Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Star Wars Light Side 10k 2017 (Tuesdays on the Run Edition)

Honestly I really can't give myself a great grade for my running in January.  I did 3 training runs and ran 3 races, then took 2 weeks off.  I'm starting to get back to the love of running.  It just has taken me awhile.  So instead of going in depth of almost nothing, I'll post more about my trip and races at Disneyland.

If you want to catch up on the previous posts, here are the links.

So we woke up early again for the second race of the set.  I was tired.  Like really tired.  And grumpy.  Like really grumpy.

Kelly and I were in different corrals, I was in E and she was one ahead of me.  I was so far back that I could see the construction of the Star Wars Land.  

We couldn't hear anything that was going on in the front and on top of that there were no video screens further back.  So none of us really knew what was going on up front.  They didn't start moving till the corral in front of us was about to start.  It was really odd to not start moving the corals up as the others went on.

When we got up to the start line, the new guy (I don't know his name) did a rap from the top of his head.  It was actually really entertaining.  I wish we could have heard or seen what was going on earlier in the morning.

Soon after that we were off.  I still was in a bad mood, so most of the first couple miles really were not memorable.  Once we got into the parks, I was starting to have fun again.  We entered in Disneyland and we were able to see the "It's a Small World" ride all lit up.  It was still a little dark, so it was really pretty.  From what Kelly said, the lights automatically had gone off right when she passed.  They must have been on a timer and someone had to scramble to get them back on for when I passed.

My knee did start to hurt again.  And as with the day before, I still wasn't sure if it was because it was my bad knee or that I fell on it during the 5k.  Again, probably a bit of both.

As we went by Dumbo the Flying Elephant and Mad Tea Party, both were on and running with no one riding.  It was fun to see that.

As we came out of the castle and made our way to Main Street, there were horses out.  These looked to be two different ones.  And if I remember correctly, it was Dallas and Chad.  They were both really sweet and Chad even gave me a kiss.  My mood really picked up after seeing those hansom guys.


When I got up to the front of Disneyland I wanted to make sure I looked up to see if there was a character there like Boba Fett was there during the 5k.  And there was, this time it was Captain Phasma from The Force Awakens.

There was a point somewhere in the race were everyone was trying to take a photo of a mile marker.  The people were out in the middle of the course.  As I ran by I called out for everyone to move over so that runners could get by.  Some chick behind me said three times loud enough for me to hear "Someone is cranky".  Yes I was cranky that morning, but this wasn't the first time in the race that people were out in the middle of the course in the way of runners.  I'm all for people stopping and taking photos, but be aware there are others around you.

We made our way through California Adventure again and saw the sights there.  I didn't stop for any characters as the lines were too long and I just wanted to get done.  My knee really was hurting towards the end of the race and I was very worried about having to run 13 miles the next day.

I was so glad to be done.  I stopped and had them ice up my knee.  I decided to take the way back to the hotel past the finish line and it took forever to get around the crowds and race.  I was getting cold and my knee really hurt.

I was so glad to get back to the hotel and to take a real hot shower.  We rested for a bit and then headed down to our breakfast reservation at Goofy's Kitchen.  We have gone there every year.  I think that it's a lot better then Minnie and Friends in Disneyland.

We of course saw Goofy before we were called to our table.  Then we saw Pluto, Minnie, and Chip.  Somehow we missed Dale.

For the rest of the day we hung out in the hotel room watching TV, playing on our iPads, or sleeping.  By the time I left for dinner I was feeling much better resting up.  I really needed to rest. We did head back to the expo so that I could return some things. After looking closely at what I got and how much I spent I was glad to return some things. I also had to get some more glide as what I brought ran out.

For dinner we headed to Naples Ristorante in Downtown Disney.  I had been there after the Tinkerbell Half a few years ago and remembered the cheesy bread to be very good.  We of course ordered it.  The pasta I had was a little underwhelming.  Kelly and I agreed that if we do a pasta dinner before the half we would go back to Marri's Pizza and Pasta where we ate the night before.

