Sunday, March 31, 2013

And Training Begins Again!

With my upcoming races, I have to kind of focus and stay on so kind of schedule.  It has been hard but now that it is staying lighter later and it is warmer outside it is starting to get easier again.

Friday was the best day I have had since Princess! I got really lucky and I had the day off since it was good Friday. We took the kids to a marshmallow drop in the morning and then we went to Costco. After that I left the kids to take a nap at my mom's and I set out for a good 10 mile run. I decided to mix things up so I actually headed south for the beginning, came back for a drink, out to the nature center, back for a drink and then I grabbed my new handheld water bottle I got before Princess (just in case) and set off for my mom's!

First, I HATE running with something to drink. It hate the sloshing and I just cannot find a good way to get comfortable. I have tried my camelback hydration belt and it is too big (well the big one in the back is too big, I think if it was just the two small ones it would be perfect but those are small). The handheld was not too bad but still not my favorite. I kept a really good pace until the last mile. I don't know why by mentally I was just kind of done with it. I made it 10 miles in under 2 hours which had me happy.

I did go into my mom's and got a bottle of water. BIG mistake. I should have just filled up my bottle and kept going. Instead I took a little rest (like 5 minutes) and once I had the bottle of water I did not want to run again so I decided I would walk home. That was almost 3 miles and walking was far more boring than walking!

Overall it was awesome. I felt great. i used the SpiderTech X strips on both knees and I had NO knee problems at all. I did order some KT Tape since they are a new sponsor for PbRC so I wanted to support a sponsor (plus they had a great sale going). I hope it works as well for me!

As the night went on my heel was basically cramping. It was so weird and so I got out a foot brace I had bought a long time ago. I wore it to bed and it felt a lot better today.

Tomorrow I want to get back out even if it is back to the gym for a couple miles. I know I am in a taper for my next race but I want to make sure to get in at least 4 more runs in the next 2 weeks. I would rather get in 5 or 6 but anything will have to be better than the 2 weeks before Princess were I think I got in 2. I honestly am so excited to run again and have a chance to run for a time! I am holding off on setting my goals until next week to see how I am feeling but I am starting to develop them in my head!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Princess Half Marathon Weekend--Keys to the Kingdom Tour

On the Monday after the race, I decided to take advantage of the fact that we did not have the kids with us on this trip so we booked the Keys to the Kingdom Tour at the Magic Kingdom since you had to be 16 or older to go on this tour and that will be a long way off with the kids.

Now, I was unsure if this was a wise move but it was something Jeff really wanted to do so did I, plus with the DVC discount it was really reasonable.

When we got up in the morning it was super foggy. We could not even see the Magic Kingdom from our balcony. I was really hoping it would get better as the day went on.

Now to make it to the tour we had to get our luggage dropped off, our bags stored and out of the room by about 8am. That actually went really smoothly and while I was a little stiff as we first started out, I was fine by the time we made it to the Magic Kingdom. We got through the ticket lines and headed into the actual park through the ADR/Tour entrance. We checked in at City Hall and got our name badges and put in our orders for lunch at the Columbia Harbor House.

We had to wait a few minutes for the tour to gather and get going but it wasn't bad. I was able to go in and get stickers, buttons and maps for a surprise for the June trip. I also got to snap a couple empty park pictures. Jeff was not in the picture posing mode so we did not get any Photopass shots which I am sad about. I should have thrown my medal on and taken a few alone but I didn't even think of it.

Just after 8:30am, Steve our tour guide came over to show us around for our tour. The first thing he told us was that we could not take pictures while we were on the tour. He did say he would look the other way if we were not backstage but I never took my camera out because I was trying to follow the rules.

One of the first things he told us was about the statues in the center and then the one in front of the castle. The one in center past the flag pole is of Roy Disney while the one in front of the castle is the famous one of Walt and Mickey.

For the actual tour I am not going to give away too many things since it is special and magical and I do not want to take away from someone else'e experience but feel free to ask if you want to know more!

