Packing for Disneyland is a job in itself let alone adding on packing for a RunDisney vacation! Beginning May 7th and lasting through May 10th is the Tinkerbell Half Marathon weekend, which will mark my fourth RunDisney race. I would be lying if I said I haven’t been preparing for this race since registration back in August. This race is also different than the first time I ran Tinkerbell, simply because now I have my 1 year old daughter, Emma.
My husband, Ryan, is not fond of one simple detail to this whole trip plan. The dreaded hour in which I decide we have to get up to drive down there. We live about 6 hours away from Disneyland, but with a baby, we need to make a few stops here and there one in particular – Split Pea Anderson’s for breakfast. It’s our little tradition. This time around, I’m setting the clock for 4:30 am and with coffee in hand, will be on the road by 5 am sharp. This fellow runners, in my opinion, is key and also tip number 1.
1. Wake up the day or two days prior around the time you will wake up on race day. Not only will this help you reset your clock a bit but by waking early and not napping, you will be SO tired come 8 pm and hopefully it will be easy for you to think happy thoughts and drift off to sleep. Race time starts at 5 am for the 5k on Friday, and 5:30 am for the 10K and half marathon on Saturday and Sunday. If you’re running the Pixie Dust challenge like me, you’ll be up for both the 10k and half marathon. On race day, I set my alarm for 3:30 am, and that usually gives me enough time to dress up, stretch, sip some coffee and eat half of my breakfast.
2. Pack food! I can not stress this enough – do not, I repeat do NOT eat anything new on race day before, during, or immediately after the race. I’m a bagel and peanut butter girl all the way. There’s no need for me to start with oatmeal randomly the day of my half marathon. I suggest you pack what you normally like or find a grocery store near your hotel the day before. With waking up earlier than normal, you’re body is a little thrown off so it’s best not to try anything new that will upset your stomach. My favorite things to bring with us to any RunDisney race weekend are: apples, bananas, organic chocolate milk (GREAT recovery drink when you get back to the hotel), sprouted grain bagels, natural peanut butter, dried fruit, and Quest protein bars. Obviously I won’t be eating all of that before the race, but if you’re racing multiple days, it’s a good idea to keep your diet healthy until the races are over. Even though I would love to be fueled by churros, it probably isn’t the best choice.
3. Fuel during your race. Below is a picture of what I will be caring with me during the half marathon. I have it all tucked away in my hydration belt that I got for Christmas. Luckily, if you forget yours, Clif supplies some energy gel between miles 8 and 9 just in case you run out. During the 10k, I usually don’t need anything but my phone for music and pictures. The course for the 10k is so lovely and fun, and it’s over so fast which leaves me no time to stop and eat. I will be doing all of that at the Storyteller’s Cafe right after!
Here you will find most of my supplies: energy gel (chocolate Gu – only flavor that sits well with me), Clif blocks in cran-raspberry flavor, tissue, a band aid, headphones, phone, and 2 pieces of gum. I’m filling my water bottles in case of emergency, but Disney is very generous with water and Powerade. (Also pictured, some beef jerky and dried fruit for the drive down.)
4. “Forget the glass slipper, this princess wears running shoes!” For challenge weekends where you are running back to back days, I highly suggest bringing one pair of shoes for each day. I have two pairs in the exact same brand and style, just one for the 10K and one for the half. The reason is, if it rains and your shoes are soaking wet, they probably won’t have time to dry in just one day. I also notice that by changing shoes, the padding isn’t worn down from the day before.
5. Costumes! This is the best part, right? This was such a fun thing for me to plan, I’m sure I will have a ton of photos of my outfits for the race recap but I’ll let you in on the secret now, for the 10K I am going to be Minnie Mouse and for the half I found the cutest Sleeping Beauty running skirt! I must stress the point that just like fuel, you should never test out new costumes the day of the race. One false move (or thousands of running strides later) you could end up chaffed and tangled! So maybe a few weeks before your race, take it out for a test drive. Run a few miles with that tutu. If you’re like me at the Disneyland Half Marathon weekend last year, you’ll find out your tutu needs a severe hair cut! You don’t want to be messing with that thing for 13.1 miles. I like to pack mine in separate ziploc bags as well. Everything from underwear to socks are all nicely folded in one bag so when 3:30am rolls around, it’s a no brainer as to where you put your leggings!
6. Sunblock, sunglasses, and a hat. This is probably pretty obvious since the race takes place in Southern California, but you’d be surprised how many times I forgot one of these things. A hat is a good option here because around mile 4, you might be sweating so much you have sunblock dripping in your eyes! I prefer the sunblock (forehead down), sunglasses, and hat option. Or who knows, you could even put a pair of Mickey ears up there to block the sun!
7. Emergen-C – In case of an emergency of course! I always bring a packet for myself and Ryan to have each morning with breakfast. Walking the parks all day and going to bed with too little of sleep always gets your immune system down so I try to be one step ahead.
Well friends, there you have it! My go to packing list for any RunDisney vacation. I know once Dopey rolls around, I might have a few things here and there to add, but for now, this is it! I’m so excited for this race and to bring home THREE new shiny medals!