We headed back to our hotel to get ready for the half the next day.

Click here to read about the half marathon.

You can also see my vlog for the 10k.

Have you been to Goofy's Kitchen?  Where do you like to go for carb loading at Disneyland?

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Disneyland Park 2017 (Weekly Wrap-up Edition)

I haven't run since I ran the half marathon a couple of weeks ago.  This was the plan to take two weeks off so that I could get the love back in running.  Well I'm actually excited to go on a run tomorrow.  A short one, but hopefully I will enjoy it again.  Especially if I am now looking forward to it.

The only other thing I did this week was go see Hidden Figures.  I can't believe that this story hasn't been told before.  It's very inspiring to know what brilliant woman did in NASA.  This movie could have been three different stories as each woman was very smart and interesting.  I bought the book a couple months ago, I can't wait to read it now.

Since I don't really have any other update, I'm going to recap my day at Disneyland.  It will be a long post with a lot of pictures.

If you want to catch up on the previous posts, here are the links.

Once we were done with the 5k, we went back to the hotel to shower and change.  The park opened up at 9 so we down to the park a half an hour early.  They started letting people in, to wait on Main Street.  While we waited we had a visit from the Mad Hatter.

There were tons of people waiting to get into the park.

We got released at 9 sharp and sped walked to Hyperspace Mountain.  We were able to get on the ride without a wait.  If you haven't been to Hyperspace Mountain, it's like the Space Mountain in Disney World, but with a Star Wars theme.  We got a fast pass for later in the morning to ride it again after our breakfast.

We had a little more time before breakfast so we headed to Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters.   I enjoy those types of fun shoot 'em games.  And look, I won!

It was time to head to our breakfast reservations.  We had reservations for the Minnie and Friend's Breakfast at Plaza Inn.  We were shown to this very tinny circular table.  Like smaller then a coffee table.  Every time we moved or tried to put something somewhere else things fell off the table.  It was very nerve racking.  We were not too impressed by the whole setup.  We had to get our own drinks, no one came to bus our tables, the bathroom was outside the restaurant in the park, and that table, that itdy bidy table.

But we had fun meeting the characters and the breakfast was good.  The first character we met was Max.  Neither one of us knew who he was, but Kelly had a signature book and he signed it Max.  There was also characters from Winnie the Pooh, my favorite group of Disney characters.  There was Tigger, Eeyore, and Pooh.  Captain Hook, Rafiki, and of course Minnie Mouse.

We then headed back to Hyperspace Mountain for our fast pass time.  We stopped by the Path of the Jedi so we could let our breakfast settle.  The Path of the Jedi is a bunch of clips from all of the Star Wars movies.  After that we headed back to Hyperspace Mountain for another ride.

Once we were done with the ride, we headed over to the Star Wars Launch Bay.  This is were they have a bunch of Star Wars props from the movies and you get to meet Chewie and Darth Vader.  On the way there we followed Storm Troopers.

After we left, we started walking around trying to decide what to do next when we saw the Evil Queen outside the castle.  Of course we had to stop for a photo.  

While we were in line, Peter Pan decided to step in line.

We then headed to It's a Small World.  I have been on this at Disney World, but not Disneyland and not when it's all decorated for Christmas.  I have to say I like it better with all of the Christmas Carols mixed in with the Small World song.  You didn't leave there with the Small World stuck in your head for the rest of the day.  It was fun to see everything in Christmas decoration.

We decided to head to the Pirates of the Caribbean.  On our way there Kelly asked if I had ever done the Sleeping Beauty Castle Walk-through.  I had never even heard of it, so of course we had to do it.  It was a walk up and through the inside of the castle with cubby holes of the Sleeping Beauty story.  We walked by the Haunted Mansion which was closed to take down the Christmas decoration.  Kinda sad.