We started the tour on Main Street where we were told about the meanings of the writing on the windows. I have been down Main Street probably 20 times in the last 12 months and I never noticed this detail. Steve managed to position us perfectly about 1/2 way down so we could see the crowds rush in when they let them in. It was kind of funny, especially since he told us they had the ropes up so people would be slowed down for a few minutes before they could get to the rides.

We walked towards the castle and then left into Adventureland. The details here are so amazing and it is so neat how Disney makes sure you know when you are moving from one land to another. The first ride we went on was the Jungle Cruise. Now for some reason, I had it in my head that I HATED this ride. Well, I don't. I can't wait until June to take the kids one it. The ride was very interesting because Steve did all the talking and we did not hear the usual story but instead found out a lot about the ride and this history. Very neat.

We went into one of the restaurants for a break and got to see one of the Portals for the Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom game and to learn some things about Pirates of the Caribbean. From here we headed backstage. Now this was cool because it was the same place we went backstage the day before during the race. We got to see where the floats were stored and it was cool to see it with no runners or water tables and to remember the run.

We strolled through Frontierland and into Liberty Square. One thing I will offer is sometime when you are walking through the Magic Kingdom look at the windows in the different areas.

From there it was time for lunch at Columbia Harbor House. I had the grilled chicken salad and Jeff had the shrimp. Yummy as always. We ate with a really nice couple from Kentucky. They had been given the tour as a gift from their kids and they were on an adults only trip too!!

After this break it was time for the 2nd half of the tour. We went to the Haunted Mansion which Jeff and I both love! It was really neat to hear the story about it and to ride it and to get to watch for details. Then it was time to head backstage again. We went into the utilidoors and got to even see the one stairwell the President got use when he was at the Magic Kingdom. The history of Disney is so awesome and it was just so neat.

Overall the tour was long at just over 5 hours but well worth it. I am so glad we did it.

The trip was awesome and wonderful and way too fast. We went back for a quick bite to eat at the Contemporary and then it was on the Magical Express and to the airport. Honestly I cannot wait to get back for another trip with more park time and another runDisney weekend!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

My first real run since the Princess

I say real run because I had done another slow and short run earlier in the week but this was the first time I got everything together to go out with a goal in mind. Earlier this week I had gone out since it was nice and sunny but the 30 degrees felt a lot colder than I had planned and the run ended with a neighborhood dog wanting to pace me. I gave up.

Today I had an hour to get my run in and get back because I thought Jeff had to work today (turns out he didn't but forgot to tell me).

I was worried that this run was not going to go a lot better since 90 seconds in I realized that while my Garmin was keeping time it was not logging the distance. So I shut off the workout and restarted. NOW, I was in business.

The weather today was perfect. Capris and my Princess Half t-shirt from the race made me feel happy and the weather just made me smile. It was about 50 when I went out and the sun was shining. Days like this make living in Michigan great.

I only got in 4.5 miles (due to what I thought was my time limit) but it felt good to get out there. I had not taped with knee since I was not going over 6 miles but I will admit my right knee was not thrilled with me at the end. I could run but it was sore. I guess now that my left knee survived my first half, my right wants some attention. Not my first choice but whatever.

I am just glad to be running again and that the days are getting longer. With Jeff's long hours I know am going to have to be creative with my running but I have my next race in a month and I have goals I will meet! (even with tape on my knees)!!

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Princess Half Marathon Weekend--Part 5 (Celebrating the Finish)

After the race Jeff and I had to pack everything up from the Beach Club and make our move over to Bay Lake Tower. Now, some people may think we were NUTS to move right after the race but we did have our reasons. First, we knew dinner was going to be on the monorail route and also we had scheduled the Keys to the Kingdom tour for 8:30am on Monday so being close to the Magic Kingdom was worth it.

We took a taxi over because we wanted to not have to worry about the luggage transfer since we knew we had to be able to get ready for dinner later. We had no idea if the new room would be ready but I had done online check in and said we were arriving early so I was hopeful.

