Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Aerial Yoga

It seems today that there are several new types of yoga popping up all over the place. From Paddleboard Yoga to Aerial Yoga there are a few new ways to accomplish the old yoga techniques. Intrigued by the idea of a new take on yoga I recently went to a class at a local studio. Before attending my first class I had a general idea of what Aerial Yoga was, however I was not really sure what I would be able to accomplish with the practice. If you Google “Aerial Yoga” there is not much that comes up on Aerial Yoga. But there is a little information out there and after my experience here is what I have gathered about Aerial Yoga…

Some say that is was developed in January of 2006, although the date and place of its birth are hard to pinpoint after a quick internet research. In the typical Aerial Yoga class you will use such props as a fabric hammock and ribbon handles. The hammock and handles are hung from the ceiling and can be adjusted according to your height. The hammock will be able to support your entire body weight and it will help yoga students perform traditional yoga postures that many find challenging. From inversions to deep back bends anyone, and I really mean anyone, can do them in Aerial Yoga without strain or much effort. The purpose behind Aerial Yoga though is not only to be able to do challenging inversions it is said that the props used in Aerial Yoga allow your muscles to release, therefore giving you a better stretch without the risk of over stretching.

Armed with this knowledge I went to my first Aerial Yoga class at ReFlex Arts Dance and Yoga Studio in Sarasota Florida. I took the introduction class and I discovered that yes indeed inversions are really, really easy in Aerial Yoga if you can let your mind go and truly believe that the hammock will hold all your weight and not let you go crashing down to the floor beneath you. I had a lot of trouble if that. Even though I was unable to truly trust the props I was able to accomplish a few inversions. I was afraid to let my feet leave the floor and when they did I was afraid to let go of the handles. It is very disorienting feeling to know that you are not supporting your body. In my yoga practice I have come to trust that I can support myself and if not then I can catch myself. In Aerial Yoga I felt like I gave over that control completely to a piece of fabric.

Another thing that keeps many students from doing Aerial Yoga is the seasickness many of them will experience from the swaying of the fabric. Since we live on a sailboat I did not have that feeling, it was mainly the inability to give up control of my body to the hammock that kept me from truly enjoying “hanging” there.

Aerial Yoga is a neat thing to try and I recommend all those interested in yoga to try it at least once. Personally my enjoyment in yoga can be found on my mat using as little props as possible. I want to feel each one of my muscles working and watch my form and make the corrections mindfully to fully come into a pose. But since I have issues with letting go I will more than likely attend a few more Aerial yoga classes if for nothing else but learning to deal with fear and letting it go so I can trust something outside myself.

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Friday, August 26, 2011

What to Bring to the Disney Princess Half Marathon

Hello Princesses! Hope all your training is going well. I have gotten quite a few emails the last couple of weeks asking me what I recommend bringing the morning of the Disney Princess Half Marathon. Such a good question and one that deserves its own post so here it goes….

1) Good running shoes that you have trained in. Make sure the shoes you wear that morning have some miles on them and you know that you have gone at least 10 miles in those shoes. You do not want to wear brand new shoes that you bought at the Expo the day before even if they are really super cute and they match your outfit. 13.1 miles while it is completely doable is also really far, especially if it is your first race to wear new shoes that can possibly give you some pretty nasty blisters so make sure you have trained in those shoes.

2) Comfortable running clothes that you have trained in. Just like those shoes you want to be sure that when you are heading into mile 8 your shorts aren’t rubbing you raw. You want to know that those shorts and shirt are good for at least 10 miles before wearing them. Now I have worn the shirt that they give you in the goody bag for the race that I did not train in because I just got it the day before. However, I own the type of shirt that Disney uses for their race shirts and have trained in the same type therefore I feel confident that the Champion shirt that they give me the day before will be comfortable because I have worn another just like it. If you want to train in a shirt that will we the same style as the one they will give you at the Expo check out the RunDisney shirt they have for sale at the Disney Store online. Also you will want to bring some throw away clothes that you can wear before the race to keep warm in but have no problems tossing to the sidelines when you get too hot.

