Nonetheless, I roused myself out of bed and put on my Megara costume (Teh MD-AR was Minnie) and put a secret in my skirt pockets for Teh MD-AR for after the race. Don't worry, I'll tell you what it was in a little bit.
We caught the bus at stupid early and made it to the pre-race area, which was the same as the 5k and 10k. Teh MD-AR went and jumped in a character line while I went to the other line to check who the character was. Truthfully, I was tired so I don't remember who the characters were, but I knew that we'd already seen them so we stayed in the line Teh MD-AR was in since it was for Mulan who I had NOT met and NEEDED to meet.
|Selfies with Mulan|
|I completely failed at taking my hood off.. :(|
Those race "blankets" they gave us at the end of the 5k and 10k were definitely better than nothing at all. Despite my attempts to nap, the ladies behind us were chatting not quietly so I wasn't successful at anything other than laying in the middle of our corral with my eyes closed. #YOLO
Eventually, it was our turn to get our run on and we proceeded to, then through, the start line.
The route took us from near Epcot through Magic Kingdom (MK) then back to near Epcot. Again, Runkeeper fucked up my map, so I can't show you. Let's not talk about it, the bitterness is strong with this one. Let's just enjoy the photos along the way and commend Teh MD-AR's patience with me for stopping to take so many photos... She's the best.
|Hey, we don't even have to pay for parking!|
|Definitely had to stop for the Dudes!|
L to R: Captain Phoebus (Hunchback), Eric (Little Mermaid), Flynn Rider (Tangled), John Smith (Pocahontas)
|Drive by of Jasmine and Abu since we'd already hung out with Jasmine at the Expo|
|Drive by of Sally|
We actually also saw Jack Skellington as he came out, but the photo wasn't good enough to show you.
Then, like MAGIC.. there was THE castle. Gentle Readers, I had been planning on this day for over a year. It was a lot of stress and money and time and brain power and maybe some (but not enough) training runs and this was the culmination of all of those efforts and it was almost overwhelming to the point of tears.
|Some of the signs along the way really made me lol.|
|Castle selfies, duuuuhhhh|
We ran most of the way around MK, so we had to go through Tomorrowland before we got to the castle. On the way, we happened to see Lady Tremaine and Cinderella's step-sisters (which we had actually seen along the race since several people were dressed up as Anastasia and Drizella).
|Headed into the castle!!!!|
|Of course we had to pause for a in the castle selfie!|
There was a line with multiple photographers to get your photo in front of the castle. I also wanted to get a jump photo but the photographers were so quick to push you on (for good reason) that Teh MD-AR had to get it for me. While I was trying to get my jump shot, we saw this happen:
|She said yes and both Teh MD-AR and I were teary eyed.|
It was seriously the sweetest thing ever.
|We got my jump shot! Then we moved on since we had spent several minutes trying to get that shot.|
|On our way out of MK we passed by Belle and Beast, but we didn't want to wait in line.|
|Drive by of Mary Poppins, Bert, and the penguins|
We actually saw an older couple dressed up as Bert and Mary Poppins and sadly didn't get a photo with them.
|Drive by of Mrs. Incredible.|
|I'd heard about the green army men and was totally willing to do some push ups for Sarge.|
|Instead we fist bumped AND when I said "Bah-la-la-la" at the same time as him, he was so excited!|
I had to tell Teh German that our #bahlalala was still the most special.
For some of these people, it was their very first race ever. For some (like us), it was their first Disney race. Some were veteran Disney runners. What this really meant is that not everyone knew runner's etiquette and there were a lot of people. It meant that the person in front of you might stop running at anytime, that walkers would be spread 4 people across the path, that you'd get bumped into. Despite all the reading we had done to prepare ourselves for the race, we didn't expect just how awesome most of the people would be. There were many complaints about participants not being on their best Princess behavior during the races/expo. We didn't really see that so much. Most people were friendly and willing to chat and so many people were dressed in some type of costume.
