22 March, 2012

Calling All runDisney Runners!

So while I was in my little blogging funk, I obviously missed a ton of race recaps and fun.

For those of you that ran Tinkerbell & the Princess Half Marathons...as well as went to the runDisney meet-ups for both races, anyone want to volunteer to write recaps of the events?

I've love to get a different person for each recap but if I can't find 4 individual bloggers, then I'll turn to people to write multiple ones.

If you already wrote a recap for your blog and wouldn't mind me reposting it, that's fine too!  Just want to share stories & photos so other runners can read about them!

For anyone interested, email me at eatsleeprundisney at gmail dot com and let em know!

** Update **

I've already got some awesome volunteers for the following:

Princess Half Marathon
Princess runDisney Meetup
Tinkerbell runDisney Meetup

If anyone has a Tinkerbell Half Marathon recap they'd let me repost, just let me know! :)

21 March, 2012

The Dopey/Goofy Recap - The Half Marathon

OK now let's see if I can remember the major details of the next two race days!  There will be a slight rant leading up to the race but promise the race itself was enjoyable and fun.

Like the 5k, a chunk of these pics came from Daniel! Go stalk him on twitter @DanielWanderman ....Oh..and he must have heard my complaining in the 5k recap.  He finally posted the full marathon pics so I've already started writing that recap too! hehehehe

Our alarms started going off I think at 2:30am and we all started getting ready.  Had some breakfast, bundled up and headed towards the buses around 3:30.  The line for the buses was long but we didn't think anything of it.  Usually the buses have been crazy efficient....but not today.  :(  We waited...and waited...and waited.  People in line started getting antsy and impatient.  One bus finally came but could only take 20 or 40 people since there were already runners on it.  And so we continued waiting and waiting.

Still waiting.... Pic thanks to Daniel

Race time was at 5:30, not to mention a 20 minute walk to the corrals, so when there was STILL no bus by 4:50am (yes, I checked my tweets...) I swear there was going to be a riot at the Boardwalk.  The poor Mears employee had NO walkie and was getting bombarded by angry runners.

Finally at 4:55 a Disney bus came.  We got on and honestly had the most entertaining bus driver in the world.  I wish I remembered his name so I can send a letter to Disney.  He told us along the way that he had just punched out from the late shift and transport called and said they were desperate for someone to get to the Boardwalk for runners.  He was awesome and knew everyone was antsy.  Also, since he was an official Disney bus and not a Mears bus, he knew all the back roads and shortcuts. 

This driver sped through Disney property joking the whole time.  He kept yelling at other cars and honking his horn to move out of the way because he had runners on the bus.  It was a nice laugh even though we were all freaking the hell out. 

Everyone leaped off the bus at 5:08 and started hoofing it towards the runners area.  We quickly met up with our cheering squad from my gym back home (there were a TON of us that flew down for the race!) and handed over our friend Courtney, who was also there to just cheer us on.  :) Ran through bag check, and then started on our cattle herd crawl to the corrals. 

We look so happy for being late!

The whole time leading up to the start was just stressful!  We didn't have any time to stretch, to compose, to get ready in any way.  But whatever...we were at Disney, attempting Goofy, and were going to make the best of this!

We realized there was NO way we were going to make it to Corral B in time for the start.  I started shedding my clothes as we were walking.  When we got to the corral area, we knew that Corral B was completely on the other side of the chaos.  And just at that moment, the fireworks went off and Corral A was off! Damn it! 

Still by the portapotties! (Pic thanks to Dan)

Dan and I realized the only way to get to our area semi quickly was to start hurdling through the higher corrals. We jumped the fence of Corral E and sprinted across. When we got to the first few corrals, we realized we'd never get to Corral B on time either. Decided to jump into Corral C and hung over there.

Pic thanks to Daniel
From here on out lets see if I can remember everything!  Things happened so fast!  We jumped into Corral C and were off.  The first few miles are pretty boring, so not much to report.  Running on highway roads when it's still dark out is only so fun.  :)

As for our strategy for the race, we decided to do the Run 1 Mile, Walk 1 Minute routine.  It's worked for me in my past full marathons, and we wanted to save our legs for the full marathon the next day.  We also agreed to take it slow.  Completely prepared to make this our slowest half marathon ever...which it was!

