Square Life Round World

I'm navigating through this round world while living a square life, and it fits exactly as it should.

Star Wars Dark Side 5k Flashback

Star Wars Rival Run Weekend

Welcome to Star Wars Dark Side Half Marathon Weekend!

It’s runDisney race week again! This time it’s the Star Wars Rival Run Weekend, and no, I’m not going. I broke up with running, remember? However, since I never shared my race recap, I thought it was high time for a flashback to the only time I’ve ever participated in this weekend. Allow me to take you back to the 2017 Dark Side 5k.

2017 Dark Side 5k

I love these photo opportunities at the expo.

This is one runDisney weekend that was never really on my radar. I don’t know why because I’ve been a fan of Star Wars for as long as I can remember, starting way back with A New Hope. I remember being terrified of Darth Vader as a child. To help calm me down, my parents told me the ones in white are the heroes and always win. The ones in black are the bad guys and always lose. I was confused because, Stormtroopers. They had to explain they were the exception. I wasn’t so sure.

Anyway, back to the race. Flashback to two years ago. At some point before the 5k sold out, it dawned on me that I was going to be there for the 5k and 10k. We had a cruise booked (shocker!) that was leaving the day of the 10k and we had planned on going to Epcot the day before, which was the same day as the 5k. Wait, what?! Hello, lightbulb! I thought long and hard about both races but ultimately settled on the 5k only. We like to get to the port as early as they will let us in the parking garage, and I didn’t want to hold us back.

So, Operation Costume Planning was in full swing. This was one of my favorite costumes ever, and soooooo cheap, too! I was Captain Phasma. It was a Dark Side race after all, back in the day.

Captain Phasma Running Costume

“Flat me” as Captain Phasma

My approach to runDisney race costumes has evolved to become a nod to the character I’m trying to represent as opposed to a dead ringer, so to speak. I already had the Sparkle Skirt from my Hades costume for the final Tower of Terror 10 Miler (can we please take a moment of silence in memory of this awesome event?) as well as the gray tech shirt. I purchased a child’s Captain Phasma costume on the Shop Disney website during one of their Twice Upon A Year sales for super cheap, like $10 or something, essentially free. Disney math, yo! From that, I attached the mask to a Sparkle Athletic visor and used the cape. I also took the belt from the costume and pinned it to the waistline of my skirt. I found out my friend Andrea was also registered, and I shared what I had planned with her so we could be matchy-matchy. I do love when people are matchy-matchy at these events, and I love it even more when I get to be matchy-matchy!

The morning of the race came, and I got up in the middle of the night, as runDisney racers do.

Star Wars 5k Start

Zero dark thirty, the worst part of these races

I was thrilled to see my girl, Captain Phasma as a pre-race photo character.

Captain Phasma at the Dark Side 5k

Me as Captain Phasma with Captain Phasma

I found Andrea, and we collectively became a trio of Phasmas.

A Trio of Captain Phasmas

Andrea and I together with Captain Phasma collectively became a trio of Phasmas.

That line was looooooong, y’all! That was the only pre-race photo I got. That’s ok, though, because I stopped for ALL the photos on course.

Ewoks

The first stop was the Ewoks. I die of the cuteness!

Emperor’s Chair

Up next was the Emperor’s Chair.

R2D2

R2D2 was next and had the longest line. Also, I have no clue what’s happening here.

Chewbacca

Up next was Chewbacca and another long line.

Ezra and Sabine

Next came Ezra and Sabine. I got an oddly placed shadow as a bonus.

Spaceship Earth

Next came a photo opp in front of Spaceship Earth. There was a Photopass Photographer here, otherwise I would have skipped it.

Stormtroopers

Finally, Stormtroopers. There was no Photopass Photographer here so I was glad I had my phone.

Stopping for ALL the photos means a lot of stop and go, and a really looooooong 5k. I think it took me around 2 hours to finish.

After the race, it was time to get cleaned up and meet my family for a fun day at Epcot.

