Mermaid Series Sprint Duathlon 2014

Ever since I did this race in 2013 with my beach cruiser, I’ve wanted to do this race again with a real road bike! So, a couple weekends ago I did 🙂 Read to find out how this race cation went!

photo 1This year not only did I have a road bike to race with, but a friend as well! We made a racecation out of it, staying in a local hotel in Capitola.  Since I like to “race in style”, instead of having a stylish beach cruiser to ride, I decided to race in full blown sparkle…head to toe! I did wear triathlon shorts and an exercise tank underneath though to reduce the possibility of chafing 🙂

And since this is a Mermaid Series, I of course decided to wear a sparkly outfit that resembled Ariel! My friend said I’ve done too many Disney races….but hey, at least I got lots of compliments during the race!!! I dubbed myself the official mermaid motivator, since many people said the sparkles made them smile (which is what I was hoping for!).

Packet Pick-up and Transition Set-up

This year, my friend and I picked up packets the day before at Whole Foods, which was very quick and easy. Last year I picked my packet up before the race, which was also very speedy 🙂 The next morning, we left the hotel around 6:30 and walked our stuff to the transition zone to set up. This year they had fewer areas labeled for each age group, so there was more freedom in where we could park our bikes.

We then headed back to the hotel so I could finish getting ready (aka fully blinged out) and to avoid standing in the cold 🙂 This was a nice treat compared to last year since I had to just wait.  About 1hr before the race, we went to the start line to warm up and take pics 🙂

1.5mi Run + T1 Time: 16:10

My friend and I planned to start together, but I told her to go for it since I was just going to go at my pace and have fun in my sparkly outfit 🙂 The first quarter mile was pretty much straight up hill, getting to the top, turning around to go back down the hill, running along the beach, up another hill, and into the transition zone.  I went a bit faster than my long distance pace since I didn’t want to push it too much before the bike portion. I read that the course had changed and that there would be a hill about half way through. Once I got to the transition zone, I spun my number around, swapped my running shoes for my bike shoes, put on my helmet and gloves and was off running to exit the transition zone to mount my bike.

12mi Bike Ride +T2 Time: 48:54

So the majority of the bike course was fairly straightforward, light hills, some tight turns, but it seemed that the “hill” wouldn’t be too hard. Well THAT was a bad assumption because even on the lowest gear, I went SO SLOW up the hill!! Plus the hill was in the shade from redwoods on both sides and on a not well maintained road (reminded me of my Tri for Fun Series Races, only up a huge hill).  And once I got to the top for the turnaround, I went fast, but I had to avoid eating asphalt since I could have easily hit a road crack wrong or an unseen road hazard on the shaded road.  Scary!!!!! It was a morale killer on the way back since I felt like I started out so strong and then fell short on the hill.  Even if I had done more biking, I have NO access to hills, so I would have still had a hard time either way. Once I got to the transition zone, I transferred back to my run gear to finish the race.

2.5mi run to the finish. Time: 25:45

 The run is pretty much the same as the first leg, only the turnaround is farther along Cliff Drive.  My legs were fatiguing after running up the hill and near the top I saw my friend heading back already! I weakly cheered her on since I was already pooped and still had like another 1.5mi to go. Slowly but surely I made my way around the course, across the sand and through the finisher’s chute! After the race, we got some delicious food provided by Whole Foods: yogurt, granola, fruit, banana bread and coconut water.  They also offered pancakes, but I wasn’t hungry enough to eat those on top of the huge yogurt container.

Post Race Fun

After we ate Whole Foods food, foam rolled (oh yea there was a foam rolling and The Stick station at the post race expo!), and showered, we walked to a nearby cafe to get some lunch.  Then it was off to the spa to have some beauty treatments! My friend got a massage and a facial, I just got a facial, but we both got the special tea service after both of us finished.

The next morning, we headed off to Monterey to visit the Monterey Bay Aquarium (courtesy of some free tickets I got!). We loved checking out all the creatures under the sea (it really floats my marine bio boat!), especially the tentacles exhibit! If you get the chance to go, you should!!!

Have a great weekend!


DIY runDisney Tangled Costumes

Want to get all Tangled for your next race? Well then you’re in luck because here is my DIY costume recap from the 2014 Dumbo Double Dare Challenge! In this I go over how I dressed as Pascal and Rapunzel, enjoy!

Since I plan to use the tank tops in the future for yoga (or for other costumes), everything attached to the shirt was only sewn with a few hand sewn stitches or with once through knots (ridges, criss-cross ribbon, cap sleeves). Just enough to last during the race, but not too much that would damage the shirt fabric once removed.

Thrifty is Nifty!

