A Day Late, A Workout Short Plus Some Thursday Random Acts of Fitness
Low Impact Recovery Day On The Way To Swimming This Week & Of Course Some Random Acts of Fitness For This Monday

My runDISNEY Springtime Surprise Not So Perfect Definitely Not A Challenge Weekend Report

My runDISNEY Springtime Surprise Not So Perfect Definitely Not A Challenge Weekend Report

Welcome to my runDISNEY Springtime Surprise Not So Perfect Definitely Not A Challenge Weekend Report.  This post will almost be a turn by turn definitive guide to yet another Disney Adventure.  Okay maybe not so turn by turn and by no means a definitive guide more like another one of my rambling posts that go on and on for what may seem like 19.3 miles.  

First the very basics and I’ll start with What Is A runDisney event.  According to the runDisney website:

runDisney is a series of themed weekends that take place at Walt Disney World in Florida, Disneyland in California, and Disneyland in Paris. The weekends feature races through the Disney parks, including marathons, half marathons, 10Ks, 5Ks, Kids Adventures, and multi race challenges. 

RunDisney events are popular with beginners, returning runners, and experienced runners. The events are inclusive, with cut-off times and a welcoming atmosphere. Runners receive commemorative medals, magical entertainment, and special moments with Disney characters.

Each year or season starts off in November with the Wine & Dine Weekend with a 5K, 10K and Half Marathon and concludes with the Star Wars Half Marathon in April.  Umm…correction concludes with the Springtime Surprise Weekend that ends in April.  The Star Wars Half Marathon ended in 2021 with a Virtual Only Weekend.  When in-person runDisney Weekends came back the April Races became the Springtime Surprise Weekend with different Disney IP for the various runs.  In 2022 the theme for the 5k was Expedition Everest, for the 10K it was Race for the Taste (Ratatouille inspired) and wrapped up the weekend with The Twilight of Terror 10 Miler.  It must have been a bigger hit then Star Wars Half Weekend as Springtime Surprise came back in 2023.  This time the theme for the 5K was inspired by the Cars films, the 10K was inspired by Monsters, Inc and the 10 miler was inspired by Buzz Lightyear of Toy Story.  

I for one still miss the Star Wars Half Marathon Weekends and would wish they would come back even for one race during the Springtime Surprise Weekend.  Oh and I’m not alone as many people wore Star Wars themed costumes during this past weekend’s Springtime Surprise.

Oh and back to this year.   For 2024 the themes for the Springtime Surprise Weekend had a   Neverland (Peter Pan) inspired 5k, an Adventure Is Out There (Pixar’s Up) theme for the 10k and to wrap the weekend up a Hakuna Matata (Lion King) themed 10-miler.  I only ran the 10K as I did in 2023.  I skipped 2022 in fact it had been a few years since my last runDisney Weekend.  I will admit I got to the point a few years ago that I didn’t want to wake up a 2:30am to run any race with any theme.  Fast forward a few years and I wake up at 3:30am most days so I didn’t have that excuse any more.  So I took a big sip of the runDisney Kool-Aide and will be running at least a 10K in each of the runDisney events for the 2024 - 2025 Season.  

Now onto my thoughts from this whole weekend from the Expo, to the course and even up to when I wake up Monday morning and go to work wearing my not so hard earned but still earned 10K medal for #MedalMonday.

Expo Day Or The Beginning of Four Days, One Park And Zero Rides IMG_5996Since I live about seventy minutes from WDW I decided that on Thursday I’d teach my 30 minute Spin Class at 6:15am then go home to get ready to drive down. The plan was to be on the road by 7:30am but my math skills are not the best and that was not nearly enough time to eat, shower and pack the car.  So I ended up leaving after 8am knowing that at 8:30am I needed to access MyDisneyExperience App to get into the 8:30am Virtual Queue for the Merchandise Shop.  Yes, it’s Disney so there is a Virtual Queue to spend your money.  So while driving on the turnpike I was able to get in the queue to start my shopping a little after 11am.  Not too bad I thought.  I continued my drive right to the ESPN World of Sports or WOS for short.  As I pulled into the parking lot I thought to myself that it didn’t look to crowded.  I was even able to be inside for the pick up line for bibs.  I was feeling really confident about getting dibs on good merchandise when my virtual queue for shopping came up.  I got my bib and got in line for a few character photo ops and ran into a friend of a friend in line. Then it was on to almost shopping.  Myself and about a hundred of people huddled up in any shade that we could find as we watched our phones to see our virtual queue to be called.  In my case I got to watch a 20 minute wait turn to a 30 minute wait and finally about 45 minutes after my estimated queue time was able to go inside and line up for merchandise. One inside the “showroom floor” it was clear to see that the Ebay-resellers had been in already.  All of the pins that resemble the medals for the races were all sold out.  Even most of the themed pins were sold out as was most of the Passholder merchandise.  Ugh.  Ebay re-sellers should be banned from Disney property.  Now I did buy one themed 10k pin, a runDisney Loungefly backpack and the Springtime Surprise track jacket.  I learned a valuable lesson this year and that is to pre-purchase what you can before hand.  When you register for the event they have some merchandise available to purchase before hand. I’ve already purchased the pin bundles and jackets for 2024 Wine Dine and 2025 WDW Marathon Weekend for what I’m running.  

