2015 Disney Marathon Weekend! Part 6- Last Day and Departure

If you’re just joining in my 2015 Disney Marathon Weekend series… check out my other posts on our arrival in Disney, and my 5K, 10K, half and full marathon experiences.

The day after the marathon, I was still hurting, but I definitely felt much better than the previous day. With 12+ hours of sleep under our belts, we got up and had a nice leisurely breakfast. It was nice out- not too cool, not too warm, and a little sunny. I had a few things I wanted to do on this Monday, but I wasn’t in any hurry. I really couldn’t be anyways.. as I was still walking pretty slow due to my knee.

The first thing we did was wander around our resort. There are lots of cool sculptures around and we wanted to get pictures with some.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Ariel is my favorite

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Joining the party

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Posing with King Triton

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Mike is digging Sebastian

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Scariest Disney villain of all time

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Isn’t he handsome!?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I think he likes this collection piece

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Treasure!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Mike and the Snarfblack

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I found a Dinglehopper.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Plotting with Scar

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I feel like I’m being followed…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Hakuna Matata!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Mufasa!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Chillin’ with Rafiki

After we were finished our shenanagans, we headed out to Animal Kingdom. I was able to get fast passes for the Safari ride and “Its Tough To be a Bug.”

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

“Dramatic” picture in AK.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Tree of Life

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

“Dramatic” picture of Everest

We had to wait a little while for our turn to ride the safari, so we wandered around a gift shop a while.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Hanging around Africa

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Panama Jack

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I think this Safari hat suits me

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

It’s a Pumba pilllow!

Finally it was time to get on the Safari. Always a good time.

IMG_4220

IMG_4221

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

After the safari, we had some time to kill before seeing the bugs, so we popped over to Rafiki’s Planet Watch.

IMG_4225

On the train to Rafiki’s Planet Watch

 

When we got over there, we saw that Chip and Dale were out with a very short line. I got in line, but they left for a break when I was the second person in line. We wandered in to the main building and saw that Rafiki was coming out.. since there were only 3 people there, I got in line and got to meet Rafiki! He was very excited about my Dopey medal, clapped and gave me a big hug!

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Hanging out with my pal Rafiki

We headed back and made it to see “It’s Tough to Be a Bug” We really didn’t need our fast passes, but they’re cool to have anyways. When we got out of the show, it had started to drizzle a bit. I decided to buy a poncho in the event that it started raining harder. I really didn’t need to see anything else in Animal Kingdom, so we got on a bus and headed over to Downtown Disney.

The ONE thing I wanted after the marathon, was Ghirardelli ice cream. It is the best treat at Disney World ever! I had wanted to get one at the cool down party on Sunday evening, but I ended up passing out dead asleep, and even if I hadn’t I don’t think I could have walked fer enough to get there. So, my plan was to get one for “lunch” and then spend the evening over at Hollywood Studios, the one park we hadn’t been to yet.

We made it to Downtown Disney fine and found it wasn’t too crowded in the shop. There was barely any tables open though, but magically I spotted some people leaving and I scooped one up. It had started to rain pretty good while we were in there, and not a lot of people could sit out on the terrace.. so we were pretty lucky as more people were ducking into the shop to escape the rain.

IMG_4241

SO worth a marathon to eat one of these!

We sat a while and ate our ice cream. Mike was a little worried about the rain, but I still wanted to go to the other park. I figured we could wait out the majority of the rain and then head over. We finished our ice creams and decided to move to make room for other customers looking for a seat. We walked outside as the rain picked up again. We found a seat close to the building under the terrace and put our feet up to avoid the flood. Then the skies OPENED.

IMG_4244

Watching the monsoon!

We sat there for more than an hour watching the driving rain, and wathing people rushing to shelter. I didn’t mind waiting and it was kind of relaxing to watch the rain. It had cooled off a lot, but I was comfortable in my sweatshirt and poncho. At one point it had let up a lot, so we decided to make our break for it (mind you, I still couldn’t go very fast due to my knee.) The wind had picked up pretty good, and it was a cold rain. By the time we got on a bus, we were both soaked (and I was shivering!) My knee had been aching.. not enough to deter me from wandering around slowly, but I just couldn’t picture myself walking all the way back to our room to change, then all the way back to the buses to go to the park. I conceded defeat and decided just to go back and stay in for the evening.

IMG_4250

Drenched and on the bus.

We took our time and packed up for our departure the next day. I felt bad that we should have spent more time at the parks (tickets are expensive!) but you just can’t battle the weather.

The next morning we had a fantastic breakfast then caught the Magical Express back to the airport. Always sad to go home, but I was ready to get life back to normal. Since I didn’t get a chance to take a picture at a park with all my medals, we took some pictures in front of the Disney store in the Airport.

IMG_4262

IMG_4266

Proud Dopey finisher!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Even got some of Mike in his 10K medal

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

High five Mickey.. high five!

And thus ends my 2015 Disney Marathon Weekend saga. If you stuck with me through the whole thing.. thanks for reading! I hope my experiences gave good insight to the runDisney races and helped paint the picture of what it’s like to run at the “Happiest Place on Earth!”  Will I do the Dopey again.. NOPE- one and done. It’s just too expensive and too hard on my body physically. Will I do the Goofy Challenge.. I can’t say never, but it’s not on my radar anytime soon. Will I ever run another runDisney race.. I hope so! In my eyes, they still are the best races I’ve ever run. I hope to be able to experience other race weekends like Princess or the Wine and Dine Half Marathon. But for now, I’m taking a runDisney break. The takeaway- yes, it’s expensive. Yes, the challenges are strenuous both mentally and physically. But never put limits on yourself, whether it’s a 5K or an ultra marathon.. if you want it, take it! As Walt Disney once said….

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Advertisements

2015 Disney Marathon Weekend: Part 5- Marathon!

It’s taken a while, but I finally finished Part 5 of my Disney Marathon weekend series! Marathon day! (If you haven’t yet read my previous posts in this series check out Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 and Part 4!)

Sunday was it! The culmination of all my training I’d done since July 2014! The last day! The day I would run my 2nd ever marathon and complete my first Goofy and Dopey challenges! All the running we had done in the three days before this didn’t even equal HALF of the total mileage for this challenge. This was THE big day, and once it was over.. I would be earning my last 3 medals! That is.. if I could finish.

It didn’t look good. My knee was hurt. My body was tired. My mind was not very positive. This was going to be a tough day.

Another 3 am wake up. Since I got back to the room late the previous night, we had got less than 4 hours of sleep. Keeping my eyes open was painful. I’m so glad I paid a crap ton of money to have this much FUN.

I was probably most excited for my marathon outfit. I had ordered a Dopey-green Raw Threads T-shirt that said “Love 48.6” on the front. On the back, I ironed on a decal I got from an Etsy shop that said “I’m with Dopey” and had a Mickey hand pointing to the side. Dawn was going to wear a matching one with the hand pointing the other way. I paired it with my purple sparkle skirt, and Dawn had on a green and purple tutu she had made. It was fabulous.

Marathon outfits!

Marathon outfits!

Traffic seemed a little heavier this day than the past 3 days. We ended up meeting Dawn and Tony 20 minutes later than we said we would… totally my fault.. I just couldn’t get myself together! We sat on the bus for a while trying to get to Epcot property. I was getting a little worried about making it on time, but we were ok. We even hung around a little while in the staging area before heading through the baggage claim tent to the runners only area. The weather was much warmer than it had been all week- in the 50’s. Pretty good running weather, but it was due to get much warmer, and there was even a chance for rain. I love how I had tank tops for my costumes for the three cold days, yet it was warm on the day I had a short sleeve shirt. Figures.

