I am way, way late in getting this posted, but I'm trying to get caught up on overdue blog posts this month. So, here's the first one: our Disney vacation and race recap. From November.
It's become an annual tradition of ours to go to Disney with two of our good friends from Pennsylvania. I always love hanging out with them and wish they lived closer (J and S, please come visit us soon!).
This was seriously such a fun vacation. We got to take our precious Meadow Beagle and D's parents came down for part of the week, too.
My friend and I always run at least one of the races and then we spend the rest of the time in the parks. Last year we ran both the 10K and the half at Wine & Dine. This year, we decided against the half and just ran the 10K. She and her husband also ran the 5K but since we had B with us, D and I opted out of that.
Because this wasn't just race, I'm also including our vacation recap here. Be prepared for lots and lots of pictures. I got a new iPhone right before vacation and the updated camera quality is fantastic, so I couldn't stop snapping photos (I still miss my DSLR, though - phones just don't compare).
So...here we go with a recap (mostly in photos) of the week and the race:
We checked into our resort and immediately headed over to the race expo at ESPN Wide World of Sports. The race expo, like every Disney race expo, is huge but extremely well organized. We picked up our bibs quickly and then did some shopping at the expo.
We both were looking for some short sleeved shirts to wear on the trip from Raw Threads, but every shirt we saw that we liked had long sleeves. I'll be ordering some of those shirts online later, but neither of us ended up buying any at the expo.
We were tired, so we decided not to stay too long and to just go back to the resort and get some dinner.
We stayed at Art of Animation and that was pretty much B's favorite part of the trip. Cars! He couldn't get enough. And bonus - Disney just started a pilot program to allow dogs at resorts, so we brought Meadow Beagle along with us. She thoroughly enjoyed walking around the resort and being with her people.
That dog went so many places with us over the years, and I'm so glad we made so many memories with her before she crossed the Rainbow Bridge.
After J and S got back from the 5K, we all met for breakfast. We planned to take it fairly easy that day since our race was the next day. My in-laws were also coming in later that day to stay at the resort and hang out with B while we had some adult time (thank goodness for grandparents!).
After breakfast, we just hung out at the pool and walked around the resort until Grandma and Grandpa arrived, then we went over to Disney Springs for a little shopping (Curl! World of Disney!) before dinner at The Boathouse. The Boathouse is delicious, by the way, and I think we'll be eating there every time we go to Disney from now on.
Race day! We got up ridiculously early to get ourselves to the busses that took us to the starting line. RunDisney races are awesome with transportation if you're staying at Disney resort. You just walk yourself to the bus stop and catch the bus to the starting line - no need for a car or annoyances with parking.
Before the race, we got a few character pictures, peed about 50 times, and then headed to our corral.
J's goal was to run the race faster than we ran it last year, and on much less training since we weren't running the half this time.
The race started in a parking area at ESPN Wide World of Sports then we were on highways for 3.5 miles. Not fun. But the second half of the race we were entirely in parks or on the boardwalk. At mile 3.5 we went into Hollywood Studios, which was completely decked out for Christmas (since Halloween just ended, it's Christmas in Disney) then we went through the Swan and Dolphin Resort area to the Disney Boardwalk, which brought us to the back of Epcot and from there, we finished the race in Epcot.
Since J wasn't sure how the overall race would go based on less training, I started our pace off slowly (but not as slowly as last year), and gradually picked it up. We went from 10:50/mile in the first two miles to 10:13 in the last mile, with negative splits the whole way. And our last .2 miles were 9:13 and J sprinted an 8:35 pace to the finish, which is faster than she's ever sprinted before and we passed literally every single person that was in front of us once we started sprinting to the finish.
We finished 2 minutes faster than last year's race and 10 minutes faster than J's last 10K back in April. Success!
I always love pacing other people. It gives me a nice break from racing and it's fun to help other people reach their goals.
Post-race, we went back to hotel, ate breakfast, and got ready to head out to Epcot. And then we spent the day at Epcot, eating and drinking everything. B stayed at the resort with Grandma and Grandpa and we had some adult fun.
Sunday was another day of adult time while B hung out with Grandma and Grandpa. To say that D and I needed this little break is an understatement. Obviously, we love our son, but it's so rare that we get breaks like this, plus it was nice to catch up with J and S without having to constantly wrangle a wild 3-year-old.
So, Sunday after breakfast we took off to Hollywood Studios and that is now my new favorite Disney Park. I had never been there before (I'm not entirely sure why), but I loved it and would have loved to have two days in that park.
We rode the Tower of Terror (twice) - what a fun ride and the Aerosmith Rock 'n Roller Coaster - also an awesome ride. Plus we rode a few other rides (Star Tours!) and saw a few shows, and did some shopping.
On Monday, everyone but us was heading home after breakfast, so we had a big group breakfast at the resort before saying goodbye to everyone. Then D, B, and I went to the Magic Kingdom.
B kept asking to go back to the resort so he could ride the busses. Seriously, that kid's favorite part of the trip was riding the transportation busses and hanging out at the resort. We wouldn't have even had to go to the Magic Kingdom! But we still had fun - eventually - he was throwing fits at first and we got some lovely pictures of that.
Mid-day we decided to take a break and head back to our resort. Plus, since we brought Meadow along and D's parents had gone home around 11:30, we wanted to make sure she got outside and got some attention.
After our break, we got back on the busses, much to B's delight and went back to the Magic Kingdom for dinner at Be Our Guest (the Beast's castle). B did not want to meet the Beast, so I just got some pictures from a distance.
And that was our trip! Tuesday was just breakfast and our drive home. It was a busy, but mentally relaxing vacation since I completely unplugged from both my day job and from freelance work. I haven't done that in so long, so it was nice but I think I'm already ready for the next one. Vacations go too fast!
Have you ever been to Disney? Run any Disney races? What's your favorite park?