2016 Disneyland 10k Race Recap

2016-09-21_222618000_d9197_iosHello, team tutu! We are so excited to share a recap of our trip to the Disneyland 10k!  In a series of very magical events, all three of us were able to snag a bib for this sold out race! It was a last minute opportunity that we still can’t believe happened! Here’s how it went down…. In late July, Runs in Tutus little sister Amanda accepted a new job and relocated from DC to California. The minute Amanda arrived to Cali, she got an annual pass and decided to sign up for the Disneyland 10k. We are Raw Threads Club members so she was able get a bib from Team Raw Threads well after the race sold out.

Melanie and I initially decided not to join Amanda for the Disneyland 10k (because adulting), but as the race day drew closer, our will power diminished. We couldn’t resist the urge to see Amanda’s new home and run the 10k with her!  About two weeks before the race, Melanie and I hopped online, purchased 10k bibs from Raw Threads, and booked last minute plane tickets to Cali!

After the pixie dust settled from our last minute booking, we quickly got to work on our costumes and packed for the race!

Here is our summary of the race weekend:

Expo: Amanda headed to the Expo on Thursday by herself because she had to work on the Friday before the race. She had the opportunity to see the expo right when it opened.  Her first stop was to the Raw Threads booth to check in (she was literally the first club member to check in!). Club members who sign up for a race with Raw Threads receive a swag bag and a commemorative race patch! This was our first race with Raw Threads so we were pretty excited to receive our swag and to meet up with other club members.  We can’t wait to collect the rest of our race patches for Light Side Half, Dark Side Half, and Princess Half races!

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Amanda picking up her race swag at the Raw Threads booth!

Packet pickup and expo browsing was an overall pleasant experience for Amanda.  She tried to get a look at the official race merch, but as usual that area of the expo was pretty crowded and Black Friday-like. She decided to skip out on race merch and enjoy other aspects of the expo. The race signage and theme was adorable. Especially the Aladdin and Genie logo on the race shirt and bib.

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Melanie and I went to the expo on Friday afternoon. When we arrived to packet pickup, we had a short moment of panic. Melanie discovered that she was placed in the last corral despite submitting a proof of time at the time of her registration. While we have no problems being in the last corral, we prefer to be a little further up in the corrals so that we have enough time to stop and take all the pictures for our blog and Instagram (priorities). Also, Melanie has really been working hard over the past couple of years on her pace, and she wanted to be able to run at the pace she had been training.  Melanie let the volunteer at bib pickup know she was placed in the incorrect corral and he redirected her to the runner relations booth. She was told that corral changed rarely happen, and that there may be nothing that could be done about her corral placement at this point.   We headed over to the runner relations booth and anxiously waited in line. The volunteer at runner relations was very friendly and quickly looked up Melanie’s race registration to see what was going on with her corral.  Thankfully, the volunteer was able to see that Melanie did submit a proof of time, and she got moved from corral G to corral C. We literally squealed with excitement when the volunteer placed the corral C sticker on Melanie’s bib. The best part about this corral change was that it meant that all 3 of us would be able to run the race together for the first time in the same corral!

After sorting out the corral placement issue, Melanie and I headed to the expo to play. We took our time shopping around the expo and had a blast. We made this super fin GIF at the Cigna booth!

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Race Day: We were so excited about our last minute tutus for this race. We decided to dress as our favorite park attractions. Amanda dressed as the Mad Tea Party, Melanie dressed as the Mickey Fun Wheel, and I dressed as It’s a Small World.

Here is a look at our race costumes:

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Our journey to the start line was pretty rushed. We stayed at a hotel near Downtown Disney that was close enough for us to walk to the race on race morning, and dramatically underestimated how long it would take us to walk over to the start. We left a little later than we should have. We ended up having to do a quick warm up jog to get to our corral just as the wheelchair start was happening. Lesson learned. We walk slower at 3:45 in the morning.

Once we arrived to our corral and caught our breath it was all smooth sailing from there. This was our first time to run this race and we enjoyed every minute of the course.  A lot of the course is in the parks so it really made every moment of the race extra magical. We also LOVED the rare character stops along the way.  We saw Pinocchio and Geppetto, the Incredibles, and our personal favorite MAX GOOF!