Epcot Character Spot

Fun with Mickey and family

One of the best things about race weekends is seeing friends you don’t get to see throughout the year. My friend Aimee was in town for the other races, and I met her later for dinner at Flying Fish at Disney’s Boardwalk Inn and Villas.

Flying Fish

Pre-dinner drinks at Abracadabar and dinner at Flying Fish was a delicious way to celebrate the day.

Later, we strolled around World Showcase in Epcot tasting a few of the libations from the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival.

Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival

Drinking around World Showcase is always a good idea.

It really was the best day ever, and I think the fact that the race was so impromptu, as impromptu as a runDisney race can be, made it even better.

Star Wars Dark Side 5k Medal

My attempt at an artsy medal photo

As always, I’ll be following along, living vicariously through the participants from the comfort of my couch. I wish the best of luck and lots of fun to everyone making their way to the Galaxy. May the Force be with you!

Advertisements
Leave a comment »

Disney Cruise Line Chocolate and Liquor Tasting

That groundhog really pulled a fast one this year, didn’t he? Winter keeps holding on for dear life and just won’t let go! As the temperatures creep ever so slowly upward and as daylight shifts from morning to evening (because it’s not really an extra hour of daylight), I’m dreaming of warm, tropical weather.

I thought I’d share a favorite activity aboard a Disney Cruise – tastings. As part of their onboard fun offerings, tastings are available for a nominal fee. You can either prebook when you schedule other activities in advance or visit Guest Services to sign up on board.

One of their more popular tastings is Mixology. At $25 per person, five drinks are prepared by participants taking turns under the tutelage of a bartender.

Disney Cruise Line Mixology

In Mixology, all of the glasses are set up at the bar and each person takes a turn making some drinks. Everyone ends up with five different drinks made by fellow participants.

I have to admit, this one’s not my favorite. In my experience, you either have the timid folks who only pour in a splash of alcohol or the jokesters who think it’s funny to dump half the bottle in. Either way, I’d rather the bartender just do it as a demonstration class instead of hands-on. After doing this one twice, I’m good to skip it going forward.

One that I really did enjoy, though, was the Chocolate and Liquor Tasting.

Disney Cruise Line Chocolate and Liquor Tasting

Each person gets their own set up of wines and liquors paired with different types of solid and melted chocolate bliss and Parmesan cheese.

This one was $35 and included a champagne (real stuff from France), a red wine, a port and a fairly high end scotch. In fact, the bartender told us our pour of scotch would cost $38 on its own in the bars on the ship, making it a bargain as part of the class if scotch is your thing.

Paired with the liquors were various types of solid and melted chocolate and chunks of Parmesan cheese, which we were instructed to taste with each liquor. I don’t recall having a favorite combination, but it was interesting to experience how the notes of each liquor changed with different pairings.

Each person got his/her own set up, which is great for those who don’t like to share. The class was set up for a full group, even though it wasn’t full. The scotch, chocolate and cheese were already on the tray when the class started, and the wines were poured as they were presented. Since the class wasn’t full, that meant some of the scotch, chocolate and cheese went untouched. That simply was not acceptable so the bartender offered up the extras to the rest of us. One scotch fan was very happy as he got several extra glasses.

One thing to note is that I did not book this in advance. I don’t even recall this particular class being available to book in advance on my sailing. In fact, I didn’t sign up until about 5 minutes prior to start time. So, if you find all tastings sold out in advance, never fear! Head to Guest Services and check availability.

For my next cruise, I already have the Champagne Tasting, Stem to Stern (a wine tasting), Martinis and Tequila and Margaritas booked. I probably won’t keep all of them, depending on what other activities I find on the Navigator once I’m on board. I just have to cancel 24 hours in advance to avoid being charged.

Do you have a favorite on board activity? Please share it in the comments.

1 Comment »

I Broke Up with Running

This week thousands of princesses will converge upon Walt Disney World Resort for Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend. Normally, I’d be one of them. Right about now I’d be stalking the weather and making any needed adjustments to my costume, packing, messaging with my fellow princess friends and excitedly making any last minute plans. I’d be studying the course map, meticulously calculating how much extra time I would have for photo stops and strategizing my potty breaks. I’d be filled with nostalgia of races gone by, almost teary-eyed thinking of seeing my fellow princesses again. Not this year, though.

