Hi guys! Long time no see!
Sorry for the long break! Past couple of weeks have been busy, busy, busy! But a lot happened in the past week that I have to tell you guys, and I will break it up into a few posts so it’s not overwhelming!
As a lot of you know, this past week Andrew and I were headed to Disney World for the marathon weekend. I was signed up for the Dopey Challenge (5k, 10k, 1/2 marathon, marathon) and Andrew was signed up for the Goofy Challenge (1/2 marathon, marathon). As you’ll see, things didn’t go quite as planned, but it was still a wonderful weekend!
We left for Disney at 5:30 in the morning on Wednesday. It always surprises me how busy the SeaTac airport is even early in the morning. But it was a smooth process to get through security and to our gate. The flights went quickly for me as I slept the majority of the time, and we got into Orlando at 4:25 pm.
One wonderful thing about staying on Disney property is how smoothly everything runs and how easy they make it to get around. We went straight to Mickey’s Magical Express bus which got us to our resort in about 45 minutes. For this race-cation we stayed in Disney’s All-Star Sports Resort, which is one of the lower-budget resorts. It was totally fine, especially since we didn’t spend too much time in the rooms, but Andrew and I will definitely stay at a nicer resort for our honeymoon!
We had to rush right from the hotel over to the race expo, since my first race was the next morning. We got right on the shuttle over to ESPN Wide World of Sports and went through the packet pick-up process. For the Dopey Challenge, they gave me six race shirts, one for each race, one for Goofy, and one for Dopey. Since this is not my first Disney race and we’re saving money for the wedding, I didn’t get any extra shirts or jackets, but I did get a Dopey headband from the official merchandise tent. The expo is always crowded, but the organization of the volunteers gets you in and out quickly. We had a reservation at Boma restaurant at Animal Kingdom Lodge for dinner, so we went straight from the expo over to eat.
Now Boma is a unique African buffet restaurant, and the food is absolutely fabulous, so the place is always jam packed. Our reservation was at 8:15 but we didn’t end up getting seated until 8:45! Totally worth it though. There wasn’t a single thing I ate that wasn’t totally worth it. Here’s a picture of my first plate, but I did end up getting seconds!
Some of the things I ate: prime rib, fried plaintains, sweet potato mash, curried pasta salad, lentil and goat cheese salad, spinach and corn pudding, white grits, and cornbread. After a long day of traveling, this dinner hit the spot!
After dinner, we tried to head straight back to the hotel, but through a series of unfortunate events and bus mixups, we didn’t end up getting back until 10:30! I knew the next morning was going to be an early one, so we headed right to bed!
My alarm went off at 3:30 to start getting ready for the WDW 5k. The last shuttle bus leaves the hotel at 4:30 and I know from experience that you don’t want to be on the last bus. So I planned to go out around 4:10. I slowly got ready, pinned my Dopey bib on, and Andrew and I went out to the shuttle. We got to the race site around 4:40 and the race doesn’t start until 6:00, so it was quite a lot of sitting here around and waiting. Luckily, there’s always a fun DJ keeping the energy high and tons of awesome costumes to look at, so time goes by fairly quickly.
At around 5:30, people started getting into their corrals. Corrals for the 5k and 10k were A-F and I was in D, so luckily I didn’t have to wait to the very end to start. Once your corral starts moving up to the start line, it’s so exciting! And when Rudy says, “Runners! Set! Goooooo!” it’s hard not to get caught up and jet right out!
But I knew I had a lot of running left to do this week (or so I thought), so I took the first mile very very easy. Andrew was waiting around the first turn, cheering for me, so I ran over and gave him a big kiss! Once I got to mile 1, I decided to walk for a while and take in the beautiful sights.
The 5k went around the Epcot world showcase and there were some absolutely gorgeous views!
I also had some great character sightings!
I walked when I wanted to, ran when I felt like it, and before I knew it, I was next to the giant ball in Epcot at mile 3!
There’s nothing like crossing a Disney finish line! And this time they had metal medals instead of rubber!
After the race, we caught the shuttle bus back to the hotel to sleep for a while! We ended up sleeping until around 10:30 and then heading over to Magic Kingdom, which was still decorated for Christmas!
Our first fast pass was for Peter Pan’s Flight, which was fun. It was a slower ride, and probably not one I would do again, but it was a good one to do once, a classic ride, and a nice introduction to the rest of the fun planned that day.
We walked around in Frontier Land for a while, checking out some souvenir shops and killing time until our next fast pass, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. This one was perfect for me! Fast and fun but not overly scary. I can be a wimp when it comes to intense roller coasters, but Thunder Mountain is one I will be doing again!
After Thunder Mountain, we were getting hungry and thirsty, so we stopped into a little place in Frontier Land and got beef nachos to share. I also grabbed a slushy strawberry lemonade which was not only completely refreshing, but adorable!
When we had finished eating, I used my Disney app to check out close rides and saw that the carousel only had a ten minute wait. I have always had a soft spot for carousels, so we hopped in line and were climbing aboard our steeds in a few rotations of the ride!
Since we still had a while until our last fast pass, Space Mountain, we decided to hop over to the Monsters, Inc Laugh Floor, which is a fun improv comedy show performed by some very funny monsters! They pick people out of the audience to tease, all in good fun, and it was quite funny. It’s something I would definitely do on a return trip!
Andrew needed a snack, so I grabbed a Diet Coke and he got a cream cheese stuffed pretzel. I snuck a few bites and it was delicious! Kind of like a danish inside a pretzel. Yummmmm!
With our snack devoured, we headed to Space Mountain, Andrew very excitedly, me with much trepidation. I was sooooo nervous! Andrew kept reassuring me it would be fun, but my heart was beating out of my chest!
As soon as the ride started, I screamed my head off and didn’t stop until it did! In our ride pictures, I’m gripping the lap bar and very obviously screaming! It was very fun though, and I would absolutely do it again! I screamed so much that the guy in front of me turned around at the end like, what the heck? I was beet red!
Since we had woken up so early that morning and had another early start the next morning, we decided to start heading back towards the hotel. Not before we caught the end of a performance in front of the castle and grabbed a delicious cake pop, though!
All in all, it was a fabulous day!
Next post: the 10k recap and Animal Kingdom!