Pre-Trip Run, Chickie! RUN!!!


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Super late to this ptr. I recently discovered a sugar substitute. It is a monk fruit and erythritol blend. Found it on Amazon. I use it in my gluten and dairy free baking.
Congratulations on all that weight loss. That's amazing!
Thank you! I've heard monk fruit is a great sub for sugar. I can't find it in my local store, but I'm thinking I'm going to buy it on Amazon for Thanksgiving baking this year. We usually do lemon meringue pie and pumpkin pie, plus I'm sure it'll come in handy for homemade cranberry sauce. Thanks again :)


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Thank you! I've heard monk fruit is a great sub for sugar. I can't find it in my local store, but I'm thinking I'm going to buy it on Amazon for Thanksgiving baking this year. We usually do lemon meringue pie and pumpkin pie, plus I'm sure it'll come in handy for homemade cranberry sauce. Thanks again :)
This is the one I buy. A tad expensive, but I recently made pumpkin bread and used 1/4 of it in replacement of the sugar, and 1/4 cup date syrup to replace the maple. My family couldn’t tell it was void of sugar. It was also dairy and gluten free. Delicious.


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A little update...

Today I tested running with one of the shirts I planned to use for the 10k and half. This time, I did it without a tank underneath...which would force me to suffer through the run if I got uncomfortable. It was just a short 30-45 min run...well, 33 to be exact, since I had to log into work. It was also bookended by a few minutes of walking. By mile 2, I was feeling uncomfortable and clammy. So, here's my plan...

I am going to buy a blue tank and a white tank for the 10k and the half. I am also going to buy compression sleeves...going to stick with blue for the 10k, but I'm all over the place on the half since I have several color options. The long sleeve shirts I bought will not go to waste. I am going to cut them down the middle and use them to help layer if it's cold. So, I'll be wearing them like a cardigan and then tossing them if/when they're no longer needed. I will probably stitch down the edges for a cleaner look.

I'm not buying any of this right now...but probably within the next couple of weeks. Once I get past everything with work stress (there's serious light at the end of the tunnel) and my younger one's bday party stuff (next weekend), I can put a lot of focus on costume stuff.

In all of my work stress, I also misplaced that Nathan torch I just bought. It's gotta be here somewhere...but where? I used everything for my run on Saturday and it was GREAT! The vest was a huge help...

And while I still have a few weeks before I start getting into higher mileage, I think I'm going to be seeing a lot more of this when I do...

The Nathan torch was pretty great too...I've just already misplaced it and may need to use a regular flashlight until I can find it (or buy a new one).

I also have to take out the Brooks Ghosts on my next run. I liked them a lot on my first run with them, but had some pains last week with them that I didn't care for. Some may just be general aches, but I need to make sure it's that and not the shoes. The metatarsal pads I've worn on the last two runs have definitely helped and I've tried to be really mindful of form, since that's part of the problem. I went 6.5 miles on Saturday with the pads and while there was some discomfort, it wasn't nearly as bad as the previous run and by today, it was non-existent. This issue has been something I've felt in those toes and part of my foot since I was in my early 20s. So, after dealing with it for several decades, I know it's not anything new. It just gets uncomfortable after a while. It's probably from my obsession with wearing really high heels.

That's it for now. :)


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Man, I wasn't expecting to post on back to back days...but here I am!

First off, I went ahead and ordered the tank tops for the 10k and half costumes.


I'm going to hold off on the arm sleeves for a little bit because...
1. they were $7.90 when I first saved them to my Amazon list and now they are up to $9.95. I want to wait on a price drop.
2. I'm torn on colors. For the white top...not sure if I want white, red or black sleeves. For the blue top...not sure I want blue or pink...and if I go with pink, I could consider trying to make the ones from my Cheshire Cat costume work for both.

Second, I had a 3 mile run this morning and I wore the 10k shoes again (Brooks Ghost 11). While the pain wasn't as bad as it's been, there was discomfort in the problem toes that wasn't there in yesterday's run in the Levitates. I even tried lacing in the heel lock this time, which may have helped some, but not enough for 6.2 miles the day before I need to run a half. I've had them too long to return them to Brooks, but as you may recall, I barely paid anything for these shoes because of my 25% discount on my whole order. They only have about 8-10 miles on them and they still have some of that new sneaker smell, so my mom is going to try and sell them for me on ebay. So, now what? Well, I thought about it and I really don't want to wear shoes on back to back days + I REALLY want to coordinate with my costume. So, I bought another pair of Glycerins in a backup color I had been considering when I thought there might be an issue with my Brooks order. They're supposed to arrive tomorrow.


I was never totally in love with the color of those Ghosts, so I'm happy.

Third...and the biggest drama of Magic Band shipment got messed up. Now I'm really happy I did this early.

Some of you may recall that we moved a couple of years ago...and I had a heck of a time getting all of my Disney stuff to reflect the new address in all of the areas of their systems. They assured me this was corrected. Well, my bands were supposed to be delivered today and I noticed they were at the post office in my old town. I tried to change the shipping address via USPS, but they were showing my current address as the delivery address. I tried to chat with Disney about it, but they couldn't do anything like this by chat. So, I called and after being transferred a couple of times, I got confirmation that they shipped to the old address. She's not sure why it keeps pulling it in, but she thinks she got it this time. So, the ones going to my old address were deactivated and new bands have been ordered to go to my correct address.