Disney Princess Half Marathon 2013

It was “A Whole New World” in 2013 when I finished my first Disney Princess Half Marathon.

I broke up with running. After seven years, we called it quits with a clean break after last year’s race.

My relationship with running started off hot and heavy as all great relationships do. We met multiple times a week, consistently and faithfully for the first few years. We had good days and bad days, and some of our dates were longer than others. Some days I was giddy with love for the sport and others I questioned my sanity. I was committed to making it work, however, and I did just that for several years.

Then running hurt me. I developed Achilles tendinitis and went through months of physical therapy. We took a break. We grew apart, and I lost that loving feeling.

Disney Princess Half Marathon 2016

I finished in 2016, even though my training had been a little “sad.”

I tried hard to find my love again, mostly because of my love for my princesses, which never wavered. We were on again, off again for the next few years, but running continued to hurt me. I developed mild arthritic knee pain that showed its ugly face with distances over 5 miles. However, I decided I could still enjoy my princess weekends by dropping my distance down to the 10k. This was a great idea and served me well in 2017.

Enchanted 10k 2017

The Enchanted 10k of 2017 was just the right distance.

Then in 2018, I succumbed to peer pressure and registered for the half again.

I had plenty of time to train and tried really hard to talk myself into it. Time passed all too quickly and before I knew it, I was packing, having logged zero miles since the Enchanted 10k of 2017. Zero! Yet, I found myself at the starting line willing to accept whatever the course had in store for me that day.

Disney Princess Half Marathon Finish Line

I snapped this photo of the finish line before the race started because I thought there was a real chance this was the only time I would see it that day.

I do not recommend this. At all! If you are reading this and thinking, hey I can do a half marathon with no training at all, please pay close attention to what I’m about to say next. Don’t do it! Just don’t.

I finished. Miserably. But I finished. I legit thought I might never walk again by the time I made it back to our hotel room. The pain, though! Oh, the pain!

Princess Half Marathon 2018

Smiling through the pain

One of my roomies and I had prepaid reservations to the Star Wars Galactic Spectacular Dessert Party later that night, and I didn’t think there was any way possible I was going to make it. She was my cheerleader and helped me rally by feeding me a steady stream of wine coupled with Tylenol alternated with Advil. I made it to the party by keeping myself as numbed as I could.

Star Wars Galactic Spectacular Dessert Party

Thankfully, Tinkerbell sprinkled me with Pixie Dust and I made it to the party.

Disney Princess Half Marathon Medal

It was a great way to celebrate the end of my running chapter.

I vowed that day to never run again. I was done with the on again, off again relationship. I knew a clean break was in order. Yes, I’m aware that if I had actually trained, my experience would have been better. Yet, I couldn’t even make myself like it enough, even a little, to do it. So, with that, we were done.

It’s now been a year, and these days I’m in a new relationship. Orangetheory Fitness and I have been together for over a year now, and we are seeing each other much more frequently than running and I ever did. I get more out of it than I ever got from running, too. I have muscle definition I’ve never had, and I’m at the lowest weight I’ve been since my 20s.

Orangetheory Fitness

Orangetheory Fitness is my new love, along with the amazing coaches there.

Every now and then thoughts of running start to creep back into my head, as exes often do. I think about lacing my shoes up and heading out for a few miles just to see how the asphalt feels beneath my feet. That’s a slippery slope, though.

Still, the thing I never accomplished continues to nag at me at times, the marathon. Unfortunately, so does my arthritic knee pain. I know running and I don’t have a future.

Newbie princesses, perfect princesses and all princesses in between are going to have the time of their lives this weekend. I’ll be following along on social media from the comfort of my couch. I’m excited for everyone who will be there and look forward to living vicariously through them. I can honestly say, though, that I do not have FOMO. That chapter in my life is over, and I’m totally ok with that.

The Incredibles photo stop at Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend

An “Incredible” photo stop on course. Also, who is this girl? I barely recognize her now.

