The Flourishing Experiment

Runners of the Week and featured guests, Tom Kreider and daughter Kristen, give pre- and post-race stories/reviews of their recent Disney races in January 2016. Serena Marie takes off her registered dietitian hat and reviews Sparkle Skirts, alongside dear TRLS friend Tracy Slayton. Kari also chats with Serena and shares her fun weekend meet up experience.

Featured Guests and Runners of the Week: Tom and Kristen Kreider

Tom Kreider, top individual donor to Kari and Serena’s Action for Healthy Kids campaign to run the Chicago and NYC Marathons, joins his daughter Kristen to talk about their recent pre- and post-Disney race experiences.

The Lay of the Land

  • In 11 days, they completed seven races (71 miles total) around Disney World, a Disney Cruise Line, and Disneyland—all nonstop—and received a whopping 13 medals!
  • In Disney World, they attended January marathon weekend and ran the Dopey Challenge, which consists of the following:
    • Thursday: 5K
    • Friday: 10K
    • Saturday: Half marathon (~25,000 runners)
    • Sunday: Full marathon
  • Most run to experience the atmosphere of the parks, and Tom says it’s a “really nice four-day party.”
  • Tom and Kristen ran the half two years ago, and last year they ran the Dopey Challenge.
  • In the marathon, you run through all four parks that include some special challenges:
    • You can choose to ride the Expedition Everest roller coaster (around Mile 12.5) in the Animal Kingdom.
    • When you run through Epcot and the World Showcase, you can stop at the various kiosks and pick up beverages (around Mile 25).
    • The marathon starts around 5:30 a.m. (with corrals from A–P and waves that start every five minutes).
    • The 16-minute-per-mile maximum pace allows for stops to take pictures with characters or ride Everest.
  • There are water stops about every mile and a half, and at every single water stop there are lines of Porta-Potties.

Cruise Experience

  • On Monday morning, they went to Disney Cruise Lines at Cocoa Beach/Port Canaveral for a four-day cruise.
  • On Wednesday, they stopped at Castaway Cay for a 5K race (~800 people registered), which is a special race for those who ran Marathon Weekend.
    • Participants receive a 5K race medal, along with a special challenge medal.


  • Friday of that week, they leave the cruise to fly over to Disneyland for the Rebel Challenge.
    • The Star Wars: Light Side—which is a 10K on Saturday and a half marathon on Sunday.
    • Once they complete the challenge, they receive the Coast to Coast medal as well.

Part 1: Before the Race

  • Before the race, Kristen was most looking forward to the cruise itself and also the half marathon, because Tom and Kristen ran their first half marathon together.
  • Kristen’s biggest concern was transportation due to closed roads while she cheered Tom on.
  • Tom’s concern was not getting on the cruise ship in time for a good massage appointment (because that’s a MUST after so much racing).
  • Tom talks about dialing back his pace which led him to a better mindset and feeling better physically.

Part 2: After the Race

  • Tom and Kristen sum up their experience in a couple words: work and logistics (traveling for 12 days straight)
  • They loved the races, meeting up with people, and the following:
    • The race expos
    • The race start. which is highly organized, great announcers (like Rudy Novotney and Creigh Kelley), there’s a DJ/music, they show videos, and so on.
    • For example, at the Star Wars half they had Stormtroopers, and the race announcers were in costume!
    • The water stops were well stocked, along the course they have characters, high school marching bands, and the like.
  • Best magical moment: Kristen and Tom at the end of the Castaway Cay 5K (gentle was their mantra for that race).
  • The pain after running the Dopey Challenge wasn’t as bad as after the entire trip for Tom.
  • They traveled with about 80 people who were part of the Mickey Milers that focus on runDisney races.
  • Only about 200 people did all seven races.
  • For the Dopey Challenge, the bus transportation from the resorts started at 3 a.m. They got up around 3:30 a.m. and were on the bus by 4 a.m. They walked about half a mile to the start corrals, and they got to their corral around 5 a.m. The race started at 5:30 a.m., and every corral start time was separated by two to three minutes. They started around 20 minutes
    • The half marathon course ran through the Magic Kingdom and finished in Epcot.
    • The full marathon ran through the Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, ESPN Wide World of Sports (around Miles 18 and 20), Hollywood Studios, and Epcot.
  • Jeff Galloway was on the cruise ship and talked to Tom and Kristen about TRLS.
  • runDisney had an official event on the ship where Jeff was presenting.
  • When the Mickey Milers had an awards ceremony (with a special Mickey Milers medal), Jeff put medals on their necks.
  • Top tips/inside scoop from Tom: Running all four races in Orlando is a logistical planning exercise. Getting up at 3 a.m. four mornings in a row and then performing on the race course is tough, and you don’t get a lot of time in the parks. Disney challenges will sell out within minutes, so get on the e-mail list. Registration always happens on a Tuesday at noon, so be prepared and log in with your account all ready to go! Registration is typically nine months before the race. Races are pricey, but they’re first class (Dopey was $695; Rebel Challenge was ~$350; Castaway Cay challenge medal was $60; $1,600–1,800 for the cruise room). Tom used a company called Mouse Fan Travel to plan the trip.
  • Top takeaways from Kristen: Supporting a race is almost more annoying than running it, because it was stressful (transportation, logistics with timing). Don’t forget your nutrition! Oh, and get the pot roast mac and cheese from The Friar’s Nook—it’ll change your life!
  • The registration for the Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend is March 15.


