I'm going to have to divide my posts and race reports from Disney World up into several posts, mostly because I have so many fun pictures I want to share. I've posted a ton on Facebook, but I want to share a few of my favorites in each post.
On Wednesday (1/5) after work, I hopped on a flight down to Orlando. My parents and sister had driven down that day (I was not jealous of their 12 hours in the car) and picked me up. We made it to our hotel - All-Star Movies - and crashed.
It was a bit gloomy on Thursday, but we were heading to the race expo at the Wide World of Sports first.
I started off thinking that the whole runDisney thing might not be as good of an experiences as I hoped. When we first arrived, I kept saying I was doing the Goofy and trying to find out where to go. I kept getting different answers until someone finally pointed me in the right direction. Except this person told me to go around the room a certain way - and when I got to the doorway right next to where I was trying to get, another person told me that the traffic was one-way and I couldn't enter. Now - I get it that they wanted to keep people moving in a certain direction, but I was not about to walk all the way back around... especially when I was soon to run 39.3 miles. So I looked at the volunteer and said, "Sorry, I'm going right there to get my packet and I'm not walking all the way around." I felt a little bad, but not really.
After getting all of our stuff, my sister and I checked out the race expo. I found a cool photo op with one of the best Disney villains.
We both found a race shirt that we liked (sure, we got tech shirts, but they were unisex and a bit too big. FAIL runDisney. FAIL. Races of this size and cost should always give the women a women's fit shirt. Period.) and then I found another cute shirt that I'll show off in another post. There was something cool to me about buying a shirt with Goofy and 39.3 miles written on it. I couldn't wait to earn the right to wear it.
We checked out a few booths, but the expo was relatively unimpressive. Or maybe I've just been to enough now and seen all the same stuff that it's lost some of it's luster. Either way. I did manage to stop by the Brooks tent (as I'm 100% a Brooks girl) and discovered they make shoes in narrow sizes. This completely changed my life. And I bought a pair at a great discount.
Before long, we were ready to say so long to the expo.
We spent the rest of Thursday in Epcot. This has always been my least favorite park (same for my family) so we figured 8 hours or so was plenty, and it was nice to tackle it on the first day. Honestly, I could have skipped it other than I do really like the Test Track ride. We rode it 4 times. I also rode Soarin' for the first time ever, and it was pretty cool.
They still had some Christmas decorations up around the parks, and I couldn't resist this photo op. I'm less than 48 hours from starting the Goofy Challenge in this photo.
We also took advantage of getting our photos with some of the most popular Disney characters. Sure, we planned to get photos during the race, but we figured that photos in real clothes when we're not a hot mess would be nice, too.
After enjoying our day at Epcot, we headed back to the hotel for a little shut eye. And maybe some chocolate cake. Seriously, the hotel had these little individual cakes in the food court that were so good. I'm pretty sure I had three of them throughout the week.
We were up bright and early (8:30?) on Friday to head to Animal Kingdom. We had a bright and sunny day (although a bit chilly still) to enjoy seeing lots of live animals and to ride the couple of rides that they have there. We also checked out the Lion King show and the parade.
The Expedition Everest roller coaster is the best ride in this park. We rode it four times! We also made some new friends standing in line once - they overheard us talking about the race and we all ended up talking the whole 30 minutes we were in line. That's one of the things I like most about runners... for the most part, you never meet a stranger.
We got a family photo in front of the tree before leaving.
We headed to Olive Garden to make sure we got a solid meal in us before the race in the morning. I tried my best to get to sleep early, but it just wasn't happening. It was around 11pm before I finally fell asleep.
Four hours later I would wake up to start on the journey of 39.3 miles through 4 Disney parks over 2 days.
Come back soon to read the race report from the Disney World Half Marathon.