She also showed me where to add ME online, but since my friend and I are leaving on different days, I have to call. It's never easy. I swear, if it becomes too much of a production, I'll just pay for her to get a Lyft or Uber to MCO.


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First...look what showed up in yesterday's mail!!!!!

Second, my friend gave me a bit of a panic attack last Friday. I gave her a trip countdown update, as I often do, and she suddenly realized that she hadn't put in her vacation time request. I used to work with the same group, so I knew this was a big deal. They can only put in vacation requests up to 90 days out, and it's a day by day sort of thing. Just think Disney advance dining booking without the "+ length of stay" perk afforded to onsite guests. Work has been really busy and I guess they cut the groups vacation numbers due to volumes, so I was extremely worried. I became really discouraged when she told me that the days were already booked and that she'd been wait listed. It wouldn't keep me from going if she couldn't, but I'd have to rethink all of my plans. After several days of worrying, she was able to get someone to approve her time off, so the trip is back on for her.

Third...the new 10k shoes arrived right on schedule. I put them on and my feet immediately thanked me. I regret trying to save a few bucks back when I was ordering from Brooks. I had thought about these shoes, but thought it might be fun if I had a third style in the mix. It seemed low risk since I liked them in my fitting, but oh well...I think it's for the best.

Now I have to figure out a break in plan. I've never found that good running shoes require much breaking in, but that was also in my distance walking days. So, I got a recommendation to put 30-50 miles on each pair. I can feel my current shoes aren't nearly as springy as the new ones I will be breaking in, but after going through my Garmin data, they also only each have about 200 miles on them. So, they're not quite ready for retirement either. So, I'm thinking of rotating the new shoes for my longer runs, while keeping the older shoes for the maintenance runs and 10k slot simulation runs...well, at least until I get closer to the 5-6 mile range on those days.

Finally, I don't know how this is going to go, but I may have some costume help before ever putting out an SOS. Let it be known that I am awful with iron ons and things of that nature. I was going to buy a whole bunch of plain sheets and do all sorts of tests, but I may not have to do any of that. This is going to sound like that line from Ferris Bueller's Day off...

So, the mom of one of the girls' teammates on the kids' rec team...whose older daughter had a falling out with my older daughter two years ago...whose younger daughter has been in the same class with my younger daughter for the last couple of years...with a book fair money issue on the side...who goes to a mutual friend's mom of our younger one's who is a running coach and is training her for the Houston Marathon...happens to be an expert with iron on and heat transfers in her non work time...and has all kinds of things like a press and special cutting machines (can I get a "Thank you, Simone"??? :hilarious:). She's offered her time to shop with me for the proper materials so we're not working with junk and has also volunteered her machines (and her doing the transfers and cutting) for the actual cutting and heat transfers to the garments. So, I may have some serious help with the Cheshire Cat top and Caterpillar top. Now, I just have to manage everything for my club collar for my card top and the hands/legs for the caterpillar. I think I'm going to work with felt and possibly gold duct tape.

Beyond that, my running was really solid up until Saturday. I think the stress of work, kid stuff, and my body needing the time change is catching up with me. I'm getting in the time and miles, but feeling so slow, fatigued and out of breath. We have a major front coming through, so my next few runs should be cold ones (by Houston standards), so we'll see how that goes. I have a 30-45 min tomorrow, 1 mile on Thursday, and 8 miles on Friday. It's not how I initially wanted these to fall during the week, but life is going on and it's the only way I can get in the training this week. It should be mid 30s to mid 40s for each one, so that should be interesting. Low 50s is the coolest I've run in so far. I'll have to test again to see how my body likes long sleeves with these cooler temps.


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It feels like forever since I've posted, but I know it really hasn't been that long. Maybe that's the result of us being busy and big things happening between then and now. Halloween, cake creation, birthday party, lots of softball and sadly...the passing of my FIL. It's been a lot, but I've tried to keep to my training plan in all of this.

Last week was the first week where the plan called for 4 runs in a way to simulate back to back racing days. So, I did my normal Tuesday run on Monday, my Thursday run on Wednesday, the new simulation run on Thursday, and the long run on Friday (had the day off). It all felt really good...especially the 8 mile run. Fast forward to today's run and everything hurts. My calf muscles are tight and very achy, my left knee is giving me trouble. It just started, so I'm not even sure if it's run related. Either way, I'm going to go back to wearing my bands for a while.

While not perfect, my feet do feel better. I took the new Glycerins I got for the 10k out for my 8 mile run last week and things were significantly better than running in those Ghosts.

In light of everything going on, I haven't been able to work with that lady on all of the heat transfer stuff I want to do for costumes. I did buy some other stuff though that I can do on my own...

I can't use all of these colors, but the pink is going to be for my little caterpillar legs and the black is going to be for my club collar for the half marathon costume.

This is to make the 6 gold shoes the caterpillar wears.

Also for my 10k costume.