Here are a few pics from the course and the moment we got to meet Max!

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We also got the opportunity to meet some of our Instagram friends in real life. We always enjoy meeting new friends and old friends at runDisney events.

The final highlight of the race for us was the moment that we got to cross the finish line together as sisters. This was the first time that all 3 of us ran together for the entire race, and it was so much fun!  We also loved the medal with Aladdin and Genie!

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Post-race and park time: After the race we walked back to our hotel. We had a little bit of trouble navigating through the crowd of people post-race in Downtown Disney. We didn’t really have a way to exit the race without going through the bag check line. This happened to us at Tink Half and we were hoping runDisney had sorted the exit issues out. In the future we will avoid walking through Downtown Disney towards the parks after a Disneyland Race.  Amanda had to head to work right after the race, but Melanie and I stuck around for a little while to enjoy the last few moments of the Diamond Celebration.  Here are a few of our favorite things from our time in the park.

 

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Overall, we had a great experience at this race and would definitely do it again!  Up next for us is the Wine and Dine Half Marathon weekend in Disneyworld in November. We can’t wait to run the inaugural Lumiere’s Two Course Challenge. Hope to see you there! Amanda will also be making a stop at Mickey’s Halloween Party in Disneyland so keep an eye out for some spooktacular highlights!

 

-Christine

 

 

 

Free Printable Belle Inspired Planner Stickers

I don’t know about you, but I’ve got some serious love for Beauty and the Beast happening in my life right now. Between the new live action movie trailer, the 2017 Princess Half race theme, and the Lumiere Two Course Challenge medal release I am exploding with Disnerd happiness! We originally planned to post a recap from the runDisney Virtual Shorts series today, but I decided to hijack the blog to share some free printable Belle inspired stickers instead!

The stickers say, “This beauty runs like a beast,” and feature our favorite beauty in a pair of red running shoes!  For extra magic the set includes blank stickers to customize with your personal accomplishments.Free printable stickers

Be our guest and download the file for free here: Free printable belle sticker file

Directions for making stickers:

  1. Print the file on white cardstock or sticker paper (Try Avery Sticker Paper)
  2. Cut out the stickers
  3. If you print the stickers on cardstock, use glue dots, tape, or adhesive of your choice on the back of the stickers
  4. Put the stickers in your planner or training log to reward yourself for a job well done!

Side note: I also love the Xyron Sticker Maker. It’s super cheap and you can turn anything into a sticker – as long as it fits into the machine!

Happy training, friends!

-Christine

Free Printable Stickers – Dopey Inspired Badges

 

IMG_1170Happy summer, team tutu! It’s hard to believe it, but it is already time to start training for 2017 races! If you are registered for the runDisney Dopey Challenge (48.6 miles through Walt Disney World), the official Jeff Galloway training schedule started this week. We are so impressed by anyone who has the willpower to complete 48.6 miles! We definitely hope to do this challenge one day! In honor of Dopey training starting up, I thought I’d share a set of free printable Dopey inspired stickers to make training a little more magical.

I’ve used printable “I did it!” stickers for training runs and commemorated the Princess Half and Tinker Bell Half with some race inspired stickers. It was very motivational to see all the stickers in my training planner. We’ve also released a set of printable stickers inspired by the runDisney virtual running shorts series and it was so fun to add those to my planner while I wait for the medals to arrive. Figured fans of the Dopey race might also enjoy some planner sticker magic.

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Here is the link for the stickers: The stickers include a sticker for the 5K, 10k, 13.1, 26.2, and 48.6 distances. For extra magic the set includes an “I did it” sticker and blank stickers to customize with your personal accomplishments.

Directions for making stickers:

  1. Print the file on white cardstock or sticker paper (Try Avery Sticker Paper)
  2. Cut out the stickers
  3. If you print the stickers on cardstock, use glue dots, tape, or adhesive of your choice on the back of the stickers
  4. Put the stickers in your planner or training log to reward yourself for a job well done!

