Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Relay for Life 2020 (Virtual)

Relay for Life 2020.

None of us ever thought we would have to make the decision to turn our family friendly, festival type event into an at-home, virtual one, but we did! When the idea was first pitched to our committee, a few of us were skeptical, but we jumped on the bandwagon and the outcome could not have been any better!

Not long after the idea to turn our event into a virtual one was pitched, I began to formulate a plan on how to fundraise on my own, and that's when the idea to run the Relay for Life "Virtual" Half Marathon was born!

For starters, I'd never run a half marathon in the middle of the day before (apart from the night time Wine & Dine half marathons at Disney), so I had no idea what to expect. Since I had to work on Friday morning, I set off on this half marathon endeavor after I clocked out a little after 1 p.m. 

It was hot, humid, and on the verge of raining the entire time, but I prayed long and hard that I would at least get a good half of the run behind me without any rain. My prayers were answered!

At first, I was going to drive home after work and begin my run from there (like the Star Wars route), but I decided to stick with the area around my work and have a little change of scenery!

I also thought it would be fun to share a few ACS/cancer facts along the way!

I'm not going to lie, this one was tough. My hamstring was bothering me from about mile 6 until the end and it was difficult to breathe through the humidity. It was the thought of cancer patients and all they endure while going through their journey that kept me pressing on.

There really are some beautiful views around my work. This was one of my favorite places to run when our running group was together!

Like the Star Wars half I ran at home, I also adopted a 4:1 run/walk ratio for this half. Although this run wasn't entire pain free, I made it!

Another 13.1 in the books! 

I also wanted to share my reason for relaying...

Our virtual event was held live on facebook that evening, and although it wasn't "true" relay food, we make sure to do it justice!

The links you see to the left are boudin. This is a traditional cajun treat and it's seriously delicious! (Casing stuffed with rice and meat)

In fact, the whole family participated in the virtual relay event! What fun!!

By the end of the weekend, I'd not only reached my fundraising goal but I'd exceeded it thanks to so many generous friends and family!

Despite the fact that Relay for Life 2020 looked COMPLETELY different from anything I'd experienced, it was definitely one to remember!

Thursday, May 7, 2020

Disney's Riviera Resort and Primo Piatto

As a piggyback off of my recent Topolino's Terrace restaurant review at Walt Disney World, I also wanted to share a fun tip that I heard on a podcast prior to our February Disney vacation.

Our plan for the day included an attempt at a boarding group on Rise of the Resistance, which we did obtain. Our boarding group was #78 and after watching the rate of groups throughout the day, we assumed our time would be called back around 2 p.m.

So, instead of dining for lunch at Hollywood Studios, we used the tip I mentioned earlier and took a Skyliner to Disney's Riviera Resort for lunch at Primo Piata, their counter service location.

This was our first time to experience the Riviera and it is gorgeous! We loved the grounds, the layout of the resort, the proximity to HS and Epcot, and the Skyliner access! If the opportunity arises, we would love to stay here one day!

The theming around this resort is spot on, too and was inspired by Walt Disney's travels across Europe.

 Look how gorgeous the views are!

Once inside, we took a tour through the lobby and hallways. The lobby was quaint but beautiful!

I absolutely loved the photos of Walt and Lillian on their European travels.

These photos lined the hallway on the way to the elevator.

We then took the elevators down to the first floor where Primo Piatto was located.

The size of this dining area reminded me a lot of the size of Roaring Fork at Disney's Wilderness Lodge Resort, maybe a tad bit bigger.

I ordered the tuna salad while Jason ordered the Riviera Burger.

Brayden of course had chicken tenders. :)

For dessert, we split a chocolate lava cake and it was divine!

Our lunch didn't take long and we were back on the Skyliner and at Hollywood Studios in plenty of time for our Rise of the Resistance boarding!

 I still can't get over those views!

Another perk to the Skyliner being so close is the Caribbean Beach hub which includes a Joffrey's Coffee booth. My favorite is the Toffee Flight latte (warm) and I might have ordered it a couple of times during our trip! :)

Have you tried any of the dining offerings at Disney's Riviera Resort? What were your thoughts?