We made the hike to the starting corrals. a lot of people had already gone ahead, and the National Anthem was being sung before we even got to corral H. We still had plenty of time though, and were in our corrals by the time the first wave went off. As we got closer and closer to the starting line, I had a horrible sickening feeling in my stomach.. all I could think about was how much this was going to hurt.. and how I might not make it.

Marathon Starting line

Marathon Starting line

I didn’t take a lot of pictures for the first half of the course because it basically was the same as the day before. On mile 2 I could feel the pain creeping into my left knee. I would run an interval, then walk and it would feel better. But by the end of the next 90 second run interval, I would feel it again. The more this went on, the more intense the pain at the end of the run interval. I stopped at a med tent and put some Biofreeze on my knee. It helped at first, but the pain crept back in. I started to panic.

Dawn was the best.. she was telling me “you can do it.. come on.. we will get there.” But I was in a bad place. Physically I was hurting.. mentally I was giving up. On mile 3 I started crying. I couldn’t fathom running 23 more miles if my knee hurt this bad now. I told Dawn “I might have to drop out.. I don’t know what else to do. It hurts!” My girl turned to me and told me “NO! You are NOT dropping out! We have come this far.. you are going to FINISH. We are going to do this.. and I will be beside you! You think you are the only one out here hurting!? This is a MARATHON… you can’t do this without having pain sometime or another!” Then she brought up how she almost died at the Marine Corp Marathon, and it was true. I had no right to complain. All the Dopeys around me were probably in pain just like me (well maybe not JUST like me, but having a rough go at it all the same.) And then I got to thinking… what a blessing it was that the rest of me felt pretty good. My legs for being so tired, were holding up well over all. My feet had not started hurting. My right knee that had given me trouble in the 10K was feeling just fine. It was not cold.. or hot.. or raining..  and my husband was out there ready to cheer me on. I thought about all the sacrifices he’s made for me throughout training and for all the races I had already done. Somehow I snapped out of my miserable funk, and I decided I wasn’t going to quit.. I was going to DO this!

Since I was having considerable pain at the end of my 90 second running interval, I cut back to 30:30 intervals. It was miserably slow, but I found I could do that and it took the edge off. I got to hug my husband again at the Transportation Ticket Center. He asked how I was doing, and I told him I was hurting, but it was fine. I put on a smile so he wouldn’t worry.. and I didn’t even mention how a mile before I wanted to drop out.

We hit Magic Kingdom and I stopped in the same bathroom for a quick break. Something had come over me after Dawn gave me my verbal “slap”.. I was being really silly.. saying all kinds of nonsense things. I told Dawn about my “trick” that got me through my 23 miler on my peak training week, and we started playing a similar game. As we hit mile 6, I was feeling SO much more positive. I was still hurting, but it wasn’t getting worse. I was happy to hit 6 feeling “ok.” We started focusing on mile 12. I said, “If I can just get to mile 12 (that’s where my knee totally crapped out on me in 2013) I know I can walk the rest of the way and finish.” So we started chanting “Mile 12! Mile 12!” every time we started to get bored or needed to restore focus.

238073_181655187_Medium

Heading down Main Street in Magic Kingdom again!

Back behind the Polynesian We ran past our DJ friend again… this time “Best Day of My Life” by American Authors was blasting out… it was a great pick-me-up. Mike texted me and let me know he and Tony were going to be in the same spot as the day before to cheer us on. So happy to see my spectator again 🙂

IMG_4062

As we were trekking along, we came up on Bert and a few penguins from Mary Poppins. The line was super short, so we decided to jump in! Mary Poppins herself wasn’t there.. which is probably why the line was so short.

IMG_4064

Right after mile 8, we made the turn into the Speedway. This is probably one of my favorite parts! How many times in your life can you say you ran on a NASCAR speedway!? I didn’t remember how steep the tunnel getting in was though… a very sharp decline followed by a steep climb. The elevation change aggravated my knee pretty bad, so we walked. It was pretty slow anyways because it was fairly narrow and there were a lot of runners funneling through.

238073_181593821_Medium

Course Photographer caught this as we were coming out of the tunnel. Thumbs up.. still moving forward!

IMG_4075

Running around the track

IMG_4076

Sunrise peaking through the clouds

IMG_4079

Crossing the checkered flag!

IMG_4081

Race car.. Disney style!

IMG_4089

Love it!

On one side of the speedway, locals had their classic and modified cars on display and you could take pictures with them. For some reason.. it seemed like there were less cars out this year than in 2013. Also, I kept waiting to see Lightning McQueen or Mater.. but I didn’t see either. Bummer.

My Speedway pictures from 2013

My Speedway pictures from 2013

As we exited the speedway, we passed mile 9 and headed back on the highway. I stopped at another med tent to put more Biofreeze on and stretch a little bit. The we were on the road to Animal Kingdom! Amongst our silly chatting, our chanting of Mile 12, and taking in the sights along the highway.. I started to get hungry. I was SO happy when volunteers were giving out bananas around mile 11. I think “OOOHHH….BANANA!!!!” came out really loud. I couldn’t help it. When you run a marathon, you tend to eat all the food.

IMG_4093

Am I delusional.. or is that an alligator…?

IMG_4094

Coming up on mile 11… it was clouding up and getting pretty dark.

IMG_4097

Cool topiaries

IMG_4098

Getting closer to Animal Kingdom.. yep, that’s a pig with a race bib!

IMG_4099

I loved this owl… the girl in the pink ran up to take a picture and the owl turned it’s head all Linda Blair style and started staring at her! Funniest thing ever.

Ladies and Gentlemen.. we made it to mile 12!

Ladies and Gentlemen.. we made it to mile 12!

Mile 12 in 2013

Mile 12 in 2013

We hit mile 12 and me knee was still hanging in! Dawn said “Now we have to set a new goal.” I suggested mile17.. the beginning of ESPN center. We agreed and kept on going. Running through Animal Kingdom was a great distraction. PLUS at that time, the park was open.. so among the spectators were general park go-ers. You can never go wrong with more spectators!

20K!

20K!

IMG_4110

Running inside Animal Kingdom

I don’t do roller coasters, but I tried to convince Dawn to jump on Everest.. She wouldn’t go though.. saying “yup.. cause that’s all I need is to feel like I want to barf while I’m running a marathon.” Good point.

IMG_4112

Expedition Everest in Animal Kingdom

IMG_4116

Passing Dino-Rama

After a little ways, we exited out behind the scenes. I was wondering if this was new, because I remembered running past the front entrance of the park. Never the less.. we hit half way!

IMG_4120

HALF WAY BABY!

We doubled back around and ended up running past the front entrance.. now THAT I remembered!

IMG_4122

So cool to have everyone hanging out and cheering for you!

I had noticed that I never saw the Tree of Life as were ran through the park.. but there was a lot of construction going on.. and walls up everywhere.. probably why I missed it. I made sure to stop at a med tent outside the park to attend to my knee. Stretching every so often helped a little. Moving along down the highway again, I saw some grave-digger guys from Haunted Mansion.. or maybe Tower of Terror… either way, the line wasn’t so bad so we decided to stop. It turned out to be the perfect personification of what we were feeling.. (or at least how I was feeling :-p)

IMG_4128

This marathon is KILLING me!

We continued on.. running through miles 15 and 16, getting ever closer to mile 17. We saw another DJ, some trampoline performers and Phineas and Ferb. As were getting closer, I was getting texts from Mike letting us know where he and Tony were in the ESPN complex.. and that they had sandwiches for us. It was right around then that it started to rain. A drizzle at first, but then it really started coming down! It was annoying because our legs had gotten to the point where it was hard to stabilize yourself in even of a slip. We saw a girl go down and was escorted to the medic tent sobbing. On the other hand, the rain reminded me how grateful I was that it was NOT sunny out. It was pretty humid and warm, and if the sun had come out, it would have been grueling. Finally, we make it to the entrance.

