I survived my first half.
I don’t know how I finished the Disney Half in time but I like to think that it was faith, trust, and pixie dust.
Your state of mind, focus, and faith in yourself play a huge role in your motivation and determination and while I’m sure that in my Disney obsessed mind that pixie dust does help, in reality the things that physically helped me get through the race were a bit more concrete.
1. Kind Snacks:
Basically, these are amazing. Like everyone else, I’m sure, I’ve tried all kinds of protein and energy snacks and bars. There are plenty that I enjoy but none come close to Kind snacks, particularly the Cranberry Almond bars. They just taste so good. This one has my 2 favorite snacks; cranberry and almonds. I always carry a snack bag filled almonds or the mini on the go dried cranberry boxes to eat when I’m in need of a snack so for the both to be combined is just amazing for me. The ingredients are healthy, it gives you a great boost of energy, and fights off sweet cravings. I carried one in my
fanny pack belt while I was running in case I felt like I was getting hungry but I had one right before the race started so I was good to go.
2. Running belt
I have no idea what brand this belt is because I bought it off of eBay and the title is 20 key words. There were a couple of really awesome looking belts that I’ve seen at expos (ahem, Flipbelt) but by the time I realized I was going to need one, I wasn’t in a place to purchase one after having had to pay for too many other expenses that come with running a [half] marathon. A quick online search brought me plenty of results and for a lot less. This one was only $6 but it does what I need it to. It comfortably held my kind bar, 2 Cliff shots, my ID, uNu charger, and USB cord. I was even able to fit my phone in the same pocket where the Kind bar was held and it zipped without any trouble. It clipped on, it matched, it worked!
3. Vita Coco with pineapple
This drink is delicious. I’m a big coconut water fan and we all know that it’s incredibly healthy for you; it’s high in potassium and mineral content, antioxidants, and has low levels of fat, carbohydrates, and calories. It’s basically the perfect hydration and energy drink, it’s all natural. I’ve learned on training runs that water alone is not enough to keep me going but I strongly dislike gatorade, powerade, and any flavored water sports drinks. Coconut water worked best and it certainly pulled through during the race. I filled half of my water bottle with Vita Coco’s coconut and pineapple juice, froze it overnight, and filled the rest of my bottle with regular water. I was taking sips throughout the entire race at certain intervals that work for me specifically, and never once did I feel tired, dehydrated, or sluggish. If you haven’t tried coconut water yet, and you do like it, I highly recommend giving it a shot. It changed everything for me.
4. uNu Enerpack Battery Pack 5000 mAH
iPhone users, how’s that battery of yours holding up? If your phone is crazy like mine, it holds up only when it wants to. I’ll be at 75%, open my camera to take 2 pictures and it’ll drop to 42% and then turn off. I plug it in and it instantly jumps back up to 88%. I don’t know, man. It’s a brat. I’ve had my phone die on me way too many times while at fashion events and, I mean, how am I supposed to let all of instagram know what a certain dress looks like or what drinks I’m having when I’m out at dinner? After much research, I was pleased with the reviews I read about uNu products and decided to buy the smaller 5000 mAH battery pack. It’s the perfect size, it’s pink, and it charges my iPhone 5 from 12% to 100% in about an hour and a half. Not the fastest but quickly enough. It also charges my phone 3x one on a single charge and the price is very affordable. I kept it in one of the pockets of my belt and would just connect it while I was jogging. It also has a handy little flashlight.
5. Adidas Falcon PDX running shoes
These shoes are like pillows for my feet. We all know that when it comes to running shoes, you have to wear what works for you. You have to try on dozens of shoes until you find the right fit, you can’t buy a pair simply because your friends have it or you like the colors. I’ve always been a big fan of adidas, I’m talking having 5 or 6 pairs of their Superstar 2 shoes with all color stripes when I was in high school, so I knew that they would be my go-to shoe for running and they didn’t disappoint. Having properly fitting shoes is so, so important. My proof of these loving on my feet is that after the half I had no pain in my knees, ankles, feet, or toes, no lower back pain, and no black or falling off toenails. Gross but that is a very common occurrence for runners. I had the normal soreness the next day but nothing severe and nothing during the race. I love my shoes!
6. Benefit Brow Zings
If you know me personally, or follow me on Instagram, you know how important my eyebrows are to me. They’re my entire face. Eyebrows frame your face, they need to be taken well care of because they can either age you or bring youth back into our face depending on how you maintain them. One thing I refuse to go out in public without is my eyebrows. The way some girls feel without mascara is how I feel about eyebrows. Running 13.1 miles isn’t something you want to do with a full face of makeup. Gross, it’s sweaty, hot, and not fun. I did put on some powder and a little bit of blush so I wouldn’t look like the walking dead at 3am but eyeshadow and mascara, who cares? But my Benebrows were in full force and not once did they smudge (nor do they ever) thanks to my favorite eyebrow powder by Benefit Cosmetics. And they totally had my back, check out this tweet they sent me. I may have been running a race but no way was I going to look like a zombie. My brows were perfection and I totally kicked ass.
7. Disneyland Half Marathon Facebook group
This group is so awesome. I found this group about a month before the half and everyone in this group helped me so, so much. There are thousands of members consisting of veteran runners, coaches, and new runners. Everyone is so helpful and willing to offer their tips and tricks for runDisney races and running in general. I love the positivity of all the members and how dedicated and welcoming they are. It’s not just for runners that have signed up for the Half Marathon weekend, any runDisney race runners are welcome. If you haven’t joined, go do it, NOW!
Most Importantly: My husband.
What good would any of this have been if I didn’t have Alex supporting me all the way? From accepting my crazy, completely out of nowhere, idea of signing up for the half to going on runs with me and pushing me to keep going and not give up. For not strangling me for spending so much money on the 21 Day Fix and Piyo videos, running gear, and shakeology. And especially for his patience as I would go shopping for work out clothes and would take forever as I would search for only pink clothes. The day of the race, I told him he could sleep in and arrive around 8:30 to be there in time to watch me cross the finish line but he got up with me at 3:30 am, went to the starting lines, and stayed until I got back. Instead of roaming around Downtown Disney, he stayed with the folks of St. Judes and helped them set up decorations and kept them company as they waited for the runners to finish as well. Alex has the biggest heart and has always been so incredibly supportive of all the crazy ideas I come up with. Thanks Alexander! <3