Acadian House - Shhh!  The Best Kept Secret

IMG_6082After the expo it was time to head to my hotel Port Orleans Riverside.  I hadn’t stayed at this resort in six or seven years and forgot how charming it is.  Now it doesn’t have a Beignet Ice Cream Sunday but it’s a short trip to find those at French Quarter.  That was the second thing I did once I got to the resort and my room wasn’t ready.  Once my room was ready I headed to the food court to eat again but this time just a burger, fries and a grapefruit beer.  By then I was beat since I’ve been up since 3:30am so it was early to sleep for me.  As the weekend went on I realized that I had the best kept runDisney secret and that was staying a Riverside at the Acadian House area.  Being single I requested just a king bed room with no other beds and to be on the first floor near the hospitality building.  I am not carrying luggage upstairs in my old age of 54.  Hell no! Little did I know how close not only was hospitality house but how close parking and two pools would be to my room.  I’m requesting this for every runDisney event going forward.  Well except next falls Food WIne Half as I’m already staying at Old Key West using DVC points.  

Day Two of Four Days, One Park And Zero Rides

47654CDD-0C5C-4510-8226-98CF808B2FB8Friday I was up and at the food court at 7am for my Mickey Waffles.  After that it was back to my room before heading out of the bubble to get in a swim practice at the Rosen JCC.  Once back in the bubble I took the Disney Transportation Bus to Hollywood Studios.  I shopped a bit looking for more Disney Nike Polo’s but didn’t find any but did find some sort of Adventure Is Out There Up themed crossbody bag before eating some of the best steak fries at any Disney Park restaurant at the ABC Commissary.  I’ll be back for those.  Oh the CM made a somewhat funny joke about my date of birth since I was born on Valentine's Day he joked after I gave my name that I should have said "Valentino".  I didn't get the Disney reference to later but Valentino is a character in the Disney film WISH.  After that it was time to go home so I could get to bed early for my 2am wake up call. 

The Aurora Princess Ring I Mean Oura Ring The Revolutionary Way To Know You Didn’t Sleep At Enough or Day Three of Four Days, One Park And Zero Rides

I got zero sleep Friday night.  Zero, nada, zip, nothing.  I am so F’ked!   I don’t know why as I slept great on Thursday.  But now when it the night that I need to wake up early, get on a bus at 3am and then run a 10k at 5am I don’t sleep?  Ugh!  I had everything ready the night before so I got up, showered ate my Oats Overnight, got dressed and headed to the bus with two waters.  One was just water and the other some pre-workout to drink before I started running.  

Dear Fitness Corporate America - Big Mistake. Big. Huge. I Have To Go Running Now

From some time after 3am to about 4am runners and guests have an opportunity to stand in long lines for a few character photo ops and listen to a pre-pre-show hyping us all up for the run.  The pre-pre-show has some interviews, some videos and some line dancing songs that we all should know or at the very least have heard once at a wedding.  During one of the man-on-the-street interviews a participant was asked what was their training to which she responded “Orangetheory”.  The host of the pre-pre-show then  filled the audience in what Orangetheory or OTF was.  What a big huge free advertisement for the brand.  Someone needs to call OTF/AF corporate team and get them to be a runDisney sponsor.  Now that we know a lot of OTF’ers or the Orange Cult go to runDisney events why did OTF schedule their annual DRI-TRI Weekend the same weekend as a runDisney event?  I bet thousands or hundreds or maybe 3 OTF’ers had to make the difficult choice of runDisney and a cool medal or Dri-Tri for a plastic throw-away medal.  Dear Fitness Corporate America do not program to compete with a runDisney event.  Doing so is a Big Mistake. Big Huge.  

Caution Athletes, Walkers Ahead!  Taking It Slow?  Stay To The Right And Go With The Flow.

IMG_6136After a great picture ops with Russel, Doug, Lilo and Stitch it was time to walk, jog and run through the 10K.  I haven’t really been running much as I had some injury in my ankle starting back in January.  Actually let’s back it up to last March.  Once I started working out at this other gym I stopped running after my workout and would just take Peloton Bike+ Classes at home.  Since I then signed up for this 10K I started to run at the gym using the Peloton app for running by taking Tread Classes.  But that ended shortly as I was injured running one Saturday in January.  It wasn’t until February I started again but only 20 minute Beginner Run classes that were mostly Walk/Run.  At the very worst I would just get in one of those famous Jeff Galloway Method of Walk / Run programs.  

