Monday, January 21, 2013

The first post of 2013 (I know...I'm late) and some January highlights..


One of my resolutions was to blog more. .....seeing as how it's January 21 and this is my first time back on the blog since like September, I'd say it's going swimmingly.....

My love and I just got back from yet another trip to Walt Disney World. "Why on earth do you only take Disney vacations?!" you may be asking.

Why the hell not.

Here are some highlights:

We went down to Florida this time around to participate in the Walt Disney World Marathon weekend. If you've never "rundisney," you need to. STAT. The courses are well thought out (I'd hope so, after 20 years runnin...) with ample water stops, character stops, bathroom stops, and tons of medical tents filled with volunteers who will throw Tylenol at you like it's candy. God bless them. Biofreeze is also in ginormous pump bottles every couple of miles or so... I wish I could have brought one back with me. In addition to having tons of stuff, the courses are primarily flat and the weather is USUALLY perfect for running.... I apparently happened to participate in the only couple of weekends in January that Florida has seen a hard freeze, and then an uncharacteristic heat wave. Thanks, mother nature. The races are HUGE (roughly 30k people in both the marathon and the half marathon, and 60k runners participating in the weekend races), so even though the course is flat and the temp is supposedly spot on, the numbers makes it hard to PR no matter how hard you try.

One of the festive things Disney does at the start of their races is they set off pretty decent fireworks for the start of every single corral. At 5:30 in the am. By the time my corral left on marathon morning, I had seen 7 rounds of fireworks. Not bad.


Donnie can usually be coerced by me into running a half marathon... as long as it's Disney. This year, we got his friend Dan to run it too! This was Dan's first half, and Donnie's third...and well, the boys did SO GREAT! Finished by running it in to the finish line, and we even spent a solid part of the afternoon in the parks afterwards. (The 3 am wake up call took it's toll on all of us a lot more than the run itself.)

After our day with Dan and his wife and badass son, Elijah, (and a power nap, of course) Donnie and I headed back to Epcot for our dinner reservations at Via Napoli, in Italy. The World Showcase might be my favorite part of Disney World. ....since I like to eat every 10 minutes or so, so eating around the world is really right up my alley. I should have taken a picture of the bomb pizza we ate....but I was too excited and we both dove in before a photo op even had a chance. So. Good. While in Italy, I also recommend imbibing in the Italian margarita. They make that bad boy with lemoncello. Hooooodilally.

Sunday morning, I set out solo to run the full marathon. (Disney has this thing called the Goofy Challenge where you can run the half marathon Saturday and then the full marathon Sunday. You pay probably 3 times as much as you would to sign up for just one race, but they give you three shirts, three medals and a pair of shoelaces.... so I mean.... it's almost like you get your money's worth..) This year I couldn't convince anyone to run the full with me, so I made a friend on the shuttle to the starting line, and we wound up finding each other at mile 20 and running it in to the finish together. At the finish, I also was able to track down an old friend from high school as well. (Running really brings everyone together!) Along the marathon course, they had a ton more character stops set up (...duh). Disney does a great job of taking those miles of empty road that you run along and putting pit stops, water stops, and fun little things along the way. I wasn't going to stop and do character pictures- I was shooting for a marathon PR of 4 or so hours. But the sun came up around mile 7, the heat rose up towards 80, the sun was brutal, and my dreams of a 4 hour marathon were blown outta the water by the time I hit mile 13. Sooooo, I decided that a stop every few miles would be quite delightful, and I indulged in some fun photo ops. This Haunted Mansion stop was my favorite...except getting up off the ground turned out to be a real bitch.... shoulda thought it through more...

They also had animals and handlers outside of our entrance to Animal Kingdom. There were snakes, and owls, and goats and all sorts of other animals that they hijacked from the petting zoo. I got to pet a sheep and a donkey....and then I got to have sheep and donkey hands for the next 4 miles until I could get some sanitizer. ...wouldn't expect anything less from you, AK...

And at last, the finish!! (Sorry, Disney, I don't wanna pay $20 for a picture of myself, so I'll screen shot the proof and we'll call it a day..) Right before the turn for the last .2 straightaway to the finish line, they have a gospel choir that sings the whole time. It's my most favorite thing ever. Makes me cry every time. I used to wonder why I got so emotional towards the end of long runs. Then I realized that I think it's the actual running that makes me cry. Meh.

Since I've blabbered on for so long about the damn run, I'll just post these last few pictures with short little captions..


Race bling. Doesn't this make you want to spend $300+ to run 40 miles?
I had the best co-pilot ever on Dumbo.... He really liked going up and down...and up and down..
My sweet love
I can run a marathon, but I can't finish the bread pudding. ...such a failure...
Just a coupla runners :) So proud of that boy!!!

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