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Old 04-20-2010, 08:37 PM   #1
UGAFan0829
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A Trip of Magical Memories-Princess 1/2 Marathon Weekend-March 5-8, 2010 Updated 6/24

Hello, everyone! It’s been a month or so since our trip, but I finally decided to start my trip report! My husband Mike and I took a trip down the first weekend of March so that I could run in the Princess Half Marathon. Our dates were Friday, March 5th thru Monday, March 8th. It was our shortest trip yet, but we were both happy to be going back to Disney!

I suppose I should now give some introductions to the small cast of our trip. First there’s my DH, Mike.

Mike is 33 and works for an industrial tire company. He and I have been married for nearly 11 years now and he is my very best friend. We celebrated our 10th anniversary with a 7-night DCL cruise followed by 5 nights at the BoardWalk Villas. You can find that TR here:
http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2290786

Mike’s main favorite characters are Donald, Pumbaa and Mater. He also loves hunting, fishing, dirt-track and drag racing. During my training for the half, Mike was always there to support me. He went on all my training runs with me and gave me the encouragement I needed when I was lacking. He believed in me even when I didn’t believe in myself.

And then there’s me, Missy.

I’m 29 and have been in banking for 10 years. It’s definitely not where I would have pictured myself ending up, but it’s a job, and I like it-most days. My favorite characters are Pooh, Ariel, Lilo and Stitch. If you asked me how in the world I ended up wanting to run a half marathon, I would have to tell you that I really don’t know. I think the lure of Disney has a lot to do with it! One day I happened to be over on the WISH boards where I came across the official thread for the Princess Half. I started reading it and found out what it was all about, and I knew then that I wanted in! So, I saved the $120 that it costs to register, and I did it. Once I’d spent that money, I knew there was no turning back…with that much of a commitment on the line, I knew I had to do it-finish or not. So for 13+ weeks, I trained for 5 days a week. I admit that there were several days that I missed because I was just too tired and lazy, but for the most part I trained hard. And on my last long run, after weeks and weeks of doubting myself, after I finished 10 miles, I finally began to realize that maybe, just maybe this was something that I could do after all!

Last edited by UGAFan0829; 06-24-2010 at 10:09 AM.
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Old 04-20-2010, 09:52 PM   #2
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Just came across your report. I cant wait to hear more of your experience. I am thinking of signing up for the princess 1/2 in 2011. I have only run 5K's (a few over the past 1 1/2) basically I run for a week or two before the race and then I dont run for months until I sign up for another race. So I want something that will motivate me not only to keep running but to loose the 50lbs of extra weight I have put on since having kids. I am sure your story will keep me inspired so I look forward to reading along.
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Old 04-20-2010, 10:06 PM   #3
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I am excited to read this. I recently started running again after many years of laziness and hopefully one day I will get to run this or the full marathon!
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Old 04-20-2010, 11:05 PM   #4
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Joining in! Dh is doing the half marathon in January(not the princess one tho, he wouldn't go for that ). Can't wait for more pics!

Btw Im in banking too though someday I dream of working for Disney.
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Old 04-20-2010, 11:34 PM   #5
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Congrats, that's a great goal. I want to get back into running - I took up tennis and quit doing much of anything else, which is taking a toll. Can't wait to hear more.
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Old 04-23-2010, 10:28 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mommyof2Pirates View Post
Just came across your report. I cant wait to hear more of your experience. I am thinking of signing up for the princess 1/2 in 2011. I have only run 5K's (a few over the past 1 1/2) basically I run for a week or two before the race and then I dont run for months until I sign up for another race. So I want something that will motivate me not only to keep running but to loose the 50lbs of extra weight I have put on since having kids. I am sure your story will keep me inspired so I look forward to reading along.
Wow, my first reader!
You should definitely sign up for the '11 Princess...you will love it! It is so much fun, you won't regret it! Before I ran it, I had only run two 5k's myself, so it's not like I had a lot of experience. It was just something that I decided that I wanted to do!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lifelong_Dreamer View Post
I am excited to read this. I recently started running again after many years of laziness and hopefully one day I will get to run this or the full marathon!
Hi, Lessa! Thanks for making your way over here!!
Oh, I would love to see you make it to the Princess or one of the other Disney races, for that matter. Disney is definitely a good motivator!

Quote:
Originally Posted by tink713 View Post
Joining in! Dh is doing the half marathon in January(not the princess one tho, he wouldn't go for that ). Can't wait for more pics!

Btw Im in banking too though someday I dream of working for Disney.
Thanks for joining in! Are you doing the half with your hubby? I'd thought about trying to do that one at some point, but with the weather being so terrible this year, I'm not sure.

Very cool that you're in banking, too! Disney would definitely be a dream job!

