Friday, March 27, 2015

Join Me and Carry the Torch | ESPN to Showcase the Special Olympics Unified Relay Across America

"The world is coming."  For the first time in 16 years, the Special Olympics World Summer Games will return to the United States this July and August.  The city of Los Angeles will play host to over 7,000 Special Olympics athletes and 30,000 volunteers and I will be one of them!  After a life-changing experience at the 2011 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Greece, my family is eager to once again volunteer in California this year.  Making that same journey from Athens to Los Angeles will be the Olympic torch; this spring, the first-ever Special Olympics Unified Relay Across America will transport this Flame of Hope to the historic Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.  I am beyond honored to announce that I will have a "hand" in that too!  As part of my participation with Special Olympics Long Island, I have been asked to be a Unified Relay team captain and run a half mile segment through New York City, torch held high!

Special Olympics Long Island runDead 5K- I promise to dress differently on June 3rd!
Special Olympics and its message of respect and inclusion is something I implicitly believe in; our relationship pre-dates my son's diagnosis of autism and has only deepened since.  The "Dignity Revolution" has evolved dramatically in the past thirty years and changed attitudes in ways we only dreamed of.  That Eunice Shriver dreamed of.  The Flame of Hope is a powerful and inspirational symbol of that movement; "a beacon of hope to unite communities in acceptance."  As the torch is carried and passed hand-to-hand across America, millions will bear witness through spectatorship and the power of ESPN and ABC.

2015 Special Olympics

Starting May 26, 2015, three simultaneous torch runs will kick-off from Maine, Washington, D.C., and Florida.  Approximately 20,000 Torch Runners will carry those flames across the country in 46 days and ESPN will bring you there.  As the official media partner of the 2015 Special Olympics World Games in Los Angeles, their multiple social media platforms will follow the Flame of Hope daily and update the world via "torch tracker" and "Countdown to 2015" on

ESPN, The Walt Disney Company, and Special Olympics has collaborated on a 2-year initiative to "leverage the power of sports to promote an environment of social inclusion and acceptance."
When I started DIStherapy blog four years ago this week, I was looking for a platform to showcase my lifelong loves; 35 years of service to the DISability community and 50 years as a DISney superfan. Throughout the years, the two have often intersected, but no more so than today.  The magic of Disney strikes again!

Won't you join the movement with me?

-   Stand on the sidelines and cheer the Torch Runners in your town!
-   Support the social media campaign @LA2015 #LA2015
-   Please consider a small donation to my "Get Donna Torched" fundraising.  Though I typically runDisney with a charity partner, I always write my own check and have never asked for funds.  This time is different.  I have agreed to request participation from the community and create an "all in" campaign.  EVEN A DONATION OF $5.00 WILL ACCOMPLISH THIS.

I thank you for four years of friendship, for your goodwill and your virtual chEARs.  Join in.  Help me carry the torch!

My Special Olympics Journey:

A Tale of March Madness: How Basketball Rescued My Autistic Son

10 Simple Ways to Support the Special Olympics

Top 10 Highlights and Lessons From Special Olympics World Games

The Walt Disney, runDisney, Special Olympics Connection

4 Simple Ways to Support the 2014 Special Olympics USA Games

Rose Parade to Highlight the Special Olympics World Games Los Angeles 2015

Thursday, March 26, 2015

New England to Welcome Olympian Jeff Galloway

Spring is in the air so get ready to run.  Run to Middletown, Connecticut to meet and learn from U.S. Olympian Jeff Galloway.  Get your seasonal tune-up and spend three hours with the man himself; founder of the Run Walk Run method, inspirational speaker, author, and all-around great guy.  On April 11, 2015, find your way to the Nutmeg State and get your Jeff on!

Jeff Galloway's Running School

Olympian Jeff Galloway is coming to our area to help you stay injury free, run faster, go farther, weigh less and enjoy running more.  Beginners, Boston Qualifiers, runners at all levels will learn the tools to gain control over the mental and physical challenges, using mind, body and spirit.   His energizing style and successful methods are based upon the feedback from over 300,000 runners.

See what others had to say about the running school experience!
“Extremely motivating”      
“I got all of my questions answered”  
“This was fun and energizing”                                          
“I learned more in Jeff's Running School than during my 15 years of marathoning”
This was easily the best value in time and/or money that I have ever spent on running”

Where: The Italian Society of Middletown
72 Court Street, Middletown.  (located across from the CT Superior Court building). 
Free parking in municipal lot adjacent to Court Street.