We got to BLT and checked in. Our room was ready and we were SO happy. We had booked a Theme Park View Studio. I had requested a high floor but with online check in they ask would you rather have your request met or the room ready early and I said, ready early! Turns out we were on the 5th Floor which is the lowest floor for Theme Park view so I was a little worried but I did not need to be! We had a great view.

Now moving from a 1 bedroom to a studio was a shock. I had read how small the studios at Bay Lake are but I was surprised. It was even smaller than our room at the Contemporary, or so it seemed but it might have been because of the kitchenette.

Also, it has a queen bed instead of the king in the 1 bedroom, it seemed so much smaller.

I did love the picture and the theming. Especially after the Beach Club Villas. It was nice there but I prefer the new duvets with the accents over the full comforters like at Beach Club.

The couch and balcony were nice but again, seemed really small after the larger villa. This couch is only a full pull out instead of the queen in the 1-Bedroom

Here is the kitchenette. It had a mini fridge, microwave, toaster and a lot of storage (which was weird.

The bathroom was nothing special but at least they have different sinks than they do at the Contemporary which is good. No water overflowing from it!

Once we were settled, Jeff really wanted to take a little rest since he had been up since about 6am before we went to eat again and head to the Magic Kingdom. I honestly felt awesome and I really wanted to try and get lunch at Be Our Guest but I decided since I had dictated so much of the weekend to let Jeff have some fun. We rested for about 45 minutes. He dosed and I uploaded pictures and tried to rest but I was really keyed up.

We ended up going to eat at the Wave at the Contemporary. Food was good but the service was HORRIBLE. I had on my medal and my I Did it shirt but our waiter was so busy toasting with the table next to use over their races that he kept forgetting we were even there. We had someone else take our orders and get drinks. He was just horrible and completely rude. I think this is one of the only times I have tipped poorly at Disney.

After this we headed to the Magic Kingdom. I really wanted to get pictures with the Princesses with my medal so I got us Fastpasses for them. We had about 2.5 hours until we had to head back for dinner so we kind of wandered. Since it was the middle of the day the lines were a little long. We went over to the New Fantasyland to see the new castles and the Little Mermaid ride. We ended up just walking around and finally we went to the Hall of Presidents. I love this place but I know the kids are too young. We had time before the show so we walked around. I loved it just as much as I used to.

We headed to the front of the park to go see the Princesses but for some reason the Fastpass line was HUGE once we got in. I have never been there when it was so bad. Jeff was impatient and didn't want to wait and I felt dumb staying alone so we handed our Fastpasses off and left. I am sad I did not get 1 picture with a Princess with my medal but what can you do.

Then it was time to go and get ready for our amazing dinner at Victoria and Albert's. I had been dreaming of dinner here for over a year but since you have to be over 10 to dine here and we knew it would not work when the kids were with us, this was the perfect time. When planning for this, I had tried to pick a dress with comfy shoes but I don't have one of those so I settled for my silver ones but I brought my Croc sandals just in case in my purse.

We took the monorail over and we had no delays. We were a couple minutes early but we just relaxed in the peaceful waiting area. It was so nice in there. Once we were seated we quickly realized we were in the Princess section! Everyone around us had medals on (I had mine my purse) but after some persuasion from Margaret, I put it on!!

We were given our personalized menus. Mine was different because everything with garlic had been removed but I had tons of choices. I was also told that the chef would make me a appetizer portion of an entree so I could have 3 choices I would enjoy.

Here are the menues from the evening:

Dinner was amazing, here are so pictures from it:

 Amuse-Bouche to start the evening. A crepe with vanilla and crab, salmon, lump crab with avocado and tomatoes.

This was the cold appetizer. I ordered the masago crusted shrimp and it was amazing! The noodles under it were so good.

Jeff got the octopus with black garlic and he enjoyed it!

We both ordered the Diver Scallop with a fennel "ring" on the top for the fish course.

For the hot appetizer we again got different things. I ordered the Duck Breast and the roasted cauliflower. I enjoyed the cauliflower but my duck was not my favorite.

