Why I Love Disney!

Regularly I’m asked if I love / why I love running. The answer isn’t that complex; it’s a stress reliever, a great way to stay in shape, there’s a thrill to racing & adventure on foot, you also get to interact and meet so many amazing and encouraging people. More importantly, I’ve felt called to make it part of my mission for Christ and the Kingdom. But why I love Disney, that’s different and not so easy to answer because it’s none of those things above (let’s be honest, the parks can be stressful, and you definitely don’t stay in shape because the amazing food counteracts the insane amounts of walking). So how & why?

As we were growing up my family was mostly into the beach scene. Yearly we were the beach vacationers who spent a week on the white sands of the gulf; we never really did anything extravagant – not including the one time we drove the 12 or 14 hours to Lake Quivera, KS when I was twelve – except for the few times we went to Walt Disney World. These trips were a big deal, magical and full of adventure, and rightfully so; most of our other trips were centered around swim meets (competition) for my sister and I – bless my parents for that sacrifice. We always got new autograph books, Chef Mickey’s became a tradition, and splash mountain the staple ride of every trip.

So now fast forward 15-20 years, and my love for Disney and RunDisney is fierce. Why?

Simply put, because it brings about some of my favorite childhood and family memories. The tradition, the magic, the bond that I am blessed to have with my whole family. It’s adventure and escape simultaneously and familiar and different with each trip, and now RunDisney allows me to combine a lot into a little, bringing a passion and purpose into the place that has brought me so much joy and many memories for the past quarter century. Especially when I get to partner with incredible charities such as Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals for Princess Weekend 2018 (if you want to give in honor of my Pop click here). And with each trip new things are experienced with new people as Jon gets to tag along now, and other’s will join our squad as time passes! I’m ever thankful for this place, the cast members that make it wonderful and the family that experiences it with me to the fullest every single time.

That’s why I love Disney.


How to Handle the Parks during Runcations!

We all know that runDisney races aren’t cheap, but with all that running, food, and lodging expense how do you handle park tickets? 1. Where does it fit into the budget and 2. How much can your legs handle during or before races? Plus there are other factors like heat and humidity and timing to consider as well! So, I’ve tried to break this down a little bit.

  1. The Quick-Trip.

For Star Wars Darkside last year (I just did the half marathon on Sunday) we decided to just make it a weekend trip. Still pricey right? However, with the upgrades to Disney Springs we decided to forgo park tickets altogether and just spend some time there. No lines to stand in, stores to cool off in, and lots of food options. This is a great option for a short trip to just run!

  1. The Whole Family Vacation

This past January I completed Dopey (or grumpy as some people liked to call it but I still did a half marathon that Saturday morning), this time my whole family went from Wednesday-Monday making it quite the runcation. We decided to do 3 days in the park no park hopper. We started in Hollywood Studios on Thursday since the weather was mild and our legs were fresh having just done the 5K that morning with mom, sister, and grandmother.

**Tip 1: always fastpass the longest lined rides during a runcation, standing on your feet takes more out of you I believe than continuing to keep moving.

Friday we hit Animal Kingdom this one was a little riskier, however finding rides like Kilimanjaro Safari or taking in a show helps give you a good balance of on your feet and rest

**Tip 2: Bring your own water bottle with electrolytes into the parks to stay hydrated!

Saturday we decided to rest, but we booked Chef Mickey’s brunch to offset some of the down time and help fuel Katie & I for the full marathon the next morning. If you are doing a back to back like that I recommend staying clear of parks and just taking a chill day. Then Sunday after all was said and done we rewarded ourselves down Main Street with lots of food and ice cream! We might have been a little tired but at this point it’s just time to let lose!

  1. The Budget Girl’s Weekend.

Princess Weekend is the ultimate girls weekend trip, or maybe Tinkerbell for you west coasters but sometimes that also means budgets since everyone may not be in the same place. Of course lodging, travel, and racing have already been a steep cost so what about park tickets?

