Princess half marathon weekend, day 1

Tuesday, February 25, 2014
This is the first of several posts about the last week I spent at my home away from home, Disney World. It was an incredible trip. So much fun and got to share the experience with so many sweet friends.

Sunday I ran the Disney Princess half-marathon. I have never been a "runner." It has never come easy or naturally to me. And to be quite honest I had never run a solid mile in my entire life until I started training for this race, not even during those terrible presidents physical fitness tests we had to do in elementary school.

But I really do like making and achieving goals and running 13.1 miles through Disney World seemed like a really good one. Not to mention a good way to get in shape after having a baby. So I signed up and started training. I had a long way to go and was way behind all the other girls I was going to run with, but eventually built my way up to a 5k, 10k, 15k, and a half marathon. And went from a non-runner who just had a baby to finishing a half marathon in less than 14 months. And that is an awesome thing to be able to say.

At Disney, I stayed with Kristen, Kimmie and Christine - genetic counselors by day, princesses by night. Emily and Paige ran the race too and brought their husbands along for a no-kids couples trip. Our rooms were almost next door to each other at the Caribbean Beach Resort. So fun!

We made it down to Orlando early Thursday morning thanks to an overnight stay in Birmingham with one of Paige's relatives. Kristen et al drove down from Georgia early that morning too. As soon as we landed in Birmingham we put on our Magic Bands and were ready to go. I have read so many critiques on the Magic Band system, but after two trips with them I am definitely a fan and they worked swimingly.

First stop after checking into the hotel was packet pickup and wandering the marathon expo. 

Pickup went super smoothly and the expo was not as crazy as we feared. The longest lines were for buying official disney marathon merchandise. Prohibitively long.

We are all running as different princesses on Sunday. Me as Cinderella, Emily as Rapunzel, Paige as Aurora, Kristen as Belle, Kimmie as Jasmine, and Christine as Ariel. 

As we walked into the expo, I found my footmen.

We were prepared and brought our costumes and everything else we needed for the race so we didn't spent too long at the expo - we were ready to get to the parks. First stop - Epcot.

We had fast passes for Test Track, Mission Space and Spaceship Earth and in between wandered the World Showcase and rode some other "b list rides" like Nemo, Living with the Land, and Maelstrom. We really wanted to do Soarin' but couldn't get a fastpass for it and Test Track so we waited until just before park closing to hit it up once the lines were nonexistent. That plan worked out really well.

We also got to meet Mickey, Minnie and Goofy with almost zero wait. We had a blast goofing off with them for a little while.

We also learned that Disney cast members like to take selfies on your iphone camera while they are taking pictures for you.

Test Track has been re-done since the last time I was there and made more interactive, and more sponsored by Chevrolet. We worked in pairs to design our own car and then test it. It got a little competitive. Kristen and Kimmie's car did way better than mine and Christine's. They got to gloat for a while but we would get them back in a day or two. Apparently the ability to build a fast race car does not also come with a superior ability to shoot lasers in space or play 4D midway games.

The weather was spectacular and it was a perfect night to wander around the park. Kristen got to meet Belle, her princess for the weekend.

We had dinner reservations at Biergarten, the sit-down restaurant in the German pavilion. It was an all you can eat german feast and it was so so fun to try all the different foods without having to commit to a single dish. We also got entertained with live music and dancing while we ate.

It was such a fun first day. After dinner and a quick ride on Soarin', we headed back to our home away from home for some rest before a wonderfully long day in the Magic Kingdom on Friday.

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