Monday, March 17, 2014

Final Thoughts on Princess Half Marathon Weekend 2014!

So after reviewing the expo and the races I wanted to give you all my final thoughts on the weekend. There were so many things I like and something I didn't but for the most part I had an absolute blast! 

The Pros of the weekend.......

1. The new balance runners que made getting the sneakers a bit easier! I will admit I was totally stressed out about this for.....weeks (I am blushing...theses are only sneakers right!) and I will admit when I entered the que at 6 am the day I was leaving to go to Florida and got an assigned time of 9 am I was even more stressed knowing I wasn't going to get there until at least noon! However it ended up being fine and I was able to get my sneakers as soon as I got to the expo.

2. The new runDisney pins! I loved that they had these at the expo! I for one am obsessed with those dumb pins and make sure I get one as soon as I get into the parks so I was really excited to see a runDisney one I could ad to my purse strap! Now lets get them for the different races!!!

3. The layout of the expo was great. I never felt like the expo was too crowded. There were many, many people there but it was set up in such a way that I was able to get and do everything I wanted without feeling rushed or that I would be waiting in line for hours.

4. The start line being so close to where the bus drops you off for the 10k. I loved that we didn't have to go far for the corrals and start line during the 10k It was not overly crowded so you were able to hang out use the bathroom and still have time to get in your corral instead of walking a mile to the start line. I really liked that.

5. The crowd support and entertainment during the half marathon. I was disappointed during the 10k (see cons) with the lack of crowd support but the half  made up for it. I even felt the runners during the half were more supportive then during the 10k.

6. The ease of getting a bus too and from the races. I know some people had a problem with this but I never waited for a bus long to get to the race or to get back to my hotel. I was pleasantly surprised and I always got a seat on the bus not having to stand which was also great!

7. The volunteers on and off the course were awesome during the race. Everyone I encountered that was volunteering was exceptionally nice and super positive. It may have just been someone helping you with your bag or placing a medal over your head instead of handing it to you. Those little details are what really stand out for me.

And for the cons......

1. The new balance shoes!! Now I know this was a pro but Disney why do you need to make us freak out about them! I wish we had been able to pre-order what we wanted in advance like the Dooneys. However in saying that I did think I wanted the Minnies and then fell in love with the Cindy's so that might not have worked in my favor, but can we make this a little easier so I don't lose sleep over them next time!

2. More runDisney merchandise. I was disappointed when I got the expo that so many things had already sold out in one day. I was really hoping to get a head band and they were of course all gone by the time I was there. Also the "live like a beauty, run like a beast" I was confused on these. I heard some people went back to the expo after the half and got "princess (then your name)" on the back of them. I wish I had known about those, can someone comment below and explain this better to me because I was and still am confused by that, was there more going on at the expo after the races? 

3. The lack of Glass Slipper challenge merchandise. I wanted there to be more not only in the runDisney booth but in other booths as well. I wanted more 19.3 stuff!

4. The lack of crowd support during the 10k. I really hoped there was going to be more going on. My Mom and I had a great time but I think she was a little disappointed and so was I by the lack of characters that were outside the park and then the lack of people cheering inside the park. I had hoped for more cast members to be out cheering us on, but thank you to the ones that were! Good crowd support can really make a race amazing!

5. The distance from where they drop you off to the start line for the half marathon. I was there in plenty of time but felt totally rushed getting to the bathroom and then to the start line. I think maybe there should have been a few more port-o-potties and a slightly shorter walk to the start line.

All in all however we had an AMAZING weekend it flew by before our eyes but we had a blast, and can't wait to do it again in the future! Even with the few cons they did not take away from our awesome Princess Weekend! We loved every magical mile we ran through out the races and then walked through out the parks!

In case you missed my Expo, 10k and half reviews check them out by clicking the link!

QOTD: Tell me about the "Live like a beauty, run like a beast" shirts!

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Princess Half Marathon Recap!!!!

Finally the day of the half marathon! I had been really excited about this and not at all nervous until I went to bed. I don't know why but runDisney half marathons makes me insane! I ended up not really sleeping much at all that night, After trying and trying I just finally decided to lay there and relax. My alarm went off around 3:20 but I was up before then getting things ready. I showered dressed quickly and tried to calm down for a quick minute while my Mom got dressed. She wanted to make sure she got a good spot at the finish line so just decided to come on the bus with me to the race. 