1 Comment »

runDisney Releases 2016 Race Schedule

runDisney released its 2016 race schedule, complete with registration dates yesterday. A few things to note are the races which have been the subjects of many rumors lately. 

 

The Wine and Dine Half Marathon Weekend is returning, thus squelching all rumors that 2015 is the last year. Almost certainly it will feature a new course due to the impending extensive construction at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. One of the highlights of this race, the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights, is in its last year, however, so it will be interesting to see what changes the organizers have in store.  

 Notably absent for the second year is the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10 Miler Weekend. Rumors continue that this will return at some point in the future as another half marathon weekend, possibly with a challenge. It makes sense, right? 13.1 miles for a 13-story drop.  

 Currently, my only runDisney race plans for 2016 include Princess Half Marathon Weekend. Some friends and I have a huge girls weekend planned around that. After all, runDisney races are perfect for that. 

What are your runDisney race plans for next year?

Leave a comment »

St. Jude Walk/Run to End Childhood Cancer

September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. All month long, you may have seen people changing their profile pictures on social media to #ShowYourGold or even superheroes.  

Showing my gold


On September 19 and 26, St. Jude Walk/Run to End Childhood Cancer events happened all over the country to coincide with Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. I participated in the Memphis event, and it was unlike any 5k I’ve ever done. 

First of all, it was a walk/run, with an emphasis on walk. This made it perfect for beginners and even people who aren’t active at all. There was none of the “fast people in the front, slow people in the back” business. It was not about racing. It was all about everyone coming together for one reason and one reason only: to raise awareness for childhood cancer. 

There were also so many people participating in teams and staying together as a team. Many teams had matching shirts made for the event. All that unification was a really cool thing to see. 

There was so much gold, too! Gold signs, flags, pom poms, headbands, shoelaces and even socks were everywhere! My floor made gold and black tutus to sell as a fundraiser so those were all over the course as well. I even wore a tutu for the first time. 

Traffic was crazy getting to the event so I knew the turnout was going to be huge.  

Stuck in traffic but I couldn’t wait to get there!


Despite allowing myself what I thought was more than enough time, I got there just in time for a photo with my immediate work team before heading to the start. 

My work team

I also got a quick Periscope broadcast in (@myglasssneaker). 

 

Ready to Walk/Run

The weather was great. It was a mild, overcast day, although more humid than I expected. I absolutely love downtown Memphis courses. 

I love running by the famous M bridge.

The scenery is gorgeous, although I always forget how hilly it is.  

Does this look like a hill? Because, it definitely is one.

 

The Pyramid, which is now home to Bass Pro. Except, the hospital and finish line is in the opposite direction. Shouldn’t we be heading the other way?

 

Finally, we are heading back toward the hospital!

   

The finish is in sight.

As a chronic back-of-the-packer, I really enjoyed being with the pack for the entire course. Once I was done, I stuck around for a few minutes at the finish line to cheer people on. I also did another quick Periscope broadcast from the finish line. 

It was a great day, and I’m sure it will be even bigger next year. Did you participate in an event in your area? 

Leave a comment »

Packing For runDisney: Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10 Miler

Welcome, y’all, to my stop on the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10 Miler Virtual Blog Hop!

It’s getting closer!!!  I’m talking about the runDisney Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10 Miler!

Tower of Terror 10 Miler

Tower of Terror 10 Miler

It’s only 2 and a half weeks away.  How did that happen?  That means it’s time to start packing, which is the inspiration for my part of the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10 Miler Virtual Blog Hop.

American Tourister

American Tourister

The thing about a racecation is there are so many different elements to packing.  First, you are packing for a vacation.  Next, you are packing for a race.  Third, if it’s a runDisney race, you also might want to give some thought about the gEAR bag (see what they did there?).

I’m sure you’ve taken many, many vacations and don’t really need any help with regular vacation packing.  So, I’ll skip right to race packing.  I have some rules about this.

  • Make lists!  Sure, when you are running at home you probably have it down to an art.  You have your stash of gels, you know exactly where your favorite socks are, you have your headphones and GPS watch right by your keys, and you grab water from the fridge on your way out.  However, when you are hundreds or thousands of miles from home, it won’t be that easy.  Make lists of what running gear you need to pack and also what you need to carry with you to the race itself.  Trust me, if you don’t have the exact gel you’ve trained with, it will wreak havoc on your mental state.

    Make sure you have everything you need for your runcation.

    Make sure you have everything you need for your runcation.

  • Bring more than you think you will need.  This applies to socks, undies, gels, tape, even shoes if you have multiple pair you rotate through.  Why?  It’s happened to all of us!  You put those tried and true socks on and something just doesn’t feel right.  When you are at home, you can simply grab another pair.  You pull out your favorite gel and, for some reason, you just aren’t feeling that flavor.  At home, you grab another.  Away from home that’s only possible if you brought extra.
  • Pack all your running gear in your carry on. This is very important!  Do not tempt fate by putting your trusted running gear in your checked luggage.  Yes, you can even pack your gels in your carry on.  Call me crazy but I also don’t trust the resort baggage handlers with my running gear.  It stays with me at all times until I get to my room.

Once you get settled into your accommodations, there is one more bag you might want to think about packing:  your gEAR bag.  At the expo, a runDisney gEAR bag will be part of your packet.  How big is the bag?  I get asked that a lot.  I measured it just for you!  It’s 17.5 inches by 24 inches.

runDisney gEAR bag

runDisney gEAR bag

You will also get a sticker with a number on it to stick on the bag.  Pro tip: the number on your sticker should match that of your bib.  Check it closely before leaving the expo.  If it does not match, head straight to runner relations.

This is where you'll stick your sticker that should match your bib number.

This is where you’ll stick your sticker that should match your bib number.

Why do you want to pack a gEAR bag? If you are like me, there may be things you will want as soon as you finish.  For me, it’s wipes, a Luna bar, and flip-flops.  Bandages and deodorant are also smart additions.  I usually pack a change of clothes, too.  This is especially true of the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10 Miler because runners get access to the Villains Bash after party at Hollywood Studios.

There are a few things to know about gEAR check for this particular race.  First of all, where you check your bag will not be where you pick it up.  You will check your bag in the parking lot of Hollywood Studios when you arrive for the start of the race.  Just follow the signs.  It will be well-marked.  While you are making your way through the 10 mile course, your bag will magically be transported to the theater where the Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular is held.  Bag pick up will be on the stage.  Here’s where it gets, um, interesting for this race.  You will finish the race in the backstage area behind the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror.  From there, you will be ushered back into the park by way of the walkways around the theater where Beauty and the Beast is performed.  If you know anything at all about this park, you know these two areas are nowhere near each other. This means you will have to walk a ways across the park to get your bag.  You will also have to tackle a few stairs in the theater when you pick up your bag.  It’s really not that horrible.  I mean, you just ran 10 miles.  Surely you can walk across a theme park and take on a few stairs, right?  It is something to be aware of, though.  If you have family waiting for you at the party, an alternative is to just give your things to a family member and bypass gEAR check altogether.  I’ve done this in the past for this race, and I plan to do it again this year, too.

If you do check a bag, here is where double checking your sticker comes into play.  The volunteers working bag pick up will match your bag to your bib number.  Make sure you are still wearing your bib when you go to get your bag.  If the numbers don’t match, the volunteers will not be able to give your bag to you.

What if you lose your sticker before checking your bag?  Or what if you forget your bag altogether?  Not to worry!  Volunteers working gEAR check will have extra bags and blank tags if the Villains decide to show up early to the party and throw a wrench in your plans.

You know the drill.  An ounce of prevention yields a pound of care, and it’s really true when packing for runDisney.  Have a great race!  Say “hi” if you see me on the course!

The start of something EPIC!  Any guesses?

The start of something EPIC! Any guesses?

Thanks for hopping on over to my blog.  For the other posts in this virtual blog hop, click the Mickey runner below.

Virtual Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend Blog Hop Directory

Follow @myglasssneaker on Twitter.

Follow myglasssneaker on Instagram.