IMG_4137

Entering the Wide World of Sports complex

IMG_4138

Dawn high-fiving other runners on their way out

IMG_4141

Rain selfie!

IMG_4146

Chugging along in ESPN

My knee was hurting pretty bad again and I decided to stop to use the bathroom. I stretched while in line, but it really didn’t help. After a few more intervals, I knew I would have to walk for a while.

IMG_4149

Around the track

IMG_4152

Thought this was ironic… check the mile 18 sign up ahead..

We finally made it over to Mike and Tony.. and we were treated with cookies and sandwiches… I told him.. “all these runners may be passing us.. but I bet every single one is jealous of our sandwiches right now!” There should be a medal for world’s best spectators. REALLY. That should be a thing.

IMG_4156

World’s BEST spectator

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Chowing down

We left them and I still couldn’t run. We soon found ourselves at mile 19, and made our way into and around the stadium. IMG_4160

238073_181776753_Medium

I’m hurting.. but still moving!

After the stadium we meandered back towards the avenue we entered the complex on. We saw the guys a couple more times as the raced ahead of us (wasn’t hard because we were still walking.) but soon we were exiting and making our way back to mile 20! I was SO excited to see runners still coming in to ESPN; In 2013, by the time I came out, there was no one coming in! Seeing people still going in made me relax a little bit, and I knew I wasn’t too far behind that I might get swept.

I decided to keep walking and to try to run again at mile 20. Once we got there though, I couldn’t run more than 10 seconds before I had sharp shooting pain in and around my left knee. Dawn kept trying to encourage me.. but I physically couldn’t. I told her I’d walk to the med tent ahead, try more Biofreeze, and stretching, but I doubted anything else could be done. She told me she couldn’t walk for the next 6 miles (she had somewhere to be at 12:30) and I said I understood. After we left the med tent, and it was clear I couldn’t run anymore. We said our goodbyes after mile 21.

As far as I was concerned, I wasn’t really too upset by my need to walk. After all, I had thought about dropping out at mile 3. But I did feel bad for holding Dawn back.. and I felt really sad that I wouldn’t be able to finish with her.. especially after she had to accommodate my injury all those miles. But I smiled because I had made it to mile 21… and I was going to claw my way to the finish line, one way or another.

It felt strange to be alone after all that time. Our outfits had also gotten A LOT of attention with comments like “Cool! You’re even running on the right sides!” and “Those are awesome shirts! What a great idea!” We even had someone ask to stand between us while their friend took a picture from behind. But now that we had parted ways, I felt a little out of place. I decided to walk my way to Hollywood Studios and then see if I could run a little. I was keeping in communication with Mike about where I was, and he kept telling me to hurry up! My phone was on it’s last legs and I had to keep the texts to a minimum.. I still wanted to take pictures!

IMG_4171

35K!

As I approached Hollywood Studios.. I tried to run again. I made ran the 30 second interval, but I was really gritting my teeth at the end. As I started to walk, I had the shooting stabbing pain that was not going away.. “Yep.” I told myself. “That was stupid, and I’m NOT doing that again!” Then it started to rain again. Great.

IMG_4175

Raining coming into Hollywood Studios

IMG_4177

Passing the water tower and getting some encouragement

IMG_4179

Running through the tunnel on the Back Lot Tour ride.

IMG_4182

The Incredibles outside of the park had escaped to seek refuge from the rain… Mike and Sully were still hanging out under an awning though!

IMG_4190

Heading towards the park’s entrance

IMG_4191

Spectators outside the park

Near mile 24 I got a text from Mike that Dawn had finished! She made up a lot of ground the past few miles. I was two miles behind her.. but I heard mile 26 calling my name!

IMG_4195

Walking my way towards Epcot

IMG_4196

Swan and Dolphin..so NICE to see you!

IMG_4198

My favorite sign EVER.

As I walked my way along the lake, I was having large spurts of overwhelming emotion. I was trying my hardest to hold them back. I just couldn’t believe that I was doing it AGAIN. This was my second marathon. This was the Dopey challenge. and I was going to FINISH. I was also having a little bit of lightheadedness. I couldn’t figure out why- I had meticulously been making sure I was taking my fuel and drinking at every water stop. I was yelling at myself in my head that I had made it this far.. and I was NOT going to pass out NOW. I took a Power Aid cup at the next water stop and felt a little better after. I just had to stay focused and kept my eye on the prize.

IMG_4201

Yes.. that sign says 40K!

I fought hard to hold back my tears as I walked my way into the last park. I had just enough battery power left on my phone for my last few pictures.. and I texted Mike. EPCOT.

IMG_4202

Holy Crap. Mile 25.

The music they had blasting in Epcot was phenomenal. It was there to usher everyone in and tell them YOU. ARE. CHAMPIONS. There also were SO many spectators.. it felt like everyone there was these just for us runners. Even though I was so close to the finish, I needed to go to the bathroom. I had passed the opportunity about a half mile back because I wasn’t sure that I could get back up if I sat down! But as I walked my way through the World Showcase, I decided I did NOT want to crossing my legs trying to get my medals and hurry off to the bathroom. I wanted to enjoy and savor the moment. So I ducked into a restroom in Morocco. Definitely the right decision.

IMG_4205

Walking my way through my LAST mile

238073_182212733_Medium

Professional photographers caught me a few times in Epcot

238073_182464528_Medium

Still smiling!

IMG_4206

SO CLOSE!

FOCUS

FOCUS

As I passed the Ball, inching my way closer and eagerly looking for mile 26, I passed a man with a walker. A WALKER! AND I had to walk pretty hard to pass this guy! As much pain as I was in, I couldn’t believe there was someone who had walked the entire marathon with a walker. It was very humbling to witness. I HAD to get a picture of him. What an inspiration.

IMG_4208

His cape said “Rod’s Hero” Hero indeed.

Finally I was passing mile 26. I was having a harder time holding back my emotions. Mike texted me and said he was near the finish.. to look for him under a large tree.

IMG_4210

238073_182575911_Medium

I rounded the corner and saw the tree. Under the tree, I saw Mike, Tony and Dawn! She had stayed to watch me finish! They started cheering wildly, and I yelled that I was going to run it in! I didn’t want to finish walking, I wanted to finish running! I had saved up the very last of the energy I had and as I made the last turn to the finish line, I took off.

238073_182349135_Medium

Running it to the finish line!

IMG_4211

Most beautiful sight in the world.

It hurt SO bad. It was all I could do to fight back tears of pain and emotion as I dug in and fought for the finish. This race was HARD earned. I was a two time marathoner, and I was a Dopey Challenge finisher. I was on top of the world.

238073_182107469_Medium

26.2 and 48.6 DONE!

238073_182296029_Medium-1

Fighting so hard to hold back my emotions

It was really hard to hold back the tears as I was given my marathon medal. I had my picture taken and headed through the challenge tent to be verified for my Dopey finish. I was handed my Goofy and Dopey medals and I couldn’t be prouder. I hobbled my way through the finisher chute, declining a picture with my new challenge medals. I just wanted to get some ice on my knee as fast as I could!

238073_181828603_Medium

Never given, ALWAYS earned.

I had a medic wrap a giant bag of ice to my knee with plastic wrap and hobbled over to our designated meet up spot. It still hurt to walk.. and the ice was very cold.. and melting all over the place. It felt strangely good though. I finally met Mike and the others and Dawn and I got pictures with our new prized possessions.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Showing off Micky, Goofy, and Dopey!

I had finished the race in just over 7 hours- which means that I did NOT beat my previous marathon time of 6:56. While this was disappointing, sometimes, you have to shift your goals to the realities of what’s going on around you. In the end, all I wanted to do was finish, and somehow, I was able to scrape that together. I couldn’t have been prouder of myself.

