Want to skip to Part Two: The Race? Check it out here.
|View from our rooms|
Before I knew it, and long before I felt ready for it, Christmas and New Years were over, and race week was here. My BFF and I flew to Orlando on Thursday night, and made it to the hotel with no problem. We love staying at Disney's Port Orleans Riverside Resort - and we were even upgraded to a water view room with a view of one of the quiet pools! After a quick dinner, we went to bed early, because the next day was going to be a busy one.
Friday morning I was SO excited that I (along with a few other ROTErs) had been accepted to join the Jeff Galloway Meet-Up & Warm Up Event! We were told to meet at Hollywood Studios at 7:30am, and when we arrived, we were given a RunDisney tech shirt to change into. After quick introductions we took off on a 1.5 mile run through the park. Per Jeff, we did 30:30 run:walk intervals, and kept up a speedy (for me) pace of an 11 min/mi. We ended the run at the Beauty & The Beast Ampitheatre, where Jeff Galloway, Tony Horton (the P90X guy), two Survivor reality TV "stars," and a couple of RunDisney reps did some Q&A sessions. Then we got
|Group in front of Tower of Terror|
to take pictures with Mickey in his running gear (is he not the cutest?) - awesome! Then, to top off an already great morning, we took a quick group picture, and then got to sneak in the back way to the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror ride, skip the lines, and ride it as a group - super fun!!!
After the meetup, I headed back to the hotel to shower & change. By the time I'd gotten cleaned up, Carrie was back from Downtown Disney, and it was almost time for my parents to arrive at the hotel. Since they'd used the
Magical Express luggage service, we stopped at POR's food court for a quick lunch and then immediately hopped on a bus to the Expo. After getting our bibs and race retreat wristbands, we went over to the Expo building to get our goodie bags and do some shopping. While we were there, I saw a guy in this great shirt. Even though I knew my race was going to last
waaaaay longer than 2 hours, it still struck a chord with me, and made me even more excited for Sunday's race. Friday night was another pretty quiet and early night, since Dad was participating in The Goofy Challenge, so he was running the Half Marathon Saturday morning, and we were getting up to cheer him on.
Saturday morning, we were up and going early (although not as early as Dad) and we took a cab over to the Ticket & Transportation Center (TTC), where we set up shop as a mini-chEar squad and waited for Dad to run through. In order to make us easier to spot, both Carrie and I were decked out in light-up
|Dad running Donald|
accessories. While we were waiting for him to come through, we also saw Steph, Greg, and Grace (ROTErs). After we cheered on Dad at the TTC, we walked over to the road past the
Polynesian Resort, where we could see Dad again after he ran through The Magic Kingdom. Once we'd seen him a
second time, we walked back to Poly, where we enjoyed a yummy breakfast of coffee and a split order of Tonga Toast. We also walked around the resort and spent some time on the beach enjoying the sunrise over the castle before heading back to POR to meet back up with mom & dad.
|Grand Floridian, Cinderella's Castle, & Contemporary across the lagoon from Poly at sunrise.|
A couple hours and a rather ridiculous comedy of errors involving monorails and buses and post-race traffic later, we finally made it back to our hotel. Dad had already showered and changed, so while mousekeeping cleaned our rooms, we lounged around the pool outside our rooms and then grabbed a bite of lunch. Then we spent the afternoon getting our stuff ready for the BIG RACE the next day. At this point, I was trying to spend as much time off my feet as I could, but I still somehow ended up running around most of the afternoon - which, combined with a morning on my feet was not the greatest race prep, unfortunately.
|House of Blues at Downtown Disney|
We rounded out Saturday with a trip to Downtown Disney for dinner at the House of Blues restaurant for a nice pre-race dinner. I got a "House" salad and a meatball slider appetizer - a yummy and not-too-heavy meal with a nice balance of protein and carbs.
After returning to the room, we did all our last minute night-before-the-race prep and set the alarm for the alarmingly early time of 2am the next morning...sigh.
Coming next...Part 2: The Race