Saturday, December 7, 2013

What I Have In Common With Walt Disney!

As many of you may already know, December 5th was Walt Disney's 112th Birthday.
But what you may not have known is it is also my wedding anniversary. Now, I know you are probably thinking I planned that, especially when it is obvious that I have a slight Disney obsession, but I have to be honest, I didn't have a clue when Walt's birthday was 18 years ago! Sure, I grew up going to Walt Disney World as a child and enjoyed many visits to the parks but it wasn't till I was an adult, with my own child, did my love for Disney begin.
 It is also no surprise that my love started with the man who created it all, Walter Elias Disney. I have had the pleasure to read many great books about him over the years (oh how I wish I could of meet him) and it isn't just the fact that he was a talented artist or a visionary of his time, no, it is the little known facts that have made me grow to love the man and all that he has created.  
First and foremost, did you know that Walt was a Christian?  He came from a Congregationalist Christian background and was even named after his father's friend and their family's pastor, Walter Parr. In 1949, Disney wrote in Guideposts magazine: "I believe firmly in the efficacy of religion, in its powerful influence on a person's whole life. It helps immeasurably to meet the storm and stress of life and keep you attuned to the Divine inspiration. Without inspiration, we would perish. All I ask of myself, 'Live a good Christian life.' To that objective I bend every effort in shaping my personal, domestic, and professional activities and growth."
I am sure Walt's Christian background also influenced his love of people and most importantly his love of family. Walt was know for driving his girls to school each day and either Saturday or Sunday was always Daddy's Day. Did you know that Walt adopted his second daughter, Sharon? After a few devastating miscarriages, Walt & Lillian decided to step out in faith and adopt a baby girl in 1936. Besides his love and devotion for his own girls, he shared that love with the whole world in his family friendly cartoons, movies and theme parks.

I honestly could go on and on about the wonderful things Walt has done but lets not forget, it all started with a mouse, who just happens to be the most recognized icons in the world today. Walt's character, Mickey Mouse was designed as a purely innocent creature, filled with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, and goodness. Did you know that these characteristics are also mentioned in Galatians 5:22 by Paul when talking about how our lives will be when filled with the fruit of the Holy Spirit?  I don't think it is coincidence that all of these godly virtues are wrapped up in Mickey and in his followers.

 So, Happy Birthday to a brilliant man, filled with the love of the Lord, the love for others and good old family values. I would like to think that it is divine alignment that I get to share my anniversary every year with the birth of this wonderful man!


Thursday, November 14, 2013

Wine & Dine Half runDisney Meet-Up

What is the first thing that comes to mind when I recall my first runDisney meet-up?

Last Thursday night around seven o'clock, myself and 124 other runDisney fanatics gathered at the entrance of Epcot to start the first ever nighttime meet-up. We were greeted by a table of friendly runDisney staff members, that happily handed out official runDisney tech shirt, a ticket into the park and a fast pass for Test Track to each of us. We had an hour an a half to hang out and play in the park before our special viewing of Illuminations, so off a group of us went to put those fast passes to use!

Laura, Adrienne & Jen ready to ride Test Track!

After meeting up with some more friends we all took a 65 mile-an-hour spin around Test Track and then made our way to our special viewing area behind the Duffy gift shop to watch Illuminations.

As always, the show was spectacular and afterwards everyone just hung around the viewing area talking, taking pictures, tweeting and meeting people only known by their twitter names. It was so good to see old friends, make some new friends and finally put a few faces with names.
 About an hour later, an escort was sent to gather us all up and walk us down to the American Gardens Theater. When we arrived we were offered a wonderful spread of food and vegan wine (who know there was such a thing?). Mickey and Minnie were there to take pictures and we got to hear some great speakers. There was Jeff Galloway and Tara Gidus to give us some great running and nutritional advice. Plus, New Balance reps were on hand to give a sneak peak of the extras that will be coming with the new 2014' runDisney shoes. No, they wouldn't give us a sneak peak of the shoes themselves, but instead they did give-a-ways a few pairs of New Balance shoes. I just happen to be one of the lucky winners and I even scored a new running jacket too!
My favorite mouse!

Tara Gidus & Jeff Galloway

The 2014' redesigned box for the New Balance runDisney shoes.
Olympian Jenny Simpson drawling my name for a new pair of
 New Balance shoes & that cool jacket she is wearing.
Yes, I was a picture happy at this meet-up & this photo proves it!

 After the speakers, we were all separated into two groups to run two laps (about two miles) around a deserted Epcot. I decided I would take Jeff Galloway's run/walk group so I could enjoy all the sights and sounds of the evening and I am so glad that I did. It was really exciting talking with Jeff while we ran around the countries about how he and his wife have been using a 20sec run/ 20sec walk for their marathons. He also said he finds a lot more people can make longer distances with this specific pace. I honestly thought it was a little hard on the knees and shins with all the starting and stopping, especially with the hilly terrain in Epcot but who am I to argue with an Olympian.

