Friday, March 24, 2017

Vlog: 2017 runDisney Diaper Dash

Our first experience with runDisney's Diaper Dash was a fun one and definitely a memorable time for my family! Kids of all ages participated in races that included distances anywhere from a short dash for the babies all the way to a 1 mile fun run for the older kids!

We registered my 10 month old for the Diaper Dash that was held during the Princess Half Marathon Weekend and I captured video footage of the even to share with you!


Check out the video below!



Thanks for watching! Have a great weekend!! :)

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Kids Nite Out

Back in June of 2015, I registered my entire family for 2016's Enchanted 10K over Princess Half Marathon weekend. You see, my husband and I were going through infertility issues at the time and I wanted to continue with "life as normal" as best as possible. Little did I know, I would find a positive pregnancy test the following month and any thought of running during Princess Weekend or even traveling to WDW at 30+ weeks pregnant went out the window. At the time, runDisney was still allowing deferrals, so I was able to defer my entire family to 2017's race events.

http://www.justmeandmyrunningshoes.com/2017/03/2017-enchanted-10k.html

Fast forward to the planning process for 2017's race - I would have a 10 month old in tow and would need somewhere for him to go during the morning of the 10K race. Not only had we paid registration fees for the race itself, but we also paid deferral fees AND the difference in 2017's prices. If someone had to stay behind with our son, a good bit of money would be lost...not to mention the fact that someone would have to go without experiencing a race during Princes Weekend.

In the back of my mind, I remembered hearing about an authorized Disney service called "Kids Nite Out", but I didn't really know much about them. I also heard that they were available to provide child care in the early mornings during Marathon Weekend in January, but I didn't know if they were also available for other race weekends throughout the year.

So in August, I sent Kids Nite Out an email, asking for further information.


After receiving their response, I placed a calendar notification in my phone for the middle of October so I wouldn't forget to call and schedule the service. (It actually took 2 phone calls - one in October and one in November to make the reservation as October was too far out from the date I was requesting.)


In the meantime, I also did a TON of research on Kids Nite Out. I mean, this was my baby, we waited a long time for him to arrive and I didn't want a random stranger coming into our room and doing something crazy to or with my child. Not only did I read great things about this company online, I also noticed that they were listed on Walt Disney World's website as their authorized child care service. I read countless reviews and after a lot of research, my mind was settled and I felt ok about our situation for the 10K.


Race weekend arrived and as we got settled into our room at the Yacht Club, I called Kids Nite Out once again, to let them know of our room number and to confirm our reservation. I was told that our sitter's name was Maria and she would arrive at 3:30 a.m. on Saturday morning.

Just as notified, promptly at 3:30 a.m. on the morning of the 10K, a knock came to our resort room door. Maria was dressed in a Kids Nite Out polo and had a bright smile on her face, even at such early of an hour...and on a Saturday morning, nonetheless! We reviewed my son's routine together, I showed her where his clothes for the day were located, and she also took my cell phone number to text updates to me.


I have to admit, Maria totally put my fears at ease. She loved babies, you could tell...and her joy was literally contagious!

Throughout the morning, I received several text messages from her, letting me know my son was still sleeping and all was well. She also text me once he was awake and fed.

The race went well, we had a great time, and we were back in our room by 8:30 a.m.  Our son was content and sitting on the floor, playing with a mix of his toys and a few toys that the sitter brought with her. She reassured us that he did well and was very happy the entire time he was in her care.

After recording her "clock out" time, she had us sign their form, then she told us and our son goodbye.


I can't even begin to explain in words how happy I am with the Kids Nite Out service! They were easy to work with, very professional, arrived on time, and most important - they took excellent care of my child. If you are in need of a sitter service during a runDisney race weekend, don't hesitate to contact them (but do it early because they do book up)! I will definitely use their service again in the future if the need arises!