3) Hat or Visor is of course a personal choice (just like anything on this list) but I recommend one because, although you will be starting in the dark the sun comes up fast and will be beating down on your face before you know it. You may also consider sunglasses, but definitely consider the hat.

4) Cell phone so you can contact friends and family before, during and after the race. Although the crowds are not as large as though for the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend at the Disney Princess Half Marathon, they are large and it is easy to lose people quick so make sure you have those phones charged and have everyone’s phone number plugged in. If you are afraid you might lose your phone you might consider buying a pay as you go phone just for the race. I do it. I buy from Platinum Tel whatever free phone (click the link below and type PROMO CODE: RUMOR100FR at checkout. FREE TEXT-PHONE - NO CONTRACT!!! ) they have at the time with a $100 top up card which gives me tons of minutes, internet and text and if I lose it, oh well at least I am not out much money. Really it can happen… this year I found 2 iPhones, a camera, a crown and an iPod Nano on the course. If you find such objects you can hand them to the nearest volunteer and they eventually make their way to lost and found.

5) Camera because not all the photos that are taken of you during the race by ASI will show up online after the race so you want to make sure that when you stop for those character shots you have that photo. Some cell phone cameras are just not enough that is why I recommend bringing a camera. If you have a totally awesome phone with a great battery and camera then you are set.

6) Music despite the fact that you are running through Walt Disney World there will be some places on the course that are well…. Boring. It is at those times that you may want to have some music to keep you going to the finish line.

7) A Smile you are going to have a great time and lots of photo opportunities.

8) Bib and D-Tag I mention this last as a little reminder but of course we all know that you will not forget these two things. Without the bib you will not be allowed on the course and without the d-tag it will be like you were not even there. Don’t forget these two things ladies and gents they are really important for race day.

So there you have all the things that I recommend bringing with you on race day. Not a huge list and there is a reason for that you do not want to have a lot of stuff with on the course and the more stuff you bring to bag check the more you have to remember to pick up after those 13.1 miles. It is easier to have less. Now this list is based on the assumption that you are staying at the resort. Say you are not staying at WDW and ride the bus over to the starting line… well then the list changes just a little bit to include your driver’s license and car key. I have a little ID belt from Nathan Sports that I put my phone, license and key in that goes around my waist. There are a bunch of different versions to consider out there. I specifically did not include food or water on this list because Disney races are pretty well stocked but you may consider bringing something to eat before the race. If there is anything that you think is important for race day that you would like added to the list email me or leave me a comment here or on Facebook.

Happy Training Princesses!

Want more Disney Princess Half Marathon information? Check out my 2012 Disney Princess Half Marathon Guide.


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Breakfast with Buddha by Ronald Merullo

Breakfast with Buddha
Breakfast with Buddha is a fictional account of a road trip that changes Otto Ringling’s outlook on life. Faced with the recent death of his parents in a terrible car accident Otto Ringling must head back to his home in South Dakota to settle the estate of his parents. In his mind it should be a quick trip and then he can get back to his very comfortable and happy life. However, deep down Otto knows that it will not be a quick trip and not just because his eccentric sister Celia is involved. The sudden loss of his parents has shaken his internal world. He questions what the meaning of life is and whether or not he is doing everything he can for his family. In order to gain a little insight into what the purpose of life is he decides to take a few weeks and make a road trip out of the ordeal of settling his parent’s estate. It was supposed to be a trip with his “loony” sister but as he arrived at her house he discovered that she had other plans. Otto grudgingly agrees to takes his sister’s guru with him to North Dakota while his sister stays behind. Eventually the two begin to get to know each other and like each other. The trip turns into an exchange of lessons; Otto to teach Rinpoche about “American Fun” and Rinpoche is to teach Otto the meaning of life. The ending was a surprise but the perfect way to come full circle in this charming tale of coming to accept that the real meaning to life is to live.

This is a heartfelt, yet humorous tale of travel and discovery. The exchanges the two men have are wonderfully deep and engage the reader. Although this is a fictional account it is based on a true story which happened to Merullo. You do not have to be Buddhist or even religious to enjoy this book, just someone philosophical enough to wonder what truly is the meaning of our lives and whether or not we are truly living them. I highly recommend this book to any reader. It is a “deep” read but it does, just like their road trip, go by fast.

