2016 In Review

And here we are, once again. The Year In Review.

2016 was quite a year. Let’s take a look back…

I kicked off the year with a new car and my #AreWeThereYet road trip to Disney World for WDW Marathon weekend. (I deemed my “revenge race” after failing to finish the 2015 Marine Corps Marathon). I entered the weekend feeling rather miserable and isolated and nervous…and left feeling fulfilled and fuzzy inside; I attended my first runner meetup with We Run Social, and I joined Team Shenanigans. I learned that runner camaraderie can really pull you out of a funk in about five seconds. All it takes is love, laughter, a margarita and a spin around Mexico.

I didn’t know it at the time, but at a Kappa Kappa Psi meetup the night before the marathon (where it was raining cats and dogs), I would meet a Life Member who would eventually adopt me as his new Little. (Long story short: when you’re a colonist for your chapter, you don’t necessarily get a Big, so you’re kinda on your own to figure everything out.) Chris is a major piece of my 2016 story, on fraternal/professional/friendship levels. He claimed, “You look like you need a Big Brother”, and history took off from there. We have traveled many places this year, had many deep talks about life, and there are more adventures in store in the coming future. I encouraged him to start running, and his first race was the Dark Side 10K. He paced me for an 8:55 mile in March (even on my bum knee from GSC weekend), we ran our first race together in October (Run For The Badge, right here in D.C.), and I paced him for the Everglades Half Marathon in November. We have several races lined up for 2017, including the WDW Half and the Rock ‘n’ Roll D.C. Marathon (his first full!).


One of the biggest highlights of my year came with the penning of the Princess Half Marathon Survival Guide. I have a knack for telling stories and writing how-to guides (it’s the internal teacher in me). 2016 was my fourth PHM and third Glass Slipper Challenge. I was reading on many groups about how many firsties were freaking out about the little things, and knew I had to do something to assuage and educate them that there was nothing to really be concerned about. The series became a huge success, and I received many thank yous from readers while attending meetups and while on the course during the races!

A major goal of 2016 was to PR in my races, especially the half marathon (which I have now deemed my distance). I went into PHM weekend aiming for a sub-3 hour half…and ended up with my second worst half to date. I dealt with GI issues the entire week leading up to the race and during, and it affected my performance for both races. (Note: fiber is your friend!) I also left that weekend was an injury to my left knee (runner’s knee), and it stalled my Run the Year 2016 efforts for a month and a half….

…but 2016 also yielded many athletic firsts: sporting Sparkle Skirts (#BeAwesome, Team Sparkle!), volunteering for races, cheering for runners during Marine Corps Marathon, and running 5Ks/virtual races. This year yielded to eleven medals (with a twelfth and thirteenth on the way), my first finisher mug, a couple of personal records, so many fun memories, and eyes to 2017.

 

The travel bug bit once again, and I found myself traveling: Pennsylvania (I surprised Chris for his birthday with tickets for Eastern State Penitentiary’s Terror Behind the Walls experience), Florida (because Food and Wine/Flower and Garden/Halloween Horror Nights/Everglades Half racecation), and a road trip to Georgia (wedding time!!).

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My travels were not quite as diverse as 2014 or 2015, but I’m still glad I escaped the rat race that is Washington D.C. Speaking of D.C., I finally ended up getting my first legit job almost a year after graduating graduate school. After my job search in the higher ed/student affairs department yielded a big goose egg, I am now currently in the hospitality/food and beverage industry (which is far more intricate and intense than one may realize). It’s still not my dream career, but I’m trying to make it work the best that I can. It definitely has its ups and downs, and but I am semi-content with where I am at the moment. How much longer I stay here working in such a large city, I really do not know. I’ve come to terms that I am not a city girl at all, and I so much prefer a rural, quiet life. I am often riddled with anxiety and stress that sometimes affects my performance, but I have a great team of managers and staff that have my back and keep me sane.

I made my way up to Edinboro this fall to watch the latest class of Kappa Kappa Psi brothers get inducted for my chapter. While there, I was officially presented with the “Miss Nu Zeta” award for “unswerving support of the organization and members since the founding of the chapter”. What can I say…I love my brothers, and am still incredibly honored to have made such an impact on the organization that it yielded to an accolade of sorts. 🙂

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I am very much looking forward to 2017. There are some big events on the horizon, such as four marathons (yes, four…with focus on the Chicago Marathon!), runDisney funtimes, Kappa Kappa Psi National Convention in Orlando, and turning the big 3-0 in June!


Thanks for following along with me this year! If you ever have a topic that you would like me to write about, don’t hesitate to suggest it. I’m always looking for fun things to write about (runDisney or otherwise). Have a fantastic New Year’s, and I will see you in 2017 from the place Where Dreams Come True!

Fireworks WMK II

❤ Christina ❤

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WDW Marathon Weekend Corrals and Waivers

Ladies and gentlemen, runners of all ages…

It’s that time of year. I’m not talking about Christmas or other wintery holidays…

It’s runDisney season!!!

