

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I had been looking forward to this for weeks, and I couldn’t wait to head over to EPCOT! At check in we received a park ticket, fastpass to Test Track, and best of all, a RunDisney shirt! The past meetup shirts were black with blue writing, but sticking to the Wine & Dine theme, ours were maroon with silver and white writing, and included the race logo. How fun is that?!?

 Our night started with a private viewing area for EPCOT’s nighttime show Illuminations. I was one of the first to arrive and quickly made some new friends!!

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The show was better than I remembered! Note to self, make sure to visit each park for the nighttime shows that I haven’t seen in years!

 After the show, we waited for the park to clear out before walking over to the American pavilion where we were treated to food and wine! This is also when I got my picture taken with my favorite chef!

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 We settled in for the presentation and raffles! RunDisney head honchos Darrell Fry and Faron Kelley gave away some raffle items like runDisney duffle bags and race entries!

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 Next up we heard from Olympian Jeff Galloway and nutritionist Tara Gidus to talk about race day strategies and nutrition. One thing they stressed, was to HYDRATE!

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Next on stage were Disney’s Sommelier and Chefs talking about food and wine. My favorite part was hearing them talk about their favorite booths at the festival. I’m a very picky eater, so I wouldn’t eat most of the things they brought up, but it was cool hearing it from their perspective.

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 The next announcement is what I had been waiting for! Ali from New Balance told us there will be a new RunDisney shoe for 2014! We weren’t told what the new design will be or if the shoe will change, but we were told that they will be selling customized race inserts and shoe charms! This will be something cool to collect for 2014.

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 New Balance also brought up athlete Jenny Simpson. She is an Olympian and holds the 2013 women’s record for a 4:19 mile! Holy cow is that fast! She spoke of growing up in Orlando and her love of Disney.

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  They gave even gave out a few of the awesome jackets the New Balance team was sporting! I didn’t win, but totally wanted their raffle basket! How cute is that!?!

The night was nearing the end, and it was time to start running! I went with Jeff Galloway’s group to try the run/walk/run method. Let me just say, Jeff is FAST! I was booking it trying to keep up and was so sweaty when we finished (after pictures do not look that pretty)!!

Waiting for us under Spaceship Earth was champagne! Faron Kelley gave a toast to end a perfect night!

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This was such a great experience that I will always remember! I highly recommend to all RunDisney fans to try and get into at least 1 meetup!

Thanks for reading, and thanks to Krissy for letting me share my experience with you! For more about me and my Wine & Dine experience, check out my blog

You can follow Meredith’s twitter adventures here and her awesome recap of the race here.

Thank you.

Another round in the search for new panelist for the Disney Parks Moms Panel has drawn to a close, and for many, it’s a bittersweet time. While it can be difficult to experience disappointment in not advancing, I have found it to be virtually impossible to be upset, because of so many reasons:

  1. Thankfulness – for making it to Round 2 for a third time.
  2. Gratitude – for making even more friends and colleagues along the way.
  3. Excitement – for those buckling up and heading down the windy road to the next stop on this wild ride!

Each year, my reaction has been different, and to be perfectly honest, it is that calm right now that reminds me why I do this in the first place: to connect. I earnestly believe that my time will come, and right now, this is exactly where I need to be: amongst my friends, peers, fellow Disney fans, runners and chEARleaders.

The tweet that told us what time/day the email would reach us!

The tweet that told us what time/day the email would reach us!

And who could deny how much fun we’ve had this year? From Gary’s fun updates on twitter, to the new groups on Facebook, sharing and learning has definitely taught me a lot about myself.

And just for fun, I thought I’d share my Round 2 application video…it’s my favorite that I’ve done so far, so I hope you enjoy! I look forward to starting the fun all over next fall…and until then, you better believe that this page will have even more fun in store!

runDisney True Life Adventures: Tales from Corral D

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Ran 13.1, met Mulan – perfect night!

It’s hard to believe, but just three days ago, I toed the starting line of my 8th runDisney event of the year, the 2013 Wine and Dine Half Marathon (recap here), capping off an excellent season of magical miles. While it would be nearly impossible to pick a favorite race of the year (see this page for all my runDisney recaps) this one will definitely stay in my mind for a long time to come – and it’s taking me these past few days to collect my thoughts, and to share just why it was so different, yet just as rewarding…so here goes:

The Mental Game

My very first runDisney event was the 2011 Walt Disney World Half Marathon – it was also my first 13.1 distance, and though I had stuck to my training plan, and felt good going into it, there were so many unknowns – how would my pacing be? Would I be able to sacrifice time to walk through water stations? On top of it all, I had just gotten over the flu and due to a combination of other reasons, my longest training run had topped out at 8 miles. Still, armed with my CamelBak, and non-technical running clothes (I was a newbie) I managed to run a 2:04 and seriously thought I was one of the last finishers.

