Saturday, February 23, 2013

Disney Princess Half Marathon - Day 3

Run Disney Marathon

We went on a sneak peek of the castle today.  It was Magic Kingdom day!!  Of course, no Disney day is complete without this:

After breakfast, we got on the bus and made our way to the Magic Kingdom.  We got there in more than enough time to see the opening show. As soon as it was over, we raced to the new Fantasyland.  Our first stop was Under the Sea - Journey of the Little Mermaid.  It was AMAZING!  All of the characters looked so real.  Since we were coming back to eat dinner at Be Our Guest, we left to go do more rides.  We did all of the rides in the old Fantasyland (yep, even Small World) and then made our way to the Haunted Mansion,  Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, and Pirates of the Caribbean.  We took a quick break for lunch and then did the Jungle Cruise.  On our way to Tomorrowland, we met a Princess from one of our Facebook groups. Of course we had to get a picture.
We stood in line for Buzz Lightyear and got fast passes for Space Mountain.  Check out my determined face.....too bad I didn't win.
When we were riding the People Mover to kill some time, we realized that Space Mountain was broken.  We gave up on waiting and took the train back to Main Street, got our Fastpasses to see the Princesses, and did a little shopping.  My friend Elizabeth and I went to stake out a spot for the parade while our Prince Charmings went back to check out the situation at Space Mountain.  

As usual, the parade was fantastic.  I love the music and the characters and the floats!  I love to see the faces of the little people when Mickey comes around the corner or their favorite princess waves to them.   

After the parade, we got in line to see Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty and Rapunzel.  We got pictures with all of them!  We also found Snow White hiding in the corner right at the front of the park.  She couldn't hide from us!!

From the Princesses, we went to find the next most important thing at the Magic Kingdom....the DOLE WHIP.  We waited about a half an hour for its delicious goodness.  Somehow I had never experienced a Dole Whip before and I was determined to do it this time.  (I tried twice already this day, but the lines were too long!)  When it was finally our turn at the window, we decided on a Dole Whip float.  I couldn't decide on the pineapple whip or the vanilla, but the cast member at the register suggested a swirl.  It was perfect!!  I had a vanilla-pineapple Dole Whip swirl with pineapple was heavenly.  That is now a MUST DO every single time I go to Disney.  Next time it will be a mid morning snack!

Then we just killed some time and moseyed around until our reservation at the new restaurant Be Our Guest.    What a beautiful place to eat!  As soon as we walked through the heavy wooden doors, we stepped into Beast's castle.  We ate in the ballroom.  It looked exactly like the ballroom in the movie.  I expected Belle to come walking down the stairs and the dancing to start.  The back "window" looked outside and it was snowing.  Just off the ballroom was the West Wing.  It was dark - low lighting, dark fabrics.  The pictures were slashed.  The rose was in the corner, just like it was when Belle found it.  It was beautiful.  We sat down at our table and a red napkin was waiting for us.

The menu has a French flair to it, which means rich sauces.  I tried to make a good choice on half marathon eve and picked pork tenderloin with au gratin macaroni and vegetables.  Because I was breaking one of the cardinal rules of racing (nothing new and exciting for dinner the night before a race), I ate all of the au gratin macaroni (yep, that's a really fancy term for macaroni and was DELICIOUS!), some of the pork and none of the vegetables.  I drank water.  Dinner was great, but I didn't want to take any chances.

Dessert is served from a cart that comes to the table.  The choices are mostly cupcakes and mousses.  We didn't get dessert from the cart because my dear friend, Elizabeth had a surprise for us!

We enjoyed the cake and then headed out (past the Castle light show and fireworks) to head back to the resort to go to bed.  We got back to the room at about 8:30 and I was in bed by 9.  All of my stuff was set out and all I had to do was fall asleep.  Of course, I had to get up 50 times to go to the bathroom, but I finally fell asleep at about 10:00.  