We really were getting tired by this point, but we had to wait it out till our dinner reservations at Blue Bayou at 4:30.  I know that sounds like an early dinner, but we had been up forever, ran a 5k, and had been in the park since opening.  We were bushed.  And my knee was really hurting.  I don't know if it was from falling earlier that day or my normal knee pain.  Probably a mix of both.  We had another hour or so to burn, so we headed to Critter County.  Kelly had never been through that part of the park so we went to explore.

Neither one of us had ever been on The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, so we decided to ride it.  I love Pooh and his friends.  It was a kid ride that told some of the story of Pooh.

Wasting more time we headed back to Adventureland and went to the Enchanted Tiki Room.  Kelly loves that show and I had never seen it.  She had said that I would either love it or hate it.  I loved it.  It may be do to the fact that I was tired and hungry and was just happy to sit.  But it was fun in a very disturbing way.

It was still a little early, but we headed to Blue Bayou Restaurant.  We were both happy to sit and finally get some food.  Our table really wasn't anywhere near the Pirates ride, so we didn't see much of it, but it's a fun atmosphere.  I had lamb chops with mashed potatoes which was very good.

We headed back to the hotel to get some sleep for another early morning and the 10k race.

Check out my vlog for Disneyland!

Have you been to the Disneyland Park?  What is your favorite ride?  

Linking up with Holly and Tricia's Weekly Wrap Up.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Star Wars Light Side 5k 2017 (Friday Five Edition)

I left off last talking about the Expo on Thursday.  The next morning we were getting up early to run the 5k.  It was a little colder then I thought it would be.  I did look at the weather before I packed, but things change.  So I ended up wearing one of the race shirts instead of the tank top that I brought.  I was glad I did.  I really had no thoughts about this race.  I knew I really wasn't in the mood to run, but I was getting swept up in the fun of a race.  I ended up having a fun time on the run.  Really it was only 3 miles, so why not have fun?  Here are 5 things from the race.

1. We were in Corral A.  The only time I could get into the A corral is for a 5k.  We got right next to the stage so we could have a good view of the entertainment.  The time went by quickly.  They showed the original trailers to the original movies that came out in the 1970's and 80's.  I don't think I had ever seen them, so it was fun to see them.

There was some guy behind us that had his Rebel bib on.  The one that is supposed to get him into the 10k and half, not the 5k.  I'm back and forth on if he wanted to save $80 on the 5k or if he put on the wrong bib by accident.  I'd like to think it was just an accident, but who knows. 

2. My favorite costumes that I saw were of a mother/daughter team.  The daughter was dressed up as Princess Leia in the white gown and her mom was in a yellow slicker.  It was in tribute of Todd Fisher's (Debbie Reynolds' son and Carrie Fisher's brother) drawing he did shortly after they both died.


3.  I fell!  Yes, the klutz that I am, I fell.  I was in Disneyland and came around in a dark area.  It had been raining overnight and the roads were slick.  My foot slipped into the trolley tracks and I went down hard.  Thankfully I didn't skid, so I didn't scratch up my knee.  It did hurt some, but not too bad.  At that point, I was just embarrassed.

4. There were horses on the course!!  So cute and I was happy to get pictures with both of them.  Honestly, I was more excited to see the horses then any other character.

5.  There wasn't much of a line for Chewie.  I wasn't planning on stopping for any characters, but with only 5 people in line, I couldn't resist.  Also, they seem to have a good system down for pictures, after how many years?  They had the official photographer and then 3 cast members that effecently got our cameras/phones and kept the people moving quickly.  I don't know if that was everywhere or every race, but I was impressed with it.

I also saw Boba Fett but he was up on a cross over bridge, so I couldn't get a photo with him.

Bonus - They had a couple of photo opportunities at the start/finish festival.  I got one of them last year, but saw that there were no lines for the other one that I wanted so I jumped in and got it with no waiting.  They had huge lines for the next two days so I am glad I got it after the 5k.