Novel Moments:

“I’d feel this sudden ache cutting along my skin, as if I were suffering from a kind of existential flu. Just a moment, just a flash, but it would pierce the shiny shell of my life like a sword through a seam of armor.” (Kindle Location 168-73)

“The purpose of life itself. That is what life is for, this education of the spirit inside you. Everyone says this. Every teacher in all religions. Life is for to learn, to make a progress, to make a movement toward-” (Kindle Location 1391-36)

“When your mind is more clear, you see the true way the world is made. When you see the true way the world is made, you feel at peace inside.” (Kindle Location 2877)


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Sunday, August 14, 2011

Frequently Asked Questions about the Disney Princess Half Marathon

I have gotten many emails, comments here on Weekly Zen and message from Facebook asking me tons of fantastic questions about the Disney Princess Half Marathon. Here they are and the answers;

Are there bathrooms along the course? If so how often? Yes there are bathrooms along the course. They are listed on the course map which you can find on Disney's site once it is put up (I will update this post with a link when it is posted on the Run Disney site). Most of them are porta-poddies and most of them will not have water and soap to wash your hands (usually just hand sanitizer). There are some real bathrooms located in Magic Kingdom’s Tomorrowland and Epcot. The lines for bathrooms are sometimes long so be sure to consider that when it comes to keeping the course pace to avoid being picked up.

Do we get park tickets with our registration? No. Although they offer you some pretty great discounts on tickets and depending on whether or not you stay at the hotel you may be able to get them really cheap. My advice is to call Disney or go to their website and see what kind of package deals you can get.

Is the course really hilly? Well that depends on what you call really hilly. Do not be fooled there are hills in Florida and there will be some significant elevation changes on the course. Check out my Garmin Map from this year’s Disney Princess Half Marathon to get an idea of what types of changes you will be looking at. 

Disney Princess Half Marathon Course Details

So in short… yes prepare for hills.

Do we have to bring our own cameras or will there be photographers? Yes there will be photographers around the course and at some character spots but you should bring your own camera. Not all the photos ASI takes of you will show up in your account after the race. How you find your photos after the race is you go over to ASI and enter your Bib number and when they are ready they will email you a link to the photos they found.

Do you have any tips on how to train for the Disney Princess Half Marathon? Yes and I am more than happy to share them with everyone. I wrote an entire post just for newbies. Check it out here… How to Train for the Disney Princess Half Marathon.

What do you wish you knew BEFORE you ran this race the first time? This is an excellent question and a hard one to answer. Actually all the questions that are listed here and all the information that I list in my Disney Princess Half Marathon Guide 2012 were things that I was looking before I ran my first Disney Princess Half Marathon. But most of all I really wish that I knew how it really worked for the Pace Requirement. I was terrified that I was not going to be fast enough and that I would be picked up and once I figured it out I could not believe I was so scared of the very easy to obtain 16 minute mile pace. Here is how it works… the pacers start following once the last person crosses the start line. If you happen to be behind you are not automatically picked up. Most of the time you will have them tell you to hurry up and you can make up the time in a mile or two. People are picked up but it is not as often as everyone fears. I truly believe that most everyone can easily maintain the 16 minute mile pace even if they walk the entire race (I easily did). But the key is not to stop too often. Remember all that stopping takes away from your time. If you want to stop more often you should at least be maintaining a 13-14 minute mile pace to ensure that you never see a pacer.

What do you do with your camera while you are running? I have a running belt from Nathan Sports that has a small pocket on it where I put my cell phone (a must have on you during the race) and then I added a second pocket onto my belt that is big enough for my camera. I put the pocket in front of me that way I have easy access to my camera for quick pictures. Some just hold it in their hand while they run (a real pain tried that one myself).

