Monday, January 21, 2013

Walt Disney World Half Marathon 2013 Part 1...All things pre-race!

Yes, I did it! Resolution #1 (completing a half marathon) accomplished and bucket list item checked off! It was fantastic and so worth every mile. Where to begin? We can begin with the expo.I will try to make this part of the journey short so we can get to the good stuff. 

For anyone who has never been to a Disney race they always have an expo. That is where you pick up your race bib and goodies. This time it was in two different buildings at The ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. I helped my family find the packets they needed to officially "chEAR" me on, picked up my own bib, and then we said goodbye. Karen (my fartlek buddy and friend) wanted to listen to one of the speakers talk about GU. I grabbed Caitlin (my 14 year old niece) to head over to the other building to get our bags with our shirts. Holy line Batman! It circled a field and then went into the building! We got into the line and chatted with a few people while we slowly made our way around the field. I wish I had had my camera with me. It was a sight.

I texted Karen to ditch the lecture and join us in line or forever endure the consequences. It took us about 20 minutes to get into the building.We got our bags and went exploring.
Mutant Minnie cheers our future victory!
The expo had some really fun things to see, do, and buy. One of the "things to do" was the Cigna booth that let you put on the medals and pose like you finished your race. We did it but were afraid to wear the medals. Bad mojo in our minds. New Balance also had a picture op that was crazy and lots of fun to do. Unfortunately, after exploring and shopping we were too late to listen to any of the speakers. Man, was that expo crowded!

More free pictures!
I ended up buying two things at the was an iFitness hydration belt and the other was the new runDisney vinylmation Mickey with a Donald Half Marathon medal. My own Nathan belt was hard and cumbersome. The new belt was soft and snug. The Mickey was just too cute to pass up. My idea is to bring him along on any trips I take in the future. Plus, he was just too awesome to pass up.
Awwwww yeah!

Time just kind of flashes by at that place. We ended up exploring, sampling, and shopping for a few hours before making our way back to the hotel. I had been given a huge gift (Christmas/birthday) from my parents...Disney's Art of Animation Resort! This is a cartoonist's dream hotel. I absolutely loved it and will definitely stay there off season in the future. Animation sketches are everywhere...inside walls, outside walls, ceilings, and in your room. We were at the Lion King section so the property had life size versions of the characters positioned in a winding "jungle". They even had the elephant graveyard!

But I digress. We were starving by the time we made it back to the hotel. I had a really hard time trying to figure out what to eat. Do I go vegetarian so my stomach doesn't feel like lead? Meat like hamburger so I have protein to burn? I ended up getting a pulled pork sandwich with some coleslaw. The coleslaw was gross but the sandwich was good. Ended up just eating the meat though. Then I had a chocolate chip cookie. I really need to bone up on what to eat pre-race. Is it confusing for you guys or do you have a planned eating schedule? Advice will be well received in the comment section below.

Fish are friends...not food!
So now it was time to sleep. I made my way to my room and noticed they were showing "Finding Nemo" right outside my window. Greeeaaaat. Normally I would have been thrilled but I wanted to make sure I could sleep. Now I was going to have to use my ear plugs and I was afraid I would sleep through the alarm. My nerves got the better of me and I over compensated. I set my chicken alarm (no one sleeps through that thing) to 2 a.m., my cell alarm to 2:15 a.m., and I scheduled a wake up call at 2:30 a.m.. 
The most comfortable Murphy
bed I have ever slept in!

Nothing was going to make me and my niece miss this race. Not even Nemo. I laid out everything for the race, made sure my tunes were fully charged, and crawled into bed.By 8 p.m. I was sound asleep and dreaming of lining up at my first half marathon in just a few short hours.

Click here for Part Two The Race

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