Around mile 3 or 4 we passed under the Magic Kingdom toll booths and I started getting excited.  I knew my dad and stepmom, as well as my gym cheering crew, were right by the Transportation Ticket Center.  Using my new best friend on my iPhone, Siri, I texted my dad and Courtney to tell both groups that I was getting close.  Plus to ask my dad for tissues because apparently Dan and I forgot them in our mad dash to the start line.  Snorting snot was not fun! 

When we got near the Walt Disney World Speedway, we saw some awesome characters that I haven't seen in years! Launchpad McQuack and Darkwing Duck! Yes, my 80's childhood upbringing and love of Disney cartoons is showing.  I SOOOO wanted photos with them but the lines were already long so we just snapped photos as we ran by. 

Looking for pops! Pic thanks to Daniel
As we got closer to where our cheering squads were, Dan quickly shouted out that he spotted my dad...but we had already ran by!  I swear I didn't see them but I am oblivious at times so we quickly turned around and ran upstream to try to find them again.  When we reached my 'dad'.... it wasn't my dad! We both got a good laugh out of it, as well as the people around us when I shouted that it totally was the wrong dad!

We found my dad and stepmom, snapped a few photos, got some hugs, and continued down a few yards until we found our other cheering crew!  Got a few more waves and hellos in and chugged along. 

Yay for the cheering squad! Pic thanks to Dan

We rounded the corner to enter Magic Kingdom and I realized the race was already almost half over! We were both completely taking our time and trying to save our legs but it felt like time was flying by. 

Now, not sure if any of you remember past trip reports, tweets, or have seen other photos I've posted from Main Street, but I love the Mayor.  He's the nicest guy and I think I fell for him when he serenaded me in front of everyone around us on my birthday a few years back.  Yup, I'm smitten for the Mayor!  So as we ran down Main Street, I saw him standing on the corner all by his lonesome!!  That's just WRONG!  He was standing there cheering everyone on and welcoming them to the Magic Kingdom.  I quickly yelled to Dan that we needed to go say hi and sprinted across the course to get to him...unfortunately I think I cut someone off, so I apologize!

My day was complete after I got my photo taken with him.... :)

With the Mayor! Pic thanks to Daniel

We made our way to the end of Main Street and turned towards Tomorrowland. Rounded our way through Fantasyland and headed towards the castle....

I think Dan is getting quite talented at taking action shots, no?

Behind the castle... Pic thanks to Daniel

After making our way out of the castle, stopping for the professional photo, and heading backstage by Adventureland, we said our goodbyes to the Magic Kingdom and jumped back on the road to make our way back to World Drive and Epcot.  As we were on Floridian Way (I think) runDisney had put up some cute signs giving facts about Donald Duck.  It was the 15th anniversary of the race so they went Donald extreme.  I think we learned the entire Duck Family tree!  Definitely cute and helped pass the time away while chugging along.

The sun finally started to come up as we were heading down the road and it made for some pretty photos and sight seeing.  As we made our way past the Grand Floridian, I knew my dad, stepmom, and Courtney were around by the Polynesian.  Another quick text thanks to Siri and I started keeping an eye out for them.  Luckily my dad is almost as crazy about Disney as I am, and knows the property like the back of his hand too, so they were exactly where we agreed on.  A quick hug, hello, and good luck and then we were on our way again.  The next time I'd see them was at the family reunion tent at the end.

The rest of the way to Epcot was also slightly uneventful.  We ran into a few ROTErs and said hi but kept on chugging along. 

Say Cheese!! Pic thanks to Daniel
Finally Spaceship Earth came into view and you can see everyone slowly picking up the pace and getting excited.  When we made the turn to head into Epcot, the excitement grew a little more.  I always love running through Epcot since all of the cast members are so enthusiastic...plus we're almost done!!

Pic thanks to Daniel
Home stretch! Pic thanks to Daniel

If only I didn't look so weird....

We rounded the corner heading out of Epcot, were greeted with the usual gospel choir, and then turned one last corner to make the home stretch to the finish line.  I FINALLY was able to get a photo of me high fiving a character at the end (yay Goofy!) without someone sprinting in front of me.  

