|TOTALLY worth the effort of finding you - GO TEAM!|
Wednesday, March 19, 2014
Wednesday, March 12, 2014
That's how it felt, too. The joy and excitement of three consecutive days of racing had left the building faster than Elvis and had been replaced by... well, by ambivalence. It's not that I was dreading another race, so much as I didn't really care much about it. I just wasn't that into it, if you will.
|#ALLTHERACES! Temporary tattoos from Sparkle Athletic - thanks ladies!|
Still, I had people to see, things to do, so I hauled my tired ass out of bed and into the shower, pulled on clothes, and got out the door in search of a bus stop. NOTE: I strongly suggest figuring out where is your nearest bus stop A. in the light of day and B. at a time other than Stupidest-Early EVER. I knew I was too tired to operate my vehicle by that point, and really didn't want to drag myself another quarter-mile after the race to get to my car, so I opted to take a race bus. Only, I went the wrong direction, in search of the bus stop. Halfway across the parking lot, I saw a Princess heading toward me with purpose... and I asked, "Am I going the wrong way for the bus?" She smiled, said "Yes! Come with me - I'm going there, too!" and led me in the proper direction. Thanks, fellow Princess!
The bus took a while going through its many stops around the Caribbean Beach Resort (CBR), but arrived at the race with plenty of time before the start. A short walk and very speedy, efficient security check later, I was in the Race Retreat tent, sitting with a few running group friends.
Ah, Race Retreat. Where I could eat breakfast, lay my weary head upon the table for a 5-minute nap, use a semi-private porta-potty, leave my race bag at the last possible moment, and return later for a full breakfast, more semi-private porta-pottying, and quick retrieval of my race bag.
What is this mystical Race Retreat? In runDisney's words:
Race Retreat is a great way for runners to prepare for their race, get pampered, and reunite with friends and family once the race is over.
|At some point, "humid" no longer applies. What was going on there was just plain WET air. |
Like running through a tunnel of WET.
|Everyone else was posing with the drivers and the NASCAR car to the right. I only had eyes for the Lambo and the photog worked my phone to take a pic without the race car... but driver dude couldn't resist jumping in. FAIL.|
|Sun's up, but note the shroud of WET surrounding Cindy's castle.|
|Entering Tomorrowland from Main St.|
|About to run through the castle - see the trumpeters up there? |
They busted out a wicked-good herald of the theme from Rocky!
|Princess air, baybee! Still waiting on a good package to purchase...|
|Can you believe this isn't an official photo stop?! Luckily, a very nice Cast Member was right there, taking time to cheer us on, and he was happy to snap a pic for me. Thank you!!!|
|Louis, my favorite character in The Princess and the Frog!|
|I don't even particularly like this guy, let alone his movie!|
I'd have done almost anything at that point to not run.
|Barbosa does NOT do Jazz Hands. Aaaargh.|
|PROOF... that we had fun!|
|To us, Princess Anne - ROCKSTARS, the both of us!|
5K, 10K, Half-Marathon and Glass Slipper Challenge - a medal for each.
Wednesday, March 5, 2014
|Four mini sandwiches, followed by assorted pastries and strawberries & cream. |
And I was hungry again a couple hours later.
|How did they know I was in need of a new visor?! Perfect!|
This one required an even earlier Stupid-Early wake-up: 2:45am to get out the door by 3:30am. Really, I should have gotten up at 2:30am; I woke with a pounding headache, tight muscles, and the need for a long, hot shower. I settled for a short shower and I think I managed to hit the road by 3:45. I again drove to the race, which also started and finished in the Epcot parking lot, and was again parked within 10 minutes of leaving my room.
Despite eating a bagel with peanut butter and downing some caffeinated brown water (NoOffenseJoffrey's), my headache continued to get worse as time went on. I sucked it up and smiled my way through another pre-race meet-up with my running group (which was pretty easy, since despite the pain, I was happy to be there!), and jumped in line for a final porta-potty stop before it was time to get into our corrals. The lines were much longer that day, and by the time I got done, corrals had been called and my friends had all dispersed. I was on my own for this one.
I'm not complaining - I like running on my own! It's actually a surprise to me that I've come to enjoy running with friends so much. So I was fine with being on my own and got ready to settle into my corral (C) to wait my turn to start. And, actually, I wound up having a nice chat with a lady next to me about runDisney events, the crazy recent weather, and race costumes. The time flew by and next thing we knew...
|THREE roman candles! Oooo, aaaaaahhh...|
... we were OFF!
My goal once again, was to take it easy: lots of walking, a little easy running, no sprinting. Get it done, remain uninjured, live to run the next day.
For the first few miles, I did just that. The on-course crowding was significantly less for me than in the previous day's 5K. I had plenty of room to walk, run, pass, be passed, and pull over to tie my shoes. Repeatedly. I wore my new Brooks Ravennas and quickly discovered that their laces were still pretty stretchy; no matter how tight I tied a knot, the laces kept stretching, and I kept pulling over to tighten them up. Good thing I wasn't looking for a fast time, I guess.
The first three miles took us out of the Epcot parking lot...
|With Elsa making it snow from an overpass above us!|
... up what is normally a ramp down to the parking lot...
|Trust V - in the dark, wee hours of the morn, this is HI-larious.|
... and up over another overpass before turning back down to the backstage area of Epcot, from where we entered World Showcase.
I'd like to mention something at this point. See how fuzzy that pic above is? That's only partly due to camera movement. The rest is due to extreme humidity. I believe it was in the high-60s that morning, with around 100% humidity. Which was NOT helping my headache. At all. Every running step made my head throb, and I could feel a migraine hovering in the wings, ready to take its curtain call at any moment. So I slowed way down through World Showcase and made myself stop to take some pictures.
|Snow White and some topiary dwarves. This seemed like a brilliant shot at the time. |
Now, it looks s little odd - Happy looks ready to attack and Grumpy looks like he might cut someone.
|"Temptations. They're the wrong things that seem right at the time..."|
Like, oh, say... three races totaling 22.4 miles over three days, Jiminy???
I. am. SO. glad. I stopped for this! Jiminy had a long line, but it was time for me to eat (again) anyway, so I parked it in line, ate a Cliff Bar and finished just in time for my photo turn.
With some fuel in me and the morning dew beginning to burn off some, my head started to feel a little better, and I picked up the pace to get through the remainder of World Showcase and out to loop around the Epcot resorts.
|Had this been open, I'd have been buying. A cold 'rita on the rocks sounded wonderful!|
Next: the main event... the Princess Half-Marathon!