The cards in Alice have something similar and I'm not a big fan of dyeing my hair crazy colors, so the blue will be good for the caterpillar. My face won't be covered, so it shouldn't break any rules.

Sleeves...but this is still a work in progress.
Above is what i ordered. The black ones I got are fine, but the blue...well, this is what they sent me.
I filed for an exchange, but the replacement product was the same wrong thing. It's labeled as blue, but it's clearly their aqua option. Aqua does not help me! So, now I'm going to have to return another pair and decide what I want to do...since I still haven't figured out how to make the wings work.

On top of everything, I finally put my cake idea for this trip to paper...

I sketched the rabbit directly from a frame I froze in Alice in Wonderland, so there's some hope that they have it in their library. Still, since it may take some time if approval is needed, I may start the cake ordering process on the early side.

I'll probably check back in on Friday...Fast Pass Day! I made a passes by day/park, ideal timing for each, and which I need to book first that could be harder to get. We'll see how it goes.


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I know going to run is the goal and main focal point,'s FASTPASS DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Here's the preliminary lineup...

Jan 7
Pirates of the Caribbean, Haunted Mansion, Peter Pan
Jan 8
Nothing- no parks today
Jan 9
Soarin', Living with the Land, Spaceship Earth
Jan 10
Muppets, Slinky Dog Dash, Star Tours
Jan 11
Test Track, Living with the Land, Spaceship Earth
Jan 12
Flight of Passage, Safari, Everest

I also called Disney yesterday to set up Magical Express. In the process, I also found out that they still have my address messed up in the system. The girl thinks she got it fixed and said she'd make sure my ME info goes to my current address, but I'm still nervous. I also added in a couple of extra room requests while we were on the phone...

1. Partial savanna view (since this falls under standard)
2. Lobby facing (some of the standard rooms look out on the lobby and have that partial view)

I already requested close to the lobby and an upper floor in the online request section.

I'm going to set aside some time today to call YC/BC's bakery and get the cake process going since I may need extra time for the edible artwork I'd like. I'm still pretty torn on cake flavors. I know they won't do as much for a mini, but we'll see. My friend is super picky with chocolate cake, so I'm trying to steer clear of that. There are just now sooooooooooooo many options compared to when we started ordering custom cakes (2011). It's reminding me of a study a friend shared with me about how we're all adding to our stress load by having too many choices. I'm leaning towards the following, but we'll see if they can accommodate this...

Dole Whip cake -orange cake soaked in pineapple syrup and filled with Tropical Mousse

Edit...cake order is waiting to hear what the bakery is willing to do and get a quote.
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Some little updates...

It's looking like I will have some time to start working on costumes starting this week, so I should have some things finished soon.

I was all over the place with my ideas for my Cheshire Cat top, but since I didn't find any standalone smiles that I liked and didn't like any of my experiments (Won't be sharing), I decided to be inspired by soccer and rugby jerseys. I'm going to have this patch on the right side of my chest, like my team crest/emblem.


And then I'm going to get a custom iron on for the back made in this style. It's supposed to say MAD and then the number 1.


It'll be in purple glitter...first color on the 4th row.


I had a few size options, but I think I went with 2.5" for the name and 7" for the number.

I am toying with the idea of sewing felt on for some of my other costume elements vs. heat transfer stuff. I have to try and find a cord for the power supply as well as a foot pedal, but I got a sewing machine from my FILs home.

I am not the best with stuff like this, but I'm better at sewing than ironing on.

Beyond that, I took my 5k shoes out for their first run this past Sunday.

I've been dealing with a lot of aches and pains, so they didn't feel the greatest. I'll spare you the long drawn out story, but my body HATES temps in the 40s (for everything), and it's created all kinds of pain. People think I'm nuts and that it's something I'm not doing in stretching, something to do with me not living in real winter (I still dealt with this back when I did), or what I'm wearing. Well, if my body was good with all of that with temps in the 20s, 30s and 50s...I have to blame the 40s! So, now I'm more nervous about race day conditions. This week has been 1 was in the low 60s and today's run was in the 20s. I took a really easy slow pace pace on Tuesday with easier intervals so everything could start feeling OK again. Today I pushed it more, but not as hard as I could since I don't want to hurt myself. I have 2 miles tomorrow that I am probably going to do on the treadmill (we'll see) and the I have 9.5 miles on Friday where I'm hoping to start breaking in my half marathon shoes. It should be in the 30s for that.

I did test my 10k pants for the first time today. I had on my shirt and arm sleeves for the 5k as well, but you cant see them under my layers, so I'll spare you the top pic!

What's really, some may be the outside temp, but the arm sleeves I bought are cooling ones, and my arms did feel pretty cool (in the comfortable way) inside my layers.

Oh, and I got my cake quote...$83! That's a lot for a little cake, but if you've seen my TRs, you know I can't pass on a cute cake idea. I think they are going to go with orange cake and passion fruit filling. I did like working with YC/BC this time. Everyone was SOOOOOOO pleasant! I know it's Disney and that's what you'd expect, but the bakeries and private dining aren't always as magical. So, it was a nice surprise.

