My mother and I never anticipated being one of those “Run Disney” people… getting up in the middle of the night, leaving our comfy Disney hotel room beds… to RUN? Let’s just say it did not seem so tempting to us. After this weekend, we now understand the hype.
In December, Debi (my mom) and I sat at the kitchen table. I enjoy living an active lifestyle and told myself some day I would participate in a Disney run. On my computer screen, run Disney showed up… This sparked my interest and I headed over to the site to get more information.
There were openings left for the Princess half marathon weekend… Should we sign up? Would I do it alone? I just felt it in my bones that this was a sign. What better time than now?! It appeared that the 10k was sold out, but after looking through the site and refreshing some pages, I was able to sign us both up. Deb was anxious about this, but deep down I knew we could do it.
Before we had time to overthink, I purchased our enrollment.
AHHH! It was time to prepare.
Around the new year, Debi and I hit the parks nearby to get started. We both needed to increase our endurance and stamina before this race. 10k=6.2 miles… this race was no joke!
We ran together a few times a week, in the cold and in the snow. Each time increasing our distances and celebrating every small victory. We ran one mile! We ran 3 miles! We ran 4 miles! Debi and I both faced a few obstacles- For me, it was my knee and my runny nose. For Debi, it was uncomfortable shoes and her ankles. Three laps around the park nearby equaled the distance of the 10k. After about one month and a few weeks, WE DID THE 6.2 MILES! In fact, we ran it a few times before leaving for Orlando.
On Friday morning, our Uber pulled up and we were so excited and so anxious. The baggage policy allowed a 40 pound bag… and guess what size ours was? 39.5! Typical Debi and Becks.
We boarded the plane, and enjoyed beautiful cloud views during our flight. I enjoyed reading “#Maxout Your Life” by Ed Mylett.
We arrived in Orlando, boarded Disney’s Magical Express and headed to our hotel. On our way to the hotel, I received notice that our room was ready. The room key was linked to our magic bands, so we headed right to our room. Disney would deliver our luggage later. Debi and I stayed at Pop Century.
We were pretty hungry upon arrival and split a giant turkey sandwich with house chips (my favorite).
It was then time to pick up our bibs at the ESPN Wide World of Sports. The energy at this park was amazing; everyone was preparing for their race. Some participated in the 5k that morning. There was characters, food, and expo merchandise.
After spending some time here and picking up our race materials, we headed back to the hotel to relax, have some dinner and call it a night early… or so we thought. We watched some “Don’t Be Tardy,” we LOVE Kim! Of course the night before the race, Debi and I could not sleep. We slept for maybe 15 minutes before a 2:45 AM wake up call. We were excited and nervous- we practiced and trained so hard for this! Neither of us wanted to let ourselves down.
We boarded the bus around 3:45 AM, and headed to the EPCOT parking lot.
The energy was AMAZING- Participants and spectators lined the area with excitement in Disney costumes. There was a DJ and Disney characters for meet and greets. I met up with my friend Amanda who I met during our Disney College Program.
We lined up in our corrals- I stayed with Debi and it was time for the fireworks and our race to start! Each group departed and it was finally our turn at around 6 AM.
Off went the fireworks and off went us!
The race was full of fun ways to keep us going! There were characters- Pocahontas waved to us at the first half mile, then we saw Beast, then Stitch, and so on. There were projector screens with cartoons playing to give you something to look at while running along the overpass. The race started at the Epcot parking lot, and ran through Epcot and the boardwalk. The music throughout Epcot was so motivating and sent chills down my spine. I WAS HERE. We are really doing this!
My pace is quicker than Deb’s, but I could not cross the finish line without my best gal pal. I waited at the Epcot ball until I saw my favorite lady running. I ran with her across the finish line and so many emotions filled my body.
HAPPY. EXCITED. RELIEVED. PROUD. FANTASTIC. just to name a few. I felt SO proud of my Mom, she did it! We did it! This was my mom’s first race in about 30 years. That is a huge accomplishment.
We received our awesome medals and refueled with the bananas and snacks. We took a photo and boarded the bus to go shower off. It was only around 7:30 AM.
Deb and I showered our sweaty selves off. It was a humid morning.
Time for FOOD! We could not believe how early it was… we had been up for so long it felt like it should be at least lunch time!
We headed to Disney Springs and ate at Wolfgang Puck’s Bar and Grille. I enjoyed a delicious omelet.
We walked around Springs for a bit… both of us surprised at how we were still functioning. We shopped around, enjoyed some Dole whip and headed to the Run Expo. I took a photo with these gentlemen.
We needed to relax for a bit, so we did just that. Neither of us could nap, so we got ready for our luau and headed to the Polynesian resort. So many giggles, as we were overtired and just so happy to be here!
The Spirit of Aloha dinner party was cute; the food was yummy and the fire twirlers were awesome to watch. The music was quite catchy too.. They even played “Hawaiian Rollercoaster Ride!”
We headed back to the room… and I started to get sniffly.
When I woke up on Sunday, I was not feeling 100%. My nose was runny but I thought some over the counter allergy medicine would be ok.
It was time for EPCOT day! It is the Festival of the Arts, so Debi and I headed to the park to enjoy some yummy food and speciality drinks. We had a great day, but towards the end my nose really started to act up. It was SUPER windy outside… and I could feel the pollen fill my sinuses.
We went back to the hotel and I could barely sleep with my runny nose.
Monday, I woke up feeling so under the weather. My nose was runny, my body achy and I was so bummed. I tried a variety of overpriced over the counter medicine from the gift shop, only to head to Disney Springs and realize I needed something stronger. We took an uber to Walgreen’s. (I LOVE WALGREEN’s and CVS! It is weird… like I could get lost in those stores for hours-they have everything!!!)
I took medicine, but it only helped a little. Deb and I relaxed poolside, went for a walk, and then went to Disney Springs for a nice dinner on our last night. We had mojitos and chips and salsa. It was nice, though my nose was still runny. I was super bummed that we missed out on Magic Kingdom… but I know we will be back soon.
I popped a Benadryl and fell asleep. On Tuesday, we woke up and ate breakfast and then headed to springs. I enjoyed a delicious bao bun (my favorite!) We headed back to the airport.
Overall, we had an amazing race weekend. Deb and I are feeling so great about our accomplishment that we made a pact to sign up for the HALF MARATHON next year. We are definitely going to keep up with our running, as it is a great way to exercise and spend quality time together. I am so glad my mom and I found this hobby that we can both enjoy and bond over.
It is back to reality for now… See you real soon Disney!