Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend

What a weekend! This was probably one of the best weekends I've had in a long time. We shared so many laughs and we really just had a great time.

I did my weigh in on Thursday because we were leaving so early in the morning, and I was down 2.4 pounds. Making my total for 9 weeks 20.2. So that was a great beginning. It was a pretty busy day for me on Thursday. I was trying to get everything finished up for the trip and also make sure that everything was organized for the kids to be left at home. The big boys got home from school and then all the boys were off to gymnastics. Next it was time to go to the airport to pick up Kelly one of my best friends from highschool. Here's where we hit our first obstacle of the weekend- her luggage missed the flight! Luckily, it made it onto the next flight, so we went back to the house and then returned to the airport to pick it up a little later. Thankful for a neighbor who came to hang out at the house while the kiddos were sleeping! My parents and sister arrived about the same time that we got back to the house with her luggage and we spent some time catching up and going over any last minute instructions and questions.

Then we headed off to bed. The plan was to leave at 4 am. Kelly and I were sharing a room and still busy catching up, so it was probably closer to 1 am before we went to sleep :) Alarm went off a little after 3 (I have to shower in the mornings to get going), and we were on the road by 4. On this trip were myself, Kelly, Katie (my sister) and Darlena (neighbor and friend). We were all a little excited getting started so everyone was awake and chatting a little. They all got a little rest on the way down- everyone was napping on and off. We went straight through and arrived at Walt Disney World at 4:30 pm (just a little traffic in Orlando). We headed straight to the expo to pick up our race bibs, shirts, and also to pick up a few things from the expo for the race.

We made it!
The expo
The glass running slipper

After finishing up at the expo, we went to check into our resort. We stayed at Caribbean Beach Resort, which was one of the host resorts for the race weekend. That meant that bus transportation would be provided to the race start (very important if you don't want to have to drive over at 3 am! Plus, it was really cool to stay in a pirate room! We got settled, checked out our goodies from the expo and then walked over to the resort's quick service restaurant for dinner. After dinner, we headed back to the room and soon I was fast asleep.

Our pirate beds in our pirate room

Saturday we woke up and relaxed a little before going to get some breakfast. We had planned on a low key day. After breakfast we went over to Downtown Disney to shop and walk around. We took plenty of breaks through the day- we were trying to be careful not to overdo it. We made a dinner reservation at Rainforest Cafe for dinner at 5:15. We ended up getting there a little early and they sat us immediately, which was good, we were getting hungry and I think all of us were anxious to get back and make sure we were prepared for Sunday. After a yummy dinner, we caught the bus back to our resort.
I usually have a hard time sleeping before a race, but I was exhausted. I think I was the only one who slept well Saturday night. I heard someone moving around before my alarm went off, and we all were awake. The plan was to try to catch one of the first busses and they started at 3 am. We all got dressed and made sure we had everything and headed out to the bus stop (did I mention that it was only about 20 steps from our door? This was very helpful when we got back!). We got over to the bag check and porta potties and hung out there for about an hour before walking to our corrals. This was where more waiting began. Kelly, Katie and I were in the last corral (H), so our start time was not until about 6:30 (the first corral took off at 5:45). It was so cool to see the fireworks start and see the first runners take off- it was really starting! Katie, Kelly and I made sure to yell for Darlena (not that she could hear us!) when her corral (F) took off and then we were one corral closer to starting.

The start line

The sea of princesses behind us
And then we were off! We had all talked before starting the race saying that we were all just going to run our own race and if we caught up with each other, great, if not, we'd just see everyone at the end. That is what ended up happening. Everyone just kind of took off at their own pace and we didn't see each other again. I really enjoyed the course, it was fun to check out the characters as I passed by (I didn't stop for any pictures) and also the spectators. I ended up beating my Tinker Bell time by over 3 minutes. I was happy with that, I do wish it was better, but maybe next time. Overall I am very happy with how I did.
My Mile Times:
Mile 1 ~ 15:18
Mile 2 ~ 15:23
Mile 3 ~ 15:39
Mile 4 ~ 15:18
Mile 5 ~ 15:16
Mile 6 ~ 15:20
Mile 7 ~ 15:11
Mile 8 ~ 16:09
Mile 9 ~ 15:36
Mile 10 ~ 15:51
Mile 11 ~ 16:31
Mile 12 ~ 16:09
Mile 13 ~ 16:34
Total time for 13.1 ~ 3:28:34

I was so excited to be finished. I cried again- I'd done it again- the second half marathon of my deployment challenge was complete! I got my medal, got some powerade and water and then went down the line a little further and collected my coast to coast medal as well! I had signed up for runner tracking for myself and for Katie. This is a really neat free tool that rundisney does for all of it's races. It will send your split times for 5k, 10k, 15k and the finish in the form of a text or email to anyone you choose. It was great to check my phone after I'd gotten through the line and see that I already had a text from my other sister and my mom congratulating me on my race. I was also able to check Katie's status and see that she was estimated to finish just a few minutes behind me, so I decided to wait until I got to see her. I got the text that she had crossed the finish, so I waited a few more minutes and then she came through as well. We hugged- I was so proud of her.

I got through to Kelly to find out where she and Darlena were and we headed to meet them. After meeting up with them we got on our bus to go back to the resort. We all were in good shape- taking the stairs on the bus a little slow, but all feeling decent. We got showered and just relaxed (napping off and on) for a few hours and then decided to head out and walk around a little to avoid getting stiff. Our dinner plans were at Chef Mickey's, so we caught a bus to Magic Kingdom and then rode the monorail over to the Contemporary Resort. We had a little extra time so we browsed the shop there and then went into the arcade. Here is where I need to mention that I beat Katie twice at air hockey, and Kelly ended up with her only blister of the weekend- and that was from playing Pac Man! Then it was time for dinner. We all enjoyed a very yummy buffet and also visits from various characters.

Thank you to these three ladies who made this a very enjoyable weekend! I'd do it all over again!

1 comment: