Disney Marathon Week – Coast to Coast!

Well, it’s been a couple of weeks since Marathon Week. My legs are feeling normal, the numbness and blisters have left my feet – so, it’s time for a blog! Jon and I decided last year that in 2014 we would try to get our Coast to Coast medal. Which essentially means you do races in Disney World and Disneyland within the same calendar year. Crazy? Maybe. Part One of our Coast to Coast challenge is over. We did the half marathon at Disney World this January and have the Half at Disneyland at the end of August. We have also participated in their Wine and Dine Half at Disney World – which so far we both like the best… We do love wine, though.

I’ll apologize in advance because I did not carry the big camera down for obvious reasons… All of the photos posted below are taken with an iphone, and admittedly are likely fogged up because I ran with it… They are still decent, though. 🙂

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This is the snow we got the week we left for Disney. I think it is clear to most that know me that this equaled MISERY. I cannot stand the cold, like hate it. I’m from Georgia and my body just can’t deal with it. This winter has been beyond terrible, and I’ll be honest definitely has me rethinking living here. 4+ months of cold/freezing weather is just too much for me. I cannot explain to you how THRILLED I was to be leaving. Like jumping for joy thrilled.

When we landed in Florida it was cooler than normal temps down there for sure. But, the humidity and heat returned after just one day of being there and we were happy campers. By far the craziest thing we did was wake up at 4:30am to go wait in line for the RunDisney shoes.. They have very limited amounts and usually sell out of sizes in the first days. We got two pair of the Goofy shoes for Jon and my brother. I, of course, got Cinderella..

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We stayed a few days in The Villages with Mimi & Tony. We had a great time and wish we were closer to see them more often. Jon and Tony played some golf, and I made Mimi go shoot air guns and play bocce ball. She will not be pleased with this photo I am posting..

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After two days spent with them we headed off to Disney World again to check in at our hotel. We stayed at my favorite resort on Disney property by far.. I went to Disney several times a year as a child and have stayed at the vast majority of the hotels. Wilderness Lodge always remains my favorite. The transportation from this resort in my opinion is the fastest and most convenient.. Yes, even more so than Grand Floridian.. Their monorails and boats at the closing of the park are ALWAYS packed.. The boat to Wilderness Lodge never is! Love that!
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Thanks to some very kind family members/friends we were upgraded to the Old Faithful Club.. We definitely weren’t expecting it – once we saw all of the carbs they offerred in their lounge we knew we would do okay on race day… 😉 So thank you thank you thank you to our family!!

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Just a preview of some of the carbs we stuffed our faces with..
We headed over to the race expo that day too. I needed to get my knees taped up and ready to run. KT Tape is pretty much the best thing ever. Especially for my 90 year old knees. Our alarm went off the next morning at 3:15am.. Yes, you read that right.. We got up to head to our corrals at 3:15am. The last buses left the resorts at 4am.. After that you were not guaranteed to make it to the start of the race on time. It was a one mile walk from where the bus dropped us off to our corrals.. We finally made it and the nerves started to set in.

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The race started at 5:30 am. By the time we crossed the start it was just after 6am. Still dark – and surprisingly humid and warm..

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When we passed through the gates to Magic Kingdom I started to get emotional.. I spent the vast majority of my childhood at this crazy place, got engaged there, and visit what seems like yearly even now as an adult. Unless you grew up Disney… I don’t think it has that effect on you. The feeling of running down Main Street in the dark with thousands of strangers cheering you on with their homemade signs is indescribable.. And then, you see the Castle. Highlight of my running life right there folks.. Sincerely. We ran past where Jon and I got engaged, through the new Fantasyland and then through the Castle just as the sun was coming up. Awesome. The signs that these people hold and make to cheer us on are hysterical! My personal favorite was the Ryan Gosling photo that someone had made “Hey Girl, Don’t worry about your corral. You’ll look just as hot in F as in A. And I’ll wait at the finish line for you!” Bahhh hahaha. Another great one… “Your feet hurt, cus your kicking ASSphalt.” HAHA.. These people are seriously awesome that come out at the crack of dawn just to encourage us.
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After a few photo ops we headed off into Frontierland past Woody, Chip and Dale! We took a behind the scenes exit next to Splash Mountain where I was pleasantly surprised to find Cinderella and Prince Charming! That definitely was the longest stop for a photo. The line was long – which the line for photos at most characters during the race are long.. We waited in it about 10 minutes.. But, it was worth it. I don’t think I’ll ever use Disney races to try and beat my PR. There are too many fun things to do, and out the gate it’s just so crowded that it’s very difficult unless you are in A,B, or C corral to beat a PR competitively.

The fire department brough out their ladder for the race.. Which Jon loved, of course.

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I didn’t take many other photos during the race because we were trying to make up time for all our stops in Magic Kingdom. I did keep track on my Nike Sportswatch of how long we were stopped for photos. My only goal for this race was to finish in under three hours with photos.. Which we did – by one minute. HA! Based on my stopwatch we had about 22 minutes worth of stops for photos and restroom breaks.

The race winded into Epcot around mile 10.5 and we knew it was almost over. My favorite part of every Disney race is the gospel choir just at mile 13.. They are amazing and give me chills during each race. I’m going to try and insert a video of them here!

With a high five from Mickey and our hands held together we crossed the finish line at Disney World for a second time.

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Both thrilled it’s over!
My cousin Heather ran the 10k the day before, and told me she would be volunteering at the Finish showing runners where to go. I knew I had to find her for a photo, and I did!! I’m really glad we had a family member there to see! 🙂 I don’t get to see my family very much anymore.

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The obvious bus ride, medal photo. It has become a tradition of sorts.
After a very brief rest at our hotel room to get cleaned up we were off to the parks!

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It always surprises us just how efficient we are when we are at Disney.. We ride everything we want to multiple times, and usually aren’t tired feeling relatively pretty good!

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We found the three most important people to get our photos with! And before we knew it – it was time to return to the tundra. This race was perfect timing and just what I needed to escape these freezing temperatures. We’ve got Part Two of our Coast to Coast Challenge coming in just a few months, and I can’t wait to update with photos from it soon! Stay warm and keep running, friends!

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