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Old 02-15-2013, 07:49 PM   #1
ZellyB
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Real Women Sweat PINK - A 2013 Marathon Trip Report - COMPLETE 8/8/13

This is the first time I've attempted a trip report. I was inspired to write one after reading Ariel484's awesome marathon report which you can and should read here

I won't even pretend mine will be as detailed or entertaining as hers, but if nothing else it will serve as a good way for me to remember my first marathon which is already fading from my memory. We can blame that on my age or the exhaustion from the marathon.

So, starring in this trip report is me, Gisele (48) and my dh, Chris (do we really need to discuss the fact that he's younger than me...oh fine, he's 47). Word of warning. Chris is in love with the concept of self portraits and given this trip was just the two of us, there are lots of these. You've been warned!! The obligatory waiting at the airport to board the plane photo.



We do have children. Three in fact. A son who is 14 and twin daughters age 9. And, yes. We left them at home. In our defense, we've taken the kids twice before to Disney AND it was our anniversary AND Chris' birthday weekend AND we didn't really have anybody to help watch them while we ran AND..... I'm sure I'll get over the guilt eventually.

Anyway, I've never been a runner in the past. But after years of Chris begging me to run races with him and the discovery of the Galloway Run Walk Run method, I started training last April for a local half marathon. One day on a long training run, one of our running group mentioned the 20th anniversary of the Disney marathon coming up in January. So, while deeply enthralled in an endorphin high, I pronounced to Chris that we would begin training for the marathon!! TADA!!!!! By the way, "never set a large goal while on an endorphin high" should be added to the list of classic blunders alongside, "never get involved in a land war in Asia" and "never go against a Sicilian when death is on the line." Here's hoping some of you are Princess Bride fans or that joke is gonna fall completely flat.

So the goal was set and we began training. Everything was going well until I was unfortunately diagnosed with breast cancer at the end of October. I underwent a bilateral mastectomy the beginning of November. From early on, I was determined that if at all possible, however, I was not going to let my diagnosis and surgery stop me from running. Fortunately, I had just short of 8 weeks post surgery to recover and my oncologist was supportive to let me delay chemo until my return, so....the race was on!!!

We flew out on Friday with a late afternoon arrival time. I was hoping we'd have time to make it to the expo on Friday night before we checked into Shades of Green for the weekend. Luckily our flights were on time and we were pulling into the Wide World of Sports by around 5:30 that evening.




*I promise subsequent posts will include more pictures and less blah blah blah from me!*

Next up: Packet pickup and Expo Center

Last edited by ZellyB; 08-09-2013 at 08:25 AM.
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Old 02-16-2013, 03:01 PM   #2
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Ok- I made it through Goofy with Ariel and am starting to train for the Wine and Dine, so I am going to keep the inspiration going with your TR!
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November 2013: Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon
March 2013 - Boston, MA-April 2012 - Boston, MA - March 2012 - Gran Bahia Principe Jamaica - July 2011 - Quebec City PQ - December 2010 - Disney Wonder and the Contemporary!! -August 2009 - POP Free Dining - August 2008 - POR Free DIning - March 1983 - Offsite
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Old 02-16-2013, 08:09 PM   #3
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Don't feel bad about leaving the kids at home. Parents have to have fun to even if it's running then playtime. Count it as your reward for the run (the parks)
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Old 02-17-2013, 07:49 AM   #4
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Can't wait to read about your experience!
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Old 02-17-2013, 08:03 AM   #5
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I can't wait to here all about your experience!
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Old 02-17-2013, 11:20 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by schoonersky View Post
Ok- I made it through Goofy with Ariel and am starting to train for the Wine and Dine, so I am going to keep the inspiration going with your TR!
Thanks for joining in. Ariel's TRs are awesome aren't they? Reading hers from last year really served as great inspiration for me this year.

Quote:
Originally Posted by luckylady View Post
Don't feel bad about leaving the kids at home. Parents have to have fun to even if it's running then playtime. Count it as your reward for the run (the parks)
Definitely. And, we are talking about bringing them along with us when we attempt a Goofy in 2015. It will mean pulling them out of school a few days, but we will probably do it anyway. SHH. In fact, our son who will be 16 at that time wants to run the half with us.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JanieZ526 View Post
Can't wait to read about your experience!
Welcome

Quote:
Originally Posted by JessM View Post
I can't wait to here all about your experience!
Welcome

Last edited by ZellyB; 02-17-2013 at 12:19 PM.
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Old 02-17-2013, 11:59 AM   #7
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WWoS and Packet Pickup

We made our way into the WWoS complex. There were still mobs of people there even though it was approaching 5:30 PM by this time.



You can see the mobs were definitely more on the outbound path than in. We felt a bit like salmon swimming upstream.

The signage and number of CMs around to help direct you was really great though. I was quickly starting to understand why Disney races get such high praise. The amount of support and help for runners was incredible.

First stop was to get our packets. The signs pretty easily directed us to the area to get our packets and we looked for our booth to get them. It was really deserted in here. Can you tell I wasn't in the mood to get my picture taken? I was stressing a bit at this time hoping there wasn't going to be any problems getting our packets. Not that my desire not to have my picture taken has ever stopped Chris.