It really is! I try to use what I already own or can buy cheaply (like the tanks and fabric). That way I don’t mind splurging so much on a cute sparkly visor 🙂 Example, previously owned: green arm sleeves, neon green ProCompression socks, both pairs of shoes, green felt, and sparkly fabric. Also, I LOVE looking through Goodwill during halloween season (end of Aug-Oct) to find cheap accessories as well as year-round at Dollar Tree. I got the green arm sleeves during Goodwill’s 2013 Halloween season (I think they were like $3?) and the same kind in bright orange and pink (for future costumes!).

When buying supplies to make things, I encourage downloading Michael’s and JoAnn Fabrics apps, so you always have a coupon on the go! Just make sure what you need isn’t an excluded item. Helped me save $$ on the ribbon and purple elastic I needed!

DIY Skirts

While I am now comfortable making my own sparkly skirts, I didn’t invent my own pattern making method. If you are interested in skirt DIY check out (Beauty Still Remains) for tips. Otherwise there are lots of sparkly skirt companies out there to purchase one from! I like having a little more coverage (aka longer skirts), which is also why I opted to make my own.

For my skirts, I decided to make the pattern of 2nd tier a half circle. It uses more fabric than cutting rectangles to gather and sew (like many of the companies do), but it still falls nicely. I made the purple first and the green second. Let’s just say trying the gathering method on the first skirt in addition to the circle pattern was a pain and nearly made the skirt too small to wear (long story). I therefore decided the green skirt will have NO gathering, but like I said, circle cuts fall nicely all on their own 🙂

If you do decide to make your own sparkly skirt: Have mineral oil handy, since the needle gets gunked up easily from going through the sparkle dot adhesive. I broke one needle and had the machine stall throughout the process of the purple skirt (first one). After I bought mineral oil and reapplied to the needle every couple inches of sewn fabric (for the green), it made ALL the difference!

It’s all in the details


Rapunzel’s Hair: I bought 2 girl’s “fun” hairpieces, 2 bouquets of fake flowers, hair ties and a hair bow (literally fake hair tied into a bow that matched the hairpieces) at Dollar Tree. Total cost $6 for the Rapunzel hair! I took both hair pieces off the headbands they were glued to and braided them together. The part of the hair attached to the headband is already braided, so I wound the two braided pieces around in a circle and lightly sewed them into place. I kept the fake hair in its own braid until race morning so it wouldn’t tangle during travel. To attach to my hair on race day, I unbraided the braid, put my hair through the top braided loop and braided my hair into the fake hair braid. I’m sure there’s an easier way to do this, but doing it this way helped things stay in place and made it easier to run in race day.  To finish the hair decorations, I pulled off the fake bouquet blooms (they were attached with multiple flower heads) and attached them to my hair with small hair bands. Then I attached the fake hair bow at the bottom and voila, Rapunzel hair!

Corset: Thin pink ribbon to make criss cross pattern. I first sewed the ribbon to itself in a crisscross pattern and then sewed the ribbon to shirt. Didn’t work sewing ribbon in a criss cross pattern directly to shirt, ended up crooked & had to redo!

Cap Sleeves: Overlapped the 5 ribbon strands to one point at the top (after I cut to length around shoulder, just make the last 2 strips are longer in the back), spread the bottom edges apart and then sewed the top pieces together to stay in place. To cover the sewing marks on the ribbon, I sewed some extra purple elastic ruche over it. I then sewed the ribbons to the outside edge of the purple elastic ruche so it wouldn’t rub against my skin during the run. I then sewed a thin light pink ribbon over the top to cover the stitches.

Felt Pascal: If you feel you aren’t artistic, I suggest printing out a silhouette image of a chameleon, cutting it out and then tracing onto felt to cut out. Then sew him to your shirt and you are done.  For my Pascal, on the other hand,  I stylized him. I custom drew the body that resembled more of a gecko and made his chameleon face in profile to make him look like he was climbing up the front of my shoulder.  To give him more structure, I cut out 2 pieces: one in light green (top) the other in dark green (bottom) and sewed them together. I was afraid that the very thin light green fabric would get mangled during travel, so adding a second piece made him stronger (and gave him a cool shadow effect). I then attached 5” of a 1/4″ pink sparkly ribbon to his mouth to make it look like he had his tongue sticking out (so cute!). I curled it and sewed it to his foot (didn’t want the ribbon to flap against my skin). I then attached him with 3 anchor points to my tank top (along edge of tank seam so it wouldn’t damage the more delicate fabric).

