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 skirtHave 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

RapunzelDIY

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 🙂

Advertisements

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!

MOO-nlight Half Marathon: Volunteer Experience

In the evening of the same day I did my second sprint triathlon, I volunteered at a water/aid station for the MOO-nlight Half Marathon run in Davis. In celebration of this weekend’s super moon, I decided to finally post this recap.

full moon

FYI: While I’m so glad I gave back to fellow runners, I think there could have been more communication between people coordinating the race and the volunteers.  If you volunteer for this race next year (because it is important to volunteer, I still encourage it), I hope that my email I sent to the race (shortened version of this post) will help make things better in the future.

Preface

First of all, let me just say that as an athlete, volunteers are integral to making a race run smoothly.  From cheering us on, to making decisions for us when we are dehydrated and tired (like when I put out a hand for water but words dont follow), just know that on behalf of all us racing athletes out there, THANK YOU! Thank you for your time, for dealing with behind-the-scenes-issues you don’t show on your smiling face, and for just coming out to support us when you could be doing a million other things. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.

***

MOO-nlight Volunteer Experience (also see highlights of race at the end!)

The contradictory confirmation email I received should have been my first indication that there would be issues. The email AND the attachment said to meet AT the water station and gave directions where to park. However, the email said to meet there at 7:30, while the attachment said 7pm. I showed up at 7 because I didn’t want to be late.

After I arrived (and everyone was just about there too), our volunteer box was nowhere to be found: No shirts, no glow sticks, no cowbells, no race vouchers (get $30 off one of their races). Our water/aid station leader had no idea that we were supposed to get any of those things. Furthermore, he said that he was told that volunteers would be parking at the start line and that he would be driving us to our water/aid station. A few of the volunteers went to the start line at 6pm to get there early (I dont know if they signed up as a volunteer earlier than I did or not), so they got glow stick necklaces, cow bells, and I assume their vouchers when they checked in.

I brought this up to our leader when we still had at least 45 min before the first runner came by so he called someone at the start/finish asking if our box was still there.  He told us we would have to pick it up after the race. Well, kind of defeats the purpose of Volunteer unity if we dont have shirts saying we are part of the event and we have to go pick stuff up that should have been waiting for us here. Why our team leader couldnt go pick it up in the 45 min we had to kill, nor why the guy who was supposed to bring us more cones for dividing the trail in front of our aid station (since this part of the route is an out and back, so we see runners twice), couldn’t have brought our box I also dont understand.  Thankfully I did bring glow sticks of my own so at least we could have some fun glowing 🙂 Below is an image of “enticement email” to potential volunteers (and our swag):

Screen shot 2014-07-13 at 10.40.47 AM

Did I mention we also had no bathroom/porta-potty? We were in a residential area and it was still almost 90 degrees for the first hour.  I found a bathroom 0.5 mi away at a local park before sunset, but it had a chain lock hanging near the open door, so I didn’t think it would be open until 10:30pm when we would be done (since most public park bathrooms seem to close at sunset).  So basically I didn’t think I should hydrate for fear of having to hold my pee for 3 hours or having to drive somewhere during the race, leaving dehydrated runners just so I could use the facilities. Also note that when we did start having runners, MANY asked if there was a porta-potty nearby (since pretty much every race I have gone to has a porta-potty near every water station, even if only 1). I had to tell those runners, “I’m sorry we don’t”.

Runners Arriving

It started out slow, a few trickling in at a time, but after an hour, it was “rush hour”. Barely enough time to fill cups, put out on the table and have some of us hold them to hand out before they reached the table.  I started noticing numerous cups piling up and overflowing the one trash can with the one trash bag we were given. I asked our team leader if we had more trash bags, but no, we did not. So we used the city trash can for the time being while I tried stacking cups together to help condense the amount of trash spreading around. After 20 min, we got a water drop off (since we were running low) and I got some extra trash bags from him, so I didn’t have to do the stacking technique anymore. I needed to make sure the cups were out of the path of the runners, so cleaning up was just as important as making sure they were hydrated. Last thing we wanted was for someone to slip on a cup. Once the trash situation was contained I went back to handing out water/gatorade until the final runners came by.

Final Runners

When the race was winding down, I got some of the volunteers to help me do a clean up job along the course (not far) to pick up the numerous cups, empty gel packets etc… with our bare hands. I probably had hundreds of people’s saliva all over me (thankfully I didn’t get sick, I really tried hard not to touch my face or anything, but its not like we had a place to wash our hands with soap or at least disinfect them….). We were just starting to break down the water tables when a runner came up to us. She said that she thought she pulled a quad and asked us if this was an aid station that could call someone to pick her up.  I told her she could sit on one of the water coolers, while I looked for something to ice her quad. All the ice had melted in the coolers, so I looked in our very small “first aid container”. That pretty much consisted of antiseptic wipes, bandaids, gauze and ointment. No pain killers, no instant ice packs (is that standard?). I told the other volunteers that I was looking for an ice pack, but couldn’t find one so I was going to check my car. Fortunately one of the other volunteers did have one in her car, so we did what we could to help the runner until the driver arrived.

While the ice pack search was going on, I heard some of the other volunteers looking for our team leader. No idea where he went. Then they were trying to contact him and it took at lest 30 min or more before the girl actually got picked up (took time to find/call/tell our leader, get him to call someone, and for that someone to come).  So glad she wasn’t in immidiate need of medical attention, because I would have just called an ambulance.

Voucher Pickup

So after we picked up everything and put it in the trailer, we all followed our team leader in our respective cars to go to the start/finish area.  The lady there said, “We don’t know why/how your box didn’t get to your station, but since it didn’t, we gave the shirts away. We can contact you if you would like a shirt.” She handed us our vouchers and I don’t think any of us left our names for a shirt.  I mean, I really don’t need another race/volunteer shirt, but it would have been nice for us to look like a team at our station to begin with. And again, why someone at volunteer check in didn’t contact our team leader saying our box was still here or have someone take it to us is another thing I don’t understand. There should be multiple checks in place. I do understand this is a race with alot of moving parts, but I have volunteered at Tinker Bell Half Marathon with an order of magnitude more runners and they have a well oiled machine with their volunteer system. I know and have experienced that it can be done.

How the experience could be improved:

  1. Consistent Volunteer Directions: One time, one place, no contradictory email.
  2. Make sure the team leader knows what the volunteers are supposed to receive and if they don’t, go get it or have someone bring it.
  3. Have each team leader give a quick meeting on how their particular station will be run. Including what to look out for and to make sure enough supplies are there in the first place (like multiple trash bags). I ended up having the most knowledge on runner behavior (fatigue, sometimes speechless etc…) and water station dos/donts based on my race experiences, so I did what I could in disseminating information that would be helpful in running this station.
  4. If it is an aid station, make sure to have multiple instant ice packs on hand.
  5. If it is a water station that is in an area with no bathroom, please put 1 porta-potty there or tell us in the email that there will be NO bathrooms available.

**** 

Highlights

So I want to end this sort of recap/constructive critique on a positive note, so that those of you thinking of volunteering aren’t turned away.  I made the best of the situation considering and I hope that the runners enjoyed the race tremendously. Volunteering was for them:

Still on the high of my race that morning, I was SO excited to be giving back to my fellow racers so soon.  I loved yelling “wooo, good job, keep it up!”, complimenting you all on the super cute outfits you ran in, smiling at you as you passed by, and giving much needed relief when I handed you extremely thirsty runners some water.  I loved being able to make your day, even with little things e.g. a couple of you runners saw others with glow necklaces and wished you each had one to wear, so I took the ones off my neck and clipped one around each of your necks so you could finish the last few miles in style. I loved cheering back when you runners would yell “We love our volunteers” because we know you are all so tired at mile 8/9, but you still managed to yell just as enthusiastically back at us. You are our inspiration, we applaud your efforts for taking on the challenge (especially this race is always in the heat and in the evening!), and we will do what we can to help you get to that finish line. Even if it means finding an ice pack in our car and calling a medic at the start/finish to pick you up. We want you to be taken care of during your race journey. Race on!