“Why are you so obsessed with running?”

run [ruhn]

to go quickly by moving the legs more rapidly than at a walk and in such a manner that for an instant in each step all or both feet are off the ground.

 Exhilarating! Or as my one guy-friend always reacts: “Ew.” hahaha

Aside from soccer and punishment at volleyball practice, my running background consists of a five year track & field career at King Edward Elementary School in the 90’s. There were a few times here and there in university where I’d randomly get the motivation to go for a jog, but it was usually because I was hungover and feeling guilty about my present situation, forcing myself outdoors to do something physical. Or, because it was so beautiful in Vancouver I’d get a vision of going for an effortless run along the seawall or in a pretty neighbourhood, feeling and looking fit while doing it. Each of those few and far between jogs was a blunt reality check. Running is really hard. It’s even harder when you never do it, expect it to be easy like it’s made to look in magazines and on TV, and when you drink five days a week. I’m surprised that I went more than once. Maybe those jogs were far enough apart that I kept forgetting how much it sucked the last time? I couldn’t tell you why I continued to go for a jog once every six months. LOL. Maybe I subconsciously knew that one day I’d get more consistent and it would change my life a lot.

Fast-forward to 2013. I went to LA for a month for yoga teacher training and had to fill out a brief “about me” questionnaire. A small poster of each of the 60 yoga students was made and put on a big wall so we could read about everyone in our new Sangha. I still have that poster, see

I don’t know exactly where the half marathon goal came from and I’m not even sure I knew it was 21.1 km. Like I said, I had maybe gone for ten runs in my 27 years alive at that point, and all of them were basically torture. I was in better shape than in university, doing a ton of hot yoga and taking better (but not the best) care of myself, and at that time pulling myself out of a very sucky section of my life. Looking back, I’m pretty sure I needed something BIG to work towards, and to be held accountable by more than just myself.

One of my new friends in LA, Jill, (who I saw on Disney Weekend!) was training for a marathon while we were becoming Moksha yoga instructors. I saw her running to and from yoga school with a backpack on. I couldn’t even process the thought of running a marathon, or doing anything on top of the 12 hour days, 6 days/week we were in training. I didn’t even know how long a marathon was. Another new friend, Megan, casually told me she had also run a mararhon once! These girls blew my mind. When I got back to Vancouver that March that goal seemed even more appealing and I kept hearing ads on the radio about Team In Training, an opportunity to train with coaches for an endurance event while fundraising for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Canada. The ads said it was for all levels, including beginners. I’m sure a five or ten kilometre running goal would have been fine for me, a beginner, but no I went and signed up for the Nike Women’s half marathon in San Francisco the following October.

The first group run was an ugly 4 km. I almost died. I think I had to buy a pair of shorts because I didn’t own any suitable for exercising in, and the shoes I wore were from Bata in Prince Rupert in 2001. I couldn’t talk to the other girls I’d just met, because I COULDN’T BREATHE. The coaches implemented run-walk training, so every 10 minutes we walked for 60 seconds, and somehow I survived that day. When we got back to Granville Island where all the group runs started and finished, I was so happy it was over, but also so proud. Like, I could not believe I made it. When a person does something that they thought they couldn’t, shit starts to happen. I’m not going to go over the details of that 20-something-week training program, but every weekend I’d come home from Granville Island and be all sweaty with a huge grin on my face, exploding with endorphins and yelling to my roommate about how I JUST RAN EIGHT FREAKING KILOMETRES!!!! Then 10, 12, 14, 16, 18, and eventually 21.1! It was always hard. It is always hard. But while I was dragging myself out of bed to meet up with strangers-turned-friends every weekend, doing difficult things together, feeling great at times but shitty at others, other stuff was happening too.

When a person does something that they thought they couldn’t, crazy shit starts to happen.

 Growing self-confidence. Trust in my physical abilities. Realizing that I could do intimidating things without my parents, best-friend, sister or boyfriend right beside me. I had a new way of looking at shittiness: temporary. A long, steep hill would come up in our running route when I was already struggling and at times, the effort level seemed too much and I’d walk, but then at the top I’d resume running and it felt a bit better again. As if I was going to sit down on the sidewalk, refuse to get up and call a cab to take me back to my car at Granville Island.