What does the race shirt fit like? The women’s cut shirt (2012 they will have an option for a unisex cut which based on the other Disney race shirts will be more of a t-shirt fit) is a Champion shirt that is sold at most sporting goods stores such as Dick’s Sporting Goods and Sport Authority. It is a cap sleeve shirt that runs true to size. I am a medium in most tops and I had no problem with the medium top. If you get the unisex shirt they run large. I have to get an extra small (XS). They sell the same style of shirt at the online Disney Store right now so if you really want to try it out before the race you can order one here…http://www.disneystore.com/rundisney-rundisney-mickey-mouse-tee-by-champion-for-women/mp/1289689/1000855/

Some of the other questions that were asked are along the lines of what I prepared for this year’s Disney Princess Half Marathon so here is a re-post of those questions and answers…

Getting to the race. I was staying off site and I was a little concerned how it would be to get there and how much time I would need since the booklet says EXPECT SIGNIFICANT DELAYS. If you have done the WDW Marathon or Half Marathon let me just start off by saying… there will be A LOT LESS traffic at the Princess Half Marathon than there was at either of those races. But you should allow yourself plenty of time to get there and make sure to take World Drive into Epcot as they suggest. Buses begin running at 4am for a 5:45 start and there will be lines starting to form about 3:40. If you drive there you should have plenty of time if you leave anywhere from 3:30-4am (I would not leave much later than that since you have to be in your corral by 5am. If you are not staying at Disney World and could have someone drop you off have them drop you off at around the same time (3:30-4am).

What to wear? Yes it will be cold in the morning while you are standing around in your corral waiting for the race to start so make sure to have something to keep you warm. Most people (me included) will bring something that they can throw away once they get hot (which is right about when the sun comes up). Old clothes, trash bags, blankets… I have seen it all. Just make sure that when you throw it away you do not throw it at anyone while they are running and that you throw it to the sidelines so it is out of the way of other runners.

Should I bring my own food or water? Ultimately this is up to you but it has been my experience at Disney races that there is plenty of water stops so I do not bring my own water (just more weight to lug with me across the finish line). But food stops can be questionable. If you read my post on the WDW Marathon you will know that what is in the program is not always the case. I recommend bringing something like a couple of Clif Shots or a Clif Bar with you just in case you do not run into a food stop and also you should bring something to eat before the race (unlike at the WDW marathon last year there were no concessions before the race, just water).

How do I put my D-tag on? For some reason I was terrified of putting my D-tag on wrong last year. It was my first race ever and I thought for sure I would mess it up. Don’t worry it is really easy and the instructions are pretty good that they give you. If you still do not feel confident ask one of the volunteers. Last year I asked the bag check girl and she was very helpful.

Should I check a bag? The lines for the Princess bag check are a lot shorter than the ones for the WDW Half and Full Marathon but it is still something extra you will have to do and remember to get once you are done. I did it last year and while it was not a big hassle I did not do it for the WDW Marathon and I will not be doing it for the Princess Half Marathon this year.

Should I bring my own music? Yes! While the majority of the course is populated with characters (bring those cameras!) and DJs and of course Disney scenery (Magic Kingdom and Epcot will be awesome to run through) there are long stretches of the course that there is nothing and if you are anything like me you may find yourself bored. Having something to listen to or sing with will definitely help at these places. Also do not be afraid to strike up a conversation with a fellow racer (assuming they are going your pace). Everyone is excited and most people are more than happy to have someone to talk to.

Will I be okay doing it alone? I went with friends last year but they were in the corral behind me and I did not want to go back a corral so I had to go it alone. I was not alone for long. I met tons of people while in my corral waiting to start and along the way. If you are going solo, no worries it will not be long before you meet someone.

Can I change corrals? Yes. But only if you are going backwards. Say you are in Corral C and you want to go to Corral D, no problem just ask the volunteers when you line up. If you are in Corral C and you want in Corral B chances are you will have to stay in Corral C. There are instructions in the final instructions about this situation.

Are there bathrooms along the course? Yes, but they are gross…seriously gross. There are porta-poddies every couple of miles (they will be listed on the course map). I have seen guys and girls run out into the trees off the course when there were none around. Although I have not done it someone told me it might be wise as a woman to bring some tissue in case an emergency restroom break in the trees is needed. EDITED Feb 21 to add... Julie another Disney Princess veteran mentioned that there are also bathrooms in the Magic Kingdom's Tomorrowland... REAL BATHROOMS WITH WATER!