I'm not sure why anyone would do a Disney race for time, but those people are missing out in my opinion. Yes there are plenty of things to get frustrated over and at one point I did ask the group that was walking 5 persons abreast on the left side of the path to move to the right for those people who were running. A lady who was walking in the middle of the road piped back at me (who was not in the group), "I AM on the left!" I instantly turned around (while still jogging) and said, "Yeah, not to you! You're good!" She replied, "Oh! I see! We agree!" It was no big deal. I'm not sure if the group got over to the left or started running again, but that was the only time I felt like something should be said. Did people stop suddenly in front of us? Yep, a lot. But we did our best to communicate our intentions to other runners. When Teh MD-AR said she wanted to walk, I'd remind her to move to the right and I'd hold up my hand to signal that we were stopping/moving.
It was right after we exited MK and headed towards Epcot that the struggle started. Runners will know what I'm talking about. That special mile (mine is 9/10) where you question your sanity because you're running a half marathon (and maybe you ran a 10k the day before that and a 5k the day before that) and everything you've ever done is stupid and everything hurts and you say you'll never do it again but you know you'll sign up for another race within a month of at least an equal distance and WHHHHYYYYYYYYY?
If you're me, you'll turn to Teh MD-AR (who looks as miserable as you feel) and say, Whose idea was this anyways? And she'll look at you with a smile and sweetly say, "Yours." And then you yell at her as if she's a million miles away, WHY WOULD YOU EVER LISTEN TO ME, EVER!? And she'll laugh and say, "I don't know." And everyone around you will have heard the exchange and laugh and you'll realize that you're not alone and everyone is miserable and that laugh alone will power you through at least another 1/2 mile where there will be a water station with excellent volunteers and maybe another 1/2 mile after that some spectators who will cheer you on and maybe even some small kids you can give high fives to or a sign that says "Tap here for a pixie dust boost!!" Then you'll practically be at the end, which means that you can pretty much survive anything.
|If you look past the other bridge, you can see the sea of people by the balloon..|
|Almost to the end!|
|These signs had me cracking up, which I needed because we were in mile 11 or 12 and I was absolutely miserable.|
|Definitely emailed this to Allison as soon as I could.|
I'm pretty sure one of these guys was a Footman at the expo..
When we entered into Epcot, I wanted to cry a little because I was afraid that we'd be running through all of Epcot for a 3rd time and I just wasn't feeling it. Fortunately, that was not the case. We pretty much ran in, ran to the countries section, turned around and ran back out.
We were tired, we were hurting, and while we both wanted to finish, there were a lot of fun photographic opportunities at the end.. which was good and bad. Good because it gave us a reason to stop/walk. Bad because we just wanted to be done.
|We met Fairy Godmother who was actually cheering everyone on to the finish line.|
|We took one last photo with Space Mountain|
|We had to get a photo with the last mile marker.|
I had already warned Teh MD-AR that I wanted this photo, so she was ok with stopping... yet again.. for another photo.
THEN IT WAS OVER. 22.4 miles complete.
AND WE WERE SO GLAD.
|Half marathon medals with the finish line!|
Since we had done the Glass Slipper Challenge (GSC), we were funneled away from everyone else so they could verify that we were who we said we were before we could get our medal and then take a photo. Can we just talk for a moment about how horrible it is that people feel the need to duplicate bibs and "cheat" when people work really hard to obtain something like this? Ugh.
Then came the surprise. I did a virtual run for The Color Run and they sent me a shirt and a medal (which I deserved from running the 3 not virtual runs in year previous to them giving a medal) and some color packs and I had stowed the color packets away for a "later date" (aka, I forgot about them until I was going through my running drawer and saw the bag in there). I figured that a color toss would be the perfect way to end our Disney runs. One of the first runs that Teh MD-AR and I had done together (actually with Teh MD-Teenage Roomie) was a color run.
The photographer actually didn't want us to toss the color because she was afraid it was going to mess up her backdrop and make a mess.. Yeah well, I do what I want after running 22.4 miles and carrying these color packets for at least 14 miles (if you include the walking) and they had made my legs super sweaty so I was going to toss the damn color and I knew that her backdrop would be fine.
