Thursday, February 28, 2013

2013 Princess Half Marathon - I finished! Now what?

Did you miss the first two parts of my report?  Check out Part 1 and Part 2 here!

Just like with the Castle, I always envisioned crying when I crossed the finish line.

I didn’t cry when I crossed the finish line.

Hubby and The Kiddo called out to me as I crossed, and took a photo of me. 

I passed over the finish line, and got pixie dusted by Fairy Godmothers, then found a volunteer who gave me my medal.

My heavy, shiny, beautiful perfect medal. 

Still didn’t cry.

Hubby and The Kiddo came over near the fenced off area between the bleacher’s and the finisher’s chute and took a few photos of me. This one is especially pretty – I told him to hurry up and take a photo before I started to cry. He waited until I started to cry. 

Just wiped away tears!
But then he took another one.

I am so round-faced in this photo!
He and the Kiddo headed towards the Family Reunion area while I headed towards the area where they take Finisher Photos. I don’t remember where I got the coolest idea ever, but in all my Princess research, someone suggested having a plastic bag with you to carry your stuff after the race.  This is what I ended up with – it’s a generic shopping bag, that was folded a bajillion times and shoved into a teeny tiny zip-top baggie.  Let me tell you – that is the BEST tip!  I put the two PowerAdes and water that I got into the bag, as well as my Nathan, then also my RunDisney Box and banana.  

Teeny bag with my bag in it
By the time I got to the Photo area, that bag was heavy!  One of the volunteers held the bag while I got my photo taken, and even he commented on how heavy it was!

I also had a sign that I wanted to hold up when the photo people took my photo, but I forgot all about it!

I used the inside of a FedEx bag since it's waterproof!
Finally, I could make my way to the Family Reunion area and I spied Hubby and The Kiddo in the crowds and made a beeline into his arms. NOW, finally, with my family around me, the family who has put up with all this crap all year, I cry.  Not a lot, but enough to prove to myself that I’m not totally void of emotions! It’s good to know….

I wanted to get photos at the big Princess Half Marathon signs in the Reunion area, as well as with the two princess that were out, but the lines were huge, so I decided to skip them. I wish now that I didn’t, but hindsight and all that. Instead, we got in line for our bus back to Saratoga Springs so I could get into an Ice Bath. 

We took the last 3 seats in the back again, but this time I sat on the ‘outside’ near the potty (eww) so that I could stretch out my legs.  There was a really creepy guy in the seat in front of us (he ran, so should I call him a Prince?), who kept looking at us and trying to start a conversation, but gave up after a while, took out his Stick (no, you perv, his Stick © ) and began working his legs with it. All while making inappropriate noises. You know those noises – the ones you make when it hurts so good? Is there an actual word for that? 

I honestly can’t tell you how long it took to get back to SSR – I was in my own world, but Oh Lord, it was now time to get off the bus.  No joke, I think it took 2 minutes for me to make it to the front and off the bus.  I kept taking these little baby steps, trying not to hurt myself, because by then, I’d begun to freeze up.

We started walking – very slowly – to our room, but we ended up getting a lift from one of the Golf Cart-driving cast members!  He dropped us off right across from the Congress Park bus stop, and it was a quick walk, with 2 flights of stairs, to our room.  Originally, Kiddo and I were going to take the elevator, but we got to the middle of the pod of rooms and realized that the elevators were on the OTHER side of the pod! So we walked back and took the stairs. On the up-side, that wasn’t nearly as bad as I was expecting!

I came into the room and took off my costume, then headed into the bathroom for a cold bath. I forgot to tell the family to go get me ice, so I never got an ice bath… Reminder for next time, GET ICE!

I filled the bath til it came up to the tops of my thighs and got in, still in my sports bra, undies and compression sleeves.  Oh, lord, I gotta say it felt GOOD! (Well, it felt weird to be in a bathtub with clothes on, but I digress).  

