Sunday, February 23, 2014

Don't know if I'm elated or gassy... Princess Half Marathon - Before

If you recall, I was given this bib for free by a co-worker who also loves to runDisney. It was a bitch to get here, and I don’t ever want to be in this situation again (well, I’ll take the FREE part, but not the stressful part…)

Anyway, after getting everything settled last night (yes LAST NIGHT), I still had some packing to do this morning, so we didn’t even get on the road until after 8am. We of course stopped for donuts!

The drive was uneventful – full of laughs, quiet, donuts that aren’t as kreme-filled as they used to be – and we got to the Expo around 11.

While sitting in the car, gathering our belongings, Hubby asks me, “Did I pack my sneakers?”  How would I know if YOU packed something? They weren’t in our suitcase because we usually drive down in sandals, then change to sneakers in the parking lot of wherever we end up. 

He forgot his sneakers. He left them sitting on the bed. All he has for the weekend is a pair of 10-year old Speedo sandals.  Great.

He decided to whip out a knock-knock joke for us. 

Knock, knock.
Who’s there?
FUCK!

Because of the tension and the situation, that was funny as hell, and has since become a running joke in the house.

Anyway, he and I wear pretty much the same size shoes, so I offered him my back-up sneakers to wear for the Expo at least. If he was fine wearing them the whole weekend, so be it. If not, we can make a stop at Penney’s or Payless and grab another pair (I was hoping we didn’t have to do that because of 1) budget and 2) he’s picky!)

He tried them on, and after a bit of re-tying and toe wiggling, he said they would do, so we headed in to the Expo.

Pretty, pretty shoes!
Our first stop was Packet Pickup. Since I was ‘picking up for someone else’ I was nervous that something would go wrong.  

Packet Pickup Area at HP Field House - ESPN Wide World of Sports
Nope! I had my bib in hand in mere moments.  I was #7000!

#7000!  Princess Bell bib - I start in Corral J
Once I got my bib we made a pit stop at a few character meet & greets. 

Princess Minnie
Princess Jasmine (yes, I'm wearing Crocs n Socks - deal with it - someone else has my shoes!)
Princess Volunteer Guy!
He was a Glass Slipper Challenge gEAR bag volunteer who had nothing to do, since that race finished running a few hours ago.  We chatted for a few minutes, and he told me that he would be at the Food Stop by the Hess Station (where I volunteered last month!), so I told him I’d keep an eye out for him.

Upon entering the Jostens Center, I immediately diverted and headed the opposite way I was walking – I saw the FOOTMEN!!!  They must have JUST come out from a break, there was NO line at all (last year, the line was like 20 deep!) 

Dude, your shoes are ugly and that makes me sad
Then we got my bag and immediately headed to the Shirt Exchange. “I” got a Small shirt, when, obviously, I should have an XXL shirt. Not a surprise, but they were all out of both XXL and XL women’s shirts. I settled for an XL men’s shirt. Because of the additional 10k and challenge, many more women were here a lot earlier (and I was here a lot later than last year), so they already came and did packet pickup, and exchanged their shirts. Oh well – at least I got one that fit!

My bib, My Manly Princess tee and my Art Card
We headed out of the shirt exchange into the Official Merchandise section (this was a GREAT idea, runDisney! Just like when you get off a ride and exit into a gift shop!)  I picked up a runDisney Bondi Band, a car magnet and a pin.  Most of this was paid for with a Disney gift card I got from my mom on Christmas. I paid the other $5 or so – Thanks mom!

Car Magnet that will go on my filing cabinet because there's a bunch of savages in this town.
White BondiBand (they only had white, pink and navy)
Princess 2014 Pin - I pin these to the medal lanyard when I hang them on my medal rack
We each took a turn spinning the Rice Wheel at the Success booth. The Kiddo got some erasers, Hubby got a Bag Hook/Bag Opener (so cool), and I got a small ruler. I didn’t see anyone win rice.

Bag hook, ruler and erasers
You use these to take your Boil in Bag rice out with the hook and open it with the little blade in the tongs. Smart!
Next up – the mecca for fashionable runners – SparkleSkirts!  Hubby and the Kiddo rightfully stepped away while I fondled and ogled several skirts. I want a new skirt so bad, but it’s not in the budget right now…

Peacock Snow
Soft Plum
Peacock Orchid
After that, I fondled some medals at the runDisney booth, and also got a runDisney button.  Of course I personalized it.

A coworker once called me Awesome Amy, and hubby called me that last year before my first PHM
We went past the Luna booth and got samples. The chocolate chip cookie dough is okay on first taste, but then it gets gross.  Kind of like chewing on wet cardboard.

At the New Balance booth (out of the “OOHH! SHOES!!” craziness), I got my photo taken with some wings. The photographer there offered me a tiara and I said “do you know how many head’s that’s been on?” and he kind of nodded and said “I don’t blame you!” I settled for a wand.

I don't know what is up with me in this photo, but I love it!
I also stopped by Lasting Commemoratives and picked up my Art Card. Do they really think people are going to BUY this stuff? It’s so tacky…

We made our way out of the Expo, finding the Wall of Names. It took a while, but I found “my name”.  We also grabbed some blank cheer signs for the Kiddo to make a sign and headed out the door.

Betcha can't find my name
Last stop inside the Expo was the Countdown Clock - Only 17 more hours until we start!

17 Hours until The Long Walk (Stephen King Reference!)
No one was in front of the big sign out front, so I stopped for that one too! I don’t know when I’m gonna run this one again – I want to do as much as possible!