What are the things that I should definitely make sure I have with me during the race?
  • Camera with brand new batteries (there are so many neat things going on that a cell phone camera is really not enough).
  • Music (either cell phone or iPod)
  • Food (at least one Clif Bar or Clif Shot there is supposed to be food at mile 8 and there will be food after the race)
  • Shoes you have trained in (Do not wear new shoes, wear the ones you trained in so you know your feet are good in them.) Also I recommend covering your blister areas in liquid stitch or NuSkin before the race to prevent blisters. There will be a couple of stops (usually at the med tents) which will have BioFreeze, aspirin, band-aids and New Skin.
  • A smile! Seriously Disney races are fun so remember to keep smiling even if you hit the wall at about mile 8 (that is where I hit it last year). If you are smiling and having a good time you will be able to overcome your sudden need to curse or cry or both and keep on trucking to the finish line. 
  • And of course your Bib and D-tag! 
(Added February 26, 2011) How do I know what Corral I am in? This question was asked a lot this week so I thought I would add it to the list for future Princesses. You will be given your bib number when you are sent the email telling you that your wavier is ready for download but you will not know your Corral placement until you pick up the bib at the Expo. You must go to the Expo to receive your bib and goody bag, they will not mail it. There is an absentee pickup (someone will have a note and a copy of your ID and they can pick it up for you).
(Added February 26, 2011) Can I print out my waiver at the Expo? Yep! There are stations just before you go over to pick up your bib that you can sit down enter your name and print out your waiver. No worries if you forget it.
 
Keep those questions coming Princesses! I am more than happy to keep editing this post with new questions and answers. If you want to be kept up to date on this post or many of the other Disney Princess Half Marathon posts here on my blog join me on Facebook or Twitter where I will let you know when there are new posts or updates to posts. More Disney Princess Half Marathon information can be found on my Disney Princess Half Marathon Guide 2012

Happy Training Princesses!

Platinum Tel is the lowest priced Pay-As-You-Go Cell phone providers out there. Their prices for Text, Phone and Internet beat Net 10, Trac Phone and Virgin Mobile. Plus they give you an awesome free phone. Check out the FREE LG Rumor phone that you get free with a $100 top off card. And best of all NO Contracts!


Classics by Tweet

As I was sitting reading on my Kindle this afternoon I had the urge to Tweet first one line then another from the book I was reading and it came it me that reading a novel from a Twitter account might be an interesting way to read an entire book. Each day you get just 140 characters of the author’s wisdom and what better books to read 140 characters at a time than classic novels. Whether you have to read it for a class or you just cannot find the time to sit down and read an entire classic novel come over to my Twitter account Classics by Tweet and read the classic novels I am reading 140 characters (or less) at a time. Tweets will come daily and may come 2-4 times a day. Come back to this page to find out more detailed information about the book that we are reading. From a biography on the author to the history of the novel and links to the entire book you will find everything you need to know that cannot be delivered on tweet at a time. 

August 2011- September 2011 Novel:
Title: Pride and Prejudice

Author: Jane Austen

Tweeting Begins: August 14, 2011

Author Biography: Jane Austen was born in December 1775 in Steventon, Hampshire, England. She was of eight children and was educated primarily by her father and older brothers. She was an avid reader and writer and is best known for her realism and biting social commentary. From the time she was a teenager until the age of 35 she experimented with various literary forms. Her novels include: Sense and Sensibility (1811), Pride and Prejudice (1813), Mansfield Park (1814), Emma (1816), Northanger Abbey (1818), Persuasion (1818). 

In 1816 Jane Austen fell ill. For a long while she ignored her illness and continued to work on her novels and participate in family activities. She died on July 18, 1817 at the age of 41. 

Novel History:
Pride and Prejudice was originally titled “First Impressions” and was written between October 1796 and August 1797. On November 1, 1797 Austen’s father sent a letter to Thomas Cadell to see if he had any interest in the book. Cadell declined. Austen revised the manuscript between 1811 and 1812 and re-named the novel “Pride and Prejudice.” The copyright for the novel was sold to Thomas Egerton for £110. The first edition was published in three hardcover volumes in January 1813 and was priced at 18s. The novel saw favorable reviews and soon sold out. The second edition was published in November of 1813, the third edition in 1817. 