Side note: I also love the Xyron Sticker Maker. It’s super cheap and you can turn anything into a sticker – as long as it fits into the machine!

Good luck to all who are starting their journey to the Dopey Challenge in January!

-Christine

Tinker Bell Half Marathon 2016 Race Recap

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We’ve been back from Disneyland for a couple of weeks now, and we are still on a pixie dust high from the amazing Tinker Bell Half Marathon weekend. It’s taken us a little while to process all the magic, but we are ready to cover a few of the highlights! Today I will focus on the half marathon race itself. Amanda and Melanie will follow-up later on with some more exciting recaps of the 10k, Expo, and other weekend shenanigans.

First and foremost, let me say a big THANK YOU to all the team tutu friends we saw over the course of the weekend. We were so excited to connect with our friends that we interact with on a daily basis via Instagram. We gave out over 120 temporary Tink inspired tattoos! It was a super tutu party! We were also very excited to attend the Tink Facebook group meet-up where we connected with some truly inspiring fairies!

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As far as the half marathon goes…This was my first Tink half, and it certainly did not disappoint! Last year was a bit of a bummer year for me. I had pneumonia leading up to the Tink Half weekend, so I wasn’t medically cleared to be able to finish the race in 2015. That was really just the start of a series of really crummy events (I’ll spare you the unmagical details) that made 2015 a true test of resilience. The promise of being able to return in 2016 to the Tink half was really what kept me going through the ick of 2015. This race was like a giant reset button for me.

Race morning for the Tink Half went really smoothly. First, we had to get dazzled up in our race costumes! This year, Melanie ran as the Fairy Godmother from the live action Cinderella. Her costume was 100% DIY and included our PUFFIEST tutu to date. To make the tutu extra puffy, Melanie used a crochet waistband instead of an elastic waistband which allowed for multiple layers of tulle. You can buy the crochet waistband material by the spool at Hobby Lobby or Michael’s in the ribbon section.

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Puffy tutu shadow!

Amanda dressed as Joy from Inside Out. She wore a DIY  skirt and yellow shirt with iron on blue stars cut out from heat transfer vinyl. To make the blue stars, I hand drew the cut file then printed it out on the heat transfer vinyl using the Silhouette Cameo 2. This is a great time saver since you don’t have to individually cut each shape.IMG_0871

I ran the Tink Half dressed as Zarina (aka the Pirate Fairy.) I wore a pirate shirt from INKnBURN and a DIY tutu with a crotched waistband for extra puff. I also wore child sized wings to avoid any rubbing on my arms. For extra comfort, I pinned them to my shirt instead of wearing the arm straps.

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Christine as Pirate Fairy

This year, we stayed at the Hyatt at the convention center, and we were really impressed with the race transportation. We got on a bus as soon as we walked out of the lobby and we were dropped off at the parking lot near the entrance to the parks. We had to walk through Downtown Disney to get to our corrals, but it was definitely a shorter walk than what we experienced getting to our corrals at the Princess Half Marathon. Amanda and Melanie decided to run the race together in the same corral so that Melanie could help cheer Amanda on while she muscled through a knee injury. We agreed that I would stay in my assigned corral to give me the best chance at finally finishing this race. It was the first time I ran without one of my sisters next to me!

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Getting to my corral was a tiny bit difficult. The porta potties were all lined up against the flow of traffic right where all the runners were trying to get through to corrals. It was hard to tell who was waiting in line for a potty and who was trying to make their way to a corral. I attempted to wait for a porta potty, but quickly gave up due to the crowds of people.

Once at my corral, things were much more spacious and magical. There were photo pass photographers waiting to take pre-race pictures, and it was easy to see and hear the pre-race entertainment. The time between corrals passed pretty quickly and before I knew it, I was off and running into the park.

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The first half of the course was pretty much nonstop park scenery. We ran past the Lost Boys, through Sleeping Beauty Castle and saw plenty of pixie pals. The race course also included a great view of Cars Land and California Adventure.

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The second half of the race course was pretty much all outside of the parks through the streets of Anaheim. There were some places without much to look at, but the weather was great and there were plenty of hyped fellow runners to keep me company. As far as out of the park entertainment, there were a couple of great bands on the course, and spectators with amazing signs. There were even a few spectators with pixie dust!