**Tip 3: Use a travel agent! They are free to use and they help coordinate and get pricing for a group without anyone having to do all the coordinating – if you need a recommendation let me know J

**Tip 4: Race with Charity – not only are you making your miles matter, but you are helping share the cost of racing!

1-Day Park Hopper w/ 1 Day at Disney Springs. Just get a park hopper for one day, preferably on the day that won’t exhaust your legs or after it is all said and done. That way you spend a little more for a day but you get to see everything you want! Then spend some time in Disney Springs enjoying the shops and Disney flair that can be seen everywhere – then enjoy a nice meal!

So there are just a few ways to navigate the parks during runcations, hopefully you found it useful! And of course…


42 Days until Disneyland Half Marathon

104 Days until Wine & Dine 10K – For Charity

167 Days until Goofy Challenge begins

216 Days until the Fairy Tale Challenge begins – For Charity

What RunDisney trips do you have planned?



Oh heyyyy!

Sorry for the pause; God has been doing a number. Jon and I have both been team leads for Summer In the City, our summer college ministry. The 61 Exchange had their first Atlanta conference at the end of June and it brought on so much life change, and fueled a new heart in me. If you want to read my write up on the 61 Exchange site you can find it HERE. Meanwhile Jon has been playing a lot in the worship sphere and we’ve tried to have as much away time as possible (i.e. lake days and worship trips). God is on the move, he has fueled us, stretched us, and strengthened us both individually and together.

I hope your summer is going well whether you are running, traveling, chillin by the pool, or going through a reset know you aren’t alone and God has BIG purpose through it all. Steward your body, your time, and your relationships well and God will show up big.

Scroll below for training update, race schedule, food recipes, and running tips!

So what’s new on the running front. After I finished the Hotlanta Half Marathon at the beginning of June, which was a great event that God was just good all the way through – from the community He’s allowed me to start building, to the very mild weather, to the solid and steady effort I was able to accomplish all the glory to Him – I took a few weeks completely off from running to give my body time to refuel and refresh. Was it hard? Actually no, I had a few moments were I couldn’t wait to get back and got a little anxious, but the peace and joy that enveloped me through that time was so sweet, and really gratefulness is the story. Back just in time for the Peachtree Road Race, I was ready to just cruise, but my teammates/coworkers around me, the energy from the elites just ahead, the national anthem – flag directly overhead – and the flyover sending chills through my body, the race start went off and my legs just went. A PR and dance off later I couldn’t contain my happiness. So now it’s back to training, currently trying to find a race in between now and Labor Day weekend.


Finally the countdown is on! What countdown you might ask? The Disney countdowns. Last week we finally were able to book our Disneyland Dining Reservations for September and Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend. So let’s get started:

54 Days until the Disneyland Half. Reservations booked: Goofy’s Kitchen & Cafe Orleans.

118 Days until the Wine & Dine 10K. Reservations booked: The BOATHOUSE, Ohana Breakfast, and mostly just enjoying the Food & Wine Festival at Epcot.

180 Days until Goofy’s Challenge. Reservations booked: Sanaa Lunch.

229 Days until the Fairy Tale Challenge. No reservations booked, but the coordinating outfits for this girls weekend are taking shape!

What’s in between: The JG 13.1 in December, but I’m still looking for other race weekends to participate in! Stay Tuned.

On the foodie front:

Blueberry sauce over pancakes for the perfect summer breakfast. I was working a Nuun Hydration demo at Whole Foods and they were celebrating all things blueberries. So along with my gluten free pancakes (Bisquick subbing almond milk and honey for regular milk), it was all topped with a blueberry sauce:

**In a skillet on medium heat stir in the following: 1 pint of blueberries, 1/3 cup sugar (I used organic brown sugar),  and 2 tablespoons of lemon juice (I was a little more generous). Stir until blueberries start popping, or about 10 minutes and serve over top warm pancakes.

Running tips/Gear ideas:

If your knees tend to hurt, but you want to keep moving along in the distance events the Hoka One-One shoes might be for you. At first I was a little unsure because they are clunky and the amount of cushion is intense, but the Clifton 4 was released last week and after most of my work day spent in them, I’m all but sold.  

Another great shoe release – the Mizuno Wave Shadow! This shoe is an upgrade from the Wave Sayonara which is my short distance/cross training shoe, and while a much firmer ride, it fits the foot so well and gives you a fun spring to your step!

We are headed to the lake this weekend, it will be fun to get some lake miles in!