Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend Part 1

I'm finally back home from Walt Disney World and my big race weekend. I ran the 5k and the Half Marathon, so I'm going to be splitting up the race report into parts. First up is Preparing for the race!

We arrived in Orlando on tuesday afternoon and then had 2 full days of park time before the first race. Last year I ran my first ever half marathon at Disney World and I learned a few things to keep in mind for the races. Here are my biggest Disney running preparation tips:

  1. Don't try to ride every ride at the parks before the races
  2. Hydrate! Drink water every chance you get
  3. Check out the race expo, but don't go overboard standing on your feet for hours
  4. When you fail at steps 1-3 because it's Disney, mentally prepare yourself for a "fun" race and no PR
Like the list says, I knew from experience that all of these things were important to a successful race day but it's just so hard to listen to them when you're at the parks! Unlike last year, my whole family came along this year. Only my mom and I were running the half, so everyone else didn't care as much about time spent on our feet. They wanted to see the parks and ride all the rides! And, like the little kid I am, I did too. 

We spent wednesday at the Magic Kingdom and I got to meet up with a sorority sister (my G-Big if you know what that means) that I hadn't seen since she graduated. It was her first time to Disney World so we went on pretty much every ride. We all did a pretty good job at staying hydrated, but the no-walking plan was a major bust. 
Me and my G-Big at hanging out Magic Kingdom
Cinderella Castle

On thursday, we went to animal kingdom and then the race expo. I absolutely love Animal Kingdom as a park because the attention to detail is amazing. Every inch of that park has a story and a theme, from the ride queues to the attractions. However, while the theming is incredible, the pavement is also themed and that means lots rough, uneven roads and hard concrete. If you are planning to run a Disney race, save Animal Kingdom for a day besides the one before your race. Aside from our tired feet, we had a wonderful day at the park and were all excited to go check out the expo. 

the tree of life
it felt like we climbed this by the time we left!
We went straight from the park to the ESPN Wide World of Sports to visit the race expo and pick up our bibs. Alex and Ashley, my brother and sister, were also running the 5k with us. The Disney 5k was Ashley's first Disney race and second race ever, and Alex's first ever 5k. When we got to the expo, they were really impressed with the size of everything and began to get excited for race day!
ESPN Wide World of Sports

After getting our bibs and all of our goodies (in 2 separate buildings this time!) we went shopping! The gear at the expo was much less female-oriented than at the princess half (obviously) but we still managed to get a few cute things. There were some great deals on the basics so I bought a plain wicking tee for $10 a Zensah sports bra (review coming soon!) and a water bottle. 
After the expo we all went to dinner and Mom and I had our traditional pre-race cocktails! It's really dumb to drink alcohol when you are trying to hydrate before a race, but we had one before our first race and now it's become a good-luck thing that we don't want to break. Anyways, they were super yummy and came with a glowing ice cube! 

After that it was time to lay out our gear and get ready for an early race the next morning!

And that about wraps up my pre-race happenings. Stay tuned for Part Two: the 5k!


  1. So fun! I can't wait to hear about the races and see your costume in action!

  2. Hey Ros!

    Great job getting back into running!! I thought I would tell you, that you really inspired me to start running as an asthmatic! I found your blog the first week in November and I ran quite a bit for the next 6 weeks and then quit for a month and just started again. I am registered for my first half marathon in st Louis on april 15th. I only have 13 weeks to train and i feel like i'm almost starting over. I was wondering if you could share your training plan as an asthmatic. I've been following Jeff Galloway's training plan with a 30/30 or 30/1 depending on the day. I know i could go farther and faster If my asthma didn't start tightening up after the first mile. Any suggestions or if you could share your training guide i'd love it! I also wanted to tell you I got one of your shirts and zip up jacket for christmas! getting lots of compliments! Good luck finding a CS job! My husband is also going to school for CS so I know how much work goes into it!

  3. Sydey,Best comment ever! I'm so glad that you started running and have signed up for a half! I'm sorry you found my blog when I became a loser and bailed for a while though! haha You will do great with your half! I use galloway as well and I think it's the only reason I can run. I'll send you some links for more info. I'm also really excited that you got some clothes and I'd love to see pics! Good luck and great job getting out there!