Where to find the entire novel: You can buy the book at any bookseller in ebook, paperback, hardback, audiobook. It is at almost any library. In other words it is not hard to find the novel if you really want to read it. Here are a few free editions online:


Helpful Links on the Novel:


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Thursday, August 04, 2011

How to Train for the Disney Princess Half Marathon

All those excited Princesses out there have been emailing me and leaving me messages on Facebook asking many fantastic questions about the Disney Princess Half Marathon (all of those questions and answers I will put together in a post coming soon here on Weekly Zen). The one question that kept coming up from many newbie Princesses and runners was… “Do you have any training tips for the Disney Princess Half Marathon?” This is such a great question and one I asked when I was getting ready for my first half marathon. Before I give you my own training plan or ideas on training I will let you all know that if you just Google “Half Marathon Training Plan” you will come up with tons and tons of information, some paid and some free. There is so much information available that it may feel overwhelming. Look at some of that info, digest it, think about it and then take an honest look at yourself and lifestyle and tailor any plan you choose to use to your lifestyle and goals. There is no magic formula out there. Each person is different and will find their own way if they are motivated enough. So with all that in mind below is what I did for my first half marathon (which also happened to be my first ever race) the Disney Princess Half Marathon…

The First Time Runner Half Marathon Training Plan:
Epcot
2011 Disney Princess Half Marathon



1) Motivation to Finish
The first step to any training plan should be having the overwhelming desire to finish that race no matter what the distance. Something in your life should motivate you enough to make you get off the couch and take those first steps toward the finish line. If you have already signed up for the race or heck if you are reading this post you probably have that deep down inside you somewhere. Find it and identify it. Say it out loud, write it in your journal, on your facebook page… whatever just make sure you know your desire and motivation. Don’t let yourself forget it before, during and after the race.

Here was mine back in 2009…

Back in December of 2009 I was 60 pounds overweight and super lazy. A half a mile of slow walking made me tired enough to want to sleep the rest of the day. As I was surfing the internet one day I came across someone talking about how they just completed all the Disney races that year and they were showing pictures of their medals. Until that point I had no idea that Disney hosted races at Disney World nor that someone like me who had the $120 could just enter and have a chance to get one of those cool medals. So I went to Disney’s site to check out all the different races and see what they actually entailed. I read about the Disney Princess Half Marathon and saw pictures of the medal and I knew I really wanted that medal. So I signed up for the race hoping that some miracle would happen that would allow me to be able to finish the 13.1 mile challenge I put ahead of me. Almost immediately after signing up I felt terrible… I thought I had just wasted $120 because I was sure that I would not finish. A little discouraged I looked all over the internet for training plans that seemed easy and that would allow me to finish. I read other’s blogs and their stories about how they trained. None of it really seemed to help because it all seemed beyond my abilities at the time.

The next morning I woke up and decided that all those training plans and stories did not matter because I wanted that medal more than anything else I had ever wanted in my life and not because it was a really cool medal (it is though). No, I wanted that medal because it meant that I had a goal that seemed impossible to achieve and if I worked hard enough I would accomplish that goal. I dressed and told my husband that I was going out to train not knowing exactly what that meant.

2) Assessing your abilities
All diet plans, training plans anything that requires some physical change of you always start off by saying “Consult your doctor before starting this plan.” Always a good idea so make sure you do that but that is not the only thing you need to do to assess your abilities. Ask yourself “Honestly, what can I really achieve and how long do I think I will need to be able to achieve that?”  Be sincerely honest with yourself because if you lie to yourself you are just hurting… YOU.

When I assessed my abilities I thought that there was no way I would be able to run 13.1 miles in just 3 months (remember I did not start training until just 3 months before the race). I accepted that fact but I thought there was a great chance that I would be able to WALK 13.1 miles in 3 months of training if I really put everything I had into it. So I made up my mind that the majority of my training would be focused on walking (running would be a supplement and I would not expect to be able to run the half marathon).