As if I was going to sit down on the sidewalk, refuse to get up and call a cab to take me back to my car at Granville Island.

Steady forward progress. I mentioned that I don’t have a runner’s background, but I do have a background of anxiety, depression, terrible self-esteem and co-dependency. Holy personal, I know, but the goal is to to make this more relatable to at least one person reading it.

My mental health started improving, simply by getting my heart rate up three times a week, sweating and giving myself the endorphins I was lacking for so long. I had a new running family of people who I wouldn’t have met if I hadn’t signed up for Team in Training. Without knowing it, just by wanting to say “I ran a half marathon” I got improved self-concept, positive vibes, respect for my physical health, positive body image and feeling strong af, camaraderie that didn’t revolve around alcohol (not all my other friends were just drinking buddies, for the record,) an understanding of mental toughness, and independence. I had a new interest, and it was so effing interesting! What I thought was just putting one foot in front of the other (which running essentially is, yes) was so much more than that! Body mechanics, breathing techniques, fueling, recovery, nutrition, ACTIVEWEAR (please watch that hahaha) fifty billion super fun running events all over the world to look into (some with COSTUMES)…it was never-ending. It IS never-ending.

The running community deserves special recognition. I know that a common interest brings people together, regardless of what it is. Whether you’re into running, fixing cars, yoga, World of Warcraft or quilting, it doesn’t matter, but the one that I have experience with happens to be the running community. And it’s not just my closest run buddies or our extended run crew in the town where I live, (Rupert Runners shoutout) it’s also online. A perfect example is the #WeRunSocial meetup that I showed up to at Disney Springs last week in Florida; getting together with sixteen strangers who I’ve never met in person, but whose running journeys I follow online and get motivated by all the time. Runners just get it. Everyone lifts each other up and that’s an incredible thing to be a part of.

Now it’s four years later, but I still experience all of these benefits all the time. The Runner’s High is real. Setting goals lights a fire under my ass. Any bad mood, shitty day at work or disagreement with husband is usually GONE after a stress-busting run. Seeing progress makes me feel joyful, and a lack thereof is a learning experience. Crossing any finish line, including walking through the door once you get back home from a run, is one of the best feelings there is. I think I speak for more than just myself when I say that building confidence, endurance, mental strength and physical health are goals that do not have endpoints, and that we can all work on and feel good about forever. Proving to yourself that you are stronger and more resilient than you thought you were is so f*%king cool!!

Proving to yourself that you are stronger and more resilient than you thought you were is so f*%king cool!!

 So yeah. That’s why I am so obsessed with running, and from what I gather, lots of these reasons are why other people are also obsessed with running. It shows us how strong, passionate, resilient, perseverant and confident we actually are deep down, all within a supportive community of others working through and towards similar things.

It shows us how strong, passionate, resilient, perseverant and confident we actually are deep down, all within a supportive community of others working through and towards similar things.

Maybe the goal is to run for thirty minutes without stopping. Maybe it’s to take one minute off your marathon time. The self is such great competition because you can lace up and face yourself any time, any day, anywhere. That competition will teach you something every single time, and it has made and continues to make me a better version of myself.

*contact me if you have any questions, or if you live where I live and you want to go for a run! Even 1km.*

ALSO check out Project Start!!! You can also find them on Instagram here 


What do I drink, then? What do I do at parties??

One of the best things I learned from Kate at The Sober School was how important it is to drink something that you actually like when trying to avoid booze. Whether you’re wanting to take a break from alcohol or get away from it altogether, it’s hard, especially at social events because of the way our society celebrates alcohol like it’s the crucial factor for having fun.

A party or event is usually some kind of celebration and drinking a plain glass of water doesn’t help anyone feel like they’re celebrating. For lots of us, going out and not drinking is like going to another planet. Standing around holding nothing or that boring-ass glass of water is just going to make you feel left out and awkward, plus it increases the chances of super annoying questions like, “What the? Is that water?” or “what are you pregnant or something?

