Can You Wash a Sparkle Athletic Headsweats Tiara Visor in the Dishwasher?

It's fun and cost-effective to find slightly used running gear, including hats. Many hats can be washed easily in the dishwasher, or top-loading washing machine, using a cap-washing frame to help the hat keep its form. I love Headsweats visors and I'm always on the lookout for a good deal. Sometimes this means finding a previously-owned visor at a marked-down price. Score!

I've washed several Sparkle Athletic Headsweats visors, mostly successfully, with some expected color loss and no sparkle or shape damage. See the following post for details on my previous experience washing these sparkly visors.

Can You Wash a Sparkle Athletic Headsweats Visor in the Dishwasher?

I recently purchased a lightly used Sparkle Athletic Headsweats Tiara visor from Poshmark. Poshmark is an online marketplace where users can buy and sell new and used goods, mostly clothing. 

I washed the visor in the dishwasher as usual. This time, I was surprised to see that the plastic tiara portion of the hat was totally stripped of its sparkly shine! The coating was completely washed off and appeared translucent. There was some expected color loss to the pink fabric part of the visor as well.

Of course, I forgot to take a before image of the hat before washing. This hat still sells new, and you can see how the tiara should be shiny silver on the product images here: Pink Tiara Sparkle Headsweats Visor (Silver Tiara). The below image shows what happened when this visor went through the dishwasher.

The hat was in otherwise good shape. I decided to wear this hat as part of my Star Wars / Princess mash-up costume for the 2022 Princess Half Marathon. I dressed as a combination of Ming-Na Wen characters: Fennec Shand and the title princess for the race, Mulan. 

The pink hat fit nicely with the look. I used black nail polish to bring some life back into the tiara. I think silver or a glitter style polish would work as well to give the dull accessory its shine.

Race Recap: Best Damn Race Orlando 2022

I ran the 2022 Best Damn Race 10K in Orlando on Saturday, March 5th. 

In April 2020 I registered for the 2021 race, which was postponed from 3/6/21 to 7/19/21. Due to a schedule conflict, I deferred to the 2022 race. 

I previously ran the Best Damn Race in Orlando in 2018, when I ran the half.

Training & Goals
I'm still working on coming back after a period of no running, managing knee pain and working on losing some pandemic weight. I finished the Disney Princess Challenge the weekend before. For this race I aimed to start with a five minute walking warm-up and then keep up my run:walk intervals for the distance. 

Race Day: March 5, 2022
I didn't pick up my packet ahead of time, so I aimed to get down to Lake Eola around an hour before the start. I got downtown in time, but ended up in a long, slow line for a nearby parking garage, where I didn't get the car parked until about 6:45AM, 20 minutes before the race would start. Yikes.

I hustled the half mile to the runner's village and was surprised to see that packet pickup was still open with several other runners in line ahead of me. I got my packet, pinned on my bib, and dropped everything else at bag check. With 5 minutes to go, there were still lines for the portapotties! I was inside a stall when I heard the race start. Luckily it was a big field that had to pass through a narrow lane to the start, so I was able to start among the masses.

It was about 61°F with 88% humidity and clear skies when I crossed the mat at 7:10AM.

The 10K route was a wide L-shaped box around downtown. I was surprised to see that the half marathon distance basically ran the 10K course twice, with some added turns for the extra mileage. The half course in 2018 was one big weirdly-shaped loop with no overlaps.

Mile 1: 13:30
This mile took us from the start/finish area at Lake Eola Park down E Robinson Street heading east.

I don't know how this mile was so fast, with the first five minutes spent walking. My run intervals were much too fast, I reckon.

Mile 2: 13:41
This mile continued down Robinson before turning south onto Lakewood Drive, with a short jog east on E Central Blvd before continuing south on Maryland Ave.

Lately I keep my watch on the run:walk alert face, so I don't get distracted by pace, time, or distance. I just run when I'm supposed to, and walk when my watch tells me to. I was really surprised to see my relatively consistent intervals once the race was over. 