Jeff had braised Oxtail and cherry ravioli and liked it.

For the main dish Jeff decided he was going to do the add on and go with the Australian Kobe-style beef tenderloin. He originally ordered it medium but changed it to be prepared however the chef recommended. It came out perfect and was so tasty. Jeff also said the garlic mashed potatoes were the best he had ever had!

I ordered the Free Range chicken that is grown on some farm in North Carolina! It really had a wonderful gamey taste, not at all like the usual chicken you get. It also had homemade gnocchi that were amazing. The vegetables were really fresh and delicious.

After all of this, it was time for dessert the cheese course! Now before this, we had already had five courses and three fresh made breads that the pastry chef had prepared. I honestly liked the first one the best, it was a sourdough roll that was perfect! Jeff enjoyed one that was prepared with grains that were milled in his home country in Europe (I forget where) and sent over. He also uses a yeast he brought with him 19 years before to make it. Each also came with a specifically prepared butter to compliment the bread and each did!

For the cheese course I went with the white chocolate gelato with tableside shavings of white chocolate. Of everything we had, this was heaven. Actually I want more right now!!!

Jeff went with the tradition cheese tray and it went from a mild cheese to a very strong one at the end.

After dinner we were offered coffee or tea. Both are brewed at the table using a special brewing system. I had wanted to try the coffee just for the experience but I just was not feeling coffee so I went with an Oolong tea that was the perfect end to the evening, but the food was not over yet.

We still had dessert. Both Jeff and I went with the Souffle and WOW. I had the Hawaiian Kona Chocolate one and Jeff got the Grand Marnier version. Both were so good. Just like on the cooking shows, they were perfect inside. Erich Herbitschek is truly an amazing pastry chef.

Finally the evening was coming to a close. We were presented with one final tray of candies. There was a candy/gelatin version, a tart and a salted caramel. Even though we were bursting we had to eat them because they were too good to pass up.

At the end of the meal the check is presented in a box. I guess they don't want you to forget about it!

Before leaving the wonderful Maitre d'Hotel and hostess took pictures of us!

Here we are together in front of the main dining room.

And here are Margaret and I showing off our medal together after the best dinner celebration ever

Victoria and Albert's really was a once in a lifetime adventure. It was amazing and I do not regret it but it is not something I will do again for a very long time. Disney has many amazing restaurants (though none that compare to this that is for sure) so I am sure it will be years before we return!

It was a long dinner and we did miss WISHES which was sad but we had a wonderful time. We went back to Bay Lake Tower to change and while there Extra Magic Hours were going on at the Magic Kingdom we decided to stay in and relax and watch the castle since we had to get up so early the next morning.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

The Princess Half Marathon Weekend--Part 5 (The Race Results)

After the race, Jeff surprised me with a wonderful gift! I had mentioned that I loved this necklace a few months ago and he had ordered it for me to give to me after the race. Since he knew I could not wear my medal forever, this is something from him to always remember the weekend. It says 13.1 Princess

This was the finish line before it got crazy! As you can see by the time, the first place race, Rachel Booth (who has won this race twice) actually set a course record and finished in 1:17 which is amazing!

As I said, my finish was not exactly where I had wished it to be but I had made the choice to have fun on the course and not go for a time. Disney provided this wonderful finisher's certificate online:

When I got home, I did upload the information from my Garmin and I was pleasantly surprised:

My moving time was actually only 2:36:56!! And I also forgot to shut off my watch right away so it added a little over a minute! Now I know what I can do and I am happy.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Princess Half Marathon Weekend--Part 4 (THE RACE)

This was a long time in coming but it was time. After the wheelchair start they moved us right up to the start. My plan had been to start in the back of my corral and off to the right side. Guess where I ended up? In the middle and off to the left. I tried not to panic as the group moved forward. We started out slower than a run but faster than the other starts I have been in (guess that is what happens when you end up in Corral A).