After 20 minutes of cold, I got a HOT bath going so I could relax, complete with Epsom salts.  Oh, this is so much better than a cold bath!  I could stay in here all morning. I disrobed the rest of the way, and as I took off my sports bra, my earbuds (which I’d forgotten that I tucked into my bra when they died) fell into the water, as did that Kleenex I got from that guy at the TTC! Eww, wet Kleenex…..

That hot bath wasn’t nearly as luxurious as it could be, mostly because Disney (rightfully) puts safety ahead of luxury, and their bathtubs are jokingly shallow, and the overflow drains are way too low. 

I headed back to the main part of the room, and we all started trying to figure out what to do for lunch. Remember, I was a horrible mother and wife who didn’t bring any breakfast for two mostly-grown adults who could, in normal circumstances, fend for themselves – they were STARVING! Hubby and The Kiddo were content with Artist’s Palette, but I was trying to get them to go to Cooke’s of Dublin so that I could get some fish and chips. After debating either walking to DTD or taking a boat, I decided that that would take just way too long, and we headed up to Artist’s Palette. 

Hubby got the Roast Beef on Weick with chips.

The Kiddo got a Pepperoni Flatbread.

I got the Pulled Pork Flatbread, without onions.

The roast beef sammich came on a Weick bun (what is that?) that had caraway seeds on top. The roast beef was topped with jus, which made the bun soggy (to me). The chips were NOT the caliber of Old Faithful Club (Wilderness Lodge) chips – these were bland and a little too crunchy.  The sammich was very good though, and I would get it myself, just al a carte so I don’t get chips!

The pepperoni flatbread was, well, a flatbread. I know I’m in the minority, but I LIKE the little individual pizzas that Disney has.  This was good, but didn’t scratch the itch that DD had for pizza.

The pulled pork flatbread usually comes with red onions, which of course I don’t like, but they were able to leave them off, and let me tell you – this flatbread was way tasty!  I love pulled pork, I love cheese, I love barbecue sauce – this was a huge win for me. If it was cheaper ($10, really?) I would have loved it even more!

After lunch, we debated getting snacks and/or desserts to take back to the room, but nothing was calling to us, so we just headed back.  Once in our room, a NAP was in order. Yeah, I can hear a lot of you screaming right now – don’t do it! You’ll stiffen up!   Sorry, but I only got 4 hours (at most) sleep last night (this morning) and I just ran a damn half-marathon… I’m takin’ a nap!

So we took a nap.  We told The Kiddo that she didn’t have to nap, but could chill in bed with her computer while WE napped, but in the end, we all slept til 5 or so! I think it was the best nap I’ve had in at least a decade!

It was so hard to wake up after that nap, but we had reservations for Coral Reef at 8:20 and wanted to get in some Epcot time beforehand, so we dragged our butts out of bed and got dressed up for our fancy dinner.  Not super dressed up – we are eating at a Park restaurant after all, but we did put on nice shirts and shoes that weren’t sneakers!  I think stripes and bling go very well together, don’t you?

This is such a comfy shirt!
We grabbed a bus to Epcot, and first off, found the Photopass guy in front of Spaceship Earth. If we’re all pretty, we need proof!  
Awww, happy family
We got some together, but then I asked to get one of just me. I took out my little sign and had the photographer take a photo of me with it. HIS photo was not the best, but I think the one he took with my camera came out great!

I wish the sign wasn't so shiny, so you could see it better...
We also went over to the areas that Stich and Daisy meet and took a few photos there, but somehow it was already 8pm, so we walked over to Coral Reef and checked in.

When did she get to be a teenager?
I’ve never been here before for a lot of reasons. Growing up, it was THE restaurant to go to at Epcot. It was ‘fancy’ and ‘expensive’ so we never went. 