Mile 3: 13:13
Next we ran back west on E South Street for about two miles.

Mile 4: 13:31

Mile 5: 13:42
Mile 5 took us past Dr. Phillips Center before turning north to run along N Orange Ave into the heart of the downtown business district. Somewhere along this mile, the first half marathon runners lapped us back-of-the-pack 10K runners. It was fun to cheer them on and marvel at their speed.

Mile 6+: 13:28, 3:38
Much of this last mile was on brick, so I was looking down a lot. We turned right on E Concord then right again on Broadway Ave, heading back to the finish at Lake Eola Park.

After Party
Best Damn Race puts on a great event, with lots of snack, food, beverage, and beer options for finishers. I grabbed a banana, brownie, Diet Coke, and some packaged snacks for later in the day. The village was full of tents giving out samples and selling wares for runners. The after party is a good vibe and it was enjoyable walking around for a bit before I headed out to try to find my car.

Recommendation
The 10K course was a nice run through Orlando, with good support and safety protocols. I'm not a fan of the brick roads and there weren't many, so that was good. Over average swag and after party. Recommended.

Chip time: 1:24:35
Placement details:
55/75 in Age Group; 864/1029 overall
Race Amenities:
Soft t-shirt, no-show socks, personalized bib, nice finisher medal, well-stocked after party, free race photos.
Cost: $33.25 (early tiered pricing)

runDisney Race Recap: Princess Half Marathon 2022

If I'm not into princesses, why did I run the Fairy Tale Challenge this year? With my big birthday travel dreams quashed by the pandemic, I decided to celebrate 50 years a little closer to home by running a half marathon at Disney World.

I last ran Princess in 2017, when it was close to my 45th birthday. 5 years later, the half took place on my 50th birthday. 

I registered for the challenge ridiculously late. Team Muscle Makers for UCMD hooked me up less than a month before race weekend, waiving their fundraising requirements in order to get rid of excess bibs. 

In solidarity with others mourning and protesting the loss of the Dark Side Star Wars race weekend, I dressed as mashup characters for both races. For the half marathon I was Princess Fennec Shand, a mashup of the Star Wars character with the race princess Mulan. My custom shirt also had text on the back that read "This Princess Turns 50 Today".

A big draw for Princess weekend is the half marathon course that takes runners through the Magic Kingdom. The course for 2022 was very similar to the one I ran back in 2017.

Training & Goals
In July 2021, persistent but manageable knee pain became acute. Following a stint in PT, continued stretching and strength training is helping to mitigate the pain, along with cortisone shots. 

Since the start of 2022 I've been actively trying to get back into running shape while also working to lose a bunch of COVID weight. My intervals still have me walking more than running, but I've seen slow improvements.  For this race weekend I knew I was going in under-trained for the half, having only completed one 8-miler as my longest run. I also only managed to run back-to-back once, two weeks prior to race day, with 3 miles followed by 6 the next day. It wasn't ideal. 

So while it's easy to take it slow and steady during runDisney events, being slower means less time for character visits, photos, and other shenanigans. 

My plan for the half was, as always, to have fun! I had some serious anxiety about finishing the half, but I was feeling good the morning of, with little residual knee pain from the 10K the day before, which was great. 

I planned to follow my run:walk intervals on the road, stop for selfies at the mile markers, and mostly walk in the parks to enjoy the entertainment, characters, and atmosphere.

I joined a Facebook chat group where rockstar faster runners posted upcoming characters on the course. Others posted updates on the location of the balloon ladies (effectively the last runners before sweepers pick up participants who are not maintaining the required minimum pace) throughout the race. Being a part of this was a great comfort to me as a slower runner.

Race Day: February 27, 2022
Arthur joined me race morning. We left our nearby Flamingo Crossing hotel at about 3:16AM to head to Hollywood Studios. Runners and spectators had to park at Hollywood Studios and take bus transport to the start/finish at Epcot.