I realize that what other people think doesn’t matter, but give yourself a break. If you decide you want to hit up a party or event and not drink, bring something else you look forward to having. It’s a game-changer; I speak from experience. Again, it’s not about what the other people are asking, thinking or wondering, anyway. It’s about you being able to hang out with your friends, acquaintances and new people and enjoy your “special” drink just like everyone else is without feeling like you’re missing out on something, or like you have “I’M NOT DRINKING” written on your forehead in black marker. Quitting or taking a break from alcohol doesn’t mean you need to hide in your house. I’m not saying it’s easy, especially at first, but here are ten ideas for you when you go out to a house party, the bar or even just out for dinner.

1. The Red Solo Cup

There are drinking songs about them, they are used for Beer Pong and Flip Cup, and they are sitting in a stack on the counter at most parties and functions. Contrary to popular belief, they are not just for beer and highballs. Grab one and fill it up with whatever the hell you want! One time at a friend’s annual Boxing Day party, myself and my equally weird friend drank juice and club soda all night long in red cups and lots of people thought we were pissed. LOL. Nope, just gettin weird and having a good time because it was an actual fun party with sweet people and the appy table of the year. When drunk people started close-talking and repeating their stories, I drove myself home instead of waiting for (and paying for) a cab during Christmas party season.

2. Booze-free Sangria

I made a REALLY good batch of this on my 31st birthday at our place when I was two weeks into the non-drinking project. It was so good that other people wanted some. They may have added vodka, but that’s not the point. It was really good, felt fancy and like something the token birthday girl might want on a special day. That sounds really corny but you know I’m right about wanting something unique to drink on a special occasion. I don’t remember the exact recipe but I used a bottle of dealcoholized red wine (grocery store) a big batch of cold black tea, a bit of Sprite and then added oranges, lemons, limes and strawberries, all in a giant bowl with a ladel. Served in a fancy glass, of course.

3. Wine Glass

Even plain water feels cool in one of these. Or, fill it with flavoured sparkling water and berries, limes or cucumber slices. Whatever you pick, it’s more fun than a regular glass of anything and it looks like a cocktail, which can be helpful for warding off the annoying questions.

4. Non-alcoholic Beer

There are some really good non-alcoholic beers and lots of them don’t have “NON-ALCOHOLIC” across the label in huge red letters. I love the taste of beer, that’s why I like drinking these! You can buy them at the grocery store, if you’re wondering. Last year during Seafest (biggest party weekend of the year where I live) someone said to my cousin, “whoa, look at Jamie, she’s really on step tonight!” i.e. they thought I was drunk. If they looked closer, I was actually double-fisting O’Doul’s because someone bought me another one before I’d finished mine, and I was having a blast because most of my favourite people were there, the music was good and the night was just genuinely fun. But remember from the 373 days of non-drinking post, alcohol is generally a not-that-great tasting beverage that people drink for other reasons. So drink whatever it is that you actually like the taste of and if that’s beer, then fake beer might be the perfect option for you.

5. “Vodka Soda without the Vodka”

My best friend has a very funny way of describing and explaining things. One time back in the day when we were being drunk loons at the cabin, one of the many quotes in our weekend collection was “I made a vodka soda but forgot the vodka!” We thought it was hilarious (it is) but it’s also genius hahaha! I personally love soda, it’s like chugging Coca-Cola but without eight billion grams of sugar. Put some limes (or lemons or grapefruit slices or raspberries, whatever you want) in there and you have your Vodka Soda without the Vodka. Who knew.

6. Homemade Iced-Tea

When I was younger I swear there was only one kind of tea. Red Rose. That was the only kind. Now there is every flavour you can think of and places like David’s Tea exist. Make a huge batch of your favourite tea, stick it in the fridge and when it’s cold (way longer than you want it to take, FYI) add ice and any garnish that suits the flavour and pour it in a fancy glass. Or, put the whole batch in some kind of thermos or jug just like people do when they make Moon Juice (or whatever you wanna call a sh#! mix of alcohol) and bring it with you to the party you’re going to. I bet there will be a red solo cup for you to drink it out of.