I love this picture, the expressions say it all! Although you can't see me,
 I am right there, behind Nina and next to my friend Jen with the blue shoes!

After the run we gathered again at the front of Epcot, took a couple of group pictures and celebrated an awesome night with a toast of champagne given my Faron Kelly, Director of Marketing for runDisney & ESPN WW of Sports.

Members of Team Run Disney

Farwell Toast

 I feel truly blessed to have make it into this one-of-a-kind event and I can only hope there are many more in my future. Have you been to a runDisney meet-up? What is your favorite part?


Saturday, November 2, 2013

runDisney Dreams Come True

 When you wish upon a star
Makes no difference who you are
Anything your heart desires
Will come to you
As a huge Disney fan this is one of my favorite songs and this past week I can honestly say one of my biggest wishes has finally come true.
I made it into the runDisney Wine & Dine Meet-up!
This meet-up, which marks its three year anniversary, promises to be like no other and will be the first ever done at nighttime. This is what the Disney Park Blog had to say about it...

It’ll be our first runDisney nighttime meet-up, so you will definitely want to be able to say you were there. It’ll have many of the same magical elements of our previous Meet-Ups, but with some cool new twists that only the nighttime can provide.

For instance, we’ll kick off the event with a special viewing of IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth, the nightly laser, light and fireworks show. After that, selected participants will get to taste and learn about some of the extraordinary cuisine and wines that are part of the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, hear from some Olympic endurance runners and get some expert advice on safely running at night.

Then, selected participants will get to put some of that nighttime running knowledge to work during a starlit fun run “around the world” at Epcot well after the park closes. And of course there will be a few magical surprises throughout the night.

So you can see why I am super excited about this awesome event and I can't wait to tell you all about it! You can follow me Thursday, November 7th from 8:00-12:00 pm on Instagram & Twitter @kimrunsdisney or check back here for all the highlights.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Runing for God at the Chick-fil-a 5k

I belong to an awesome church, honestly! I know some of you are probably wondering what that has to do with running but if it wasn't for my church, Deep Creek Community, and all the great programs it has to offer, I would of never had the pleasure of being apart of a small group called Run For God.

This twelve week running and devotional program is designed to take the average person and train them not only physically but mentally to finish their first 5k. As you know, I am not new to running, but I am fairly new to my church, so I thought what better way to get to know like minded people than to join. Boy, I am so glad I did! I had the opportunity to meet and make friends with some wonderful people who have a variety of different running backgrounds. This made the 12 week program seem to fly right by and before I knew it, our group was meeting for the last time at the Chick-fil-a 5k/10k in Port Charlotte, FL.

Run For God Group Getting Ready to Run

This was the first time Chick-fil-a has brought this racing series to our area and even though packet pickup, the day before, was a little crazy, the race itself was well thought out, organized, and a lot of fun. It was a family friendly event with live music, bounce houses and exciting give-a-ways! It also was pretty cool to have ChronoTrack chip timing at this small local race (This statement proves I am a running geek!).

Packet Pick-up

Race Day
It was absolutely the perfect race to finish out our Run For God program and every member of the group made it across the finish line, some for the first time and others with new PR's to feel proud about. I personally ran a strong run with a time of 32:46 but best of all, I had the great pleasure of running with a young girl named Destiny. She has been my running buddy a couple times before at a few of the Girls on the Run 5ks and it is always fun to watching her grow as a runner. This race she completed with a whooping 2:00 minute PR and I couldn't be more proud of her! 

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Running Coast to Coast in 2013'

In March of this year, I turned the big 4-O! To celebrated this milestone year (and to make myself feel better for getting older) I decided 2013' was going to be the year I went coast to coast with my running and in the process get a special Disney medal to commemorate it! On August 29th, I headed out to Anaheim, California with my sole sister Jen, for a week of fun and adventure. During that week I had the great privilege of experiencing two awesome Disney races, seeing new and old running friends and visiting Disneyland, California Adventure, Downtown Disney and the surrounding areas for the first time in my life. It was an experience of a lifetime and not only did I come back with memories I will cherish forever, I also came home with four new shiny Disney medals, including the Disney's Coast to Coast Challenge Medal.

Proudly displaying my Coast to Coast Medal!

Great Times, Great Friends & Great Memories!

Stay tuned for video & picture highlights coming soon of the Disneyland 10k and the Disneyland Half Marathon.

What was favorite part of the Disneyland Half Weekend? 

Monday, September 9, 2013

Become Part of the Magic

 I just get home from Walt Disney World yesterday and today is the opening for 2014 Disney Mom's Panel. I am hoping that is a sign of good things to come, because I will be applying for this awesome panel of vacation planers for the third time! Yes, I am crazy, it is the third time? You would think a women who eats, sleeps and dreams Disney, like myself, would be the perfect candidate to help others plan their Disney vacations, so I am just hoping Disney sees it that way too!  
If you would like to learn more about Disney Parks Moms Panel or even put in your application (just remember this isn't a paying gig, its for the love of Disney!), head on over to their website today through September 13th.

