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First Up — The Royal Family 5K

18 Mar
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Bib, t-shirt and medal!

So, after a really fun meetup (details to follow, of course!) I decided to head back to Pop and get some sleep. It wasn’t the mileage the next morning, it was the first of 3 early morning wake-ups that would be the challenge!

I made plans to meet Jackie (a fellow Team McGraw-er) at the bus in the morning and so I laid out my clothes and went to bed to wait for the alarm! Bright and early – before no time had passed it seemed! – various devices started beeping and it was time to rise and shine!

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Me and Jackie…pre-race happiness!

Somehow, no matter how early I set the alarm it’s a big rush to get out the door! So I threw on my shoes and grabbed my things and headed to the bus! Saw Jackie…er…Tinkerbell…waiting in line and hopped in with her to get on, hopefully, the next bus!! Things went quite smoothly and we made it through bag check and out into the corral areas. Which can only mean one thing — DISNEY DANCE PARTY!!! Absolutely, hands down, one of my favorite things about runDisney is the pre-race festivities!!! And this time, I was finally going to meet up with some of my invisible internet friends!

Jackie and I found my peeps and there was much picture taking and meeting, seriously, some of my new best friends! Eventually we headed in to the corrals and my goal was to be able to hang with Jacks the whole time. The only flaw in this plan is that this was my first run since…oh…Wine and Dine back in November…but we would see!

As usual, it was pretty crowded at the front and after awhile Jackie got a little bit ahead of me – though we did catch up for the run through the World Showcase, and were able to grab a few pictures! Lines for the characters were massive so we didn’t make any stops there but WS in the wee morning hours is an amazing spot and there are tons of photo ops that don’t necessarily involved characters!!

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American Experience – at sunrise-ish

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EPCOT gearing up for the Flower Festival!

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The Ball. Always a sign that the end is near!!

Once we headed towards Future World, Jackie booked and I dawdled… but when I crossed the finish line she was waiting for me and we got a shot of our brand new ‘bling’!

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First of several medals to be earned this weekend….

I had made a breakfast reservation over at Animal Kingdom Lodge so hopped on that bus while Jackie was going back to Pop.  Breakfast at Boma was really great! As most of them are, it was a buffet and since I was in Animal Kingdom Lodge,  there were some African influenced choices on the line. Since I love the buffet at Tusker House I knew I would enjoy this. And…sticky bun. Yeah, I splurged (and would pay for it down the road that’s for sure!)

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Boma!

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Sticky bun! Great with coffee…bad bad Anne!

After breakfast I headed back to Pop and planned to spend my afternoon just hanging out around the pool

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Pool Time!!

before going for Afternoon Tea at the Grand Floridian with some of my running gals! Definitely something I would do again – it’s a nice relaxing way to spend a couple of hours if you have the time to do it!

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Tea Sandwiches — My favorite was the curry-y chicken salad…

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Cozy tea pots!

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Scone, cream, jam, and a tart!

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What could possibly be under this beautiful whipped cream…?

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Strawberries! Lots of strawberries!!

Post-Tea, we all walked next door to the Polynesian Resort for another meetup. This time it was #runnerslove, set up by Kristy and Meg (who we met in the last recap!) and was VERY fun! We met out on the beach behind the pool, where there is construction going on (Poly is becoming a home to some DVC units)  Lots of giveaways and everyone left a winner! Rain threatened the entire time and eventually showed up but really didn’t dampen anyone’s enthusiasm! 

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On the beach! At Disney! Does it get better??

Eventually it was time to head out and find some dinner – tomorrow is 10K and this girl needs her fuel!! Pop Quick Service to the rescue – Mediterranean Flat Bread yes ma’am! Another early rising day ahead so got my clothes ready and hit the sack!

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10K outfit, ready to rise and shine!!

Time to Shop!!! Princess Half Marathon Weekend – Part 2

13 Mar
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This is where things start to get exciting….

Yeah…if you know me – and if you read along long enough you’ll know me more than you probably want to! – I’m not a big shopper. Seriously, I have clothes in my closet that I bought when I moved to the East Coast. TEN YEARS AGO!! 🙂 And I have no problem with that!! Really, there are a couple of reasons I hate shopping and one of them is that I’m not a huge fan of spending money!! (I prefer to spend on experiences, not things!) The other is way more personal!

ANYWAY. I got up early Thursday morning to get to the Expo. Lately, at runDisney events, the expos have been kind of out-of-control frenzies…and I don’t deal well with that! And, really people, all I want is a magnet, a wine glass and a coffee mug (yes, if you’ve read my race recaps you already KNOW this is what I’m going in for!)

When I got to the bus stop I saw a “familiar” face. I was FINALLY able to meet fellow CT runner/#runnerslove(r) Meg (aka @WarsawMermaid, AKA Runaway Royalty Meg). I am almost ashamed to admit that we’ve been at some of the same SMALL events in CT and never managed to meet!! Those days are gone though. Sorry Meg! 🙂 I also got to meet #runnerslove(r) Kristy (aka @KristyrunsKato, AKA Kristy Runs Kato ) and we chatted on the bus over to Wide World of Sports.

We were probably on one of the first buses to head over to Wide World of Sports and when we got there the expo seemed to have opened early. I had a very small moment of panic but then took a deep breath and headed in!

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Gotta love an empty store!! Well..as much as one can love a store 🙂

My first stop was the runDisney merch booth (as usual) but after picking up my wine glass(es)! and coffee mug

both wine glasses 2014 Princess

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Cute mug!!

I realized my hands were full and I would need a basket. A basket people!!! There’s a tear in the matrix or something…

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What??!!

We had been looking at some things on the interwebs on the bus ride over and I had to look at the really cute zipper hoodies. They are really soft inside.

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This one is mine 🙂

And. The “I Did It” t-shirts. Not a purchase I usually make….but these were pretty cute!!

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And, well of course, my magnet!

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Let me say, Thank you Disney Visa for your 10% off – hey, every little bit helps!!

Then it was off to pick up my bibs and gear! Things were really pretty conveniently set up — All Glass Slipper Challenge could be picked up in almost one spot! The 5K pickup was more spread out but…a second spin though the expo floor isn’t a bad thing!

I mean, one can get their ankle taped up at the KTTape booth…

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New England legs in the winter!

One can even become a fairy…

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I tried to walk away with the pretty tiara but I didn’t get very far….

But — I had a lot planned for the afternoon so it was time to bring my belongings back to the room and head out to visit a park or two!! Then there was a meetup later that evening that I was really looking forward to!

On the way out, I stopped by the Oikos van

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— hoping to pick up a little John Stamos for the afternoon but, alas…they were just offering yogurt…

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Talk about disappointing…

See ya on the road!!!

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Singalong Saturday! The Disney Edition

22 Feb

Okay…Genie was on the course today and now I cannot get this out of my head!!

You’re welcome 🙂

Oh heck — here’s more Disney Friendship!!

Hope you’re having a Magical Day!!

Who’s a Planner? Not This Girl!!

17 Feb

Unless she really has to! And, really she has to these days 🙂

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Picture taken from http://www.margaritasmilesandmouse.com – Thanks Patty!

See, in 2 days I’m leaving for one of my favorite places in THE WORLD! Yeah, that’s right…I’m going to Walt Disney World!!! And I’ll be coming home with those three pretties up there! (Well, that’s the plan!)

It is runDisney Princess Half Marathon Weekend again!!! This year they’re adding a new race and a new Challenge — The Enchanted 10K and the Princess Half Marathon run together will get you the Glass Slipper Challenge medal!

So there’s costume planning, there’s meetup planning, there’s play in the park planning. And this time, there’s Meal Planning. Yeah…usually I tend to fly by the seat of my pants when it comes to eating. Especially when I’m at Disney World.

But, occasionally I will buy a package and sometimes that package includes the Disney Dining Plan. And sometimes there are actual sit-down meals involved. Now, at Disney, most of the time you need to make reservations for these “Table Service” meals and this is where my trouble starts!! So a few weeks ago, I decided to start making my ADRs (Advanced Dining Reservations) which meant that I was going to have to decide where to eat. Like…now! A. Not so good at making decisions and 2. How do I know what I’m going to want to eat in 2 weeks??!

Anyway…I made my Round One reservations a couple of weeks ago. Then, of course, this past weekend I made Round Two. It involved lots of juggling and rearranging and finally, I think, I have arrived at a plan! For the most part, I’m trying out all new places. Though, I do plan to eat at the Whispering Canyon Cafe at Wilderness Lodge – This is a fun place to go with a group of people and I imagine it will be just as fun with one! I bring my own fun with me 🙂 This will be my only “repeat” restaurant on this trip. 

One thing you can expect during my trip is LOTS of food pictures. And lots of FUN pictures!!

Up next — FastPass+ planning and the ever popular Magic Band!

Mangia! Mangia! A Virtual Blog Hop!!

3 Feb

Carb loading. Almost every runner’s favorite part of training. Okay, so every runner in THIS house enjoys this part of training!! And when people think of carb loading, they picture that nice plate of spaghetti and a big hunk of garlic bread!! 

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Picture from Pinecrestonline.org

Often misunderstood, carb-loading does NOT occur the night before a big event – it’s a process. A process I don’t know enough about to share with you – Now…I will be studying up for my #Dopey2015 experience though and will keep ya’ll in the loop!

What I’m gonna share with you today is Carbo Loading – Disney Style!

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Meet all your new best running friends!!

At *most* of the big runDisney events (WDW Marathon weekend, Tinkerbell, Princess, Disneyland Half Weekend), runDisney offers an extra event – The Pasta in the Park Party. Now, I should insert here that I have never purchased an entry to the Party but have attended as part of a charity team for WDW Marathon Weekend (I went both Friday and Saturday) and at Princess last year a lovely couple gave me their daughter’s ticket since she couldn’t attend. So I can’t comment on the Disneyland events, but really, we’re all about the Princesses today!