7. Virgin Caesar

Have you ever had a Virgin Caesar? I have and guess what it tastes like? Yes. A Caesar. I love Canada. Bloody Mary’s are gross. The Virgin Caesar is high on my list. They’re also fun to make! If you aren’t Canadian and you don’t know what I’m talking about I wish I could see your face when you Google “clamato.” Bahaha

8. Coffee

Sometimes all we want is something in hand at a party because we’re used to always having a drink and it feels weird with both arms dangling at our sides. Maybe you’re tired but still feel like socializing for a while so you want some caffeine, or maybe you just effing love coffee. Bailey’s makes a coffee creamer now so if you’re going to tell me you only like coffee with Bailey’s, you’re good.

9. Hipster Pop in a glass bottle 

They have this kind of thing at the microbrewery, Wheelhouse, where I live and it’s awesome. These days they’re carrying soda from The Pop Shoppe. It’s one of the most fun places in town and even though I don’t go there as often as I used to when drinking all the beer was my favourite hobby, it’s nice to have something else to order and it’s friggin delicious. Oh, and NOBODY cares that I’m ordering a creme soda and not a Gilnetter.

10. Ginger Beer

Not all ginger beer is alcohol-free (I’ll tell you a story about that another day…) but lots of it is. I had a large bottle of Fever-Tree Ginger Beer after the Victoria Marathon and it was SOOOO good I wanted to beer-bong it. At Christmas time when we were in Kelowna at my mother-in-law’s house she had this kind here, Buderim, and it was amazing too. Not for everyone, but I think ginger beer is amazing.

I used to think that if I wasn’t drinking alcohol I couldn’t go out because I’d be bored and awkward with nothing in my hand. There are so many things to drink besides booze if you don’t want alcohol and once I learned this from Kate and Belle and did some experimenting, it got way easier. On New Year’s Eve this year I brought bottles of dealcoholized red and sparkling white wine (“Virgin Brute” LOL) and a bunch of cans of club soda to mix because I don’t like drinks very sweet. It was a really good New Year’s party because of the people, the atmosphere, the conversations and the food of course. When I got home I looked as fresh as when I left the house after getting ready, not like Stu on The Hangover.

Please don’t think that not drinking alcohol = denying yourself of good shit. It might take some trial and error but you will find things that work for you and once you get some practice, going out sober is no longer like going to Mars.


Day 5: WDW Marathon!!

When you hear “Florida” what do you think of? I think of heat, humidity, palm trees, Miami by Will Smith and Dexter. 

After the lightning and rain storm yesterday, cold weather came in fast and I’m still in shock! It was close to zero degrees Celsius and the wind chill was crazy. I knew it had seriously cooled off so I added a thermal layer on top of my throwaway shirt and brought a garbage bag for a wind breaker but I was not even close to adequately prepared (and neither were 75% of the other eighteen thousand runners.) Who knew freezing in Florida was a thing.

Serious Tip: ANYTHING can happen on race day. I thought I understood this but was proven wrong. For real, to have been comfortable this morning from exiting my Uber (3:45 am) to actually starting the race from corral H (6 am), I would have needed an additional throwaway toque, gloves, jacket or thick blanket and sweats or jammie pants. It was FREEZING. It was colder than the Historic Half in Vancouver on November 28th! Mind: blown. On a positive note, the gear-bag check was super fast and easy, which was my first task after arriving to Epcot for the fourth and final race. Huge compliments to runDisney on the organization. I don’t think it was necessary for me to go quite as early as they suggest, but personally the idea of being late is too stressful for me.

To avoid freezing, after a quick pic with Dopey himself I joined in at the pump-up stage where the DJ was directing a massive Macarena HAHAHA! I also hid in a couple Porto Potties for a few minutes here and there to escape the wind. Then I joined the crowds huddled by some patio heat lamps that weren’t even on (LOL) and met a dude from Edmonton who’s teeth were chattering as much as mine. It was honestly brutal.

It was a long wait til corral walk-out and when it was time to head out I was grateful to be moving and jogged pretty much on the spot, shuffling along with the massive crowd for the 15 minutes it took to get there. Thankfully the race started efficiently (sent of by Mickey with fireworks for each corral!) at 5:30 and I was across the start mat by 6.

