The half marathon weekend arrived......it was time to go to Orlando. I hadn't run over 10.5 miles in my training and that was on Jan 15th, 2 weeks later I attempted to do 11 and had to stop at 9 and walk to my car for .8 in PAIN. On Jan 15th, my Plantar Faciitis flared up BAD. I tried to run on gravel or packed dirt....ouch, even short distances. I planned on an active recovery as I saw a sports doc and began physical therapy...which helped, but when we make plans God laughs....I got sick with a flu like virus for a week in bed for 6 days. Best thing that happened as my foot felt better, though not fully, so I attacked the elliptical for 2 weeks to try to keep my legs moving and cardio in some kind of shape. I struggled for a month with "will I be able to finish it"? Both the PT and the sports doc told me to take it SLOW and just listen to my body. No reason while I could not try.....BUT to be prepared to stop if things didn't feel right. I began to periodically have visions of myself in the race and a tendon snapping. And visions of being picked up by the van for those who can't make the minimum pace.
Eve from Boston, who is now teaching at Harvard and I arrived at MCO the same time and my buddy from preschool and church Amy picked us up and took us to the Swan where we were staying. We met Jackie another friend of mine from CT who was at the pool. She headed upstairs and we had a nice beer to relax and enjoy the resort atmosphere. Afterall...isn't beer carbs and we needed our carbs. Jackie came down to join us for a beverage then we headed over to the Princess Expo to pick up our numbers.
The SWAN is a GREAT hotel! Very nice place. Next we headed over to the Wide World of Sports to pick up our race packets. We were greeted in style at the door... let the princess treatment begin!
From the Left....Amy, Footman #1, Jackie, Eve, Footman #2, and me. I wonder if either of these guys ever mice - I mean for all we know its Jac and Gus under Fairy Godmother's spell.
The expo was closing in less than an hour so we grabbed our bags....which are nice little mesh backpacks full of a bunch of ads, a tiny luna bar, some safety pins, our race # with timing chip, tshirt and final race instructions. The Tshirt is a technical one, and its very nice - white, the pic is yellow, but come on Disney, how about a little more swag! Your races are not cheap! I do LOVE how my race number had me as Princess Juliann! I was happy to see Amy and I would be starting together in the same group and I was up towards the front - which gave me more time as the during the race the minimum pace time starts when the last runner crosses the starting line. There were 16,000 women and 600 men running!
We ate at Wolfgang Puck express in Downtown Disney, walked around a bit and headed back to the swan.
On Saturday our plans were to hit Disney Hollywood studios early to do Tower of Terror - well me with my fear of heights and recurring free falling dreams passed on this one, The Rock N Roll Roller Coaster - now my favorite roller coaster, and Toy Story Mania -LOVED IT. With the help of a Fast Pass AND low crowds we knocked out all 3 by 10:45.
We headed over to the Magic Kingdom to do Buzz Lightyear, Space Mountain and whatever else we fancied. We had a great lunch at the Mexican place by Pirates of the Carribean - really you get alot of food for your $$. I just got a taco salad and loaded up on the lettuce and tomato at the fixin's bar - kept it simple! We watched a parade and decided we needed ice cream. The girls got FREE ice cream from a nice Cast Member "just because" - now who would have thunk that?.... while I purchased my Dole Whip vanilla swirl...ummm, pineapple. It was a BEAUTIFUL day but OOPS we stayed til 7 later than expected.
We headed back to the swan, just picked up some dinner at Picabu in the hotel, nothing too heavy with some protein and carbs. I charged my camera battery til full, plugged in my laptop to charge the Ipod and Garmin and layed out my Princess race attire. The nerves started to set in as we had to leave the hotel at 4am to get there by the ungodly hour they want you there before the start....start is at 5:45am for the first group, my group was starting at 5:53. I think we got in bed at like 10.....I had a very hard time falling asleep! My plan was to finish the race...but I had to listen to my body. So in the event I couldn't finish I had to be prepared to stop. I knew I had to take it slow and my plan B was to make it to the Castle and just go crazy with taking pics if things were bad. Then after the castle...it would be ok to stop as I had all those cute photos. We were giving someone a ride who had done 2 other races, so we would know where to go. Off to bed we went....................................................
Disney Princess Part 2