Will you be applying for the Disney Moms Panel? Have you ever been on the Panel before? If so, tell me about your experience.


Friday, September 6, 2013

Disneyland Was A Blast!

 I had the best time at Disneyland! I got to see and meet so many wonderful people and experienced so many really cool things, I don't know where I am going to begin to tell you all about it! I guess for now I will give you a couple of my favorite photos from the trip until I have more time to write down all the details.
First time at Disneyland!

In California Adventure during the Disneyland 10K.

 The finish of the Disneyland Half!
Of course, these are just a few of the nearly 600 photos I took while at Disneyland, so it is safe to say there are plenty more coming!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Excitment and Anticipation

I can hardly control my excitement because tomorrow is the Big Day!
It has been over six months in the planning, with to many training miles to count, but the day is finally here!
I am going to DISNEYLAND!
What is even better than going to Disneyland? Running 19.3 miles through Disneyland, California Adventure and the surrounding Anaheim area, of course!
If you would like to see more photos, comments and updates, please visit my Facebook page at Kim Runs Disney all throughout the week. Plus, don't forget to check back here in a few weeks for all the nitty gritty details!  

Monday, August 19, 2013

10 Days and Counting!

In less than ten days I will be heading west to the beautiful Golden State! It has been quite some time since I have had the opportunity to visited California, but this time is extra special for me. I am going to be running a two day race totaling 19.3 miles and finishing my final leg of the Disney Coast to Coast Challenge in the happiest place on earth, Disneyland! 
Surprisingly, this will be my first visit to Disneyland, so I am super excited! I am a huge Disney fan, and I grew up going to Walt Disney World more times than I can count, but to actually be in the place Walt created and spent 11 years enjoying, is like a dream come true for me.

I couldn't think of a better way to celebrate my first visit to this happy place, than to run down Main Street and through Sleeping Beauty's Castle, plus earn four different medals during the Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend.

Now, time to get packing...

Have you been to Disneyland? What is one thing I shouldn't miss while I am there?

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Magical Meet-Ups

This week is turning out to be full of excitement! Yesterday, a teaser announcement for the Disneyland Half Marathon Meet-Up was posted on Twitter, putting us die hard runDisney fans into a total frenzy. The tweet stated, this is the week for the official announcement! I am so excited about this event and will be trying my best to get in this year. If you are familiar with this runDisney event, you know what this means, right?  
It is time for some Disney stalking! 

This is what runDisney stalking looks like!
If you are not familiar with the runDisney Meet-Up or maybe you have heard of it, but you are not real sure why anyone in their right mind would waste a week of their life stalking Disney websites, twitter accounts and emails, well let me give you a little insight. In November 2010, runDisney decided to enhance their already popular race weekends with an exclusive meet-up. This FREE Disney event kicks off each race weekend by letting a select, chosen few to meet and run through a Disney Park with the Official runDisney Training Consultant and Olympian, Jeff Galoway. As you can imagine, this event has become very popular over the years and of course very competitive to get into (Did I mention their are celebrities, exclusive character photo ops and even runDisney gifts at these meet-ups?). Are you getting as excited as I already am and wondering how you can get one of these elusive golden tickets? Well, you better have your fast little fingers ready, you have to be one of the first people (number of slots are determined by the race weekend, but usually around 50) to see the official announcement posted on either the runDisney Twitter Page or the Disney Parks Blog website and submit your name to the email address that is included in the message. That doesn't sound too hard, does it? Well, good luck to you and lets all keep our fingers crossed we get to experience the magic of the runDisney Meet-Up!

Have you ever tried to get into a runDisney Meet-Up? If so, tell me all about it! 

Saturday, August 3, 2013

The Latest Running Craze

It is are all the craze right now, everyone is doing it, it's easy, it's fun, and best of all, you get a little something special to show off you did it! What is this latest craze that is taking the running world by storm...  Virtual Races, of course!

What isn't there to love about the virtual race? You can do them anywhere, at anytime, for a fraction of the cost of a traditional race, and best of all, you still get an awesome medal to commemorate your accomplishment. Don't get me wrong, I love to go to traditional races, the excitement of the crowd, the motivation of the other runner, and the celebration with friends when you finish is priceless, but with the increasing cost of races it is so nice to have the motivation and accountability of a virtual race in between a regular race schedule. 
So, are you ready to join this latest craze?  Well, I know I sure am and this week I have signed up for a virtual race from Jost Running! If you haven't heard of this Virtual Running Company yet, it was recently born from a mother and daughter team, Cynthia Murray-Elder and Courtney Klein who love to run. This month they has teamed up with ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis) Association and a potion of every registration will be donated to this debilitating disease. Plus, this months race series, which consist of a 5K, 10K, Half & Full Marathon, is in honor of Lou Gehrig, the baseball player that put ALS on the map. You know what that means, fun baseball themed finisher medals!

If you are looking for a virtual race, why not check out Jost Running too.You can even get 15% off your registration this month by using promo code BaseRun. Happy Running!

Have you ever done a virtual race before?  What was your favorite and why?