It only took us a couple of minutes to show our driver's license and get the packets. Then we were directed to go walk over a pad to be sure the chips in our bibs were working. It was exciting to see our names pop up on the screen. It was all feeling really REAL now. EEK!!



That's MY name on a MARATHON bib!!! If someone would have told me even a year before this that I'd be running a marathon I would have laughed in their face. You just never know where life will lead you.

We left to head over to the main Expo center to look at the vendor booths. It was really starting to empty out now it seemed. But, we followed the people headed that direction.



It's obvious I'm a lot more relaxed now. LOL. See? Not that many people. That is until we walked into the Expo center.



It was just a zoo in here! But, the energy and excitement was really fun and really got us further psyched for our run. Lots of neat vendors here. We stopped at a booth and ordered myself a custom frame for after I finished the marathon. It was a splurge for sure, but it would give me a duplicate medal and a fresh bib for the frame. Plus a spot for me to put a race picture. From that moment on, I was just determined to try and get some good race picture (hopefully with the castle in the background) to finish off my frame. The question is, could I accomplish it??? You'll have to stick around to find out. Although a peek over at my avatar might give me away.

We spent quite a bit of time in here and bought a few items for ourselves and the kids.



Chris and I both bought short sleeved tech shirts for ourselves and another one for our son. We decided that was enough and we still needed to get checked into Shades of Green, run to Wal-Mart AND EAT!!!! So, it was goodbye to the WWoS. (at least for now).

Next up: Friday night and Saturday at Animal Kingdom.

Last edited by ZellyB; 02-18-2013 at 12:07 PM. Reason: Corrected the days
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Old 02-18-2013, 09:37 AM   #8
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Woohoo! So excited that you're doing a report! And hey, thanks for the shout-out!! You are too sweet.

I am SO with you on the anxiety at packet pick-up...such relief to get that part of the weekend out of the way. I'm excited to see your custom frame!

For the record, I chuckled at your Princess Bride line. If I'm flipping through the channels and that movie's on I can't not watch it.

I hope your treatment is going well. I am in awe of you for completing the marathon weeks after your surgery...you're an inspiration.

Last edited by Ariel484; 02-18-2013 at 09:59 AM.
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Old 02-18-2013, 11:13 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ariel484 View Post
Woohoo! So excited that you're doing a report! And hey, thanks for the shout-out!! You are too sweet.

I am SO with you on the anxiety at packet pick-up...such relief to get that part of the weekend out of the way. I'm excited to see your custom frame!

For the record, I chuckled at your Princess Bride line. If I'm flipping through the channels and that movie's on I can't not watch it.

I hope your treatment is going well. I am in awe of you for completing the marathon weeks after your surgery...you're an inspiration.
Glad you are here.

Chris and I are huge Princess Bride fans. We quote lines to each other from that movie all the time.

Treatment is progressing well. I've had two of the heavy chemo treatments so far. Not much fun, but I'm a third of the way there. I'm treating it in my head like another marathon. I figure I'm on about mile 9 right now. And, I'm not sure I'm such an inspiration, but I certainly am stubborn.

Last edited by ZellyB; 02-18-2013 at 12:11 PM.
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Old 02-18-2013, 12:04 PM   #10
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Friday night and Saturday at Animal Kingdom

It was around 7 by the time we left WWoS. Never to return???

We headed for Shades of Green next to get checked in. This is the second time we've stayed here and it's a great resort with an awesome location. It's just a short walk over to the Poly and monorail or they have great bus service. We got checked in easily although managed to get ourselves lost on the way to our room. When we finally found it, it was in a quiet end of a hallway near one of the pools but not facing it. It was so quiet down here and we thought how lucky we were to have this nice quiet place to sleep before our race.

We quickly got settled and headed out for a quick trip to Wal-Mart. We wanted to get some breakfast items and a couple other race necessities. If you've read much about marathon weekend this year, you know it was forecast to be hotter and more humid than normal.



Yep. That's 80 degrees on Sunday. Only we weren't going to be on any beach. So, we decided to look at Wal-Mart for a cap with a bill to shade our faces as well as one of those cooling towels that we'd seen around. We did manage to find that, but no luck on a decent cap. We'd seen some good ones at the Expo center and decided we might try to stop back in there sometime on Saturday. BTW, as I was typing this out, I realized I was one day ahead of myself. We didn't arrive until Friday, not Thursday. See? This is why I need to write this stuff out. I already forgot what days we got there! I'll edit above to fix that.

We grabbed a late dinner at a nearby Olive Garden and went back to get some sleep.

Saturday we were up bright and early and headed out to the park. On the walk out of the resort we passed a lot of half-marathon runners who were already back from their run. It was such fun to congratulate them as they walked by proudly wearing their Donald medals. We couldn't wait until that would be us with our awesome Mickey ones.

We drove over to Animal Kingdom.



We got there right as the park opened and headed off to Expedition Everest. We had decided not to do a lot of walking and to try and get out of the park early to be sure we were well rested for the race. After EE (which Chris doesn't like much because of the backward portion. ), went to watch Nemo and then grab an early lunch and off to ride another favorite of ours...



