Sunday, April 27, 2014

Race you to the Castle!

Marathon morning started with a 12:38 wake up call from my next-door neighbors at POP Century Resort.  Yeah.  Even for a Disney race, that's an early start.  I got back to sleep until my true ake up time of 2:50am.

I got dressed and headed over to Epcot on the first bus at 3:30am.  One thing I did for this race that I had never done for any other race was Race Retreat.  It involves a climate controlled area with breakfast, some freebies, a private changing area, and brunch after the race.  January weather in Florida can be any combination of seasons, with one year even being snowy!  I made my way through the new security and to race retreat that morning.

To be honest, I don't even remember eating this breakfast.  I was so scared that morning, by myself, and wishing I had someone there with me for my first marathon.

I did have time to meet Mary Poppins and get a picture.

And met up with some of the Princess Posse there:

Now one thing you don't know about Disney races, is that from the holding area, there is about a half a mile walk to the start line:

The first start was at 5:30.  Each group got their own fireworks and countdown from Mickey himself.  I started my race at 6:16 am.

The first couple of miles were in the dark.  All I remember from those miles is I wish I had stopped at the last set of porta-potties.

Between miles 2 and 3, runners enter the Magic Kingdom parking lot at the Ticket and Transportation Center. 

In this area is where Jack Skellington race up behind me, yelled, "Boo" and I screamed louder than necessary!

Past the TTC, runners are limited to one lane going by the Contemporary Resort.  We also have a steep downhill under the canal that joins Bay Lake to the Seven Seas Lagoon.  IT Bands, beware!  :)

Before we know it, we are at Mile 5, going into the Magic Kingdom:

And towards Cinderella's Castle.  I get teary-eyed everytime I get here.  There are lots of people cheering us on there.

So, you go straight for the castle, and turn right at Tomorrowland, then towards the Tea Cups.  I stopped for a photo opp with the White Rabbit.

And on to the back of the castle
And through the castle.

Just beautiful.

So, I was heading to Mile 6.  So far, it's the same path as the princess half marathon.  Very shortly, however, I would be heading towards uncharted territory.

Coming up--I feel like I'm in NASCAR.


Wednesday, April 23, 2014

T-Minus 24-Hours

I guess Saturday is what one might call the calm before the storm.  It was a day where I had intentions to relax.  I did something I've only ever done once before at Disney World:  I slept in.

Yes, those of you who know me read that right.  I slept in Saturday morning knowing that this would not be the case the next day.

My goal for the morning?  Breakfast at Boma.

The Animal Kingdom Lodge itself is really its own little attraction at Disney.  The perfect place for a leisurely stroll in the morning.

My view from my table for breakfast:

After dinner, I went over to Hollywood Studios.  There was a show I haven't seen in a long time--Beauty in the Beast.  I understand plans are for this show to go after some time, so I wanted to see it one last time.

I didn't leave before I got a cupcake from Starring Rolls
I left there to rest for some time.  It was beautiful enough to sit by the pool.

Back in the room, I laid in the bed with my feet propped up. I got back up just in time to go to Animal Kingdom and ride Everest several times before the late closure.
See, in the summer, you can't ride Everest in the dark.  I was able to get to Animal Kingdom for the late evening just after dinner (make your own pasta at Art of Animation).

I love Animal Kingdom at night!

Back at the room, I laid out my clothes for the next day.  I was very nervous.  Several veteran runners were good about talking me out of my fear-funk, and I even found this quote--how appropriate:

The morning would come soon enough, and I would be running my first ever marathon!