Sparkle Skirts Review

Serena Marie, RD, and the #1 fan of TRLS, Tracy Slayton, review Sparkle Skirts!

  • At the Jeff Galloway Race Weekend, Tracy picked out a Sparkle Skirt for Serena.
  • Serena’s take: She is obsessed! She isn’t an exclusive skirt wearer, but she owns some running skirts, and this brand (and particularly the Sparkle Skirt Swing model) by far knocked it out of the park.
    • The design is adorable with a little flare.
    • The spandex shorts didn’t ride up, and they were the perfect length.
  • Tracy: At the JG 13.1 race, she got two of them, and she now owns six Sparkle Skirts.
    • She loves the coverage, a zippered pocket in the waistband, and the thicker waistband.
    • You can wear it either forward or backward (with the pocket in the front or back respectively).
    • Tracy has the Swing model that has a little flounce and a bit more coverage.
  • The Sparkle Skirt Facebook fans are so loyal and excited about the brand.
  • Kari met Leah and Tom, the owners, in Atlanta, and she loves their mentality and the fact that the skirts come in a variety of sizes.
    • The shorts don’t ride up, she loves the larger pockets, that it’s American made, and that you can put them over capris or running tights in colder weather.
    • Kari has the Slim model in blac
  • Since you have so much space in the pockets, you could bring along some real-food fuel like Serena Marie RD’s RaceRice.
    • Ingredients
      1 cup cooked rice (prepared with salt)
      3 Tablespoons egg white
      2 Tablespoons powdered peanut butter (PB2)
      1" ginger root minced (optional- will make it VERY gingery tasting)Directions
      Form 12 small balls (a little larger than quarters). Flatten slightly so they're disc shaped.
      2. Spray a pan with coconut oil over medium high heat
      3. Cook for about a minute per side. They shouldn't fall apart when flipped.
      4. Carry with you in a plastic baggy & pop 3 every 45 minutes!

      Per 3 race rice cakes (counts as 1 starchy grain)
      Calories 66
      Carbs 13gm
      Protein 3gm
      Fat 1gm

Kari and Serena Updates and Misc.

  • Kari admires Serena’s “guns” (from lifting), and Serena updates Kari on her HIIT workouts.
  • Kari talks about her Harrisburg, PA trip, the Big Kahuna’s swim meat, and her meet up with Jeff Paladina at Fleet Feet Sports (thanks to Fred and Shelby Joslyn!).
  • Kari shares all about her injury—her heel was hurting, and her hip and hurt still hurt. She went to a physical therapist, and her whole right leg went numb all of a sudden. There might be an MRI in her future.
  • The feedback that Kari got during her PA trip include the following: the show is positive, optimistic, and Serena is like Kari’s younger sister.
  • Jeff Paladina paired Kari up with a walker during the meet up.
  • Question for Serena: What are the benefits of oregano oil?
  • Sneak peek: Kari chats with Dr. Ratey on an upcoming habit: They talk about what’s going on with him, that he feels we’re at a tipping point to gut health, brain health, to meditation, to being outside, and so on. They also talked about the Shake Yo’ Sugar Habit challenge.
  • In an upcoming episode, Kari interviews eight runners from the Harrisburg running club (the River Runners group), and she interviewed the founders of the group, along with an interview with Jeff Paladina.
  • Kari gives an update on her Shake Yo’ Sugar Habit challenge experience.
  • In the challenge, Serena has a real-food approach, but she also includes some of the standard American diet nutritional sciences approach to translate into real food. She examines the fruits (melons, berries, citrus fruits) that you can have larger portions of versus fruits like mangoes, apples, and bananas, because those foods are higher in water and fiber content and lower in fructose content.
  • Don’t forget to join the TRLS Facebook group!
  • Two days after Luke Puskedra took fourth place in the Olympic Marathon Trials, his seven-month-old daughter was diagnosed with cancer. Check out the Go Fund Me campaign.


Don’t forget that Jabra, a TRLS show sponsor, is giving away a pair of Pulse earbuds this month, so head over to and sign up for the TRLS e-mail list at to enter to win. March’s winner will also receive an exciting thirty-­minute exclusive Skype call with Kari. She loves the Pulse model because it’s wireless, has superior sound quality, and includes in-­ear heart rate monitoring. The winner of the February drawing is Erica Barton. Congratulations, Erica!

Next week, Kari and team talk about February’s book of the month, Better Than Before: What I Learned About Making and Breaking Habits—to Sleep More, Quit Sugar, Procrastinate Less, and Generally Build a Happier Life by Gretchen Rubin. Listeners Tracy Slayton and Foti Panagakos, along with Kari and Serena, will talk about their tendencies so that you can better understand the concept.


Tom Kreider:
Twitter: @tomsmagical
Facebook: /TomsMAgicalTravel
Intagram: @tomsmagicaltravel

Serena Marie, RD:
Facebook: /SerenaMarieRD
Twitter: @SerenaMarieRD
Instagram: SerenaMarieRD

Kari Gormley:
final unedited 2 (1 of 1)
Facebook: The Running Lifestyle Show
Twitter: @KariGormley
Instagram: @KariGormley

Direct download: kreider-03-10-2016.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am EDT