My running top 10 must haves

Running gear, running gear how do I love thee? I watch Youtube videos about you, walk and stare at you countless times at fleet feet, mind stroll through amazon reading reviews and endlessly searching on Instagram for the newest little gadget. Runners are notorious for taking a “cheap” and “easy” sport and turning it into an expensive hobby with some fancy gear but in my opinion certain things are necessary.

10. Sweaty bands. I LOVE headbands. In fact on days when I don’t wear a headband to train my clients say “no headband today?” It’s a bit of an obsession, but I always feel a little bit more put together when I have one, mostly because I spend my days in workout clothes. I love them so much that I always pack them for my RunDisney race-cations to keep my hair out of my face in the parks.

9. Balega socks
I am OBSESSED with Balega socks. I won’t run in anything else. From the cute colors to the cushy bottoms, they are all I will buy. They normally cost 12 dollars a pair, but some I’ve had for years and they have yet to wear thin.

8. Zella running capris
I used to run in really expensive running leggings and I recently found the brand Zella at Nordstrom which has totally changed my workout gear. Most come in a tigh compression, which I prefer over saggy bottoms while running, some have really cute cutouts and colors as well. I, as most runners do, went out and bought every color in the same style in order to not wear mine down. I brought a few pairs to Dopey weekend to wear to the parks as well!

7. Honey stinger waffles, dried cherries, larabars
Ahhhh running snacks. We all have our favorites, right? With that, we runners always think certain flavors or brands make us perform better. Sure some of that might be true, but some of it is also the love of the ritual. Running is all about ritual. What you will and won’t do, eat or won’t eat before a training run or race. The best thing you can do is practice exactly how you’ll eat on race day. If you’re all about chocolate gu, don’t use a race morning as a day to test a new flavor. I personally can only have gels without caffiene and I love going the more natural route like dried fruit and nuts. My favorite combo while waiting for a big race to start (anything longer than a 10k) is to pair dried cherries and frosted mini wheats. When you compete at the Dopey Challenge, you have to sit and wait in the corrals for almost two hours so eating back at the hotel and waiting until the fireworks go off is WAY too long to wait to get some fuel in you. Lucky for me, the full marathon course at WDW will have two banana stops and two clif shot stops so I already know what types of snacks I need to practice my long runs with.

6. Hair bling!
When running, I let my inner child come out for sure! Half the fun is getting into a theme and seeing what others come up with! And hey, if you have to be running miles and miles you might as well feel like a princess!

5. Sparkle Athletic skirts
As mentioned before, running with a theme is 10 times for fun! These little splashes of sparkle are perfect to wear over running capris or shorts. In fact, my Dopey challenge buddy (shout out, Kaitlin!) and I are almost done deciding which colors we will need for our four day race!

4. Nathan Hydration vest
I currently do not have one, but since Ragnar relay races do not provide cups, I’m thinking of finally biting the bullet and purchasing one. They have spaces for water as well as keys and snacks – basically everything you need while running. I love this mint green one so much I texted my husband and mom with a “hint hint” caption. So mom, if you read these – don’t forget my birthday is August 14th.

3. Recovery items
I highly recommend trigger point foam rollers, balls, and the rolling sticks. The balls and sticks are perfect for travel as well and key while training! I love that the rollers come in different colors, because….PINK!

2. Garmin Forerunner 230
This is my second Garmin, and I love it! It’s helpful to see my pace and I love that it records your times so the random runs where you see “personal record!” really keeps you motivated.

1. My shoes! Duh!
I normally run in Asics religously (as seen below). Since I’ve been having so many hip flexor issues I’ve been looking to find any solution to help. A running buddy of mine, Renee (Shout out! Love you, friend!) recommended the Hoka Clifton 3, which I recently purchased. Glad to say so far so good! They are a very neutral shoe and so far, they seem to be helping! I will for sure still run in my first loves, but it’s nice to switch it up every once in a while.

Days until:
Disneyland Half Marathon 19.3 miles – 88
Ragnar Napa – 152
The Dopey Challenge 48.6 miles – 213
The Princess Half Marathon weekend 22.4 miles – 262
The Tinkerbell Half Marathon weekend 22.4 miles – 340

Running in memory and keeping a positive road ahead

Today was the 35th anniversary of the Fair Oaks run in Sacramento, CA. My father in law had this marked on his calendar for him and I do together as the last short run before my Tinkerbell Half Marathon weekend. Since, sadly, he passed away we all decided to go and do it in memory.

Even Emma came along for the ride!

We took it easy just as something we could do together, nothing competitive. I’m so glad we all decided to do it.