Next up.....RACE DAY!!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend - Day 2

I can't believe that this weekend is finally here!!  After a scrumptious Mickey waffle for breakfast, we got on the bus to go to the Coronado Springs resort and conference center for the Expo.  We got there just before 9:00 and there was a HUGE line.  Once the doors opened at 9:00, we got in very quickly.  Cinderella's footmen were waiting for us right inside the door.
I actually got this picture on the way out....I had some other priorities.
As soon as I walked in the door, I went to the KT tape booth.  Glad I did.  The line got 10 people deep while I was standing there.  While I was in line, my own Prince Charming went to the Raw Threads booth to pick up my new Belle shirt.  Costume complete!!  After about a 10 minute wait, I got taped up and was ready to pick up my bib.

I waited right here to pickup my bib.  Here's what the rest of the area looked like.  All I could think was that ALL of those people will be starting after me at the race.  

Unfortunately, this was the last part of the expo that was organized and easy.   Disney lost a little bit of the magic at this expo.  From bib pick up, we went to the other side of the room to get our shirts.  It was crowded and unorganized.  They ran out of pre-made bags, so there was a lot of waiting and standing around while they figured out what to do next.  My friend Elizabeth stayed in the shirt line while I went to get the Dooney and Bourke purse that I had preordered.  Thank goodness I preordered it because there was a 45 minute wait to get into the Run Disney merchandise corner and a 2 hour wait to get to the registers.  As much as I wanted my "I Did It!' shirt, I didn't want to spend 3 hours of my day to get it.  After I picked up my purse, I headed back to find Elizabeth.  The other princesses that were standing around us were courteous and fun to talk to, but there was some pushing nudging as people were trying to swim upstream or across the current to try and get to where they needed to be.  It was crazy and I really just wanted to leave to Expo.  I didn't care to see the vendors, I just wanted out of there.  (Luckily, my Prince Charming did some shopping while I did some waiting and bought me a green Sparkle Skirt for the Shamrock.)

On my way out of the Expo, I ran across these guys:
This is Sean Astin.  You may know him from Goonies, Lord of the Rings, 50 First Dates, or, my personal favorite, RUDY! RUDY!!  RUDY!!

This is Jeff Galloway.....of the Galloway Method.  If it weren't for his Run/Walk/Run method, I never would  have been able to finish 13.1 miles.

From the Expo, we headed back to the resort to drop off our stuff and got right back on a bus to Disney's Hollywood Studios!  We didn't get to do a lot of the rides because we got there later in the day and the lines were pretty long.   We did our carbo loading at Mama Melrose's and met the mouse himself....
...and the characters from Wreck it Ralph and the Incredibles.  (Mr. Incredible wanted me to put on my superhero mask so I looked like him.)

We ended the day watching the amazing Fantasmic show and then went back for an early night.  I laid out my flat Jessica so I would be ready on race day.  

Today's Stats:
EXCITED!!  No run, but I walked around Hollywood Studios all day.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend - Day 1


It's finally here!!!  This morning we said goodbye to our babies and got on the plane to head to Florida.  It was a quiet and peaceful plane ride.  I took a nap, did some reading, and looked out the window.  After a short layover in Atlanta, we got to Florida.

We spent some time in the Disney Store at the airport while we waited for the other Newport Princesses to join us.  Once we were all together again, the magic began!  We got on the Magical Express and it delivered us to our beautiful resort - Port Orleans Riverside.  Our travel agent (and friend and fellow Princess) had checked us in online, so we only had a wait a minute before we were show to our ROYAL ROOM!  What a wonderful idea for Princess Weekend.  Everything is rich and gold.  There is a fireworks show that appears with the push of a button on the headboards.  Princess Tiana left a note on the table.  The bathroom sink looks like Mrs. Potts.  It's beautiful.

