Photo Courtesy of runDisney
For the past few months, I’ve been in a funk. Of the “I don’t know when my next Disney trip is going to be” kind. I know many of you can relate to what I am laying down-it can be debilitating, numbing, and heartbreaking. OK, so maybe I am being a tad melodramatic (I think not) but FINALLY I have managed to emerge from my writer’s block/self-imposed hiatus to write about…you guessed it…my next Disney vacation!
I am simultaneously thrilled and also a bit embarassed at how excited I am to be embarking on a Disney Divas weekend without the kids…yes, that is total decadence because for four delicious days, I will only have to take care of myself. No having to pack for the family or be concerned about where the minions are at any given moment…AHHHH, just me and my Disney peeps. Actually, most of us have only gotten to know one another online, so it will be added bonus to meet each other face to face and share adventures. Oh yeah, and I’ve signed up to run the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10miler. Which I originally thought was a 10K. And I’m never done a race before. (You can laugh at me now). Funny what a big difference the distance makes: metric conversion didn’t work in my favor there! So I’ve begun my training and I have less than 5 months to get my non-runner physique whipped into shape. Hey I was happy the other day that I ran 2 miles! I’m 1/5 of the way there Look at the cool medal that runDisney has crafted-I especially love the glow in the dark windows!
Feb 28 (29), 2012
Couple of things – happy birthday to me and happy one more Disney day to you! I can’t believe I am writing this from 35k feet and didn’t extend my trip one day so I could be part of the “magic” … but I trust there will be plenty of pictures to go around!
Anyway, I know I’m generally the TV guy and all, but I hope you will forgive me if I stray away from the media just a bit today because I feel like I would be remiss if I didn’t mention what a truly wonderful experience the Walt Disney World Princess Half Marathon was. (I’m not THAT much of a couch potato, thank you very much!)
Also posted in DDL Video, Disney Company, Disney Driven Life, Disney Reviews, News, Recreation Tagged ABC, Dancing with the stars, Half-marathon, princess, RunDisney, Walt Disney World
Have you ever thought about running a Disney race? Marathon, half marathon, whatever… If you are like me, your main problem is motivation. Running a marathon sounds all fine and dandy, but you actually have to get up and DO something. Therein lies the problem. I will write the training schedule on my calendar, so I make sure I know what the training plan is everyday. I start laying my clothes out in the evening, making sure they are ready in the morning for the 6 am start time. Then morning comes.
photo credit: Megan Annunziata
As usual, I had to get up ridiculously early. Since I was staying off property I tried to give myself plenty of extra time to get to the Epcot parking lot. The only other times I had stayed off property for a race I was not the driver. I guess I left early enough, though, because I had absolutely no problems getting into the parking lot, and I was parked not very far from the entrance to the staging area. I had to run back to my car at least twice to grab things that I forgot, but it was close enough that I didn’t feel like I was wasting energy with each trip.
With Spring in full force and Summer just around the corner, many kids are hitting the soccer fields and baseball diamonds for the fun of participating in team sports. With this phenomena also comes the parents who volunteer or are asked to coach a team. Many volunteer coaches think they need to know the game inside and out in order to be a successful coach, but most of the recreation leagues out there do not keep track of wins and loses. If the kids have fun, that’s a win!
On my most recent trip to Walt Disney World, I had the pleasure of resuming a tradition that I had let lapse over the past few years: a Saturday afternoon Atlanta Braves spring training home game. Having lived in Florida for the past thirteen years, I have been to a fair share of Major League Baseball spring training games at several stadiums across the state, but Champion Stadium at ESPN Wide World of Sports is my favorite. Now, this may be due to my slight (read: extreme) affinity for all things Disney, but, in my mind, the marriage between WDW and my favorite team, is a match made in heaven. That said, it really is a beautiful complex. Located at ESPN WWoS complex is the almost 10,000 seat Champion Stadium. Each spring, the field plays host to the Atlanta Braves during the spring training season from the end of February up to just a few days before Opening Day (the start of the regular MLB season) in the end of March. Ticket prices for the games range from $10 for lawn seats up to around $50 for reserved seats, depending on location.
Also posted in Disney Reviews, Hobbies, Leisure, Lifestyle, Recreation, Travel Reports Tagged Atlanta Braves, Baseball, Disney, ESPN Wide World of Sports, Major League Baseball, spring training, trip rep, Trip Report
As I have mentioned before in my sports blog, one of the best experiences in my 28 years was running the Disney World Marathon in 2010. 26.2 miles in the Happiest Place on Earth was worth the year of training I endured.
