A Change of Scenery: Running in Downtown Disney

Disney in the DarkAll of our dreams can come true – if we have the courage to pursue them.”  -Walt Disney

This past week I was on a work trip to Orlando. So of course, I brought along my new Brooks Glycerin’s! I love the experience of running in different cities. The runs in Orlando were quite different than my last work trip to Philly in February. There I got to have a beautiful run in the snow. (Real snow, not ice by the way). I have to say that the humidity in Orlando, wow, it was beyond humid. I would refer to it as swampy.  (Note to self, don’t do Disney World with the kids in August!) The good thing is that I came equipped with all of my favorite Nike dry fit running clothes. (Although at some point with humidity like this, even dry fit can’t help you) Anticipating the humidity, I decided to carry a bottle of water with me. (Thank goodness because I drank every drop along the way) When you run in this level of humidity, you sweat out even more fluid than on a normal run which can cause dehydration a lot faster. Another problem with humidity is that it prevents the sweat from evaporating off your body so you can’t cool down easily.  (That is why you end up with soggy clothes and for me even soggy shoes.) Walking out of the front door of the hotel was like walking straight into a sauna. Side note, I hate saunas! Downtown Disney Since it was a work trip, I did not get to do the fun things you do in Orlando, like visit Disneyworld.  However, we did stay right by the park which made for some great sightseeing while I was running. I love my neighborhood but it sure was nice to have something exciting to look at. The most exciting thing I have seen on a run in my neighborhood lately is an armadillo that I almost tripped over. (Truthfully that was rather gross and not exciting) I ran through Downtown Disney and by all of the shops and restaurants. So of course like any touristy runner would do, I took a few pictures along the way. I loved the palm trees and all the fun shops.  I have to say that one thing that was so cool to see was a huge statue of Aladdin on top of a toy store looking down over Downtown Disney. In light of Robin Williams passing, it seemed very fitting. I also ran by the casting center and by Team Disney headquarters. I loved their statue and tribute they had out front to the seven dwarfs. Home from work we go smallGeanie SmallIts off to work we go small

When I decided to run outside verses the going to the hotel gym, I decide to set low expectations for myself, focusing on a good pace, since it was way more humid than any run I have done this summer.  I just wanted to see the sights and get some exercise in before I sat sedentary in meetings all day.  It was also dark when I went to run and the sun wasn’t set to rise until right when I had to be in for a shower. So I decided to make the best of it. Then much to my surprise both mornings I had two of the best average paces than I had previously had in a good month or so. So being the over analytical person that I am, I tried to figure out why that would be.  Was it the new Brooks Glycerin? They are great but I had run in them before, so probably not. Was it the humidity? Ummm, definitely not! Maybe it was just the magic of Disney? Ok so maybe a little bit of it was the magic of Disney, but I know what it really was for me was the refreshing change of running scenery.  It was such a good reminder for me that changing up your workouts and your runs is so important in preventing burnout.  Burned out is exactly what I have been feeling lately, which is very normal for me in July and August.  This trip was just what I needed to get me through summer running.

Labor Day is always when I kick off my fall training. I have a half marathon in September, October, and November.  Then I have the Memphis full marathon in December. So the running tip that I unintentionally reminded myself of this week is change up your workouts when you’re getting bored with them or feeling unchallenged. I need to make more of an effort to vary my running path and try to drive to other areas on the weekends when possible.  Adding speed work or interval training is also a great way to change your running up.
Running with Mickey
Returning to Nashville now I can say one thing. You will not hear me complain about the humidity anymore. Sometimes you have to experience something worse to appreciate something you have that just may not be so bad after all. I guess that’s not a bad lesson to remember in any situation.  As tough as it was, I enjoyed my hot, humid Florida runs.  I think it gave me the spark I needed to get through summer.

We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths. – Walt Disney

What She Wore at DisneyOnce Upon a Toy

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