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The Red Hat Society Ladies were by far the best entertainment on the entire course! There were so many of them out with signs, smiles, and high fives! It was exactly what I needed to keep going during the last few miles of the race. There were even a few Red Hat Ladies in tutus! Here are a few of their sweet signs.

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The finish line of this race was a super emotional moment for me. I started tearing up as soon as I saw the hat at the Disneyland hotel. After so many months of sad things, I was so thankful for the chance to finish this race feeling strong! I channeled a little Emma Swan from Once upon a Time, texted my sisters at mile 13, and said, “I’m about to finish this race and break the curse!”

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Once I saw the finish line, it was full water works. By time I got to the sweet volunteer who gave me my medal, I was in full on ugly cry mode! The crowds at the finish line were minimal, and I grabbed a snack box and stretched for a little while in the reunion area admiring the Tink Half and Coast to Coast bling. We were pleasantly surprised to find out that we earned both the pink and blue Coast to Coast medals this year for completing Princess and Tink in the same calendar year.

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When exiting the race, we had to go through park entrance security in order to access the bus transportation back to the hotels. There wasn’t a line available for people without bags, so I waited about 15 minutes to get through security at the end of Downtown Disney. After I made it through security, I was still on such a pixie dust high from the race that I quickly forgot about the crowd and walked back to the hotel while I listened to the glorious clank of my newly earned bling!

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That’s all I’ve got for now. What did you guys think about the Tink Half? What was your favorite moment of the race? Let us know in the comments below.

-Christine

runDisney Virtual Running Shorts Details

We just got back from a wonderful weekend in Disneyland where we ran the Tinker Bell Half Marathon. It. Was. Magical. We are in the process of writing up our weekend recaps and can’t wait to share them with you!!

In the meantime, it’s time to talk about another awesome runDisney opportunity that was just announced a couple of weeks ago! Thanks to virtual magic, runDisney is now offering a series of three 5K races this summer (May 15- June 30, 2016). The series is called the Virtual Running Shorts, and it allows runners to earn runDisney bling in their own backyards!IMG_1000

Here are some more details about the races:

1. Runners need to register here in advance

2. There are 4 opportunities to earn the race bling.

  • The Yellow Shoes virtual run (May 15-June 1)
  • The Red Pants virtual run (June 5-June 18)
  • The White Glove virtual run (June 19-June 30)
  • The Virtual Running Shorts Challenge: This registration option is a commitment to run all 3 virtual 5Ks within the time frames listed above. Finishers receive all the virtual 5K medals AND a special finishers medal for completing the challenge. The challenge also includes a Mickey tumbler!

3. Proof of run is not required to meet the completion requirements for the runDisney Virtual Running Shorts events. Simply go out for a 5K between the allotted dates and earn that virtual bling.

4. The Virtual Running Shorts series benefits the Leukemia Lymphoma Society charity

All three of us at Runs in Tutus are registered for the Virtual Running Shorts Challenge. Our plan is to make the virtual races as magical as possible (we are already thinking about our race outfits). We will be live tweeting our virtual runs and sharing our virtual run experiences on Instragram. We thought it might be fun if we got some of our readers and team tutu friends together (virtually) to run the virtual races at the same time. Here are the days we plan on completing each of the 5Ks.

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If you are registered for any of the Virtual Running Shorts and would like to join us for some team tutu virtual fun, grab your running shoes and join us on May 30, June 12, and/or June 19. You can tweet along with us or share your team tutu pics Instagram or twitter by using #runsintutus.

And finally…For some extra magic – Here is a set of free printable stickers inspired by the Virtual Running Shorts Series. Simply download the file here, print, cut, and stick to your planner or training log using glue or adhesive of your choice!

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Can’t wait to “see” all our virtual friends on the course!

-Christine

Countdown to Tinker Bell Half Marathon: What Should I Do the Week Before the Race?