Hoping to post more in a few days...assuming I survive my long run and make it through this round of costume stuff. :D


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So, I didn't make any major costume progress last, there was nothing major to post. I did reinforce all of the roses on the tutu with a few stitches each, but the finished product looks exactly like the previous picture I posted. So, nothing new there. I have made a pattern for the club collar for my half top, but I couldn't find any pins around the house. So, after grabbing some pins tonight, I'm hoping to cut it and stitch it on. I also found a legal sheet of paper, which is the perfect size pattern for cutting the card off of the premade shirt I bought. So, I'm hoping to cut and stitch that on tonight as well. I haven't made any patterns (yet), but I've started mapping out my plans with the felt for my caterpillar top. I'm hoping to get on that tomorrow, since I took the day off. For both of these, I plan on decorating the tank. I warm up pretty quickly, but can put the matching long sleeve shirt underneath if I need layering for cold weather. I can even put the arm sleeves under there, so they can be seen if I take off that layer. And if I get gutsy, I will try ironing on my lettering and number for my 5k top.

So...what else? Well, I decided that I wanted more pop to the Cheshire Cat costume, so I bought a skirt...

...and a head band...


For the half costume, while I bought the black piece to go over my head, I saw these ears...


I'm generally not a fan of wearing things on my head, but I'm going to try, since I really like this image in my head. I can hopefully stuff them into my hydration pack pocket if I hate wearing them.

Not as exciting, but I did buy some stuff for training, cold weather, and nutrition.

Mylar blankets to keep warm...I know we'll have to ditch them before crossing the start of any chip timed races, but considering how cold it COULD be and how long we could be standing in our corrals, these should help. I still plan on hitting a thrift store for some throw away pieces, but I'll do that next month.


While it's warmed up since I bought it, a number of my friends have suggested a running vest for cooler days. It's not super heavy, but it doesn't get super cold here either. It's Columbia and I got it for a good price, so it should help if we have any more cold snaps. I like that I can zip it up all the way to protect my neck and it has a lot of good sip pockets.


I got this versatile fleece neck piece as well. I've noticed quite a bit of asthma irritation running in the colder air, so it should help if I can pull this up over my mouth and nose while least some of the time.


I got all excited when I saw the RX stuff in my supermarket, but apparently I can't read. I thought I was buying the butters and it was actually the bars. I don't have time to trek all over to find it locally, so I just bought a pack of the butters on Amazon in a flavor combo that I liked in bar form. The butters are messier than the bars, from what I've heard, so I stuck with an almond based flavor...since it's the safest of the nuts for my older one to be around.


After my disastrous hydration attempts with coconut water and not feeling like Nuun does enough, I've decided to go back to Tailwind. I also bought a multi pack of Tailwind this time instead of the scoopable bag. These should be much easier for travel. My only concern is that not all of them are caffeinated. If I find it makes a difference, I may have to buy some more before travel.


On a refund note, I got my $ back for the Brooks Ghosts that didn't work out. So, that was nice. I also got my refund for the blue arm sleeve mess. I'm not really sure what I want to do about the whole arm sleeve thing. The ones I got for my 5k costume are fine, but the black ones for the half are too big and I may have to wear them upside down. I just don't know if I really NEED a blue pair. I'm not running out and buying them right now, but we'll see how I feel later next month.

On a friend note...I'm getting a little bit concerned. My friend coming with me for part of the trip has two young children who seem to be prone to a number of bugs and illnesses. I know this is true of a lot of little kids, but I just don't remember mine being sick like this past their second birthday...and even when they were, it was usually more generic colds. I'll probably be Ok until post trip if it's anything with a decent incubation period, but if they're coming off of an epic stomach flu, that could wipe me out pretty early on in the trip. I know the reality is that I could be exposed to any number of sick people on the plan, at WDW, or even at the grocery store the day before I leave... but it's starting to weigh on my mind. On a positive note, she's starting to get back into training. Her initial goal was to run the entire 5k, but somewhere in this process, she decided she hates running. I had already told her that I plan on getting my $s worth and will probably make the 5k a very slow and casual sort of thing.

Speaking of $s worth...some of you are aware that I normally bring my big camera and take TONS of pictures. I still plan to take tons of pics, but the big camera is staying home. I can't bring a carry on for my flight to MCO, so space in my personal item is going to be pretty limited when you consider all of the vital run stuff I'm going to have in there. So, Bertha is staying home and I'm going to rely on phone pictures and will also be buying Memory Maker. Ultimately, I wouldn't be able to get pics of me running and crossing finish lines with my own cameras anyway, so I might as well leave it home. At least I just got a new phone and it auto uploads all of pictures, so nothing should get missed.

Finally, I had initially decided not to race until Disney, but my shorter run next week (i.e. 10k before half simulation build up) is 3 miles. So, I signed up for a local Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving day. With the way I've been feeling lately, I can't see myself having any PRs, but it's tempting to try. Then again, I have to follow this 3 miles with an 11 mile run the following day, so pushing it is probably not wise.

That's it for now. Maybe tomorrow will be productive and I'll finally have some real costume progress to share.