The park was really empty. Our two trips before were in July and spring break, so we were used to the parks being PACKED. We followed the recommended park schedule and found AK to be really empty. It was awesome. We went next and rode the safari and then off to see The Lion King show. We'd never gone to this before because the park had always been packed before, so it was nice to get to see it. What a great show! After the show I caught a shot of Chris chilling with some buddies.



Conscious of saving our legs and feet, we decided to head out for the afternoon. Bye, bye, AK.



Note the bottle of water. Chris and I had been really pushing each other the last couple of days and this day to drink plenty of water along with some electrolyte drinks. We wanted to be sure we were well hydrated for the race tomorrow, especially considering the forecast.

We headed over to WWoS to pick up some caps for the run. The Expo was much quieter than the previous night, but still fairly busy. They had some PCs set up so you could sign up for runner tracking so we stopped off to get Chris set up. I'd already done it earlier online. I had set it up to send my split times to Facebook and some of my friends via text so they could see how I was progressing. Then it was back to Shades of Green for an early pasta dinner in their onsite Italian restaurant and back to get everything laid out for the race. We laid down around 9 PM and drifted off to sleep with 3 alarms set for 2:30 AM. EEK!!!

Next up....Race DAY!
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Old 07-08-2013, 06:49 PM   #11
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Well, I obviously got distracted from completing this marathon trip report. But, we are planning to run the marathon again in January, so I got looking at pictures again and decided I should probably finish up the report if for no other reason to keep myself motivated.

So, more information on the trip to come.
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Old 07-08-2013, 09:20 PM   #12
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Great - glad you're back - was looking forward to what was to come
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Old 07-08-2013, 10:09 PM   #13
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Please do! I just started running and am looking forward to being able to do a 5k--forget the marathon! I greatly admire you!
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Old 07-09-2013, 09:11 AM   #14
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I was really worried when we laid down that I wouldn't be able to sleep. It did take me awhile to drift off (especially because the guy in the room next door to us was watching the Broncos/Ravens playoff game and yelling out every 10 minutes. ) Generally, though, I was able to sleep reasonably well so was glad those 3 alarms worked at precisely 2:30 AM.

We got up and got dressed. We'd already put everything out so it was a pretty simple matter to get dressed, put on our fuel belts, grab breakfast items and head out the door. It was really quiet and deserted walking to the front lobby, but once we got there we saw several other runners heading out to the waiting bus. We climbed aboard and settled in for the ride.



You can tell I'm still groggy. The bus was about 2/3 full when we pulled out right at 3:00 AM. We had debated about waiting later to leave, but both of us were worried about getting there on time and having a chance to eat, so we were happy to be on our way.

We got to the parking lot very quickly (the roads were deserted) and filed out of the bus and followed the growing crowd toward the lighted starting area. Lots more activity here as folks were pouring in. There was a lighted backdrop and a stage with an emcee and music playing and, of course, the sea of port-a-potties. We got in line for an official picture in front of the backdrop.


I was so happy with my SparkleTech Minnie Skirt. They are pricey but wow the quality is really good. The undershorts stay down beautifully and they have lots of cargo space. I carried my iPhone in one of the short pockets and it was perfect for it. I had planned on a black running tank, but with the heat, I switched to a really lightweight white one. I didn't want to end up too hot!

We found a spot at a picnic table and settled in to eat our bagels and peanut butter and drink some water. It was great fun watching everyone come in and get ready. We visited with a woman who was local and was running her second Goofy. She was a fellow Galloway method runner, so it was fun to compare notes with her. We both made one final stop for the port-a-potties and waited for them to call our corral.

When they called for corral D, we headed off through the tents and toward the start line. I was really getting nervous at this point! But, the walk was on and boy is that a cattle call. Just throngs of people and it's a pretty long walk! Along the way there was a photo stop with the Fairy Godmother, but we passed it by. We stopped one last time for a bathroom break just to be sure our bladders were empty and then finally got to the corrals.

This is a terrible picture!



But, hopefully, you can see the hoards of people in front of us. The big, bright light is the big screen and stage at the start line. We were getting really psyched for the start!



You'll see we are both wearing our Marathon hats and those turned out to be a great purchase. Not only did they help with this run, I've worn my repeatedly since. Love IT!

We didn't have to wait long and the emcee started announcing each of the corrals ahead of us starting. We gradually began moving forward with the start line getting closer and closer. There were fireworks each time a corral started and just lots of cheering and excitement. It was so much fun! Before we knew it we were at the start and it was our turn.

Ready. Set. Go.


Next up: Let the Run Begin!
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Old 07-09-2013, 09:42 AM   #15
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Gisele, I'm so glad you're finishing your report!! You must be starting to train for January soon, right?

Love your Minnie SparkleTech! You're right, those skirts are expensive but they are so worth it! I want to get one of the Minnie skirts but I keep going back and forth between the red and the pink...or hmm, maybe both! Cute picture of you and the husband in front of the backdrop!

The walk is crazy isn't it? Shuffling through the dark with all of those runners to the starting area, excitement in the air...there's really nothing quite like it.

Can't wait to read about your race!
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