Thursday, February 26, 2015

Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend 2015

I am so fortunate to have been able to do the WDW Marathon Weekend AGAIN this year.  Planning for this girls trip started way back in April 2014 with registration and stalking computers when I should have been working.  

Training was...meh.  I'll be honest, I undertrained.  I feel like getting the requisite runs in during the winter here is just really hard.  Working, spending time with Logan, cooking, cleaning and THEN I have to get 10 miles in on the treadmill during the middle of the week somehow?  It didn't happen.  My travel load wasn't an excuse this fall...and I had Logan's babysitter come over so I could hop on the treadmill a couple of nights a week.  I just managed to miss or downgrade all of my big mileage runs and I knew I was in trouble when it was about 5 weeks to go and I hadn't done anything more than 16 miles.  Crap.  I ended up being able to get in about an 18 mile run.  Once.  Versus the 5 20 milers I had planned.  At this point I knew I could complete the mileage but that it would be rough.  Really, really rough.

It was a gorgeous morning.  Totally why #iflyalaska. I love seeing all the volcanoes down the cascade range. Spectacular sunrise.

Expo was the first order of business.  I had my 10k bib to pick up...and saw this guy on the way in!  Holy schnikey.  It's really here.

My going in plan for the 10k was to take it easy, get my legs loose and just enjoy the scenery...Elsa and Anna in the course of the 10k.  On both the 10k and full, they were up high away from people.  Else I'm sure they would have been mobbed. It was snowing under them...honestly, it was so chilly that they didn't need the snow...brrr...

My absolute favorite part of the 10k is running through Epcot with World Showcase all lit up, the dramatic music playing.  It's an awesome feeling as you come in seeing the fire and Spaceship Earth.

Saw these guys on the way out of Epcot just prior to the finish.

So, about that plan for the 10k.  Yeah, I failed miserably.  I checked out my pace a couple of times and went (even after taking some pics), wow, I'm doing really well here.  I need to keep picking and try to PR.  After I had this picture taken, I didn't even out my phone away, I just bolted.

And, came in just over 1:01.  A great time for me.  But, a mistake that I would pay for dearly on Sunday during the marathon.

We toured around a bit on Friday post 10k.  Went to Expedition Everest in Animal Kingdom. Disney imagineering at its finest.  The theming of the queue, the ride, everything is perfect.  And the surprises are great, if you don't expect them.  We rode twice...and this was our attempt at staging out photo for "bored".

Does anyone not know what a dole whip is?  For the unitiated, it's basically soft serve frozen pineapple  sorbet.  It's oishi (delicious) and only found (officially...I've read of a few places that have them unofficially, but they don't call them Dole Whips) at the Dole Pineapple Plantation on Oahu and then Disney parks.  At Disneyland and Magic Kingdom, they're found in Adventureland near the Enchanted Tiki Room.  Served either regular or in a float with pineapple juice.  They're amazing.  You can also find this version at the Polynesian Resort.  But do you know what makes them amazeballs?  


And you can only get them served with rum during the Epcot Food and wine festival...and at Animal Kingdom.

It was a chilly morning, but the rum warmed us up and the whole concoction did not disappoint.  

Friday night we went in the hot tub at shades of green.  If you don't know the resort, I'm not surprised. It's the Army MWR resort in the disney campus and you can only stay there if you're active duty, reserve, retired or a DOD civilian.  It's a very nice nice resort with huge rooms at a super reasonable price.  We chatted in the hot tub with a double amputee who was racing in the hand cycle division on Sunday morning.  We saw a lot of veterans with similar situations at shades.  It was a reminder of the sacrifices so many have paid for us...that's why it's so awesome for this resort to exist.

We laid low on Friday night and then we were up cheering for Karen on Saturday morning for her half marathon.  The major downside to the disney runs at WDW is you have to be up so stinking early.  On a bus for the start line no later than 3:30.  AM.  Which for us west coast people, really blows..

But, there we were....and I had almost everything I brought with me and a hat that needed to be purchased for this occasion.  Do you know how hard it is to blow a quicker for that long?  It required a lot of air....but it's a unique caller (lots of smiles and laughs)... That plus cheering for all the people in costumes, "Go Elsa!  Go Ariel!  Go beer! ( yes, someone dressed as beer)" makes for a fun morning.  

Lunch on a really chill day was at Raglan Road in Downtown Disney.  My first time here and definitely somewhere I'll have to take Joe and logan when we go back.  They had a live band and Irish dancing for the brunch time.  Wonderful stuff.  

Early to bed and then.....


I tell you, it's magical having each corral get their own fireworks sending them off.  I was a little further back than last year, but it goes very quickly.  

You run through all four parks during the full.  I adore heading through Magic Kingdom at dawn.  The castle is stunning...

All smiles...although my legs are tight and a little tired from about the four mile mark due to pushing so hard on Friday.  It wasn't bad at this point and definitely something that I could ignore and just kind of go "yep, still tight.  How about that."

Elsa and Anna again at Magic Kingdom.

Park number two is Animal Kingdom.  I regretted not stopping with these cuties last year and knew I was going to pause.  All the animals they have in their petting area come out and wear bibs for the marathon.  Pigs, goats, miniature donkeys and sheep.  So cute!

I was keeping an excellent pace of around 10:20 minutes per mile up through mile 21.  I was walking through most of the water stops, eating well and found my friend the Toy Story Green Army Man.  Luckily, he didn't stop to have me do push ups.  

And then....I started falling apart.  I was holding on after a bit of walking to finish with the 4:45 pacer.  I kept with her through Hollywood Studios and thought I had a chance.  Side cramps hit around mile 23-24 and it was over.  I lost 6 minutes in the last couple of miles.  I did not enjoy epcot...the world showcase never ended.  But, I finished!

4:52 and change.  Only a couple minutes slower than last year...not bad!  And immediate icing for those poor legs was in order.

What do I do after showering?  Head to magic kingdom with compression socks to help recovery!  No rest for the weary...

I was happily, not too sore.  I finally got a chance to FaceTime with Logan...which made my day.  

Monday was our fun day...we had seen big hero 6 Saturday and I found this cute banana cupcake at the park.  Yum!

Our frozen sing along.  We all sang...but it was a little sad how few adults were singing.  Shockingly, I didn't need the words...amazing how well I knew the songs.  There was an element of live action which was fun...but no "people are better than reindeer" which I was really sad about.

And, snow!  We were right below one of the vents, so our group got snowed on pretty well...

Proud peeps.another awesome marathon.  I swore I was off marathons for a while...we will see how long it lasts.

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