Minnesota disney fan

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Late to the party, but want to congratulate you on your amazing weight loss. I know that is not easy at all. I lost 30# over 2 years, so I know what a struggle it is to reorganize your eating habits, AND to keep it that way. I am maintaining but it is not easy. I love tostado's chips, ice cream, and all treats!!! So congrats and looking forward to your TR:)


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Late to the party, but want to congratulate you on your amazing weight loss. I know that is not easy at all. I lost 30# over 2 years, so I know what a struggle it is to reorganize your eating habits, AND to keep it that way. I am maintaining but it is not easy. I love tostado's chips, ice cream, and all treats!!! So congrats and looking forward to your TR:)
Thanks! Right now, the toughest thing is managing the hunger than comes with training for stuff like this. A number of the coaches I follow said it's very normal for runners to gain a bit during training just because of everything you need to fuel the miles. We're not talking massive amounts, but my jeans aren't fitting as well as they did at the beginning of training. Chips have been one of my pitfalls of late. I try to toast corn tortilla chips to satisfy that craving, but some days...well, I need the real thing ;)


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Quick update...since I have a MILLION things to do today...

While the ears still need to arrive, I finished...yes, FINISHED...the half marathon costume!!!

And after much debate, I've decided to run with the gold hydration backpack...

I'm already using that one for the caterpillar and the backs of the cards are gold/yellow in the film...

I have a layering plan as well if it's cold. I already bought the long sleeve white v-neck shirt, which I can wear underneath. If it's really cold and I don't want to use a thrift store throw away piece, I have a black pullover I can wear and just stuff into the hydration pack as I warm up. Same plan for the white shirt if I become too warm for that. I haven't bought gloves (the arm sleeves fall down and slouch, so they were going to convey that gloved part of the idea in warmer to moderate conditions), but a basic pair of black gloves can easily be picked up if I need them.

Oh...and this is what the head cap looks like.

And if I really need to keep warm, that fleece piece in my last post can just go around my neck and into the V area of the long sleeved tops.

I was sooooooooooooooooo nervous cutting everything. I was really afraid I was going to destroy things, but I think it worked well. I've also constructed it so that the hydration pack front strap won't hide the card. It's sewn at the top and bottom, but the sides aren't stitched on, so I can lace the pack's straps underneath the card. Which SHOULD keep the card visible at all times, unless I'm wearing something over all of it for warmth. Heck, if I really need to, I can just layer the black under the white long sleeved top vs. wearing it over top of everything.

If I get brave, I may iron on the stuff for the pink shirt tonight. I may not though, as I'm waiting on the patch still for the front. Still also thinking about things for the caterpillar as I don't think the felt will go as far for that as I'd hoped. We shall see!


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Sadly, I have not touched a single costume yet this week...and it may not happen at all until Saturday with all of the Thanksgiving stuff I need to do.

I did pay off the trip in full today and pay for Memory Maker, so that's something big!

I'm running that Turkey Trot tomorrow and put together an outfit with lots of Thanksgiving colors. I thought about doing more, but I'd rather invest the $ into more useful things (like some of the Brooks undergarments I bought yesterday).

The ears for the half costume also arrived. The ears are a little too close together, but it still works since it reminds me of the Queen of Hearts' hair in the live action movie.

I still have the Cheshire patch and headband out there. The patch is supposed to ship by 12/3 and the headband by 12/10, so hopefully I won't have to wait too much longer on those.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING to all of you that celebrate :)


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Hope everyone who celebrates had a WONDERFUL Thanksgiving!!!

I started off my bird-day with that turkey trot. I got to meet a handful of ladies from my local FB run group, so that was kind of nice. It was also adorable seeing the kiddie 1k fun run. In the end, it was a very comfortable 3.1 miles for me. Not sure if I just stretched well, if it was the fun of a race, hydration, or what...but what felt like a moderate race effort was my second best ever 5k time and the best I've ever done in a race. I was forcing myself not to run harder because I knew I had a big run in store for myself the next day. In any are some pics...


I started to freak Garmin decided to run an update just as the race was getting ready to start. Thankfully, it went quickly.

I was also happy that it was warm enough that I could just wear the outfit I'd planned. I think it was 63 or 65 when I got out there, so a tank and shorts worked well once we started running.

After the was head home to go crazy with food. I knew I had 11 miles to run on Friday to complete this week's simulation of back to back racing. I tried to be good, but come's Thanksgiving!!! Still, I made sure I hydrated really well. I had to work Friday morning since the stock exchange opens for half a day, but then it was some stretching and out the door to get in the 11 miles on the Galloway plan for RunDisney.

It was about 75 degrees, 100% humidity, drizzling the entire time, slick trails from all of the wet leaves and mud, and several spots with ankle deep water ... long enough that I had to run/splash through it. My feet were so nasty at the end, but I got it done! Not that it was easy and I had my moments of self doubt, but yesterday's 11 miles felt better than the 9.5 a couple of weeks ago. I went back to a watered down mix of Tailwind and brought along some RX Nut butter.

I also had the gold hydration pack with me for the first time. I'm starting to really hate the strain of a pack on my back. I can tolerate it for the 10k, but it's got me debating about belt options for the half. We'll see.