This was a really fun 5k. While it's yet another morning to get up and another race on top of the Rebel Challenge it is a fun one. 

We went back and showered and headed to Disneyland.

Also, check out my vlog for the 5k!

Do you stop for pictures at Disney races?  Do you remember the original trailers for the Star Wars movies?  

I'm linking up with Fairytales and Fitness and Running on Happy for Friday Five 2.0

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Star Wars Light Side Expo 2017 (Tuesdays on the Run Edition)

Last Wednesday I flew into Las Angeles.  I met up with my friend Kelly who is from Ohio and nicely our flights landed right about the same time.  We took a Super Shuttle and headed to the Disneyland Hotel.  Kelly always stays there, but this was my first time staying there.

We settled in and headed to dinner.  We went to Ralph Brennan's Jazz Kitchen.  We went there for dinner last year and had a great meal.  I'm glad that we went back again this year.  

We split the Garlic Cheese Bread and Jambalaya.  I'm glad we decided to split the meal as the bowl is huge and we ended up with the perfect amount each.

The next morning we got up early and headed down to the expo.  By early I mean we got down there a little before 7 and the expo didn't open till 10.  Kelly likes to beat the crowds and I really didn't care and was up way before that because I was still on East Coast time.  It was either hang out in the hotel room, or downstairs with a bunch of other crazy people.

When we got down there there was already a line.  I asked the people in the front what time they got there and they said 6.  They moved us into a conference room where they had tape on the ground to show lines.  Kelly brought thank you cards for Christmas and work and I brought my laptop and watched some shows on Hulu.  The time actually went by really fast.

The line wasn't too long most of the morning.  We think this is because they started a VIP program where you pay and you get early entry into the merchandise (plus a few other things).  We really were not interested in paying for that, plus the other things conflicted with what we had planned.  A bit after 9 you could tell a lot of people had started to flow in.
A little before 10 they started to move us to the expo.  We were the first group that were let into the official merchandise area.  Kelly and I split up the list and she went to the pins and I went to the sweaty bands.  As I was walking through things I could feel the amount of people that were being let in.  It was starting to get crazy.  I could feel the anxiety in the air and it started to get to me.

Kelly and I ducked down in a corner and started going through to see who got what and split up our loot.  We put things back that we got double on and took one more sweep through the merchandise.  It was getting so chaotic in there that I just started grabbing things I might like.

Once everything was purchased we went back up to the room to drop off everything and head back down to get our bibs and look at other expo booths.  We went to the lower level and got everything we needed there.  The Dooney bag, our bibs, and pre-purchased merchandise.  The pre-purchased merchandise included a jacket and a bundle that included a ordainment and tumbler.  The jacket and tumbler were different then anything that they had at the expo but the ordainment was the same.  I ended up returning the jacket as I didn't like it as much as I did of one that I found at the expo.

We headed back upstairs and Kelly got our knee and back taped at the KT booth.  There was only a couple people ahead of us, which is a rarity.  When we went back on Saturday the line was insane.  There wasn't too much else that I saw interesting.  We took a few pictures at different booths.  Got some freebees.

The coolest thing that I got was a drawing done that was personalized.  I saw Kelly at the booth and I went in to see the drawings.  They had the same thing at marathon weekend last year.  I ended up talking to one of the artists there and he was telling me that there were a handful of artists did the drawings and a couple of them are there to personalize.  I ended up picking out one of the pictures done by the artist there that I was talking to.  He helped me decide what to put on the picture and made it really special.

We got our shirts and made our way back to the hotel room.  We saw Pluto on the way back.

Here is some of the loot that I got. I didn't get a good picture of it all but will have more of it in my vlog. 

We went to dinner at Marri's Pizza & Italian Restaurant.  It's right off property and a place I go to every time I go to Disneyland.  I usually stay at the Best Western right next door.  I actually met my friend Candace there a few years back (another story for another post).  

We headed back to get ready for the 5k the next morning. 