Quote:
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Congrats, that's a great goal. I want to get back into running - I took up tennis and quit doing much of anything else, which is taking a toll. Can't wait to hear more.
Thanks! You should definitely try to get back into running. Before, I never understood why people wanted to push themselves, but now I totally get it!
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Old 04-23-2010, 10:29 AM   #7
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Before I post my next installment, I have to tell you how goofy I am--as I was going back looking at my original post I realized that I listed my age as 29, which is so not true. I guess I just can't get use to the fact that I'm 30 now!!
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Old 04-23-2010, 10:46 AM   #8
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We were set to leave on Friday, so I took Thursday off from work just to make sure everything was ready to go. I figured that packing wouldn’t be as much of a chore as it usually it since we were only going to be gone for 3 nights, but I was wrong. Still, I was able to get everything done and ready so that we could leave bright and early the next morning.

The plan was to be on the road by 4 a.m. so that we could miss all the traffic in Atlanta. It was a little after 5 before we left, but that was okay as it was smooth sailing all the way there. We did stop a couple of times along the way and then at a Walgreen’s about 20 minutes outside of Disney. Finally, we made it onto property at about 1:00.

Once there, our plan was to head to Saratoga Springs, check-in, then head over to the Expo at the Wide World of Sports.

There were a couple of reasons that we decided to stay at SSR. First of all, about a month or so after I registered for the race, Disney released the list of “host” resorts for the weekend. Staying at one of these resorts meant that Disney would provide transportation to Epcot on the morning of the race. Even though we had our own car and could have easily driven ourselves, we decided that it would probably be easier for us to take the bus, especially since this was our first experience with a Disney race. The second reason that we decided to stay at SSR is because it is our home resort. We joined DVC back in the summer of last year, and this would be our first stay home!

Now that we were finally on property, we made our way to SSR and checked-in.

Since it was still early in the afternoon, I was expecting to be told that our room wasn’t ready yet, so I was nicely surprised when they told us that it was! We’d booked a studio to try and save points as best we could. The CM told us that we were in the Springs section, and I had no idea if that was good or bad. I know a lot of people don’t care for SSR because of the size of the resort, so I was hoping that we wouldn’t be too far from everything.

We headed out of check-in and drove right over to the room.


I was glad to see that we were pretty close to everything. The bus stop was just over from us, which was right across from the Carriage House and the High Rock Spring pool! We were also within a short walking distance to Downtown Disney!

I was really anxious to see the room. Since we’d booked a Studio I was hoping that it would be roomy enough for us. And it definitely was—plenty of room in fact!!


Once we’d gotten all the luggage in from the car, we took a few minutes to check out the room, then called everyone back home to let them know that we’d arrived safely!

Next on the to-do list was to head over to the Expo so that we could pick up all of our stuff for the race on Sunday. Disney had buses running from all the resorts to the Wide World of Sports, so we decided that we’d take advantage of that instead of driving ourselves.
We were told that the buses ran about every 15 minutes, so we had a seat on the bench that was located right in the area that was marked for transportation, which was right across from the normal bus stops.

We waited and waited, and even took a pic just to show how happy we were to be back in Disney!

And then we waited some more. I was getting pretty impatient as I wanted to be at the Expo already. So, we decided that instead of waiting any longer, that we would just drive our car over instead!
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Old 04-23-2010, 03:29 PM   #9
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I really like the looks of SSR. Looking at maps it really doesn't look much more spread out than some of the other Disney resorts.
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Old 04-23-2010, 04:15 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lifelong_Dreamer View Post
I really like the looks of SSR. Looking at maps it really doesn't look much more spread out than some of the other Disney resorts.
It's really a beautiful resort, Lessa. I agree--I don't think it's any more spread out than Caribbean Beach. I believe it's all in what you make of it, no matter where you're staying! I still have tons of pics to add of the resort!
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Old 04-23-2010, 09:01 PM   #11
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Waiting for buses seems to be the common complaint that weekend. At least you had back up. I would agree that I had a hard time saying I was 30 for awhile too. I am excited to hear more.
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Old 04-27-2010, 09:38 AM   #12
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can wait to read more
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Old 04-27-2010, 12:31 PM   #13
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Quote:
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Waiting for buses seems to be the common complaint that weekend. At least you had back up. I would agree that I had a hard time saying I was 30 for awhile too. I am excited to hear more.
Yes, I was really glad that we had our car! I probably should have been more patient in waiting for the bus to come, but I was just so darn excited about getting over to the Expo!


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can wait to read more
Thanks for joining in!!
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Old 04-27-2010, 12:58 PM   #14
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We easily made our way over to the Wide World of Sports, thanks to our trusty Garmin and Disney’s signs. Parking wasn’t nearly as easy though. In addition to the Expo, there was also a Braves Spring Training game going on as well, so to say that parking was scarce is an understatement. After several rounds, we finally found a space.