6 Comments »

Tap N Run 4k Memphis

Yesterday I did the Tap N Run 4k Memphis, which was a beer run. It sounded like a good idea at first. Beer before noon can’t be all that bad, right? Except for the event wasn’t in the morning. It was at 2 pm in the afternoon. It still didn’t sound too bad. After all, October afternoons are pretty nice. Yeah! Turns out it was almost 90 degrees with 80-something percent humidity, and what appeared to be an overcast day turned into full sun by 2 pm. It was HOT! It was still fun, though.

Tap N Run 4k Course Map

Tap N Run 4k Course Map

Basically, you drink your way through the race. You get a small beer to toast the start, about 6 ounces.

The Volunbeers are getting the cups of beer ready for the start.

The Volunbeers are getting the cups of beer ready for the start.

Then, you get another small beer at each of 2 water, uh, beer stops, called Beer Chugs.

Beer Chugs were in place of water stops.  Water was available, too, though.

Beer Chugs were in place of water stops. Water was available, too, though.

Then, after the finish, you get a full-sized can of beer. The beer was surprisingly refreshing on the hot day. The first beer at the start was Schlafly Ale. The first Beer Chug had an orange beer, which was delicious! It was so refreshing! I wish I knew what it was so I can buy it. I asked but the volunteers (called Volunbeers) didn’t know. The second Beer Chug had Pabst Blue Ribbon, and at the end, you got your choice of Miller Light or Coors Light.

The costumes were nuts!

So many fun costumes in the crowd!

So many fun costumes in the crowd!

I saw many groups dressed in all the Mario characters.

Funny!

Funny!

Monsters U was well represented, and I saw Thing One and Thing Two. Because it started and ended on Beale Street downtown, there were many tourists spectating. One tourist asked what was going on, and someone responded that it was just a typical afternoon in downtown Memphis. It was funny!

Everyone got a finisher’s medal, too, which doubles as a bottle opener. Always useful!

The medal doubles as a bottle opener!

The medal doubles as a bottle opener!

One of my favorite things about this run is that since it wasn’t timed, I took some pics that I wouldn’t normally take time to snap, like the finish line!

Fed Ex Forum, home of the Memphis Grizzlies NBA team

Fed Ex Forum, home of the Memphis Grizzlies NBA team

New Daisy Theater

New Daisy Theater

Old Daisy Theater

Old Daisy Theater

Finish Line

Finish Line

Have you ever done a beer run?

Follow me on Twitter @myglasssneaker.

Like my Facebook page http://facebook.com/myglasssneaker.

I’m a charity athlete raising money for St. Jude. To make a donation, click here.

4 Comments »

Back on Track–Wrap Up

Ok so I didn’t blog every single day about how my week went.  It was starting to get a bit redundant so I thought I’d just summarize it.

I give myself a B on hydration.  Most days I did well with it, but a couple of days I definitely could have used more water.  I did have some cramping issues last night after my run yesterday, and that’s never happened before.  I remembered that I did not have my electrolyte beverage before or after the run, so I’m going to say that’s what it was.

I give myself a B for nutrition as well.  Again, most days I did well.  There were a few hiccups along the way, mostly caused by changes in my normal routine.  When I had a normal day, nutrition was a breeze.  If I had something special to do, it was a challenge. 

I give myself a C on fitness.  I only worked out 3 of the 6 days I had planned.  However, I was able to finish my long run yesterday of 4.5 miles.  That’s the longest I’ve run at any given time since the Princess Half Marathon so I’ll call that a win. 

My weight loss for the week was 2 pounds.  Here’s where only weighing myself once a week would have been the better idea.  At one point during the week I was down 4 pounds so I was a bit disappointed in only 2.  Had I not weighed myself, I wouldn’t have seen the 4 pound loss, and I’d be totally happy with 2.

So over all, I do feel closer to being back on track than I was a week ago, and that’s a good thing.  I have one more week before my official fall race schedule training begins, and I plan to make the most of it.

Follow me on Twitter @myglasssneaker.

I am raising money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital as a charity athlete.  Please visit my fund-raising page to make a donation here.