After we got settled, we took the water taxi to Downtown Disney for some dinner and shopping before we started our adventure.  Once we got back to the room, I crashed.  Had to get my Princess beauty sleep so I would be ready for the Expo!!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

4 Days Left

I'm really bad at this....really bad.  But for the last few weeks, my body has been telling me to take it easy.  So, I rested it.  I didn't run on the road.  I stretched and iced and rolled.   Then, when I needed to race, my body let me.  It carried me the 8.68 miles that I needed to go.  After the race, it told me, rather insistently, to rest again.

Let's recap:
  • I was diagnosed with early IT Band Syndrome.  I was told to put some ice on it and take some Motrin.
  • That didn't work.
  • I did everything that I said up there, but then it was time for a race and I had to run on it.
  • I got taped up with KT tape.
  • The leg held up through the race.
Then I took the tape off.  Ever since I took the tape off (2 days after the race, when it was pretty much falling off anyway) my knee has been achy.  I went back to the elliptical and my weight training.  Then I went to Zumba.   I LOVE the teacher for the class I went to.  She's different that the Monday night girl.  This girl is in love with the cumbia.  Cumbia is pretty easy...EXCEPT when your leg is sore because of IT band syndrome.  You put a lot of weight on one leg during the cumbia.  That made the leg hurt all the worse.  So, instead of a nice easy run on this last Sunday before race day, I rested.  The leg doesn't ache so much today.  Before bed, I will stretch and roll.  I am going to baby my leg this week.  I'll get on the elliptical on Tuesday and Thursday (running days), but I'm not going to kill myself.

By this time next week, I will be a half marathoner, having crossed the finish line at the Disney Princess Half Marathon.  I can't wait!  I've been training for 222 days so far.  I have 3 days until I leave for Florida and 6 until the actual race.  I've turned into a runner in those 222 days.  

Stay tuned for a packing update and a final race excitement update this week!!

Today's Stats:
Finalized my costume!!!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

12 Days Until the Disney Princess Half Marathon

You are probably wondering where I have been.  I didn't think we all needed to read about my runs on the elliptical.  It's not that exciting.  I have been keeping up with my training, it has just been on the elliptical because of the IT band issues.

Today was my first "real" run in two weeks.  It was my first race since the IT band started giving me trouble. Today was the Virginia is For Lovers 14K.  (How far is 14K, you ask?  Well, it's 8.68 miles.)  I was terrified that I wouldn't be able to finish or that I would have to walk all or most of it because of my leg.  I wasn't quite sure what would happen when I tried to run.

Yesterday we went to the expo.  It was pretty small compared to some of the other J&A Expos.  BUT, the very first booth after packet pick up was a chiropractor who was taping (using KT Tape) for free.  I asked him if I could use KT tape for my IT band and he asked me to roll up my pants.  I crossed my left leg over my right and he taped me up with some festive red tape.  He told me that I could leave it on for 5 days to help with recovery and wished me luck on the race.

When I got to the Virginia Beach Field House (a new venue for me) for the race this morning, I made my way inside to meet up with my MRTT ladies.  We were supposed to meet outside, but it was COLD this morning....and WINDY....and cold.  We ended up taking our pictures inside and heading out at the last minute to get into our corrals.