The roads were a bit backed up and we ended up in a slow traffic jam getting into Epcot on our bus. The race start was delayed by 15 minutes due to traffic issues. Once we arrived at Epcot, I went straight to the corrals to find a good spot close to the front. I think I ended up starting in the second or third wave of s4.

It was clear and about 61°F with 100% humidity when I crossed the mat at 5:51AM.

Mile 1, 2, 3, 4: 14:48, 14:42, 14:43, 14:38 (mile splits from Garmin)
Consistent easy run:walk miles here, hoping to bank some time for walking through the park and the inevitable slowdown I'd experience in the later miles. 

This was a long slog from Epcot to the Magic Kingdom with some photo ops, including Merida with Pocahontas in the first mile, and Moana with Mulan in the second mile. Mushu was in the median in the third mile; we'd see him again on the way back. Soon we ran through the Magic Kingdom auto kiosks on our way to the park itself.

With the sun starting to peek through the hazy humidity, it began to feel seriously sticky, but not too hot just yet.

The atmosphere was full of excitement and anticipation for the fun that was to come!

Arthur took this photo while spectating on Main Street in the Magic Kingdom

Mile 5: 15:25 
This mile took us into the Magic Kingdom, down Main Street to the hub at the center of the park. 

Before heading inside the park itself, 50th Anniversary Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse greeted us from the train station over the entry gate as we ran on towards Main Street and the castle.

I managed to find Arthur spectating along the side of Main Street for a quick hug before moving on. It's so great to see all the cheering spectators inside the park, and it was a great boost getting a kiss from Arthur.

Running in the parks is the best part of any runDisney event, and I took it all in. I was still feeling pretty good, happy to slow down my pace and enjoy this part of the race.

Mile 6: 17:25
Another mile mostly in the Magic Kingdom, with close up looks at the castle from the front before running though from the back. 

Characters in the park included Sebastian with Ariel, Gaston, and Snow White with Rapunzel. Back stage, Cruella de Vil stood on a set piece obviously designed for Maleficent (the characters switched out).

There were plenty of PhotoPass photographers in the park, but I missed a lot of opportunities. Sometimes runners stopped in my way, or straight up cut me off to get in front of the cameras. My castle photos are all pretty comical, with objects and people blocking my face or my share of the image is about 10% with no castle background. I don't mind, but it made me laugh. By the time we passed the final PhotoPass tents inside the park, I was sure I didn't get any shots at all inside the Magic Kingdom, but there was one okay photo, posted above.

Mile 7, 8, 9: 16:52, 17:03, 18:35
After leaving Magic Kingdom, I felt like my whole body just didn't want to run anymore. First I tried skipping every other run interval, but this soon turned to an all-out walking death march in the increasingly hot sun. At least I wasn't alone. I don't know if ever heard so much complaining during a runDisney event before: about the heat, the boring stretch of road, our poor life choices as runners, etc etc.

We did have some characters through these miles. In the 7th mile we had Elsa with a snow sled and Tinker Bell with Silvermist.

In the 8th mile we had Cinderella with Prince Charming and Princess Atta. Also in mile 8, there was a nutrition stop where volunteers were handing out Honey Stinger Energy Chews. I took a pack of Fruit Smoothie and snarfed them down pretty fast.

Mile 9 was a stretch with no entertainment, just hot sun.

Mile 10, 11, 12: 18:16, 16:24, 18:04
More hot sun. I stopped for a photo with Mushu in mile 10. No characters in mile 11.

In mile 12 we could stop for a photo with Genie from Aladdin. Later, approaching Epcot, Aladdin was out with Abu.

Mile 13+: 21:57, 8:01
We were back stage at Epcot for the first part of the last mile, and I took some photos of flowers and plants staging for the upcoming Flower and Garden Festival. 

Just outside the park, colonial Mickey and Donald were a photo op. I got in line but when it was my turn, Mickey was out for a break.

Just a short bit through Epcot and then it was over the finish line for another completed runDisney event!

