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

The Disneyland 10K

Before I had my little girl, I could run like it was nothing. Sure it was a pain to go get out there and do a 10 mile run, but I could do it if I really wanted to. Even though I worked out my entire pregnancy, nothing was harder than getting back in the swing of things. Not to mention, breastfeeding leaves a a few pounds on the body until you ween (yeah, that’s something I didn’t know before – haha!) so actually running with extra weight unlike my pre-pregnancy body self has made it all the more difficult. I did run one half marathon at 4 months postpartum which in my opinion, was harder than labor. Hey, no one hands you a beautiful baby at the end of a half marathon, all you get is a banana.

So in January when I signed up for the Disneyland Dumbo Double Dare, I thought what a perfect goal to set for myself! The Double Dare is a 19.3 mile run; a 10K on Saturday and a half marathon on Sunday. My two friends and I started training about three months ahead by doing short runs during the week and then two back to back run on the weekend to get our bodies used to running so frequently. If I’m being totally honest, I could have been more strict on how often I ran but getting into this new routine of baby and running has sometimes left me a little frazzled.

We drove down to Anaheim on Friday for race bib pick up and the usual purchases of fun RunDisney stuff. If my husband didn’t get ahold of my wallet, I probably would have spent all my money on Sweaty Bands! We did snag a few to match our costumes for the race. After bib pick up, it was a quick dinner and off to bed for our 4am wake up call.

4am rolled around, with having everything all ready the night before it was a quick change of clothes, pumping for the baby, a banana, and out the door! I of course packed some gu which I never run without. Make sure to always train with fuel you plan to run with. Trying a new snack or breakfast the day of could really upset your body. Since it was SO humid we made sure we hydrated all week. We got to our corral around 5:25am (start time was 5:30) and we defiantly made a mental note to get there a bit earlier the following day. After the beautiful national anthem and the fireworks, the race started. The great thing about RunDisney is that it attracts the most positive of people. As we started running, everyone had either something really funny to say or something really motivating. Our favorite was one guy’s sarcastic comments of “oh my gosh guys, are we running?! I didn’t train! Isn’t this the line for Disneyland?” Nothing like a little laugh at 5am to get you into the mood to run.


Our costumes for the 10k - Piglet, Tigger, and Eeyore
Our costumes for the 10k – Piglet, Tigger, and Eyore
Miles 2-3 inside of California Adventures
Miles 2-3 inside of California Adventures

In usual Disneyland course fashion, we started mile 1 on the streets outside of Disney, weaving slowly into California Adventutres. Each mile marker fit the theme, Lilo and Stitch, buy having Hawaiian music and an Elvis look alike singing along. Since Stitch really isn’t my thing, we passed up the picture stops to just keep running. We did however get the classic castle picture around Mile 4, because well…it’s Disneyland!

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Right before passing Mile 4, we needed to get a good shot of us with Dumbo to celebrate our THREE medals we were aiming for!

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After coming around the back of Disneyland, passing Splash Mountain we ended up running through Downtown Disney to the finish line. The streets were full of people cheering on. Not just for people they knew, but for everyone. Over and over we kept hearing “We are proud of you! Keep going!” which made us smile ear to ear. Shortly after the race had started, it was all over. The first of three medals around our necks, bananas and water in hand, we made our trek back to the hotel to spend the day in the pool. Only a few more hours until our big day was upon us!
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