I'm also noticing more aches and soreness with the longer distances. I foam roll and stretch, but decided to get a little deep tissue massage tool to see if that helps.

In some exciting news, I got over my fear of iron ons and put together my Cheshire Cat costume. I'm still waiting on the head band, but you get the idea...

I'm REALLY happy with how this turned out. It is the only costume where I don't have any layering though (in case it's cold), so finding something cheap in pink or purple that I don't mine tossing after the start is on the list.
Now to tackle my fears of working on the caterpillar costume!


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No more costume updates just yet, but I am hoping to start on the caterpillar tonight. I do have a few general costume updates though...

1. I have decided I hate carrying those hydration packs. It messes with my posture and leads to upper back pain. I am still going to wear it for the 10K because I feel the hydration hookah just gives that costume some extra oomph, but I bought the belt below for the half marathon.


I know what you're thinking...I already bought a belt with bottles. That was fine for the 10k distance, but when I took it out for my 8 mile run, I was having to ration in the last couple of miles and I was starting to feel really thirsty. The bottles in that belt are each 12oz total. The bottles in the belt above are 10oz bottles, so that'll be 20 oz of fluid. It's also black and white, so it'll go with my half costume a lot better :hilarious: Oh...this one also has bib holders, so that's nice as well.

2. Since I'm not bringing the gold pack along for the half, I am going to take the golden yellow rectangle of felt in the batch I purchased and will be sewing it on to the back of that top to look like the back of the card.

3. My headband for my 5k costume shipped! Yay!

4. I got scared about being cold in my 5k costume. I probably should have just picked up the muted purple hoodie I saw at Walmart for $10, but I wanted pink, so I bought this...or so I thought.


This is what I ended up getting...

I bought it as more of a throwaway piece, so I'm not as angry as I was about the turquoise arm sleeve thing. I think the product as a whole bothers me more. This thing is the weight of a really light t-shirt. Not sure how warm it's going to be keeping me, but I wore it this morning over a top like the one I'm wearing for the 5k and I was pretty comfortable. I think it was maybe about 48-50 degrees while I was out there.

5. Speaking of arm sleeves, after mapping out my 10k costume on paper, I decided they are a must have. So, I bought these...


Different brand than what I was trying before...and they really are royal blue this time. They also have much stronger compression than the others. They were also vital for the costume, since this is an idea of what it should look like in the end.

I don't know if I want to sew anything on to the pants, but it's going to look silly if I put them on the torso, so I'm just going to see what works best. I've heard some people use safety pins, but it would be just my luck that a pin would pop mid-race and cut up my leg. And with the way safety pins pull at fabric, I might be better off with light stitching that's easy to remove after the race.

6. While I stretched and foam rolled, I noticed some lingering aches after my 11 mile run. I am not big on going for massages, but I was looking into the benefits of deep tissue massage for running. So, I bought this...


Not sure how well this will travel, but we shall see.

Wearing those compression pieces from the turkey trot have also helped a lot, so i may invest in more of those...just like I invested in a bunch of Happy Puppies things when they were running their Black Friday sale. I think the shorts I really like are normally $47.50, marked down to $13.50 (or something like that) and an additional 25% off. The tops like my one for the 5k were marked down to $5 and also 25% off. Can't pass that up!

7. OK...if you're still reading...this is kind of big...

I did something :D

I've never seen HEA (unless you count what I could see from outside of PotC in 2017), it's near the top of my friend's wish list, and I HATE wasting time sitting around staking out spots. Yes, I know I broke this rule BIG TIME when we were at DL in 2015 and I had to have a perfect spot for Paint the Night. I'm still a bit angry with myself about this. In any event, there were still spots for the dessert party garden viewing open. Yes, we have an ADR at WL at 4:45pm and making it to a 6:30pm dessert party sounds nuts...but it's more about the stress free viewing and less about sweet stuff. And from what I've seen, arriving a bit late isn't a huge deal. I don't know how closely my friend is looking at plans when she goes into MDE, but I'm kind of hoping she doesn't notice. Her 180 for her June date is coming up, so it may spoil the surprise.

Speaking of said friend, I think she's getting back into running. I'm trying to been supportive, while still butting out since her training plan and their intervals isn't like Galloway intervals. I think it's one that's training you to run it all, so you decrease your walking as you walking = failure. At least that's how it sounds...which is hard for me state of mind since regular walking intervals for me = success. The funny part of this...I see a lot of this 5k being walked and paces being the worst of all of my races because it's not timed and we'll probably be making tons of stops. She mentioned some interest again in possibly training up to a 10k, but when we were discussing 5ks a few weeks ago, she wanted to avoid anything times...soooooo, I don't know.

That's it for now. Hoping to have more costume construction for you soon!


Well-Known Member
Original Poster
So, I haven't had a single second to work on costumes since I last wrote. I did make a few minor decisions...
- I won't be bothering with ironing on that leftover '1' onto the Cheshire costume
- I don't think I shared that I previously bought some red and black gloves for my half costume. They were dirt cheap and I wouldn't mind tossing them if they get too warm. I'm just not sure I want to go with them. They aren't exactly what I thought in terms of color distribution, and they are work gloves, so I'm not loving them. Still, I may not care if it's 30 and windy at race time.
- I decided I really like the compression calf sleeves. I don't think I'll need them for the 5k, but I bought a pair for the half and a pair for the 10k just in case. I want to test them out under my pants for these races.


