Saturday, April 5, 2014

2014 Princess Half Marathon

As usual, I got up at o'dark thirty. I took a quick shower to wake up and had a bagel with peanut butter. It is my go-to breakfast on race day.

Flat Cinderella

I decided to run this race as Cinderella in rags thanks to a skirt that I won last year. And I yet again had help from Mel with the costume. She made the headband and the apron for my costume. Have I told you that she is awesome?

Some of the Perfect Princesses

I got myself dressed and headed over to the monorail. Since Mel wasn't there yet, I searched for my WISH friends and went over to hang out with them. I even kept my eyes on the time and went over to meet up with some fellow Perfect Princesses so we could get a group picture before the race started.

I finally gave up on waiting for Mel and headed over to the corral. Since it was only me, I was able to move almost to the front of the corral. At some point I got a text from Mel saying that she made it but wasn't able to make it up to me.

Princess Half Marathon Start Line

The corrals were spaced approximately the same as the corrals at Marathon weekend. Since I was placed in a higher corral, I didn't feel like I needed to wait too long to start. I decided to stay with the run 1 minute/walk 30 second intervals I was doing the day before. I felt okay with it too.

Around the 5K mark, I thought I heard Mel's friend calling off her intervals. I decided that as much as I wanted to run with Mel, I didn't want to run with her friend and I wanted to do my own race so I started running and managed to get ahead of them for the rest of the race. Because I was running my own race, I was able to enjoy the scenery and I even stopped to take a picture on Main Street.

Cinderella's Castle

I got this one of the castle. My friend Jennifer was texting me the night before the race and asked for a picture from the race. I think it came out pretty good!

The course was crowded after the Magic Kingdom, but I was able to maintain my intervals. Once I go out to the open road on World Drive, I kept moving, but I know that my pace on the run portion of my intervals was getting slower. I was still pretty satisfied with what I was doing though.

My only real complaint about the entire race was that the runner tracking was run by a different website than it had been in the past. That combined with the cell phone networks overloading lead to me not getting any text messages from Rob until I was already in Epcot. He managed to make it to the race with his dad and his dad's "lady friend" (his title for her, not mine) so that they could see me finish. It was cool to have them there to see me finish.

When I finished the race I felt a lot better than I did in January. My legs were really tired from running two races in two days, but I felt good. I'm not sure if I'll do the Glass Slipper Challenge again next year, but I will definitely be running the Princess Half Marathon again in 2015!

Thanks again to Jennifer for allowing me to use some of her pictures for this post!

Friday, April 4, 2014

Staying Focused

I know I've been completely slacking on writing lately. Work has been a bit busy, I've had family in town, and to be honest, I've been lazy. I find that when I get lazy with my training, I also get lazy with my writing. It isn't easy to come here and be honest about how little I am doing and how not healthy I'm eating.

I'm ready to focus again. I'm working on a training plan for a big event I just signed up for.  I'll share more details on that soon. And I'm getting back to work on the Princess Half Marathon race report. (like right now... I may not finish it tonight though!)

I can definitely use some encouragement to stay focused. How do you stay focused?

Thursday, March 27, 2014

A Quick Visit to Animal Kingdom

My mom was in town visiting for a few days this week and I took her over to Animal Kingdom on Thursday. I love taking some time to enjoy the parks here when I can.

I have to say that this was one of the best rides that I ever had on Kilimanjaro Safaris. We had several stops on the ride which gave us a lot of time to take pictures of the animals. My favorite stop was right next to the lions. I was able to get tons of pictures. Most of the pictures I got were with my uncle's camera, but I got a few good ones with my phone too.

Black Rhino
White Rhino
Surveying the Pride Lands
The ladies checking out the strong man

This guy was responsible for the hold up
He had a rough night. (It also reminded me of the scene on the Jungle Cruise)

I also went over to see the tigers and the bats in Asia.

And my favorite of course. The white cheeked gibbons. I was in the park a few days later and between the siamangs and the gibbons, Asia was full of noise. It was so cool! They usually don't make lots of noise in the middle of the day, but that day they were.

What are your favorite animals?