Everybody Loves Carl

IMG_6203I started off jogging at a 12 minute pace but didn’t know how long I would be able to sustain this pace without my ankle causing me pain.  Would I get swept by the dreaded Balloon Ladies if my ankle got that bad?  Is this the end of my return to runDisney races for me?  It can’t be as I’m signed up for more.  Now the balloon ladies sweep when you fall behind them and the 16 minute pace so 12 should keep me safe with character photo stops.  But how many character photo stops can I do with a 12 minute pace.  I set my apple watch app to warn me when I fell behind the 16 minute pace.  This will allow me to stop for the fun character photos but not get swept up by the balloon ladies.  Boy did I feel good for that first mile and the second mile.  Any slight twitch of the ankle made me work on my foot as it hit the ground to fall on the ball of my foot. This made it a pretty much pain-free 2 mile run.  I kept running to about 2.4 miles when I had already passed a few other character stops before seeing the long long line to meet Carl Frederickson.  I had to stop after all I was dressed up like Carl with bushy eyebrows sticking out of my big plastic glasses.  

Jogging at a 12 mile pace or a pace of 5 miles per hour.  Power Walkers 3.5 to 4.5 miles per hour, Joggers 4.5 to 5.5 miles per hour and Runners at 5.5 miler per hour or higher, we get to Base Pace in 3…2…1…BASE PACE.  Did I mention I use to be a Coach at Orange Theory?  Well I was for a short period of time.  Loved it but didn’t work with my full time job.  Anyways I was looking at my watch most of the time keeping in the 12 minute pace or Base Pace for joggers.  I’m not ashamed to be a jogger!  

You Better Ask Your GPS, I Ain’t The One To Address

IMG_5924As anyone who has ever driven on a highway we all know the left lane is for passing and if you are driving in the left lane and you are being passed by people on the right that means you must pull over to the left.  In some states it’s against the law to be driving i the left lane when you are not passing other cars.  The same is for running any race at any pace.  But for some reason the run-walkers and walkers somehow forget that.  You can even look at various social media posts after the 10K and 10-miler with both sides yelling at each other.  The faster folks complaining about walkers on the left side and the walkers complaining about runners running on the right side.  By the way the only reason why runners are on the right side is because a bunch of walkers are on the left side.  As someone who does my best to look around me when passing people to make sure I’m not stepping in front of someone running faster than me I get super frustrated at people slower then me on the left of me.  runDisney courses have some very narrow parts on the courses so it makes it that much more frustrating.  I’ll also admit some times my elbows get a big rigid and I may poke you if I’m forced to squeeze in between walkers on the left side.  At some point around mile three I got an “Excuse Me” as I brushed by a walker.  I wanted to be all Iggy Azalea and say “You Better Ask Your GPS, I Ain’t The One To Address” or more likely be all Ludacris and say “Move Bitch Get Out Da Way.”  The moral of the story - Taking It Slow?  Stay To The Right And Go WIth The Flow.

Danger Wilbur Robinson, Who’s That Again?

IMG_6196From 2.4 mile on I was back at my OTF Jogger Base Pace.  I kept it up to my next stop at about 4.1 miles with Lewis Robinson from Meet The Robinsons.  Now I swear when I ran by this stop I saw Wilbur Robinson and not Lewis Robinson but when I got to the front it was Lewis.  Maybe it was jogging for 4.1 miles when the longest I’ve run in at least a year was for 3 minutes at a time.  After the pix I went on my way with my sharp elbows at my Base Pace.

Who Hurt Duffy?

IMG_6205I knew Duffy was somewhere around mile 5 as I heard other runners get CIA like information from faster runners ahead of us.  I just had to keep going.  No ankle pain so Base Pace it was.  Up to 5.5 miles and Duffy.  One of my biggest incentives of this weekend was the chance of the Duffy photo op.  Backstory I regret never stopping when he was at Epcot everyday.  At that point in time I was probably at Epcot at least once a week and I never stopped.  It wasn’t to after he was gone that I realized how great Duffy truly is.  Dear Disney, BRING BACK DUFFY!  Knowing that Duffy was at the Princess Half Weekend I so hoped I would finally get my chance for my photo with Duffy.  Once CIA Intelligence informed me that Duffy was around mile 5 I was determined to be there even if I had to skip Goofy and other photo ops.  The line was long but my Base Pace kept me ahead of the dreaded Balloon Ladies. Once it was my turn I don’t think Duffy realized I was already standing next to him.  He looked shooked and the photo looks like someone touched Duffy in the No-Touch-Zone.  The one and and only photo I got of Duffy and I and it looks like I had touched him in his No-Touch-Zone.  If only the CM who took my phone to take a picture or two had actually taken a picture.  In these lines you run up, up get your photo and then you run so the next people get their chance.  It’s quicker than quick.  I guess I not only shooked Duffy I must have shooked the CM as they took no pictures.  When I started running and looked at my phone and saw no photos I was partially devastated but I knew the Photopass picture would be there later.  Oh boy that photo pass picture.  I’m sorry Duffey, I don’t know who hurt you but I will get our revenge someday.  To who ever hurt Duffy just know you are on my list.  When Duffy says No it means No.  Nobody touches my Duffy.  By the way I am kidding I did see a few other social media pix of Duffy and he was in the same pose in the other photos.  Phew!  Duffy is okay after all.

Try Everything

IMG_6210After Duffy I was back to my OTF Jogger Base Pace skipping another photo off, running past my favorite store Creations and down past Cosmic Rewind.  And then I hear my favorite song from the good old Move It! Shake It! Dance And Play It Street Party…TRY EVERYTHING.  It was one of four songs the audience would vote for at the end of the Magic Kingdom Hub Dance Party.  Try Everything by Shakira.  It was about 6 miles of the 6.1 and the character photo up was fitting with Judy Hopps and Nike Wilde from the movie Zootopia that featured the song by the world famous Gazelle.  Can you imagine if Gazella was at the photo op? OMG

Drinks In The Sky, That’s The Vibe

IMG_6209After grabbing my medal, my runDisney snack box with the famous chips and plastic cheese it was time to go back to the resort.  We get off the bus to a sea of band teens campled out all over the sidewalk once again not knowing that we pass on the left.  Kids, they better check get out of the way before this tired and sore old man steps on them.  After dodging them it was a shower and relaxing in my soft bed in the land of the Acadian House.  A few hours later it was time to refuel and do some retail therapy.  I headed to Disney Springs and headed to my usual post runDIsney lunch place Blaze Pizza in which I eat a whole pizza and drink a cold beer.  A new stop was made as I skipped the old reliable Sprinkles for Gideon’s Bakehouse.  My trip to Disney Springs had another motivation as a podcast about runDisney was having a meet up there that afternoon  I’ve only listened to two podcasts but I thought why not I’m already at Disney Springs.  But after getting my 1lb yet 6 dollar cookies I was getting tired and World of Disney with retail therapy was the same distance the other way from the meet up.  Choices, choices.  Do I shop or possibly stand around a group of nobody I know.  Therapy won but I didn’t buy anything.  Same story for the Co-Op with a lack of therapy.  The pin store had the Minnie on a Yoga Mat I wanted so got in some therapy.  Then it was a very short walk to Dockside Magaritas.  I ordered a Habanero Margarita threw my drinks in the sky cuz that’s my vibe and relaxed to some guy playing the Eagles.  Later back on the bus I could hardly keep my eyes open.  Once back i napped for three hours, had another drink with some food and was back in bed.

Not Perfect.  Not A Challenge

IMG_6208That one last Disney Resort Sleep ended my runDisney Weekend.  My run was just the 10k.  It wasn’t my first 10k or my fastest 10k.  I don’t even care if it was faster then my Springtime Surprise 10k from last year.  I’m happy keeping my OTF Jogger Base Pace in between my photo stops and walkers on the left side of the course.  I had a great time even with no sleep.  I drank the runDisney Kool-Aide again and I can’t wait for next year.  I know it was “the” Weekend Challenge of completing the 5k, 10K and 10 Miller.  Boy was I sick of answering No to the questions of “Are you doing the Challenge?”  As with all cults runDisney has a ruling pecking order.  You have the Challengers who are completing all the races of the weekend.  On Marathon Weekend it’s the Dopey in which you complete the 5k, the 10k, the half marathon and the full marathon.  That’s one level of the cult I will never ever even attempt to enter. Then you have the ultimate order of the cult the PERFECT SEASON.  The PERFECT SEASON is one who completes every event at all four of the run weekends in a season.  The Season consists of Wine Dine Half, WDW Marathon Weekend, Princess Half and Springtime Surprise.  Some insist a PERFECT SEASON means completing COAST TO COAST in which you run all the DISNEYLAND RACES.  The highest level of the PERFECT SEASON is the CASTLE TO CHATEAU CHALLENGE in which you run the races also in Disneyland Paris.  For me I’m happy in the Orlando One Race A Season.  Although the Kool-Aide was a bit strong and I’m hoping for one race per weekend for next season oh and maybe one Weekend Challenge.  Maybe Duffy was posed like that as he drank too much of the runDisney Kook-Aide.

To sum it all up if runDisney is a cult where do I sign up?


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