There are actually a couple of different buildings at the WWOS, and we weren’t sure exactly where we were going, so we just followed all the ladies who were wearing tiaras.


Once we made it inside, we actually had to go downstairs which is where everything was located, with the exception of the 5K packet pick-up. I had thought about taking some pics while we were in there, but it was just too crowded.

At the back of the building, thankfully away from the crowds, is where we made our first stop. This is where I picked up my bib along with my D-tag. They had several lines that were all separated out by the first letter of your last name, which made things a lot easier. There was only one person in line ahead of me, so it was a fairly quick process. After leaving there, we had to run by the little D-tag station to make sure that the D-tag was working. In case you’re wondering, the D-tag is a little plastic orange tag that you loop around your shoe laces and wear during the race. This is actually what Disney uses to time you.

Once I passed across the timer track and figured out that my D-tag was working, we made our way over to pick up my goody bag. These were purple mesh bags that had the Princess logo on them, and were filled with lots of goodies. I took pictures of everything that was in it and will post those later. This is also when I picked up my official Princess pin and race shirt. They also threw in some cool colored socks from Lady Foot Locker. They had several choices in colors, so of course I went with pink!

After leaving that station, our next mission was to pick up Mike’s ChEar Squad goodies. Since I’d signed him up for the gold level, he got a goody bag, t-shirt, spirit clapper, and a stadium seat cushion. Again, I took pictures of everything and will post them a little later.

Once we’d picked up all our goodies, I decided to browse through all the vendors. I especially wanted to find the SPI belt booth, and the Official Princess Merchandise booth as well. After wandering for a few minutes, we finally found the SPI booth. Unfortunately, I didn’t find anything that would work for me as the ones they had were too small to hold everything I planned to carry with me during the race, and they didn’t have any water bottle holders on them either. Honestly, I had no idea what a SPI belt was until the subject came up over on the Princess thread. SPI actually stands for Small Personal Items, so the belts are made to hold just that. They work just like a fanny pack, except for the fact that the pouches are much smaller—they’re made to hold things like keys, credit cards, cash, etc.

Now for you to understand why I was looking for a SPI belt, I’ll have to give you this side bit of info: When I run, I’m a big drinker…I always carry water or some sort of drink with me…it’s just the way that I am. So in thinking about the race, I was afraid that the water stations would be too far apart for my comfort. I didn’t want to let that slow me down, so I went in search of a water belt…something that I could carry with me during the race that wouldn’t weigh me down or be too cumbersome to carry. So, a couple days before we left for Disney, we dropped by REI and found this CamelBak waist pack:

The part that's pictured actually fits on your back. There's another smaller pouch on the front as well.

Of course, since I had never actually trained with one, I was afraid of how it would wear during the race. I put it on and walked around for a bit, and it felt really comfortable, so I decided to buy it and hoped for the best!

Now, the reason that I wanted to check out the SPI belts was just to see if they had anything that might work since I was still a little worried about how the CamelBak would work. But as I said, they had nothing that would carry a water bottle, and nothing that would hold my camera, head band (for when I warmed up and was ready to take it off), Chap Stick, GU’s, tissues, and gloves. So, I was stuck with the CamelBak, and once again hoped for the best!!

After leaving the SPI booth, we found the Official Princess Merchandise booth. I was surprised to see just how much they actually had. There was a lot of different things for sale—coffee mugs, t-shirts, tank tops, wine glasses, tiaras and probably a couple other things that I can’t remember at the moment. I found a shirt that I really, really liked. And even though I wasn’t sure that I would actually finish the race, I was afraid that if I didn’t go ahead and get it then that I might miss out. And I knew that if I did actually finish that I would regret not getting it. So, I was torn-I’m not really superstitious, but I didn’t want to jinx myself either. So after I browsed and debated on what to get, I ended up with the shirt after all—along with a wine glass (don’t ask why I bought a wine glass when I don’t even drink wine) and a tiara. I didn’t plan on wearing the tiara, I mainly just wanted it as a keepsake, especially since it had the princess logo on it. Here’s the front and back of the shirt:


And here's a shot of everything that I ended up with:


Finally finished with our shopping, we headed back out to the car. Our next debate was where to go next. It was now around 4:30, and we had a 6:10 ADR at Whispering Canyon Café. Since we still had a an hour plus, we weren’t sure whether we should go back to the resort, leave the car, hop a bus to MK, then head over to the Wilderness Lodge, OR if we should drive on over and kill a little time checking out the resort. Since WL is Mike’s favorite resort, we decided to head on over so that we could take our time and check things out before dinner.

Next up, checking out the Wilderness Lodge and Villas, and a much anticipated dinner at Whispering Canyon!
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Old 04-27-2010, 01:29 PM   #15
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Love the shirt!
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