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

2017 Princess Half Marathon Recap

Happy Spring, everyone! It's crazy to think this year is flying by so fast! Thank you for your patience with me - I've had a sick little one here this past weekend and had to take him to see his pediatrician yesterday. I intended to have this post up yesterday, but you know how plans with babies go...so, here it is today!

 

Up next in my recaps of our Princess Half Marathon Weekend trip is the Princess Half Marathon itself!
I'd been looking forward to this race for a long time as I had to defer 2016's Princess Half due to pregnancy. Sadly, runDisney doesn't allow deferrals anymore which I think is pretty darn silly but whatever.


When my alarm went off at 2:30 a.m., I wasn't prepared for it and it scared me. I woke up thinking I'd missed the race somehow. Thankfully, that wasn't so!

By 3:30 a.m., I was out the door and on my way to the bus. Three buses were at the Yacht Club waiting to pick runners up, so I didn't have to wait long.


We arrived at EPCOT at oh dark thirty and began the walk to the family reunion area.



Runners were milling around, waiting to begin the long walk to the corrals. Also, check out the "Last In Line" sign! I'd never seen that before! 


In order to find my friend Melissa, I stood around in a large open space for a little while and that's when I heard my name. It was Jill and her sister Jennalyn! So nice to meet and have a chance to talk to both of them!! 


After finding Melissa, we decided to begin our long walk to the corrals. It wasn't as congested this year, which was nice!


Mid way there, we also realized we didn't have a picture yet from the morning, so we stopped a friendly cast member and asked him to take a picture.

We parted ways because we were in different corrals, then I made my way to find Heather and Jen! 


It didn't take long to find them as the corrals weren't super crowded yet. It was fun hanging out with them and chatting before the race began! 


There was a short delay with the race start time but it didn't seem to last very long...and with that, our corral was up next!


We began running and I stuck around with Heather and Jen until the first character stop.




These guys cracked me up. Jack Sparrow asked what I was reading, so I said, "A book, of course!"




A quick stop with these fellas was a must as well!

While in line for both the pirates and princes, I ran into Jennalyn again. We began chatting and ran together for a couple of miles. Come to find out, she's also a nurse so we had plenty to talk about!


I love seeing that Magic Kingdom sign! It means one of my favorite parts of the runDisney course is not too far off!



Another fun stop I just had to make was with these two ladies.

 

So many characters commented on my book! "A little light reading for your run?" 


"Don't read while running...you might trip!" 

We hit mile 4 while passing through the TTC. I also noticed that my favorite bathroom stop was closed and heard they weren't open during Marathon weekend either. Sad times. 


 These drummers are always fun, too!


With a quick water stop, we were on our way to the Contemporary and the dreaded hill! 










The upswing portion wasn't so bad this time, thankfully!






Before I knew it, we were turning down the cast member parking lot and on to Main Street!


The left side was lined with spectators as always and they cheered us on as we passed by! This is seriously one of my favorite parts of a runDisney race! Such a cool experience!


Hi castle!




The sun was beginning to rise as we ran through the Magic Kingdom. I spotted Buzz Lightyear his little corner of Tomrrowland, but I decided to skip him as I've stopped for him in the past.



The Queen of Hearts, though...she cracked me up! She took my book before I could do anything with it!




On our way to New Fantasyland, I saw a super long line and couldn't figure out what was going on at first. Someone hollered, "It's Gaston!" and I knew I couldn't pass up the opportunity.


This guy was hysterical!! He kept all of us laughing while we were waiting! Once it was my turn, he took one look at my book and said, "What's this?! To the fire with this one!" He tossed my book to the Cast Member, then posed for this picture! Hilarious!!


Much to his dismay, the Cast Member had to return the book to me! 

I calculated my time in line with him was right at 10 minutes but it was totally worth it! After rounding the corner, I saw another huge line...this time for Beast in his new movie costume. I knew we were going to eat at Be Our Guest the following evening, so I skipped that line and continued on my way through the Magic Kingdom.