I didn’t ditch my outer layer for at least the first 6km which is unheard of for me as I am a notorious over-heater. A headwind that felt below zero wasn’t helping anyone warm up and unfortunately this headwind was a factor in other parts of the race, not just the beginning. I did eventually warm up of course, tossing my second layer as we entered Magic Kingdom. Your bib number needs to be showing to get race pics and I was warm by this time but still thankful I wore my arm warmers. At around 8km when I saw this I cried (not my pic, but this is what the castle looks like at this time of year.)


The castle was so pretty I really did actually cry. It’s hard to explain the emotions in your body during a huge run like this but it’s REALLY overwhelming. For example, in the corral there was a woman running her very first marathon and when our starting fireworks went off she started happy-crying and hugging me and we had met 30 seconds prior. Or during my first marathon, BMO Vancouver, I started crying in the first 500 meters running down Cambie Street just realizing that I trained for this and was going to accomplish something huge.

The sun was just barely up and Magic Kingdom was lit up with frosty lights from the holiday season and the most beautiful thing of the entire weekend FOR SURE. This was the first place with massive spectator crowds and it was so overwhelming. People who go out to marathons to cheer should be recognized because it is one of the most inspiring parts of running one!

At all different sections of the course there were characters, gospel choirs, varsity teams cheering and marching bands and cheerleaders, stilt performers, acrobats on trampolines and thousands of spectators. The course starts at Epcot, goes through Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, ESPN Sports Complex, Hollywood Studios and ends back at Epcot.

I am so impressed with the number and quality of aid stations. There were 19 in total I believe and all had Powerade and water, and some also had bananas, Clif shot gels and even candy!! I think I ate a total of 2 bananas and a package of M&Ms during my run which was extremely helpful. As well as my own gels and Honey Stinger Gummies, I tried the raspberry Clif Shot and it was like getting Lucky Charms as a kid when you have Shreddies parents. YUM. I’ll be buying a case of those.

There were also certain stations where the volunteers were handing out little popsicle sticks with blobs of Vaseline and for this I am extremely grateful because my inner arms were chafing like a b!+*# and it was getting hard to ignore. Again, anything can happen on race day. I don’t usually use Body Glide on my inner arms. Suprise.

Towards the last quarter of the race we ran through ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex and through a stadium with a big screen showing all the runners and there were lots of people in the stands cheering and supporting. This was around the infamous 32km (20 mile) mark of any marathon. I was struggling at this point and the spectators are one of the biggest things that helped me keep going.

As was the case in the last full marathon I ran in October (Goodlife Fitness Victoria Marathon) the last 10km were very difficult for me. I took lots of 15-30 second walk breaks and told myself that running slow is faster than walking, and that I could break 4:10 if I pushed. Turns out if I had done a better job running the tangents I definitely could have made that goal. Dammit. At the finish line my Garmin clocked 42.76km, so I ran an extra half-kilometer due to the twisting of the course and the weaving around runners at a slower pace than mine. Regardless, I am overjoyed with a time of 4:11:27 and 103/1523 runners in the Women’s 30-34 division, and in the top 12% of all 17,729 runners! Wooooo!!!


It does not get old haha, my throat closed up after crossing the finish line and I started to ugly-cry a bit while feeling pretty much the happiest and most proud feelings that exist. Volunteers presented us with the Mickey marathon medals right away and after the sports drinks and water section the Goofy and Dopey Challengers got to receive the 1/2 marathon medal from the cancelled race on Saturday (yahoo for every person who ran their own unofficial half!) and the Goofy and Dopey medals! Because I am a nerd I brought the 5km and 10km medals in my gear bag so I had all six with me!! Gear pickup was even easier than check-in and I think knowing this now I might have even checked a bag for the 10km race on Friday. Impressive.

A note about your gear bag, pack more than you think you might need. I was pretty good with my long-sleeve technical Dopey shirt, a thick new Gryffindor sweatshirt (LOL,) my favourite Oiselle toque and the space blankets they hand out, but the way the body cools down after running for that amount of time, I could have used a parka and snowboard pants considering the Florida temperature that I didn’t know existed.