Don’t forget to register for my virtual race, the Magic Carpet Run, to benefit St. Jude.  For details and to register, click here.

Leave a comment »

2013 Disney Princess Half Marathon Race Report Part 1–The Pre-Race

I have a lot to talk about from the days leading up to the race itself. At the same time, the half was the main event, and the whole reason I was there in the first place. So, I thought I’d just jump right in and cover the race first.

My alarm was set for 2 am on February 24, 2013, which was 1 am to my body. I went to bed around 9 the night before. Five hours are good, right? I’m not really sure I actually slept any and finally got up at 1:55. I had everything laid out the night before so I hit the shower (yeah, I know! Why shower when I’m about to become a sweaty mess?), got ready and out the door I went. Carriages, I mean busses, were supposed to start running at 3 am and I wanted to be on the first bus. As I was walking around the front of the resort to the bus stop, I saw a bus drive off. I looked at my watch and saw that it was 5 minutes early and I started to panic a little. Then I was relieved to see 3 more lined up ready to take all of us eager Princesses to our ball, I mean race.

Upon arriving, if I wasn’t already awake, I sure was then because the energy was electric! Princesses, and the few princes, were cheering and yelling. There was a stage with a DJ, bright festive lights, and just an all around fun party atmosphere. I even caught a glimpse of the finish line from afar. That really gave me butterflies. I wanted to run around and see everything all at once but I had to reign myself in to keep from spending all my energy before the race even began. I did stop for a few pre-race photos before heading to my highly anticipated Race Retreat.

Me in front of the Princess Jasmine backdrop to match my costume!  They had one for each princess lining the path as we entered the staging area.

Me in front of the Princess Jasmine backdrop to match my costume! They had one for each princess lining the path as we entered the staging area.

The entrance to the Race Retreat

The entrance to the Race Retreat

I’ll have more on this amenity at a later date but for anyone who is wondering if it’s worth the pricey tag, yes! For me it definitely was. I grabbed a banana, bagel, peanut butter and coffee and found a place to sit. It was wonderful to just be able to relax and soak everything in while staying off my feet. I ran into a few fellow Princess Posse members in the retreat, which was bonus!

I found Liz as soon as I walked into the Race Retreat!

I found Liz as soon as I walked into the Race Retreat!

I found Aimee in the Race Retreat porta potty line!

I found Aimee in the Race Retreat porta potty line!

Before I knew it, an announcement was made for corrals A, B, and C to make their way to the start. I realized I should go ahead and use the private potties at the retreat so I would be ready when D was called, which happened right as I was finishing up. I left my cozy retreat and began the long journey to the starting line, which was about a mile. I did make 2 additional potty stops on the way. The last thing I wanted was to get into my corral and need one.

There were so many people that the walk to the start definitely was slow. I finally got to the starting line area, and whoa! 23,000 princesses equate to a whole lot of tutus and tiaras! There were 8 corrals, A-H, and best I could tell, they had A-D lined up directly in front of the start and E-H in another row off to the side. Because I was in D I have no idea how they got E-H moved over. I wasn’t even in place yet and the National Anthem began. Once the race started, things really got moving. I was surprised by how quickly they moved everyone through. The Fairy Godmother was there to see us off. Each corral got their own fireworks to start, and since I was in corral D, I had already seen the wheelchair start as well as A, B, and C. I was so excited I just could not wait to be on my way. I got a little teary because this was by far the most exciting and dynamic start to a race I had ever experienced. Again, I had to reign myself in because I knew I needed to save as much energy as possible. Almost before I even realized it, the announcer was counting us down and the sky was ablaze with our fireworks.

runDisney's pic of the fireworks, courtesy of runDisney

runDisney’s pic of the fireworks, courtesy of runDisney

My pic of the fireworks at the start.  I never claimed to be a good photographer.

My pic of the fireworks at the start. I never claimed to be a good photographer.

My Princess experience had finally begun!

Up next, the race itself! Did I have/take time for character photos? Did I hold up well in the heat and humidity? Did I finish? Also, who was the person I was most excited and surprised to run into on the course?

3 Comments »