We got on the bus at around four a little later then the day before and it was still a breeze. There were a few more people on the bus but it was not a problem at all. We got to Epcot pretty quickly headed through bag check and then on in to find a bathroom. I noticed that New Balance had put a wall up of everyone's name that was doing the Glass Slipper Challenge. They only had the names of the runners for the half and the 10k at the expo so I was happy to see this when we got to the race. Anyway moving right along...the lines for the bathroom were insane so after waiting for a while I bagged it because we were being told to head to the start line. My Mom and I parted ways and I headed that way. I didn't realize how far away the start line was it seemed as if we walked a mile to get there. I really wanted to use the bathroom before we started to I waited in line at the start line. Not the best idea these lines were not moving either and I was getting super stressed about not getting to my corral on time. By the time I got to my corral I ended up in E, I was suppose to be in D but couldn't get there because they were moving the corrals up, A and B had already started. A few minutes later I was stating!

I started off the race at a great pace and I was feeling good. My knee was not hurting and I was just trying to enjoy everything around me. Already only a few miles in the entertainment and crowd support were great. I was very eager to get into magic kingdom though so kept focusing on that. I also didn't stop for any character pictures because the lines seemed to be very long. We finally went under the sign that said welcome to Magic Kingdom but seemed like forever until we actually entered the park. Once we got in it was amazing! we ran around Magic Kingdom and then through the castle!!!!! I had heard that this can be a bit crowded and that waiting to get your picture taken in front of the castle can be a bit of a wait but that was not the case. I flew through the castle and luckily there was not wait for a castle picture. I ran over had my picture taken and was off again. The picture didn't come out as good as I had hoped but it was ok. Heading out of the castle I stopped and walked at one of the water stops. I wanted to have a few sports beans and drink some water and running and doing this can be a bit challenging. I continued on and was still feeling great then came mile 8.........

At mile 8 I felt as if someone came over to me and stabbed me in the knee with a knife. GREAT! I told myself slow it down a bit and chug along you only have five miles left you are more then half way done and you can do this! I stopped once again to try to stretch my knee out but it was just not working. I decided at the next medical tent I would grab some Tylenol hopefully that would work, but the next medical tent literally was like a million miles away! I kept running and running thinking there has to be one soon and then finally there it was! I ran ove grabbed some Tylenol and then was off again telling myself your feeling better your feeling better....I wasn't. At around mile 11 things got just a bit worse, we headed up a banked on ramp which was not my friend! A couple of girls around me said "I am going to go run on the grass I think it might be a bit more even" I really should have listened to this advice. Midway up there was an army man yelling at us to get up the hill, and stopping people to do push ups. If my knee hadn't been feeling awful I might have stopped and done some, but instead I just chugged up the hill. I knew the race would be over soon and that is what I was focusing on. I kept running and then finally saw the finish line and Mickey! I sped up gave him a high five and crossed the finish line. My time was not my best but that was ok. I knew my knee was going to be an issue from the beginning so I was just happy I was able to finish the 19.3 miles. Even with all the knee pain I loved every minute of the Glass Slipper Challenge!

After I crossed the finish line I heard my Mom calling my name I yelled to her that I needed to get my medals and I would meet her over by the buses. I grabbed my beautiful medals, took my finishers picture then headed out to find her. One thing I forgot to mention was the mesh bag they gave you after finishing. I loved them and it really came in handy after the race to carry my water and Powerade and then during the day in the park carrying my medals! Also thank you so much to the nice lady that saw my struggling to get my stuff in the bag and helped me out!

Once I found my Mom we took some pictures and then headed to the bus. I wanted to stick around a little bit but also really wanted to get in a hot shower to stretch out my knee. The bus ride back seemed like it took five seconds thankfully. I headed to our room and then straight into the shower. I also wanted to get back to Magic Kingdom and spend the day care free with my medals eating all the bad food I wanted and trying to score a reservation at Be Our Guest for dinner (Which we ended up getting!)

My overall thoughts of the race, knee pain aside...I loved it! Crowd support and runner support was AMAZING! There was a lot more going on than during the 10k also I just love running through Magic Kingdom and the Castle, it is truly an experience that gives you chills. The course was also great and pretty flat with the exception of the on ramp at the end of the race, but you have an army man there "encouraging" you to get up that hill with no walking! All in all it was awesome race day!

In case you missed it here are my recaps of the Expo and the Enchanted 10k

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Princess Half Marathon- Inaugural Enchanted 10k Recap!!!!

3am Saturday morning came very quickly. We had an early dinner the night before and tried to be in bed by 9:30. We laid our outfits out the night before and got everything ready. I was not sure the bus situation or how long it was going to take to get to the start line so we planned on being at the bus stop by 4 the latest. 