My Garmin Marathon stats

My Garmin Marathon stats

As I hobbled over to a bus, I had NO idea how I was able to walk all those miles in the condition I was feeling. Twisting my knees in any way brought on terrifying weakness, like they could snap.. and I was very very slow trying to get around. We got back to the hotel and I was really glad I had not made plans for later in the day. It took about 30 minutes to walk back to the hotel room! I immediately took a shower and soaked in the bath. All I wanted to do was crawl into a ball and sleep. My mom ended up calling me while Mike was in the shower, and I had to tell her all about it. As soon as she was off the phone, I crashed. I had planned on napping for a few hours, then getting a late dinner in the cafeteria. It was hard to walk, but I wanted to move around a little to keep my muscles from getting too sore. I woke up and the clock read 10:56. I was dazed and confused, and even asked Mike why the clock was wrong. he said it wasn’t. I had slept for 7 hours!

It was then I realized that I had run a marathon on 3 hours of sleep. I didn’t have the strength to walk down to the cafeteria, so we scraped together the food we had in the room.. peanut butter, bananas, some nuts, remnants of my snack boxes given after the races. We had a makeshift dinner of snacks and watched about an hour of TV. I then brushed my teeth and went back to bed.

IMG_4214

IMG_4215

IMG_4216

Stay tuned for my last Disney Marathon Weekend post, coming soon!

2015 Disney Marathon Weekend! Part 3- 10k!

Friday was a big day! It was the day of the 10k, Mike’s FIRST 10k race!

We set our alarms for 2:30. Am. Yeah…. Ouch. The forecast was still cold, but marginally better than the previous day, with little wind. Swell. There were lots of comments on Facebook from people who were nervous about this race because they were scarred from the previous day. I have to say, I was with them on that. I decided on wearing my pants, but decided not to wear the jacket this time. My outfit for the race was a yellow tank top that said This Beauty Runs Like A Beast in red glitter, a yellow sparkle skirt, red sports bra and red sparkle headband. I added yellow arm sleeves to the mix for extra comfort. Mike wore his Baltimore 5K shirt with a long sleeve shirt underneath. I was going to make him a shirt that read BEAST on the front, but he was having none of that. (Too bad.. would have been cute!)

ready to race!

ready to race!

We headed out to catch the bus around 3:30 am and met up with Dawn and Tony. Dawn had a pretty awesome Snow White costume going on. We had no trouble hopping on a bus and heading to the start. Since there was very little wind, we ventured out closer to the DJ stand in the staging area. We took advantage of no line in front of a Goofy Challenge backdrop while we were waiting around.

being Goofy

being Goofy

Mike and I

Mike and I

Hanging out near the DJ stage

Hanging out near the DJ stage

After standing around a while, we were ushered into the corrals. Mike was placed in corral D, so Dawn and I had to drop back to his corral to run with him. (Dopeys had one bib for the 5/10K and a second bib for the half/full, so our corrals were still B for Friday as well.) The waiting seemed like forever. I tried to get Mike to block the breeze for me, but it really didn’t help. Eventually the corrals ahead of us had gone and it was finally our turn to line up.

Dawn the burrito

Dawn the burrito

10K start line

10K start line

The race started in the same place as the 5K, took off in the same direction, but turned the opposite way, leaving Epcot property all together. We got to run through the Epcot lot gates, which was cool, and encountered our first characters under an overpass running down the highway. Mike thought it was really cool.. and told me later it was the coolest part of the course (pun intended.)

IMG_3803

Anna and Elsa from Frozen.. they even had snow falling around us

We kept our intervals pretty good, still using 90:90. Like the 5K, we didn’t stop for characters because the lines were a little long. The highway stretch was a little dull, other than a few characters and the Frozen overpass. But soon enough we were looping our way back into Epcot and the World Showcase.

mile 3 candid

Mile 3 – sign on the gate behind Epcot

IMG_3818

World Showcase, 10K style

IMG_3821

Running around the world!

IMG_3824

On mile 4 we saw Genie…

IMG_3828

And Mickey… as you can see, lots of people taking selfies to avoid the lines

The Second half of mile 4 brought us to the boardwalk- a place I had only been once before, during the 2013 marathon. It was really pretty all lit up.

IMG_3829

Running down Disney’s Boardwalk

IMG_3836

View across the lake

IMG_3838

Coming off the Boardwalk and heading towards the Yacht Club Resort

IMG_3839

Crossing the bridge towards Disney’s Yacht Club Resort

IMG_3842

Lighthouse at the Yacht Club near mile 5

IMG_3846

Mile 5- cause who doesn’t love a good pirate ship!?

IMG_3847

Race selfie!

IMG_3849

cheesin’

Eventually, we made our way back into Epcot. Mike was getting a little tired at this point. Dawn and I were trying to give him words of encouragement was we went along. I kept telling him that it was almost over and that he was going to rock it!

IMG_3854

There she is!

IMG_3856

getting ready to pass The Seas pavilion and the Nemo ride

At this point there were a ton of professional photographers snapping pictures everywhere… we got a couple of interesting ones…

Mike was in the zone.. and I was trying to keep him there!

Mike was in the zone.. and I was trying to keep him there!

then there's THIS gem

then there’s THIS gem

I wanted a picture at mile 6.. because it was a huge milestone for Mike to be almost done his longest race ever. It turned out to be one of my favorite pictures!

IMG_3860

hellz to the YES!

We rounded the corner and took her home! Mike was a little bit ahead of us at the finish.. he wanted to be done already!

IMG_3862

nothing like the finish line!

Dawn and I finishing behind Mike

Dawn and I finishing behind Mike

IMG_3864

SO upset with this one.. my camera just wasn’t fast enough!

Proud 10K finshers!

Proud 10K finshers!

chip time was 1:28:56

Garmin was a little off on the mileage, chip time was 1:28:56

IMG_3865

Isn’t she beautiful!?

Again, like the previous day, runDisney did not hand out heat sheets to fnishers. The snack boxes and the like, were the same. Didn’t complain though… the little tortilla chips and packet of cheese to dip them in were pretty darn tasty. The line for the bus wasn’t as long this time- I’m guessing because it wasn’t quite as bitterly cold as the previous day, and people were lingering about.

After showers, resting, and a nap, Mike and I headed out to Downtown Disney.

IMG_3868

We wandered around a bit, looking in some stores, and taking pictures of some scenery. I stopped in the Christmas store and bought this little guy:

IMG_4270

Dopey 2015!

IMG_3871

Proud 10K finisher in the candy store!

IMG_3876

Mr Potato Head!

IMG_3877

To infinity and beyond!

IMG_3880

Lego Dopey

LOOK what I found!

LOOK what I found!

YES! Pug stud earrings at a jewelery shop!

YES! Pug stud earrings at a jewelery shop! I would have totally ROCKED these!

We made our way to Splitsville Luxury Lanes on the west side. I had dinner reservations for us there later on in the evening and we wanted to do some bowling before dinner. We had to wait a little before bowling, so we enjoyed a drink at the bar first. It was fun, but for only an hour of play, it was pretty expensive.

IMG_3884

Splitsville at Downtown Disney

IMG_3890

Enjoying our drinks- cinnamon toast coladas!

IMG_3909

How’s THIS for an action shot!?

 After dinner we headed back to the hotel. We got back later than we wanted because we waited for a shuttle boat to take us back to the marketplace from the West side (buses no longer run over there, and I wanted to save my legs the walk.) We made time for another round of Epsom salt baths though, and then hit the sack. Saturday would be a loooonnnngg day and another early morning.

Next up: Part 4- Half Marathon!