In Walt Disney World, the Party is held in EPCOT at the World Showcase Pavilion (located between Canada and the United Kingdom). You party ticket includes entry into EPCOT as well as special seating for the Illuminations show after you eat and party!

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Entrance to the World Showcase Pavilion

The Food: It’s Disney, so you go in believing that at least it won’t be bad 🙂 Given that they’re cooking a really LARGE amount of food to appeal to a LOT of people, it might not be as fantastic as dinner in a smaller venue. But it’s good — and there is something for everyone. Roast chicken (my personal favorite!), vegetables, a couple of pasta varieties including a vegetarian option, bread, salad, desserts (brownies and cookies) and some bananas. All the lemonade, water and punch you can handle is included in your ticket, but there is also a cash bar. I did hear on at least on occasion, a partier asking for gluten free options and the chef came out to make sure they got something suitable (as is the Disney way!)

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Disney Brownie!!

The Seating: Big round tables! Get ready to make friends! You never know who you’ll be sitting with! Aside: I was lucky enough in January 2013 to meet a couple of running greats (thanks to my involvement with Team McGraw!) People move in and out pretty quickly for the most part and the Disney folks are quick to clean up and make room for new people.

The Entertainment: Now this is where you KNOW Disney is gonna go all out! DJ, Dance Party, Hula Hoop contests…there is something for everyone! It’s loud. There are flashing lights! It’s fun!! And, of course there are characters! We were lucky enough to get to meet Mickey, Minnie and Donald!!

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Another part of the entertainment is the special seating for Illuminations (the amazing fireworks show on World Showcase Lagoon). I don’t know about you but the night before a half marathon or a full marathon, I need to get to bed! Especially at Disney when I know I have to wake up around 2:30 or 3 to get on a bus!! So I have never taken advantage of this perk of the Pasta Party since Illuminations tends to start around 9 pm!

The Price: For Princess Weekend, the Pasta in the Park party is USD52 and you can choose to go on Friday or Saturday. Is it worth it?  If you want to make it a party, then this could be a fun way to do it! You *do* get entry into EPCOT for a couple/few hours which is a nice perk and if you have non-running folks with you they can stay for Illuminations (hey, runners can stay for Illuminations too, but..dang you’ll be tired in the morning!!)  I’ve seen groups and families making it a party – the kids do love the dance party!!

Personally, left on my own, I tend to go for a quicker, smaller dinner on my own for less money. Or if you’re on a Dining Plan then you might as well use that. In fact, this year I actually *am* on DisneyDining and will be having (what is becoming my standard) meatloaf and potatoes at 50’s Prime Time Cafe early in the evening then relaxing for my 13.1!

Whatever you decide to do, wherever you decide to eat, remember that your entire weekend will be Magical!! 

Now, head into the great wide internets and catch lots more information from Princesses who *know*!!

Virtual Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend Blog Hop Directory

Now We Can REALLY Get Excited!!!

30 Jan

So I mentioned the runDisney Princess Half Marathon Weekend the other day.

Today things got all real up in here!!

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A link to the race waivers was posted out there in Social Media land….and runDisney has the corral assignments up on the website. So now every Princess knows where she’s starting out – whether she’s running the Glass Slipper Challenge or “only” doing the Half Marathon or 10K.

The important thing to remember is that no matter where you start, everyone is running the same course and everyone gets the same medal and unless you have a bib number 1-10, you’re really only racing yourself!!

And, if you fear being the last one over the finish line, remember that at Disney the last finisher is just as important as the first!!

Coming up on Monday we’re gonna do a little blog hop and people (and Princesses!) will be able to learn ALL about the entire weekend from lots of experienced runDisney runners! Make sure to check them out!

Until then, here are a couple of links to get you warmed up!!

Patty likes to throw a little Ryan Gosling our way every now and then… http://margaritasmilesandmouse.blogspot.com/2014/01/2014-princess-half-marathon-corral-and.html

Julie tells it like it is, with a huge dose of inspiration and encouragement!
http://runwalkrepeat.blogspot.com/2014/01/racing-and-dead-last-finish-believe-in.html http://runwalkrepeat.blogspot.com/2014/01/princess-half-marathon-starting-corrals.html

I’m Back!

26 Jan

Not only am I back *here*, I did my first 5K in a VERY long time last weekend! Sure, I walked the whole thing but I did it and my leg didn’t fall off!!

I am so far behind in my training for next month’s runDisney Glass Slipper Challenge — but I’m going to give it a go. I think in the next 3-4 weeks I can at least build back up to close enough mileage. And I now know that my walk pace can keep me from getting swept (knock wood!)

I also have an appointment with an orthopedic doctor this week and I’m hoping we can get me into some PT to get my legs strong again.

I never knew I could miss working out and running so much – life is funny that way!!

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