Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Disney Marathon Weekend

I sure hope I can get all of the GREAT stuff about marathon weekend into one post!!!  What an awesome weekend!  I apologize in advance because the quality of some of these pics leaves a lot to be desired, but I forgot my regular camera at home so I was relying on the phones for pics and we all know sometimes those are pretty crappy.

We had a relatively uneventful flight to Orlando.  Morgan did GREAT for her first plane ride!  After a quick bite at the airport we took the Magical Express to the Animal Kingdom Lodge.  Here are some of the views from our room:
Samantha thought it was neat that she could stand on the balcony and watch the animals
The girls checking out the room
After we got settled my running buddy Kristan and myself headed over to the race expo at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.  
Picking up my race bib and packet suddenly made this VERY real!  And I was super excited to get bumped up from corral F to corral D by providing my Nashville Half finish time!
That night we headed to Downtown Disney and had dinner at T-Rex (one of our favorites).  Samantha and Kristan's son Kaleb had a blast digging for dinosaur bones.  This was our third time eating there and I didn't know they had this little play area right in front of the restaurant!!
Saturday morning was unprecedented for the Smith family at Disney World - we slept in.  I cannot recall a time where we have had nothing scheduled to do to where we could sleep until our bodies decided to wake up - and let me tell ya, it was NICE!  While the girls were waiting on Owen to get fully awake they decided to have a cereal "picnic" and watch more animals.
The zebras were out Saturday morning!
And so were the giraffes!
After breakfast we took the girls over to the Ft. Wilderness Resort, home of the Tri-Circle D Ranch.  The horses that pull Cinderella's carriage live here, and you can see them and pet them, and they also have trail rides and pony rides. 
Samantha was still too young for a trail ride but she was tall enough to ride the ponies! Best $5 spent; her smile was  more than worth it.  See how bright the sun was down there??
Sam showing off next to the stable
After visiting the horses we let the girls play on the playground; Morgan loved it when Sam pushed her on the swingset.
We headed back to the resort to rest for a little bit before dinner.  Unfortunately the Animal Kingdom Lodge did not have a traditional pasta dish on their menu for dinner so I opted for the chicken pita with hummus and a side of couscous.  It was actually really good!  I set out all my race stuff and tried to get to bed by 10pm but I'm pretty sure I saw every hour on the clock until finally I woke up at 2:15am to get ready.
A shot of the staging area
Race time!!!
The starting line
The race had a staggered start - my corral started at 5:56am.  I was so worried about not keeping the minimum pace that I really didn't stop much for pics - no character pics at all and just a few along the course.  Here are some of my favorite shots:
Coming down Main Street in the Magic Kingdom - the castle still had its Christmas lights on!
The backside of the castle - they are tiny in this picture but there were two trumpeters up there
This is the Mile 20 Surprise - they talked BIG about this leading up to the race and most of us runners were disappointed - off to the left you could get your picture taken with Mickey, Donald, and Goofy but the line was WAY long
Running through Hollywood Studios - almost done!
I DID IT!!!!!!! I crossed the finish line in 6:09:11
Me and my buddy Kristan (and Sam, who wanted to be in each pic with mommy and her medal)
My sister Jenny lives in Florida now and drove an hour and a half at 3am to get to Disney before the roads closed so she could cheer for me - love you Jenny!!!
MY medal!  No more file photos - this one is mine!
After a shower and a bit of lunch Morgan and I took a short nap while Samantha and Owen went to the pool - I know, only in Florida could you go swimming in January.  We had reservations at O'Hana at the Polynesian for our celebration dinner and it was DELISH.  We timed it JUST right to see the fireworks at the Magic Kingdom when we got done with dinner.  
Unfortunately all good things must come to an end.  We woke up Monday morning and had a yummy breakfast at Boma then caught the Magical Express back to the airport.  We got the girls a light snack from Burger King before the flight so they wouldn't get too hungry.  Here is Samantha sporting her Burger King crown along with the shirts I bought for them at the expo - it says "My Mom Ran the Walt Disney World Marathon 2013."  How awesome is that :)
It was in the mid 70s when our plane left Orlando and we landed in Memphis with snow falling.  CRAZY weather.  On our way home we passed by GiGi's cupcakes and Owen made the remark that they were still open (everywhere shuts down when it snows in Memphis) so I told him to pull in - HAD to have my celebration cupcake!
It was SO yummy
After that it was back to reality and work - but Kristan and I couldn't resist getting one last shot together with our medals at the office!
My first runDisney event and my first marathon will be a weekend I will never forget!  We had so much fun - I can't wait until I get to do it again!!!