The beginning was amazing. The first thing I noticed was how many people had come out to the start. Then I quickly realized they were on the other side of the highway (so like across the median and over 2 lanes) and it was REALLY dark. I don't think many of them could really see their runner start but it was so good to hear them all cheering. Almost right away a high school marching band was there in the median playing as we went by. It just kicked things right off!

Now at this point I was feeling good and I had planned to not use my intervals before the end of the first mile. I knew I could maintain pace and I wanted to get out of the crowd. About a half of a mile in was when I got my next wave of panic: two women next to me where talking very loudly about how anyone who walks or slows down has no business in the first corral. They were right in some sense but it was how they were judging. It was just weird especially since I did not notice anyone who wasn't running. I was kind of shocked by the number of people who jumped in line for the first port a potties that came at about that same point. It was a little scary as princess came bombing over to get to them!

I will admit, the first couple of miles were kind of a blur to me. It was dark and I was just focused on getting some miles under my feet. I had plans to not stop for pictures until the Magic Kingdom. I did try and take pictures of the Mile Markers but as you will see, the early ones did not come out well because I was running and taking them and it was before 6am and really dark!

Between Mile 1 and Mile 2 the first characters appeared. The Pirates with their ship where out but I had read the line was shorter coming back so I skipped it but the line was already long!

At this point I knew I was going too fast, both for myself and because I knew the humidity was really high (it was 93% at the start) so I slowed down a little and started adding in my intervals though I was using them loosely when though Jeff Galloway says to trust them (I should have trusted them)

Between miles 2 and 3 we got to run through the famous Magic Kingdom car entrance!! It was so neat to see it since to me, that is when I know I am really at Walt Disney World!! Instead of heading to the right like we would if we were going to the Contemporary, we headed to the left and by the Speedway, Magic Kingdom parking lots and the Ticket and Transportation Center. After mile 3, I spotted this picture stop and since there were only 3 people in line I knew I had to take it for Danny! 

Disney does know how to keep things moving in a race so you can get pictures. At this stop and all the others I went to, there were 2 cast members. They alternated so they were always ready with a camera so there was very little lag time between people!

Almost immediately was another stop and this one had music blasting and looked HUGE. It was, it was the Disney Villains all together. The line was pretty long (probably 15 people or so) and I just did not want to spend the time in line so I skipped it. This is probably the picture I regret missing the most and I know as the race went on the line only got longer!

At this point we were coming into TTC and the crowds there were HUGE. Signs and cheering everywhere. The energy here was great and I also knew it meant we were not too far from the Magic Kingdom!!

I had passed the 5K mark but I did not get a text with my split. I did know I was only about 2 minutes off the clock time so I had any idea of where I was and I was happy with my pacing but I was worried that I was going a little fast since I knew the last half the temperatures would be rising.

Next came the run towards the Contemporary and the first of the Disney hills. In this stretch some of the Parade things were out! Sebastian, Genie and Lumiere were all lit up.  The hill really was not bad and even though there were cars and buses in the lane next to us, it was not too crowded. At the top of the overpass we ran under was a guy with HUGE Mickey hands waving to us.

 We passed the Contemporary and Bay Lake Tower and there was a small crowd out there which was nice but I was focusing on the Magic Kingdom just ahead. As we turned around at the 5 Mile mark it was time to enter into the park through the Cast Member entrance. I have probably walked past this entrance at least 20 times and I never really noticed it but you can bet I will never miss it again! We came in through the backstage area and around the corner by the Mickey/Princess Fastpass and the Confectionary and then we were on Main Street. People had mentioned wanting to cry but honestly I was just so happy and excited!! I snapped a picture and then a wonderful volunteer outside the Ice Cream Shop took one for me.

This was just so much fun. When I remember this, I do not remember it being so dark outside though. Maybe it was because of the lights in the park or my excitement but it was neat because the sun was just coming up.