And if you missed them:

Part 1- Arrival and Expo

Part 2- 5K

 

 

2015 Disney Marathon Weekend! Part 2- 5k!

Continuing on my 2015 Disney Marathon Weekend saga, I give you Part 2- 5K! (If you missed Part 1 click HERE)

Thursday morning I was up at 3 am. The 5K started an hour later than all the other races, but still, 3 am sucks. What made it easy though, was that I set all of my race things out ahead of time, so I didn’t need to go digging through my suitcase to find stuff.

There had been warnings out all over Facebook regarding the wind chill advisory for Thursday morning. I knew the temperatures were supposed to drop, but I figured.. “eh, how bad could it be?”

Bad. It was bad. When I woke up I felt a little chilled, and I noted that the temperatures were reading in the high 30’s, so I decided to do the smart thing and wear a jacket under my tank top. My outfit for the 5k was supposed to be a purple tank top I made that said “legs are required for racing” and my green tutu I wore for the Shamrock 5K last march. I accessorized with a pink sports bra and pink sparkle head band. Obviously, I was going for my favorite Disney princess, Ariel. In anticipation of the cooler weather forecast, I purchased a bunch of arm warmers in various colors (green for Ariel!) I could sport in case of an emergency. It was clear that that alone wouldn’t be enough. So, I threw on my thin Under Armour premium from the Sole of the City 10K that I decided to bring last minute. (SO glad I did that!).

After a quick breakfast of a bagel, I grabbed a heat sheet to wrap around me, snapped on my race bib, snatched up my small hand held water bottle, my phone and some hand warmers, and headed out to catch a bus to the start. As soon as I left the hotel room.. I realized I had not only made a smart decision to wear the jacket… I had made a necessary decision. It was cold. SO much colder than upper 30’s should have felt. The wind was raw and very gusty. I walked quickly to the main building and stood inside the doorway to wait for Dawn. When she showed up, she was also wrapped nice and tightly in a heat sheet. I started to complain about the cold when she informed me she was wearing a tank top. (YES… she wore a tank top and no other layer in upper 30’s, feels-like-upper-20’s, windy weather.) She was dressed up as Tinker Bell, complete with wings. The wings also prevented her from being able to pull the heat sheet over her head to try and get a bit warmer. Her costume looked great though.. too bad Florida decided to become Maryland for a day. (Don’t get me wrong… it was in the single digits at home! But this was pretty darn cold for central FL.)

We got right on a bus and were temporarily relieved of the bitterness. But, the reprieve went too soon, as it was not long before we had arrived at the Epcot bus drop off and herded to the start. Disney races are fun like that.. get up super early, catch a bus, stand in a staging area for 1-2 hours, walk (sometimes far!) to the start corrals, wait another 30- 60 minutes, walk to the start line, wait another 5 minutes.. add the bitter cold and yeah, not fun.

As we made our way to the staging area, we noticed some runners huddled inside an empty “Information” tent. We weren’t sure what they were congregating for until we rounded the corner and found an occupied “Information tent.” This tent was perpendicular to a chain link fence covered with some kind of construction wrap. A ton of runners were huddled here, so we made our way to the fence where we might be shielded by the wind a little. We could feel there was a slight heated breeze coming from the Information tent and realized they must have heaters. It was by no means warm, but it did block some of the negative effects of the wind. We huddled there a while until we were chased out by staff. After that, we joined the pack of runners a little further out in the corner, all standing close to one another trying to block the wind and cold. There was a variety of people.. some with skimpy costumes, some with warm coats; There WERE a few like Dawn, with exposed skin, but not many. I had elected (like a fool) to wear capri leggins and not my fleece insulated tights (stupid! stupid!).. and the lower part of my legs down through my feet stung so bad in the cold.

Tinker Dawn

Tinker Dawn

But I thought I WAS smiling!

But I thought I WAS smiling!

Finally, like the runner version of the March of the Penguins, we were herded to the start corrals. Dawn and I were both assigned to corral B, which was just fine for us, because it meant we could start all the sooner and be done with this nonsense. After about another 30 minute wait, we finally were herded to the start. As we were standing around at the start line, listening to the announcer try and psych us up for the race, one guy started singing “Let us goooo! Let us GOOOO!” Best Let It Go rendition EVER.

Waiting for the GO!

Waiting for the GO!

When we were finally off, neither one of us wanted to toss our heat sheets. So, for the very first time in my 4 years of running, I ran with my heat sheet. The first couple intervals took us around the Epcot parking lot and back in through the backside of Epcot’s World Showcase. Only, we were so cold, that I think we ran pretty much the first mile before actually doing intervals.

2014_Walt-Disney-World-5K-10K-Course-Map

2014 map, but essentially the same course

I had warmed up enough to toss my heat sheet right before we entered the World Showcase. Dawn ran with hers the whole time. We didn’t stop for characters 1- because it was too cold, and 2- because of the long lines. We kept telling ourselves that it was just a 5k.. and that it would be over soon and we could go back to our warm hotel rooms. In Epcot, there was music playing as we ran. We sang to some of the songs to keep our spirits up. Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah came on.. and I hadn’t heard that song in ages! In fact, I don’t know if any kids now days would know it at all. I started singing “Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah , Zip-A-Dee-Ay… My oh my what a wonderful day!” Dawn joined in with “plenty of sunshine headin’ my way!”… then everyone around us joined in to finish out the chorus; “Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah, Zip-A-Dee-Ay!” It was a great moment! (And now I have it stuck in all your heads too! :-p)

Running into Epcot's World Showcase

Running into Epcot’s World Showcase

running in Epcot

sun is starting to come up

sun is starting to come up

looking back towards France

mile 2!

pretty sunrise

pretty sunrise

There's the ball!

There’s the ball!

Almost done!

Almost done!

mine... mine...

mine… mine…

Finish line!

Finish line!

crossing the finish line

crossing the finish line

We finished in 37:38 (chip time) and made our way through the finishers chute. We got our medallions and finisher’s photos. RunDisney provided us water and power aide bottles, bananas and a box of snacks. You wouldn’t think we’d necessarily need snacks after only a 5K.. but I had my bagel breakfast at about 3:30 am, and it was now about 7 am, so I was pretty hungry. The snack boxes were great… much better than ones they have given out in the past. (NO shrink wrapped stale processed bagel!) One thing I was VERY disappointed with was that runDisney was not handing out heat sheets at the end of the race. It was bitter cold out, and now I was wet from sweating. It was miserable. I chalked it up to maybe runDisney didn’t give them out for the 5k.. being that this was my first time doing this particular race, I was disappointed, but accepted it.

5k DONE!

5k DONE!

5K

My Garmin stats

We wasted no time and made for the lines for the buses. We discovered our bus was (of course) the one with the longest line. And it was long. RunDisney was loading buses up two at a time, but we still had to wait for 4 buses before we finally got one. When I got back to the hotel, I still had a long walk back to the room.. and this time I had no heat sheet and was slightly damp. I also had tossed my hand warmers during the race, and for whatever insane reason (probably the same insane reason I was not wearing full pants) I didn’t bring my gloves. As I was walking into the wind, I was absolutely frozen. My hands hurt from being so cold and I noticed that they had started to turn purple. Not good. When I got in the room, I had Mike take a quick picture of me with my medal in my costume, and I jumped right in a hot shower to warm up.

3.1 down, 45.5 to go!

3.1 down, 45.5 to go!

Good old Pluto!

Good old Pluto!

Once I was warm and clean, I lounged around a bit telling Mike about the race. (There’s not much spectator action for the 5K, so he stayed in the room and slept in.) Around 9:30 we headed out to Epcot to meet my sister again. Trenton had school during the day, so it was just Diane, AJ, and Gemma hanging out for a bit. We had some pastries and coffee in Les Halles Boulangerie & Pâtisserie in the French pavilion, saw Figment at Journey Into Imagination, and rode Living with the Land and Spaceship Earth again. We also sampled soda at Coca Cola’s Club Cool and was pleasantly surprised that they had some new choices to sample.