Can't tell it was raining when we took this photo
Back in the car, our first item to deal with was shoes. I asked him if he still though we needed to go get new sneakers and he said that he was fine. (Oh, thank goodness!)  Our next item to deal with was lunch/dinner. We pulled out our Garmin to get some ideas and we settled on Cracker Barrel again. Carbs, protein, good place to go.

Unfortunately, I’m a fat girl. Halfway to Cracker Barrel, we saw TGIFridays. I have a “Stripes” card which I can use to save money on meals (after you earn an amount of stripes, you can redeem it for a meal – I had enough for any kind of meal). So, we ended up at TGIF.  It was very quiet in there, and when we asked for a booth, they sat us at the bar. Okay, whatever. I just want to be comfy.

Our server’s name was Jessica, and even though she kind of looked like a dude, I won’t hold that against her – she was one of the best servers I've ever had. Anywhere. No kidding. I won’t be surprised if she ends up at a very high-end restaurant further down the line. (Every time she served something, she would say “Pardon my reach” which is fancy-talk for “move”)

Anyway, we all ended up ordering their 2 for $12 deal – hubby and I got chicken fingers with mozzarella sticks. The kiddo got shrimp with sticks. When our appetizers came, I didn’t realize that we would get a FULL order of mozzarella sticks! We each got a half-dozen! 

TGI Friday's Mozzarella Sticks
Then the chicken came out.

TGI Friday's Chicken Fingers
It was different than I’ve had before, almost a waffle-batter kind of flavor. And it was drizzled with either honey or syrup.  It was good, but WAY greasy and the fries weren't fabulous. I ended up only eating half of my meal (but I did some serious damage to those cheese sticks!) before I was ready to go back to the hotel and check in.

We stayed at Baymont again, after doing the same Secret Hotel deal that I did last month for Celebration. However, I forgot to email the hotel manager about late check-in, and when I asked about it at check-in, the clerk told me she could only give me until noon without charging me extra.  Not cool, but I’ll take it.  We did score a ground-floor room though, so that was a bonus. (Well, it was a bonus, until we realized that everyone would hang out on the ground floor and smoke).

We threw the bags in the room and headed over to the Magic Kingdom, by way of Wilderness Lodge. 

View of Wilderness Lodge from the Boat Dock
We pulled up to the guard shack and told him that I had a hankering for one of those cupcakes from Roarin’ Forks. Security Sam let me through and pointed us towards Visitor Parking.

We walked into the grand lobby and I instantly felt my stress melt away. I love this place, and we need to have another stay here!

How I feel when thinking about Wilderness Lodge
Wait, what? Oh yeah – we headed down the walk, went straight past the turn to Roarin’ Forks and headed for the dock.

Looking towards the PHM Route - All the cones are set up
All aboard for the Magic Kingdom!
Equipment being set out for Big Hands tomorrow (this is by the Water Bridge)
View of the route from the Water Bridge
We’re so bad – we’re parking at a resort just so we don’t have to pay to park at the park…. 

Sssshhh, don’t tell anyone! We’ll get a cupcake on the way back. Maybe.

We debarked at the Magic Kingdom, made our way through Security and it began to rain. 

The birds give no F*cks
We poncho’ed up and headed towards Tomorrowland. The Kiddo wanted to ride Buzz.

It's artsy cuz it's tilted. With a rain filter. 
On our way there, we stopped off at one of the new FastPass+ kiosks – I wanted to see how it worked. The Cast Member there “helped” us out by doing everything so fast I couldn’t follow what the heck she was doing! But we did end up with FPs for Buzz, Haunted Mansion and Big Thunder.

Our three FastPass+ Choices for the evening
To waste some time until it was Buzz time, we headed towards PeopleMover. Nope – it’s down.

Let's spend $100 to go to a Dance Party in the rain! Yay!
We went over to Carousel of Progress and sat through that. THEN we went to Buzz and got on in about 10 seconds.

Just love this ride
After Buzz, it was still raining, and now dark.  We decided to forego our other FPs, but did want to get a snack to bring back to the hotel. We stopped by Cheshire CafĂ© to see if they had any more Cake Cups, but were told that they only make a  set amount in the a.m. and sell out quickly.  I’ll have to try again!
 
For your reference - THIS is a cake cup!
We boated back to Wilderness Lodge, and decided against that yummy cupcake at Roaring Forks. Instead, we just drove on back to the hotel.  The Kiddo hopped in a bubble bath while I started getting all my stuff laid out.

This is generally where I go into Psycho OCD mode.  My clothes have to be hung up, with the shirt and skirt facing the same direction (don’t hang up the shirt backwards, oh Lord no!). My shoes have to be lined up with the toes pointed out, the socks, still balled together, stuffed in one shoe. The accessories have to be laid out in an order that makes sense – fuel together, tech together, etc. Once that is all done, I have to check off my list (yes, I have a list) to make sure I remembered everything, then I generally touch everything one more time while thinking in my head (touch sunglasses “head”, touch Gu “left pocket”, touch inhaler “waist pocket”) where each item will go. Once I do that, I generally feel like I’m ready – but while I’m doing it I feel like a crazy person, and that – if someone is in a room with me – they are watching my every move and thinking that I’m a crazy person. 

While I was in full Prep Mode, hubby tweeted a few things (I didn’t see until later).

Awwww...

Once I was done, it was time for sleep!  Just like last year, I ended up in bed around 10pm, which is only going to give me 5 hours of sleep before my second-ever half marathon. Please let me fall asleep quickly!!

Awesome Amy, ready to run!