Also, check out my vlog for the Expo!

Have you ever gotten to the expo early?  Have you ever stayed at the Disneyland Hotel?  Do you have favorite restaurants that you go to every time in Disneyland?


Monday, January 23, 2017

Boston Strong (Weekly Wrap-up Edition)

So I have been a bit of a recluse since I have been back from California.  I've been ignoring news and internet for the last few days.  I've been working on cleaning out my bedroom.  While it wasn't really dirty, it had a lot of clutter.  I am on a mission to get rid of all the clutter in my house and there was a bit in my bedroom.  I'll finish up my bedroom this week and start focusing on the next room.  Honestly, I am loving my time off.  I just wish I didn't have those pesky bills.

Yesterday a friend wanted to know if I wanted to see Patriots Day with them.  Honestly it was not a movie I wanted to see.  Not because I thought it would be a bad movie, but an emotional one.  But it was a friend I haven't seen in awhile, so I said OK. 

This was a good movie.  It was more about the terrorist and how they were caught then about the race itself.  I've read a lot of stories from runner points of view, but the only thing I knew about the terrorists was the few things I saw on the news when it happened.

The whole movie, I couldn't stop thinking about my friend Lacy who ran that marathon and finished only 6 minutes before the first bomb went off.  About the three people that lost their lives (plus the police officer at MIT).  About those who were hurt and lost their legs. 

This movie was really well done.  It was tense and sad and upsetting.  It is a movie I'm glad I saw, but it is one that I will probably only see this one time.  It is a movie that I think everyone should see once.

Have you seen Patriots Day?  Did you like it?

Linking up with Holly and Tricia's Weekly Wrap Up.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

A Short Weekly Update (Weekly Wrap-up Edition)

This week I spent most of my time in Disneyland participating in the Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend. Here are a few highlights. Full recaps will come in the next few weeks.

First it has been a real fun trip. I'm here with my friend Kelly who I happened to meet here three years ago during Tinkerbell weekend. For the first time I am staying at the Disneyland Hotel and I have to say that it has been very convenient.

The races have been a lot of fun. The 10k was the hardest of the three as I was so tired that everything and everyone irritated me. The half was just as much fun as I remember. 

We went to the Disneyland Park one day. It's been awhile back since I've been to that park as I have gone to California Adventure land last couple times I have been here. We also ate at some great restaurants.  

The Star Wars infused weekend has been a blast for this Star Wars fan. It's great to be around so many fans and characters. I really cannot wait for Star Wars Land to open (picture of the Star Wars land construction). 

Tomorrow I am heading to Universal Studios. I am excited to see the new Harry Potter section. Hopefully I'll get some of the recap posts going quickly as I cannot wait to share this weekend with everyone.

Linking up with Holly and Tricia's Weekly Wrap Up.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Star Wars Light Side Weekend Remembered (Friday Five Edition)

I am currently in Disneyland enjoying the Star Wars Light Side Challenge.  I thought I would share some fun things from last year.

1. I ran Dopey the week before and I still ran all three races for the Light Side Challenge.

Three Star Wars and four Dopey

2. I met up with my friend Candace and her husband and my friend Kelly.  Both whom I met separately at Tinkerbell in 2014.

Candace and me

3. They had some fun props to take pictures with before the race.  For those of you that don't know Star Wars very well, this is a scene from Empire Strikes Back where Luke was taken by the Wampa and held in his cave.

4. Kelly and I had breakfast at Goofy's Kitchen after the 5k.  It's becoming a tradition when we go to Disneyland.

5. The half marathon was the most fun I've had in a race.  And this is from someone that ran Dopey the week before.  There is a group of Cos Players that dress up and come out and watch the half.  And take pictures with the runners.  They make the race even more fun.

R2D2 and me

Do you have restaurants where you always go when you are in Disney?  What is your favorite runDisney race?

I'm linking up with Fairytales and Fitness and Running on Happy for Friday Five 2.0