Monday, May 4, 2020

2020 Star Wars Rival Run Weekend

Although I was not registered for any races during the Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend this year, I did manage to watch the entire Star Wars saga on Disney+ throughout this whole quarantine saga.

So, when pretty much the entire runDisney community decided to come together to make their own quarantine version of the Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend due to the cancellation of said race weekend, I was all in! One of the running groups I belong to (Team #runDisney) created a true "Rival Run" and place runners on two different teams (dark side and light side). The teams would then log their miles throughout the weekend - the team with the most mileage/points at the end of the weekend was the winner! Well, I was given team dark side and although we kept a lead for a good bit of the weekend, we ultimately lost to team light side. Whomp whomp. It was all in great fun, anyway!

Happy Star Wars Day, by the way!


Since I had not attempted anything quite like this challenge in a long while, I decided to take it super slow on Friday and Saturday to baby my hamstring. A 4:1 run/walk ratio was quickly adapted and it suited me well then entire weekend which I was very grateful for!

I honestly kind of enjoyed the run/walk ratio - it always kept my mind on something and helped the miles go by!

Leg 1 done!


For the 10K on Saturday, I continued with the same 4:1 run/walk ratio and attempted to keep a similar pace as Friday. 

The weather was perfect the entire weekend and the 10K turned out to be a really good one!

I honestly haven't run three days back to back with varying up mileage like this since Dopey in 2018 which made me very nervous. I am so thankful my hamstring decided to behave!


On the morning of the half marathon, I got a little bit of a head start and added in a few fun extras to help make the idea of running a half marathon at home a bit more exciting! 

What does every runDisney race have? CHARACTERS! 

After considering a few different options, I came across the official Star Wars app. Included with the app are "stickers" which you can move and resize on your pictures as you see fit. 

With a plan in mind, I was off!

I decided to have a "character stop" every 1.5 miles or so and take GU at mile 5 and 10. Along with counting down a 4:1 run/walk ratio, my mind was literally busy the entire 13.1 miles. (You can also see all of these pictures and more on my instagram runDisney highlight.)

Baby Yoda at mile 1.6.

Dark Side? Light Side? It didn't matter! They were all a part of my race weekend!

Imperial Storm Trooper at the 5K point.

In order to take these photos, I found various points along the route to rest my phone and I used the selfie mode timer. I'm sure my neighbors thought I was straight up crazy!

I found Rey at mile 4.6.

Look! It's the Millennium Falcon at the halfway point!

I spotted a Porg at mile 8!

Kylo Ren did not understand that I was on team dark side! He was ready to chop off my hand at mile 9.5.

Although I managed to get away from Kylo, this storm trooper was ready and waiting for me at mile 11. Thank goodness they have terrible aim! I was not impressed.

I know I said I was team dark side, but seeing this Wookie at mile 12.5 really made my day!

...and done!

High fives after my run from this little dude were pretty special, too!

That's a wrap! Race 3 of the Rival Run weekend was complete (for a combined total of 22.4 miles) and my hamstring held up through the entire thing! I decided that run/walking at a slower pace and continuing to run vs running fast and having pain was a better alternative in the long run, anyway!

Jason had breakfast waiting for me once I was done. This included coffee in our Rey coffee mug and Sky (Paw Patrol) waffles because...well, she's a pilot and it was the closest thing we could come up with! :)

About a week after running this challenge, the medal I ordered from Virtual Pace Series arrived. I realize that this specific challenge was actually supposed to coincide with Star Wars day (which is today), but I decided to make it my April the 19th challenge instead. :)

The official virtual runDisney Star Wars Half Marathon was sold out, so I chose this one from Virtual Pace Series because the back of the medal included all of the distances I ran - the 5K, 10K, and Half.

Oh yes, and the medal included Mando and Baby yes, I'm an easy sell!

Did anyone else run their own Virtual Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend? If so, how did it go? 

Happy Star Wars Day! May the 4th Be With You!

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