The black ones are the same brand as my yellow ones, but I tried the blue ones because several people were singing the praises of CEP and that they were medical grade. I'm going to give them another try tomorrow, but I used them on my Monday night run and they didn't help. My muscles were a wreck and I was in a bit of pain. I wore the yellow ones on my run today and was fine. I have my 10k simulation run tomorrow...4 I'm going to try the CEP again and see how they do.

The Cheshire headband also arrived the other day. It's not quite what I was expecting, but it'll work.

I also had a little something arrive in the mail the other day...

So, that's exciting and making it all feel very real. Aside from finishing costumes and packing, the only thing I'm really waiting on are race the event guide and bib stuff for the half.

I waited until last to share this next "thing" ... because I kind of did another thing. I don't know if it's because I run alone and I'm generally a very extroverted person or something the holidays and tons of other things going on and stressing me out, run entertainment boredom, or what...but I'm having all kinds of weird emotions about the long runs. I still feel like I want to do them, but I'm dreading that halfway to 3/4 way point where I seem to mentally check out and am running just to get home. So, I tried to find something that would make my last two long runs of this plan a bit more entertaining without compromising my training too much.

I went in search of races...specifically, half marathons. I found two, but I'm only going to do one of them. There's one this Sunday down in Galveston. It's a Santa hustle and it looks like it would be A LOT of fun and it's a nice course (right along the seawall)...BUT I took Friday off to get in my long run this week and the thought of driving down to Galveston for a race is filling me with more dread than the mid-run boredom dread. We're talking leaving the house around 4:30am to make it down there and get situated and pick up my stuff before the 7am start. So, that's out...but it's an idea for next year.

The race I did wind up booking isn't perfect either. Here's one of the videos I found...

Does any of it look kind of familiar? If you said it looks like where I normally run...well, you're pretty close. It's in my town, on the green belts...just not in a section I normally frequent. That's about to change! The half is a double loop course and the full is a four loop course. I thought about driving up to the park where the race will start and end, but after using my run mapping tool, I realized I'd be better off running there and back. It's about 3 miles on the trails from one of my normal run starting points to the park for this race...then I run the 6.55 miles of the race loop...then run another 3 miles back to my run start point. That puts me at 12.55 miles and my plan has 12.5 on tap for this week. Sounds like a good plan, right?

I noted that this isn't a perfect plan, but I'm trying to find silver linings in each of the issues.

1. The race is on New Year's day, which means I can't get too crazy with food and drink on New Year's eve and I'll also need to be a bit more mindful of when I get in bed.
SILVER LINING- This is good practice for Disney, since I'll be eating and drinking more than I normally would and probably be a bit tired and sleep deprived. I'm also going to have family in town for the holiday. And since I'm slow, I think my husband is planning to drive him, the kids and my parents out to the race site so they can cheer me on. Not that I've done a ton of races, but I've never had anyone there to cheer me on. Heck, I still don't know enough runners to really even know anyone at any of these races.

2. The race is about 3-4 days after I should be doing my final long run of this training plan. In other words, it's going to cut into my taper.
SILVER LINING- I'm not running at Disney for time. No, I'm not planning on giving this race full race effort either, but I don't see it messing with things as much as a full on race effort might do. Plus, after looking over my 10k training notes, I seemed to perform better without as much tapering. Yes, I know a 10k effort isn't like a half, but I did more and pushed more in the days leading up to my most successful 10k. I also seemed to do better when I was doing a longer run each week vs. a significantly shorter run. That's not saying I'm running a half every week, but it just makes me think my body might do better with a week and a half of taper vs. a full two weeks. I can also play with my taper some to help my body relax a bit more in the week and a half I'm giving it.

3. The training plan calls for 14 miles on that last run and I'm only signed up to run 13.1 with this race.
SILVER LINING- While I don't really think running 13.1 vs 14 is going to have a huge difference, I also know I will probably do some warm up running before said race. So, I'll probably have that mileage in either way. While I plan to hold back, even a restrained race effort is more taxing than a generic training run.

So, that's where I'm at. I'm excited and nervous, but it looks like a really laid back smaller race (even though the full is a Boston Qualifier) and it's so nice that it's in town. The half starts at 8:15am and the park is a 5-10 minute drive away depending on traffic lights, so it should greatly reduce my stress. And I'll be around people...supportive people...and that should help whatever this wall is that I'm hitting. I even saw that in some years, they made signs with runners' "SUPER SANDY." This race is also tied into the half marathon I walked back in 2015...which was another well run, super positive experience.

OK, that's it for now. Fingers crossed I get some time to do my costume work. I want it done!

One last little thing... I ran during lunch and saw this guy on the trails. I guess I don't run fast enough for him to consider me any kind of threat. Yea...he just stayed put.