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We have about 17 days until the Super Bowl of runDisney occurs down in Walt Disney World. WDW Marathon weekend is in its 24th year, and will encompass four races and two challenges throughout the weekend: WDW 5K, WDW 10K, WDW Half Marathon, and WDW Marathon; Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge, and the Dopey Challenge. 2017 is special in that we will be celebrating the 20th anniversary of the half marathon!

 

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XX = Roman numeral for 20, for those that are confused by the design.

Yesterday, the corrals and waivers were released, and runners will be able to access their bib numbers and corral placements. Now, for those that are seasoned runDisney veterans, they’re already out and cruising towards Magic Kingdom (i.e. they already know what to do). If you’re a newbie, don’t panic! I’m here to help make this as painless and simple as possible. Here is what you do!

 


  1. Click this link. It will take you to your waiver: WDW Marathon Weekend Waiver
  2. When you arrive to the page, enter your last name and DOB.
  3. Your waiver will pop up. If you have a printer, print it out and sign it. If you don’t, you can print it out at the expo.

Your bib number will be at the bottom of the page, along with your age and shirt size. Using this bib number, look up your corral for your race: 2017-wdw-half-corrals2017-wdw-marathon-corrals2017-goofy-corrals2017-dopey-corralsNow, for those running the challenge runs (Goofy and Dopey), things are a little different for you. I consulted by BRF, Jess, for this information!

“Goofy and Dopey bibs have two corral letters, right? Or is that just Dopey? -me

“Goofy only has one so you are in the same corral for half and full. Dopey has two bibs: one for the 5k and 10k, the other for half and full. You are in the same corral for half and full for Dopey. You’re also in the same starting corral for the 5k and 10k for Dopey, too, but you don’t find that out until the expo :)” -Jess

So there ya go. Dopey = 2 bibs, 2 letters. Everyone else = 1 bib.

5Kers…You’ll notice there is no timing chip on your bib. It’s an untimed race, but you are still in a corral. Just run to have fun!

One last note: no matter if you print your waiver now or at the expo, you better make sure you have your ID with you when you retrieve your bib and race packet. Have it out and ready to go so you’re not fishing around and fumbling with your stuff when you get there.


Personal notes:

-I’ll be running the Goofy Challenge this year! I’ll be in Corral J for both races.

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Looks like a Reese’s Cup to me!

 

-I will be driving to Florida instead of flying.

-I’m tinkering with the idea of a WDW Marathon Survival Guide. For those that have read my Princess Half Survival Guide series, you know that it is catered to those that are first-timers/newbies. Are there any topics that you would like to see me elaborate on/write about that are tailored for the WDW Marathon weekend?


Happy training and traveling! Have a great holiday season!img_1808

 

See You In Chicago! 

Woke up to some very happy news this morning: I’M RUNNING THE CHICAGO MARATHON!!!!

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After being rejected by NYC, London, and Berlin, it’s nice to finally have some good luck coming my way with regard to race lotteries. The ChiMarathon will actually be my THIRD full for 2017, along with the Walt Disney World Marathon (January) and the RnR DC Marathon (March).

This is also a great way to begin my journey of becoming a World Marathon Major Six-Star Finisher!

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Will I be seeing you next October?!

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Everglades Half: Trifecta and Club Challenges

“Everglades terrain can be summed up like so: sawgrass, sawgrass, sawgrass, water, water, water, BERRY PLANT!, sawgrass, sawgrass, sawgrass, BIRDS!, sawgrass, sawgrass, sawgrass…

If that doesn’t make it on your blog, there’s something wrong with you. :P” -Chris

After the Everglades Half, Chris and I traversed around the surrounding areas and explored all what the Everglades had to offer. Vacation Races does a great job in providing extra incentive to those who go above and beyond just running the races; there are a variety of clubs and challenges that, when completed, can offer a great reward in the name of race discounts!

For this race weekend, there was a Trifecta Challenge that consisted of…

  1. Picture with a gator
  2. Walking the Anhinga Boardwalk Trail
  3. Swimming in Biscayne Bay

With medals and bibs visible as proof that you accomplished the challenge and had run the race, a 20% discount for next year’s race entry!

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Gator picture! (as per my last post)
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Anhinga Boardwalk! photo cred: Chris
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Biscayne Bay! photo cred: Chris

For the even more adventurous, there are Club Hikes that one could participate in, as well. Completion of these hikes results in a 50% off discount for the following year’s race!

Chris and I signed up for the Slough Slug Club (which is a guided hike through–legitimately through–the Everglades with an NPS ranger), which turned out to be a ton of fun! Our tour through the River of Grass (and mud and algae and all kinds of stuff…yay nature!) resulted in no shoes being lost, me taking a swim trying to get OUT of the ‘glades, and lots of laughs:

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We also had the privilege of going on an airboat ride (to join the Airboat Club) that was guided by a member of the Miccosukee Indian Village. Now THIS was a blast! We got up close and personal with a lot of gators, birds, and even visited a hidden village tucked away in the depths of the ‘glades…

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More pictures coming soon!