Yup, still cold!

Yup, still cold!

Gemma, Daddy, and Uncle Mike on Living With The Land

Gemma, Daddy, and Uncle Mike on Living With The Land

Gemma was excited for Figment!

Gemma was excited for Figment!

Checking out the Coca-Cola merchandise

Checking out the Coca-Cola merchandise at Club Cool

Around 2, my sister and gang had to leave to get Trenton from school, so Mike and I decided to go back to the hotel and relax the rest of the day. I really felt like we should be going to another park because it was still early, but I knew we were making the right decision to go back and rest, as my legs and feet were pretty tired, and I was only 3.1 miles into my 48.6 mile challenge!

Waiting for the bus!

Waiting for the bus!

We ended the day with dinner at the hotel and Epsom salt baths for both of us. It is amazing how much you walk around when out and about, and how big a toll that puts on the body. My Fitbit had registered 26,076 steps for Thursday alone- which translates roughly to 11.77 miles. That included a 5K, but all that extra walking adds up! No wonder my feet were killing me and my legs were tired. I had also logged 24,259 steps (10.11 miles) on Tuesday, and 22,808 steps (9.54 miles) on Wednesday. This 10+ mile/day thing was hitting me pretty hard mentally, and I still had so much further to go in the challenge. Something to think about if you are reading this in anticipation of doing a future Dopey challenge.

We turned in early, around 8:30 because we were set to wake up at 2:30 on Friday to get ready for the 10K!

Check back to continue on to Part 3- 10K!

2015 Disney Marathon Weekend! Part 1- Arrival and Expo!

I’m so excited to finally write these posts! It’s taken me a while because I returned to work right after we got back from vacation, and I’ve had a lot of things going on with the start of the new year. This will be a 6-part series of posts- this one being the beginning of our vacation and trip to the expo,  4 will be devoted to each individual race day, and one last post to wrap up vacation and our trip back home.

We left for Florida on Tuesday Jan 6. It was cold, with a snow system due to move into our area early in the morning. Fortunately for us- we had to be at the airport EARLIER than early in the morning. Our flight was due out at 6:15 am, which means we were on the road to the airport around 3 am! Once we got parked and dropped off at the airline’s check in counter, we realized that the counter didn’t even open until 4:30 am. So, we joined the line and waited. We chatted with a lady behind us, who was also going to Disney Marathon weekend so her daughter could run the marathon. We felt right at home telling running stories.

Finally we were able to check in our bags and headed over to security. My bag was pretty heavy, and my husband offered to put some of my stuff in his bag to re-distribute some of the weight so we wouldn’t have to pay over-weight fees. Both bags came in under 50 lbs, and we moved on our way. BUT my husband’s carry on bag was pulled while going through the security line. Apparently, at the last minute he decided to take my 3 bottles of G2 Gatorade out of his checked bag and put it in his carry on to save some weight. Security told him he wasn’t allowed through (as I knew!) and he would have to lose the bottles. WELL, I was not having it! Anyone who runs knows how important specific food/fuel and drinks are for a race (or four).. and who knows if I would be able to get my hands on some more at Disney!? (Disney carried Power-aid, which I do not use, and I only drink the low-sugar version of Gatorade) So, he begrudgingly checked his bag.. thinking all the while I was nuts. (Which I may be… but it was his fault for taking out of his checked bag to begin with!)

ANYWAY.. we chatted with Dawn and Tony at the gate (we had the same flight out) before boarding the plane. Take off was a little nerve-wracking for me. While we were in the airport, it had begun snowing outside. It was coming down pretty good and the runways were covered already. Our flight was “on time” but we did sit on the tarmac a good 30 minutes while we were waiting for and being de-iced. When we were finally cleared for take-off, I saw the runways were still snow covered. It made me a little nervous that we would be driving at 500 mph for take-off on a snow covered runway. (Plus it doesn’t help that we had recently seen the show “Why Planes Crash” either!) But, we took off fine, and the rest of the flight was smooth sailing.

Sunrise from the plane

Sunrise from the plane

Hello Orlando!

Hello Orlando!

Once in good old MCO, we picked up Mike’s bag (The others had Magical Express tags and would be delivered right to our room… LOVE Disney) and hopped on the Magical Express bus to our resort, Art of Animation.

AoA main lobby/check in

AoA main lobby/check in

Christmas tree still up!

Christmas tree still up!

We were able to check in and were directed to our room. There are 5 sections of rooms in the AoA resort. Finding Nemo is the section immediately when you walk out of the main building. That, along with the Cars and Lion King sections are all family suites. We had booked a standard room, which was located in the Little Mermaid section- all the way in the back of the resort. Not only was it a 10 minute walk to the section itself, we were the last building all the way in the back.. on the fourth (top) floor… all the way at the end of the hall. Yup.

Entrance to the Cars section

Entrance to the Cars section (with a Nemo Building in the background)

Big Blue Pool, main pool in front of Finding Nemo

Big Blue Pool, main pool in front of Finding Nemo

Lion King section

Lion King section

Start of the Little Mermaid section.. see the bldg in the back? No? Well, it's there, and it was ours.

Start of the Little Mermaid section.. see the building in the back? No? Well, it’s there, and it was ours.

View from the 4th floor of our building, overlooking the Little Mermaid Pool

View from the 4th floor of our building, overlooking the Little Mermaid Pool

In our room, we had double beds. When I booked, I was kinda mad at myself for not thinking to request a single king bed, but after I thought about it, the double bed thing was good, because now we had a place to put all the running stuff! Otherwise, there really wasn’t a lot of space to put stuff. There was only one nightstand between the beds, so I took one of the chairs from the table and made it into a makeshift nightstand. The room was good for 2 people, but not much more than that.

TV and small table

TV and small table… even the mirror was small.

double beds

double beds

The rest of our luggage had not arrived yet, so we decided to get some lunch and set out to the parks. One thing I can say, was that the resort restaurant, Landscape of Flavors was great! Lots of food choices from burgers to make-your-own-pasta. My favorite was the make -your-own omelets at breakfast and the chicken burger. You could even choose a side of fries or a side of cole-slaw, letting you decide how healthy or unhealthy you wanted to be.  One new thing I noticed since the last time I was at Disney, was the programming of the beverage cups. I had saved my morning cup and tried to put soda in it later, only to be rejected from the soda machine. I have since looked into it a little bit and read that the cups have RFID chips built into them. For the souvenir type- you pay for the amount of days you wish to refill the cup. For the disposable paper kind, the RFID expires after an hour, or a maximum of 3 refills, whichever comes first. The soda machines will only dispense beverages if it senses the RFID. Sneaky sneaky Disney! BUT, I was able to refill my cup with coffee or hot chocolate.. both of which have the traditional pull-down levers. It was also fun to watch other unsuspecting guests try and figure out how the machines worked :-p The one complaint I had regarding this quick service restaurant was the prices. Not so much for an entree, which while expensive, was very generous in portion and good quality. But for the other, every day things like pieces of fruit and bottles of juice/water etc. the prices were a rip off. They didn’t even include the milk when you got a bowl of cereal, you had to buy that separate. (And REALLY Disney… 1.75 for ONE banana!?!?! We can get a whole bunch for that price at Wegman’s!)

IMG_4253

Landscape of Flavors at Art of Animation

Continuing on, the first thing we wanted to do after lunch was to have avocado margaritas at La Cava Del Tequila. It’s a little hole in the wall (most people don’t even know it’s there!) tequila bar inside the Mexican pavilion in Epcot’s World Showcase. They serve all kinds of authentic Mexican tequila there and many different types of margaritas. I had a hibiscus one once.. but our favorite is avocado! (Tastes so much better than it sounds!) They are a bit pricy at 14.99 for 1, but they are our must-do splurge every time we make a trip!

mmm... avocado!

mmm… avocado!