The best part – you won’t even believe it – Ryan wants to start doing some small races with me! I’m so excited! Maybe on some level, this gave Ryan a small part of his dad’s love for running. Wouldn’t that be amazing that if after all of this, Ryan picked up the running right where his dad left off.

With my last short run over with, I have some packing to do and some last minute workouts. Since everyone is supposed to be tapering down on their workouts and running, I’m only running two small 3 miles runs on Tuesday and Thursday with a boot camp class in between. Now that the suitcases are pulled out, it’s time to pack away! Along with all of the regular things you need for Disneyland here are my running essentials and tips:

1. Wake up the day or two days prior around the time you will wake up on race day. Not only will this help you reset your clock a bit but by waking early and not napping, you will be SO tired come 8 pm and hopefully it will be easy for you to think happy thoughts and drift off to sleep. Since I have to train people very morning at 6am this week, it’s my goal to be in bed my 8pm. Race time starts at 5 am for the 5k on Friday, and 5:30 am for the 10K and half marathon on Saturday and Sunday. If you’re running the Pixie Dust challenge like me, you’ll be up for both the 10k and half marathon. On race day, I set my alarm for 3:30 am, and that usually gives me enough time to dress up, stretch, sip some coffee and eat half of my breakfast (I eat half around 4am and the other half on the walk over).

2. Pack food! I can not stress this enough – do not, I repeat do NOT eat anything new on race day before, during, or immediately after the race. I’m a bagel and peanut butter girl all the way. There’s no need for me to start with oatmeal randomly the day of my half marathon. I suggest you pack what you normally like or find a grocery store near your hotel the day before. With waking up earlier than normal, you’re body is a little thrown off so it’s best not to try anything new that will upset your stomach. My favorite things to bring with us to any RunDisney race weekend are: apples, bananas, organic chocolate milk (GREAT recovery drink when you get back to the hotel), sprouted grain bagels, natural peanut butter, dried fruit, and Quest protein bars. Obviously I won’t be eating all of that before the race, but if you’re racing multiple days, it’s a good idea to keep your diet healthy until the races are over. Even though I would love to be fueled by churros, it probably isn’t the best choice.

Just a spoonful of sugar helps the run go faster!
Just a spoonful of sugar helps the run go faster!

3. Fuel during your race. Luckily, if you forget yours, Clif supplies some energy gel between miles 8 and 9 just in case you run out. During the 10k, I usually don’t need anything but my phone for music and pictures. The course for the 10k is so lovely and fun, and it’s over so fast which leaves me no time to stop and eat. I will be doing all of that at the Storyteller’s Cafe right after!

4. “Forget the glass slipper, this princess wears running shoes!” For challenge weekends where you are running back to back days, I highly suggest bringing one pair of shoes for each day. I have two pairs in the exact same brand and style, just one for the 10K and one for the half. The reason is, if it rains and your shoes are soaking wet, they probably won’t have time to dry in just one day. I also notice that by changing shoes, the padding isn’t worn down from the day before.

5. Costumes! This is the best part, right? This was such a fun thing for me to plan, I’m sure I will have a ton of photos of my outfits for the race recap but I’ll let you in on the secret now, for the 10K I am going to be Minnie Mouse and for the half I found the cutest Sleeping Beauty running skirt! I must stress the point that just like fuel, you should never test out new costumes the day of the race. One false move (or thousands of running strides later) you could end up chaffed and tangled! So maybe a few weeks before your race, take it out for a test drive. Run a few miles with that tutu. If you’re like me at the Disneyland Half Marathon weekend last year, you’ll find out your tutu needs a severe hair cut! You don’t want to be messing with that thing for 13.1 miles. I like to pack mine in separate ziploc bags as well. Everything from underwear to socks are all nicely folded in one bag so when 3:30am rolls around, it’s a no brainer as to where you put your leggings!

Don't you just love the peek of the castle behind us?
Don’t you just love the peek of the castle behind us?

6. Sunblock, sunglasses, and a hat. This is probably pretty obvious since the race takes place in Southern California, but you’d be surprised how many times I forgot one of these things. A hat is a good option here because around mile 4, you might be sweating so much you have sunblock dripping in your eyes! I prefer the sunblock (forehead down), sunglasses, and hat option. Or who knows, you could even put a pair of Mickey ears up there to block the sun!

7. Emergen-C – In case of an emergency of course! I always bring a packet for myself and Ryan to have each morning with breakfast. Walking the parks all day and going to bed with too little of sleep always gets your immune system down so I try to be one step ahead.

Well friends, there you have it! My go to packing list for any RunDisney vacation. I know once Dopey rolls around, I might have a few things here and there to add, but for now, this is it! I’m so excited for this race and to bring home THREE new shiny medals!
Our first stop with the Monster's Inc gang!