Recently, in an attempt to get myself motivated to go on a long run, I started thinking about all the things that I loved about running the marathon. I came up with a long list of reasons why I should be out running instead on sitting in my recliner watching The Real Housewives of Orange County. So, out I went on a 6 miler to clear my head and continue my work toward an eventual Goofy Challenge finish.
photo credit: Megan Annunziata
One of the things that makes participating in a runDisney event even more fun than your average local race is the amount of characters that show up for the race. This is even more true for the Princess Half Marathon. You will see dozens of Ariels, Snow Whites, and all the other princess on the course. You might even see some of Disney’s men out there too!
Also posted in Beauty and Fashion, Lifestyle Tagged cotumes, Disney, Jasmine, Marvel, Peter Pan, Princess Half Marathon, princesses, running, Snow White, walking
Previously I have written about my first race experiences here. Since then, I have gotten another three Disney 5Ks under my belt. I would like to talk about the most recent of these experiences, the Champion® 5K at Dick’s Sporting Goods Presents ESPN The Weekend (ESPN 5K for short). The race was held the first Saturday in March, only a week after my previous race, during the Princess Half Marathon Weekend. Read about our own NDH #19 Todd Perlmutter’s recap of that race on the Touring Plans blog here.
photo credit: Betsy Bates
Also posted in Disney Reviews, Health, Leisure, Lifestyle, Psychology, Recreation, Travel Reports Tagged 5K, Disney Hollywood Studios, Disney Lifestyle, ESPN the Weekend, Half-marathon, Mickey Mouse, Mulch Sweat and Shears, RunDisney, running, Walt Disney World
This semester, I have the privilege of teaching a class called Recreational Activities to Physical Education majors at the college where I work. Recreational Activities involves learning about different sports and activities that can be integrated into community or organizational programs for the betterment of health and mind. It can be a pretty mundane class as we go through rules, regulations, equipment and strategy of the game.
The year was 1987. Ronald Regan was the current President of the United States. Big bangs and bleach spotted jeans were in. Michael Eisner signed an agreement with the President of France to construct Disneyland Paris. And 25 days into the new year, the New York Giants beat the Denver Broncos in a 37-20 victory at the Rose Bowl in Southern California. Thus began a tradition that brings Disney fans joy every time we hear it.
“When you wish upon a star” plays in the background. As we fade into the shot, we see Phil Simms, the Giants’ winning quarterback, and the announcer asks the question, “You just won the Super Bowl. What are you going to do next?” Phil’s response: “I’m going to go to Disney World!”
Also posted in Education Tagged Aaron Rodgers, American Idol, Barry Bonds, Bruce Springsteen, David Cook, Denver Broncos, Dick Rutan, Disneyland, Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Green Bay Packers, Hyperion Travel Company, Jane Eisner, Jeana Yeager, Jen Ginn, Major League Baseball, Michael Eisner, New York Giants, Phil Simms, Ronald Regan, Rose Bowl, Star Tours, Super Bowl, United States, Walt Disney World, Will Smith
I wasn’t sure what to think when I heard about the movie Secretariat. The movie wasn’t highly marketed, which I now believe was a mistake by Disney. My mom called me one afternoon and said that she and my dad had gone to see it and loved it. That still didn’t really motivate me to run to the theater. No pun intended. I knew that I would catch it on DVD at some point. As soon as I saw that Netflix had it in their system, I put it at the top of my queue, receiving it the day that it was released on video.
Also posted in Disney Driven Life, Disney Reviews, Movies, Pets Tagged animals, Disney, horce racing, horses, Hyperion Travel Company, Kentucky Derby, Movie Review, Penny Tweedy, Secretariat, Walt Disney World
I was not born a runner. An athlete, yes. A runner, no! I was a college volleyball player and a 3 sport athlete in high school. I spent countless hours training, going to camps, working on my skills. The culmination was a wonderful college volleyball career, and, oddly enough, a career coaching college volleyball. I spent years working to become the best I could be, and it helped me accomplish great things.