After the Race
Through the long finisher chute, I picked up my medal, cooling towel, snack box, water, PowerAde, and banana.

I met up with Arthur for a celebratory beer before heading back to the hotel for a quick clean up.

Lunch was at Ale & Compass and then Arthur treated me to a spa visit, with a pedicure and massage.

Dinner was at my favorite spot to have my birthday meal: Hollywood & Vine at Hollywood Studios. It was a very good birthday!

Recommendation
runDisney is back, and I'm so happy! A Disney race is always a great time, even if you're not the biggest fan of the theming. 

Chip time: 3:46:46
Placement details: 757/840 in Age Group; 11786/12766 overall
Race Amenities: Really nice medal and improved tech race shirt, bonus medal and shirt for completing the challenge
Cost: $355 for the challenge

runDisney Race Recap: Princess Enchanted 10K 2022

I'll admit I'm not too into princesses, and Disney's Princess Half Marathon Weekend is my least favorite of all the runDisney themes. But. It's always at the end of February, and so is my birthday. I last ran Princess in 2017, when it was close to my 45th birthday. 5 years later, trying to get my fitness back after injuries and pandemic weight gain, I thought I'd run Princess again for my 50th. 

This time around, I signed up for the Fairy Tale Challenge, which means running a 10K on Saturday morning, and a Half Marathon the next day. I registered ridiculously late, signing on with a charity who had leftover bibs with no fundraising requirements. Team Muscle Makers for UCMD hooked me up less than a month before race weekend. 

In solidarity with others mourning and protesting the loss of the Dark Side Star Wars race weekend, I dressed as mashup characters for both races. For the 10K I was Darth Tiana.

The 10K course was mostly familiar, starting as usual in the Epcot parking lot. After early road miles, runners briefly hit Hollywood Studios and headed back to an Epcot finish via the Yacht Club and Beach Club Resorts.

Training & Goals
In July 2021, persistent but manageable knee pain became acute. Following a stint in PT, continued stretching and strength training is helping to mitigate the pain, along with cortisone shots.

Since the start of 2022 I've been actively trying to get back into running shape while also working to lose a bunch of COVID weight. My intervals still have me walking more than running, but I've seen slow improvements.  For this race weekend I knew I was going in under-trained for the half. It's easy to take it slow and steady during runDisney events, but being slower means less time for character visits, photos, and other shenanigans.

My plan for the weekend was, as always, to have fun! I had serious anxiety about finishing the Half, but I felt good about completing the 10K. I planned to follow my run:walk intervals on the road, stop for selfies at the mile markers, and mostly walk in the parks to enjoy the entertainment, characters, and atmosphere.

Race Day: February 26, 2022
Arthur and I decided to make a weekend of the races. We packed up the car and headed out for the 10K at 2:30AM Saturday morning, getting the car parked at about 3:25.

Since the races have come back in our pandemic world, there haven't been characters at the start of runDisney events. This is disappointing, but understandable. There were a couple of character themed photo ops and 50th Anniversary backdrops out for runners to take photos. I elected to skip these, but I did stop for a quick pic with a Mickey Mouse statue out for the 50th anniversary of Disney World, on the way to the corrals.

Arthur and I parted pretty early, as I wanted to get a good spot at the front of my corral, s4 (out of 5). I found somewhere to stand and managed to be in the first wave sent off.

It was clear and about 63°F with 94% humidity when I crossed the mats at 5:33AM.

Mile 1: 14:04 (mile splits from Garmin)
I intended to start my run:walk intervals after a 5 minute warm-up walk, but it was congested through the first half mile or so, so I started with slow running from the beginning.

Mile 2: 14:36
Shortly after we passed the Mile 1 marker, Tiana was out for photos. Next we passed a marching band, and an empty photo op staging area for Joy and Sadness (Inside Out), who were on a break when I went by. 

Mile 3: 15:11
The only photo op I noticed during this highway mile was Merryweather with Prince Phillip (Sleeping Beauty). 

