Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Race Recap: 2014 runDisney Enchanted 10K! And other Princess stuff...

Before I get to the second leg of my Princess Triple Crown endeavor, I need to share a little bit about the rest of Day One.

After completing the Cinderella Royal Family 5K Friday morning, I headed back to my motel to eat, shower and rest a bit.  I may be the exception here, but I was surprised by how much TIME of my race weekend was taken up by eating, resting and readying.  It felt like I was constantly eating; I’d had a bagel before the race, a protein bar immediately after, and I was totally ready for a full breakfast again after.  I also found that stripping off my race outfit, hanging its parts around to dry, and readying my next day’s race outfit took some time.  After all of that, a long shower, some checking in on social media, and a call home to see how things were going in my absence, I didn’t have the time or energy to hit a theme park.  Instead, I got back into bed and took a nap for an hour or so.

After a nap, it was time for a Princess-worthy tea at the Grand Floridian!  A small (small because that’s all we could fit – reservations for the Garden View Tea go early and fast!) group of us ladies gathered for high tea to celebrate the race weekend.  I won’t go overboard on details, but wanted to share because it was such a nice way to take a break from the race action, enjoy some non-running time with friends, and… EAT!  Again.

Four mini sandwiches, followed by assorted pastries and strawberries & cream.
And I was hungry again a couple hours later.

I highly, highly recommend adding this to your race weekend, should you be running future Princess events! 

After tea, I headed over to the Polynesian Resort’s beach for another non-race get-together.  I’d been invited to #runnerslove, a gathering of fellow Princess runners/bloggers/blog readers, with the promise of many, many giveaways.  Confession: this isn’t my kind of thing.  I’m a bit of a loner, get very anxious about new social settings, and am quite wary of any event promising “free” stuff.  But with a number of running friends going, too, and having already “met” the meet-up’s leaders online, I decided to give it a chance.  I am SO glad I did!

Kristy (of Kristy Runs Kato – go read it) and Meg (of Runaway Royalty - go read it, too) were terrific hosts, making us all feel welcome and excited.  They also get mad props for dealing with both an impending rain storm and noisy construction going on behind us.  I really wondered if either had any voice left afterward.  Well done, ladies!  And the giveaways?  PLENTIFUL!  I don’t think anyone left empty-handed.  Including me:

How did they know I was in need of a new visor?!  Perfect!

After the meet-up, I headed into the Polynesian to grab a quick dinner, then drove back to my motel to decompress, get everything ready for the next morning, and get some shut-eye.


Day Two, Race Two: the Inaugural runDisney Enchanted 10K, the first event of the Glass Slipper Challenge!

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.

I really, really enjoyed that part of the course!  I've run the Boardwalk/Epcot Resorts loops before, and have strolled that loop more times than I can count, so I was already very familiar with the setting and knew where I might want to break off for a quick pic or two.

Had this been open, I'd have been buying.  A cold 'rita on the rocks sounded wonderful!

Back story: about a decade or so ago, I was an avid swing dancer and spent quite a few evenings at the Atlantic Dance Hall, listening and dancing to the amazing big bands that used to play there almost weekly!  It was a fun, fun time in my life, so I had to pull over, break into a little Charleston, and ask a maintenance guy to document the moment with my camera.  I neglected to ask him to skip the ambulance.  Tho.

The rest of the race is something of a blur to me... I finished the Epcot Resorts loop, reentered Epcot through backstage (saw more kegs, but didn't stop for another pic), raced past the Land pavilion and the Big Ball, and crossed the Finish feeling strangely better than when I'd started!

I had a nice time running the Enchanted 10K.  Yet, when I came across some running friends afterward, I heard myself saying I thought it was a "one and done," that I had "no burning desire to run that course again."  And at the time, I really didn't.  I was surprised at how little entertainment there'd been in the early miles and it just didn't feel like a good value for the cost, especially compared to the Royal Family 5K.  This, from a gal who's proclaimed repeatedly that she doesn't need all of that Disney stuff to enjoy a race!

In retrospect, I think I was feeling much worse than I was willing to admit.  My head continued to pound all day and I was feeling the effects of not enough sleep.  With some time passed, I'd actually like to run that course again - 10K is a great distance: short enough not to be too taxing, long enough to have some fun and get some decent running in.  I honestly think that if I didn't have the half-marathon looming the next day, I'd have enjoyed the Enchanted 10K much more.


The rest of my day was spent cleaning up, getting things ready for the next race, resting a bit, and eating (again... and again... and again.)  I had a yummy dinner meet-up at Beaches & Cream with my running group, so I popped over to Epcot first to take care of renewing my annual pass.  With no real nap that day, I hightailed it back to my motel after dinner and got myself into bed by 7pm.

And then tossed.  And turned.  And stretched tight legs.  And got up for some water.  And to use the bathroom.  And finally fell asleep somewhere around 9:30pm.  Much later than I wanted, with Even Stupider-Early right around the corner...

Next: the main event... the Princess Half-Marathon!


  1. I hate the early wake up calls too! We will definitely check out that tea at the Grand Floridian. That looks like a fun way to celebrate the weekend!

    1. I'm sorry I'm so late in replying! YES, you must try the Tea - it was such a perfect event for race weekend, and especially so for Princess!

  2. So YOU had my conscience...I was wondering where he'd gone!! :-) Great picture(s) - Jiminy is my favorite though! LY/MI!!

    1. LOL LL! I saw Jiminy and knew I just *had* to stop :) LY/MI too!