We got ready faster then expected and were out the door by 3:45. Our bus stop was right behind our room so it only took a few minutes to get there. To my surprise there were not many people waiting for the bus.The bus ended up coming very quickly and was not full at all. We got right on and were headed for Epcot. As soon as we got off the bus there were tons of people already there. We flew threw bag check, then we headed over to the corral area. We didn't want  to go right into our corrals yet so we stood around listened to the music the DJ was playing. He was very entertaining and the people around us dancing  were hilarious we loved it! We split a package of sports beans, used the bathrooms and then headed into the corrals. 

We were both in corral A which I was really happy about, it meant we could take our time and stop to take pictures if we wanted to. My plan for this race was to take it slow because I had the half the following day and I was completely unsure of how my knee was going to be feeling . I had been having some SERIOUS knee pain for the past month every time I ran so I was incredibly nervous how it was going to feel during and after these two races. At around 5am they closed the corrals off and then they walked each corral to the start line.

I was so excited to get started I couldn't wait to see what the course was like. My Mom was a bit nervous but so excited as well this was her first runDisney race and she was dying to see know what she was going to see along the course. At 5:30am we were off! We started off great no stopping or shuffling along everyone was moving I was really happy about that! As soon as we turned out onto the main road we spotted Elsa on top of an overpass and there was snow floating in the air. I ran ahead snapped a pictures and we were on our way. The first three miles flew by, after we saw Elsa there weren't many more characters outside of the park. We then headed into the back of Epcot we were both still feeling great. I was pacing my Mom and trying to avoid any knee pain. It did start to ache however. Once we were in Epcot we went down by some of the countries and then headed onto the boardwalk. There were characters along the way I remember seeing Goofy and Jiminy Cricket but we did not stop to take out picture with them. My Mom just wanted to keep going. The boardwalk was one of my favorite parts because it was softer on my knees and a lot brighter then the rest of Epcot. Following that we past the Genie and Lumiere and we were making our way to the finish line! 

The race flew by literally the shortest six miles I have ever run. I was glad that I stayed with my 
Mom, had I decided to go at my own pace I think my knee would have really been bothering me. She felt great at the finish, we were both sweating because it was so humid but it was a nice change from the 20 degree weather back home. 

We went and collected out medals, I got my 10k finishers bracelet for the Glass Slipper Challenge and then we headed over to get our finishers pictures taken. We grabbed our food boxes and headed to the buses to get back to our room and shower. We didn't feel like staying around the finish line very long we wanted to get back so we could spend most of the day in the park and still have time for a mid day nap. 

We went to Hollywood Studios for the rest of the day, riding Rock n Roll a Coaster and Tower of Terror and eating at 50's Prime Time Cafe. We then headed back to the hotel and slept for two hours (oops...We were only suppose to sleep for an hour!) and then headed to Epcot to ride test track and grab some dinner! We both had  a great day and were happy with our race, but I had to get to bed early for my half in the morning! Another 3am wake up for us! 

My overall thoughts on the 10k...I was hoping for a little more entertainment/crowd support. My mom said to me at the end  "I was expecting it to be a bit more entertaining"  and that is how I felt too. I had really talked up the Disneyland Half Marathon and this seemed to be lacking a bit of the magic that I felt in there. I felt the number of cast members out in my previous runDisney race really out number the amount of people out during this one. Ok enough complaining we did have an incredible time during the race. I loved that we ran together and just took it easy instead of going all out. I kept saying we spend too much money on these races to just fly threw and not enjoy them so that is really what we tried to do. I need to be more in the moment instead of always wondering what is going to be next. As for the terrain of the course, it was pretty flat there was one banked on ramp that was not too friendly on the knees but overall I enjoyed the course. There were a few small hills but nothing serious. It was not super easy but not challenging either. Overall we had a BLAST!

QOTD: Do you like hills in a race or would you prefer the whole thing to be totally flat?

In case you missed it here is my recap on the Princess Half Marathon Expo!!

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Princess Half Marathon Expo Recap!!!!

I can't believe Princess Half Marathon weekend is over! It seemed like just yesterday I was eagerly awaiting the sign up and then the weekend just flew by and it was amazing!!!!! Before I get into that I wanted to announce the winner of the Ignite Naturals INRefesh Sample......Yvonne! Congratulations you should be receiving that in the mail soon!

If anyone would like to order some of their products use my code IN0820 to get 10% off your order! Their stuff is awesome so I recommend you try it out! You can click the badge on the side of my page or click here to get to their website!