I didn’t allow myself to get distracted and forget about recovery, and chugged a sports drink and a water and ate a protein bar and a banana. I stretched in the reunion area, and then again at home and warmed up thoroughly and put on a super warm outfit. All day long I made sure to hydrate and snack, and on the plane (omg. Do not fly home the day of the marathon. Why do I always do this??) I got up to stretch my legs as many times as possible without being an A-hole to the guy sitting in the aisle seat.

Over 24 hours after getting up on marathon morning I got to the the Fairmont YVR at 2am after a delayed flight from SEA-TAC to Vancouver and had the most glorious birthday sleep in a king bed. GLORIOUS.

To wrap it all up, Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend is INCREDIBLE! True, a lot of the running isn’t right in a magical park, but it isn’t possible to map out courses of that length all within the parks because they aren’t big enough!The courses are mostly flat with just a few small hills going up overpasses or over bridges in the parks. The energy of all the events is unexplainable and the expo, official race gear, organization, volunteers, aid stations, cast-members, medals and finish-line support is absolutely amazing and all very well organized. The time change was a bigger issue for me than expected. I slept a lot after each race and I didn’t do nearly as many activities as I thought I might while visiting the Orlando area, but I came here to do my favourite thing which is RUN and I got everything out of this trip that I wanted, and more. If you are planning a runDisney event in Orlando, let me know!

OH, and my friend Lindsay always wants to know what the post-race meal consists of, so let me tell you, the lobster eggs benny at SoCo in Orlando was possibly the best thing I’ve ever eaten.

Day 4: Unofficial WDW 1/2 Marathon!

Ok, runners are unreal. So passionate. Always pushing to prove it to themselves. So supportive to all others in the sport. The running community, from friends to strangers, is solid and today I saw the best examples of all of this, and of the human spirit really.

I slept properly since there was nothing I could be late for today, and Ches from The KOR Project picked me up and we headed to Disney Springs to run 21.1km (aka 13.1 miles, for him) and to hit up the #WeRunSocial meetup at 1pm.

The second we parked, it was obvious that HUNDREDS of registrants for the cancelled half-marathon were all running it anyway. Everywhere I looked I saw the bright yellow long-sleeve Donald Duck race shirts, tons of people wearing their Half, Goofy or Dopey bibs, some people alone, some in groups. We started our own run and no joke, every person including the other runners and random people just visiting Disney Springs were shouting and cheering on the half-marathoners! Some of the stores had stations set up outside and were handing out water just like an aid-station in an actual race. There were random spots where people had stashed water bottles and sports drinks near trees or shrubs around the golf course. High-fives were going down every couple of seconds. INSANITY! It sounds cheesy but I actually do not think I have been this inspired in a long time. And this was just one area! Disney is HUGE! I’d love to know how many people ran their own “race” today.

At about 16km it was almost 1pm so we headed to the Carousel for the meetup only to find out on Twitter it had been changed to Starbucks because it was raining. (Laughter from Prince Rupert people.)  We ripped over there and met up with the leaders and I’m glad we ran because apparently I get a free pair of PROCompression socks for being so punctual. People started to show up and we were vising and talking about the unfortunate circumstances due to the weather. Some had already ran today, some were going later and some planned to make it up the following weekend, but everyone had a plan and everyone was upbeat. Such a good crew of people, and I even got to meet my Instagram woman-crush, Heather!! This chick is FAST! Like, she might win the whole thing tomorrow for real.

Then we took the standard #WeRunSocial group pic and Ches and I continued on to finish our distance.

This is what the 1/2 Marathon medal looks like, which I will receive tomorrow at the finish (along with the Marathon, Goofy & Dopey medals.) This here is a baggage tag that we all got as swag for the 20th anniversary of the Walt Disney World 1/2 Marathon, but since it didn’t end up happening I guess the anniversary will be next year!? Who knows! Funny how when I was given this I didn’t have a suitcase to put it on….my bag came late Thursday evening by the way.

As disappointing as it was for the race to be cancelled today, it was an awesome day with awesome people. I was able to run at a very easy pace without a race atmosphere and this will only help me tomorrow. Now it’s bed time because I have my third full marathon to run tomorrow and a 32nd birthday to celebrate! I know the energy tomorrow on the course is going to be crazy after everything that has happened due to cancellation! People came together today and it was amazing! Talk to you tomorrow, can’t wait for all six pieces of bling!!

