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Old 03-30-2014, 01:09 PM   #1
disneybarbie
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"Every mile will be worth my while" ... January 2014 - WDW Half Marathon Trip

"Every mile will be worth my while" - a January 2014 Trip Report – Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend

Introduction

Welcome to my latest trip report for a trip to Walt Disney World in January 2014!

When

January 9th-14th 2014

Where

Disney's Boardwalk Villas



Who

Husband and I (29) - we've visited WDW together nearly every year since 2006.. this was my 16th trip to the World since 1993



Why

To run 13.1 miles!


Background

A year ago, I would never have considered myself a runner – I exercise regularly at the gym (treadmill running, elliptical, strength training), but could count the number of times I'd run outside as an adult on one hand. I didn't enjoy athletics at school, running once around the track seemed so far, and on sports days I'd been on a relay team where we'd already agreed to drop the baton and get disqualified as quickly as possible

I'd heard about the WDW marathon weekend years ago on Lou Mongello's podcast. I remember thinking to myself, if I was ever to run a half marathon, it would have to be at Walt Disney World!



About this time last year, I was starting to think about 2014 and when we could plan a trip to WDW – I must have seen something online about the WDW Marathon weekend 2014 which sparked an idea...

I think the conversation with DH went something like this:

Me: Would you mind if we went to Disney next January? I'm thinking about running the half marathon.

DH: Fine with me – just don't make me run with you!!



So... I checked with my parents that there were DVC points available – we booked a studio villa at the Boardwalk (our home resort) for five nights... and when the early registration opened for the race weekend, I booked my place for the half marathon on January 11th 2014!



We planned to spend 5 nights/days in WDW, followed by 3 nights in Bradenton FL.


.....
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Old 03-30-2014, 01:12 PM   #2
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....

Training

I'll just write a little about this here for any runners/people who are interested!

The thing that made this trip very different to any other WDW vacation I'd had so far, was that the countdown included miles and miles of training runs (I ran over 1000 miles in 2013 overall!), I started reading websites and blogs about running and listening to podcasts like The Mickey Miles Podcast, The Marathon Show and Another Mother Runner.

RunDisney provides free training schedules on their website for each event – the Half marathon plan started in September (16 weeks before race), but as a new runner I decided to make a start on outdoor running as soon as I was registered.
I wanted to complete the race, but also train well so that I could confidently finish and do my best on the day.

I went out for my first 'proper' run on April 14th – I ran for about 25 minutes, 2.7 miles. It felt so different to the treadmill running I was used to, and I was immediately aware that the area we live in is very, very hilly! At least I was comfortably under the 16 minute per mile requirement that runDisney had – but I couldn't imagine running another 10+ miles... what had I signed myself up for?!

I continued to go to the gym each weekday, then at the weekends I would go outside for a run – adding 5 minutes each week to my time. Week by week, it started to feel easier – my pace improved as my legs got stronger.. and I actually started to enjoy it!


I found a whole new retail sector too... running gear Soon I had an iPhone holder, a Spi-belt, better running shoes, foam roller, lots more clothing, a water bottle and energy gels.

A selection of running related tops I found on Etsy for the trip (and a t-shirt from Boston) ...



I also learned more about nutrition for long distance running... it was great to find out that jelly beans and chocolate milk were recommended!

By September, I was able to run for 2 hours comfortably and cover over 13 miles.



I followed the training programme almost exactly, it was nice to tick off each week and countdown to the trip. I was very fortunate not suffer any serious injuries during the training,

I decided to run for Make A Wish UK – they sent me a great fundraising pack and along with a Just Giving page I was able to raise around $1,000 in sponsorship for the charity. It definitely gave me an extra incentive to train properly and complete the half marathon.

So the weeks went by, I counted down the days and miles until the trip... and finally it was January!

Training Plan.. complete!






........
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Old 03-30-2014, 01:53 PM   #3
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Old 03-30-2014, 01:58 PM   #4
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I'm here and interested to hear about the trip and your half marathon! Congratulations on doing that! And good job with all the training. Just reminds me that I am so not a runner. I'd totally walk that route, though. Looking forward to more!
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Old 03-30-2014, 01:58 PM   #5
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I love the running trip reports! Looking forward to reading all about it.
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Old 03-30-2014, 03:05 PM   #6
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Following. I am running my first half this year in my home town. I am going to do the glass slipper challenge in 2017.

It's far I know. I promised my DH that we would finally bring the kids next trip. We are waiting until my littlest is 5, before going. That mean 2016. Once that's done I am finally going to run it.
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Old 03-31-2014, 09:32 PM   #7
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Following along! DH and I were also at Marathon weekend (he went Goofy and I did the half). Looking forward to seeing your review of the race activities!
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Old 04-03-2014, 03:28 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MiaBella05 View Post
joining in
Thanks for reading so far!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dugette View Post
I'm here and interested to hear about the trip and your half marathon! Congratulations on doing that! And good job with all the training. Just reminds me that I am so not a runner. I'd totally walk that route, though. Looking forward to more!
Hi! Thank you... it was a unique trip and an amazing event to be a part of... you can walk the race as long as you can keep a 16 minute per mile pace


Quote:
Originally Posted by cecehawk View Post
I love the running trip reports! Looking forward to reading all about it.
Thank you for joining in


Quote:
Originally Posted by 2inlovewithDisney View Post
Following. I am running my first half this year in my home town. I am going to do the glass slipper challenge in 2017.