Pascal Spine Ridges: I took an 8″ square piece of light green felt, folded it half and sewed 2 “M” shapes in place. I then cut off the foldd fabric part, so that when I turned it right side out, it looked like spine ridges! Then attached to the back of the tank. I thought about making a tail, but I wore a tail for my Cheshire cat costume and it bugged me…

Accessories: Additional things you can add are a sparkly visor (bought at expo from Sparkle Athletics), long compression socks or calf sleeves, and/or arm sleeves. These accessories work for either Pascal or Rapunzel, since you can likely find some combo of green and purple in these items 🙂

Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend 2014: Disneyland Half Marathon Recap

Dumbo Double Dare Part 2: The Disneyland Half Marathon! Toy soldiers, villains and bling galore!!

photo 1My mom and I left at 4am again, got there ~4:40am and it took at least 15 min to get into the parking structure. Fortunately they didn’t charge us for parking this time, yay a FIRST!!!!

By the time I got to corral G, (dropping off sweats & last port-potty) it was about 5:20am, but I knew I had at least another 30 min+ before my corral would cross the start line.  We ended up getting funneled on the left hand side (other side of fence) for our corral, but at least they didn’t make us walk all the way around.  When it was time to move forward, we all just turned around and walked back down the funnel.  My mom went to the left side of the corrals and followed me until my corral crossed the start line again 🙂

Miles 0-4:CA Adventure Land & Disneyland

Apparently I hadn’t attached my hair extension very well (was slipping through my slippery hair), so for the first mile I was dealing with a tangle of a situation.  I did manage to figure out a solution: put the attached hair extension under my tank top and tie it in place with a piece of ribbon I found on the ground. Worked for the whole rest of the race!

First photo-op I took advantage of was around mile 2.5, 3 toy soldiers! They were very energetic and great at cheering us runners on (shouting Oh-Rah) as we ran by!

Some of the other photo-ops with longer lines that I did not take picts with included: Prince Charming and the Step sisters, Maleficient (new), Darth Vader and 2 Storm Troopers, and a couple of the flashy cars in Cars Land.

Miles 5-9: City of Anaheim, Honda Center and Angels Stadium

By mile 5, we were well out of the park and onto the streets of Anaheim.  I was still a bit sore in my shins and left glute from the 10k the day before, so I was working on walk/running and getting through the rest of the miles. It was SO nice though having a group (can’t remember name, something like Team Disney Party) offering us red vines, oranges and COLD SPONGES! So refreshing!!! I carried that sponge till about mile 9 and refilled it with water at each water station.

Around mile 7 we hit the Honda Center where there were again lots of older car models parked along the road. Its pretty cool listening to all different horn sounds and to the owners cheering us on!

Then at mile 9 we started our run through Angel’s Stadium.  It was great having all these Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts in the crowd again holding out their hands to I’ve us high fives as we run by.  Always  nice to have continual support from race viewers! Plus we got featured on the jumbotron as we ran by and got an up close and personal view of the baseball field!

During this entire chunk of course, since we are out in the middle of Anaheim, we got ALOT of cool groups that cheered us on: local high school bands, cheerleaders and even a spanish dancing troupe! Just want to give a shout-out to all of the wonderful water-station and cheering volunteers along this part of the route!!!

Miles 10-13.1: The trek back to Downtown Disney

Thankfully the sun was still hiding behind the clouds during this last leg so it was LESS FATIGUING than the 2013 Disneyland Half Marathon.  Last year around mile 8 the sun started shining through the clouds and made the last 5 miles pretty miserable for me.

Nothing exciting happened picture wise, BUT around mile 12.5 I was running back onto Disney property when I heard a guy sing from the sideline “And at last I see the light”, which took me a second to get that he was referring to me so as I ran I sang “and its like the fog has lifted!” I hope the dude heard me, it was refreshing to get a quick burst of energy from the singing gesture (now I can say I’ve sung during a Disney race!)! None of the other runners around me seemed phased by my singing, they probably thought it was weird, but oh WELL I loved it!

And soon enough, I was through the finisher’s chute and collecting my medals!

Time: 2:46:31 (didn’t have a time goal, but I thought it would be around 2:45)
Average Pace: 12:42 min/mi (pretty good for sore legs from a 10k the day before!)

Post Race

After I got my wrist band marked in the Dumbo Double Dare tent area and collected my third medal of the weekend, I made my way to the exit to find my mom. Just before leaving, I snagged a couple bags of ice.  After stretching, icing and applying BioFreeze I was ready to take some post race bling photos!

I loved this race weekend from people cheering me on as “Rapunzel” (more obvious character than pascal) and for my mom walking  to all the viewer places to cheer me and others on during legs of the race! A huge shout out to my mom for driving me this entire weekend, love you and thank you!!!!

I conquered the Dumbo Double Dare Challenge, yeah!

Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend 2014: Disneyland 10k Recap

Dumbo Double Dare Part 1: The Disneyland 10k! Can you believe I challenged myself to walk and not run?

photo 2My mom and I left our house at 4am, got there ~4:40am and didn’t have any traffic getting to the parking structure. I knew that the 1/2 would be different since there would be at least double the number of runners. We again cut over to the left side to pay for parking and got in super quick!

By the time I got to corral C, it was about 5:20am, but I knew I had at least another 20 min before my corral would cross the start line.  My mom apparently found a way to the left side of the corrals from the viewer side, so she followed me as the corrals ahead of me left and gave me one last wave when it was time for me to start the 10k!

Miles 1-3.1

photo 5The first 2 miles were in Anaheim, which was a bit of a surprise (since I didn’t look at the course) because I had intended to just run the first mile until we got into the park. I didn’t have a time goal because I wanted to walk the vast majority of the race to save my legs for the half as much as possible. So when I hit mile one (even though I was still in the city), I started my fast walk.

Just after mile 2, we headed into California Adventure land and I got my only “pose” picture with a Cars Land vehicle, a baby tractor! (it had the shortest line).  Turned out pretty cute! Yes I’m sticking my tongue out 🙂

Miles 3.2-6.2

Sometimes during the race I’d hear people thinking out loud saying something like, “dinosaur ridges?”, so I’d turn around and say “Pascal” 🙂 Got complimented on my ridges and look of my chameleon-esk type running outfit.

Walking the majority of the race allowed me to enjoy the course more than the speedier 10k I did at the Tinker Bell 10k since I got to “be” in the parks longer.  Yes it would have been more fun taking lots of photo ops, but the theme of this race is Lilo & stitch and its not a movie particularly close to my heart (its cute, but I love Beauty and the Beast, Little Mermaid, Pocahontas, Tangled, and Frozen).  Many photo ops had stitch, elvis, chipmunks or hawaiian shirt dressed people.  Might have been more fitting had I dressed in a Luau costume 🙂

Mostly I enjoyed the atmosphere of the race and watching the creativity of runners passing by. One girl went as full blown ewok and had fur arm sleeves, fur skirt and furry long socks (it was kind of funny running into her at the beginning of the race, half way through and finishing just after her)!

Time: 1:2803
Average Pace: 14:10 min/mi (pretty good for walking most of it!!)

Post Race

I did take a couple post race “posed” photos because its now a tradition of mine.  Pascal is just too CUTE that I had to do 2 of my favorite poses 🙂

Got my red wrist band for the dumbo double dare, part 1 of the challenge is now in the books!

Disneyland Half Marathon EXPO 2014 Recap and Costumes Revealed

Welcome to the Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend 2014!  Ok so at the end of last year’s Disneyland Half Marathon recap I may have said I wouldn’t necessarily do this race again due to the time of year/weather, but I’ve been living in a hotter climate and this time I’m doing the Dumbo Double Dare! Here’s how this expo went and how it wasn’t a dumbo debacle like 2013.


Bib & Shirt Pick-up

Record time, ever! Went to the expo Fri morning and arrived right at 9am.  Downtown Disney parking lot was still only partially full, so it was easy to find a parking spot in the shade.  Walked up to the underground area to pick up the bib, no lines anywhere and was in the expo with 5 min tops!

Picked up my shirts and LOVE the fit and colors! SO MUCH better than last year’s unisex sizes.

EXPO swag

As for expo shopping, I was hoping to get some dark purple ProCompression Marathon socks for the race, but they only had dark purple calf sleeves (not the same feeling when I tried them on) or lavender socks with yellow striped top. But my mom and I got a couple pairs of their new brightly colored running socks instead! I did get the other item on my list, a purple sparky visor from Sparkle Athletic!

My mom and I noticed that there was NO line to get into the official runDisney merchandise area, so we walked around (gawked at the prices) and decided we weren’t missing out on much on the previous races. Plus there was maybe a 6 person line for checkout? If I did want anything, I would have hit a perfect time to purchase. Next year, I will be buying the 2015 Princess Coast to Coast shirt since I will be doing that challenge 🙂

Costume Reveal Time: Time to get Tangled!

For the 10k I’m going to be Pascal and for the half, I’m going to be Rapunzel!  I actually hadn’t really seen the movie (brief segments on tv) when I first started making the costumes, but I bought it on iTunes and have watched it a couple times within the last week 🙂  Pascal is SO hilarious! Love that little chameleon.

For those of you wondering how I put the costume together, I’ll make a separate post that goes into more detail. In the meantime, you can look at my info graphics below (click to enlarge)!

Good luck to everyone racing this weekend!