Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Marathon Weekend 2016-Dopey Challenge

Prologue (I think)!
So I'm finally writing about Disney Marathon Weekend 2016.  This year I completed for the first time The Dopey Challenge.  And as usual for me (am I cursed) things didn't go as I hoped regarding health and training. So I was worried.

Let me say I'm not one of those really fast runner (yes, you Laura Bowers) that are worried about finishing.  I'm a pokey one that has very good reason to fear those balloon ladies. (Balloon ladies=ladies carrying balloons that kick you off course if not quick enough) 

This blog in general is going to be quite long since I did spend almost a week in Disney.  

However I'm heartbroken to say my phone broke before I backed up phone so I only have the photos I downloaded on fb.  For those of you that really know me this is heartbreaking. 💔
 Last year I asked my husband if I can do dopey 2016, and his response was if you get a job. (I've been a stay at home mom for 10 years) so I went and got a job as a Southwest Airlines customer service agent. And now I had to hope I could get off work for all these days. Thankfully my wonderful coworkers helped me out.  Thanks if any of us actually read this!

In the few months prior to race I was doing great with training. Had some great long runs with about 2 months to go. Then my knee started hurting. Always the outside of knee and sometimes left sometimes right. This became frustrating and I think my longest run was about month and half before and was 17 miles. I tried for longer runs after but the knee would prevent me from finishing  

I also developed some female issues which my dr let me know I'd be needing a hysterectomy.  He said i could wait til after but it would cause pain (oh great) and then I got a cold about 2 weeks before and thought it would be over by the time we left.  Well it wasn't.  

I decided to room with three other amazing ladies. We stayed at Bay Lake Tower, and I was terrified is keep them up coughing all night.  The thing about Dopey is sleep is so crucial.  This wouldn't be a party all night scene like Wine and Dine.  (This sounds more like work than fun) 

I worked the morning of Jan13, at the airport and brought my luggage to work with me and planned on meeting Laura in Baltimore and fly the rest of the way with her.  I squeaked on plane (i fly standby) and we miraculously got seats together.  Here we are at airport and on the plane 

And this lovely Southwest Flight attendant hooked Laura up with a free drink.  

As we arrived in Orlando we got a traditional pick with the weary traveler 

And I admit I was a weary traveler.
We took the Magical Express to Bay Lake Tower where we met up with Megan.  I decided to head to sleep early while the other girls hit then Magic Kingdom which I think was a smart but boring choice.  


Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Post race days after Wine and Dine

I woke up bright and early at 8:30 following the after party. Something about Disney and Disney runs makes me survive on way less sleep than the real world. I was sick this whole weekend and it never held me back.  Maybe pixie dust in the air. I'm not sure if it's like that for everyone. Maybe just because there's so much to do.  I had two more fun filled days in Disney following this.  We had so many laughs and great memories made. Here are some of my favorite moments from those following days but too many to really write about.  

And finally throughout the trip I was working on a music video recapping the experience.  It's a fun video and I think you'll enjoy so take a look.  

Thanks to all my friends for this amazing time.  So many laughs and memories and loved meeting and hanging with new friends as well as ones I've met before.  I also want to thank Jeremy my husband for being so supportive and allowing me to have these amazing adventures.  I'll always be appreciative of it.  

Wine and Dine Afterparty

So we finished the race and got our medals.  They have either free beer or wine at finish line but we skipped this and headed into Epcot. We decided to wait to change until we got in park.  The line for bag check was quite long.  We met with our friends Laura and Robert that finished before us and headed toward Soarin.  Since Soarin would be closing soon and refurbished we all wanted to get in one last ride.  I found a bathroom on top floor of "The Land" and went in to change. I found the best bathroom stall way way in back of this bathroom around a corner. It was huge. The Penthouse of bathroom stalls!  Plenty of room to change and wipe myself down with the big wipes given to me.  I put on a dress and flip flops and was ready to party. Here's a pic of my last time on Soarin (pre refurb)

At this point Shannon had finished the race and was changing so we decided to do a quick ride on Test Track as well. 

Not the greatest pic but I do love this ride!!!

After this we met up with Shannon and some others and made our way to world showcase. We had plans to meet anyone that wanted from our group in England at the sundial.  

I had my traditional drink English Rose (I swear they changed the recipe, not as good) it was packed inside Rose and Crown.  We all waited a bit. I was surprised how crowded everything was. I guess I shouldn't have been but was. 

Here is a pic of all the people we met up with that night at Epcot.  Such an amazing group of people.  I have to say even though race was cut short it was kindof nice having everyone at the afterparty feeling good and no stories of getting swept or injured.  Not sure it would've been the case had the full 13 miles taken place. 