After we crossed the finish line, we quickly congratulated each other but knew we still had more than half the adventure to go!  We made our way through the finish chute, collecting our medals and mylar sheets.  After getting our race photos we grabbed some food and tried making our way to the family reunion area.  The food was the normal bananas, Powerade, water, oranges, bagels, muffins, etc. 

Done for the day! Pic thanks to Daniel
Right before the family reunion area I spotted the medical/ice tent and suggested we head over there to get bags of ice on our knees.  It would definitely help to prepare for the full the next day!  We got in line and it was a serious production over there.  There were medical volunteers sitting next to buckets of bags of ice quickly and efficiently wrapping ice on runners body parts.  After getting iced we hobbled our way like old people over to the reunion area to find all of our friends.

It was awesome waiting for everyone at the reunion area.  Like I mentioned earlier, there were about 7 members of my gym that all came down to run the race...plus their family & friends.  For most of them, it was their first half marathon and it was great sharing that with them!  After all of us finished and met up, we took the group photos and everyone went on their way to relax and enjoy the parks.

Plus, this was also the first time my dad and stepmom made it out for a race and I loved having them there.  Daniel kept joking all weekend that every time I knew they were ahead cheering, I would pick up the pace a little bit.  Too bad I can't figure out how to have them move up a few miles every time so I keep up that pace!  :)

So other than our little transportation mishap in the morning, we had a great race!  It was a beautiful day and we couldn't have asked for better weather (although I wouldn't have minded it like 5 degrees cooler).  We slowly hobbled from the reunion area through Epcot and out to the Boardwalk.  After quick showers and a little relaxing, we headed back out into Epcot to get through a few rides and then dinner in Japan at Teppan Edo.  Pretty sure we were back in the room by 7:15pm.  Got all of our things together for the next day and attempted to get to bed early.

Two of the three races are officially done! 16.2 miles done... 26.2 more to go! Next up...the full marathon!

15 March, 2012

The Long Overdue Dopey/Goofy Recap - The 5k Adventure

I figured after 2 months, no one would want to hear about my Dopey/Goofy recap but I guess I was wrong! Thanks for sticking around guys!

I'm going to break this down into a few posts, one for each race.  For those just joining, this past January (yes...3 months ago...), my friends and I headed down to Walt Disney World to run in the Dopey Challenge.  What's that?  Starts with a 5k on Friday, a half marathon on Saturday, and then a full marathon on Sunday.  Yes...we're crazy.

Many of the race photos are borrowed from my friend Daniel! (Check him out on twitter @danielwanderman)  I'm secretly going to blame Dan and say he's the reason these recaps took so long.  He JUST started posting his trip photos and I needed photos to steal.   :) (kidding kidding!)

Family Fiesta 5k Featuring the Three Caballeros

The first of our three crazy early wakeup calls.  Luckily this one eased us into the rest of the weekend since I believe our alarms went off at 3:30am, I think.  We all quickly got dressed and headed down to the buses.  Jumped on and were at the starting area in no time.

We had so much time to kill so we just wandered, and bummed around, and bummed around some more.  To pass the time we jumped in line to take photos with the Three Caballeros!  Ran into a bunch of friends too and then finally headed over to the starting area.

With Fruit Fly!:)

The gang with the Three Caballeros

Let me preface the rest of the recap with this... :)

After registering for the 5k, runDisney announced another runDisney meet-up and run for the first lucky 40 people to respond.  Well? Daniel, Patrick, and I were all selected..yay!  Problem was?  The meet-up was immediately after the 5k and at Hollywood Studios and NOT Epcot where the 5k was.  That caused a slight dilemma.  Should we skip the 5k and achieving Dopey or cross our fingers and hope and pray that we make it to the meet-up in time? One of the awesome ROTErs, Stephanie, offered to give us a ride right after the 5k to Hollywood Studios so we don't have to waste time with Disney transportation, so that was perfect.  THANK YOU STEPHANIE!:)

So ok... keep the whole time limit in mind and you might understand why I slightly didn't enjoy the 5k experience. 