Day 3: WDW 10km! (caution, this post contains very bad news)

I couldn’t sleep again! But the nap after race #1 must have been enough because I was functioning fine. Instead of rolling around I got up at 2:30 and started getting the Donald Duck disguise put together and had the standard peanut butter and banana toast race-day breakfast.

My Uber experience was perfect today. We followed the runDisney directions and I ended up in the drop-off/taxi/bus lot where I should have yesterday, and then I walked a couple hundred metres to join the mass crowds from the event transportation from resort hotels and walk to the starting area. Easy. After that simplicity, I now fully recommend my accommodations to others travelling here for a runDisney event!

Almost immediately after entering corral B, I met up with my new friend Dave from yesterday! Unplanned too! We decided to meet in the Reunion Area afterwards and he would give me a lift back to my place since his Marriot hotel was close! I am telling you this because despite what you may think, travelling to a racing event alone is not lonely. Everyone’s here for the same reasons and the majority are happy, excited and into meeting new people, especially the other solo runners. Tons of people come here on a family vacation but just the mom or dad takes part in the running events, or one person is running who travelled with their non-runner spouse, etc. It’s like when you are in the single line for the chairlift at the ski hill, you just don’t actually have to yell out at a bunch of strangers that you’re alone haha.

The 10km had a different vibe than the 5km. It is timed, for one, and not considered a fun-run event. I LOVED IT! But to be honest with you, the first half of the race is not in a Disney park, it’s around it.


I thoroughly enjoyed this race! Even the road running was fun, with so many people and the good energy, almost felt like half-regular racing event, half-Disney event. There were still characters on this part of the course which was awesome. There were a few short, gradual uphills and downhills, and it was kind of a nice warmup to be feeling really good once we entered Epcot around the 5km mark. The second half we ran throughout Epcot, the scenic World Showcase and Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club Resorts. There were way more spectators than yesterday and I loved running on the boardwalk. This place is unreal! Personally, I was feeling amazing and loving the “GO DONALD!!!!” and “I LOVE YOU, DONALD!!!” that I was getting from the spectators and cast-members! Note, I plan to buy my race pics and that’s why I am posting this proof. There are mixed viewpoints on if this is okay or not, so had to let you know.

At some point during this race I officially picked one of my multiple weekend strategy options which was:

  1. Easy 5km, stop for photos if I want, enjoy my first Disney run
  2. Run well and smart, not a race-pace that I’d aim for if I were running only a 10km this weekend, but a good solid effort
  3. Take the half-marathon at an easy and comfortable pace, saving my body for the finale on Sunday (BIRTHDAY MARATHON!!!)
  4. Do my absolute very best effort based on the condition of my energy and physical body.

I did very well for myself and was feeling great after crossing the finish line, but made sure to chug one of the Powerades given out right after the medals (omg look)

and drinking a ton of water and eating a banana immediately. I found Dave easily, who also had a good run he said, and then as soon as he dropped me off at home I ate a Clif Builder protein bar from the race snack box, another banana, more water and the elixir of life: CHOCOLATE MILK. No room for laziness in recovery on a weekend like this! I did a full-body stretch, showered and cleaned up a bit to keep my body moving a little more, and then got into bed for a 4 hour sleep.
I didn’t take many pics today, and I don’t have a ton to report that was different from yesterday, but one thing I didn’t mention was how much discussion was going on about the potential rain and lightening forecasted for tomorrow. All the talk was not creating a good vibe in the corral so I ignored and enjoyed my Prince Rupert rain-tolerant mindset. But now I have to tell you the worst thing ever.