Obligatory Signage
As adults, I never took the family here, well, because it’s seafood, and I’ve always been the seafoodie in the family.  However, after LeCellier changed their menu, we needed a new place for my celebratory dinner (originally, we were going to do lunch around 2:30 at LeCellier). We pored over menus and looked at photos (thanks, Allears and DisneyFoodBlog!). Hubby said that he would go for the NY Strip, but what surprised me was that The Kiddo said that she wanted to try the Mahi Mahi! My child, who dips everything in Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ sauce, was open to ‘weird’ food like mahi mahi, laughingbird shrimp and spaetzle!  Once I heard that, I booked CR right away. 

I’m so glad we did!

We checked in, then went past a wavy wall to the waiting area, which is a banquette of very comfy benches.  After about 5 minutes, they called us and took us into the dining room. We all know about the cool aquarium wall, and Hubby was hoping that we'd get to sit there, but we were seated one level up, at a 4-top table. I preferred this because, I think that if we were at the aquarium wall, we’d feel people staring at us all throughout our meal. 

The dining room was very quiet, and subdued. You totally got a serene feeling here. I’m loving it so far.  Our server was very knowledgeable, and took our drink orders quickly (soda and water, of course!) which were delivered in pretty cobalt glasses (you can see in the photos).

Hubby got the NY Strip with sauce on the side, sub mashed potatoes for the ‘smashed’ potatoes and veggies. 

NY Strip and Mashed Potatoes
The Kiddo got the Mahi Mahi with sauce on the side, sub fries for the spaetzle.

Mahi Mahi with Fries
I ended up getting the searched chicken breast, sub fries.

Chicken Breast with Fries
Yeah, we’re selective eaters. That’s how we roll.

See what I did there?
Our meals came out in a timely fashion, which was good because I was famished!  (Garmin tells me that I burned 1500+ calories this morning!)

My chicken was well cooked, cooked through, but not dry. It was an "airline" chicken breast, meaning that the wing was still attached (so I had to deconstruct the meal a bit). They served the broth in a cup next to the chicken, which was great – otherwise the fries would have been soggy. I still got the applewood smoked bacon on top, and OMG that bacon was fab! Very happy with this meal and would definitely order it again!

Hubby’s steak was perfectly cooked, and extremely flavorful. The mashed potatoes tasted totally homemade. No really – they really reminded me of my mom’s potatoes!  The sauce it came with didn’t add any flavor for me, and if I ordered this meal, I’d skip the sauce too.

The Kiddo’s mahi was disappointing to me. It seemed that this dish was very reliant on the sauce, and with the sauce on the side, you got a bland filet with bland shrimp on top of it. And because the sauce wasn’t fabulous, Kiddo didn’t want the sauce. This meal got a ‘meh’ from her.  She did however, really like The Hubby’s steak, and said that she would order that if we came back.

Dinner was very relaxed, and we never felt rushed at all, even though the park was closing at 9pm.  I don’t know what Coral Reef is like at actual “dinner time” but I would definitely do another late dinner here.

We paid and headed out, walking through a peacefully closed and quiet Epcot, headed to MK to get in a little EMH time.

After disembarking the monorail, we stopped at the Town Square Theatre. I don't remember why, but I think it was so I could put some Band-Aids on my toes.  Whatever the reason, it led to quite the fall down the front stairs for The Kiddo. She started walking down the stairs and one misplaced step sent her tumbling to the bottom (granted, they were shallow stairs, so she only fell a foot or so, but still...)  We got her up and dusted her off and saw one hell of a scrape running down her arm - from elbow to almost wrist area!  It was fantastically bloody and oozy, so another trip to the Clinic was in order! (See our October 2012 trip review for what this is in reference to). We were given some antibiotic ointment and some huge (really generic) bandages and told to sleep with it uncovered at night so it could heal. 

Eww, it's already bleeding through the bandage!
I think at this point, we decided to cut our losses and head back to our room for the night. We were all exhausted! Good night, Magic Kingdom!
Let's reflect on the fact that I just did a half-marathon today!
I can't remember anything else from that night - I think I was asleep before I even got off the bus, actually! But I'm so proud to say that I ran a half-marathon that morning, and STILL could do two parks afterward!