Friday, March 21, 2014

Enchanted 10K Race Review

We got up around 3:30 to get ready for the race. I truly loved being able to just hop on the Monorail to get to the race. Granted, it was a lot of walking from the Monorail to the holding area, but I didn't mind it. It certainly beat taking the bus.

Flat Olaf and Anna
Mel had decided to dress up as Anna for the race, so I decided to do an easy costume and dress up as Olaf. She made me a silver sparkle skirt and I bought a $7 tech shirt at Walmart along with some black felt for my buttons. She even made a silver headband for me.

Since she registered late for the Glass Slipper Challenge, we were in different corrals for the 10K. She had a friend who was going to pace her until she got into Epcot and my plan was to take my time until they caught up to me and then go with them for the rest of the race. It wasn't a bad plan but I knew I also wanted to run my own race too.  I really wanted to get pictures during the 10K.

Fun Fact: There were 6000 runners in the 10K this year. There were 6000 women (and 200 men) running the first Princess Half marathon in 2009.

The start seemed to take forever. I think there was about 10 minutes between each corral so I had to wait 30 minutes to start. Once I started, I went with a 1 minute run/30 second walk. I felt great doing it. I was going to stop for Pocahontas when I saw her, but I panicked a bit and kept running when I looked back and saw the crowds thinning out. In actuality, they were probably at least a half mile behind me and they weren't even at the end of the race so I had nothing to worry about.

I saw my friend Megan when I turned around to look for Mel. She yelled at me for walking backwards on the course and I decided to walk with her for about a quarter mile or so. I finally gave in and called Mel. She hadn't caught up to me so I waited near a sign that she couldn't miss. I did see a lot of other friends pass while I was waiting. Once she caught up, I ran with her for the rest of the way.

Her friend that was pacing her was a bit too much for me. Loud and talking to everyone else around. I am certainly a chatty person, but at that time of the morning and focusing on running, I just wasn't as entertained by him. If I were to run with him again, I know what I would be getting into so I would be prepared for his antics.

Just around the halfway point, we left the highways and entered backstage at Epcot. I had a plan of using the restrooms in Norway, but I completely forgot that the race entered the World Showcase between Norway and China so I would be past the bathrooms. Oh well!

Seven Dwarfs in Germany
Lady and the Tramp in Italy

We took our time once we got into Epcot and stopped for a picture in front of the topiary for the Seven Dwarfs in Germany and I stopped with Lady and the Tramp in Italy. All of the lines for the other characters were ridiculously long and we didn't stop for them.

I was finally able to stop at a restroom in Morocco and Mel kept going. Once I got out, I was going to run almost the entire way to catch up with her. Unfortunately, I noticed that my phone had stopped playing music, so I thought that it had died on me (it has a tendency to do that lately). I stopped to check on it and it turned out that I had just paused and restarted it too many times and I had just lost track of where I was.  I got it running again and I took off to catch up with Mel.

I finally caught up with her at the Boardwalk and walked to catch my breath. We started running again and tried to look like we were full of energy whenever we saw a race photographer. In front of the Yacht Club, I saw some of my WISH friends and in front of the Beach Club I saw some other friends. I gave them some sweaty hugs. Appropriate for Olaf although I'm sure they would have preferred warm hugs to sweaty hugs.

Once we entered backstage at Epcot again and reminisced about the first Wine and Dine Half marathon and how horrible the finish line area was. Ahhh... the good ole days! The remaining half mile or so through Epcot was okay. There were some friendly cast members there to cheer us on.

I was happy to get to the finish line where I gave Carissa a shout out. We quickly grabbed our goodie boxes and got our Glass Slipper 10K wrist bands before heading back to the room.  I had some reservations at Be Our Guest for lunch to get to!

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Fit for a Princess Expo

With the expanded weekend for Princess Half Marathon, the Fit for a Princess Expo had an extra day for everyone to get in and get their shopping done. Despite the extra day, I didn't go until Friday after I had checked into my resort. I originally planned on going on Thursday to listen to some of the speakers, but I didn't make it. (I think I ended up working that day, but I can't really remember.)