Well-Known Member
Original Poster
So, I'm just one giant costume disappointment! I STILL have not done a darn thing with all of my 10k materials. In fact, the only thing I did do was make the executive decision that I didn't want to sew anything on to my running pants. I like those...I don't want to hurt them. So, I bought a blue Sparkle Athletic skirt and will be sewing my caterpillar feet onto there.

Beyond that, I ran my 4 mile 10k simulation during lunch on Thursday and minus some lingering stomach pain from some bug I'd been dealing with, it went well. I was slow, but when reviewing my Garmin data, I noticed that it's the first time I've ever really regulated my heart rate in a better zone during a run without going out of my way to do so. So, that tells me that other parts of me are getting stronger. Friday was my half simulation...12.5 mile run...but it was really 13.2 on my feet when adding in the walking before and after. This run also felt really good, plus it was another run with great heart rate results. I've run this slow before and had all kinds of heart rate spikes, so I think something good is happening in my conditioning. I do have some thoughts on this training run as well as some pictures...

1. 6.55 miles of this run was the half marathon course I'm running on New Year's Day. The first half of each 6.55 mile loop is downhill...the second half is uphill. While we're not talking massive elevation gains, it the worst hit was in mile 8 of this past run and I really felt it. So, this means mile 12 is probably going to be really rough during the half. I will at least be prepared.

2. While it goes through some nice stretches of green belts, mile 3 (and whatever the math puts me at for my second pass) is really pretty.

3. Part of it backs on a golf course. There's a decent amount of trees as well as some tributaries from the lake and river, but praying people aren't hitting any golf balls onto the course on race day.

4. Chickens! Yes...chickens, no Chickie :D I'm kind of frightened of chickens. I don't know where it came from, but on my way back on the course, I chicken crossed my path. It may be part of the Hens for Houston movement, but I'm really hoping for a poultry-free race day.

5. I wore my new belt with the bigger bottles and I found myself still needing more hydration in mile 11. Thankfully, I came prepared and hit up a local gas station convenience store for some water. You may also see the Skittles in the pic. I'm finding that the nut butter is too much for my stomach. I've been having some good luck with Clif Bloks, but didn't want to run into the grocery store to get more (it was the opposite corner of the gas station I went to). I just felt like I would cool off too much in there and it would eat too much time. So, I went with Skittles as the easy solution. They worked well.

This still leaves me with a hydration dilemma. It was low 60s when I started and around 70 when I finished. So, it wasn't exactly cool...which may be why I needed more to drink. Still, it left me wishing I had two more bottles. I could try and find bottles that slip onto this belt OR I could try wearing two belts at once. The first solution sounds more practical, but the second could still work. I don't know. I still have some time to order bottles if I want two more for this half and for Disney. I know I can get more at water stops, but I really love the convenience of having it on me.

6. Speaking of hydration, however I end up doing this, I am going to need half water and half Tailwind. The Tailwind gives me a good energy boost, but it's just so cloyingly sweet. Just like those two 10Ks in September, I was craving water as I got to the end of my supply. I'm also finding that all Tailwind tastes the same to me. I've tried three flavors so far, including the naked, and I don't find any difference.

So, that's it for observations from my 12.5 mile run. Today was my first run since then. It felt awful and my pace was slow because my legs were cramping up in the cold, but I still got in about 2.6 miles before having to go to work and I noticed that my heart rate was improved even more.

I'm saving any future rD announcements and decisions until after this trip, but the kids have expressed interest in running with me. DH has also said he wouldn't mind joining in at some shorter distances. I had a gut feeling this would happen. I actually did something over the summer for him just in case. Just before our summer vacation, he asked me to go buy him a new pair of sneakers. I know he won't go get fitted, so I tried to find something good on sale that worked with the wear patterns I could see on his old shoes. No, this is not the ideal way of getting yourself into running shoes, but I did my best. So, I got him these Asics Gel-Cumulus. They're decent shoes, so I know he'll at least be in a good shoe if he follows through with this.


The kids want to run, but aren't ready for more than 5ks and want Nikes since all of their friends wear Nike. If they become more serious or if the younger one joins Cross Country in middle school, I will get them fitted. For now, I just went with a neutral Nike that is a suitable running shoe. The older one didn't ask for anything specific, so she's getting the older model...which saved me quite a bit of $!


The younger one picked something flashy. I don't know if she realizes just how flashy these are. The gold around the swoosh is all sequins. I'm also bothered that they went on sale over the last couple of days. I'm kind of hoping they don't fit her so I can return them and buy them at a better price. It's too close to Christmas to play that game now, but I like saving $ and may be able to do so by next week.


Either way, I may be getting some new run buddies in the new year and may have some additional news to go with that.

So, I'm hoping to have some costume updates by my next post. I'm really hoping it doesn't have to wait until after Christmas. I want this done! At least I'm starting to feel pretty confident in my training and being able to do well with the back to back Disney runs.


Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Jumping in a bit late here. As a fellow runner you seem very well prepared for this and I’m sure you’re going to be amazing. I’m running the Dopey so I’ll be watching out for you amongst all those thousands of other runners
That's so awesome!!! Hopefully I'll see you out there. I plan to be in AK on Marathon morning and will be devoting at least some time to cheering on the runners.
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