Now moving on to Princess Half Marathon Weekend!!!

My mom and I left Providence for Orlando at 7am on Friday. I had been completely stressing out about the stupid Minnie and Cinderella shoes all week. When they came out with the virtual que for runners I was right on at six on Friday, and of course I got the time slot 9am. My flight was not getting into Orlando until 9:45 figures! I decided just head over there as soon as we got to the expo and if I didn't get the shoes it was not meant to be.

We landed went over to our hotel Port Orleans Riverside checked in and then we were on our way to the expo by noon! The Expo was at ESPN Wide World of Sports which was Huge! I had never been there before and didn't know what to expect. I walked in and headed straight over to the New Balance line. I got right in, they said it didn't matter what time you were suppose to be there as long as your number or hour had already been called you could come at any time but they could not guarantee they would have the shoes that you had requested. I had wanted the Minnie's but they ended up being sold out of my size so I asked to see the Cinderella's and fell in LOVE! I love the pink of the Minnie's but they were such a thick shoe for walking around in. I wasn't going to be running in them so I wanted something that was slimmer. The Cinderella shoes are sparkly and the color is amazing and they are light weight! I was sold as soon as I put them on my feet! I put the satin ribbons in and I was on my way! Beware for anyone that is planning on buying the shoes at the next Disney event they do run small so I ended up going up a size, but get them they are the best!

I met my Mom right after I got my shoes. She had forgotten something in the hotel room and had to go back mid way to the expo. After I found her we headed over to number pick up. That was super easy no line we were in and out in a few minutes. One thing I was a bit confused about was the runDisney booth where number pick up was I didn't know there was another one in the main expo until one of the workers told me. We decided to head up to that one instead because the one at number pick up was pretty much picked over!

We headed over to the main expo area and went to get my moms shirt for the 10k and then into the runDisney booth. I have to say it was also pretty picked over by the time I got there and I was kind of disappointed by the lack of Glass Slipper Challenge merchandise. I wanted there to be more, and the stuff that they had I wasn't crazy about and found that the half marathon and 10k stuff was much cuter! I ended up just buying a car magnet and thought I might find some cute 19.3 stuff around the expo. We walked around making sure to hit almost every booth and enjoy the experience. One addition I loved this year was the runDisney buttons. When we went over to get ours they said they were all out but then someone came over with a few bags full of them so we ended up getting some! I was so happy I love those stupid Disney buttons!

After we did a little shopping we headed over to the ESPN Grill and got some burgers we were starving and we still needed to get KT taped and also wait for my moms time to get her shoes. As soon as we had finished eating we got a text that she could come over to New Balance to get her shoes. She was on the fence about the shoes she didn't think she was going to get them so when we got the text she thought well I guess I will just go try them on she didn't think she was going to buy them. She headed over and I went back to get a sweatshirt I head been eye balling and told her I would be back in a few minutes. I literally was gone for five minutes if that and when I came back she was already in the check out line. I went over and said are you buying them and she said they were just too cute not to. We then headed over to Sparkle Athletics so she could buy some crowns to lace in that I had bought earlier. We then referred to our shoes all weekend as our "Cindy's!" Best purchase all weekend!

(The Silver Crowns DO NOT come with the shoes. Many people asked us as we were walking around. They are from Sparkle Athletics, so do not think New Balance forgot to give you something if you bought the Cindy shoes!)
Following that we went over to get taped and then we were out of there! We had already spent what seemed like hours shopping around and wanted to get to downtown Disney.  The KT Tape line was long but we met some great girls running and chatted for a while making the line fly by! After that we headed back to the hotel room to change and my Mom needed to get her "Cindy's" on and we were headed to dinner. We took the river boat from our hotel to downtown Disney and ate at Planet Hollywood. We got right in we couldn't believe it! That place always has a line! We ate grabbed some sweets after and then headed back to go to bed. We had had a long day and needed to be ready for an early wake up call in the morning for the Enchated 10K!

Overall Thoughts on the Expo: We had a great time we spent a long time there which we didn't do in Disneyland when we were there in the summer. I felt it was very organized and not super crowded. The only time we had to wait was for KT Tape but that was expected. We got everything we wanted as well. The one thing I was disappointed with was the lack of Glass Slipper Challenge stuff as I had mentioned before I just wish that Disney would make a little more of their merchandise so people coming the following days of the expo still had a chance of getting it. Other then that we had a great time and were super excited about all of our purchases!

QOTD: What Shoes would you buy Minnie or Cinderella!?