From there, we meandered around the world showcase.. not looking to do anything in particular, but just enjoying being at Disney. We saw a lumberjack show in Canada, checked out the Christmas decorations in France, and even shared some caramels in Germany.

Bonjour

Bonjour

mmm...candy!

mmm…candy!

Spaceship Earth

Spaceship Earth

Christmas Stitch!

Christmas Stitch!

We left Epcot and headed over to Magic Kingdom. My uncles who moved to FL last year were going to meet up with us there. By the time we caught up with them though, they were in line for Seven Dwarfs’ Mine Train, and the wait was over 70 minutes long! So we let them stand in line and we hit up some other things nearby.

Magic Kingdom!

Magic Kingdom!

Castle from Main Street

Cinderella’s Castle

By the time we finally DID meet up with my uncles, it was late and the castle was all lit up. We sat and enjoyed coffees and ice cream, then we watched the fire works from behind the castle.. kind of a neat view point for those who have been-there-seen-that several times.

so pretty!

so pretty!

We started off Wednesday with a nice carb-load breakfast (character waffles!) and set out for the heath and fitness expo at the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex. All Dopeys had to pick up their race packets on Wednesday because the 5k was on Thursday. We tried to meet up with Dawn and Tony, but we had to wait 20 minutes for a bus. Then we had a long walk from where the bus dropped us off to where we had to go for our stuff. By the time we got there, it was getting pretty crowded. I picked up my packet and waited for Mike to pick up his for the 10K. Then I got in line for my shirts. My 5K shirt ended up being too small, so I got in another long line to exchange it, only to find out that the line was only for the challenge shirt exchange. Sigh. I followed another runner looking to do the same thing back to the original shirt pick-up line. Luckily, we just asked someone off to the side if we could exchange the shirts, and it was pretty quick. Side note- the race shirts were really nice. In 2012 and 2013 I got unisex shirts that were too big because they were unisex, and the material was a dry, waffle-like weave. THIS year (and I think last year) they offered woman’s cut shirts and the material was a nice smooth material. A+ runDisney!

cute AND tasty!

cute AND tasty!

Walking to ESPN Wide World of Sports complex

Walking to ESPN Wide World of Sports complex

Dopey!

Dopey!

Proud 10K participant!

Proud 10K participant!

We left packet pick up and met Dawn and Tony briefly before heading into the expo. I had a few things on my list to get and the expo was the place to be. First, we picked up Mike’s 10K shirt (Goofys and Dopeys picked up their stuff in the same building as packet pick up, everyone else had to go into the Josten’s Center where the expo was) and then I headed to the Raw threads booth. The shirt I had bought for the marathon was too big and I read they would do expo returns, and I wanted to return it. Unfortunately, I read it wrong and was told I was not going to be able to do the return. But then I was directed to the owner of the shop and she graciously let me exchange it for something else of the same value. Because the shirt was cheaper than their usual prices, all I ended up being able to get was a headband.. but I was really happy she was letting me do it, so, I got a cool headband :-p Other items I was able to procure included KT tape, a race belt to hold bibs, a yellow Sparkle Athletic skirt for my 10K costume, a 48.6 magnet for my car, and a 10K magnet for Mike’s car. Once we were done we realized it was lunchtime. so we headed back to the room to unload our stuff and have lunch before venturing out to the park.

Race swag!

Race swag!

After lunch we headed back to Magic Kingdom. My sister, brother-in-law, AJ, nephew, Trenton, and niece, Gemma, were meeting up with us that afternoon. (They live in Orlando.) I hadn’t seen the kids since our wedding in October 2013, so I was so excited to spend some time with them! We roamed around, did some rides, and a good time was had by all!

Trenton

Trenton waiting for the Little Mermaid ride

Gemma just LOVES her Aunt Stephanie!

Gemma just LOVES her Aunt Stephanie! And It’s A Small World.

Uncle Mike (aka Funny Mike) even borrowed Trenton's Mickey ears for a while :)

Uncle Mike (aka Funny Mike) even borrowed Trenton’s Mickey ears for a while 🙂

We got back to the room a little later than I wanted, after all, I needed to be up super early for the 5K Thursday morning. I also didn’t anticipate how much all the walking around the parks would take a toll on my legs and feet. I was worn out and I hadn’t even run a race yet. Needless to say, I was a little worried. I took an Epsom salt bath and wore my Tommie Copper recovery tights to bed, just to be safe.

THIS stuff was amazing

THIS stuff was amazing

Stay tuned for my next chapter- 2015 Disney Marathon Weekend: Part 2- 5K!

 

 

Dopey Training Week 27

Hi everyone! I’m back from Disney Marathon Weekend and what a trip it was!!! I can’t wait to tell you all about it! But first, I wanted to get this post out there. I’ve been writing weekly training posts since July 2014.. and I didn’t want to skip my very last training post! Sorry it’s so late… but I wanted to finish my streak!

Week 27 was my second and last week of taper/recovery. I really don’t see it as a taper exactly, as I ran a 6 mile long run in week 26, and a 7 mile long run this week. Also- I didn’t like how the Galloway training schedule only gave us 2 weeks for taper/recovery. I would have preferred 3 weeks and it may have helped me  on marathon day.. but we’ll talk about that later.

Monday the 29th was the first Monday back from vacation. I elected to work, but my husband took off. After work, my husband picked me up (because I still had no car) and brought me over to the shop when my car had been sitting for more than a week. The plan was for me to drive it 10 miles to the dealership, and my husband to follow me in case I had another breakdown. At first, the car drove ok, with minimal noise. I was feeling a little bit guilty at first, because maybe I didn’t *need* a new car after all. But, as we got further down the road, the clanking/vibrational noise was steadily getting louder, and the car shuddered a little while idling at traffic lights. Yup… making the right decision.

We made it to the dealership, and long (like, 5 hours long) story short, I dove away in my brand new Mazda CX-5!

was a couple of days before I could get a daylight picture... but here she is!

was a couple of days before I could get a daylight picture… but here she is!

Monday night, we were up pretty late arranging car stuff. I think I was worrying about only getting 4 hours of sleep, which made it hard to actually get any sleep. I think I might have gotten 2 hours. Needless to say, I was exhausted Tuesday, and a workout just did not happen.

I was going to run Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday to make up for my lack in activity in the beginning part of the week, but my husband wanted me to run on Thursday with him. So, I just took Tuesday as a loss, and carried on. Wednesday, of course, was New Year’s eve, and the gym was closed in the evening. I did get in a HIIT workout in after work though.

Thursday was my official start to vacation! I took off Friday as no one was going to be in the office anyways, and wouldn’t be returning to work until the 14th! I got a nice 3 mile run in with my husband.

Saturday was pouring rain all day, so I elected to used the day to take down Christmas decorations and begin packing for Disney. I worked on my costumes a bit too. My dad ended up visiting us for lunch, to see my new car, and to show off his super nice brand new Lexus SUV (which we had no idea he had bought the day before!)

Sunday, I got in my long run. I knew Dawn was working, so I ran by myself. It was a damp, cool, foggy day, and I just kept reminding myself that it would be warm and sunny in FL! I ran without my brace, but I felt pain creeping in my knee towards the end. I knew then that I would just have to run the half and full marathon in the brace- there would be no alternative at this point.

Foggy, soggy long run

Foggy, soggy long run

Total mileage in Week 27:  10.79 miles! (2 hrs, 15 minutes of running!)