When: April 11, 10am-1pm
Cost: online ($99) or walk up ($129)

●         Three hours of the information you need to reach your goals—injury free
●         Ask all of your individualized questions
●         Email access to Jeff afterwards
●         Specific methods on nutrition, running form, setting up pace, running hills, breathing
●         How to stay injury free, run long runs without being exhausted, run faster, stay motivated

**I received nothing - neither product nor compensation- for releasing this information to my readers.  I do it out of pure admiration!!!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

An OOFOS Review Fit For a Princess

Feel the "OO."  That's what I was told.   Runner after runner has gushed about this product's cushy feel and dreamy ride.  When I was recently offered a pair of OOFOS sandals for review, I sprinted at the chance to do some PT "research."

**I was not paid to participate in this review, nor am I receiving monetary compensation for including a link to the OOFOS website.  All opinions are 100% my own.

Though I had not received my personal "glass slippers" before I left for Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend, I was surrounded by the "OO" as soon as I arrived at the runDisney Health & Fitness Expo.

Fit2Run booth at runDisney Health & Fitness Expo
I watched a gal try on a pair and literally squeal.  Not very princess-like, but I was starting to see a trend.  Post half marathon, a group of us sat waiting for our bus at Disney's Port Orlean's Resort.  (I was so glad to find a seat because after 3.1 + 13.1, my dogs had taken a beating.) Chatting it up with us was a lovely couple adorned in their Glass Slipper Challenge medals and their OOFOS.  The husband told me he would never consider wearing anything else post race.  When pressed why, he said they made him feel like "he was walking on marshmallows."  Brilliant.

One day later, I arrived home to New York to find my magical package.  Unfortunately, my feet were still throbbing from my race weekend.  Fortunately, I got to try my OOFOS when I needed them most.  I had requested the OOFOS OOAHH Slide primarily because I am not a fan of thong sandals.  While the sandal, the OOFOS OOriginal, is available in more than a dozen sensational colors (including Mint and Lilac for spring), the slide is presently limited to the choice of black or navy.

"OO" my tiara.  They were so light and spongy and yet supportive.  The elder runner in me was in heaven, but back on earth, it was time to put my physical therapy hat on.  The shoe is fabricated with OOfoam technology; a proprietary material that is touted as 37 % more impact absorbing than EVA (a polymer used in most running shoe midsoles.)  There certainly was a Tigger bounce-like factor to my gait!

As you may notice, the sandal is designed with a rocker sole; a common orthopedic modification used to reduce weight bearing pressure on the "balls" of the feet and toes.  The perfect remedy after many miles of pounding.  A biometrically designed footbed offers substantial arch support (noticed immediately), putting the intrinsic muscles of the foot at rest while the flexible OOfoam conforms to the foot for a custom-like fit.  The heel stack and moderate heel-to-toe differential offers a welcome "lift" to tired Achilles.

Amazingly, all this technology comes in a light as air sandal that is machine washable- a traveling runner's dream.  My assessment?  The OOFOS sandal IS fit for a princess.  Or Avenger, or Padawan or fairy.  At $39.95 either the slide or thong styles are a sound purchase and worthy of the name "recovery sandal."

***Get a Free Drawstring Bag and Free Shipping by entering the code DIStherapy at checkout on the OOFOS website. 
OO la la!!

**I was not paid to participate in this review, nor am I receiving monetary compensation for including a link to the OOFOS website.  All opinions are 100% my own.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Hungry to Register for Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon?

**As forecasted, this race sold out far quicker than usual.  (Remember, The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler was pulled from the 2015 runDisney line-up.)  Read on for tips to register now that the race is officially full!

Come and get it!!

Mmmmmm.  It's time to order up your Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend.  On Tuesday, March 17th at Noon EST, salivating runners can reserve their spot for this November 7th and 8th, 2015 event.

I missed this race last year when I opted for the inaugural Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon, but I am hungry for more.  This St. Patrick's Day, I will have the parade on my TV and the registration screen on my computer.  I'm hoping you'll join me over at Babes in Disneyland:

                            5 Reason to Register for Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon.                              

If you need more than five pieces of enticement, follow the Virtual Disney Wine & Dine Marathon Weekend Blog Hop; EVERYTHING you need to know for a delectable race event from thirteen well-seasoned bloggers.

As you may know, most every race I runDisney with a charity; it gives me oodles of motivation and I love the "double duty" aspect of running for a cause I believe in.  PLUS, you can get a "Golden Ticket," a coveted spot for a race that is sold out.  Like Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon 2015!

**runDisney Charity Groups Program that still have spots open as of 3/18:

-   Catch a Lift
-   Teaching and Learning Collaborative
-   Noah's Light Foundation
-   Autism Speaks  (5K only)  (You KNOW I love Team Up!)

I have booked many Disneyland race with GET Sports.  They offer stellar service and eliminate the angst associated with registration day.  Unfortunately, their spots are sold out for this race.  These providers still have spots open as of 3/18:

*** The number of runDisney Travel Providers seems to have expanded for this race:

-   Acclaim Travel   (Runners may have crashed this site!)
-   Cruise Planners
-   Foerster Travel
-   Heart of the Valley Travel
-   Once Upon a Time Vacations