Don't let the weather keep you from getting your sweat on!  @espnW
It was a cold and windy wait for the first two corrals to start.  Once the gun went off for corral three, I started running.  It didn't hurt.  As usual, the beginning of the race was really congested so it was hard to start my intervals, so I ran.  In fact, I ran pretty fast.  I ran the first two miles and only slowed down for the water stop.  It wasn't a terribly exciting two miles - we ran through a soccer complex and up a road.  There were some jokes to get us through this pretty boring stretch.  (What did the boy lightbulb say to the girl lightbulb?    I love you watts and watts.)  But, mile 2 took us through the Farm Bureau Live - Virginia Beach amphitheater.  We left the amphitheater to the 5K split clock.  I looked at the clock and looked at my watch to see I had the fastest 5K time ever!  Too bad I can't use it as a 5K PR!!   After the split,  it was back to roads and soccer complexes.  There was a row of cheesy pick up lines between miles 4 and 5.  (Hello, my name is Mr. Right.  I heard you were looking for me.)  On the way back through the very first soccer complex, we came across a candy stop.  Just and FYI, trying to eat M&Ms in 36 degree temperatures is not an easy feat.  Chocolate is hard to eat while you are running.  Just after the candy stop, J&A Racing had set up Lovers Lane.  People could buy signs for their runners.  My dear, sweet husband bought one for me.  Nothing like seeing a sign at mile 7 that says "You're doing great, Mommy" and the names of my three little men to get me through the next two-ish miles.  The last two miles were around and through a parking lot to get us to the back of the Field House for an inside finish.  It was a red carpet finish complete with red wicking hats (which I totally could have used at the BEGINNING of the bright yellow hat didn't match my outfit, so my ears were cold), carnations for the female finishers from firefighters, and a wine glass that we got yesterday.  The best part of the finish was the tomato and cheese soup in a bread bowl from the Baker's Crust.  It really is my favorite soup.  I couldn't find any of my people, so I found a spot on the floor and made a new friend.

All in all, it was a great race.  My legs got tired and sore near the end and I slowed down a lot, but I was still faster in those "slow" miles than I have been in weeks.  Bring it on Disney.  I am ready for you!!

Today's Stats:
8.68 miles (14K....but the Garmin said 8.62 miles) in 1:47:49 (12:24 minute mile)
1995/2355 overall finishers
205/250 in my age group
1176/1465 female finishers

From the Garmin:
Avg Pace
And, all I could think of for the first 2 miles....until I warmed up was this:
Winter can't last forever!

In 2 weeks, I will be in Florida and it will be warm!!!  My next long run will be in short sleeves!!!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

19 Days Until the Disney Princess Half Marathon

so what's it gonna be boy?

I know I have put the work in.  I know I have done all of the running that I need to do to get across the finish line.   I know that resting for a few weeks isn't going to erase all of that work.  I know that rest is what is best right now.  (Well, rest and stretching and rolling and Motrin and ice.) 

But, I am still frustrated.  I have been working for almost 7 months to get here.  I ran when it was hot.  I ran when I was tired.  I ran before the sun.  I ran when it was cold.  I ran when it was raining for goodness sake.  And now, after hundreds of miles and even more hours - with 19 days to go - I can't run.  I am afraid to run.  Even more, I am afraid that I am not going to be able to run when I need to.  It makes me angry.

But, I am determined to keep training.  I can't run.  Okay - I am trying to accept that.  I can get on the elliptical machine.  That is my plan for the next 19 days (and then 3 weeks and then 5 weeks if this doesn't start to feel better.)  I will get my miles in on the elliptical.  I can go to Zumba classes.  I might even join the old folks for water aerobics.  When I have a Saturday free, I am going to try out a Beginner's Yoga class.  

One of my Navy/Bunco/random associations friends talked to me about IT Band Syndrome.  She had it.  Hers flared up at mile 10 of a Disney half marathon.  She couldn't walk up and downs stairs so easily for a long time.  She told me that ice and Motrin will help mask the symptoms, but they won't fix the problem.   She gave me some suggestions.  Basically, I probably didn't cross train enough.  There are also some muscle groups that are probably week.  In order to keep the IT band from getting inflamed, I have to cross train and get stronger.  For the next 19 days, I am going to do that like it is my job.  I am not going to turn into the Hulk in the next 19 days, but hopefully I will get strong enough that I can run 13.1 miles and then walk the next day.

On other news, I bought a Yoga for Runners book.  I think that I look pretty ridiculous when I am running.....but I guarantee that I look even more ridiculous trying to do yoga.

Today's Stats:
3.1 miles 35:04 (11.3 minute mile)   So, the elliptical makes me fast.   Yes, please.