Anna, Elsa, and Kristoff were at the castle to say hello to runners. This was the first time I couldn't actually run through the castle because it was so bottle necked. I DID like that they opened up both sides of the off ramps, though! Runners could take a right or left out of the castle which helped a ton with the congestion!


There were photographers in front of the castle for pictures, so I had to stop!

The remainder of the Magic Kingdom portion of the race was fun and went by all to fast! After leaving the Magic Kingdom, we were on the road to the Grand Floridian and the Polynesian.


After passing these resorts, the remainder of the race got a little boring. There's also a huge overpass bridge that likes to mess with my IT Band. Thankfully, it wasn't too bad this time and a green army man who's always mid way through the overpass was there to keep us all on our toes!




As per usual, I had to stop for a selfie with the mile 12 sign! :)


As we took the turn into the back of Epcot, I was surprised to see Mushu there. Of course, I had to stop and take a picture!


Also, Daisy was there to cheer runners on! I loved her Princess outfit!


Almost done!


I stopped here to check my phone because I could see that Heather had sent a text to me. She asked where I was in relation to the finish line because she was there, cheering runners on!


Gospel Choir....the best and one of the most fun parts of a runDisney event! It's like a sigh of relief because when you hear the gospel choir, you know you are almost there! 






Belle was on the Mile 13 sign, so I just had to stop for a picture! I also shot Heather another text to let her know I was almost there.

I spotted the finish line and kept to the right so I could make sure and wave to Heather. I even heard Rudy say my name overhead! Awesome!! :)


Done! Another super fun race experience was in the books! 


The medal for this race was beautiful and I LOVE the rose! It's definitely one of my favorites! :)

Thanks for sticking around for my Princess Half Marathon Weekend updates! Stay tuned for more from our first trip with Brayden to his first haircut and more! Also, I'm running Tink this year so there will be more runDisney updates to come! Have a great day!

Friday, March 17, 2017

Vlog: 2017 Fit For A Princess Expo

One of my favorite parts of returning home from a runDisney/Disney vacation is the fact that I get to re-live the trip and memories again through photos and video! 


As previously mentioned,  I did capture video of the entire runDisney process, so I'm sharing the first recap with you today - the Fit For A Princess Expo! 

Check out my short recap below! I hope you enjoy!! :)


Have a fabulous weekend!! 

Thursday, March 16, 2017

2017 Enchanted 10K

Welcome to another recap from our 2017 Princess Half Marathon weekend! Today, I'm sharing all about my experience with the Enchanted 10K!

If you'd like to catch up on previous recaps, you can find them here:

For starters, I've had SO many questions about Brayden and who watched him the morning of the 10K. Well, I used Kids Nite Out and loved my experience with them - I can't wait to share all about that in an upcoming blog post!

So, race morning came bright and early as per usual with runDisney events. Promptly at 3:30 a.m., a knock came to my door from a Kids Nite Out sitter named Maria. After a brief rundown of Brayden's routine, we said goodbye and were on our way to the buses!


I was so excited for my husband and his first ever 10K! My parent's were participating in their first ever 10K, too!


The bus ride to the Epcot parking lot was fast and we arrived in no time!


Thankfully, we didn't have any bags and were able to walk right on through.


It wasn't long before we found the rest of our crew for a picture! At first, we were each going to be one of the 7 Dwarfs (6 in our case), but that became a little too complicated, so we went with these shirts from the WDW January Marathon Expo! 


The front said: Sleepy, Happy, Grumpy...
 

...and the back said, "and that's just the first three miles"!


We hung around the family reunion area for a little while before heading to the corrals. A huge plus of the 10K is the close proximity of the corrals!


I somehow landed corral A! 

 
After joining in the crowd, I realized I was also fairly close to the start line. Something I heard that runDisney started doing in January was separating the 10K corrals. I'm not sure if they did it for other events, but they definitely separated the 10K corrals into even smaller sections here for Princess weekend, too.


We watched a video from Children's Miracle Network which definitely brought a tear to my eye as it was all about a little girl who was diagnosed with cancer. It also hit close to home as my hospital is a CMN hospital! 