As we got to the center before the castle we went to the right and into Tomorrowland. Just as I was going past the Buzz Lightyear ride, Buzz came out for pictures. I did not want to loop back so I skipped him. I did know Alice and the Mad Hatter would be by the Tea Cups and I jumped into that short line (5 people or so). Right before my turn the Mad Hatter left so I got my picture with Alice. She was so cute!!

Now we were officially in Fantasyland and the NEW Fantasyland had Gaston and Belle out!! Gaston only had 3 people in line so I jumped in. Belle on the other hand had a HUGE crowd and I didn't want to waste too much time in line for pictures. Next up is the run through the castle but to the left before you go through, Royal Mickey and Minnie were out. This was the longest line yet and there was no way I was going to get into it. I ran through the castle and it was amazing as everyone had said. I did get really lucky from what I have heard though because later in the race there was a complete bottleneck in this area. Some was caused by the pictures and some from a couple of marriage proposals that too place here. I do have to say, interesting place to purpose, almost 6 miles into a half marathon....

After coming out of the castle they had 4 photographers set up taking the famous castle shot. I moved over to the left to get a picture which makes the video of me coming out of the castle look really strange but I had a reason!

Coming out of the castle, I was on the right and I head in front of the castle to get the picture below:

We then went around to Liberty Square where Tiana was out. She didn't have a long line but she also was not one I was looking for so I missed her and didn't want to go back since I still have not watched the movie (bad I know, we did actually watch Tangled tonight though). We came around into Frontierland and you could see where Jessy was supposed to be but she was not out. I was having some bad timing with the Toy Story characters that is for sure. It was also Mile 6!

 At this point though there was a really nice Cast Member who had brought out of box of Kleenex and was letting runners grab one. It was nice to just wipe my face off. We continued past the closed Splash Mountain (it is reopening in March) and headed back out of the Magic Kingdom. Before we went backstage they did have the train out! I should have stopped for a picture for Danny but I didn't (I am noticing some regrets here).

Now we were backstage where all the floats are kept for the parades. They had Cinderella's float out and she was there with Prince Charming but again, HUGE line. I did also here she switched out with Aurora throughout the race so not everyone got a chance to see her.

As we excited the Magic Kingdom the local Fire Department was out with their trucks and MUSIC blasting. It was fun though because some of the guys had picked up the discarded tutus and had put them on! Made me smile that is for sure. Then the music changed and it was time for the Mile 7 song. I am not sure why they call it that since it was playing at the half way mark which is not quite mile 7 but whatever. It was the Girl on Fire song from the Hunger Games movie. We all had a chance to vote on the runDisney Facebook page a week or so before but I was surprised this won.

Mile 7 came quick and we were coming close to the Grand Floridian so there were people again to cheer us on! It was neat to see the signs family members and friends had made for the runners and to see the little kids watching for their mom (or dad).

At this point I spotted Mary Poppins and the Chimney Sweeps so it was picture time again. I was lucky here too and there were only a couple people in line.

Across the stress and not far down by the wedding pavilion at the resort were the Grooms with the Glass Slipper. It was a short time and they were funny!

There was a lot going on in this area!! Lilo from Lilo and Stitch was also out since as we rounded from the Grand Floridian we were coming up to the Polynesian.

And at this point we were nearing the Golf Course and the awesome Mickey Golf Cart was out. Since I had spotted pictures of this before, in my head all Disney golf carts are Mickey's. Jeff played the course last year and he said it was not the case. Too bad, I think it is cute!

Now I was at Mile 8 and I was surprised I was still feeling pretty good and I was having a really good time. One thing though it was about at this point I first noticed my right calf was getting tight. Not all the time but it was noticeable at times.

The Clif Shot table was just between Miles 8 and 9. As luck would have it, Vanilla was the first table and I got one of those. YUCK. I had tried one in training and to me it was like eating Carmex! Good thing they had the Razz Berry one and I was able to trade it in! I saved it until right before the next water stop. For some reason there is no water by the shots but I guess it would be too much in one area.

Another little stop here was Pocahontas and Meeko, and again almost no line. I know they are not super big characters but she is a Princess!