This was my first Disney 5k and it was honestly completely unorganized.  There are no official 'corrals' and this isn't a timed race.  However, when the announcer told people to line up for Wave 1 if they ran between a 6-9 minute per mile pace, EVERYONE and their mother jumped into the corral.  NOT cool.  We were trying to be courteous so we held back for Wave 2 but seeing the hoards of much slower runners and walkers cross that start line seriously pissed me off.  When we were told to line up for Wave 2, we couldn't get over the barrier.  I started freaking out because we seriously had to hurry and get to the Jeff Galloway meet and we were already going to be late.  If I had known everyone was going to be rude, I would have just jumped into Wave 1 and said screw the rules like everyone else.  No one would let us over the barrier and Wave 2 came and went.  Finally Wave 3 was allowed in the starting corral and I sprinted to the front of the pack.  I was so annoyed by then that I just wanted the whole thing over with.  Luckily at the start though I ran into Susan from ROTE so saying hi cheered me up a little bit!

Photo thanks to @DanielWanderman

We had wanted to run the 5k with our friends Christina and Courtney but since we were pressed for time we had to sadly say bye to them and Dan and & I took off.  We had NO intention of finishing that quickly since we wanted to save our legs but we had no choice.  We just needed to get the race over with.

The race itself was cute and fun! I just wish we had more time to enjoy it!  By the time we ran past all of the characters, the lines were 20 people deep at least so there wasn't even a thought to stop for photos! However the sunrise over World Showcase was beautiful!

While running backstage, we saw this family all decked out Star Wars gear.  I HAD to get a photo of them! Also have a photo of their faces but since there's kids in the pic, didn't want to post it without getting their permission.  But you get the idea...

Oh, did I mention we also didn't check our bags??? Running with them was NOT fun! (Pic thanks to @DanielWanderman)

Rounding Spaceship Earth! (pic thanks to @DanielWanderman!)

Hey look! A big golf ball!  (pic thanks to @DanielWanderman)


Our fabulous rubber bling  (pic thanks to @DanielWanderman)
After grabbing our medals, we high tailed it out of the runner area and ran into Patrick as well as Stephanie who was waiting for us with car keys in hand.  I honestly can't thank her enough for driving us over to Hollywood Studios!  You're a life saver Steph!

So overall, I was slightly disappointed with the 5k.  I understand that it was supposed to be for fun and not timed, but I thought it was completely unorganized.  Even the local 5k in my town seemed better run.

Will I do the 5k again? I'm not so sure.  If one of my non-running family members wants to run it, then I'll definitely do it with them.  I also know that I would have enjoyed the 5k a LOT more if I didn't have to be somewhere immediately after.  The stress of knowing I'm going to be late wasn't fun.  If I can casually stroll the 5k and take photos, I'm sure I'd enjoy it more.  But to pay $50 for a 5k and have it be that chaotic, wasn't really worth it for me.  I will be doing Goofy again in 2013 so the thought of Dopey is luring me in.  Guess we'll see!   :)

Ok, round 1 of the Dopey Challenge is officially posted!  3.1 Miles out of 42.4 completed!!!

Up next? The half marathon! (Plus I'll get the runDisney meet-up recap posted after all the race recaps)

02 March, 2012

Hello?? Anyone out there??? Is this thing on??

Does anyone remember me?  I used to blog on a regular basis and then apparently decided to fall off the face of the earth immediately after running Goofy in January.

I promise I'm trying to make a comeback.  I feel like I always say it when I disappear for a week or two but...things have just been hectic.  Work is absolutely crazy since we're going through a merger, school is also crazy, and I'm honestly just in a writing AND running funk.   I was all gungho about training for a half marathon in April and then I had to drop out due to a work conference that I'm going to.  After that, I kinda lost all motivation to run as well.

However, I AM forcing myself back into this whole running AND blogging thing.  I miss it!  And I miss all you guys and catching up on your blogs too!  They're ALL still in my blog reader so hopefully I'll get to them shortly. 

Recaps for Goofy are coming SOON!  That I can guarantee.  But I will say this about the whole weekend...it was AMAZING!  I had a great time, totally enjoyed every single minute of the Goofy races (well..almost.  There were a few miles when I just wanted the damn race to be over!), and will be doing it all over again in 2013.  Crazy, right?  :)


Hope some of you are still sticking with me.  :)