Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Tennis Shoes & Tiaras

Marathon Weekend finally arrived!
Loran and I met in Orlando at Disney's All-Star Movies Resort on Friday, ready to run our first marathon, the Disney Princess Half Marathon.
After checking in, we headed to the Expo at Disney's Wide World of Sports. The place was packed full of tiara-wearing gals of all ages!

We picked up our race bib, tracking tag (which will record our official time) and our goody bag which contained a shirt, socks, instant camera and a power bar.

My race bib said "Princess Laura". :)
On the back it said "Team Double L".
And it was suppose to have Snow White on the front and instead it had Tiana, a princess I didn't pick and one I've never even heard of! I had to take Loran's bib which DID have Snow White on it and have the hotel make a copy, cut it and paste it on top of mine.  Weird request, but they did it for me and I was much happier to have my proper Princess on my race bib!

After the Expo we had dinner at Planet Hollywood and then headed back to the room to relax and just hang out with each other.  We hadn't seen each other since our trek last April so it was good to have some girlfriend time. Of course, we had to do some farming. :)  Here is Loran, in her beloved bunny robe I bought her some Christmases ago, harvesting her crops.

Saturday was a great girly day of shopping.  When I found out that race day was going to be 45 degrees and we were going to have to be up at 2:30am, my running gear of a Nike Skort and sports bra was not going to work. Luckily, I was able to find some great Nike running pants and a quick dry jacket at Sports Authority.  We did some shopping at Florida Mall and found some lovely Chamilia charms for our bracelets.  I got a Birds Nest and Loran got a spider dangling from a web.
Of course, what shopping day would be complete without a visit to the bookstore, where Loran got some travel guides for her upcoming trip to Provence and I purchased *another* Alice in Wonderland book and the new Somerset Gallery magazine.  After a day of shopping (and a trip to Starbucks) we had dinner at Mimi's Cafe.

Loran checking out travel books on Provence

We *tried* to go to bed early, around 9:15pm because we had to get up at 2:30am but we both got very little sleep during the night, tossing and turning.  Okay, so why get up at 2:30am for a race that doesn't start until 6am?  You have to take the bus from the resort to Epcot and you have to allow 30 minutes to get to the bus, get on the bus and get to the actual park.  Everyone is required to be at Epcot by 4:30am, your bags checked by 5am and in your corral by 5:30am. We got to Epcot about 4:00am and then proceeded to stand around in the super cold temps until 6:20, our official start time.  Everyone was huddled together, who cared that they were strangers! We needed body heat.  Your standing there for all that time, with your muscles tense, teeth chattering and then...BAM! now go run 13.1 miles.
We were in corral D and with Fireworks going off, we counted down the previous corrals until if was finally our turn at 6:20am.  There were so many people that the start of the race was like running through an obstacle course of bodies.  Loran and I got into a good rhythm and kept a steady pace.  My neck muscles were hurting about mile 4 and lasted a couple of miles, at mile 8 I could feel a blister on the bottom of my left foot, at mile 11 Loran got a cramp but we never stopped to walk...we ran the entire way.  I thought we were only at mile marker 11 with 2.1 miles to go but when I got up to where I could read the sign it said 12 miles!  I looked over at Loran and said "I thought we were only on mile 11...I lost a mile somewhere." She replied "That's like a gift from God"! Mile 10-11 must have been an out of body experience because I really don't remember it!

There was a lot of encouragement on the course, Disney employees lined up cheering you on, DJ's and high school bands playing music, Disney Characters (there were lines of runners waiting for their pics to be taken with them...not us, we were serious about finishing in a good time) and other random people shouting positive words of motivation.

People were running in all kinds of outfits...princess costumes and tutu's seemed to be the main choice of clothing.  Some were wearing their tiara's and tons of women had their hair done in elaborate updo's with glitter and rhinestones as if they were going to a wedding instead of running a marathon. It was so much fun seeing all the different and interesting people running the race.  Even thought it's suppose to be for women, they can't discriminate against men so there were a few running the race.  Most were wearing tutus!  The best one I saw was a tall guy with spiky blond hair, naked from the waist up with a huge shark tattoo on his back.  He was wearing a light baby blue tutu. :)

The course started at Epcot and went to Magic Kingdom where we ran down Main Street, through Tomorrowland, Fantasy Land and Liberty Square before heading back down Main Street and along the road, over a couple of bridges and up a couple of hills before running into Epcot and across the finish line.

13,000 people started the race, a little under 12,000 finished and Loran and I finished in 2:28:31 (11.20 minute miles), a personal best for me and placed 4,400 overall and 558 in our division.  We ran the whole way and never stopped.  When I crossed over the finish line, I had a few tears and hugged the woman who put the medal around my neck.
I didn't see my face afterwards, but it sure looks from this picture that I had the classic "Tomato Face!"

Our medals are so and shiny with pretty rhinestones. Perfect for a couple of princesses like us!
After returning to the room to shower, I found I had blisters on top of blisters as well as a toenail that was coming off (what a surprise,lol).

Having not eaten anything except power bars before the run, we were starving and went to Denny's, (with our Tiara's and Medals showcased proudly) for a "big-ass breakfast".  Chocolate Chip and Blueberry pancakes, sausage (just me, Loran's a vegetarian), hash browns, eggs, toast and lots of coffee. Our celebration meal!

We weren't moving too well after the race...sore muscles, sore knees and it was painful to be walking around on my blisters.  We just wanted to sit for a while so we headed to the AMC theatre at Downtown Disney and took in the 3D showing of Alice in Wonderland.  It was amazing! We both loved it. I especially loved HBC as the Red Queen...she was hilariously perfect for that role.  All the theatre employees were wearing the most amazing Mad Hatter Hats...I so wanted one, so we decided to hit the stores at Downtown Disney to find one.  Unfortunately, they were all sold out.  But I got a great coffee mug featuring the Red Queen with the words "I don't do tea parties".

Towards the end of the day, we bought some salads and headed back to the room to just relax, read and watch the Academy Awards. However, since we had been up since 2:30am, we didn't make it through the entire ceremony and were fast asleep by 10pm.  It was hard to say goodbye to Loran the next day.  But I know we'll have another adventure together someday soon. For now, we both are enjoying our accomplishment of reaching another goal and thankful to have our wonderful friendship.
Proud Finishers of the Disney Princess Half Marathon!


Lita said...

Brilliant and fitting title!

So cracking up about one of the miles being an out of body experience :)

And high-five about running your pesonal best throughout!

That hearty, post-marathon breakfast was well-earned.

The Red Queen in Alice in Wonderland was a riot. It was "off with her head all the time," lol!

So proud of you for another wonderful accomplishment under your belt! This is a fabulous journal entry that wonderfully documented your experience. Thanks for sharing the story and corresponding pics :)

Love you!

Laura said...

Thanks Lita! It will be fun to look back on the blog 20 years from now and remember this accomplishment!
Thanks for your support of this goal!
Love ya back!