Yes you read that correctly. All races tomorrow are cancelled. Not even lying. Heartbroken. I’m more than a little upset right now. There is lots of talk happening on Twitter about meet-ups being organized by angry Goofy Challenge and Dopey Challenge participants to run the half-marathon distance at some point tomorrow on their own accord. I haven’t decided exactly what my plan is, but Ches from The KOR Project and I have decided to run 21.1 km at some point tomorrow. It will be at a very easy recovery pace. I can’t accept my Goofy and Dopey medals, and rock the race challenge shirts (which are actually nice, I am VERY picky and rarely like race shirts) unless I run a half-marathon distance tomorrow. So I’ll keep you posted on what happens. There is loud thunder crashing and a downpour happening as I’m typing this so I get it, Disney is doing their job with respect to safety, I just wish they would have waited to make a more last-minute decision in the case that this storm has passed by the early morning hours…GAHHHH!!! Talk to you soon!



Day 2: Walt Disney Marathon Weekend 5km

It’s pretty normal to sleep poorly (or not at all) the night before a race but I was so tired from travelling that I assumed I’d get a few solid hours. Wrong. Way too excited/anxious about going to a new place in a new way! When the alarm went off at 3:15 I got my Minnie Mouse gear and a throwaway shirt on and called my first Uber ever around 4. I get kind of nervous doing things for the very first time, I’m human, but it ended up being child’s play haha. 

How a ride sharing idea like this doesn’t exist everywhere blows my mind. So easy! It arrived within 10 minutes. The driver was super nice and somewhat familiar with the Disney event situation but we still ended up at a wrong entrance at first. An official directed us towards the drop off area and I was walking with thousands of others towards the starting area within 20 min of leaving my AirBnB. Now that I kinda know the way I should be able to help the next driver if they’re unsure. First Uber experience successful! 

Walking into the main area before the start corrals, I couldn’t believe it when I saw someone I knew! My friend Jill from Toronto who I did Moksha Yoga teacher training with in LA in 2013 ❤❤ I knew she was here but would never expect to see someone accidently among the thousands of runners!

The gear check area was well marked and looked organized which made me feel better about Saturday and Sunday when I plan to check a bag for the longer races. They encourage you not to, if possible, and I don’t need much after runs under an hour so I saved myself the extra step. Gear check is there for you for all the distances though if you need it. 

There was a big concession area with coffee and other refreshments and a massive pump up stage with announcers way more energetic than most of the runners! Keep in mind it’s still only 4:30 am haha. There were some hilarious costumes but I’d say in general it’s mostly running clothes with Disney-esque accessories so don’t feel like you need full-blown get-ups to be a good sport.

Just alongside the corral entry there were approximately one billion Porto Potties. Nice work, Disney! The corrals weren’t sardine-like and it was easy to relax and just wait for start time. And make friends.

The corrals got separated into even smaller waves of runners so it wasn’t very congested, which was awesome. I was in corral B and across the start line by 6:12 (official start of the run today was 6am.)

The first km was just on a road, in the dark with lots of cones and not Disney-like at all which had me a little suspicious but then I realized it was just going around the massive parking lot and looping around before we got into Epcot and it got VERY magical and Disney-like and I was SO HAPPY!!!!

It felt like Vegas! So many lights, loud Disney music and cool architecture. There were characters on course but long lines to get pics with them so I checked them out as close as possible on the way by and just enjoyed that I was running through Epcot ahhhh!!!

Five km went by way too fast. The finish was well organized, tons of volunteers to hand out medals first, of course (love how it has today’s date on it) and I love how crossing a finish line makes me feel, even an untimed fun-5km ❤

Then came tables of water bottles and Gatorade, individual boxes of snacks and bananas for every runner. It was well marked where to proceed to get gear if you had checked a bag and where to get back to the resort busses if that’s how you arrived. I didn’t see a place to go for runner pick-up though. I was about to ask, standing there loving my life and eating an Oreo when I hear “OMG I found you!!” and Ches from The KOR Project was there to greet me HAHAHAHA! He was making vids of the run and had parked in the Wonder Lot. I thought this morning would be more overwhelming but it wasn’t, it was totally manageable even on my own. Tomorrow I’ll figure out where the official drop-off/pick-up point is because I know I wasn’t dropped off in the correct location but again, it all worked out!! 

This race was AWESOME but way too short and early to get a legit Disney experience. At this point in time I still couldn’t be happier to be registered for the Dopey Challenge. I will now eat this pizza and be way too excited for the 10km tomorrow. Please cross your fingers my suitcase shows up tonight!

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