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Tinker Bell Half Marathon weekend is officially one week away. We’ve been busy putting the final touches on all our crafts and costumes to make the weekend as magical as possible. One of our Runs in Tutus traditions is making matching tote bags and Mickey ears to wear at the parks and Expo. We are happy to say that after a sister weekend of intense crafting and eating too many homemade Mickey pancakes, these have been finished! If you see three weirdos walking around the park in coordinated outfits and matching tote bags, you have likely spotted us.

IMG_8801These cute bags are definitely exciting, but it turns out there is more to race weekend then just crafting. We also have to run a race. We’ve all worked really hard over the past few months with early mornings, long runs and sore muscles. The work isn’t over just yet. The final week of training is crucial when it comes to having a successful race day.

Here are some things you can do this week to prepare for race day:

  1. Take care of your body. You want your muscles to work seamlessly on race day. Take some time this week to stretch and foam roll. You can find some foam rolling tips here. Sports massages are another great way to prepare your body, but any massage should be done at least 48 hours before the race. I’ve also become a big fan of the BFF, a body buffer that vibrates and “buffs” your muscles. This thing is awesome for getting muscles to relax and recover quickly, and even Jeff Galloway has endorsed it. If you see their booth at the Expo and you’re feeling sore or tight, definitely stop and give it a try.

  1. Stay hydrated. Drink A LOT of water throughout the week. You want to start hydrating well in advance of race day. It’s easy to forget this when traveling, so be sure to always have a bottle of water with you on long flights or road trips.
  1. Plan ahead and keep race day stress free. We already feel anxious enough about race day. Being prepared and planning in advance can help alleviate unnecessary stress. If you’re flying to the event, bring all your race items in your carry on luggage; give yourself plenty of time to get to the airport so you don’t feel rushed. Know what you’re wearing on race day and have plans for your meals, especially the night before and the morning of the race. Start packing early so you don’t forget anything! Check out our Tinker Bell Half Marathon Packing Checklist for ideas on what to bring.
  1. This isn’t a final exam; don’t try to cram. Unlike a final exam, cramming for a race is not effective. If you procrastinated on training or missed a few long runs, don’t try to squeeze it all in this week. Get in a few short runs, but don’t over do it. You will just end up feeling sore and fatigued on race day.
  1. Visualize success. Close your eyes. Imagine yourself crossing the finish line on race day. Focus in on every single detail: the crowd, your outfit, Mickey, the California sun. What does it feel like? Try to feel those exact emotions as you visualize your success. Open your eyes. Did you dream it? Good. That means you can do it.

  1. Faith. Trust. Pixie Dust. Think happy thoughts. Believe in yourself and trust that your training is sufficient. Have faith that this race will be the best race ever and make it the best race ever! Also, start to hoard pixie dust so that you have it stockpiled on race day.

See you in Disneyland!

-Amanda

5 Reasons We’re Excited for Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend!

FullSizeRenderThe Tinker Bell Half Marathon weekend is only 9 days away! At Runs in Tutus, we are so excited that virtually all of our recent conversations revolve around Disney. It’s hard to focus at work knowing the magical weekend is almost here. I can feel the pixie dust already! Last year, we all participated in the Half Marathon and we had a great time. You can check out last year’s race recap here. This year, I’ll be doing the Pixie Dust Challenge, Melanie and Christine will be participating in the Half Marathon, and we will all three be earning that pink Coast to Coast medal!

 

Here are 5 reasons we’re excited for the Tinker Bell Half Marathon race weekend:

1. Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration and the All new Disney Paint the Night Parade: The Disneyland Resort is celebrating 60 years of magic, and this summer is the last chance to experience the Diamond Celebration. We are so excited to catch it before it leaves, and we are particularly excited for the Paint the Night Parade! Luminescent floats, character appearances, more than one million glowing lights, high-energy music and cutting-edge special effects are some of the words used to describe this parade. Count me in. Disney says it’s “a dazzling after-dark experience beyond anything you’ve ever imagined,” and I am inclined to believe them. We made a reservation with the Paint the Night dining package, so we will be dining at Blue Bayou for the first time before the parade.