Total Dopey training miles: 432.71

Week 26 Activity Report:

Week 27

Week 27

 

 

Dopey Training Week 26- Christmas in NY!

Happy New Year everyone! I’m starting mine off right with a 45 minute run.. my second to last Dopey training run! How crazy is that!? But, that’s for my week 27 post.. I’m here to go over week 26!

Week 26!

Week 26!

My husband and I arrived in Farmingdale NY for Christmas vacation on Monday. We made great time for the 200 mile trip. Since I ran so much in the previous 4 days for my second Dopey trial, I of course took the day off to rest. We did our annual tradition of hitting up Starbucks for lunch and coffee, then went to visit one of my husband’s friends. It was a really nice visit. We got to see the house they purchased earlier in the year and got to meat their 4 month old daughter, Quinn. (SUCH a cutie!) Later. we enjoyed a nice dinner with my father-in-law and his girlfriend.

Tuesday my husband and father-in-law did a brake job and oil change on my husband’s car. While they were working I went out for a run. Surprisingly, after all the running I did the previous week, I felt pretty good and wanted to try and get out. At the end of my 23 miler Sunday, my left knee was hurting and I walked the last 5 miles. At this point, my knee felt pretty good, so I decided to venture out without my knee brace. It felt pretty good for a while, but then after 2 miles, the pain was creeping in. By mile 3, I was walking. It wasn’t that bad as I wasn’t too far from the house and knew I could just finish out whatever time it took me to walk.. although I knew I needed to use my brace from now on. I felt pretty positive about it though.. I was very pleased with how much it had healed in only 2 days.. kept me optimistic that I’ll be ok during Dopey.

Tuesday night we visited my mother-in-law and grandmother-in-law. Nothing super eventful, but it was nice to spend some time with them. My husband’s grandmother had suffered a pretty bad stroke close to Thanksgiving and spent a long stint in a rehab facility. she’s doing much better right now and has been staying with my mother-in-law. It was scary, but she seems to have most of her functionality back. She is a little out of it, I must say, due to the meds she’s on.. but it was great to see her up and about, and for the most part, with it 😉

Wednesday, I rested. We spent the day and evening at my father-in-law’s house. My husbands other grandmother and his aunt came to stay a few days and we enjoyed a wonderful Christmas eve dinner with the family. After dinner we talked a while and visited with my brother and sister-in-law. They had to leave early to go to another dinner, but we got to watch them open their gifts. Later we had dessert and played cards before retiring to bed late.

Wednesday was Christmas! My husband and I got up, had a quick [cookie] breakfast, then headed out for a run. It was a pretty morning, overcast at first, but the sun came out for a bit. It also was pretty warm, and I only ended up wearing one layer to run in. We ran around the neighborhood for a while, getting in a good 45 minutes. I wore my knee brace this time and I hated it. It made my leg heavy and wore it out fast. BUT I had zero knee pain the entire run.. so I’ll go with it!

After our Christmas morning run!

After our Christmas morning run!

When we got back, we showered and gathered with the family to open gifts. My Father-in-law gave me a wonderful Ravens zip up hoodie! We also got a carbon monoxide detector (we already have one, so this one is extra protection!) a figurine from Willow Tree, some spending money, and my husband got a ridiculous heavy duty HEAVY shop vice.. which we nick-named “the anvil”.

My new hoodie goes with my hat ;)

My new hoodie goes with my hat 😉

Me, my husband and brother-in-law

Me, my husband and brother-in-law

My husband and me with his father grandmother and aunt.

My husband and me with his father grandmother and aunt.

After gifts we got ready to head to my husband’s aunt’s house for Christmas with his mother’s side of the family. This year, the family decided to use a website called Elfster to do a Secret Santa gift exchange. It’s a really cool website- it allows you to invite participants and set up a wish list. Then the website will randomly assign you a person and you get them something anonymously from their list. Worked perfectly, and it was fun to see who had who and who got what. My husband’s Aunt had me… and I got a Fitbit One! It’s really cool! I’ve even taken it for runs and it’s pretty accurate. It also has a sleep monitoring function to let you know how much and how well you sleep at night. Very cool little tool. I’m even able to link it to my Sparkpeople account so the steps and other data gets imported.

My husband got new Bluetooth enabled earphones, a medal rack to display his medals from the Baltimore 5K and Disney 10K (when he gets it) and a new long sleeved tech shirt. I had my sister-in-law, and she only had one thing on her list- an Amazon TV box.. so that’s what she got! My husband got his mother. She requested a gift card to Kiehls, a beach house, and a million dollars. at first we rolled our eyes because she wasn’t taking the wishlist seriously.. but then we came up with a clever gift to give. We ordered a sand-dollar ornament with the picture of a beach house painted on it, as well as a blank check ornament, which we wrote out to her and put 1,000,000 as the amount. She loved them!

beach house ornamint

beach house ornament

check ornamint

check ornament

After the gifts, we had dinner.. which was impressive because we were sitting around eating appetizers before the gift exchange. We had so many yummy things.. meatballs, eggplant rollatini, baked ziti, chicken Marsala, salad, and garlic bread. I’m not sure why the absence of veggies, but it’s Christmas, and tis the season to indulge right? Everything was fantastic and I was so full by the end. I did manage to squeeze in a mini cannoli and a little homemade red velvet cake for dessert. Definitely over did it, but it’s only once a year.

setting up for dinner!

setting up for dinner!

Friday we relaxed and took it easy. Eager to test out my Fitbit (and wear down a little post Christmas eating guilt) we took a walk down into town to a great little Thai place for lunch. I wore both my Garmin and my Fitbit. For the walk down, my Garmin logged 1.74 miles. I checked the steps and mileage on the Fitbit and it came out to around 1.6 miles. Cool! For the walk back, I logged 1.75 miles on the Garmin, and the Fitbit logged around 1.7 miles. Great! We spent the afternoon and evening watching a couple movies.

Fitbit steps

Fitbit steps (after our run on Saturday)

Fitbit miles

Fitbit miles (after our run on Saturday)

Saturday my husband and I did our long run. This was my husband’s peak week, and longest run to date. I was scheduled for 6 miles- he was scheduled for 6.5. We settled in the middle and did 6.37. We started out in the neighborhood, but made our way to a local bike/running trail. It took us a little over a mile to get there, then we followed the trail for about 2 miles. It wasn’t as nice as the NCR trail, but it followed a stream and gave us a little taste of nature out in the crazy crowded suburbs. My husband was NOT excited about this run.. and kept telling me he didn’t think he could make it. But we just kept trodding along… and the weather couldn’t have been more beautiful. Bright and sunny.. and in the 50’s! Amazing for late December on Long Island! I did wear my brace and it felt a little less cumbersome this time around. Near the end I was feeling a little pain, but not the same pain I had been feeling previously, so I wasn’t too concerned. My husband said he struggled during the last mile, but he pushed through. Couldn’t be more proud!

Post 6.3 mile run!

Post 6.37 mile run!

Week 26 long run

Week 26 long run

We showered and did some laundry. Then we packed up a bit and re-organized our stuff. We spent the next couple of hours relaxing on the sofa and taking naps. One of my husband’s friends were having a Christmas cocktail party in the evening, so we got ready and headed over. It was so nice to see friends and catch up. I talked a lot about Dopey and running.. a few friends were very interested in attempting to get back into running and/or training for longer distances. We cut out around midnight, as we were heading back to MD early in the morning.

So, not too much exercise last week, but we had a pretty great trip! ONE more training week, then we get to head to sunny Florida!

Total mileage in Week 26: 13.46 miles! (3 hrs,  6 minutes of running!)

Total Dopey training miles: 421.92

Week 26 Activity Report:

Week 26

Week 26: Total workout time: 4 hrs 9 minutes. Cross training workout time: 1 hr 3 minutes.