Oh, and that was the last time I was in Corral D.

Now, I don’t say this in any way to de-value anyone’s corral placement, but starting in a later corral was definitely a different feeling – I started there in this race because I was pacing my friend J, and in runDisney events, you can always move back, but not move forward. I am always in Corral A (due to times I submit from my ‘faster’ efforts) so I never realized that just being in a later corral – whether that’s Corral B, or Corral J – messes with your mind! Maybe it’s the fact that you associate the Corrals with grades, like in school (can you tell I am a bit of a perfectionist) or that you mentally size yourself up with fellow Corral runners, but being in Corral D this time – I have to admit, it made me realize just how different a race experience can be for the wide spectrum of participants – for better and for worse.

Here’s two examples:

#1 – Mile Markers – I know that this will sound kind of silly, but when I am running, math doesn’t really make sense in my mind (who am I kidding, it often doesn’t – but I digress). Although I was wearing my Garmin and could clearly see my splits, seeing much higher numbers at each Mile Marker was a little trippy.

#2 – Course Support – My weekend race roomie started in the last corral, and placed last in her age group – but she still went out there and ACCOMPLISHED something huge. I was so proud of her! But, I was totally bummed when I found out that after she finished, there were no more free drinks. I realize that there are time parameters in place, but seeing as we all paid the same race registration fee, it was sad to hear that.

#OHAtrunDisney

I had to sneak in a hashtag, of course (Social Media nerd) but this is one that I just could not get out of my mind – something I like to call “Overheard at runDisney.” You see, before the race, after the race, and even during the race, I relate very closely to Roz from Monster’s Inc:

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…and along with ALWAYS WATCHING, I am ALWAYS LISTENING. You see, as in most races, runDisney discourages the use of headphones (for safety) but I have to admit, running this event without any musical accompaniment did more than kept my ears open to hearing announcements or warnings from other runners, but it created an atmosphere that wasn’t always the most encouraging.

You see, when we were crossing back toward Hollywood Studios, we could see, on the other side of the roadway, the motorcade, the participants bringing up the rear, and yes, those infamous balloon ladies (see P’s post on them for more). As we proceeded forward, we even saw the busses and vans that would act as “sweepers.” I had never, ever seen any of these elements at a runDisney race before, and personally, it was an educational moment for me, but looking around, I was extremely thankful that most others were wearing headphones when I heard comments like these from people running nearby us:

  • “Ugh, look at those people WALKING! Why would they even try?”
  • “What’s the point? Why don’t those people back there give up?”
  • “Haha! Look who’s about to get picked up.”

I was in disbelief. If I had not been centering all my attention on the well-being and progress of my friend that I was pacing, my bitten tongue would have been lashing out at more than a few people around me. Sure, we might not all be fast runners, but who are we to judge anyone who was out there, working hard to accomplish a goal? We don’t know everyone’s story. Heck, do we always even know our own story?

That Same Feeling

Despite those negative things, for us – in Corral D, anyway – it all came full circle. When we entered Epcot, Sara Barellis’ “Brave” came on, and that, coupled with the swirling lights and roar of the crowds – still brought me to tears. For me, it was the 12th half marathon finish line I was about to cross, and as in each time, it was, at that very moment in time, one hundred thousand emotions all at once.

This wasn’t J’s victory that she had hoped for, but crossing that finish line with her, I couldn’t have been more proud – and that’s what I think brings me back each time. Overcoming adversity, fear, disappointment – they’re all parts of real life – but for one singular moment, we can rise above it all.

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…and  I wouldn’t change that for the world.

 

Be my guest!

Hiya everyone!

I am packing my bags for #WineDineHalf Weekend and will arrive at Walt Disney World tomorrow – so very excited for this special “Runners Night Out” and all of the fun events that go along with it.

As you may know, tonight marks an exciting event – the first nighttime official runDisney meetup – and so I am looking for a guest poster (or two) to report back about the event to share on the blog 🙂

So, what does that mean?

I am looking for someone to share some pictures, thoughts and a general recap of the event. Something like these:

Basically, I want to share your thoughts and experience with my readers, just as I have shared mine with you!

Sound fun?

If you are interested, please email me at khiguchi at gmail dot com, or tweet me at @krissymmurphy or @outrunmonorail – I’d love to feature your post!