And Lilo was out too so I grabbed another picture since I was right there.

When I got to Mile 9 I knew that to make my goal I needed to do 4 miles in 52 minutes. Now that is completely doable and I was excited because I was on target. I forgot that this is NOT a regular race, it is a DISNEY RACE!

As soon as I thought I could make my goal I had two must have pictures in a row. First came the Princes! They were awesome and the line was not long at all. I am so glad I listened and stopped at these on the way back.

Almost immediately were the Pirates. Now this line was a little longer but I knew I was nearing the end and I wanted to have fun!

Now with these two longer stops you will notice that it took me over 16 minutes to get through mile 9. This was not a good thing for my goal but there are other races for time, not many others for pictures with Pirates.

After Mile 10, we headed up the dreaded overpass ramps/hills. I thought I was mentally prepared and I might have been but my body was not thrilled with the slanted running surface. My calf was protesting hard on the way up since I was running lopsided. So many people were stretching on the guard rail so I knew I was not alone. I made it up and the Green Army guy was encouraging but you had to do pushups to get a picture and I just wanted to get through the "hills".

I made it to Mile 11 which was at the top over another one the of the overpass ramps and I knew the end was near.

We did kind of a loop around and they had everyone running by projected on a BIG screen and they were encouraging everyone! Then it was up one more, EVEN, ramp before heading towards Epcot.

It was also getting warmer out and the hills had drained me. BIG NOTE, use a steeper incline when treadmill training.

Before heading into Epcot there were a couple characters but I did not stop for any of them. They just did not interest me and at this point I knew I had to hustle if I had any hope of my goal.

We came into Epcot and here was my first glimpse of the "Golfball" as Danny calls it.

We were backstage and came in to the right of it (the Soarin side). The course had us heading all the way to the start of the World Showcase and looping back around towards the finish.

Here is where I had to make a decision, Pinocchio was out and ALONE but I knew even this little stop would mean I would not hit my goal. I stopped and I am so glad I did because almost right after was the Fairy Godmother!! Abby had asked me to get a picture with Cinderella but I figured this was the next best thing!

Here is where I should have gotten a picture of the amazing Gospel Choir at the end and the Mile 13 marker but at this point I was so focused on the finish up ahead that I completely missed them both!!

In my head I still don't exactly knew the path we took since it was backstage and looped around but as soon as we left Epcot there were people everywhere cheering. I saw the HUGE bleachers and I knew Jeff had a wristband to get into them but I did not think there was anyway he would see me (I was wrong he did and he videotaped my finish). I finished strong, high fived Goofy and headed towards the medals. The clock said 2:52 which was 7 minutes over my goal but I was still happy and best of all I felt great.

The finish line was a little backed up so right before I got my medal the volunteers were told to just hand them to us, do not place them around our necks which was a little sad but I understand that a backup at the finish line is bad, just ask the Detroit Turkey Trot people.

There were Fairy Godmothers in Training who were giving Pixie Dust, there were tables of water and Powerade and it was good because there were people there to open the bottles for you. There were also food boxes set out. I did not take anything because I was heading to meet Jeff at the Race Retreat for breakfast and I knew I could get food and drinks there.

Goofy is high fiving runners on the right side under the clock. I come through on that side:

I did wait in line for an official picture before heading inside. Jeff met me outside and we went in. First thing were were handing a towel with the Disney Princess Half logo on it and a pair of flip flops, best part was they had extra small for me! We also got a drink ticket which I did not use and I passed off to another Princess.

We had a light buffet breakfast of eggs, potatoes, oatmeal, fruit, muffins and a couple other things. It was nothing special but it filled me up. After eating I grabbed one last picture and then we headed out to make out way from the Epcot parking lot to the Beach Club.

When I booked this it sounded great since we would not have to wait for a bus to take us back, I should have remembered it was about 2 miles more to walk but I felt good and it kept me from getting tight! Once back at the Beach Club, I showered and we packed for our move to Bay Lake Tower!!!

To be continued....