2. Running Costumes: In true runDisney tradition, we will all be sporting a character costume at the Tink Half. We’ve been making some serious progress on the costume designs, and my apartment is currently covered in fabric, glitter and miscellaneous crafting supplies. We are also excited to see what everyone else has in store. There’s no costume show like a runDisney race!

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So much glitter and pixie dust!

3. Disney Snacks: We will be eating anything and everything shaped like Mickey and all the food we would never allow ourselves to eat at home like cotton candy, churros, giant cookies, etc. etc. To make this year even better, there are also tons of limited edition snacks and desserts in honor of the Diamond Celebration. To name a few – Diamond Tiramisu at Wine Country Trattoria, Meyer Lemon Crème Brûlée Tart at Blue Bayou, White Chocolate Bavarian Diamond Strawberry-Rhubarb Shortcake at Carnation Café and Diamond Celebration Chocolate Cake at various locations.

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Diamond celebration themed desserts. Photo courtesy of disney.com

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Cotton candy at last year’s Tink half weekend.

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4. Meeting some of our friends in real life: We created Runs in Tutus about a year ago, and we can’t believe how many friends we’ve made this year. Through Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and other social media outlets, we’ve been able to connect with tons of amazing people who share our love for Disney and fitness. Race weekends are an opportunity to finally meet our friends in real life. If you see us on the course or around the park, don’t forget to stop and say hello! We’ll be giving out tattoos with the different race distances on them. Follow @runsintutus on Instagram or Twitter to see where we are and what we’re up to throughout the weekend.

If you see us at the Tink Half, stop and say hello for a Tink tattoo!

5. Being together: Lastly, we’re excited to be together. Race weekends are a special time for us to celebrate each other, make memories, laugh, and feel carefree. We really cherish that sister time and we’re looking forward to it in less than two weeks.

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Hang in there fairies! Race weekend is almost here!

-Amanda

Tips for a Long and Healthy Life

FullSizeRender-1When I started my journey towards a healthy lifestyle, I decided it was going to be a long-term commitment to myself to feel better and stronger each day. While I try my best to stay the course, maintaining a healthy lifestyle can feel overwhelming. I try to get the weekly recommended amount of physical activity, eat veggies, and get plenty of sleep, but sometimes I fall off the wagon. I get busy… and Netflix…and cake. The struggle is real.

Recently I’ve noticed that I have been pretty hard on myself when I feel like I can’t get the “perfect” workout done. I’ve become so focused on the short-term struggles that I have lost sight of my long-term goal of a long, healthy life. In an effort to stay the course on my journey towards a healthy lifestyle, I’ve done the only two things I know to do when face a problem: 1) I talked to my sisters, and 2) I turned to science for answers. After consulting my sources, I have come to the reassuring conclusion that I’ve been making things way too complicated. Small health changes in the short-term can lead to significant rewards in the long-term!

Here are some of the take home messages I’ve learned about healthy lifestyle choices that are helping me stay motivated (in case there any friends out in cyberspace who are struggling to start or maintain a healthy lifestyle….and because I love sharing science):

  1. Move more, sit less. Physical activity is an important aspect of maintaining well-being. Until I turned to the literature, I was under the impression that physical activity meant working out. As it turns out, there are two components to physical activity: regular workouts and limiting excessive sedentary behavior (e.g., sit less).  Sitting for long periods of time has emerged as a risk factor for poor health outcomes such as diabetes  and cardiovascular disease. The good news is that moving more and sitting less can be easily worked into a daily routine. Small changes can make a big difference over the long-term. I’ve been incorporating some fun workout suggestions from our friends at Chobani. Having a delicious 100 calorie snack or even something as easy as playing with your kids for 23 minutes can go a long way!

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Way to keep moving Baymax!

  1. Healthy lifestyles are associated with longer and happier lives. Amanda recently shared a report with me from the Stanford Center for Longevity . This report states that individuals who live longer, happier lives tend to be individuals who adopt healthy lifestyles. It was very motivating for me to read that making small healthy choices such as getting enough sleep, eating more vegetables, and moving more could help me lead a longer, better quality life.
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Veggie Cobb salad with baby kale, cucumbers, quinoa, summer squash and avocados. Yum! Choices like this can help us live a long healthy life.