After this we hung out a bit and during the last 45 minutes decided to try and do some character pics. So here we were running through world showcase at 3:00am trying to get pics.  We missed Donald by a few seconds. Still bitter they didn't let us take a quick pic. Here's some of the after party characters 

Bert from Mary Poppins
Emile and Remy from Rattatouille 
Crocodile from princess and the frog
Jasmine and Alladin

There's so many pics on this trip id love to share and hard to narrow to a few.  The after party was great: time went so fast and we weren't ready to call it a night. We stayed til about 4:30.  One of the last to leave the park. 

We walked back to the Beach Club resort and decided to take a dip in the hot tub at 5:30am 

We look a little tired 
Got to sleep around 5:30.  Plan was to not set alarm: figured we'd wake around noon (yeah right)

Half of a half-time to run

As we're waiting in the corrals an announcement is made that due to delay the race will be cut short.  It will now be a 7.1 mile race.  At first I was bummed because I had trained and wanted to get a good time but then again I had been suffering from a chest cold and my feet already were hurting. I went with the mentality everything happens for a reason and rolled with it.  Atleast this time I'd be able to enjoy the after party. 

Here is James, Stephen and i waiting to start 

And we finally begin

It was funny to see the mile markers jump from mile 1-8.  No time to switch that up. The new shorter course would mean we wouldn't be running though Animal Kingdom so we left wide world of sports and headed to Hollywood Studios.

Mile marker pics are awful in night races 

So I was worried about my knee but happy I felt really great during the race.  I know I could've done the 13 miles. 
Disney runs are great with provided water and power aid frequently which was great with the heat.  I have to say the highlight of the race is running through Hollywood Studios and the Osborne lights.  This is the last year for that 😢

Stopped for a few pics 

We made our way through boardwalk and Boardwalk and Beach Club toward the finish line. 

I have to admit I felt kindof like I cheated. The 7miles went so fast and I felt like it was so quick.  I didn't stop for any characters during race because lines were so long this time and i just wanted to get to afterparty.  It was uneventful of a race but I suppose that's a great thing.

Here's a pic with Minnie and Mickey at the finish line 

And finally with my newest medal 

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Time for the Race!!!!!! Or maybe not quite yet

So after last year's weather at this race we thought anything would be better this year.  It had been unseasonably hot all week but that was better than last year we figured.  Luckily our costumes were tank tops and shorts and we made sure we kept very hydrated.  

Some members of our group decided to go with an Alice in Wonderland theme.  My cousin and I would be tweedle dee and dum.  (Yep I'm dum) Laura and Meghan would end queen of hearts, Stephen would be the mad hatter, Linda would be Cheshire Cat, Sarah would be Alice, and Melanie would be white rabbit. Here's how our costumes turned out.

We headed to the race early. Perk to getting there early was photo opportunity with characters. 

We met up with majority of friends from our Facebook group. Here's a big group shot prerace 

After we checked our bags we started to split off into our corrals. I was in F corral with my friends James and Stephen.
We made one last bathroom stop and headed toward corral. They were not letting us in yet though. We heard they would at 9:15 but it reached that and we still didn't go in. That's when they made an announcement that due to inclement weather they were going to move everyone into a safe spot.  Which was inside Wide World of Sports. 

This was getting interesting.  

Radar from that time 
Here I am with thousands of people behind me heading into the baseball stadium.

The crazy thing is somehow amongst this madness despite being able to go to the building on left or right, a good amount of our group all found eachother. It was like being reunited and we were happy to be hanging together during this craziness. Great bonding experience.  We chilled and even danced a bit and laughed waiting to hear an update.  

Here we are hanging in the landing of a stairwell on the first baseline. 

An announcement was made we can return to the corrals and we all piled out of stadium back to our spots.  By now it was about 10:00 and my feet hurt and we hadn't even begun. But I was still happy to be there 

Day 2 Expo and Hollywood Studios

Day 2 we woke up and planned on getting to the Expo.  We had to pick up our race packets.  The expo had all sorts of vendors selling race related items, as well as the official Run Disney race items.

The expo is held at Disney's Wide World of Sports. Here's a few of the traditional pics I like to take before Disney races 

The expo was a madhouse.  So many people there so much to see and do.  It took longer than we anticipated.  The lines to purchase Run Disney items were extremely long.  Run Disney changed some things this year including making people wait in a long line if they preordered jackets and pins.  Made for lots and lots of standing.  My feet hurt already!!  But while there many more friends arrived so was a perfect place to meet up.  

Here's the countdown to race time!!!

After the expo we went to check in at beach club, eat and "relax" at the great pool.  

Time for pool volleyball. And who knew we'd be so good at guessing tv show theme songs courtesy of the poolside games. 

After swimming we got ready for some Christmas fun at Hollywood Studios.  We all had planned a big meetup there in our Christmas attire. This would be the last year of the Osborne lights so we were excited to see. 
A highlight of this night was a huge meet up at the Tower of Terror.  We had enough of us to fill an entire elevator.  

And as we're falling!!!!

Here are some more holiday pics from Hollywood Studios

This is my favorite 

Love this group of people!

Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon Weekend 2015

After last year's wine and dine (aka splash and dash) half marathon I was really excited to do this race again.  

The Disney Wine and Dine half marathon is a night race that starts at 10pm.  After the race there is an after party at Epcot that goes til 4am.  This race is extremely popular.  Registering for it was stressful and so many were trying to register at once and computers kept freezing, but I was lucky to snag a spot.  I planned on doing this race with my cousin Shannon, my friend Laura (who I met at the Disney marathon) and many other Disney friends I've met over fb groups. There was a good amount of us going and I knew it would be a great time.  
We planned our trip from Thursday night til Tuesday morning.  

Thursday night we arrived in Orlando and checked into All Star movies. We planned to stay there one night then move to the Beach Club resort.  After we arrived we quickly dropped off our things and headed to the Polynesian resort to meet friends at Trader Sams.  A fun interactive bar at the Poly. This place haf a long wait to get in but what a fun atmosphere.  The perfect place to hang with friends and enjoy some Disney Magic. 

We headed back to the resort around 1am via cab. This would be the start of a sleep deprived long weekend. 

Day 3 Race day- (prerace activities)

Initially I thought I'd relax all day Saturday before the race.  The problem in Disney is there's so much you want to do it makes it quite difficult.  I can sleep some other time :)
I woke up at 6:30 and quickly got ready to meet my friends Stephen and Robert for breakfast at Kona (at the Polynesian) I wanted a nice big breakfast and this place was perfect.  

This picture makes me laugh because I look so tired.  Is the lack of sleep gonna catch up to me?  

After breakfast we went to the Magic Kingdom for rope drop to catch some rides before the park got crowded and some of the others in our group met us there. Getting there so early allowed us to ride lots of ride before lunchtime 

Laura and I took this silly picture marathon weekend and decided to do it again. 

Gaston was hunting so we improvised with this shot.  Who needs him anyways?

After the magic kingdom we decided to head back to the resort to relax by the pool and hot tub as prerace jitters were kicking in. 

Friday, October 23, 2015

Broad Street 10miler -May3 day3 Race Day!!!

So I woke up in the bird room around 5:30 and got ready for the race.  My friend Tim would be picking up Shannon and I and we'd be heading downtown.  I just hoped and hoped I'd finish and get through this race somehow after being so sick for previous 3 days.  

Tim picked us up and we headed toward the stadium which is where we parked. 

We made plans to meet with Shannon after race near finish line.  (Note: do not bring any bags or backpacks to finish area.  Shannon walked all the way there and had to go all the way back to car to bring it, not a close walk) 

Tim and I were going to take subway to starting line but they had school busses waiting so we thought why not take the bus.  It was fun seeing parts of city I haven't seen yet.  Then we got to corrals and waited and waited and waited to begin.  Please Imodium don't let me down ;) it was chilly but really nice.  

They were airing the race live on TV.  It may be reason it started late.  Finally we started out. 

I knew this would be a rough race.  I bagged tim a bit prior for not training which in the end worked out since I wasn't in the best of shape at this point after being sick. We just walked/ran as best as we could. And it was tough.  We tried different intervals keeping them short. Luckily the sights helped distract me. Biggest issue being slow is it takes longer and the longer it took the hotter it was getting.  I didn't mind getting a bit wet for this pic :)

We finally finished.  Funny looking back on the video of us crossing finish line not too many people are left.  I was just happy we made it.  

And then the highlight of Tim's day, meeting the mayor of Philadelphia :) I got a selfie with him. (I don't know his name) he asked where I was from and knew mayor Byron Brown (Buffalo's Mayor)

After this we met up with Shannon who took this pic of us with our medals.  I have to say I was proud of myself for completing this race. It took so much preservance, and proof having good friends at your side make it worth it.  

Here's a closer look at the medal 

After the race we went to get food. What else to get on Philly?!?  Cheesesteaks (not for me I'm too picky) so we headed Jims on South street.  Really liked this part of town. Great choice by Tim. 
My cheerleader Shannon and I on South Street. 

And what would be a trip to Philly without seeing a new Rocky filming location.  We hit the Italian Market.  Well we drove down it, I ran out of car and got a pic and ran back in but I was thrilled 

So we headed back to the bird hotel before hitting the road to Buffalo.  Can you believe I made the entire race from 5:30am- til about 3:00 pm without getting sick once. But then here we are driving to bird hotel and the stomach starts cramping and I'm faces another state of emergency. Who knew the bird hotel had a bird bathroom in the lobby?  Way to go out.  And we stopped about 10 more times on the way home to Buffalo.  Longest car ride EVER!!!  Still can't believe I was temporarily better for this race.  

Special shout out to my cousin Shannon, who was so patient and nurturing and took care of me all weekend.  You never once complained at my many bathroom stops, made sure I was ok and truly was there for me.  This truly was a bonding experience for us. I can't wait til out next adventure.  Thanks for reading