It's far I know. I promised my DH that we would finally bring the kids next trip. We are waiting until my littlest is 5, before going. That mean 2016. Once that's done I am finally going to run it.
Hi, thank you for reading - your future trip plans sound great... the GSC looks like a lot of fun and in the meantime you can enjoy the running and training


Quote:
Originally Posted by Sailorgirl32489 View Post
Following along! DH and I were also at Marathon weekend (he went Goofy and I did the half). Looking forward to seeing your review of the race activities!
Hi! Thank you for joining in


First day coming up...


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Old 04-03-2014, 03:38 PM   #9
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Day 1 - Travel & Arrival

Day 1 – Thursday 9th January 2014

Ever since booking this trip, I had a secret fear that it would snow at home in January, causing the airports to close... and meaning that I wouldn't even be able to make it to WDW. We'd had bad winters in the UK for about 4 years, so I was checking the weather forecast several times a day!

As it turned out, we had a windy and stormy winter... but no snow! So when I woke up at 5am to my alarm, I couldn't quite believe that the weather was behaving – and caused no disruption to our flight.

In regards to the race, I felt really prepared and ready – luckily I had no aches, pains, injuries or any signs of a cold (another potential problem of running a half marathon in winter!). I was making sure I drank plenty of water in the days leading up to Saturday, and eating sensibly so that I had plenty of energy for the race.

We flew from London Gatwick, the airport was quiet (week day in January) so we were quickly checked in and through security. We had a great breakfast at Jamie Oliver's Italian restaurant, followed by a glass of bucks fizz – it was a vacation after all



Our plane..



Unusually, this flight to Orlando had almost no children on board! I had upgraded our seats to World Traveller Plus (Premium Economy) as a thank you to my husband for letting me plan a holiday to run a race. This meant we were very close to the front of the plane, had bigger seats and a better selection of food served.



As we flew over Canada and the northern US, we could see the extent of the 'polar vortex', everything was white below!



..........
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Old 04-03-2014, 03:40 PM   #10
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...

The 9 hour flight went surprisingly quickly – and very soon we were at MCO and on our way to Walt Disney World!



Front row on the bus..


Best gate in the world...



Our bus stopped at Caribbean Beach Resort first, but then it was our turn – Disney's Boardwalk Villas.

This was our first trip using the Magic Bands and My Disney Experience. I'd arranged our Fast Pass + and ADR reservations already, but as we are from the UK we had to collect our Magic Bands from the resort. I loved the presentation box!



We had a water/garden view Studio room – it was on the fifth floor and actually overlooked the Boardwalk too!

(Photo taken the next morning)


I unpacked a few things, but we were getting quite hungry – so decided to head down to the Boardwalk for some dinner. It was raining a little, but not too bad – however it did mean I hardly took any photos that evening as I didn't want to get my phone or camera wet.



Once we were outside, we decided that we'd actually like to get something to eat in Epcot.. so walked a little further to the International Gateway!

Once in the park, we made our way to the Katsura Grill quick service restaurant in Japan – I had udon noodles which were delicious.



We walked all the way around the lagoon, then made our way back to the Boardwalk – I unpacked then went to bed.. the travelling day to WDW is always a long day for us, we were awake for 20+ hours!


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Old 04-03-2014, 06:24 PM   #11
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joining in! I love reading runDisney trip reports! My sister and I ran the PHM marathon this year and are writing a TR about that so its really fun to compare to other people's experiences.


And as a runner, I totally did enjoy reading about your training! Isn't it amazing how you can drive a road a ton of times and not realize how hilly it is until you are running on it?

Eating jelly beans while running actually may be my favorite part of running...do you also use the jelly belly sports beans? love those!

We stayed at BWV on rented points for the first time on that PHM trip and LOOOOVVEED it, you are so lucky to have it as your home resort!
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Old 04-07-2014, 12:42 AM   #12
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What great motivation! Great work on the training.

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Old 04-12-2014, 12:33 AM   #13
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Old 04-14-2014, 12:52 PM   #14
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Yay so glad your doing a TR for you Jan trip!

Wow that training sounds intense but i'm sure well worth it. Since the beginning of January, i've been trying to get better at running and have been logging in the amount I run/walk/jog ever day on the treadmill. It's averaged to about 15.75 miles for 5 days, Mon-Fri no weekends. I'd eventually love to work my way up to a half marathon, but not sure how i'd do. A little OT, but do you have any recommendations on running shoes?

Mmm, those udon noodles look delicious!
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Old 04-17-2014, 08:39 AM   #15
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Subscribing. Can't wait to hear about your trip and your experience with RunDisney. I completed my first half marathon in my home state last November and it was great. It is a huge goal of mine to do a RunDisney race so I love reading trip reports involving a race.
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