  1. Social engagement is another way to improve well-being and longevity. Making new friends and joining a community of other individuals who share my love for healthy living, Disney, and all things crafty has been one of the best side effects of my journey towards a healthier life. I was excited to learn from the Stanford longevity report that social engagement, such as participating in a community and developing relationships is also associated with longer and happier living! This means that decisions to show up to ballet rehearsal, or complete a runDisney race, or have a chat with my sisters about a new recipe are also cultivating an additional predictor for a longer, happier life!!
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Social bonds are a vital part of long, healthy lives.

 

Well, friends, I think that’s all the main points I’ve learned so far. If you have any tips for maintaining a healthy lifestyle please let me know in the comments section. I am always looking for ways to stay motivated!

-Christine

5 Reasons Why Fitness Is More Fun With Sisters

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According to my Facebook newsfeed, today is National Sibling Day! I wanted to take a moment and dedicate today’s post to my sisters. I grew up with two amazing big sisters, and I can’t really imagine life without them. As a little kid they taught me everything from what music to listen to, how to spell my name, what to wear to school and how to dance. There is nothing I wanted more than to be exactly like them.

When we were growing up, Melanie, Christine and I had so many ways to stay active together. We rode our bikes, made up silly dances, went to basketball camp and then eventually got into competitive figure skating. We were always together going to practice and preparing for our competitions. As we grew older, went to college and then eventually developed our own lives, we missed having a sport that we did together. Luckily, in 2011 runDisney became that sport after Christine and I ran the Disney Princess Half Marathon and then Melanie joined in at the Wine and Dine Half Marathon later that year. All three of us have become healthier and happier since we made fitness a family activity. Everything is more fun with sisters, including working out!

Here are five reasons why fitness is more fun with my sisters:

1. When you work out together, you have something in common and a way to bond. Ever since we started running together, my sisters and I have a non-stop chain of text messages. We’re always checking in with each other to see how that long run went, what workout we did that night or what hotel we should stay at for our next race. We have a common goal and a reason to call each other multiple times a week. We share the same struggles and we celebrate the same achievements.

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Christine and I celebrating a finish line together.

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Ohana means family and family means no one gets left behind or forgotten!

2. No one holds you accountable like family. They’ve known you forever. They’ve seen you at your worst and your best. When it comes to being brutally honest, family doesn’t sugarcoat it. They’ll tell you if you’re being a lazy bum. When I’m training for a race, I have the constant reminder that I don’t want to be the sister that didn’t train. I don’t want to let anyone down, so I’m always pushing myself!

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Family tells you how it is.

3. No one builds you up like family. When you’re feeling down and discouraged, there is no one better than family. My sisters and I know each other’s quirks. We know who likes what and how to motivate one another. If I’ve had a bad run, all I have to do is send a quick text message, and I am guaranteed to receive a huge influx of motivational texts and gifs.

4. With runDisney, we get to relive our childhood. We have a reason to travel to Disney World multiple times a year and we play dress-up in running costumes. We experience characters that we grew up watching in movies, and we ride nostalgic rides like Splash Mountain and It’s a Small World. For me, participating in a runDisney race with my sisters is the equivalent of eating a giant bowl of macaroni and cheese. It’s comfort food for my soul.

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5. We have a reason to see each other outside of the holidays. For me, seeing my family just during Thanksgiving and/or Christmas isn’t enough. I live in Washington, DC and my sisters live in Texas, so I don’t get to see them as often as I’d like. Luckily, every time we sign up for a race I have a set date when we will be reuniting. I see them every February for the Princess Half Marathon, and two to three other times a year for other races, crafting meet-ups and vacation planning! It’s been a huge blessing for me to stay close to them even though I live on the East coast, and I am truly grateful for our shared love of running. 12994466_10101226471208844_3242905142847355729_n

Happy National Sibling Day everyone! What type of activities do you do together as a family to stay active?

Thanks to my sisters Melanie and Christine for always being there for me.