Mile 4: 16:46
During this mile we ran over an overpass. For a slower runner, it's great to see all the participants behind, out on the road you've already run.

We headed into Hollywood Studios for some park mileage. A pair of Tower of Terror bellhops were out taking photos with runners -- with no barriers, or visible handler. I wondered if the two cast members decided to be a photo op on their own?

Inside the park, we also had our first PhotoPass photographers for running shots.

When I ran through, dawn was starting to break.

Mile 5: 16:43
We left Epcot, on our way to Yacht & Beach Club. Prince Mickey was out for photos near the exit.

Next up was a long, narrow bit where running was very difficult in areas, due to the number of walkers, and general congestion on the course. A princess DJ was playing "Highway to Hell" when I went past.

The next characters out on the course were 50th Celebration Chip and Dale in their dapper earidescent vests. 

Mile 6+: 17:45, 6:04
During the final mile we had vacation Donald out for photos as we approached Epcot's International Gateway.

Once inside the park, runners were stopping everywhere to take selfies with the Flower and Garden Festival topiaries, already up for the festival that would star the following week.

The Harmonious screens on World Showcase Lagoon had Princess Race Weekend graphics on display.

Inside Epcot I actually stopped for a photo with Clarabelle Cow.

Just a little bit more through Epcot and then it was over the finish line for another completed runDisney event!

After the Race
Through the long finisher chute, I picked up my medal, snack box, water, PowerAde, and banana. I met up with Arthur so we could head to the Art of Animation resort to change clothes and get a little something to eat.

Next it was back to Epcot, where we had lunch reservations at Rose & Crown. After walking around Epcot for a bit, taking some photos and riding a couple of rides, we checked into our Flamingo Crossings hotel. Finally, we headed out for our dinner reservation at Trattoria al Forno in the Boardwalk resort.

An early wake-up for the Half Marathon meant an early bedtime Saturday night! 

Recommendation
runDisney is back, and I'm so happy! A Disney race is always a great time, even if you're not the biggest fan of the theming. 

Chip time: 1:41:04
Placement details: 628/980 in Age Group; 7354/10885 overall
Race Amenities: Really nice medal and improved tech race shirt
Cost: $355 for the challenge

Tower of Terror 10-Miler Character Running Costume: Sally Shine

Are you looking forward to seeing all of the fun characters running during the inaugural Springtime Surprise race weekend at Walt Disney World starting on March 31st? The race weekend brings back some defunct race events, including the Tower of Terror 10-Miler, previously run in the mid-2010s but discontinued after the 2014 run. 

The race theme, the Tower of Terror ride, the Hollywood Tower Hotel setting, and the Twilight Zone spook factor, will surely see lots and lots of bellhops and haunted bellhops running on the course. 

If you're looking for something to wear that's themed to the ride and race but don't want to be a bellhop, consider if you will: Sally Shine, child star and Hollywood Tower Hotel elevator passenger on that fateful night.

Sally Shine appears in the pre-show video on the Tower of Terror ride. Her ghost is later encountered during the ride itself, along with the other passengers who were on the elevator when it was struck by magical lightning from the 5th dimension.

Sally Shine Tower of Terror Child Star Costume Running T-Shirt Dress

Suggested Accessories for Sally Shine Running Costume

Add accessories to your Sally Shine running costume to complete your look!

Pink Running Shorts with Pockets

Found on Amazon

Wear yoga- or bike-style running shorts with pockets to carry your 10-miler gear and prevent any chafing issues during the long run. These shorts are highly rated and come in other colors if you find you like them to wear more often. There is a large pocket on each thigh, suitable for holding your phone and race nutrition. These also have a hidden waist pocket for smaller items like keys and/or cash.

Carry a Mickey Mouse Plush Doll

Found on Amazon

Sally Shine carries a plush Mickey Mouse doll when she enters the elevator. If you don't have a 1930s-era doll handy, pick up a lightweight one like this 9" Mickey Mouse stuffed toy. If you decide to carry this on your run, consider if you'll need a way to stash it if you don't want to have it in your hands all the time.