3) Get a monitoring device
The only way to truly know how many miles you are doing in what amount of time is to have something that will tell you mileage and a timer. There are so many devices out there to choose from (I use the Garmin 305) so just pick one. It does not have to be fancy, expensive or pro quality it just has to work. I started with a $20 Omron Pedometer you can find at Walgreens or Walmart. No matter what you choose get one because it is essential to any plan you use. Why? If you are not in great shape you can think that ½ a mile feels like 3 miles. It is really important that you accurately know how far you are going and how fast you are doing it.

4) Decide WHAT you will actually do:
Once you have your device get out there. Lots of people like to start with a time goal. For example: “Today I want to walk for 30 minutes.” That is totally fine. Here is an example of a possible plan based on time…

Monday: Walk for 30 minutes
Tuesday: Rest Day
Wednesday: Walk for 40 Minutes
Thursday: Rest Day
Friday: Walk for 50 minutes
Saturday: Rest Day
Sunday: Walk for 20 minutes

When you are first starting out it is important to let yourself rest and heal. Remember if you have never walked for 30 minutes that day after is going to feel like you were beat up. Let yourself rest as time goes on you will get stronger and then you can decrease rest days and increase time. Personally I was concerned more about distance than I was time (Disney has a very easy to obtain 16 min mile time limit). So my plan was more like this…

Monday: Walk 2miles
Tuesday: Rest day
Wednesday: Walk 3 miles
Thursday: Rest Day
Friday: Walk 5 miles
Saturday: Rest Day
Sunday: Walk 3 miles

Right there in my first week of training I was able to walk 13 miles. Each week I would gradually increase the “Long Walk/Run” day. The next week might be 8 miles for the long walk. Eventually I would work myself all the way up to 13 miles. One thing is certain you want to be able to do that 13 miles before the day of the race.

5) Decide WHEN you need to start:
Remember this is your plan and you can start and stop anytime you like but a word of advice DO NOT WAIT UNTIL A MONTH BEFORE THE RACE. Seriously even those who have been running or walking awhile give themselves more than a month to train. I have met so many people at all the Disney races who only started to train a month or a few weeks before the race very sure that they had it in the bag even though they never went the distance and they did not finish the race. Even 3 months was not enough time for me, a complete beginner at the time to train (I finished though). To give you an idea, 2012 will be my 3rd Disney Princess Half Marathon and I have already started training for it (7 months before the start). Granted I am also training for the WDW Marathon (6 months away) at the same time. Think of it this way, you can always do more with more time than you can with less time. In other words, the earlier you start the better.

6) Decide WHERE you want to train
Like everything else in your plan this depends on you and your environment. So if you want to train on a treadmill or outside that is up to you to decide. Either way has its benefits. Since I was in Florida where the weather is pretty great all year (sometimes you have to get up really early for that great weather) I trained all outside. Decide what works for you but let me just say this… It is a lot different walking and running outside than it is inside. When you are not feeling it some days the treadmill can literally do all the work for you, after all, all you really need to do is move your feet. Try no matter where you decide to train to get some of your miles outside that way you are not too surprised when it comes race time. Another word of advice, prepare for hills. I know our perception of Florida is that is it flat and beach like but there are some pretty intense hills for newbies and veterans along the Disney World courses.

7) GET OUT THERE AND DO IT!
No matter what plan you choose it all comes down to the things I have outlined here in this post. Here is a little review:

1)Know your motivation

2)Assess your abilities

3)Gear up (good shoes and a monitoring device)

4)Decide if you will walk or run or walk/run (I suggest those who have not done regular exercise start by walking the distance)

5)Give yourself plenty of time to train (it is really never too early to start)

6)Whether you train inside or outside get some of those miles outside and prepare for hills (you prepare for hills by actually doing them)

7)Get out there and do it! 

The more you put into your training the more you get out of it.
I hope this gives you all a general idea of how to train for the Disney Princess Half Marathon. I am sure that there are tons of people out there with “plans” that changed their lives and I encourage you to share them here. You never know what will click for you but if you have the basics down you can make anything your own.

Happy Training Princesses!

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