– Amanda

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RunDisney Registration Options: What To Do If The Race Sells Out

IMG_0605We are so excited to announce that all of the Runs in Tutus team successfully registered for the inaugural Lumiere Two Course Challenge event in Walt Disney World! RunDisney events sell out very quickly (like in minutes), so we never know how things will go on general registration day. Today’s registration was no exception. The Half Marathon, 10k, 5k, and challenge events all sold out in a matter of a couple of hours. We saw several comments on social media from folks who were not able to get into the races due to the high demand for the Wine and Dine Half Marathon weekend.

If you didn’t get into the races today, don’t despair! There are other ways to get a chance to earn that wine and bling. Travel agents and charity partners are both ways to score a race bib even after general registration sells out. Here are some details and pros and cons of each of the options.

Travel Agents

Details: RunDisney provides a select group of travel providers with bibs for all of the race weekends. The official list of approved travel providers can be found on the runDisney website under the registration tab for each race. The list can vary from race to race, so be sure to double check the official runDisney provider list before getting going with a travel agent. We ended up using a travel agent for Wine and Dine Half last year and the Glass Slipper Challenge earlier this year. It was overall a seamless process. We used Jim Stone at Acclaim travel, but we know that there are also many other great travel agents available to help you with your runDisnFullSizeRenderey race weekend.

Pros: RunDisney travel agents sell race packages that are predetermined by Disney. The travel packages offer complete coordination of your race weekend. The travel agents are able to help with park tickets, room reservations, race registration, and in some cases a meal plan. This can make for a stress free planning process for those runners who plan on spending some of the race weekend in the parks and staying on property. While there are typically travel agents with additional race bibs after registration day, the biggest perk of using a travel agent is that they typically get bibs in advance of the general registration. This means you can register in advance and not have to worry about the stress of hitting the refresh button over and over again at noon. We did early registration with a travel agent for Glass Slipper Challenge and it was real magical.

Cons: If you use a travel agent you have to buy the whole package. This typically means if you want a race bib you also have to buy a couple night’s stay in an on property hotel and a multi-day park hopper for everyone on your reservation. If you already have an annual season pass or don’t have time to stay for multiple days in the park, then it might be inconvenient to be locked into a package deal. The packages have varied thus far from race to race so for full details it’s best to talk with a travel agent directly.

Charity Partners

RunDisney also partners with a select group of charities. This allows runners to enjoy a great race weekend and raise funding and awareness for a cause. Here are some pros and cons and details about charity partners.

Details: Select charities receive race bibs for each of the runDisney events. The list of approved charities can be found on the runDisney webpage on the registration tab for each event. The list of approved charities varies from race to race so be sure to look specifically at the list of approved charities for the race that interests you.

Pros: As with the travel agent, you can choose to register early with some charities which helps avoid the stress of open registration. Some charities offer extra perks like training groups, guidance, and a community of teammates to help make the race training extra magical. The biggest perk of running with a charity is that you get the chance to make a difference and raise funds for a great cause. That’s a pretty magical option!

Cons: Not all charities receive race bibs for runDisney events, so there may not be a charity that you are passionate about. If there aren’t any charities you are super passionate about, it might be hard to get the most out of the experience. While the charities all offer help and tips for raising funds, there is typically a required fundraising amount for each race. Make sure you are well aware of the fundraising goal and are confident you can raise those funds or cover the funding goal from your personal funds before you make the commitment to run with a charity.

IMG_0603If you are still hoping to get into the race of your dreams we highly recommend taking a look at charity and travel agent options.  According to the runDisney website, as of 5:00 PM eastern on 3/29/16 there are still bibs available through travel agents and charities for the Wine and Dine Half Marathon weekend. There are also travel agents and charities with bibs remaining for other sold out runDisney events such as the Disneyland Half Marathon in September. Just yesterday, the Children’s Bureau of Southern California team all4kids reached out to us to let us know that they still have race bibs on their team! The Children’s Bureau is a great cause and there are openings for the 5K, 10K, and Half Marathon events during the Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend! For more information about team all4kids click here.

Have you ever participated in a runDisney event via a travel agent or charity partner? If so, let us know how it went for you in the comments.

Happy Running!

-Christine