Curly Blonde Wig for Sally Shine Costume

Found on Amazon

Sally Shine wears her blond hair in curled locks, in a sort of Shirley Temple fashion. If you can run in a wig, consider this option for an authentic look.

Sally Shine Pink Ribbon Athletic Headband

Found on Etsy

Sally Shine wears a pink bow in her hair. The bow matches her dress, and the bow on this athletic headband matches the costume dress! Whether you go for the wig, already have curly blonde hair, or aren't doing up your 'do, this matching headband is a great way to complete you costume look.

Local Race Recap: Deland MeStrong 5K 2022 Victory Lap

The MeStrong 5K in Deland, Florida, is a huge small town race put on by a local cancer charity and fund-raising group. The 2021 event, converted to virtual, would have been the 10th event. The organizers wanted to end on a high note, deciding that ten years of MeStrong 5K races was enough, so they dubbed this edition the "Victory Lap", proclaiming it to be the final MeStrong 5K.

The popular race goes through the streets of and around downtown Deland. The 3.1 mile course is lined with spectators, cheer zones, volunteers, and refreshment stations. During this year's event there were at least 5 private stands offering adult beverages, and several other groups offered snacks and treats to participants. Local businesses and student organizations from Stetson University cheer the runners along with live bands and other groups.

Training & Goals
Back in July, persistent but manageable knee pain became acute. I've been working on mitigating the pain with stretching and strength training, while also trying to get back into running shape and losing a bunch of COVID weight. Since the beginning of the year, I've been very slowly adding short running intervals into 3x weekly walks. By race day, I was up to a ratio of 1 minute running and 90 seconds of walking. For this race, I figured I would probably walk the entire course. I had completed a long 7 mile run the day prior and didn't want to hurt myself. If I ended up feeling okay and running a little bit, that would be okay too.

Race Day: February 5, 2022
My packet already picked up ahead of race day, all I had to do was find a parking spot on race morning, and find my running club for our group photo.

Before the race began, organizers spoke to the crowd, and the mayor of Deland gave out some keys to the city, including to MLB pitcher and Deland hometown hero Jacob deGrom of the Mets. DeGrom waved a checkered flag to mark the start of the race.

It took me about 3 minutes to cross the start line in the sea of participants. It was a cool 59°F at the start with gloomy overcast skies. I had been waiting to get going with some run club mates, but as we started shuffling forward I lost them in the mingling crowd and ended up on the course alone (typical Amy anyway). 

Mile 1: 15:43
It was super congested at the start. Without thinking I started slow jogs during my usual run segments, and kept them up for the whole race for the most part. If it got too crowded, I would slow to a walk rather than try to weave around. I also slowed to a walk at the water stop.

Mile 2: 14:41
A memorial stretch of the race where yard signs memorializing those who fought, lost, or won battles with cancer was extremely emotional. The rest of the course was just so much fun, with bands and musicians playing live music, cheer squads from Stetson Greek houses, local businesses, and homeowners. 

Mile 3+: 13:57, 1:44
I didn't even see that I had such negative splits until much later. Nice.

After Party
MeStrong takes over downtown Deland with sponsor booths and food and drink vendors. A lot of shops and restaurants opened early for the runners. The after party is pretty legendary! I looked at a few of the booths but started to feel super anxious in the huge crowd. I cheered on some of the later runners but ended up leaving after a short while. 

Recommendation
I think there are hopes that some organization might take over the MeStrong mantle, but otherwise this well-organized race series definitely ended on a high note. If MeStrong comes back, I'm sure the support will as well.

Chip time: 46:01
Placement details: 72/210 in age group, 1380/3728 overall
Race Amenities: Nice cotton race shirt, super course with lots of support and a great cause. No race medals.
Cost: $38.25

Race branded photos (c) Almost There Photography
Silly selfie photo (c) Marieann Bannan