SO many runners behind me!

Even with my close proximity to the start line, I still managed to get stopped by the runDisney tape. However, I was in the very front of the second group from corral A.

After a fireworks start, we were off! 


Very early on in the race (around the first half mile), we spotted Moana at the overpass. I've seen Anna and Elsa here in the past, so it was nice to see a new character there! 

As we rounded up the highway towards the first character stop, we saw the lead runners not too far away and it felt pretty cool to be in the front of such a huge event! Even so, I was incredibly surprised at the line of runners for the first character stop.


It was Elena of Avalor and I just had to stop for my best friends nieces! They LOVE Elena. The super long line slowed me down and became a precedence for the remainder of the race.


The next stop was with Tink, followed by the Snow Queen!


I just HAD to stop for her! I've never seen her out for a race so this was really exciting for me!

While waiting in line for the Snow Queen, Jill stopped to say hello! Hi Jill! :)

As we approached Epcot and the 3 mile mark, I spotted my husband and his friend who were walking the race and started in corral C.


They asked if I was lapping them because they thought I would be long gone by that point. After talking about the crazy lines, I continued on my run.

Almost immediately, I received a notification that I crossed the 5K mark and my parents were only about 30 seconds behind me. They were also walking this race, so I stopped along the side to see if I could find them. While standing there, Kristen spotted me and said a quick hello! It was fun to see a familiar face in the sea of runners! 


It didn't take long before I found my parents. They were staying to the right like I instructed them to do (good job)! They also asked if I finished the race, where was my medal, and was I running a second time?! 

After arriving in Epcot, I grabbed a cup of water and continued on my run. That's when I saw Dopey. I've never ever ever been able to snag a picture with him and I hoped that day would be my lucky day. Besides, I booked his race for January, I just had to say hello, right?
 

Well, in true Disney fashion, the line for Dopey weaved in an out (via tape markers on the ground), but I finally made it to him! He wanted to know why he wasn't on my shirt! Whoops...sorry, Dopey!


Thanks, Dopey! See you in January! 


At this point, I made the executive decision to stop only for characters I'd never taken pictures with in the past.
 



This was also my first experience with the Disney Photo Pass photographers at runDisney events! They did an amazing job!!
 






By the time we left Epcot, the sun was starting to rise!


The course looped around to the Boardwalk, Yacht, and Beach Club resorts before leading us back into Epcot.
 

Such a gorgeous morning!


Epcot was gearing up for the Flower and Garden Festival and I couldn't wait to see it later in the week!


Epcot is truly one of my favorite parks!


Before I knew it, I was at Mile 6 and almost finished with the race!


My friend Melissa had crossed the finish line at this point but my parents and husband had not - I knew they weren't far behind!


Yay finish! The first part of my two part race weekend was complete!

Ok - I have a question....? I see that the backdrops for this race weekend were generic to runDisney. Was this a recent change? In the past, the backdrops have been tailored to each specific race. Anyone know? I do see that they've added little race specific overlays the bottom of the pictures...maybe this is their new way of doing things?


After the picture, I grabbed a food box and a banana, then wandered out of the finish area to wait on my family.


As usual, the food box was filled with all kinds of yummy goodies!


My husband and parents crossed the finish line to successfully complete their first 10K! I couldn't have been more proud!!


After eating some goodies and reuniting with our goofball friends, we decided to call it a morning and head back to our resort.


I relieved the Kids Nite Out sitter (she was seriously too wonderful for words) then after a quick shower, Brayden and I walked over to the Boardwalk Bakery breakfast. We really enjoyed sitting out on the Boardwalk, enjoying the beautiful weather, and saying hello to the ducks!


My pastry wasn't too bad either! Yum yum!


So that's it for my recap of the Enchanted 10K. Despite the crowded course, I really love this route and had a great time running this race!

Stay tuned for more from our Princess Half Marathon Weekend as well as my YouTube channel for video recaps! 

Have a great day!

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