Side note: Mrs. Reflective and I were actually the first ones to do a color toss after a color run, which is what gave me the idea.
|Her visor caught almost all of the color, which I consider cheating.. lol|
|People gave me more weird looks for having such a red face than they did for the bra on my head.|
We picked up our snack boxes and headed towards the post race area. We checked out the characters who were there and decided that we didn't need photos since we didn't want to wait and we had to check out of the hotel at noon and we had reservations for lunch at noon and... we were tired as fuck.
We did stop to take some post run photos though!
|Of course I'm going to grab my boob.|
|OMFG WE DID IT faces!|
PS. This is my favorite photo of Teh MD-AR as she always smiles and you can never catch her in a candid photo.
|Bestest running besties ever.|
We jumped on the bus and headed back to the hotel. We had to get photos in front of our window!
|We got one of the housekeepers to take this for us.|
Using resources wisely.
We then stretched and showered and finished up packing and I actually laid down and tried to nap some because I knew I was going to be grouchy otherwise. It was only 20 minutes, but there was drool on my pillow, so it was worth it.
Then we moved out of our hotel room. I'm not exaggerating when I say that my suitcase and stuff I was carrying had to have weighed at least 100 pounds. Ugh. So much crap!
|While I was waiting on Teh MD-AR to pull up the car, I noticed Cruella was getting away!|
Before we left the hotel, we decided that we wanted to do some photos with all of our medals since we were cleaned up. I thought the stars were a pretty good background so we parked and got some photos.
|L to R: Glass Slipper Challenge, Half Marathon, 10k, 5k.|
|L to R: 5k, 10k, 1/2, GSC|
|Will run for medals...|
Even if it's 22.4 miles.
4 medals = worth it.
After our photos, we headed to Seasons 52 for lunch. I had made reservations but then called to tell them that we'd be late. There was a bit of a wait, not because there weren't tables available, but because there was only one hostess and no one to seat people. Uhh, mkay. After the wait, we were led to a table. I posted my review on Yelp if you care about that. As was the theme of the weekend, we shared everything to get the best experience.
|Caramelized brussel sprouts|
|Scallops with broccolini or brocoliflower or something weird.|
We also had roast chicken which didn't make the upload for some reason. Whatevs. It was chicken and it was delicious. Use your imagination.
The best part of the meal was definitely dessert. The server brought this entire tray filled with 10ish mini desserts that all sounded delicious. We went with 3 because we ran 22.4 miles over the weekend, TYVM. When the bill came, the server informed us that since I had put that it was my birthday on the reservation, he had comped dessert. Not just one, no no, all THREE desserts comped from our bill! Happy 30th birthday, Megan! He for sure got a ...sweet.. tip. hhah, see what I did there?
|L to R: Peanut butter chocolate thingy, Smores thingy, raspberry cannoli thingy.|
The pb chocolate was Teh MD-AR's fave and the cannoli was mine.
After lunch, we hit the road towards Charleston. Teh German and Meri and Phil were waiting on us!
|Shaniqua lost her weave!|
We saw this at a gas station and thought it was a critter until we realized it wasn't.
PS. This was in FL, not SC. Although I can understand if that's confusing.
We made it back from Orlando around 6 hours after we left. We actually met Teh German and German Girl at Sesame for dinner before we even went home. It had been a hot minute since Teh German and I had been to Sesame and Teh MD-AR requested it and German Girl hadn't been there before, so it was a win-win-win-win. Of course, Sesame didn't disappoint.
After dinner, we were absolutely wiped, so we headed home and crashed hard after greeting the puppies.
|I may have gotten kisses from Meri.. and Phil leaned on me pretty hard, so I'm taking it as a proper reunion.|
I have one last post about Princess weekend that I hadn't initially planned on writing.. a summary post. I'm going to talk about cost and my opinions and if I'd do it again. I had started it on this post, but it was getting out of control, so I created a new post for it so I could go more in depth since I'm sure that many people that land here might be doing their research about their upcoming Princess runs. :)
YAAAAYYYY PRINCESSES AND MEDALS!!
Disney Princess Weekend 2016!!!Thursday - Arrival, Expo, City Walk
Friday - 5k, shopping, Pasta in the Park @ Epcot
Saturday - 10k, Disney Springs, Disney All-Star Movie Resort
Sunday - Half Marathon, 52 Seasons
RunDisney Princess Weekend Summary - opinions, cost