December 28, 2008 was a day that changed my life. Every December I sit down to write what I call my challenges for the next year. I don’t like resolutions, but I find it hard to pass up a challenge. I had always been a Disney fan, but I felt like I had to hide it. I had talked to my boyfriend, Chas, about planning a trip for the summer of 2009 to Walt Disney World. He had never been there, and after a two year absence, I was desperately missing home. I started searching for information to plan our vacation, and, to my surprise, I found a ton of it. Best of all, I found something called podcasts!
Also posted in Events, Health, Lifestyle Tagged athlete, Disney World Marathon, Exercise, Health, Health, Podcasts, running, sports, Walt Disney, Walt Disney World
photo credit: Megan Annunziata
Living in the Northeast, I spend half of my year training in the cold weather. Most of the running events held near me are held in the spring or fall with the longest distance race being held the weekend before Thanksgiving (Philadelphia Marathon). If I were to only participate in these local races then I could avoid training in the winter all together. Of course, the main reason I started training for long distance running and walking was to find more excuses to travel to Disney World. And two of Disney’s main events are right in the middle of the coldest months for those of us in the northern half of the country. That left me with no choice but to spend some time training in the winter.
The morning of the race came, and I was beyond nervous. Race start time is 7am, but Disney wants you there (at the Transportation and Ticket Center in this case) between 5:45 and 6:15am. To me this is a little excessive, but you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do. Did I mention, I’m really not a morning person? So I go to the valet stand at 5:30 after having called down for my car, and it isn’t there. There really isn’t a whole lot of other traffic at this hour, no other cars, so I’m a bit perplexed and start to get nervous. I see someone walking back from the valet parking lot with my keys and know this can’t be good. Unfortunately, I’ve had issues with the valet before and should have thought about this before giving my car up to them again. My bad. The battery on my car was dead and there were no buses running to TTC at that hour since we were not staying at a host resort. A kind and generous soul who was also going to the race offered to let us split a cab with her. Had she not done that, I can pretty much guarantee there would have been blood on the saddle and blood on the ground where the valet was standing.
Also posted in Health, Leisure, Lifestyle Tagged 5K, disney races, Halloween, Health, Mickey, Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party, motivation, race, race course, running, Wine and Dine Marathon Weekend
photo credit: Megan Annunziata
The alarm went off way too early. Luckily, I had gone to bed early the night before and had managed to wake up a few minutes before the alarm went off. It was still a struggle to get out of bed.
photo credit: Megan Annunziata
Last summer, I got it into my head that I should try to run a race. Let me give you a little background before we go too much further. I have not run since freshman year in college. Okay, I went to the gym a few times, but no real running other than a 10 minute warm up on the treadmill. So, I partially blame Jillian Michaels and her whole couch to 5K thing from her show Losing It. I had major knee surgery in September of 2008 and went through months of rehab before I could even walk on my own. What now possessed me to do a race, I really don’t know.
OK, I do know. I was watching Jillian Michaels’ show and she was having this lady do a 5K. The lady weighed a whole lot more than me (by at least 100 pounds, and my Wii Fit calls me obese). I went onto the message boards for her show, and someone says they did a race at Walt Disney World. Sold! This is now more than just some crazy idea in the back of my head. It is now a full-fledged mission I must complete. A goal has now been set to commemorate the two year anniversary of my knee surgery, almost to the day, by running a race at WDW.
Photo credit: Megan Annunziata
During the 2011 Walt Disney World Marathon weekend, I was one of over 1200 runners and walkers joined together to train and raise money to battle cancer. Over $4 million was raised by these participants in the WDW marathon and half marathon in support of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. These runners and walkers were members of Team in Training, or TNT. If you’re a runner, you may have seen us in a race near you! We’re the wave of people wearing purple singlets out there who are smiling at the start and cheering at the finish.
Also posted in Charity, Health, Lifestyle Tagged charity, Disney World Marathon, fundraising, Half-marathon, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, marathon, marathon weekend, running, team in training, training, walking
Photo Credit: Serena Skretvedt, NDM 332
Every girl is a princess. It doesn’t matter if you are at Walt Disney World or not. Of course, there are different kinds of princesses: the humble kind, the bossy kind, the obnoxious kind. As a college volleyball coach, I deal with ALL different types of princesses. And sometimes, 18 year old princesses are the worst (No offense to any 18 year olds reading this).
Also posted in Business, Gifts, Lifestyle Tagged Ariel, Belle, Cinderella, Coaching, Diet Coke, gifts, princess, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, sports, Under Armour, Volleyball, Walgreens, Walt Disney World