I made it over the the expo roughly at noon and found out that one of my Give Kids the World teammates was not far behind me so I waited for him before heading in to pick up my bibs. While I was waiting, I saw my friend Jennifer from the WISH boards. She's another Perfect Princess and also from the Philadelphia area. It was nice to see her again.

Bib pickup was nice and easy for those of us registered for the Glass Slipper Challenge. We had to visit only one spot and our bag included our bib and all the t-shirts. I liked not having to head over the other building to pick up my shirts. Of course, I still needed to go over there to pick up a few things and see what else I might really like. And maybe find a skirt to wear on Sunday.

I wandered around and picked up some new socks since my dryer ate one of the newer pairs that I had and I also found a tube of orange Nunn. I had picked up a tube of the citrus flavor at Fit 2 Run a few weeks earlier and it would probably taste something like the orange flavor, but I didn't really want to try a new flavor during the race. You all know the rule... Nothing new on race day...

My goal in finding a new skirt had to do with the fact that I had gained some weight back and the skirt that I won from Karla last year was a little bit too snug. It was still functional for what I planned, but I was nervous about it irritating me for 13.1 miles. I checked with the three different skirt booths at the race and found one that was perfect for me. Unfortunately, the only ones that they had were the ones being worn by the people working the booth. I don't think that was very good planning on their part.  I'm not sure if they had them on Thursday, but to have your employees wearing a product that isn't available isn't the best business decision. But that is just my opinion.

WISH teammates!
As I was getting ready to leave, I ran into Jennifer again and we hung out for a while and met up with some of our other WISH friends as they were arriving. After hanging out with everyone for a while though, I decided it was time to head back to my room and start getting ready for the race (including renting some movies).  Mel came over for the night to head over to the 10k and before I knew it, it was time for bed. We had a race to run!

Thank you to Jennifer for letting me use her pictures for this post!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Princess Half Marathon Weekend

I've never hidden the fact that Princess Half Marathon weekend is my favorite race weekend in Walt Disney World. This year I registered for the Glass Slipper Challenge which consisted of running the Enchanted 10K on Saturday and the Princess Half Marathon on Sunday. You know, just your normal weekend here at the World.

I also stayed at Bay Lake Tower at the Contemporary Resort. It was nice and easy access to the monorail and an easy ride over to Epcot for the start of the races.  There was also the shuttles over to the expo, which I took advantage of to avoid having to drive over and park myself.

I've stayed at Bay Lake Tower before and it is easily one of my favorite places to stay on Disney property. I stayed there the night after my second Princess Half Marathon and again for my birthday the following year. For both of those trips I got a one bedroom and I really enjoyed staying in them too. This year I am trying to spread out vacation club points a little bit so I stayed in a studio with a lake view.

I loved my room. It had a great view from the room and the balcony. Although my favorite view was the one from the elevator lobby on my floor.  I had requested an upper level floor. My room wasn't ready when I checked in and it was definitely worth the wait.

View of Bay Lake

Bay Lake Tower

Magic Kingdom view from BLT

Nighttime Magic Kingdom view from BLT

One of the perks of being a vacation club owner is that you can rent DVDs from the Community Hall. On Friday night I rented Under the Tuscan Sun and Tinkerbell and the Secret of the Wings. I've seen Under the Tuscan Sun before but I decided it would be a nice, light movie for me to relax. The funny thing is, I decided to research some of the actors that are in the movie and one of the Polish carpenters actually grew up two towns over from me in the same town that my Polish grandfather grew up! No, we're not related.

I also decided that next year is the year that I want to run the Tinkerbell Half Marathon and I hope to dress up like Periwinkle. I loved her outfit. When I told Mel that was my plan, she readily agreed although she wants to run as Rosetta.  I think that is a good choice for her. Now to start saving up for those races and a trip!

I'm working on my 10K and Half review and I will get them done ASAP so you can enjoy the races vicariously through me!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

And the New Race Is...

Avengers Super Heros Half Marathon!

I'm not sure if I'll be going to it, but it is definitely exciting. The race will be held at Disneyland Resort creating a whole new race weekend November 14-16, 2015.  Will you be going?

Check out the official announcement on the RunDisney Blog here.  And visit the race website here.

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